Four honored for commitment to student engagement

Lynda Wilson, David Schwebel, Nicole Riddle and Jamil Saad received the Provost's Award for Faculty Excellence in Academic Engagement and Global Citizenship. The awards, which acknowledge extraordinary commitment to undergraduate students in research and scholarship, service-learning and study-away experiences, are presented during the spring UAB EXPO.

Lynda Wilson

Lynda Wilson, Ph.D., professor, Nursing 

Lynda Wilson provides direction and guidance for teams of undergraduate and graduate students in Interprofessional Service Learning, a course that pairs students with local organizations to assess and develop a plan to address a community problem. Wilson’s students recently collaborated with One Roof to create a Vulnerability Index that can be used locally to evaluate homeless individuals for housing and other urgent resources. Student Dhawan Agam said Wilson “has given us tremendous confidence in ourselves and in our work, and for this we are forever grateful to her.” 

David Schwebel
David Schwebel, Ph.D., professor, Psychology

David Schwebel is a long-time supporter of Study Abroad at UAB and has been integral to its expansion. In 2009, he partnered with the Department of Foreign Languages to co-lead the UAB in Jaén, Spain, program. His leadership led to a multi-year commitment from the Department of Psychology to internationalize its curricula and offer programming such as Comparative Abnormal Child Psychology in Spain, Child Development in the Czech Republic and Child and Maternal Health Care Psychology in Sweden. Schwebel also provides international research opportunities to undergraduate students through his educational outreach efforts in South Africa. 

nicole riddle

Nicole Riddle, Ph.D., assistant professor, Biology

In her lab, Nicole Riddle focuses on understanding the mechanisms establishing and regulating epigenetic information and the way those contribute to gene regulation and disease. Student Katherine Beaufait said, “I think I have learned more about being a scientist working with her than anyone else I have worked with. She has given me full reign of my project from Day One and supported me equally through my successes and failures.”  Olivia Delmas said, “She challenges us to figure out problems on our own first, but she is always available to answer any question. Even though I am only a sophomore, Dr. Riddle has been helping me build my academic profile and prepare me for graduate school.”

jamil saad
Jamil Saad, Ph.D., assistant professor, Microbiology

Jamil Saad works to understand the underlying structural basis by which HIV proteins interact with cellular constituents during the virus replication cycle. A major component of the research program is directed toward understanding key protein-protein and protein-membrane interactions that are essential for viral replication. “Dr. Saad is truly a catalyst for undergraduate research,” said his student Bliss Chang. “His mentorship enabled an undergraduate to publish a first-author paper in a high-impact journal last year in addition to three co-author papers.” Former student Tim Fernandez added, “Without a doubt, Dr. Saad has been the biggest influence on my academic and professional career. It is rare to get the undergraduate research experience I had received.”