Sponsor a Future Blazer and launch the next generation of UAB students – News


The Refer a Future Blazer program gives UAB employees the information needed to support an undergraduate student who may be considering UAB.

Rosie and Aidan O’Beirne, mother and son, both UAB graduates.
Photo credit: Rosie O’Beirne
When Birmingham native Aidan O’Beirne was considering colleges as a potential student, the University of Alabama at Birmingham was a school he had known about for a long time, but not the one he instinctively thought of applying to. Aidan’s parents, Rosie and Ronan O’Beirne, were both longtime employees of the university. When it came to learning more about UAB and considering UAB as an option on the recommendation of his mother, Aidan was surprised by what UAB had to offer.

“Financially, it made sense to come to UAB, but I realized I had opportunities open to me that I wouldn’t find on other campuses — including a network of people my parents knew who could help me, and very receptive professors and researchers who encouraged me to find my place on campus and expand my love and knowledge of physics,” recalls Aidan.

Sharing Blazer pride with future students

For UAB employees, sharing their support and pride for the institution with their child or family friend helps launch the next generation of UAB-trained Blazers who can make an impact in the world. UAB Sponsor a future blazer The program gives employees the platform and tools to easily refer potential students to UAB.

The Refer a Future Blazer program is designed to give UAB employees the information needed to support an undergraduate student who may be considering UAB. For students who are accepted and enroll, a one-time scholarship of $250 is applied to their account, a win for both the student and the proud employee of UAB.

A bonus: Children of UAB employees get a 50% discount on in-state tuition for undergraduate courses.

With over 22,000 students enrolled in UAB’s 12 schools and colleges and access to 55 majors and 88 minors, there is a program or course study that piques the unique interest of any prospective student. As employees already serve as ambassadors for the university and the fields they support, sharing their Blazer pride with the next generation is a fundamental goal of the Refer a Future Blazer program.


In their unique experiences, Rosie O’Beirne, UAB’s Director of Digital Strategy and Marketing, and Felicia Tigner, Administrative Associate of UAB’s Retention Initiatives, have found it easy to encourage their children to consider UAB for their education.

Both UAB graduates and current employees, they were able to connect their sons with information about UAB because of their shared experiences as Blazers themselves.

“I always tell people that as a parent it’s really about getting fit, and you and your child will know when that’s the case,” Rosie said. “UAB is an empowering place – it’s small enough that you can have a community, but the infrastructure is there to make it easy to get to know other people and find the field of study you really want to pursue. UAB does a great work by quickly attracting you as a student and helping you explore and grow. I saw that with my own eyes with Aidan.

Felicia learned firsthand what it was like to be a student at UAB, which prompted her to encourage her son, Dwight, to seek his Masters in Public Administration at UAB. Beginning her degree in 1987 and stepping away from school to raise a family and work, Felicia achieved her goal of returning to school when she graduated from General Studies in 2018. Seeing the campus as a As a student, she knew this would be a place where Dwight could thrive.

“Getting that degree is so important, not just for you personally, but also for getting the job you want and for really being successful,” Felicia said. “I was able to share so much about UAB with Dwight and was thrilled that we could have a shared educational experience.”

Mother and son stream 2Felicia and Dwight Tigner, mother and son, both UAB graduates.
Photo credit: Felicia Tigner
For Dwight, a 2019 graduate of UAB graduate school, he – like other children of UAB employees – has always been familiar with UAB, but found that the location and status of the campus were major selling points when it came to pursuing higher education.

“I gravitate towards and love being in downtown areas of cities, and UAB’s location is quite dynamic,” Dwight said. “There’s always a lot of activity on campus, people walking around, and a general energy that I really appreciate. The vibe at UAB suited me perfectly.

UAB’s campus accessibility and offerings were attractive to Dwight as he also worked as a GIS contractor technician at Alabama Power while in graduate school, making it easy to travel with UAB, also located downtown. from Birmingham. It didn’t hurt to see Mom Felicia often and share meals together between classes and their overlapping hours on campus.

Like Dwight, Aidan, a 2017 UAB graduate who majored in physics, quickly found aspects of the UAB community that made him feel like a perfect fit. Not only did he find a home in the science and technology honors program, Aidan worked in different research labs on campus and was able to embark on a future career in physics with the support of professors and researchers. who went out of their way to mentor a young student. As a result, Aidan quickly discovered that the community fostered by UAB was one that he felt could not be replicated elsewhere.

“What has made UAB so great for me is the diversity of the community in both culture and thought, and the close relationships I have been able to form with experts – experts who, I don’t think, would take the time to guide me to another institution,” Aidan mentioned. “Part of the reason I was able to form these relationships was due to the systems in place at UAB that pushed me out of my comfort zone and the willingness of others to help students truly hone their interests and skills – that’s what made UAB such a success for me.

Do you have someone in mind who would make a great future Blazer? If a referred student enrolls at UAB, a one-time scholarship of $250 will be posted to the student’s account.

UAB and beyond

Now both live outside Birmingham – Aidan is pursuing his PhD. at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and Dwight living in Baltimore, Maryland, working as a GIS analyst for the Baltimore Metropolitan Council – the impact of UAB is something that has stuck with the two at as they move forward in their careers and lives.

“There are a lot of situations I’ve found myself in where I can look back and see that being a student at UAB prepared me for what I’m doing now,” Aidan said. “I have come to realize that what I was able to accomplish as an undergraduate student at UAB and the resources available to me have prepared me for success and lasting relationships.”

Employees interested in referring a prospective UAB student should visit the Refer a Future Blazer program website to get started.


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