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Lisa Young


Contact Lisa Young
(205) 348-6000
New College LifeTrack
learn more about Lisa Young

Lisa knows UA inside and out. She is a life-long resident of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at The University of Alabama from the Department of Criminal Justice. She joined the New College LifeTrack staff after working as an adjunct professor in the Criminal Justice Department, where she has taught Introduction to Criminal Justice, Juvenile Delinquency, and Criminal Law for several years. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, listening to music, cooking, and spending time with her friends and family.
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Gary Vaden

Coordinator of Student Recruitment and Services

Contact Gary Vaden
(205) 348-7037
New College LifeTrack
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Gary moved to Tuscaloosa 5 years ago from Texas.  He was an educator in Texas for 30 years and after retiring he and his family moved to Tuscaloosa so that he could follow his dream of working at The University of Alabama.   He has a BA in Music Education from Angelo State University and a MA in Education with a concentration in School Counseling from Sul Ross State University.  He was an Admissions Counselor for the past 4 years in the College of Continuing Studies where he worked with HES programs and College of Education programs.  He has 2 daughters and in his spare time, you will find him with his family at an Alabama Softball game or football game, traveling, and working in the yard.
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Sandra Perkins


Contact Sandra Perkins
(205) 348-6000
New College LifeTrack
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A native of Tuscaloosa, AL., Sandra Perkins received a B.S. in General Business Management from the University of Alabama’s School of Commerce and Business Administration. Married, with a grown daughter and son, she is also a Sunday School teacher and participates in many church community outreach projects.
Picture of Shanikia Young

Shanikia Young


Contact Shanikia Young
(205) 348-6000
New College LifeTrack
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Shanikia was born at Fort McClellan, AL, and is an Army brat who has traveled and studied overseas. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Columbus State University in Columbus, GA before earning a B.A. in Criminal Justice with a minor in Spanish from The University of Alabama. Recently, she finished her M.A. in Educational Psychology at The University of Alabama and is currently working on completing her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology. In her spare time, Shanikia enjoys reading, sketching and drawing, cooking, traveling with friends and family, and listening and dancing to a range of music.
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Jamie Dykes

Program Assistant

Contact Jamie Dykes
(205) 348-9650
New College LifeTrack
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A native of Tuscaloosa, Al, Jamie Dykes, grew up with UA being her stomping grounds by having a father who retired from the University’s Athletic Department and a mother who worked in The College of Education. She received her bachelor’s and master’s from the College of Education and taught in the Tuscaloosa City and County Schools.  Jamie is also on the City Council for Northport, AL. She has one daughter who attends The University of Alabama. In her spare time, you will find her with her family and friends, preferably on Lake Tuscaloosa or at an Alabama Softball game, or volunteering in the community.
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Amanda Ingram, PhD

Assistant Director

Contact Amanda Ingram, PhD
(205) 348-2794
New College LifeTrack
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Dr. Amanda Ingram is originally from California but moved around a lot as a kid because her father served in the Marine Corps. She completed her undergraduate degree in Ethnic Studies and Critical Gender Studies from the University of California, San Diego. After undergrad, she moved to New York City where she taught high school English and ESL while earning her master’s degree from City College of New York. In 2006, Amanda moved to Tuscaloosa to work at The University of Alabama. In 2018, she finished her Ph.D. in the Social and Cultural Foundations of Education while balancing work and her family life, so she is familiar with the challenges of being an adult student.


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Jennifer Caputo, MA


Contact Jennifer Caputo, MA
(205) 348-1656
New College LifeTrack
learn more about Jennifer Caputo, MA

Jennifer Caputo is a senior instructor in NCLT who lives in Tuscaloosa with her husband Andrew Dewar (UA Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts). Her teaching interests integrate music, dance, creativity, festivals, cultural studies, music and social change, community engagement, and arts outreach. 

Ms. Caputo has a Bachelor of Music degree from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, CUNY (City University of New York), and a Master of Arts degree in Music (Ethnomusicology) from Tufts University. She completed Ph.D. coursework and qualifying exams in ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University. Jennifer also enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, traveling the world, and supporting local food and arts organizations. 

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Scott Jones, PhD


Contact Scott Jones, PhD
(205) 348-6041
New College LifeTrack
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Scott Jones lives in Cottondale with his wife Leah, three cats, one dog, a snake, and a turtle. Scott is originally from near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but has been slowly making his way south. He made stops in West Virginia and North Carolina before coming to Alabama. His interests include hiking, camping, monster movies, reading, and many other things. Scott received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Shippensburg University in south-central Pennsylvania where he did undergraduate research on cannibalism in caddisflies and salamanders. He received his Master’s degree in Biology from Marshall University in West Virginia where he looked at urban herpetology. His most recent degree was a Ph.D. from East Carolina University in North Carolina, where his research focused on how tadpoles change their shape in response to competitors and predators. His teaching interests include herpetology, zoology, ecology, conservation biology, natural sciences, and the connections between humans and nature.
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Margaret Purcell, PhD


Contact Margaret Purcell, PhD
(205) 348-9533
New College LifeTrack
learn more about Margaret Purcell, PhD

Dr. Purcell has over 30 years of administrative experience in corporate, nonprofit, and higher education settings, and she has been teaching at the undergraduate and graduate higher education levels since 1990. As an educator and dedicated community volunteer, she is known for her use of community engagement, volunteer development, and grant writing skills to foster town and gown relationships and to leverage resources to enable community members to achieve shared goals. In her career, she has written or co-written funding proposals that have garnered over $60 million in external value. She and her husband were recognized as agricultural entrepreneurs by the Senate of the State of Alabama for their agri-education outreach, their development of a newly trademarked breed of cattle, and their successful product line of jar goods. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals and publications for general audiences. She is currently writing a book on nonprofit innovation in Alabama called Citizen Servants: A History of Success, Innovation, and Adaptation in Alabama’s Nonprofits.
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Kim Colburn, PhD


Contact Kim Colburn, PhD
(205) 348-7038
New College LifeTrack
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Kim Colburn lives in Northport with her wife, Kristi. They have 3 teenage children and 4 dogs, 2 of the 4 are foster fails. Kim is a native of Tuscaloosa but has lived in many places. Her interests include camping, fishing, Alabama football, and dog rescue. Kim is a 2005 New College graduate with a depth study in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. She has a Master's degree in Library and Information Studies from The University of Alabama. She has a Ph.D. in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program at the University of Alabama. Kim’s dissertation focused on Antisemitism, the Holocaust, and perpetrator behavior. Her teaching interests include cooperation and conflict, social change, collective memory, and social issues.