Archives for July 2016

Hands on Healthcare Highlights Career Paths

A group of high school students from across the region were welcomed to the Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus on July 26 for a full day of hands-on learning about career paths in the health industry at an event called Hands on Healthcare.

The event was organized by Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus and UAMS West. It was held at the Arkansas Tech-Ozark Health Sciences and Wellness Building.

“The event is designed to give high school students hands-on experience in the health field,” Monique Bracken, Pre-Health Recruiter for UAMS West, said. “It helps give them an idea of what they want to do when they get out of high school and what their options are in the health field.”

Bracken is an alumni of Arkansas Tech University and said seeking out Arkansas Tech-Ozark as the event partner was an easy choice.

“I like doing things with ATU and the programs they offer at Ozark, like physical therapy and occupational therapy, are some of the only ones offered in the area,” Bracken said.

Josh Freeman, Paramedic/EMS Program Director at Arkansas Tech-Ozark, said the event gives students an up-close look into a day of classes for a student in the healthcare industry.

“They get to see the program from the inside,” Freeman said. “They see what it is like to attend ATU-Ozark for a day.”

Students learned about nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical assisting, cardiovascular technology and paramedic/emergency medical services.

Each student was able to try a variety of activities including wrapping an ankle, how to use basic airway devices and practicing putting IVs into simulator arms. Students also learned CPR and they were able to practice tracheal intubation on a mannequin.

Freeman said one of the most valuable components of the program was the interaction between the high school students and Arkansas Tech-Ozark Paramedic students.

“The paramedic portion of the event was led by current ATU-Ozark Paramedic students,” Freeman said. “The high school students got to learn from them and talk to them about the program.”

Both Bracken and Freeman hope to have the event again next year.

Ozark Campus: Hands on Health  | 7/26/16

STEM Institute Hosts Trainings

Arkansas Tech University has been welcoming numerous area  teachers over the summer as part of Project Lead the Way training.

Hosted by the Arkansas Tech Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Institute, the non-profit program is designed to increase the number of engineering and technology graduates in the United States.

Teachers taking part in the Arkansas Tech training are able to learn more about how to implement the content in their classroom, participate in the activities the students will be asked to complete and have opportunities to network with other teachers.

The STEM Institute is offering several training workshops throughout the summer.

Learn more about the Arkansas Tech STEM Institute.

Professional Development Gives Teachers Industry Insight

Most teachers are no stranger to the world of professional development, but this summer, one group had a less typical experience. Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus partnered with the Guy Fenter Education Service Cooperative to create a professional development program that brought teachers directly to industry professionals to find out what skills were needed to employ their students.

The teacher tour on July 20 featured two local businesses – the Baldor Electric Company Ozark and the Bank of the Ozarks.

“The goal of the day was to get high school teachers more exposed to local industry,” Justin Smith, Chief Business/Community Outreach Officer – Ozark Campus, said.  “Teachers had the opportunity to talk to industry leaders and tour local industries so they could get an idea of skill gaps and jobs opportunities available in the region for future graduates.”

Smith said the program also offered the chance to make industry connections the teachers could bring back to their classrooms.

“Both companies mentioned that students have opportunities in the area,” Smith said. “Students can also work their way up and travel. There is tremendous opportunity with local companies who have facilities all around the world. Should students want to stay in the region or travel, these opportunities can be found right here with these companies and ATU-Ozark already works with these companies to assist with our academic programs.”

The program included a presentation at Baldor where employees spoke about their own career paths.

“The part that resonated the most with me was the personal stories,” Cheryl Ziegler, Teacher Center Coordinator for the Guy Fenter Education Service Cooperative, said. “Many of the employees took untraditional paths. They started working right out of high school and finished college later. Some of them struggled with not knowing whether or not to go to college right away.”

Ziegler said she sees that same struggle in high school students.

“Many high school students are just kind of feeling their way through the dark trying to figure out what they want to be. This kind of training enables us to be a flashlight to show them their options and then teach them how to gain the skills they need to do these jobs.”

One participant, Ozark High School Principal Jordan Price, said he found the tours to be very helpful.

“It was really encouraging for someone in my position,” Price said. “I was familiar with Baldor because my dad worked there my whole life, but I was not familiar with the specifics of the programs offered. Baldor can begin paying for college for their employees right away. There is no waiting period. ATU-Ozark offers educational programs for both of the industries we visited. Students can be competitive with their course work at ATU-Ozark and get these jobs. I don’t think many of my students are aware of the opportunities.”

Price said he hopes to see more types of professional development like this.

“Just getting information and having it repeated to you is typical in a professional development setting,” he said. “But having these people welcome us to their facilities, it just gave it a more personal aspect.

“I think it is really good, forward thinking with the Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus and the Guy Fenter Education Service Cooperative. My high school and others can now start the dialogue with students earlier on and let them now these opportunities exist.”

For more information about teacher tours contact Justin Smith at or Cheryl Ziegler at

Deadline Approaching for Involvement Fair

Student organizations have one week left to register to have a booth at the 2016 Fall Student Involvement fair.

The deadline to register is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 3.

The annual fair is taking place Monday, August 22, at 6 p.m. During the fair, student organizations will have the opportunity to share information about their group with new students.

The GOLD Cabinet is sponsoring the fair, and they will be awarding prizes to the booths with the most creative Arkansas Tech display.

In addition to student organizations, community agencies and area businesses will be able to attend and share information about their organization or business.

Registration is taking place on the GOLD Cabinet’s page on theLink. Register to participate.

Alumnus Speaks at National Convention

Arkansas Tech University alumnus Dustin Parsons had an opportunity to share his passion for education with the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Penn., on Tuesday night.

Speaking as part of a panel of seven advocates for children, Parsons used his remarks to spotlight advances that have been made in K-12 education in Arkansas over the past 30 years.

He commented on how those improvements benefited him as a student, and how he sees them benefiting his students in his role as a fifth grade teacher at Pine Haven Elementary School in Bauxite.

Parsons first graduated from Arkansas Tech in 2010, when he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture business. Parsons was 2009-10 Student Government Association president and winner of the Alfred J. Crabaugh Award, which is given annually to the most outstanding senior male student at Arkansas Tech.

A product of Bauxite High School, Parsons returned to Arkansas Tech to obtain a Master of Education degree in teaching, learning and leadership in 2013 and a Master of Education degree in educational leadership in 2015. He has taught in the Bauxite School District since 2011.

Parsons completed a three-year term on the Arkansas Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors in 2015 and is serving as president elect of the Arkansas Tech Alumni Board in 2016.