Student Spotlight Archives

Kaye Nail


KayeN
GS:       Where are you from?

KN:       I grew up in Jasper, Alabama but I now live in Dora with my family.

GS:       What degree did you receive and when?

KN:       M. A. in History, August, 2010.

GS:       How long have you been at UAB?

KN:       I returned to UAB in 2006 to complete a degree I started in the 80s. I graduated in December 2008 with my B.A. in History.   

GS:       What is your research? 

KN:       I completed my master’s thesis research on Birmingham Jewish Women and Social Reform.  My primary focus was on Birmingham Jewish Women and their role in the Civil Rights Movement. 

GS:       Why did you choose UAB for your graduate studies?

KN:       During my years as an undergraduate, I developed friendships and connections with many of the professors.  Also, the History Graduate Program has an excellent reputation among students.   

GS:       Have you received any awards or honors?

KN:       I received a UAB Alumni License to Learn Scholarship for the years 2008-2010.  In 2009 I was awarded one of the History Department's Graduate Assistantships. I worked in the department from August 2009 until August 2010.  I also was honored to receive the David Hart White Prize in History Endowment for Outstanding Graduate Student. 

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

KN:       If you asked me this question six months ago, the answer would have been working in the History Department, getting to know all of the professors, and presenting my research at several conferences.  But in hindsight, the most rewarding experience was simply being a graduate student, reading more books than I can count, preparing weekly assignments, and having stimulating discussions in class.

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

KN:       As an undergrad, two professors stand out—Dr. George Liber and Dr. Jim Tent.  As a graduate student, Dr. Raymond Mohl influenced my work as a student the most.  Dr. Carolyn Conley, the Chair of the History Department continues to influence me by her support and encouragement of the students in the program.            

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

KN:       Most historians are motivated to research and write about original topics. Little has been written about Birmingham’s Jewish women yet some played an important role during waves of southern social reform like the Civil Rights Movement.  I have been honored to meet and preserve the histories of several Birmingham Jewish women.      

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

KN:       I am teaching two History courses here at UAB this spring semester.  One of the courses, The 1970s in America, is a course that I proposed. My other future plans include teaching, research, writing, and continuing my education.        

GS:       Do you have any advice/wisdom for other graduate students?

KN:       Your experience as a graduate student is just what you make it. Stay focused, get organized, and do not give up!