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Lyon College launches first graduate program in 150-year history

Just six months after being approved by the Higher Learning Commission to offer graduate and online programs, Lyon College has officially launched its first graduate program in its 150-year history.

Beginning this fall, the newly christened Lyon College Center for Transformative Teaching and Leadership will offer a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program that is designed for individuals who want practical, hands-on experience teaching in a classroom and working with students directly while earning a graduate degree.

“Like many states, Arkansas is experiencing a severe shortage of teachers,” said Dr. Anthony Grafton, Lyon College Provost. “We are excited that our first graduate degree will address this shortage and focus on creating unique pathways for individuals to become highly skilled educators. Additionally, I'm personally very happy that people in this region of Arkansas can now continue their education through this program without ever leaving the area.”

Dr. Kimberly Crosby, Director of the Center, said the program is ideal for those who hold an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than education and who are seeking a career change and/or licensure to teach.

“The MAT offers an alternative pathway to Arkansas teacher licensure for those who have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education and who wish to pursue a career in the teaching profession,” Dr. Crosby said. “The degree provides a firm foundation of professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions through challenging coursework and professional mentoring in conjunction with intensive classroom experience in a year-long classroom residency.”

Candidates may pursue teacher licensure in the following content areas and levels:

·       Elementary education K-6

·       Middle childhood 4-8 in English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies

·       Secondary 4-12 in computer science

·       Secondary 7-12 in English/language arts, biology/life science, chemistry, mathematics, and social studies

·       Broad range K-12 in art, foreign languages (French or Spanish), physical education, and music (vocal and/or instrumental)

The 36-credit-hour program is designed to prepare candidates using a hybrid teaching model that blends online coursework with weekly face-to-face meetings offered either remotely or in person.

Candidates beginning the program in a summer term can complete the degree in 15 months, while those beginning in the fall semester will be able to finish in less than two years.

The program offers two pathways to complete the residency requirements:

·   Teaching Residency: Candidates may complete the residency requirement by teaching full-time in the subject area and grade level(s) for which they are seeking licensure. This pathway requires that the candidate be hired as the teacher of record as allowed under state regulations.

·   Traditional Residency: Candidates who are not employed as teacher of record will be placed in a two-semester, half-day internship where they will complete the residency requirements for the degree.

To be unconditionally admitted to the MAT program, candidates must meet the following requirements:

1.     Submit a completed graduate student application form at https://www.lyon.edu/master-of-arts-in-teaching.

2.     Provide an official transcript demonstrating the completion of an undergraduate degree in an eligible discipline from an accredited college or university with a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher on a four-point scale or a GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of coursework. If applicable, candidates must also submit official transcripts for any graduate coursework completed.

3.     Submit passing scores on the Praxis subject area exam for the desired teaching license.

4.     Provide three references. Two references must be professional in nature.

5.     Provide a professional goals statement and rationale for seeking admission to the program.

6.     Sit for an interview (virtual or in-person) with the admissions committee.

Candidates may be conditionally admitted under the following conditions:

 ·       The cumulative undergraduate GPA is 2.5 or higher with a GPA of 3.0 or higher on at least 30 credit hours of coursework in the intended teaching discipline.

·       Praxis subject area scores provided are near passing [within two Standard Errors of Measurement (SEM) of the state-required cut score]. Candidates must submit passing scores on all required testing prior to recommendation for licensure.

Prior to placement in an internship classroom, candidates must submit to a criminal history check (Arkansas State Police, FBI, and Arkansas Child Maltreatment Central Registry).

For more information and to apply for admission to the program, please visit https://www.lyon.edu/master-of-arts-in-teaching or contact Dr. Crosby at kimberly.crosby@lyon.edu.

Posted by Colton Strader at Monday, June 5, 2023

Lyon College announces founding dean of Lyon College School of Veterinary Medicine

Lyon College has appointed Dr. Eleanor M. Green, professor emerita and dean emerita of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University, as founding dean of the Lyon College School of Veterinary Medicine, Lyon College President Dr. Melissa P. Taverner announced today.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Eleanor Green, DVM, DACVIM, DABVP, as the founding dean of the Lyon College School of Veterinary Medicine in Little Rock. Dr. Green is an innovative thinker with an impressive array of experiences in veterinary education, scholarship, and policy. Her professional connections to a wide variety of fields in the veterinary industry will be critically important as we construct an integrated experience-based curriculum to deliver the foundational training and preparation needed by practitioners in the 21st century,” said Taverner.
Currently, Green is senior adviser/consultant for Animal Policy Group and vice president of Iron Horse Consulting & Iron Horse Farm, LLC. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Large Animal Internal Medicine, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP), Certified in Equine Practice. Currently, she serves on the advisory board of Mars Veterinary Health and on the boards of directors of VetGuardian, Brief Media, PetDesk, Veterinary Innovation Council, and Lead Changes. She is also a member of the board of directors for the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Museum. 
She will begin her official duties on July 1 and will lead Lyon College’s request for accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association's Council on Education.
Green received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Auburn University. She has since held numerous academic positions, including founding faculty member of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University; equine clinician educator and scientist at Middlebush Equine Center at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine; head of the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences and hospital director of the Large Animal Hospital at the
University of Tennessee; chair of the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences and the chief of staff of the Large Animal Hospital at the University of Florida; and Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University.

“After devoting most of my career to veterinary education and academic administration, I am humbled and excited to be named founding dean for the Lyon College School of Veterinary Medicine in Little Rock, Arkansas. The opportunity to shape a novel program from scratch is irresistible,” said Green.
“One notable appeal is that Lyon College is a private institution with the flexibility and nimbleness to adapt successfully in times of exponential change to optimize learning and ongoing relevance. President Melissa Taverner and her team are committed to a conspicuously innovative and forward-thinking program, underpinned by a mindset of, ‘Let’s do it!’ Their collaborative spirit is palpable in an environment rich with potential unique partnerships. The existing student-centric culture will underpin veterinary education, as the
needs and aspirations of its students, faculty, staff, and graduates, both individually and collectively, are championed,” said Green. “Lyon College is entering veterinary education at a time of profound need, challenge, and opportunity. It is an exciting time to contribute to the advancement of veterinary education and healthcare in a world that benefits so much from its animals and the people who care for them.”
The Lyon College Faculty Assembly and Board of Trustees approved proposals to develop dental and veterinary schools in Little Rock in March 2022 with its partner OneHealth Education Group. In late November, the Higher Learning Commission Institutional Actions Council approved the college’s requests to offer the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Doctor of Medical Dentistry professional degrees. The college is pursuing accreditation with both the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education and the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation. Pending the accreditors’ approvals, inaugural classes could start as early as 2025.

at Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Lyon College Welcomes Dr. Alexander Beeser as New Spragins House Faculty Mentor

Lyon College's Spragins House is set to have a new faculty mentor this fall, and the campus welcomes Dr. Alexander Beeser, Associate Professor of Biology, who brings a fresh perspective and a willingness to bridge the gap between faculty and students.

When Dr. Beeser first joined Lyon College, he was uncertain about his suitability for the role of faculty mentor.

“I came from a situation where students and the faculty were largely two completely separate entities with really very little overlap,” said Dr. Beeser.

However, as time passed he observed the impact of the previous mentor, Dr. Oliveira, Associate Professor of Biology. Dr. Beeser realized the critical importance of the Spragins mentor in integrating into the campus community. Witnessing Dr. Oliveira's significant influence changed his perception, making him recognize the value of the program for himself and the students.

“I can say with absolute certainty that had I not witnessed how Dr. Oliveira was able to make such a large impact, I would have kept my initial position that it was a valuable program, but not for me,” said Dr. Beeser.

One of the main reasons Dr. Beeser applied for the faculty mentor position is his personal connection to the experiences of Lyon College students. As a first-generation college graduate, he understands the challenges that many students face.

“More importantly, and one of the main reasons I applied, is that if we as an institution expect our students to be put into uncomfortable positions to grow then we should be willing to do the same,” said Dr. Beeser.

Acknowledging his areas for improvement, particularly his interpersonal skills, Dr. Beeser is eager to take on the Spragins House mentorship role, knowing that it involves risks and the possibility of making mistakes. He acknowledges that growth comes from embracing uncertainty and not shying away from the potential for failure.

One aspect that attracted Dr. Beeser to the Spragins position is the flexibility it offers. The programming can be tailored to the needs and interests of the Lyon College community. While certain events, such as the freshman cardboard race and hosting year one classes for lunch, are part of the position's requirements, Dr. Beeser appreciates the freedom to experiment with new ideas.

“Some of the things I am planning will likely not work and I hope to keep doing the things that work and stop doing the things that won’t,” said Dr. Beeser. “And if I am not sure, I can always rely on Dr. Oliveira to give me her opinion.”

Excited about this uncharted territory, Dr. Beeser is looking forward to engaging with freshmen biology students earlier in their academic journeys. As an instructor for upper-level biology classes, he often meets students who have already formed impressions of him based on the reputation of the challenging courses he teaches. Being a faculty mentor allows him to establish connections with students earlier on, breaking down any preconceived notions and fostering a sense of belonging within the Lyon College community.

“I’m looking forward to being able to get to know students earlier so that my reputation does not always precede me,” said Dr. Beeser.

Dr. Beeser emphasizes that the most important aspect of the Spragins House mentorship role is its non-academic nature. The primary objective is to demonstrate to Lyon College students that they are not only welcome but that they belong. Recognizing that learning extends beyond the classroom, he acknowledges that faculty members rarely have opportunities to interact with students in this capacity.

Although he does not claim to have all the answers, Dr. Beeser aims to serve as an additional point of contact for students and help guide them to the appropriate resources. Furthermore, he envisions breaking down the perceived barriers between the campus community and the wider Batesville community, fostering a stronger connection between Lyon College and the local area.

“The College is a special place, and it deserves someone in this position who will be able to meet the various charges and obligations around campus,” said Dr. Beeser. “I hope to become that person.”

Dr. Alexander Beeser, accompanied by his wife Heather, their daughter Lola, their son Luke, and their beloved cat Jezzie, joyfully anticipate settling into their new home, the Spragins House, during the upcoming summer.

Posted by Colton Strader at Thursday, May 25, 2023

120 Scots qualify for Lyon College’s Spring 2023 Dean’s List

Lyon College is happy to announce that 120 Scots have made the Spring 2023 Dean’s List. Students must earn a 3.75 or higher GPA and take a minimum of 12 credit hours during the semester to appear on the list.

Students from Arkansas include the following:


Spencer E. Rhoden

Bald Knob

Brittany Mendiola


Suzanna G. Bates

Lola D. Beeser

Lucia Birkenkrahe

Paul D. Brown

Cassidy C. Garrett

Ruby E. Grafton

Madeline D. Hopson

Paul W. Houck

Julianna O. Howard

Karl W. Lange

Joshua McAnally

Vanessa N. Mohlke

John Thomas R. Morgan

Victor Noppe

Madison L. Poole

Erin E. Rider

Destiny A. Sharp

Donna J. Terrell

Lenoard E. Tripp

Shaela E. Williams

Caeley S. Wood


Robert E. Lee  


Eli C. Lupton


Camryn A. Long


Devin G. Lipford 


Michael C. Uecker


Madelyn M. Walker

Kaytlin B. Wheeler

Cave City

Chloe E. Rudick

Jacob R. Strickland


Jacob W. Hutto


Hannah C. Brewer

Paige N. Kelley

Elliot J. Kemp


Cari E. Meeks 


Alonna Carpenter


Ashley A. Reichert

El Dorado

Lauren L. Brown

Julia E. Goodwin


Isaac B. Cottle

Ian C. Jackson


Brianna J. Reed


Gabriel G. Morris


Alexis N. Marley

Heber Springs

Nicholas R. Chaney

Delacey J. Kell


Havana R. Santis 


Justin M. Dunn 

Hot Springs

Rachel E. Tyler 


Riley J. Hubbard


Avery M. Aquino

Hannah B. Davison

Katherine L. Hunter

Aisha H. Mahmoud

Nikkolette A. Perkins

Little Rock

Wilson G. Borkowski

Natalya M. Kaza 


Logan H. Richerson 


Christopher S. Tackett 


Wyatt M. Treadway


Bailey L. Barnard 


Slayton L. Wheeler 

Mount Pleasant

Seth M. Moore 

Mountain Home

Mackenzie L. Collins

Kylee M. Sabella

Riley R. Straka

Mountain View

Beau D. Turner


Erin M. Haigwood 

North Little Rock

Joshua F. Archer

Cindy L. Rainbolt


Zachary J. Nohr

Chase Orf 


Anna M. Voth 

Pine Bluff

Malcolm D. Howard 


Claralea L. Roberson 


Timothy E. Creekmore


Tyler M. Doucet


Emersen N. Ross 


Mary K. Duffield 


Asher C. Blake

Bethany A. Ellis

Layla D. Wilson


Hannah G. Ward


Jacob E. Wolfrom 


Logan Z. Lightner 

Sulphur Rock

Bryceton L. Church

Thien-Kim T. Ho


Savanna R. Thomas 

Tumbling Shoals

Gentry B. Hamilton

Violet Hill

Annie L. Blevins 


Taylor N. Mitchell


Students from out-of-state include the following:

Pocatello, Idaho

Christopher S. Burrup 

Countryside, Illinois

Alexis Herman 

Pinckneyville, Illinois

Megan E. Engelhardt 

Poplar Bluff, Missouri

Willie A. Lucas

Whitney L. Mitchell 

Gulfport, Mississippi

Madison L. Burrell  

Walls, Mississippi

Isabella A. Beasley 

Dix Hills, New York

Zoe M. Papazoglou

Chillicothe, Ohio

Kassandra P. Meyer

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Ashlyn I. Winters 

Arlington, Tennessee

Anthony M. Fox 

Lakeland, Tennessee

Luke A. Bridges

Memphis, Tennessee

Hailey M. Williams

Allen, Texas

Erin N. McIntier  

Forney, Texas

Wyatt E. Treadwell  

Frisco, Texas

Emily A. Betzold

Los Fresnos, Texas

Sophie D. Varela 

McKinney, Texas

Adelade J. Lovell  

Orange, Texas

Hunter W. Perkins  

Rowlett, Texas

Emma G. Rumore  

The Colony, Texas

Haeley N. Pines  

Lake Stevens, Washington

Thomas V. Lingren  

International students include the following:

Brasilia, Brazil

Pedro Henrique Carvalho Mota 

Victoria, British Columbia

Harold Cull  

Belfast, Great Britain

Aidan McGeown 

Bucharest, Romania

Andrei C. Galca Mitran 

Novi Sad, Russia

Nikola Sasaroga


Posted by Colton Strader at Thursday, May 25, 2023

New Young House Resident Mentor Excited to Make a Positive Impact on Lyon Students

Lyon College welcomes a new addition to the Young House mentorship program this year, as Sarah Williams takes on the role of Resident Mentor. With a passion for student support and a desire to foster personal relationships, Williams is eager to contribute to the Lyon community in a meaningful way.

When Williams first learned about the position of Young House Resident Mentor, she was pleasantly surprised to discover that the program was open to both staff and faculty members. 

“Immediately following my surprise, I became excited about the potential opportunity to support students in meaningful ways, like academic success, personal development, emotional well-being, and career preparation,” said Williams.

Williams has long desired to make a positive impact on students' lives on campus, and she saw this mentorship program as the perfect avenue to establish personal connections with a wider range of students.

A Lyon College alumna herself, Williams graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. During her time at Lyon, she experienced student life from both a residential and a commuter perspective. 

“I initially lived on campus my freshman and sophomore years, then became pregnant during the spring term of my sophomore year and had to move off campus to continue pursuing my degree,” said Williams. “Going to a rigorous institution like Lyon College as a single mom with a newborn baby was extremely difficult.”

However, Williams emphasizes that she would not have been able to complete her degree without the unwavering support from the Lyon College community. Faculty and staff members went above and beyond, providing invaluable assistance such as babysitting her daughter during classes and accommodating her need to bring her child to certain lectures. This support enabled Williams to persevere and succeed academically. Grateful for the guidance and encouragement she received, Williams is now excited to contribute to a new generation of Lyon students and give back to the community that supported her.

With 18 years of experience in educational fields, Williams brings a wealth of knowledge in assisting diverse groups of learners. 

“I have significant experience assisting diverse groups of learners with academic, social, and emotional concerns that often create barriers to learning and academic success,” said Williams.

Drawing from this expertise, Williams plans to focus on providing soft-skill programming that equips students with essential digital tools, knowledge of learning management systems (LMS), access to online resources, and proficiency in productivity software.

As the Young House Resident Mentor, Williams aims to offer a well-rounded mix of activities throughout the year, prioritizing improvements in academic experiences, promoting collaborative and service-oriented engagements, and raising awareness of mental health and self-care. Additionally, she seeks to foster a sense of unity among the student body by embracing and celebrating their diversity.

“I want to foster a supportive learning environment that reduces stereotypes, prejudices, and biases while promoting inclusivity, empathy and understanding, collaboration and teamwork, and critical thinking and problem-solving to help prepare students for an increasingly interconnected and globalized world,” said Williams.

Furthermore, Williams recognizes the importance of involving students in the decision-making process when it comes to mentorship programming. By actively engaging students in shaping the activities, she believes the initiatives will be more targeted and effective, meeting their needs at the right time.

“Providing regular opportunities to become active participants in their own learning journeys can empower students and enhance the overall quality and effectiveness of their residence life experiences,” said Williams.

Creating a welcoming atmosphere is one of Williams' top priorities. She aims to set up the Young House apartment with a comforting aesthetic to make students feel at ease when dropping by for a chat. She is genuinely excited about getting to know the residents and establishing strong connections with them. Williams hopes to establish an environment where students feel comfortable discussing their needs, concerns, and successes.

As Lyon College welcomes Sarah Williams as the new Young House Resident Mentor, the campus community can look forward to a caring and dedicated individual who is ready to make a positive impact on students' lives. Williams' personal experiences, educational background, and passion for student success position her well to provide the guidance and support necessary for Lyon students to thrive during their college journey.

Williams, her daughter Shaela, and their dog Finn, a poodle-catahoula mix, will move into the Young House Residence this summer.

Posted by Colton Strader at Wednesday, May 24, 2023