Instructor Directory

Kyle Crider
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Kyle Crider is Interim Dean of General Studies and Ecotech Program Manager at Education Corporation of America and Ecotech Institute. He is also a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional, Neighborhood Development (LEED AP ND), and is currently in the Interdisciplinary Engineering PhD Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He earned an MPA from UAB in 1990.

Robert S. Elliott
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Bob Elliott is a Birmingham lawyer and businessman with a Bachelor's Degree from UAB in Political Science and a MBA and a JD from the University of Alabama. He is active in the community, serving on the Board of Directors for the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce and the Vestavia Hills Parks and Recreation Foundation. His practice focuses primarily on business and financial litigation and arbitration, estate planning, immigration, and real estate, particularly for landlords.

Sam S. Gaston
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Sam Gaston has served as City Manager of the City of Mountain Brook since 1993. He received his undergraduate degree in Public Administration from Auburn University and his MPA from Auburn University at Montgomery. He was President of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) from 2011-2012. Sam has served as an adjunct professor in the MPA program since 2000.

Ellyn R. S. Grady
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Ellyn Grady is the Senior Vice President of United Way of Central Alabama's Resource Development Department, which manages the Major Gifts, Legacy Giving, and Workplace campaigns. In 2012 United Way volunteers, supported by staff, successfully raised over $37.3 million. Previously she was Senior Vice President of Agency Impact and Executive Director of Girls Incorporated of Central Alabama. She earned a MPA from UAB and is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha.

Dana O. Hazen
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Dana Hazen received her Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, graduating with academic distinction in 2007. As City Planner for Mountain Brook, she is responsible for the overall operation of planning functions, providing staff support to the City Manager, City Council, Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Adjustment and the Village Design Review Committee, processing development and subdivision proposals as well as maintaining and updating land use plans, zoning maps and zoning regulations.

Erin P. Melaney
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Development Director, Girls Incorporated of Central Alabama.

Joseph J. Packa
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Joseph J. Packa has served as Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross at local, state, and national levels. He led the Southeast Service Area Headquarters through some of its most demanding challenges – including Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 – and through record-breaking service delivery and fundraising successes. A native of Canton, Ohio, he holds a MPA from UAB and completed advanced studies at Executive Education at Harvard Kennedy School. He was the first inductee in the MPA Alumni Association Hall of Fame.

Timothy Smith
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Timothy Smith is an Alabama native. He served in the military, both in the Marines and Air Force. After leaving the military, Dr. Smith worked as a dietary director in a number of north and central Alabama health care facilities. In 1994 he completed licensed practical nurse (LPN) training at Wallace State Community College and went on to work in nursing until 2009. Dr. Smith attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Auburn University, and has travelled and lived extensively, both in the U.S. and Europe. He is primarily interested in the area of Minority Politics, specifically LGBT policy issues.