ATU Nationally Recognized for Growth

Arkansas Tech University has been named one of the 10 fastest-growing institutions in its category in the United States for a fifth consecutive year.

The 2017 Almanac of Higher Education, which was published by The Chronicle of Higher Education, lists Arkansas Tech as the ninth fastest-growing public, master degree-granting university in the country.

Arkansas Tech achieved the distinction with 76.2 percent growth in enrollment during the 10-year span (2005-15) utilized for the listing.

The 108th session of Arkansas Tech will begin with the opening of classes for the fall 2017 semester on Wednesday, Aug. 23.

Freshmen Experience Leadership Program

Thirty-six incoming students at Arkansas Tech University jump started their campus involvement by participating in the 2017 Freshman Leadership Experience.

The four-day program engaged new students with current campus leaders, university staff and other leadership experts during activities and events at Petit Jean State Park and on the ATU campus in Russellville.

The participants in the 2016 ATU Freshman Leadership Experience were:

  • Abigail Altom
  • Hudson Anderson
  • William Barrientos
  • Jessica Buenrostro
  • Andrew Button
  • Madison Charles
  • Savannah Clifton
  • Brook Custer
  • Emily Diedrich
  • Hope Emerson
  • Lillian Hall
  • Kathryn Hamilton
  • Amanda Hampton
  • Ben Holland
  • Weston James
  • Abby Johnson
  • Austin Johnson
  • Jaylin Lawrence
  • Hannah Lee
  • Raya Lemons
  • Colton Little
  • Jacob Loomis
  • Ashley Mateos
  • Dylan Norman
  • Katie Pacheco
  • Summer Pauley
  • Jafett Puga
  • Joel Reyes
  • Rachel Riggs
  • Allie Roach
  • Savana Shaw
  • Alex Smith
  • Jacob Snell
  • Peyton Tarno
  • Hunter Thompson
  • Wyatt Weber

Learn more about Freshman Leadership Experience.

2017 Freshman Leadership Experience

Brown Commissioned as Second Lieutenant

Austin Brown, a summer 2017 graduate of Arkansas Tech University, was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army during a ceremony at Lake Point Conference Center on Friday, Aug. 18.

Brown graduated Magna Cum Laude from ATU and earned the Distinguished Military Graduate distinction, an honor reserved for the top 20 percent of U.S. Army ROTC program graduates.

His leadership responsibilities in the ATU U.S. Army ROTC program included leading the Ranger Challenge team and a Heroes Ruck team, serving as cadet company commander and fulfilling the role of cadet in charge for escorting Jerry the Bulldog, campus ambassador, at a variety of university events.

A native of Heber Springs, Brown will begin his active duty military career serving in medical services in Alaska.

Learn more about the U.S. Army ROTC program at Arkansas Tech.

Photographed: Capt. Matthew Sweeney of the ATU U.S. Army ROTC program (left), commissioning officer Austin Brown and Jerry the Bulldog. 

New Business Dean Takes Office at ATU

Dr. Lisa Toms understands there are multiple paths to student success.

A first-generation college student, Toms did not begin college until she was already married with two children.

Buoyed by support from her older sister Kelly, the same person who taught her how to read before she started elementary school, Toms persevered and completed her undergraduate degree in three years.

Now Toms’ grit and determination have garnered her an opportunity to serve as dean of the Arkansas Tech University College of Business. She is beginning her first academic year in that role this month.

Toms’ path to the dean’s chair in Russellville began at her alma mater, Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, when she taught a summer course as an adjunct instructor.

“The first semester I did that, I knew that was what I wanted to do,” said Toms. “So as I began that journey, I realized that others had been affected by higher education in the same way as me. I often remind my faculty colleagues that not everybody gets to go to work every day and change lives. That’s it. That’s my motivation.”

Toms holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from SAU and Master of Business Administration and Doctor of Business Administration degrees from Louisiana Tech University.

She worked at SAU from 1991-2017, serving in the roles of internal auditor, director of institutional research, faculty member and dean of the Rankin College of Business. While at SAU, she received faculty awards for teaching and research.

“I’ve admired Arkansas Tech from afar,” said Toms, who holds the faculty rank professor of marketing at ATU. “It was still in the state, and it was appealing to me that I already knew the higher education environment in Arkansas. It just seemed like a good fit.”

In addition to her experience in higher education, Toms has also sold insurance and mutual funds, and she has worked in bank marketing.

The sum of her professional experiences has yielded a firm belief in the power of distributive leadership.

“I very seldom tell anyone to do anything,” said Toms. “I’ve learned that by asking questions, someone might come back with a better idea than mine. You go into being a dean for the first time…you don’t know what you don’t know. Not very long into my time as dean at SAU, within the first year, we formed committees that I truly intended for the members to carry out the role of that committee. I believe if you ask someone to do something, you let them do their job. Invariably, if I had an idea I would mention it to them, and they would either take that idea, run with it and make it better, or they’d say what if we tried this. It very soon dawned on me that there were other ideas better than mine. It is a benefit to everyone, particularly the students, if you work together on something instead of against each other.”

Welcome Week at Arkansas Tech

The Arkansas Tech Class of 2021 is on campus and taking part in several activities to connect to campus.

Access the complete Welcome Week schedule.

Individuals are encouraged to check back for updated Welcome Week photos and video.

Be sure to follow #atuwelcome on social media for complete Welcome Week coverage.

2017 Welcome Week: Involvement Fair | 8/21/17

Total Solar Eclipse Watch Party | 8/21/17

2017 Welcome Week: Transfer Student Welcome | 8/21/17

2017 Welcome Week: Academic Welcome | 8/21/17

2017 Welcome Week: Hypnotist | 8/19/17

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2017 Welcome Week: Returning Students Move-In & Tech the Day Away | 8/20/17

2017 Welcome Week: Playfair/4th Meal | 8/19/17

2017 Welcome Week: Freshmen Move-In | 8/19/17