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Spotlight on UAB Veterans


This Veteran's Day, the HR AWARE Program is paying tribute to military service men and women by spotlighting veterans who work alongside us at UAB. Their dedication and commitment to our country and community is greatly appreciated.

Brent McClenny

Brent McClenny

Air Force | 0-6 (Colonel)
Adjunct Asst Professor | General Dentistry

Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

  • Meritorious Service Medals
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Dept of Defense Healthcare Innovation of the Year Award

What was most impactful to you about your military service?

The privilege of providing top level care for those who sacrifice so much in protecting our nation and freedoms.

How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

All the clinical/didactic training and experiences I received as 1) "an Air Force two-year AEGD Residency graduate" 2) "Directing 1 year Air-Force AEGD residency programs for 13 years with the help of board certified specialists" has enhanced my ability to pass on evidence-based clinical principles and techniques to the D1 and D2 students.

Thomas Elmes

Thomas Elmes

Army | Captain
Manager-Patient Financial Svcs | Patient Financial Services

Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

  • Combat Infantryman's Bade
  • Bronze Star

What was most impactful to you about your military service?

It was an honor to serve with a diverse group of soldiers who were united with a common goal and a love for their country.

How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

My prior military experience has enhanced my appreciation for the benefits associated with my UAB employment and the healthcare that we provide to our community.

J. Crawford Downs

J. Crawford Downs

Navy | E-3, Airman
Professor | Ophthalmology

Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  • Personal Letter of Commendation for academic performance in Aviation Boatswain's Mate School
  • Personal Letter of Commendation for bravery and performance during a shipboard fired

What was most impactful to you about your military service?

As an enlisted airmen on an aircraft carrier, I spent two years living on the ship with people of all backgrounds and situations. This profoundly altered my view of how one's background can influence their future opportunities and life path. I have a deep respect for those who volunteer to serve in the armed forces.

How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

In the military, I learned both tenacity and exactly how far I can push myself mentally and physically. This is invaluable when working toward research goals in the lab that can seem impossible to achieve, or require years of focused work.

Curtis Carver Jr.

Curtis Carver Jr.

Army | Colonel
UAB Chief Information Officer & VP of Information Technology

Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

  • Legion of Merit
  • Afghanistan Campaign Medal
  • Iraq Campaign Medal
  • Senior Parachutist
  • Jungle Expert
  • What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    My active military service of 27 years was the start of a lifetime of service to protect and improve our society.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    As a military leader, I was able to mentor and change the trajectory of numerous emerging leaders. This is very similar to my role at UAB where I lead a team intent on relentlessly improving and empowering our students, faculties, and researchers to change the world.

    Emanuel Stephens

    Emanuel Stephens

    Coast Guard, Navy & Army | Staff Sargent E-6
    Hyperbaric Safety Coordinator | Ambulatory Clinics

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    • 1st Combat Action Ribbon
    • Navy Battle 'E' Ribbon Meritorious Service Medal
    • SWA Medals with USMC insignia
    • GWOT Expeditionary Medal
    • Navy Expeditionary Medal
    • 1st AAM and 1st ARCOM

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    My ability as a medical enlisted person to help so many people around the world — never thought a simple kid from Brooklyn could help improve so many lives.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    Absolutely, the ability to be flexible and resilient along with being structure oriented. Many people don't realize the medical field is similar, especially a large organization such as UAB to the military.

    Kasey Whilding

    Kasey Whilding

    Marines | Sergeant (E-5), Machine Gun Section Leader
    Compensation Analyst Sr | Human Resources

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    I am most honored to have received an Iraq Campaign Medal w/one bronze Campaign star and two Navy Unit Commendations for our deployment to Haditha, Iraq in 2007-08.

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    The camaraderie and brotherhood has been most impactful. Being an infantry Marine made me a part of something special and unique, and has given me some of my closest, lifelong friends.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    My military experience has helped me deal with stress working in a fast-paced environment, to thrive in uncomfortable situations and to be a valuable member of a team. My experience also gave me the confidence to raise my hand, volunteer and be a leader.

    Justin Reed

    Justin Reed

    Marines | E-3/Lance Corporal
    General Mechanic | Hospital Maintenance

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    The bond formed with the men and women I served with. I will always consider them family.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    That I learned to work with people from all walks of life.

    Clisby Jones

    Clisby S. Jones

    Air Force | E4
    Office Service Specialist III | Orthopaedic Surgery

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    Fresh out of high school, meeting new people, having new experiences, seeing new places and things.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    Dependable, respectful and working well with others, loyalty and trustworthy.

    Nina Poythress

    Nina Poythress

    Army | Sergeant Major
    Financial Officer II | Ob/Gyn Chair Office

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    • The Legend of Merit
    • Meritorious Service Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
    • Army Commendation Medal
    • Army Achievement Medal
    • Army Good Conduct Medal
    • Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (5 Oak Leaf Clusters)
    • National Defense Medal (with Bronze Star)
    • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
    • Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with “M” Device, Gold Hourglass and Number 3)
    • Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (with Number 3)
    • Army Service Ribbon
    • Army Staff Identification Badge.

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    The most impactful to me about my military service was my promotion to Sergeant Major and later becoming the Comptroller Division Sergeant Major for the Office of the Chief of Army Reserve, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    My military experience assist me in my employment at UAB to be excellent in all I do. I assume my daily task and apply the Army Values; loyalty, duty (fulfill your obligations) respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage building a strong work ethic and genuine character that exemplifies to my coworkers and supervisors.

    Kristina Sinclair.

    Kristina Sinclair

    Marines | Sergeant (E-5)
    JHS Administrative Director II | Microbiology

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    I received a meritorious service citation while stationed overseas and I'm reminded how important it is to recognize the people in our work and home lives who are making a difference. Recognizing others can be through a formal nomination or a simple act of notifying someone's supervisor of a job well done or writing a thank you note.

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    I spent a portion of my time overseas in Okinawa, Japan and that experience offered me a unique perspective while I was a young adult. Living away from the US allowed me to immerse myself in another culture and serving alongside men and women from all over the U.S. taught me about the power of a diverse team.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    I believe my time in the Marine Corps instilled in me the importance of serving, following and leading, and provided me with a passion for teamwork and teambuilding that I have spent nearly 25 years at UAB trying to improve and develop. And for the times that I've failed (and will fail again!), I lean heavily on the pure grit that was either honed or highlighted during my military training all of those years ago. I see that same grit in my UAB colleagues, especially during the past 20 months, and it's an honor to work with such dedicated people.

    Michael Knox Jr.

    Michael Knox Jr.

    Army | E-4 Specialist
    General Mechanic | Hospital Maintenance

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    I’m grateful each day for the manner in which my experiences in the Army cultivated character, discipline, and application to everyday life. The best part was the people I got to share it with and serving a higher purpose.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    By the values that have been instilled in me — selfless service, honor, and integrity. I try to apply those core values everyday on my job, around the patients and staff.

    Nathan Dowling

    Nathan Dowling

    Air Force | SSgt/E-5
    Teaching Asst | Epidemiology

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    • Commendation Medal

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    The ability to serve others in the community and in my chain of command — providing outreach (food, clothes, clinical care) to disadvantaged children in Asia and educating the airmen below me to seek out life goals.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    It allowed me to take on a copious amount of responsibility as a full time student while working full time and moving across the globe.

    Nathan Parsons

    Nathan Parsons

    Navy | E-5
    Peer Recovery Support Specialist | Psych-Substance Abuse

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    • Armed Forces Expeditionary
    • Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary
    • Iraq Campaign Medal

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    Traveling around the world, experiencing different cultures, had an impact on my life. Also the camaraderie and bond you form with those you serve with, I'll always cherish.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    My military experience assists me everyday with my role here at UAB, Community Justice Programs. I am a Certified Recovery Support Specialist with Veterans Court. Being able to provide support and be of service to veterans in this capacity is so cool and when you get to see fellow veterans graduate the program, its really powerful to experience.

    Randy Moore

    Randy Moore

    Navy | Lieutenant Commander
    Asst Prof Nursing (with Doctorate) | Nursing Academic Support

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    • Navy Commendation Medal
    • Navy Unit Citation Medal

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    Taking all the education and experience that I had learned and applying it to provide U.S. level care in a remote Combat Surgical Hospital in the deserts of Iraq during 2006 to help all of our warfighters.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    Helps make me more culturally aware, makes me thankful for all the technology we use to help patients, and helps me focus more on preventative services to help patients avoid crisis down the road.

    Katherine Storms

    Katherine Storms

    Army | SSG
    Athletic Trainer | Orthopaedic Surgery

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    • NATO Medal for Service in OEF

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    What is taught me as a person.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    It helps me work in a team and also helps my commitment and loyalty to my work as I was taught in the military.

    Richard Lloyd

    Richard Lloyd

    Marines | E-5
    Peer Recovery Support Specialist | Psych-Substance Abuse

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    • Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal x2
    • Combat Action Ribbon

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    Probably the self-discipline I learned and the importance of leadership and teamwork.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    My job is pretty self-directed, so the discipline I learned, the value of hard work, and the desire to do a job well every time probably help the most at UAB.

    Roslyen Quinney

    Rosylen Quinney

    Army | E-4
    Clinical Research Coordinator II | Ob/Gyn Maternal & Fetal Medicine

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    • National Defense Service Medal
    • Southwest Asia Service Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars
    • Army Service Ribbon
    • Kuwait Liberation Medal
    • Sharpshooter
    • Badge with Riffle Bar
    • Marksman Badge with Grenade Bar

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    How to be disciplined and be humble.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    It has taught me to pay attention to the smallest of details and execute my assignments.

    Susan Hillhouse

    Susan Hillhouse

    Air Force | Lieutenant Colonel
    Adjunct Instructor | Nursing Academic Support

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    • Afghanistan Ribbon

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    Evacuating wounded as a flight nurse.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    Sharing experiences with my nursing students.

    Connie Jackson-Gaiter

    Connie Jackson-Gaiter

    Army | Sergeant
    Office Service Specialist III | School Of Nursing Dean's Office

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    • Army Service Ribbon
    • Good Conduct Medal
    • Army Commendation Ribbon
    • SWAS (Southwest Asia Sea) Medal
    • Army Honorable Discharge Lapel Pin
    • Red Devil Certificate (Ft. Polk, LA)

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    What impacted me the most about my time in service was seeing that no matter what some go through they strive and survive under the hardest of circumstances. That sand stays in everything and you can still be shaking it out of your clothing for years. That family is important especially when you are far away from home. That woman can endure the hardest of elements, complete 24-hour guard duty and still make 4:30 a.m. PT.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    My job at UAB is as Concierge (Office Service Specialist III) at the School Of Nursing. The SON core values are: Excellence, Caring, Innovation, Collaboration, Diversity, Integrity and Communication. The United States Army core values are: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. As both sets of core values align, I know that my military experience has prepared me to be readily able to succeed at whatever task I am called to perform and UAB can rest easy knowing that task will be done exceedingly well.

    Terry Wood

    Terry Wood

    Navy | E-5, Petty Officer
    Engineering Manager | Campus Maintenance

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    • National Defense

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    I enjoyed seeing the world. In several cases, we visited countries less fortunate than the United States, without freedoms. We actually visited Lenningrad, in the Soviet Union in 1975. This visit coincided with the fall of Saigon in the U.S., while the Soviets viewed it as the Liberation of Saigon. The value of freedom has has not been lost on those that served their country. Freedoms come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God, and the sacrifice of thousands of veterans that came before us.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    I would say it helped mature me, but I think age has also contributed to my growth in life. I see the same struggles that were issues around the globe in 1975, are at issue at UAB. The desire to support freedom while at the same time ensure a safe and peaceful lifestyle in your hometown. The words of JFK from my generation now carry more weight: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

    Patricia Ann Patrician

    Patricia Ann Patrician

    Army | Colonel
    Professor of Nursing | Nursing Family, Community & Health Systems

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    • Legion of Merit, 2008
    • Anita Newcomb McGee (Army Nurse of the Year) Award, 2004

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    Caring for soldiers, retirees and their respective families who serve our great nation. Later, taking care of nursing personnel, ensuring they had the training needed for deployment.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    Military service taught me: mission first, selfless service, servant leadership. We are all here to serve others, not ourselves. Let us never forget that.

    Mike Maner

    Mike Maner

    Navy | Petty Officer First Class
    Senior Learning & Development Specialist | Organizational Learning & Development

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    • Navy Commendation Medal

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    I was able to travel the world and be exposed to other cultures and countries. It opened my eyes to a new way of looking at things and the experience changed everything for me.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    Learning to look at things from the perspective of others, working hard and meeting your goals, and taking pride in the work you do. All of those are values I learned to live by in my military career.

    Andres Viles

    Andres Viles

    Army | E5, Sargeant
    Simulation Coordinator, Senior | Office of Interprofessional Simulation for Innovative Clinical Practice

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    • Combat Infantryman Badge
    • Air Assault Badge
    • Jungle Warfare Expert Badge
    • Multinational Force and Observers Medal
    • Commanding Generals
    • Leadership Award — Primary Leadership Development Course

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    We serve a purpose bigger than ourselves. I represent myself, my family, my branch of service, and country the moment I wake up. These were principles re-enforced throughout my 13 years of service.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    Highly effective team such as the military focus on teamwork and communication as essential elements to completing the mission. These are not considered "soft skills." I use that mindset to help members of the healthcare team develop and refine the skills to effectively coordinate and deliver the exceptional care our patient deserve.

    Paul Walker

    Paul Walker

    Air Force | Major
    Associate Director, Information Security Operations | Enterprise Information Security

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    • Defense Meritorious Service Medal
    • Meritorious Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
    • Air Force Commendation Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters
    • Army Commendation Medal
    • Air Force Achievement Medal
    • Joint Meritorious Unit Award
    • Meritorious Unit Award
    • AF Outstanding Unit Award with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
    • AF Organizational Excellence Award with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
    • Iraq Campaign Medal with 1 Service Star
    • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    What was most impactful to me about my military service was that it helped instill a sense of duty, loyalty, honor, and dedication that still exists today.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    The sense of duty, loyalty, honor, and dedication that the Air Force instilled in me, is very present and assists me in everything I do at UAB.

    Daniel Lerew

    Army | E-4
    Research Engineer I | Materials Science & Engineering

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    Honorable Discharge — to me, this exemplifies a proper attention to detail and honorable service. There are many others who have far better medals than I and I do not wish to detract from their more than honorable service.

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    Beginning to learn that, around the world, we are just people. It is governments who create wars, not people.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    It gave me a great ability to wait with patience and suffer silently.

    Jack Howard

    Army | Lieutenant Colonel
    Professor | Management, Information Systems & Quantitative Methods

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    • Meritorious Service Medal

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    Working with the people and how there was a ton of camaraderie. The lifelong friendships that I have with these great men and women. Being pushed to do more than I thought might be possible.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    It helps me to stay focused on the issues when making decisions. In most areas of the academic side of campus we are blessed with the luxury of being able to take our time to make solid decisions and not have to decide on a moment's notice. While things might seem like an emergency when they are happening, having served in a combat zone I know that we all have the luxury of a blessed life in the United States of America.

    Victoria Allen

    Air Force | Seargent
    Manager Data Collection and Analysis | Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    • Sharpshooter
    • Remote Deployment

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    It was a great place to mature and become more independent. I learned patience, I honed my skills, and I learned how to traverse in a big organization. The Air Force supported continuing education and gave me a chance to travel across the world.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    Working in a large institution is very different from small work places. The nature of big institutions requires a hierarchy and I learned about traversing a hierarchy in the military. The military taught me the importance of building trust and support within your team and the building loyalty to UAB.

    Randall Fields

    Navy | Lieutenant
    Manager-Clinical Research Administrator | Neurology Chair Office

    Which medals or citations are you most honored to have received?

    • National Defense Service Medal
    • Southwest Asia Service Medal
    • Kuwaiti Liberation Medal
    • Navy Unit Commendation

    What was most impactful to you about your military service?

    The opportunity to travel the world while serving this great nation.

    How does your military experience assist you in your employment at UAB?

    The military emphasizes the importance of team work, duty and honor. I embrace these qualities and strive to live them each day.