Over 165 Students Recognized at College of Arts and Sciences Scholarship & Awards Luncheon

On January 23, the UAB Alumni House was filled with some of the College’s finest—representing the outstanding intellect, creativity, and character at UAB—as we celebrated the 2015 Scholarship and Awards Luncheon.
Last Friday, the UAB Alumni House was filled with some of the College’s finest—representing the outstanding intellect, creativity, and character at UAB—as we celebrated the 2015 Scholarship and Awards Luncheon. It was a wonderful afternoon of camaraderie and support, as students, chairs, faculty, staff, donors and members of the community came together to celebrate the accomplishments of our remarkable students and the people who have provided financial support to them.

CAS scholarship Luncheon 2015 Most importantly, the event offered students the opportunity to sit at the same table as their donor, quite possibly a stranger until that day, who made their academic pursuits possible. However, the event also offered attendees a first-hand look inside the College and the breadth of its talent. The Digital Media team presented a compelling video telling the story of the student and donor relationship, bringing some to tears and all to a better understanding of the impact of giving to scholarships. Theatre UAB’s Cabaret was truly a delight with their playful performance of a medley from Disney’s Academy Award-winning Frozen.

In addition, we were proud to recognize two newly established endowed scholarships during this year’s program. The Warren and Bobbie Jones Endowed Scholarship was established in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, and the Hugh S. Gainer and Anna Simmons Gainer Endowed Scholarship was created in the Department of Art and Art History. These endowments are a testimony to the belief in our students and serve as a legacy to these generous benefactors.

As UAB’s largest academic unit, home to more than 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the College honored over 165 students who received scholarship support during the 2014-2015 academic year with awards totaling almost $200,000.  We thank all of those who have made this possible – your vital support and involvement helps us continue our tradition of excellence. The achievements of the College and its scholars are a reflection of your investment in our students, the College of Arts and Sciences, and UAB.

College of Arts and Sciences Scholarships

Edward H. Atchison Endowed Fund for the Performing Arts
Annabelle DeCamillis, Kameron Dickerson, Allison Shackelford

Gladys Davies and George F. Brockman IV Scholarship
Bliss Chang, Emil Kurian

CAS Scholarship Luncheon 2015Dean’s Leadership Scholarship
Adelaide Beckman, Morgan Walston, Kayla Gladney, John Shelley, Charity (Yoonhee) Ryder, Tori Gandy, Emily Milligan, Jarrod Hicks, Sadhvi Batra, Erica Glover

NAS Dean’s Leadership Scholarship
Amanda Proper, Calla McCulley, Courtney Rutherford, Svetlana (Lana) Sobol, Fatoumata Diabate, Aleksandra (Sasha) Kasman, Emily (Em) Wiginton, Mohamad Moughnyeh, Julia Foley, Margaret Deason-Coughlin, Louise Guedou, Amaris Thomas, Agam Dhawan

The God at the Speed of Light Endowed Scholarship
Alexandra Fry, Stephanie (Gracie) Giang, Jonathan Parker, Tiffany Colburn

Tennant and Susan McWilliams Endowed Scholarship
Zuzanna Turowska, Breanna Henderson

The Lauren McLellan Sanders Endowed Scholarship
Katherine Nabors, Weslie Shannon

Jane Mulkin Endowed Scholarship
Michael Forrester, Emily White

Department of Art and Art History

Incoming Freshman Scholarship
Camille Goulet, Evan Keith Jones

Art Senior Scholarship
Michael Forrester, Jeanette Vasquez

CAS Scholarship Luncheon 2015Bernice Cooke Thomas Endowed Scholarship in Art and Art History
Zachary Edison

John Dillon Endowed Scholarship
Zachary Edison

Frohock Memorial Scholarship
Alyssa Fagaly

Janice Kluge/Cam Langley Endowed Scholarship Fund
Mia Badham

Betty Loeb Endowed Scholarship
Lucy Allen

John Schnorrenberg Endowed Scholarship Fund
Michael Forrester

Ellen Shizuko Takahashi Endowed Support Fund
Jonathan Riordan

Dr. Klaus Urban Endowed Scholarship for the Department of Art and Art History
Ruoxin Wang

Marie Weaver and Steve Harvey Endowed Scholarship for Graphic Design
Anna Zoladz

Visual Arts Achievement Scholarship
Camille Goulet

Department of Biology 

CAS Scholarship Luncheon 2015Biology Scholars
Nicholas Bolin, Hope Miley, Anna Sims

Anne Cusic Scholarship in Biology
Courtney Rutherford

Biology Student Leader Scholarship
Jessica Lopez

Daniel Jones endowed Student Research Support Fund in Biology
Jacob Froehlich

Ken R. Marion Endowed Scholarship Fund/Biology Career Award
Chapelle Ayres

Ken R. Marion Endowed Scholarship Fund/Ecology/Environmental Science Career Award
Marlee Hayes

Evelyn M. and Harold C. Martin Endowed Support Fund
Kathryn Schoenrock

Department of Chemistry 

Chemistry Scholars
Lily Birx, Ronald Tyler Gatewood, Savanah McLendon, Azim Merchant, Rebecca Hope Millis, Lauren Silverwood, Rebecca Smith, Allison Worrell, Ashley Wylie

Department of Computer and Information Sciences

CAS Scholarship Luncheon 2015Anthony Barnard Endowed Award Fund in Computer and Information Sciences
Eric Leinert

Joseph M. Fontana Scholarship Endowment Fund for Computer and Information Science
Alan Bischoff, Stephen Frees, Brian Hester

Joyce Iannuzzi Endowed Presidential Scholarship for Computer Science and Technology
Jonathan Parker

Hack-in-the-Box Scholarship
Dibya Mukhopadhyay

Facebook Scholarship for NYU Poly’s Women’s Symposium Award
Jun Yu Jacinta Cai

Facebook Security DEFCON Scholarship
Black Hat Student Scholarship
Ralph "Chip" McSweeney, Ben Corbitt

Department of Communication Studies

James E. Mills Scholarship Fund
Adelaide Beckman, Jacque Chandler, Andrea Miller

Byron St. Dizier Endowed Journalism Award
Memri Williams

Dr. John Wittig Public Relations Alumni Endowed Presidential Scholarship
Kourtney Cowart, Lea Rizzo, Angela Williams

Victoria and Ralph Johnson Endowed Scholarship
Stephanie Davis

William Self Endowed Scholarship
Lauren Womack

Department of English 

CAS Scholarship Luncheon 9Barksdale-Maynard Endowed Creative Writing Prize (Poetry)
Bethany Mitchell

Barksdale-Maynard Endowed Creative Writing Prize (Fiction)
Caitlin Miller

Barksdale-Maynard Endowed Creative Writing Prize (Nonfiction)
Tyler Dennis

Gloria Goldstein Howton Scholarship Endowment Fund
Brian Renninger

Grace Lindsley Waits Scholarship Fund
Michael Forrester

Phillips Scholarship in English
Sarah Domm

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

Study Away Scholarship – Japan
Jolie Thevenot

Study Away Scholarship – China
John Holbrooks, Nathan Gravitt

Robert Lehmeyer Endowed Award – German
Justin Ciucevich, Christie Hoffmeyer, Lauren Poyer

Emily Collinsworth, Judi Hakim

Department of Government

CAS Scholarship Luncheon 2015Voytek Zubek Memorial Endowed Scholarship
Brian Rice

The MPA Alumni Endowed Schoalrship
Joseph Menefee

Department of Justice Sciences

Department of Justice Sciences Scholarship Fund
Jonathan Dillingham, Santorra King, Katherine (Katie) Nabors, Brooklyn Trahan, Meahgen Hall, Brian Thacker, Kristen Sherwood, Amber Toyer

Department of Mathematics 

Math Department Scholarships
Samuel Wunderly, Andrew Arnold, William Tidwell, Fatoumata Sanogo

Kauffman Endowed Scholarship in Math
Rachel Ejem

O’Neil Endowed Scholarship in Mathematics
Jordan Walton

The James C. And Carol Warner Endowed Scholarship
Garrett Higginbotham

Travis B. Wood Memorial Mathematics Scholarship Fund
Lara Putnam, Elizabeth Liddle

Math Fast Track Student
Samuel Wunderly, Andrew Arnold, William Tidwell, Fatoumata Sanogo, Jordan Walton, Garrett Higginbotham, Lara Putnam, Elizabeth Liddle

Department of Music

Myrtle-Jones-Steele Endowment Fund
Davis McClendon Grimes, Travis Chin

UAB Music Scholarship Endowment Fund
Aleksandra Kasman, Eamon Griffith

Stevie Wonder Music Scholarship Endowment
Kendrick Panion

Department of Physics 

CAS Scholarship Luncheon 2015Robert and Edith Bauman Endowed Scholarship in Physics
Aidan O’Beirne, Islam Khan, Jackson Carr, Priyanka Patel

Department of Sociology

Ferris S. & Annie Pharo Ritchey Endowed Scholarship in Sociology
Kathryn Skelton

Department of Theatre

Ruby Lloyd Apsey Scholarship Fund
Seth Burgess, Lauren Edwards, Hannah Glaze, John Kennedy, Alora King, Deloris (Aurelie) King, Jessica Mathews, Phoebe Miller, Victoria Morales, Calvin Nielsen, Jonielle Osborn, Noah Parsons, Lauren Seale, Andrew Taylor

Fannie Flagg/Kathy Waites Endowed Scholarship
Sarah Pullen

David Lloyd Memorial Scholarship Endowment
Pauline Watts, Mark Nelson, Meredith (Patricia) Morse, Kenya Mims, Ben Lundy, Kyle Hulcher, Gian Acevedo, Joseph Baude

Program Awards

African American Studies Program Scholarship
Martez Files, Carlon Harris

Digital Media Fellowship
Tierra Andrews, Jessica Chriesman, James Cody, Matt Drummond, Tyler Furgerson, Tyler Harris, Matthew Henton, Benjamin Jones, Jared Jones, Razaq Kadri, Jeremy Nelson, Jeanette Vasquez
  • Parker Rose, UAB’s first Beinecke Scholar, accepted to UCLA's doctoral program in philosophy

    On May 1, Parker Rose graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham's College of Arts and Sciences. Rose navigated rigorous coursework and built long-lasting relationships while pursuing her degree – those experiences, according to Rose, substantially impacted her approach to living and learning in the world.

    On May 1, Parker Rose graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham's College of Arts and Sciences. Rose navigated rigorous coursework and built long-lasting relationships while pursuing her degree – those experiences, according to Rose, substantially impacted her approach to living and learning in the world.

    During her time at UAB, Rose served as president of the UAB Philosophy Club for two years, was the student representative for the Department of Philosophy, and was also an opinion columnist for Kaleidoscope, UAB’s student-run news outlet. Rose plans to pursue her Ph.D. in philosophy and was accepted into the esteemed doctoral program at UCLA beginning this fall.

    Rose credits UAB for providing an environment that ensures the growth of its students.

    "It was this environment that really allowed me to flourish and in which I learned what I was truly capable of," she said.

    Rose made a profound impression on faculty members across the Department of Philosophy, including department chair David Chan, Ph.D. and Brynn Welch, Ph.D., a recipient of the 2021 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

    "Parker is exceptional in every way: brilliant, hard-working, reflective, and just such a wonderfully kind person," said Welch, assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy. "I'm over the moon about her success but not the least bit surprised by it. UCLA is very lucky to have her. We certainly have been."

    Rose was awarded the prestigious Beinecke Scholarship in 2020 to pursue graduate education, becoming UAB’s first-ever Beinecke Scholar. The scholarship provides awardees $4,000 immediately before entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school.

    The Beinecke Scholarship Program encourages and enables exceptional students to pursue a graduate course of study in the arts, humanities, or social sciences. Each participating institution in the Beinecke Scholarship Program may nominate only one student and Rose was chosen as UAB’s 2020 nominee.

    Rose also expressed thanks to her mentors and advisors in the Department of Philosophy and the College of Arts and Sciences.

    "My mentors in the philosophy department taught me the value of collaboration, openness, and encouraging one another towards getting to the truth over winning an argument," said Rose. “In my experiences at UAB more broadly, I was consistently impressed by the level of care and attention that advisors put into ensuring an ideal environment for the growth of their students.”

  • Double major Veronica Mixon has a passion for mental health advocacy

    Pursuing a double major requires focus, effort, and passion. Add a global pandemic to the situation, and the experience becomes even more complex.

    Pursuing a double major requires focus, effort, and passion. Add a global pandemic to the situation, and the experience becomes even more complex.

    Veronica Mixon, a graduating senior in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s College of Arts and Sciences who will earn a Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology this spring, navigated the experience with grace.

    “Since I’ve been at UAB, I’ve learned the importance of self-care and community. I’m on the spectrum for Autism, and, before UAB, I always felt isolation and exhausted from masking 24/7,” said Mixon. “However, I learned how to manage my self-care and create boundaries that made it easier to feel comfortable in social settings. My experiences in the African American Studies Program really helped lay the foundation of my growth through the support I received from my mentors, professors, and friends.”

    According to her professors and mentors, Mixon did in fact lay a strong foundation from which she grew and thrived. Her hard work garnered her both praise and scholarship opportunities throughout her tenure at UAB. She is a McNair Scholar and earned both the College of Arts and Science’s Dean’s Leadership Scholarship and the African American Studies Director’s Award. Also, she won the 2021 College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Dean’s Award and the Outstanding Student Award for African American Studies, and, last April, she was initiated into the historic Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

    “Veronica is passionate about learning and an advocate of social justice. She is not afraid to speak out on issues affecting the quality of life in our society or show compassion towards those who need a ‘voice,’” said Kathryn Morgan, Ph.D., director of the African American Studies Program. “In my academic career, I have encountered students who are certain to succeed and sure to make a difference. I find myself grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the educational experience of these students. Veronica is one such student.”

    Alongside her academic pursuits and achievements, Mixon is also the President of the African American Studies Organization, a Research Assistant in C.L.A.Y.S Lab in the Department of Psychology, and a mental health advocate. Her commitment to and interest in mental health will lead her to become one of the first students to attain the Certificate in Mental Health from the Department of Psychology this spring. Also, as a result of her work as an intern, mentor, and suicide prevention advocate, UAB’s Student Counseling Services named her a Mental Health Champion.

    Through courses like Black Psychology and an emphasis in global health and justice studies, Mixon has found numerous points of intersection between African American studies and psychology. Recently, she shared her insights at a panel entitled “Breaking Down Barriers: Supporting Marginalized Communities During COVID-19,” which was sponsored by Kognito, a health simulation company. By building her critical thinking skills with an interdisciplinary focus, she is now in a position to pursue her career goals.

    Mixon looks to the future with both optimism and excitement. “After graduation, I will be attending the Community Psychology Master’s Program at Florida A&M University,” said Mixon. “I plan to do a thesis and focus on mental health, racial identity, and social connectedness among people of African Descent. After my master’s, I plan to apply to clinical psychology Ph.D. programs!”

    Dr. Morgan is also optimistic about Mixon’s future. “She achieves excellence in everything that she does, and I know, without reservation, that she will be excellent in her future endeavors,” said Dr. Morgan.

    As Mixon prepares to graduate magna cum laude with distinguished honors and reflects on this past year, she has many thoughts regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. “I think UAB students did an amazing job of being resilient,” said Mixon. “It’s important for us to give ourselves grace and not put ourselves to an unrealistic standard when we had so many negative things come our way. I genuinely believe that everyone overcame the semester in the best way they could.”

  • Musical Theatre grads look to the future

    This academic year has been unlike any other. Students and faculty have navigated unprecedented complexity during the COVID-19 pandemic, and, over the course of the past 14 months, they have exemplified resiliency and creativity.

    Justine Grace Nelson, Laurel Floen, and Diego Villanueva

    This academic year has been unlike any other. Students and faculty have navigated unprecedented complexity during the COVID-19 pandemic, and, over the course of the past 14 months, they have exemplified resiliency and creativity.

    In the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Theatre, three graduating seniors are preparing for their next steps, while taking some time to reflect on their experiences over the past year.

    "Obviously, this was not the senior year any of us had planned,” said Justine Grace Nelson, a senior who will earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre this spring. “We have taken advantage of technology and created professional online presences showcasing our work and learned so much about the business side of the industry this year.”

    By leveraging technology and an adaptable spirit, the faculty in the Department of Theatre have ensured students still receive a world-class educational experience even when they are remote and/or wearing masks and socially distanced.

    “I have been so inspired by these strong and resilient students and artists,” said Valerie Accetta, Head of Musical Theatre at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “This is not at all the senior year they envisioned when they started at UAB, but even in the midst of a global pandemic, they have continued to do committed work and claim their unique artistic voices.”

    One of Accetta’s inspiring students is Laurel Floen. As she approaches graduation, Floen recently reflected on her experience in the musical theatre program and uncovered an eye-opening discovery. “When we turn the spotlight off ourselves and use it to shine light outwards through our work, that’s when we hit gold,” said Floen.

    Floen also feels a deep and unwavering bond with her fellow musical theatre seniors, including Nelson and Diego Villanueva.

    For Villanueva, the pandemic did not stop him from envisioning a future that is dynamic and bright. “Once I graduate, I will be headed to Rehoboth, Delaware joining Clear Space Theatre in their summer season,” said Villanueva. Afterwards, he will participate in a year-long apprenticeship with the Florida Repertory Theatre in Fort Myers, Florida, then he will be off to New York City.

    Nelson is also pursuing her dreams in the Sunshine State. “I am currently in Florida already working on my first professional post-grad production as Peppermint Patty in ThinkTank’s production of Snoopy," said Nelson.

    In August, Floen plans to move to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to start an internship with Good to Go Theater. Philadelphia also presents Floen with an added benefit – proximity to New York City. “I might even take the two-hour train ride to New York City to visit friends and audition more once everything opens again,” said Floen.

    All three students note their appreciation for the faculty in the Department of Theatre for providing immense support and mentorship during this unpredictable year. For Accetta, creating such a nurturing environment was a pleasure. “Laurel, Justine, and Diego are simply beautiful humans, and I feel so lucky to have shared in their journey,” Accetta said.

  • Sociology professors and students partner with Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service

    When Battalion Chief Tobias Jones was collecting information for a Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) strategic planning project, he thought of the UAB Department of Sociology.

    When Battalion Chief Tobias Jones was collecting information for a Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) strategic planning project, he thought of the UAB Department of Sociology.

    Jones had once taken the department’s research methodology course when he was a UAB student and knew the Department of Sociology would have the resources to conduct a study that would cost the BFRS thousands of dollars if they hired a commercial firm. So, working with Birmingham Fire Chief Cory D. Moon, they contacted Verna Keith, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Sociology. It was precisely the type of community engagement service the department seeks to provide.

    “I saw Chief Moon’s request as an excellent opportunity to contribute to the community and to expose our students to a collaborative and impactful research experience. That he reached out to the department for this project speaks highly of our faculty and their excellent instruction,” said Dr. Keith.

    Cullen Clark, Ph.D.Soon after, students and professors from two courses had signed on to conduct two studies. Under the supervision of Elizabeth Baker, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Sociology, students in her Research Experience course developed a quantitative survey designed to measure community knowledge and perceptions of BFRS. Additionally, a team of capstone students from the department’s online Master of Arts in Applied Sociology program worked with Cullen Clark, Ph.D., teaching assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, to conduct a series of online focus groups with members of selected neighborhood associations to gather their perceptions and knowledge of BFRS.

    With key support from Chief Moon, Battalion Chief Kenneth Mines, Lieutenant Brian Pernell, Firefighter Jeffrey Hall, the Strategic Plan Committee, and Battalion Chief Jones, the project was an opportunity for students to take the skills they learned in the classroom and put them to work.

    “This project allowed the students to participate firsthand in the research process and provided them with an opportunity to show potential employers the diverse skill set that a degree in sociology can afford,” said Dr. Baker. “At the end of the class, they had produced a report from data derived from a survey they designed, disseminated, and analyzed.”

    Elizabeth Baker, Ph.D.It was a great opportunity for the graduate students as well, recalled Dr. Clark. “We always tell students in our online M.A. program that every sociologist works with a toolkit that consists of social theory, research methodology, and what sociologists call the ‘sociological imagination,’ or the ability to see how broader social and historical forces shape individual lives,” said Dr. Clark. “Projects like this one enable our students to see firsthand just how versatile these tools are and that they can be used to provide insight and information for any organization,” said Dr. Clark.

    Together, the quantitative and qualitative studies provided a greater depth of insight than either could have provided alone. One finding that clearly stood out in both studies was the high esteem in which respondents held BFRS.

    “I don’t think I have ever done focus groups where no one has anything negative to say,” said Dr. Clark.

    Another interesting finding was the extent to which respondents said they had used BFRS emergency medical services at some point. Forty-one percent of the respondents to the quantitative online survey indicated they had used these services. This finding was reiterated by moving personal accounts of focus group members’ interactions with emergency medical services.

    The UAB Department of Sociology is happy to conduct projects like this as resources permit. Community, charitable and civic groups who would like this type of assistance should contact Dr. Verna Keith at vmkeith@uab.edu.

  • Student Spotlight: Levi Sanford

    Senior Levi Sanford changed his major and found both inspiration and a career path.

    Photo: Macey HobsonChoosing one’s major, like making art, takes an open mind. Levi Sanford, a senior art major focusing on graphic design, knew he wanted to attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham but his heart was not always set on graphic design. Before transferring to UAB, Sanford was a nursing major at Bevill State Community College.

    Emily Schumann: You mentioned that you always knew you’d end up at UAB. Why?

    Levi Sanford: I always saw myself going to UAB for their medical school. When I changed my major to general studies at Bevill, I decided I wanted to go into art as I got more into my creative side. I saw an ad for a graphic design program online and wondered whether or not UAB had one. I saw that they did and it felt right. It was what I really wanted to do and what I felt like I’d be a lot happier doing.

    ES: Was there a particular class or teacher in CAS that was especially formative to who you are as a creative person?

    LS: The first class I had at UAB was a Digital Imaging class, ARS 103, with Doug Barrett. I remember being really nervous for his class and he was a very helpful instructor. I mean, all of the instructors in the College of Arts and Sciences are so helpful, it’s amazing. They really do push you to be better. Before UAB, I had never opened Illustrator or InDesign and didn’t know anything about Photoshop, but now I can whip up shirt designs in Illustrator. It was so helpful and inspiring because they pushed me as a creative. I appreciate that now. Self-doubt is the biggest thing. You’re so hard on yourself but they help you push past that.

    ES: How have you developed your professional eye and creative style at UAB?

    LS: It’s definitely developed over time. I have friends in classes I [took in previous semesters]. It’s nice to see that I was once at that point, and now I’m able to help them. One of the biggest parts of being an artist is discovering your style. I’m a very retro, vintage-oriented person with a modern edge. A UAB t-shirt designed by Levi Sanford. Photo: Emily Schumann

    Art is subjective, so what someone likes might not be what I like. It’s a trial-and-error process. That applies to most art. Most experiences, really.

    ES: How has UAB helped you identify your career goals?

    LS: When people first asked me what I wanted to do with my degree, I had a hard time answering because the possibilities are so broad. Hearing [faculty] experiences has helped me narrow my options. The variety of projects you complete also helps you sample different paths. Bloom Studio [run by Doug Barrett in the Department of Art and Art History] is technically a class but it’s like an internship because we work with real clients. We are currently helping rebrand Klein Arts and Culture, a non-profit based in Harpersville, AL.

    Personally, I like the idea of working for one of the larger marketing/advertising agencies in Birmingham. It’s fast-paced, but the idea of constantly being able to put out work and different projects in an intense environment seems like a great way to gain experience.

    ES: Would you say UAB was the right choice?

    LS: UAB has been a great call. I don’t want to say everything happens for a reason because that’s such a broad thing, but I’m glad that this happened. It’s hard to picture where I’d be if I wasn’t here. I’ve grown so much as a person here and I’ve developed so many skills. The UAB campus is diverse and there are so many people to learn from and connections to be made. It’s not an art school, but I feel like you get almost the same education while saving the money you would spend at an art school.

    Photo of book cover and artwork by Levi Sanford

    ES: Do you have any advice for incoming UAB students?

    LS: Be open-minded. Be open to hearing opinions from other people because it is so vital to hear what others have to say. Don’t assume your ideas are better than what others might have to offer. Come ready to learn, to be yourself, and be prepared to be humbled.

    Interested in graphic design? Learn more about our majors and concentrations in the Department of Art and Art History.

  • Jasmine Cunningham receives Dream Award Scholarship

    Undergraduate Neuroscience student Jasmine Cunningham has been awarded the Dream Award Scholarship after overcoming significant barriers to make it to college.

    Jasmine Cunningham, a student in UAB's Undergraduate Neuroscience Program, has been awarded the Dream Award after overcoming significant barriers to make it to college.

    She is one of 22 Dream Award scholarship recipients this year and more than fits the description of "sheer determination" that Scholarship America looks for when identifying qualifying students.

    According to a profile published on al.com, Jasmine has battled a pituitary brain tumor that led to Cushing Disease, which causes stress, severe fatigue, muscle weakness, headaches and cognitive difficulties, and other challenging symptoms. Despite all of this, she has finished her first year of college at UAB, studying neuroscience and psychology with the goal of becoming a doctor.

    You can read more about Jasmine on the al.com website.

  • Social Work students, faculty, and partners recognized on Social Work Day

    The UAB Department of Social Work celebrated Social Work Month with students and their families, community partners, and faculty members on March 27, 2019.

    The UAB Department of Social Work celebrated Social Work Month with students and their families, community partners, and faculty members on March 27, 2019, at the Hill Student Center Ballroom.

    Wes Akins, Coordinator of Mental Health/Counseling at UAB 1917 Clinic, was the keynote speaker. We recognized the Social Work Outstanding student, Eggleston Scholarship awardee, SSWO officers, students who went to Kenya, graduating BSW and MSW students, adjunct faculty members, field supervisors, service learning community partners, and students who went to D.C. Fly-in, Alabama Conference of Social Work, and Alabama Arise Legislative Day. Twenty-six students were inducted into Phi Alpha Honors Society.

    Pictures of our awardees can be seen below, and more of them can be found on the College of Arts and Sciences Facebook page.

    [widgetkit id="47" name="SOCIAL WORK - SW Month 2019"]

  • Student trip to Kenya focuses on health, girl's empowerment in the Maasai community

    Over spring break, Stacy Moak, Ph.D., from the Department of Social Work and Tina Reuter, Ph.D., from the Institute of Human Rights led a study abroad trip to Kenya.

    Interested in supporting projects that keep Kenyan girls in school? Donate to the Lady Pad project, sponsored by the UAB Institute for Human Rights and the College of Arts and Sciences.Over spring break, Stacy Moak, Ph.D., from the Department of Social Work and Tina Reuter, Ph.D., from the Institute of Human Rights led a study abroad trip to Kenya. This is the second year that Social Work has offered this special topics course for students.

    The course is geared toward understanding women's rights, HIV awareness, and health issues in Kenya with particular attention to the Maasai community. Students focused on four specific projects:

    1. HIV awareness, prevention, and intervention;
    2. girl's empowerment;
    3. trauma informed care for social workers; and
    4. menstrual health management for adolescent girls.

    These focus areas were developed in collaboration with partners abroad, specifically Nashulai Conservancy and CARA rescue center for girls. A grant from the Independent Presbyterian Church Foundation provided resources to donate more than 800 pieces of underwear, 20 yards of fabric and sewing essentials, and a sewing machine to the project. Social Work plans to continue to develop international efforts that provide exciting opportunities for students.

    [widgetkit id="45" name="SOCIAL WORK - Kenya 2019"]

  • Undergraduate Neuroscience Program's Outstanding Seniors: Sid Chandra

    Sid Chandra, a senior majoring in the Undergraduate Neuroscience Program, writes about his experiences in the program and at UAB.

    Sid Chandra, a senior majoring in the Undergraduate Neuroscience Program, writes about his experiences in the program and at UAB.

    When I was a freshman in high school, my grandfather was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, an untreatable neurodegenerative condition. Over the years, I watched my grandfather lose the ability to recognize and communicate with the people closest to him. It was frustrating to watch him suffer and not be able to do anything to help him. I began to read about his condition and similar neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. To understand disease research articles, I needed to understand the basic biology of the brain, so I read Neuroscience for Dummies by Frank Amthor, a UAB neurobiologist. I began to become fascinated by the brain and diseases that cause it to malfunction.

    When deciding where to attend college, UAB attracted me because of the strong neuroscience research, the well-established Undergraduate Neuroscience Program (UNP), and the resources available to students from the UAB Honors College. Soon after joining UAB, I began to seek out research mentors. With help from Dr. Cristin Gavin, co-director of the UNP, and Dr. Diane Tucker, director of the Science and Technology Honors Program, I was able to join the lab of Dr. Andy West, an expert in Parkinson’s disease. In the West lab, I focused on studying the role of a protein kinase called LRRK2 in rodent models of Parkinson’s disease and strategies to target LRRK2 for therapeutic benefit. After three years of working with Dr. West, he moved to continue his career at Duke University, and I joined Dr. Talene Yacoubian’s lab. In Yacoubian lab, I have focused on understanding how modulation of the 14-3-3 protein influences neuropathology in rodent models of Parkinson’s disease. I have been fortunate to publish my results in peer reviewed journals, communicate my science across the country at several regional and national conferences, and win competitive fellowships to support my research during the summers. My experiences in the West and Yacoubian labs have solidified my interest in basic and translational research and affirmed that I want these practices to be a significant part of my career.

    Outside of the lab, I have been heavily involved with UAB Student Multicultural and Diversity Programs as a Free Food for Thought facilitator, board member of the Social Justice Advocacy Council, and a SMDP retreat leader. Through these endeavors, I have had the opportunity to advocate for marginalized groups and help educate my peers on social issuing plaguing our world. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to work substantially with the UAB Honors College as a communications chair for the Honors College Leadership Council and as an Honors College Ambassador. Through my experiences with SMDP and the Honors College, I have grown as a person and as a leader. I intend for advocacy to be an important part of my career going forward.

    All of my experiences and success at UAB could not have been accomplished without the help of several mentors — Drs. West, Gavin, Tucker, and Yacoubian (and many more). UAB is truly a unique university in that students here do not learn only in a classroom, but they are given experiential opportunities to grow professionally and personally. My experiences at UAB have inspired me to become a physician-scientist, so that I may investigate the molecular basis of disease, develop mechanism-based therapies, and treat patients directly in the clinic. By providing research opportunities, coursework, and fantastic mentorship, the UNP has fully prepared me for the challenges that lie ahead. This summer, I will begin an M.D.-Ph.D. program to start my journey of becoming a physician-scientist and join the fight against incurable disease.

  • BSW mentor program launches

    The first mentor group includes four students paired with four mentors.

    With the help of Grace Dugger, our Social Work Alumni Society President, we launched our Bachelor of Social Work mentor program.

    Our first cohort includes four mentees and four mentors! Three of the students and two of the mentors were able to come to the first meeting. We had a great time meeting each other while sharing a meal.

    We are very excited to have mentor program and offer our students an opportunity to learn and grow beyond classroom setting.

  • Christmas gifts for AIDS Alabama child

    The Student Social Work Organization sponsored a 10-year-old girl who loves Disney princesses.

    This year the Student Social Work Organization sponsored a 10-year-old girl who loves Disney princesses for Christmas through AIDS Alabama. She asked for nail kits, Disney lip gloss kit, Auburn twin bedding, a Visa gift card, and hair products (headbands, bows, and more). SSWO and faculty were able to collect everything she asked for and much more!

    The department thank everyone who participated for their support in making this girl's holiday bright and filled with joy and blessing.

  • Master's students win Best Graduate Paper at 2018 ACM Mid-Southeast conference

    The paper predicts the probability of basketball players achieving the prestigious honor of being granted access to the Hall of Fame. 

    Two Department of Computer Science master's students, Trupesh Patel (M.S. in Computer Science) and Andrew Schatz (M.S. in Data Science), won the first place for the best graduate paper at the ACM Mid-Southeast 2018 conference. The paper, "Classifying Basketball Players by Hall of Fame Merit," predicts the probability of basketball players achieving the prestigious honor of being granted access to the Hall of Fame. This project was done using various machine learning strategies and data mining skills, under the guidance of Professor Chengcui Zhang.

    Patel and Schatz's project was an obvious choice for best graduate paper at the conference, as it demonstrated a solid analysis and evaluation framework and pursued a unique goal. It was also one of the only projects at the conference that was not funded by any third-party organization, meaning that it out-performed many well-funded research projects.

    Participating in the ACM Mid-Southeast conferences is one of the most rewarding experiences for computer science students at UAB, and the department encourages current and future students to submit their projects to upcoming conferences. It is not only for graduate students — undergraduate students have their own category and this year greatly outnumbered graduate students. The conference encourages creativity in student projects, as seen by this submission and the undergraduate champion for best project, which was a 2D-style video game created by five students from Middle Tennessee State University.

    In addition to the rewarding experience, the conference location of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is beautiful place and offers entertaining activities to conference attendees. So make sure to submit your projects to ACM Mid-Southeast 2019 conference, where hopefully you will have as much fun as Trupesh and Andrew!

  • Health and Hygiene Drive

    The Student Social Work Organization (SSWO) hosted a health and hygiene supplies drive.

    The Student Social Work Organization (SSWO) hosted a health and hygiene supplies drive for a non-profit organization run by our own MSW (former BSW) student, Caroline Richey.

    SSWO collected bars of soap, toothpastes, toothbrushes, rolled gauze, Neosporin, deodorants, medical tapes, and more for DominicanKids.

  • Students collect baby items

    SSWO was able to collect a car-seat, a stroller, diapers, wipes, clothes, and other baby goods.

    After thieves stole baby items and other personal items from a new mother, the Student Social Work Organization (SSWO) hosted a successful baby goods drive. The Department of Human Resources client lost all of the baby supplies that she had purchased. SSWO was able to collect a car-seat, a stroller, diapers, wipes, clothes, and other baby goods. It was very encouraging to see so many items collected on such short notice and seeing the impact first hand!

  • Social Work students fundraise for Youth Towers

    Youth Towers organization connects young homeless persons to the resources they so desperately need.

    One of the Social Work foundation courses, SW 222: Social Work Values, allows students to become familiar with working in the field of social work while being as imaginative as they wish. This freedom opened up many doors for students Haylee Frazer, Khawlah Abdein, Claudia Watring, and Lynn Bass. These students decided to organize a fundraiser for Youth Towers where they were fulfilling their service learning hours. Youth Towers organization connects young homeless persons to the resources they so desperately need. Alice Westery is Youth Towers' executive director.

    The fundraiser was put on in the Roots and Revelry parlor. Haylee, Khawlah, Claudia, and Lynn made many phone calls and sent emails to companies asking for sponsorships and donations. They had meetings that lasted hours organizing the event, and spent many hours contacting each other with ideas and updates. As they were doing so, they found each other’s strength: Lynn is more adept in correspondence; Claudia is a professional with proposals and documents; Khawlah contributes engagement and creativity; and Haylee is a strategist in organizing the group relations and the oversight of the event's many parts. These students learned the importance of team work, without which they would not have been nearly as successful.

    The event featured a services booth, which donated services to those who purchased raffle tickets. These services were donated by local entrepreneurs who have businesses in photography, massage, ballroom dancing, art, and cooking. On the terrace attendees could find gospel, rap, spoken word, transgender poetry, grilling, and testimonials from clients who struggled with homelessness before they found Youth Towers.

    Haylee, Khawlah, Claudia, and Lynn are extremely grateful for this experience and proud of the $2,500+ they raised in the process. These students, as a group, went into this project uncertain but optimistic of the change they could make. They kept working toward their goal, and it was a fun and entertaining event which was put on to relieve homelessness.

  • Department of Energy selects UAB graduate student for esteemed studies at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    Graduate student expands knowledge of beamlines within physics through 20th National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering.

  • Undergraduates fight on cybercrime’s front lines

    UAB students aid authorities in cybercounterespionage day in and day out, giving them “the best start on their careers that we can.”

  • Student spotlight: Fulbright Scholar Tamesha Duesbury

    Tamesha Duesbury, a Fulbright Scholar pursuing her Master’s of Science in Criminal Justice, is the first Barbadian student at UAB.

    Tamesha Duesbury, a Fulbright Scholar pursuing her Master’s of Science in Criminal Justice, is the first Barbadian student at UAB. Driven by her experience working at a probation office in Barbados, Duesbury wants to further develop the skills to better serve at-risk youth. She credits the support of her family with allowing her to study at UAB. “Not only am I a Fulbright ambassador, but I am an ambassador for my country,” she said.

  • UAB graphic design alumna wins national advertising awards

    The awards are for Samantha Richardson’s work for the Fountain Heights community, which she completed as a student.

  • Five UAB Music Technology students complete Avid Pro Tools Certification

    Five UAB students majoring in music technology have successfully passed the Avid Pro Tools certification exam.

    Five UAB students majoring in music technology have successfully passed the Avid Pro Tools certification exam. While many students successfully complete the music technology program in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences Department of Music, only an elite few also complete the Avid certification training and certification, explains University Professor Henry Panion III, Ph.D., director of the program.

    The Avid-certified students are Philip Clark, Jason Turner, A.J. Pilkerton, Michael Morris, and Ian Keel (pictured left to right) with University Professor Henry Panion, III, Ph.D., director of the UAB music technology program.The Avid-certified students are Philip Clark, Jason Turner, A. J. Pilkerton, Michael Morris, and Ian Keel. These students join a select group of music technology students to achieve this prestigious certification since UAB was designated as Avid Learning Partner (ALP) in 2012.

    The UAB music technology degree program is among a few in the Southeast designated as an ALP program with Avid-certified instructors providing training on these tools and more.

    The certification training and examination combine practical skills for recording, editing, mixing, and mastering music for various applications such as film soundtracks, commercial music and live-sound reinforcement. The certification examination includes with a theoretical comprehensive written exam for which the highest level of mastery must be achieved. This level of training and examination gives assurance to the industry that certified users have knowledge of the technology and can better perform at a professional level.

    “It is impossible to hear a major recording or see a Hollywood movie where Avid Pro Tools is not used in the recording and editing of everything from the dialogue and sound effects to the movie soundtrack,” Panion says. “Certification is a designation that industry professionals seek when looking for future interns and employees and gives UAB students an advantage out the door.”

    Learn more about the UAB Music Technology Program.