Arkansas State University - Newport

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August 2022

New deans to lead integral parts of the institution

Arkansas State University-Newport hired two new deans to lead various areas of the college. Dr. Amber Grady is the new Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Michael Nowlin is the Dean for Applied Science.
Grady is a Newport native that brings a vast skillset to ASU-Newport with nearly 20 years of experience in higher education. She most recently served as the Dean of Students for Williams Baptist University. She also worked for the University of Arkansas as an Associate Director for College Readiness and Academic Outreach Specialist.
Grady is a graduate of Williams Baptist College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English. She went on to get a Master of Science in College Student Personnel Services from Arkansas State University and a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education from the University of Mississippi.

Dr. Amber Grady, ASUN Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Grady will serve in a new role at ASUN. As ASUN’s first Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Grady will lead the way in implementing DEI initiatives and frameworks.

“I am looking forward to collaborating with the ASUN campus community and beyond in cultivating a campus environment that appreciates and values diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Grady said. “It is my personal mission to create relevant and impactful programs that will ensure a sense of belonging for our students, faculty, staff, and community partners. As a native of Newport, I’m excited about how this position grants me the opportunity to serve here in my community. I have enormous gratitude for all of those that invested and believed in me with every educational pursuit. In this position, I will serve as an advocate for DEI to ensure the opportunity for every student’s success.”

Grady has served as the Multicultural Chair for the Arkansas College Personnel Association and has presented on various topics including recruitment and retention of diverse students.


Michael Nowlin is the new Dean for Applied Science. Michael has been with ASU-Newport since 2002. He started as an Instructor of Automotive Service Technology. He would soon move to the role of Senior Instructor of Automotive Service Technology while also taking on additional roles at the institution. Nowlin was Assistant to the Dean as well as the Associate Dean for Applied Science all while continuing to serve in the classroom. 

Michael Nowlin, Dean for Applied Science

Nowlin earned his Associate of Applied Science degree in Automotive Service Technology and his Bachelor of Arts in History from Arkansas State University. He has a variety of certifications and great knowledge of the community college landscape.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead such a skilled group of individuals,” Nowlin said. “I see great things on the horizon for our division and ASUN. Our Applied Science faculty are skilled professionals that provide our students with hands-on instruction that prepares them to enter the technical field of their choice. Our workforce is in great need of trained individuals that can adapt to the ever-changing demands of technology. I’m looking forward to working closely with our industry partners to ensure our students are ready to get to work following graduation.”

Applied Science encompasses many programs at ASUN including Advanced Manufacturing, Agriculture Technology, Automotive Service Technology, Business, Collision Repair Technology, Commercial Driver Training, Computer Networking Technology, Diesel Technology, Energy Control Technology, High Voltage Lineman Technology, Industrial Maintenance, and Welding.

Before coming to ASUN, Nowlin worked as an Automotive Technician for Blackwell-Baldwin Cadillac, a Diesel Mechanic at D.E.C. Engines Inc., and currently works to restore antique automobiles in his spare time.

Grady and Nowlin both began their new appointments in July 2022.