Graduate School News

Meet Your Student Leaders: Nirzari Gupta, president of GSG

1. Nirzari Alokkumar PresidentThe Graduate School has launched another new series called "Meet Your Student Leaders." This series will provide graduate students and postdoctoral fellows an opportunity to get to know the students who run the various graduate student organizations. This week's featured student leader is Nirzari Gupta, president of the Graduate Student Government.
Read more ...

Discoveries: The sweet science behind mending muscle

IMG 0174Rylie Hightower, a third-year graduate student in the Graduate Biomedial Sciences neuroscience program, studies proteins and other factors that contribute to the progression of muscular dystrophy. 

Read more ...

Link to Leadership: Dr. Lisa Schwiebert, Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs

GRAD logo without taglineEmbarking on the graduate school journey can be a challenging experience, but it helps if you understand the major players involved in that experience. This new series, "Link to Leadership," features Q&As with UAB's Graduate School leaders and an opportunity for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to get to know these leaders on a deeper level.
Read more ...

Upcoming Events

Blazer Spotlights

Hisham Abdelmotilib

Hisham Abdelmotilib

Jacqueline Vo

Jacqueline Vo

Kendra Royston

Kendra Royston

Samir Rana

Samir Rana

Boone

GS:      Where are you from?

JWB:   Pell City, AL.

GS:      What degree will you receive and when?

JWB:   An M.A. in History, in the Spring.

GS:      How long have you been at UAB?

JWB:   This is my second year

GS:      What is your research? 

JWB:   My focus is 20th Century/post-Cold War American diplomatic history, with a secondary interest in world diplomatic and socio-economic history.

GS:      What made you choose UAB for your graduate studies?

JWB:   I had spoken with Dr. Tennant McWilliams a long time ago about whether to go to law school or continue with history, so my connection with UAB is also amusingly historical. I took some time off to make a decision, worked with non-profits for a few years, and then realized how much I enjoy academia. I was applying elsewhere, but then I got a random letter of acceptance in the mail from the UAB graduate school last summer (they had just received my GRE scores). I considered that my "sign," so to speak, and I promptly began gearing up for classes here in Birmingham.

GS:      Have you received any awards or honors?

JWB:   I had the distinct honor of being asked to present independent research at the Regional Phi Alpha Theta Conference last Spring, along with Jennifer Phillips and Heather Guy. My work was focused on pre-WWII Alabama laborers and their views and agendas concerning international events leading up to Pearl Harbor. I'm currently revising it for publication.

GS:      What has been your most rewarding experience at UAB?

JWB:   Staying involved. Although the library consumes much of my time during the year, I also volunteer for UAB sponsored events, tutor student-athletes, represent my program in the Graduate Student Association, and work with the UAB History Honors Society, Phi Alpha Theta. If you like history, JOIN TODAY!!

GS:      Who was your greatest influence here at UAB and why?

JWB:   I met Dr. Tennant McWilliams when I was still an undergraduate at Birmingham-Southern, and our conversation about history reinforced what I had suspected all along: do what you love. When I began signing up for classes last summer, I saw that he was teaching a course on American Diplomatic History, so I enrolled. His lecture style, his passion for the material, and his guidance in my research allowed me to think outside my bias and my comfort zones (I was planning on doing Russian history before) and really dig into rich subject matter. That was the easiest 27 pages I've ever written because it flowed so naturally, and it is that paper that I presented at the Spring Conference.

GS:      What is your motivation in your academics/research?

JWB:   Sometimes when I listen to a musical genius, or read a well written book in Victorian prose, or whatever...I have to close my eyes and take a deep breath because its beauty is simply overwhelming. My motivation is to make someone feel that way about my work. And if history doesn't pan out, I play the guitar.

GS:      What are your plans after graduating and for the future?

JWB:   I'm getting all of my application materials together for Doctoral programs. Right now my top three are North Carolina, Georgetown, and Columbia. However, my life's goal is to start a private school that specializes in the liberal arts and foreign languages. In an increasingly globalizing world, communication is becoming the central theme to development, and with the U.S. exporting less and less we need to be able to work closely with other nations without confusion. My school will prepare students for that, regardless of their profession. And I'll have dictatorial control over the curriculum.

GS:      Is there anything else you would like to say?

JWB:   Everything happens for a reason. Everything.

John’s advice for other graduate students:

Study with the best faculty you possibly can, regardless of the work load. Oh, and if you hate your field, quit.