UAH CPS graduate Natalie Campbell realizes her college dream 20 years later

UAH graduate Natalie Campbell will pursue a career in contract law. She will enter The Nashville School of Law in August.

Michael Mercier | UAH

The legal field always intrigued Natalie Campbell. In spite of that, nearly 20 years ago she began her collegiate journey majoring in agriculture, hoping to learn new horticulture techniques to use at a sixth-generation nursery (plants and trees) business, where she worked.

"Things do not always happen as we planned, and God works in mysterious ways," said Campbell. Fast forward to 2019, as she prepares to graduate from The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Professional Studies. When Campbell walks across the stage and accepts her baccalaureate degree, it will be a solid first step of a life-long dream to become a lawyer.

A native of Belvidere, TN, Campbell graduated from Warren County High School and is a transfer student from The University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM) where she was an Agriculture-Plant and Soil Science major.

Campbell heard about The UAH Bachelor of Arts or Science in Professional Studies after researching schools for Students Over the Traditional Age (SOTA). "After meeting with the program’s academic specialist, Kellee L. Crawford and discussing my intentions of going to law school, she designed a program that allowed me to use the college credits I already had plus courses that would help me in law school," said Campbell. The UAH program is designed to meet the needs of working professionals and adult students, balancing academic rigor with flexibility and value.

"The program would use the hours I already earned at UTM, so that I could finish my degree without completely starting over," said Campbell. "After meeting with Kellee the first time, I knew I had made a great decision. I was more excited than ever to finish what I started nearly 20 years ago."

Campbell said the professional studies program at the university is the perfect platform for law school because it emphasizes interdisciplinary study as well as analysis and comprehension. "I believe I will have an edge in law school due to the diversity of knowledge I obtained here at UAH and particularly in the professional studies program."

Reflecting on her "absolutely wonderful" experience at UAH, Campbell said her first class, taught by Dr. Melissa Morphew was great. "She is compassionate, kind, intelligent, and inspiring, and to me, epitomizes the ideal educator. The students are awesome and made me feel like part of the Charger family," said Campbell.

She was recently inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. It is the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines.

Campbell plans on a career in contract law. "I absolutely love the specifics and research involved in contract law. I like to look at every possible scenario of a situation, analyze the facts, and find the best solution. Contract law absolutely suits my personality."

She encourages other SOTA's to take a leap of faith and return to school. "Honestly, I had serious reservations about returning to school because of my age, but it was because of my age that I understood what a college education truly means," Campbell said. "Higher education is for anyone that wants to learn and make themselves better. College imparts knowledge, and knowledge inspires wisdom. My advice to others that worry they are too old to return to college would be you are never too old to improve yourself, and a college degree opens doors. Take the opportunity and cherish it, you will never regret it," she added.

Campbell will enter The Nashville School of Law in the fall.



Kellee L. Crawford