JAMBOREE 40 YEARS OF MEMORIES
A SHARED VISION PREPARING FOR LIVES OF PURPOSE
COLLEGE OF HEALTH SCIENCES DIRECTORS FOCUS ON SERVICE, TEAMWORK AND FAITH
WELCOME TO FAULKNER MAGAZINE Editorial Staff
Schedule of events May 1
Annual Commencement Exercises
Faulkner Law Open Commencement
Friends for Faulkner Yard Sale
8-15 Women’s Basketball Camp 17-21 Men’s Basketball Camp 21 Church of Christ Day at Six Flags Over Georgia 21-22 Summer Reunion 24-28 Men’s Basketball Camp 30July 4 Inspire Camp July 5-8 Faulkner University Baseball Tournament August 23-24 Faulkner Volleyball Invitational October 3
Faulkner University’s Annual Benefit Dinner Featuring Nikki Haley
17-18 Institute of Faith and the Academy Conference
The mission of Faulkner University is to glorify God through education of the whole person, emphasizing integrity of character in a caring, Christian environment where every individual matters every day. 2
Publisher Patrick Gregory Editor-in-chief Loren Howell Design Angela Hardgrave Staff Writer Rebecca Burylo Contributors Carter Moles Jeremy Smith Gerren Wasden Jonathan Ross Whisenant
President Dr. Michael D. Williams Chancellor Dr. Billy D. Hilyer
Board of Trustees
Vice Chancellor Dr. Wayne Baker Vice Presidents Dr. Keith Mock Wilma Phillips Dr. Dave Rampersad Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson Dr. John Tyson Associate Vice Presidents Billy Camp Jamie Horn Mark Hunt Assistant Vice President Renee Davis College Deans Dr. Jeff Arrington Dr. Leslie Cowell Dr. Scott Gleaves Dr. Dave Khadanga Dr. Charles Campbell General Counsel Dr. Gerald Jones
Dr. Billy Lambert, Chair Mr. Ted A. Norton, Vice Chair Ms. Glenda Major, Secretary Mr. Roy Johnson, Parliamentarian Mr. Jason Akins Ms. Martha Burleson Mr. Terry Cagle Mr. Ernie F. Chappell Mr. Steve Cotney Mr. Joseph W. Donaldson Ms. Scherry Douglas Mr. Michael S. Eubanks Ms. Carlton L. Freeman Dr. Justin “Chip” Garrett Mr. Michael Gurganus Dr. John W. Hill III Dr. Mike Houts Dr. Jason Isbell Mr. Frank “Butch” Jones Ms. Libby Jones
Mr. Dale Kirkland Mr. Bob Lee Mr. H. Louis Lester, Jr. Dr. Mansel Long, Jr. Dr. Henri McDaniel Judge Carole Medley Mr. Chuck Monan Mr. Phil Norton Mr. David Phillips Mr. Mike Pickens Mr. Tim Richardson Dr. Bud Stumbaugh Dr. Swaid Swaid Mr. Jon Sykes Sen. J.T. “Jabo” Waggoner Mr. Eddie Welch Dr. Jack Zorn
Trustees Emeriti Mr. Dewey R. Barber Dr. E.R. Brannan Dr. Charles W. Britnell Mr. Jim Campbell Mr. Archie B. Crenshaw Atty. Fred D. Gray
Dr. Jess Hall, Jr. Dr. Lamar A. Harrison Mr. David Howell Mr. B.O. Richardson Mr. Kenneth M. Shumard Mr. Robert W. Walters Ms. Anna Weeks
A Shared Vision
Nikki Haley to Speak at Faulkner’s Annual Benefit Dinner
14 17 18 23 24
Jamboree 40th Anniversary
Jones School of Law Celebrates 90 Years of Legal Education
College of Health Sciences
Community News Sports Updates Olivia Mae Burt Named Alumna of the Year Alumni News Supporter Spotlight: Jason Akins On the cover...
Jamboree’s 2019 overall club show winner was Kappa Sigma Phi’s and Phi Lambda’s Scooby-Doo. The lead rolls were played by (l-r) Maddie Nekola, Mitchell Englund, Jacob Compton, Bronson Wheeler and Eliza Norton.
A Shared Vision: Faulkner Students Prepare for Lives of Faithfulness, Accomplishment and Purpose Forward by Mike Williams Stories by Rebecca Burylo and Acasia George
ach year, I am continually impressed with the talented scholars we attract to Faulkner University. They come to us not only for a successful education, but also for guidance as they embark on a new journey. Our job is simple: to set them on the path that leads them to a purposeful and service-filled career that will bring glory to God. They may be going into ministry and leading a church as one of the youngest ministers in the Church of Christ, or they are looking to fulfill their dream to teach the youth the importance of life. They may have taken a leap of faith to leave their family a world away to pursue a Christian education or they may have simply found solace among our faculty and staff as they juggle being a single parent and finishing a life-long dream of becoming a teacher.
These are just a few examples of the many stories our students carry with them onto our campus. We embrace them from all walks of life. They may come from different parts of the country or the world. They differ racially, socio-economically and in age, but they are all striving toward a goal. In the process, they discover Faulkner is a safe harbor where they can grow and nurture their God-given talents, so they can in turn steer their lives toward the challenges of helping a broken humanity. You can read their stories for yourself and when you do, I hope you are inspired.
Kinsey Fickling Set to Become First Generation College Graduate Kinsey Fickling was in eighth grade when she made up her mind to go to college. For some families, college is the rule. It’s expected unquestioned. That was not the case for Fickling, who is now a senior at Faulkner. Fickling has two older sisters who attended college, but they realized that was not the direction they wanted for their lives and they dropped out before graduating. Fickling’s parents did not attend college and both have successful careers, but she knew that college was the right path for her, to help her accomplish her dream of becoming a literary editor and publisher. So Fickling set a goal, one she was determined to accomplish at all costs: She would be the first member of her family to graduate college. Even though Fickling lived in Mobile and she attended Mobile Christian Academy where her mom worked as a counselor, Faulkner University was not in her sights. She applied for some local colleges, and even visited one or two. Nothing seemed right. She wanted to travel, and dreamed of attending school out of state, possibly as far as New York. Her mother prompted her to look into Faulkner, so, on a whim, she visited Faulkner’s campus in Montgomery. She has never looked back. “It just felt right, you know? I met the Christian people here and fell in love with it. I came for Scholars Day and interviewed with Dr. Jon Wright, and he and the students and just everyone I met were so welcoming. I felt like I was already a part of it.”
Along with cheer, Fickling also took part in social club life and formed a bond with her sisters in Delta Xi Omega. She undertook the responsibility of being the lead Jamboree coordinator for Delta Xi Omega and Epsilon Phi Upsilon in the spring of 2018, when they were overall show winners. More recently, she was crowned Faulkner’s homecoming queen this February. Fickling is looking forward to walking across the stage to get her diploma in May 2019. “It is exciting and scary to think about,” Fickling said. “It’s been hard at times to keep going, because going to college wasn’t expected of me to begin with. I just knew that I wanted to go and the time here has been so much fun.” Her family will be in Montgomery in May to see graduate. “They are all very excited for me and proud of me,” Fickling said. “My mom has been super encouraging, but going to college and finishing was definitely something I had to decide for myself.” Now she is looking into schools to obtain her master’s degree and pursue her dream job. “To anyone who finds themselves where I was, you will have to decide if college is what you want and then finish no matter what, because those days will come when you want to say, ‘I’m done,’ and there will be no one to stop you from dropping out. Be strong and surround yourself with strong people.”
Because college was something new for the Fickling family, money had not been set aside to pay for it. Fickling had to find other ways to help her financial situation. Neil Scott, director of admissions, encouraged her to try out for a cheer scholarship and to apply to work in admissions. Taking dual enrollment classes in high school also helped, because it will allow her to finish her degree in English within three years. “I’ve been so thankful for my decision and how God placed people in my life to help with the process, help with loans and to finish. It’s been a fun and exciting journey.”
l-r: Donna, Kinsey and Eric Fickling and Daysha Sanford
Aisha Anderson Finds Love of Discovery with Biochemistry
Most days you can find Aisha Anderson in the lab in Brooks Hall, wearing her white coat and latex gloves. She might be helping a student dial a microscope to peer into a Petri dish, directing a class’s attention to a microorganism or studying a tank of goldfish for her own capstone research project. It's all in a day's work for Anderson, a senior biochemistry major, lab assistant intern and biology and chemistry tutor at the university's Academic Center for Excellence (ACE). Doing all this while finishing her capstone research project may seem daunting, but not to Anderson. The Alabama native admitted her work load is challenging, but that’s one of the reasons she loves it so much. She thrives on chemistry and has a new-found love for biology, so the pairing of the two fields is something she wants to share with the next generation. “I always knew I wanted to teach kids, but after I took my first chemistry class, I knew I wanted to teach them science,” Anderson said. “Once I began taking biology classes, I just fell in love with the lab work.” Anderson's capstone project focuses on the possibility that a lack of essential proteins in commercial goldfish food could be a cause for the short life-span of pet goldfish. She, like many others, has felt the devastation of making sure a pet goldfish was fed and well cared for, only to have them pass away after just a few days. Anderson enjoys the work, reading articles, researching her hypothesis and setting up control and experimental groups to test her theory. It’s the kind of work that has the potential to gain the attention of national researchers. If all goes well, she will have the opportunity to present her findings to a national college conference or submit her paper to a scientific journal. In the past five years, students in Faulkner’s natural and physical science department have participated in the National Forum on Climate Change, as well as presenting research at the Annual Meeting of the Alabama Academy of Science each year. This year nearly a dozen Faulkner students presented at the conference and were invited to attend and present their research findings at the Annual Conference in Clanton, Ohio.
“It’s a challenge, but reading science means gaining knowledge and that is both exciting and interesting,” Anderson said. “Since there is no chemistry track at Faulkner, I pursued biochemistry. The science department is so versatile.” The science department is designed to provide students with the fundamentals they need while enabling them to choose any number of possible interests in pre-professional fields like medicine, dentistry, ophthalmology, nutrition and pharmacy, applied fields such as teaching, animal science, agronomy, food science, natural resources management and veterinary medicine and career fields such as anthropology, archaeology, forensic science and mortuary science. “The small class size allowed me to really get to know my professors well and we created a bond and a relationship that told me they cared about my future. I know I’m well prepared for whatever lies ahead, whether that’s a teaching job or pursuing graduate school,” Anderson said. Anderson is the founding president of Faulkner’s Science Association, which morphed into the brand new Sigma Zeta National Science and Mathematics Honor Society, and now serves as secretary. As an ACE tutor, she is nationally certified by the National Tutoring Association to tutor science and mathematics. She has also worked in the Faulkner University call center and attended the March for Life event with the campus pro-life student group.
Far From Home, Ian Chen Finds Solace in God, Faulkner Family “The program has been so good. I’m glad I chose this field, because the more I learn about computer science, software and development, the more areas I find that need technology,” Chen said. “It’s challenging and a lot to learn, but it’s worth it. My professors connect what we learn in the classroom to real life. They encourage me and make the classes so interesting.” Even more helpful has been learning about the business of technology and how as a programmer, he can help a company use resources wisely and save money, Chen said. “Our professors are teaching us to use real-life techniques that a programmer would use to solve problems. We learn how things are run, how real industry works and we know what to look for and pay attention to as the industry changes as more new tech comes along,” he said.
Nearly 8,000 miles and an ocean separate Ian Chen from his biological family in northern China. If you ask him if he has ever felt alone in America, he says no and smiles broadly. He says the friends he found at Faulkner are his new family in Christ. It was the kindness of others and their desire to serve that first impressed Chen when he came to live in the South. People at his church and his school went out of their way to comfort and love him, he said. “I love my family in China and I see them during visits, but going back to China after living here in America, I see huge differences in how things and people operate,” Chen said. “People here care more about your spiritual life, what we can do to help others, community service. People gave up their time for me, sacrificed for me. They welcomed me into their home.” Naturally, saying goodbye to his mother and father was difficult. He felt anxious, nervous and scared, but he was assured of one thing: his faith in God. “I wasn’t sure what the future held. I was stepping into the unknown, but one thing my mom told me helped me. She said I was going to a place where they knew God. She said, ‘Where the people are that know God that is where your family will be. That will be your home.’ As Christians, we are family with one another,” Chen said. When Chen was still in high school, he made the long journey to Montgomery to finish his education at two local Christian schools and then decided to pursue higher education at Faulkner University. He is now a junior studying computer science and minoring in math.
A benefit of living and learning in America has been the freedom to not only choose his own career path, but to get a liberal arts education, Chen said. “A liberal arts education not only teaches knowledge, but it gives students wisdom and guidance for what our goals should look like after graduation,” Chen said. “It showed me how to think, taught me more about the Bible, how to become a useful citizen to society and how to be a good man. When I told my parents, they were so happy.” He is looking forward to finishing his last year at Faulkner and will then search for a company to sponsor his stay in America. Chen encourages those looking at coming to Faulkner from out of state or out of the country to be courageous, try something new and ask lots of questions. He came to Faulkner a stranger looking for a brighter future. He will leave a member of the Faulkner family. “Trust in the living, true God and know that he has prepared the best for us,” Chen said. “In the end, it doesn’t matter how tough the journey may have been, how hard it may have been to leave my family, God was there and he made my path easy.” Chen is a member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society, the Faulkner Computer Club and Sigma Zeta, the National Science and Mathematics Honor Society and has been a part of the social club, Sigma Phi Chi. He attends Landmark Church, volunteers during the summer at Lincoln Village in Tennessee and sings Christmas carols at local nursing homes.
Single Mom Takes Leap of Faith to Become Teacher take time and I’m excited to see what the future holds,” Harris said. Harris is studying for her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, while earning a spot on the President’s List and assisting in the education lab through the work-study program. It’s a full schedule of classes and work before she picks up her daughter from school.
When Meghan Harris, now 30, became a single mom, she had to put her college education on hold. Moving back to Montgomery to raise her daughter in her hometown, she began a career in administration in the medical field, but she felt something was missing. Since she was a little girl playing pretend school with her dolls, Harris had a desire to teach. To follow her calling meant enrolling at a new college after seven years. In 2018, Harris’ daughter Ollie, 8, was accepted into the magnet program with Montgomery Public Schools and Harris went back to college to continue her education. Making the emotional and financial sacrifices necessary to turn her dream into a reality was one of the hardest decisions she’s made, she said.
Once Harris became a mom, she knew she wanted to help mold young children by being a positive role model for them. “As a teacher, you are more than just an educator, you are a mentor, a confidant and a friend. I want to make a difference in the lives of as many students as I can,” Harris said. “In today’s world, there are so many children who don’t get attention at home and where else can they get that attention, but at school? I see how my daughter will mimic her teachers and how much of an example they are to her. I want to be that for someone else’s child. Someone that shows them respect, patience and kindness. Great teachers are great leaders.”
“It’s a very hard decision to make under those circumstances, but it’s worth it to be able to finish something that you started. To find a career that I love and the opportunity to impact the lives of children in the process, that’s the greatest reward,” Harris said. “Financially, it has been very difficult. I’ve wanted to quit many times and while others have told me I’m crazy, my family and everyone in the education department have been so supportive.” Despite being told she would never be able to support herself and her daughter, Harris prayed and made the leap of faith. Her professors at Faulkner’s college of education were there to soften her fall. There are days she cries, but through the tears she sees the light at the end of the tunnel. “It’s such a positive environment here. I go into their offices and share the emotional struggles I’m dealing with, and they stand by me, encourage me and push me knowing that I am capable of making it. Good things
Meghan Harris and daughter, Ollie
Faulkner Eagle Uses Football to Keep Youth on the Right Path Malik Washington gripped the football, fingers tightening as he readied to toss it to one of the young boys he was coaching. Then, out of the corner of his eye, he spotted one of his team on the field, hanging back. Washington had a feeling something was wrong.
As a high school student teaching young kids the sport he loved, Washington was steadily creating a bond with them that grew stronger as he mentored them on the field and in their studies after school. They had fun, and they opened up to him–someone they could look up to and call when they needed help. Washington went over to the boy and learned that his father, who was out of town often for work, would be out again over the weekend. It was hard on the 14-year old who told Washington he would have to stay with his grandparents. Washington offered for him to stay with him and his family and the boy’s face lit up. After that experience, Washington knew he wanted to continue to help kids in any way he could, especially when it kept them out of trouble. Once he graduated, the Santa Clara, California native received a scholarship offer he couldn’t resist. After researching Faulkner, he thought it would be a good fit, appreciating the Christian mission. He decided to enroll at Faulkner and move across the country to play football and pursue a degree in Criminal Justice. “I just really want to help others; to be selfless. I got that from my family. I never needed much growing up,” Washington said. “We shared everything and helped people in the way we wanted to be treated. I want to keep helping kids with their issues.”
“When I was in high school, playing sports, I began to coach youth football and youth camps and I just liked being with kids. I wanted to help them, keep them off the streets by teaching them a love for sports.” Since coming to Montgomery to play on the offensive line for the Eagles, Washington has stayed true to his calling and will graduate in May. The criminal justice department has afforded him opportunities to visit with local probation officers and create important contacts within the law enforcement community. After graduation, Washington plans to continue coaching, enroll in the police academy and later earn a master’s degree in psychology. His eventually wants to move back home to California and work as a juvenile probation officer to make a difference for the young people of his community. Washington is a member of the Faulkner University Police Department, has volunteered at Davis Elementary with his fellow Eagles and is a member of Sigma Alpha Pi, the National Society of Leadership and Success. He most recently represented Faulkner in the HBCU Spirit of America Bowl in Salem, Virginia on January 20 along with Faulkner Eagles Kylan Cotton and Blake Levin.
Bible Major Becomes Lead Minister at 23 “If you give it over to God and are serious, doors will be open to you,” Peterson said. He came to Faulkner University in 2014 and again in 2017 to complete his Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies with a Ministry track and plans to graduate in December. “Even when I was young, I knew about Jesus, I had knowledge of right and wrong and I had a strong desire to work in the church and share the Gospel,” Peterson said. “That’s why I’m here. This is my mission and I need to be about my Father’s business.” “I go back to what Paul said to Timothy when he said, ‘Let no man despise your youth.’ Never allow what you see to be the hindering of your dreams. There’s no such thing as ‘I can’t’ if you are willing to put in the work to make it happen.”
Eight-year-old Trevonte Peterson sat with his family in the wooden pew, singing and listening to the preacher give the message like they did every Sunday morning. For generations, Peterson’s family had attended the same little church in Greenville, Alabama, but on that particular Sunday morning, his eyes grew wide as dozens of people made their way to the front of the church to kneel and pray. It had been a powerful service, and the scene made an such an impression on Peterson, that he calls it a turning point in his life. It was the moment he discovered his calling to be a preacher. “They came forward with tears in their eyes. They were heart-felt tears and I had this feeling. I thought if I could help someone get to that point that would be an amazing thing,” Peterson said. After that pivotal service, Peterson went to his minister, asking to preach his first sermon. Instead of telling Peterson to wait until he was older, the minister took him under his wing and began teaching him the scriptures three days a week. During a Christmas service eight months later, Peterson preached his first sermon, and he’s been preaching and sharing the Gospel ever since. Now, at the age of 23, Peterson is often introduced as the youngest pulpit minister in the Church of Christ. He preaches full time at a church in Fort Walton Beach, Florida and has spoken at conferences and gospel meetings, during chapel on Faulkner’s campus and has led devotionals for fellow students.
The Sweetwater Church of Christ in Jacksonville, Florida is looking forward to Peterson stepping into their church’s lead minister position after he graduates, according to Richard Coffey, Sr., who has served as the church’s minister for the last 42 years. Two years ago, Coffey began looking for someone who could take over the role. When he heard Peterson preach, he knew he had found the right man. “We were just in awe of his message after we heard him and we knew we had to bring him to Sweetwater so everyone could have a chance to hear him,” Coffey said. “The entire congregation of all generations and our elders have really taken to him and that was the most important thing. We’re just so blessed. With God’s help, he will go far.” Peterson is excited for the chance to serve the people at Sweetwater, but more importantly for the chance to continue the Lord’s work there. “I have nothing to boast or brag about, only in the cross of Jesus Christ. I am only able to be called righteous because of Christ’s righteousness,” Peterson said. “It’s a free gift. Because he died for me, I will live for him.”
Jason Villa’s Journey to Play Baseball Becomes His Testimony by Acasia George From a young age, Jonathan Villa dreamed of playing professional baseball. Villa was born in Ensenada, Mexico. Growing up, his parents were often out of town on business, leaving him and his sister alone. “I have great parents. I love them with all my heart. They were just trying to take care of my sister and me so we wouldn’t have to go through what they went through.” “Being alone, I think it got to the point I just wanted something to fulfill me. I was immature and wanted some attention so I started doing all sorts of drugs.”
Villa received an offer to play professional baseball with the Tampa Bay Rays, but when he fell back into his old habits, he was released. “I got the chance to play professional baseball. I had money. I had everything, but I was like, ‘Why am I not happy? No matter what I do I just feel so empty.’” Villa went to Yavapai College and won a national championship. His sophomore year he came to visit Faulkner University, but received no interest from the Eagle baseball program. Back in San Diego, his friend Hosea asked him about Christ and invited him to a Bible study.
When Villa got the opportunity to play summer baseball in the U.S. he went, hoping to escape his surroundings and change his ways, but the reputation he had made for himself followed him to San Diego.
“At first, I said, ‘Shut up, dude. I don’t believe in God. You know how I feel about that,’” Villa said, “but after the first Bible study, I kept saying ‘I need a little bit more of this,’ so I kept going back.”
“I was fine for about two or three months, then I started back partying,” he recalled. “I didn’t understand how bad friendships could affect your decisions.”
Soon after he started attending Bible study, he and his friend prayed about his situation. The next day, Villa received a call from Mike Mendoza, assistant baseball coach at Faulkner.
His opportunity for playing baseball was slowly slipping through his fingers. “No one wanted to offer me anything because they all knew I was a troublemaker, even though I wanted to change. I was like, ‘what do I do?’” Villa’s father advised him, “Go follow your dreams. Whatever it is, go try to do it.” Jonathan Villa
“I started crying and I looked at Hosea and said, ‘There is only one problem. I don’t want to go a Christian university. I don’t fit in with those people.’” Despite Villa’s reservations, he accepted the offer to become a Faulkner Eagle. After two weeks at Faulkner, he still felt the emptiness. Then he was invited to Landmark Church of Christ. “It’s not the typical church I always thought of,” said Villa, whose religious background is Catholic. One day Faulkner baseball chaplain David Noles asked him, “Are you ready to get baptized?” “No. I don’t deserve that. I’m not worthy of that.” Noles explained to him, “That’s the beautiful part about this, none of us deserve this.” That simple statement changed Villa’s perspective about Christ. Soon after, he was baptized. “I think about how many times I messed up and how many times I denied Jesus in my life, and He was still working behind the scenes. How many people get that many chances? There’s got to be a bigger purpose for me in life.”
Jones School of Law Celebrates 90 Years of Legal Education by Dean Charles Campbell
Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year after being established in 1928. The school is named in memory of Thomas Goode Jones (1844-1914) and continues to be an important piece of Montgomery and Alabama’s legal community. Thomas Goode Jones was a Montgomery Civil War veteran who first came to prominence after the war by urging national reconciliation. He served in the Alabama legislature and two terms as governor of Alabama. President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him to be a federal district judge for the Northern and Middle Districts of Alabama in 1901, on the recommendation of Booker T. Washington. As a federal judge, Jones was known for attempting to end the peonage system and for encouraging the use of federal law to punish lynching. Thomas Goode Jones
Judge Jones’s son, a Montgomery County circuit judge for many years, began holding law classes in the county courthouse in 1924, and he officially established the law school in 1928, naming it after his father. Leading Montgomery attorneys and judges taught the classes, which quickly moved out of the courthouse and into a series of locations. Eventually, the law school found a home in a building on Hull Street, right behind the Jones home on Adams Avenue. After the death of its founder in 1963, the law school passed through a series of owners. Faulkner University purchased it in 1983 and, in 1996, constructed a new building for it that was expanded in 2001 and again in 2011. The law school obtained provisional approval from the American Bar Association in 2006, followed by full approval in 2009, making Jones the third ABAaccredited law school in Alabama. After 90 years, Jones has more than 2,500 alumni, many of whom have risen to the top of the Alabama bench and bar. Four graduates have served on the Supreme Court of Alabama, and three more have served on the state courts of appeals. Nearly 40 Jones graduates have served as state and federal trial judges; nine currently serve as district attorneys. Hundreds of Jones alumni are employed in public service. Many more are in private practice at some of the best firms in the state. Students at Jones come from a variety of backgrounds. They engage in substantial public service while in law school through the elder law, family violence, and mediation clinics, as well as other pro bono service opportunities and student organizations. In fact, the school’s legal clinics recently won the Gold Medallion award from the Montgomery County Bar Foundation Volunteer Lawyers Program for the third year in a row. The law school has built a national reputation in trial advocacy. The most recent U.S. News rankings rated the trial advocacy program 15th in the nation. The faculty continue to build solid reputations for scholarship, teaching, and service, and regularly participate in academic conferences and publish in top law reviews. Over the past two years, the law school has significantly improved the entering qualifications of its incoming students, with the current first-year class having some of the best undergraduate grades in the law school’s history.
Nikki Haley to Speak at Faulkner’s Annual Benefit Dinner On Tuesday, March 5, President Mike Williams announced Nikki R. Haley, the former United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, as the speaker for this year’s Annual Benefit Dinner. “We’ve been able to secure a speaker who is a true American patriot, who has fought to protect our enduring values and liberty,” Williams said. “She will bring to the Faulkner stage a global perspective that will enrich the understanding of all who attend the dinner.” Williams revealed that Faulkner is the first to secure Haley for a speaking event since she announced her transition from the United Nations to other pursuits. Haley will bring her Southern appeal as a native of South Carolina and her international experience on current issues from the United Nations. At the United Nations, Haley ensured the American people saw value for their investment, introducing reforms that made the organization more efficient, transparent, and accountable. In a two-year period, she negotiated over $1.3 billion in savings, including rightsizing UN peacekeeping missions to make them more effective and targeted, while improving their ability to protect civilians. She spearheaded negotiations for the strongest set of sanctions ever placed on North Korea for its nuclear weapons program, cutting off the regime's exports by 90 percent and its access to oil by 30 percent. During the U.S. presidency of the UN Security Council, Haley hosted the first-ever session devoted solely to promoting human rights. She traveled the world visiting people oppressed by their own governments to see firsthand the challenges they face and to work with them directly on life-improving solutions. During her time as ambassador, the United States stood with its allies, repeatedly taking a strong stand against the chronic anti-Israel bias at the United Nations. In the UN Security Council, she issued the first American veto in six years defending the United States’ sovereign right to move our embassy to Jerusalem. Born in Bamberg, South Carolina, Haley is the daughter of Indian immigrants and a proud graduate of
Clemson University. Haley was elected in 2010 as the first female and first minority Governor of South Carolina. Reelected in 2014, she served as Governor until confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in January 2017. Under Haley’s leadership, South Carolina’s unemployment rate hit a 15 year low, it saw over $20 billion in new capital investment, and her administration announced new jobs in every county in the state, over 85,000 total. Haley also ushered in the state's largest education reform in decades—making education funding more equitable for schools in the state's poorest communities. Tickets to hear Haley speak are on sale now. Proceeds from the dinner go to support the university, and student scholarships in particular. This year’s Benefit Dinner will be hosted at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center on October 3. “Our annual Benefit Dinner is the signature event of the university. It’s an opportunity for us to showcase our outstanding academic programs, our distinctive Christian mission and the investment we are trying to make into this community,” Williams said. “The most important outcome of the dinner is that we raise money for students to give them more scholarships in order to provide them with a transformative experience and to prepare the new emerging generation to make a tremendous difference in our world.” Nikki Haley
Jamboree: 40 Years of Memories
Celebrate, celebrate, come on and celebrate! The crowd erupted as alumni hosts and hostesses joined students on stage to sing and clap along to classic songs reflecting love, friends and family. There was truly a reason to get up on your feet and celebrate at this year’s Jamboree Celebrate 40! anniversary event. Students and alumni came together to perform hit songs from the movies The Greatest Showman and Trolls, and other classics from throughout the decades. For 40 years, the student body has come together to fill campus with song, story, laughter and most importantly, lasting relationships.
Between the antics of a talking robot, a Great Dane, DC’s finest, a rabbit and a stuttering pig, the crowd was left roaring with laughter as club shows took us down memory lane and embodied beloved characters from our favorite Saturday morning cartoons of the 1970s. The show’s overall winners, Kappa Sigma Phi and Phi Lambda, transported us back to a simpler, happier time of Scooby snacks and Shaggy’s jokes as Scooby-Doo and the gang once again unmasked the villain behind a mysterious jewel theft.
Delta Xi Omega and Epsilon Phi Upsilon brought us the looney world of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam and the beloved Porky Pig as they try to save their show from cancellation and find Alumni Jamboree host and hostesses (l-r) Jordan Linder, Kayla friendship along the way. (Wiginton) Martin, Hinton Horn and Karli Fales sing “Hey Ya” by Avriel and the Sequoias
Sigma Psi Chi and Chi Omicron Chi taught us the importance of a family’s love as The Jetsons, a normal family who happen to use flying cars and talking robots, search to find their metallic maid, Rosie, and bring her back into their family. Finding love, friendship and family was a recurring theme throughout the club shows, and struck a personal chord for many of the 40 alumni who returned to perform as a host or hostess or entertain the audience with their own club show.
(l-r) Jillann (Wallace) Crawford and Casey Crawford
Four decades worth of friendships and marriages have found their beginnings with Jamboree. When Casey Crawford, one of this year’s alumni hosts, reminisced about his time at Faulkner, he spoke about two things: how he met his wife Jillann (Wallace) Crawford during freshman year and his rap solo to an Eminem song during Jamboree. He claims to still hold the record for being the only student to do that. Jokes aside, he said his most memorable moments were shared with his future wife and the friends he made through his social club, Epsilon Phi Upsilon, Jamboree and singing with Cornerstone, the retired university sponsored acapella quartet. “My favorite things about Faulkner were the relationships. It was so great to hear about this anniversary show and to be invited back to sing. This time, my wife and I will sing on stage as a married couple, which is really exciting,” Crawford said. They drove up from Pensacola, Florida, where Crawford serves as a youth minister at Scenic Hills Church of Christ, to perform the Cyndi Lauper song “True Colors,” which was recently revitalized by Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick for the animated movie Trolls. In addition to host and hostesses, more than 30 alumni came back to perform in their own club show packed with famous superheroes like Superman, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and guest appearances by the Joker and Green Lantern. Coordinated by Michelle Otwell, their show was based on the Saturday morning cartoon, Superfriends and the good guys battled supervillains, Lex Luthor, Cheetah and the Legion of Doom.
Epsilon Phi Upsilon and Delta Xi Omega members (l-r) Andres de Torres, Logan Hornsby, Austin Morrison and Olivia McDaniel
Weeks before the show, Brittany (Justice) Long chatted with a group of close friends she knew while attending Faulkner at one of their rehearsals. Her five- and twoyear-old ran around the aerobics room playing, running and sliding on the floor with their friends. The children made an adorable appearance in the parents’ club show as mini superheros. “Who would have guessed as freshman at Faulkner that we would be back together like this practicing for a Jamboree show with our kids running around?” Long asked. “And this time, we don’t have to worry about tests or classes. This is great!” Although the love and friendship, camaraderie and school spirit have stood the test of time, a few things have changed over the years. Faculty director of Jamboree, Natasha (Morris) Kasarjian looks back on her time first as a student herself who was a hostess from 1988 to 1990 and then later as a director of the shows for the last nine years. This year, she sang alongside her sister, Yolanda (Morris) Baldwin, who is also a Faulkner alumna and served as Jamboree director
Alumni (l-r) Neil Scott, John Gordon, Jamall King, and Andrew Itson play superheroes who are past their prime in the alumni show.
Faulkner students (l-r) Hannah Temple, Kristen Roberts, Wes McGeehee, Ashley Tucker, and Jaycy Nail represent the villains in Kappa Sigma Phi’s and Phi Lambda’s winning Jamboree 2019 show, Scooby Doo.
Jamboree host and hostesses (l-r) Lauri Ann Itson, Jon Podein, Jason Isbell, and Honey Wilson sing “From Now on” from the movie, The Greatest Showman.
before Kasarjian. “The shows have really evolved over time from big foam costumes where only the legs and arms could move, to full-out ornate productions that look just like a musical you’d see in a movie,” Kasarjian said. “The hosts’ and hostesses’ roles haven’t changed much, and we still bring talented singers to the stage.” Kasarjian was a hostess almost every year she was a student at Faulkner. One of those years, she sang a song while her husband-to-be sat on the stage with her. They knew then, they had found their “soulmate.”
For Kasarjian, Jamboree was a way to represent her school and have fun. Now as a director, she pushes and encourages each student in the club shows and those she trains as hosts and hostesses to be the best that they can be. For this year’s performance, she knew she wanted to bring back as many former hosts and hostesses and club show performers as she could to celebrate the past and look forward to the future. Having them come back and perform was truly magical, she said. “The biggest thing for me was that the people I invited back, really wanted to come back,” Kasarjian said. “I come from a family that bleeds performance. While other families rallied around sports, we wanted to be on stage. So to have a group of people that loves music and singing and Faulkner as much as I do, it was really exciting to see everything come together.” “Faulkner, and especially Jamboree, holds so many good memories for me. It’s really special to be back and be part of the show again. I didn’t really know how much I missed it after all these years,” Baldwin said. Alumna (l-r) Savannah Dockins, Brittany (Morris) VanZandt and Haley (Itson) Scott play Wonder Woman and her Amazon warriors in the Jamboree alumni club show, Superfriends.
Faulkner University students (l-r) Danielle O’Dell, Michelle Davis, Marista Otwell, Melody Coe, Andrew Russell, Matthew Tuck, Brkela Miller, Peyton Osborne, Lauren Colasacco, Vernon Chisholm play The Jetsons for Sigma Psi Chi’s and Chi Omicron Chi’s Jamboree club show.
New College of Health Sciences Directors Focus on Service, Teamwork & Faith The team at Faulkner University’s College of Health Sciences is steadily expanding. The university has hired directors to develop the next three programs; the physician assistant (PA) program is scheduled to begin in 2020, physical therapy (PT) in 2021 and occupational therapy (OT) in 2022, pending accreditation. Amy Oliver, director of the occupational therapy program is the most recent hire. Oliver earned her occupational therapy degree from The University of Mississippi Medical Center and her doctoral degree in occupational therapy from Rocky Amy Oliver Mountain University of Health Professions in Utah. She has been in clinic work and pediatrics for the last 26 years. Before coming to Faulkner, she served as an occupational therapist at the Ouachita Parish School District in West Monroe, Louisiana and at the University of Louisiana.
“This interdisciplinary education is a reflection on how rehab staff work together in clinics and hospitals,” she said.
“The future of health science careers is moving toward team based health care and collaboration. This is the unique educational environment we are offering our students at Faulkner,” said Heather Mount, director of the physical therapy program.
Mount, originally from Wisconsin, moved to Andalusia, Alabama after PT school. She worked as a PT in rural Alabama for 14 years and taught for seven years in the PT program at Alabama State University. “Health care providers can have a tremendous impact in their communities and beyond. By helping others, we are doing God’s work,” said Mount.
Oliver first stumbled upon OT in high school when she was observing a physical therapy group for a class. She noticed another group and was drawn to them because they were laughing and seemed to be having a good time.
Doing God’s work is exactly what sealed the deal for Paul Jordan, director of the PA program.
“They were batting balloons to each other using their arms, which were affected by strokes or other neurological conditions,” said Oliver.
Jordan was practicing in Southern California at the time he received the offer to organize the new PA program at Faulkner.
“I learned that OT is a way to help people function again, to live their lives as independently as possible.” Oliver was looking for an OT program where service to others was paramount. “When I found Faulkner, I knew this was from God,” Oliver said. “It was my desire to teach the next generation about occupational therapy in a way that serves the community, the patient, the family members and especially children with autism.” Oliver especially liked the plan to have OT, PT, speech and language pathology and PA working collaboratively in one building, learning to work together as a team.
Jordan was initially not interested in the offer, but agreed to a visit. While on campus, he came face-toface with Scott Gleaves, dean of Faulkner’s College of Biblical Studies, and the man Jordan credits with bringing him to maturity in Christ. That was all the confirmation Jordan needed. He knew God’s hand was at work here. “I’m most excited about the opportunity to use this new platform to influence future medical providers to learn how to incorporate faith and ministry into medical care,” Jordan said. “The PA field is the perfect open door for that.”
COMMUNITY NEWS Leonard Johnson. She loves her university and wants it to be the place her great-grandfather envisioned. “What better topic than how to restore the most important thing that we need on campus and in this world and that’s love,” Hatcher said. “This is such an honor to represent the student body at the lectures. Being able to reach out to more people about Christ is something that I have prayed for to glorify his kingdom.”
(l-r) Victoria McDaniel, Jacob Compton, Mitchell Englund, Olivia Hatcher and Olivia McDaniel presented at this year's Faulkner Lectureships
Williams, a senior Bible major, said, “A simple act of love can change someone’s life forever. We are called to be Christ-like and, in order to be Christ-like, we need to love. I pray my peers were inspired to spread the love of Christ across campus.” Olivia McDaniel, a junior music education major, spoke on the different ways students can restore faith on campus.
Students Present at the 2019 Faulkner Lectures Seven students presented during this year’s Faulkner Lectures, held March 3-7. Olivia McDaniel, Jacob Compton, Victoria McDaniel, Blaine Chason, Bryant Crain, Olivia Hatcher and Thad Williams all presented on Wednesday, speaking on this year’s theme, “Restore! Seeking God’s Way.” “The answers to all of our spiritual problems can be discovered by going back to God’s word. This solution lies at the heart of restoration,” said David Hester, Bible professor and director of the Faulkner lectures. “Restoration involves restoring what God said in the way in which he said it for the purpose for which he said it. It is incumbent upon us to articulate this plea as clearly as possible.”
“People never stop asking why. We can use this question to grow our faith,” McDaniel said. “Everyone should take time to reflect on their own faith to see the ways it’s grown and changed and how to make it stronger.” Her sister, Victoria McDaniel, a junior studying liberal arts with a concentration in English, discussed how to restore hope on campus. “It’s so easy for college students to lose hope during a time of transition in their lives, or when they figure out the major they picked isn’t all they thought it would be, and adjusting to being away from their family and friends. Being here at Faulkner for three years has shown me how to find hope through Christ in the dimmest situations and help others find Him as well.”
Walcott Retires After 28 Years Michael Walcott is retiring after 28 years of teaching at Faulkner. Walcott began teaching at Faulkner in the fall of 1991. He has taught a variety of subjects related to business ranging from managerial finance to microeconomics.
Seniors Olivia Hatcher and Thad Williams both spoke about restoring love.
Walcott has a unique perspective on business concepts. “Poverty is not all bad,” said Walcott, “and wealth is not all it’s cracked up to be.”
Hatcher, a senior studying communication science and disorders and intern at University Church of Christ, is the great-granddaughter of one of Faulkner’s founders,
Walcott knows what he is talking about. Raised in Guyana, South America, as one of 14 siblings, he grew up in poverty. Much of his teaching involves relating
difficult subjects to his personal stories and experiences.
Technical Steering Group run by TechMGM.
Walcott moved to New York, and then to Tuskegee where he graduated from the Tuskegee Institute. In the Fall Semester of 1991 he started teaching at Faulkner. The administration originally hired him under a one year contract, which they proceeded to renew every year for the next 27 years.
TechMGM is a collaboration of local industry, educational and government entities working together to connect and leverage Montgomery’s unique technology related assets for a successful future in the digital age. Faulkner’s computer science department wants to help create that future. With a hands-on approach and a strong emphasis on the fundamentals of programming and software, the computer science department not only prepares students to be valuable assets in the industry, they also understand the importance of giving back and serving their community.
“I’m gonna miss this place, mostly the so many nice people I’ve met since I’ve been here.” Although Walcott is retiring, he still has big plans for the future. Walcott and his wife plan to move to Virginia to be closer to their granddaughter. He wants to work some as a motivational speaker, and he plans to continue playing music. “I play the guitar and write songs and I will keep on doing that until the day I die,” said Walcott. Walcott performed “Peace Perfect Peace,” one of his original songs, during Shenanigans, a talent show on Faulkner’s campus, and it was a hit with the students. Walcott has big dreams for his song. “In the hands of John Legend, that song would be on top of the world, and the world needs it.”
Hammond will be working directly with the steering group to expose students to new tech opportunities and growth in Montgomery, she said. “This will enable Faulkner University to connect with industry and government in the city of Montgomery, which will provide opportunities for collaboration and internships for our students,” Hammond said. TechMGM’s goal is to maximize the community’s technology and promote the city as an emerging and innovative tech hub to enhance the workforce and grow the area’s economy. Montgomery is already investing in important partnerships between industry, the local community, the U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense in order to create an area that attracts such growth.
Jones School of Law Named MGM Impact Maker
TechMGM Faulkner University’s Computer Science Department is proud to announce its partnership with TechMGM, the catalyst for the city’s cyber initiatives. As the City of Montgomery continues to emerge as a tech hub, Faulkner’s department of computer science chair, Susan Hammond, has been invited to join the University
The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce announced Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law as the inaugural 2018 MGM Impact Maker in the Midsize Business Category. The announcement of the 2018 Impact Makers was made at the Montgomery Chamber’s 146th Annual Meeting on December 11. The Impact Makers campaign was a way for the Montgomery Chamber to honor and recognize member businesses within the community who are making an impact. More than 50 nominations were made and over 70,000 votes were cast to determine the category winners.
“Thank you so much for the impact that you make in Montgomery,” said Jina Miniard, publications director for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. “We appreciate all you do in the community and the city and we’re just excited you wanted to be a part of it.” Jones School of Law Interim Dean Charles Campbell said, “Faulkner University’s Jones School of School of Law is honored to be named an MGM Impact Maker—especially as we celebrate our 90th anniversary in Montgomery. Jones School of Law strives to make a positive impact on Montgomery and Alabama every day.” Faulkner Law produces practice ready attorneys who, in the spirit of Isaiah 1:17, yearn to serve their neighbor and seek justice for the most vulnerable among us. Faulkner Law has three award-winning legal clinics that provide legal services at no cost to those in need in Montgomery and the River Region. Additionally, students serve the Montgomery community throughout the year, providing thousands of hours of volunteer service hours. Arthur F. Ray II (‘96), Assistant General Counsel for the Alabama Department of Labor, said, “As I have come to know and hear from city leaders in Montgomery over the years, it has become apparent to me that the law school has provided not only an institution that can be bragged on by the city, but one that, in a real way, helps positively impact the economics and socio-political environment of the city for the better.” Elyce Morris, director of the Dispute Resolution Program and the Kenneth F. Dunham Mediation Clinic at Jones said, “Service resides at the heart of all good lawyering. Whether advocating, problem-solving, or crafting a deal, attorneys employ their skills for the benefit of others. I hope this recognition inspires our students and partners to continue serving in humility with excellence, knowing that our efforts have tangible, positive benefits in our community.”
Sargent and Walker Named Mr. and Miss Faulkner University Jonathan David Sargent and Hannah Marie Walker were named Mr. and Miss Faulkner University. Walker will graduate in May with a degree in business administration. She participated in the study abroad
program, is president of Delta Xi Omega, vice-president of the Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization, a Davis Elementary mentor, a member of Sigma Beta Delta International Business Society and Alpha Chi Honor Society and an intern at the Montgomery Regional Airport. Sargent will graduate in May with a BA degree in biology. He is a member of Kappa Sigma Phi, serving as vice-president this year. He works at Mike’s Merchandise and the Multiplex and attends University Church of Christ. Jonathan Sargent and Hannah Walker were named 2019 Mr. and Miss Faulkner University.
Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society Initiation This March, Faulkner witnessed the resurgence of its Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society chapter with the induction of eight eligible students. Barrett Hutto, Cara Lambert, Tracy Clark, James Whitmire, Elijah Weems, Hope Sheehy, Jeremiah Short and Reagan Amos, who was in Italy at the time, were inducted into Phi Alpha Theta during a ceremony in the Perry Dining Room. “Being initiated into Phi Alpha Theta is a very prestigious honor and one you will have for a lifetime,” said Jason Jewell, PhD., chair of the humanities department. “Our chapter of Phi Alpha Theta went inactive so we are very excited we have so many students eligible and willing to participate.” Alumnus and Alabama House Representative Will Dismukes addressed the students.
“You should be proud of your accomplishments,” Dismukes said. “You have worked hard to receive this honor. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Continue to push yourself and to be the best that you can in this life.”
Jeff Arrington helps a Davis Elementary student with her project.
Undergraduate students do not have to major in history in order to be eligible for Phi Alpha Theta. They need only complete a minimum of 12 semester hours in history, earned in the classroom, online or through AP or transfer credits and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.1 in history and a 3.0 GPA overall. Phi Alpha Theta is an American honor society for undergraduate and graduate students and professors of history with more than 350,000 members in 860 local chapters. (l-r) Jeremiah Short, James Whitmire, Barrett Hutto, Dr. Jason Jewell, Elijah Weems, Hope Sheehy, Tracy Clark, and Cara Lambert
Faulkner students, faculty and staff from natural and physical sciences, computer science, math and education participated in STEM Day at Davis Elementary. The Davis Elementary students had a chance to build bridges out of marshmallows, build a strong supported structure out of heart candies, measure the weight of their favorite snacks and decrypt secret messages as a part of the school’s inaugural STEM Day. Each activity provided a fun, hands on approach to lessons in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Norton Receives Churchwell Award Eliza Norton was the inaugural recipient of the Mark S. Churchwell Entrepreneurship Award, a competitive award created as a way to honor Mark Churchwell, a long-time faculty member of the Harris College of Business, who died unexpectedly in May of 2017.
Taylor Strength works with Davis Elementary students.
The award was presented in February at this year’s Marketplace Faith Friday Forums. Dyani Thompson received second place and Andres de Torres received third place. All full-time Faulkner University students are eligible to submit proposals for evaluation by a panel of entrepreneurs. The winner receives a plaque and $1,000. (l-r) Students Andres de Torres, Eliza Norton and Dyani Thompson
Andres de Torres and Kinsey Fickling are crowned as Faulkner Universityâ€™s Homecoming King and Queen.
Study Abroad program participants Gerren Wasden, Calli Hunton, Hayley Sargent, Tucker Presley, Katie Flanagan, Angell Williams, and Jordyn Wasden pause for a selfie at Pisa.
TRIO OF EAGLES COMPETE IN HBCU SPIRIT OF AMERICA BOWL Three Faulkner football seniors represented the Eagles in the HBCU Spirit of America Bowl in Salem, Virginia on January 20. Offensive lineman Malik Washington played for HBCU Brave while defensive back Kylan Cotton l-r: Kylan Cotton, Malik and kicker Blake Levin Washington, Blake Levin suited up for HBCU Pride. Pride defeated Brave 24-0 in the first shutout in HBCU Spirit of America Bowl history. Levin, from Cheyenne, Wyoming handled most of the kickoff duties this past season for Faulkner. He recently signed with the Bismarck Bucks of the Indoor Football League. “My biggest takeaway from this HBCU Spirit Bowl weekend was seeing everyone come together as a team in just 2 days,” said Levin. “We had 3 practices, and a handful of team meetings but we were able to put it all together and play relaxed and as a team.” Cotton, from Spanish Fort, Alabama was a force in the secondary for the Eagles. He intercepted five passes and was in on 116 tackles in his two seasons. Cotton was named first team all conference in 2017 and second team in 2018. He said the experience was a confidence booster for him. “I know that I can compete with the best because with us being NAIA, we were the smallest division. It went from D1 - NAIA,” said Cotton. Washington, from Santa Clara, California, started each of the last two seasons on the offensive line for Faulkner. He was named second team all conference in 2017 as he blocked for one of the most proficient pass offenses in the NAIA. Washington said he learned a lot from the experience. “You might be outstanding players on your team but so are the other guys you're playing against. But if you work for it you can do it.”
GRANT TAKES SSAC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR Angela Grant
Angela Grant, a freshman from Hoover, Alabama earned First Team honors and was named Freshman of the Year at the SSAC awards banquet in February.
“I am so excited that the coaches in the conference chose Angela for first team All Conference. She is a dominant player on both ends of the floor. She is a great teammate and a fierce competitor,” Faulkner Head Coach Reed Sutton said of the star freshman. “This season had a really strong group of Freshmen in our conference, and even within our team. It is a privilege to have Angela recognized as the most accomplished in that group. She put up very impressive numbers this season, especially when you consider how she has come back from a concussion and breaking her hand without missing a beat. We are blessed to have her as a Lady Eagle for three more years.” Grant averaged 12.4 points and 9.5 rebounds per game this season while starting in 21 contests for the Lady Eagles. In addition to Grant’s honors, the Eagles and Lady Eagles garnered many additional honors. Leading scorer Ashlyn Adkins made First Team after averaging 12.6 points per game while also averaging 3.7 rebounds, one block and one steal per contest. Milan Skundric took First Team All-Conference honors after a season in which he averaged 16 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.43 blocks and 1.23 steals per game. Rene Scott finished Second Team All-Conference after averaging 15.6 points per game for the Eagles. Sean Edwards, Adnan Haliovic, Morgan Sykes, Dyani Thompson and Kayla Key made the All-Academic Teams. Sykes and Edwards also received recognition as a part of the Musco Lighting Champions of Character Team.
Olivia Mae Burt Named Alumna of the Year
l-r: Mike Williams and Olivia Mae Burt
Olivia Mae Burt was told she would be named Alumna of the Year under the guise of meeting faculty and staff to discuss the history of Faulkner. When reflecting on her honor, a blush spread across her cheeks. “It means a lot. I thought to myself, ‘How did they pick my name?’ I never would have expected that. But, they did, and I am so thankful for this opportunity.”
Olivia Mae Burt
With hands clasped on the table before her and a fond smile on her lips, Burt talked about her time at Faulkner. Although she knew it as Alabama Christian College before its name change in 1985, the feelings she has toward the institution remain the same.
“I love Faulkner because I went to school there. I love the people I met and knew there.” Burt highlights her father as a great influence on her family’s faith, saying, “When he became a Christian, he became a Christian.” He wanted his whole family to understand the importance behind a relationship with God. In 1951 when he heard about Alabama Christian opening a first-grade program, he moved his family from Ramer to Montgomery, so his children could have a Christian education. Burt’s parents, “Momma and Poppa Burt” as many of her classmates fondly knew them, were staples in the Alabama Christian community. It was not rare to find a large group of children down the dirt-road at the family’s apartment for Kool-aid, fudge and popcorn. Momma Burt taught kindergarten for years, four of which took place in the family’s own home. All three of the Burt children attended the school and Poppa Burt took special care to ensure the success of such an amazing place.
Burt’s father knew the impact Alabama Christian would have on his family. “Being around Christians gives you a strong background for when you go out into the real world. It was the biggest blessing.” Olivia prides herself on the knowledge she has learned through years of studying the Bible. The simplicity of knowing a verse and opening her bible to find it exactly is something she cherishes each day. In addition to her Bible skills, Burt’s education gave her the ability to type and write shorthand. Although Faulkner’s curriculum has changed over the years, the school still gives students the practical skills they need to be competitive in the workforce but also the skills to remain strong in their faith long after graduation. Burt’s success is a true testament to the excellence demanded by her alma mater. Following her graduation from high school in 1966, Burt went on to pursue her Associates Degree in Secretarial Procedures. She remembers spending time in the cow pasture beside the “old campus” as she describes it. She and her school friends would watch the boys play intramural football and baseball as they toyed with funny hairstyles and discussed their studies. The Burt family’s connection to the students did not disappear with her transition into college. When nights went
late, the dorm advisors always knew where to find their missing tenants, hanging out with the Burts. Freshman initiation was a tradition on Alabama Christian College’s campus and Burt was no exception. She laughs, remembering the silly tasks she and her friends had to perform. Whether it was sporting a silly outfit or helping a sophomore carry their things, Olivia and her friends always enjoyed their duties. This fun-filled exciting time flew by and in just two short years, Olivia recalls being on her way to the “real world.” Burt moved away for a short time but found herself back in Montgomery soon enough. She went back to school twice in her adult life but has always seen Faulkner as the foundation for her education. She says her education at Faulkner led her to a wonderful life full of excitement, adventure and life-long learning. Burt’s Christian education also led her to a life of servanthood. She has been on many mission trips including seven to Thailand. Her tour of Israel is one that she says everyone should have the opportunity to do. She has been involved in the Lads to Leaders program on both the national and local level. She is always quick to volunteer in her congregation at University Church of Christ, particularly with the Hispanic outreach program.
l-r: Mike Williams, Olivia Mae Burt, and Robin Bradford
As an active member of University Church of Christ, Burt feels a strong connection with the school that has given her so much. She finds ways each day to help the current students of Faulkner University. “When they have yard sales, I donate things. When they have lectures, I attend them.” Sometimes being a great alumna is not about giving great amounts of money and time. Rather, it’s repeatedly doing the small things which add up to the biggest impact.
Scott Gafford (‘95) teaches PE, coaches basketball and serves as the athletic director at Fleeta Junior High in Opp, Alabama. His wife, Heather (Andrews, ‘92) Gafford teaches 4th grade at Opp Elementary. Danny Barnett ('96) is the new vice president of human resources with the Alabama State Port Authority.
1990’s Ernie Longino ('90 & ‘18) and his wife, Kimberly Longino (‘90) have been married for 25 years. Ernie received his MBA from Faulkner in May 2018. They have two children, Andrew, 14, and Kaitlyn, 12. Patrick M. Tuten (‘91 & '95) was appointed to serve as District Court Judge in the 23rd Judicial Circuit of Alabama (Madison County) by Governor Kay Ivey on January 18, 2019. Kyle D. Massengale (‘93) and his wife Jamie Massengale (‘92) will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary this August. Kyle is the evangelism minister at Madison Church of Christ in Madison, Alabama He also runs a small private law practice mostly doing pro bono work for churches and elder law. Jamie teaches Kindergarten at Columbia Elementary in Madison. Paul A Clark (‘94) is the president/CEO of Merrick Medical Center in Central City, Nebraska, since December, 2018. Clark served as interim president/ CEO since August. Daryl Holley (‘94) is the owner of recently opened F-O-R-T-U-N-E Personnel Consultants (FPC) franchise in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. FPC is a nationwide executive search firm. Lyle Harmon (‘95) was named the new St. Clair County district attorney by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey in January.
Melody (Parrish, ‘87) White is a new business partner with her sister, Heather S. Parrish (‘98), at Southern Art and Makers Collective (formerly Product of Montgomery) on Madison Avenue in Montgomery. The shop features the work of artists and craftspeople from the Southeastern United States.
2000’s Brandy (Hunt, ‘00) Ludwick is the new laboratory technician in the natural and physical science department at Faulkner University. Roger Williams (‘01) is the new assistant softball coach and lead JV softball coach at Briarwood Christian School in Birmingham, Alabama. Misty Fortner (‘03) was promoted to accounting manager for Koch Foods at the Ashland, Alabama branch in April 2018. David Muns (‘04) is the new chief operating officer overseeing hospital operations and clinical departments at Merit Health Wesley in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Robyn Cope (‘07) and her husband James celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary on October 2018. Jeremy Smith ('07) is the new director of sports information and marketing at Faulkner. West and Carrie (Butler, ‘08) Cherry and 3-yearold son Mason welcomed the newest addition to their family, Logan, born in January 2019. Carrie is a neonatal nurse at UAB.
Do you or someone you know have news to be included in the next edition of the alumni magazine? Send updates and photos to Robin “Bird” Bradford, firstname.lastname@example.org.
2010’s Sean Thom ('10) is the new head football coach at Lassiter High School in Cobb County, Georgia. Kasey (Porter, ‘11) Clayton graduated with a Master in Early Childhood Special Education from UAB in August 2017 and currently works as a Pre-K teacher at Leeds Primary School in Leeds, Alabama. Lerin Roberts (‘11) was hired as a special education teacher and the volleyball and softball coach at North Crowley High School in Fort Worth, Texas in August 2016. Thomas Dorminy (‘13) signed to the Somerset Patriots. He was the 2018 Frontier League Pitcher of the Year, and was named both mid-season and post-season all-star. Demetris Bernard and Jami-Leigh (Fanning, ‘13) Hill and were married on November 11, 2017.
Kayla Elizabeth Farnon ('13) married Mason Bradford Bass on November 17, 2018. Brent and Brittany (Harden, ‘13) Todd celebrated nine years of marriage on April 10, 2019. They have a 6-year-old daughter, Aubree Jean. Brittany is a PE teacher and volleyball coach at Calera High School in Alabama. She received her master’s in physical education from the University of South Florida in May 2015. Diandre and Autumn Brooke (Pulliam, ‘13) Hensley and were married on August 5, 2017.
Austin Wade ('15) and Rachel McGuire Fuller were married August 24, 2018. Saul Calderon-Zavala (‘16) and Bethany Hunter recently moved to Tennessee, where Saul began working as a substance abuse counselor for Buffalo Valley Inc. Men’s Facility and Bethany began working as a security technician for Buffalo Valley Inc. Women’s Facility. Augusta Guthrie ('16) is teaching at Westbury Christian School in Houston, Texas. Jared Nicholas Palmer (‘16) and Vashti Rampersad ('16) were married on April 6, 2019. Aaron Reynolds ('16) works as a full time extra with a casting company in Atlanta. He recently got some on screen time as a pedestrian on the street in the Hallmark movie Christmas Everlasting. Reynolds has been an extra in several movies and TV shows, including Tyler Perry's Nobody's Fool, The Walking Dead, and Stranger Things. Corporal R.J. Carter (‘17) graduated from the Montgomery Police Academy on February 26, 2019. He now serves as a certified police officer in Alabama and continues to work for the Faulkner Police Department. Gabriel (‘17) and Brittany (‘17) Queiroz were married on May 13, 2017. Gabriel was hired as the assistant coach for the Faulkner Men’s Soccer team. Brittany received her certification as a therapeutic riding instructor from PATH International in Thomasville, Georgia. in December 2018 and teaches lessons at Montgomery Area Nontraditional Equestrians (MANE). She is pursuing her Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis through the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Hayden (‘18) and Hallie Dean were married December 15, 2018.
Emily Donovan (‘18) and Trever Manley were married on April 13, 2019. Jordan Kinlaw (‘18) was hired as the new 5th grade math and science teacher at Ringgold Elementary in Clarksville, Tennessee on August 1, 2018. Michaela (Pettway, ‘18) McMeans is the contact representative for Executive and Professional Enrollment at Faulkner University. Dylan Motes (‘18) was sworn into the US Army as an officer candidate on March 8, 2019.
Christine Norvell (‘14) teaches at Regent Preparatory School of Oklahoma, and is an author. Her topic for the conference is On Teaching Tragedy in Tragic Times. David Head (‘18) teaches English composition at Seffner Christian Academy near Tampa, Florida. He will speak on Dante as a Role Model of the Classical Christian Humanist. Sean Hadley, a current Ph.D. student, teaches humanities at Trintas Christian School in Ferry Pass, Florida. His topic is Growing Up with Jack: How Learning from C. S. Lewis Spans the Grammar, Logic, & Rhetoric Schools.
In Memory Rebecca Kay Potter (‘18) started a new job as the band director at McEwen High School in McEwen, Tennessee on January 7, 2019.
Christian Smith (‘18) is an intern for Robins & Morton in Raleigh, North Carolina working on a project that is building a new patient tower for Duke Raleigh Hospital, which will house over 100 patients. Marisa Sutton ('18) is an admissions clerk at Faulkner. Blaine and Auburn (Terry, ‘18) Chason were married January 19th, 2019. Auburn is an admissions counselor at Faulkner. William Tidwell (‘18) started a new job as a junior staff member at Moses and Moses, P.A. in February.
Great Books Honors Alumni to Present at Colloquium Great Books Honors students are making their mark in the world of classical Christian education. Of the four presenters at the Colloquium on Teaching Literature in a Classical Christian School on June 12, 2019, two are alumni and one is a current student in the graduate program.
Jon Hazelip, 79, died March 4, 2019. Coach Hazelip was part of Alabama Christian College from 1973–1981. In addition to coaching the Eagles Basketball teams, he served as a physical education instructor and athletic director for seven years. Under Hazelip’s direction, the 1980-1981 team became the first ACC team to go to a National Tournament and brought home a third place trophy. Because of the national recognition, March 30, 1981 was proclaimed Jon Hazelip Day in the city of Montgomery by Mayor Emory Folmar. Hazelip was also named Coach of the Year for the Deep South District of the NLCAA. Hazelip was inducted into the Faulkner University Hall of Fame in 2014. Hazelip was married to Carolyn (Weaver) for 60 years. They have four children; Teri, Ricky, Barbie & Tommy. Remembering Harrison Harrison McGaughy, son of Caleb (‘17) and Maggie (Mobley, ‘16) McGaughy, died October 26, 2018, 30 minutes after his birth. Harrison was 21 inches long, and weighed 8 lbs. 14 oz.
Benjamin David Amos, son of David (‘14 & '17) & Mattie Grace (Dotson, '15 & '17) Amos Born November 14, 2018
Emmy Lou Bell, daughter of Cody (‘14) & Laura Jean (Plunkett, ‘14) Bell Born January 31, 2019
Magnolia Dee Calderon, daughter of Saul Calderon-Zavala (‘16) & Bethany Calderon Born September 18, 2018
Bo Joseph Clayton, son of Page ('11) & Mary Beth (Romine, '11) Clayton Born November 19, 2018 Adoption finalized April 2, 2019
Kinley Grace Fiscus, daughter of Chris (‘14) & Bridget (Barker, ‘15) Fiscus Born November 22, 2018
Elise Alexandra Hangen, daughter of Matt ('08) & Grace Hangen Born November 26, 2018
Eden Wren Hatcher, daughter of Blake (‘11) & Blisse (Young, ‘11) Hatcher Born March 15, 2018
Cason Herald Hensley, son of Diandre & Autumn Brooke (Pulliam, ‘13)Hensley Born March 24, 2019
Hendrix Ford McDonald, son of Daniel (‘10) & Amber (Wiginton, ‘10) McDonald Born March 16, 2019
Silas Samuel Clayton, son of Samuel & Kasey (Porter, ‘11) Clayton Born March 25, 2019
Brandon Lee Oliver, son of Todd (‘11) & Jenna (Adair, ‘15) Oliver Born November 19, 2018
James Wesley Timbes, son of Jonathan (‘13) & Nicole (Edwards, ‘12) Timbes Born November 12, 2018
Future Eagles, continued
David Townsend Rock, son of John David (‘11) & Camille (Kingsley, ‘14) Rock Born November 17, 2018
Maggie Wallin, daughter of Matt (‘05) & Ashlei Wallin Born April 4, 2018
Archie Woodring, son of Nathan & Leigh (Walker, '07) Woodring, Born November 28, 2018
Alumni Summer Reunion June 21-22, 2019
Call your Friends!
Supporter Spotlight: Jason Akins
l-r: Stacie Akins, Garrett Akins, and Jason Akins
Successful business owner, Jason Akins became a faithful supporter of Faulkner University after hearing about the university from a friend. The more he and his wife Stacie learned about the school and began interacting with people associated with the university, the more he wanted to support the school and its Christian mission. “When I began to meet people from Faulkner and attend some of the events, I was impressed,” Akins said. “Everyone was organized and they went about their business professionally and they definitely put religion and their faith as a priority which meant a lot to me.” Akins is the proud owner of Akins Furniture, in Fort Payne, Alabama, a company that has been in his family for generations and has grown over the years. When he heard Faulkner was in need of furniture for several new student areas on campus, he jumped at the opportunity to help and donated several dozen large pieces of furniture and décor to the cause.
His donated pieces were used to create a new student cinema room, commuter lounge, updated game room and other such areas to improve the quality of life for students. He also serves the university now as a member of the Board of Trustees and contributes to the university regularly when the university hosts special events including sponsoring a table at the university’s annual Benefit Dinner each year. “For anyone looking for a place to donate, Faulkner University is definitely a good place,” Akins said. “They stand for what they believe and it’s a good place for a young adult to get a good education as well as becoming mature in their Christianity.” “Faulkner brings young people from all over. Some of them are members of the church and some are not, but they are all treated the same. Some are even saved because of that, and that means a great deal to me.”
5345 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, Alabama 36109
Faulkner University is a private, Christian liberal arts university based in Montgomery, Alabama. With a mission to provide an education anc...
Published on Apr 16, 2019
Faulkner University is a private, Christian liberal arts university based in Montgomery, Alabama. With a mission to provide an education anc...