Academic Staff

Jeff Guin // Associate Athletic Director of Academic Services

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Hometown: Fort Walton Beach, FL

Joined UAB staff: 2013

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Football and Direct the Hoke Hire Student-athlete Academic Support Services Center.

Education:University of Florida, B.A. Elementary Education, 1995; University of Florida, M.A. Education, 1996; University of Florida, M.S. Exercise & Sport Science, 1997.

Athletic / Professional Background: Administrative Assistant for men's basketball at University of Illinois, 1997-2003; Assistant Basketball Coach at Western Illinois, 2003-06, and Florida Atlantic University, 2006-08. Academic Counselor at University of Illinois, 2008-13.

Best Part of my job: Meeting with the students

Favorite Quote: "Giddy up." - Kramer

Currently Resides in: Hoover, AL

Family: Wife, Betsy; Children, Ellee, Troy, & Luke

Justin Mackey // Director of Academic Services

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Hometown: Bonner Springs, KS

Joined UAB staff: 2012

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Men's Basketball/Volleyball/Sand Volleyball | Director of SAAC/Life Skills & Community Relations

Education: University of Kansas, B.A. Communication Studies, 2004; University of Kansas, M.A. Communication Studies, 2008.

Athletic / Professional Background: Assistant Director of the Strategic Tutoring Program at University of Kansas, 2004-08; Academic Counselor at University of Kansas, 2008-13.

Best Part of my job: The best part of my job is getting to work with student-athletes from their recruitment through their graduation, and ultimately seeing them take the next step to graduate school or their first job. I enjoy assisting with their progression as a student and athlete and developing relationships with each student-athlete I have the privilege to work with.

Favorite Quote: "Give the world THE BEST you've got and the best will come back to you." -Forrest "Phog" Allen

Currently Resides in: Birmingham, AL

Family: Wife, Molly

Bethany Alexander // Tutor Coordinator

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Hometown: DeLand, FL

Joined UAB staff: 2013

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Tutor Coordinator

Education: University of Florida, Mathematics, 2011.

Athletic / Professional Background: Assistant Tutorial Coordinator at University of Florida, 2011-13

Best Part of my job: Witnessing achievements, both academically and athletically...there is nothing like it!

Favorite Quote: "It CAN Be Done." - Oval Office Sign on the desk of President Ronald Reagan

Currently Resides in: Birmingham, AL

Interests: Attending sporting events and cheering on her student-athletes.

Drew Barnette // Academic Counselor

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Hometown: Louisville, KY

Joined UAB staff: 2008

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Football & Men's Soccer

Education: Xavier University, B.A. History, 2002; University of Dayton, M.A. College Student Personnel, 2006.

Athletic / Professional Background: Assistant Academic Counselor at Wright State University, 2005-2008.

Best Part of my job: Working with the student-athletes and coaches

Favorite Quote: "Enough isn't." - Brad Brownell

Currently Resides in: Birmingham, AL

Interests: College athletics, history, reading and writing.

Greg Green // Coordinator of Football Academics

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Hometown: Cleveland, OH

Joined UAB staff: 2011

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Football & Women's Bowling

Education: Winona State University, B.S. Psychology & Kinesiology, 1992; Ashwood University, M.A. Physcial Education, 2007.

Athletic / Professional Background: Won 15 Championship rings as a player and coach.

Best Part of my job: Working with the students.

Favorite Quote: Proverb 3:5-6

Currently Resides in: Maylene, AL

Family: Wife, Jacquelyn; Children, Kira, Kesha, Jazmine, and Greg Jr.

Wayne Hamberger // Learning Specialist & Mentor Coordinator

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Hometown: York, Pennsylvania

Joined UAB staff: 2010

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Learning Specialist/Mentor Coordinator/DSS Liaison; screens student-athletes for disabilities/learning difficulties and coordinates all aspects of academic testing/evaluation for DSS services. Work in small group study and mentor individuals upon advisor/student request.

Education: Jacksonville State University, B.S. Psychology, 1991; Jacksonville State University, M.S. Counseling & Development, 1993; Alabama Licensed Professional Counselor with National Certification, 1995.

Athletic / Professional Background: Multi-sport athlete in high school; played fast and slow-pitch softball for 34 years; played Rugby for Marburg University (Germany) club team while in US Army; two time US Army-Europe Cavalry Cup Competition Championships (82-83).

Best Part of my job: Watching student-athletes grow and develop into independent learners while improving academic performance to enhance sport skills.

Favorite Quote: "What is man who does not try to make the world a better place", Balian from Kingdom of Heaven.

Currently Resides in: Springville, AL

Family: Wife, Stephanie Hamberger; Children, Amanda Allen, Ashley Allen, and Amber Allen.

Interests: College and Pro Football; golf, raquetball/tennis; military and world history

Michelle Lesley Johnson // Academic Counselor

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Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Joined UAB staff: 2012

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Men's Golf, Women's Cross Country, Women's Rifle, & Women's Track & Field

Education: University of North Carolina, B.A. with Distinction Communication Studies & Afro-American Studies, University of California-Berkeley, M.A. Language and Literacy, Society and Culture

Athletic / Professional Background: Television and Film Production Consultant, Assistant Tutorial Coordinator and Assistant Director of Football Student-Athlete Development at University of California-Berkeley

Best Part of my job: Working with student-athletes, I am committed to the ideal that scholars, teams, advisors, staff and administrators serve not just the mind of a student and the body of an athlete, but her or his character, spirit and soul also.

Favorite Quote: "It's easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." -Frederick Douglas

Interests: Traveling, reading, and writing, particularly for sitcom episodes.

Morgan Mercer // Academic Counselor

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Hometown: Fort Washington, MD

Joined UAB staff: June of 2012

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Women's Soccer, Men's Tennis, Women's Tennis

Education: Penn State University, B.S. Kinesiology, 2008; Baylor University, M.S. Sport Management, 2010.

Athletic / Professional Background: Student Support Coordinator at University of North Texas, 2010-2011, ASCDU Mentor at University of Maryland, 2012; Specialist, United States Army National Guard

Best Part of my job: Working with student-athletes on a daily basis and seeing them mature into young men and women of our future.

Favorite Quote: Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

Currently Resides in: Birmingham, AL

Interests: Working out, shopping, and traveling.

Amy Nicholas // Reading & Writing Specialist

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Hometown: Oxford, Alabama

Joined UAB staff: 2011

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Learning Specialist/Reading and Writing Specialist/Mindfulness Coach

Education: Auburn University, B.S., 1994; St. Mary’s College of California, Ed. Tech, 2001; Boston College, CCRC, 2003; Birmingham School of Law, 2005; University of Alabama at Birmingham, M.A., 2010 and Ph.D. in progress

Athletic / Professional Background: Educator; Corporate Executive; Training and Development Consultant; Board Leader; Community and Government Relations Liaison; Technical Advisor to Governor; Business Owner; Yoga and Bagua Master; Energy Arts Specialist; Dancer/Choreographer; Professional Fencer

Best Part of my job: The privilege of learning and sharing for a lifetime; everyone benefits.

Favorite Quote: "It is the true duty of every man to promote the happiness of his fellow creatures to the utmost of his power." - William Wilberforce

Currently Resides in: Hoover, AL

Family: Daughter, Sydney

Interests: My love affair with the brain, cashmere, people watching, anonymously helping others, meditation, stargazing

Giorgia Romeo // Graduate Assistant

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Hometown: Palermo, Italy

Joined UAB staff: 2012

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Assists with tutorial program including interviewing, training, and evaluating tutors as well as scheduling and tutor payroll. Connect volunteering opportunities and fund raisers for the program with other entities on campus.

Education: University of Alabama at Birmingham, B.S. Psychology, 2012; University of Alabama at Birmingham, M.B.A., 2014 (expected graduation date)

Athletic / Professional Background: Member of the UAB women's tennis team, 2008-2011. Student Assistant Coach & Manager for UAB Women's Tennis team, 2011-2013.

Best Part of my job: Seeing our student-athletes grow as young adults and knowing that as part of the process we have the opportunity to guide them through their professional development and support them so they can reach the best of their potential.

Favorite Quote:Luke 6:38. "To lead the people, walk behind them." - Lao Tzu & "Champions keep playing until they get it right." - Billy Jean King

Currently Resides in: Birmingham, AL

Interests: Volunteering in the community, tennis, and arts & crafts.

Helaina Sacco // Intern

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Hometown: Rochester, MA

Joined UAB staff: 2013

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Men's Tennis, Women's Soccer, & Women's Tennis.

Education: University of Maine, B.A. Sociology; Loughborough University, MSc Sociology of Sport, 2013.

Athletic / Professional Background: Member of swimming team at University of Maine

Best Part of my job: Meeting with students and getting to know them individually.

Favorite Quote: "The greatest pleasure in life is doing something that is said can't be done."

Currently Resides in: Birmingham, AL

Family: None yet but I can't wait to adopt a puppy.

Interests: Anything beach related

Josh Watson // Academic Counselor

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Hometown: Wright, Wyoming

Joined UAB staff: 2003

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Baseball & Women's Golf

Education: Chadron State College, B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies, 1998; University of Northern Colorado, M.A. Physical Education, 2001.

Athletic / Professional Background: Intern, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2003; Academic Advisor, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2005 to current.

Best Part of my job: Watching the maturation process of the students I work with, and being a part of their growth and development into the next phase of their lives.

Favorite Quote: John 3:16

Currently Resides in: Birmingham, AL

Interests: Family and friends, college athletics, and action movies.

Josh Young // Academic Counselor

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Hometown: Chicago, IL

Joined UAB staff: 2013

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Women's Basketball & Women's Softball

Education: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S. Broadcast Journalism, 2010; University of Southern California, M.Ed. Post-Secondary Administration & Student Affairs, 2012.

Athletic / Professional Background: Student Manager for the University of Illinois Women's Softball team, 2006-10; Learning Assistant at USC Student Athlete Academic Services, 2010-11; Graduate Intern at USC Office of Athletic Compliance and Trojan Athletic Fund, 2011-12; NCAA Academic and Membership Affairs Postgraduate Intern, 2012-13.

Best Part of my job: I love to see athletic programs come together to create the best possible academic and athletic experience for student-athletes.

Favorite Quote: "Dream in detail."

Currently Resides in: Birmingham, AL

Interests: Traveling and lifting extremely heavy weights!

LaToya Zinnerman// Administrative Assistant

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Hometown: Fairfield, AL

Joined UAB staff: 2010

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Administrative Assistant

Education: Miles College, B.A. Business Management, 2003.

Best Part of my job: Helping the students.

Favorite Quote: "No one can do more to you than what you allow."

Currently Resides in: Pleasant Grove

Family: Husband, Marcus; Children, Morgan and Justin.

Interests: Learning to play golf, reading, shopping, traveling.

 
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