The UA Fort Smith Alumni Association will feature young alumni and what their life after graduation has been like. If you would like to be featured, please e-mail

Friday, June 18, 2010

Kevin Bowen '04, '09

I graduated from the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith in 2004 with an Associate’s of Applied Science – Radiography degree, where I served as the president of the Lambda Nu Honors Society, and then obtained by my Bachelor’s of Science Imaging Sciences-Management degree in 2009. About six months before I graduated in 2004, I was offered a position as a radiologic technologist in the emergency department at Sparks Regional Medical Center. This job was the beginning of what has been a very successful career.

In 2005, I was approached with a job offer to work as a computed tomography technologist at the Medical Center of McKinney in McKinney, Texas. This was a great opportunity for me, but it would come at the expense of moving away from my entire family. After a lot of deliberation and prayer, my wife and I decided to accept the position, which turned out to be the best career decision of my life (so far). I began my career at MCM as a staff technologist, and I have since become the manager of our outpatient imaging services. I also serve as the chair of our outpatient product line committee, where I have headed up numerous projects including building and opening a new outpatient imaging center, and more recently, our ACR accreditation program.

UA Fort Smith completely prepared me for my career, and I cannot think Dr. Nancy Hawking enough for pushing me to better than what I thought I could be. She has been, and still is, a true inspiration to me!

Business Trip to LA

Me and the family

In May of 2004 my life was changed forever when my wife, Amanda, decided to take my hand in marriage. She has been there for me and supported me throughout my career, and I cannot thank her enough for that. Without her, I would not be anywhere close to where I am today. My wife and I now have two beautiful boys, Braxton and Ethan, to help keep our lives busy…as if we needed any help.

My oldest son Braxton

My youngest son Ethan

Our evenings are now filled with baseball practice, soccer practice, swim parties, and bedtime stories.

Me and Braxton at his baseball game

 I cannot wait to see what will unfold in the next chapters of our lives!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lacy Hopper Allen '06

I always knew that I wanted to attend the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. When I received the Chancellor’s Leadership Council scholarship in 2002, I knew that I was destined to get my education there. My original plans were to get my degree in biology and go to medical school. Although my love for science did not change, I fell in love with the teaching profession.

I graduated in the fall of 2006 with my degree in middle childhood education. Graduating in the fall gave me a semester to pursue a dream that I had for years. I applied for a College Internship at Disney World and set off on a new journey. It was one of the best experiences that I have ever had and gave me an opportunity to meet people from all over the world. Working for Disney allowed me to learn more about myself and gain an interest in communication and diverse cultures.

Earning my Disney Ears!

When my internship was complete, I moved home and received a position in the Fort Smith School district teaching seventh grade math at Darby Junior High. I have been teaching there for three years now and am currently going to school through Arkansas Tech University to receive my Masters degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. Darby is a very diverse school, and I love the fact that I can apply everything that I am learning into my career everyday.

I also teach for an after school program called Ranger Recon at Darby Junior high. It is an awesome program where our students can learn math, literacy, cooking, karate, art, and much more. Building trust and getting to know my students is very important to me, and I enjoy getting to impact their lives even outside the classroom.

My sister and I

Last June I married my wonderful husband, Jack Allen. We just bought a home in Fort Smith in December and have been having fun remodeling it. In my spare time you can catch me gardening in my yard, visiting my family, or singing along to whatever is playing on the radio. My husband and I also enjoy traveling. We visited Cozumel and Belize last year after our wedding and will be going back to Disney World this June to celebrate our one year anniversary.

Jack and I

I believe that God has prepared me in several ways to live the life that I am now living. All of the training and experiences at UA Fort Smith have helped to mold me into the person I am today. UA Fort Smith’s education program definitely prepared me for this profession and I am thankful for that!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Breanne Gustin '08

The day after receiving my Bachelor of Arts in English from UA Fort Smith, I drove to Dallas to get on a plane for the very first time – to the Philippines! My husband had lived there for two years as a missionary so I really wanted to go. We got to do several awesome things, like hike Mt. Makiling, go behind Pagsanjan Falls, eat at a floating restaurant, and feed monkeys. Although it was an amazing experience, I returned very grateful for my apartment that had air conditioning, a comfortable bed, and a real shower.

My husband and I in the Philippines

After returning from the Philippines, I worked part-time until my husband finished prerequisites for pharmacy school. After being so busy with school and extracurricular activities, I now had the difficult task of keeping myself busy! I got addicted to reading and started running regularly, and I got a super adorable friend to play with. Our dog, Marley, added a lot of fun to our lives and is just so darn cute!

Me and Marley

A year after graduating I started job hunting in Weatherford, Oklahoma where my husband hoped to attend pharmacy school. I applied for a position at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and within a week I was hired as an Administrative Assistant to the Dean of the College of Professional & Graduate Studies. Our office is very busy, and I do a lot of paperwork, reports, and projects for the Dean as well as manage the graduate school applications. I get to spend a lot of time corresponding with students and applicants. Now instead of being the student worker, I have a few of my own. I love working for a university!

One week after moving to Weatherford, my husband was accepted into the pharmacy school. It was meant to be! Also meant to be was the addition of Patchy to our family. We love our dogs!

Marley and Patchy

These days I keep busy with work while my husband works on obtaining his PharmD, and we really like our friendly town. Exploring western Oklahoma has been fun, though I am still not used to the wind. I still enjoy reading and running, and I have also taken up sewing. My husband and I hope to add to our family soon, only this time with one without fur. My years at UA Fort Smith were some of the most fun and exciting, and my education and experiences with organizations and student activities definitely had a positive influence on my life. I am happy to support the SWOSU Bulldogs, but I will always be a Lion at heart!