Grad Tales–50th Anniversary Style

The Department recently celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with a series of events and guest lecturers, and along with those guest speakers, we brought back a few of our grads to share their thoughts on how their time in REL impacted them–and how the tools they learned here are still being used in their day-to-day lives. Continue reading

The #GradTales Audience: Reflections From Current Students


As you may be familiar one of our events here in REL is the Grad Tales Event: Here and Back Again. The department invites a former REL major to talk about their experience before and after graduation, in hopes that they can help current students think not only about their place in the university but also how to make the best out of it; to think creatively about the courses they take in the humanities in general, and how to put that knowledge in good use after their graduation. In our last Grad Tales event we invited a recent graduate, Alexis Poston, to the task and Prof.Touna asked the students of her REL100 class to attend the event and write a brief paragraph with their thoughts regarding the talk. What follows are some of those students’ reflections.

“This evening, students and professors alike gathered to hear the remarkable story of a young lady’s academic tale…. From hearing Lexis story, I was able to see just what a student in the Religious studies field was able to gain, first hand. I am now much more interested in furthering my exploration in religious studies because I see that it helps shape you into a well rounded, well educated student. Being able to understand different cultures, and religions can help you with your communication skills, understanding people as well as social behaviors. With my current major being criminal justice, I think that adding a religious studies minor could be beneficial to my future as an employee.”

“One thing I learned by attending the Grad’s Tales event is that religious studies can give you a skill in critical thinking and analysis. I’m not saying that other classes or other majors on campus are not going to teach us that, but in religious studies you have to brainstorm not only about how you think about one subject, but also how other people may think about the same subject.”


“During the conversation the graduate student talked about her successes at UofA. This opened my eyes to many opportunities here at Alabama. I realized that if you set your mind to your goals they are possible to achieve. She had some very good insight on many different religion classes that sounded very interesting. Maybe I will pursue my minor in Religion here at Alabama. I learned a lot at the grad talk about how religious studies can help you in your everyday life and with your future work. She said that majoring in religious studies has made her a more well rounded person and able to communicate with other people on different levels. I enjoyed meeting other professors from the department, and the way the speaker talked about them made me want to take more classes in religious studies. We will see what the future holds for me. Maybe one day I will be the graduate at the “Grad’s Tales” event.”

“The presentation given in the Anderson Room of the Ferg was very insightful to how religious studies assists you in studying in the different majors here at UA. The Grad student speaking triple majored and triple minored in fields including criminal justice and Hebrew studies. Her passion for Religious Studies was evident when she talked about her past reading books on it, as well as taking the skills the courses [in religious studies] has taught her and applying it to criminology…I even learned that some Religious Studies majors even go on to Law School and Med School, which I never would have thought you could do. Overall, the presentation was insightful as to how Religious Studies assists in other fields.”

“She also mentioned how unlike any other program at the University, the professors in religious studies are supportive like a family, and that is how she made it through her 24 credit semesters and multiple majors. Her advice and experiences were really inspiring to me because she worked so hard to get where she is at now, and is using her education to succeed in life”

“Lexi is a great and smart woman. She tripled majored in REL, Criminal Justice, and International Studies. She was very kind to answer each of the audience’s questions. For me, I am an international student from China, Religious studies is very hard and I was worried whether I could do well. But now after going to the event I feel more confident. Because I trust myself and I will study hard and do a wonderful job in REL just like Ms. Lexi.”

“I hope one day to read some things that the speaker publishes. Also, I found the conversation between professors to be very thought provoking and interesting. I would be very interested in hearing any of them speak on the topics discussed during the event.”

“I was very interested in the responses the speaker had for the question I asked, regarding the relation between religious studies and the field of math and science in general. One response was that in international settings, where an engineer may find himself employed, understanding the delicate social and cultural customs of different religious groups helps one’s ability to communicate.”

Stay tuned for an announcement about our next Grad Tales event later this semester!

It’s Time for a Grad’s Tale!

gradtalekharacrowdIt’s that time of the year again, that’s right, A Grad’s Tale: There and Back Again is coming up! This series welcomes back UA graduates who have majored in Religious Studies to learn how the major has benefited them in post-graduate life. This semester’s installment is this coming Thursday, February 4th with Lexi Poston (with Prof. Jacobs interviewing her!), so be sure to join us in the Anderson Room (302) of the Ferguson Center at 7:00pm! Continue reading

Grad Tales are Back Again!


The REL Department is heading into November with the startup of A Grad’s Tale: There and Back Again! This series welcomes back UA graduates who have majored in Religious Studies to learn how the major has benefited them in post-graduate life. This year’s first installment begins this Thursday with Khara Cole, so be sure to join us in Smith Hall Room 205 at 6:30 pm!


Khara earned her B.A. in Religious Studies and Public Relations in 2013 at the University of Alabama. Since graduating, Khara has taken a job as an associate product manager with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee while also pursuing an MBA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She’ll be talking about how the critical thinking skills she learned from Religious Studies are helping her in the business world.

To learn more about Khara or the event, you can view the flyer here.

You can also read a blog post by Khara here, or another one here.

A Grad’s Tale with Hannah Hicks


The Department of Religious Studies is continuing its speaker series, There and Back Again: A Grad’s Tale, and the first installment of the semester is soon to come! Join us on Wednesday, January 28 at 6:00 pm in the Anderson Room of the Ferguson Center (Room 302) as recent grad Hannah Hicks discusses life after graduation.


Hannah earned her B.A. in May 2013. She was a double major in Philosophy and Religious Studies. Hannah is currently in her second year of law school at the University of Alabama School of Law. Hannah will reflect on her time in REL and how she has transitioned into law school.

After she graduated, the University wrote a feature on Hannah, which you can read here.To watch a video of Hannah discussing her time as an undergraduate, click here.

For more information about the series and past speakers, check out our webpage here.

If you can’t be at the event follow it on Twitter by following us at @StudyReligion and the hashtag #GradTales.

A Grad’s Tale Tonight: Ask Questions & Follow the Conversation with #GradTales

thereandbackWe are happy to welcome another Religious Studies graduate back to talk about life after college. Samantha Bush will be joining us to reflect on her time in REL and the skills she learned in our department that have translated to her career after graduation.


Also, follow the conversation tonight and tweet us your questions for Samantha throughout the day today and tonight at @StudyReligion using #GradTales. See you tonight at 6:30 in the Anderson Room (205) of the Ferguson Center.