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Stacey McCulloughAssistant Director-CPEDPhone: 501-671-2078Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
by Emily Smith - August 31, 2021
We are proud to welcome Shalonda Michelle Nelson as CPED's new administrative specialist
II. Nelson grew up in Little Rock and relocated as an adult to Fairbanks, Alaska in
2000. While residing in Fairbanks, she suffered a mysterious debilitating throat and
lung illness for several years. Doctors later concluded it was related to the wood
smoke issue exposure during her stay in Fairbanks and later diagnosed her with stage
four larynx cancer in 2015. Her prognosis was six months. Nelson says that as a direct
consequence of fervent prayer and excellent radiation cancer treatment at the University
of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, she is 4 1/2 years in remission.
Her clean air advocacy work in Alaska resulted in the banning of smoking and the use
of tobacco products on all University of Alaska campuses. Nelson also worked as an
intern for the American Lung Association to implement smoke-free workplaces and multi-unit
housing projects. She serves as a Pioneer UAMS Community Science Academy, UAMS Community
Grant Reviewer, UAMS Cancer Institute Patient Ambassador, Envoy Board Member of the
UAMS Cancer Institute, University of Arkansas Little Rock Diversity Board, and Feed
1st USA Board, UA of Little Rock Orientation Leader, and Student Government Justice.
She is a non-traditional junior at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, studying
an Interdisciplinary Degree: Applied Communication, Mass Communication, and Sociology
with a minor in Philosophy. She is a model, motivational speaker, and actress and
recently appeared in God's Not Dead 3 “A Light In The Darkness,” released nationwide
in 2018. The American Cancer Society selected her as the 2018 Survivor of the Year
for the Arkansas Cancer Coalition. She has appeared in Soiree magazine, Amazing Fashion
magazine by CMG, About You magazine, and highlighted in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Personal Space and countless news articles concerning her community advocacy. In 2018,
Nelson ran for Little Rock City Board. We've asked her to share more about her life,
hobbies and what she is looking forward to in her new role. Find her answers below.
I am from Little Rock, Arkansas and have lived in Alaska 16 years. I’ve had the pleasure
of traveling to various islands over the years.
Paris and Tanzania.
Local Food Deserts, Clean Air in Alaska, Smoke Free Campuses K-12 and College Campuses
through our UA system in Alaska, Created Head and Neck Cancer Support Proposal, Sleep
Study Research with the UALR Psychology Department, and ran for local office 2018.
Monday. Almost all things are back open from the weekend.
Prior to starting cancer treatments a few years ago, I was battling with myself being
my authentic self. Over the years, some say I laugh too loud, too spiritual, dance
too much, smile all the time. Surely, I can’t be that happy. During cancer treatments
it was all those things about me that pulled me through to keep fighting. So, I learned
everything you are is everything you need for your own personal journey so dare too
That they are the only one of them.
Learning to positively communicate a conflict.
I stopped holding on to stress.
Knowing that everything isn’t going to be perfect.
I got in big trouble as a little girl in elementary school, trying to call Michael
Jackson on our house phone long distance.
Small businesses are the heartbeat of the community. As a single woman raising four
children alone, in the past I had to rely on my talent of baking cakes to help make
ends meet. This also allowed for us to put smiles on our neighbors faces, network
and create a sense of community. We had so much fun sharing as we set up our table
at markets and events. Having the skill to run a small business during that time helped
our family stay afloat and I saw the passion others had that kept us going.
How to service the great state of Arkansas through the development of small businesses.
Yes. I love ice fishing!