Each day at UAB marks a different experience for me, connecting with our students, faculty, staff, and alumni and learning something new about them.

Serendipitous campus encounters often lead to great things

By Jessica Dallow

Each day at UAB marks a different experience for me, connecting with our students, faculty, staff, and alumni and learning something new about them. This afternoon, a meeting with an anthropology student about her project for my contemporary art history course veered into a conversation about her interest in pursuing a veterinary-related career, her present job in a genetics lab, and mice. Such little things—realizing connections, discovering something unexpected about the people that make up UAB—are some of the best parts of my job.

connectedThese types of conversations are indicative of how our team of College advisors engage with students every day. These extraordinary people, who often fly beneath the radar, help students navigate their degree requirements, maximize their university experience, and achieve their goals. Just in the last month, they have worked tirelessly with Department of Art and Art History students to transition them into our new curriculum being implemented this fall, and we are so grateful for their expertise and support.

My colleagues and I in the Department of Art and Art History are also thankful for dedicated alumni such as Hugh S. Gainer. With the recent gift of the Hugh S. Gainer and Anna Simmons Gainer Endowed Scholarship for Art History, we are excited for the new opportunities that will open for our students to advance even deeper understandings of culture and history through the close study of objects and images. Angela May Reed, who studied art history as an undergraduate and graduate student, recently conducted fieldwork in Thailand and Cambodia tracing the spread of ancient Indic religious manuscript iconography into popular, modern Thai Buddhist tattooing practices. She is now researching and cataloging a local private collection of Asian and Latin American art and teaching at Auburn University. One of our former UAB-Birmingham Museum of Art curatorial fellows, Bethany McClellan, developed her research on modern design into an innovative exhibition entitled, “Vanguard Views” at the BMA that has led to a new position there as curatorial assistant. And this summer, current student Ruoxin Wang has been chosen to participate in a prestigious summer seminar in Belgium about the era of fifteenth-century Flemish artist Jan van Eyck.

These successes, and so many more, are the result of the support of faculty, staff, alumni, and donors who work tirelessly to help our students excel.

What will the future bring? I can’t wait to find out.
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