Fall Updates

UA News for the Division of Community Affairs Board of Advisors


To connect you with what’s happening at the Capstone, we’ve gathered some recent news that may be of interest to you as alumni and as members of the Board of Advisors.

We plan to publish periodically, not only to keep you informed of what’s happening on campus, but also of what’s happening in the world of the BOA membership.

In-State Increase, ‘Alabama Experience’ Drive UA’s Record Enrollment.
An increase in the number of in-state students highlights The University of Alabama’s record-breaking fall 2023 total student headcount, which approaches the 40,000 mark.
Learn more. 

Drummond Lyon Hall Welcomes CHES Students, Staff.
Part of the College of Human Environmental Sciences, the 25,000 square foot facility houses The Fashion Archive historical garment and textiles collection, a conservation laboratory, exhibition galleries, two cutting-edge studio classrooms, flex space for receptions or lectures and offices for fashion retailing and apparel design faculty.
> Learn more. 

General Education Reform Enters Next Phase.
The framework for a reimagined general education program for students at The University of Alabama was recently announced by the Office of Academic Affairs.
> Learn more.

UA Reaching Rural Areas to Improve Cardiovascular Health.
With $6 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spread out over the next five years, UA faculty, staff and students will work with local health care providers to implement programs and resources designed to reduce risk factors for heart attacks, strokes and other issues stemming from poor cardiovascular health.
> Learn more.

UA Sets the Stage with Industry-Leading Performing Arts Center Groundbreaking.
Construction of the Smith Family Center for the Performing Arts at The University of Alabama has officially begun.
> Learn more.

New College of Education Dean Announced.
Dr. Joyce Alexander has been named the next dean of The University of Alabama College of Education and began her tenure Jan. 3, 2024.
> Learn more.


UA Welcomed Inaugural Class of Rural Dental Scholars
The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences welcomed four rural Alabama students aspiring to practice dentistry in the state’s rural communities to the inaugural class of the Rural Dental Scholars Program. 
> Learn more.

Notre Dame in Color: Unveiling Cathedral’s History in Hues. 
A project led by The University of Alabama to tell the stories of the changing colors in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris through its history received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
> Learn more. 

UA Professors Get CAREER Boost. 

The National Science Foundation selected the two professors for a CAREER Award, one of the nation’s most prestigious honors for top-performing young scientists, during the recently completed academic year. Each grant will provide about $550,000 for research, education and outreach efforts.
> Learn more. 

VitAL Part of New Effort for Suicide Prevention. 

A substantial effort in suicide prevention across the state will be led by a partnership between The University of Alabama and the Alabama Department of Mental Health.
> Learn more.

Black Belt Students Learn Water Research, Treatment. 

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Gulf Research Program awarded funding this summer to a project that will educate Black Belt middle school students on water research and treatment efforts taking place in their community.
> Learn more. 


U.S. Air Force Veteran Awarded 2023 Legendary Service Award. 
Nicholas Morgan, a decorated U.S. Air Force veteran and a junior earning his bachelor’s degree through The University of Alabama Online, is the recipient of this year’s Legendary Service Award. The Legendary Service Award celebrates a past or present member of the armed forces who is a UA Online student and has made an exceptional impact serving their country and community. 
> Learn more. 

Congratulations to BOA President Samarria Dunson for being named the YMCA of Greater Montgomery 2023 Person of the Year! This award recognizes the power of individuals coming together to uphold the YMCA’s mission and creating positive change in the River Region.

Congratulations to BOA member and BuildUP founder Mark Martin! BuildUP was recently awarded $3 million in the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge competition. The three-year grant will help BuildUP expand to new sites in Alabama and beyond by hiring additional staff and grow its house donation/relocation program, in which houses are secured, relocated and renovated with the help of BuildUP students. Martin will spearhead the expansion.
> Learn more.

Congratulations to BOA member Kevin Garrison, who was among the 44 attorneys with Baker Donelson named to the 2023 edition of Mid-South Super Lawyers, which recognizes attorneys in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Garrison concentrates his practice in construction litigation.

Congratulations to BOA member Gabriel Warren on the launch of his new podcast, “Changing the Narrative,” which is focused on building awareness about what it means to be a Black man in America. This podcast aims to shed light on the countless Black men who are changing the narrative about Black men in their communities and positively making an impact on those around them.

Congratulations to BOA member Ibukun Afon and his wife Nnenna on the birth of their first child, Morayo Tobechukwu Afon.

Congratulations to BOA member Ada Katherine van Wyhe, who recently began a new role as Director of Government Relations for the Alabama Association of School Boards! She previously served as Chief of Staff at the Alabama Department of Mental Health.

As BOA members are also UA graduates, we know how invaluable your experience as UA alumni has been. If you have not already done so, please consider joining the National Alumni Association.
> Learn more.

Have life events updates news to share with us?

If you have not already done so, we encourage you to follow us on X (formerly Twitter) at @UACommAffairs, on Facebook at @UACommunityAffairs and at @UA.CCBP and on Instagram at @ua_community_affairs

Additionally, did you know the Board of Advisors has its own Facebook group page? This is a place for you to connect with your fellow board members, as well as share news of potential interest to members of the group. Search “ua community affairs board of advisors” and ask to join the group. We’ll approve you right away!

You can follow the initiatives and news of the Division of Community Affairs on the web at communityaffairs.ua.edu. Your Board of Advisors web pages live here under the Community Collaborations link.