UAH sociology graduate recipient of prestigious George Washington University law scholarship

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Sacred B. Huff graduates from UAH on Sunday, Dec. 13, with an undergraduate degree in Sociology. Huff received a prestigious scholarship to George Washington University to study law.

Michael Mercier | UAH

Always "have a plan!" Priceless words of wisdom from Sacred B. Huff, soon-to-be graduate of The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). Huff, who graduates Sunday, Dec. 13, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology added, "I continue to persevere in order to achieve my goals."

The hardworking UAH student was recently awarded a merit scholarship to attend law school at George Washington University (Washington, DC). The prestigious award will pay for more than half of her tuition.

Huff claims Toney, AL, as her hometown, since she spent most of her time there. "My siblings and I grew up in foster care and eventually aged out of the system. However, I now have guardianship of my youngest sister… I'm thankful that she doesn't have to be in the system anymore."

Huff excelled academically while a high school student at S.R. Butler High School in Huntsville. She graduated in the top 10 of her class, and was a recipient of a Lee Marshall's "Kids to Love" Foundation Scholarship and an "Accepting the Challenge of Excellence Award."

At UAH she was consistently on the Dean's List, inducted in Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society, and the Order of Omega: National Greek Honor Society.

Before coming to UAH, Huff attended Calhoun Community College. There, instructors encouraged her to further her education. "So, I began to look at universities in the area, and I was most impressed with UAH. I decided to get more information and I visited the university. I ultimately decided to attend UAH because after visiting I felt that I could receive a quality education. Now that I am graduating, I am happy to say that attending UAH was one of the best decisions I have made."

While some parts of her life may not have gone smoothly, Huff knew one thing for sure: She always wanted to be a lawyer. "There were times in my life I thought a profession in law would be unrealistic, and I would get discouraged. But I continued to persevere in order to achieve my goals. My heart is set on being a lawyer, and I don't believe anything is going to stand in the way of that."

Huff took an introductory sociology course as part of the university's general education requirement, and "fell in love" with the field and wanted to learn more. "My sociology degree will help me excel in the legal arena because I have taken many courses that may be useful in law school. I completed the Law and Justice track offered through the Department of Sociology, and it has been instrumental in helping me understand the issues that exist in the criminal justice system," Huff said. "Sociology in general allows you to become more conscious of the world. I hope to be one of the leaders in putting forth solutions to the many issues of the justice system."

"When Sacred decided to major in sociology she told me she wanted to complete the Law and Justice track in the major and she was strongly motivated to pursue a career in law," said Dr. Bhavani Sitaraman, Interim Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology. "I am thrilled that Sacred has been accepted into a prestigious law school on a merit scholarship. She is an amazing young person who has not always had it easy but has never let obstacles define her life or personality. We are all proud of her accomplishments."

When she graduates, Huff will take with her fond memories of her time at UAH. "I have to mention how wonderful the professors and staff are in the Department of Sociology. The professors are very knowledgeable and they do an excellent job of teaching," she said. "Two of my favorite courses were "Social Stratification" taught by Dr. Christina Steidl (Assistant Professor of Sociology) and "Deviance and Social Control taught by Dr. Mitch Berbrier (Interim Dean College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology). I have connected with amazing individuals during my time here…I will definitely miss the UAH community." Huff plans to specialize in Constitutional and Civil Rights Law. "I want to specialize in this field because I believe that it is necessary for a democratic country to have people who understand and are willing to advocate for the rights of all the people. Additionally, I want to be a leader in battling the injustices that continue to plague the legal system."

She most admires Michelle Alexander, a nationally renowned professor at Ohio State University. "She is a law professor and a civil rights advocate. Furthermore, she is the author of the best-selling book The New Jim Crow. I admire her because she is very passionate about the work she does and her passion manifests itself through her actions. She is well educated, carries herself in a respectful manner and is someone who I want to model myself after."

Huff's last piece of advice is also her first - have a plan. "No matter the major you choose I believe it is important to know what you ultimately want to do after you graduate. Whatever you decide, do not get discouraged," she added. "Often young people are too afraid to do the things that they love because they are trying to follow the 'most logical' path. I am a firm believer that you can accomplish anything that you truly set your mind to. Finally, I always keep in mind that super star basketball player, Michael Jordan, did not originally make the varsity team in high school when he tried out. Yet, we all know the rest of the story."

 

Contact

Dr. Bhavani Sitaraman
Interim Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
256.824.6190

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