Meet Our Recruiters


UAMS East Campus- Helena, AR

Name: Janet Ligon

Counties Served: Chicot, Crittenden, Desha, Lee, Monroe, Phillips, and Saint Francis

Bio: Janet has been a recruiter for UAMS East for the eight years and offers such programs as Day in the Life, Club Scrub, MASH and CHAMPS camps. She also helps students in the preparation for medical school, nursing school, pharmacy school and many more. Janet is originally from Hot Springs Arkansas but has been married to Shaw Ligon and living in Phillips County for 33 years. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and is the mother of three children and three grandchildren.

Recruiter_CargillUAMS North Central Campus- Batesville, AR

Name: Jesse Cargill

Counties Served: Baxter, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Marion, Searcy, Sharp, Stone, Van Buren, and White

Bio: Jesse joined the UAMS North Central Regional Campus in January 2017 as a Recruiting Specialist.  Mr. Cargill works closely with area schools (K-12), colleges, and universities in an 11 county region to encourage young people in Arkansas to pursue a health career.  Mr. Cargill comes to us with 8 ½ years of experience in the field of education and has 12 years of healthcare experience.  He most recently was a Health Science Technology Education (HSTE) faculty member at National Park College in Hot Springs and before that served as Director of Health Science Technology Education programs for the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville.  Cargill also has a background in healthcare as a Radiologic Technologist working previously for White River Health System and Sherwood Urgent Care.  Mr. Cargill graduated from Batesville High School and the University of Central Arkansas holding a B.S. in Radiography.  Mr. Cargill is registered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), holds a license in the state of Arkansas as a Radiologic Technologist, and possesses an Arkansas Teaching License for Medical Professions 7th – Post Secondary and as a Secondary Vocational Administrator.  In his spare time, Mr. Cargill enjoys hanging out with family and friends, traveling, and being active in his church.

UAMS Northeast Campus- Jonesboro, ARRecruiter_Merrell

Name: Yalanda Merrell 

Counties Served: Clay, Craighead, Cross, Greene, Jackson, Lawrence, Mississippi, Poinsett, Randolph, and Woodruff

Bio: An ASTATE alumni and Northeast Arkansas native, Yalanda has been serving 10 counties through our Jonesboro offices at UAMS Northeast since 2010. As a former news anchor and reporter for KAIT, Yalanda has built strong relationships within these communities. When she’s not working with high school and college students, she enjoys kayaking and fishing with her husband Shaun, and son Hunter, on the South Fork River in Cherokee Village. Yalanda also serves in her local church as a teacher and small group leader for teenagers.

UAMS Northwest Campus- Fayetteville, ARRecruiter_Sanchez

Name: Ana Sanchez

Counties Served: Benton, Boone, Carroll, Madison, Newton, and Washington

Bio: Ana Sanchez is a native of Mexico and grew up in Los Angeles, California. She has a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies with an emphasis in Latin American Literature and a minor in English as a Second Language from the California State University Northridge in Northridge CA and a Master’s of Art in Latin American Literature from CSUN. Prior to joining UAMS, Ana taught Spanish and Latin American Literature in Los Angeles and in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  Ana has also worked with local nonprofit organizations where she assisted newly arrived immigrants and migrants adjust to life in the United States. Her professional background includes community organizations, teaching, and recruitment at the Springdale Public Library. Ana is a certified ESL teacher and mentor through the ProLiteracy Program and the Washington County Literacy Council.

UAMS South Campus- Magnolia, AR

Name: Stephen Atteberyrecruiter_Attebery

Counties Served: Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Dallas, Ouachita, and Union

Bio: Stephen became a recruiter with UAMS South Central Campus in February 2018.  Stephen works with local high schools and universities to promote health careers and assists in advising those seeking to enter professional health careers.  Having become part of UAMS in 2015, Stephen also serves as behavioral health faculty with UAMS South as well as participates in diabetes research conducted through the UAMS Center for Health Literacy.  Stephen holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration emphasizing Management and Finance from Southern Arkansas University and a Master’s of Education in Agency Counseling from the University of North Texas.

UAMS South Central Campus- Pine Bluff, ARRecruiter_Ward

Name: Renisha Ward

Counties Served: Arkansas, Cleveland, Drew, Garland, Grant, Hot Spring, Jefferson, Lincoln, Lonoke, Prairie, and Saline

Bio: Renisha Ward was born and raised in Muskegon, MI. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.  She received her Master’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in Education with a focus in Educational Technology.  Mrs. Ward began her career at Wesley United Methodist Pre- School (3 and 4 yr old pre-school teacher), Jefferson County Methodist Faith and Family Mentoring Program (Program Director), and for 14 years as a 2&3 grade teacher in the Pine Bluff School District. Renisha was nominated 2015 Teacher of the Year by her peers.  She also served as the Lead Teacher at 21st Century After-school/Summer Enrichment Program.  Mrs. Ward currently serves as the Recruitment Specialist for UAMS South Central in Pine Bluff.  Ward helps connect students with health-related careers through programs such as A Day in the Life, Club Scrub, Medical Applications of Science for Health (MASH) and Community Health Applied in Medical Public Service (CHAMPS). She organizes academic advising and shadowing opportunities for students at the collegiate level. Mrs. Ward is active in her community, church and Sorority.  She is a member of Wesley Chapel United Methodist, State Leadership Team of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Advisor for the Delta Eta chapter at her Alma (UAPB).

UAMS Southwest Campus- Texarkana, AR

Name: Destiny Carter

Counties Served: Clark, Hempstead, Howard, Lafayette, Little River, Miller, Nevada, Pike, and Sevier

Bio: Destiny is the current Recruitment Specialist for the UAMS Southwest Region.


UAMS West Campus- Fort Smith, ARRecruiter_Whitson

Name: Lighla Whitson

Counties Served: Conway, Crawford, Faulkner, Franklin, Johnson, Logan, Montgomery, Perry, Polk, Pope, Scott, Sebastian, and Yell

Bio: Lighla graduated from Lyon College in 2008 where she majored in Anthropology and History and minored in religion and Japanese. I’ve always had a wandering spirit and I love to explore other cultures so I take every opportunity to travel that I can get. While in college she spent a semester in Japan and fell in love with the country. One semester wasn’t quite long enough for her, though, so after graduating she took a job teaching English in Japan with a company called AEON. She was fortunate enough to spend about 3 years there and loved every minute of it!  After returning home, she took a position with Upward Bound at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith where she helped low income and first generation high school students prepare for college. She also continued her work with English as a Second Language by teaching at the Literacy Council of Western Arkansas and later joined the board. Lighla believes in service in all things and could never feel fulfilled in her work without doing something meaningful and in service to others.