Category: Alumni Updates

Justin Nelson

Justin kindly answered the following questions for us before he graduated in the Spring of 2007. Where did you go to high school? I attended West Blocton High School. How did you find out about the academic study of religion? I was being advised and I needed a class to fill up space on my schedule and the advisor says, “So, what are you interested in?” I say, “I like movies and reading about philosophy and religion.” Then she replies, […]

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Josh McDonough

Moving Forward The following essay by Josh McDonough was published in our annual Newsletter in the Spring of 2007, Issue 4. As I sit in this cold classroom learning the difference between an assignment and a sub-lease, I try to remember how I came to be here. Two years ago, I was in Tuscaloosa studying Asian religions, enjoying the more moderate climes of central Alabama. Now I am in Chicago, where the wind chill is negative twenty degrees, and Buddhism […]

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Michael Manasco

I’ll be honest; religious studies was not on my radar as I began my undergraduate career at the University of Alabama. However, it turned out to be exactly the program I needed to realize who I was, as well as who I was to become. I began as a biology major in 2000, but as I became aware of the wide variety of fields of study the University offered, I began to seriously think about another passion of mine: philosophy. […]

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Kim Davis

Inspired by Prof. William Doty’s Blount Undergraduate Initiative class on Joseph Campbell’s work on myth, Kim Davis soon found herself an REL and French double major. In addition, she worked part-time in the Department’s main office from May 2003 until August 2004. As the Department’s webmistress extraordinaire, main office assistant, and always enthusiastic “Jill-of-All-Trades,” Kim was directly responsible for much of the content and format of this site, as well as being responsible for taking the lead on such projects […]

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Tonya Daniel

“Religious studies? Your major was religious studies?” Telling someone what my college major was always elicits this response. Of course, the immediate follow-up question is, “why religious studies?” Religion is a dynamic subject, and I enjoy learning the particulars of the different faiths. It is a sensitive topic to broach with most people. Therefore, I welcome inquires about my liberal arts education because they give me an opportunity to discuss religion and my choice of it for my major. My […]

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Nell Perry Earnest Dalton

A Very Special Story I was pleased to hear from you and to read of your activity. Your letter stirred fond memories and inspired me to delve into notes and papers that I had saved from my years at the University of Alabama. Those were exciting years to me. Having married when I was but sixteen, I had not even a high school diploma when I was widowed at forty-six. Within months of my husband’s death, I had earned my […]

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Stephanie Cusimano

I sometimes think of religion as an exquisite vase, passed down to me through many generations. I imagine its thin porcelain walls luminescent, burning with the sacred aura of its history. With pleasure I gaze upon the vase, until one day it tumbles from the shelf, shattering into numerous pieces. But I do not dismay; I gently fasten each shard together until, from fragmentation, a brilliant object once again emerges. I place it back on the shelf. Now as I […]

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Stephanie Brennan

Before Stephanie graduated, we asked her a few questions about herself. Where did you go to high school? I attended John Carroll Catholic High School in Birmingham Alabama. How did you find out about the academic study of religion? I suppose that, academically, religion has always been a part of my life. I attended parochial schools of varying denominations (Baptist, Episcopalian, and Catholic) for my primary and secondary education, so the influence of religion in my life has been profound […]

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Kristin Bradbury

All of my life, I have known that I wanted to be a physician in order to heal the afflicted. Yet I also knew that I did not want to follow in the footsteps of so many of my peers by earning a Biology degree. I wanted to do something different. I wanted my time as an undergraduate to be spent learning something that I am not only truly interested in, but also a subject that I would not have […]

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Adam Beach

“Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.”Have you ever found yourself in this situation? “Hello good sir/ma’am. I certainly do hate to bother, but would you happen to know a certain Mr. Adam of Beach? If so, what has he been up to and how on earth is the old cap doing?” Sound familiar? Well, it should. A study shows that 4 out of 5 Americans prefer hearing about someone instead of being […]

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