photo of Alum Liaison Committee members at Manly Hall
Members of the inaugural Alum Liaison Committee, at REL’s 2018 Homecoming reception.

In the summer of 2018, REL formed its first Alumni Liaison Committee, in an effort to begin to develop more routine and closer relationships with all of its BA and MA graduates.

We’ve long sent out annual newsletters and, since the Fall of 2013, we’ve hosted a variety of Grad Tales events (in which alums who have gone on to a wide variety of careers return to talk to students in lower-level core courses about the relevance of their liberal arts training), and we even have a grad annually host a career workshop for majors. But we’ve never pulled all of these initiatives together and drawn on the enthusiasm and expertise of grads to help plan and host them.

So, we invited a group of interested alums (working with Prof. Vaia Touna, the Department’s representative to the committee) to help us not only be in touch with other alums but also to bring them back to town periodically and to meet virtually. They even established an annual Alum Liaison Committee Award.

The committee’s members serve a three year term.

Members of REL’s Alum Liaison Committee

Jennifer Alfonso NelsonJennifer Alfano Nelson

Jennifer earned a B.A. in Religious Studies and English at UA in 2007.

She went on to earn a M.A. in Education at UAB and taught middle school English from 2010-2017. During this time, she developed an interest in educational technology and software development and decided to learn to code, receiving a scholarship to Flatiron School’s Web Developer program from Women Who Code. She is now a software developer at Quantalytix, Inc. in Birmingham, AL. She also gets to combine her passion for education and technology as a Microsoft TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools) volunteer, co-teaching an introduction to computer science course at Tarrant High School.

Meet Jennifer here.


Khara ColeKhara Cole

Khara earned her B.A. in Religious Studies and Public Relations at UA in 2013.

After graduating, she began her career in health care product development and marketing at BlueCross and BlueShield of Tennessee. She started an MBA program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (graduating in 2016) and now, back in Birmingham, AL, she works as a product specialist for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama while also being on the prowl for historic artifacts in and around Birmingham.

Learn more about a careers workshop Khara recently ran for REL.



Kim DavisKim Davis

Kim graduated with a B.A. in Religious Studies and French from UA in May of 2003.

She then went on to earn an M.A. in French (in 2007) and then also a Class A Certification in Second Language Pedagogy from UA (in 2010). She currently teaches French as well as a very popular class on mythology at Tuscaloosa County High School. Kim lives in Northport, AL with her two cats, a dog, and several fish, and sometimes takes students on study abroad trips to France.

Meet Kim here.



Justin Nelson

Justin Nelson

Justin graduate in 2007 with a B.A. major in Religious Studies and a minor in REL General Business.

After graduation, he pursued roles in information technology, working for a software-as-a-service startup in 2007. He has worked in operations, marketing, and sales, and now information technology infrastructure sales with a Birmingham-based company. In 2015 Justin moved to Hewlett Packard Enterprise, where he focuses on information technology asset recovery and disposition strategies for major corporate brands.

Meet Justin here.

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