Strolling through the University of Arkansas campus and taking in all its colors, richness and vibrancy is definitely one of my favorite memories of my alma mater. Seeing my name on Senior Walk – on Dickson Street, close to Old Main – is an overwhelmingly great feeling…
Tevin Wooten, the on-camera Meteorologist at The Weather Channel Television Network, talks with great pride and nostalgia about his Home on the Hill.
Winning two Emmys at the age of just 25, making a tangible mark covering hurricanes and storms on national television, earning his first bachelor’s degree in journalism in only 3.5 years from the University of Arkansas and then pursuing a second bachelor’s in meteorology from Florida State University, are just some of Wooten’s many achievements. He attributes most of them to his time at the U of A.
The young TV personality was the recipient of the Richard Greene Scholarship, the Arkansas Alumni Association Scholarship as well as the Razorback Bridge Scholarship throughout his undergraduate studies at the U of A. “I was one of those very lucky individuals who had a free ride at college and had the best of mentors and extracurricular opportunities at school,” said Wooten. He came to the University as an engineering student but got a part-time job as a video assistant with RazorVision, the athletic department’s video service. He discovered his passion there and changed his major to journalism.
Soon, he became a weather anchor for UATV nightly news and was named station manager. He was also honored with the Broadcast Journalist of the Year award. “I really blossomed there, and this opportunity really honed my professional skills,” said Wooten. He believes that his time at the U of A also helped him to come out of his shell and appear less of a reticent and shy individual. Wooten said, “I had never played football in my life and here I was surrounded by a team that was one of the best in the country. I was studying and working with a diverse group of people and it was just amazing.”
Wooten speaks very highly of his professors and mentors who shaped him and his work ethic and paved the way for him to succeed in life. “Dr. Barbara Lofton, director of Diversity Programs at the Walton College of Business, was a mother to me. She was honest and direct – something I needed at that age when it is easy to listen to your friends.” Wooten would not have been able to excel at his studies if it were not for Dr. Lofton. “She was knowledgeable in every way regarding the U of A, and if she didn’t know the answers to any of my questions, she knew exactly who would.”
According to Wooten, Professors Larry Foley and Robyn Ledbetter from the Journalism Program, really tap into the talent of their students and truly understand that to get somewhere in life, you need real experience. “And they provide just that – they give you all the opportunities possible so you can go knock out your nerves before the real world hits you.”
Wooten’s mentor, Eric Wood from the Athletic Department and Brande Flack, associate director of Multicultural Center at the U of A, played an instrumental role in the young’s scholar successes. Wooten had a very demanding schedule as football took up a lot of his time and he would miss his standard tutoring appointments. Wood and Flack would check up on him weekly, accommodate his requests and even schedule tutoring sessions for him so that his grades wouldn’t suffer. Wooten believes that if one is dedicated and motivated enough, their time to shine and make a mark for themselves is just around the corner. It wouldn’t be surprising to see this hurricane of a talent create major strides in his television career in the near future.