keystone fellows group shot

Founded in 2017, the Keystone Fellowship Program (KFP) aims to cultivate the next generation of engaged scholars whose doctoral program, research and career interests align with solving problems with direct implications on diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education, our surrounding Birmingham communities, the nation, and the world. Specifically, the program seeks out students who have a demonstrated interest in developing and implementing innovative and sustainable approaches to address complex social needs affecting historically underserved and marginalized communities.

Since its establishment, KFP has been especially effective in enabling students from underrepresented groups to complete their doctoral studies and further their career interests. In addition to receiving monthly stipends, Fellows enjoy access to a rich array of activities that promote their holistic development through mentoring relations with faculty, collaboration with peers, and the exchange and implementation of ideas with a broad audience of academic and community leaders. Furthermore, Fellows from a range of disciplines support one another's research, make presentations at conferences and colloquia, participate in community engagement projects, and publish working papers.


  • Ashley Conoway
    Ashley Conoway

    Ashley Conoway

    Ashley Conoway is working towards her PhD in Health Education and Health Promotion (HE/HP) within the Community Health and Human Services Program in the UAB School of Education. Hailing from Greenwood, MS, she completed her undergraduate degree in Biology at Xavier University of Louisiana and has received her Master of Science in Basic Medical Science from UAB. Currently, she works as a researcher in the Department of Preventative Medicine on several projects concentrated on reducing chronic disease disparities in the Alabama Black Belt.

    While studying in HE/HP, she worked on a health edutainment project with men at Donaldson State Prison where they wrote, performed, and published 2 seasons of the radio drama, Corrections, about health and wellness in the prison environment. Working with the incarcerated population inspired her to learn more about how people who have experienced incarceration in their formative years adjust and take care of themselves once they are released. Her current dissertation research is focused on how interactions with the criminal justice system affect self-care behaviors.

    Ashley enjoys being physically active, running and challenging herself to try different outdoor activities, as well as spending quality time with friends and family cooking & eating. She aspires to work in research, policy, and advocacy for overlooked and understudied populations.

  • Maizonne Fields
    Maizonne Fields

    Maizonne Fields

    Maizonne Fields is currently a first year student in UAB’s Developmental Psychology PhD program. Broadly, her research interests focus on adult development and aging. This includes health disparities, dementia, and caregivers of those with dementia. More specifically, she is interested in 1) the impact of dementia diagnosis on caregiver identity and family system infrastructure that may lead to caregiver burnout; 2) the management of chronic disease with inadequate levels of support; 3) differences in access and utilization of healthcare and community services that may affect the caregiving experience in African American families; and 4) the role of advanced planning in disease management and reducing stress related to healthcare decisions.

    Currently, Maizonne is working on the Caring for Adults with Difficulties (CFAD) research study that examines stressors of caregivers to aging adults, their social support networks, caregiving demands, and personal experiences. She also serves as the coordinator for the Community Outreach, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (CODI) core through UAB’s Alzheimer’s Research Disease Center.


Become a Keystone Fellow

Only registered UAB doctoral students who have completed at least their first year of graduate study are eligible for this program. While it is not a firm requirement, most of the Fellows have solidified their research agenda. Each aspiring Fellow is expected to serve as a paraprofessional in Campus & Community Engagement (CACE), a unit of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI), to assist with the development and implementation of innovative and sustainable approaches to address complex social needs affecting historically underserved and marginalized communities around UAB.