2024-25 Student Officers (March 2024 – February 2025)


  • 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.

Rolland Grady (jtgrady@crimson.ua.edu)

Rolland Grady is a junior from New Orleans, Louisiana. She is currently studying political science in the Accelerated Master’s Program. She serves as an Andrew Goodman Foundation Ambassador for UA Vote Everywhere and on the advisory board for the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition. Rolland works as an undergraduate intern in Crossroads Civic Engagement Center. On campus, she is involved in Tide Against Time, the Honors College, and in her sorority Alpha Omicron Pi, where she works on the philanthropy and academic committees. She is passionate about youth voting and voter education. She loves supporting the Crimson Tide from the Blackburn block on gamedays! Outside of school extracurriculars, she enjoys knitting, getting coffee with friends, going for walks, and reading a good book.


  • 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.

Connor Higgins (clhiggins@crimson.ua.edu)

Connor Higgins is a junior from Athens, Alabama concurrently pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in Quantitative Economics. On campus, you can find him providing tours of his college in his capacity as President of Culverhouse Ambassadors, or you can find him in Honors Hall in his capacity as a Research Assistant focusing on new curricular efforts in the Honors College. Connor additionally serves as Vice President of The Carl A. Elliott Society, where he has leveraged his position to promote the legacy of the society’s namesake. He enjoys acoustic tunes, old sitcoms, long drives, and laughing until he can’t catch a breath.

Lilly Noble

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.

Lilly Noble (ldnoble@crimson.ua.edu)

Lilly Noble is a senior from Canton, MS. She is currently majoring in political science and minoring in communications and public relations on the pre-law track. She is the Vice President of her sorority Chi Omega and the President of the UA Chapter of the League of Women Voters. She also participates in the Student Government Association and is an ambassador for the College of Arts and Sciences. In the summer of 2023, she interned on Capitol Hill in the office of Senator Wicker from Mississippi. She has worked with the Mississippi Center for Justice, assisting in creating and distributing resources made to educate individuals on predatory lending and how to avoid it. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and conversing with her peers about virtually anything. She hopes to attend law school after graduating from the University of Alabama.