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UA Little Rock Student Awarded Real Estate Scholarship

Portrait of Business student Lamar Townsend. Photo by Benjamin Krain
Lamar Townsend.

Lamar Townsend, a senior political science and finance-real estate double major at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, is one of six students nationwide who was awarded a prestigious national scholarship through the Real Estate Education Scholars Program from the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation.

The Harold E. Eisenberg Real Estate Scholar Program was started in 2015 with the aim of providing undergraduate and graduate students valuable experience in real estate to launch their careers. Students are nominated for the scholarship by their university and are selected by a panel of judges.

“When I found out I had won the scholarship, I was really excited, shocked, and humbled,” said Townsend. “This big foundation in a giant city has reached out to a kid from Arkansas and saw my potential. I’m nervous and definitely want to put forth my full effort. This is a big opportunity. I am excited to learn more about something I’m passionate about.”

Earlier this year, Townsend was a member of the group of students at UA Little Rock who won a national Real Estate Challenge in Chicago, also through the Eisenberg Foundation. The challenge connects groups of students at selected universities to a high-profile property development project in the Chicago Metropolitan area. Each team must present a development plan to maximize the property’s potential. UA Little Rock was the Undergraduate Division Winner, receiving $5,000 to support the finance/real estate program at UA Little Rock.

It was through the Real Estate Challenge that Townsend first learned about the Scholar Program.

“It really piqued my interest to learn more about the Scholar Program,” Townsend said. “After we won the challenge, Professor Small nominated me for the program.”

The 10-month Real Estate Scholar Program is focused on mentorship and networking and gives students opportunities to make connections in the real estate industry. Students are connected with a “super mentor,” attend meetings and conferences with industry professionals, go on field trips, and even attend the International Council of Shopping Centers Las Vegas convention.

“This is a big opportunity to get my foot in the door with networking,” Townsend said. “In this industry, it’s all about who you know and who knows who. Recently, I was able to attend an event in Chicago, and I got 10 business cards from big names in Chicago. This program really gives me the ability to build a network.”

Townsend expressed his gratitude to the UA Little Rock School of Business, Dr. Mark Funk, and Professor Elizabeth Small.

“I want to say a big thank you to the School of Business and to Dr. Funk and Professor Small,” Townsend said. “They are the ones who are making this possible for me. They have helped me fund my trips to Chicago and overall have been a big help in allowing me to do this.”

After graduation, Townsend plans to work in commercial real estate and hopes to later attend law school after gaining hands-on experience in the field.