Alumni Special: Ashlyn Goodwin

After earning her bachelor’s in Biology from Tuskegee University in 2014, Ashlyn Goodwin returned to her high school alma mater to teach. She had planned to only teach for a few years as a break from school before pursuing the requirements for a career in dentistry. The problem? She fell in love with education. “I...
 

Alumni Special: Brayden Emerick

As a high schooler, Brayden Emerick dreamed of attending The University of Alabama for her undergraduate education. But her plans changed, after starting her freshman year at Spring Hill College in Mobile, she transferred to Virginia where she earned her bachelor’s degree at Old Dominion University. Brayden’s love for learning compelled her to continue her...
 

Alumni Special: Maleka and Eric Beal

After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Maleka and Eric Beal relocated to Texas for two years to recover and rebuild.  While in Texas, they realized a passion for learning and nutrition that transformed their lives in more ways than one. “While we were displaced, we lost nearly 300 pounds,” Maleka explained. “Everything we had tried...
 

Alumni Special: Kevin Carwyle

Born and raised in Thaxton, Mississippi, Kevin Carwyle was finishing up his associate degree in Drafting Design and Technology at Itawamba Community College in 2001. He wanted to complete a bachelor’s degree, but he was concerned about the cost. A friend from work suggested he join the National Guard since they offered a signing bonus...
 

Student Spotlight: Tracy Haraway

When Tracy Haraway went to Judson College after high school, she had dreams of a rewarding career in education. She was going to earn her degree in English and later pursue the components necessary to become a teacher, but her plans changed on the way to her degree. “I realized there was a little more...
 

Alumni Special: Gabe Burns

Gabe Burns graduated from high school in West Palm Beach, Florida, in 2003. He took a few college business classes, but wasn’t sure what he wanted to do professionally. After completing the necessary training and working as an EMT and volunteer firefighter for a few years, he ended up in sales for a major power...
 

Student Spotlight: Cindy Gellins

Cindy Gellins grew up in a military family and moved around every three years throughout her childhood for her dad’s assignments. She is the oldest of four girls, and her mother’s secondary language is English. These aspects of her life posed unique challenges to Cindy’s success in grade school. “I struggled a lot. I never...
 

Student Spotlight: Aundrea Self Nichols

In 1992, the same year the Crimson Tide won its 12th national football title, Aundrea Self Nichols was a college student in Tuscaloosa, double-majoring in English and mass communications at Stillman College. In her roles as Miss Stillman and an Alpha Kappa Alpha soror, Aundrea was familiar with The University of Alabama’s campus life and...
 

Alumni Special: Brandon Rowland

Brandon Rowland graduated from Auburn University in 2008 with a bachelor’s in Public Administration. Due to the economic recession, he was in a situation many Americans found themselves in at the time – unemployed with few prospects. “I couldn’t find anything that was full-time with benefits. I gave myself a deadline of three months to...
 

Alumni Special: Debbie Penso

Debbie Penso earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Auburn University in Secondary English Education and spent years teaching middle and high school English in communities around the U.S. “I enjoyed these experiences and felt like my heart was in English education. I wasn’t looking for another degree at that point in my career,” she...