Lauri Umansky
Director of Heritage Studies
Ph.D. Program,
Professor of History
at Arkansas State University
Peter Onek
Retired criminal appellate
public defender for the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Originally from:
Boston, Massachusetts
Home now:

Lauri Umansky and Peter Onek moved to Jonesboro from Boston with their chihuahua Baxter, their two daughters and their grandson, Jack.

The couple moved when Lauri took a position as Dean of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences at Arkansas State University.

Since relocating to Jonesboro, Lauri and Peter have discovered a very different way of life compared to the big city lives they led in places like New York City and Boston — a way of life they’ve come to love. The couple is partial to their newfound proximity to the countryside, the friendly neighbors and Jonesboro’s diverse population, warm weather, and clean streets.

“As actively involved grandparents, we know what a wonderful place [Jonesboro] is to rear a child,” Lauri said. “It’s affordable with plentiful public parks, playing fields and good schools.”


Favorite Pastimes: “Walking in our historic West End neighborhood or sitting on our deck and hearing the birds sing and the freight trains whistle,” Lauri says.

Go-to Local Event: Arkansas Roots Music Festival at City Water & Light Park, which is held annually in April

Your Town in Three Words: Relaxed, beautiful, friendly


See more Arkansas Natives & Newbies on Why They Love The Natural State!