Black history month

Passions that help pave the way


Emma Owen
Blazer News Reporter

With hopes of creating a brighter future for minorities following in their footsteps, faculty, alumni and professors of minority are using their success to evoke positive change within our society.

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Farah Lubin, Ph.D. is an associate professor and researcher in the Department of Neurobiology.

Farah Lubin, Ph.D. is an associate professor and researcher in the Department of Neurobiology. She created the UAB Neuroscience Road Map Scholar Program for minorities and students with disabilities, using her career to help students accomplish their goals. This program helps minority and students with disabilities by connecting them with additional mentors, labs, research opportunities and other resources to these students. She said that as a minority, she was always considered unique due to her academic and career success. 

“My combination of resiliency and hard work has allowed me to succeed,” Lubin said.  

Lubin said she started the program to create diversity within the field of neuroscience. 

“I think that often times, when someone makes it, they forget to send the elevator back down in order for someone else to get on,” Lubin Said. “You might have to outreach to help more individuals succeed.” 

Lubin said she also gives back by gifting microscopes to young children and promotes STEM through Girls Inc. 

David Dada, UAB Graduate and Deputy Director of Birmingham’s Division of Youth Services.

Another individual with a passion for helping younger generations is UAB Graduate, David Dada. Dada currently serves as Deputy Director of Birmingham’s Division of Youth Services. Dada said that from a young age, his parents recognized his potential to serve others.  

“[My parents] recognized that I liked people and I liked service,” Dada said. “They affirmed the things they saw in me and encouraged me to grow in that.”

He pursued his passion for service at UAB as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, where he said he learned to serve in a greater capacity. 

“[Being in my fraternity] gave me a platform to serve that I would not have had otherwise,” said Dada. “I would encourage people to utilize their opportunities.” 

After graduation, Dada used his career to serve our youth by engaging with Birmingham’s citizens. Dada said he has found success through honesty, accountability and transparency.  

“When you represent the city, you represent all of the citizens of the city,” Dada said. “You are trying to serve them the best you can and realize you have a lot to learn from them.” 

Additionally, Dada said he believes that no age is too young to become a leader, and that individuals can lead at any stage. 

“Don’t think that you have to wait until a certain level to start leading,” Dada said. “You can lead where you’re at.” 

Photo from the Kaleidoscope Archives
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(Right)  William Lee, UAB graduate and  former UAB Basketball player.

A man who has led others both on and off the court is UAB graduate and former UAB Basketball player, William Lee. Lee, a professional athlete and member of the Iowa Wolves said he has used his career to inspire many.  

“[Basketball] influenced me to motivate other people,”  Lee said.  “It influenced me to be a role model to the younger generation.” 

Lee said that throughout his career, he has learned that becoming a successful individual takes hard work.  

“There’s not always going to be a straight line to success,” Lee said. “You’re going to have bumps in your way that you’re going to have to go around. You’re going to have ups and downs, so just stay focused.” 

Lee said he uses his success to act as a role model and mentor for our youth. He said that he aims to encourage young individuals. 

"There is a way out,” Lee said. “If you want to go somewhere, you can make it.”  

Anthony Purcell, Associate Vice President and Chief of UAB Police and president of Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

Anthony Purcell, Associate Vice President and Chief of UAB Police is the president of Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. Purcell said he has dedicated his 36-year career in law enforcement to protecting his community. 

“We want people to feel safe,” Purcell said. “When people don’t feel comfortable [on campus] we want to know why, so we can work on those things.” 

Purcell said he takes pride in training his officers to maintain top campus safety.

“I have a highly trained staff,” Purcell said. “We probably do more training than anybody in the state because we are on a college campus.” 

Purcell said that recognizing Black History Month is a significant way of honoring Black people who have accomplished success. 

“Going way back with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, it is an honor to walk in their footsteps,” Purcell said. “They led the path before we did.”

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