Explore UAB

Beginning this month, the Honors Faculty Fellows elevate the academic experience for students in the UAB Honors College by offering unique events that allow students to broaden their horizons by thinking critically about various issues related to personal and professional development, along with global influence. The new cohort of Honors Faculty Fellows are full-time UAB faculty members who design and facilitate year-long projects that provide thought-provoking academic enrichment opportunities through experiential learning activities.

Selected by a committee of honors students, members of the 2022-2023 cohort of Honors Faculty Fellows include Joseph Barney, M.D., professor in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine; Camerron M. Crowder, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology; Peter A. Jones, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration; Heather Lee, M.P.H., director of operations in the Department of Health Services Administration; and Jaclyn Wells, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of English.

Read below to learn more about how each faculty member plans to spend their fellowship.

Dr. Joseph Barney

Joseph Barney, M.D.
Heersink School of Medicine

Conversations with the Living

Dr. Joseph Barney will lead a series of events focused on specific aspects that affect broad channels of society including at-risk populations and underrepresented minorities. Each event will offer in-depth seminars and in-person opportunities for students focusing on history-taking techniques and provide a deeper understanding of the societal, biological, and cultural factors that affect human health, chronic disease, aging, and dying. Students will enhance their communication skills by learning cultural sensitivity and specialized techniques through face-to-face interviews with respective subjects.

“I envision students attending seminars will meet with the people whose lives are shaped by challenges and inequity,” Barney says. “My goal is for students to leave with a personal and deeper understanding of how health and society affect real humans in their day-to-day struggles.”


Camerron Crowder, Ph.D.Dr. Camerron Crowder
Heersink School of Medicine

“You and Your Genome: Explorations into How Lifestyle Habits Impact Your Genome and Other Exciting Genome Research”

Dr. Camerron Crowder plans to offer students a variety of engaging activities including discussion-based lectures, critical-thinking small group discussions, movie nights, and book clubs. All topics will center around a core idea of understanding how our lifestyle choices and the foods and drugs we intake impact our genome. Students will compare and contrast trends, products, and accepted theories relating to genome health and wellbeing. Topics in nutritional genomics and pharmacogenomics will be explored to understand how certain foods and drugs impact individuals differently.

“Students will learn how to consider the impact of their genome on their daily life - how our genome impacts our behavior and health and how lifestyle choices - what we eat, our experiences, and medications we take impact our genome,” Crowder says. “We will also examine genome sciences in pop culture and weigh the pros and cons of direct-to-consumer DNA testing kits.


Dr. Peter Jones

Peter A. Jones, Ph.D. 
College of Arts and Sciences

“Inspired to Serve: Mapping your Public Service Journey”

Dr. Peter Jones will host a series of discussions with public servants about their public service journeys—how and when they decided to enter public service, what steps they have taken along their journey, and what advice they would have for students who want to serve the public.

“I hope students will gain a broader perspective of public service and a better vision of their public service journey,” Jones says.




Heather Lee, M.P.H. Dr. Heather Lee
School of Health Professions

“Experiential Learning Through Simulation”

Professor Heather Lee will offer simulation-based learning events that will create an interactive and engaging environment where students can develop and test skills in a “real world” setting without the fear of making mistakes. Students will be able to develop and enhance competencies related to complex decision-making in a variety of scenarios.

“Through these experiences, I hope that students are able to expand their knowledge of health care management, enhance interpersonal skills, and gain a better understanding of systems thinking,” Lee says. “I also hope that through the Global Village simulation, students will gain awareness of the conditions that over 1 billion people live in worldwide and what role they can play in bettering the lives of others.” 


Dr. Jaclyn WellsJaclyn Wells, Ph.D. 
College of Arts and Sciences

“Lunchtime Writing Group”

Dr. Jaclyn Wells plans to build a stronger, more enjoyable, and less stressful strategic writing process that allows students to spend time writing anything they wish (academic, professional, or personal). Each session will include opportunities to get feedback, but no one will be required to share their writing. At the first session, attendees received Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird and a journal where they can keep writing until the final session.

“Students who attend the lunchtime writing group will learn the power of regular writing sessions and of writing with others,” Wells says. “My hope is that attendees will gain an improved, more enjoyable writing process that includes writing regularly and exchanging feedback with other writers.”


For questions or inquiries to apply for the 2023-2024 cohort, contact the Associate Dean of the Honors College, Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk, D.M.A., at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Back to Top

News & Stories

  • Meet the 2023-2024 Honors Faculty Fellows in the UAB Honors College
  • Driven by passion for technology, computer science student lands internship at Amazon
  • UAB to honor summer graduates with two ceremonies Friday, Aug. 11
  • Mekki selected for prestigious Johnson & Johnson internship