UA Little Rock hires former alumnae to serve as chief of staff
November 22-28, 2021
By Angelita Faller
A University of Arkansas at Little Rock alumnae has returned to campus to take on a campus leadership role. Shari Erwin, a 2003 UA Little Rock graduate, has been named the chancellor’s chief of staff.
In this role, Erwin serves as the primary liaison to the Office of the Chancellor and assists in areas of communication, planning and preparation, project management, and other administrative responsibilities.
“Coming back to UA Little Rock as chief of staff is a full-circle moment for me,” Erwin said. “I’ve been considering the role of chief of staff for a long time. When one opened at UA Little Rock, it seemed like a perfect fit and opportunity to return home.”
Prior to returning to UA Little Rock, she led the branding and communications strategy for Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology in Okmulgee for nine years. As a member of the President’s Cabinet, she chaired institutional event planning and managed special projects and initiatives on behalf of the president.
Erwin previously worked as a lecturer in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing as well as the web communications coordinator in the Office of Communications and Marketing at UA Little Rock, supporting student recruitment efforts and advertising campaigns through storytelling and digital media engagement.
“UA Little Rock is the place I consider foundational in my educational experience, first as a student, then a teaching assistant, an adjunct for nine years, and as a staff member in the central communications office,” said Erwin. “These perspectives, along with my experiences at other higher education institutions, gave me the kind of insight to build bridges and connect silos in support of the Chancellor’s initiatives. It’s a great honor to return to the place I consider home and bring the combination of my skills from my experience and education to promote the university that gave me my best professional advantage.”
In Little Rock, Erwin spent more than a decade working in television and was the first in the market to develop a multi-platform news sharing strategy while working as the director of emerging technologies and research for FOX16. She also served as the director of marketing and technology for Publishing Concepts, where she worked as editor of a national magazine for accredited college nursing programs.
“Shari brings the ideal mix of experience and competencies to the chief of staff position,” Chancellor Christina Drale said. “She has an intimate understanding of the higher education environment having worked in the field for a number of years. She has executive level experience doing many of the same things this position requires, and she has the technical skills and attention to detail required to be successful in this role.”
She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Missouri Southern State University and a master’s degree in Technical and Professional Writing from UA Little Rock.
In Oklahoma, Erwin served as a board member for the Oklahoma College Public Relations Association and Okmulgee Main Street. She is an active outdoors adventurer who enjoys kayaking, hiking, and mindfulness.