University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Walton College Hosts Business and Technology Summer Camps

Summer camp attendees answer questions.
June 28, 2023

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The Dr. Barbara A. Lofton Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the Sam M. Walton College of Business hosted students from Arkansas and Texas through the Business Leadership Academy and the Technology Awareness Program camps earlier this month on the University of Arkansas campus. 
Walton College’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion strives to provide the best possible educational experience for underrepresented students through excellence in teaching, research, inclusive innovation and service to the state and society through its Diversity Enrichment Programs which are offered throughout the summer for high school and incoming freshman students. 
The Business Leadership Academy is a residential summer camp which introduces students to the Walton College and the university. Students participated in sessions intended to help with the transition to college. BLA creates awareness of career opportunities within all business majors, while developing and enhancing leadership skills through collaboration and teamwork. Since the early 2000s, BLA has hosted 25-30 students each year. This year’s cohort provided activities to assist with acclimating them to campus, enhancing their leadership skills and strengthening their confidence in their future career trajectories. They worked in teams to create a proposal for a new program, activity or event aimed at supporting diverse students, faculty and staff this fall. The winning team will work with the Office of Diversity & Inclusion to implement their proposal during the next academic year. The week concluded with the students presenting their proposals and attending orientation. 
The Technology Awareness Program is a one-week summer bridge program for 9th-12th graders. TAP is aimed at introducing students from underrepresented groups to careers in technology from a business lens. Additionally, the participants get an introduction to college life at the University of Arkansas, participate in a community service project and meet with professionals from a variety of corporate partners in NWA. This is the second year back since the onset of Covid-19. This year the students were able to participate in three different tracks: app development, drone coding and aerial technology, and YouTube video production. The vision for TAP is to continue to grow the program and innovate the curriculum to expose more students from underrepresented groups to new skills and career paths. 
Barbara Lofton, assistant dean, initiated the summer bridge programs in the Office of Diversity & Inclusion many years ago. 
“Dr. Lofton recently announced her retirement and while we are sad to see her go, we are proud of the legacy that she has left for ODI. We will do all that we can to keep that legacy growing and moving forward,” said Synetra Hughes, managing director of the Dr. Barbara A. Lofton Office of Diversity & Inclusion. “We remain focused on providing high quality programs that focus on student achievement through retention, educational attainment, academic achievement and student advancement.” 

Walton College

Walton College of Business

Since its founding at the University of Arkansas in 1926, the Sam M. Walton College of Business has grown to become the state's premier college of business – as well as a nationally competitive business school. Learn more...

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