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Courtney Bryant

Courtney Bryant, 38

Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management & Director UCA Commitment

University of Central Arkansas

Conway

Professional achievements
• Assisted in the development and implementation of the UCA Commitment program.
• Supported sustained and consistent new enrollment at the University of Central Arkansas.
• Oversaw a 20% increase in graduate enrollment over a four-year period at Arkansas Tech University.

Community involvement
Participant in the Conway Area Leadership Institute; member of New Life Church.

First job and lesson learned
“My first job was as an admission counselor at Arkansas Tech University. Through this experience, I learned effective communication skills, how to relate to various student populations and families, and the importance of strong technical skills related to organizational efficiency and success.”

Most valuable lesson
“People want to feel valued and heard. When you’re working through complex problems you can find a solution using empathy and staying flexible to the end result.”

Career dream as child
“Teacher. I made it in education, just in a very unexpected way.”

Top challenge facing Arkansas
“The decrease in our college-going rate is concerning. An advanced education and training, regardless of level, is vital to supporting residents’ ability to earn a livable wage and have a higher quality of life. Gaining skills and knowledge are paramount for individual freedom.”

Professional inspiration
“I want to continue to serve the state of Arkansas and its families.”

Advice for future 40 Under 40 honorees
“Always look for opportunities to improve yourself and your community.”

Learning from a mentor
“I’ve been very blessed to learn from some incredible leaders throughout my career. Shauna Donnell, previous associate vice president of enrollment management, taught me valuable lessons in leadership, grit and service to others. Dr. Kevin Thomas, vice president for enrollment services and student success at UCA, has helped me expand my thinking related to enrollment management and the importance of building relationships. Success is a collaborative effort.”

Professional “aha” moment

“As an admission counselor, I had the opportunity to travel across the state to recruit students to a four-year university. Through this process, I made numerous connections with students that lasted throughout their four years at the institution. I could see how they grew and changed and the opportunities they were afforded because of their experience at a university. It’s truly life-changing and can help people have more opportunities for success. I’m so happy I get to be a part of that process.”

Most fulfilling career moment
“Working with students and young professionals is my favorite part of the job. I love getting to see people grow and being a part of their process.”

Making Arkansas more attractive to young professionals
“The biggest opportunity is to educate people on our cost of living and the opportunities available within Arkansas. We have a lot of great industry and things to do, but others often don’t have that perspective.”

Best thing about Arkansas
“I love the community feel. I’ve lived in northwest, River Valley and central Arkansas areas. In each place, people are friendly, supportive and welcoming.”

Where you see yourself in 10 years
“I hope to continue serving families by supporting opportunities for higher learning. I also look forward to seeing my three sons get involved in the community and make connections.”

Advice for your 18-year-old self
“Stop worrying. God has always been faithful to provide the right opportunities at exactly the right time. My younger self spent a lot of time worrying about the future and my professional path. However, you just need to work hard and keep taking steps forward. Things will fall into place and opportunities will come at the right time.”

How you define success
“Success is finding a path forward to serve others, even if it looks different than expected. Whether it’s with family, friends or a professional setting, taking a service mindset will always yield a richer outcome.”

One word to describe you
“Persistent.”

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40 Under 40

June 10, 2025

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