Admission Counselors

Lauren Crafton

Lauren Crafton

Admissions Counselor
(501) 472-3864
Central Arkansas

Hey guys, my name is Lauren Crafton, and I am a 2018 UCA graduate with a degree in Communications and a minor in Public Relations. I was born and raised in Colorado and transferred from a community college in Colorado Springs during my Junior year to UCA.

During my years as a college student, I heavily served in High School and College age ministries at a local church. This is where I found community and friends that felt like family. This created a home away from home feeling on and off-campus. I loved my college years because I was able to grow in maturity, independence, and as a student.

Accepting the role as an admissions counselor means I get to help make someone’s college process a little bit smoother. It’s a huge step, transition, and change. I wish I had someone who could have helped me figure it out. If UCA is an excellent fit for a student, I am thankful to be a small piece of someone’s story.


Caitlin Straw

Admissions Counselor
(501) 472-4825
Northwest Arkansas/Missouri

Hello beautiful humans!

My name is Caitlin Straw, and I’m UCA’s Regional Admissions Counselor for NWA and Missouri. I was born in San Diego, CA, and raised here in Central Arkansas. I attended Conway High School, class of 2012, and then the University of Central Arkansas. I graduated from UCA in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a minor in Public Relations.

During my time on campus, I was very involved socially and academically, as I loved every opportunity to meet new people and engage with my community! I was a Student Ambassador for the Office of Admissions, a Resident Assistant for the Office of Housing and Residence Life, and a member of Lambda Pi Eta Communication Honor Society, PRSSA, and UCA’s knitting club, Knitwise! Also, during my time as a student at UCA, I had the opportunity to compete in a national plus-size beauty pageant, and I am proud to say I am Miss Arkansas Plus America 2015.

In my free time, you can find me staying up to date on the latest plus-size fashion trends (#bodypositivity), binge-watching sci-fi and supernatural shows on Netflix, and playing with my pups! I am honored to represent my alma mater as an Admissions Counselor and help future Baby Bears navigate the admissions process. This job is a dream come true, and I love sharing my stories with students across the south. I genuinely believe UCA offers its students every opportunity to take the experiences they have here and use them to change the world for the better!


Claire Tober

Admissions Counselor
(501) 472-8074
Southeast Arkansas

Hi everyone! My name is Claire, and I am originally from Paris, Arkansas. As soon as I started thinking about colleges in high school, UCA had always been my first choice. So, after graduating in 2017, I moved to Conway and have never looked back! I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Counseling Psychology with a minor in Addiction Studies in May 2021.

Conway has become my home in every sense of the word. I have met lifelong friends here, continued my education, and made fantastic connections. At UCA, someone is always in your corner, cheering for your success. UCA has become a big part of me, so I am excited to help future bears find their home here! I have always joked that I wanted to stay in college forever, so getting to stick around campus for a while longer as an Admissions Counselor is a dream come true.

When I’m not on campus, I’m either playing disc golf, attempting to cook something new, or giving too many treats to my dog Lucy.


Sydney Welch

Admissions Counselor
(501) 472-1432
Southwest Arkansas/Texas

Hey everyone! My name is Sydney. I was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and southern Indiana. While in high school, I was on the oldest radio station for three years, where I discovered my passion for broadcasting. In 2014, I began my college journey at the University of Southern Indiana, where I completed my B.A. in Radio and TV Broadcasting. I was involved in many student organizations in offices such as Housing and Residence Life, Student Life, and Undergraduate Admissions. My involvement led me to discover a career in Student Affairs. I graduated in 2018 and went straight into graduate school at UCA.

During my grad school career, I served as the Coordinator for Retention Initiatives in Housing and Residence Life. In my role, I was responsible for the Peer Coaching program within the residence halls. I completed internships with Greek Life, co-teaching Journeys to Success and Admissions at UCA. I also interned with the University of Louisville for one summer in Campus Housing. My various experiences and classes confirmed my passion for making a college campus a home away from home for students. I graduated with my M.S. in College Student Personnel Administration in May 2020.

I am thankful I can continue working for this fantastic university, recruiting students to make UCA their future home. Every day I tell myself, “Be the person you needed when you were younger.” – Ayesha A. Siddiqi.