Meet Our Team

Sydney Simmons

Sydney Simmons — Assistant Director Scholarship

Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Sydney holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Accounting from The University of Alabama. After spending a number of years in the public accounting field, she joined the University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Sydney has expressed that she is excited to apply her experience to the goals and operations of the Undergraduate Scholarships Office and help to ensure that the University continues to attract top students and provide them with the tools needed to be successful at UA.

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Margaret Ila Christian

Margaret Ila Christian — Director of Orientation and Special Programs

Originally from Tuscaloosa, Margaret Ila Christian serves as the Director of Orientation and Special Programs for The University of Alabama. Margaret Ila has earned three degrees from UA and began recruiting at the Capstone in 2008 as an Admissions Counselor, covering the Wiregrass region of Alabama and the panhandle of Florida. Her current role allows her to work with current students in their engagement with prospective students.

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Katie Neidhardt

Katie Neidhardt — Assistant Director, Admissions Operations

A Mobile, Alabama native and UA alum, Katie oversees the Admissions Operations area of the office. This team is responsible for processing all admissions-related documents including high school transcripts, fee waivers, and test scores. She took over this position in November 2017 and previously served as the Assistant Director for Alumni & Volunteer Recruitment in the Admissions office. Katie received her undergraduate degree in Restaurant & Hospitality Management in 2005 and spent 5 years in Nashville before returning to her alma mater. Katie enjoys the challenge of processing a large volume of documents accurately and efficiently to allow as many students as possible to receive an admissions decision as quickly as possible.

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Joshua Kirkland

Joshua Kirkland — Assistant Director, Home School, Early College and Military Recruitment

Originally from the small town of Abbeville, Alabama, Joshua graduated from The University of Alabama in 2011 with a BA in History and obtained his master’s degree in Public Administration in May of 2013. He is more than happy to share his experiences at the University and does his best to help prospective students achieve their dreams of a college education. He also enjoys cheering on the Crimson Tide in all sports and is an avid outdoorsman.

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Paul Murray

Paul Murray — Assistant Director- Regional Receptions and Specialized Recruitment

Paul is an Alabama native and a graduate of The University with a bachelor’s in Human Development and Family Studies. He enjoys traveling the country to work with our Regional Recruiters and helping students through the admissions process.

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Rick Funk

Rick Funk — Director of Admissions, Out of State Recruitment

After spending more than seven years in the Division of Student Affairs working with the Greek system, SGA, leadership, parent programming and the On-Call Dean program, Rick has worked in Undergraduate Admissions since July 2003. As Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Recruitment, Rick coordinates all recruiting efforts in Alabama as well as out-of-state regional recruiters. He is a strong advocate for student involvement in and out of the classroom and has been involved in a number of professional associations, serving as president of the Association of Fraternity Advisors and most recently on the SACAC Executive Board. Rick is particularly interested in the retention of new students, and he has taught BCE 101, an ongoing orientation class for entering students, for the past 15 years.

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Landon Waid

Landon Waid — Director of Admissions, Enrollment Management

Landon provides leadership and direction for Admissions Operations, Undergraduate Scholarships, International Admissions, Alumni and Volunteer Recruitment, and Campus Tours at UA. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Montevallo, his Master’s degree from the University of West Alabama, and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration at UA. In addition to his office responsibilities, Landon currently holds leadership roles in SACRAO and ALACRAO. He is also active in NODA, SROW, NASPA and several other regional and national professional organizations.

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Steven Thomas

Steven Thomas — Senior Associate Director for Orientation and Special Programs

Steven works in the Office of Orientation and Special Programs as the Associate Director. His primary responsibilities include Bama Bound Summer and Spring Sessions and working with the Avanti Orientation Leader team. He enjoys assisting new students as they make their transitions from high school to college and helping today’s student leaders grow into the leaders of tomorrow. Steven is originally Indiana where he received his bachelor’s degree from Ball State University. He received his master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Sam Houston State University and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration at UA.

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Jim Landers

Jim Landers — Director of Undergraduate Admissions – Operations, Military/Veteran and International Recruitment USAF, Ret

Jim provides leadership and direction for Admissions Operations, Military/Veteran Recruitment and International Admissions. He is personally involved in the University’s efforts to identify and recruit military and veterans from across the nation to attend UA. Jim served 23 years with the United States Air Force and retired in 2011 after serving as the Commandant of The University of Alabama’s AFROTC Detachment. He earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Troy University.

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Caitlin Kelley

Caitlin Kelley — Associate Director for International Recruitment and Admission

Caitlin is responsible for overseeing international admissions processing and international recruitment. She comes to The University of Alabama with a rich background of international experiences and knowledge. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in Anthropology and a minor in German language, Caitlin taught abroad in both Austria and China. Upon moving back to the USA, she earned a Master’s in International Education from SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, VT. Since that time, Caitlin has worked in International Student Services and International Admissions and Recruiting. She has traveled to over 40 countries and loves meeting students around the world as they are making the life-changing decision to study in the USA. Caitlin is an active member in NAFSA: Association of International Educators and OACAC.

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Brittnay McMillian

Brittnay McMillian — Assistant Director for Transfer Recruitment

A Tuscaloosa native, Brittnay joined the Transfer Admissions team after working in the study abroad office at UA for 5 years. Prior to her time at UA, she taught high school at a local school. Brittnay graduated from the University of Montevallo in 2004 with a Bachelor’s degree in History. She received her master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from the University of West Alabama. Her primary responsibilities include building the transfer recruitment team and developing new transfer initiatives in hopes of creating a vibrant transfer student community here at the Capstone.

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