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Past Events


25-Year Celebration of the UAB ESL Teacher Education Program

April 30, 2024

UAB's ESL Teacher Education Program celebrated its Silver Anniversary with many alumni and friends at UAB's Alumni House. Highlights and successes were shared, celebrating 25 years that UAB has been offering ESL graduate courses, degrees, and certification. The milestone event included time for alumni to interact reconnect while viewing posters about the programs' history, growth, and impact.

During the event, the Dr. Susan K. Spezzini Endowed ESL Scholarship was announced. If you are interested in helping to grow the fund for this scholarship, please visit https://go.uab.edu/drspezzini.

ESL Alumni Game Night

August 3, 2021
The UAB ESL program conducted a fun evening of virtual games to celebrate the 800th graduate from the ESL teacher education program. 

The game night was hosted on Zoom to make it more accessible for all the UAB ESL alumni near and far. ESL-themed games were played via an online gaming system called Kahoot. Prizes were won during each game, which started every half-hour to give participants more opportunities to showcase their ESL/UAB ESL program knowledge and win prizes. During the evening, updates were shared about UAB's ESL program and the Julia Austin Endowed Scholarship.

Julia Austin and Susan Spezzini UAB ESL 20-year Celebration

20-Year Celebration of the UAB ESL Teacher Education Program

April 30, 2019
The first twenty years of UAB's ESL teacher education program were celebrated by over 200 people on April 30th, 2019 at the Hill Student Center Alumni Theater. A special presentation featured the program's milestones, challenges, and successes since 1999. Emotional testimonials from alumni and impressive statistics highlighted the powerful impact the program has had on teachers, students, families, schools, colleges, and communities in the state of Alabama and around the world. The formal part of the event culminated in the announcement of the Dr. Julia S. Austin Endowed Scholarship, presented to Dr. Austin by the Dean of the College of Education (at the time) Dr. Autumn Cyprès, in the presence of Dr. Austin's proud family. Afterwards, attendees enjoyed catching up with former classmates, colleagues, and friends.

Event Photo Gallery

Event Video

Event PowerPoint Presentation

Event Program

Photo Montage 1999-2019

Photo Montage Video 1999-2019

Poster: Historical Documents 1998-2003

Poster: Growth of ESL Teacher Education Program

Poster: Where in the World are the ESL Alumni?

Poster: Baldwin County Alumni in Action

Poster: Dr. Julia S. Austin Endowed Scholarship

UAB ESL Teacher Education Program Appreciation Reception

July 18, 2018
The inaugural Appreciation Reception for the UAB ESL teacher education program, held at Birmingham's Cantina Grill, was a phenomenal success. Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to a number of worthy recipients who have contributed to the success of the UAB ESL teacher education program. Dr. Susan Spezzini, Program Director of ESL Teacher Education, recognized the ongoing support provided by ESL professionals to the UAB teacher education program: Adjunct Instructors; Supervisors of Interns, Student Teachers, and Apprentices; Cooperating/Host Teachers; Advisory Council Members; Instructional Partners; Program Evaluators; School of Education and Human Sciences (SOE) Program Support; and SOE Administrators. Dr. Spezzini also gave a brief overview of program accomplishments to highlight how far the program has come. The amazing milestone of 700 program completers by August 2018 was celebrated by all. Dr. Autumn Cyprès, Dean of the School of Education and Human Sciences (at the time), provided an inspirational closing to this event.

Appreciation Reception Program

Accomplishments of UAB's ESL Teacher Education Program

Appreciation Reception

Dr. Susan Spezzini (top right), Program Director of ESL Teacher Education, thanks Dr. Autumn Cyprès (top left), Dean of the School of Education and Human Sciences, for her inspirational talk which closed the Appreciation Reception.

Gonul Uguralp Rebecca Oxford

UAB ESL alumna Gonul Uguralp with adjunct Dr. Rebecca Oxford