Over 100 Lyon College students qualified for the Dean’s List for the fall 2019 semester.
To be named to the list, a student must earn a 3.75 or higher GPA and take a minimum of 12 credit hours that semester. Students from seven states and seven international countries received the honor.
Students from Arkansas include:
Students out-of-state include:
Penn Valley, Calif.
Olive Branch, Miss.
Poplar Bluff, Mo.
St. Charles, Mo.
West Plains, Mo.
Little Elm, Texas
Virginia Beach, Va.
International students include:
Marcos Fernandez de Oliveira
Louis van Gasterenstraat, Netherlands
Guri-si, South Korea
Novi Sad, Serbia
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hersegovina
The Lyon College Music Department will present Songs For a New World, a staged musical production, this February. Students, faculty, and staff get free admission with Lyon ID.
The music and lyrics were composed by Jason Robert Brown. Songs For a New World is presented through a special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). The production, directed by Kristian Ameigh, includes cast members Sydney Bates, Kym Brantley, Bethany Stubbs, John Pruden and Jon Michael Stewart.
Performances will be held 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 13 through Saturday, Feb. 15, and at 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 16, in the Sloan Auditorium of the Brown Chapel Fine Arts Building. Tickets are $10 per person. For advance ticket purchase, visit eventbrite.com.
For more information, contact Dr. Michael Oriatti at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 307-7259.
Lyon College will feature four presentations in the spring Faculty Colloquium series:
Associate Professor of Art Dustyn Bork will present “Facades, an homage to Mark Rothko” on Friday, Jan. 31.
Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Maryline Jones will present “Osmoregulation in aquatic organisms” on Friday, Feb. 28.
Visiting Assistant Professor of English Dr. Cori Gabbard will present “Reversing the Implications: Women & War in Medieval and Post-1900 British Literature” on Friday, March 13.
Psychology professors Dr. Jennifer Daniels, Dr. Nikki Yonts, and Dr. Rose Danek will present “Psychology of Fandoms” on Friday, April 17.
All four will be presented at 4 p.m. in Lyon 100 and will feature a question and answer session. Refreshments will follow each colloquium.
The Kresge Gallery at Lyon College will feature the art exhibition “Saints Re-Formed” by Tessa Davidson from Tuesday, Jan. 14, through Friday, Feb. 28.
The reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, in the Alphin Humanities Building and will include an Artist Talk by Davidson.
The exhibit features 12 oil paintings inspired by the legends and symbols of historic saints, but with a modern twist.
For example, her painting “Hope Has Feathers” depicts a man covered in birds and bird feeders, inspired by St. Francis of Assisi. Davidson even traveled to Assisi, Italy, in March 2019 and drew inspiration from the significant sites and stories connected with Francis’ life.
“I am very excited about the completion of this body of work,” Davidson said, “and I am grateful to exhibit the work at Lyon College.”
“All the models who participated in the project live nearby and are remarkable examples of strength and character.”
She said the project was inspired by her interest in Medieval and Renaissance art history, fields of study dominated by the imagery of Christian saints.
“I continue to be mystified by historic depictions of these figures. I wanted to explore these artistic traditions and discover how the ideas behind these symbols might speak to a broader, contemporary audience.”
Davidson received her M.F.A. from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2018. She holds a B.A. in art education and a M.Ed. in secondary education from Harding University, as well as a M.A. in art history from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock.
She is an Assistant Professor of Art at Harding and resides in Cabot with her husband and their two children.
Lyon College is a private liberal arts college in Arkansas. The oldest college in Arkansas with its original charter, Lyon is located in Batesville, a historic town of 10,000 named by USA Today as the best city to live in the state. Listed among Forbes “Top American colleges," Lyon currently enrolls almost 700 undergraduate students, and 99 percent of its graduates are employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.
Dwayne Reliford, ‘94, never planned to attend Lyon College, but the school’s personal approach won him over, resulting in a lifelong love of his alma mater.
Reliford developed an aptitude for computers at an early age, putting him on track to be the first one in his family to attend college. His father was a factory worker, and his mother owned a cleaning business.
“My parents stressed education to all of us. They didn’t care what we did. They just wanted us to go to school, be the best we could be, and be able to obtain more things than they had.”
While his father supported historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), he discouraged Reliford from attending one since he wanted to study computer science.
“When you think back 20 to 25 years ago, computers were just starting to break ground,” Reliford said, “and the people working on them were often from different countries.”
“My father said ‘If you’re going to be doing that, you can’t go to an HBCU, son.’ He wanted me to go to a school where I would learn to deal with and mingle with people of different races, cultures, and ethnicities because I was going to be sitting alongside people who didn’t look like me.”
He wanted Reliford to learn not only how to work with computers, but also how to work with people.
“That was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”
Reliford began receiving application packets from colleges across the country his senior year of high school and planned on attending the University of Houston. One Thursday night while doing homework in his bedroom, he received a call from former Dean Jonathan Stroud of Lyon College, then Arkansas College.
“He talked to me about prospective student weekend and asked me why I hadn’t filled out an application. I said ‘I don’t know who y’all are. I’m going to be a Houston cougar.’ ”
After the call ended, Reliford found the application packet from Arkansas College. He saw Stroud’s face on the cover and was shocked to realize he had been speaking with the academic dean.
“Houston was so large that I would just be a number, and I was cool with that. It blew my mind that the dean of Arkansas College had personally called me. I figured I must be important.”
Reliford filled out the application that night and had his mom mail it the next morning when she went to work. Months later, he and his parents drove from Texas to Batesville for prospective students weekend.
“It was late February, so everything was covered in snow. It was beautiful,” he said.
“I remember getting in the car that Sunday to head home and saying ‘I think that’s where I want to go.’ I had a prospective student weekend for Houston the following weekend and told my dad I didn’t even want to go. I had fallen in love with Arkansas College.”
After majoring in mathematics with a minor in computer science, Reliford’s professional career spanned industries such as education, banking, finance, oil and gas, and telecommunications. He worked with AT&T as a Senior Database Marketing Manager for the last 14 years.
“The company moved me from Dallas to Houston, and we moved to Atlanta two years ago,” he said. “I had been with AT&T for such a long time that I was pretty much a subject matter expert.”
When, earlier this year, he learned that AT&T would be moving the entire department to California, Reliford began looking for opportunities in Atlanta and recently accepted the position of Senior Marketing Manager for TIAA, a retirement investment firm.
“The role is similar to my previous job, but it’s a totally different industry. For years, I’ve been in telecommunications, and now I’m in banking and finance. It’s a learning process.”
Fortunately, Reliford enjoys the challenge.
“With any change, there’s some apprehension and hesitation, but you’re getting to learn something new every day. I went from being a subject-matter expert to going to their experts with questions.”
“That’s the nature of the beast when you go somewhere new. You have to learn and go through the trenches. In time, I’ll be one of those subject matter experts here, too.”
He credits his adaptability to the well-rounded education he received at Lyon.
“Arkansas College definitely prepared me for my career. There were many times I thought about giving up because my professors were hard as hell.”
Dr. Doug Ponk, Reliford’s biggest mentor, taught him everything he knows about programming and math.
“In class, he would have you do exercises that made me think ‘I could do this so much easier.’ He was teaching you to think outside the box. I learned skills from him that I still use in my career today.”
Reliford concluded that, at Lyon, a liberal arts education meant “professors not only gave you what you needed for whatever field you were studying but also taught you so much about culture, differences, acceptance, and how to work with people. It was a well-rounded full-scale education from every aspect.”
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