Sophia Ancira

Student Mentor

Wednesday at 6:10 pm in the Living-Learning Center |

Major: Marketing and Art History

Minor: French and Blount

Hometown: Huntsville, Alabama

Interests: Baking vegan* goods (*sometimes), collecting records and polaroids (not the new skinny ones, the wide square kind), and in my free time I enjoy* working out (*again, sometimes), visiting farmer’s markets and cities larger than Tuscaloosa, and volunteering at local elementary schools

During My First Year: My suitemates and I were good friends with another suite of boys down the hall, who had a non-ironic poster (from the Ferg Poster Sale) of “Beach Bums” (I am sure from the title you can imagine what this picture captured, and it was not just crude slang for homeless people living on the beach). We were gifted a smaller version of the poster after attempting to long-term “borrow” the original and assert ownership of the traditionally misogynist poster. However, our suite was also used for tours throughout the year, and every parent who walked through our doors reacted with mild to intense surprise, mostly bemused at such a poster belonging in a girl’s suite. Both posters survived the year and will continue to be housed in our respective apartments next year. Jasmine and Stephanie continue to be faceless icons (we named the models, for obvious reasons).


Corinne Baroni

Student Mentor

Thursday at 3:00pm in the Living-Learning Center |

Major: Environmental Engineering

Minors: Blount

Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee

Interests: Outdoor Activities, Service, Art, Food, and many more

During My First Year: If you ask me about birds, I will tell you that I do not like them. I was once ambivalent towards these flying creatures, but everything changed earlier this spring.
I was at Moundville for a SEA (student engineers in action) build. We were finishing up a fence. Our building site was a small pavilion, and in the upper left hand corner of this pavilion there was a bird’s nest. As we were measuring what would eventually become the fence posts, a baby bird fell out of the nest with a loud thud. Tragic, you must be thinking, but just listen to the rest of this story.
We spent a moment mourning the fallen fledgling before returning to our work. About 20 minutes later, when we were all engrossed in the final measurements, disaster struck.
Out of absolutely nowhere (or, more realistically, the left hand corner of the pavilion), something suddenly swooped full force into my hair. For 2 whole seconds, absolutely no one knew what was going on. Everyone was in shock until someone finally realized that the thing that had landed in my hair was the momma bird! At that moment, the momma bird started thrashing around and pecking at my head, while I simultaneously erupted into screams of “GET IT OFF!! GET IT OFFFFFFFF!!!!” and began dancing like a lunatic in an attempt to ward of the aggressive avian. Finally, my friend Ryan smacked the bird out of my head, and all was well.
I spent the rest of my day with my hood up making jokes about how “connected to nature I must be” for a bird to “land” on me but really just trying to downplay the fact that a bird either attacked me or mistook my hair for a nest… either way, ouch.

Sabrina Bolt

Student Mentor

Wednesday at 3:30pm in Tuomey Hall |

Major: Nursing

Minors: Blount

Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri

Interests: Hiking, going to sports events, event planning and fundraising

During My First Year: One of my favorite memories of my first year was my friends and I took a kiddie pool and beach chairs to the quad on one of the hottest days of the summer. Being from the north in Alabama heat, I regret nothing.

Grace Brandon

Student Mentor

Monday at 1:00 pm in Oliver-Barnard Hall |

Major: Finance

Minors: Blount

Hometown: Huntsville, Alabama

Interests: Going to the gym, playing guitar, eating

Favorite Quote: “real Gs move in silence like lasagna” -Lil Wayne

Jacob Camden

Student Mentor

Sunday at 4:30 pm in the Living-Learning Center |

Major: Philosophy, English

Minor: World Literature and Blount

Hometown: Lafayette, Louisiana

Interests: philosophy, literature, art, video games, creative writing, food

Favorite Quote: “Ah, children, ah, dear friends, don’t be afraid of life! How good life is when one does something good and just!” — Fyodor Dostoevsky.


Matthew Carter Curl

Student Mentor

Wednesday at 6:10 pm in the Living-Learning Center |

Major: Philosophy and Political Science

Minors: Blount Scholars Program

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

Interests:Poetry, poker, target shooting, driving/racing, reading, writing, swimming, cars (ask me about my favorite engine), music, “philosophizing”, politics, law, debate, cooking (grills a mean steak), and, unfortunately, day-trading

Favorite Quote: “We get it Matt you’re a philosophy major, can you take your… philosophizing somewhere else? Because half the time I don’t understand what you’re saying and the other half of the time I just don’t care.” – A dear friend

Leah Francois

Student Mentor

Wednesday at 3:30 pm in Tuomey Hall |

Major: Theatre

Minors: Blount and Creative Media

Hometown: Stone Mountain, Georgia

Interests: Singing, Acting, Disney knowledge, Make-up, Comic Book lover, Marvel and D.C. lover

Favorite Quote: Supermodels. Heh! Nothing super about them… spoiled, stupid little stick figures with poofy lips who think only about themselves. I used to design for GODS!!” – Edna Mode

Sara Gautreaux

Student Mentor

Monday at 5:00 pm in Tuomey Hall |

Major: Biology- Pre-med

Minors: Blount

Hometown: New Orleans Louisiana

Interests: dancing, yoga, reading, rewatching Grey’s anatomy over and over again

During My First Year: Late night breakfast at lakeside was the highlight of my freshman year, but it wasn’t the waffles that made it so memorable. It was my best friend and me screaming about Shakespeare and The Aristocats at the top of our lungs sitting in the corner of the dining hall.


Sam Hallam

Student Mentor

Thursday at 6:00 pm in Tuomey Hall |

Major: Nonprofit Management (New College)

Minors: Spanish, Social Innovation and Leadership, and Blount

Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona

Interests: running, playing soccer, juggling, engaging in community outreach, attending obscure sporting events, watching Netflix comedy specials, traveling, eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and writing 450-750 word essays!

During My First Year: Over spring break, my girlfriend and I went to New York City. We were walking toward Battery Park when a man approached us and asked if we were interested in buying tickets for a boat tour of the Statue of Liberty. I have a notorious inability to say no, so I bought two tickets. He directed us to walk a couple of blocks down and find a woman in a red polo shirt. When we located her, she told us to get on a shuttle, which drove us fifteen minutes away to an abandoned alleyway. We waited in a short line and boarded the boat. Everything seemed normal until EDM music began blasting from the ship’s speakers and a voice came over the intercom to inform passengers that there was an open bar downstairs. People began to drink and dance as we sailed under the Brooklyn Bridge and toward the Statue. At one point, a mosh pit even formed in front of the DJ table. So, that’s the story of how I accidentally rode on a party boat in New York City last year!

Christopher Harden

Student Mentor

Sunday at 4:30 pm in the Living-Learning Center |

Major: Latin and Microbiology

Minors: Blount

Hometown: Pensacola, Florida

Interests: Yarn crafts (knitting and crochet), Certamen, May Jongg, Santa Impersonation, and Model UN

During My First Year: In the middle of my first semester, I wished to learn the art of crochet, which inevitably led to that of knitting. With this newfound love of yarn craft, I have carved out an odd niche for myself within Blount being known as “the boy who knits.” I hope to add to this epithet in coming years, perhaps even adding it to my repertoire of assumed names which already include such hits as: “Iggy,” “Topher,” “Dopus Popus,” “guy with the sweaters,” “Pontifex Minimus,” “Large Vanilla,” etc


Grace Henshall

Student Mentor

Thursday at 3:00 pm in the Living-Learning Center |

Major: Political Science

Minors:  Blount, Environmental Studies, Internationals Studies

Hometown: Arlington, Virginia

Interests: sports, watching tv, reading, vines, frisbee, the crimson tide

During My First Year: One of the very first nights of school, before many people had moved in, my roommate, our friend and I were bored and decided it was time to make friends and see who else was in this weird Blount program with us. We decided the best way to do that was to have a dance party so we sent out a message and a video of us dancing to Fergalicious (what else) to the Blount groupme, to see if we could rally anyone else to join our cause. Someone told us to come to the 3rd floor lounge and dance… Turns out everyone was studying for Bio bootcamp and NOT in the mood to dance, but we (somehow) persuaded some kids to come have a dance party with us all over the building. Probably one of the best ways to start college/ make friends

Kate Huffman

Student Mentor

Monday at 1:00 pm in Oliver-Barnard Hall |

Major: Math

Minors: physics and Blount

Hometown: Statesville, North Carolina

Interests: Reading, art, cooking

Favorite Quote: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – from Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax.

Emily Kim

Student Mentor

Thursday at 6:00 pm in Tuomey Hall |

Majors: Neuroscience (New College)

Minor: Studio Art, Blount

Hometown: Bupyeong-gu, Incheon, South Korea

Interests: Running while watching DD&D, thieving raw sweet potatoes from dining halls, word mashing (woshing), rock climbing, growing out my wisdom teeth

During My First Year: At the end of first semester, I (impressively) consumed four oatmeal raisin cookies and five servings of bread pudding to decompress after my back-to-back bio and chem finals!



Ember Mattingly

Student Mentor

Wednesday at 3:30 pm in Tuomey Hall |

Major: Criminal Justice

Minors: Blount

Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland

Interests: Renting Dogs from TMAS, reading books, nature documentaries, taking care of my pets

Favorite Quote: “When you left crying at Klutch, Ron was holding hands and dancing with a female and took down her number. Multiple people in the house know, therefore you should know the truth.” – The Letter, Jersey Shore.

Riley Michlowitz

Student Mentor

Tuesday at 11:30 am in the Living-Learning Center |

Major: Creative Media

Minor: Creative Writing and Blount

Hometown: Theodore, Alabama

Interests: Reading, writing, swing dancing, crafts, hanging out with people, roller skating, bowling, socializing, and all things Disney

During My First Year: At the fall Get on Board Day I was walking back to the dorm with a fellow Blountee after looking at and speaking to every table. When I got to the Ferguson Center crosswalk headed towards Blount there were several food trucks making very greasy food. Without watching where I was stepping, I slipped on a ton of grease that was leaking out of the food trucks. I didn’t fall like any regular person, I fell in slow motion like I’m pretty sure I fell in actual slow motion. To make matters worse I got covered in grease, fell in front of at least 500 people who definitely saw me, and the guy behind me just stood over my head and said “Oh no” instead of helping me up. My friend helped me up after I almost knocked her down like a bowling pin and we walked as fast as we could to get back to the dorm so I could shower and change.

Sarah Osucha

Student Mentor

Friday at 2:00 pm in Oliver-Barnard Hall |

Major: Chemistry and dance major (pre-med track)

Minors: Spanish and Blount

Hometown: Knoxville, Tennessee

Interests: As I am also pre-med, I am involved with shadowing and volunteering, and I love to dance and eat food with friends in my free time.

During My First Year: One evening, I left my key in my room as I was studying down the hall and my roomate locked the door when she went to bed. I knocked on the door many times but she wasn’t waking up. I tried to pick the lock of the door with a bobby pin for about an hour (those Blount locks are super secure) then I decided to just borrow a blanket from a friend and sleep in the fourth floor lounge. It was actually quite cozy up there, until I was woken up by maintenance staff that needed to clean. Key tip: your RA will unlock your door for you once for free, use that if you need it!

John Pace

Student Mentor

Tuesday at 11:30 am in the Living-Learning Center |

Major: History and Economics

Minors: Blount, Randall Research Program, and Self Designed Minor (Alabama Studies)

Hometown: Auburn, Alabama

Interests: Watching Movies, Reading Comic Books, swimming and water skiing, History, Politics, Alabama Facts

During My First Year: I dressed up like Waldo for Homecoming last year, went to the football game, and got featured on OldRow Sports

Anna Pitts

Student Mentor

Monday at 5:00 pm in Tuomey Hall |

Major: Art History and Studio Art

Minors: Blount

Hometown: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Interests: Ceramics, hiking, dancing to good music. Really interested in graffiti/street art. Love flowers.

Favorite Quote: “There is water at the bottom of the ocean” – Talking Heads

Sammy Sawyer

Student Mentor

Wednesday at 12:15 pm in Oliver-Barnard Hall |

Major: English, Economics

Minor: Blount, Italian, History

Hometown: Marietta, Georgia

Interests: playing tennis, playing the guitar, reading, and watching movies

During My First Year: A friend and I decided to go to a concert in Birmingham. We drove into the city and rolled up to the parking attendant only to realize that we forgot to get cash. The parking attendant said she didn’t have the card reader, so we would have to go to the Regions ATM a few blocks away. We told her we would be back in a few minutes. Four broken ATM machines, miles of circling city blocks, and a whole hour later, I got my $20 from an ATM. We returned to the parking lot to the sounds of the opening act finishing their set and the sight of a parking attendant with a card reader. I gave her the hardest $20 I had ever earned, the bill only slightly damp from my hysterical tears, and enjoyed the show.



Khloe Starling

Student Mentor

Wednesday at 12:15 pm in Oliver-Barnard Hall |

Major: Psychology

Minors: Blount

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Interests: I like going to the movies, listening to music, and my clubs

During My First Year: One time my roommates, a few people on the hall, and even a couple of people from other floors all got together to pull an all-nighter for no other reason than for fun. We played video games, watched movies, and ate junk food. By the end of the night, we all went to the fourth floor to watch the sunrise. Best night of freshman year!

Nathaniel Trost

Student Mentor

Wednesday at 12:15 in Oliver-Barnard Hall |

Major: Music composition

Minors: French, art history, Blount

Hometown: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Interests: Music, Art, Philosophy, Literature, Hiking

Favorite Quote: “You have to have a high conception, not of what you are doing, but of what you may do one day: without that, there’s no point in working.” -Edgar Degas

Madelyn Verbrugge

Student Mentor

Monday at 5:00 pm in Tuomey Hall |

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies (New College), photojournalism

Minor: Blount Scholars Program

Hometown: Kentwood, Michigan

Interests: reading, photography, running, watching terrible game shows

During My First Year: I’m tiny and I look really young so the first few times I went to Lakeside the workers consistently asked me how old I was or where my parents were.


Alden Elizabeth Wells

Student Mentor

Friday at 2:00 pm in Oliver-Barnard Hall |

Major: Environmental Engineering

Minors: Blount

Hometown: Andalusia, Alabama

Interests: Knitting, video games, board/card games, baking, hanging out on the quad, reading, chemistry

During My First Year: I always thought I was above tying my shoes in public until one fateful day my shoelace got stuck in my bicycle gears when I was riding down the bus/bike lane by Fresh Foods. It got to the point where I had run out of shoelace and could not longer pedal, so I had to physically throw myself off my bike into the sidewalk to avoid getting hit by the bus behind me. The bus driver stopped the bus and asked if I was alright and I just gave a meek thumbs up