Class of 2013-2014

Anderson Society

Front row (left to right): Ms. Betty Florey (Adviser), Lauren Hardison, Lena Oshinskie, Emily Broman, Genie Smith, Sydney Page.
Back row (left to right): Katie Lamberth, Mary Sellers Shaw, Fifi Wang, Darius Taylor, Ryan Jones, Jonathan Belanich, Jessie Ashton, DJ Jackson, Connor Fox, David Phelps, Saahil Agrawal, Kirkland Back. Not pictured: John Brinkerhoff, Marlan Golden, Natalie Goodwin, Davis Hill, Molly Lisenby, Zack Morris, Jason Wang, Chandler Wright, Kyle Zimmerman.

Saahil Agrawal

Saahil is a mechanical engineering student from Tuscaloosa, AL. He serves as chief operations and academics officer of Forza Financial, a student-run microlending company. In engineering his research is combustion-based and focuses on alternative fuels, through the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He also works at the Alabama Industrial Assessment Center, where, with a team of engineering students, he performs energy audits at industrial, factory settings.

Jessica (Jessie) Ashton

Jessie is a kinesiology and Spanish major from Laguna Niguel, CA looking to eventually earn her doctorate in Higher Education Administration. She is a member of Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for women, and is currently serving as an Academic Honor Council justice and SGA Director for Academic Integrity. She works with the Honors College as the Director for Alabama Action Abroad, a mentor for Honors Year One, and as a Capstone Leadership Academy facilitator. She has served on Heritage Panel, which helped her to discover her passion for fostering leadership in young adults. Jessie is also heavily involved with the office of First Year Experience with Peer Leaders, A Book Editorial Board, Camp 1831 A-Team, and a Freshman Forum Intern. She works as a UA Student Recruiter and a University Steward with Undergraduate Admissions.

Kirkland Back

Kirkland Back is a current senior from Gadsden, Alabama, studying English and Art History. She is an Honors English Thesis candidate, exploring the relationships between Southern power structures in communities of women and the mythology as defined by Roland Barthes. Her interests are broad, but she most finds strength in helping women find their inner voice and become who they deserve to be. She keeps busy as the Honors College Assembly President, a member of XXXI, and a Kappa Delta sister.

Jonathan Belanich

Jonathan is a double major in anthropology and biology with minors in Italian and computer-based honors. He conducts research in biology, studying scorpion and tarantula SDA and post-prandial metabolic rates. He also conducts research in anthropology studying the effects of fire on human cognition and also the effects of cultural knowledge on mating success. In addition to this, he is the editor-in-chief of JOSHUA (Journal of Science and Health at UA), a member of the Other Club, and works as a swimming instructor and lifeguard.

John Brinkerhoff (Vice President)

Emily Broman

Emily is a university fellow from Forest, VA majoring in chemical engineering and psychology on the premedical track. Emily has been active in the Honors College primarily as the HCA director of civic engagement and has recently been elected executive vice president. She has conducted research in the Department of Psychology and now as a SCOPE senior research associate through the Center for Community-Based Partnerships. Emily’s most meaningful endeavor has been serving as the student facilitator for Art to Life, an initiative which facilitates art therapy for dementia patients. Emily’s main contribution has been the authorization of her original research study ascertaining the behavioral effects of art therapy and its influence on participant quality of life.

Connor Fox

Connor is a junior from Birmingham, AL majoring in Public Relations and minoring in American Studies. He is currently in his second year as one of the drum majors for the Million Dollar Band and as an intern with Creative Campus. In addition, Connor also serves as an ambassador for the College of Communication and Information Sciences. He is involved with many organizations across campus and has volunteered as a student mentor with READ Alabama, a group facilitator with the Capstone Leadership Academy and as a designer for the Crimson White. Connor recently completed an internship with the Sidewalk Film Festival this past summer.

Marlan Golden

Marlan is from Pike Road, AL and is majoring in history and Spanish. He is a member of the Blackburn Institute and currently serves as president of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. He has been involved in other campus organizations such as SGA, Capstone Men and Women, and Freshman Forum. He has served as a Moral Forum facilitating scholar and has been involved in undergraduate research experiences with the departments of History and Modern Languages and Classics. Marlan has also been selected for membership in Phi Beta Kappa.

Natalie Goodwin

Natalie is a senior at UA from Fort Worth, TX. She is majoring in mathematics and economics while also pursuing a master of science in economics degree through the University Scholars Program. Natalie is extremely involved in the Honors College, where she serves as a student intern. She also participates in the University Fellows Experience, serves as an Honors College ambassador, and is on the Honors College Student Advisory Board. Natalie has also served for two consecutive years on the executive board of her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, as vice president for chapter relations and standards and was named president of The XXXI Women’s Honorary.

Lauren Hardison, President

Lauren is a double major in finance and economics from Dallas, TX. She has chosen to focus her involvement over the last year in UA’s student-run microfinance company, Forza Financial, as loan officer, chief investment officer, and currently as chief underwriter and collections officer. Lauren is also involved in the Business Honors Program, the University Fellows Experience, her sorority, Chi Omega, Beta Gamma Sigma, and Mortar Board. She recently was recognized as Panhellenic’s 2012 Dr. Kathleen Powers Cramer Leadership and Involvement Award winner and as a 2013 C&BA Faculty Excellence Award in Finance winner. Lauren interned as a finance analyst in Manhattan with Credit Suisse during the summer of 2013 and will move to New York for a full-time analyst position with Goldman Sachs this summer post-graduation.

Davis Hill

Davis is from Birmingham, AL and is majoring in accounting and Spanish. Since freshman year Davis has been involved in several facets of UA’s campus. He has served as an Honors College and Greek ambassador and secretary of his fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega. As past president of two honor societies, Davis has been very involved with the Coordinating Council of Honor Societies. Through his role as assistant director of Alabama Action Abroad, he has been able to combine his passions of language, community service, and travel.

Davis (DJ) Jackson, Secretary/Treasurer

DJ is a current senior from Tuscaloosa, AL majoring in history and minoring in computer science and educational studies. As an active Honors College student and university fellow, DJ spends the majority of his time working in service to others. Weekly he teaches an art enrichment class to students in local elementary schools that do not have the funding for an arts education. This past year DJ served on the Board of Governors for The SOURCE, the coordinating body for the university’s 500+ student organizations. As director of organizational outreach, DJ works to coordinate events and initiatives to connect UA students to involvement opportunities across campus.

Ryan Jones

Ryan is from Collierville, TN and majoring in mechanical engineering. He is in the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, where he has served as scholarship chair, social chair, and vice president of programming (position equivalent of vice president in order of succession). He is also a College of Engineering ambassador and vice president-elect of Pi Tau Sigma, the mechanical engineering honor society. He is also involved in Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Katie Lamberth

Katie is a public relations major and history minor from Alexander City, AL. She has served in a variety of ways throughout her time at the UA, including as a university ambassador through Capstone Men and Women where she has given 450+ hours of service to UA. Katie also serves as the Panhellenic delegate on Chi Omega’s executive board and is a mentor through the Dean of Students’ mentoring program. She has served on Lambda Sigma’s executive board, as a member of Cardinal Key, and as the president of Mortar Board. She enjoys being a part of a variety of groups in the Honors College and studyed art history in Florence, Italy during the summer of 2013.

Molly Lisenby

Over the past three years Molly has worked with the Community Service Center to start a student United Way group on campus, Crimson Outreach. She has served as president for the past two years and looks forward to continuing to build the organization. She has also been involved with several underclassmen mentoring programs, The SOURCE Outreach Team, and the Honors Medicine and Community program.

Zack Morris

Zack is a senior from Birmingham, AL majoring in mechanical engineering. He currently serves as the president of Honors College Ambassadors. In addition he is an Honors Year One intern in the Honors College, through which he works to develop events and courses for freshmen honors students. Zack also conducts research in the mechanical engineering department with Dr. Brian Fisher working on diesel fuel emissions.

Lena Oshinskie

Lena Oshinskie is from Highland Park, NJ, and is currently a senior University Fellow at the University of Alabama. Her studies of English, Spanish, and Educational Studies perpetuated her interest in learning all she could about the American educational system, which she cultivated knowledge about through a variety of mentoring opportunities, most notably serving as the intern for READ Alabama. She also did research on the use of technology and social media in the classroom. Beyond that, she served as an Honors College Ambassador. She currently teaches creative writing at the Tuscaloosa Juvenile Detention center and plans to pursue teaching after graduation.

Sydney Page

Sydney is a senior majoring in political science with minors in history, Blount liberal arts, and education through the Honors College. Currently she serves as the president of the Afro-American Gospel Choir, secretary/treasurer of the Coordinating Council for Honor Societies, resident advisor in Blount Hall, and peer advisor for the Career Center. For the past two years she has represented her peers as an SGA senator for the College of Arts & Sciences and will serve as the 2013-2014 SGA director of engagement.

David Phelps

David is a senior from New Orleans, LA majoring in civil engineering and minoring in urban education. His ultimate passion is to help improve K-12 education equity by teaching middle school in under-served environments. As The SOURCE’s director of organizational leadership for two years, David has helped facilitate the growth of many student groups and service initiatives at UA. Realizing that too few peers have the chance to share their awesomeness, David recently helped launch Tide Talks, a unique monthly lecture series highlighting the most thought-provoking students on campus. Additionally he leads an after-school enrichment program through The Well College Ministry and sustains an unhealthy obsession with the NCAA Champion Louisville Cardinals.

Mary Sellers Shaw, Historian

Mary Sellers is a senior from Birmingham, Alabama majoring in Communication Studies and Civic Engagement with minors in Spanish and Creative Writing. She is active across campus in SGA, Phi Mu sorority, and the Blackburn Institute as well as in campus ministry and several honor societies. She also serves as the Vice President of Honors College Ambassadors and as a student intern for the University Fellows Experience. Mary Sellers has completed internships with the United States House of Representatives, Independent Presbyterian Church, and the Alabama Association of Nonprofits. She also spent a year creating a short documentary film on the effects of Alabama’s controversial immigration law, HB-56, which won “Best Student Film” at the 2012 Sidewalk Film Festival.

Genie Smith

Genie is a senior from Birmingham, AL double majoring in economics and English and specializing in macroeconomics and monetary policy. She is the chair for the Blackburn Institute and currently active in other areas of campus, such as the Culverhouse College of Commerce Undergraduate Services, Alpha Gamma Delta, and the Honors College. She was recently inducted into The XXXI Women’s Honorary, and she also participates in the Tuscaloosa’s One Place mentoring program each week at Matthews Elementary School.

Darius Taylor

Darius is a Tuscaloosa native. He enjoys giving back to both the university and Tuscaloosa communities through service. He is the current chief justice for the College of Arts & Sciences Academic Honor Council, which is a council devoted to promoting academic integrity throughout campus. He is also a member of many service-based organizations that work within the university community and surrounding areas.

Fifi Wang

Fifi is a senior from McLean, VA, majoring in political science and minoring in history. She spent her junior year abroad in Cairo, Egypt, where she studied Arabic, taught English to Ethiopian refugees, and interned for the International Labor Organization. On campus, she has been involved in the SGA, Honors College Ambassadors, International Peer Advisory Council, and the Crimson White. She also created a short documentary on segregated school systems in Alabama which was featured at Birmingham’s Sidewalk Film Festival.

Jason Wang

Jason is a senior double majoring in chemistry and math and on the pre-med track. As part of his extracurriculars and leadership, he is currently president of MAPS, a pre-health organization, and a co-director of shadowing for AED. He is also vice president of Gamma Sigma Epsilon, the pre-health chemistry honors society, and he serves as an ambassador for the Honors College. He has also been doing research in the organic chemistry lab under Dr. Shaughnessy. Apart from that he also participates in various community service organizations such as READ Alabama and tutoring programs.

Chandler Wright

Kyle Zimmerman

Kyle is a political science major from Prattville, AL who is actively involved in a multitude of organizations ranging from Air Force ROTC, Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity, Club Wrestling, and Special Operations Preparation Team He was recently tapped a member of Mortar Board and Omicron Delta Kappa. He has three brothers, dreams of public service, and loves any outdoor activity.

Honorary Members: Alex Clark, Juliana Harless, and Ralph Leslie “Tray” Smith

Advisor: Betty Florey, Honors College


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