[September 17, 2020 | MENA, Ark.] After three decades of public service in law enforcement, Mike Godfrey has made a notable career change and joined the Admissions Department at the University of Arkansas Rich Mountain as a recruiter.
Godfrey explained he feels inspired to take his experiences over the last 30 years of seeing people in tough situations due to a lack of education and opportunity to being part of an institution that provides resources to people to better themselves and their families, “I have worked the last 30 years enforcing the law. In that time, I have seen the abuse of alcohol and drugs, poverty, and how the lack of education and opportunities has put people in a position where they have had to deal with law enforcement. I decided that I wanted to try to have a positive effect on people early in life. Hopefully, I can expose people to opportunities at University of Arkansas Rich Mountain that will help them be successful and give them options that do not include contact with law enforcement. Basically, I just decided to try to help people instead of punishing them. I was able to help people in my law enforcement career, but those successes were very few. I want to have greater success, and I think I can do that as a recruiter at UARM.”
Godfrey’s law enforcement career began in 1998 and spanned service as a deputy, chief deputy, county sheriff to becoming the Executive Director for the Arkansas Sheriff’s Association. Wanting to return to Mena, Godfrey chose to finish out his career in law enforcement as an investigator with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Proud to be part of all of the exciting changes and growth at UARM, he is looking forward to working in education. “Most people do not know it, but I received my Bachelor of Science in Education from Henderson State University. After graduation, I went to work for Arkansas State Parks and went into law enforcement instead of education. My priorities are to try and catch up on what has evolved in education over the last several years, learn as much as I can about the University of Arkansas Rich Mountain, convey that information to potential students, and promote change in a positive way through education and opportunity.”
Godfrey and his wife Mandy are approaching their 30 year anniversary and have two grown children, Ashlyn Watts and Justin Godfrey. They are active members at Dallas Avenue Baptist Church. Godfrey is still a reserve deputy for the Polk County Sheriff’s Department and is particularly proud to be in his 13th year as a member of the “chain crew” for the Mena High School Bearcat football team, “I love some Bearcat football and am very excited about being involved in all of the Buck’s athletic programs.”
Director of Admissions Wendy McDaniel is grateful to have Godfrey’s enthusiasm and positivity in her department, “Mike is a results driven motivated person with a background in community service and a love for our local area. He will be an asset to our team here at Rich Mountain. We are very excited to have Mike as part of our Admissions team.”
Eager to showcase the campus, Godfrey has already been busy making contacts, “The transformation of the college is incredible. My number one goal is to get potential students to visit the campus. If students come for a visit, I believe the college will sell itself. Like from the movie Field of Dreams, ‘If you build it, they will come.’ UARM has built it and I think students will come.”