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Embarking on the graduate school journey can be a challenging experience, but it helps if you understand the major players involved in that experience. This series, "Link to Leadership," features Q&As with UAB's Graduate School leaders and staff and an opportunity for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to get to know your Graduate School leaders/staff on a deeper level.

Q:Why did you accept this position within the Graduate School?

A: “I have always been passionate about higher education and helping students succeed in reaching their goals. This position was an opportunity to build collaboration between the graduate programs at UAB and work with a diverse population of students and faculty.”

Q: How long have you been in this role? What are your specific responsibilities?

A. “3.5 years. I oversee the Graduate School Student Services team, which includes our admissions and student records groups. We process the applications and decisions for over 130+ different graduate programs so that they can be evaluated by the individual programs, as well as certify all graduate students for graduation.”

Q: What is your background?

A: "I received my bachelor’s degree in Political Science and master’s degree in International Relations and Environmental Policy from Boston University. I was actually working for the university while earning my master’s degree, and realized I wanted to stay within higher education. Before coming to UAB I was the Associate Registrar at Samford University, where my primary responsibilities were maintaining our Banner Student Information System, managing our technology initiatives and serving as the functional liaison between the various administrative and academic departments across campus."

Q: What drew you to this particular area of work?

A: “Being able to work at a large, research institution like UAB was a major draw. Higher education is always exciting and constantly evolving. As Director, I get to work collaboratively with so many diverse entities around campus and witness the role we play in facilitating the success of our students.”

Q: If you were talking with a group of incoming UAB students, what would you most want them to know about you and your hopes for their experience at the Graduate School?

A: “That we really are invested in their success! From the moment they begin their application to when they cross the stage at commencement, there are a team of people working behind the scenes to provide support and guidance.”

Q: What influences have shaped you?

A: “Professionally, I started in higher education by chance. I graduated a year early and still felt connected to the university; I wanted to stay involved and invested. What I quickly realized is that there was a challenging and rewarding career in higher education, and that I enjoyed helping students reach their educational and professional goals.”

Q: What do you like to do for fun?

A: “I love the outdoors so I do a lot of hiking and camping. I also play guitar and piano. But my biggest hobby right now is hockey. I started skating lessons a couple years ago and am now playing hockey twice a week. It’s a blast!”

Q: Tell me a bit about your family.

A. “I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have three sons. We are originally from Florida and moved to Birmingham about 8 years ago to be closer to family. We live in Bluff Park.”

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