Alumni Advisory Council

The Alumni Advisory Council creates a network of committed alumni leaders for the Alumni Association. The Council offers insight and direction for future alumni programming and contributes leadership and support. All members have a passion for UAFS, regardless of whether they attended Westark or Fort Smith Junior College. The inaugural class of the new Alumni Advisory Council met April 28, 2012, in Fort Smith, where they elected officers and discussed the mission and vision of the Alumni Association.

The Council meets twice a year on the UAFS campus—once during Alumni Weekend in the fall and once during the Numas in the spring—and twice more during the year by teleconference. Additional members will be added annually, with applications accepted in the spring. If you would like to become a member of the Council, email for further details.

Current Alumni Advisory Council Members

Rebecca Hurst (chair) of Fayetteville is co-founder and managing partner of Smith-Hurst, PLC, a regional law firm in Fayetteville. She attended Arkansas State University classes on the Westark campus and graduated magna cum laude from ASU. She is a 2005 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law where, in addition to serving as the executive editor of the Arkansas Law Review, she was a Charles Thomas Pearson Fellow and scholarship recipient and the justice of the local Phi Alpha Delta organization. Hurst also holds a Master of Laws in Taxation (LL.M.) degree from New York University School of Law. 


Conaly Bedell of Fort Smith is an associate at Jefferson Waterman International Consulting Company focusing on early stage technology businesses and international political strategies. He attended Fort Smith Junior College in the 1950s, and has degrees from the University of Tulsa and the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He served 18 years on the Board of Trustees for Westark working as a proponent for property acquisition and raising funds for several campus buildings. Conaly was awarded the "Diligence to Victory" Award - the highest alumni award bestowed by the university on November 9, 2013.


Shawn Cozzens of Maumelle attended Westark Community College in 1990 before transferring to the University of Central Arkansas to complete her degree in health.  She then transferred to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences for a one-year program in nuclear medicine.  She earned a master's degree in public health from Tulane University in partnership with Johns Hopkins University.  She works at the UAMS Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy.  She also owns Genomics and Personalized Health.  She is the mother of Ethan and Brodie.

Elizabeth Echols of Tulsa, Okla., is a vice president and trust officer for The Private Bank of Oklahoma, which is part of the BOK Financial Corporation, a regional financial services holding company. She previously served as vice president and trust manager for Fort Smith National Bank & Trust of Columbia, Mo., and vice president and trust officer for First National Bank of Fort Smith. Elizabeth graduated from the University of Tulsa with a Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration after attending Westark Community College in the summer of 1983 and after graduation from TU for continuing education in areas of computer science and business. She is a past board member of the United Way of Fort Smith Area, St. Edward's Mercy Foundation, Bonneville House Association and the Missouri Symphony Society. Currently, she is involved with the Tulsa Area United Way as a community reinvestment co-Chair.

Jimmie W. Lincks of Richardson, Texas, first met his wife of 43 years, Linda Mahan Lincks, on the Westark Junior College campus, where he studied math and science while on a basketball and baseball scholarship. He graduated with a AA degree in 1968, and later completed his studies at Southern Methodist University School of Engineering, Cox Business-Finance Graduate School, and University of Texas at Dallas Graduate School. Jimmie received a baseball scholarship to SMU and served his final year as an assistant baseball coach. Previously, he worked in defense, business products, communication, and wireless industries. For the past 22 years he has owned Comcepts-to-Completion, a consulting IT and business processes company. The Lincks' volunteer efforts for the last 36 years have included serving in various support duties to Faith Lutheran in Plano, Texas and Bethel Lutheran in Fort Smith.

Jeremy May of Greenwood is Manager, National Account Sales at Arkansas Best's subsidiary: MoveBuilder. He also owns a small cattle operation in his hometown of Booneville as well as rental property in Fort Smith. Jeremy graduated from UAFS in 2007 with a Marketing degree from the College of Business (COB). He was involved in several student organizations while attending school where he met his wife Sarah Barnes-May who is also a graduate of the University. Since graduation, Jeremy has remained involved with UAFS in a variety of capacities such as Homecoming Committee, COB's Dean's Leadership Council, form Young Alumni Council, and a guest speaker to Marketing and Entrepreneurial classes on campus.

Pamela Tolliver Rice of Arlington, Texas, is the administrative coordinator for a six-doctor specialist medical practice in Dallas and has spent many years in management positions in the fields of manufacturing, higher education and medical practice. Rice attended Westark and earned an Associate of Arts degree in Art in 1970. Rice is one of the original members of the River Valley Art Center, founder of a sorority chapter of Beta Sigma Phi and has served on various church committees. She is past president of the Republican Women in Pope County, Ark.

Rick Rice of Arlington, Texas, is manager of campus services at Dallas Theological Seminary where he has served for 21 years. He is a 1974 graduate of Arkansas Tech University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science. He also attended Dallas Theological Seminary. He has served as vice president of the Dardanelle Chamber of Commerce, member of the Dardanelle Industrial Development Committee, chairman of the Pope County Republican Party and co-chair of the Pope County Election Commission.

Eric Smithson of Fort Smith is an Account Manager for ABF Multimodal, a national freight company and logistics provider headquartered in Fort Smith. After graduating from Charleston High School, he accepted the Chancellor's Leadership Council Scholarship in 2005. The experience with CLC allowed him to serve in many capacities in the University Ambassadors organization on campus including Vice President, President, and Student Advisor. Upon graduation from UAFS in 2009 with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration he continued to work for Arvest Bank until 2012, starting with Arkansas Best Corporation. Throughout his time away from the classroom at UAFS he's remained engaged with the campus and served in several volunteer positions.



Past Alumni Advisory Council Rosters

Inaugural Council 2012
2012 - 2013
2013 - 2014

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University of Arkansas – Fort Smith Alumni Association

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