Connections: Winter 2019


Di An Bomar Williams taught elementary school for 18 years. She received her master’s in library media from Jacksonville State University in 1998 and served as a library media specialist until retiring from Alabama schools in 2010. She currently contracts with SubTeach USA and was honored with the SOAR Award for going above and beyond in the field of education. Her husband, Roy (’71), was honored at Crowley’s Ridge College’s Veteran Preachers Appreciation Dinner before retiring from full-time preaching. The couple were missionaries in Tooele, Utah, for two years. They also served congregations in Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee. (721 Central St., Kensett, AR 72082)


Bonnie Ulrey Barnes received the Hubert Smothers Award presented to teachers within the Tennessee Association of Independent Schools for deep commitment to the teaching profession and demonstrating excellence. She joined Memphis University School in 1999. She began her career in 1978 teaching French and English in Beebe, Arkansas. She received her first library director position at Ohio Valley College in 1981. She earned her master’s in English from the University of Arkansas and a master’s in library science from Vanderbilt University. She spearheaded a five-year renovation of Hyde Library at MUS. She has served as treasurer for Memphis Association of Independent Schools Library Information Consortium since 2006 and is a member of various local, state and national library associations. (8259 Byre Hollow Cove, Cordova, TN 38018)


James B. McSwain recently had a book published titled Petroleum and Public Safety: Risk Management in the Gulf South, 1901-1915. He is a professor emeritus of history at Tuskegee University. (2045 Lee Road 137, Lot 70, Auburn, AL 36832)

Michael Pullara recently published a book called The Spy Who Was Left Behind. The book covers his investigation into the 1993 death of fellow alumnus Freddie Woodruff (‘69), who was serving with the CIA in the country of Georgia at the time of his death. Pullara has been practicing law for 38 years. (1111 Hermann Drive, #21A, Houston, TX 77004)


Charlotte Wolfe has been promoted to circulation director of Journal Inc. where she has 33 years experience. She serves on the board of directors for Mississippi State University-Itawamba Extension Service and as president of the board of directors for the Itawamba Animal Shelter. She is a member of Bean’s Ferry Church of Christ. (33 Johnson Heights Drive, Fulton, MS 38843)


Jim Speer has been named to the Rector (Arkansas) High School Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2018. He started playing basketball in the pee wee league and finished his career playing for Harding. He also has served as a longtime member of the Rector School Board. (3557 Highway 49, Rector, AR 72461)


Barry Wheeler was inducted into the Rochester College Sports Hall of Fame. He earned his master’s degree from the United States Sports Academy. He coached volleyball at Rochester College for 12 years where his teams made eight national tournament appearances in the NSCAA, including two national titles. He also coached women’s basketball for 12 years while making two national tournament appearances. He is currently in his third season as head Lady Pioneer volleyball coach and is an associate professor and department chair of health, physical education and wellness at Crowley’s Ridge College. He is married to Carol Lynette Gardner. (100 College Drive, Paragould, AR 72450)


Joyce Breshears Simmons obtained her doctorate of nursing practice in 2017. She is the Baptist Health College of Nursing AASN Registered Nurse Program Director. She and her husband, Eric (’86), have two daughters. (320 Jaybird Lane, Searcy, AR 72143)


Lara Qualls Noah has been appointed executive director of Alpha Chi National College Honor Society in Little Rock, Arkansas. She volunteers with the Arkansas chapter of the ACLU and the Progressive Arkansas Women PAC.


Dale Sheehy has completed 10 years as youth and family minister for the Lake Shore Drive Church of Christ in Waco, Texas. He is married to Kim Fancy (’94). (204 Gail Drive, Waco, TX 76708)


Oscar Andrade is chairman of the board of directors and managing director of Ford Motor Credit Co. in Mexico. He has been with the company since graduation. He received a Diversity and Inclusion Award from Ford in 2010 and earned his MBA from Harding in 2005. He and his wife, Andrea Montano, have three children. (Av. Vista Real 35-501, Huixquilucan, México 52774)

Hal Porter has joined TwelveStone Health Partners as director of information technology and infrastructure. Previously, he was the founder and principal of Brentwood, Tennessee, based Compliance and Security Professionals. He served in the U.S. Navy for eight years. (386 Grove Hurst Lane, Brentwood, TN 37027)


Michael Wright has been elected to the Shelby County Board of Commissioners. He is senior coordinator of internal communications with Youth Villages and is married to Alison Hiatt (’99). (5730 Bartlett Woods Drive, Bartlett, TN 38134)


Justin and Sarah Lacey announce the birth of a daughter, Piper Leigh, June 2, 2018. Justin is the director of communication at Westbury Christian School and a member of the board of directors of the Houston Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Sarah is a middle school counselor for Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. They also have a daughter, Harper. (1431 Shillington, Katy, TX 77450)


Julie Newsom Mooney is a senior compensation adviser for USAA. She holds an MBA from University of Texas at Dallas. She and her husband, Howard, have two children, Colin and Caitlin. (7948 Bishop Drive, Frisco, TX 75036)

Chad Wagner is president of the African Christian Schools Foundation, which supports and oversees schools of preaching in Africa.


Shelby Dodson has joined the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee Gallatin office as a staff attorney. She came from the Tennessee Justice Center, where she served for two years as an Equal Justice Works Justice AmeriCorps Legal Fellow. She graduated cum laude from Belmont University College of Law in 2016. (5820 Maxon Ave., Nashville, TN 37209)


Timothy Wylie is co-principal investigator for the department of computer science study on the algorithmic self-assembly of deoxyribonucleic acid at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. The project was recently awarded nearly $500,000 from the National Science Foundation. He is married to Rachel McCauley.


Brian and Molly Ford announce the birth of a son, Hunter Allen, July 31, 2018. Brian is the CFO for Sees Group. (1025 St. Andrews Place, Nashville, TN 37204)

Ben and Ashley Harlow Hewatt announce the birth of a daughter, Violet Elisabeth, March 23, 2018. Ben works for a local car dealership and Ashley is a homemaker. Their other children are Harlow, Dylan and Ezra, who died in 2012. (2450 Garfield Ave., Abilene, TX 79601)

Emma Parks Vieth earned a master’s of health science specializing in public and community health education in 2016 from Touro University in California. (1616 Kassidy Place, Rohnert Park, CA 94928)


Chad and Justine Buchanan Barron announce the birth of a son, Rhiley Jonathan, Jan. 1, 2018. Chad is a family therapist for Family Preservation Services of Polk County. They have two other children, Mallory and Colby. (423 Comet Drive, Hendersonville, NC 28791)

Meredith Jones married Ricky Young (’09) July 14, 2018. Meredith earned her doctorate in education leadership from Harding and is the director of Harding University Northwest Arkansas. Ricky is a manager of state income tax strategy and compliance at Walmart Inc. (3712 S.W. Homestead Ave., Bentonville, AR 72712)


Chad and Betsy Glover Dawson announce the birth of a daughter, Karis Drew, June 18, 2018. Chad is a chiropractor at Natural State Health Center, and Betsy is a homemaker. They also have two sons, Kyler and Caden. (2 Partridge Drive, Little Rock, AR 72212)


Adam Bledsoe is a feature reporter for THV11 in Little Rock, Arkansas. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. For nearly a decade, he was in law enforcement serving as a police officer and most recently was the public information officer for the Faulkner County (Arkansas) sheriff’s office. He and his wife, Amanda, have two children. (564 Highway 285 N., Damascus, AR 72039)

Michael H. White received a 2018 NHF-Shire Clinical Fellowship Award from The National Hemophilia Foundation. As an NHF-Shire Clinical fellow, he receives specialized clinical training in the comprehensive bleeding disorders clinic and women and girl’s bleeding clinic at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. He is a pediatric hematology and oncology fellow at Emory University/CHOA and completed his medical degree at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He is currently enrolled in the Master of Science in Clinical Research program at Emory University and has been awarded funding through the NIH TL1 trainee grant for his focus on multidisciplinary clinic and translational science. He also is the chair elect for the HTRS Fellows Network and serves as a board member for the International Health Care Foundation.


Philip and Catherine Canterbury Groves announce the birth of a son, Anderson West, Sept. 26, 2018. Philip is the vice president of finance at The Escape Game. (1100 Belvidere Drive, Nashville, TN 37204)


Christopher Dixon is designer of special projects at Pensole Footwear Design Academy. He won the 2017 World Sneaker Design Championship and is building his own brand, “Constant Development.”


John and Elizabeth Jones Golden announce the birth of a son, Boone Kenneth, Aug. 27, 2018. They also have a daughter, Hazel. (516 County Road 713, Jonesboro, AR 72401)


Christopher Webber has published The Battle For Redemption: A Walk Through The Bible. The book takes the reader on a journey from Genesis through Revelation. He is the youth and worship minister at Nichols Street Church of Christ in Bay City, Texas, and earned a master’s in Christian education from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2016. (11 Columbella St., Bay City, TX 77414)


Seth Tackett is the event manager for the Memphis Grizzlies. He received his master’s from Temple University in May 2018.


Zachary Cowdery is the full-time worship minister at Riverside Church of Christ in Coppell, Texas. (1717 E. Belt Line Road, #1324, Coppell, TX 75019)

Jami Ann Balkman has been recognized by the city of Alma, Arkansas, as a Volunteer of the Year. She was recognized for her work with the Crawford County Library Board, the Friends at the Alma Library, and the Airedale Book Express Summer Bookmobile and free meal program. She also has been awarded the 2018 Bessie B. Moore Trustee Award by the Arkansas Library Association for outstanding service as a library trustee in Arkansas. (3302 Collum Lane W., Alma, AR 72921)

Categories: Connections.

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