150 years after the 1st woman was admitted, these 2 professors love teaching at UNA—here’s why


Year of the UNA Woman
Accounting professors Mandy Barksdale + Rebecca Hamm on UNA’s campus in Florence. Photo via UNA

Year of the UNA Woman is a time for celebration—it’s been 150 years since what became the University of North Alabama admitted women students. For an inside look, we talked to two women Accounting professors and learned about UNA’s new Scholarships of Distinction. Keep reading for all the details, including how you can apply.

Year of the UNA Woman 

  • Year of the UNA Woman
  • LaGrange College site

In 1872, the State Normal School at Florence—which later became UNA—first opened its doors to women. 

Now, 150 years later, UNA is celebrating this anniversary and all the women who’ve been a part of the University since.

“I see the benefits of all those trailblazers—now women are succeeding throughout all of our programs, including accounting. I am grateful to those who came before and paved the way.”

Rebecca Hamm, Accounting Professor, College of Business and Information Technology

2 UNA Accounting professors + why they love teaching at UNA

Meet Mandy Barksdale

Mandy Barksdale
Mandy Barksdale with Beta Alpha Psi. Photo via Mandy Barksdale

Originally from The Shoals, Mandy Barksdale went to Auburn before working as a CPA in large public accounting firms.

Recruitment and auditing were two of her specialties, and she brought both with her when she started teaching at UNA in Fall 2013.

Outside the classroom, she’s the faculty advisor for the local chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, an international accounting honor society. 

She’s also the faculty advisor for the Accounting Scholars organization, which helps younger students build their networks and start achieving their professional goals.

“I love teaching at UNA—we as faculty members in the accounting department are incredibly supported. We have a great group of instructors and students.”

Mandy Barksdale, Accounting Professor, University of North Alabama

Know you want to go? Apply to the College of Business and Information Technology today.

Rebecca Hamm

Rebecca Hamm in the classroom
Rebecca Hamm in the classroom. Photo via Rebecca Hamm

Rebecca Hamm was a UNA Accounting student herself when she first met then-department chair Dr. Sharon Campbell: “She was amazing—just a perfect mix of teacher, mentor and mother figure who understood young people.” 

After graduation, Hamm passed the CPA exam and started working in public practice with local accounting firms. Years later, when Dr. Campbell asked if she would teach at her alma mater, she happily said yes.

Hamm’s work with small firms gave her experience in a lot of different areas, which proved very valuable in the classroom—students love her real-world stories.

Outside the classroom, she’s a graduate accounting advisor and helps with Beta Gamma Sigma, the College of Business and Technology Honor Society, and Phi Kappa Phi, the University-wide honor society.

UNA offers new Scholarships of Distinction

“We have outstanding students in our program. It’s so exciting for us as faculty to be able to reward their excellence with scholarships, so they can extend their education, as well as attract exceptional students for the future.”

Rebecca Hamm, Accounting Professor, College of Business and Information Technology


  • 50-100% of tuition, fees, room + board for undergraduate students 
  • 20-50% of tuition + fees for qualified Master of Accountancy students

Who: Outstanding students in Accounting, Computing and Engineering

Deadlines for Fall 2022:

  • Engineering Technology: December 1, 2021
  • Computing: June 30, 2022
  • Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting or Masters of Accountancy (MAcc): June 30, 2022

Apply now!

Eager to go to a college that celebrates and supports women students and faculty? Apply to UNA’s College of Business and Information Technology today.

Sponsored by:

Sharron Swain
Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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