The longest-serving active faculty member at Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus has announced her intention to retire this year.
Debra Wofford, chair and instructor in ATU-Ozark's business technology program, has taught at the institution for 41 years.
“It has been a privilege to teach here and witness the success of my students in the classroom, in their careers and in our community," said Wofford. "Students coming by after finishing one of my classes and telling me how much that class has meant to them is also very rewarding."
Wofford holds a bachelor's degree from the University of the Ozarks and a master's degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. In total, her teaching career has spanned 43 years.
Her achievements on the ATU-Ozark faculty have included adding classes such as Introduction to Management and Economics to the business curricula; introducing mock interviews and resume reviews to help ATU-Ozark students become more career ready; and helping ATU-Ozark students rank No. 1 among all two-year colleges in the state on the Microsoft Office Specialist Certification exams in 2019.
Wofford was also integral in the development of the ATU-Ozark Campus mission statement and she has been a participant in the campus student mentor project since it was created eight years ago.
A past winner of the ATU-Ozark Campus Faculty Award of Excellence in the service category, Wofford has also earned recognition as the top postsecondary business teacher in Arkansas and the region. Phi Beta Lambda, a national organization that helps prepare students for career in business, has presented her with its national outstanding chapter advisor award.
Wofford has performed volunteer service on behalf of the Johnson County Single Parents Scholarship Foundation, campus blood drives and highway clean-ups. She holds membership in the National Business Education Association, Delta Kappa Gamma (women’s educator group) and the professional division of Phi Beta Lambda.
Daughter of Verda and Robert Bartlett of Clarksville, Wofford's husband, Robert, is professor of economics at the University of the Ozarks.
In retirement, Wofford plans to continue traveling, hiking, four-wheeling and spending time with family and friends.