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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. The “Link to Leadership” series features Q&As with UAB's Graduate School leaders and an opportunity for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to get to know these leaders on a deeper level.

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

A: “My husband has been a Registered Nurse at UAB for 6.5 years now, and he is working on his Masters in Nursing. He has had such a great experience that I wanted to be a part of UAB, too.”

Q: What is your background?

A: "I graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Mississippi, and I first worked as an Assistant Event Planner at a luxurious yacht club on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts. Most recently, I was employed by the City of Oxford, Mississippi, for 4 years, promoting travel and tourism when I met my husband, got married and moved to be with him in Birmingham."

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

A: “I began working as Dr. Lori McMahon’s Executive Assistant in March of 2018. I help maintain her intense schedule as the Dean of the UAB Graduate School.”

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: “You are in a great place! I hope you take advantage of the Graduate School as a resource, of the opportunities here at UAB, and of the plethora of things to do in the Magic City of Birmingham.”

Q: What influences have shaped you?

A: “I worked at Newk’s Express Cafe in high school and college, and Newk’s was where I fell in love with the hospitality industry – people, and the importance of customer service. Traveling on my own to Nantucket made me understand a sense of place and what makes a town stand out from another, including the accents, local food, landscape, how people greet you, etc. I think it is important to leave your comfort zone and immerse oneself in other cultures.”

Q: What do you like to do for fun?

A: “Explore Birmingham! I’ve only lived here for 9 months, and I thoroughly enjoy indulging in the numerous restaurants, visiting the attractions and simply driving around the various parts of town. Birmingham is very charming. It is situated in the foothills of the Appalachians, and every road seems to wind around a mountain or have a great view of one.”

Q: Tell me a bit about your family.

A: "My husband and I live right in downtown Birmingham where we walk everywhere. We both enjoy working at UAB, and we love living life in this city."

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