December 23, 2014

College Reenergizes Welcome Center

Dec. 23, 2014 | The College of Health Professions Welcome Center moved to a new, more prominent location recently in order to make it even more welcoming for current students and prospective students.

CHP Staff

The Welcome Center team includes (from left) Lyndsay Johnson, Phyllis Fields, Kevin Barnes and Rob Tolleson. Not pictured is Susan Williamson.

Organization of the college’s student services — from pre-admissions information to academic advising — and resources for prospective students — from college recruiting to career assessments — into a Welcome Center took place a couple years ago. In October, the Welcome Center team was moved to a more prominent location in offices on the third floor of the Administration West building, near the dean’s office.

CHP-welcome center-phyllis-crop

Phyllis Fields, assistant dean for student affairs in the College of Health Professions

“We want our guests and students to be able to find the Welcome Center and access its resources more easily,” said Dean Douglas Murphy, Ph.D. “We have a fantastic team in place, focused on serving our current and future students as well as our faculty.”

Leading the team is Phyllis Fields, who was appointed assistant dean for student affairs in July. Also working in the Welcome Center area are student services specialist Kevin Barnes and Lyndsay Johnson. The two handle pre-admission academic advising for students in the college’s 27 academic programs.

Barnes also serves on the college’s Diversity Committee while Johnson helps maintain the college’s social media presence (find the college on Facebook at

Rob Tolleson serves as the center’s executive assistant and also the college’s webmaster. College recruiter Susan Williamson, though not based in the center also works with the group.

“The Welcome Center is a true hub for student services, bringing it all together — though not only for our students but also the college’s staff and faculty ,” said Fields, who has worked at UAMS for 17 years, most recently as the college’s director of student activities. “It is such a joy helping a student achieve an educational goal and/or assist in removing barriers on their educational pathway.”

Fields called the Welcome Center a resource for “any student-related issue” including campus life, financial aid, parking, campus compliance, student policies, and disability support.

For future students, the Center coordinates campus visits, connects them to program resources such as a first-hand observation of many of the programs, and individuals willing to share “a day in the life” of a particular program interest. A visit to the Welcome Center will inform students of application requirements, academic and other admission requirements, and plan to map their way into a particular program.

“Our college has such diverse program offerings, a student interested in a health career may not be aware of possible career paths through the College of Health Professions,” Fields said. “It is our goal to bring the college to the forefront in the minds of prospective students, local and distance campus counselors and academic advisors.”

As the New Year unfolds, Fields said  the Welcome Center team will be working on development of future services such as career assessments, streamlined admission process, mini workshops for students, and professional team development.”