“A new adventure” describes how Arkansas alumna Justine Middleton feels about her life.  After graduating from the University of Arkansas School of Law in May 2009, she has gone on to become the Animal Services superintendent in Fayetteville, where she organizes events and fundraisers, all while handling the budget and payroll for the shelter and its staff. She attributes her time spent at the University of Arkansas to the different opportunities she experienced and people she met, all of which have helped her to get where she is today.

While working on her Bachelor of Arts in anthropology, Middleton found herself becoming involved in various organizations, including Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Her involvement didn’t end there, as she later joined several other clubs and programs on campus. Ultimately, this led her to meet Dwayne Bensing, a classmate whom she found to be quite influential. “I had spent the first two years of college very absorbed in Greek Life and Dwayne showed me how many other awesome opportunities for involvement there are,” she said. This connection with Bensing led Middleton to begin working with University Programs as their Cinematic Arts chair, as well as working with the Distinguished Lecture Committee.

Her work through University Programs gave her hands-on experience in budget management and programming events. She quickly realized that what she had learned would be useful when she became part of the Distinguished Lecture Committee.  “When I joined the Distinguished Lecture Committee, I had an even larger budget, comprised of student fees, that I had a direct hand in utilizing,” she said.

Because Middleton is closely tied to the city of Fayetteville, she hopes to continue networking with local residents and alumni. Her status at the university led her to receive the complimentary membership that the Arkansas Alumni Association offers to new graduates.  Middleton realizes just how important it is to be an alumni member because of the opportunities she has been given and feels it’s important to give back to her alma mater, as well as the students who are walking the same paths she took.

“I know how much I appreciated the people who took time to help me and to mentor me,” she said. By getting involved, Middleton goes on to say that “it continues the sense of community that you felt while attending school and helps it carry on in your new life,” which in her experience, leads to a new adventure.