Students Recognized for Big Wins

UAB Student Wins at ConnectHER Film Festival

Bessemer native and UAB political science major Laura Nell Walker, won one of two categories she was nominated in, “Ending Violence Against Women,” at the 10th Annual ConnectHER Film Festival in Austin, Texas. The ConnectHER Film Festival is an annual showcase of original short films by high school and college students. The nonprofit strives for social justice advocacy through film. The featured works highlight women’s issues such as women’s rights, education, ending violence against women, poverty and economic independence, and the authenticity of beauty/body image. Laura is a student in the University Honors Program, a specialized program in the UAB Honors College. Her documentary, “Our Land Contains the Stories of Our People,” tells the story and experiences of a young Kenyan women who was rescued from an abusive situation as a child and taken to a rescue center. Walker sourced and filmed the story through a study abroad course taught in Kenya offered at UAB.

UAB Student Stars in Super Bowl Commercial

Kamari Marzette, a 2021 graduate of Ramsay High School’s engineering academy and current student at UAB, starred in a Super Bowl commercial as part of Birmingham City School’s “Success Starts Here” campaign. The commercial aired on Fox 6 and shows Kamari on campus at UAB. On the commercial, Kamari says, “Now, I’m doing research at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB, alongside world-class scholars. Birmingham City Schools prepared me. In a few years, I’ll have a degree and a bright future in research.” The commercial also promotes Birmingham Promise, which is a program that offers free tuition to Alabama public colleges to graduates of Birmingham City Schools.

The Ladies of Phi Mu celebrate after receiving the coveted Sweepstakes Award for their performance in Samford University’s annual Step Sing song and dance competition.

Samford Step Sing 2023

After three days of sold-out performances, the winners of Samford University’s Step Sing competition were announced. Phi Mu received the coveted Sweepstakes Award with their performance, “9 to 5”, which celebrated the joys that come with being a grandmother. Alpha Tau Omega was named runner-up with their performance, “Saved by the Bell,” and Chi Omega received second runner-up with “For the Thrill of It.” Step Sing began as a sing-along on the steps of Renfroe Hall at the Howard College East Lake Campus in 1951. It is student-organized and student-run, including musical arrangement, choreography, and costume design. In celebration of Step Sing’s 70th anniversary in 2020, Samford established the Step Sing Endowed Scholarship. Recipients were announced on stage at the end of the last performance. All participants with at least one remaining undergraduate semester are eligible to receive funds from the scholarship.

Spring Hill College Dean’s List

The following students from our area were named to the fall semester 2022 Dean’s List at Spring Hill College in Mobile:

Chance Beard, Birmingham

Denetrice Edwards, Mount Olive

Emma Gerety, Vestavia Hills

Camden Hemstreet, Birmingham

Rebecca Howard, Trussville

Mary-Linder Johnson, Mountain Brook

Jasmin Muñoz, Pelham

Victoria O’Neal, Hoover

Ella Parker, Birmingham

Carson Reeves, Birmingham

Abigail Remick, Hoover

Devon White, Irondale

Mountain Brook Brings Home Awards

The Mountain Brook High School Dorians recently competed in the Universal Dance Association’s National Dance Team Championship in Orlando and were awarded fourth place in the nation. The event took place at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports. The team competed in the Large Varsity High Kick Division and this year marks their highest finish in program history.
”We’re so pleased with our girls’ performance not only this past weekend but all season long,” the MBHS Dorians coaching staff said in a statement. The Dorians are led by coaches Heather Fitch, Caroline Elliott, Anna Scofield, and Courtney Zajic.

Local Golfer Invited to Masters Gordon Sargent, a 2021 graduate of Mountain Brook High School and sophomore at Vanderbilt University, accepted an invitation to compete in the 2023 Masters Tournament, announced Masters Chairman Fred Ridley. Gordon won the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Individual Championship last spring and became the first freshman to do so since 2007. He is ranked No. 3 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and is now the first amateur to accept a special invitation since Aaron Baddeley in 2000. The 2023 Masters Tournament is scheduled for April 3-9.

Vestavia Students Sign to Play Collegiate Sports

Fifteen Vestavia High School students signed national letters of intent to play sports in college, from football to swimming. They are:

Ethan McGriff – Baseball at Centre College

Thomas Watson – Baseball at University of West Alabama
Cole Turner – Football at Clemson

Hoke Smith – Football at U.S. Naval Academy

Jamar Wilkins – Football at Buccaneers Sports Academy (Phenix City)

Max Hull – Lacrosse at Drexel University

Sims Nichols – Lacrosse at Young Harris College 
Jackson Sharp – Golf at Birmingham Southern College

Jake Ovitt – Golf at Birmingham Southern College 
Caroline Redden – Softball at University of West Georgia
Andrew Castleberry – Swimming at Birmingham Southern College

Ryan Pearlman – Swimming at Birmingham Southern College

Andrew Bradshaw – Track at Troy University

Bo Webb – Track at South Alabama

Crawford West – Track at Alabama

2023 Scholarship Applications

The Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce Foundation is pleased to offer a college scholarship for a Vestavia Hills High School Senior planning to major in Business or a related field. Applications for the 2023 scholarship are now available online ( and in the VHHS Guidance Office. The deadline to apply is March 10.


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