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Mark D. Nelson, PhD

Vice President for Student Affairs and Vice Provost Sara A. Hartley

Assistant to the Vice President for External Affairs Editors

Sara A. Hartley and Jessie Patterson Jones Writers

Sara A. Hartley Jessie Patterson Jones Mollie Landers Kristin Nelson


Graphic Design

Nick Thomas


Miriam Brant Jeff Hanson Jessie Patterson Jones Nick Thomas



Issue No. 5

Capstone is published in the spring and fall by the Division of Student Affairs. Address correspondence to: The University of Alabama Student Affairs Box 870301 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 For address changes, alumni notes or story ideas, email The University of Alabama is an equal-opportunity educational institution/employer.

3 A Message from the Vice President 4 Camp 1831: FYE Creates an Extended Orientation Program 8 Honoring Heroes: 2013 Student Affairs Hall of Fame 12 Student Spotlight: Jennifer Hodnett 14 Learning to Lead: UA’s Non-Profit Protégé Program 16 University Programs: Behind the Scenes

20 Alumni Spotlight: Jim Priester 22 The Yell Crew: Creating New Traditions 26 Staff Spotlight: Mark Mayfield 28 The Big Picture: Fall Highlights 30 Leave A Mark: Crimson Promenade


a message from THE VIC E PR ES IDE N T

Dear Alumni and Friends, The University of Alabama continues to make great strides in strengthening and expanding the student life experience on campus. In my role, I have the privilege of working with a team of outstanding educators who are dedicated to student success and learning. Together, we are developing innovative new programs that foster a dynamic environment for effective student development and improving facilities and resources to meet our students’ needs. As you will read in this issue of Capstone, Camp 1831, a new extended orientation program focused on our new students’ transition to campus, piloted this past summer. The 3-day program focused on leadership, history & tradition, service and adventure. It received high praise from the incoming class and shows great potential for growth in the coming years. This program is among many significant offerings that make the UA student experience exceptional. We are also making progress on various buildings within the Division of Student Affairs including a new Student Activity Center and Presidential II Residence Hall — both set to open next August. Perhaps the most exciting project involves our Ferguson Center Student Union, otherwise known as the hub for student life. This building is undergoing a renovation and 75,000 square foot addition, which includes a brand new Career Center demonstrating our commitment to student success. As our institution seeks to remain the “Capstone of Higher Education,” the Division of Student Affairs is dedicated to making the student experience at The University of Alabama the very best it can be. Thank you for being part of our UA family and for being part of our success! Sincerely,

Mark D. Nelson Vice President for Student Affairs and Vice Provost

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Above: Camp participants enjoy dinner with Dr. Marsha Adams, senior associate dean in the College of Nursing.

FYE Creates an Extended Orientation Program 4 | CAPSTONE MAGAZINE | STUDENT AFFAIRS


hree action packed days at Camp 1831 was all it took for 150 first-year students to feel instantly connected to their peers and to find their footing at The University of Alabama. While it was only three days of learning Alabama’s cheers, traditions, and history while building a strong bond among one another, the inaugural class of Camp 1831 will forever have the memories of a life-changing experience that concluded with truly becoming part of the Crimson Tide. Camp 1831, an extended orientation program developed within the department of First Year Experience (FYE), launched this past August and was widely successful in assisting new students with their transition to campus. Margaret Ermert, a freshman from Vestavia Hills, Ala., described the program as “a good way to step out of your comfort zone and meet new people.” Over the 3 days and 2 nights spent at a campsite more than 60 miles from campus, the new students along with their upperclassmen “A-Team” leaders engaged in teambuilding activities, high ropes, canoeing, small group discussions, and faculty roundtables among many other activities. They left camp with a newfound group of friends that they have remained connected with throughout their first semester. “I really enjoyed meeting people and still talk to most of the people I met there,” described Ermert. “My two best friends on campus are

people I met at camp. We talk about everything and hang out every day.”

CAMP LIFE Once new students arrived at Camp 1831, they quickly disconnected and became fully immersed in camp life and their first experience as UA students. Dr. Mark Nelson, vice president of student affairs and vice provost welcomed the students on behalf of the University community and urged them to step out of their comfort zones, challenge themselves, and connect with others during their time at camp. “You are the future of UA and by participating in this experience, we know that you will be leaders on campus who make a difference for others,” said Nelson to the new students. The students took his advice and challenged themselves in a series of activities. The first night, students participated in contra dancing, a style of folk dancing which is Alabama’s state dance. For many out-of-state students, this was their first experience

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with folk dancing and they were not sure what to expect but enjoyed the opportunity to learn a symbol of their new home state. “I thought it was really fun and an interesting way to get to know people,� said Ermert. They also learned chants, cheers and the UA fight song putting them one step ahead of their peers as they approached their first football game before heading into a new day of activities.


THE A-TEAM A key to the camp experience was the upperclassmen A-Team leaders who led each of the activities throughout the 3 days. A.J. Lockett, a sophomore majoring in Political Science from Tuscaloosa, remembers what it was like to be a new student at The University of Alabama. It was only a year ago that Lockett was searching to find his place on campus. But one year later,

“You are the future of UA and by participating in this experience, we know that you will be leaders on campus who make a difference for others,” - Mark Nelson he has translated his first year worries and fears into playing a critical role in helping first-year students connect by serving on the A-Team. “I believe I impacted these students by being honest and open throughout — explaining what my experience was like and offering words of encouragement and advice on what they should or should not do,” described Lockett. The A-Team consists of approximately 25 students who volunteer their time to assist new students as camp guides. The upperclassmen are paired to form groups that facilitate small group sessions or work behind the scenes to ensure that the experience runs smoothly for each camper. Although they put their time and talent into the freshman and transfer students attending camp, members of the A-team grow just as much from the experience according to Alexis Long-Daniels, a junior from Birmingham, Ala. “Being part of the A-Team gave me the confidence and skills I needed to be the best leader I could be on and off campus,” Long-Daniels said. After camp, their roles continue. A-Team members keep in touch with the students in their small groups, constantly giving advice and touching base to ensure campers remain confident and successful throughout their UA career.

THE FUTURE As the staff members in FYE look toward the future of Camp 1831, they are positive about the

growth of the program due to the feedback and participation during the inaugural year. “Ninetythree percent of the students who attended Camp 1831 said they felt more confident about their first year at UA,” described Sara Hartley, executive director of FYE and Parent Programs. “That statistic alone proves that camp is having a major impact. Most students don’t come into their first weeks on campus feeling so connected and confident.” Other staff members who led the planning efforts of Camp 1831 agree whole-heartedly. “Some common benefits mentioned by the participants included confidence about transitioning to UA, relationships built with peers and UA faculty and staff, and the opportunity to begin the discussion of how they could impact the UA community as a student leader,” explained Litsa Orban, assistant director of FYE and Parent Programs. There are plans to expand the program in the future so that more students can experience the impact of Camp 1831. Jesse King, program assistant for FYE & Parent Programs describes that the department is already planning for next year. “The future of Camp 1831 is looking very bright. Having a successful pilot year behind us, our team is moving forward with the knowledge of what worked well and brainstorming innovative ideas for next year. Camp 1831 has proven itself to be highly valuable in preparing first-year students for campus life, and we will continue to grow the program in that same vein.” Scholarships were provided by SGA in the inaugural year to allow students with financial need the opportunity to attend Camp 1831. Learn how you can support students and Camp 1831 in the future by contacting External Affairs at (205) 348-6275.

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n Sept. 26, the fourth annual Student Affairs Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held to celebrate five outstanding members of the UA family for their service to students and campus life at The University of Alabama. This year, Autherine Lucy Foster, James Hood, Vivian Malone Jones, Harry J. Knopke and David Mathews were honored with their induction to the Student Affairs Hall of Fame. This year, heroes that played a role in the successful integration of The University of Alabama were celebrated.

The black-tie affair began with a reception on the third floor of the Ferguson Center, followed by dinner and the induction ceremony in the Ferguson Center Ballroom. The Hall of Fame is an enduring symbol of the contributions of leaders in the Student Affairs field whose legacies continue to touch lives today. 8 | CAPSTONE MAGAZINE | STUDENT AFFAIRS

Autherine Lucy Foster will forever be known for taking the courageous first steps that would make The University of Alabama whole. Her initiative won the legal right for students of all races to attend the institution, thereby making the Capstone a true servant of democracy. Foster, who had earned her bachelor’s degree in English in 1952 from Miles College, began her coursework toward a graduate degree in library science at The University of Alabama on Feb. 3, 1956. Because of significant unrest on campus and fear for her safety, her initial enrollment only lasted three days.



Even so, Foster never gave up her dream of earning a UA degree. She reenrolled at the Capstone in 1988, taking summer classes and eventually earning a master’s in education in 1992. Upon her graduation, the University honored Foster with a portrait of her that hangs in the Ferguson Center’s Hall of Fame. Graduation day was a special one for the Foster family, as Foster’s daughter, Grazia, earned a bachelor’s in finance the same day.

Foster’s legacy on campus has continued to grow since she earned her graduate degree. In 1992, UA officials announced the formation of an endowed scholarship to be called the Autherine Lucy Foster Endowed Scholarship, which is awarded to an African-American undergraduate student at the Capstone each year by the Black Faculty and Staff Association. In 2010, The University of Alabama further honored Foster by dedicating the Autherine Lucy Clock Tower, which stands prominently and proudly in Malone-Hood Plaza at the entrance to Foster Auditorium. The open arches of the clock tower mirror the architecture of Foster Auditorium and illustrate the opportunities available to all Alabamians because of Foster’s courage. Born in Shiloh, Ala., as the youngest of 10 children, Foster will forever be known for the persistence she displayed in order to achieve her dreams — dreams that opened doors for students of all races at The University of Alabama. FALL2013 | 9

The University of Alabama accomplished the desegregation of its undergraduate student body in 1963 with the enrollment of two students, James Hood and Vivian Malone. As the first African-American male student to enroll andattend classes, Hood showed courage, leadership and determination in his and the nation’s quest for equality. After Alabama Gov. George Wallace made his infamous “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door” on June 11, 1963, Hood, along with Malone, made desegregation official when they walked into Foster Auditorium and completed registration for classes.



Eight weeks later, Hood transferred from the University because of safety concerns and his father’s battle with cancer. He later graduated from Wayne State University and then earned a master’s degree in criminal justice and sociology from Michigan State University.

Hood returned to The University of Alabama and earned a doctorate in interdisciplinary studies in 1997. While a doctoral student, he co-taught a social science class and was the principal mentor and adviser for UA’s Leadership Hall. Helping emerging leaders reach their full potential, Hood displayed commitment and care for the students who lived and learned together in Leadership Hall. He empowered them to lead with integrity. The University honored Hood’s legacy in 2010 by dedicating the plaza in front of Foster Auditorium in his name and that of Vivian Malone. Today, Malone-Hood Plaza serves as an enduring tribute to Hood’s pioneering courage. Hood was born in Gadsden, Ala., on Nov. 10, 1942, the oldest of six children. He gave back to the University on many occasions by speaking to students about his life’s experiences and the lessons he learned. An inspiration to all who knew him, Hood’s leadership and commitment continue to have a lasting impact on all members of the UA family. Dr. Harry J. Knopke is known for his outstanding leadership and loyalty to the Capstone and his long and storied history with the University and its Division of Student Affairs, as well as his personal approach to the students, faculty and staff he served. In 1968, Knopke earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Dominican College in Wisconsin where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and later received his master’s and doctoral degrees in 1973 and 1975, respectively, from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.



He joined UA as director of the College of Community Health Sciences’ Office of Educational Development in 1977. Soon after, he became associate dean of the college. By 1982, in addition to serving as associate dean and professor of behavioral and community medicine, Knopke became principal investigator for the Biomedical Sciences Preparation Program for students who aspired to careers in health professions.

Recognizing his extraordinary energy and talent, President Joab Thomas tapped Knopke as his executive assistant, which he held until 1990. In 1989, Knopke assumed additional responsibilities as director of UA’s Center for Communication and Educational Technology. His administrative and academic accomplishments led to his appointment in 1990 as UA’s vice president for student affairs, a role he served with distinction until 1997. Knopke always found time to teach and mentor students. For his devotion, he received many awards, including the Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award in 1988, the President’s Certificate of Appreciation by UA’s African-American Association and the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. Knopke left UA in 1997 to become president of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he served for 10 years. He is now president of Aqua Clara International and CEO of the Safe Water Institute. Knopke instilled the values of teaching and learning in countless students while at the Capstone, creating a ripple effect that still endures. 10 | CAPSTONE MAGAZINE | STUDENT AFFAIRS

If ever one demonstrated grace under pressure, it was Vivian Malone Jones. With the eyes of the nation watching, she passed through the doors of Foster Auditorium, along with James Hood, thereby desegregating The University of Alabama. Given the environment, Jones’ time at the University could never be considered normal. She persevered nonetheless, a champion of equality, remaining composed and determined to make a difference in the world. Jones graduated with a degree in management from the College of Commerce and Business Administration in 1965. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of her graduation, UA endowed a scholarship in her name.



Upon graduation, Jones eventually pursued a professional career as a civil rights official with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency. In 1996, she retired as director of civil rights and urban affairs and director of environmental justice for the EPA. She followed government service with an outstanding business career in Atlanta. In 2000, the University saluted her life accomplishments with an honorary doctor of humane letters.

In 2010, UA honored Jones’ lasting impact on the Capstone again by dedicating the plaza in front of Foster Auditorium in her name. Today, Malone-Hood Plaza serves as a lasting tribute to Jones’ courage, determination and grace. A native of Mobile, Ala., Jones frequently returned to UA, always willing to share her story with the next generation. She always encouraged students to be ready to make a difference, because any day they might be required to be bold and courageous and walk through a door that would lead to opportunities for others, just as she did in 1963, thereby transforming The University of Alabama.

While hundreds of thousands have lived, worked and learned at The University of Alabama since its inception in 1831, few have left a mark on UA like that of Dr. David Mathews. Mathews received his bachelor’s in history and classical Greek, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from UA in 1958, and his master’s in secondary education in 1959. He later received his doctorate in history from Columbia University.



During a summer break from graduate school, Mathews served as the head of men’s housing and was on campus working in the dean of men’s office in 1963 when George Wallace made his “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door.” That experience taught Mathews lessons for future use. After returning to UA in 1965 to teach history, Mathews began a meteoric rise to the top.

Mathews witnessed the racial tensions of the 1950s and 1960s as both a student and professor and allied himself with the Frank Rose administration in doing something about it. Mathews succeeded Rose as UA president in 1969. At 33, he was the youngest-ever president of a major university. He served as president until 1980. His years at the helm of UA would become known as an era of significant change and innovation. While president, Mathews was called away for 18 months to serve as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare during the Gerald Ford administration. The youngest member of the cabinet at the time, Mathews headed the agency with the largest budget and was tasked with restoring public confidence in government and reforming the regulatory system. Mathews is a member of the Alabama Academy of Honor, UA College of Communication and Information Sciences Hall of Fame and Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame. In 2008, the Alabama Center for Civic Life was renamed in his honor as the David Mathews Center for Civic Life. Today, Mathews is president and CEO of the Kettering Foundation, which seeks to identify and address the challenges to making democracy work as it should. His quest to make a difference in the world is unmatched. His courage to take risks and create positive change directed the path for UA’s future. FALL2013 | 11


Changing Campus with Crimson Kindness

ennifer Hodnett came to UA uncertain about how she would fit. The Montana native knew that she wanted to make a difference in the lives of others, but she couldn’t find the perfect avenue. After lots of thought and reflection, Hodnett decided to create a student organization that would focus on encouragement and camaraderie on campus. After more than a month of planning, Hodnett officially founded Crimson Kindness last March and the experience is what has made her feel like a true part of UA.

“Being involved in Crimson Kindness has given me an experience, rather than just an education,” Hodnett said. “Crimson Kindness is giving me the opportunity to become a leader, to learn how to deal with a diverse set of people and to become more connected with other students.” Crimson Kindness began with a mission to create a community of kindness on UA’s campus. Members strive to share uplifting messages among one another, as well as promote random acts of kindness to others

outside the organization. Crimson Kindness organizes group and individual initiatives to enhance good thoughts and expressions throughout the Capstone. “It’s about unconditional kindness; it doesn’t matter who you are or what your background is, you’re automatically a part of our family and you’re welcome here,” Hodnett said. Hodnett, a human development and family studies major, gained the inspiration for the Crimson Kindness organization after learning about a random act of kindness witnessed by a close friend. The first event took place in mid-March and was appropriately named “Stick ‘Em With Kindness.” Crimson Kindness members wrote notes on sticky pads and posted the encouraging messages around campus. The next month, the team stood in front of the steps of Gorgas Library with encouraging messages written on large poster boards. Messages such as “You’re beautiful,” “Chin up, Buttercup,” and “You are someone’s reason to smile” helped develop a sense of positivity across campus. While working to influence the lives of others, Hodnett realized that her own life was changing shape. “Through Crimson Kindness, I have learned more


about what it means to be a leader and to think forward, how to think about things that affect and enable my individual team members and how to communicate a vision,” she described. Hodnett’s leadership has not only influenced the UA community, but it has changed her own perspective. Hodnett said she had a hard time finding her place when she first moved to Tuscaloosa from Montana. After starting Crimson Kindness and becoming invested in a student organization, she felt like she was a part of UA. “It made the motto, ‘You Are UA’ have meaning to me,” she said. Mary Alice Porter, the faculty advisor for Crimson Kindness, said she has also been impacted by Hodnett’s leadership and the mission of Crimson Kindness. “Jennifer embraces her role wholeheartedly and works extremely hard to lead Crimson Kindness toward success,” Porter said. “Her passion for spreading kindness is humbling, and I am honored to be a part of such an amazing organization.” Hodnett said she hopes to continue working with Crimson Kindness after she graduates, but in a different role. She is still exploring graduate school, but her experience with Crimson Kindness has her considering the non-profit sector. She hopes to work for a nonprofit organization that promotes a similar concept as Crimson Kindess, and perhaps even organize a national affiliate for student kindness organizations. Jennifer Hodnett knew that she could positively influence those on the UA campus if she would follow her desire to encourage others. Through Student Affairs, she said she was able to pursue her vision of spreading kindness and making a difference. “To me, having a campus-wide impact means having an affect on the individuals on campus,” she said. “By impacting each person, we can change the entire campus.”

“It’s about unconditional kindness; it doesn’t matter who you are or what your background is, you’re automatically a part of our family and you’re welcome here,” - Jennifer Hodnett SPRING2013 FALL2013 | | 13 A

LEARNING TO LEAD Non-profit protégé program provides hands-on experience


A students who want to spend their lives making a difference now have the opportunity to get hands-on experience before they graduate. These students who have big plans and even bigger dreams are giving back while learning to lead a major nonprofit organization. The Division of Student Affairs’ Community Service Center has partnered with UA’s Career Center to provide this unique opportunity through the Non-Profit Protégé Program, an 8-week experience that allows UA students the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a non-profit leader or CEO. Students accepted into the program meet weekly with their mentor and have the chance to attend board meetings, visit with potential donors and witness the action-packed world of being a nonprofit leader. “It’s good experience for them to get to know what community service really is, and how many needs are met by nonprofits,” said Kim Montgomery, assistant director of the Community Service Center. “I have not met a student yet that hasn’t gotten a lot of enlightenment from it. And I haven’t met a professional who hasn’t appreciated our students.”

Creating the experience Montgomery coordinates the Non-Profit Protégé program, which is in its third year. Montgomery fields applications from students, and reaches out to engage community partners as mentors for the program. Eight students took part


in 2012, and Montgomery hopes to have a few more spots available this year. Montgomery said the program is intentionally kept to a small number of participants. “I want to keep it small because it’s really an intimate process,” Montgomery said. “It’s designed to give them an up close and personal experience with what it takes to run a non-profit.” For many, taking part in an experience like this can change their approach to community service. “I think a lot of times when students approach community service, it’s with the mindset of putting the cart before the horse,” Montgomery said. “It’s not in response to the needs of the community as much as their own needs sometimes. It makes students more aware of the different ways agencies need support and it’s good exposure to refine a student’s career choices.”

Learning the ropes As the experience picked up speed, students worked with their mentors, shadowed and met with non-profit leaders. They spent days learning exactly what these leadership positions entail. Tracie Thomas, Early Head Start Specialist for Community Service Programs of West Alabama, was one of the community partners Montgomery matched with a UA student. Thomas’ student protégé, Krysten Harper, wants to have her own non-profit organization one day.

“I think the program was a great way to enlighten someone who has a desire to work in nonprofit,” Thomas said. “Krysten came in knowing she wants to head her own non-profit, so it was great for her to learn about selecting board members and staff who have a heart for people and a vision for the program.” For Thomas, the culture of educating the next generation of non-profit leaders had a big impact on her after working with the program and UA. “As we begin to pour into and really educate these students about non-profit work in addition to their formal education, they will really be prepared to come into a community and be ready to provide needed services and make an impact,” she said. “I was able to share success stories with Krysten and get her excited. The challenges are there, but there’s a great reward in non- profits.” Thomas said the Non-Profit Protégé program has a huge educational impact on the students who take part – and programs like this strengthen their knowledge base, and help them become more aware. She said seeing the challenges and rewards of non-profit work is so beneficial for students looking toward this career path. “A lot of times students go to college, pick their major, and get this small internship at the end, and then they’re done,” Thomas said. “It gives them a glimpse into their future. They’re either going to run and change majors or get incredibly excited. You have to have a

heart for non-profit work. You have to have a heart for the people.”

Preparing for the future For Douglas Hess, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, applying to the program was a way to get more involved on campus. He got more than he bargained for during the program’s 8-week schedule while working with Head Start. “This program taught me how to be a leader in the nonprofit world,” Hess said. “It’s much harder and more time consuming than I thought, but it also returns more than I ever thought it could emotionally.”

“It’s much harder and more time consuming than I thought, but it also returns more than I ever thought it could emotionally.” - Douglas Hess

Hess was drawn to the program with his eye on a future second career. He created “Punt Pass and Kick for Charity” during his senior year of high school, a fundraiser that raised more than $6,000. Now he hopes to bring the fundraiser to campus, and to retire in time to be able to dedicate a few more working years to full-time non-profit leadership. Dedication to service like Hess’ is inspiring to the mentors who give their time and talent to work with students, and Thomas said she hopes the CSC continues the Non-Profit Protégé program for years to come. “We need to take ownership of these students because they could one day be the executive director of our nonprofit or have a management position in an agency,” Thomas said. “The more involved we are, the more they are prepared to take over one day.” With students having such a strong impact in a relatively short program, Montgomery said she would like to see it continue to grow by adding different layers to the program. “I’d love to see the program turn into student-led initiatives, where students can practice what they learn eventually,” Montgomery said. “The program really benefits community partners, but it also highlights and strengthens the skills of the students.”

Douglas Hess and Tracie Thomas SPRING2013 FALL2013 | 15




tudent programming at the Capstone has been pushed into high gear as University Programs (UP) has revamped and expanded events planned by students and for students. The days of struggling to find inexpensive, offcampus and entertaining after-hours experiences are gone. From throwing international-themed festival nights to transporting students to late-night zip lining in Birmingham, University Programs’ events have become a highlight for many UA students — and the students who plan them.


“Students are the heart and soul of our programming board,” said LaToya Scott, coordinator for student programs. “Our goal is to have a place for everyone to be involved. If you’re a student, we have a place for you to connect. Theory meets practice in University Programs, and our students learn to be self-starters, to have camaraderie and to challenge themselves.” Student programmers are selected and commit to specific areas for a semester at a time, or a summer stint

helping plan more than 50 events that take place each fall during the Week of Welcome. “We work really hard, but we have a lot of fun doing it,” Scott said. “They have a really big responsibility, because they are planning for The University of Alabama, and I think there is a huge value in that.”

GOING INTERNATIONAL UP’s International Expressions series highlights a different culture at each event. From learning Chinese calligraphy to tasting Japanese food

ON WITH STUDENT-RUN EVENTS and viewing free movies, each event has a different twist. The series, in its third year of existence, promotes an exchange of cultures between students. “We specifically created the International Expressions series to help us connect with our international students, and also to work with our students on campus who might not be from overseas, but who would like to be able to take part in those experiences,” Scott said. “Its basically an exchange of different cultures and customs on campus.”

While the first International Expressions events had just 10-15 students take part, attendance has skyrocketed as the program has grown. More than 360 students attended the final event of the year last spring. University Programs now partners with Capstone International, the Graduate School and the Source for International Expressions events. “It truly is a big partnership, and it can be challenging when you want to make sure everything is accurate,” Scott said. “Planning these events connects to their classroom

experience for many of them, and most have never been exposed to cultures like the ones they work with.” Partnerships with international student organizations also help those students highlight their cultures and bring even more diversity to campus programming by partnering with University Programs to put on International Expressions events. Scott said University Programs works hard to offer a glimpse into different countries through these events.

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“Our students learn a lot as they plan, including things they’ve never even thought of before,” Scott said. “Sometimes it can be challenging, because they are learning about another culture and are trying to make sure everything about the experience is accurate.” Recent UA alumna Lauren Scoggan credits her experiences in University Programs with developing the skills she needed to land a Teach For America position in San Antonio, Texas. “Organization definitely wasn’t a strength of mine and I developed that,” she said. “I can work with anyone because I worked with so many groups in UP. I led the International Expressions series and planned events with WOW, and it’s definitely about working with a team.” Scoggan first got involved as a volunteer through a restaurant and

“Working as a student programmer with UP opened up a lot of doors for me as far as getting connected with different people and opportunities on campus,” - Lauren Scoggan hospitality management class and served as a UP programmer for more than two years. “Working as a student programmer with UP opened up a lot of doors for me as far as getting connected with different people and

opportunities on campus,” she said. “That was the first major leadership role I had in college. The University was huge and I didn’t see the right opportunity for me, until I found UP.”

CREATING CULTURE ON CAMPUS Many students look to head off campus for nighttime entertainment, and UP’s On the Town series was created to meet that need and expose students to different venues around the area. “On the Town events encourage students to get off campus and experience programming outside of UA,” Scott said. “We take students to places like the Kentuck Arts Festival, a Birmingham Barons baseball game or to All Fired Up, a local pottery studio.” Scott said part of On the Town’s goal is to help students experience life beyond campus limits and to be exposed to local businesses and more.

Hundreds of students attended the Chinese New Year event hosted by UP’s International Expressions.


“We have found that a lot of students don’t leave our campus, and many freshmen don’t have cars, so this is an opportunity we have to provide programming for them that meets that need,” Scott said.

allowing hundreds of students to take part. Participants in these larger events are paired up into teams in order to promote meeting new people and building relationships within the campus community.

After students began to evaluate the events they attended, one thing became clear to University Programs. “Students asked for more late night events, so we are trying to give those opportunities to them,” Scott said. The first-ever trip to late night zip lining in Birmingham had 35 seats available, but when registration went live, hundreds of students signed up within hours. It was then that Scott and her team realized they must continue to expand.

After serving as an event programmer for On the Town last year, Averie Armstead accepted a position as a graduate assistant for UP. “Working at UP truly optimized and changed my undergraduate experience,” she said. “My turning point was at Stress Free Daze, when we did a late night version and took over the Ferg after dark,” she said. “LaToya really challenged us to make it bigger than just another event going on during Dead Week to relieve stress.” With the challenge in mind, they decided to ask every student that came to bring a toy and they created a partnership with the Community Service Center. That

On the Town started this fall with a trampolining trip to Birmingham and is also featuring late night dodge ball and glow-in-the-dark Frisbee,

night, one room featured all the tools needed to gift-wrap those donated items, which helped Tuscaloosa’s One Place provide Christmas gifts to children in need. “We were able to encourage students not only to relax during Dead Week, but also to give back to others,” Armstead said. “People were coming in left and right to wrap toys for children. That’s when it clicked for me, and I knew it’s about more than just programming and throwing a good event. We realized the impact we can have with one idea.” Armstead said the future of University Programs looks bright. “We have leadership that always encourages growth even in our small office,” she said. “It’s the same goals and mission in our office as in Student Affairs as a whole.”

Students had the opportunity to wrap gifts donated for Tuscaloosa’s One Place during Stress Free Daze last year.

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he University of Alabama campus has changed quite a bit for Jim Priester since his graduation nearly 35 years ago. The student population has more than doubled, and construction and renovation have touched nearly every inch of campus, including the Student Recreation Center, a project with which Priester, a former SGA president, was highly involved during its earliest phase. While campus has changed, Priester’s involvement has continued with the Division of Student Affairs, joining the Student Affairs Leadership Council (SALC) in 2007 along with his wife, Murray. “I chose SALC in order to get a ground level view of what was occurring on campus and what opportunities were available to enrich the college experience, not just for my children but for students in general,” Priester said. “The enrollment growth makes the full package of experiences incredibly important if future alumni are to have the same attachment to the University as my generation does.” Priester is also a member of the Capstone Leadership Council, a group of former SGA Presidents and Capstone Men and Women who sponsor the Capstone Leadership Academy, a leadership program designed for Alabama high school students. “ I was amazed at how my old friends who were now accountants, school teachers, health care professionals and lawyers just

dropped all pretenses and did the nuts and bolts, menial tasks to make tomorrow's student leaders both welcome and feel special,” he said. The students come to campus for a weekend centered on the theme of “values, vision and voice” with various speakers and undergraduate group facilitators. “It’s a great way to pass along the ideas of service and caring for others, and trying to lead in the right way,” Priester said.

“Watching the growth of the Student Recreation Center is of course rewarding, but most importantly it shows that administrators now fully embrace what a vitally important role physical activities play in campus life,” - Jim Priester Priester understood the importance of a well-rounded student experience even as a student himself. Elected SGA President in February 1979, he and his delegation advocated for and pushed through the student fee referendum for the original Student Recreation Center, then gained the approval of the Board of Trustees.

The need for a Student Recreation Center was great at the time, with students having to negotiate with the Physical Education and Athletics departments for space to simply play basketball or racquetball. “The Rec,” as it is known today, has undergone multiple additions and renovations over the last 30 years, which Priester has enjoyed seeing. “ Watching the growth of the Student Recreation Center is of course rewarding, but most importantly it shows that administrators now fully embrace what a vitally important role physical activities play in campus life,” Priester said. Priester now lives in Birmingham and has practiced law for more than 30 years. He and Murray have triplets, Margaret, Lynn, and Davis, who are all recent UA graduates. As a member of the Student Affairs Leadership Council, Priester is committed to ensuring that today’s students receive the same strong foundation that the University gave him, and he is able to continue the advocacy work he began when he was a student himself. “I’m a big believer in what Student Affairs does because students need and deserve a voice,” he said. “On a college campus, there are a lot of voices competing to be heard. Giving students their own opportunities is going to be better for the students and the state.”

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Creating New Traditions

UA’s Yell Crew engages freshmen in the ultimate fan experience


ryant-Denny Stadium’s new freshman section has set the tone for becoming one of the nation’s greatest student sections. Fueled by student leaders called the Yell Crew, the atmosphere in the upper deck this year is filled with a new sense of excitement and passion for Alabama football. It didn’t take long for Alabama’s newest student fans to learn the cheers and chants that cultivate a reputation for being one of the loudest and most intense stadiums in the country. With upperclassman role models teaching them along the way, the class of 2017 has displayed the hype, passion and loyalty deserved by the Crimson Tide at every home game this fall. Freshman Ashley Henson from Atlanta had never been to an Alabama football game before this semester but believes the Yell Crew plays an integral role for freshman. “The Yell Crew is important because they help make sure we stay super excited,” she said. “As freshmen,


they help us feel comfortable and really just feel at home [in the stadium]. It’s cool since freshmen are on their own and helps us get really spirited in the upper deck.” The freshman class this fall is the first to enjoy the new student football experience complete with fan contests and incentives organized by Alabama’s Yell Crew. The new group, created by

“We’re not cheerleaders, precisely, but more like super fans. We’re there to get the freshmen involved in cheers and spirit contests, but we’ll also be their role models and friends.” -Kindle Williams

the Division of Student Affairs’ Office of First Year Experience, becomes part of the football game experience by embracing what it means to be a loyal and passionate fan and sharing their love for the traditions of UA while making waves in Bryant-Denny Stadium and creating a new tradition themselves. The Yell Crew name was revived from a student group that existed in the early 2000’s, but the concept of the group is brand new. Prior to this fall, 20 upperclassmen were selected to become members of the Yell Crew. During each home football game they have been sharing their passion and pride by leading freshmen in cheers, chants, and contests such as the “best dressed fan” and “best paint job” where student fans can win big prizes. The impact of the Yell Crew on Alabama’s newest student fans helps promote a positive gameday

atmosphere and is building on the Crimson Tide’s reputation of having the best student fans in the country. According to Mary Alice Porter, coordinator of First Year Experience and Parent Programs, the Yell Crew is making a big difference. “These leaders are incredibly passionate about Alabama football, and their knowledge about our colorful history allows them to educate and unite our freshman class as a cohort through football games,” Porter said. Members of the Yell Crew find the position to be unique. “We’re not cheerleaders, precisely, but more like super fans. We’re there to get the freshman involved in cheers and spirit contests, but we’ll also be their role models and friends,” explained Kindle Williams, a sophomore from Tennessee. Yell Crew members take their position seriously because they know the tone they set will carry over into the rest of the stadium in the years to come. That is the goal for the program according to Butch Hallmark, graduate assistant for First Year Experience and Parent Programs. “The Yell Crew will teach freshmen good fan habits that will carry over into the lower bowl and hopefully spread through the stadium to create one extremely intimidating place to play the Crimson Tide,” Hallmark said. Alabama football is built on tradition and the Yell Crew is quickly becoming a critical part of it. Williams is reminded of the tradition they have made each time she wears her Yell Crew t-shirt. “The YC-1 on my sleeve denotes that we’re the first Yell Crew the University has had.” But more than tradition, it is the legacy these students are leaving that inspires Williams. “The dynamic we have going on internally is like nothing I’ve experienced before. The Yell Crew is my family and I have faith that together we will leave a lasting legacy on this University and improve the experiences of many of our fellow students along the way!”

BEHIND THE TIDE Meet Some of the Yell Crew Steve Keogh Year: Senior Hometown: Columbus, Ind. Major: Telecommunication and Film; Spanish Favorite part of Yell Crew: I love cheering the Tide on to victory!

Trevon Finley Year: Sophomore Hometown: Birmingham, Ala. Major: Computer Science Favorite part of Yell Crew: My favorite part is getting the crowd excited when we are on defense. When we are on defense, Bryant-Denny is filled with energy, and I love that feeling.

Ashley Seiss Year: Sophomore Hometown: Brandon, Miss. Major: English; Education Studies for Honors Favorite part of Yell Crew: I love getting to work with such an amazing group of people!

Kindle Williams Year: Sophomore Hometown: White House, Tenn. Major: Chemical Engineering Favorite part of Yell Crew: I love all of the people I get to work with! We have such a great dynamic, and we’re always hyped about UA football!

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Mark Mayfield:

Mark Mayfield served as editor of The Crimson White from 1977-1978

Mayfield returned to campus to serve as assistant director of student media in 2010


fter a successful career editing national magazines and running his own publishing company in New York City, Mark Mayfield was looking for something different. When he came across a position listing for an assistant director of student media at UA, he knew it was just the right opportunity. Mayfield, a 1978 graduate and former editor of The Crimson White, had thought when he retired one day he might love to teach or work with students. The timing was perfect. “I was looking around for something else, and this job came open,” he said. “We had been looking to get back south, and I had always had a real close relationship with student media at UA.”


Coming Full Circle Former student leader returns to work in Student Affairs

“You have a real responsibility to these students. Student Affairs is a serious business, but it’s a lot of fun too.” - Mark Mayfield October 2013 marked three years since Mayfield made the transition from one of the nation’s busiest cities to a Southern college town. “I love my job, and I love campus,” Mayfield said. “I had come back over the years, speaking to classes and visiting, but it’s a lot different than what I remember as a student. It’s been a wonderful experience.” Mayfield’s day-to-day work revolves mostly around his role as editorial adviser to The Crimson White, UA’s student-run newspaper. In the fall and spring, students publish the paper four days per week. “It’s like a daily newspaper, and you have to be available to them, talking to them about issues they are running into every day,” Mayfield said. The past few years have been successful ones for Student Media. In May, The Crimson White won the Society of Professional Journalists’ national award for breaking news in the large university category for the second straight year. In 2012, the CW also won the award for its coverage of the April 27, 2011 tornado that struck Tuscaloosa. Mayfield said that these awards have helped boost morale, and that Student Media has really been

putting an emphasis on entering the CW in every major contest. “We are trying to get the paper back to being the best in the country,” he said. “It’s hard to do that.” After holding top jobs in the magazine industry, including a stint as editor of House Beautiful, returning to campus and shifting his focus from practicing journalism to teaching and advising on it had a learning curve, Mayfield said. “I’m learning everyday how to better deal with students,” he said. “I know journalism, magazines, and newspapers, and while I may know those things, I had to learn how to translate that knowledge to students.” Paul Wright has served as the director of student media since 2004, and he said Mayfield had an immediate impact on The Crimson White as soon as he returned to campus. “The students are lucky to have someone with his skill, experience and contacts working with the newsroom,” Wright said. “The fact that we've won two consecutive national news coverage awards speaks to our students' hard work and Mark's influence.” Working with students who have

been driven to succeed has been a reward in and of itself, Mayfield said. “I’ve found that our students are eager to learn. It’s the rare student around here that doesn’t listen,” he said. “You feel like you have an impact. This is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.” After three years working in Student Affairs, Mayfield said he’s much more comfortable now than he was when he first arrived back on campus. “I’ve loved the job from day one, but I’m better at it now,” he said. “I had to learn what Student Affairs does, because I had only been a student in the past. I learned that there is nobody else on campus that has as much influence on the lives of students as Student Affairs does.” The reach of Student Affairs and its departments left its mark on Mayfield. “The more I’m around students, the more I realize they are someone’s child, and they are someone’s brother or sister,” he said. “You have a real responsibility to these students. Student Affairs is a serious business, but it’s a lot of fun too.”

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THE BIG Move In More than 7,000 students live on campus in vibrant residential communities. Those students were welcomed to campus by UA President Dr. Judy Bonner, UA Vice President for Student Affairs and Vice Provost Dr. Mark Nelson and many more UA staff members and students volunteering to ensure a smooth day for all. WOW The Week of Welcome started with a bang as the first-ever WOW Kick-Off Event welcomed students to campus. More than 140 organizations, departments and vendors set up booths to welcome first-year students to UA. More than 5,500 students enjoyed prizes, giveaways, food, fun and friends.

Bid Day On Bid Day following sorority recruitment, 1,896 women received bids to join a sorority on campus. For the fourth year in a row, Alabama hosted the largest Panhellenic sorority recruitment in the nation. 28 | CAPSTONE MAGAZINE | STUDENT AFFAIRS

PICTURE Fall Semester Brings Many Highlights for Student Affairs

Family Weekend Tailgate The Alabama

vs. Colorado State football game was only one of the highlights of the day, as more than 3,300 students, family members and guests enjoyed barbeque at a tailgate as part of UA’s Family Weekend 2013.

Family Weekend Beach Bash More than 850 students and family members attended the Family Weekend Beach Bash at the Rec Center Outdoor Pool to start their weekend with a night of fun, food and family. Throughout the weekend, more than 3,800 people took part in Family Weekend events.

Homecoming UA welcomed alumni, friends and family back to the Capstone for Homecoming 2013, themed “Leaving a Crimson Legacy.” Students enjoyed festivities throughout the week, which culminated with the pep rally and bonfire on Friday night before the annual Homecoming parade and football game against Georgia State on Saturday. FALL2013 | 29



CRIMSON PROMENADE The Crimson Promenade celebrates The University of Alabama’s tradition of excellence while recognizing service and contributions by alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends. The paved pathway offers a glimpse of the achievement and pride found at the Capstone and the Promenade, in its 15th year of existence, continues to be a true representation of success that takes place on campus. Bricks on the Promenade celebrate an array of accomplishments, from graduating seniors to retiring faculty members. Some buy bricks to simply say “Roll Tide,” while others celebrate engagements, reunions and national championships. External Affairs, a department of Student Affairs, processes Crimson Promenade brick orders year round. Bricks may be purchased through the Crimson Promenade website or by mailing in an order form. Donors are able to permanently honor their loved one’s accomplishments while further supporting the University, as proceeds beyond brick costs fund campus and student life initiatives within the Division of Student Affairs.

For more information about the Crimson Promenade or to purchase a brick, visit or call 205-348-4309

Connect with Student Affairs!

STU DEN T AFFA I RS Assessment Blackburn Institute

Career Center Community Service Center Counseling Center

Dean of Students External Affairs Ferguson Center Student Union

First Year Experience and Parent Programs Graduate Student Services Greek Affairs

UPCOMING EVEN TS Dec. 14 – Winter 2013 Commencement Dec. 23 – Jan. 1 – Holiday Break (UA closed) Jan. 8 – Classes begin March 24-28 – Spring Break

Housing and Residential Communities Safe Zone Student Conduct Student Government Association Student Involvement Student Leadership Programs Student Media

April 4 – Honors Day

University Programs

May 2-3 – Spring 2014 Commencement

University Recreation Veteran and Military Affairs Web Development & Processes Women’s Resource Center

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Division of Student Affairs Box 870301 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0301

Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage Paid The University of Alabama




Capstone Fall 2013  
Capstone Fall 2013