From Undergrad to Grad at UAB: Teresa Davis’s Transition

Kayla Light

Let’s face the facts- graduation will happen. If you’re like many of the undergrads who are still frantically searching for answers, or if you’re like the ones who nonchalantly “swagger” their way into the unknown, graduate school has probably crossed your mind. So, what does it exactly mean for a UAB student studying rhetoric and technical writing to advance their education? What are some of the myths and facts about that advancement? Well, after asking around, I found the perfect student to ask: Teresa Davis, a recent UAB undergrad who is transitioning into UAB’s graduate program.

About Davis and How Her Decision Could Help You

Davis graduated from UAB in December of 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in Professional Writing and Public Discourse. As the fall began, she felt the pressure to make some big decisions: to stay at UAB to pursue her education or to leave and experience a new school with a new atmosphere. After much thought and consideration, she picked UAB, and this is why:

UAB’s Cost and Practicality

UAB’s graduate program offers a package deal to exceptional, hardworking students who are seeking higher education in the English field. This package is referred to as their Assistantship program. The Assistantship program offers students tuition remission, an $8,500 yearly stipend, and the opportunity to tutor at the Writing Center and teach English Composition 101 and 102. For Davis, this plan meant being able to balance her busy family life and would save her time and money. Some schools only had limited teaching positions while others only had it after a period of time. UAB offers a very competitive stipend that greatly reduces, if not eliminates student debt. Davis not only saw their financial aid as a huge bonus, but she also felt particularly partial to UAB’s program because of the close-knit faculty.

UAB’s Family Atmosphere

Davis found the transition from the undergraduate to the graduate program to be a fluid process because she was already familiar with the program and the professors in the department. She describes this familiarity as a family atmosphere and attributes that atmosphere to the fact that UAB has a smaller graduate program. When talking about the advantages of a smaller program, she says, “Most [returning students] drop out because balancing school with work and family is hard, and we’re very much out of practice.” Davis is reflecting on her decision to return to UAB after being in the workforce for 15 years. Davis has been living near Birmingham with her husband, Terry Davis. They will celebrate their 7 year anniversary in June of 2016. When Davis was faced with the question to relocate their family, she gave it much consideration. Her answer is easily summed up in her final statement on UAB’s program: “I know that at UAB, I have the support to help me succeed.”

Davis’s plan to attend UAB to further her education was a difficult decision, but in the end, she knew she wanted a school that was able to provide her with a competitive stipend and a close-knit atmosphere that allowed her the time and flexibility to be with her family.

To learn more about the UAB’s graduate program, visit their webpage.

Davis’s Undergrad Thesis Defense Day. Pictured left to right: Professor Vines, Dr. Chris Minnix, Teresa Davis, and Dr. Jaclyn Wells.



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