U of A Shines at National Conference Focusing on Student Success
U of A Global Campus staff members will receive a marketing award Thursday for the Razorbug Diploma Tour celebrating graduates of online degree programs. Clockwise, from top left, videographers capture footage of the Razorbug in front of a mural in downtown Camden; graduate Keri Reynolds shows her framed diploma to family members; and graduate Jose Gonzalez works in one of his study spots at home.
The U of A will bring home a national award again this year from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association, and eight U of A staff members will showcase their expertise in presentations at the association's annual conference in Portland, Oregon.
UPCEA convenes its annual Marketing, Enrollment Management, and Student Success Conference each fall at a different location around the country. This year's conference is Nov. 29-Dec. 1. UPCEA staff approved presentation proposals by staff of the Global Campus and the Graduate School and International Education.
The Global Campus Marketing and Communications Team will accept a silver Excellence in Marketing award for the second year in a row. This year, Kay Murphy, director; Heidi Wells, content strategist; and Leonard Ridley, manager of web design services, were also picked to give a presentation on the award-winning Razorbug Diploma Tour with their proposal, "The Razorbug: Hitting High Gear in Content Strategy."
The Global Campus team won for its campaign using the Razorbug car to celebrate graduates of online degree programs in parts of Arkansas far from Fayetteville and to collect their stories to inspire others to see the possibilities of online education.
Last year, the Marketing and Communications Team received the silver marketing award for its campaign to promote the federally funded Reimagine Arkansas Workforce Project that provided free online job training to Arkansans affected by COVID-19. The team collaborated with the Professional and Workforce Development Team at the Global Campus, which secured the grant with several partners, to develop and implement the campaign.
"I am proud that Global Campus staff members play such an active part in this annual conference," said Cheryl Murphy, vice provost of distance education. "They share the benefit of their experiences at Global Campus, and they bring home practical information they can use to help us better serve University of Arkansas students. They share the information with other staff and faculty at the U of A. We are also pleased to be attending the conference this year with our colleagues from the Graduate School and International Education. GSIE is instrumental in ensuring success of many students in online graduate degree programs."
Two staff members in the Graduate School and International Education — Umer Rahman, associate director of graduate student support, and John Post, director of communications and marketing — will give a presentation titled, "A Collaborative Marketing Approach to Graduate Student Success." The two will discuss best practices related to the role centralized marketing and communications play in graduate student success and how to create student-centered communications that drive student engagement and affinity.
Other U of A presenters:
- Colleen Whitman, online student support manager, Global Campus, "Personnel Operational Effectiveness at Global Campus."
- Noel Sharif, data analyst, Global Campus, "Show Me the Numbers: A Crash Course in PowerBI Dashboards."
- Patty Milner, assistant vice provost for student outreach and innovation, Global Campus, "Leveraging Our Strengths: The Journey of Building (and Maintaining) Online Student Services in Traditional, Residential Universities," with Carmin Chan of the University of Arizona and Marleigh Perez of Oregan State University Ecampus.
The U of A's history with UPCEA dates back nearly a decade to when UPCEA appointed Javier Reyes, former vice provost for distance education, to an unexpired board on the association's board of directors in 2014.
The Global Campus also won another national award from UPCEA recently when Milner accepted the Excellence in Enrollment Management Award in 2020. Milner attributed the enrollment success to a strong, strategic collaboration between the Global Campus recruitment and marketing teams. Undergraduate applications for online degree programs grew by 154%, an increase of 1,213 applications, between fall 2019 and fall 2020.
More than a dozen U of A employees will attend the conference this year, and Milner is serving as co-chair of the conference.
The U of A offers more than 90 online degree, certificate, microcertificate and licensure programs. They can be viewed at U of A ONLINE. The Global Campus, which is located on the downtown Fayetteville square, supports U of A colleges and schools in the development and delivery of online, distance and workforce education programs and courses. It provides instructional design services, technology services and assistance with marketing, recruiting and strategic academic development.
Kati Rod, a double major in international business management and agricultural business, was able to experience a study abroad opportunity at the U of A's Rome Center that gave her a new perspective on history.
Jensen is an associate professor of biomedical engineering at the U of A who specializes in medical devices and experimental cardiovascular surgery.
Dave Pratt, an authority on sustainable agriculture and profitable ranching, will give a presentation on "Three Secrets For Increasing Profit: Economy vs. Finance" at 3:30 p.m. March 14.
Originally from St. Petersburg, Florida, Nair came to the U of A to study Arabic, Middle East Studies and Asian Studies.
The Division of Research and Innovation is hosting an annual workshop for untenured faculty who are considering early career grant proposals.