When Skyler Webster of Poteau, Okla., applied for the prestigious Chancellor’s Leadership Council Scholarship at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, she didn’t think she would receive the scholarship. Since she suffered from test anxiety, her ACT score was below the recommended score to receive the scholarship.
But the CLC scholarship took more into consideration than just test scores. After two rounds of interviews with Dr. Paul B. Beran, UAFS chancellor, and other administrators, Webster was chosen to receive the scholarship.
“Being able to receive a scholarship from a university that cared about more than just test scores was unbelievable,” Webster said. “They were looking past what was on paper and looked at me as a person.”
Since receiving the scholarship, Webster has had the opportunity to do more at UAFS than she expected. As part of the program, she was enrolled in a leadership course her first semester taught by Beran and Dr. Elizabeth Underwood, which taught Webster leadership and critical thinking skills.
“I learned many new leadership skills that I did not have before,” she said. “I was able to experience new leadership roles, such as coordinating an event on campus. I was able to make many connections on campus and in the community that will help me in the future.”
Those connections led to a wealth of involvement opportunities on campus for Webster. She hosted a group event through the CLC to raise awareness for binge drinking, was a member of the 2015-16 pom squad that placed fifth in the national competition in Daytona, Fla., and is currently a member of the Student Veterans Organization on campus.
The campus’s beauty and size have also contributed to her happiness as a student.
“One of my favorite things about UAFS is the beautiful campus. I also love how close the campus is, both in its distance and how close-knit it is,” she said. “I have made so many friends here at UAFS, and we all have so many different interests and likes. UAFS gives us the ability to make connections based on our likes with all the activities going on around campus.”
As finance “runs in her family,” Webster decided to major in the field while minoring in applied statistics to pursue her passion for numbers.
“I am very interest in the world of finance and hope to become a financial adviser after graduating from UAFS,” she said. “I decided to declare a minor in applied statistics because I can be very beneficial in my chosen career path and is very rare since it is new to the UAFS campus.”
As a student in the College of Business, Webster was also able to participate in the university’s Babb Center for Student Professional Development, which offers countless workshops, career fairs, and mixers with local and regional corporations that is giving her the skills to find a job after graduation. Through the center, Webster has also secured an internship at Beall Barclay Wealth Management.
With an expected graduation date of spring 2019, Webster is well on her way to pursuing her dream of entering the field of finance.
“UAFS is helping prepare for my future because I am constantly getting to network with people in the community and helping to achieve my goals I have set for graduation,” Webster said.
For more information about educational opportunities at UAFS, visit www.uafs.edu or call 479-788-7000.
About the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is the premiere regional institution of Western Arkansas, connecting education with careers and serving as a driver of economic development and quality of place in the greater Fort Smith region. Through a small campus, dedicated professors, and the university’s unique bond with its community, students at UAFS are able to do more in the areas they are passionate about, both on- and off-campus, in a way that prepares them for post-graduate success. To find out how you can do more at UAFS, visit www.uafs.edu.