Student and Faculty Spotlight

Alyson Bergner

Alyson Bergner

By Savannah Johnson

Alyson Bergner graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of North Alabama with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology. She is currently working on her Masters of Science in Family Studies at UNA.

Bergner said there are many factors why she chose to major in Psychology, but she finds that learning why humans do things that we do is fascinating. Bergner said the Psychology professors make the department unique.

She said, “Each professor is dedicated and encourages critical thinking. They genuinely care about the future of their students.”

In undergrad, Alyson interned at the Florence Lauderdale Public Library where she co-taught a class about relationship smarts, which focuses on teaching healthy communication skills to teens. She also completed her Certificate in Family Life Education through her internship. 

She is thoroughly enjoying her Master’s courses and loves all of the knowledge she is gaining. Her advice to Psychology students is to get involved, join the Psychology Club and talk to your professors. 

When asked how the department prepared Bergner for her future, she replied, “There are numerable ways the Psychology Department has prepared me. First, they really encourage research, which can give you an advantage for graduate school. I have also taken a variety of courses that have made me think more critically. In the end, I think the outpouring of support I feel from the Psychology department and even the Sociology and Family Studies Department now has made me feel like anything is possible, and that has impacted me the most.”

Associate Professor Charlton James

Associate Professor

Charlton James

By Kayla Braidfoot

Charlton James is the Artistic Director of UNA’s theatre program and UNA Summer Theatre. He received his Bachelor’s from the University of Utah in Theatre/Acting Emphasis and his Master’s in Theatre/Classical Acting from the University of Alabama.

“Graduation is by far my favorite part of working at UNA. I always cry. I can’t help it. People have to sacrifice a lot to walk across that stage and when I see people succeed it makes me happy. It also makes me satisfied to think I may have played a role in helping them achieve that success.”

When asked what brought him to UNA, James said, “after grad school I lived in New York City for a while as an actor and a film production assistant. I left New York City about a year after 9/11 because the city was wounded, healing, and taking its toll on me.” He left NYC to move back to Alabama, and a few years later decided he needed to find a way to use his creativity again. He was hired as an adjunct professor at UNA, and two-and-a-half years later became a full-time professor. “It has been a fun ride!”

James served as an actor, producer and artistic director for UNA Sumer Theatre’s I’ll Take You There: The Music of Muscle Shoals. It was the headliner for the W.C. Handy Music Festival in 2016. He has directed Shakespeare’s A Mid Summer Night’s Dream and Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. He also portrayed the lead role in The Guys, a play that commemorated 9/11 events.