Angela Laird BrentonSylva, NC, 1953 - 2013 0comment
Dr. Angela Laird Brenton, former dean of the UALR College of Professional Studies, died May 8, after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 60.
Angi enjoyed a long and prolific career in higher education. Last August she left UALR to accept a position at Western Carolina University as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.
An exemplary communicator, she was passionate about the importance of community engagement and a strong advocate for academic affairs. Always a respected member of her community, she was beloved by faculty and staff.
She led university task forces in addressing significant community, regional and state issues such as water distribution, city transportation planning, juvenile justice reform and health-care reform.
Committed to racial and ethnic justice, Angi was a founding member of the Chancellor's Committee on Race and Ethnicity. She played a key leadership role in the Institute of Government Survey Research Center's annual Racial Attitudes Surveys and conferences. She also was central to the launch of the university's Institute on Race and Ethnicity.
As dean of the College of Professional Studies at UALR, Angi oversaw 150 faculty and staff in the college. She had previously served as a faculty member and chair in speech communication.
She developed six centers within the college to serve as a focus for research and community outreach, including the Center for Environmental Criminology, the Center for Senior Justice, the Center for Juvenile Justice, the Center for Stuttering Treatment and Research, the Center for Public Collaboration, and the Center for Nonprofit Organizations.
Angi also launched a graduate certificate in Conflict Mediation at UALR in cooperation with the William H. Bowen School of Law and was an inaugural faculty member for the Clinton School of Public Service, where she taught a class titled Communication Processes Conflict Transformation.
She was former dean of the graduate school and associate provost for research and service at Abilene Christian University. She also headed the department of communication and mass media at Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State).
Angi received a doctorate in communication studies from the University of Kansas, a master's degree in communication from the University of Oklahoma, and bachelor's degrees in mass communication and speech communication from Oklahoma Christian College. She earned a management and leadership in higher education certificate from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.
She also taught at the University of Kansas, Pepperdine University, Abilene Christian University, Southwest Missouri State University and Oklahoma Christian University. She co-authored a book published by Sage entitled Organizational Culture in Action.
A Rotary International member, she was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow, a recognition established in 1957 to show appreciation for, and encourage substantial contributions to, The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.
Angi is preceded in death by a brother, David Laird and her father, Joseph Laird. She is survived by her husband of 22 years, Keith Brenton; son, Matthew Scott Brenton of Little Rock; daughter, Laura Leigh Brenton of Sylva, North Carolina; mother, Harriette of Sylva; aunt, Marilyn Lloyd of Chattanooga, Tennessee and a host of other relatives, friends, students and colleagues.
Funeral services will be held 1:00 p.m., Saturday, May 11, 2013 at Pleasant Valley Church of Christ, 10900 North Rodney Parham, Little Rock, Ark. 72212 with Mr. Nick Hamilton and Mr. Chuck Monan officiating. Interment to follow at Riverwood Memorial Gardens in Maumelle, Arkansas.
Memorials may be made to Childplace, Inc., 2420 East 10th Street, Jeffersonville, Indiana 47130-7303. Arrangements provided by Roller-Chenal Funeral Home, 13801 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, Arkansas 72211 (501) 224-8300. Online guestbook: www.rollerfuneralhomes.com/chenal.
Published May 11, 2013
OBITUARY SUBMITTED BY:
Roller-Chenal Funeral Home
13801 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock