Women Leaders Step Forward to Mentor ATU Students

ATU Women's Leadership Pilot Program August 2023
Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees member Stephanie Duffield of Russellville (center) was on hand to greet ATU students during the opening event for a women's mentorship pilot program at the beginning of the fall 2023 semester.

More than 30 women business leaders from around the State of Arkansas have committed to serve as mentors to female students in the Arkansas Tech University College of Business and Economic Development as part of a new pilot program.

“Your role is to inspire these young women and show them the doors that can be opened if they earn their degree, pursue internships and build relationships,” said Dr. Russell Jones, ATU acting interim president, when he addressed the mentors and expressed his appreciation for their involvement at the outset of the fall 2023 semester. “We want all of our students, and in this particular case our female students, to be retained at a higher rate and graduate at a higher rate so they can have the best jobs possible.”

Through regular in-person and virtual meetings throughout the academic year, the mentors will share their life experience with ATU students and motivate them to pursue opportunities that will benefit them academically, professionally and personally.

Dr. Kathy Loyd of the Loyd Foundation is the visionary and lead benefactor for the women’s mentorship program. The Loyd Foundation also supports the ATU College of Business and Economic Development Project Lead initiative, which connects incoming freshmen when upperclassmen mentors.

Mentors in the ATU College of Business and Economic Development women’s leadership pilot program include the following representatives from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield:

• Alicia Berkemeyer
• Alexis Clouser
• Jackie Evans
• Rhonda Edwards
• Tiawanna Farmer
• Brittney Garland
• Holly Grawl
• Shamika Hardy
• LaChelle Knighton-Walker
• Tanya Langley
• Petronella Mlambo
• Maria Silva
• Angela Smith
• Danielle White
• Angela Winston

These representatives of ArcBest are serving as ATU College of Business and Economic Development women’s leadership pilot program mentors:

• Karen Barrera-Leon
• Kellie Black
• Laura Bogner
• Brianne Campbell
• Kay Lynn Clay
• Tanya Franklin
• Sara Friddle
• Ashley Goins
• Ali Grahl
• Jamie Hall
• Angela Kane
• Alaina Meares
• Emily Reese
• Marla Scales
• Alex Woods

Brandie Gibbs of Denali Water Solutions is also serving as a mentor in the pilot program.

Stephanie Duffield of Russellville, member of the ATU Board of Trustees, attended the introductory meeting for the pilot program and has supported its launch.

Learn more about the ATU College of Business and Economic Development at www.atu.edu/business.