Forty Under 40: Tara Dryer

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 3,165 views 

Class of 2017 Forty Under 40 Tara Dryer Director of Training, Corporate Development, Academic Outreach University of Arkansas

Tara Dryer grew up in the small town of Prairie du Chien, Wis., where both her parents were teachers, and she was taught to value education.

“One thing that I always remember my mom saying that my grandpa said to them was, ‘An education is one thing that, no matter what happens to you in your life, no one can ever take away from you.’ If you want to better yourself, nobody can stop you,” Dryer said.

In 2001, she earned her bachelor’s in business education from Winona State University and taught business at Mound Westonka High School for a year.

From 2003 to 2005, she served as a counselor and instructor at TRIO Educational Talent Research.

In 2006, she earned her master’s in educational leadership and technology from Minnesota State University, Moorhead.

Afterward, she moved to Fayetteville for a job at the University of Arkansas as assistant director of admissions, which she held for a year, followed by a one-year stint as academic adviser in the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

Dryer’s career at the UA Global Campus began in 2008, and she was promoted in 2014 to director of training, corporate development and academic outreach, overseeing the satellite campus in Rogers.

At the Global Campus, Dryer is tasked with bringing the worlds of industry and academia together to develop effective professional development and training.

“I enjoy working with people in the chambers of commerce and the Northwest Arkansas Council who can identify skills gaps and try to foresee where NWA is going to be in 10 years. What jobs are we going to need, and what do we need to do today to start to create a pipeline for that?” Dryer said.

Dryer enjoys playing golf with husband Michael, a former golf professional who works at The First Tee of Northwest Arkansas, and their two daughters, ages 5 and 7.