Global Campus Director Picked as One of NWA Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40”


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Tara Dryer, director of training, corporate development and academic outreach at Global Campus

Tara Dryer, a director at the University of Arkansas Global Campus, will be honored at a luncheon today for 40 up-and-coming business leaders in Northwest Arkansas.

The Northwest Arkansas Business Journal named Dryer one of its “Forty Under 40” for 2017, an annual list of the area’s top young business stars.  Dryer, the director of training, corporate development and academic outreach, manages operations at the Global Campus in Rogers, 3300 Market St.

“The University of Arkansas Global Campus is fortunate to have Dr. Dryer’s energy, enthusiasm and leadership in our Rogers office,” said Donald Judges, vice provost for distance education and head of the Global Campus. “She and her team are doing great work, in close partnership with business and industry, to help Arkansans improve their workplace skills and to help Arkansas build a stronger economy.”

In 1997, the publication began recognizing 40 outstanding professionals under the age of 40 who live and work in the magazine’s six-county coverage area of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Sebastian and Crawford counties. In 2017, Dryer stood out from more than 100 people nominated for that award.

The magazine’s 2017 “Forty Under 40” issue, which is on newsstands and online now, features Dryer and the other 39 other outstanding professionals.

“It is an honor to be included in this outstanding group of individuals,” Dryer said. “I personally work with many of them currently to impact our local community and am excited to see how we continue to partner in the future.”

Under Dryer’s leadership, the Global Campus in Rogers nurtures relationships with industry and educational partners that lead to U of A training programs that help reduce skills gaps in Northwest Arkansas.  These programs help professionals advance in their careers, stay up-to-date in their fields, and move from one career to another.

The IT Readiness Certificate Program exemplifies educational programming in Rogers. The program – funded by an $851,000 grant from the state – helps prospective employees prepare for entry-level information-technology jobs and helps employers by providing needed job-ready applicants.

Before joining the Global Campus in 2008, Dryer worked as a U of A assistant director of admissions. Before then, she served as a high school business teacher and worked for a federal TRIO program, Educational Talent Search, in Northern Wisconsin.

She earned a doctorate degree in Higher Education from the University of Arkansas in 2009.  She holds her bachelor’s degree in business education and a master’s degree in educational leadership, with an emphasis in educational technology.

Dryer has a passion for learning, education and the community.  She is actively engaged in business, industry and education in Northwest Arkansas, working with chambers of commerce, the Northwest Arkansas Council and individual business leaders to identify training needs and skills gaps. She actively serves on the local non-profit organization board of directors for Open Avenues, an organization that gives adults with disabilities educational and vocational support to grow personally and professionally.

Dryer and her husband, Michael, a golf coach at the First Tee of Northwest Arkansas, have two daughters: Ella, 7, and Analie, 5. They enjoy traveling and spending time on the golf course.

About the Global Campus: The Global Campus supports U of A colleges and schools in the development and delivery of online, distance and workforce education programs and courses. It provides instructional design services, technology services and assistance with marketing, recruiting and strategic academic development.

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