Leadership Academy Faculty

Dr. Naeem Bajwa holds a Ph.D. in Operations and Management from the University of Alabama. He has been at UA Little Rock since 2013. He worked in the industry in a variety of roles including senior leadership positions in supply chain planning and consulting for small and medium business enterprises. He brings with him a breadth of professional experience in planning, manufacturing, and customer service. His research focuses on cross-functional interfaces between Operations and Marketing functions within an organization. His teaching interests include Production and Operations Management, Supply Chain Management, Negotiation Skills, and Business Strategy.

anbajwa@ualr.edu, 501-916-6759
Associate Professor of Management


Dr. April Chatham Carpenter

Dr. April Chatham-Carpenter (Ph.D., University of Oklahoma) is a Professor of Applied Communication at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she serves as Department Chair of the Department of Applied Communication. Previous to coming to UA Little Rock, she served as Professor of Communication Studies and Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate College at the University of Northern Iowa. She researches issues such as innovation and change, use of communication to manage difficult dialogues, transformations in online teaching, and assessment of the impact of initiatives to effect change within the higher education industry.

axchathamca@ualr.edu, 501-916-6026
Department of Applied Communications


Dr. Gerald Driskill

Dr. Gerald W. C. Driskill is Professor of Applied Communication at U.A.- Little Rock where he serves as the Graduate Coordinator for the M.A. in Applied Communication Studies. He teaches courses in Organizational Communication and Intercultural Communication. He has conducted training for Heifer International, ADEQ, U.S.A.I.D., and Global Ties- Arkansas. He has publications on organizational and intercultural communication and has engaged students in over 250 cultural analysis projects based on his book, “Organizational Cultural in Action.

gwdriskill@ualr.edu, 501-916-6020
Department of Applied Communications



Kristen A. McIntyre

Dr. Kristen A. McIntyre (PhD, North Dakota State University) is full professor in the Department of Applied Communication at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She directs the ACOM 1300: Introduction to Communication program as well as the UA Little Rock Communication Skill Center. Her co-authored publications in communication education can be found in Communication Quarterly, Communication Teacher, The Communication Centers Movement in Higher Education, Best Practices in Experiential and Service Learning in Communication, and The Handbook of Communication Training: A Best Practices Framework for Assessing and Developing Competence.

kagullicksm@ualr.edu, 501-916-6024
Department of Applied Communications


Dr. Julien Mirivel

Dr. Julien C. Mirivel (Ph.D., the University of Colorado at Boulder) is a Professor of Applied Communication at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. He is “among the founding scholars in the emerging field of positive communication” and an award-winning teacher and scholar. Mirivel is the author of two books on positive communication: The Art of Positive Communication: Theory and Practice and How Communication Scholars Think and Act: A Lifespan Perspective. Dr. Mirivel has delivered hundreds of programs on how to communicate effectively across contexts.

jcmirivel@ualr.edu, 501-916-6030
Department of Applied Communications



Dr. Bailey Oliver

Dr. Bailey M. Oliver (Ph.D., Arizona State University) is an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Communication at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she teaches conflict management, negotiation, and family communication courses. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Communication, with a focus on restructured family communication. She is a published researcher, professor, and certified group facilitator in the fields of conflict transformation and family resilience.

bmoliver1@ualr.edu, 501-916-6027
Department of Applied Communications


Dr. Avinash Thombre

Dr. Avinash Thombre is a Professor of Communication Studies. Since 2001, he has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Nonverbal Communication, Small Group Communication, Intercultural Communication, and Communication and Change and Communication Theory. A native of Pune, India, he previously taught and has guest lectured in India, Trinidad and Tobago, and Argentina. He received his bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Bangalore University and his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 2004. In his first career, he has worked as a reporter with the Times of India newspaper covering health, environment, education, and new technology beats. He worked for the Pune and Bangalore editions.

axthombre@ualr.edu, 501-916-6023
Department of Applied Communications
Dr. Carol Thompson

Dr. Carol Thompson is a Professor of Applied Communication where she has taught for 33 years and has served as chair at various times. A previous co-director and co-founder of the Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence (ATLE) at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, she now teaches in the online program. She has published articles about collaborative learning that have appeared in journals such as Innovative Higher Education, the Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and Pedagogy. She conducted over 100 workshops in Arkansas and the International Community.

clthompson@ualr.edu, 501-916-6021
Department of Applied Communication
Dr Otmar Varela

Dr. Otmar Varela earned a Ph.D. with a concentration in organizational behaviour from Tulane University. He is currently a professor of management with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Dr. Varela’s research deals with the development of managerial skills, the effectiveness of pedagogical interventions, and professional careers in academe. Dr. Varela’s teaching involves distinct aspects of organizational behaviour (e.g., leadership, teams). His passion for teaching has been recognized via teaching awards at his current post and at schools abroad. Of note, Dr. Varela has served as visiting faculty in nine business schools located in South America, North America, and Europe.

oxvarela@ualr.edu, 501-916-6766
Department of Management


Dr Richard Woolridge

Dr. Richard Woolridge has extensive business and information technology experience gained over thirty-five years. He has worked for large, medium, and small companies. He has broad industry experience including manufacturing, financial services, insurance, oil and gas, software, transportation, and government. He has functional experience in operations, governance, accounting, administration, asset management, engineering, inventory control, logistics, procurement, product management, sales, and technology. He has also managed projects, consulting practices, small companies, and commercial software products.

rwwoolridge@ualr.edu, 501-569-8889
Department of Business Information Systems