Gloria McClendon, Gender and Race Studies Award

Major: African-American studies

Minor: Women’s studies

Hometown: Charleston, South Carolina

Favorite Experience at UA: My favorite overall experience was learning the deep history of The University of Alabama and what roles African Americans played in building up and maintaining the campus during the early years. Dr. Hillary Green’s tours as well as her classes went into so much detail that it allowed me to gain a more specific understanding of such roles. Being able to trace back so far through research, reading and analyzation, I gained a new found passion for learning about the history of African Americans in every way. I have gotten so much out of these teachings that it has opened the door to ideas that have pushed me so much further academically than I would have ever thought. Coming into the Gender and Race studies program, I didn’t know what to expect in learning about African American history at a predominantly white institute such as UA. I am glad to say, what I have learned is only the beginning of a long journey in the continued studies of the rich history of African Americans.

Favorite Class: My favorite professor was Nabila Lovelace. Two of the most important life lessons that she reminded me of when I took her class was, I am human and show myself compassion. She allowed me to realize what it meant to deal with life while being a student all at the same time. Many times I found myself so caught up in the school life I didn’t care about my own well-being. Teaching me to show myself compassion helped me to stop being so hard on myself and understand that I can’t perform my best if I don’t take some time for me more than just every once in a while. Nabila was very compassionate and accepting in the fact that life happens outside of being a student and that we should not feel like robots constantly working until burnout. Mental health is one of many subjects that are important to her and she expressed it through this act of compassion. Her teachings, reading selections, and overall class lessons opened my mind to think in a much more liberated and open way. I know because of her I look at life much differently than I ever thought I would. Having Nabila Lovelace as a professor changed me for the better and I appreciate everything she did for me and taught me throughout the course of my education here at The University of Alabama.

Future Plans: My future plans are to continue my studies in med school and become an Obstetrician Gynecologist and eventually open my own practice for low-income and minority communities.