2021 Employee Service Awards — The Honorees

By Ben Boulden

This year, one employee earns his 50-year pin, while five employees hit the 45-year mark. Keep reading to learn more about these dedicated Team UAMS members.

Click here for the full list of honorees by year.

Click here for the full list of honorees by division.

50 Years of Service

Howard Conaway

Howard Conaway

Howard Conaway, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, came to UAMS in 1971. Beginning with a research study published in Biochemical Pharmacology in 1966, Conaway has published research manuscripts in the medical literature for over 50 years.

He taught the Medical Physiology Course in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at UAMS for 42 years. During that time, Conaway received three “Golden Apple Awards” from M1 medical classes designating him as an outstanding instructor. For his teaching at UAMS, Conaway has been presented with “Red Sash” awards of recognition on nine occasions from graduating senior classes.

Twice, Conaway has served as an elected representative from the College of Medicine to the Academic Senate Council. Conaway has been the director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. He also served on the campus-wide Graduate School Committee and on the Graduate Student Research Funds Allocation Committee. In addition, Conaway has served on several academic and research-related UAMS committees.


45 Years

Joan Cranmer

Joan Cranmer

Joan Cranmer, Ph.D., a professor of pediatrics in the College of Medicine, was recruited to UAMS to direct the then-newly formed Interdisciplinary Toxicology Graduate Training Program. It produced many of the first Ph.D. interdisciplinary scientists in the field.

For 27 years, she organized, chaired and obtained funding for the International Neurotoxicology Conference Series, which convened annually in different parts of the country and was a catalyst for advancing the science in this emerging area. She founded the journal NeuroToxicology and was its editor-in-chief for nearly 30 years.

When she was promoted to professor, she initiated a mentoring program in the department to help guide her junior colleagues toward timely promotion and tenure. For 23 years, she has chaired the Promotion & Tenure Committee and founded and directed a formal, published, adaptable Faculty Mentoring Program in the Department of Pediatrics.

“Each aspect of my career was my favorite at the time!  What I like most about my job are the wonderful people I’m privileged to work with at UAMS,” Cranmer said. “I love my long life at UAMS!  It is productive, rewarding and evolving.”


Charles Cunningham has been a journeyman painter for the entirety of his career at UAMS. He has witnessed tremendous changes during his

Charles Cunningham

Charles Cunningham

time at the university. Cunningham especially recalls all the new buildings that have been built in the last 45 years, and some old buildings that are no longer standing.

His painting projects have ranged across UAMS and in every building on the Little Rock campus. His co-workers describe him as “trustworthy, reliable and a good man.”

Cunningham especially enjoys interacting with his co-workers, whom he calls “the friendliest people.”



Andrea Easom, APRN, moved back to Arkansas in 1976, and UAMS offered her a position in the kidney transplant unit. Her career has been spent working in nephrology.

Andrea Easom

Andrea Easom

“We had a wonderful, multidisciplinary team of nephrologists, nurses, nursing assistants, ward clerks, renal dietitian and social worker,” Easom said. “We worked together for the common good of the patient. We all laughed, cried, celebrated and partied together.”

She said the biggest change in the last 45 years at UAMS has been the availability of resources and a helpful attitude that is prevalent in most of the people she has encountered.

“It is rare now to meet resistance from other departments. I could never have accomplished what I have without the support of various UAMS departments/resources,” Easom said.

While working at the university, she earned two more degrees, including a master’s degree in applied psychology, which enabled her to help develop the first behavioral objectives for nurse evaluations. In 1996, she obtained her Family Nurse Practitioner degree from UAMS and became the medical director of the dialysis unit and renal clinics.

“I’ve always said that UAMS will allow you to work as hard as you want to meet your goals. I love sharing an idea and watching it grow as input from other clinicians both prune and expand the concepts leading to a much better project,” Easom said. “I am also grateful for the relationships I have developed over the years with UAMS staff, many with whom I still stay in contact.”


Derrick Haggins, maintenance repair technician in Campus Operations, started work at UAMS in 1976.  In his job, he performs various

Derrick Haggins

Derrick Haggins

inspections all over campus, some weekly, some monthly and others annually.  He has been here through many periods of change at the university, including, he notes, the construction of the first parking deck off Markham Street.

He said he likes meeting new people every day at UAMS and collecting DVDs.  He especially enjoys his department’s festive party during the holiday season. Haggins has been married to “the love of his life,” Rose, since 1983.



Joey Horton

Joey Horton

Joey Horton, maintenance specialist in Campus Operations, joined UAMS while he was still in high school and worked for Public Safety, which later became the UAMS Police Department. He has worked for Physical Plant/Engineering and Operations in some capacity since 1978.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes at UAMS,” he said. “I’ve made a lot of friends and met a lot of outstanding people at UAMS. That is what I will always remember and miss when I’m no longer here.”

40 Years of Service

·         Kathy Adams
·         Ernest Bailey
·         Raymond Bivens
·         Cynthia Caton
·         Judith Cheek
·         Terry Collins
·         Harold Crawford
·         Lesley Dairion
·         Dianne Dotson
·         Tammy Gillham
·         Karen Hodges
·         Libby Ingram
·         George Markham
·         Marla McDaniel
·         Charlotte Nirenberg
·         Rowena Parker
·         Margaret Portlock
·         Pamela Pyland
·         John Ryals
·         Hemendra Shah, PhD
·         Pamela Stocker
·         Susan Ward
·         Christine Washington
·         Cindy White