• I am Arts & Sciences: Forte'

    Criminal justice alumna Forte’ received the UAB National Alumni Society's Volunteer of the Year Award in 2019 for dedicating her time and effort to improving the university.

    Name: Forte’
    Degree earned: B.S. in Criminal Justice
    Graduation year: 2002
    Current profession: Chief Joy Officer, Birmingham Education Foundation

    In 2019, College of Arts and Sciences alumna Forte’ received the UAB National Alumni Society's Volunteer of the Year Award for dedicating her time and effort to improving the university. Currently, she works at the Birmingham Education Foundation as the “Chief Joy Officer” and assistant to the executive director. In her spare time, she leads the UAB National Alumni Society Black Alumni Chapter as its president, engaging alumni through service events, socials, and more. Forte’ is also a veteran, having served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1996 to 2006.

    Congratulations on being the UAB Homecoming Parade Grand Marshal this year! What was it like?

    The experience was phenomenal for #UAB50. Green and gold filled the streets everywhere. As the 2019 National Alumni Society Volunteer of the year, the honor will always be remembered. Even cooler? My team [at the Birmingham Education Foundation] participated in the parade.

    Why did you decide to attend UAB and pursue a degree in Criminal Justice?

    Growing up in the Black Belt region of Alabama, I had my own unique style. The style left me misunderstood by school leaders. In 8th grade, I committed to studying criminal justice and being the change I wanted to see. Education and crime have a complex correlating relationship. My goal is always to extend a helping hand and share hope with students. After living in Birmingham for a short time in high school, I knew I’d return home one day to attend good ole’ UAB.

    How have your experiences at UAB helped you in your career?

    Thanks to UAB and a job listing in the Kaleidoscope, I landed my first job in education 22 years ago. While at UAB, I stayed on campus the entire time and witnessed diversity at the core; I worked on a paid federal research project in the local jails. UAB is large; I learned to build networks and cultivate support systems. UAB is the gift that keeps on giving: I’m part of the Leadership UAB Class of 2016 and in 2018, I was selected as a Birmingham Business Journal Veteran of Influence.

    What advice do you have for current students who want to make the most out of their experience at UAB?

    1. Please don’t graduate with a degree and no experience. The labor market is challenging and competitive.
    2. I directly sought opportunities to distinguish me as the best candidate in the workforce, leveraged the UAB Career Center and attended versatile workshops across campus.
    3. Creating meaningful relationships is key; my first full-time GEARUP teaching job was catalyzed by my UAB Math Professor. Go Blazers!

    Read more "I am Arts & Sciences" alumni profiles:
    Dr. Stephen G. Odaibo of RETINA-AI
    Sarah Randolph of Birmingham Audubon
    Dr. Johnny E. "Rusty" Bates
  • Out of the Curricular Shadows: Revolutionizing Undergraduate Immunology Education

    Immunology has traditionally been studied at graduate levels, but faculty at UAB think that giving undergraduates the ability to study this interdisciplinary field will lead to greater numbers of immunologists entering the field. You can read their study in Frontiers of Immunology.

  • Political Science and Public Administration faculty win national awards

    Three faculty members in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration received organization-wide awards from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration.

    Three faculty members in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Dr. Nevbahar Ertas, Dr. Akhlaque Haque and Dr. Wendy Gunther-Canada, received organization-wide awards from NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration). NASPAA is the accreditation agency for schools of public policy and public administration, and is the primary organization for pedagogy and administration in those fields.

    Ertas won the NASPAA Award for Outstanding Service, specifically for her role as Chapter Advisor of Pi Alpha Alpha, the honors organization in the area of professional public administration.

    Haque and Gunther-Canada will be honored for co-authoring the 2019 Article of the Year in the Journal of Public Affairs Education (JPAE). JPAE is the flagship journal of NASPAA and is and is widely considered a top journal of pedagogy and program administration within the field. Their article, "Public Service For All: How a Global Ethic Prepares Public Administrators for a Transnational Century," was lauded for its “span of coverage, methods, and impact to the field.” The awards committee further cited the articles’ role in helping to “increase evidence-based instruction and administration of public affairs programs.”

    They will accept their awards at the national meeting of NASPAA, which will be held in October in Los Angeles.

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