February 19, 2013

Alumni honored at University of Montevallo Homecoming

MONTEVALLO—During recent homecoming activities at the University of Montevallo, three UM alumni were honored for outstanding work in their fields and for service to their communities.

The Distinguished Alumna Award for 2013 went to Dr. Karen Snowden, a professor of veterinary medicine at Texas A & M University in College Station, Texas. Snowden received her B.S. degree in biology from the University of Montevallo in 1973, then went on to earn the DVM at Auburn University and the Ph.D. in veterinary medicine from North Carolina State University.

In 1989, Snowden crossed the Atlantic to serve as a post-doctoral senior research associate, then as a lecturer in veterinary parasitology at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool, England. Upon returning to the United States, she accepted an assistant professorship at Texas A & M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and has since advanced to a full professorship.

In an effort to give her students a direct, hands-on clinical experience, Snowden has cultivated a relationship with a local animal shelter, having senior students serve a two-week rotation handling the medical problems of approximately 175 animals, primarily dogs and cats. This experience gives the students a first-hand look at the operation of a community animal shelter and also gives them a preview of a wide variety of dilemmas they may face in their future practices. More recently, the shelter rotation has been integrated with a new, required rotation focused on emergency and disaster response.

The recipient of the 2013 Nathalie Molton Gibbons Alumni Achievement Award was Martin Nalls, principal of Homewood Middle School near Birmingham.

Nalls earned the master of education degree in secondary education from the University of Montevallo in1997, then went on to the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he received the education specialist and the doctor of education degrees, both in educational leadership.

Nalls began his career in education in 1997 as a social sciences teacher at Pleasant Grove High School. In 2000, he became assistant principal at Fairfield High School, but a year later went to the Hoover school system as assistant principal at Hoover High School. When the new Hoover High School Freshman Campus opened in 2006, Nalls was instrumental in coordinating, implementing and facilitating that program, and in 2007, was named Alabama Assistant Principal of the Year. In 2008, Nalls had the opportunity to become principal at Homewood Middle School where he continues to lead and motivate students to excel.

Always an advocate for education, Nalls helped design an intense ACT preparation course for a group of Birmingham inner-city high school students who were mentored through the I Am My Brother’s Keeper Leadership Institute, resulting in scholarship opportunities for a number of inner-city youth. One individual who nominated him for this award wrote that Nalls should be considered “for his unrelenting commitment and dedication to expanding learning outside of the classroom and for his focus on individual student success.”

The 2013 Nathalie Molton Gibbons Young Alumni Achiever’s Award went to Terra D. Moody, a native of Birmingham.

Moody received the B.S. degree with University Honors in mass communication from the University of Montevallo in 2006. While a student at UM, she participated in the McNair Scholars Program and went on to earn a master’s degree in communication studies at the University of Alabama. She is currently a candidate for the Ph.D. in mass communication specializing in children and the media, also at UA.

While still in graduate school, Moody founded a mentoring program in Birmingham, Crowning Achievements Inc., of which she is the executive director. This organization helps underrepresented and adult returning students to prepare for college and provides scholarships for high school seniors in the Birmingham City School System. She was honored by the City of Birmingham Division of Youth Services with the Hidden Hero Award for providing numerous scholarships to area students.

Moody currently holds the position of program analyst with the Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md. She develops and implements training in research and chairs the outreach initiatives committee, which promotes clinical research training and medical education to targeted audiences.