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A Word From Our Deans

Dr. Carmen Burkhalter 

 

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them." John F. Kennedy 

I recently came across this quote and I started thinking about how the attitude of gratitude fits into a university and how the college can show it's appreciation for our success.   I initially wanted to write about all the college is grateful for – there have been many reasons over the past year.  However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized JFK was right.  The College wants to recognize the alumni and friends who have given of their time and resources as a way to show their appreciation for their education. 

As many of you know with the decrease in state funding UNA, like most universities around the country, have had to reengage alumni and talk about our needs, dreams, desires, and goals.  The Alumni at UNA and the College of Arts and Sciences have responded to the call for engagement.  

Through this generous response of gratitude, alumni and friends have funded the following activities in the College over the past year: 

  • Sponsored students to attend music, law mock trials, WiSE (women in science), national undergraduate research, and math conferences.
  • Equipment for physics, earth science, music, and engineering technology.
  • New scholarships in biology, performing arts, history, physics and earth science, and pre-law.
  • Expansion of our study abroad program by supporting a student to study in Cuba.
  • A national speaker series, including the Sunseri speaker series on creativity in science and an English graduate conference.
  • Support for academics in military science and music. 
  • Faculty continuing education development including leadership training, pedagogy using national parks, and collaboration across disciplines. 
  • Research and creative activity travel for music, pre-dental, and all the sciences.
  • K-12 outreach activities and student scholarships including STEM camps, high school dual enrollment courses, and recruiting activities. 
  • Expansion of our performing arts programs including summer theatre, Shoals symphony and music performances.
  • Rebranding our college to embrace STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math).
  • Launched a new engineering technology program.
  • College ambassador’s leadership program.
  • Began the planning for a music building expansion and renovation.

I speak on behalf of the almost 3000 students and 250 faculty, when I say “Thank You” to every person who has shown their appreciation and encouragement for what we do in the College of Arts and Sciences at UNA. 

Dr. Chris Maynard

      

I have often shared with my colleagues that the single most important thing that we do is hire outstanding faculty. If we get that right, we can assure potential students that they will receive a first-class education at UNA. This summer, we have been very busy hiring more than a dozen new faculty for the 2016-17 academic year. Some of these new hires replace faculty members who retired this past year, but many of them are new positions that will help us meet the faculty needs that come with growth in student enrollment. 

Of special note are two new department chairs who will provide critical leadership for our campus. Dr. Butler Cain will join us as the new chair of the Department of Communications. Dr. Cain comes to us from West Texas A&M University, but he has deep ties to Alabama, having served for more than a decade as News Director for Alabama Public Radio. 

Dr. Terrance Brown is not new to UNA, but he will be assuming the position of interim chair of the Department of Music. Dr. Brown has done a remarkable job in growing Opera/Musical Theatre into a premier program, and I am confident that he will provide exceptional leadership that will have a real impact on students. 

With so many new faces in the College, and continued growth in new students, this academic year is shaping up to be an exciting time to be a part of the College of Arts and Sciences.