2018-19 Student Officers (March 2018 – February 2019)

Chairperson – Ryan Truitt
Vice-Chairperson – Hani Razavi
Communications Director – Faith Barringer

2017-18 Student Officers (March 2017 – February 2018)


  • Acts as the official student spokesperson for the institute.
  • Provides general leadership and presides over all Student meetings.
  • Serves as the liaison between Students, the Leadership Team, and the Advisory Board.
  • Together with the Vice-Chairperson, organizes informal gatherings that promote dialogue and community among Students.

Andrea Hayes, Chairperson (arhayes2@crimson.ua.edu)

Andrea Hayes is a senior at The University of Alabama studying Public Health and Healthcare Analytics and serves as the Student Chairperson of the Blackburn Institute. While at UA, Andrea has worked to get her fellow students involved and connected to communities throughout Tuscaloosa. She has been actively involved in the Center for Service and Leadership as a volunteer, as well as an Assistant Team Leader for Green Bama. She is also a member of Eta Sigma Gamma, a health education and promotion honorary society, which is heavily involved in Holt Community. Of specific interest to Andrea is food access throughout the United States and healthcare reform. After graduation, Andrea hopes to work in public health advocacy and health policy for the state of Alabama.


  • Presides over meetings of Students in the absence of the Chairperson.
  • Together with the Chairperson, organizes informal gatherings that promote dialogue and community among Students.

Amber Scales, Vice-Chairperson (alscales@crimson.ua.edu)

Amber Scales is a junior double-majoring in Public Relations and Theatre, with a minor in Political Science, and serves as the Student Vice-Chairperson of the Blackburn Institute. She is on the pre-law track and has ambitions to attend law school after completion of undergrad. On campus, she serves as a member of Capstone Men & Women, the Director of Multicultural Affairs in the Student Government Association, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. She is a passionate student with strong interpersonal skills who excels in critical decision making.

Communications Director

  • Internally publicizes all Institute activities and personal achievements of Blackburn Students and Blackburn Fellows (via Facebook, email, telephone, etc.).
  • Provides appropriate external individuals, departments, and media with relevant information regarding Institute activities and events (i.e. press releases, event descriptions, post-event summaries, etc.).
  • Coordinates the gathering of information for the website and publications.

Ryan Truitt, Communications Director (rwtruitt@crimson.ua.edu)

Ryan Truitt is a junior majoring in Management Information Systems from Florence, Alabama. He is the current Student Director of Communications for the Institute, and is excited to serve in a role that allows him to further spread our mission and values. He is passionate about the local public library serving as a community center, and he loves to volunteer at the Tuscaloosa Public Library when he is not pulling espresso shots at Monarch Espresso Bar or working as a Student Developer at the Center for Advanced Public Safety on campus. Last summer, he completed an internship with Proctor & Gamble in Cincinnati, OH, looking forward to the rest of his time at the Capstone and the continued success of the Blackburn Institute.