Internships and Unexpected Relevance of REL Skills

Sonya Harwood-Johnson

Sonya Harwood-Johnson, originally from Grimes, Iowa, received her B.S. in Anthropology and Religious Studies, with a minor in Environmental Studies, from Iowa State University in 2020. She began work last month as a full-time International Programming Assistant at UA’s International Student and Scholars Services office; she will complete her M.A. in the study of religion at UA, as a part-time student, later in 2022.

When deciding which university I wanted to apply to for my Master’s degree, Alabama’s Religion in Culture program really stuck out to me. Coming from a background in Cultural Anthropology, I always had a difficult time whenever I felt like religion was being studied apart from the people who participate in it. I had no idea which direction I wanted to go with a Master’s in Religion, but UA seemed like the right place to guide me. It was exactly this “Religion in Culture” concept, with the guidance and prompting from UA’s faculty, that led me to internships that really helped me apply the skills I was learning that could be utilized outside of traditional academia. Continue reading

Should Your Name Be On Our Mail Boxes?

Main Office Mail Boxes

It’s the time of year when students are considering applying to graduate school, and we hope that those thinking about earning an M.A. in the study of religion consider the University of Alabama.

Our graduate program began four years ago and we’ve so far graduated seven students and they’re all putting their degrees to good use — from doing archival and museum work to studying architecture or earning a Ph.D. in the study of religion elsewhere in the U.S. And, with 9 incoming M.A. students who began their degree this past August, we’ve expanded the main office’s mail boxes, so there’s plenty of room for your name to be added. Continue reading

Incoming REL Student Awarded UA’s Francko Graduate Fellowship

Phoebe Duke-Mosier

We’re very pleased to announce that incoming M.A. student, Phoebe Duke-Mosier, has been awarded UA’s David Francko Graduate Fellowship, which carries full tuition/health insurance, and an annual $25,000 stipend, all of which is committed for both years of her degree.

Named after UA’s previous Dean of the Graduate School, one Francko Graduate Fellowship is awarded annually for incoming graduate students. No teaching assistant duties are linked to this award.

Phoebe graduated in 2019 from Hamilton College with a degree in Religious Studies. Her senior thesis, “Drinking the Kool-Aid: Discourses of Death at Jonestown,” was selected for publication in the Fall 2020 issue of The Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa. She has broad research interests in the study of religion, including religion’s relationship with popular culture and consumerism, discourses and practices surrounding death, and the intersection between the religious and the paranormal.

We’re very pleased to have Phoebe joining us for Fall and to have this prestigious award going to one of our incoming students.

Get Ready….

Old photo of women getting set for the start of a running raceWe have a large incoming class of M.A. students joining us in the Fall and to help them to get set for the new semester we’ve already hosted one Zoom meeting, with our Chair and Graduate Director, to answer some questions about the program. It was a success so we’ve decided to hold a few more voluntary online meetings, to help everyone prep for their Fall courses. Continue reading

Congrats to Our M.A. Graduates

Graduation picture of students from the 1930sIt’s certainly been an odd end to the Spring 2020 semester, what with universities across the country and around the world moving to remote instruction; that means that there was an abrupt end to meeting in-person with classes, so we’ve not had our Honors Day, when we traditionally recognize our students’ accomplishments.

Although we posted an Honors Day video, in place of our longstanding tradition of meeting together on the balcony, we’d also like to highlight the fine work carried out by our current class of graduating M.A. students, the third group that has graduated from the degree. Continue reading