Four New Leaders Helm Degree Programs

By Ben Boulden

Charia Hall, Au.D., was selected to serve as the new director of the College’s Doctor of Audiology degree program.

Charia Hall

Charia Hall

The program is in the UAMS College of Health Professions Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology.

“Because of her previous experience within the department, Dr. Hall can provide continuity in direction as well as new leadership to the program,” College of Health Professions Dean Susan Long, Ed.D., said at the time of her appointment. “She is well-respected by students and colleagues for her expertise and experience in audiology. We’re excited to work with her in this new position.”

Hall is an assistant professor in the department and holds a doctoral degree in audiology from UAMS and a bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

She held an adjunct faculty appointment from 2017 until accepting a full-time position in 2021 as director of clinical education. Hall served as interim program director in 2022 before the arrival of Natalie Benafield, Au.D., who took a position at another university and whom Hall succeeded as permanent director.

Kandy Salter, OTD, was named the director of the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

Kandy Salter

Kandy Salter

The UAMS College of Health Professions and UA College of Education and Health Professions jointly sponsor the program.

“Dr. Salter was with the program when it welcomed its first class of students in 2020,” Long said. “She has the depth of experience and knowledge as well as good rapport with faculty and students to make the transition to new leadership a smooth one. We’re confident she can work with them to continue to grow the program even further in the years ahead.”

Salter succeeded Sherry Muir, OTD, who has served as director of the program since its founding in 2017. Muir fulfilled her commitment as department chair/program director and moved into a faculty position.

Salter joined the department’s faculty in 2018 as a clinical assistant professor and academic fieldwork coordinator, then next served as capstone coordinator. She has been an occupational therapist for 21 years specializing in neurologic rehabilitation and driver rehabilitation.

Salter earned her doctoral degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Kansas Medical Center and both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Occupational Therapy from the University of Central Arkansas.

Just before the start of the academic year, the college chose Angel Holland, DPT, Ed.D., to serve as chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Angel Holland

Angel Holland

Holland succeeded John Jefferson, Ph.D., PT, who led the establishment of the department and the development of the program. Having served as chair and program director since September 2013, Jefferson requested to return to faculty status to have more time to dedicate to his teaching and research.

A tenured associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, Holland also served as associate program director and associate director of interprofessional education for the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology, Master of Science in physical therapy, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Doctor of Education. She joined the faculty in June 2014, a little over a year before the physical therapy program matriculated their first class in August 2015. She served as the program’s director of clinical education until assuming the position of associate program director in 2018.

Holland has been a physical therapist for 23 years and holds certifications by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties as a geriatric clinical specialist and by the American Physical Therapy Association as a credentialed clinical instructor.

“Congratulations to Dr. Holland on her new administrative appointment,” Long said. “She has proven herself as an innovative and dedicated leader, and I know she will continue to thrive in her new role.


Shayla Stinnett

Shayla Stinnett

Shayla Stinnett, M.Ed., CT, was appointed director of the Cytotechnology Program in the College’s Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences following the departure of Catherine Smith, M.Ed., CT. Before her appointment, she served for several months as the program’s interim director.

Starting her career as a cytotechnologist in 1993, Stinnett brought 30 years of experience to her role as an instructor. Her first challenge was translating her professional and career experience into an educational curriculum.

“It’s been about articulating the nonverbal, ‘muscle memory’ of experience into clear verbal communication,” Stinnett said, something she quickly became comfortable with.

As director, she now oversees the entire fast-paced, 12-month program.

Stinnett recently completed an M.Ed. in Educational Technology Leadership, and she said she is excited to use her degree to further enhance the cytology program and continue to support and mentor the next generation of cytotechnologists.