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The faces of success 

Montevallo’s students and young alumni have a vision for the future and are already taking actions to ensure it’s a bright one.  

Whether preparing the next generation of leaders in a middle school classroom or preparing for a successful career on Broadway, the students and young alumni are setting the bar for success. And no matter where their lives have taken them, they all credit UM for making the journey possible.  

 

 Hannah Godwin 

Alum ’17 

Major: Marketing 

Current role: Godwin is a social media influencer specializing in fashion campaigns and modeling. 

How did the University of Montevallo provide a foundation for the successes you have seen in your life since graduating?  

For me, Montevallo taught me how to go for what I want and the right way to approach it. I’m constantly working and meeting with some big brands in the industry, and I feel that Montevallo helped me prep for that stage in my career! 

 

Megan Randolph 

Alum ’06 

Major: Accounting 

Current role: Randolph is a tax partner at Warren Averett and serves as the firm’s division leader over tax operations. 

 How did the University of Montevallo provide a foundation for the successes you have seen in your life since graduating?  

I attribute my success in public accounting not only to the wonderful education that I received from the Stephens College of Business, but also to the relationships I built through Montevallo. Those who have walked the bricks of our alma mater truly are a family and the connections we have made with each other create immense opportunity to grow and learn in your career. 

 

Lynsey Weatherspoon

Lynsey Weatherspoon 

Alum ’06 

Major: Mass Communication 

Current role: Owner of Lynsey Weatherspoon Photography in Atlanta.  

How did the University of Montevallo provide a foundation for the successes you have seen in your life since graduating?  

My professors and the many opportunities I had to serve in leadership roles were definitely the foundation for the successes I’ve had thus far. Having the ability to talk one-on-one with my professors and their advice helped me become a better listener in order to be able to be a leader. My time at UM was amazing, from being the UPC coordinator to participating in many activities that allowed me the freedom to think and persevere. UM will always be considered home and I’m grateful that it still has an impact on my life. 

 

Daniel McBrayer

Daniel McBrayer 

Alum ’08 

Major: Political science 

Current role: Chief assistant district attorney for Shelby County.  

How did the University of Montevallo provide a foundation for the successes you have seen in your life since graduating?  

Looking back, Montevallo taught me how to effectively communicate with people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and experiences. What could be more important for an attorney? Tomorrow, I’ll file a written motion with the court asking for the judge to decide an issue in our favor. Next week, I’ll stand in front of a jury of 12 citizens and explain how the facts of the case fit the law. In both circumstances, these are skills I acquired and refined at Montevallo. Not just from communications or English classes, but in my political science classes too. There were significant (semester-long) writing projects. We had mock United Nations debates. Experiential learning. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt that several of the judges, social workers and other attorneys I work with are also Montevallo grads. 

 

Rachel Burt

Dr. Rachel Burt 

Alum ’14 

Major: Biology 

Minor: Chemistry 

Current role: Dr. Burt is a veterinarian at Montevallo Animal Clinic. 

How did the University of Montevallo provide a foundation for the successes you have seen in your life since graduating?  

The University of Montevallo allows students to take the lead with their educational experience. A classmate and I founded the UM Pre-Health Professional’s Society while I was on campus. The main goal of the organization is to increase awareness and exposure to the variety of health professional careers that may interest students after graduation. This organization enhanced my communication and leadership skills, and I continued my professional involvement through several organizations during vet school. My professors at UM made certain that material was understood, even if that meant explaining it more than one way. My educational foundation of science courses made my first year of vet school much easier than other classmates who may not have had such a personalized educational experience. 

 

Zoree and Byron Williams 

Alums ’17 

Majors: Elementary education 

Current roles: Zoree teaches math at Calera Middle School and Byron teaches American history and coaches football, baseball and girls’ basketball at the school.  

 How did the University of Montevallo provide a foundation for the successes you have seen in your life since graduating?  

(Zoree) 

The University of Montevallo has provided a foundation for the successes in my life since graduating by first allowing me to meet my husband, Byron, on the wonderful campus and gaining lifelong friends. I joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. at UM and from the wonderful sisterhood I have been able to network and connect with people who I wouldn’t have been able to before. The elementary education program has great professors who I still keep in contact with to this day and they have been tremendous in helping me throughout my teaching career thus far. The program prepared me for the many challenges that I would face in education and the awesome highs that I would gain as well. UM was definitely a foundation for the success that I’ve been granted through my career thus far.  

(Byron) 

Attending the University of Montevallo has had a profound impact on my life. I met my wife and two of my best friends, who I call my brothers, amongst countless other associates while attending this great university. The foundation that the University of Montevallo provided has transcended beyond education for me. I’ve made valuable connections with professors and friends who I consider family at this point in my life. I’ve also developed and fostered many relationships because of the University of Montevallo and I will be forever thankful! 

 

Justin Williams

Justin Williams 

Current student 

Major: Accounting, graduates in May 2020 

Williams is the director of social services for the Student Government Association and is involved with the Minority Student Union, UM Alumni Ambassadors/F.A.M. and the McNair Scholars Program. He is completing an internship with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Emerging Leaders program. 

How has the University of Montevallo benefited you and helped you lay a foundation for your future goals? 

My time at Montevallo has caused me to grow both personally and professionally. Montevallo has benefited me by showing me that it is okay to be who you are. Since coming here, I have had the chance to do research, take a semester to do an internship, do graduate school prep and make some lifelong connections. I have had the chance to get to know alumni and have them become mentors. Not only have I accomplished my educational goals because of Montevallo, I have gained valuable life experience and skills that I know will benefit me in the future. 

 

Abby Askins

Abby Askins 

Current student 

Major: Communication studies, graduating in May 2021 

Askins is a Student Government Association junior senator, a Montevallo Maven, a Montevallo Master and is a member of Phi Mu and Lambda Pi Eta. This spring, she completed an internship with the Central States Communication Association that tasked her with helping to promote and organize the association’s annual conference.  

How has the University of Montevallo benefited you and helped you lay a foundation for your future goals? 

Montevallo has opened my eyes to see that I am capable of so much more than I thought I was.  After I started building up confidence in myself through my department, I decided to branch out and try a variety of new things. I have held leadership positions I never thought I would hold, been cast in two musical theater performances, entered into a pageant and so much more. This campus and the people here have shown me what it means to step up and try new things. I once listened to a speaker who said that “in order to be successful, you have to risk being a hot mess.” Montevallo has shown me the beauty in risking being a hot mess if it means that I am pushing my limits, trying new things and keeping myself well-rounded.  

 

Amber Hayes Amber Hayes 

Current student, graduates May 2020 

Major: Theatre 

In fall 2019, Hayes took part in a 10-day experience in The Growing Studio’s LINK Program, which took her to New York City to meet and audition for several theatre companies in the city. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., the M.A.D.E. program, Minority Student Union, Purple Side and has been involved in several theatre productions on campus. 

How has the University of Montevallo benefited you and helped you lay a foundation for your future goals? 

Montevallo has put me in a position of success. I love it here. Simply put, the University has given me the tools to win. Since being here, I have been invited to intensives by our lovely vocal coach, been signed in New York by a manager, been passed on to New York for auditions and chosen for the LINK program. The faculty and staff also care so much and do everything in their power to help. People from Montevallo were so helpful in even getting me to New York. They were able to find me a donor to pay for the trip anonymously. I love this school with all my heart. They have inspired me to work hard and make sure I’m able to give back to my school to help somebody else. 

 

Natalie Seavers

Natalie Seavers 

Current student, graduates May 2021 

Major: Psychology  

Minor: Pre-law 

Seavers is the administrative vice president of the Student Government Association and will intern on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. this summer. 

How has the University of Montevallo benefited you and helped you lay a foundation for your future goals? 

The University of Montevallo has given me beyond what I ever expected in regard to developing a strong foundation for my future. Through academics, campus involvement and the overall memories I have made, Montevallo has taught me that my future is bright and that any dream you have can be possible if you put in the work behind it. I know that I have been prepared not only with the knowledge to succeed, but with the tools to continue learning as I grow in my career. I know that even after I graduate, Montevallo will always be a home to me. You will never forget the place that helped you grow into the stunning individual that you are and the University of Montevallo is that place for me.  

 

Danielle Lindsay Danielle Lindsay 

Current student, graduates May 2021 

Major: Finance 

Lindsay completed an internship in the Executive Office of the President at the White House in summer 2019, where she assisted in the Office of Presidential Correspondence. 

How has the University of Montevallo benefited you and helped you lay a foundation for your future goals? 

The University of Montevallo has truly cultivated my work ethic and passion for learning by providing me with a world-class education and supportive staff that truly care about me and my well-being. I moved 800 miles away from home as a young 17-year-old. I came because I fell in love with everything that Montevallo stood for and offered to me, and every day I fall in love with this amazing school even more. I truly cannot thank the wonderful Montevallo academic, administrative and athletic staff enough. I look forward to becoming a Montevallo alumna one day and continuing to give back to the university that gave so much to me.  

 

Morgan Leonard

Morgan Leonard 

Current student, graduates May 2021 

Major: Collaborative elementary education 

Leonard is a member of the competitive cheer team, involved in Baptist Campus Ministry and  holds several campus jobs, including working in the president’s office and serving as a resident assistant in Main Hall.  

How has the University of Montevallo benefited you and helped you lay a foundation for your future goals?  

The University of Montevallo has helped me develop both academically and professionally. Montevallo has been a resource that has helped me develop into the influential person I hope to be for my future students. The people here are what make this place so amazing. I have not had one professor, employer, or coach who has ever made me feel like my goals could not be reached if I worked hard enough to accomplish them. Every employee here gives you their best and supports you in whichever way is needed for you to succeed. I have been given so many opportunities to succeed and develop leadership skills on campus. I have also developed many leadership skills through my experiences as an RA and university cheerleader. These opportunities have taught me how to be a personable, responsible student as well as how to be a leader in the workplace. 

 

Anakate Andrasko

Anakate Andrasko 

Current student, graduates May 2022 

Major: Communications 

Minor: Biology 

Andrasko is the SGA director of diversity and outreach, a resident assistant in Main Hall, a Great Start peer mentor and a member of the Zeta Delta chapter of Alpha Delta Pi. She previously was vice president of SGA’s Freshman Forum. 

How has the University of Montevallo benefited you and helped you lay a foundation for your future goals? 

The University of Montevallo has granted me with multiple leadership opportunities that have given me a chance to not only build my resume but create great bonds with other people in multiple different organizations. The University has supplied me with resources to help me figure out my major and where my passions lie. The administration and faculty giving me the support I need to make hard decisions has helped me lay the foundation for my goals.   

 

Will Mitchell

Wil Mitchell 

Current student, graduates May 2020 

Major: Accounting 

Mitchell is a pole vaulter and decathlete on the UM track and field team. He completed an internship at GrandView Financial Group in summer 2019, and is completing an internship with Barfield, Murphy, Shank and Smith this semester.  

How has the University of Montevallo benefited you and helped you lay a foundation for your future goals?  

The University of Montevallo has helped me lay the foundation for my future by opening the doors to kickstart my professional career. In the fall of 2019, I was accepted into KPMG’s Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics program. This program is sending me to graduate school and guarantees me a job at completion of the curriculum. Thanks to this program, I will be heading to Denver, Colorado, for a summer internship with KPMG after graduation in May before starting graduate school at Villanova University in the fall. After completion, I will be working full-time in KPMG’s Denver office. All of this was made possible by the amazing faculty we have in the Michael E. Stephens College of Business. The faculty of our business school are not just here to teach us, they are also people we can trust to have our best interests at heart. They truly care and go to great lengths on a daily basis to make sure we, as students, have the opportunities to succeed. 

Josiah Garrett 

Josiah Garrett 

Current student 

Major: Business finance 

Garrett is a member of the UM Concert Choir, Minority Student Union, Urge and is a minority senator with SGA. He is a student worker in the Department of Music, serves as secretary of Phi Chi Theta and has performed in the Purple Side pit chorus for multiple years.  

How has the University of Montevallo benefited you and helped you lay a foundation for your future goals? 

The University has benefited my life in many different facets, but what sticks out to me the most are the leadership skills and opportunities I’ve had here. By being involved on campus, I have been afforded opportunities that broaden my skills and that have given me hands-on experience in the realm of leadership, teamwork and responsibility. I would love to have my own financial advising business and before I do, I have to start off by working under others and gaining knowledge on how to manage others. The serving opportunities I have had have shown me how to work under someone else so that I can have my own successful business. Being at Montevallo has done nothing short of prepare me for my life’s vision and purpose! 

 

Lizeth Ramirez

Lizeth Ramirez 

Current student 

Major: Exercise and nutrition science, graduating May 2020 

Ramirez helped to found the Hispanic Student Organization, and she currently serves as co-president of the organization. She is a mentor with the Great Start peer mentor program and is an officer with the Exercise Science Club.  

How has the University of Montevallo benefited you and helped you lay a foundation for your future goals? 

From the moment I stepped on campus, I knew that Montevallo was my home. The faculty, staff and student body have made sure to make me feel welcomed. As a first-generation Hispanic student and transfer student, I knew I needed all the help and guidance I could get and one of the places on campus that has helped me the most is the Falcon Success Center. They have provided me with financial assistance, scholarship and graduate program information and so much more. Furthermore, within the classes, my professors are always willing to work with me and have made sure to make time to sit down and talk to me about my future. They have given me opportunities to participate in research projects within my major and have entrusted me with representing my major by holding an officer position within the Exercise Science Club. Montevallo has allowed me to grow and find my passion to be a leader and a role model in my community and has ensured that I have the tools necessary to achieve my future goals.