When I first began at the University of Central Arkansas, I had a pretty good idea of what I’d be doing in my role as associate vice president for communications, public relations and marketing. What I didn’t know a lot about were the people with whom I would be working alongside every day. And I must say, I have been pleasantly surprised. I knew that they were doing a good job leading UCA down the right path, but what I didn’t know, or truthfully expect, was learning about how exceptional my coworkers are outside of the buildings between Donaghey Avenue and Farris Road.
As my family and I have become immersed into the local community, I have run into a fellow administrator and a faculty member volunteering at a church program for kids. I have seen other UCA leaders give of their time and resources without being asked. I work with a president who has spent most of his life serving others. I have watched numerous faculty, staff and students sign up in droves to help clean up parts of Faulkner County that were destroyed by tornadoes back in April of 2014. And while I, as a news broadcaster, had been on the scene of many tornado-ravaged areas, not once had I picked up a shovel to help. I guess I thought that by being on the scene and sharing these devastating stories and dramatic images, I was encouraging others to serve, but not until I was a part of the UCA family did I ever realize how much more I could do to contribute. To say this place is all about service would be an understatement.
When we started to plan this issue of the UCA Magazine, we knew it would coincide with the opening of Greek Village. We knew we wanted to feature the newest addition to our campus, but the theme of “service” is about so much more than six new buildings. While the homes and community center are gorgeous, it’s the people inside those buildings, and in the buildings across campus, who make UCA an extraordinary place. The following stories are just a small sampling of the great things going on at UCA, and more importantly, the people behind them.
Christina Muñoz Madsen, Editor