Student Spotlight

By on August 27, 2014

UAB is home to diverse and interesting students who contribute to the campus vibe. From resident assistants to teaching assistants, and from orientation leaders to tutors, student leaders serve as mentors and strive to ensure the comfort and success of their fellow peers.

Meet Harry Alfred Harnett V— Resident Assistant on the eighth floor of Blazer Hall. Born in Okinawa, Japan, and a native of Birmingham, Alabama, Harnett is a member of the Honors Collegiate Scholars program and is a sophomore majoring in finance.

“So far I’ve enjoyed getting to know the RA and Resident Life family. One thing I learned is that I really like decorating my hallway. I think that stems from the fact that I take a lot of pride in my presentations, and it’s something I’ve spent a lot of time on,” Harnett said.

Harnett’s own experience as a resident in Blazer Hall during his freshman year at UAB fueled his interest in becoming an RA.

“My RA Kelsey Templeton and another RA Zachery Mashburn really inspired me to go for it. Kelsey was super cool and Zach always created a fun-loving and welcoming atmosphere at all of his programs, and I wanted to be that person for someone else,” Harnett said.

Harnett plans to graduate from UAB with a degree in Finance and continue on to graduate school to earn a Masters in Business Administration. He also hopes to write a book and work for a non-profit organization to combat social injustices.

Among his hobbies are reading, running on the treadmill, taking afternoon naps, Facebook stalking, and cleaning.

Also meet Emily Ann Montoya—future surgeon and current tutor. A Madison, Alabama native and a sophomore, Montoya is majoring in neuroscience and Spanish and is on the pre-med track.

Through the Global and Community Leadership Honors Program, of which she is a member, Montoya volunteered extensively as a tutor for kindergarten through 12th grade students with downtown Birmingham’s Desert Island Supply Company- also known as DISCO- during her freshman year at UAB.

“A lot of schools nowadays don’t encourage creative writing and the creative process, and so DISCO is a really good place for students to come and practice using those skills. Studies have shown that having a creative outlet makes you a better problem solver, critical thinker, communicator,” Montoya said.

Inspired by her volunteer work at DISCO, she began to serve as a tutor for the Student Athletic Department at UAB.

“Working with the same kids at DISCO each week and seeing them come out of their shell and truly enjoy school was a very rewarding experience, and I wanted to continue that work here on campus,” Montoya said.

In addition to her love for tutoring, Montoya is passionate about medicine. In 2012 and again in 2013, she traveled to Honduras with her church and distributed food and medical supplies as well as helped build houses for the region’s impoverished people. Montoya cites her time in Honduras as the inspiration for both her fields of study and her future career goals.

“Going to Honduras solidified my desire to become a doctor and help people in developing countries. It was such a wonderful experience to be able to give medical care to individuals that normally have no access to such necessities. Having the opportunity to do mission work in Honduras definitely impacted my choices as far as school and my major,“ Montoya said.



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