Feb
28

2003, 2009 – David Staley – My UAH Story

written by admin

David Staley

BSBA, Finance, 2003
MBA, Management, 2009

Financial Advisor
Merrill Lynch & Co.
Huntsville, AL

 

This is my UAH story…

My Mom remarried and moved to Huntsville in 2000 so I moved shortly after for a much needed change.  I came to UAH after going to school for a few years in Illinois where I had changed majors three times.   I was working at a local restaurant while getting my registration at UAH in order and one of my co-workers happened to be a current UAH student.  We became friends and she told me she knew a bunch of the guys in the ATO fraternity and I should meet them.  I ended up going out with her after work one night and meeting the guys.  I pledged ATO my first semester and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.  Some of my best memories are times I spent with my brothers are they are still good friends today.  In addition to all the good times at the fraternity house, maintaining good grades was incredibly important.  I took my introductory finance classes at UAH and enjoyed them so much I pursued it as a major.  Along the way I had Dr. Burnett and Dr. Evans as professors.  They pushed me to be a better student and genuinely cared about my performance.  I have an immense amount of respect for both of them and still talk to them fairly regularly almost 10 years after graduating.  As a student, I didn’t realize the impact my time at UAH would have on me as a professional.  I wanted to stay involved with the university because of the immense respect I have for the faculty and the pride i feel in the education i received.  The hard work required to complete my undergraduate degree was well worth it and I returned in 2007 to complete my MBA in the fall of 2009.

Feb
28

1997 – Donna Swaim Whetstone – My UAH Story

written by admin

Donna Swaim Whetstone

BSBA, Marketing, 1997

Marketing Communications Manager
Dynetics
Huntsville, AL

 

This is my UAH story…

My intention as a college freshman was to spend one year “at home” and then transfer to Auburn University to finish my degree.  However, after the first year, I knew I had found “my home” at UAHuntsville.  I became involved in Greek Life, as a member of Delta Zeta Sorority, and in other activities on campus.  I made many friends and found the classes and professors both interesting and rewarding.  So, I made the choice to stay at UAHuntsville and finish my degree.

As a sophomore, I was given the opportunity by one of my sorority sisters to go to work for Dynetics, a local, well-known defense contractor, while continuing to go to school full-time.  Almost 18 years later, I am currently the Marketing Communications Manager for Dynetics.  I know the classes and experiences I learned in the Business School (College of Administrative Science at the time) have been very instrumental in the success of my career.  I often boast that my degree is from UAHuntsville.  In my role as MarCom Manager, I have hired several UAHuntsville graduates and will continue to seek our students whenever possible.  The University’s reputation for high-quality graduates is excellent and I am proud to say that I am one of them.

As fairly new graduates, my husband and I felt that we could not financially give very much to the University that had given so much to us, so we decided that our commitment would be time.  We were both fortunate not to have student loans, as so many of our friends did, so we wanted to be able to contribute what we could financially, but we could contribute more with volunteering and staying involved on campus.  The Alumni Board has been one of those outlets for me.  I have served two terms on the board and will continue to serve as long as I can contribute.  I continue to give back because being a part of the University is rewarding to know that I could be contributing to the success of another student.

Feb
28

1979 – James Jennings – My UAH Story

written by admin

James Jennings

Master of Administrative Science, 1979

*2002 Alumni of Achievement Award Recipient

President
Omega Plus, Inc.
Huntsville, AL

 

This is my UAH story…

I attended UAHuntsville 1977-1979 to get a Master degree in Administrative Science which is now a MBA. I had an excellent experience at the University even though I was the only Black student in most of my classes. The learning environment was great from both the Professors and Students. The degree help me focus on my career and what I wanted to accomplish. I am proud to say that I had a wonderful career with NASA and the UAH experience really enhanced ability to advance to the top of the Civilian Senior Executive Level. I wanted to become a member of the board to share my experience and knowledge with other to help them and further the goals of UAHuntsville. This is an excellent opportunity to interact with students and help educate the community about the value of the University. I am committed to helping in any way possible.

Feb
28

2007 – Jason Miller – My UAH Story

written by admin

Jason Miller

BSBA, Accounting, 2007

Audit & Assurance Supervisor
Anglin, Reichmann, Snellgrove, and Armstrong, P.C.
Huntsville, AL

 

This is my UAH story…

Like most high school students from Huntsville, I spent a great deal of time deciding where I would like to attend college.  I considered several universities, including, UAHuntsville but settled on a large university away from home.  After a couple of years, I lost interest in my major and started researching universities again. I discovered that UAHuntsville’s College of Business is considered a top tier business school by several leading publications, so I returned home to study accounting.

After completing my business basics at a local community college, I was accepted into UAHuntsville’s College of Business where I received my BSBA, Accounting in May of 2007.

It is virtually impossible to illustrate with words how great of an experience I had at UAHuntsville.  I became a student instead of just another number on the attendance checklist.  The smaller class sizes allowed me build rapports and work closely with several of my professors, such as Dr. Hickman, Dr. Bryson, Dr. Allport, Dr. Evans, and Mrs. Claybourne.  These professors played a significant role in my education and in my life.  Not only did they provide the foundation for my education, they took time out of their busy schedules to work with me outside of class and provide valuable career advice. I utilized referrals from my professors along with UAHuntsville’s great reputation to obtain a job prior to graduation.  The transition was seamless.  On Sunday afternoon I walked across the stage to receive my diploma and on Monday morning I started work.

The impact these professors made on my life is one of the fundamental reasons I stay involved with UAHuntsville.  By being a member of the alumni association, I am able to contribute my time and experiences to my alma mater and bridge the gap between students and alumni.

Feb
28

1995 – Jay Cobb – My UAH Story

written by admin

Jay Cobb

BSBA, Management, 1995

Director of Human Resources
Intergraph Corporation, Huntsville, AL

 

This is my UAH story…

Like many Huntsville natives, I selected UAHuntsville as my college of choice due to its outstanding academic reputation, and very convenient location.

As I began to progress through our Business program, I quickly found that UAHuntsville’s academic standards were high, and in turn realized that I was receiving a top-notch education here at home.  As one of the few accredited Business programs in Alabama at the time, the curriculum was both extremely challenging and rewarding. The courses were interesting, Professors were committed to the highest level of learning, and I was able to pick up many valuable skills that have helped me progress in my career, and that I still use today.

And, not only was my educational experience rewarding, I was also able to meet and make many friends and colleagues during my college experience – many of whom are now fellow business professionals here in the Huntsville community.

Please join me and my fellow Board members in taking pride in our Alma Mater, and doing all we can to help make UAHuntsville a success for many years to come.

Charge On!

Feb
28

1993 – Dr. Jeff Harper – My UAH Story

written by admin

Dr. Jeff Harper

MS, Management, 1993

Professor, Scott College of Business
Indiana State University

 

This is my UAH story…

I actually came to UAH’s College of Administrative Science in 1991 as a matter of convenience.  It offered the closest graduate business program to my home in Cullman.  While the convenience was great, I soon discovered that the education that was being provided to me was nothing short of exceptional.  In a very short time my professors raised my plane of thinking, challenged me to achieve more, and supported me in my own passions.  The graduate education they provided me changed my life.  It gave me the confidence, tools, and skills to allow me to set higher expectations of myself than I ever would have otherwise.  Along the way, countless UAH staff provided me with caring and meaningful advice on everything from class advising to financial aid to use of the library.

Now, 20 years later, I am able to see clearly that my Master’s degree set the tone for the successes I was to have in life.  While my career has taken me far away from the Tennessee Valley, my heart remains firmly tied to this institution that gave me so much.  I serve on the Board of Directors for the UAH Alumni Association as a way of giving back to the dedicated faculty and staff of UAH who gave me so much.  Also, I hope that my role will help in directing talented young people toward the institution and assisting graduates of UAH in beginning their careers.  Plus, I am proud to be a Charger and enjoy being a part of moving the University forward to achieve ever bigger and better things!

 

Feb
28

2014 – Katy Kolasinski – My UAH Story

written by admin

Katy Kolasinski

T.R.U.E. Chargers President 2012-2013

 

This is my UAH story…

I knew that I wanted to go to college for engineering.  I looked at schools with strong engineering programs in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Ohio.  Each university was competitive.  I knew about UAH because my mother is an alumna.  We visited campus each time I visited my grandmother starting my ninth grade year.  The students and staff I talked with were friendly and seemed interested in me.  I liked that, even though I was not in my home state, I felt connected to people.  UAH provided me with great co-op and internship opportunities since Marshall and Cummings Research Park are so near.  Even with out-of-state tuition, UAH was able to provide me with a competitive rate.  My involvement with TRUE Chargers, SWE (Society for Women Engineers), NSBE, and other organizations have helped me to improve my leadership skills and bring traditions and fun to the campus.

 

Feb
28

1986, 2007 – Lynn Sanderfer-Brown – My UAH Story

written by admin

Lynn Sanderfer-Brown

BS, Electrical and Computer Engineering, 1986
MS Software Engineering, Computer Engineering, 2007

Quality Assurance Consulting
Software Engineering

 

This is my UAH story…

When I graduated from high school in 1982, I was awarded a Teledyne Brown Engineering Minority Student Scholarship.  The stipulations were the scholarship had to be in a technical area and the recipient had to attend UAH.  Both of these concepts were just fine for me because 1)  I had graduated Salutatorian from my high school with dominant strengths in Math and English and 2) UAH was my college of choice because it was the best launch pad to a career in the Redstone Arsenal community.

In my story I want to consider first why UAH was the best college to attend in the 80’s to secure a rewarding job in Huntsville?  Well UAH was the best college because it had better academic programs.  It had a very solid engineering curricula and provided skills that the surrounding industries deemed unchallenged-able, so UAH was the college of choice for me.  You went to UAH to get a degree and secure a cool job.  UAH had a reputation for producing academic strengths that prepared its students to walk into ‘the door’ contributing.  UAH was also strategically geographically positioned to be an intimate member of the technical community and it focused its programs to do just that, … to carry on the dream of Warner Von Braun of space travel and to enhance the capabilities of the department of defense.

Attending UAH was frightening.  The curricula was very hard, but I prayed, worked very hard and graduated Cum Laude in 1986.  I actually had four job offers before trying to find a job.  God was good to me.  I later re-attended UAH to acquire an engineering master’s degree.  I found the joy of learning, not just the process of learning.   I then began doctoral studies in engineering management.  Sometimes synchronous to these studies, after travelling fairly extensively abroad, I decided to pursue knowledge of foreign languages.  I found the honors forum program and attended it faithfully for 2-3 years, and the drama program at UAH.  These extra curricula along with my membership on the UAH Alumni board of directors complete my UAH story.  UAH is a great place to study.  It is like everything else in life, you get out of it what you are willing to put in it.  But  investing in UAH and receiving from UAH has been worth it being not only a part of my UAH story but my life’s story.

 

Feb
28

1999 – Mary Beth Walker – My UAH Story

written by admin

Mary Beth Walker

MA, English, 1999

Retired
Past Executive Assistant to the President of UAHuntsville

 

This is my UAH story…

I became a non-traditional student at UAHuntsville when I was a mid-career adult. My undergraduate days were spent at a very large public university in another state and my experience there was vastly different from my graduate student experience at UAHuntsville. Both university experiences are important, but when I calculate the total value of each, both personally and professionally, my educational experience at UAHuntsville is number one.

As an undergraduate I was ready to experience the world of “college” which to me meant learning and studying along with dorm living, football games, sorority sisters, parties, and being truly away from home.  As a graduate student I wanted to enhance my professional qualifications and knowledge. I studied and learned with an intensity and eagerness that I did not have as an undergraduate.  UAHuntsville gave me the opportunity to do that.  My classes were always small and the professors always accessible.  I worked full time and was able to take all my courses in the evenings.  When I had to drop out for nine months of cancer therapy, my professors allowed flexibility and I was able to seamlessly return to my studies.

 

Feb
28

2007 – Mital Modi – My UAH Story

written by admin

Mital Modi

BS, Mechanical Engineering, 2007

Former SGA President

System Mission Manager
Missile Defense Agency
Huntsville, AL

 

This is my UAH Story…

UAH has always been a “University at Home” for me since I started as a Freshman in Fall 2002 pursuing a degree in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering. Out of several engineering schools, I chose to be a student at UAH because I knew I would get one-on-one help from the faculty. College of Engineering at UAH is also one of the well known departments in the nation and I did not have to think twice in picking a college.

Highlight of my years at UAH is my involvement in the student activities, specifically the Student Government Association, Lancers, International Culture Organization, Indian Student Organization, and Kappa Delta Sorority. I enjoyed meeting students and faculty through extracurricular activities and it gave me an opportunity to get out of my comfort zone to excel from being a member to taking leadership roles. I learned to manage my activities and time, to be a team player, and even to speak in public with English being my fourth language.  I am extremely motivated to give back to UAH as alumni because my success today is all thanks to the communications and leadership skills I have obtained from the university faculty, staff, and administration through their continuous mentorship.

If you are reading my UAH Story as an upcoming student, current student, or even as an alumni, I recommend take full advantage of what UAH has to offer. Education at the university is simply EXCELLENT but also get involved and make a difference to make campus a better place.