Customer Service Workshop Set for Aug. 7

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) regional office at Arkansas Tech University and the ATU Office of Human Resources will present a customer service workshop from 1-3 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7, in Rothwell Hall room 138.

Attendees will learn about the relationship between excellent service, positive customer experience and repeat business.

Personnel from the Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce will share tips for making a positive first impression, fine-tuning customer service skills, handling unhappy customers and creating a positive customer service environment.

There is no cost to attend, but advance registration is required by no later than Aug. 6 at (479) 356-2067 or http://asbtdc.org/training/russellville-events.

Celebrate Jerry’s Fifth Birthday July 17

Members of the Arkansas Tech University community and their families as well as alumni and friends are invited to attend a come-and-go birthday reception for Jerry the Bulldog, campus ambassador, on Tuesday, July 17.

The reception will take place from 3-4 p.m. in Doc Bryan Student Services Center room 242 at 1605 Coliseum Drive in Russellville. Guests are asked to make their presence be their present to Jerry, who is turning five years old. Refreshments will be served.

The Arkansas Tech Student Government Association restored a tradition that had been lost for 76 years on Oct. 23, 2013, when it cast a unanimous vote to install Jerry as campus ambassador.

The first modern Jerry, whose full name is Jerry Charles Young I, was born on July 17, 2013. He is an English bulldog. He was introduced during a Homecoming Saturday ceremony in front of Williamson Hall on Oct. 26, 2013, which was the 103rd anniversary of the first day of classes at Arkansas Tech.

The original Jerry was a daily part of life at Arkansas Tech in the mid-1930s.

He was owned by William O. Young, who oversaw the business affairs of Arkansas Tech as secretary and bursar from 1917-42 and acted as interim president of the college from 1923-25; and his son, Robert A. Young Sr., who grew up to serve as purchasing agent, business manager, vice president for business affairs and vice president for administration and finance at Arkansas Tech from 1941-84 as well as interim president in 1972. Dr. Robert A. Young Jr. has continued his family’s Tech tradition by serving as president of the Arkansas Tech Foundation and as a loyal supporter of Tech athletics.

The original Jerry spent much of his time on campus at the armory (later known as the Stroupe Building) with National Guard Battery F. The students and guardsmen there adopted Jerry as one of their own.

An article from the Feb. 26, 1936, issue of the Arka Tech student newspaper stated that Jerry was “always present at anything of importance at the armory,” which was a social center of campus at that time and the site of Arkansas Tech home basketball games.

When the original Jerry passed away in late 1937, the headline in the Arka Tech proclaimed “Campus Loses Mascot in Passing of Jerry.”

Today, Jerry attends a variety of campus events and alumni gatherings as well as Wonder Boys and Golden Suns athletic competitions. In keeping with the original Jerry’s connection to the armed services, Jerry is escorted to many of his official functions by students from the Arkansas Tech U.S. Army ROTC program.

Visit www.atu.edu/jerry to learn more about Jerry the Bulldog.

Summer Training With ASBTDC at ATU

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center regional office at Arkansas Tech University has announced three training opportunities during July and August 2018.

The ATU ASBTDC regional office is designed to assist new, existing, and expanding businesses by offering a variety of services including free one-to-one confidential consulting, free market research and low cost or free training.

For more information go to www.atu.edu/asbtdc or call (479) 356-2067.

QuickBooks Desktop • Tuesday, July 24
The ASBTDC regional office at Arkansas Tech University presents “QuickBooks Desktop” on Tuesday, July 24, from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at ATU in Russellville. This interactive workshop is designed for business owners and their employees with little or no experience using QuickBooks desktop software (Pro, Premier, and Enterprise). Topics include company set up, transactions, working with lists, reconciling accounts, invoices, payments, bills, inventory, reports, and more. A computer and take-home workbook is provided. Cost to attend is $130. Seating is limited with registration required no later than July 23 at (479) 356-2067 or http://asbtdc.org/training/russellville-events.

Arkansas Notary Workshop • Tuesday, Aug. 7
The ASBTDC regional office at Arkansas Tech University presents “Arkansas Notary Workshop” on Tuesday, Aug. 7, from 9-11 a.m. at ATU in Russellville. Notaries verify signatures on legal and business documents to deter fraud and ensure the proper execution of these documents. The Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office will walk participants through the application process and discuss best practices and issues facing notaries today. All current and prospective notaries public are encouraged to attend. Although there is no fee to attend, registration is required no later than Aug. 6 at (479) 356-2067 or http://asbtdc.org/training/russellville-events.

Customer Service • Tuesday, Aug. 7
The ASBTDC regional office at Arkansas Tech University presents “Customer Service” from 1-3 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7, at ATU in Russellville. Excellent service is imperative for a positive customer experience and repeat business. Join us as the Russellville Chamber of Commerce shares tips for making a positive first impression, fine-tuning customer service skills, handling unhappy customers, and creating a positive customer service environment. Although there is no cost to attend, registration is required no later than Aug. 6 at (479) 356-2067 or http://asbtdc.org/training/russellville-events.

Free webinars for small businesses are now offered on a wide range of topics. The live sessions are led by ASBTDC staff and subject matter experts. Go to asbtdc.org/training/webinars for a list of seminars and registration information.

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center regional office at Arkansas Tech is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration through a partnership with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the Arkansas Tech University College of Business.

All ASBTDC programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities and individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP) will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact Ronda Hawkins at (479) 356-2067.

Confidence Built, Goals Set in Upward Bound

This Fred Lewis — the one able to meet a stranger and immediately begin talking about his experiences in Upward Bound at Arkansas Tech University — is not the same Fred Lewis who entered the program less than three years ago.

“It’s helped me open up more,” said Lewis, who will be a senior at Western Yell County High School in fall 2018. “I used to stay in my room and not talk to people, and at school I would only stay in my close friend group. That’s how I was before I started (Upward Bound) in ninth grade. Here, everybody is new. Nobody knows anybody except for the people from your school. I’ve grown as a person, opened my mind to more people and been able to express myself to more people. I have a better understanding of the world. Even if we’re different, we can still be friends.”

Upward Bound has provided Lewis with the confidence necessary to pursue his passion in computer programming.

“We had a programming option at school and I was afraid to take it because I’d always heard it was harder than any other class,” said Lewis. “But Upward Bound teaches us to test our limits and put our best foot forward, so I took it this past year. If I didn’t have Upward Bound, I probably wouldn’t have taken the class. I used to just take classes my buddies were taking. Now, I’m like, they can take that, I don’t want to do that. I want to do me.”

Lewis is one of 120 Upward Bound students from high schools in Johnson, Pope and Yell counties who are living at ATU this summer, attending classes and participating in co-curricular activities, all of which is designed to prepare them for life as a college student.

“I had friends who were a year older than me, and they were in Upward Bound,” said Shelby Brown of Hector, who will be a high school senior in 2018-19. “They kept telling me that I would enjoy it and that I should try to get in the first year that I could, which was ninth grade. I got in, and it was great. I got a lot of friends out of it because we all had the same interests. We all go to small schools, so coming to Upward Bound I got to see there are people who have the same sense of humor and are kind of like me.”

Upward Bound is a federally-funded program that serves high school students with identified class, social and cultural barriers to higher education as defined by TRIO, a federal initiative created in 1965.

Students selected for the program must meet income guidelines as set by the federal government and/or be a potential first-generation college student.

“In summer program you are with students from every school,” said Brown, who is interested in studying elementary education and psychology in college. “We’re literally living together, so you’re always together and making new friendships and connections. It’s like a team. It’s cool that I have this experience. I will have a lot more under my belt than most kids my age and hopefully be able to help some of my friends prepare for college.”

The Upward Bound classic program at ATU serves students from the public high schools in Atkins, Dover, Hector, Lamar and Pottsville. ATU’s Upward Bound math and science program is for public high school students from Danville, Dardanelle, Two Rivers and Western Yell County.

Jill Hendricks is the director of Upward Bound programs at Arkansas Tech. Shawna Davis and Annie McNeely serve in the role of target school liaison. Chrissy Vang is the unit’s administrative assistant.

Jessica Taylor of Pottsville became involved with Upward Bound during her 10th grade year. She is preparing to begin her freshman year at ATU this fall.

“I was forced to make friends because my group of friends didn’t come with me,” said Taylor. “I think that was good. I’m a very quiet person, but I think this will help me in college because I know how to talk to people more and how to get to know them. I’m quirky, but it’s okay. We all have our quirks. Upward Bound is really good about letting us all be individuals and embrace our individuality.

“I definitely love the summer program because we get to live on campus and get the college experience,” continued Taylor. “This summer I’m taking college classes, and I’m figuring out how to study best, take my quizzes and pace myself. I’m really enjoying it. It’s very diverse, and I think that’s very good. It’s good to learn about other people.”

Zariya Williams of Dardanelle will also be a freshman at ATU in fall 2018. She plans on majoring in political science.

“From the little things like knowing how to read the schedule to knowing when to register for classes to knowing more about the Tech campus, I pretty much learned it all in Upward Bound,” said Williams. “I socialize a lot more than I used to. I’d be so scared coming this fall if I didn’t know anything about Tech. I’ve been able to network and meet a lot of different people. I knew that coming to Tech, I wouldn’t have just my regular Dardanelle friends. Now, I know some of the professors, I know where my classes will be and I know how to get around. I know how it works.”

Knowledge yields confidence. Confidence yields the power to dream big.

Brown wants to travel and see a world beyond Arkansas. Williams wants to go to law school and open her own practice. The entrepreneurship thread also runs through the stories of Lewis, who would like to own a computer repair and training business, and Taylor, who wants to share her love of art with others.

“I’ve always wanted to go to college and then own an art business,” said Taylor. “It was just an idea, though. I was going to go to (college), and hopefully I would get it paid for, but I didn’t know how. It was ‘maybe the scholarships will just fall into place.’ And then, through Upward Bound, every month they would ask what scholarships I applied for this month. It was like, oh, I actually have to apply for those. I applied for a lot of scholarships, and now I have my college paid for. It’s so comforting to know that I can do this, and the study skills and test taking skills I have learned in Upward Bound are really going to help me. Before, college was scary. Now, I know I can do this.”

Mudrinich Takes Top Prize in Art Exhibit

David Mudrinich, professor of art at Arkansas Tech University, won first prize in the 2018 RAM Annual Invitational exhibit hosted by the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum.

Mudrinich captured $3,000 and the right to present a solo exhibit at the museum in 2019 with his pastel drawing entitled “Apple Tree.” His winning entry will remain on display through Sept. 2 at the museum, which is located at 1601 Rogers Ave. in Fort Smith.

The national competitive art exhibition in Fort Smith dates back to 1948. It returned for its 70th anniversary following a one-year hiatus in 2017.

Mudrinich holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia. He has been a member of the ATU faculty since 1998 and has been honored with the ATU Faculty Award of Excellence in the scholarship category (2005) and the teaching category (2012).

Learn more about the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum.

Learn more about the ATU Department of Art.