Class Notes

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Class of 1996

Brian Shiro was featured in the March 9, 2012, edition of The Sentinel-Record (Hot Springs). The article was about Brian, co-founder of Astronauts4Hire, meeting Neil Armstrong at a conference in California. The article is available on the ASMSA news page

Brian Shiro and his organization, Astronauts4Hire, were featured in the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record in the Sunday, July 10 edition. Read the article here:

Erika Kupfersberger passed away Sept. 5, 2011. After graduating from ASMSA she attended Hendrix College. She moved to California in 2003 to pursue her interest in the wine industry, and in 2010 she completed her exams to become a Certified Specialist of Wine. Memorials may be made to Whiskers, Tails and Ferals, the animal rescue organization she worked with ( 


Class of 1997

Melissa Cruz Cala passed away Jan. 16, 2012.

Mariah Johnson was featured in The Washington Post.

Condolences to Andrea Linz Ratzlaff, who lost her husband, Navy SEAL Tommy Ratzlaff, in the helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011. They have two children and a third child due in November. Memorials may be made to the Ratzlaff Memorial Scholarship Fund at First National Bank of Green Forest, Arkansas.

Joshua Shipley and his wife Sharon announce the birth of their first child, Samuel Guyer Shipley. Sam, a healthy baby boy, was born on Aug. 18, 2010. Joshua is vice president for commercial lending at Independent Banks. He and his family live in Memphis.


Class of 1998

Charles Jeffers was named a 2011 Young Alumnus of the Year by the College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer engineering, a masters of business administration, a Master of Science in information systems, and a Master of Science in operations management, all from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He is currently a first-year student at the College of Medicine at UAMS in Little Rock.


Class of 1999

Jack Waddell and Lindsey Waddell are featured in the Aug. 11, 2011, edition of The Sentinel-Record. Jack and Lindsey met at ASMSA and have returned to teach in the science and math departments. Read the full story:


Class of 2001

Amber Davis-Tanner was featured in the Aug. 24, 2012, edition of The Daily Record. Amber is enjoying a career as a lawyer and is an associate for Quattlebaum, Grooms, Tull & Burrow PLLC. Click here to read the article about Amber.

Luther Lowe completed the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6, 2011. View Luther's finish line message.

Brandon Kittler passed away July 22, 2011. After graduation from ASMS, Brandon attended UALR. Online condolences can be posted at



Class of 2002









Amanda Hughes and her work with Our House shelter in Little Rock was featured in The Democrat-Gazette. She served as co-chair of the shelter’s Tie One On fundraiser, which included an auction of aprons decorated by local artists.

Rebecca Sorensen returned to campus in September to speak at the monthly Futures Forum. She is the founder and executive director of My Father’s House Music, Arts and Missions, which helps women and children in Africa. In February 2009, Rebecca and a team of Ugandans built and opened Royal Hope Academy Primary School, which now serves 200 orphaned children in Kampala, Uganda. Rebecca attended Belmont University’s music program. She released a solo worship album in 2009 and recently released an African worship album mixing her voice with the Royal Hope Children’s Choir and Echoes of Deliverance Choir.  


Class of 2003

hannah draper works for the United States Foreign Service and is currently serving in Istanbul, Turkey.


Class of 2004

Brandon Murphy graduated from UALR in May 2012 with a master’s in professional and technical writing. He is working as a user education specialist at Acxiom Corporation in Little Rock.

Ben Motal graduated from Tulane Law School in May 2009. He is practicing insurance coverage law at a small firm in Dallas, but would like to move back home to Arkansas soon. “My academic success could not have been possible without the skills and habits I learned at ASMS,” he wrote in an email to Dr. Hugo.

Ivy Renfro is a volunteer at Heifer International. She recently spent three months on a Peace Corps assignment in Kyrgystan, but due to the political unrest was reassigned as a health volunteer in Senegal. She graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a B.A. in German studies and a B.A. in history.


Class of 2005

Brittany Cooper was selected as an apprentice for the 2012 Hot Springs Music Festival. She is the first former ASMSA band member to receive this honor, according to band director Mary Alice Chambers. To read more about Brittany, click here.

Keshia Koehn is a civil engineering Ph.D. candidate at Notre Dame's Center for Environmental Science and Technology. Read more about Keshia's research.

Ray Phung interned with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and became a program analyst for HUD in March. He is stationed in Portland, Oregon. Ray graduated from the University of Michigan in 2009 with a Bachelor of Art degree in economics and a minor in environmental science.


Class of 2006

Clare Bayley is featured on The Phenomlist website

Zach Beattie is in Spain teaching English to children ages 3-5. He said he was primarily interested in going to Spain to improve his Spanish speaking skills, but also to travel and experience new things. “This has been a great opportunity and I encourage anyone who is interested in this sort of thing to go out and do it. You won’t regret it!” He graduated from UCA with a double major in Spanish and general science and a minor in interdisciplinary studies.


Class of 2007

Jessica Lange graduated magnum cum laude from Lyon College in May 2011 with a degree in English and history. She is a sixth-grade teacher with Teach for America in Marked Tree, Ark.

Kelsey Brown graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in May 2011 with a major in information systems with a minor in enterprise resource planning. She will work as a project analyst for Walmart Corporation’s information technology division in Bentonville.

Caleb Eggensperger was on the team that placed first in the International Collegiate Programming Contest for the South Central Region (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana). The team advanced to the international competition in Cairo, Egypt, Feb. 27 - March 4. He is a junior at the University of Oklahoma. In his email, Caleb said, “Thank you for the experience I got with these contests at ASMSA - it helped a lot.”

James McKinney joined the U.S. Army and was accepted into the Accelerated Master’s Program at the University of Chicago. He completed the Leadership Training Course for the Army Reserves during the summer of 2010.


Class of 2008

Lindsey Bierle, a senior at Rhodes College in Memphis, was featured as a "Face of Rhodes" on the school's website. Click here to see the article.

Tristan Cooper, a junior at the University of the Ozarks, was featured in an article in the Newton County Times. A cross-country runner, Tristan finished second in the American Southwest Conference Championships in October 2010 and earned All-ASC First Team honors. In November, he placed 14th in regional competition and was named to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Region team. He is a biology and environmental studies major and has been named to the ASC All-Academic Team three times. While at ASMSA, he ran for Hot Springs High School.


Class of 2009

Tamera Johnson is a junior accounting major at Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C. On March 28, 2012, she was awarded a $5,000 scholarship from the MasterCard Credit Card Company. She was inducted into the Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society on April 2 and was recognized in Who's Who Among Colleges and Universities. She attended the Honda All-Star Challenge Quiz Bowl in Torrance, Calif., from March 30 - April 2 and made it to the "Sweet Sixteen" out of 48 teams from other HBCUs.


Class of 2010

Deana Hughes has been accepted to spend Fall 2012 in Northern Arizona University honors program's Grand Canyon Semester. Deana is a junior at SAU. To learn more about what Deana will be doing during the Grand Canyon Semester, click here.

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