In our 2021 issue, we’re shining the light on several amazing Leading Ladies.
Executive Director of Advancement, NorthWest Arkansas Community College
Liz Anderson was born in Seoul, South Korea, and was fortunate to be adopted from an orphanage, along with her two older sisters, when she was five years old. Growing up on the West Coast, she didn’t know much about this part of the country until moving to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, in high school and meeting her husband at John Brown University. They’ve made both Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas their home for the past 20 years, and in 2014, they moved back to NWA for good. They settled in Springdale to raise their son, AP (Aaron Paul), who has had incredible experiences at The New School in Fayetteville and is now loving the Don Tyson School of Innovation.
B.A. Mass Communication, Northeastern State University
M.A. Communication, Northeastern State University
Did you always know what you wanted to do?
I’ve always had a passion for reading, writing and getting lost in a good novel, so I started college as an English major. But midway through, I changed my focus to mass communication and joined the public affairs team at my alma mater after graduation. There, I discovered how to support faculty and students through communication and community events. Most importantly, I earned a great amount of respect for all who make up an education family. We are all working together to help students succeed and build community.
Have you stayed on a straight path to your career goal?
My whole life has been a windy path that’s turned into a tapestry of so many meaningful relationships. I’ve never been one for firm career goals and believe that’s why I’ve been open to new challenges and directions that led to where I am now. Education is my love and I’m so thrilled to be back in higher education. I knew when I was five years old that America was the land of opportunity and that means quality education needs to be accessible to all. Education changes lives; it alters the course of individuals and entire families. I believe in the potential of each individual to find success regardless of their place of birth or background.
Best part of your job:
It has to be the people. I absolutely love the donors in our community and the philanthropic spirit of Northwest Arkansas. There is nothing purer than the joy I see on the faces of those who give when helping their community. I can’t say enough good things about the faculty, staff and students at NWACC. They have genuine passion for what they do. There’s an energy you can feel during every interaction, and they’ve made me feel like part of the family from Day 1.
Quality you admire most in women:
Advice you’d give to other working women/moms:
Give yourself grace because none of us have it completely figured out. Remember you are not solely defined by your work, and what matters the most at the end are the people you love and who love you.
What do you do for fun?
Our family loves to hit the area mountain bike trails, bike the greenway or find a good hike in the Ozarks. We try to wind down every day with a good stroll with our Golden Retriever Charlotte and Irish Setter Rusty.