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, September 10, 2010

Ashley Beasley '10

The Arkansas River Valley has always been my home. I love the history and strong sense of community that can be found in this area. After graduating from Southside High School, I decided to continue my education at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. This simple decision has impacted my life profoundly.

I graduated in May of this year with a degree in Organizational Leadership. The quality of education that I received at UAFS was exceptional. Professors genuinely care for each and every student and they work hard to ensure that classes are both challenging and engaging. Each day that passes makes me appreciate my college experience more and more. College also gave me the confidence that I needed to pursue my dreams outside of the classroom.

The Career Services Department helped me find a great job with a local company. I am currently the marketing manager for Cobblestone Homes in Fort Smith, Arkansas. I love my job because it exposes me to many different facets of the business world. One day I might be brainstorming ideas for an advertising campaign and the next day working with QuickBooks to manage our accounts payable and receivable. I am very proud of the work that I do for Cobblestone Homes. They are an exceptional company with an exceptional product. I am also happy to say that my husband and I are the proud new owners of a home built by Cobblestone Homes. The company builds much more than just a great home they build communities. Visit our website at to learn more.

My college experience also taught me the importance of giving back to the community. As a result, I have been very active in the Junior League of Fort Smith for the past two years. The Junior League is an organization of women committed to improving our community through volunteerism. I am currently a chairperson on the Holiday Market planning committee. The Holiday Market is our biggest event of the year and all proceeds are donated to the Children’s Emergency Shelter and our various community projects. This is a great event that supports an even greater cause.

My experience at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith provided me with many rewarding opportunities. As I continue grow in my personal and professional life, I will always fondly remember my college experience. The last four years have been an amazing journey. Not only did I graduate from a great college, but I fell in love with and married my best friend.

My husband and I recently celebrated our one year anniversary. My greatest dream is to continue to live, work, and build a family in this part of Arkansas. Of course, I will always remember that these dreams were possible, in part, because of the education that I received at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mitch Minnick '08


On June 2nd, 2007 I married my best friend, Brockette, one year prior to our “scheduled” graduation. It’s a funny thing getting married while in college. My mother and mother-in-law both had the “wait until you graduate” attitude. They were afraid we would get married and forget about that last year of college and just start living our life together.

Our Wedding Picture

Low and behold, in May of 2008 (that’s right, the “scheduled” graduation date) Brockette and I both graduated from UA Fort Smith with Bachelors of Science degrees in Marketing!

Brockette and I at Graduation

Also in June of 2007 I had been hired as the Property Manager at Sebastian Commons, the student apartments at the University. I had worked there since the spring semester of 2005 as a “part-time” employee, but it was a little more hectic juggling Senior-level classes, a full-time job, AND a new marriage; but I wouldn’t change the sequence of events even if I could. Brockette and I went to Myrtle Beach for our honeymoon and also got to take a trip to Seattle in July of 2007 for a Student Housing Conference; life was good.

The months of June 2008—September 2008 were the first months of married life, post graduation. It was very strange coming home from work, NOT having schoolwork to tackle, BIG adjustment. Brockette and I did our best to enjoy young married life (vacations, visiting family, and spending time together). Then our first curveball—baby on the way! (I love baseball and a GREAT curveball is a BEAUTIFUL thing)

Still managing the operations at Sebastian Commons, I had a vision of staying with the University for many years to come, but I did not think living in student housing was the place for our expanding family! Curveball number two—house hunting—we found one rather quickly; closed the last week of February and moved in over Memorial Day weekend—TWO (2) days before Brockette was scheduled to be induced (WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS TYPE OF TIMING)!

Luci Ava arrived early evening on May 26, 2009 weighing in at 5 lbs 12 oz. I like to think of her as a “Daddy’s Girl” and I think even my lovely wife would grudgingly agree. I hear these attitudes come in stages, so I’ll enjoy this stage as long as I can—which means she is SPOILED, and I am A-OK with that!

Me and Luci

Curveball number three also came at the end of May; a job offer from the Fort Smith Housing Authority, to be a Housing Development Officer. Sadly my time as a University employee was ending. I started at the Housing Authority the first week of July 2009 and love my job. It has quickly evolved; to the point that I am now the Development Officer, focused on Housing and Economic Development.

OK, RECAP! I love my family, I love my job, and I love the opportunities that my time at UA Fort Smith has given me thus far—both educationally and professionally.

My Family