By DaQuita Hardeman
Vicky McDougald, new Director of Gateway Student Support Services (SSS) and Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) joins the University of Arkansas at Monticello after spending 18 years in her Alma Mater, Hermitage School District.
“I hope to provide a quality program that is both beneficial to the student academically and personally,” she says.
At Hermitage she taught gifted and talented, physical education, art, college prep for seniors, and the sixth grade. Later she moved to Monticello and worked for three years at Monticello schools teaching adult education, assisting 16 and 17 year old students while they work towards their GED.
McDougald received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Aside from these degrees, she has also earned several certifications including elementary education, kindergarten, middle school social studies, gifted and talented, curriculum specialist, elementary principal, high school principal, administration and adult education.
The two programs, Gateway SSS and Y.O.U. are two different programs designed around the needs to two different groups and types of people. Gateway SSS helps students to have a successful college experience by providing academic support as well as other services that assist those working towards their baccalaureate degree.
Students who are involved with Gateway SSS are offered academic and graduate school advising, support and counseling, peer mentoring, tutoring, financial aid, career and major counseling, cultural enrichment, and computer training. These services are beneficial to 140 first generation, low income, and disabled students each year.
Y.O.U. is a six and a half week program designed for at risk youth giving them the opportunity to learn valuable living skills and the opportunity to improve their academic behavior. The program takes place here on the UAM campus. While here the campers are required to attend Math, English, Reading, and Job Skills classes.
Y.O.U. students are also assigned jobs working for nonprofit businesses. Weekend field trips are another feature of the program.
“I wasn’t here before so I don’t know what changes need to be made at this point in time," McDougald says. "I have only been here for a little while and I haven’t experienced Y.O.U. before so until you experience something you can’t really say that changes need to happen.”
While Y.O.U. is mainly a summer program built around high school students, Gateway SSS is a year-round program for UAM students, so naturally McDougald focuses on current things more than others. With Gateway SSS she is already able to see where the program can be beneficial to the students. She comments, “One of the things that I have really pushed in SSS is the tutoring program and I really think that it has been successful for several students.”
When talking about the difficulty of making the transition from the high school atmosphere to UAM, McDougald doesn’t seem threatened at all. “This job is a lot more fast-paced. I am the type of person that likes to have more to do than I can get done and this job has been that. I have had more to do than I can get done," she says. "I like that. I look up and half the day is gone and that’s a sign that I am enjoying my work. I have more responsibility here, but it’s not anything I can’t do.”
Like many other professors and staff members, McDougald was once a student at UAM. Now she is working alongside other staff members.
“UAM has been very gracious and friendly to me. I feel like I am part of a system. The first couple of days I was here, I got e-mails from other staff members welcoming me," McDougald says. "I feel like I have been accepted and I have had several teachers refer students for tutoring through me and they have e-mailed me with concerns about the students which shows that the staff is very caring towards the student body, which is very unusual for a college setting.”
McDougald seems very passionate and entirely committed to her position here, but she also leads a very full life outside of her office and Harris Hall. She describes herself as very family oriented and “artsy” person. “I have been married to my husband for 28 years; we have two children, both of which are grown.
On February 20th I was blessed with my first grandchild. I love to travel. It doesn’t matter where you’re going, I’m ready to go. I am very creative, a multi-tasked person. I like to do several things at once. I enjoy reading, painting and crafts. I’ve done weddings and florals. I also love drama and I love plays and I love going to the movies.”
The UAM Voice staff would like to welcome Vicky McDougald and wish her lots of luck in her journey here.
I hope that you find this section interesting and informative. There is a lot going on with student life, and as UAM students, we can all relate to the stories of our fellow schoolmates. If there is anything that you would like to see in The UAM Voice, feel free to contact the Student Life Editor, DaQuita Hardeman at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Diane Binkley knows her coffee. (Photo by DaQuita Hardeman)
Taking a Trip to Java City
By Mark Wyers
It’s 8:00 on a Monday morning and you are struggling to wake up. If you think caffeine is the answer, you are probably right. What you may not know is that the best place on UAM's campus to get caffeine is the famous Java City.
Java City is the coffee shop located at the front entrance to the library. It is maintained by Aramark and offers many products for the coffee, hot chocolate and tea lovers, as well as other food items that will satisfy your hunger.
The "coffee shop" has been operated by Diana Binkley since it opened and over time she has grown very knowledgeable about the different caffeinated drinks that she serves. It seems that she is getting better and better at satisfying her customers and she is always ready to serve you with a smile.
The products that are offered at Java City are the house coffees, which are very cost effective, lattes and cappuccinos for just a little more money, hot teas, iced coffees, soft drinks and energy drinks like Red Bull. For breakfast or that afternoon snack, they offer pastries, muffins, pies, and chips.
UAM students Don Johnson and Jordan Gibson, like many other students, rave about the coffee shop. Don recommends the “White Hot Chocolate,” and Jordan’s favorite is the “French Vanilla Latte.”
Student takes a study break at Java City. (Photo by DaQuita Hardeman)
If you find yourself wondering around campus with nowhere to go, go to Java City. You can lounge there and drink your coffee or whatever it is that tickles your taste buds. The friendly people who patronize the shop will more than likely strike up a conversation with you. Java City is also a novel place to study during the day, but if you prefer you can get your java to go. Some professors even allow coffee in class. Go visit Java City today. Hours are 7: 30 AM-2: 30 PM.
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Birth of Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity
By Betty Dintleman
Students at the University of Arkansas at Monticello will soon have a chance to join Phi Alpha Delta, the largest pre-law fraternity in the nation.
For those planning a career in the legal profession, membership in Phi Alpha Delta is a valuable tool for networking with others in the profession, as well as advice and help through the admission process to law school.
Nicole Smith, a senior political science major, has been spearheading the efforts to reorganize this group, which had been active on UAM’s campus in past years.
“As a senior myself, I know how difficult it is to get into a law school. I want to make sure that there is a resource for students who also plan to attend law school”, said Smith.
Phi Alpha Delta is open to students of any major or classification, and can be a valuable asset.
Professor of Political Science and pre-law advisor Chris Wright comments, “Joining Phi Alpha Delta allows someone to become a part of the oldest and most prestigious law organization in the country. You’re automatically plugged into a large network of practicing attorneys, sitting judges, and other law school and pre-law students.”
Other activities sponsored by Phi Alpha Delta include yearly conventions designed to bring together those in the legal profession with their future colleagues, and moot court competitions throughout the country.
Matt Baumgarten, a sophomore political science major, says this is his most favored aspect of membership. “I really look forward to traveling to Little Rock to observe or even compete in a moot court competition. I think it will really be of great help in preparing me for law school.”
For those planning on entering the legal profession, or anyone who wants more information, contact pre-law advisor Chris Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Nicole Smith at email@example.com.
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