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Advisory board named for Jean Tyson child study center

An advisory board has been formed for the Jean Tyson Child Development Study Center at the University of Arkansas, and the board met for the first time last week.

The center, which is part of the School of Human Environmental Sciences in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, focuses on childcare, lab/school experience and research.

It serves children beginning at the age of eight weeks through the time they enter kindergarten. Teachers and staff provide developmentally appropriate education for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

The board will focus on promoting the mission of the center, ensuring quality educational experiences for early childhood majors, increasing access to quality childcare, research initiatives, support for faculty and staff, and supporting fundraising efforts.

The advisory board gathered at the Jean Tyson Center and heard from several speakers before holding its inaugural meeting.

Board members include Pete Clark, Sunny Delight Beverage Co.; Jeff Cude, Bank of Arkansas; Mitch Evans, Yarnell’s Ice Cream; Linda Hankins, retired from Simmons Bank; Kathy Herriman, Harp’s Food Stores; David Johnson, Fayetteville Public Library; Perry Keefe, Beech-Nut Nutrition; Jonathan Layer, Rockline; Walker Mitchell, Wilko Group; Mike Murray, Saputo’s Cheese USA; Jason Nuttle, Land O’Frost; Matthew Stephens, Clear Channel; Debra Trusty, Big Heart Pets (formerly Del Monte); and Jennifer Wieland-Batchelor, Kimberly Clark Corp.

“I’m thrilled to be here,” said Clark of Sunny Delight. “I took a tour about a year ago and was blown away. I’ve been in enough childcare places when moving to different towns, and this is an amazing facility.”

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“We are grateful to each of you,” said Mike Vayda, dean of the Bumpers College. “We are excited about getting advice and action items from you. We appreciate your efforts as you help us move forward in education, application and opportunities for our students.”

The Jean Tyson Center was recently reaccredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, placing it in the top 10% of private-sector childcare facilities in the country.

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