March 9, 2023

UM Provost and Vice President Dr. Courtney Bentley Honored Among “Women Who Shape the State”

Dr. Courtney Bentley, provost and vice president of academic affairs at the University of Montevallo, was selected as a 2023 honoree for This is Alabama’s 10th annual Women Who Shape the State.

The list of 25 prestigious women who comprise the honorees were selected for the honor after she was nominated by the University during a statewide poll  asking Alabamians about women who’ve made a difference in their lives. There was a total of 200 nominees.

Dr. Courtney Bentley, Dean

Tom Bates, president of the Alabama Media Group and executive producer of This is Alabama, stated that the Women Who Shape the State are women who are contributing to their communities and setting an example for others with their efforts.

UM President John W. Stewart III said the University is fortunate to have Bentley.

“She is among the most talented academicians I have known, and she possesses the devotion and professional presence necessary for effective leadership at the highest levels,” Stewart said. “She is a genuine champion for the enterprise of teaching and learning and is committed to helping students reach the full measure of their promise.”

Bentley said she is deeply honored to be included alongside so many exceptional women in the 2023 This is Alabama Women Who Shape the State recognition program.

“I’m extremely proud of the work we do at the University of Montevallo to serve the State of Alabama by strengthening communities one learner at a time,” she said.

The honorees will be recognized on This is Alabama social media, state newspapers and the Alabama 2023 Women Who Shape the State award luncheon at The Club in Birmingham on March 8.

Before becoming provost and vice president of academic affairs, Bentley was UM’s dean of the College of Education and Human Development. She served as associate dean for the School of Education at The University of Alabama at Birmingham and director of the Malone Center for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Montevallo, held faculty positions at the University of Central Florida and Troy University and worked with P-12 schools and other educational agencies to support equitable learning opportunities for children, youth and adult learners.

This involvement in rural, suburban and urban environments provided her with unique opportunities to observe how students from diverse backgrounds and communities learn most effectively. These combined experiences informed Bentley’s commitment to increasing equitable opportunities, improving educational outcomes and seeking social justice for underserved communities.

Bentley currently serves as the immediate past president of the Alabama Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and co-chair of the Advancing Multicultural Learning Committee of the National Association for Multicultural Education.

She holds an Ed.D. in curriculum and teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University, a master’s degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University.