March 20, 2024

Gassel Perkins Receives UMNAA Nathalie Molton Gibbons Alumni Achievement Award

Dr. Elizabeth Gassel Perkins ’04 received the University of Montevallo National Alumni Association’s Nathalie Molton Gibbons Alumni Achievement Award, which is given annually to an alum age 35 or older whose career and community contributions have reflected positively at the local, state or national level, at its 2024 Homecoming awards dinner and annual business meeting Feb. 16 in Anna Irvin Dining Hall.

Perkins is campus president and chief academic officer at St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley in Missouri. Shortly after starting the position in 2016, she began leading the dual credit/enrollment partnerships area and expanded the program, which now includes every school district in the St. Louis area. The flourishing program, which at one time served hundreds of students, has grown 130% and now serves thousands.

Perkins earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in pre-law from UM in 2004 and went on to earn a Master of Arts in English from UM in 2005. She got her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration with a concentration in higher education from Valdosta State University in 2015. Her career in academia began at UM as an adjunct instructor of English.

“I have been incredibly lucky,” she said. “I truly believe we are a product of the people who come through our lives. Starting here as a student, then as an adjunct faculty member and through my professional career, I believe I’ve had the opportunity to work with the greatest people in the world — the students, the faculty and staff.”

“To say that she has led an impactful and meaningful life is drastic understatement,” said nominator Kay Butts-Pruett ’04. “She’s authentic in her love and inclusiveness of all people, which shines through in her professional, philanthropic and personal life. I would say she has a heart of gold, but that would directly conflict with the fact that she is a proud Purple.”

Perkins resides in St. Louis with her husband, Brian, and their daughter, Auraelia.