Seven Welcomed to UAFS Alumni Advisory Council
Thirteen graduates make up the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith Alumni Advisory
Council, striving to engage and strengthen alum participation for the thousands of
grads. The council was recently completed with seven new members eager to serve their
alma mater and create lifelong experiences for all UAFS alums.
During the August meeting, the Alumni Advisory Council introduced seven new members: Josh Funmaker, Dr. Shelli Henehan, , Logan Parks, Laura Schmutz Beltran, Lindsey Steiger-Muck, Maddie Stojanovic, and Sam Winterberg.
“The UAFS Alumni Office relies heavily on the Alumni Advisory Council work and engagement,” Alumni Director Jasmine Smith said. “The time and energy each member puts back into the institution is deeply appreciated.”
Meet the new members:
Josh Funmaker, Class of 2022
Funmaker grew up in Fort Smith and says attending UAFS, then Westark College initially in 1998, was a “natural fit.” He joked about his long college career, saying, “Non-traditional doesn’t even begin to describe it,” after obtaining an Associate of Arts degree in December 2014. Funmaker went to work for Walmart before returning to UAFS to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in organizational management in May 2022. The UAFS Alumni Advisory Council was first mentioned to Funmaker by his former advisor, Dr. Tina Root, who said his representation as an Adult Degree Completion Program graduate would be invaluable. Funmaker shared, “UAFS has been a blessing in my life, and I like the thought of contributing to the future by providing a different perspective on topics.”
Dr. Shelli Henehan, Class of 1986
Henehan earned an Associate of Arts in Education and graduated from Westark Community College in 1986. In 2004, after earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Henehan was hired as an adjunct professor in the UAFS College of Education’s early childhood education (ECE) program before becoming the ECE professional development program director the following year. In 2014, she returned to UAFS as faculty in the educator preparation program and as the director of the early childhood education programs. Henehan is a third-generation Fort Smith native whose mom and sibling both graduated from the university. While at Westark Community College, Henehan served as a charter member of the student ambassador program, “Pride of Westark,” and has continued to advocate for the university. She plans to continue to do so in her new role on the advisory council and help increase UAFS recognition at the state level as a program leader.
Logan Parks, Class of 2019
No light is too bright for this former stage manager from Soldotna, Alaska. Before finding his way to Fort Smith and UAFS, Parks worked in the Los Angeles entertainment industry doing research and development for a production company and even acting in the hit television shows Shameless and The Mindy Project. While at UAFS, Parks majored in Theatre and minored in Media Communication, earning his bachelor’s degree in 2019. In May 2023, he graduated with his Master of Science in Leadership from Northeastern State University. Parks runs a nonprofit and a small media production company focusing on local business marketing and photography. Already using his background in theatre to help aspiring thespians, Parks joins the Alumni Advisory Council to “provide additional opportunities to students, help people stay in contact with the university, and bring new ideas to the council to involve other community members and alumni.”
Laura Schmutz Beltran, Class of 2006
Starting year 17 as an educator, Schmutz Beltran, a Fort Smith native, credits “generous scholarship opportunities,” which helped her attend UAFS to study early childhood education. She said the department thoroughly prepared her to teach in a classroom full of students. Schmutz Beltran first began teaching some of the youngest classroom learners as a kindergarten teacher and now continues her work teaching gifted and talented students. She has also continued her education through graduate credit from the University of Tulsa. Schmutz Beltran was a founding member of the Young Alumni Council, which combined with the Alumni Advisory Council, and stated that she is looking forward to giving back to UAFS again. “I want new, incoming students to understand the value and opportunities with an education.”
Sam Winterberg, Class of 2009
Originally from Oregon, Winterberg lived in different parts of the United States and overseas before his family settled in the Arkansas River Valley in 2000. UAFS provided academic programs he was interested in, a growing campus community, and the “ability to get involved on campus without getting lost in the crowd.” Wingerberg graduated with his bachelor’s degree in information technology in 2009 before receiving his MBA from Mississippi State University in 2014. While at UAFS, he “actively participated in campus life while learning how technology is used to solve problems and drive value for organizations.” As an involved student in the Order of Omega, Kappa Alpha Order chapter president, and vice president for the freshman honor society, Alpha Lambda Delta, he joins the Alumni Advisory Council with a background in serving the university. Winterberg looks forward to “giving back to the University that provided so many opportunities.”
Lindsey Steiger-Muck, Class of 2009
After graduating from Greenwood High School, Steiger-Muck found herself holding a full-ride scholarship to UAFS in the honors program. While at UAFS, she built relationships with her professors and saw how much UAFS invested in her education and future. Steiger-Muck double majored in business administration and marketing, graduating in 2009, then received her MBA from the University of Arkansas, where she is now the senior director for career services at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. She had a chance to teach at UAFS when she heeded the advice of Dr. Latisha Settlage, saying, “Dr. Settlage, who was one of my mentors while attending UAFS, encouraged me to teach Personal Finance Applications at UAFS – in the very classrooms I once attended – and that’s where my higher education journey started.” Through her career in higher education and reflecting on how UAFS helped her, Steiger-Muck is eager to be part of the Alumni Advisory Council to promote UAFS as a launching pad for other students. She plans to help current students, future students, and her fellow alums understand the value of UAFS to the entire River Valley community.
Maddie Stojanovic, Class of 2018
Born and raised in Greenwood, Stojanovic, then Gilliam, made her way to UAFS through volleyball but left with more than she could have imagined. She is working on her MBA, picking up right where she left off after graduating in 2018 with her bachelor’s degree in business administration and a certificate in community leadership. The university not only became the place where she met her husband and formed lifelong bonds through the Delta Gamma sorority but was also “essential to many personal and professional outcomes in her life.” She credits the Babb Center for Career Services for her first role in community banking. She is grateful to former Alumni Director Rick Goins, whose Mentor Connections program linked Stojanovic to a mentor who helped her secure her current role at ArcBest. Stojanovic shared her excitement about investing in and giving back to the university and the Fort Smith community she calls home.
The UAFS Office of Communications fields all media inquiries for the university. Email Rachel.Putman@uafs.edu for more information.Send an Email
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Rachel Rodemann Putman
- Director of Strategic Communications