Rose Named NPC Outstanding Alumnus

Stephanie Rose sitting infront of a dark background.National Park College (NPC) named Dr. Stephanie Rose as the Outstanding Alumnus recipient for 2020 during the June regular board meeting.

Rose obtained an Associate of Science and an Associate of Arts degree from NPC. She continued her education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and completed a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Social Work. From there, Rose completed a Doctorate in Social Work with an emphasis in Addiction Studies from Capella University.

Rose is an assistant professor of addiction studies at the University of Central Arkansas. She also oversees internships, advises students, and conducts research. Rose is part of the National Collegiate Network, the Interprofessional Education Committee, National Addiction and Drug Counselors, and was formerly the president of the National Association of Social Workers board. Rose continues to practice as a therapist part-time.

While working for UALR, Rose was instrumental in starting an Addiction Treatments course. She was also a therapist for the juvenile drug court in Garland County and worked with second chance programs in schools for students who got in trouble instead of expelling them. “I did my dissertation on that,” Rose explained. “Once expelled the chances of completing high school decreases dramatically.”

Before starting at NPC, Rose said her family had a “rough time” at home. “Our father struggled with alcoholism, and I thought ‘Stephanie, get your degree as quickly as you can.’ Nothing more was encouraged or expected of me.”

Rose said she disliked high school but found college to be a completely different experience. “Who I was was embraced and I was encouraged to be my genuine self,” she said. “Roger Fox stands out to me. He was the first in my life to say ‘why aren’t you going on,’ and he offered to write a letter of reference to get into the Social Work program. He said ‘make sure you go on to get your masters, you can do this, you have the ability,’ so I thought maybe I did. Talking with advisors at NPC gave me guidance that I didn’t have at home.”

“I would not have gone to a four-year degree or pursue a doctorate if it weren’t for NPC. It’s a great option for those who may be limited in their resources.”

Rose’s former teacher Roger Fox, now chair of the Communication/Arts Division, said they have kept in touch through the years. “Stephanie seemed terrified when she first took my course,” he said. “She sat in the back and was very quiet as she paid close attention. She attended faithfully, submitted all work on time and in full, and was a very diligent student. It did not come easy for her, but she stayed with it, persevered, and improved all along. I am very proud of her and her academic and professional accomplishments. She is a true testament to what students can do if they have grit and dogged determination, and proof that if students want something enough, they can fight and find a way to get it. She did not wave a magic wand, come from a privileged background, and have things handed to her. She earned them the old-fashioned way, one step at a time, and never losing focus of what she intended to accomplish.”

In addition to Rose’s recognition, her sister, Dr. Samantha Christian, was selected as the 2020 Outstanding Faculty member. “I am very proud of Samantha and I think she’s deserving of her award,” said Rose. “She loves NPC, she loves working there, and she puts so much effort into her classes. I think it’s really cool that she landed there. I know how much NPC means to her and how dedicated she is.”

“It’s an honor to get an award from an institution that means so much to me,” said Rose. “I’m very nostalgic about NPC. It’s wonderful and meaningful to still have support from a place that supported me when I was in a low place.”