Michael McAllister Named Global Campus Employee of the Quarter | #education | #technology | #training

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Michael McAllister, center, accepts the Global Campus Employee of the Quarter award from Cheryl Murphy, vice provost for distance education and head of the Global Campus (left), and Jamie Loftin, assistant vice provost for distance education administration (right).

Michael McAllister has been named employee of the third quarter by the U of A Global Campus.

McAllister, a workforce development coordinator, is part of the Professional and Workforce Development team at the Global Campus offices in Bentonville. He was nominated for his leadership skills and his strong sense of professionalism in his work with Reimagine Arkansas Workforce Project. That project provides funding for qualifying individuals to complete online training at no cost in order to meet workforce needs across the state.

“It is very humbling to be nominated for this award,” McAllister said. “It is easy to see the outstanding work staff members are contributing to teams across Global Campus, so to be recognized for my contributions by my peers means a lot.

“I would be remiss to not highlight the contributions of my fellow Reimagine Project team members,” McAllister said, adding, “Also, the unyielding support of my wife Claire Allison is a top factor for my success in my role.”

Project team members include grant specialists Kerry Garcia and Colin Doege, instructional designers Mandy Eppley and Manoel Franco, project coordinator Erin Dickey and support staff Sheila Bowerman and Austin Conley.

For his part, McAllister helped to create the Reimagine online application form, coordinates participant communications and develops tools to track applications and enrollments. He also assists with grant reporting for this federally funded program.

Coworkers who nominated McAllister praised him for being a kind, helpful team player whose positive, can-do attitude supports his coworkers, his team and the mission of the university.

“He is an active listener and is quick to share resources without being asked to do so,” his coworkers said. “He is always willing to give his time to explain a new concept, show a shortcut or create a new process that will facilitate our work.”

Tara Dryer, senior managing director for Professional and Workforce Development, serves as McAllister’s immediate supervisor.

“Michael has directly impacted the workforce in Arkansas through his contributions to the Reimagine grant,” Dryer said. “He has helped build the infrastructure and processes to make the program successful.”

Cheryl Murphy, vice provost for distance education and head of the Global Campus, recognized McAllister as the employee of the quarter at an April staff meeting.

“Michael demonstrates impeccable professionalism and leadership, and he is the consummate team player,” Murphy said. “We were fortunate to have him on the Reimagine team as they built the foundation for this very successful grant project.”

McAllister joined the U of A in 2011 in University Housing. Five years later, he was appointed as an assistant director in the Office of Student Activities. Following an opportunity outside the university, McAllister began working for the Global Campus in March 2021.   

The Global Campus awards the employee of the quarter to recognize outstanding achievements and accomplishments that relate to the unit’s goals and the U of A mission. The award recipient receives a commemorative certificate and a monetary award. The four quarterly awardees may then be eligible to become the Global Campus Employee of the Year.

Other third quarter nominees include:

  • Caroline Chandler, web/graphic designer, marketing and communications
  • John Hickey, instructional designer, instructional design and student support
  • Abi Moser, Blackboard support specialist, Blackboard support
  • Noel Sharif, project/program manager and data analyst, recruitment and student outreach
  • Jaime Ashmore Tucker, senior recruiter for online programs, recruitment and student outreach

The U.S. Department of Education awarded $13,579,455.83 to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board and the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services to fund the Reimagine Arkansas Workforce Project. The goal is to have 2,000 enrolled participants by the end of the three-year grant period in September 2023. This statewide coordinated effort is intended to benefit Arkansans who have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Project partners include state agencies, U of A Global Campus Professional and Workforce Development, Shorter College and iDatafy LLC.

The Global Campus’ role in the Reimagine Project is to develop and deliver short-term, online training programs for in-demand occupations. Successful completion of these training programs can help Arkansans join or thrive in the pandemic-era workplace. Those encouraged to apply are unemployed, underemployed, are new to the workforce and/or have no work history, are members of an underrepresented population, receive public assistance, reside in rural areas, are veterans, are the spouses of veterans, are experiencing homelessness, are 55 years of age or older, previously incarcerated, have been paroled or are on probation.

The Global Campus supports the U of A academic colleges and schools in the development and delivery of online degree programs and courses, self-paced online courses and workforce development programs. This unit provides instructional design services, learning technology support, media production services and assistance with financial administration, recruitment and marketing.

The Global Campus also supports the W.E. Manning Memorial Scholarship, which is open to undergraduate and graduate students studying in online degree programs.

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