2023 Donor Impact Report

College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Ruth Truss

Dean Dr. Ruth Truss

“The College of Arts and Sciences uses donor funds to support scholarships for deserving students; to enhance the teaching and learning process with purchases of items such as software; to assist with special programming and travel for students; and to help with hosting guest speakers who have important impacts on students.  Donors generously support faculty through endowed positions; CAS faculty currently hold three endowed professorships.  We are grateful for the ongoing support of our alumni and friends and strive to maintain a careful stewardship of these funds to maximize the impact on our students and programs.”

College of Arts and Sciences Report

  • Alumni regularly support programs through both one-time donations and scholarship support. These funds help students with scholarships that cover tuition, support for travel expenses, undergraduate research conferences, and more.
  • The Swallowing and Voice Imaging Lab (SAVI-lab) in Wallace Hall supports ongoing research in dysphagia, provides free of charge diagnostic imaging and therapeutic services for voice and swallowing-related disorders, and serves as an educational lab for the graduate Voice and Dysphagia courses. The lab houses both flexible and rigid endoscopes used for direct laryngeal, oropharyngeal, and nasopharyngeal imagining. The lab also provides video stroboscopy for assessment of voice/laryngeal function. Lab and equipment use is under the direction and supervision of Dr. Mathew Vansant.
  • The African American Studies minor has been reinvigorated by the energy and expertise of newly hired Dr. Maxine Williams.
  • Under the direction of Dr. Kate Hayden, chemistry faculty, STEMMing the Tide works with K-12 educators and community agencies that serve students from and around Africatown to develop a place-based sustainability curriculum with an enhanced focus on diversity and social justice. The team hosts summer workshops that partner academic faculty, K-12 educators, and community agencies to design STEM-focused learning modules and service-projects to be incorporated in the middle school curriculum at Mobile County Training School in Africatown.  In the last year they completed an outdoor classroom space featuring a healing garden and bioswale next to the Africatown Heritage House and MCTS, planted climate change friendly trees creating a shade trail along the historic Lantern Walk, installed a professional grade aquaponics garden in the school, and equipped the science labs with modernized equipment to facilitate environmental monitoring and a new recycling program.  (Funding for this project is supported by the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine under award number SCON-10000733. Learn more about STEMMing The Tide at www.stemmingthetide.weebly.com.)
  • The Department of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science offers The PLUNGE — a preparatory program for students interested in the health professions.
  • CAS programs offer a diverse range of opportunities for students to engage in “real world” experiences. These placements include museums, libraries, archives, courthouses, corrections centers, health agencies, educational facilities, non-profit organizations, environmental agencies, and publishing fields. Through alumni support, internships are available out-of-state in medicine and political affairs such as the Harvard Medical School Center for Glycoscience and The Washington Center.
  • Students in the master’s degree Speech-Language Pathology Program engage in externships across the region with both pediatric and adult populations.
  • The Environmental Studies program is creating program pathways focusing on the policy aspect as well as the hard-science aspect of the major.
  • CAS faculty regularly engage with students on an individual basis through a variety of means. The Undergraduate Research Program provides an opportunity for students to develop a research project with a faculty mentor. Professional programs allow students to observe and engage in clinical practice.  Independent studies provide students with other avenues to work closely with faculty.
  • The graduate Speech-Language Pathology Program has a 100% pass rate on the Praxis Examination.
  • Graduate students in the Speech-Language Pathology program won the 2023 Quest for the Cup, an annual competition amongst the graduate SLP programs in the state.
  • Dr. Rosa Stoops holds the Christiane Angele Jacobson Endowed Chair in Spanish; Dr. Heather Tinsley serves as the university’s Todd and Linda Strange Endowed Professor; and Dr. Jason Newell holds the Dr. Jeanine Bozeman Endowed Chair of Social Work.
  • The Christiane Angele Jacobson Endowment supports student travel programs as well as funding the chair in Spanish, and the Dr. Jeanine Bozeman Endowment supports social work programming.
  • Four Political Science alumni, who participated in Model UN as students, serve on staff with the Southeastern Regional Model United Nations.  Donor support assists with student travel to these conferences.

Donor Impact

Aubrie Chastain“Montevallo was like my dream school, and through getting a scholarship, it made it a possibility when I thought maybe it wouldn’t be. I’m really grateful for it.” 

– Aubrie Chastain, who is double majoring in political science and environmental studies and minoring in pre-law