Tag Archives: Arkansas

Moon Light Verses Moon Lighting

Ms. Annie Sells is curious if you have ever seen what 20 pounds of hamber patties looks like in a resturant kitchen.

Just in case you have not, then feast your eyes on this. Instead of enjoying the moon light of a beautiful Sunday night, this is the sight I beheld tonight.

No one ever said that reaching your dreams and goals was easy. No one ever said that embracing your true self and fighting the good fight would be moonlight and fairies.

Be blessed, work your ass off, and if you have to moonlight then do it and be proud of the hard work that you put in. I know I am.

Ms. Annie Sells has worn many hats and among them in 20 years of experience in the restaurant, hospitality, and service induatry. So when I got a call asking if I could fill in a few shifts here and there I thanked my Abba father and said sure.

What are you doing to reach your goals and dreams? Are you going the extra mile to be your true self? Are you putting in the hard work?

Be Blessed,

Ms. Annie Sells

President Bill Clinton addressed the AATYC 25th Annual Conference


Arkansas’ Director of Higher Education and President Bill Clinton addressed the 700+ attendees of the last day of the 25th Annual AATYC Conference. 

They spoke of the boot-strap mentality of our past Executive Director and our new Executive Director.

They spoke of the work of us all to meet the needs of the students, citizens, and business and industry of Arkansas. 

They spoke of making a difference and overcoming trials and tribulations. 

They spoke of personal and collective sacrifice.

They also spoke of the growth and expansion in student enrollment to serve almost 90,000 students, at two-year colleges, annually.

It all comes down to doing whatever it takes: politics, policy, service, and education.

Sometimes things get tough. However, just when we are ready to give it up, “that one thing goes right and it keeps you going! We have a lot of work to do, but we can do it if we continue to work together” according to the Honorable Shen Broadway.

It was yet another great conference due to the hard work and dedication of the many servant leaders in Arkansas’ Higher Education.

Many thanks to everyone that made the conference a success! Dr. Ed Franklin, you will be missed, but never forgotten.

Ms. Annie Sells

The ability to improvise

On our way to a large three-day conference for Mommy’s work, this little guy made use of the arm rest.


Would you even be able to turn your head if you slept like this? I know that I wouldn’t!

Ms. Annie Sells loves this example of improvision and adaptability.  In this rapidly changing world that we live in, we could all take a lesson from our children.

It is with age and time that we become inflexible and justify our actions with half – baked excuses. Sometimes as  adults, we go so far as to use twisted logic and the hypocrisy, of beliefs held by others, as our ammunition. But it is ourselves that are hurt the most!

The fact is that as humans, we are remarkable creatures. We have the ability to improvise and rise above almost anything. In order to do this, we must be honest with ourselves, correctly assess our lives, set our true priorities, and (at least) mentally prepare for anything.

Now to work!

Be Blessed,
Ms. Annie Sells

The Grid’s Great: Where’s Your Radio?

Today is a new day, one that everyone who is honest would gladly admit that they are proud to experience. On any given day, I would likely write to you about my beloved home of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

I might talk to you about reaching out and connecting to your friends, family and potential clients via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and WordPress. I might even talk to you about marketing and adversiting solutions for your business and the various ways that you can utilize social media to save yourself and your business time and money.

All of these forms of technology and ways of connecting on the grid are relevant to our way of life. But let’s suppose for a moment that you were to become disconnected from the grid or the grid were to go down for any one of a million reasons. Then what?

My last article on this site was Social Media: Now What? and included a picture of an old computer. It’s no secret that ever day people across the globe are struggling to provide a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, are fighting against horrible diseases, and for their safety. War has become a part of everyday life, so much so that Generation X hardly blinks an eye lash at its ever-present danger!

So you ask “why has the theme of my written gift to you changed?” How did we get from Social Media: Now What? to The Grid’s Great: Where’s Your Radio? Ask me. I would be happy to explain.

Be Blessed,

Ms. Annie Sells

Allow me to introduce you to A – Z Tree

A - Z Tree

October, 2013:  I, Ms. Annie Sells, wish to share a very special tree friend with you. I know that this is not Saturday morning cartoons, but the tree pictured here is very important to my family.

This tree lives in the corner of the parking lot at our local Boys and Girls Club. Hundreds of children walk past it daily.  Thousands of automobiles drive past it daily.  This tree lives wedged between a paved road, a paved parking lot, and a concrete sidewalk. Ick!!

I frequently tell friends that I prefer not to live in the city because there are too many people, too much noise, too much concrete, and not enough trees!  Yesterday, we touched on “being a survivor.”  This tree that my family calls the A – Z tree is in fact, a survivor!  Any living thing that can live on a tiny piece of land between a paved road, a paved parking lot, and a concrete sidewalk has determination to live, like no other!

Now, you may ask me why this tree is important to my family?

Several reasons in fact.  The first of them is that my son is 8 and developing his independence, as well he should, and I am 32 trying to develop mine from him.  But this is where we meet in the middle – literally.  Daily my son’s cues are given in relation to this tree.  Will he walk past this tree to the Boys and Girls Club?  Will he meet me under this tree, get picked up early, and come to work with me at my office?  Will he get picked up early, go for ice cream, and then come home for me to work from home?  Or will he meet me under the tree for me to take him to one of his soccer games?

I travel a lot for work and when I get back into town, if it is before 6 PM, I do not drive home.  I race the clock to get to this tree, because this is where my son knows that he can find me.

I have shared my family’s story with this tree, but there are likely so many more. Trees provide us with fresh air, but they also provide us with a safe place to be.  They shade us from the sun and they are solid. Daily my son looks for me, no matter the arrangements we made, hoping to see my green jeep parked under this tree.

I am A, my son is Z, so ladies and gentlemen please allow me to introduce you to A – Z Tree.  Have a wonderful day!

CV – You mean RV? Resume’ – You mean Get Going Again?

Okay I know; I am gushing! But I have been waiting for weeks, for the newest version of Trust Agents and The Impact Equation and they arrived together just in time for my birthday. Happy Happy Happy Birthday to Ms. Annie Sells!


I owe about 100 thank you’s to all the friends and family that reached out to make me feel loved and appreciated on the celebration of my birth. I owe the biggest thank you, to Chris and Z who made it clear that they love me without measure and wanted me to know it on my special day. But I owe a big thank you to these authors for rekindling a spark in me!


I have spent time “on-line” forever and was one of the first people I know to do AOL, to get a Yahoo account, I was on MyLife way before it was MyLife and I still slink around MeetMe which of course used to be My Yearbook. I remember when chat rooms were thought to never take on. Of course I have seen many more come and go. I miss Threadsy. 😦

I have advocated for online learning for over a decade and every degree and certification that trails my name was earned online. I respect and love higher education, but firmly believe that if colleges and universities don’t come a lot further very quickly, toward embracing distance and online learning that future generations will suffer.

However, I did not need to tell you any of this, because it is all out here on the world wide web for your viewing pleasure. Do a search for “Ms. Annie Sells” and you will find a lot, but do another search for “Ms. Annie Sells, social media” or “Ms. Annie Sells, Fort Smith” and you would be entertained for a while

I have tripped my way through a lot of trial and error just like Trust Agents and Thought Leaders. We are the guinea pigs that are testing everything and putting ourselves on the line, so that we can learn for ourselves and teach as many of our friends and colleagues who are willing and interested in learning. Trust me, if you take this route you will not need a resume’ or CV either.


Ms. Annie Sells

AR Higher Ed, A New Personality & Sharing the Next Go Round

August to September, September to October, October to November and wait now it is July 2012!  I went to visit my Word Press Blog, since I had some feedback on a post. I was horrified to see that it has been almost an entire year since I posted. Embarrassed is not nearly strong enough of a word to express the deep feeling that gripped me!

I could jump into a list of excuses as long as my arm, but we all know that excuses are like unmentionable body parts, we all have them.  So allow me to share with you some of what I have been up to. First of all I was nominated for, participated in and graduated from the AATYC Leadership Academy. My class marks 99 graduates. During this 9 month whirl wind, we had the privilege of traveling all over the state of Arkansas, visiting several colleges we might not have had the opportunity to visit otherwise.  I ate some great food, including three pounds of boiled Cajun-style crab in the Duck Capital of the World in southern Arkansas.


Our class worked their tails off. There were 24 of us from all across the state, many faculty and staff from the two-year colleges, as well as a couple of folks from Arkansas government and non-profits. We were broken into groups and worked diligently over the course of the academy on group projects wherein we researched and searched incessantly toward finding out the Facts about several hot-button topics that are integral to higher education in Arkansas.  Here is a little FYI information for your processing.

Cost Containment Efforts in Arkansas Higher Education – includes retooling HVAC controls, utilities cost cuts, reduced travel, reduced office and teaching supplies, revised computer replacement programs, more temporary and less full-time faculty, deferred salary increases, outsourcing food services, early retirement incentives, creating multi-school classes, increasing class sizes, and reduction of benefits.

Arkansas E-Link, ATOM and ARE-ON – is the process of connecting Arkansas’ computer networks as the result of a $102 million grant provided to the UAMS Center for Distance Health and by the federal government, expanding the Arkansas Telehealth Network (ATOM) and the Arkansas Research and Education Optical Network (ARE-ON), with Health Care, Higher Education, Public Safety, and Research as the four focus areas, increased applications and benefits at 470+ locations across Arkansas, and work will be completed in August 2013.

Developmental Education – is a hot topic among educators and legislators due to more than 75% of two-year college students being required to take at least one remedial course, no typical developmental education student, approximately $36.2 million of 56.84% of general revenue spent on remediation, and two promising practices – Achieving the Dream and Path to Accelerated Completion and Employment (PACE).

Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship – provides scholarships to Arkansas residents pursuing a higher education, funded in large part by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, the growing need for non-traditional student funding – 76% of applicants in 2010 were non-traditional students and 62% of applicants in 2011 were non-traditional students, 73% of non-traditional students who received funding renewed their scholarship and remained in higher education, where only 61% of traditional students did the same, and non-traditional students in Arkansas have a higher retention rate than traditional students but receive the least amount of funding.

Concurrent Credit Enrollment – is an accelerated learning option that provides high school students the opportunity to simultaneously earn credit in both high school and college classes, reduces the cost of college by enabling students to earn college credit and by shortening their time to complete a degree, increases the academic rigor of high school curriculum, increases high school graduation rates, college enrollment, college credit accumulation, college grade point averages and increases college persistence and retention, can save students and taxpayers money, and can help students to launch careers with less debt, some recommendations include: require departments of education, higher education, career education, and post-secondary institutions to collaborate in the design, collection, analysis and reporting of data that will provide evidence based research to help understand the effectiveness of all accelerated learning options on access and success for all students and require annual reporting from departments of education on how all accelerated options are funded, the among of investment for each option, the sources of funding and the number of students served by each option.

Adult Education and Higher Education: A Partnership for Student Success – is an initiative the recognizes that the United States is the only highly-developed democracy where young adults are less likely to have completed high school that the previous generation, over 1 million young adults drop out of high school each year, that is 7,000 per day, in Arkansas 63 students drop out of secondary education each school day, 14.2% of those without a high school diploma were unemployed compared with 8% of those with at least some college, by 2018 52% of Arkansas jobs will require a post-secondary education, earning a GED increases a students’ chances of entering college, however in Arkansas less than 10% of the GED diploma recipients entered post-secondary education, some recommendations include: revise federal adult education and workforce development policy to clarify that federal funds can be used for integrated adult education and post-secondary occupational programs, adapt financial aid policies to support the needs of lower-skilled adults that allow them to reduce work hours to a level at which educational success is possible, and create and enhance bridge programs that ease the transition to post-secondary education.

Is your head spinning? Mine has been. I knew that I loved Arkansas. I knew that I respected higher education. I knew that I had a driving need to help others and have tried to do what I can, where I can. But there is so much to process and so much history.  Living history is a growing organism. The more pieces that you can identify and at least gain a partial understanding of the greater the passion that will grip you. The passion has gripped me so strongly that I am no longer the same person.

Just prior to entering into the AATYC Leadership Academy I did a full Briggs and Meyers personality test and it was the same as it had been my entire life – ENFJ, which is boiled down as practical, realistic, matter-of-fact, quickly moves to implement decisions, organize projects and people to get things done, focus on getting results in the most efficient way possible, take care of routine details, have a clear set of logical standards, systematically follow them and want others to also, forceful in implementing plans.

In the last session of the AATYC Leadership Academy we analyzed the results of a brand new full Briggs and Myers personality test. I was shocked; my personality had shifted to far less extroverted, not judging but rather perceiving and not feeling as much as thinking – ENTP, which is boiled down as quick, ingenious, stimulation, alert, outspoken, resourceful in solving new and challenging problems, adept at generating conceptual possibilities and then analyzing them strategically, good at reading other people, bored by routine, will seldom do the same thing the same way, apt to turn to one new interest after another.

An old friend and I bumped into each other last week, while I was with a new friend.  My new friend asked my old friend if I had always been a trouble maker.  My old friend’s response was this: Annie is not, nor has she ever been a trouble maker, but she has always rocked the boat and challenged the status quo. I am still processing the last go round and I don’t know what the next one holds, but I sure would love to hear your feedback and I look forward to traveling the next go round with you!