Established in 2009, The Sam Brown Bridge Builder Award recognizes a UAB faculty or staff member who embodies Dr. Brown’s vision, character, and bridge-building talents which are vital to the University’s growth and success and who, like Dr. Brown, demonstrates a deep and abiding commitment to collaborating across campus that enhances the research and teaching activities of the University.

Dr. Sam Brown was uniquely talented in facilitating partnerships and nurturing positive relationships among faculty and staff across campus that were vital to the future of UAB. At the time, UAB was in its infancy, deeming Dr. Brown’s approach and attitude particularly impactful. He assisted center directors in planning, organizing, and implementing interdisciplinary research and training centers. He successfully assisted in developing grant applications for external funding. He also served on numerous center advisory and management committees. Dr. Brown’s influence in interdisciplinary research extended to the national level—he was the first non-clinician to be elected President of the American Association for Cancer Education; chaired the executive committee for the Health Sciences Consortium for Instructional Materials, served on the National Arthritis Advisory Board; and served on the advisory committee for the National Fund for Medical Education. He also was a member of the NIH Study Group that reviewed applications for Multipurpose Arthritis Centers.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

UAB encourages those making awards, and those naming selection committees for awards to keep in mind the diversity, equity, and inclusion values and goals of both the UAB strategic plan Forging the Future and of the Strategic Diversity Plan.  We strive to make sure everybody counts, every day, and that we actively seek varied perspectives in our decision-making, including when recognizing our faculty with awards.

Past Recipients

2019 - Dr. Barbara A. Gower
2018 - Dr. Scott Phillips
2017 - Dr. Patricia A. Patrician
2016 - Dr. Yogesh K. Vohra
2015 - Dr. Lisa Schwiebert
2014 - Dr. Jack Lemons
2013 - Drs. Jennifer Kilgo and Cynthia Ryan
2012 - Drs. Diane Tucker and Lou Bridges
2011 - Dr. Kent Keyser
2010 - Dr. Sarah Morgan


Nominations are now being accepted for the 10th annual Sam Brown Bridge Builder Award. Nominees should have demonstrated a deep and abiding commitment to facilitating collaboration and partnership across campus in ways that enhance the research and/or teaching activities of the University. All full time UAB faculty and staff are eligible for this Award.

The primary nominator should submit a letter describing the nominee’s sustained unselfish leadership in fostering the growth and/or development of interdisciplinary collaboration between two or more schools in ways that embodies the vision, character, and bridge-building talents vital to the future of UAB. The letter should describe the impact of the efforts on specific programs or collaborations. As described in the instructions two or more letters supporting the nomination and emphasizing the nominee’s contributions are required. At least one of those letters must come from outside the nominee’s primary school of appointment.

Questions should be addressed to Kay Kirk (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 205-975-7724).

The Sam Brown Bridge Builder Award recipient will be recognized at an awards convocation in early fall.

The award recipient will receive a special commemorative plaque and a cash award.