Brown blazes trail to UAB

Published 10:58 am Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Kiera Brown (left) and her sister Ascia Brown (right) will both be students at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. UAB is world reknown for their medical field. Submitted Photo

By: Scott McLendon

The Blazers of UAB have added another Luverne High School graduate to their student body. Kierra Brown is slated to begin her medical journey at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the fall where she will be reunited with her sister Ascia Brown, as classmates.

“I want to become a neuropsychologist and they diagnose different types of neurological disorders,” said Kierra Brown. “I hope to join the neuroscience program and the honors college program.”

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Neuropsychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the relationship between behavior, emotion and cognition and the functions of the brain. Professionals in this field focus on how the brain and nervous system influences a person’s cognition and behaviors. They often specifically study how injuries and illnesses can affect these neurological functions.

Brown’s sister’s presence at UAB didn’t sway her decision to become a

Blazer too drastically, but she admitted that she likes the idea of knowing someone there ahead of her arrival. The recent high school graduate will be entering a city with a populace that exceeds 200,000.

The entirety of Crenshaw County has a population around 14,000.

“I’m not sure about my plans after college,” Brown said. “I would love to stay in Birmingham and work at the Children’s Hospital. Our health science program is really awesome; I think that helped my decision a lot. I guess because I’m so introverted, all the programs I was in like band helped me to put myself out there.”

Brown’s collegiate ambitions will see her working alongside some of the world’s most acclaimed medical professionals. U.S. News and World Report has nationally ranked children’s Hospital at UAB in seven pediatric specialties. The Birmingham Children’s Hospital is ranked 30 in pediatric neurology. These rankings were compiled from surveys sent to nearly 200 hospitals.

A reputable survey given to about 11,000 doctors was also considered as a metric by which to measure these hospitals’ value.

UAB offers many postdoctoral fellowships for more advanced training in a given field of medicine. These fellowships include supervised clinical activities, neuropsychological research and didactic experiences.

“The Birmingham area has many community service opportunities that I would like to participate in, especially the volunteer program at the Children’s Hospital,” Brown said. “Also, I’m excited to experience the diversity of the area and learn about various cultures. I will miss how close-knit Luverne is. I’ll have to adapt to not seeing the smiling faces I’ve known my whole life.”