Alumnus Takes to the Skies at the Southern Museum of Flight

Department of History alumnus Brian Barsanti is now the executive director of the Southern Museum of Flight, home to one of the best collections of historic aircraft in the Southeast as well as the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame.
Department of History alumnus Brian Barsanti is now the executive director of the Southern Museum of Flight, home to one of the best collections of historic aircraft in the Southeast as well as the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame.

Brian BarsantiDr. Barsanti obtained his graduate degree from the UAB Department of History while studying under what he calls “some of the finest historians in the world.” He enjoyed his experience so much that he became an instructor in the department. Along the way, he began working as the educational programs instructor at the Southern Museum of Flight. Eventually he filled other roles in the organization including museum administrator and historian.

Soon he knew he wanted to go back to school once more. “My experiences in the classroom, coupled with my experiences at the museum, led me down the path to completing the PhD in Education with an emphasis on Educational Leadership and Higher Education Administration,” says Barsanti.

His interest in aviation stems from his coursework at UAB, his faculty mentors in the department, and his military experience — he currently serves as an officer in the United States Coast Guard Reserve.

Recently Barsanti was a guest lecturer for Dr. André Millard’s World War II class, which allowed him to blend his interests in teaching, aviation, and the military. This period of history is considered to be the “Golden Age” of aviation, he says, and “iconic images such as P-51 Mustangs and B-17 Bombers immediately come to mind.”

It is clear that his background and formal training in history and education play a large part in his career. “One of the most enjoyable aspects of my job has been the fact that I had the privilege of transforming the museum into an educational tool and cultural resource,” he says. To Barsanti, the museum is a "living, breathing educational institution. I simply love it!"

Brian Barsanti 3

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Jared Bash is a French student who began working with UAB Digital Media in Spring 2014. Some of his many roles include photographer, lab assistant, and writer.

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