Meaningful vocation is theme for Professions With A Purpose panel April 11

Release Date: 3/10/2014

University of the Ozarks will present a panel discussion titled, "More Than A Paycheck: Professions With A Purpose," on Friday, April 11, as part of the University's 2014 Alumni Weekend.

The event, which is sponsored in part by the Walton Arts & Ideas Series, will begin at 2:15 p.m. in Baldor Auditorium in the Boreham Business Building. Admission is free and it is open to the public.

Leslee Milam Post

Leslee Milam Post, a former state representative, will be one of the panelist for the Professions With A Purpose event on April 11.

This year's Professions With A Purpose panel will include three Ozarks graduates: Leslee Milan Post, Mario Molina and Sarah Reeves. The event is sponsored by both the Alumni Office and the University's Committee on Religion, Ethics and Vocation.

Dr. Dave Daily, professor of religion and chair of the Committee on Religion, Ethics and Vocation,  said the panel event was started four years ago to help the campus "explore opportunities for ethical reflection and vocational discernment."

"We wanted to find ways for our current students to hear the stories of others who had pursued callings that were meaningful and personally rewarding," Daily said. "Professions with a Purpose is important for students because it has the potential to change their lives, to help them rethink the assumptions they've made about what a good career might be, and to put them on a path toward meaningful, purposeful work.  Mentors at Ozarks can talk with students about possibilities 'out there,' but in this event, students get to meet and hear from people who work in various fields - people who embody the values that Ozarks seeks to promote. Students can use their stories to help them imagine their own lives five or ten years out, and get advice on what they might do now in order to get there."

Post, a 1996 graduate of Ozarks, is a former representative in the Arkansas House of Representatives, where she served as the vice chair of Public Transportation and House Motor Vehicle and Highways Subcommittee, Public Transportation Committee, City and County Local Affairs Committee, Public School Desegregation Lawsuit Resolution Task Force, and Girls and Boys State.  Post was awarded the Advocate of Justice Award by the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorneys Association in appreciation for outstanding service during the 2011 general assembly. From 1997-2005, Post served as the executive director of the Crisis Center for Women in Fort Smith, Ark. She and her husband Andrew live in Ozark, Ark., with their four children, Claire (13), Molly (11), Jack (10) and Sara Jane (8).

Mario Molina '98

Mario Molina '98, director of the Climate Reality Project’s leadership corps program, will take part in the Professions with a Purpose panel during alumni weekend.

Molina, a 1998 Ozarks graduate, is the director of the Climate Reality Project's leadership corps program. Based in Colorado, the Climate Reality Project was founded by former Vice President Al Gore to effectively communicate the climate crisis and engage the public in demanding urgent action towards solutions.

As the Directors of the Leadership Corps, Molina is responsible for the strategic design of international trainings led by Gore to convene high-level influencers and decision-makers. Prior to joining the Climate Reality Project, Molina was deputy director at the Alliance for Climate Education, a program that reached over 1.3 million students across the U.S with climate science curriculum. Molina has a master's degree in Biology from Appalachian State University, where he focused his research in GIS modeling  of wetland ecosystems.

Reeves, a 2010 Ozarks graduate, has been a mathematics teacher at Siloam Springs (Ark.) High School for the past four years. She has been instrumental in implementing and maintaining a professional learning community (PLC) between the algebra I and geometry team teachers.  The PLC model used by those teams has since been implemented throughout the high school. 

Sarah Reeves '10

Sarah Reeves, a 2010 Ozarks graduate, will talk about her role as a teacher and her efforts to make a difference in the lives of students.

She is a member of the School Prevention, Review, and Intervention Team (SPRINT). That team has created a behavior intervention plan (BIP) for all students that includes ideas for how to intervene with students during each stage of misconduct.  The BIP is online and allows all educators access to the behavior history of each student and what teachers issued discipline notices. SPRINT has established a food program through Rice Depot to enable students in poverty to have meals after school hours.  After earning a BS in mathematics from Ozarks, Reeves went on to earn a master's of science in educational theory and practice from Arkansas State University.