Hear from some of our alumni about their experience in the program...
2020 Graduates, tentative
Name: Cahgan Jefferson
Cahgan Jefferson is a 25-year-old elementary school Bookkeeper for Decatur City Schools. She received her Associate’s DegreeBusiness Administration from NWSCC, and her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Athens State University. Cahgan plans to become a Certified Financial Planner professional, and to help educate people on how to be financially secure.
My experience at UA has been wonderful. I couldn’t ask for better teachers or a better advisor. The program is rigorous but I believe that it will help me be successful in my endeavors. I have grown as a professional and also as an individual here at The University of Alabama! I love UA!!!! Roll Tide!!
Name: Scott Poulsen
I am an Electronic Warfare Officer in the United States Air Force. My platform, RC-135 V/W, does Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance on near peer adversaries around the world.
I have had a great experience attending UA through Distance Learning. My professors have been knowledgeable and quick to respond to questions and comments I had. The material has been thorough, current and challenging.
Name: Michael Riley
I have been a career firefighter for 14 years. During that time, I've seen that many public servants are not knowledgeable about or comfortable with their finances. I am completing this degree with the intention of starting a financial planning and counseling practice to help serve my peers and their families.
I've found that the UA graduate program in Family Financial Planning and Counseling has given me a well-rounded education and exposed me to concepts that will be valuable to me when counseling and advising others. While some of the courses were more challenging than others, I feel that the program is designed well, and demands of its students an appropriate level of drive, determination, and effort to complete the degree requirements.
Name: Elizabeth Zakutney
I completed my undergraduate degree in Accounting at the University of Alabama. I have worked for the Culverhouse Technology Group for four and a half years. I did a tax internship in Atlanta last summer.
My experience has been really great. I have learned so much in this graduate program that I know I will be able to apply in my life.
Name: John Beard
I graduated in 1999 with a BFA in Musical Theater from Emerson College. Since then I have worked in a variety of industries including graphic design, the restaurant industry, and most recently, warehousing and distribution. I am excited to graduate and pursue work in the financial planning field.
The past two years have been a very challenging and rewarding time for me. While taking my financial planning classes online, I have worked full time for FritoLay in the local distribution center here. After work, I come home to help with my young son before putting in time on school late at night. Last Christmas, we added another baby to the family. I have enjoyed my time in the program and, however tired I am, I wouldn’t trade the last two years for anything.
Name: Dillon Brock
Dillon Brock is a financial advisor that currently works at Dempsey Lord Smith, a brokerage firm, in Rome, GA. He attended Jacksonville State University in Alabama and graduated with a degree in finance in May 2018. In his spare time he enjoys traveling and spending time with his family.
I have enjoyed the experience. I have attended my M.S. degree all online allowing me to be able to continue with my job outside of the state. I have learned valuable information that I believe will prepare me for whenever I sit for my CFP designation.
Name: Deja Foster
Deja is a basketball player turned coach with a passion for seeing others grow and develop in life. You could say she was born for her position in financial planning; she has the heart of a true coach that compels her to help others reach their potential. She is a Client Services Associate with Fish and Associates.
I have really enjoyed this program. It was a pleasant experience learning not only the technical skills of a competent Financial Planner, but it also did a really great job teaching the art of Financial Planning. I recommend this program to any Financial Planner looking to grow their competency in the financial counseling and planning space.
Name: Daniel Hawthorne
Daniel Hawthorne has served more than 22 years in the United States Air Force as a Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape Specialist. He plans to retire in 2021 and pursue a career in Financial Planning.
I had an outstanding experience in the Master of Science program. I feel it has adequately prepared me to start a new career and I am excited for what the future holds.
Name: Robert Lackey
I’ve worked in financial services and served clients as a financial advisor for nearly seven years. At my current firm, Roop Financial Services (Woodbury Financial Services) I have developed protocols and manage our financial planning department, as well as facilitate plan development for all planning clients.
The University of Alabama Master’s program in Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Financial Planning and Counseling has been a truly great experience. It has helped further develop my knowledge and skills.
Name: Colette Mellott
Worked 20+ years in the accounting industry in both private and public accounting positions. Recently completed the testing requirements for the Enrolled Agent designation from the Internal Revenue Service.
My experience at University of Alabama has been a very positive one. I found the faculty and staff to be very caring in coming along side us students in our educational experience. They were invested in our successes. I appreciate that I had the UA experience and look forward to taking it into my career helping others succeed in their financial lives.
Name: Austin Rains
Graduated in 2016 from the University of Kentucky with a BBA in Business Management. Currently serving as a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. Primary work is that of a contracting officer, acquisition specialist, and business leader.
It’s been a wonderful and enriching experience working on the Family Financial Planning and Counseling.
Name: John Sparks
I began my career in public accounting in Red Bay, Alabama where Iworked my way up to tax manager in the Sparks CPA Firm, P.C. After seeing a need for financial advisors with integrity, I decided to become a Certified Financial Planner. I now work for Raymond James.
I have enjoyed learning at The University of Alabama. It has been a very rewarding and challenging process. I believe the coursework will prepare me for my ultimate goal of becoming a Certified Financial Planner, and I believe I will be well equipped for my career.
Name: Joshua Stork
Professional Bio: After several years in the Marine Corps and three tours to Iraq, I went back to school to obtain a double degree in Finance and Management. The summer before my last year, I did an internship with Mass Mutual and continued my contract passing the Series 7 and 66 exams upon graduation when I went full time. Last year, I started working with Rice Financial Group (DBA) in which we provide holistic financial planning.
Employer Name: Mass Mutual Oregon / Rice Financial Group
My experience has been very positive. Being in Oregon with my wife and two children, working and completing my Masters could have seemed like an impossible task. The faculty and professors are always willing to help and create an "on-campus" feel while being over 2000 miles away.
Name: Kimberly Minnery
Professional Bio: I am an associate financial planner at an independent, fee-only wealth management firm in Reston, Virginia. I enjoy working with clients to help them develop plans to achieve their financial goals. I plan to take the CFP exam in July 2019.
Employer Name: KCR Wealth Management
I am very thankful for the opportunity to attend the University of Alabama as a student in the financial planning track. The professors seem genuinely concerned about my academic and professional success, and every UA employee I have spoken to, from the bookstore to the registrar’s office, has been professional and polite.
Name: Patrick Shreve, Jr.
I work for Ameriprise Financial as a Financial Advisor in Baton Rouge, La. Financial planning allows us to help our clients reach their goals and take care of their responsibilities now and in the future. I plan on sitting for the CFP exam after graduation.
My experience at UA has been everything I dreamed it would be and more. Two years ago, I saw the financial services industry shifting and realized I needed my CFP if I wanted to be considered a serious and professional financial planner. It was always a dream of mine to graduate from the University of Alabama. After finding this program through the CFP Board website, I was thrilled and even more excited once I was accepted. UA has made a dream become a reality and helped me become a better advisor for my clients.
Name: Bailey White
My undergraduate background at the University of Tennessee was in Retail and Hospitality Management, where I had the full intention of becoming an event planner. In 2016, an unexpected door opened, allowing me to try out the financial services industry with Ameriprise Financial. Since then, I have become Series 7 and Series 66 licensed as well as licensed in Life and Health insurance. I chose this degree path to learn more about the financial planning industry and to work towards earning the CFP designation. I am excited to progress in a career that I never knew I wanted.
My experience at the University of Alabama has been incredible in helping me achieve many goals at once—work full time, obtain a graduate degree, and complete the education requirement for the CFP exam. The flexibility of the program, the support of the instructors, and the content of the courses all work together to provide an exceptional experience. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to take part in this program.
Name: Joseph Q. Manley
Professional Bio: I entered the financial planning profession in 2016 as a career-changer, having previously worked as a school teacher and then an at-home dad while my spouse completed her medical residency. When the time was right for me to re-enter the workforce, I enrolled in classes at the University of Alabama concurrently with sitting for the Series 65 and beginning work as a financial planner at a local RIA.
Employer Name: Hurlow Wealth Management Group, Inc.
My favorite parts of the UA curriculum are the kind professors and the opportunity to study financial counseling in addition to financial planning.
Name: Katie McCaslin
Professional Bio: Katie has worked in the commercial insurance industry for over ten years and also has training in personal development coaching. She desires to combine her knowledge of insurance products with her passion for helping clients create practical plans to achieve their short and long-term goals. Katie is currently working toward her goal of obtaining a Certified Financial Planner designation and will complete a Master’s Degree in Family Financial Planning and Counseling at the University of Alabama in December 2018.
I have been so impressed with my experience at The University of Alabama. My advisor has been so helpful in working with me to make sure that I get the most out of my time in the program and that I find opportunities to more fully explore areas of interest while completing my graduate degree. The teaching staff are so professional and knowledgeable. I am incredibly thankful for the knowledge and experience I have gained through my degree program and I am confident that it will help me be successful in every aspect of my career as a financial planner.
Name: Robert Collins
Professional Bio: I have a diverse background, having worked in different industries (food service, manufacturing, banking, and healthcare) and in many different positions/departments (customer service, administration, human resources, quality control, finance, and accounting). Currently, I am employed as the Director of Accounting for a hospital in Northeast Alabama.
I have enjoyed my online experience at UA. I’ve taken online courses at other schools, and I have found that UA’s online courses are much better organized. Having a consistent structure that is the same for every class is great for non-traditional students. It makes it so much easier for an adult working full time and managing many priorities to keep pace, and to know exactly what to expect from one semester to the next.
Name: Christine Sampson Hinson (“Chris”)
Professional Bio: After practicing as an accountant and obtaining my CPA designation, I obtained my law degree and my masters of law in taxation, and have now practiced in the areas of estate planning/estate administration for over 30 years. I counsel with all types of individuals and families with planning personal and business goals, spanning the continuum from young families with young children to mature individuals running and selling successful businesses and entering into retirement. I appreciate and enjoy the satisfaction of working with my clients to achieve their goals and enjoy long term relationships with very interesting and compassionate individuals.
Employer Name: Hinson & Hinson, P.C.
My experience at UA has been challenging and rewarding. I have learned so much that I can use in my practice for my clients and in my personal planning. Returning to the classroom has been exciting and all of my instructors have been not only encouraging but so willing to help. I had no working knowledge with Excel, and by the end of the course with Dr. Tate, I was proficient with Excel. Professor Cole provided me with so much retirement benefit information that will be invaluable for my clients and with my personal planning. Dr. Zettler is encouraging and supportive of the entire class. Professor Pentecost is passionate about the Financial Planning program, involving students in so many different projects and bringing so many opportunities to students. I could not have asked for a better learning experience, and I will proudly display my University of Alabama diploma.
Name: Allison King
I had a great experience at UA. I was able to receive my undergraduate degree in accounting, where I was challenged and had a great faculty to work with. After my internship with a big four firm, I decided I wanted to go a different route and pursue Financial Planning. I have enjoyed this area and this faculty, and I am excited to graduate and receive both an undergraduate and graduate degree from UA.
Name: Brianne Cronenwett
Professional Bio: As a graduate student in the Family Financial and Counseling I have learned about the core areas of financial planning as well as counseling techniques to help further client relationships. Through an internship with an independent advisor I got to see these techniques and information used in real life.
My experience at UA has been everything I could have hoped for. I have received amazing support from faculty and from my classmates and made relationships that will last a lifetime. I am excited to see where we all land after graduation and highly recommend this program to other students.
Name: Fiona Coupe
Professional Bio: I have had the pleasure to of interning with Cathy Pareto and Associates. During my internship I was able to apply the knowledge I have learned in class and help clients reach their unique financial goals.
Employer Name: The Vanguard Group (beginning June 2018)
I have had the most exquisite time at the University of Alabama. From cheering on the Tide to its 17th National Title to being involved on the executive boards of Al’s Pals, UA’s mentorship program; The University of Alabama Dance Marathon (UADM); and Practicing Inclusive Engagement Team.
Name: Madeline Flynn
Professional Bio: Madeline Flynn was born in raised in Texas. She graduated with her undergrad in accounting at The University of Alabama in May 2017. She is currently working on her masters in financial planning and will graduate in May 2018. After graduating she will move to New York City to work as an auditor for KPMG.
My experience at UA: My experience at The University of Alabama has been everything I could have hoped for. It has shaped me into the person I am today. My first four years I was a member of the Tri Delta sorority which allowed me to meet a variety of people who helped guide me along the way. I owe my academic success to the faculty and staff at UA and I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I have been given!
Name: Jennifer Hart
Professional Bio: Currently pursuing a master’s degree in Financial planning as well as studying for the CPA exams. After graduation in May I look forward to begin my job in Dallas, TX as an assurance associate for PricewaterhouseCoopers in September.
My experience at UA has been incredible over the last 5 years. The education I have received is second to none and the memories I will take with me will be cherished forever. I was involved in many campus organizations which contributed greatly to my experience and my growth as a young woman. I am sad to see my time as a student close but I look forward to what’s ahead.
Name: Mary Katherine Mize
Professional Bio: I graduated with an undergraduate degree in Accounting, and I am currently working on finishing my Master’s degree in Financial Planning. After completing an internship Spring 2017, I accepted a job as an audit associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and I begin work September 2018.
Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, UA was always my top choice for school. My four years as an Accounting undergraduate student were some of the most challenging, yet fulfilling, times of my life. I am excited about the opportunities that will be provided to me because of my undergrad degree combined with my Master’s degree in Financial Planning.
Name: Nedra Toulmin Crosby
Professional Bio: I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in family financial planning and counseling in which I am completing coursework in retirement planning, estate planning, insurance planning, tax planning, and investment planning. During the summer of 2017, I had the privilege of interning with UBS Financial Services in Washington, D.C. where I enriched my knowledge and understanding of financial planning daily operations.
As a student at The University of Alabama, I am involved in organizations such as Kappa Delta Sorority and The University Scholars Program, participated in mentoring programs through the Honors college, and have built plethora lasting relationships with fellow students and faculty members.
Name: Jennifer Schopp
Professional Bio: I am pursuing a master’s degree in family financial planning after receiving an undergraduate degree in consumer affairs. Aspiring to work as a financial advisor, I look forward to using the individual aspects of financial planning as well as forming relationships with clients in my career.
While being at UA, I have been exposed to numerous financial planning topics and completed internships with financial planning firms. My time here has been challenging, equipping, and memorable. I am so thankful for this wonderful financial planning program and the professors who have invested in my career aspirations.
Name: Tiffany V. Wiley
Professional Bio: I am currently a graduate student with a Bachelors in Consumer Affairs, and pursuing a Masters Degree in Family Financial Planning and Counseling. I have 15 years of work experience, working with consumers and businesses in the accounting, retail, and management, amongst other positions. I would like to obtain an Accredited Financial Counselor Certification or work towards the Certified Financial Planning Certification.
My experience at UA has been very rewarding since transferring from a distance student, located in Birmingham, to Tuscaloosa in Spring 2017 to attend classes on campus. The Accelerated Masters Program has allowed me to work on my graduate degree while finishing up my undergraduate degree in December 2017, and work as a Graduate Teaching Assistant this semester. I also enjoy volunteering at local high schools, offering my assistance in educating students in financial literacy provided by community programs.
Name: Donald Travo
Brief Professional Bio: After 12 years serving in the Air Force, I decided to pursue my masters in Financial Planning as I knew this career field will impact and help just about everyone. Once the degree is completed I will take the CFP exam, and pursue a career with a financial firm.
During my time thus far, I have enjoyed learning from the wonderful instructors. I have learned so much and am excited to pass this knowledge along to future clients.
Name: Nicole Magri
Professional Bio: I received my bachelor’s degree in accounting from UA in May 2017. Before graduation I worked as an audit and tax intern at a CPA firm in Birmingham AL and enjoyed the work I accomplished there.
My time here at The Capstone has been an enjoyable and positive experience. The culture in and outside the classroom has allowed me to build my relationships with both students and faculty members. I’m saddened that my time at UA is coming to an end, however I’m confident the institution has prepared me for this next chapter in life.
Name: Ashley Johnson
Professional Bio: 8+ years of extensive customer service and financial experience. An MBA student who started attending The University of Alabama the summer of 2016. Also working towards a financial counseling certification from the Accredited for Financial Counseling and Planning Education Program (AFCPE).
My experience at UA thus far has been amazing. I have nothing but positive things to say about the Financial Planning program. The staff has been amazing in providing the necessary information needed for us to succeed. Working with other like-minded classmates who also have similar goals has made this program an amazing experience as well.
Name: Evan Brooks
Professional Bio: After working for Mercedes-Benz for 1.5 years as a Finance and Insurance Rep. I decided to go back to UA for my master’s degree. I am currently working for a seasoned CFP/CPA as an associate at Northwestern Mutual.
Employer: Northwestern Mutual
My experience at UA, both in undergraduate and graduate school has been extremely positive. I have enjoyed great relationships with my professors and advisors as well as my classmates. I feel prepared to take the next step in attaining my Series 7 and CFP credentials and that would not have been possible without the support I received from the University of Alabama. Roll Tide!
Name: Candida Moyer
Professional Bio: I am a CPA on the real estate and partnership tax team at a CPA firm in Atlanta, GA. It is a blessing to be in a career field that gives me the opportunity to help others while doing what I love to do, which is work with numbers.
Employer: Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC
My experience at The University of Alabama has been absolutely amazing! I learned so much in this program that will help me in my professional career, as well as my personal life. Even though I attended through Bama By Distance, it was exciting to still have opportunities to meet some of my classmates and one of my professors. I would highly recommend this program!
Name: Matthew Vest
Professional Bio: I am currently a relationship banker at Bank Independent in Decatur, AL, which allows me to enhance my skill of financial counseling and my relationship building skills with customers. My experience and education in finance has led me to have a strong passion to see others succeed in their finances, and I hope to use my skill set to guide and support them.
Employer: Bank Independent - Decatur, AL
My experience at UA: I have had a very positive experience at Alabama. I have nothing but good things to say about the program, the instructors and professors, and the coursework itself. While challenging at times, I feel that I've experienced tremendous growth and am already applying to my work with clients of the bank. I look forward to sitting for the CFP and am thankful for the opportunity that Alabama has afforded me and can't wait to see what the future holds because of this program.
Name: Greg Storgaard
Professional Bio: After graduating from the University of South Dakota with a degree in Finance, I spent 6 years working for a food broker in the consumer packaged goods industry, then transitioned to consulting and internal auditing services for a national accounting firm for several years. In 2009 I found my “true calling” and have enjoyed my seven years as a middle and high school teacher.
Employer Name: Durham Middle School, Lewisville, TX
My experience at UA: I have really enjoyed my time in the Master’s program at UA. The knowledge gained from the professors and coursework is laying a foundation from which I can both apply it to my own life and share it with my students.
Name: Caitlin Wall
Professional Bio: Currently pursuing a master's degree in family financial planning and counseling while actively participating in academic research has lead to my increased interest in higher education and teaching. During my time at The University of Alabama, I have developed a passion for education and educational policy. I hope to pursue a career in education, in which I will have the ability to significantly impact the lives of my students. My work with students will provide me with the valuable firsthand classroom experience necessary to build a foundation for a potential future in the educational policy realm, addressing the current lack of standard guidelines and available resources regarding financial education for students in the K-12 setting.
Name: Mary Pat Peeples
Professional Bio: As a Financial Planning and Counseling major, I am developing the skills to motivate individuals and families to make smart, healthy financial decisions. Inside of the classroom, I complete coursework regarding estate planning, retirement planning, tax planning, and investment planning. This coursework prepares me to have thoughtful, personalized conversations with individuals to ensure appropriate steps are taken to reach financial goals.
My experience at UA: Outside of the classroom I am engaged in my community through many organizations such as University of Alabama Student Government Association, Alpha Gamma Delta International Fraternity, and the University Scholars Program. These organizations have allowed me to build leadership skills, communication skills, and teamwork skills.
Name: Robert Cope
Professional Bio: Though my professional career has been brief, it has been incredibly pleasant. I had the privilege of working as an intern with Prospera financial during the 2016 summer and enhanced my knowledge capacity surrounding the financial planning business immensely. I look forward to beginning my career as an entry-level financial planning analyst upon graduation.
My experience at UA: My experience at The University of Alabama has been nothing short of surreal. I have made lifelong friendships, taken on leadership roles within a number of organizations across campus, mentored fellow students, developed outstanding relationships with faculty members, and found a career path I am passionate about. It makes me very sad to know that my tenure as a student is coming to a close, but I found myself very eager to see what my life holds in store following graduation. I am forever grateful to the University of Alabama and the man it shaped me into.
Name: Bobby Gaines
Professional Bio: I am an accomplished bankruptcy analyst with more than 23 years of experience administering complex Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.
Employer Name: United States Bankruptcy Administrator
My experience at UA: I have had a wonderful experience at the University of Alabama. The Masters program in Financial Planning has challenged me and has broadened my knowledge in the financial planning field. I have developed friendships with several of my fellow students, and my professors have been so helpful in guiding me through the program.
Name: Matthew M. Vandre
Professional Bio: For more than five years as a “no sales” fiduciary advisor, adult educator, and family money coach I’ve been helping individuals and families across the United States feel good about their money. As part of the MoneyAdvice@Work® team, our expert award-winning services are provided as an employee benefit, independent of any broker dealer affiliations, and always free from any conflicts of interest. We are the fiduciaries you can trust.
Employer: Francis Investment Counsel LLC
My experience at UA: After graduating from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee having earned an interdisciplinary baccalaureate degree, I began studying the economic and social influences impacting families and their finances through a Master Degree program in Human Environmental Sciences - Family Financial Counseling at the University of Alabama. I believe that by understanding the psychological impact money scripts and unfinished business have on the behaviors inhibiting positive outcomes I will be better prepared to assist individuals and families in achieving financial stability and healthy relationships both with each other and their money. The University of Alabama, its instructors, my academic advisor, other students I have collaborated with, and this graduate program have been instrumental in further developing my understanding of people and their relationship to money.
Name: Rick Smith
Professional Bio: Rick Smith, CPA, CGFM, is currently working part-time as Finance Director for his hometown Habitat for Humanity affiliate. Mr. Smith retired in 2015 after a 30-year career as Chief Financial Officer for a public school district; prior to his work with the school district, Mr. Smith worked for Hazlett, Lewis and Bieter, a CPA firm in Chattanooga, TN. Mr. Smith has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration in Finance.
Employer: Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland, TN (part time)
Graduation Date: December 10, 2016
My experience at UA: My time at Alabama has been even better than I dreamed it would be. Since the early 1970's, my dream was to obtain a degree from the University of Alabama. Since the 1980's, my hobby has been reading books about financial planning and working on my own financial plan. This love of financial planning allowed me to retire in my mid-50's. I cannot put into words how much the financial planning program has taught me-things I wish I had known earlier in life. Having not attended college in almost 30 years, I was extremely anxious about the program. However, the professors were all very helpful and sincerely want what is best for the students. I loved every minute of it!
Name: Daryl Crow
Professional Bio: I provide focused software testing for a marketing firm in Chattanooga, TN. I work with the data developers and analytics team to validate the return on investment provided to our clients.
My experience has taught me everyone loves a positive ROI, negative ROI not so much.
Employer: True North Custom
My experience at UA: I've enjoyed my time at Alabama. I've been fortunate to have knowledgeable instructors and classmates that are responsible to work with. Since I work full time in addition to being married with two kids, I'm very appreciative of the opportunity to attend the University of Alabama via the distance program.
Name: Amy Berthaume
Professional Bio: Amy Berthaume was born and raised in Mobile, Al and graduated high school in 2007. After completing her undergraduate degree from The University of Alabama in 2011 in Business Administration, I simultaneously worked in financial field while working towards my Masters in Financial Planning.
Employer Name: Trustmark Bank
My experience at UA: I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on and off campus at the university. I graduated with my undergraduate degree in Business on campus and have continued my career with the distance learning. The teachers are always available, easy to communicate distantly, and material is taught effectively so you understand the toughest subjects. The professors are available by email, phone, or skype if you are distant learning or with many office hours if on-campus. The campus is absolutely beautiful as well as the library’s, classrooms, and houses surrounding the campus. There is no other college I would want to have earned my degrees from.
Name: Emily Marbutt
Professional Bio: Emily Marbutt, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, is a HR professional with over 16 years of experience. Currently an HR Manager at The University of Alabama, she manages the HR Service Center, administers the ADA accommodations for faculty/staff, and serves as the HIPAA Privacy Officer for the UA health plan.
Employer Name: The University of Alabama
My experience at UA: I have had a very positive experience in the online Master’s program at UA. The instructors have all been very supportive and responsive. I would recommend the program to anyone interested in learning about financial planning.
Name: Ashley Burrell
Professional Bio: I am a candidate for a Master of Science in Family Financial Planning and Counseling at the University of Alabama. I also received a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies in May of 2014 from the Capstone, and I am incredibly excited to see what kind of impact I can make in financial services with such a strong background. I am incredibly driven, fun, and motivational, and I enjoy meeting new people and helping those in need; my personality shines through my involvement in various organizations, but most especially with the Financial Planning Association at the University of Alabama, where I serve as a member of the board, and through the Graduate Student Association, where I serve as a Department Delegate.
Employer Name: Past: Intern with Ameriprise Financial, Inc., Current Employee at The University of Alabama and intern with Meld Financial, Inc.
My experience at UA: I have spent the last few years engrossed in the culture that is The Capstone, and I have loved every second of it. When it came time to decide where I would obtain my graduate degree, UA was my first choice. CHES is such a close-knit community and I love the support that I get from both faculty and my peers. The Family Financial Planning and Counseling program is preparing me for an incredibly successful career, and I can’t wait to say that I am an alumna of such a successful program.
Name: Nikki Floyd
Professional Bio: I am currently a licensed stock broker. I have been in the investment industry since graduating with a Finance degree from The University of Alabama in 2010. I currently work in Birmingham, AL and I handle most of the investment operations in my branch.
Employer Name: Charles Schwab and Co, Inc.
My experience at UA: I have really enjoyed my courses!! I have honestly learned much more that I could have asked for. I am also blessed with the ability to utilize and apply what I am learning to realistic situations with clients. All of my professors have been readily available to assist with any questions and explanations that I have needed which has been fantastic. My favorite courses thus far have been Financial Spreadsheets and Estate Planning.
Name: Ashley Kilgust
Professional Bio: I currently work in the trust department of a bank as a Wealth Advisor, and have worked in this profession for two years. My job is to act somewhat like a financial planner and estate planner to help clients manage their money. Before that, I had various jobs within the New Orleans area.
Employer Name: Iberia Wealth Advisors – a division of IberiaBank
Educational Background: Bachelor’s in Finance from Texas A&M University; finishing my Master’s in Family Financial Planning at University of Alabama
Why I chose UA: The program allows me to sit for the CFP exam and get my Master’s
instead of just doing a CFP certificate program.
Name: Arthur Lyons
Professional Bio: 35 years investment experience, including financial planning, sales, trading, portfolio management and product development. Currently Senior Relationship Manager; also Subject Matter Expert for Investment Management Consulting Association (IMCA); Sergeant First Class (acting First Sergeant) New Mexico Army National Guard.
Employer Name: AAFMAA Wealth Management & Trust (Reston, VA)
Educational Background: B.A. Samford University, Sociology major, Accounting minor. Pursuing Master of Science in Consumer Sciences, Family Financial Planning, University of Alabama.
Why I chose UA: My father graduated from UA fifty years ago, I was on campus the day it was desegregated. I attended grad school here in 1979, same department, different subject area, but didn't finish. The fact that this program is offered online made it possible for me to complete some unfinished business.
Name: Jeffrey Krammes
Professional Bio: I was a Communications Officer in the United States Air Force for 22 years. Following my retirement in 2005 I have been working for the Department of Defense and the US Army conducting Cybersecurity Assessments at Combatant Commands and military installations around the world.
Employer Name: US Army, Threat Systems Management Office
Educational Background: Bachelor of Science in Management of Information Systems, Park University. Master of Arts in Organizational Management, University of Phoenix, and a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training, also from University of Phoenix. I am completing my Master of Science in Consumer Sciences, Family Financial Planning with the University of Alabama.
Why I chose UA: I was an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies with the Air Force ROTC program at Alabama from 2000-2003. I fell in love with the Capstone, it just took me about a decade to get back to complete this degree program.
Name: Deborah Ward
Professional Bio: With a working career over twenty years, I have a vast amount of experience in business operations and support at many levels. I am skilled in many software programs, implementing policy, managing financial funding, and interfacing with customers. As a Marine Corps spouse for 27 years, I have been afforded the luxury of traveling and residing in many places which has led to many different life experiences and in turn has taught me how to communicate with an array of people from diverse backgrounds.
Volunteering as a military spouse, while my husband serves as a Commanding Officer in Miramar, CA.
Educational Background: Bachelors of Business Administration in Management; Pursuing a Masters in Personal Financial Planning at the University of Alabama.
Why I chose UA: After many years of working and wanting to work on a master’s degree, I reviewed many choices. The personal financial planning program seemed the best fit for me. The program was online which offered the flexibility I needed since I was a working mom and wife. More importantly, this degree will be an asset to fulfill my lifelong goal of helping military families with their financial needs.
Name: Britta Stefanie Green
Professional Bio: After serving in the US Army in the aviation and transportation field for over 14 yrs, I decided to become a German interpretation and translation services provider. I am currently completing my Masters in Family Financial Planning so that I may assist my fellow Veterans and others in becoming financially smart and savvy.
Educational Background: Bachelors in Business Administration, Trident University, finishing Masters in HES/Family Financial Planning at the University of Alabama,
Why I chose UA: I looked into several Universities that would enhance my knowledge and ability to counsel others on financial issues. UA was Veteran friendly, has an outstanding Veterans Affairs office, and was able to provide me with a program and schedule that fit my needs and time constraints.
Name: Sean Mitcham
Professional Bio: Signal Officer in the United States Army stationed in Vicenza Italy with the 173rd Infantry Airborne Brigade. Responsible for the communications capabilities of one Airborne Infantry Battalion and its members. Communications capabilities include computer access, radio communications, and internet access for 300 users.
Employer Name: 1-503rd/ 173rd IBCT US Army
Educational Background: BS in Economics from United States Military Academy at West Point
Why I chose UA: Financial planning and services has always been an interest and a passion of mine. I chose Alabama because it was the best fit for me in order to fulfill my education requirement for my CFP certification. Alabama offered several advantages that appealed to me. Of note, Alabama offered an entirely online program, fulfilled all of the requirements for the CFP exam, and was also the most economically sound solution. I have been pleased with my selection, and I am proud to be able to graduate.