Photography by LORI SPARKMAN PHOTOGRAPHY
I was awarded the Chancellor’s Leadership Class Scholarship that included full tuition. Only 100 students were selected and I felt proud to be in the cohort of new freshman leaders from across the nation. The experience and the leadership opportunities it afforded me were life-changing. It was what was needed for this young black man from the small town of Lonoke. UA Little Rock opened up the world to me.
UA Little Rock is big enough to experience the full breadth and richness of the diversity of people and cultures as well as engage in a variety of opportunities and interests that are part of the excitement and fun of the college life.
The skill sets for demonstrating attributes like leadership, influence and emotional intelligence (and more) were first learned in my college classrooms as a young Trojan, guided by faculty who were pioneers in their field. Inside this microcosm of the world – the UA Little Rock campus – I practiced and honed those same skill sets outside the classroom through rich interactions with people of diverse cultures, beliefs and thinking styles. I carried those same skill sets off campus as an entrepreneur delivering speeches and training.
I graduated from UA Little Rock with a BA in speech communications. Lessons learned from those courses remain relevant and essential to me today, both personally and professionally. In fact, the UA Little Rock BA degree and the two years of coursework I completed in the Interpersonal/Organizational Communication graduate program provided the solid foundation for my master’s degree in Strategic Leadership.
My college education at UALR afforded me a feeling of belonging and inclusion, so now I am paying it forward as a Champion for Children. In addition, I am paying it back by serving as the UA Little Rock Applied Communications Advisory Board president.
Affordable and relevant, a great metropolitan university is critical to the infrastructure of a vibrant city. It also requires a strong alumni association that’s engaged in civic and business leadership throughout the Capital City. UA Little Rock boasts both – with a shared vision for the future. As UA Little Rock celebrates the success of its alumni, the university and alumni reflect on the role the institution plays in the continued economic development of Central Arkansas and the wealth of knowledge is offer current students.