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ON TOP OF HER GAME 14   AROUND THE CAPSTONE 24   GUAC N' ROLL 30


06 IN THIS ISSUE  WINTER 2017  /  ISSUE 12

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FROM THE VICE PRESIDENT 04  06

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Foster finds her home at the Capstone through a trio of organizations

STUDENT SPOTLIGHTS Meet five UA students who are making their mark during their time at UA

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Project Health and Gamma impact UA students across campus with a twist on programming

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT  |  Stasia Foster

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COVER STORY | Squad Goals

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT  |  John Bolus STAFF SPOTLIGHT  |  Courtney Thomas AROUND THE CAPSTONE   FOR YOUR INFORMATION  |  Guac n' Roll Check out this healthy recipe for protein-packed guacamole from UA’s registered dietitian

On the cover: The Project Health and Gamma team impacts thousands of UA students with their Health Hut at various locations on campus.

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CONNECT CAPSTONE MAGAZINE

SL.UA.EDU  #BAMASTUDENTLIFE uastudents    BamaStudentLife    BamaStudentLife


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30 Blackburn Institute Career Center Center for Service and Leadership Counseling Center Dean of Students

VICE PRESIDENT FOR STUDENT LIFE David L. Grady, PhD DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL RELATIONS

External Relations Ferguson Student Center First Year Experience and Retention Initiatives Fraternity and Sorority Life

Robert E. Hayes III, PhD EDITOR Jessie Patterson Jones DESIGNER Christy L. Moody

Health Promotion and Wellness Housing and Residential Communities Parent and Family Programs Student Care and Well-Being Student Conduct

student life DEPARTMENTS

Assessment and Planning

Student Government Association Student Health Center and Pharmacy Student Involvement

PHOTOGRAPHY Jeff Hanson Zach Riggins Matthew Wood

Student Media University Programs University Recreation Veteran and Military Affairs Women and Gender Resource Center

For address changes, alumni notes, or story ideas, email studentlife@ua.edu. The University of Alabama is an equal opportunity educational institution/employer.

Address correspondence to: The University of Alabama Student Life, Box 870301 Tuscaloosa, ALWINTER 354872016

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TOP 50

PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES

IN THE NATION 

STUDENT LIFE

MAXIMIZES EACH

STUDENT’S LEARNING

EXPERIENCES 

#2

MILITARY

COLLEGE IN THE NATION

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DEPARTMENTS

IN STUDENT LIFE 

#BAMACREED KNOWLEDGE RESPECT INCLUSION RESPONSIBILITY EXCELLENCE


Each semester at The University of Alabama begins with a flurry of activity as administrators, faculty, staff, and students work to make the most of the new term’s opportunities. The fall semester was full of hard work, some fun, and a few challenges as we worked to welcome 7,559 new students to campus, while serving a record-high UA student population of 37,665. We are excited to announce that we have transitioned from the Division of Student Affairs to the Division of Student Life, effective January 1, 2017. Because each of our departments are essential to the student experience and engagement in the lives of students aligns with our mission, the name Student Life better defines our day-to-day work of engaging with our students and investing in their success.

DAVID L. GRADY, PhD VICE PRESIDENT FOR STUDENT LIFE

I hope you will join us in celebrating this change, as well as welcoming the Student Health Center and Pharmacy and Health Promotion and Wellness to Student Life. In this issue of Capstone, you will read about how their peer education teams are working to impact their fellow students. You’ll also read about how many outstanding students are getting involved in their own realms, and how one alumnus is giving back thanks to the examples his UA mentors set for him. The creativity of our students, staff, and alumni never fail to amaze me. These are exciting times for The University of Alabama, and we are grateful for the support you have shown both our institution and the Division of Student Life. Roll Tide,

Right: Grady embraces his son Rob at UA’s Spring 2015 commencement ceremonies.

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SQUAD GOALS Project Health and Gamma impact UA students with a twist on programming

By Jessie Patterson Jones

A

quick stroll around campus often highlights changes to the Capstone. From new buildings to a larger student body, things have changed for students, faculty, staff, and alumni alike.

If you look closer, you might see a more subtle change, but one that hundreds of students have put tens of thousands of hours into bringing about. Walk from Bidgood Hall to Denny Chimes, and a navy shirt with “Kale” emblazoned across the front might catch your eye. Head for Gorgas Library, and a quick glance at a student’s “Squad” shirt could make you look closer. While the front of

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Project Health & Gamma COVER STORY

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AREAS HEALTH AMBASSADORS

HEALTH ADVOCATES

HEALTH HUT

GAMMA

60

HOURS OF PROGRAMMING PER WEEK

1 ON 1

STUDENTS TO STUDENT INTERACTIONS

60,000

YEARLY STUDENT

INTERACTIONS

3,000 students reached per week

160

2 STAFF

MEMBERS

MEMBERS

2

GRADUATE ASSISTANTS

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the TEAM

41 STUDENT LEADERS

the shirt plays into pop culture, the back shares a different message, detailing how to engage in active bystander intervention. Keep going across campus toward the Ferguson Student Center, and you’ll stumble across a small crimson and white structure and be beckoned to stop and talk to the Health Hut team. They want to share games, t-shirts, stress relievers and even condoms. All are part of a program working to educate students at The University of Alabama on how to take the best care of themselves that they can. From sharing mental health awareness to stress relief tips and promoting healthy sexual practices to self care, Project Health and Gamma is taking student health issues and topics and addressing them to students, by students.

BEHIND THE SCENES Project Health and Gamma features four branches: Health Ambassadors, Health Hut, Health Advocates, and Gamma. With more than 160 students involved, the student-led program comprises two student organizations, and has become something of a campus icon in recent years. Project Health and Gamma is led by a team of 41 students, and supported by two staff members and two graduate assistants, “Project Health and Gamma are the go-to sources for peer health education on campus at UA. They implement community health programs for college students,” said Brittney Vigna, a Project Health and Gamma advisor and assistant director of health promotion and wellness. Team members tackle health issues and topics with their own spin, as well as a peer-to-peer connection that is proven to make a difference.


“Our Project Health and Gamma students pitch their own ideas. They make all their own materials. We lead them, and help make sure information is accurate,” said Vigna. “I fully believe in college students and their ability to impact one another and positively impact their campus. It shows that students listen to other students and they are more heavily impacted by other students. It shows that they can make change.” The 160 members of Project Health and Gamma engage in on-campus programming for 60 hours each week, reaching more than 3,000 students. The work these peer health educators do is groundbreaking and far-reaching, as they interact with students 60,000 times each academic year. “Nationally, there isn’t really an evaluation model for what we do,” said Charlotte Petonic, a Project Health and Gamma advisor and assistant director of health promotion and wellness. “This year, Brittney and I are piloting our first true evaluation of interactions. All of our program materials are being made based off of learning outcomes.” What may seem like quick and fun interactions regarding health to students, is actually so much more to their peer educators. “We are trying to check for knowledge and understanding so we can show that we are having quality interactions on campus and that students are learning from what we are doing,” Petonic said. Both Vigna and Petonic have backgrounds in public health, Vigna with a master’s of public health and Petonic with a master’s of education in health promotion. With Project Health and Gamma, they have helped transform the program into a model that is sought after across the nation. “Peer education effectiveness by topic, it doesn’t exist,” Petonic said. “There isn’t any literature on how to evaluate the effectiveness of your program, so that’s what we are in the process

WITH MORE THAN 160 STUDENTS INVOLVED, THE STUDENT-LED PROGRAM COMPRISES TWO STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS, AND HAS BECOME SOMETHING OF A CAMPUS ICON IN RECENT YEARS. WINTER 2017

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of creating. The traditional ‘How many students are attending and how much stuff you have given out?’ isn’t a good model.” Olivia Gobble, a senior majoring in chemistry, began working with Project Health and Gamma in August 2014. After serving as a health topic team coordinator for multiple semesters, she was elected to serve as president of the entire group. For Gobble, it is the impact she can have on her fellow students that drives her. “There are very few student-run organizations on campus that have the ability to save a life,” she said. “We reach 3,000 students each week.” With topics including sexual health and alcohol safety, Gobble said she knows the impact Project Health and Gamma can have on a student early on can change the course of that student’s time at UA. “We want to catch them early, and teach them how to be safe now,” she said. “That’s going to help them now, but also throughout their lives.”

IN THE SPOTLIGHT To reach UA’s student body, it can take a creative — and sometimes in your face — approach to make information register with them. Project Health and Gamma is known for shying away from normal, and bringing student health hot topics into the spotlight.

From iconic T-shirts that push students to think in new ways to irreverent buttons that play off of pop culture, Project Health and Gamma is reaching students on their level. The reason that approach works is because the creativity on display belongs to the Project Health students, Vigna said. “People see handouts and buttons, but I don’t know if they know how much work goes into this program,” Vigna said. “Our students put their own thoughts, work, and creativity into this. This is theirs, because all of their hard work goes into this. When you read the information they put together, it’s impressive to see what these students are capable of.” The average student works five hours each week, with students in leadership working anywhere from five to 15 hours each week. All are unpaid students volunteering their time to make a difference. Lucas Nelson, a junior majoring in biology and philosophy, serves as director of the health ambassadors. He said it has been a very rewarding experience to be able to teach his peers. “When you communicate to them something tangible about bystander intervention and you see the light go on for them, that’s huge,” he said. “We’re able to reach a group of people that may be aware of issues, but probably not the details and definitely not how they can help.”

“WE’RE ABLE TO REACH A GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT MAY BE AWARE OF ISSUES, BUT PROBABLY NOT THE DETAILS AND DEFINITELY NOT HOW THEY CAN HELP.” —LUCAS NELSON WINTER 2017

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HEALTH AMBASSADORS

HEALTH HUT

Health ambassadors focus more on reaching the freshman population each year. Each Wednesday, they host Healthy Hump Day tabling. In addition, these ambassadors handle residence hall programming requests from resident advisors and classroom presentations requested by professors.

The Health Hut is the most visible branch of Project Health and Gamma, traveling the campus and playing host to countless 1-on-1 interactions. The Health Hut team’s goal is to get students walking by to retain the information they are providing. The Hut will travel to numerous locations, helping students to program for 40 hours each week.

HEALTH ADVOCATES

GAMMA

Health advocates tackle informal conversations surrounding health, targeting students who might not interact with the Health Hut. While the end goal and outcome are the same, these interactions take place at bus stops and walking to class. Health advocates cover the same talking points, have the same interaction, and provide the student with the same promo item they might have received at the Hut that week.

Gamma serves a more focused student population. Gamma uses a mix of the tactics from the other three branches, while targeting members of the UA fraternity and sorority community. Each Tuesday and Thursday at lunch, they table in greek houses. Those evenings, members move to Tutwiler Hall and the Witt Student Activity Center. Gamma also presents to each sorority throughout the year, along with many fraternities.

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“THERE ARE VERY FEW STUDENT-RUN ORGANIZATIONS ON CAMPUS THAT HAVE THE ABILITY TO SAVE A LIFE,” SHE SAID. “WE REACH 3,000 STUDENTS EACH WEEK.” —OLIVIA GOBBLE

After health ambassador programming takes place, more and more students will know what to do when they are at a bar or party and see a friend talking with someone who might not have the best of intentions.

Overall, the difference Project Health and Gamma has made on campus is a large one — and it’s continuing to grow. But its impact reaches even further among the students who join the peer education team each year.

“In our programming, we put them in verbal situations and ask them what they can do to combat the situation,” he said. “I think interactions like that make a major difference on campus.”

“We are able to provide a home group away from home,” Vigna said. “I feel like with peer educators, a lot of these people who become friends would never have met each other another way, and I love seeing students bond over a shared interest that is making positive, productive change.” n

Gobble is quick to point out that the Project Health and Gamma students benefit greatly from their advisory team, Petonic and Vigna. “Honestly, had they not come in, I don’t think this organization would be anywhere near where it is,” Gobble said. “That is one of the most important things that could have happened, having two advisors who love this organization in such different ways is incredible. They are both so passionate about it in different ways. Brittney is incredible with messaging, and Charlotte is so passionate about sexual health. “I’ve been on other exec boards for other groups, and they are the best advisors I have ever seen.”

WINTER 2016


STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

STASIA FOSTER Foster has proven she’s a leader on multiple playing fields. HOMETOWN: Austin, Texas YEAR: Junior

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her

Foster finds her home at UA through recruiting, dancing, and leading

By Jessie Patterson Jones Stasia Foster always dreamed of going to college to dance. A dancer since the age of 3, it was always just a given. When it came time to look at colleges, the Austin, Texas, native knew she wanted to leave her home state.

looking for another college to call home had just the opposite effect. “I had a change of heart,” Foster said. “And I’m so glad I did. It turns out, The University of Alabama actually is my place.”

But Foster didn’t count on it being hard to find a school that felt like home when she started her search. UA was in the running, but with classical "I didn’t expect to be the first ballet being a priority in UA’s to do anything. I was just dance program, she didn’t trying to help out where I’m think that was for her.

Foster enrolled at UA for the Fall 2014 semester, happy but unsure of where she fit at her new home away from home.

“I got here and had no idea about so many things,” she needed." —Stasia Foster said. “I didn’t grow up going “It was hard to find a school to football games. And I was I loved and felt comfortable at,” she said. “I wanted to be in a big city or big college definitely the girl who didn’t want to give up her high school resume during my freshman year.” town. I wanted to see something new. I had grown up coming to Alabama, but was actually watching the Foster — a perpetually over-involved high school 2013 Iron Bowl game rooting for the wrong team.” student — knew she needed to make some connections Foster decided to give UA a chance, and auditioned for on campus, and signed up to take part in the Alabama Panhellenic Association’s fall formal sorority the Crimson Cabaret dance team before her recruitment as a freshman. freshman year. She made it to the final round before being cut. What could have put her on the path of

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make adjustments to make sure everything is running smoothly. We are a small army.” Foster said she dreams of a job working in event operations at Madison Square Garden, and her experiences with Alabama Football will help her get there. “I love the entertainment and the sports side of operations,” she said. “I kind of want it all — and I’m okay with that.” She fell in love with the Alpha Chi Omega chapter during recruitment, and received a bid to become a member. “I got here and didn’t know what to do, but I knew I had to get plugged in, so I went through recruitment,” Foster said. “It was so awesome. I loved Alpha Chi throughout the process, and knew that’s exactly what I wanted to be a part of.” As she found her home in Alpha Chi, Foster began to find her academic niche as well. She began asking questions and picking the brains of her older Alpha Chi sisters, along with her resident advisor, about their studies. She realized that her declared major of telecommunication and film wasn’t quite the route she wanted to take. Foster made a switch in UA’s College of Communication & Information Sciences to study public relations with a focus on sports and entertainment.

Recruit

At the end of her freshman year, Foster applied to be a member of UA’s Student Recruitment Team, because older Alpha Chis told her,

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“Do everything” and pushed her to get more involved. UA’s SRT members serve as hosts to prospective students and student athletes through tours, lunches, info sessions, gameday activities and more. Earning a spot on the team gave Foster a better idea of how large-scale athletics operations work and continued to reaffirm that she had chosen a path for her studies that she would love as a career. When she rolled off the SRT after one year, it wasn’t because she had had her fill. Foster earned a job as a recruiting operations assistant within UA’s Athletics Department. While her gameday duties still looked much the same, during the week she switched her focus to Alabama Football’s recruiting operations. “I felt like I’d gotten my feet wet on the Student Recruitment Team and could be an asset, so I went for it,” Foster said. “I really got a taste of working for the Alabama Football program. I can say that I’m so excited I got to see two sides of it, because that’s what I needed to know I needed more of a background in operations. We stay in the background and

Dance

As Foster transitioned to her first year as a recruiting operations assistant, she expanded her oncampus involvement as a junior by serving as the SGA Homecoming director of choreography. She had previously served on the Homecoming rules and regulations committee, and knew she’d love to stay involved with it. Dr. Rosalind Moore-Miller, the Homecoming advisor and director of Student Involvement at UA, knew exactly where to put Foster when they discussed her interests.


“She told me ‘You love dance, I can’t put you anywhere else,’” Foster said. “And doing it was great. “You really do learn how to navigate as a leader around the entire campus. It was about all of UA, not just one of my organizations.”

Lead

As the Fall 2016 semester came to a close, Foster made history at The University of Alabama. On Oct. 5, 2016, she was elected president of Alpha Chi Omega. Among her sisters, there was no discussion of why Foster was unique. She had served the chapter well as vice president for public relations and marketing the previous year. Among those who knew Foster’s reputation and resume, there was no surprise. But for the first time, a National Panhellenic Conference sorority that participates in formal recruitment at The University of Alabama had selected an African-American woman to lead their chapter. Foster is the second-ever African-American woman selected to lead her APA chapter, following Hannah Patterson’s election as chapter president for Sigma Delta Tau in 2013. “I’m honored, because I know the responsibility it takes,” Foster said. “And for the first time, I know this is where I’m supposed to be. I feel completely comfortable in this leadership position. I didn’t expect

to be the first to do anything. I was just trying to help out where I’m needed. “A lot of people come here to UA and say ‘this is what I want to do.” People go through these four years knowing what they want. That wasn’t me. I never knew that this was even available to me.” While Foster said her election was something that just happened, those who have worked with her feel differently. “Stasia is truly loved by everyone in the chapter. It was very apparent in the election process that she was the woman our chapter felt was best equipped to lead us through the 2017 year,” said Caroline Fulmer, Alpha Chi Omega’s advisor and an assistant professor of consumer sciences. “While I do not think she joined Alpha Chi Omega planning to take the helm as the president, each step she took just seemed to keep her on that path.” For Foster, it is the behind the scenes work that keeps her going — even while her election has landed her in the spotlight as a leader. “Being the first and being able to represent an organization that has changed my life, I can only hope that I can make as big of an impact on someone else’s life as they made on my life,” Foster said. n

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STUDENT

SPOTLIGHTS Meet some of UA's outstanding students Jared Hunter

Hometown: Wetumpka, Alabama Year: Junior Major: Political science Minor: Economics Involvement: SGA director of engagement, Blackburn Institute, Theta Chi Fraternity alumni chairman, SaveFirst Tax Preparation program campus fellow, BelieveUA mentor, Order of Alpha honor society “I have loved being involved at UA for a number of reasons, notably the amazing relationships I’ve built with other students and the different opinions and viewpoints I’ve been met with. We have such a diverse campus, and it’s been incredibly rewarding and personally formative to have the opportunity to work with students from so many different backgrounds.”

Lillian Roth

Hometown: Montgomery, Alabama Year: Junior Major: Public relations and political science Minor: Social innovation & leadership Involvement: SGA president, Chi Omega recruitment chair, University Fellow, Blackburn Institute, Cardinal Key Honor Society, Lean On: Alabama student advisory committee "The University of Alabama provides each student with the resources and community to learn, grow and flourish during their time on campus. My involvement in various organizations at UA, and specifically the Student Government Association, has fostered an undeniable commitment to serving students and bettering my community. Balancing the work of a full-time college student while also planning large scale programs and building positive relationships with students from various backgrounds has truly shaped my experience at the Capstone."

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Justin Lomax

Hometown: Knoxville, Tennessee Year: Senior Major: Biology Minor: Spanish Involvement: Arts & Sciences ambassador, Good Samaritan Clinic volunteer, Tuscaloosa Parks & Recreation Authority soccer coach, Serbia Fellowship Experience, former Parent Ambassador, former Project Health team leader “I was really fortunate to find a good community here [at UA]. I try to do things where I find genuine fulfillment because I enjoy doing it. I found the most growth in interacting with people.”

Marissa Navarro

Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan Year: Sophomore Major: International relations Minor: Spanish; Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies Involvement: Hispanic-Latino Association founder, UA Crossroads, Serve Better Together interfaith service project “Coming [to UA] was a huge step for me and my family, because I’m a first generation university student. We love our heritage, and we love what we do, so just being able to share that with people is a big part of why I wanted to build an organization like the Hispanic-Latino Association.”

Justin Washington

Hometown: Tuscaloosa, Alabama Year: Senior Major: Public relations Minor: Civic engagement and leadership Involvement: Communications director for The Source, resident advisor for Paty Hall, ambassador for the College of Communication & Information Sciences, member of the Grandeur Gentleman’s Coterie, Boys & Girls Club of Tuscaloosa volunteer “My motto is do it with passion or don’t do it at all.”

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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

Faithful, loyal, firm

Bolus maintains Capstone connections By Jessie Patterson Jones For John Bolus, his University of Alabama roots run deep, and seem to grow a little more each year. Bolus, a 1984 UA graduate, said he originally fell in love with the Capstone in high school when two family friends, Tony Nathan and Jeff Rutledge, were recruited to play for Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. “That strengthened a desire I had to go to the University just based on a lot of the football tradition I got to witness as a youngster,” he said. As a high school senior, Bolus said he learned of the strength of UA’s business program, and thought he might like to pursue a business degree. Ultimately, he enrolled at the Capstone in 1980 as a pre-law major with a concentration in finance in UA’s business school. Bolus quickly got involved with the Student Government Association. “I just really found that to be a way I could channel my energy and pursue what I thought were good things for the student body at Alabama,” he said. Bolus’ efforts paid off, and during his junior year, he was elected SGA president. While it was his election that cemented his place in UA’s history, it was the inspiration and mentorship of two long-time campus administrative and faculty leaders that have continued to inspire him to give back.

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In addition to other roles during his career on campus, Melford Espey Jr., served as the advisor to the Student Government Association for many years, including Bolus’ year as president. “He really influenced me, served as a mentor in my life,” Bolus said. “He was a great example of someone who wanted to make sure that students had all the support he could give them to take on responsibility and develop the leadership skills they would need later in life.” Soon after his election, Bolus received another special honor when he was awarded the 1983 John Fraser Ramsey Award, one of the University’s Premier Awards. “As a junior, I received that award and learned about someone who was a great example of giving to the University community,” Bolus said. The Ramsey Award is given in honor of Professor John Fraser Ramsey, a longtime history department chairman who affected the lives of countless students during his tenure. “You talk about someone who gave back to the University, and Dr. John Ramsey gave everything that he had essentially,” Bolus said. “He gave to so many students in need over the years – there are just so many stories about him. Late in his life, people literally found that he had given everything away.” Following graduation, the Ramsey Award served to keep


& true Bolus closely connected to the University. He became a member of the Ramsey board of directors, a position he has maintained to this day. “Besides football, the Ramsey Award has kept me coming back each year to be with the newest student who is awarded the honor, as we remember Dr. Ramsey, his enjoyment of life and learning, and his legacy of giving,” Bolus said. “That has been a very strong connection for me, and I’m excited that we are about to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the award in April 2017.” With such a strong UA history, Bolus said he’s not sure his children, Audrey and Harris, understood that they had a choice of where to go. “They did have a choice, but both of my children chose to go to The University of Alabama and I’m really proud of that,” he said. Both are currently students at UA, making for some great family reunions at the Capstone. “They’ve taken their own paths at the University,” Bolus said. “There’s a lot

of comfort in knowing that they are in Tuscaloosa, which is in close proximity to home, but is also a place I’m so familiar with and comfortable with. Knowing the Division of Student Life the way I do, I have comfort knowing the kinds of programs that are there to support them.” When Audrey, now a senior, enrolled at UA, John and his wife Mary became involved with the Student Life Leadership Council which works with administrators to advise on long-range planning, support the division financially, and function as an advocacy group. Their involvement in the council continued as Harris joined the Bama family in Fall 2016. “It’s been a great experience for us, being a part of that group,” he said. “I had kept up with Student Affairs — now Student Life — and had come to certain events to honor those former administrators who had really made a

difference in my time on campus. I really love getting back to campus a couple of times each year and being immersed in what is being done to enhance campus life for our students.” Bolus, who lives in Birmingham with his wife, Mary, and is a shareholder at Maynard, Cooper & Gale, is currently serving as the 2016-2017 SLLC chair. He said his continued support for and involvement with the University goes back to one simple thing. “If you think about the purpose of the University, it’s to provide an education for our young people, but it’s also a very formative time for them,” he said. “I found my experience at UA to be a time to gain training about what I would need to do as an adult in the business world. I want to make the University the best it can be to shape these new young leaders who are going out into the world.” n

“I really love getting back to campus a couple of times each year and being immersed in what is being done to enhance campus life for our students.” —John Bolus WINTER 2017

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STAFF SPOTLIGHT

CHASING

THE MOMENT

Thomas teaches students to make an impact

through service

By Jessie Patterson Jones Courtney Thomas didn’t realize she could have a career doing the things she loved. After growing up with a passion for service, she went to college thinking she’d pursue a career in politics or government and work to make a difference in those arenas. “At the time, I thought serving and loving others was a passion, but not a job,” Thomas said. After her freshman year at Auburn University, Thomas went to southern Africa with a family friend whose parents were humanitarian workers. That trip changed everything. “I just absolutely fell in love with the work, and knew that was it. I wanted to find a way to do that for a living,” she said. Thomas quickly switched her major to social work, and earned her degree — finding new routes for service all the way through college. After graduation, she went on to earn a master’s of social work at Baylor University and embarked on a career that led her to UA in August 2013 to lead the

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Center for Service and Leadership within the Division of Student Life. “This job is my sweet spot. It is where my skills, talent, and education meet my passion and my heart,” Thomas said. “I feel that there is no other place I could thrive like I do here. I get to take all of that knowledge and passion, and I get to expose students to that.” Thomas loves to put students in position to have their “aha” moment. “That is my favorite moment in higher education, and we get to give that every day through our experiences,” she said. “It’s that moment when students realize there are real problems in the world, and realize they are really a part of the solution.” The Center for Service and Leadership coordinates programs that involve the entire campus in an effort to unify students, faculty, and staff through service to others. It also hosts consistent, weekly service events led by student staff


members, who serve on Community Action Teams. One of those teams - Beyond Bama: Alternative Breaks - focuses on organizing trips for the UA student body during fall, winter, and spring breaks. Alternative break trips allow students to travel to communities within the US and across the world to engage in service and experiential learning.

“I LOVE C OLLEGE STUDENT S BECAUS E THEY AREN’T J ADED. TH EY TRULY BE LIEVE TH EY CAN CHANGE THE WOR LD, AND I LO VE THAT .” —COURT NEY THO MAS

For the last five breaks, UA has sent students to Nicaragua to serve as part of the Nicaraguan Compact, which is a coalition of 15 universities committed to ethical and sustainable change with Panorama Service Expeditions. So far in her career, Thomas has already served in 30 countries across the globe, but Nicaragua holds a special place in her heart. In six trips to Nicaragua, she said she has fallen in love with the people and their rich history and culture. “The Nicaraguan people encounter things that seem very insurmountable through an American lens, but they take everything in stride and they’re successful,” she said. “We are giving our students the type of experience and creating the type of environment where that true citizenship is formed,” she said. “I feel like I’m teaching students why they should jump in, showing them how to jump in, and then they are creating a dam so people don’t have to fall through those cracks anymore. It’s wonderful.” For Thomas, passing her knowledge and love for service on to her students is how she knows she can multiply her impact. “I can only do so much. I can take my passion into another career, but only I can serve,” she said. “Working in Student Life, I am teaching other students to care about the world. Imagine what else can happen because now hundreds and hopefully thousands of students will grow up to care about the world? “I love college students because they aren’t jaded. They truly believe they can change the world, and I love that.” To learn more about the Center for Service and Leadership, along with the Beyond Bama team, visit volunteer.ua.edu. n

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Around the Capstone

A look at UA Student Life

Pictures for photo story

AT THE TOP, AGAIN Once again, the Alabama Panhellenic Association hosted the largest recruitment in the nation with 2,669 women participating in the first round of recruitment known as Open House. Of the 2,488 women receiving bids, 609 were from Alabama and 1,879 were from out-of-state, for an overall match rate of 93 percent. The University of Alabama tops the national average for women receiving a bid during formal recruitment, which is 79 percent of the Open House pool.

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WELCOME HOME

CAMP 1831 GIVES BACK

It takes a village to welcome the 8,266 students who live on campus, and help them move in and get settled in UA residence halls. Almost 700 volunteers turned out to help welcome the Class of 2020 to The University of Alabama, including 240 volunteers from 53 different student organizations. More than 100 UA staff members teamed up with 340 community volunteers to make move-in a success as well.

More than 270 campers took part in Camp 1831, an extended orientation program centered around adventure, leadership, service, and history & tradition. In collaboration with UA’s Center for Leadership and Service, participants were given the opportunity to serve in the Tuscaloosa community during the annual Camp 1831 Service Day. This year, camp participants gave back to their new community by serving local elementary schools through painting, cleaning, and sprucing up the outdoor areas.

A SCRIPTED BEGINNING To kick off the new academic year and formally welcome the Class of 2020 to the Capstone, University Programs hosted Convocation and the “Script A.” Convocation showcased the values of UA by introducing new students to the Capstone Creed. Following a brief ceremony and barbecue, students headed to the field at Bryant-Denny Stadium to take a class photo in the shape of the “Script A.” It took 22 UA students more than 2,000 hours to plan and implement this first-ever addition to Convocation.

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AROUND THE CAPSTONE

PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE

STAY WELL

The Career Center hosted more than 200 employers on campus for the biannual General Interest & Business and Technical & Engineering Career Fairs on Sept. 21-22, 2016. More than 2,600 students attended, and 520 interviews were conducted immediately following the two fairs. The Career Center also hosted its second Diverse Reverse Career Fair, featuring 18 diverse student organizations presenting to representatives from several different companies.

The Student Health Center and Pharmacy hosted the fall Student Health Fairs on Sept. 14, during Fall Wellness Week. More than 550 students attended the fair, where more than 25 organizations were set up to educate students on campus health and wellbeing resources. The Spring Student Health Fair, which will focus on safe spring break, is scheduled for March 8, 2017.

BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE The Ferguson Student Center has become the new hub for students during away games for the Crimson Tide. This football season, the Ferg staff planned watch parties in the ballroom for each away game – including big screens, scholarships, free food, games, and prizes. More than 2,600 students attended eight watch parties to cheer on the Tide. The Alabama at LSU game was the biggest draw, with 556 students filling the ballroom to watch the game.

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NEW FACES IN LEADERSHIP

GET ON BOARD

The Division of Student Life has welcomed new leadership to the division in recent months.

To help students start the year making new connections, Student Involvement hosts Get On Board Day. For Fall 2016, more than 15,000 students came out to find out how to get involved with 307 student organizations all in one place.

Melinda King Executive Director of the Career Center

Dr. Robert E. Hayes, III Director of External Relations

Jeremy Henderson Director of Student Care and Well-Being

Dr. Mary Lee Caldwell Director of Student Governance and Citizenship

Andre Love Executive Director of University Recreation

Erika Mason-Imbody Assistant to the Vice President

Kim Sterritt Director of Parent and Family Programs

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AROUND THE CAPSTONE

ALL IN THE FAMILY

GRADUATION

More than 1,100 families traveled to Tuscaloosa for UA Family Weekend 2016 on Sept. 23-25 to join their student for a weekend of festivities. Family Weekend featured three signature events, including the Beach Bash, Family Weekend Tailgate, and the Student Life Jazz Brunch. More than 2,000 people attended the tailgate, which took place before the Alabama vs. Kent State football game. Throughout the weekend, more than 60 student volunteers served as hosts, along with the First Year Experience and Parent Programs staff in hosting this event.

UA celebrated winter commencement exercises on Dec. 10 to award more than 2,200 diplomas. Congratulations to our graduates!

A LEGENDARY LEGACY Students, alumni and friends gathered to celebrate The University of Alabama’s Homecoming against Kentucky on Oct. 1, 2016. With the theme of “A Legendary Legacy: Honor, Build, Live,” the week leading up to the big game was full of campus activities and competitions. To end the week, Alabama claimed a 34-6 victory over the Wildcats.

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INITIAL IMPACT More than 500 students participated in the largest Ripple Effect at The University of Alabama to date. Ripple Effect, hosted by the Center for Service and Leadership, takes place the Monday before classes begin to help students find a way to give back to their college community. “Every year I am amazed by the true selflessness of so many college students,” said Courtney Thomas, director of the center. “For Ripple Effect, our students get up early, work hard in the August heat and do it all with smiles on their faces. I love seeing them reach beyond themselves and serve with our community.” Through Ripple Effect 2016, students served 21 local nonprofits.

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FOR YOUR INFORMATION

FOR YOUR INFORMATION: Guac n' Roll

The Student Health Center and Pharmacy offers many different ways to help students stay healthy during their time at UA. Sheena Gregg is a registered dietitian nutritionist, and splits her time between counseling students and spreading her message of healthy eating across campus. From speaking to student groups and teams to performing cooking demonstrations at the Ferguson Student Center or on-campus farmer’s markets, Gregg said she loves what she gets to do and the impact it can have on students lives. “Working as a dietitian on a college campus, I love empowering our campus community with fun and convenient ways to eat healthy,” she said. “Recipes that are

cost-effective and encourage students to try new foods are my favorite.” Gregg’s cooking demonstrations have definitely increased in popularity on campus over the past year. “By doing more cooking demos on campus, I have learned that our participants enjoy learning certain kitchen skills in person and appreciate the opportunity to ask me questions about recipe modifications,” she said. “Every day I feel like I have the best job in the world.” n

Get Healthy! Students see a nutritionist for a variety of reasons, not just eating disorders. Gregg said she loves helping students build healthy relationships with food.

Appointments with Gregg are $20, and are charged to student bills, with no insurance needed.

When students make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian, they can have custom meal plans built to meet their needs.

Appointments can be made online, via the student patient portal located in myBama or by calling 205-348-2778. No walk-in service is available.

Sheena Gregg, MS, RDN, LD Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Student Health Center and Pharmacy

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Gregg is available to present to student groups as well as employee groups – and yes, cooking demonstrations are included.


! m u y

Spicy High Protein Guacamole

Ingredients:

1 16 oz. container low-fat cottage cheese or 16 oz. plain Greek yogurt 1 large ripe avocado 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 can corn, drained 2 small tomatoes, diced 1 jalapeĂąo (or green bell pepper) seeded and diced 4 green onions, diced 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce, depending on preferred spice level 1 tsp garlic salt Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Combine cottage cheese (or Greek yogurt) and avocado in a food processor or blender until smooth. Transfer cottage cheese to medium bowl and add all other ingredients. Stir to combine.

Serve with:

Tortilla chips or raw veggies such as carrots, celery or sliced cucumber. Can also be used to top taco salads. WINTER 2016 WINTER 2017

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

a story to tell

Students are the heart of The University of Alabama, and so the Division of Student Life loves to tell their stories – as well as the stories of those who impact our students. Visit our website to check out fun feature stories about students, as well as Q&A stories featuring faculty and staff.

read their stories at

SL.UA.EDU

PICTURED (L TO R): Lonnie Strickland Justin Lomax Merinda Simmons Justin Washington Catherine Roach Rhiannon Hein

CAPSTONE MAGAZINE MAGAZINE 3232 CAPSTONE

Capstone Magazine — Winter 2017  

The University of Alabama - Division of Student Life

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