Matt is our fearless leader, the top dog, the big cheese, the head honcho, the... you get the point.
He and his wife, Kiki, came to Arkansas from Nebraska and South Dakota by way of Minnesota and Montana. They’ve both lost most of their northern accents, although you can still catch a bit of yankee when Kiki says things like “Oh, for the love!” Their boys, Cort, Lane, Cason, Quade, and baby on the way: Ransom might be the cutest kids ever and thanks to Grandma and her NASCAR paraphernalia there will be no doubt that those boys were raised in the south.
What does Matt do? It’s hard to nail down exactly what Matt does because he does everything. If you have questions, nine out of ten of them will be redirected to Matt because he actually knows the answers. (That tenth answer is probably made up, and you should double check to make sure it’s right) Beyond serving as a living version of Ask Jeeves, Matt teaches, speaks, mentors, keeps the rest of the staff out of trouble (or tries to at least), ties up all the loose ends, and carries all the slack.
Jen grew up as an Army brat and graduated from UCA with a degree in graphic design. She’s really the one you have to watch for made up answers to questions. Jen has an endless wealth of useless knowledge, everything from random history facts, to proper bonsai pruning methods, and she also has a gift for creative story telling... so watch her.
Jen’s job... basically she keeps the details organized and looking good. If you’ve got a logistic or design issue she’s definitely got you covered, but that’s not all. Jen keeps our internship program running smoothly, discipling and organizing CMITs practically in her sleep. Other than that she spends a lot of time hanging out in coffee shops, playing pranks around the office, and giving nicknames to all of her favorite people and things.
Mr. Laj grew up in Miami, FL; went to high school in Jacksonville, AR; studied at both UCA and CBC, then went through the Chi Alpha internship. He currently serves on staff as football expert, student athlete pastor, intern drill sergeant, and finisher of Hannah’s projects.
In his free time, he and wife, Mary (who also responds to Murray... go watch It’s a Wonderful Life if you don’t get the reference) love home improvement projects, and spending time singing together during road trips.
Laj (both Mr and Miss) disciple students and are passionate about students experiencing missions first hand. Collectively they’ve experienced Thailand, Burma, Vietnam, Mozambique, Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, Spain, Morocco, Zambia, and South Africa. Whew. Try saying that list five times fast.
Zach and Hannah both transferred to UCA mid college career; Hannah from Mountain Home, AR and Zach from mountain-less, albeit beautiful Kansas. They now call Central Arkansas home sweet home.
Zach and Hannah share a sharp eye for detail. Hannah is a teacher and defender of God’s word, loves discipling everyone from athletes to mathletes, and is the keeper of the finances. Proof that Math is applicable to real life, Hannah uses her Applied Mathematics degree to keep us operating smoothly. Additionally, If you ever need a sing-along, cupcake baking, or dancing buddy, Hannah is your girl!
Zach came from Kansas to UCA to play soccer and found a new passion: God. After living in Zambia for 10 months, preaching the Gospel and teaching soccer, Zach returned to be a CMIT here at UCA. Now he is on staff as the office post master, calendar keeper, and geography fanatic. When Zach’s not teaching the Word, discipling, or preaching, he’s probably playing soccer, or making really good coffee.
Tim is the favored son of Paron, Arkansas, graduate of UCA, and CMIT turned full-time staff. Around the office, Tim makes sure everything from the tool shed to the student leadership team is in top-shape, with an eye to detail that only this Air National Guard veteran can provide.
Tim manages and coaches all Chi Alpha intramural teams to winning seasons (Tim is the reigning intramural ping pong champion), cheers on and disciples student athletes, and happily sweats alongside UCA’s ROTC program and basketball team. Tim is passionate about creating disciples of Christ who are not easily distracted from the Kingdom of God.
Tim loves all things outdoors, including tennis, CrossFit, skiing, and mountain biking and is infamous for discipling guys while beating them at KanJam. (Don’t know what that is? Ask for a lesson; Tim’s an excellent teacher and only requires ice cream as payment.)
Jamie grew up in the promised land and city of colleges, Conway. After graduating high school and resigning her place as a Wampus Cat, she became a UCA Bear. As a freshman, Jamie experienced deep friendship based on the love of God through some older, patient, silly and committed d-group leaders. Fast forward just one year, and Jamie was in the same place herself: loving and discipling girls who are equal parts challenging and wonderful. Jamie traveled overseas with Chi Alpha numerous times to the beautiful land of Mozambique, full of coconut plantations and hearts hungry for God.
Throughout her college years, Jamie was a discipler of her peers, both in Chi Alpha and in the education program. She received her degree in Early Childhood Education, and then gave 10 months in service to the church in Mozambique that she’d grown to love so deeply. Leading worship, teaching kiddos, discipling women, and looking good on the back of a motor bike filled Jamie’s days overseas. She may not remember too much of the Portuguese she learned in Mozambique, but the lessons God taught her are deeply embedded into the way she leads the women in her life. Jamie’s cheerful disposition and constant encouragement matches her colorful wardrobe and general outlook on life.
Jamie’s life is the story of God being true to his word; like we read in the Psalms, Jamie’s life proclaims that our tearful nights turn into joyous mornings. Post-African adventure, Jamie is in Conway again serving the same campus where her life was originally set on a path that’s led to full-time ministry. She disciples women, teaches the word with fire and creativity, encourages students to have their own adventures with God, and generally keeps any conversation full of laughter.
Heather is the type of person who will do anything she can to help someone in need, whether they are her best friend or a complete stranger and that’s exactly how she serves the chi alpha family. Aside from being the keeper of lists, a key discipler, and picking up any other needs around the office, heather is the girl to go to if you need a friend who’ll encourage and challenge you to dream brave, God-sized dreams.
Heather’s heart for the poor and oppressed knows no discrimination. she’s a fan and friend to those seeking to experience the love of God, regardless of location. That passion has lead heather to serve first as an intern and now as Chi Alpha staff at her alma mater, UCA. She spends her days (and nights) discipling women to “go and tell all nations.” Heather, a Flippin native, is always up for a good cup of tea, lots of fun and laughter, and spontaneous adventures that may or may not end with a donut. we know you may be wondering: so yes, Flippin is an actual location. Arkansas has a sense of humor too.
Also known as, “The Visionary”, Michael is an ex-UAM football player that made a clutch decision to pursue film production at UCA. While pursuing his dream of riches and fame in Hollywood, Mike was so impacted by Christ that he now has a new dream, to see God glorified through film with the use of symbolism as his main cinematic device. Mike’s films will make you laugh, cry, think about the nature of God and life, dance like there's no tomorrow, and then laugh again.
There is a special film program that runs parallel to the Digital Film program you’ll find in the catalog at UCA, and that’s Chi Alpha film team.These students are mentored by The Visionary himself to become more than they could ever have hoped by merely developing their skills in the classroom. Mike disciples these ladies and gents to produce some of the highest quality products in their craft, bringing glory to the Lord, all while being one of the most fashionable and creative missionaries you'll meet.
Mike and his team produce short films that are used at Chi Alphas all over the nation to communicate truths of God’s word. You will never catch The Visionary dreaming too small, and he will not be deterred by the opposition.
Rebekah Danielle Hodges (Dani for short..just kidding, don’t call her Dani) hails from the Dirty Dell of Louisiana! Ever since she was 11 years old, Rebekah has felt a calling towards missions. Fast Forward to her time at the University of Southern Mississippi as an Elementary Education major, Bekah was an exuberant freshman, ready to get involved with Chi Alpha. During here college years as a student leader with Chi Alpha, God opened her eyes to the thousands of college students around her that desperately needed to hear the gospel and the hope that life with Jesus provides. Rebekah found herself torn between a desire to move overseas to Nepal or giving her life to serve students on the university campuses instead. After faithfully serving for 4 years, Bekah moved where the Lord led and began the internship at UCA! She is currently in her first year on staff and loving it!
Some of Rebekah’s favorite hobbies include: roller blading, hula hooping, blowing bubbles, coloring, late night Sonic runs, eating half a tub of hummus, and screaming like a little girl! If there are any signs of horses, puppies, or babies there is a high possibility that she will leave teary eyed. Rebekah loves the sunshine and would trade a day spent adventuring in the outdoors over sitting in the A/C any day! Bekah is a gem of a human being, and loves discipling young women on campus.
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