National Alumni Society honors five at annual awards ceremony

Brian Cauble, Kathryn B. Freeland, Wendy Gunther-Canada, Ph.D., Ken Jackson and Gregg Janowski, Ph.D., were honored by the NAS Sept. 26.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham National Alumni Society honored five people Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, at the 13th annual Alumni Leadership Recognition Awards Luncheon.

From left to right: Brandy Lee, Wendy Gunther-Canada, Ph.D., Brian Cauble, Ken Jackson, Kathryn B. Freeland and Gregg Janowski, Ph.D.From left to right: Brandy Lee, Wendy Gunther-Canada, Ph.D., Brian Cauble, Ken Jackson, Kathryn B. Freeland and Gregg Janowski, Ph.D.Brian Cauble, Kathryn B. Freeland, Wendy Gunther-Canada, Ph.D., Ken Jackson and Gregg Janowski, Ph.D., were honored by the NAS for their personal, academic and professional achievements, service to community and philanthropy.

Cauble was awarded the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, which is presented to a UAB alumnus who has graduated within the last 10 years. Cauble received his undergraduate degree in engineering in 2000 and graduated with his master’s degree in information and engineering management in 2008. He is CEO of Appsolute Genius, a mobile software development company founded in 2009, and he is a graduate of the Birmingham Venture Club’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program. He founded Birmingham Entrepreneur, an organization designed to serve entrepreneurs in the city, and he was named to the Birmingham Business Journal “Top 40 Under 40” in 2010. Cauble was named a member of the inaugural class of the UAB Excellence in Business Top 25 Awards; his company was the second-fastest growing company submitted.

Freeland was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes outstanding professional and community accomplishments with a demonstrated continual interest in UAB and the NAS. Freeland received a bachelor’s of science degree in finance from UAB in 1985. After graduation, she moved to Maryland and began her career as an analyst with the federal government. In 1992, Freeland started RG-2 Technologies Inc., an information technology, systems integration and engineering solutions company, and she led the company to more than triple in size with revenue growing 4,800 percent over 11 years. In 2003, she successfully sold her company and is now president/chief executive officer of A-Tek Inc., an information systems security company. She is founder and chief executive officer of Freeland and Associates LLC, a business consulting firm. Freeland published her first book, “Navigating Your Way to Business Success: an Entrepreneur’s Journey” in 2009. She also established the Kathryn Bridges Freeland Endowed Scholarship in the UAB Collat School of Business and has established the Kathryn C. Morgan Memorial in the UAB School of Education.

Gunther-Canada was awarded the Honorary Alumni Award, traditionally presented to a member of the UAB family who has made exceptional contributions to the university and its programs. Gunther-Canada is a professor and chair of the UAB Department of Government in the College of Arts and Sciences.  She came to UAB as an assistant professor in 1993, earned the rank of associate professor in 1999, full professor in 2005 and chair in 2009. Gunther-Canada is a distinguished scholar in political philosophy, the history of ideas, women in politics and gender and citizenship. She has published on political rights, citizenship and gender politics, and she is the author of “Rebel Writer: Mary Wollstonecraft and Enlightenment Politics” and co-author of “Women, Politics and American Society.”

Jackson was awarded the Honorary Life Member Award, the highest award granted by the NAS for those whose contributions have benefited the entire university community. Jackson graduated from UAB in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in business and was president of the first MBA graduating class in 1972. He is former president of Dudley C. Jackson Inc., an award-winning, multi-million dollar industrial distribution firm. Jackson has been an active alumni ambassador for UAB; he was past president of the NAS and national chairman of the alumni phase of UAB’s first capital campaign. In 1996, he established the Ken Jackson Endowed Scholarship in Industrial Distribution, and he is the international voice of the UAB Civitan Research Center. He has made substantial contributions to the NAS, College of Arts and Sciences, UAB Athletics and the university. Jackson has received many awards and honors and served on more than a dozen non-profit boards. He donates his time as a live auctioneer and has conducted more than 300 auctions, raising more than $10 million for diverse non-profits since 1991. 

Janowski was awarded the Ellen Gregg Ingalls/UAB NAS Award, for lifetime achievement in teaching. This award recognizes a full-time regular faculty member who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to teaching throughout his or her career at UAB. Janowski began his career at UAB in 1990 as a tenure-track assistant professor and soon took over the assessment of the materials engineering program as part of the accreditation board for engineering and technology accreditation. He became the assistant dean for assessment and accreditation for the School of Engineering in 2009. In May, he became associate provost for assessment and accreditation. Janowski has motivated and educated students as a professor for 23 years. During that time, he taught formal courses from introductory freshman engineering to doctoral courses, directed graduate research and mentored or co-mentored 11 Ph.D. students; six of these doctoral students are currently university faculty. Janowski is known nationally for his expertise in materials science, failure analysis and microscopy, and he often gives guest lectures. Janowski received the President’s Award for Excellence in classroom teaching in 1999.