Tuscaloosa mayor among five honored by UAB National Alumni Society

Walt Maddox among five outstanding individuals honored by UAB’s National Alumni Society.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham National Alumni Society honored five people for their professional achievements and philanthropy during its 11th annual Alumni Leadership Recognition Awards.

alumni-award_storyThe Honorable Walter T. Maddox, Robin D. Foley, Anne Harper Arrasmith, Sanjay Singh and Traci Spray d’Auguste were honored during the luncheon held Friday, Sept. 23, 2011, in UAB’s National Alumni Society House.

Maddox, the mayor of Tuscaloosa, received the Honorary Life Membership Award, the society’s highest award bestowed on an individual whose contributions to UAB benefit the entire community. Maddox was called into action to lead the people of the region and many volunteers in disaster response when catastrophic storms struck the region on April 27, 2011. He emerged as a true leader during the crisis, gaining national recognition, and now is leading the strategic reconstruction plan with dedication to the people of Tuscaloosa and Alabama. Maddox graduated from UAB in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and earned his master of public administration degree in 2004. While at UAB, Maddox was a four-year letter winner on the football team, and since leaving campus he has continued to be an avid supporter of the university, including the National Alumni Society and Blazer Club.

Foley, Ph.D., associate professor of materials science and engineering, received the Ellen Gregg Ingalls/UAB National Alumni Society Award for Lifetime Achievement in Teaching. The award is presented annually to a full-time, regular UAB faculty member who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to teaching throughout his or her career at UAB. It is the highest annual prize for teaching presented by the university. To be eligible, faculty must be past recipients of the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and have taught at UAB for 20 or more years. Foley was the 2009 recipient of the president’s award in the UAB School of Engineering, where she has taught since 1990. Foley also is the manager of UAB’s Electron Optics Laboratory and trains all faculty and students in applicable safety procedures and equipment protocols. 

Arrasmith was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes both outstanding professional and community accomplishments, along with demonstrated continual interest in UAB and the National Alumni Society. Arrasmith graduated in UAB’s first class in 1970. She continued taking classes at UAB’s newly formed art department, where she met artists and arts instructors who became important founders of space one eleven, Alabama’s nationally recognized non-profit, artists-centered visual arts organization. With more than 25 years experience as a practicing artist, curator and arts administrator, Arrasmith has helped present hundreds of artists in more than 75 visual arts projects and developed and implemented space one eleven’s flagship free education program, City Center Art, targeting economically disadvantaged youth within the Birmingham community.

Singh, Ph.D., associate professor of management, information systems and quantitative methods, received the Honorary Alumni Award, presented to a member of the UAB family who has made exceptional contributions to UAB and its programs. Singh is partner and vice president of business development at Computer Technology Services, a Birmingham technology solutions firm that is Alabama’s largest privately held, commercial software-engineering-services company. His enthusiasm and willingness to develop long-term relationships with his students and peers has made him a beloved faculty member in the UAB School of Business, and one of his greatest contributions was to develop a study-abroad program to Europe. Singh is president of Alabama India Business Partnership, on the board of directors for the Rotary Club of Downtown Birmingham and TechBirmingham, and a mentor for Innovation Depot. His strong commitment to UAB is evidenced by the Dora and Sanjay Singh Endowed Research Fund, which will support research, scholarships and activities within the information systems program.

D’Auguste received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award, presented to a graduate of the past 10 years for outstanding professional achievement, notable service to the community and commitment to UAB. A 2001 graduate of the UAB schools of Health Professions and Business, from which she received her graduate degrees in health and business administration respectively, d’Auguste is the director of clinical operations for New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. A loyal supporter of the university and Blazer athletics, d’Auguste is a lifetime member of the UAB National Alumni Society and a founding member of its New York alumni chapter.