The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Real Estate program has been recognized for the difference it is making in Little Rock’s commercial real estate industry.
The Commercial Real Estate Council of Metro Little Rock awarded the Real Estate program with the Commercial Real Estate Impact Award. The council created the award to honor individuals and organizations who make an impact on the types of experiences and outcomes that are crucial to a healthy commercial real estate market.
“I think the UA Little Rock Real Estate program is a perfect example of an impact award,” said Susan Hill Gelé, executive director of the Commercial Real Estate Council of Metro Little Rock. “The decision a student makes to follow a particular field of study will impact them for the rest of their lives. The impact on workforce development is clear from the students and graduates who have interned or accepted full-time positions with local real estate companies.”
Elizabeth Small, instructor of real estate and director of business networks, accepted the award on behalf of the university during the Fifth Annual Commercial Real Estate Awards Ceremony held Feb. 21 at the Arkansas Pharmacists Association Building, which was the recipient of the Project of the Year Award.
“Receiving this award helps legitimize all the concepts we teach the students,” she said. “It was thrilling to realize there are so many agencies, companies, and organizations in town that appreciate our program and our students, and it provided awareness of our Real Estate program to those who may not realize what a resource we are.”
Small reflected that receiving the award was especially memorable because the “support from the university was overwhelming to me. It took my breath away.” She was joined by students and alumni of the Real Estate program as well as colleagues from the School of Business and Alumni and Development.
Under the leadership of Small, the UA Little Rock School of Business began to restructure the Real Estate program in 2017. By 2020, the curriculum offered incoming freshmen a degree that integrated real estate classroom education with experiential learning and research in real estate issues and policy.
“The current students are involved in entrepreneurial activities and development projects and benefit from panels of executives with real life experience in the real estate industry and exposure to regulatory issues involving real choices and opportunities,” Gelé said.
Some of those professional development opportunities are offered by the Commercial Real Estate Council of Metro Little Rock, which has hosted photo scavenger hunts, panel discussions, and Women in Real Estate events that UA Little Rock students regularly attend. Learn more about the School of Business by visiting the website.