UAH awards first degrees from new engineering tech and child, family, community development programs in 2023

four people in graduation gowns posing for photo.
The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) College of Education graduates Ciara White, center left, and Tamia Knight, center right, show off their B.S. degrees in child, family and community development on Dec. 11, 2023, at the Von Braun Center. Joining them from the College of Education are Dr. Kimberly Hile, assistant professor, curriculum and instruction, far left, and Dr. Jeremy Elliott, associate dean and associate professor.
Madeleine Frankford | UAH

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) awarded Bachelor of Science degrees to the first graduates from two new degree programs in 2023: engineering technology in the College of Science and child, family and community development in the College of Education. UAH is a part of The University of Alabama System.

Seven students received their degrees in engineering technology after completing senior design projects sponsored by Blue Origin: Brock Dennison, Taylor Engram, GaTerralyn Heard, Caleb Martin, Adam Mendez and Christopher Wells graduated on May 4, 2023, and Caleb Sorensen graduated on Dec. 11, 2023.

“Our graduates are succeeding in a variety of roles, including design engineer, test engineer, production engineer, sales manager, small business owner, adjunct instructor at Drake State and graduate school,” says Dr. Alisa Henrie, clinical assistant professor and director of engineering technology. “These students are motivated to succeed and are grateful for a program that recognizes the value of their previous hard work and knowledge.”

Henrie says that UAH started the engineering technology major to better serve the needs of UAH students as well as fill a growing demand for a technically prepared workforce for the expanding high-tech economy in North Alabama. This applied program lets students explore the integration of engineering principles and modern technology, preparing graduates for jobs in the local automotive, construction, advanced manufacturing, aerospace or defense industry.

The Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) approved UAH’s engineering technology program in June 2021.

The College of Education launched the child, family and community development program at the beginning of the spring 2023 semester after receiving ACHE approval in March 2022.

This program gives students the opportunity to work with children, adolescents and their families in a community setting. Its goal is to develop leaders in the field who focus on improving the lives of young children, adolescents and families through high-quality early care and education programs, nonprofit agencies, children’s museums, recreation centers or similar specialized programming.

The program offers two concentrations, both of which were represented in the fall 2023 graduating class of three students on Dec. 11. Ciara White received her degree in early learning and family relations, while Tamia Knight and Alexis Woods graduated in recreation and community leadership.

“I am delighted to offer this relevant and engaging degree which equips effective leaders who will be at the front line of advocating for, serving and empowering children, youth and families,” says Dr. Beth Quick, dean of the College of Education. “We are confident our alumni will play a vital role in shaping a strong and better future in the lives of those whom they serve.”

White, who interned at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Tennessee Valley, has been hired full-time by that agency as its match support specialist. Woods plans to play basketball at Samford University in Birmingham and pursue a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in sports business.


Kristina Hendrix