Category: Community Affairs Board of Advisors

Britt Puts Another Crack in the Glass Ceiling as Chief of Staff

KatieBritt_ChiefofStaff

MONTGOMERY—At a time when Democrats are trumpeting the cracks made in the glass ceiling separating women from the highest positions in government, Alabama’s Republican Senior Senator Richard Shelby, quietly opened a new fissure by hiring Katie Boyd Britt as his new Chief of Staff.

“Katie is a talented and hardworking professional, whose energy and knowledge of the State will be an asset to my office,” said Sen. Shelby of her hiring. “I am excited to have her rejoin our team as my new Chief of Staff, and I look forward to her work to help me serve the people of Alabama.”

Britt formerly served as Shelby’s Press Secretary and more recently, as Deputy Campaign Manager and Spokeswoman for Shelby for US Senate 2016. She left the law firm of Butler Snow to rejoin the Senator’s team in September.

Britt’s petite frame and welcoming smile, on occasion, belie her tenacity of spirit, quick mind and fierce loyalty. Born in Enterprise, Alabama, Britt’s rise to prominence in politics surprises no one who knows her.

She is married to former Alabama and New England Patriots offensive tackle, Wesley Britt. The couple have two children, Bennett (7-year-old girl) and Ridgeway (6-year-old boy).

After being informed of his wife’s opportunity to serve the country, Wesley didn’t hesitate to encourage her to heed Senator Shelby’s request, even though it meant uprooting the family from Alabama.

Wesley, who is an up and coming professional with Alabama Power, put his wife’s opportunity above his career, something Katie has confided has given her great pride in him.

Other women hold the Chief of Staff position in the Senate, but Britt is the first from Alabama.

Katie and Westley Britt are not related to APR’s Editor-In-Chief, Bill Britt.

UA Community Affairs Board of Advisors Member Endows Scholarship at Group’s Fall Meeting; Cathy Randall Serves as Guest Speaker

Photos by Jianlong Yang
CCBP Student

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Division of Community Affairs advisory board highlighted its fall meeting with the announcement of an endowed scholarship and a rousing pep talk from a lifetime leader in community service.

Tyrell F. Jordan, a Birmingham attorney and member of the board of advisors, has created a $25,000 endowed scholarship to support students from underrepresented urban communities.

A product of the Birmingham City Schools, Jordan graduated from The University of Alabama in 2001 with a degree in accounting. He received his JD from the UA Law School in 2004. “I always dreamed of serving my community through the practice of law,” said Jordan. “The University of Alabama’s commitment to helping all of its students reach their full potential provided me with an opportunity to fulfill that dream. I want to do my part to ensure that others have that same opportunity.”

Dr. Cathy Randall served as guest speaker for the “Coming Back, Giving Back” dinner gathering, which took place on campus at the Bryant Conference Center Monday, Sept. 26, following one-and-one half days of idea sharing by members of the board of advisors, who also heard from a cross section of UA students. Community Affairs board members and guests, University deans and vice presidents and current student leaders filled the Rast Room as Randall delivered words of encouragement.

Randall, chairman of the board of Pettus Randall Holdings, LLC, and director emerita of UA’s Honors Program, as well as the former chairman of the board of Randall Publishing Company and a former news anchor at CBS-affiliate WCFT-TV, recognized the vision of Dr. Samory Pruitt, vice president for the Division of Community Affairs, in the formation of this board of advisors, as well as the members’ commitment to community engagement and student success.

“Collecting this much talent, in one room, for one cause, has the potential to make a dramatic difference on this campus and in the lives of so many students,” Randall said. “I know of no university that has the vision that Dr. Pruitt has had [in order] to enable, to empower, and to inspire recent student leaders to directly impact a university.”

Randall told board members that they cannot begin to fathom how they can change the world of one individual by their involvement in that individual’s life, and that devising strategies to connect them to their fellow alumni and to individual students could truly be world-changing.

group

“Through Dr. Pruitt, the University of Alabama is laying at your feet resources to put legs on these proposals and others that you will develop that will emerge from your collaborative imagination, passion and experience,” Randall said.

Randall spoke about the definition of alma mater, which literally means fostering, or nurturing, mother. “This University served as our foster mother for those critical first years after leaving our families,” she said. “Your presence on this board demonstrates that you are the rare young person who responds in gratitude with action.

”You’ve been giving back since your undergraduate days and now you’re back to continue to give back in gratitude to this nurturing parent,” she said.

Randall quoted the late Sen. Robert Kennedy from his speech to the young people of South Africa on their Day of Affirmation in 1966. He said, “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation. … It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice. He sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

“The extraordinary generosity with which you’ve given your time to send forth one of those tiny ripples of hope,” Randall said, “will build a current together that will make better this University, this state, this world and the individual worlds of so many students. The opportunities before you are limitless — opportunities to impact the world, to impact the state, and to impact the individual students.”

Randall, who earned two PhD degrees from UA and has been named one of the top 31 women UA graduates of the century, was greeted with thunderous applause and a standing ovation upon the conclusion of her talk.

During the dinner meeting, members of the board of advisors executive committee gave their reports. While on campus, board members participated in “Listen, Learn and Lead” committee work groups and spent time hearing from three student panels on topics including academic success, global leadership and entrepreneurship. Outcomes of this second meeting since its formation in early 2016 included commitments of both time and money from board members in an effort to help current and future students find their roads to success at UA.

The Global and Community Leadership Committee, recognizing the importance of exposure to people and cultures different from your own, will provide financing for two $2,500 scholarships. One will be utilized to offer support for a foreign study opportunity, while the other will finance a local study project.

The Academic Success and Student Retention Committee has committed time to provide mentoring services to upperclassmen, with plans to help their mentees do the same by aiding them in developing a program of peer-to-peer mentoring with sophomores and freshmen.

The Student Entrepreneurship and Innovative Initiatives Committee recognized the need to pull different groups on campus — who are offering similar opportunities to students — together through their common goals. Additionally, this group desires to find ways to empower students to explore untraditional paths and to place UA graduates in incubators and businesses around the globe. The group has committed to having financial donations in place in the amount of $15,000 by their spring 2017 meeting, for the purpose of funding entrepreneurship projects by students.

The board of advisors is comprised of outstanding UA alumni committed to community engagement and student success. Members mentor current students and assist in recruiting outstanding future leaders. They also support campus-wide initiatives that increase student success and retention, facilitate student involvement in entrepreneurship and innovative initiatives, and support the development of thoughtful global and community leaders.

“It was amazing to see the passion, energy and drive to make a difference displayed by this group,” said Pruitt. “I look forward to the contributions these servant leaders will make to our University and its students.”

Katie Boyd Britt, board president, in recognizing Jordan’s scholarship gift, said, “I applaud Tyrell for his leadership and generosity in establishing this scholarship and am enthusiastic about how this board and its members will support and serve our University.”

Britt went on to say that this group recognizes that, as the inaugural board of advisors, they have a responsibility to set the bar high for those who will follow them.


The Division of Community Affairs was created in 2004 and is recognized nationally and internationally for its leadership in community engagement. The division provided the leadership for the recent reaffirmation of the University’s Carnegie curricular and community engagement classification. The division also publishes the Journal of Community Engaged Scholarship, one of the leading refereed journals in the field.

 

Community Affairs Board of Advisors to Meet; Dr. Cathy Randall to Speak at Dinner

Members of the executive committee of the Board of Advisors of the UA Division of Community Affairs stand with Dr. Samory T. Pruitt (upper left) following their first meeting in April. From left, Divya Patel, Americus, Georgia; Katie Boyd Britt, Birmingham and Washington, D.C.; Joseph Bryant, Birmingham; Calvin Han, Stamford, Connecticut; David Bailey, Nashville, Tennessee; Victoria Javine, Tuscaloosa; and Rashmee Sharif, Tuscaloosa.
Members of the executive committee of the Board of Advisors of the UA Division of Community Affairs stand with Dr. Samory T. Pruitt (upper left) following their first meeting in April. From left, Divya Patel, Americus, Georgia; Katie Boyd Britt, Birmingham and Washington, D.C.; Joseph Bryant, Birmingham; Calvin Han, Stamford, Connecticut; David Bailey, Nashville, Tennessee; Victoria Javine, Tuscaloosa; and Rashmee Sharif, Tuscaloosa.

 

Members of the newly formed Community Affairs board of advisors listen intently to a fellow board member at the inaugural meeting of the group, held on campus in April. The group will return to campus for its next full work session in late September.
Members of the newly formed Community Affairs board of advisors listen intently to a fellow board member at the inaugural meeting of the group, held on campus in April. The group will return to campus for its next full work session in late September.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Division of Community Affairs
The University of Alabama
250 Rose Administration Building, Box 870113
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0113
Email: community.affairs@ua.edu
Phone: 205-348-8376

Sept. 12, 2016

By Diane Kennedy-Jackson
Community Affairs Publications Coordinator

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Community Affairs board of advisors will meet on the campus of the University of Alabama Sept. 25-27 to discuss progress on initiatives and to formulate next steps toward meeting goals.

Formed in early 2016, the board is comprised of outstanding UA alumni committed to community engagement and student success. Members mentor current students and assist in recruiting outstanding future leaders. They also support campus-wide initiatives that increase student success and retention, facilitate student involvement in entrepreneurship and innovative initiatives, and support the development of thoughtful global and community leaders.

“I continue to enjoy working with such a wonderful group of leaders and look forward to the impact they will have on current and future UA students,” said Director of Community and Administrative Affairs Carol Agomo, who is facilitator of the advisory group.

While on campus, board members will participate in committee work groups and spend time hearing from three student panels on topics including academic success, global leadership and entrepreneurship.

“I am enthusiastic about reconvening on campus with my fellow board members,” stated Katie Boyd Britt, president of the advisory board’s executive committee. “I am honored to be working on this board with my fellow alumni and am enthusiastic about our next steps forward in our efforts for our alma mater and her students.”

Dr. Cathy Randall will be the guest speaker for the “Coming Back, Giving Back” board of advisors dinner to be held Monday, Sept. 26, at the Bryant Conference Center on the UA campus. Randall is chairman of the board of Pettus Randall Holdings, LLC, and is director emerita of UA’s Honors Program, as well as the former chairman of the board of Randall Publishing Company and a former news anchor at CBS-affiliate WCFT-TV.

Randall will speak to members of the board of advisors — many of them students at UA during a time of tremendous growth at the University — on the importance of giving back.

“I will be extending appreciation to them, not only for what they did when they were students, but also for what they aspire to do,” said Randall, who went on to note the importance of the University’s commitment to engaging young people and connecting them to the University’s mission.

Randall earned two Ph.D. degrees from UA and has been named one of the top 31 women UA graduates of the century. Her other honors and service roles include national president of Mortar Board, Inc. and chairman of the Alabama Academy of Honor (the 100 most outstanding living Alabamians).

Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, vice president for the Division of Community Affairs, said, “We are very pleased to have someone with the distinguished background of Dr. Randall to speak at our second meeting of the Community Affairs board of advisors. We look forward to hearing the committee reports on the progress they have made toward plans that support their goals for UA students.”

Britt is president of the advisory board’s executive committee. Other members are Joseph Bryant, vice president; Divya Patel, treasurer; Calvin Han, secretary; David Bailey, chair of the entrepreneurship and innovative initiatives committee; Victoria Javine, chair of the academic success and student retention committee; and Rashmee Sharif, chair of the global and community leadership development committee.


The Division of Community Affairs was created in 2004 and is recognized nationally and internationally for its leadership in community engagement. The division provided the leadership for the recent reaffirmation of the University’s Carnegie curricular and community engagement classification. The division also publishes the Journal of Community Engaged Scholarship, one of the leading refereed journals in the field. 


 

UA Establishes Community Affairs Board of Advisors

BoardOfAdvisors_ReleaseHeader

 

Katie-Boyd
Katie Boyd, President

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Division of Community Affairs of The University of Alabama has announced the creation of an alumni board of advisors made up of outstanding individuals with a commitment to community engagement and student success.

The board will support campus-wide initiatives that increase student success and retention and facilitate student involvement in entrepreneurship, innovation and development of thoughtful global and community leaders.

The board will also mentor current students and assist in recruiting outstanding future leaders.

“We are excited that these outstanding graduates are willing to come back and support their alma mater in such a meaningful way,” said UA President Stuart R. Bell. “It is clear that this group of former students represent the great future leadership of our country and the world.”

The executive committee of the Board of Advisors is made of Katie Boyd Britt, president; Joseph Bryant, vice president; Divya Patel, treasurer; Calvin Han, secretary; David Bailey, chair of the entrepreneurship and innovative initiatives committee; Victoria Javine, chair of the academic success and student retention committee; and Rashmee Sharif, chair of the global and community leadership development committee.

According to Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, vice president for community affairs, the executive committee of the board has begun pulling together outstanding talent from UA alumni for membership on the inaugural Board of Advisors.

“The caliber of individuals willing to serve has simply been amazing,” Britt said. “We are all so eager, excited and appreciative of this opportunity to serve our University in this manner, and we are looking forward to our first meeting on campus in April.”

The Division of Community Affairs was created in 2004 and is recognized nationally and internationally for its leadership in community engagement. The division provided the leadership for the recent reaffirmation of the University’s Carnegie curricular and community engagement classification. The division also publishes the Journal of Community Engaged Scholarship, one of the leading refereed journals in the field.

Recently, Pruitt was elected president of the board of directors of the Engaged Scholarship Consortium, a group of national and international higher education institutions committed to community-engaged scholarship. His leadership has been recognized with induction into the Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship.

“The recognition we have received for our work on campus and internationally is most gratifying, and I am looking forward to the contributions this outstanding group of servant leaders will make to our society now and in the future,” Pruitt said.

The board will hold its first meeting April 28 and 29 on campus.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state’s economy, is in keeping with UA’s vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state’s flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

CONTACT: Richard LeComte, media relations, rllecomte@ur.ua.edu, 205/348-3782
SOURCE: Carol N. Agomo, Division of Community Affairs, 205/348-7405

 

Calvin-Han-
Calvin Han
David-Bailey-
David Bailey
Divya-Patel-
Divya Patel
Joseph-Bryant-
Joseph Bryant
Victoria-Javine
Victoria Javine
Rashmee Sharif
Rashmee Sharif