Category Archives: News

Walton Career Services Introduces Tech Month and New Programming

Walton Career Services will close the spring semester with a wide variety of speakers and professional development opportunities as students prepare for their summer internships and full-time roles.

Students of any major will have the opportunity to participate in the events listed below and in various Tech Month activities that celebrate the role technology is playing in changing the workforce.

Walton Career Services will also introduce the new S.A.M. Talk speaker series. S.A.M. Talks – Students Achieving Milestones – is meant to inspire and foster an environment of continuous learning and growth through short, influential talks by either professionals or fellow students that empower students and motivate them to achieve more during their college experiences.

Walton Career Services will host the following events in April:

  • B. Hunt – Company of the Day: April 2, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • B. Hunt Tech Talk: April 2, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
  • PepsiCo Distinguished Lecture: April 4, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
  • Introduction to Retail Link – Beginner Level: April 6, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Buckle – Company of the Day: April 9, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 
  • S.A.M. Talk with Anupam Strivastava: “Birding and the future of work.”: April 9, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
  • Business, Tech and Creative Careers in the Arts & Entertainment Industries Panel: April 9, 3:30 – 4:45 p.m. 
  • Business, Tech and Creative Careers in the Arts & Entertainment Industries Panel Post Reception: April 9, 4:45 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Academy Sports + Outdoors Corporate Spotlight: April 10, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 
  • UA Employer Partners BBQ: April 11, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Retail Link Advanced: April 13, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Escape Room: G.R.I.T. Challenge with Schmieding Product: April 15, 9:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
  • Abbott – Company of the Day: April 16, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • S.A.M. Talk with Buster Arnwine, VP of Global Health at RB: “Going off Script: Building the plan to differentiate yourself from peers and get the career of your dreams.”: April 17, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
  • Are You Ready? Pop-Up Shop: Every Tuesday, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

For more details and to register for events, use Handshake at to see the complete list and newly added events.


ROAR Across Campus

In the fall of 2017, Anne Velliquette, a marketing clinical assistant professor at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, watched her son view a series of online videos about alcohol and substance abuse, a requirement for all incoming freshmen. She questioned what he retained and how seriously he viewed the content.

Anne Velliquette, faculty adviser
Anne Velliquette, faculty adviser

“I wondered whether it was at all effective in educating our freshmen on the reality of what they were about to embark on as a college student with new freedoms and plenty of opportunities to consume alcohol in an unhealthy way,” Velliquette said. 

Ironically, soon after, she was contacted by Sarah Stokowski, a recreation and sport management assistant professor in the College of Education and Health Professions, who was seeking assistance from a marketing professor for a collaborative grant application regarding alcohol abuse prevention on campus.

 The timing was perfect.

In collaboration with several university departments and programs, Stokowski submitted a successful grant application and the University of Arkansas was awarded the NCAA CHOICES grant for $30,000 over a three-year period. The grant provides funding to reduce alcohol abuse on campus through a partnership with athletics and other campus groups.

The grant led to the development of ROAR –Razorbacks Offering Accountability Resources – a new registered student organization on campus open to all students at the university. Its mission is to encourage students to drink responsibly and to look after others who may be drinking.

Ridge Stringer serves as co-president for ROAR.
Ridge Stringer serves as co-president for ROAR.

Of the 15 universities receiving CHOICES funding, the University of Arkansas program is unique. Instead of driving the program through athletics, administrators, professors or student affairs – a restrictive delivery – the ROAR program encourages healthy behavior through peer-to-peer interaction.

“We feel like if we approach from a student-led side, with the goal of having fun and prioritizing SAFE drinking, NOT abstinence, it will give us a great shot of being successful,” said Ridge Stringer, ROAR co-president and senior majoring in marketing at Walton College.

ROAR educates students about alcohol use in fun, approachable ways. In February 2019, ROAR arranged a tour of the Black Apple Cidery in Springdale to learn about how cider is made and learn about safe consumption.

Red Solo cups (trash cans painted red) help draw attention to ROAR's Got Water? campaign on campus.
Red Solo cups (trash cans painted red) help draw attention to ROAR’s Got Water? campaign on campus.

“Another project is our Got Water? campaign,” Stringer said. “This campaign allows us to use those big red Solo cups (trash cans painted red) to put water in, and have those at various events on campus to make sure students stay hydrated. This campaign is organized and ready to go. We plan on using it at events like IFC Row Week, Razorback baseball games in the Hog Pen, and at the student entry before football games.”

Stringer hopes that students will be receptive to free bottles of water and will incorporate water into their party plans. With this in mind, ROAR has partnered with the risk management chairpersons at fraternities and sororities.

“We plan on those RMCs being ROAR ambassadors in their respective houses, in order to spread the word on ROAR, and push our initiatives to them,” Stringer added.

In its inaugural year, ROAR has 80 members who have implemented numerous projects and has collaborated with several campus-wide organizations.  One such collaboration is with Emery Gower, a wellness specialist for substance use who works in the Department of Wellness and Health Promotion at the university.

 Gower teaches students on campus wellness skills to counteract drug and alcohol abuse, overeating, poor spending habits, negative relationships or other risky behaviors.

“My goal is to shift from an often preachy way of talking to students and what they are doing wrong to one that is more driven by what they are doing right and how they can do more of that,” Gower said. “ROAR fits with these goals because they are inspiring a group of students to help normalize the fact that you can drink responsibly and still have a good time.”

ROAR also partners with University of Arkansas Police Department, Greek Life, College of Education and Health Professions, University Housing, Counseling and Psychological Services, Department of Athletics and Walton College.

Working with campus-wide partners, ROAR has four main goals.

  1. Develop and deliver bystander intervention training.
  2. Create and disseminate marketing materials to educate students about alcohol use and abuse.
  3. Create awareness about resources available to students regarding alcohol education and abuse prevention.  
  4. Decrease risky behavior involving alcohol.

The program targets all students at the university, but especially freshmen, student-athletes and members of Greek life. One way ROAR tries to educate students is through social media campaigns.

ROAR created awareness and recruited new members by participating in Walton College's Block Party in August.
ROAR created awareness and recruited new members by participating in Walton College’s Block Party in August.

“There’s approximately 27,000 students at the U of A, and it’s hard for a brand new RSO to establish great awareness fast. This is why we participate in almost every outreach event we can, including creating our own,” Stringer said. “Social media is big for us. We recently had a social media giveaway where prizes included Uber gift cards and other cool stuff. That alone netted us nearly 400 more followers, and over 1,500 comments on the post.”

Working with University Housing, resident advisers in all dorms will receive bystander training, as will fraternity and sorority leaders, ROAR officers and other ambassadors. In fall 2018, ROAR held workshops during Freshman Business Connections classes, which are required of all freshman enrolled in Walton College. ROAR won the SOOIE Event of the Month Award for their involvement in these workshops.

“One of our student officers shared his own freshman testimony/story about his poor choices with alcohol and how this impacted him,” Velliquette said. “He had such a powerful impact being a senior in a fraternity – someone younger students could relate to.”

The group has also participated in Walton College’s Block Party event, held the first week of fall classes, to create awareness and recruit new members. In addition, they’ve hosted T-shirt giveaways in front of the Arkansas Union and held meet-ups at local stores such as Bearded Goat Apparel.

Academic Focus
While ROAR focuses on peer behavior, Stokowski has utilized the grant for research opportunities.

Sara Stokowski, faculty adviser
Sara Stokowski, faculty adviser

“Countless studies have demonstrated that student-athletes, first year students and students involved in Greek life are at risk of alcohol abuse. Combined, these populations make up 40 percent of our campus. The CHOICES grant has allowed us to begin several studies looking at the campus culture regarding alcohol,” Stokowski said. “We have several surveys out right now inquiring about students’ drinking behaviors, attitudes towards drinking, as well as mental health. So, when all of the data is finally collected, it will be very cool to see the impact ROAR has had. We do know that alcohol related educational sanctions are down nearly 20 percent from last year to this year when we started ROAR.”

Just as Stokowski’s research relates to the ROAR grant, Velliquette pulls it into the classroom.

“We jointly discussed how we could use my classes to help come up with the name, logo and event ideas.  We also discussed the idea of a peer-to-peer program with a registered student organization,” Velliquette said. “Starting ROAR the RSO has been much like starting a new business and it has been amazing to watch the students running it learn and grow!” 

“It is so encouraging to see so many students want to be involved in efforts to help their peers understand the negative consequences of alcohol abuse, and the importance of having a life-long healthy relationship with alcohol,” Velliquette said. “I hope ROAR can help change the alcohol culture on campus and impact lives. I know it is a tall order, but even if it makes a dent in reducing alcohol abuse it is worth it.”

Lofton Receives National Public Service Award

The American Association of Blacks in Higher Education presented Barbara Lofton, director of Office of Diversity & Inclusion at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, with the AABHE Exemplary Public Service Award on Monday, March 25, for her work to improve the lives of African Americans. Lofton received the award in Indianapolis at the AABHE’s annual national conference.

“I am so proud of Barbara and the work she does for Walton College and for higher education throughout the SEC,” said Matt Waller, dean for the Walton College. “She works tirelessly on behalf of the University of Arkansas to recruit and retain students here on campus through a variety of programs, scholarships and activities. She is a true gem.”

The public service award recognizes recipients for their work to develop and implement community, political or business programs to encourage black Americans in those sectors. In addition, the award reflects the honoree’s commitment to the AABHE and its mission.

Barbara A. Lofton, Ph.D., is the director of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at the Sam M. Walton College of Business.
Barbara A. Lofton, Ph.D., is the director of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

Lofton served as past president of the AABHE from 2011 to 2013, served on its executive board from 2006 to 2106 and was a founding member of AABHE when it was formed in 2006.  As president, she increased the organization’s membership, built partnerships with outside organizations and added a service component to its annual conference. The service projects raised funds to provide books, technology or food for underserved communities. Lofton also raised $200,000 through sponsorships for the national conference.

In addition to her executive duties with AABHE, Lofton was co-author of the book Priorities of the Professoriate: Engaging Multiple Forms of Scholarship across Rural and Urban Institutions. She was co-editor for the National Journal of Urban Education & Practice, a journal for the AABHE in 2012.

At Walton College, Lofton oversees diversity programs and scholarships. As part of her position, she manages programs to recruit and retain minority students including summer camps and business competitions. Additionally, Lofton teaches classes in the Walton College and serves as a consultant to several Southeastern Conference business schools to establish and support their diversity programs.  

“I learned that leadership is not about you, but the people you serve,” Lofton said. “My reward comes when you have the opportunity to see the benefits of your work for those you serve and for yourself.”

Information Technology Research Institute to Recognize 26 High School Women for Computing Achievements and Aspirations

To encourage young women to choose technology careers, the National Center for Women & Information Technology and the Information Technology Research Institute at the University of Arkansas will recognize 26 high-school women from Arkansas for their accomplishments, aspirations and interest in computing and technology at the 9th Aspirations in Computing Award dinner on Tuesday, April 9, as part of the 2019 Women in Information Technology Conference held on campus.

“This is a great program that encourages young talented women to purse a career in the field of technology, a field that is under represented by females and minorities,” said Eric T. Bradford, managing director of the Information Technology Research Institute.

The Aspirations in Computing is a program of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, a coalition of over 650 universities, corporations and organizations dedicated to increasing the meaningful participation of women in computing. The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing was created to acknowledge the computing aspirations of young women, introduce them to leadership opportunities in the field, and generate visibility for women’s participation in computing-related pursuits. 

Award-winners have been selected for their outstanding aptitude and interest in computing and desire to pursue computing-related studies of occupations. The NCWIT Aspirations in Computing program is supported by lifetime sponsor Apple and national sponsors AT&T, Bank of America, Bloomberg, Google, HP Enterprise, Intel, Qualcomm and Microsoft with additional support from Motorola Solutions Foundation, Northrop Grumman and Symantec.

This years’ recipients from Arkansas are:

National Honorable Mentions & Arkansas Affiliate Winners

  • Natalie Friede – The New School 
  • Indu Sen – Springdale High School 

Arkansas Affiliate Winners

  • Alejandra Barroso – Springdale High School 
  • Jasmine Black – Springdale High School 
  • Alejandra Gallegos – Springdale High School 
  • Abbie Johnson – Bryant High School 
  • Zoie Keys – Lake Hamilton High School 
  • Cassidy Khounborine – Springdale High School 
  • Drue Krauss – Pocahotas High School 
  • Arthi Krishna – Bentonville High School 
  • Christine Muoghalu – Lake Hamilton High School 
  • Tina Nguyen – Springdale High School 
  • Haley O’Donnell – Riverview High School 
  • Alice Olivares – Springdale High School 
  • Faith Pearrow – Bentonville High School 
  • Alekhya Pidugu – Central High School (Little Rock, AR) 
  • Samantha Quintero – Springdale High School 
  • Hetvi Shah – Central High School (Little Rock, AR) 

Arkansas Affiliate Honorable Mentions

  • Madison Betz – Bryant High School 
  • Jenna Drake – Southside High School 
  • Brianna Lewis – Bryant High School 
  • Sarah Overcast – Arkansas School for Mathematics, Science, and the Arts 
  • Brooke Riley – Cabot High School 
  • Adrienne Robinson – Conway High West 
  • Samantha Smiley – West Fork High School 
  • Kaylie Tipton – Arkansas High School  

Arkansas Affiliate Educator Awards

  • Karma Turner – Lake Hamilton High School — Winner 
  • Kayla Britton – Cabot High School — Honorable Mention