Last month, Arkansas’ efforts to ramp up technical coding training in classrooms across the state drew national attention from Wired Magazine. These efforts have brought to the forefront an initiative that has been the focus of some in the state for many years.
Dr. James Hendren is one of the longtime proponents of STEM education and the importance of technical development in creating high-value jobs and retaining key talent in the state of Arkansas.
Hendren will be honored with UALR’s Fribourgh Award on Thursday, April 30, at 5:30 at the Pleasant Valley Country Club.
The impact of Hendren’s work is seen all across the state in sectors from education and industry. Hendren was an early technology innovator in Arkansas with software development in both the defense and finance industries. He also has led endeavors to promote STEM education and training in the state as a means for greater opportunity and economic development.
As a champion of technology startups as a catalyst for economic development in central Arkansas and across the state, Hendren served as chairman and CEO of Arkansas Systems Inc., one of the state’s earliest high-tech companies. He built it into an internationally recognized company now known as Euronet Worldwide.
Recently, Hendren has brought his considerable talents and expertise to bear in the development and building of the startup community in central Arkansas. He serves as a principal advisor at the Arkansas Venture Center and is a master mentor with the Venture Center Mentorship Alliance. The Venture Center supports the startup community in central Arkansas and across the region through corporate innovation programs, startup acceleration programs, training, and mentorship.
Hendren is the founding chairman of the Arkansas STEM Coalition and he also serves as an active volunteer at UALR. His work continues to build the strength of the economic development of the state of Arkansas through expanded STEM education development as well as the direct development of high-tech companies in Arkansas.
The Fribourgh Award was created in 2010 in honor of Dr. James H. Fribourgh, who served in a variety of administrative and academic roles in his 45 years at UALR. Hendren is the the sixth recipient of the prestigious annual award.