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Faculty/Staff News

Lucas Johnson beside President Ken Tucker at UWA commencement
Lucas Johnson, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy, received the 2024 William E. Gilbert Award for Outstanding Teaching for his efforts during one of UWA’s May 3 commencement exercises. Given annually by the student body, the Gilbert Award recognizes outstanding teaching and excellence in undergraduate classroom instruction. 
Dr. Uchenna Akpom
Longtime UWA business professor Dr. Uchenna Akpom was recently named director of the University’s Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Rural Business program. The first of its kind degree program was introduced two years ago at UWA and features relevant courses that focus on critical issues as well as strategies and solutions related to rural businesses and designed to offer innovative solutions to global rural business challenges.
More than a slogan or tagline, there really is something about The University of West Alabama that drew Hannah and Josh Millwood back to their alma mater.
2024 Faculty Staff Awards UWA
Four of UWA’s most outstanding faculty and staff were recognized by peer-voted awards for their service and excellence. Pictured left to right are UWA Provost Dr. Tina N. Jones; Rhonda Faulkner-Wooley, McIlwain Bell Trustee Professor Award recipient; Chris Theriot, McIlwain Bell Professional Staff Excellence Award recipient; Shelly Fast, McIlwain Bell Support Staff Excellence Award recipient; Dr. Valerie Burnes, Nellie Rose McCrory Service Excellence Award recipient; and UWA President Dr. Ken Tucker.
For the past few years Dr. Lucas Johnson has been a man on a mission. An assistant professor in the College of Natural Science and Mathematics at the University of West Alabama, Johnson is determined to go into every high school in the area that will invite him in.
Sculpture created out of clay gummy bears

What happens when you combine thousands of pieces of clay shaped like a small, sweet and chewy gelatin-based candy? One of Jessica Smith’s unique ceramic sculptures of course.

Citing the University of West Alabama’s dedication to safety and emergency preparedness, the National Weather Service has renewed UWA’s status as a StormReady University. The status lasts through April 21, 2026.
When Birmingham’s weather warmed and school reached its hiatus, Dr. Tim Edwards spent his teenage summers toiling alongside his father, a brick mason with a meticulous attention to detail so prevalent among skilled artisans.
Dr. Amanda Pendergrass

Upon hearing that she’d won the University of West Alabama’s most prestigious faculty award, Dr. Amanda Pendergrass walked to the lectern and addressed the commencement crowd.


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