Allison Martin from CENTERS at UAB with her Employee of the Month award.Allison Martin’s journey with CENTERS reflects the remarkable success story of a leader nurtured by company’s leaders at the Jacksonville State University (JSU) team, which places a strong emphasis on fostering leadership and preparing individuals for professional roles. Allison currently serves as the Coordinator of Engagement and Belonging with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) team.

As the Coordinator of Engagement and Belonging, Allison leads a team of student employees who support UAB’s URec marketing and communications efforts and assist her with planning and executing special events. At JSU, Allison experienced firsthand the importance of student development and commitment to creating a supportive environment, and as a result she is dedicated helping students on her team to be the best versions of themselves. Allison is helping her team to develop transferable skills that are necessary to prepare them for their successful careers upon graduation.

Her role as the Coordination of Engagement and Belonging not only showcases her dedication to excellence by engaging and leading conversations with UAB students and the community while supporting UAB’s strategic initiative to foster a sense of belonging, but also exemplifies the “Better is Better” mindset ingrained by being part of CENTERS.

Being part of the Jacksonville State University CENTERS team provided Allison with opportunities to take on various leadership roles, enabling her to develop essential skills such as time and project management, social media, graphic design, event coordination, and strategic planning. CENTERS at Jacksonville State played a pivotal role in shaping Allison’s career trajectory, emphasizing mentorship, skill development, and hands-on experience—all crucial in preparing individuals for professional roles within the realm of higher education with focus on engagement and the creation of a sense of belonging.

Her journey serves as an example of CENTERS’ commitment to creating a culture that values leadership, professional readiness, and advancement. By aligning individual efforts with organizational strategic initiatives, both at Jacksonville State University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Allison’s trajectory highlights the success that stems from nurturing leaders and providing them with the tools and experiences necessary for professional success. This approach not only benefits the individual employees but also contributes to the overall success and positive impact of the organization within the university community.

Furthermore, Allison’s outstanding contributions were recognized with the November 2023 UAB Division of Student Affairs Employee of the Month award, underscoring her exceptional leadership and dedication to fostering student engagement and a sense of belonging on UAB’s campus. This award further underscores the impact of CENTERS’ approach in developing individuals who not only meet but exceed expectations in their professional roles.

Allison’s journey from JSU to UAB serves as a testament to the values of leadership, innovation, and strategic alignment ingrained by CENTERS. Her story underscores the pivotal role that CENTERS plays in shaping individuals’ careers and in fostering a culture of proactive leadership and professional readiness. Through this approach, individuals are not only prepared for their professional roles but also empowered to exceed expectations and make a lasting impact within their organizations and the broader university community.

Headshot, Henry Knejfl, CENTERS at UABAbout the Author: Henry Knejfl is the Associate Director of Programming for CENTERS at UAB. He has a passion for student development and campus recreation.