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AileenMcElwainOffice: EEC 211B
Fax: (205) 934-4792
Email Aileen L. McElwain

I have studied cognition, learning, measurement, education, psychology and neurology. Upon graduation, I taught 5th grade in Clinton, Mississippi and later served as a Librarian in the Public Library system. The schools and libraries had limited budgets - I learned innovative and creative ways to collaborate, thrive, and be effective. As teachers and librarians, we were connected to the families and individuals in the community. As librarians, together we strived to make every person and family feel welcome, to orient them to the sections and services of the library, to meet real needs, and to make the library a vibrant hub of the community, embracing the evolving atmosphere and roles of public libraries.

Upon moving to Birmingham, I served as a Board-Certified Specialist in Psychometry, serving the cognitive and memory assessment needs at UAB, in Psychiatry and the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, later also serving as Clinical Research Program Coordinator. During that time, my mother developed Alzheimer's and my husband and I became her weekend caregivers. Tapping into support from my colleagues, I did my best to keep my mom active and positive, while still getting everything I needed to get done, and following a theme of "love, laugh, and life with meaning". (I am happy to share caregiving tips if you find yourself on that journey). I thoroughly enjoyed serving as the volunteer activities coordinator for her seniors' apartment complex, developing great friendships with the seniors.

Recognizing administration as my skill set, when the grant ended, I transitioned to serve as program manager for UAB's Faculty Senate, for 11 years. It was an honor to serve alongside of, support, and get to know UAB's faculty across the university. And now, I apply the same principles of organization and support, to serve the faculty and students in the EMPOWER program.

I served as a volunteer teacher in 2 Birmingham community-based ESOL programs, experiencing both the challenges and fulfillment that come with endeavoring to teach ESOL. I hold the moments close to my heart, when Learners would light up with joy, because they now understand better and could now better express themselves - the joy is contagious! Later, traveling to Peru and Guatemala, I experienced what the English Language Learners experience here in the US, the challenge in understanding and speaking, when you only know part of a language.

I enjoy reading, cooking and baking, hiking, canoeing, traveling, mentoring the students and young adults who work at my husband's coffee shops and bakery, volunteering with my church, and spending time with my friends who have moved to Birmingham from all over the world.

My passion is to assist in any way that is needed, to answer your questions, to keep everything running smoothly, to get you what you need, and to keep it positive! If you have any feedback or suggestions, please always feel free to let me know.

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