PCCUA Announces Outstanding Faculty, Alumna, and Staff

August 23, 2023

Growing up, Christina Garner would play "teacher" in her mother's classroom at PCCUA, aspiring to be like her mother, Monica Quattlebaum, and her grandfather, James Brasel, a former PCCUA instructor and administrator who offered encouragement and support for her to continue her education.

Since 2019, Garner has served as a Medical Laboratory Technology and phlebotomy instructor at PCCUA for the program that she was once a graduate of, and she never imagined the impact her students would have on her life.

In this capacity, her duties include reviewing and designing curriculum to teach courses in clinical chemistry, immunology and immunohematology, phlebotomy procedures, instrumentation, and phlebotomy. She is also a gifted mentor to her students and goes above and beyond to not only teach them, but also to help them grow as individuals.

Garner always knew she wanted to go into the medical field, but when she discovered the MLT program, she found her calling. She graduated from PCCUA in May 2011 and completed her bachelor's degree in May 2015 from UAMS. After becoming a full-time instructor at PCCUA, she decided to continue her education and completed her Master's degree from Capella University in March 2023.

"Teaching is my blood," she stated. "When given the opportunity to teach at the same community college as my mom and grandfather, I jumped at the chance. Nothing compares to returning to your alma mater to teach for a program that you once were a graduate of and has been such a huge part of your life. Despite the nervousness and uncertainties, teaching has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. At the time, I did not realize the significance of teaching and the impact and influence working with students would have on me. It is true that instructors need their students just as much as the students need their instructors."

Brasel, who has since passed away, was very proud when Garner accepted the teaching position at the college, because he now had his daughter and granddaughter at the college doing what he spent his life doing.

Garner is married to Joe Garner and has one daughter, Marlee Jo. Outside her work, Garner is very active at DeSoto School (school board member, Booster Club, and room mother) and Second Baptist Church with children's ministry, the AWANA program, and many other ministries within the church. Any extra time is spent with her family.

Inspired by her own children to enter the field of education, Stuttgart Junior High Principal Latara Robinson is being honored as this year’s Outstanding Alumna at Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas (PCCUA).

 A Stuttgart native, Robinson first received an A.A.S. degree and A.A. degree in early childhood education from PCCUA. From there, she went on to receive her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in early childhood and completed an online graduate program in educational leadership from Arkansas State University, now holding her Arkansas licensure in early childhood education Pre-K-4, Elementary K-6, and Building Level Administrator P-12.

Working in her hometown is important to Robinson, because it allows her to give back and help encourage and support a new generation of young people growing up in her community.

Prior to becoming principal, Robinson worked in the Stuttgart School District for 11 years, first as an aid in special education, followed by paraprofessional-computer lab manager, then as a fifth-grade math teacher and a geometry/quantitative literacy teacher.

As principal, her motto is “every student, every day,” and she noted that it’s important for the school to teach students through “consistency, compassion, and connection.” She stays connected to her students by listening to them and their individual needs.

Robinson has two children, Kalea and Michael Smith Jr., and has raised her niece, Ailai, and nephew, Lathan.  Active in her community, she has served on the C.O.P.Y. committee and on the Seeds of Compassion committee at First Baptist Missionary Church.

In his 17th year of service at Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas (PCCUA), Randy VanCamp, of DeWitt, is dedicated to seeing that the DeWitt campus is running smoothly and is always ahead of the game in terms of the upkeep of the entire campus.

His hard work and dedication have earned VanCamp selection as this year's Outstanding Staff at PCCUA. In addition, he will receive special recognition by Arkansas Community Colleges during its annual meeting this fall.

VanCamp joined PCCUA in 2005. As Maintenance Supervisor in DeWitt, he is always willing to help anyone, whether it be a student or an employee. He is known for keeping fellow employees laughing, as he focuses on keeping things operational and presentable in his day-to-day work.

His co-workers in DeWitt praise him for always being ready and willing to help with any problem that arises for students and/or faculty/staff, adding that he goes above and beyond to help with any need from maintenance to IT.

VanCamp attended the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences where he studied biomedical engineering and received an Associate of Applied Sciences degree.  He is married to Christi VanCamp, and they have two children, Darby and Dayne.