History, Health, and Hope

Native American dreamcatcher with article title

By Anna Claire Conrad

Sometimes an internship provides a unique cultural encounter as well as career experience. Just ask Susan Gay, a native of the Caribbean island of Barbados and 2013 UAB alumna, who has spent five months working with Native American tribes in Oklahoma.

Gay, who received a master’s in community health education from the UAB School of Education, recently completed a substance-abuse prevention internship with the Tribal Epidemiology Center at the Oklahoma City Area Inter-Tribal Health Board, which serves the 43 federally recognized tribes in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas. Gay’s work was funded by a federal Strategic Prevention Framework–Tribal Incentive Grant (SPF–TIG), provided to state and tribal organizations to address substance abuse with a focus on underage drinking and prescription drug abuse in Native American communities.

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Preserving the Past

Preserving the Past

By Meghan C. Davis

As Pamela Sterne King, M.A., leads her students around the long-neglected Lyric Theatre, this monument to Birmingham’s boomtown heyday comes back to life.

The Lyric, built in 1914, is one of the few remaining venues nationwide with the acoustics and close audience seating designed for vaudeville shows. A nonprofit group now owns the theatre and is raising funds to restore it as a performing arts center. King, an assistant professor of history at UAB and former historic preservation officer for the city of Birmingham, wants students to learn about the city’s “often-forgotten fun personality,” she says. She also wants them to witness the revitalization of the downtown theatre and retail district and see the potential for further development.

Detailed inspections of the city’s treasures are a part of King’s Historic Preservation and Public Policy course at UAB, which includes extended walking tours of the city. “My students absolutely love to see where Birmingham’s history was made,” she says.

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Action Figures

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Action Figures

Turning Scholarships Into Success Stories

By Matt Windsor • Illustrations by Ernie Eldredge

There doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day,but somehow Alicja Foksinka gets everything done. The UAB junior is working toward a double major in business management—with a concentration in business administration—and information systems. She has a part-time job and an internship in the Office for Youth of the Diocese of Birmingham, the third internship she has held in her three years at UAB.

She also is helping Keri Larson, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing, investigate how nursing units respond to new technology. Although she is interested in a career in academia, Foksinka also wants to help nonprofits streamline their business practices to save time and money, and she dreams of starting a foundation to help parents of children with special needs. She sums up her career goal in six words: “I want to change the world.”

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Ballet and Bonds

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Ballet and Bonds

Kiersten Engel: Senior, Collat School of Business

By Clair McLafferty

Pointe shoes brought Kiersten Engel to Birmingham from New York State. After seven seasons as a dancer with the Alabama Ballet, however, Engel decided to concentrate on a new career.

Attracted by UAB’s location, nontraditional student population, and flexible class schedules, Engel enrolled in 2009 as an applied math major. She initially worked toward a concentration in physics—she once wrote a paper on the equations underlying ballet movements—but a finance class altered her career path. “Finance is a tangible way to apply math,” she says.

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