Protecting the treasury
A typical day might not always seem like an action scene from the silver screen, but for special agent Kyle Brice, working for the U.S. Department of the Treasury means excitement is just around the corner.
“I love that my job is one big puzzle,” says Brice. “I start each investigation with a single piece of information. I connect that piece to another and then another and so on until I have a fully developed, prosecutable scenario. The treasury is kept safe, and justice finds criminals, all from a single piece of information.”
Brice graduated with a bachelor’s degree in general science education and chemistry in 1996 and went on to become a member of the first Master of Business Administration cohort at the University in 2000.
He began his career as a high school science teacher and football coach and then worked as a CPA for a global accounting firm. A Missouri native, he landed back in his home state in 2002 to begin his career as a special agent, but it wasn’t an easy route. The hiring process for law enforcement positions can take 12 to 18 months with another six months in basic training.
Brice investigates crimes such as tax evasion, money laundering, narcotic and firearms trafficking, public corruption, obstruction of justice, and violations of the Bank Secrecy Act. In addition, he is a certified defensive tactics instructor for the National Criminal Investigation Training Academy and the corporate fraud coordinator for the St. Louis field office.
“I have always enjoyed accounting, while at the same time I’ve had an interest in law enforcement,” says Brice. “This career is the perfect marriage between the two.”
While the majority of his career accomplishments are deemed confidential, he admits that his actions have altered the schedule of a U.S. president.
“I absolutely believe Harding prepared me for my career,” says Brice. “It gave me not only the technical skills necessary to succeed but a foundation for the work and business ethics needed. My best advice to any student would be to go above and beyond what is required of you in class.”
After all, you never know when you might be directing the steps of a president.
— Heather Williams
More than an art educator
For Diane Brown, being an art teacher is a natural fit. Her love of art combined with her affability toward children makes it an enjoyable career. However, she never expected that what comes so naturally to her would garner the recognition of the Michigan Art Educators Association, who would name her Elementary Art Educator of the Year.
“I’m still trying to figure it out,” Brown says. “I don’t know if I’m any better than anyone else. I work with really good teachers. We learn from each other by exchanging ideas, and I’ve learned a lot since I started this job.”
Having taught in the Bay City School District in Michigan for the past 11 years, Brown strives to inspire her budding artists. “I like being able to lead the children into realizing that they can do something,” says Brown. “I like to make it possible for the children to know that they can do more than they thought.” She also encourages students to take part in the city’s extracurricular art programs.
Rotating between three area schools, Brown works with teachers to tie the curriculum they teach into her art classes. “I’m not just teaching art,” she explains.
“I’m doing a lot of cross-curricular connections and tying it into science, math and literature.” Brown believes that integrating instruction is an important learning tool. “The children are actually participating in what they are learning,” she says. “I think it makes them a more whole person, even if they aren’t artists.”
In addition to reaching across the educational spectrum, Brown incorporates a variety of elements into her classes, such as singing, using puppets and visits outside. “I tried claymation with my fifth graders this year,” says Brown. “It was lots of fun, and they really enjoyed it.” Art produced in her class is displayed on a Web gallery for parents to see. They can also order mugs or T-shirts featuring their child’s creation with proceeds from sales supporting the art program.
Brown says that she will continue to do her best. “I remind myself that I can only do what I can do,” she says. “I am glad that people like what I do.”
Becoming Christian servants
By Liz Howell, director of alumni relations
“At Harding, we serve” may be the new catch phrase for the University’s current generation. From the first few days of school during Student Impact, freshmen are introduced to service projects and opportunities during their time on campus.
Recognition of our students’ activity came as the University was again named to the prestigious President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for 77,203 hours of community service in 2008. The state of Arkansas and the city of Searcy calculated the financial and economic impact of this service at more than $9.9 million.
University students are involved in a variety of ways. Some participate in organized activities while others see a need and find a solution. During a typical semester, hundreds of students volunteer with Christians in Action for thousands of tasks that include raking leaves, cleaning gutters, moving furniture, participating in disaster relief efforts, and more. Todd (’85) and Debbie Gentry, college and outreach ministers of College Church of Christ, spearhead numerous community service projects, including Christians in Action, through the Rock House, located near the corner of Grand and Market.
Some students choose to give their school breaks to others. According to Nate Copeland (’06), director of Spring Break Missions, more than 350 students served others in more than 20 locations.
More than 2,000 students participated in Bisons for Christ Day of Service April 22 as projects were performed throughout Searcy and White County. This day serves as a small token of appreciation to our neighbors and provides a way to instill in students the importance of giving and becoming Christian servants. All athletic teams participated in sports clinics or service projects along with a variety of campus organizations.
Our community contacts have been appreciative of our efforts to serve, not for just one day, but in developing relationships. A group of young women from Ko Jo Kai social club continues to work with Judsonia Children’s Home. “They are the best group of young ladies that we have ever had come help,” said Juanita Gay, houseparent at the home. “They minister for the Lord and touch our lives.”
Some of the most impressive acts of service are done quietly. One group goes to Little Rock, Ark., every weekend to feed the homeless living under a bridge.
Another group of friends befriended a cafeteria worker whose husband was dying. Throughout his final days, the students made several trips to the family’s home in Pangburn, Ark. They raised money to help with expenses, prayed, and sang with them.
On the day of the funeral, the group, known by the family as “The Posse,” walked in and respectfully took their seats. Their presence was a testament to their character. As three preachers spoke, each one acknowledged the students and what a difference they had made in the lives of this family.
I don’t know when I have been prouder of a group of students. I asked one of them how they got to know the family. She said that they started talking with the “omelet lady” in the cafeteria. “After we got to know one another better, we learned of her struggles and needs. We knew we were called to help,” explained Kristin Mueller, a sophomore from Tulsa, Okla.
The love of Christ was exemplified through a group of students who put their Christianity in action by serving. Such lessons are not likely to be forgotten.
Guaranteeing income for life
By Ted Hackney, director of the Center for Charitable Estate Planning
The stock market downturn and one of the worst economic recessions in U.S. history have left donors uncertain of how to protect themselves financially. Most of us think that institutions like Harding only ask for money. Few realize that the University can pay them money every month, guaranteed.
A charitable gift annuity is a contract between Harding and an individual. In exchange for your gift, the University will pay you back at a fixed rate for as long as you live. Payments may be for two lives — ideal for husband and wife. Rates are as high as 10.5 percent, much more than CDs and other fixed investments are paying.
If you do not need income right now, you can receive a higher payment as well as a higher income tax deduction by waiting a few years for your first payment. Gift annuity rates, while attractive, are designed to make it simple for the University to make payments to you for the rest of your life and then have some money leftover to further her mission.
If you want to take advantage of great fixed rates that start paying you now, or, if you would like to wait a few years to receive a higher payment, contact me at 501-279-4861 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We can tell you what your payment options are and what your income tax deduction and capital gains tax benefits might be.
Ko Jo Kai women’s social club will celebrate 70 years at Homecoming 2009. They would like to hear from all members, sponsors and beaux.
Please send e-mail addresses and/or mailing addresses to:
116 Indian Trail
Searcy, AR 72143