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Jade Montgomery

Jade Montgomery: Tutwiler Scholar

“I think the thing that makes West Alabama special is that it combines the best elements of a large school and a small school,” Jade Montgomery says. “It’s big enough that you have the opportunity to do some really amazing things.

“But UWA is small enough that you get to work very closely with your professors. You get to be part of the research. You can make connections with your classmates, your professors, alumni from the school. When it comes to college, smaller really is better.”

Montgomery was part of UWAs first group of Tutwiler Scholars, the newest prestige scholarship program. The Tutwiler Scholars was created to attract, reward, and cultivate exceptional undergraduates. It features a 10 member cohort of high-achieving, high-potential students who have demonstrated initiative, creativity, intellectual passion and curiosity, and a commitment to making positive contributions to society.

The benefits of the program include supplemental scholarships, renewable each fall semester with the maintenance of a 3.5 GPA; a travel stipend for study-abroad semesters; a technology allowance for computers; participation in enriching social, cultural, artistic, and scientific enterprises; and targeted mentoring by UWA professors.

For Montgomery, study abroad meant six months at the University of Western Australia in the city of Perth.

“It was an amazing experience,” Montgomery says. “I think about it every day. Being so far from home, meeting new people. It forces you to grow up, but at the same time it opens your eyes to new cultures, new ways of thinking. Everyone should get the chance.”

Montgomery has big plans for her future. She’s majoring in Biology/Pre-Med and after graduation intends to become either a Physician’s Assistant or a Pharmacist. “I’m working on a research project now with my professor, Dr. Mustafa Morsey. I’m conducting experiments on the antibiotic properties of common spices. And that’s kind of what I was talking about. It’s doubtful at larger school that I’d be working directly on that kind of research. But here, you have those kinds of hands-on opportunities.”