Executive Director: Patty Henson Sullivan
Patty Sullivan is an experienced grant and proposal writer who has also worked as a college instructor and administrator. In addition to grant writing, teaching and project management experience, she has researched prospective donors and written proposals for many non-profits. Her higher education roles include teaching developmental English and ESL, distance learning, and international student programs. She holds a degree in Communication from Arkansas State University, and a Master’s degree in English from the University of Louisiana. She is a former Peace Corps volunteer, serving in Rwanda as an instructor at the National University of Rwanda. Patty has volunteered as a federal legislation advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and serves on the Fayetteville Public Library Foundation board. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Fayetteville, the Arkansas chapter of Grant Professionals Association, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
Program Director: Mina Phebus
Mina is originally from South Korea. She completed her Master’s degree in English Education and a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Korea. She has over 14 years of experience in various English Education endeavors. She worked for several years as Director/Instructor for private English academies in Korea from 1996-2007. She also served one year as an English professor at Gumi College in Korea in 2003. In 2004, Mina worked as an English/Korean interpreter for a Korean hospital. At OLC, she worked for over a year as a Program Assistant and an Administrative Assistant before becoming the Program Director in 2009. Her favorite part of working at OLC is having the opportunity to interact with students from all over the world and helping them achieve their goals.
Administrative Assistant: Martha Carmona
Martha received her Bachelors of Science in Education Studies from the University of Arkansas. Martha has been instrumental in the success of OLC’s program at the Springdale Public Library where she serves as the Basic Literacy ESL Instructor for our Sunday and Monday classes, as well as working at Ozark Literacy Council each week. Born to a Mexican immigrant family, Martha is bilingual in English and Spanish and has been living in Arkansas since 2001.
Administrator: Kelley Zornes
Kelley Zornes started as an AmeriCorps member for OLC in October of 2015 and completed her second year of AmeriCorps service in June of 2017. She is currently acting as the administrator, teaches classes at the Tyson Randall Road plant, and volunteers one-on-one with a basic literacy student. She has an Associate’s Degree in Teaching and has ten years of teaching and tutoring experience. Kelley was born and raised in Northwest Arkansas, and she feels a strong sense of duty to give back to her community. She has an insatiable thirst for adventure and dreams of traveling the world. She loves OLC for the family-like atmosphere, but her favorite part of working with OLC is watching how learning English improves the lives of her students.
AmeriCorps Service Member: Savannah Hadley
Savannah is an Arkansas native. She was born in Ft. Smith, Arkansas, but moved to Fayetteville when she was four. She went to college at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Washington. She studied English (Creative Writing) and Spanish Language. After working for AmeriCorps, she hopes to go on to get a Masters in Creative Writing with poetry and a Masters in Counseling. She is interested in working with poetry therapy. She wrote her senior thesis at Seattle Pacific University on poetry therapy with homeless youth. Savannah volunteered with OLC in the summer of 2016. She fell in love with the students and teaching ESL classes. After graduating with her B.A. in June of 2018, she decided to apply to be an AmeriCorps member to work at OLC again. She is so excited to be working with the wonderful students here again.
Tyson Plant ESL Instructor: Della Adams
Della received her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at the University of Central Oklahoma. After several years of traveling and working abroad as an ESL instructor, she settled in Fayetteville with her husband and daughter. She recently completed a Master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and plans to pursue a PhD in Second Language Acquisition. She teaches in our Tyson Foods Upward Academy program and also serves as our expert tutor trainer.
Volunteer Tutor: David Hansen
David Hansen started volunteering at OLC in June of 2009. A lifelong avid reader, then at a career stage when he had a little extra time, he wanted to do something to pass on the miracle of reading to someone who struggled with it.
An engineer by profession, David has lived and worked in Fayetteville for 30 years. In his time with OLC, he has worked with more than a dozen literacy learners, about an even mixture of native English speakers and ESL students. Several of these have been working with him for most of this time, illustrating a close and trusting relationship between tutor and student.
In the summer of 2012, David suffered a stroke, but to everyone’s great relief he was able to quickly bounce back. It was only six or so weeks before he was back at OLC, working with students once again. He continues with us to this day, undiminished in his passion to help, his ability to reach his students, and his determination to impact and improve their hopes and dreams.
The following quote illustrates the relationship David has with his students: “A lot of people have had difficulty understanding me speak since my stroke. Although they had the opportunity to be matched with another tutor after my stroke, my students insisted they wanted to continue to work with me and that has kept me coming back”.
Volunteer Classroom Instructor: Joel Giarrusso
Joel is a retired FBI agent, and is licensed as a private investigator. She was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has a B.A. in psychology and a Masters in Social Work (MSW). She and her husband, Malcolm, have twin sons, Tom and Eric. Joel is proud that her sons have attended the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival every year from their births through high school. Joel’s hobbies include gardening (which she learned from her father) and volunteering at the Walton Arts Center. She and her husband enjoy travel but do not venture out nearly as much as they would like. Joel gets great joy and satisfaction from working with the OLC students, and describes it as “fun” and very rewarding.
Volunteer Tutor: Kelly Wempe
Kelly has been a tutor at OLC since 2011. Prior to that she spent several years as a community college professor teaching a variety of business and accounting courses, both in Illinois, and here in Northwest Arkansas. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Avila University in Kansas City and her CPA certificate; she began her master’s degree at the University of Central Missouri but switched to Quincy University when her husband made a job change to Quincy, Illinois. Immediately after finishing her MBA in Quincy, they relocated again, this time to Fayetteville, Arkansas. She and her husband, Joe, have three grown children and she enjoys spending lots of time with her husband traveling and visiting with family and friends. She enjoys making quilts and attending Kansas City Royals baseball games with her husband whenever she can. She finds tutoring very rewarding. Moving often, changing jobs and schools, all while raising three children has given her an understanding of some of the many challenges faced by the students she tutors.
*We couldn’t possibly list all of our OLC volunteers, although we did list volunteers that work more than 5 hours per week. If we missed you, you are probably on the list to contact for bio information. We love ALL of our volunteers, no matter how much time you give to us and OLC. THANK YOU, THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!