It was in the halls of education that Gloria Arcia realized she had a thing for numbers.
Arcia, vice president for finance and administration at the University of the Ozarks, has continued to apply her flair for finances, but has maintained a soft spot in her heart for students and education.
“I feel very passionate about what I do,” Arcia said. “Even though I do not work directly with students, my philosophy has always been ‘students first.’ Knowing that my work ensures students’ university experience is the best that it can be gives me purpose.”
Arcia earned associate and bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice administration at Miami Dade College and Florida International University. In 2013 she received her MBA with a specialization in management at Miami Shores’ Barry University, which then offered her a job as budget manager.
Arcia had been a student worker as a freshman, and staying within higher education turned out to be the perfect path.
“I have been very fortunate to have had supervisors that have capitalized on my talents and abilities and promoted me to positions where I have been able to add value,” Arcia said.
The challenges of her profession include staying up to date on changing policies and procedures, which sometimes means dealing with people resistant to change. At the University of the Ozarks, Arcia is proudest of COVID-19 policies that led to 72% of the student body being vaccinated and 83% of the faculty.
From a career standpoint, Arcia, who lives in Clarksville with her husband, son and daughter, is proudest of earning her MBA and her ongoing progress toward her Doctor of Education at Barry.
“I hope to achieve many other things, both as a VPFA/CFO and as a woman, mother, daughter, and in any other roles I may have in my life,” Arcia said. “I love setting goals and pursuing them with my work, dedication and enthusiasm.”