Shauntice Allen

Education: BS, University of Alabama; MA, University of Alabama; PhD, UAB

Allen earned her PhD in Health Education and Health Promotion from the UAB. Her focus as a public health researcher is to enhance the research readiness of community members, engage in health disparities research with underrepresented communities, and continuously strive for community improvement of health outcomes in minority communities. Allen also serves as the Program Director for the One Great Community component of UAB’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS). Over the last 10 years, she has been involved in engaging communities in research, building systems and processes for research evaluation, building coalitions, and conducting qualitative data analysis. She has also been responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Birmingham Neighborhood Leaders Survey (BNLS), a community-designed survey tool used to explore issues impacting health in a large urban metropolitan area.


Mario Cooper

Education: B.A. Christian Leadership, Southeastern Bible College, Birmingham, Alabama; M.A. Theological Studies, Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia

Mario Cooper is the Youth Pastor and Music Director of Impact Nation Fellowship Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he pastors, teaches music, and is administrator for the musical staff. Cooper is also musician for Ruben Studdard, winner of American Idol 2013. In addition, Cooper has composed several original songs, presented at music conferences, recorded on several albums, gone on tour with notable Gospel artists, and written a book entitled, Building a Generation That Will Prevail.


Enefaa Fenny

Education: B.L (Barrister at Law) Nigeria Law School, Lagos, Nigeria; LL. M. (Master of Laws) University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria

Fenny is an attorney in practice and currently a member of the Nigerian, Alabama, and Birmingham Bar Associations. He is engaged in general legal practice concentrating in immigration law, church/nonprofit law, tax law, and family law at Fenny and Fenny LLC.


Mark Lanter

Education: BA, UAB; MM, University of Alabama

Lanter is an adjunct at the University of Alabama (Jazz Studies) and in the UAB Music Department and the African American Studies Program, as well as being an itinerant musician with ties to Black jacket Symphony, UA Jazz Faculty, Gabe Tajeu, Bonus Round, Druid City Jazz Orchestra , and many others.


Melissa Nelson

Education: B.S. Molecular Biology, Winston-Salem State University, North Carolina; MPH, Maternal and Child Health/International Health, UAB

Melissa Nelson is a disease intervention specialist for the Jefferson County Department of Health. Her interests include maternal and child care, disease prevention, intervention, and awareness, and disparities in health.


Dr. Nadia Richardson

Education: B.A. Communications and International Studies, UAB; M.A. Higher Education Administration, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa; Ph.D. Higher Education Administration, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Dr. Nadia Richardson has demonstrated a persistent commitment to development and research on identity and cultural competency in postsecondary education. Her current research focuses on student experiences with mental health, and minority student experiences. These interests have propelled her into student affairs and advocating for international student exchange. Dr. Richardson is also the founder and wellness consultant for Valenrich Wellness, LLC where the focus is developing, teaching, and researching topics that include diversity, social justice, mental wellness, mental health stigma, and cultural competency.


Professor Ethel Morgan Smith

Education: M.A. English/Creative Writing, Hollins University, Roanoke, Virginia

Professor Smith is a professor of English and writer. Her interests include writing and teaching on African American life across the United States and internationally. Her writings include books, From Whence cometh My Help, Reflections of the Other: Being Black in Germany, and several essays, articles, and book excerpts including, “Mad Hearts” and “Come and Be Black For Me.”


James Sutton

Education: B.S. Communications, Mississippi College, Clinton, Mississippi; Master of Divinity, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama

James Sutton is a pastor, mentor, and teacher at Holy Trinity World Outreach Ministry in Birmingham, Alabama.


Karen Utz

Education: BA, Central Missouri State University; MA, University of Texas at Arlington

Utz is the Curator and Historian of Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Birmingham. She has served on various committees including the Southeastern Museum Conference, Society for the History of Technology, Alabama Museum Association, and the Alabama Humanities Foundation (Roads Scholar). Her publications include Iron & Steel: A Guide to Birmingham Area Industrial Heritage Sites and an article in Work, Family, Faith: Women of the Twentieth Century South. Utz has served as an adjunct instructor since 1995.