elephant topiary

Faculty and Staff Accolades for Spring 2024 

Staff Recognition

Air Force ROTC 

Trista Elmore, program assistant, earned recognition as the University Employee of the Quarter by Air Force ROTC, distinguishing her among her peers from 37 detachments in the AFROTC Southeast Region. In addition to her work for AFROTC, Elmore’s assistance to the Army ROTC program was highlighted.  

Office, Clerical, Technical Staff Assembly Outstanding Staff Awards  

Shelly Davis, administrative specialist for the Capstone Center for Student Success, and Casey Evans, registrations services associate, received the OCTSA Outstanding Staff Awards for 2024. The awards recognize two employees from among the office, clerical and technical staff whose exceptional ability, performance and attitude have advanced the mission of The University of Alabama. 

Professional Staff Assembly Outstanding Professional Awards  

Jennifer Clark, director of compliance operations, and Shanna McIntosh, director of the VitAL Research Center, earned the 2024 PSA Outstanding Professional Awards. Each spring semester the PSA presents the award to two professional staff members who go above and beyond their regular duties exemplifying positivity, bringing out the best in others, offering innovative ideas and creating conditions for success. 

Collaborative Arts Research Initiative

Dr. Claudia Romanelli, associate professor of Italian, department of modern languages and classics, published “Piecing together the life and career of my grandfather, Dotts Johnson: Interview with Luvada A. Harrison,” 12 Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies 259-267 (2024). Dr. Luvada A. Harrison is an assistant professor of musical theatre/voice in the department of theatre and dance. She is the granddaughter of Dotts Johnson, the African American actor and jazz singer cast to portray one of the lead roles in Roberto Rossellini’s “Paisan” (1946), one of the most influential films in the history of cinema. The UA Collaborative Arts Research Initiative sponsored this publication as one of several outcomes of a collaborative arts research project.

College of Arts and Sciences  

Dr. Carla Atkinson, associate professor, department of biological sciences, won the Society for Freshwater Science Leadership Award. The award recognizes early or mid-career members for extraordinary work in furthering the society’s mission, especially by expanding the impact of the society and the field of freshwater science. 

Dr. Natasha Dimova, associate professor, department of geological sciences, co-authored “Microbial Assemblages and Metabolic Activity in Organic-Rich Subterranean Estuaries: Impact of Climate and Land Use Changes,” which was selected as an Editor’s Highlight on Eos.org. It was originally published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences.  

Dr. Jessica Goethals, associate professor of Italian, department of modern languages and classics, appeared on the BBC Radio 4 program “In Our Time.” The episode was on the 1527 Sack of Rome. 

Wade MacDonald, assistant professor, art and art history, earned a South Arts Career Opportunity Grant in May. He will use the funds to attend an invitational artist residency, “Digital Clay,” at Watershed Center for Ceramic Art in June. 

Bryce Speed, associate professor, and instructors Charlotte Wegrzynowski and Tom Wegrzynowski, all art and art history, had artwork juried into ArtFields 2024 in Lake City, South Carolina. 

College of Community Health Sciences 

Dr. Bob McKinney, associate professor of social work at CCHS and director of the Office of Case Management and Social Services at University Medical Center, received the Quality Matters Certification Mark for the design quality of his online course, Clinical Supervision and Ethics, which he teaches to UA School of Social Work doctoral students. Quality Matters uses a peer review process to certify the design of online courses to ensure quality education and student learning. McKinney is the first faculty member at CCHS to have his course QM-certified.  

Dr. Pamela Payne-Foster, professor in the department of community medicine and population health, was selected to receive the 2024 University of Alabama at Birmingham Minority Health and Health Equity Research Center Excellence in Mentoring Award. MHERC works to generate research knowledge from biomedical, behavioral and social sciences to reduce health disparities in disadvantaged populations and communities through local, regional and national platforms. The award recognizes those who provided outstanding mentoring and contributed greatly to the career development and retention of students and scholars participating in the MHERC Research and Training Programs. 

Drs. Jane Weida and Tom Weida, professors in family, internal and rural medicine, were named Castle Connolly Top Doctors for 2024. Doctors on the Castle Connolly list represent the top 7% of U.S. practicing physicians. The list seeks to help patients find high-quality care by connecting them with premier physicians. They also co-authored “G2211: Simply Getting Paid for Complexity,” Family Practice Management March-April (2024). 

Dr. Lea Yerby, associate professor in community medicine and population health, co-authored “Transportation, childcare, lodging, and meals: Key for participant engagement and inclusion of historically underrepresented populations in the healthy brain and child development birth cohort,” 8 Journal of Clinical Translational Science (2024). 

Graduate School  

Dean Susan Carvalho was elected to the board of directors of the national Council of Graduate Schools. This was a nationwide election by graduate school deans/representatives. The council is the national body serving “to advance graduate education and research in the US and globally.” The board has only 11 members, with three elected each year. She will serve a three-year term, 2024-2027.

Division of Strategic Communications 

The Division of Strategic Communications earned eight district ADDY awards and two judge’s choice awards from the American Advertising Federation. These projects will move on to the state and national level AAF competitions.  

Winning projects included:  

Silver ADDYs  

  • Film, Video, & Sound > Branded Content & Entertainment Campaign 
    Where Legends Are Made Summer Davis Profile Video  
  • Elements of Advertising > Visual > Still Photography – Digitally Enhanced 
    The UA Communicator Magazine  
  • Elements of Advertising > Visual > Still Photography – Digitally Enhanced 
    Big Al Halloween   
  • Elements of Advertising > Film & Video > Video Editing 
    Doff Procter Class of 2023 Sendoff (also earned a Judge’s Choice award) 

Gold ADDYs  

  • Sales & Marketing > Collateral Material > Special Event Material > Card, Invitation, Announcement – Campaign  
    1831 Society Invitation (also earned a Judge’s Choice award) 
  • Online/Interactive > Websites > Microsites 
  • Cross Platform > Integrated Advertising Campaigns – Regional/National 
    Where Legends Are Made Campaign   
  • Elements of Advertising > Visual > Still Photography > Color – Single 
    UA Alumni Magazine  

More Accolades  

Psychology Professor Receives 2024 Buford Peace Award 

New College Professor Receives Burnum Award 

UA English Professor Awarded Prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship 

Alabama Cyber Institute Gets Renewed Vision Under New Executive Director 

‘It’s Because of You’: Campus Assembly Honors Faculty, Staff 

Submit Your Accolades  

UA News publishes accolades for UA faculty and staff from the calendar year. Entries include publications in peer-reviewed journals; awards and elections; national and international fellowships; exhibits and performances. We do not publish conference papers, in-process publications or keynote addresses. To submit an accolade, use the online form