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Josh Carter, a native of Lawton, Oklahoma, joined UAB in 2002 as an adjunct Spanish instructor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and later served for ten years as the Director of the UAB Study Abroad from 2003-2013. From May of 2013 to October of 2014 he served as Projects Analyst for the UAB Office of the Provost before joining the UAB Office of the President where he currently serves as Administrative Director. In his roles as an educational administrator, he enjoys watching UAB’s students, faculty, and staff give back to the Birmingham community in so many meaningful ways.

The importance of service to his community was instilled at an early age for Dr. Carter. While in high school he served as a member of the United Way of Southwest Oklahoma’s Youth Leadership Lawton program and volunteered for numerous organizations. Since then, he has presented nationally and internationally on various topics related to international education and study abroad and has served in various leadership roles in campus committees and in Birmingham community organizations such as UAB’s Benevolent Fund Council, UAB’s Fulbright committee, UAB’s Manos Juntas Hispanic/Latino student mentoring program, UAB’s Global Citizenship Steering Committee, the Magic City Wellness Center, Birmingham Aids Outreach, the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, and as Co-Chair of the United Way of Central Alabama Hands on Birmingham’s IGNITE Citizens Volunteer Celebration committee.

He has also served as the Alabama state representative to NAFSA: Association of International Educators for Region VII, Chair of the Alabama Association of International Educators, and President of the Alabama Council for International Programs. Dr. Carter was a member of the 2012 class of UAB’s BLAZE Leadership Academy. He was also the recipient of the 2012 UAB President’s Diversity Award. In 2008, he was recognized as the recipient of the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Region VII International Excellence Award for service to the Southeastern region.

Dr. Carter attended the University of Oklahoma where he earned his B.A. in Spanish Language in 1999 and his M.A. in Spanish Literature in 2001.  He completed his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2015.

Why have you decided to serve as a Torchbearer for the JLB?
My grandmother’s story inspired me to serve. She survived alcohol-induced domestic violence in her first marriage after WWII. She escaped with her two children during a time in the South when victims had no recourse but to suffer silently. At that time there was no centralized system of support because leaving a marriage was not condoned. Furthermore, being a single mother due to divorce often meant being a social pariah for life because of the shadow it cast upon the victims and their families. My grandmother was one of the fortunate ones who was able to get out. I think she’s an inspiration because in spite of the social mores being so stacked against her, she got out, and I’m certain her journey would have been easier on her and her children had she had access to services like these back then. Frankly, it’s in many ways because of her that I know what it means to come from nothing and make something of yourself, and why I believe wholeheartedly in UAB’s mission of education and service to students, patients, and the community. I have learned from my grandmother’s story of bravery and have experienced first-hand the positive growth and increased prosperity that can happen when we all work together to improve our community and everyone in it.  

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