During the Homecoming Luncheon on Feb. 9, 2019, the University of Montevallo National Alumni Association awarded the 2019 Nathalie Molton Gibbons Young Achiever’s Award to Dr. Jefferson Walker, of Birmingham. Walker works as director of the Research Communication Certificate Program and the lead instructor for Academic Writing and Communication for the Graduate School at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
As a Montevallo student, Walker’s strong talents for communication and leadership were demonstrated not only in his academic performance but in extracurricular activities as well. He wrote three College Night shows and was selected Gold Side leader his senior year.
Walker received his bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the University in 2008 and went on to earn a master’s degree and Ph.D. in communication and information sciences from The University of Alabama.
In addition to teaching and research achievements, Walker is a prolific writer. He has authored two books, three journal articles, two encyclopedia entries, numerous conference papers and serves as president of the Alabama Communication Association.
Love for his alma mater has led him to share his talents as a volunteer, serving on the UMNAA Junior Board of Directors, the Centennial College Night Committee, and the Alumni Advisory Board for Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity. His unwavering support of College Night has continued as an alumnus. In the late summer of 2017, Walker approached the College Night Committee with a request to research and author a historical documentation of College Night.
“Jeff has spent untold hours of his spare time (if you really think he had any, given his professional achievements) over the last two years researching, studying, digging in the university archives, reading scripts, looking at photos and drawings, going through production books and programs, interviewing participants, scanning documents, writing and re-writing and becoming the go-to authority for all things College Night,” explained one of his nominators.
Because of his tireless devotion, the book “College Night: A Centennial Celebration,” has been published and now benefits the College Night Endowment Fund.
I cannot express the value of Jeff’s gift to this University — it is absolutely priceless,” the director of the College Night Committee said. “Preserving the history of our most beloved tradition required months upon months of work in our University Archives to piece together bits of age-old history into a complete story — the story of us.”