National Alumni Society Member
Name: Justin R. Craft
Degree and Graduation Year: 1997 School of Business (Marketing)
Hometown: Alexander City, AL
Current town: Birmingham (Greystone)
Current employer and job: Partner at Nowlin and Associates Wealth Management
Why are you proud to be a UAB Blazer? I am proud of the degree I have, the friends I have made and the chance to be part of the UAB family and what can be accomplished in the future.
What made you choose UAB? The history of leadership in Alabama show by UAB as well as the chance to be part of creating new traditions in athletics.
What are your hobbies/what do you like to do in your free time? I love to play golf, go to UAB football and basketball games and I enjoy my family time with my wife Kim (UAB Grad. 1997).
Why did you decide on your career? I enjoy working with people and helping to solve problems in the financial realm. I also always wanted to be entrepreneurial. This career gives you the chance to do both and I enjoy that.
How has UAB changed since you graduated? The growth is amazing to me. I enjoy the campus atmosphere (new dorms, campus green, etc.). That part has changed the most to me.
What was your first job? I was a tire changer at my brother’s auto shop in the summers of High school.
What is your proudest accomplishment? That is hard but one is being the first person in my family to graduate from College.
Out of your college experiences, what was your favorite UAB memory? I have two. The first was winning a contest in Lynn Richardson’s marketing class. We had to put a business plan together and present to a panel. Mine won and later turned into my first business, The Blaze Magazine (covering UAB sports). The second was playing football at Jordan Hare stadium in Auburn on the first Division I football team for UAB.
What was the last book you read? Becoming Your own Banker by Nelson Nash.
What do you like best about your job? The awesome clients I work with and the chance to have an impact on their families.
What are your pet peeves? One is people who stop in a merge lane, but really I think it’s not taking responsibility for your choices or actions, blaming others.
Have you ever won a trophy? Yes
If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be? Blessed More Than I deserve!
If you had a time machine and could only select one year to relive, what year would you travel to? 1995, that’s the year I met Kim my wife.
What’s the greatest invention in your lifetime and why? The I- phone, I stay on it way to much but it is great for business.
Who would you want to portray you in a movie about your life? I have no idea, How about Tom Cruise or Matt Damon.
Student Alumni Society Member
Name: William Bates
Major: Accounting / Pre-Dentistry
Hometown: Huntsville, AL
Why are you proud to be a UAB Blazer? I am so proud to be able to call myself a UAB Blazer. Growing up I was never a huge college sports fan, so when I came to UAB I was finally able to have a university to support, and thus become a part of something that was so much bigger than me alone. This university has given me the insight to become a leader in my career, and I will always owe a great deal of gratitude for all that I have gained from being a Blazer!
Why did you choose UAB? I chose UAB based on acceptance into the Early Dental School Acceptance Program. Once here I chose to be a business major as well because I knew that the skills I would gain from the School of Business will further lead me towards success in the area of orthodontics.
What are your hobbies/what do you like to do in your free time? In the spare time I have I enjoying running, especially around the neighborhood I live in. Running provides me with a short escape from all the responsibilities and school work I have going on, and it helps me to relax and enjoy the beauty of the world around us.
What are your future goals? My future goals include graduating from UAB with a degree in Accounting, and then moving on to UAB’s Dental School. From there I hope to be accepted into an Orthodontics program somewhere in the southeast and eventually open a practice.
Who is the best professor that you have had so far and why? The best professor I have had the pleasure of working with is Stephen Yoder. Mr. Yoder leads UAB’s Business Honors Program, which is a three course program that instills leadership development through individual research and group presentations to CEOs of large companies. Mr. Yoder provides his students with the proper knowledge and experience that develops students into reaching their full potential as future leaders. I have thoroughly enjoyed his courses as well as the personal impact he has played on my educational life.
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be? Jerry Seinfeld. I love making people laugh and Jerry Seinfeld always seems to make me laugh.
If you had a theme song, what would it be? “Stream” by Tim Reynolds
What’s your favorite event at UAB? Homecoming. My favorite time of the year is during Homecoming when students come out of hiding in the library to enjoy the school spirit atmosphere that UAB offers. The School of Business participated heavily in Homecoming this year and I was honored with the opportunity to be the student representative on the School of Business Homecoming Planning Committee. This time of the year really exemplifies how much the students love their undergraduate experience and enjoy all festivities associated with supporting the university.
If you were written about in the newspaper, on the front page, what would the headline say? “Student Lobbies for UAB On-Campus Football Stadium” – I’m not much of one for protesting, but I’d be happy to write an article of why UAB needs an on-campus football stadium. Go Blazers!
Have you ever won a trophy? The most recent trophy I have been awarded was the honor of selection to be Mr. UAB Alternate in the 2010 Mr. UAB competition held by the National Alumni Society.
What’s the greatest invention in your lifetime and why? The iPhone. I’m sure this is an overused example, but being able to communicate via phone and email on the same device has made the constant on-the-go lifestyle of a college student much easier to control all involvement and school work across the campus.
What’s your favorite study spot on campus? My favorite spot to study on campus is the Spencer Honors House. Being a part of the University Honors Program has provided me with the opportunity to enjoy all of the benefits of this renovated church here on campus. It is reasonably located to the BEC where most of my classes are and the Honors House provides a quite, study-friendly environment for me to accomplish all of my school work.
What would be your dream job? I would love to play guitar with the Dave Matthews Band and travel the world with him, but I think I will stick to becoming an orthodontist and enjoying all of the benefits of being a family man here in the southeast.
If you could go a road trip anywhere with anyone, where would you go and with whom? I would travel home with each of my fraternity brothers to get to better know their families and have a nice home-cooked meal.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be? “So much to do, so little time”