September 22, 2014

A fond farewell to COPH Registrar Marie Walker

Registrar for the College of Public Health Marie Walker, M A

Marie Walker, Registrar for the College of Public Health since 2007, will be relocating to UAMS’ new, centralized Office of the Registrar on Sept. 29. Many at the College who for so long depended on Ms. Walker for many things have been bracing for her departure and putting their heads together to figure out how those many things will still get done. She will continue to provide some “registrar functions” for COPH after the move, and responsibilities currently held by Ms. Walker that are outside of traditional registrar functions will be delegated to others in the College.

Ms. Walker came to UAMS and COPH in 2005, taking the job of Administrative Assistant in what was then the Office of Student Services. She transitioned to the position of Registrar two years later.

To try to sum up all that Ms. Walker does for the College is to surely fail to capture it all. It broadly takes the form of myriad reports and other communiques to COPH students, faculty, and staff, campus offices, and outside agencies. In doing so, she helps to ensure students are properly registered for classes and are on track to meet specialty and graduation requirements. Her student enrollment counts to external agencies, including the Council on Education for Public Health, and student demographic reports are generated like clockwork each semester. She saw to it that those reports became automated.

“I worked real close with IT so that they would no longer be manual,” she said. “I am proud of those things I have had a hand in implementing.”

In addition, each semester she provides faculty with their class rosters and a list of students they advise, as well as their transcripts. She alerts the finance office of students on academic probation and acts as the College’s Veterans Affairs liaison, ensuring that veterans get their financial aid. And, she coordinates the development of the two-year course planner so critical to both students and faculty.

And then there is spring convocation and commencement. Every year, Ms. Walker has been integral in the coordination of those events.

“In January, I always send an email saying, ‘It’s that time of year again,’” Ms. Walker said.

She helps in planning the convocation script and presentations, works with others in the Office of Student Affairs to ensure everything from food to flowers is ordered for the event, assists students and faculty with purchase of regalia, and drafts the convocation program. Until recently, she also designed and printed the programs.

For most of her career, Ms. Walker has dealt with applications of one kind of another – student applications at Hendrix College and before that, the manager of applications for Health Source for Seniors. With a degree in biology from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, this Dumas, Ark., native had aspirations to become a medical technician, but employment soon after college took her on a different career path.

She found a great satisfaction in “working with students as they embark on this path called education” and is now pursuing a master’s degree in higher education with an emphasis in student affairs from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is looking forward to graduation in spring 2015, when she can enjoy reading fiction and putting more time into a lifelong pleasure, writing stories.

“My college journalism teachers always told me I should make that my major because I have a flair for the dramatic,” Ms. Walker laughed.

Perhaps so, but those who know and have worked with Ms. Walker will more likely remember and appreciate her quiet demeanor and dependable and detail-minded approach to all that she has done for the College. She will be missed!