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July 2017 - School of Public Health
National Alumni Society Member

NAS MemberName: Amy Badham

Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): MPH 1993

Hometown: I have been in Birmingham for more than half of my life and before that I lived in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Kentucky, Georgia, and the Philippines in that order.

Current town: Birmingham, AL

Current employer and job: UAB, Director of the Office of Service Learning and Undergraduate Research

What is your favorite UAB memory? Living in Wilcox County, AL as part of my MPH practicum in 1992. It was exciting to receive academic credit for living in a community and conducting a needs assessment. The amazing part is that a few years ago I reconnected with members of that community when I started working for the Sparkman Center for Global Health again and I have been able to reformulate the relationship so that I, along with a number of UAB students, are providing public health education to students at an after-school and summer program in Camden.

How has UAB impacted your life? UAB has really formed me. When I arrived in Birmingham in 1991 just out of the Peace Corps, being accepted into the MPH in International Health program gave me direction. My path from 1991-2017 has not been a straight one, but the academic and the relational knowledge that I have gained through attending UAB as a student and then working here in so many different capacities has helped me to identify my purpose—providing experiential educational opportunities to students so that they will understand their responsibility as global citizens through working on mutually beneficial projects with the community.

What made you choose your current profession? It really chose me. I said “yes” to every opportunity that came my way and here I am.

What lessons has your professional life taught you? The value of connecting with people. We are all so busy, but if we can’t take the time to just sit down with people to listen to their stories and truly see them, the work we do is all for nothing.

What would you do if you were given more time in each day? Garden, spend time with family and friends, and write a book

If you could go back to any age, which age would it be and why? Because I am not a great fan of surprises, I might like to go back to my 25 year old self to give myself a heads up about a few of the more stressful moments when I wondered if everything was going to be okay.

If you had the power to solve one, and only one, problem in the world…what would it be and why? Inequity in the United States public educational system. How is okay that the quality of the education that American students receive is totally dependent on the zip code? So many of the health disparities that we see in this country can be tied to the wide gap in K--12 education.

What trait(s) do you most value in your friends? Honesty. Just tell me the truth.

What is your motto? Joy is not dependent on your circumstances. Be joyful. Life is full of uncertainty. Be flexible.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received? When making a decision, think about looking back on that decision in 10 years. Will you regret not doing it? If so, then definitely do it.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? I would go back to the Philippines, I would really like to see how the community where I lived during Peace Corps is progressing and I would like to see all of the children that I spent so much time with as grown-ups.

What is something you are proud of and why? I am very proud of the courses that I created  for the undergraduate major in global public health and I am very proud of the upcoming Peace Corps PREP program that will allow students to work toward a certificate that will give recipients a competitive edge when applying for Peace Corps service. I am proud of these accomplishments because they have and will directly impact UAB students in a positive way.

Take a look back at previous National Alumni Society Minutes with a Member segments by selecting the school below:

School of Nursing

Rocky Caldwell copyName: Rocky Caldwell

Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): BSN 1993 - Registered Nurse

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

Current town: Alabaster, AL

Current employer and job: Children's of Alabama / Divisional Director Ambulatory Operations / 25yrs of Service

What is your favorite UAB memory? I was inspired by the students at UAB who took a position to bring back UAB Football. This movement was not just about football.  I have never seen that level of pride and commitment from the student body at UAB to defend the UAB brand. UAB has grown enormously since I graduated when it was typically a commuter campus. This was a new day and shift in culture for UAB in a positive direction which we should all be proud of. The student body demonstrated a never seen before commitment to protect and defend our university that has evolved over the past twenty years. This is a very promising sign for the future of our Alumni association.

How has UAB impacted your life? Saved my Father's life, provided me with an education and a fulfilling lifelong career, provided my oldest son with an education and a promising career, and is currently providing my youngest son with a first class education. I would have to say that UAB has not just impacted my life but is part of my life and has a lot of my money!

What made you choose your current profession? My Father. While male nurses in the profession was still in early infancy in the late 80's My Father encouraged me to pursue nursing not just as an income earning profession but a profession where I would feel good about what I do and make a difference. My Father was diagnosed with cancer in 1976 and was not expected to survive, I was only six years old. I remember so clearly him telling me not to worry that he would be there to see me grow up. I will never forget the pain he was in as I would peek through the bedroom door as I could hear him from the hallway. It was a long and hard battle and he did survive to not only see me grow up but my kids as well. Although he loved his doctors, he always talked about the nurses who were there for him in his most vulnerable period. He can still tell you their names today forty one years later. I did it for him and to hopefully give someone else a chance to be there for the ones that they love as they gave to me.

What would you do if you were given more time in each day? Spend more time talking to my wife (Tammy). Sometimes I feel she gets the short end of the stick when actually everything I do is for her, she is always with me whether she knows it or not.

What invention have you seen in your lifetime that you believe has been the most important? Cell Phone. It enables us to keep in touch with those we are closest to at anytime and just about anywhere. Amazing how that works when you think about it.

 Which historical figure do you most identify with and why? Stephen Hawking - Not so much for his incredible work with quantum physics and theoretical perspectives of the universe, but more so how he did it with such a profound disability.  He has never been angry about it or gave up which would have been the easy way out. “It is a waste of time to be angry about my disability. One has to get on with life and I haven’t done badly. People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining. ” -Stephen Hawking

 What natural gift would you most like to possess? Perfect Eyesight. I have always been dependent on corrective lenses since I was a small child.  I would love to be able to see near and far at the same time without the inconvenience of corrective lenses. I envy those who can lay in bed at night and watch TV!

 Who would you want to portray you in a film about your life and why? Channing Tatum, because for some reason my wife talks about him all the time? He must make a good impression!

 Where would you go in a time machine and why? To the future, I would like to see how and who my children are in their late forties and early fifties. I would really like to see how their lives turned out, make sure they are ok, and if there is anything I could have done differently to guide them in the right direction.

School of Dentistry

Will VandervoortName: William Maury Vandervoort (Will)

Degree and Graduation Year: DMD The University of Alabama School of Dentistry 2014

Hometown: Anniston, AL

Current town: Tuscaloosa, AL

Current employer and job: Associate dentist at Riverview Dental Designs, PC (practicing with J. Paul Diaz, DMD – also a graduate of The University of Alabama School of Dentistry)

What is your favorite UAB memory? All of the friendships made during my four years of dental school. We had a great class and particularly enjoyed intramural sports. We even won the softball intramural championship my junior year.

How has UAB impacted your life? UAB provided me with a top-notch clinical dental education. It gave me the tools necessary to excel in an outstanding profession.

What made you choose your current profession? My father, who is my greatest mentor, first got me interested in the field of healthcare. He is a graduate of The University of Alabama School of Medicine and practices as an orthopedic surgeon in Anniston, AL. My older brother decided to go to dental school and encouraged me to consider dentistry as a profession. I shadowed several dentists around my hometown and quickly saw the many positive attributes of the dental profession. There are countless other people in the dental profession who have served as mentors and encouraged me to excel in dentistry, but Dr. Mike Edwards and Dr. Guy Rosenstiel will always be two of the most influential supporters that I have had.

What lessons has your professional life taught you? Many. Humility is definitely one. That’s why it is called “practicing” dentistry.

If you were given the opportunity to spend 48 hours with absolutely anyone (living or dead), who would you spend it with and what would you do? I’d spend it with my mother – enjoying her great cooking and spending time together.

What song (if any) are you listening to? Bob Seger station on Pandora Radio

If you could have a new talent, what would you want? I used to play the guitar a good bit when I was a teenager. I don’t play much anymore, but would like to pick it back up as I love music.

Describe your favorite pair of shoes you own now: my Brooks running shoes

What’s the closest thing to you that is green? My scrubs some days

School of Optometry

NAS MemberName: Zachary McCarty, O.D.

Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): Doctor of Optometry 2006

Hometown: Hawesville, KY

Current town: Chattanooga, TN

Current employer and job: SouthEast Eye Specialists, PLLC – staff optometric physician and Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO)

What is your favorite UAB memory? My Gross Anatomy class. It was not always the most pleasant, but in this class as first-year optometry students, our class began to forge bonds that have lasted us to this day. It’s oftentimes how our class became a large-extended family.

What made you choose your current profession? My great-grandmother had macular degeneration in her later years of life. Growing up, I remember watching how difficult it was for her to navigate and perform many of her ususal daily activities due to this condition. It made me want to go into a profession where I can help people maximize the most of their vision throughout their lifetime.

If you could have a new talent, what would you want? I’d love to be able to sing, however, as it is now, I cannot carry a tune.

Describe your favorite pair of shoes you own now. My running shoes.

Describe your day in a six word sentence. Treating patient’s eye disease with compassion.

What do you love most about what you get to do every day? Knowing that as a direct result of my care, patient’s are receiving better vision and preservation of their current vision.

What’s the closest thing to you that is green? My backpack.

College of Arts & Sciences

Bates WEBName: Johnny Edward Bates, M.D.

Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): Bachelor of Science in Mathematics; 1979 and MD in 1983

Hometown: Sipsey, Alabama

Current town: Columbiana, Alabama

Current employer and job: I am the President and Chief Executive Officer of Quality Correctional Healthcare located in Birmingham, Alabama, which provides inmate healthcare to facilities in the Southeast.

What is your favorite UAB memory? The professors, without a doubt. I had so many excellent instructors. Also, for the most part, my classes at UAB were fairly small. My sociology class had the largest number of students and I believe that class had around 100 students. The best way I can describe UAB is as a very comfortable learning environment.

How has UAB impacted your life? UAB has impacted my life in so many ways. I was accepted into medical school with my math degree, which was somewhat unusual. Most importantly, it instilled in me a life-long desire for learning. Since my time at UAB, I have earned a Master’s Degree in Medical Management and have taken everything from machine shop courses to engineering courses. UAB taught me that there is something to be learned every day.

What made you choose your current profession? When I was thirteen months old, I developed TB meningitis. This happened just a few years after the introduction of INH, which is an antibiotic that treats tuberculosis infections. I have no recollection of these events. However, my mother instilled in me a love for medicine by the fond way she described the physicians and nurses who took care of me.

What lessons has your professional life taught you? Adaptability and humility. I think these two things go hand in hand. In order to be successful, it is crucial to be open to new ideas and opportunities.

What invention have you seen in your lifetime that you believe has been the most important? The most important invention I have seen in my lifetime is not really an invention but rather a discovery. When I was in medical school, there was limited knowledge about genetics and many people lost their lives to leukemia. Due to discoveries in genetics and molecular biology, some types of leukemia can be managed as a chronic illness rather than being considered a death sentence.

If you could have three wishes, what would they be? 1) To be a better Christian; 2) To be a better teacher; and 3) To be a better innovator.

If you could go back to any age, which age would it be and why? There is not a particular age that interests me as much as what I experienced during those time frames. I’m old enough to remember the fun of growing up in Huntsville during the space race and the way it felt when they tested the Saturn V at the arsenal. (The ground would shake and you thought the windows would fall out.) I was around to watch the landing on the moon. So, I would go back to a time when everything seemed possible if we just dreamed big enough. I would also go back to a time when both of my parents were alive.

Which historical figure do you most identify with and why? I would frame this in terms of time periods and not a particular historical figure. I love the Renaissance period because of the music and the awakening to the world.

Who would you want to portray you in a film about your life and why? Jack Nicholson because he can do crazy really well.

Collat School of Business

Michael LynamName: Michael Lynam, CFP, MBA

Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s):
2010 Bachelor of Science, Finance 
2013 Master of Business Administration

Hometown: Trussville, AL

Current town: Trussville, AL

Current employer and job: Principal Financial Group - Investment Advisor Representative/Financial Advisor

What is your favorite UAB memory? Working on the Green and Gold Fund.

How has UAB impacted your life? Not only have I gained a great education from this institution but have made great personal and business relationships throughout the years. 

What made you choose your current profession? My father passed when I was just 10 years old. My mother was left to raise my brother and me. Had my father not had a solid financial plan, my mother would have struggled to raise us. I’m not saying it was easy for her, but she was able to provide for us. So, from very early on, I saw the importance of making sure your affairs are in order and how having a plan can work. It made me want to help others in the same manner. 

What lessons have your professional life taught you? Far too many to list here and many are things you just can’t learn in a text book. I’d say the most valuable lessons, though, are to never underestimate the importance of people skills, good relationships and a solid work ethic. If you have a healthy mix of these skills, it can take you anywhere you want to go in life.

If you were given the opportunity to spend 48 hours with absolutely anyone (living or dead), who would you spend it with and what would you do? My father. I have a lot of unanswered questions and would certainly like to have known him better.

What song (if any) are you listening to? I Giorni or Divenire to start. Anything by Ludovico Einaudi. I find it relaxing and peacful which helps me unwind.

If you could have a new talent, what would you want? I'd like to learn to play the piano.

Describe your favorite pair of shoes you own now: My Allen Edmonds Grayson loafers. They're comfy for dress shoes which I end up wearing five out of seven days.

I really wish            hadn't been invented. Cell phones...sometimes

Describe your day in a six word sentence: Be thankful for what you have.

What do you love most about what you get to do every day? I get to help people reach their financial goals and make sure their legacy doesn't end just because their life did.

What's the closest thing to you that is green? The money...in my wallet.

School of Education

December 2016 - School of Education
National Alumni Society Member

Sandra Sims headshot 7 23 2013 210x265Name: Sandra Sims

Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): Master of Arts, August 1986; Education Specialist, August 1997

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

Current town: Birmingham, AL

Current employer and job: UAB School of Education, Associate Professor in Physical Education Teacher Certification

What is your favorite UAB memory? Being a GA working with Peggy Harrison and Donna Hester.

How has UAB impacted your life? UAB was the perfect place to get my MA and EdS.  I received both degrees while helping at UAB.  I was a GA for my Masters and a Teacher in Residence for my EdS.  My teaching practices improved because of UAB and my experiences here.

What made you choose your current profession? I knew I wanted to be a Physical Education teacher since I was a freshman in high school.

What lessons have your professional life taught you? I was a public school teacher for 20+ years before coming to UAB to teach future teachers. The main lesson I have learned from my professional life is that it is important to love what you do.  I love teaching, no matter who the students are.  I believe we all should love going to work every day.

What would you do if you were given more time in each day? I would take more time with family and friends.

What invention have you seen in your lifetime that you believe has been the most important? The cell phone.

If you could have three wishes, what would they be? Place all children in a good, loving environment; give activity equipment to everyone in need, and provide food to all that are hungry.

If you could go back to any age, which age would it be and why? I love where I am in life now.  I just wish my body was a little younger and I could move a little faster so I could be more competitive in sports again.

What natural gift would you most like to possess? Play a musical instrument.

What trait(s) do you most value in your friends? Kindness

What is your motto? Find JOY in the JOurneY

What is something you are proud of and why? My high school teaching days.  I loved teaching and coaching.  Jemison High School was a great place to spend the majority of my career.

School of Health Professions

Madison IIName: Dr. Vivian Yvonne Madison

Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): BS Occupational Therapy - 1973, Master of Arts in Education - 1977, Master of Science in Criminal Justice - 1986

Hometown: Columbiana, AL

Current town: Birmingham, AL

Current employer and job: JLT Therapeutic Services, Inc., President

What is your favorite UAB memory? Being in the charter chapter of the Iota Lambda Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is at the top of my list and also being a part of other historic events at UAB.

How has UAB impacted your life? I received an excellent education at UAB. I feel UAB encourages its students to be agents of change and to pursue opportunities in creative and professional ways. With this in mind, I have worked in various agencies, developed programs, sat on community boards, written professional articles, presented at state and national conferences, and started my own business.

What made you choose your current profession? I have always been interested in science, math, and mental health. While in high school, I received college catalogs to assist me in determining where to send college applications. In one of these catalogs was a description of Occupational Therapy. I had not heard of the field; however, it sounded very intersting. I knew this field met all of my criteria and would afford me the opportunity to grow as a professional. I have never regretted my decision.

What lessons have your professional life taught you? The most important lesson is that life can be fragile and that people sometimes need assistance when navigating the ups and downs of their lives.

What would you do if you were given more time in each day? Write more books for children and volunteer.

If you could have three wishes, what would they be? To revisit special life moments, write and produce a movie that positively impacts the lives of others, and witness the cures of some chronic medical conditions.

If you could go back to any age, which age would it be and why? I would go back to my high school graduation, because this is when the next stage in my life started.

What natural gift would you most like to possess? The ability to compose music.

What trait(s) do you most value in your friends? Honesty and compassion.

Who would you want to portray you in a film about your life and why? Although now deceased, Lena Horne, because she was a versatile actress.

What is your motto? "To thine own self be true"

What is something you are proud of and why? I am proud of starting my own business, because this was one of my dreams.

What things do you not like to do? I don't like to wait in backed-up traffic.

School of Engineering

Name: Tequila Smith

Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): BS in Mechanical Engineering 1999 and MBA in 2003

Hometown: Tuscaloosa, AL

Current town: Trussville, AL

Current employer and job: Southern Company, Renewable Energy O&M Manager

What is your favorite UAB memory? Becoming a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

How has UAB impacted your life? My time at UAB resulted in 20 plus years of friendship with some pretty awesome people.

What made you choose your current profession? I was a good math and science student and I did not want to go into the medical field. Engineering was the next best option for me.

What lessons has your professional life taught you?
1) Do not make decisions when you are emotional.
2) Do not take business decisions personally.
3) Make time to mentor others.

What would you do if you were given more time in each day? Spend time with Mark Sr, and our children MaKayla - 14, and MJ -11.

What invention have you seen in your lifetime that you believe has been the most important? Definitely the iPhone!!!!

If you could have three wishes, what would they be?
1) The ability to spend more time with my grandparents
2) To invent Google or Facebook
3) Three more wishes

If you could go back to any age, which age would it be and why? 10; because my grandfather was alive then and he was my best friend.

If you had the power to solve one, and only one, problem in the world…what would it be and why? Free education for every child in the world

What natural gift would you most like to possess? Dream Interpretation

What trait(s) do you most value in your friends? My friends are nonjudgmental, loyal and forgiving

Who would you want to portray you in a film about your life and why? Gabrielle Union; because she is funny on and off the big screen. I love her energy.

What is your motto? Live, Love, Laugh

What is the best piece of advice you ever received? “Do what is right. Treat people right.”

If you could start a charity or non-profit organization, what would it be and why? I am currently a member of the Imogene Baswell Society, which provides funding for female engineering students, but I would like to start a non-profit that focuses on increasing the following values and skills in at-risk middle school girls: self-confidence, dignity, charity, communication and leadership.  There would be a strong emphasis on education in STEM fields.

What is something you are proud of and why? I am most proud of my children because they are God-loving, loyal and kind.

What is the last book you read? Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn

What things do you not like to do? I do not like driving.

School of Public Health

Alex Ream NASName: Alex Ream

Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): MPH in Environmental Health Sciences (2015)

Hometown: Millbrook, AL

Current town:  Birmingham, AL

Current employer and job:  Vulcan Materials Company

What is your favorite UAB memory?  There were many positive memories created during my UAB tenure.  The one event that stands out the most is the “Snowpocalypse” event in January 2014.  The winter weather created hazardous conditions in the Birmingham community.  The University canceled classes quickly before icy sleet advanced into the city.  Traffic was gridlocked.  I walked out of class that morning in hopes of a southern “snow day.”  However, my experiences ranged from a vehicle near-collision, a long trek in snow to get home, resting at a warm church with plenty of hot cocoa, and forming new friendships along the way.  The weather event caused a lot of grief, but the community banded together to reduce the crisis burden.  Many stories appeared shortly afterwards about strangers helping other strangers by sharing resources including transportation, food and supplies.  These stories are what make me most proud to be a part of UAB and Birmingham.

How has UAB impacted your life?  UAB provided me with the skills and confidence to seek a rewarding career in health and safety.  The educational tools and resources helped carve a path for my current and future success.  The academic facilities, students and staff created a unique and diverse environment for me to grow, develop and launch my career.

What made you choose your current profession?  I have an insatiable desire to help people by installing and/or maintaining management systems in the workplace geared towards risk reduction in behaviors, processes and equipment that return employees home to their families in the same, if not better, condition prior to their work shift.

What lessons has your professional life taught you?  I’ve learned valuable results don’t happen overnight.  You don’t have monthly examinations that grade your level of success at work compared to school.  So time management and relationships are vital to my success.  Thus, managing my time tackling delicate situations or tough projects is important. I attempt to provide well constructed solutions to arising problems in the workplace by being respectful of my peers and approachable.  Sometimes finding an answer takes longer than a few minutes.  An “I’ll get back to you,” or “let me sleep on it” is sufficient in most cases.  I’m learning valuable lessons on how to proportionately spend quality time at work and build relationships professionally.

What historical figure do you most identify with and why? I’d love to team up with Bernardo Ramazzini who’s known as the “father of industrial hygiene.”  Ramazzini was a Italian physicist in the 1600s who first linked occupational exposures to chronic illnesses and disease, thus creating a need for industrial hygienists.  He identified a relationship between hazards such as dusts, chemicals, heavy metals and ergonomic risk factors to poor health.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?   A close friend once mentioned to me that, “at the end of the day, your personal accomplishments and wealth are meaningless.  A person’s heaviest weighted attribute is their character.  One day when you’re gone, you will be remembered by not what you’ve done, but how you made people feel.”  I’ve taken that to heart in my personal and professional life.

Honors College

Jones WEBName: Ashley M. Jones

Degree and Graduation Year: BA in English, Creative Writing Concentration, Spanish Minor - 2012

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

Current town: Birmingham, Alabama

Current employer and job: Alabama School of Fine Arts, Creative Writing Faculty Member

What is your favorite UAB memory? I had a lot of great moments at UAB, and it’s hard to pinpoint one as my absolute favorite. So I’ll give you two. First one: Every year, the University Honors Program, of which I was a part, put together a float and building decorations as a part of UAB’s Homecoming celebration. I was on the committee, and I remember spending countless hours after school creating a huge Blaze poster, using chicken wire to create some sort of green and gold apparatus, and even waking up early to tie green and gold streamers all over the Spencer Honors House. We also got to ride in the Homecoming Parade, which was absolutely fantastic! Throwing candy to cheering Blazer fans, laughing with my classmates, and trying not to fall off the back of the truck was so much fun, and it was a great way to show our Blazer pride! Another one that definitely stands out is when I spoke at my commencement ceremony. I was honored to have been chosen, and I was proud to represent my family, my department, and my graduating class. I felt like my four years at UAB had truly culminated in something magical as I looked out over the crowd at Bartow Arena.

How has UAB impacted your life? UAB has impacted me significantly in my personal and professional life. Personally, I learned how to be a functioning adult while I was at UAB, whether it was braving the dorms and the prospect of cooking my own meals, managing my own money, or powerwalking across the Green in any weather to get to class on time. I met friends and colleagues who supported me as I grew and developed, and I learned what kind of citizen I wanted to be. I learned that I wanted to be hard-working and useful to my community, and I’ve continued living by that philosophy since graduating UAB. Professionally, I was able to develop career skills that I still use today—my English/Creative Writing degree is put to work every single day. The education I received at UAB built upon the exemplary education I received in high school, and it propelled me onward to graduate school and now to my career.

What made you choose your current profession? I’ve always been a writer—I have been writing stories and poems since I was seven years old. I always knew that would be a part of my career. Teaching came to me in high school, when I did creative writing outreach and team-taught summer camps. My time at UAB again found me in classrooms as an America Reads Tutor at Glen Iris Elementary and as a volunteer at Arrington Middle School in conjunction with the University Honors Program. Working with students made me feel fulfilled as a person, and it enriched me as a writer. I also taught in graduate school at my university and in the community, and that really solidified my desire to be a teacher of writing. Now, I’m teaching at my alma mater, the Alabama School of Fine Arts, and working with these talented students honestly makes me feel like I’m walking in my purpose, and that I’m making a difference in the lives of some very special young writers.

What would you do if you were given more time in each day? I would probably make more time to read the ever-growing stack of unread books on my bookshelf. People think that when you’re a writer, all you do is write and read, and that’s just not true for me.  

If you could have three wishes, what would they be? I’d wish for good poetry, love, and peace.

If you had the power to solve one, and only one, problem in the world…what would it be and why? I think the problem in the world is that people don’t know how to chill out and let others live their fullest lives. If I could solve that, and create a world full of people who respect and value the lives of others—meaning no colonization, no racism, no sexism, no classism, no ageism, no patriarchy, etc—I would be so happy, and I’m sure the rest of the world would be, too.

What natural gift would you most like to possess? I would absolutely love the ability to really sing, like Patti Labelle or Fantasia or Luther Vandross or Whitney Houston. Something about a song sung well can lift spirits and touch hearts, and although poetry can do the same things, I want to be able to do that with my voice.

What trait(s) do you most value in your friends? I value honesty and a great sense of humor—if we can’t laugh and tell each other the truth, we can’t be friends!

What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Literally anything my parents have ever told me. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but my parents are truly the greatest guiding forces in my life. One thing they always impressed upon me and my siblings is to work hard and be good to others—that advice has followed me throughout my life, and it really pays off. Working hard for what you want and being a kind, humble force in the world makes life sweeter.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? I have a lot of places I’d like to go in the future, but the one place I really can’t wait to go to is India. I’ve always wanted to see India, and not just because I love Bollywood. I want to see a place that’s completely on the other side of the world, and whose culture is so full. But, by that same token, I’d love to visit Africa, too, and get a better sense of the place my distant ancestors called home.

What is something you are proud of and why? I’m proud of my family because they are truly the greatest gift I’ve ever been given, and they’re a constant source of support and friendship. My siblings and my parents are some of the smartest, most unique, funniest, and most artistically talented people I know, and I’m just so proud to be one of them!

What is the last book you read? I’ve been reading a lot of books this summer as I prepare for classes in the fall, so I’ll give you the last few: Fences by August Wilson, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi,  MAUS by Art Spiegelman, American Born Chinese by Gene Yang, and MARCH Book 2 by John Lewis.

What things do you not like to do? Grading, washing dishes, and resetting my car seat after someone else has driven.

What 3 items would you take to a deserted island other than food and water? I would definitely take a radio (like, one that can communicate with other radios), a flotation device (because I can’t swim), and a machete. 


Student Alumni Society Member

SAS MemberName: Michelle LeBlanc       

Graduation Year: 2015 undergrad; 2019 graduate

Major: Healthcare Management with a minor in Public Health –undergrad

I am also currently obtaining my Masters of Public Health with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health Policy

Hometown: Spanish Fort, AL

Why did you choose to attend UAB? I chose UAB for its diversity and dedication to learning. I also wanted to attend a school that would offer me more opportunities to me within the healthcare field.

Who is the best professor that you have had at UAB so far (and why)? Dr. Andrzej Kulczycki. He challenged our class to think critically and provided an environment for constructive discussion on global issues.

What is your favorite UAB memory? I was a part of Alpha Xi Delta, a sorority at UAB. I have many fond memories come from events with the women in my chapter. My favorite would probably be the Bid Day my senior year. We worked really hard on recruitment and I had no sleep, but we had the best time welcoming new members.

How has UAB impacted your life? UAB has been a huge part of my life. I went to undergrad here, I work for the UAB Pulmonary Division now, while also getting my Masters of Public Health here. It has broadened my horizons and allowed me pursue my passions.

If you were on a plane beside your favorite celebrity, what would you do? I don’t know why Lady Gaga would be flying in coach, but I would just ask her way too many questions, including if I could get tickets to her next concert.

What is one of your favorite song lyrics (and who is it by)? “Where you invest your love, you invest your life” –Mumford and Sons

The store I frequent the most is Target.

Describe your day in a six word sentence: I do a lot of paperwork.

What word do you overuse most? “like”

The best kind of cake is German Chocolate.

What’s the closest thing to you that is green? My UAB employee badge.

Who are the people who make your life better? My mother, father, and brother, roommate, Avery, and close friends.

What is the best advice you ever received? “Don’t overthink it.” –this only came to me after 20 minutes of thinking about it.

Take a look back at previous Student Alumni Society Minutes with a Member segments by selecting the school below:

School of Nursing

Madison TaylorName: Madison Taylor

Graduation Year: 2018

Major: Nursing

Hometown: Mobile, AL

Why did you choose to attend UAB? I chose to attend UAB because of the incredible opportunity the Dean’s Nursing Scholars Program offers! I knew years before attending college that nursing was my calling, and I was led straight to it at UAB! Once that was taken care of, the Honors College made an appearance and immediately grabbed my attention because of the service learning component to my honors curriculum.

Who is the best professor that you have had at UAB so far and why? Dr. Cathy Roche immediately comes to mind when you ask for the best professor I have had because her passion for teaching and encouraging student nurses is admirable. She goes out of her way to meet new students, challenge us, take interest in who we are and why we want to be nurses. I aspire to be a teacher like her one day!

What is your favorite UAB memory? My favorite UAB memory is definitely coordinating the Honors College Gurney Derby team for the Homecoming Parade my sophomore year! The day before the race I caught a terrible cold, but I put on a tough face the next morning so I could run! We didn’t win, but I have UAB to thank for giving me the opportunity to haul a gurney down the street with some of my best friends! Can’t wait to do it in the hospital!

How has UAB impacted your life? UAB has given me the opportunity to pursue my vocation as (God willing) a nurse through both the classroom and hospital settings, service opportunities all throughout Birmingham, and the incredible people who are associated with the university. Every person I have met and every beautiful experience I have had during the past four years originates from my decision (with a lot of encouragement and prayer along the way) to attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

What is your current state of mind? Even as a student nurse with lives literally in our hands, we cannot take everything so seriously. We must check in with ourselves and ask how we are doing and living our lives. Examine your day, remember the highs and lows, and strive to grow and love better again tomorrow.

What do you do for fun? For fun, I like going to Pepper Place Farmer’s Market to buy flowers and pet the puppies walking by, going to daily Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows, talking to my mom, walking at Railroad Park with my friends, and driving around Homewood! Sometimes, I even study on the weekends.  

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? I would bi-locate (appear in two places at once) so that I would never be late and spend more time with the people I love.

What is the best invention of your lifetime and why? The best invention of my lifetime is definitely the cell phone because I can facetime people who live hours away, like actually see their faces! Yet, I think it could also be the most detrimental because we take for granted the information readily available to us and the people around us. Thus, benefits and risks!  

What are your future goals? My future goals are to be a nurse at UAB Highlands on the ACE Unit because I love the older population being served. And, I also want to start a pro-life club on campus because we do not have one, yet.

If you had a theme song, what would it be? It would have to be two… “Be Thou My Vision” by Audrey Assad and “Scars To Your Beautiful” (the Joe Mason remix) by Alessia Cara

What’s the best advice you ever received? “Do not be afraid.”

School of Dentistry

Chijioke UlasiName: Chijioke Ulasi, MPH

Graduation Year: 2006, 2019

Major: Dentistry

Hometown: Hoover, Alabama

Why did you choose to attend UAB? I chose to attend the UAB School of Dentistry due to its reputation for clinical excellence, research innovation, and proximity to family. Its small class size, quality teaching staff, high clinic requirements, and robust patient pool make it a great place to learn, work and be a student.

Who is the best professor that you have had at UAB so far (and why)? I have had really amazing professors at UAB. Dr. Merrie Ramp is one of the professors I have admired since I started dental school. She is the preclinical director for first year dental students at the School of Dentistry. Much of what I learned in her class was important for passing our part 1 dental boards. She has a great heart for students, very approachable, and very flexible in adjusting her exams to fit our hectic schedule. This is very much appreciated!!

What is your favorite UAB memory? Time spent with my school family (classmates) in the preclinical dentistry lab. We spend long hours here in our first two years learning to do dental procedures like implants, fixed and partial restorations, endodontics, dentures etc. This time allowed us to apply knowledge, perfect our hand-skills, and forge those key relationships with each other.

How has UAB impacted your life? UAB has been a great place to learn, work, and be a patient! Since my graduate program in public health to my work experience at the Department of Genetics, and now my professional studies at the School of Dentistry, I have found this to be true. It has enabled me to grow professionally and equips me with the education and skills needed to be an excellent dentist.

If you were on a plane beside your favorite celebrity, what would you do? First, I will remain casual like its no big deal. Then, we will make small conversations, take a picture, and I will add him/her to my social media network.

What is one of your favorite song lyrics (and who is it by)? “Bless the Lord oh my soul, oh my soul worship his holy name. Sing like ever before, oh my soul. I will worship your Holy name." - 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman

The store I frequent the most is: Amazon Prime! It offers two-day free shipping, great selections, convenience, and saves precious time!

Describe your day in a six word sentence: Expanding knowledge and gaining clinical competency

What word do you overuse most? Hope

The best kind of cake is: Strawberry cheesecake from the Cheesecake factory!

What’s the closest thing to you that is green? My school scrubs

Who are the people who make your life better? My immediate family and mentors

What is the best advice you ever received? “The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.” So prepare yourself, make a better you, seize every opportunity, take risks, and step out of your comfort zone.

School of Optometry

SAS MemberName: Claire Mowrer

Graduation Year: 2017

Major: Optometry

Hometown: Tullahoma, TN

Why did you choose to attend UAB? I chose the optometry school at UAB because it is part of a large university with a medical school. Because of the resources available at UAB, I have had learning opportunities that are not available at all optometry schools, such as a gross anatomy class with a cadaver lab. I also loved the small class size at UAB School of Optometry. Some optometry schools have classes of over 100; my class has 36 members, which allows us to really get to know each other and our professors.

Who is the best professor that you have had at UAB so far (and why)? Dr. Tammy Than is one of the best professors I have ever had. She cares deeply about students and pours her heart into her teaching. She taught us some of the toughest courses in the program, and worked extremely hard to make sure we understood the material so we would be better prepared to take care of our patients and to pass boards.

What is your favorite UAB memory? After our last final in our didactic courses at the end of third year, my class had a party celebrating our last time together before our clinical rotations. We voted for "Golden Globe" awards...everything from "Best Hair" to "Most Likely to Become a UABSO Professor" to "Most Likely to Be Late to Graduation." It was hilarious! Several of our professors joined us, and we had a great time together.

How has UAB impacted your life? UAB has provided me with an excellent education and preparation for a career in optometry. I love what I do, and I'm glad I chose this school for my professional education.

If you were on a plane beside your favorite celebrity, what would you do? Be awkward.

What is one of your favorite song lyrics (and who is it by)? "I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance. Never settle for the path of least resistance." Lee Ann Womack

The store I frequent the most is: Walmart. Student budget. No shame.

Describe your day in a six word sentence. Serving patients with excellent eye care.

What word do you overuse most? ok

The best kind of cake is: chocolate with lots of icing.

What’s the closest thing to you that is green? A can of Diet Coke with Lime.

Who are the people who make your life better? My husband Adam, my sister Emily, my parents, and my in-laws. Their support has been invaluable in helping me get through school.

What is the best advice you ever received? Treat others as you wish to be treated.

College of Arts & Sciences

Almond WEBName: Camilla Almond

Graduation Year: 2020

Major: Musical Theatre

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Why did you choose to attend UAB? The musical theatre program here is new within a seasoned theatre department, so there is an exciting element of opportunity and growth while remaining within a strong department that understands what they are doing.

Who is the best professor that you have had at UAB so far (and why)? I’ve loved every class I’ve taken here! My favorite professor would probably have to be Marlene Johnson, who I’ve been taking Voice and Movement I and II from. She shares an unbelievable amount of knowledge with us and her class has transformed me the most thus far.

What is your favorite UAB memory? Within the theatre department, we have bigs and littles like you would in greek life. We spent an entire week trading letters back and forth with our bigs, and at the end of it we had a huge big/little reveal where we had to follow clues to our bigs!

How has UAB impacted your life? I have already made amazing friends I know I will keep for a lifetime, as well as connections with outstanding faculty and upperclassmen who I hope to keep in touch with once I am out in the real world.

If you were on a plane beside your favorite celebrity, what would you do? I’d like to think I’d play it off like I don’t know who they are and then strike up a casual conversation, but realistically I’d probably choke on my own spit.

What is one of your favorite song lyrics (and who is it by)?One of my favorite verses from a song by Julian Casablancas: Forgive them even if they are not sorry/All the vultures, bootleggers at the door waiting/You are looking for your own voice, but in others/While it hears you, trapped in another dimension

The store I frequent most is __________: Target. All the time.

Describe your day in a six word sentence: Overslept and ran to my 8AM.

What word do you overuse most? Precious

The best kind of cake is __________: Red velvet

What's the closest thing to you that is green? The starbucks straw in my cup of iced coffee.

Who are the people who make your life better?My dog (not a person?) and the students and staff of the theatre department.

What is the best advice you ever received? To always be my truest and most authentic self, without trying to be someone I’m not.

Collat School of Business

Claire Warren headshotName: Claire Warren

Graduation Year: 2019

Major: Industrial Distribution

Hometown: Glencoe, Alabama

Why did you choose to attend UAB? I chose to attend UAB because of all the great opportunities I saw within the Collat School of Business. I was scared to attend a school that none of my friends were attending, but I have met so many great people because I came to UAB. 

Who is the best professor that you have had at UAB so far (and why)? The best professor I have had at UAB so far has been Jordan Bauer, my history professor freshman year. Prior to this class, history was my least favorite subject. The way she spoke in her lectures put the subject in a whole new light for me. She genuinely cared about the material and taught in a way that made it easy for me to understand and follow. 

What is your favorite UAB memory? My favorite UAB memory (so far) was living with my roommate freshman year in our dorm. I was lucky enough to have an awesome roommate who ended up becoming one of my best friends! 

How has UAB impacted your life? I grew up in a small town, so attending UAB was a major change for me to say the least. I love how diverse the student body is. I have learned to be more open minded, but also to stay true to what I believe. Choosing UAB was the best decision I have made in my life so far. UAB has given me so many great opportunities and friendships!

If you were on a plane beside your favorite celebrity, what would you do? I would most likely spend the first part of the flight in shock (and a little upset I am on a plane and cannot share the event with everyone I know).  Once I finally built up the courage to start a conversation, I would of course take a few selfies! 

What is one of your favorite song lyrics (and who is it by)? My favorite song is I lived by One Republic. I love the entire song, so I cannot just pick one line of the song!

The store I frequent most is __________: TJ Maxx (I love the store so much I decided to work there).

Describe your day in a six word sentence: Eat, work, nap, eat and sleep.

What word do you overuse most? The word I overuse most would be "great." I use it most working in retail with customers checking out at the register and checking up with them as I walk throughout the store. I tend to use it frequently in everyday conversations as well.

The best kind of cake is __________: Chocolate (of course!).

What's the closest thing to you that is green? My Christmas tree (it is December 20th as I write this)!

Who are the people who make your life better?My family, friends and pets (the animals in the Warren house are always treated like humans) make any day better and I am very thankful to be surrounded by such wonderful people!

What is the best advice you ever received? While my mother has given me great advice over the years, one piece in particular has always stuck with me. She always told me to be kind to everyone because you never know what someone is really going through. Throughout high school, I worked with my elementary school's afterschool program with children from kindergarten up to sixth grade and now I am working at TJ Maxx. With both of my jobs, I have learned my mother's words to be true. Each day, I try to make a positive impact on someone, even if it is just a gentle smile. 

School of Education

Student Alumni Society Member

El Husari AName: Yasmin El-Husari

Graduation Year: 2017

Major: History and Secondary Education double major

Hometown: Hoover

Why did you choose to attend UAB? My father, uncles, and aunt all graduated from UAB. I simply wanted to carry on the tradition.

Who is the best professor that you have had at UAB so far and why? My best professor was Professor Veronique Zimmerman-Brown from the School of Education. She had a lot of experience and was good at transferring that information to her students. She was also very good at explaining assignments and major requirements to us. Her class was the first Education class that I took and it helped confirm my choice of major.

What is your favorite UAB memory? I don’t have just one. My favorite memories of UAB are all of spending time in the library with my friends. It’s a place for great conversation and a great place to make new friends.

How has UAB impacted your life? My time at UAB has really expanded my view of the world. I’ve learned to talk to different people and become more confident about my academic abilities.

What is your current state of mind? Stressed out. I hope to graduate next semester so I’m trying to tie up a lot of loose ends this semester.

What do you do for fun? I like to read, garden, and spend time with friends and family.

Who are your heroes in real life? My parents. No one has given me better advice or supported me more.

If you were given more time in each day, what would you do? I would spend more time outside like hiking and gardening.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Invisible flight. There’s something very attractive about flying, but with all these planes and drones in the sky, I want to be able to enjoy it.

What is the best invention of your lifetime and why? The internet (made available to the public). It has made it possible to connect with the world without leaving the house.

What are your future goals? I hope to teach high school level history once I graduate. Eventually, I’d like to become a college professor.

What would be your ultimate dream job? To be a top child psychology/ parenting expert with a show like Supernanny.

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fiction, with whom would it be? Jo March from Little Women.

What three items would you take to a deserted island other than food and water? I would take a Quran, a first aid kit, and a good knife.

If you had a theme song, what would it be? “One of Those Days” by Joy Williams

If you had the power to solve one, and only one, problem in the world…what would it be and why? Water shortage. Water is life for so many people, and people need their basic needs covered before they can worry about other problems like economics or education.

What’s the best advice you ever received? Trust is the binding force in all relationships. It is difficult to build but can be lost in a second. Guard it carefully.

School of Health Professions

Name: Shairoz Sultan Patel

Graduation Year: 2016

Major: Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS)

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Why did you choose to attend UAB? Steel city pops – just kidding! To be very honest, my soon to be husband at that time had already committed to a training program at UAB which made Birmingham and the extraordinary UAB PA Program a top choice for me. Retrospectively, Birmingham and UAB being in our destiny has been one of our greatest blessings.

Who is the best professor that you have had at UAB so far and why? Each one is fabulous and brings a unique teaching style, experiences and knowledge, but IF I had to pick a favorite, it would be Mr. Kris Maday! His enthusiasm while teaching has been so contagious that I was actually motivated to study after his classes; additionally, his love for continually expanding his own knowledge bank and being up-to-date with current medicine is not only inspiring but also empowering.

What is your favorite UAB memory? Seeing our wonderful faculty members in their “element” at the PA Ball ;)

How has UAB impacted your life? It has equipped me with knowledge and skills in medicine to serve my patients with utmost care. Additionally, each of the PA program faculty members has been so generous with not only their knowledge but giving students their time that I feel like I will be walking away in December with some amazing colleagues cheering us on!

What is your current state of mind? To work out or not? #dailydebate #orangetheoryfitness

What do you do for fun? Satisfy my travel bug (goal in life is to visit all of the continents around the globe); Run 5Ks; Twin it up with my twin sister; Pretend like I can hike strenuous trails; Eat flavorful food; Bug my husband to take me shopping

Who are your heroes in real life? My Parents: for a million and one reasons but these two individuals have been and continue to be my role-models through every stage of my life (glamorous or not).

If you were given more time in each day, what would you do? Eat, Pray, Serve

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Power Mimicry so I could copy Beyonce’s dance moves without making a fool out of myself.

What are your future goals? To get as many A+ Red Apples on my desk from my students as I can in the future – I would love to join a PA program as a faculty member down the road!

What would be your ultimate dream job? It is a tie between Chocolatier or an Ice-cream taster.

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fiction, with whom would it be? Princess Diana because she embodied grace, servitude, love, elegance, purity, knowledge, modesty, etc.

If you had a theme song, what would it be? Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

What's the best piece of advice you ever received? “No honor is like knowledge, no belief is like modesty and patience, no attainment is like humility, no power is like forbearance, and no support is more reliable than consultation.” –Hazrat Ali

School of Engineering

Name: Joanna Fallen

Graduation Year: 2017

Major: Civil Engineering

Hometown: Prattville, Alabama

Why did you choose to attend UAB? I started playing softball when I was 4 years old and have always wanted to play in college.  When I turned 15 I was recruited by UAB.  UAB was my first softball unofficial visit, and I knew when I saw the campus that this was where I wanted to be.  I had other offers to play softball for other schools, but UAB seemed like the best fit.  I wanted to play softball while pursuing a degree in engineering, and I knew my coaches would work with me and allow me to do that here.

Who is the best professor that you have had at UAB so far and why? My favorite professor at UAB is Dr. Hosch.  He goes above and beyond what is expected of him as an instructor to ensure students really understand the material.  If you don’t understand anything in class or on the homework, he will go out of his way to teach it to you and help you during his office hours.  He doesn’t make his classes easy, he makes students work hard.  The majority of students leave at the end of the semester prepared for the next class and with great knowledge of the course he taught.  Dr. Hosch is one of the most organized professors I have ever had at UAB which is incredibly helpful to students trying to follow and learn the material.  He has great knowledge of the courses he has taught and prepares his students to be successful in the future.  

What is your favorite UAB memory? My favorite memory has been attending the UAB Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering Advisory Board Scholarship Reception.   At the reception I was able to meet and have dinner with people on the engineering advisory board who chose me as the recipient. I was so thankful for this scholarship and being able to have dinner with such influential people in the engineering world.

How has UAB impacted your life? UAB has impacted my life in more ways than I could describe.  Being a student-athlete at UAB has prepared me for my future.  Through UAB, I have received scholarships such as the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering Advisory Board Scholarship that have helped me tremendously.  I have also been able to participate in an internship with Southern Nuclear.  These are just a few ways UAB has impacted my life.

What is your current state of mind? Don’t count your days, make your days count.

What do you do for fun? I love to travel. I have been to Australia, England, and Ireland and plan to make many more trips. I also love doing anything outdoors and playing other sports. Camping, hiking, golfing, and playing basketball are some of my favorite things to do.  I also enjoy reading in my down time.

Who are your heroes in real life? My parents are my greatest heroes and role models in my life. Through 27 years of marriage, countless moves, and many obstacles they have overcome every challenge and sacrificed a lot. I would not be where I am today without them.

If you were given more time in each day, what would you do? Study and read more books.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? The power to heal others.

What is the best invention of your lifetime and why? Google.  It saves time researching, and answers a lot of questions.

What are your future goals? My future goals are to graduate in the fall of 2017 with a bachelor’s in civil engineering.  I plan to obtain my Master’s in Business Administration and my professional engineer license.  I want to work for a big construction company as a project manager.  Then, one day I would like to start my own construction company.

What would be your ultimate dream job? To start my own construction company.

What three items would you take to a deserted island other than food and water? A boat, a water filtration device, and a satellite phone

If you had a theme song, what would it be? Trust In You by Lauren Daigle

If you had the power to solve one, and only one, problem in the world…what would it be and why? I would want to come up with the solution to cure cancer because it affects way too many people in the world and takes way too many lives.

What’s the best advice you ever received? In everything you do, do it all for the glory of God.

School of Public Health

Keller SASName:  Caroline Keller

Graduation Year: December 2016

Major: Masters of Public Health in Health Behavior

Hometown:  Medina, OH (Cleveland area)

Why did you choose to attend UAB?  I knew that I wanted to go to graduate school out of state in order to get a new experience. UAB’s MPH program is ranked high nationally and thus caught my attention. I read about the university, program and faculty, visited and decided to apply! 

How has UAB impacted your life?  UAB has impacted my life by introducing me to a different part of the country and extensive research experience in my area of interest.

What do you do for fun?  For fun I enjoy spending time with my dog (an adopted 4.5 year old pit bull/boxer/bulldog mix named Belle), gardening, and watching movies.

Who are your heroes in real life?  My heroes in real life include my parents and Jesus. My parents because they work hard every day to ensure I can have access to any opportunity or resource I need in life and Jesus because without my faith I wouldn’t have the strength to continue during challenging times.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?  If I could have a superpower it would be teleportation. This would enable me to go back and forth between my life in Birmingham and my friends and family up north much easier. It would also make traveling to new places much more affordable!

What is the best invention of your lifetime and why?  I would have to say that the best invention during my lifetime would be the smartphone. They enable us to communicate faster than ever and allow us to have endless information at our fingertips. Although, with those benefits come drawbacks such as poor concentration, lower quality of sleep, etc. 

What are your future goals?  I hope to be admitted to a Health Psychology PhD program and to complete behavioral research relating to eating, exercise, and stress management.

What would be your ultimate dream job?  My ultimate dream job would be performing the research described above for the government, or a university/hospital network.

If you had the power to solve one, and only one, problem in the world…what would it be and why?  If I had the power to solve one world problem it would likely be war/conflict. I would choose this issue because it is often the large contributing factor to other important world problems such as starvation, mass killings, and lack of medical care.

Honors College

Lim WEBName: Rena Lim

Graduation Year: 2018

Major: Health Care Management

Hometown: Montgomery, AL

Why did you choose to attend UAB? I loved the atmosphere the first time I visited. It felt like home. UAB is the perfect balance of academics and fun in the best city.

Who is the best professor that you have had at UAB so far and why? Dr. Roger Gilchrist. He’s hilarious. The way he presents the material makes it interesting, which makes it easier to learn.

What is your favorite UAB memory? The Gurney Derby. It was exhilarating. I used to run races when I was in high school but the adrenaline rush at the start of the Gurney Derby is unparalleled to any other experience I’ve ever had.

How has UAB impacted your life? UAB has given me opportunities I never thought were possible. I’ve met friends that have become like family in a short period of time. As a TrailBlazer, I have a chance to change a prospective student’s life while showing off the university I have so much love for.

What is your current state of mind? Sleepy

What do you do for fun? Using hashtags while speaking and binge watching Netflix while eating chips!

Who are your heroes in real life? My Honors College advisor is a real life superhero. She takes every opportunity to get to know each student in the Honors College despite having over a thousand of us. She does whatever it takes to make sure that her students are successful. When I wanted to go to nursing school but found out I couldn’t because I had too many credit hours, she fought for me and made sure that I could apply.

If you were given more time in each day, what would you do? I would find time to paint and do some crafty things.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? To have a strong willpower

What is the best invention of your lifetime and why? Netflix, because what else would I do in between classes?

What are your future goals? I hope to attend grad school at UAB for my MSHA or MPH. After that, I want to eventually run a hospital.

What would be your ultimate dream job? Hosting the Today Show, with Hoda Kotb

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fiction, with whom would it be? At the moment, I would switch places with any student participating in the Disney College Program. It seems like such a great opportunity!

What three items would you take to a deserted island other than food and water? A floppy hat, my swimsuit and a book

If you had a theme song, what would it be? “Locked Out of Heaven” – Bruno Mars

If you had the power to solve one, and only one, problem in the world…what would it be and why? Finding funding for furthering education

What’s the best advice you ever received? “Wake. Pray. Slay”