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Advisory Council

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Mission

The Advisory Council will provide specific feedback on College programs and projects, participate, as able, in assisting to create and strengthen partnerships to enhance the faculty and student experiences, and help with the overall advancement of the College with outside constituents. Members serve upon the recommendation and invitation of the Dean.

A Word from Dean Burkhalter

My main goal for the College of Arts and Sciences is to see the University of North Alabama as a destination of choice for a liberal arts education. To help achieve this goal we will concentrate on four main areas.

  1. The value of a liberal arts education in a world that demands an agile workforce.
  2. The value of creativity in sustaining economic growth.
  3. The value of international experiences in creating seamless job opportunities.
  4. The value of collaboration with experts across the continent.

The College of Arts and Sciences was founded on and continues to espouse the qualities of a true liberal arts education: thinking critically, communicating clearly, solving complex problems, and becoming an engaged citizen in a free society.

Advisory Council 2017 Members

Anne Whitaker, Chair

Anne earned her degree in Chemistry and Business at UNA. She currently is the Chairman, President & CEO of KNOW Bio Respiratory LLC, a biopharmaceutical company focused on research, development, and commercialization of novel respiratory medicines based on a proprietary nitric oxide platform technology.  She also is CEO and Chairman of Novoclem Therapeutics. Prior to her current role, she served as Executive Vice President and Company Group Chairman for Valeant Pharmaceuticals leading the Global Branded Pharmaceutical Business.  Anne is active in the North Carolina community as a member of the North Carolina School of Math and Science Foundation Board and several women’s leadership organizations including Women in Bio, HBA, and  Women Corporate Directors.

John Briggs

With over 25 years’ experience in the music industry, John Briggs possesses a wealth of expertise as a senior level music industry executive. Having served as Vice President of Membership for the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), John earned a reputation for trend-spotting for ASCAP. Just a few of the members John recruited include: the Backstreet Boys, the Dixie Chicks, Kenny Chesney, ZZ Top, Brad Paisley, John Paul White, Alan Jackson, Clint Black, Little Texas, Jessica Simpson, Drive By Truckers, and Garth Brooks.

In April of 2010, John launched Briggs Entertainment which has partnered with Estevez/Sheen Production’s, Disney producer Jamie Houston, and colleagues Curt Jones (Dippin’ Dots Founder), and Dan Jarrett (CEO Ultich Medical).

John was asked in 2014 to join US Bank’s Private Client Reserve’s Entertainment and Pro Sports Division as an Entertainment Industry Specialist Wealth Management Consultant.

A dedicated arts supporter, Mr. Brigg’s has served on Boards for: the Academy of Country Music (ACM), Muscle Shoals Music Association (MSMA), Nashville Entertainment Association and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame board (past Chairman of the Board). He is also a past Governor of the Nashville Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).

In 1997 Briggs received the Alabama Governor’s Award for his contribution to American music and in 2008 he received the Alabama Music Hall of Fame Music Industry Achievement Award.

Debra Dombrowski

Debra graduated from UNA with a degree in Communications and currently works for Emerson Network Power – Data Center Solutions in Huntsville, AL. Debra is originally from Chicago and made her way to the Shoals, and UNA, via Tampa, Florida. Her husband, Jackie Hendrix, and she lives in Florence with three large dogs and two cats. Debra currently serves on the board of directors of Safeplace and for many years volunteered with the Arts Alive festival. She recently rechanneled her volunteering energy to the Florence Lauderdale Public Library where they have established an annual book festival. The first Shoals Reader Riot Book Festival will be held in the spring of 2017.

David Edwards

Dr. Edwards earned his Physics degree from UNA and went on to Auburn University for his master’s degree and a doctoral degree in material engineering.  David is the manager of the Science and Technology chief engineer’s office at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. David joined the NASA team in 1989 and has served in increasingly responsible leadership positions throughout his career. As chief engineer, David is responsible and accountable for the technical functionality for all systems under development within the Science and Technology Office.

Wesley Garmon

Wesley Garmon is the education coordinator at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Secondary Education License and Certification from Athens State University and a Master’s degree in History, with a concentration in Public History, from the University of North Alabama. His graduate work focused on museum administration, digital history, and archival training. Upon graduation in 2012, he accepted a position as the curriculum specialist for the ADAH and now serves as head of the Education Section. Garmon recently launched a highly successful virtual field trip program and is making significant strides in helping educators discover new methods of instruction to deliver historical content to Alabamians beyond the traditional classroom environment.

Lorri Glover

Lorri Glover graduated from UNA in 1990, majoring in history and political science. She went on to earn her M.A. in history from Clemson and Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. She taught at the University of Tennessee for twelve years before moving to Saint Louis University, where she is the John Francis Bannon Endowed Chair of History. Lorri has published nine books in American history, most recently Founders as Fathers: The Private Lives and Politics of the American Revolutionaries (Yale University Press) and The Fate of the Revolution: Virginians Debate the Constitution (Johns Hopkins University Press). She is a past president of the Southern Association for Women Historians, has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Southern History, and was a distinguished lecturer with the Organization of American Historians. Lorri gives invited talks around the country. In October 2016, she delivered the Nelson Lecture at UNA, in honor of her treasured mentor, Larry Nelson.

Neill Jobe

For more than 18 years, Neill Jobe has been pioneering and implementing new and innovative uses for GIS and GPS technologies. As a GIS professional, Mr. Jobe has effectively applied his skills and solutions-based mapping strategies to assist a variety of industries ranging from transportation planning, local government, utilities, public safety, Universities, and Airports. Neill graduated from the University of North Alabama in 1996 with a B.S. in Geography and a Geographic Information Systems Certification. In November 2006, he attended the 2nd Annual University of North Alabama Geography Alumni Conference where he was named “2006 Geography Alumni of the Year” and was presented with an award for his enormous efforts and contributions to this growing industry. In 1999, Neill founded GEO Jobe GIS Consulting and is currently the acting CEO. The company has won many awards over the last decade for its persistent innovation around GIS mapping technology. From their GEOPowered Cloud to custom GIS mapping solutions, GEO Jobe is committed to showing clients how geospatial thinking can guide them to save time, money, and make better business decisions. In 2011, Neill was asked to participate on the Strategic Planning Committee for the Alabama Geographic Alliance (AGA), an organization to improve the stature of geography in the State of Alabama through curriculum development and teacher training to enhance geography literacy. Neill is an ESRI Authorized Consultant, Reseller, and Instructor. He has personally taught over 500 students in the specialized training of Esri’s ArcGIS products and Trimble’s GPS technologies. Neill played baseball for the University of North Alabama and made the All Gulf South Conference team for first base. He was the MVP of the Gulf South Conference Tournament in 1996. Follow Neill on Twitter @NeillJobe or @GEOJobeGIS

Carnette Johnson

Carnette graduated from UNA in 1983 with a degree in Accounting. Since 1993, Carnette has worked in the glue applicator machinery industry and resides in the Atlanta area.  She has successfully assisted in the implementation of a global accounting module called R3P.  Her personal motto is all about critical “out of the box” thinking. Carnette has participated in Everybody Wins Atlanta which is a reading program, Time N Talent, and fundraising for Relay for Life. Since 2012, she has served as UNA’s Alumni President for the Greater Atlanta area where she attends college fairs to help recruit quality college students.  She also chairs a UNA committee called “The Flashback Committee” who are a group of African American alumni who plan events during homecoming to enhance UNA involvement. She is currently pursuing her Executive Masters of Business Administration degree online with the University of North Alabama.

Sarah Nafziger

Dr. Nafziger is a Professor of Emergency Medicine and Neurology and Director of the Office of Emergency Medical Services at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Sarah graduated from UNA in 1996 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Biology and completed her medical school, Emergency Medicine residency, and fellowship in Disaster Medicine Research at UAB. She has deployed to major disaster sites and responded to disasters both with local agencies and with the National Disaster Medical System. She has been a Medical Officer for both the United States Army Reserve and the Alabama Air National Guard with deployment supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Sarah also serves as the Assistant State EMS Medical Director for the Alabama Department of Public Health. She serves as the president of the Alabama chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and EMS.

Tom Ross

Tom is employed with Wells Fargo Advisors as a First Vice President and Branch Manager of the Florence, Alabama office. He sits on the UNA Foundation Board and is a member of the Turtle Point Board of Trustees. Mr. Ross is a past president of the Florence Country Club and has been active with many boards over the years including Big Brothers, Big Sisters and was a founding board member of the Children's Museum of the Shoals.

Leray Smedley

Leray Smedley, a proud native of Elba, AL, graduated from UNA in May 2001 With a degree in Comp Info Sys. In October 2001, He became a member of the US Air Force and currently Serves as the Superintendent of White House Information Technology. In this role, Leray oversees direct technical support for the Pres, VP, First Lady, and Presidential staff. Throughout his military career, he has accumulated notable honors for his work in the IT career field and various distinguished awards for community service. Leray credits UNA, the USAF, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., as the catalysts for his inexhaustible desire to help others develop personally and professionally.

David Sunseri

Dr. Sunseri graduated from the University of North Alabama in 1998 with a B.S. in Chemistry.  He continued his education obtaining a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry in 2003 from Florida State University under the direction of Professor John G. Dorsey.  He is currently Vice President, Product Development at Berg, LLC in Nashville, Tennessee.  At Berg, David oversees clinical manufacturing, product and process development, engineering operations, and supply chain.  Prior to joining Berg, David worked at Schering-Plough and Merck in clinical development and commercial manufacturing. David is a member of the University of North Alabama Foundation, where he serves as Treasurer and Chair of the Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee.

Angela Terry

Judge Terry is a 1994 graduate of the University of North Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in political science and minors in history and Spanish. She attended Cumberland School of Law at Samford University and graduated in 1998 with a Doctorate of Jurisprudence. Judge Terry was in private practice in Moulton, Alabama for ten years trying cases throughout North Alabama and sitting as the Municipal Judge in Hillsboro prior to being appointed District Judge of Lawrence County by Governor Bob Riley in March 2009. She was elected in November 2010 and was unopposed in November 2016. As District Judge, she is also the Juvenile Court Judge and by law the chairperson of the Lawrence County Children's Policy Council. In that capacity, she was recently asked by the President of the Alabama State Bar to Co-Chair the Alabama State Bar's Task Force on Foster Children and implement a statewide program to provide suitcases for all Alabama foster children based upon a program which proved very successful in Lawrence County. Judge Terry also serves on the Board for Hospice of the Valley and is a member of the local Rotary club. She lives in Moulton with her husband Shanon and daughter Ashley who is a high school senior.

Joshua Wrady

Joshua devotes his legal career to fighting unlawful employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. He has represented hundreds of clients before the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the federal district courts of Alabama. In fighting for the rights of employees, Joshua regularly litigates matters arising under various anti-discrimination laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1976 (ADEA), the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Joshua also represents individuals terminated by their employer for filing a workers' compensation claim and those who were terminated for reporting the violation of a written safety rule. He also regularly negotiates employment contracts and severance agreements. Joshua has been selected by Super Lawyer's as a Mid-South Rising Star three years in a row. This is an honor conferred upon no more than 2.5% of Attorneys aged 40 years or younger, or who have been in practice for 10 years or less. Joshua volunteers with the Birmingham Volunteer Lawyers Program, and in 2015 he was named as one of "Birmingham's Finest" for his efforts to raise donations to fund research into a cure for cystic fibrosis.

Joshua attended the University of North Alabama, where he studied Politics and History. He was involved in activities such as the UNA Student Government Association where he served as Vice President, the American Mock Trial Association where he served as Team Captain, and the Kappa Sigma Fraternity where he served as President for one semester. Joshua was selected for membership in a number of academic and Greek honor societies, including the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, and the Order of Omega. Joshua is a 2010 graduate of Samford University's Cumberland School of Law. At Cumberland, Joshua was named to the Dean's List five times, he served as a Judge Abraham Caruthers Legal Research and Writing Fellow, and he was selected to serve on the Henry Upton Sims Executive Moot Court Board. Joshua now serves as a volunteer judge for various Cumberland sponsored trial competitions.