2024 Mr. and Ms. UAB are John Goodman and Natalie Vital

Started in 1981, the Mr. and Ms. UAB Scholarship Competition is one of UAB’s longest-standing Homecoming traditions presented by the UAB National Alumni Society.

John Goodman1205890310778229.WzLDcEI5z8yYW2NitDA3 height640Natalie Vital & John Goodman of Trussville, Alabama, and Natalie Vital of Albertville, Alabama, are the new Mr. and Ms. UAB for the University of Alabama at Birmingham

The 2024 Mr. and Ms. UAB Scholarship Competition winners were announced Saturday, Nov. 4, during half-time of the UAB Football Homecoming game at Protective Stadium. First alternates for the competition are Joshua Domingue of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Wajiha Mekki of Lawrenceville, Georgia.  

Started in 1981, the Mr. and Ms. UAB Scholarship Competition is one of UAB’s longest-standing Homecoming traditions and is presented by the UAB National Alumni Society. Applicants for the competition must demonstrate a record of leadership and active participation in extracurricular activities. The 10 finalists were selected through an interview process, and the winners were chosen through an additional round of interviews and a student vote, held during Homecoming Week. 

Each winner will receive a $2,500 scholarship and serve as an ambassador of UAB and on the Student Alumni Society Leadership Council in the coming year. The first alternates receive $1,000 scholarships.

Goodman, 20, is a junior majoring in industrial distribution in the Collat School of Business and is in the UAB Honors College. He has earned Presidential Honors and received a License to Learn Scholarship and Blazer Male Excellence Network Academic Achievement certificates. He is the founder and president of the Black Business Student Association, a mentor with Blazer Male Excellence Network and involved in MUSE. He has volunteered with Birmingham Botanical Gardens Harvest for the Hungry, Community Food Bank of Central Alabama and East Lake Farmers Market. He is the son of Venica Goodman and Roderick Goodman.

Vital, 20, is a junior with a double major in finance and economics in the Collat School of Business. She is a Business Student Leader; a UAB TrailBlazer and serves as chair for team morale; founder and president of the Business Student Organization for Latinos; active member of the Spanish and Latino Student Association; and student assistant for Collat Professional Education. Vital volunteers for Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice and has volunteered with the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama and Into the Streets, a UAB community service initiative. She is the daughter of Rafael and Mary Vital.

Domingue, 20, is a sophomore majoring in public health and health behavior in the Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Program in the School of Public Health, UAB Graduate School and UAB Honors College. He is president of Best Buddies and Mental Health Ambassadors, and student founder of the Disability Health Coalition. Domingue is a TrailBlazer, director of Business Partnerships for Dance Marathon and executive board member of Pi Kappa Phi and volunteers at the Exceptional Foundation and Children’s of Alabama. He is the son of Denise Domingue and Rusty Domingue.

1205890310778231.nUp1K0wj1uQXiFyt1UxU height640Joshua Domingue & Wajiha MekkiMekki, 20, is a junior majoring in cancer biology and political science in the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine and the College of Arts and Sciences and is pursuing the Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master of Public Health Program with a concentration in epidemiology. She is in the Honors College. Mekki earned the National Institutes of Health RACE21 Scholarship, the ISF Linda Sarsour Leadership and Courage Scholarship, and the UAB Honors College Women’s Clubhouse Scholarship. She is a Future Blazer Alumni representative, a member of the UAB CAS Champions and is in the UAB Ambassador Program where she serves as vice president of administration. Mekki is the executive director of the UAB Leadership and Service Council, is a volunteer and participant of the Youth Leader Summit of Asian Americans Advancing Justice and is a Blazer Kitchen volunteer. Mekki is the daughter of Parveen Aslam and Mohammad Mekki.

The Mr. and Ms. UAB finalists are:

Junior Michelle Dai, 20, of Bayou La Batre, Alabama, majors in information systems in the Collat School of Business. Dai earned a Presidential Scholarship and was named Miss Congeniality in the Miss UAB Scholarship Pageant. She is a member of Sigma Lambda Gamma, the Vietnamese Student Association, and Association for Information Systems. She has volunteered for Rise Against Hunger, Community Food Bank and Serve205. She is the daughter of Ana Chau and Truong Dai. 

Junior Khadija Malik, 20, of Vestavia Hills, majors in neuroscience and cancer biology in the College of Arts and Sciences and is in the Honors College. Malik is the Undergraduate Student Government Association Judicial Member of the Year and USGA chief justice, head of the Off Campus Student Council marketing committee and an undergraduate research assistant. Malik is a STAIR Birmingham tutor, and volunteers at Children’s Hospital of Alabama and Red Crescent Clinic. Her parents are Ayesha and Arif Malik.

Junior Byron Millsap II, 20, of Mobile, Alabama, majors in healthcare management in the School of Health Professions. Millsap is a John Lewis Health Equity Scholar, is in the Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Honor Society, Health Equity Leadership Academy, Healthcare Management Student Association, and the Black Student Awareness Committee. He has volunteered with SCORE International Dominican Baseball Outreach, Food for Our Journey, and auxiliary at Mobile Infirmary. He is the son of Byron Millsap Sr. and Carmelita Millsap.

Junior Ayona Roychowdhury, 20, of Homewood, Alabama, is pursuing an individually designed major in neuroimmunology. Roychowdhury is in the UAB Early Medical School Acceptance Program and the Honors College. She earned the Presidential Summer Fellowship and was a Critical Language Scholarship Bangla program alternate. She is Undergraduate Student Government Association executive vice president and chairperson of the Senate, is a resident assistant in Blount Hall, and Panhellenic delegate in Kappa Delta Sorority. Roychowdhury works in the INSPIRE clinical lab. She is on the student outreach team for Conversations2Remember, a nonprofit bridging the gap between senior citizens and youth. She is the daughter of Rumita and Abhijit Roychowdhury.

Junior Kurt Sarner, 20, of Madison, Alabama, majors in neuroscience and philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences and is in the UAB Honors College. Sarner has earned the Heart of a Blazer Award given by the UAB Office of New Student Programs, the Multi-Level Educational Session Award given by the Southern Regional Orientation Workshop at FAMU, and the Excellence in Organic Chemistry Award, given by the UAB Department of Chemistry. He is a teaching assistant, orientation leader coordinator for the UAB Office of New Student Programs and president of the UAB Club Golf Team. Sarner serves as a Big Brother for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Birmingham and volunteers at Bush Hills Community Garden and the Emergency Department at Children’s Hospital of Alabama. He is the son of Dirk Sarner.

Senior Devin Sherman, 21, of Leeds, Alabama, majors in Spanish and criminal justice in the College of Arts and Sciences and is in the UAB Honors College. Sherman is an International Baccalaureate Scholarship recipient, a UAB TrailBlazer, UAB Women’s Volleyball practice player, and on the UAB Mock Trial team. He volunteers with the Magic City Acceptance Center. Sherman is the son of Shelley Perry and Edward Sherman III.