Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Premier Awards Committee includes multiple award recipients

Courtesy of the University

The University celebrated its 2024 Premier Awards recipients during the Tapping on the Mound ceremony Friday. These awards are given every year to “recognize UA students, faculty, and staff who exemplify the highest standards of scholarship, service, leadership, and character.”  

This year, three of the Premier Awards recipients were on the committee that selects the awards’ recipients, but those involved in the selections process said that there were procedures in place to prevent conflicts of interest. 

This year’s recipients were as follows:  

William P. and Estan J. Bloom Award: Rolland Grady  

Judy Bonner Presidential Medallion Prize: Carolina Robinson  

Morris Lehman Mayer Award: Malea Benjamin  

John Fraser Ramsey Award: Kate Herndon  

Catherine J. Randall Award: Kittson Hamill  

Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award (student recipient): Abilene Morthland  

Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award (nonstudent recipient): Carolyn Dahl  

Graduate Student Premier Award: Dalis Lampkins  

Benjamin, Morthland and Lampkins were committee members but were not present for the selection of any awards for which they were eligible.  

All three said that they did not request to be placed on the committee. In fact, when Morthland was selected, she reached out to make it clear that she was planning on applying for a Premier Award. 

“And they said, ‘Guess what? That’s never been an issue. We have procedures in place to allow that,’” Morthland said. 

Lampkins, who was out of town for the award selections process but appointed a different graduate student based on availability to attend as a proxy, said that she chose not to accept the money attached to her award.  

Mary Meares, a professor of communication studies and the chair of the committee, said that all applications were name-blinded. 

Meares wasn’t involved in the committee member selection process, but she emphasized that those in the committee left the room during discussions for any award that they were nominated for. 

“When it came up that there were some people who were nominated for awards, it kind of felt like it was too late to replace them totally on the committee, but we didn’t want to lose the student voices on the committee,” Meares said. “So, we decided that the best thing to do would be to have them not be involved in the discussion for the awards that they were nominated for.” 

However, Meares wrote via email that going forward, “we have recommended that it be required that committee members are not candidates for the awards.” 

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