admission counselors


bertita barrientos

admissions counselor
northwest arkansas/missouri

hello everyone! my name is bertita and i was born and raised in el salvador. after i graduated from high school, i decided to move to conway and attend the university of central arkansas. while at uca, i got the opportunity to be a resident assistant and get involved with many student organizations like the student activities board and the latino student association. in december of 2016, i graduated with a bachelor of business administration.

i love uca so much that i decided to stay and pursue a masters degree, and in may 2020, i graduated with my m.s. in college student personnel administration from uca.

uca has been my home away from home for many years now and i am very excited to share with others my experience, the amazing opportunities it has to offer, and help students pursue their dreams in higher education at uca.

go bears!


jessie van es

admissions counselor
southwest arkansas, texas

i grew up in the small town of pottsville, arkansas. after graduating from pottsville high school in 2012, i decided to attend missouri state university. during my time at missouri state, i was a student athlete competing on the softball team and was involved in fca. i received my b.s. in sports administration in 2016.

in 2019, i graduated with my m.s. in college student personnel from arkansas tech university. while completing this program, i taught freshman orientation classes and coached softball at atu. throughout my time teaching, my love for higher education grew more and more! i particularly loved helping high school students transition into college life.

i am beyond happy to now be a uca bear! the immediate sense of community on campus instantly drew me in. i strive to be intentional and encouraging with students. one of my favorite quotes by eleanor roosevelt is, “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” i am here to help make your dreams of pursuing higher education a reality at uca.

go bears!


mallory watson

admissions counselor
northeast arkansas, tennessee, mississippi

i was born and raised in newport, arkansas. my father is an alumni of uca and was able to introduce my future home to me at a young age. ever since i was little, my family has spent many weekends in conway watching the bears play football.

as a student, i was involved in many rso’s and student led organizations such as alpha sigma tau, the big event committee, prssa, relay for life and football belles. i received my bs in august of 2019, double majoring in public relations and communication. i then joined the admissions department as an admissions counselor.

the university of central arkansas has given many memories from my childhood, an education, and now a career. i am very excited to share with others the opportunities that uca has to offer.

go bears!


sydney welch

admissions counselor
dallas, tx/tulsa, ok/oklahoma city, ok

hey everyone! my name is sydney. i was born and raised in louisville, kentucky and southern indiana. while in high school, i was on the oldest high school radio station for three years where i discovered my passion for broadcasting. in 2014, i began my college journey at the university of southern indiana where i completed my b.a. in radio and tv broadcasting. i was involved in many student organizations in offices such as housing and residence life, student life, and undergraduate admissions. my involvement led me to discovering a career in student affairs. i graduated in 2018 and went straight into graduate school at uca.

during my grad school career, i served as the coordinator for retention initiatives in housing and residence life. in my role, i was responsible for the peer coaching program within the residence halls. i completed internships with greek life, co-teaching journeys to success, and admissions at uca. i also interned with the university of louisville for one summer in campus housing. all of my various experiences and classes only confirmed my passion for making a college campus a home away from home for students. i graduated with my m.s. in college student personnel administration in may 2020.

i am so thankful i get to continue working for this amazing university recruiting students to make uca their future home. every day i tell myself, “be the person you needed when you were younger.” – ayesha a. siddiqi. i love that i get to recruit out of state students from a large city because that is a large part of my story and how i got to where i am today.

go bears!


ayana williams

admissions counselor
southeast arkansas/pulaski county (ar)

hello everyone! my name is ayana. i’m a military child who was born in alaska, traveled around, then moved to springfield, arkansas my senior year in 2015; where i graduated from morrilton high school.

when i graduated, i wanted a 4 year college experience, so i decided to further my education at the university of central arkansas. while being at uca, i became involved in sab, ran the student based art gallery called the black box, joined sigma gamma rho, and served as an executive board member on the nphc council. my senior year, i was inducted into the purple society who’s who. then, in may of 2019, i graduated with my bs in psychology with a minor in art.

i loved uca so much that i came back and pursued a career here working in the office of admissions as the southeast recruiter. i now get to share my experience with children in hopes that they will get the chance to make uca their home and achieve their dreams in higher education as well.