These outstanding alumni were nominated by their peers, by UAB faculty and staff, and by community members. They will be recognized at our annual Alumni Awards reception in January 2016.
Distinguished Alumni Achievement AwardThis is our highest honor, awarded to prominent alumni who have achieved distinction in their professions. This award highlights the diverse talents, notable accomplishments, and extraordinary service of our alumni and is reserved for those with a history of excellence in their careers.
Trevor Hale, B.A. in Communication Studies, 1992Trevor is the Director of Communications, Middle East and Africa, for the Ford Motor Company and is based in Dubai. As an executive in one of the world’s largest corporations, he has developed the communications strategy for the 67 countries in his region. Prior to his employment with Ford, Trevor held senior communications roles for Daimler and Mercedes-Benz, including 11 years in Beijing when he directed communications functions in the Asia-Pacific region.
Trevor has been or is a member of several professional organizations and associations, including the Foreign Correspondents Club, the Public Relations Society of America, the American Chamber of Commerce in China, the International Motoring Press Association, and the UAB National Alumni Society. He has remained very connected to the UAB student public relations chapter and also maintains close ties to Birmingham, including playing an active role in supporting UAB Athletics.
Dr. Lynn Gerald, B.S. in Psychology, 1990; Ph.D. in Medical Sociology, 1997Lynn is the Canyon Ranch Endowed Chair Professor of Health Promotion Sciences in the College of Public Health at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Lynn is a prominent researcher who has had major roles in federally funded grants on asthma and school health, and is the lead or co-author on numerous published papers in referred journals. Among her many honors, she has been recognized by the American Thoracic Society Behavioral Science Assembly (2014 Lifetime Achievement Award and 2014 Health Equality Award for Clinical Programs), and the UAB School of Medicine (2006 Max Cooper Award for Research Excellence). She also received the UAB William C. Bailey Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention and Control Research in 1999.
Prior to her appointment at the University of Arizona, Lynn had several leading roles at UAB, including the Director of the Lung Health Center, a Professor in the Division of Pulmonology, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, and a Scientist in the Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering.
Trailblazing Alumni AwardThis award honors young alumni who have made significant professional accomplishments at an early stage in their careers.
Lieutenant Commander Joanna Gaines, M.A. in Psychology, 2008; Ph.D., in Psychology, 2010Joanna is a United States Public Health Service Officer (USPHS) in the Department of Health and Human Services at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She has also served in the Indian Health Service. She commissioned with the USPHS as part of the Epidemic Intelligence Service, the CDC’s post-doctoral training program, only the second developmental psychologist to do so. She has been deployed all over the nation and world during epidemics, immigration crises and natural disasters, including Liberia, Haiti, Kenya, Arizona and Missouri.
She has been awarded the Scientist Responder of the Year as a lieutenant, the most junior officer to receive the recognition. She is one of only two non-clinical psychologists within the USPHS Commissioned Corps and was the only research psychologist assigned to the Indian Health Service in 2012-2013. Of more than 280 USPHS officers, Joanna was the only female officer to serve on a morgue team in Ebola, using her skills as an anthropologist and psychologist to ensure victims’ remains were handled safely and in a manner respectful of their culture and families.
Jessica Randazza, B.A. in Communication Studies, 2006Jessica is head of marketing for Nutricia Early Life Nutrition in the U.S., part of the global food company Danone. She is also a founding member of the Working Parents Coalition, which combines private and public organizations working to support parents in the workplace.
Before joining Danone, Jessica led the health practice group at DigitasLBi, a global marketing and technology agency, and was chief marketing officer and founding member of Offerboard, a small securities private placement platform. She has been named by “Elle” magazine as one of the 2015 top 30 professional 30-year-old women, has been a facilitator for “Future of Storytelling” and PTTOW! (a private network of Fortune 500 CEOs and CMOs), and has been a speaker at South by Southwest Interactive. She is a leader in the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York, a volunteer for NYCares, and a PRSSA advisor.
Alumni Service AwardThis award honors alumni who have demonstrated extraordinary service to the local, national or global community.
Joy O’Neal, B.A. in History, 1990; M.P.A, 2010Joy is the Executive Director of The Red Barn, a therapeutic equine program for children and adults with special needs and military veterans. Her organization serves around 100 children and their families each week with 14 horses and multiple trained instructors and therapists, and its revenue has grown 66 percent over two years. As a result of Joy’s leadership, The Red Barn was recently honored as Nonprofit of the Year by the Birmingham Business Alliance.
Joy has been involved in community service, both at UAB and in the larger Birmingham community, for many years. She serves on the College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Council, as President of the MPA Alumni Chapter of the UAB National Alumni Society, the Alabama State Chair for the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, and on the advisory committee for Hand in Paw. Among her many distinctions, she has been recognized as Nonprofit of the Year by the City of Leeds (2013), Gold Level Presidential Volunteer (2013-15), and Outstanding MPA Graduate Student (2010).