Academic Staff

Fernandez West // Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Academic Services

Hometown: Cornelia, Georgia

Joined UAB staff: 2015

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Football | Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Academic Services

Education: Clemson University: B.S. Industrial Management, 1990; University of Arkansas: M.B.A., 1996

Athletic / Professional Background: Clemson Football student-athlete 1985-1990; University of Arkansas Men's Basketball Academic Coordinator 1996-2002; University of Arkansas Academic Coordinator for Men's Athletics 1999-2002; Associate Director Thornton Athletics Student Life Center 2002-2015; Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Academic Services 2015-current.

Best Part of my job: Helping teach students the process of education and then watching them apply these skills into becoming a more developed and informed person.

Favorite Quote: "Never be limited by other people's limited imaginations" - Dr. Mae Jemison

Family: Wife-Bridgette; Children-Nicholas and Chloe

Natasha Criss // Assistant Athletic Director for Student Development

Hometown: Montclair, New Jersey

Joined UAB staff: 2016

Team Assignments: Men's Basketball; Assistant Athletic Director for Student Development

Education: University of Maryland: B.A. Criminology, 1992; University of Louisville: M. Ed College Student Personal Services, 1999

Athletic / Professional Background: University of Maryland Track & Field student-athlete, 1988-1992; University of Maryland Academic Support Unit Special Assistant 1993-1997; University of Louisville Academic Services for Athletics Graduate Assistant 1997-1999; University of Central Florida Academic Services for Student-Athletes Academic Advisor 1999-2001; University of Maryland Academic Support and Career Development Unit Football Academic Counselor/Life Skills Coordinator/Assistant Director/Associate Director 2001-2016; University of Alabama-Birmingham Assistant Athletic Director for Student Athlete Development 2016-current

Best Part of my job: Watching students grow into their true authentic selves

Favorite Quote: "Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do." - Marianna Williamson

Interests: Family, Friends, music, and traveling.

Caitlin Callaghan // Academic Counselor & SAAC Coordinator

Hometown: Naperville, Il

Joined UAB staff: 2014

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Men's Tennis, Women's Tennis, Volleyball, Beach Volleyball

Education: DePaul University, B.A. Physical Education, 2009; Concordia University Chicago, MA School Counseling, 2014

Athletic / Professional Background: DePaul University four year Women's Volleyball student-athlete (2005-2008), Physical Educator at Naperville North High School (2010-2014), Men's and Women's assistant varsity volleyball coach at Naperville North High School (2009-2014).

Best Part of my job: Working with student-athletes

Favorite Quote: "Stick to the fight when you're hardest hit. It's when things seem worst that you must not quit."

Family: Parents: Mick & Mary Kay; Siblings: Marty (wife Kathleen), Dan (wife Betsy), & Jill (husband Josh).

Interests: Practicing and teaching yoga, spending time with nieces and nephew, learning how to play golf and tennis, Chicago sports, exploring Birmingham

Greg Green // Coordinator of Football Academics

Email Greg

Hometown: Cleveland, OH

Joined UAB staff: 2011

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Football, Women's Track

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

Athletic / Professional Background: Over 25 years working with college student-athletes; brought UAB's Football Team to its highest GPA and APR in schools history; Academic Advisor and Football Coach at Winona State University, 1989-92; Judicial Affairs Coordinator, Academic Coordinator and coached Football and Tennis at Savannah State University, 1995-99; Compliance Officer, Academic Advisor and Coached Football and Tennis at Tuskegee University, 1999-2005; Academic Advisor and Associate Head Football Coach at; Kentucky State University, 2005-07; Academic Advisor and Football Coach at Texas Southern University, 2007-10; Coordinator of Football Academics at UAB 2011-present; 15 Championship rings as a player and Coach.

Best Part of my job: Working with student-athletes.

Favorite Quote: Proverb 3:5-6

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

Interests: Family and friends, Cleveland Cavaliers and Browns fan for life.

Josh Young // Academic Counselor

Email Josh

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Joined UAB staff: 2013

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Football, 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."

Interests: Traveling and lifting extremely heavy weights!

Josh Watson // Academic Counselor

Email Josh

Hometown: Wright, Wyoming

Joined UAB staff: 2003

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Men's Golf, Women's Golf, Baseball

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

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

Drew Barnette // Academic Counselor

Email Drew

Hometown: Louisville, KY

Joined UAB staff: 2008

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Men's Soccer, Women's Soccer, Rifle, Degree Completion Football

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

Interests: College athletics, history, reading and writing.

Sarah Kizzire // Academic Support Coordinator

Hometown: Marietta, GA

Joined UAB staff: 2013

Team Assignments / Responsibilities: Women's Cross Country, Tutor Coordinator, Book Coordinator

Education: The University of Alabama, B.S. Kinesiology, 2010. The University of Alabama, M.A. Sports Management, 2013

Athletic / Professional Background: Jacksonville State University two year Women's Soccer student-athlete, 2006-2008; Ticket Office Associate at UAB, 2013-2014.

Best Part of my job: Being able to watch student-athletes succeed both in the classroom and on the field.

Favorite Quote: "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time" - Thomas Edison

Interests: College Athletics, Running, Soccer

Harper Lucas // Assistant Academic Counselor

Hometown: Roswell, Georgia

Joined UAB staff: 2016

Team Assignments: Football & help with student development

Education: University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Bachelor of Science in Education w/ degree in Kinesiology; currently working on my Master of Education in Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership at University of Washington (will graduate in June 2017)

Athletic / Professional Background: University of Tennessee four-year letter winner for Rowing team, served as a coxswain (2012-2016)

Best Part of my job: working with the student-athletes and seeing them transform into young adults so that they are prepared for life after sport

Favorite Quote: Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.""

Interests: Spending time with family and friends, being involved in church, college athletics, running, rowing, and outdoor activities