Dr. Randy Craig Gross Anatomy Lab Dedicated, Memorial Scholarship Awarded to Aryany Breek

Kathy DeanNews, Sciences

MOBILE, Ala. – The University of Mobile dedicated the nationally accredited Dr. Randy Craig Gross Anatomy Lab and awarded the Dr. Randy Craig Memorial Scholarship to one of his outstanding students in a ceremony held Jan. 23 in Weaver Hall.

University of Mobile faculty, staff, students, alumni and guests remembered the beloved professor with stories, laughter and tears as Dr. Ashley Lindsey, who succeeded Craig as director of the lab, presented the memorial scholarship to Aryany Breek of Mobile, a senior majoring in biology pre-health with a chemistry minor. 

The Dr. Randy Craig Memorial Scholarship honors the academic achievements of a student who is also contributing to their education, family and community through employment and volunteer work. 

A Driving Force

Craig was the driving force behind the creation and establishment of UM’s nationally accredited gross anatomy lab. Not only was he involved in the planning and paperwork required to create the lab, but Craig personally constructed many of the tools and devices that are imperative to the functioning of the lab each day, Lindsey said.

At the time of his death on Dec. 10, 2022, the professor of biology was chair of the Department of Natural Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. He was a longtime practicing veterinarian with specialties in veterinary orthopedic surgery and equine nutrition and a background that included stints as a thoroughbred jockey and champion bull-rider and steer-roper. (For more about Dr. Craig’s life, read Q&A with UM Biology Professor Randy Craig.)

‘Always Teaching, Always Helping’

Patti Craig said her late husband loved to teach – it was something he did naturally in everything he did. 

“He would be truly honored,” she said as the lab was officially dedicated.

Lindsey said Craig was “always teaching, always helping. Just by him talking and thinking out loud, I was learning.”

UM President Lonnie Burnett said Craig was proud of the lab and the opportunity it provided for undergraduate students to work with cadavers in an environment usually reserved for graduate students.

“He was all about the students,” Burnett said.

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Matthew Downs said Craig “was always thinking about what was best for students. Everything he did, he did for them. He was like that with faculty, too. It is such an honor to dedicate a space in his honor that is for students.” 

A Vision for the Future

Lindsey said Craig had specific instructions for her as the next director of the lab he created.

“He said, ‘I don’t want you to do it the same; I want you to do it better,’” Lindsey said. 

In honoring that wish, Lindsey said her vision is to make the state-of-the-art lab an interdisciplinary environment that provides learning opportunities for UM students in a variety of majors, while also expanding partnerships in the community.

To learn more about the Dr. Randy Craig Gross Anatomy Lab and partnership opportunities, email Lindsey at alindsey@umobile.edu.

Dr. Randy Craig Memorial Scholarship

Scholarship recipient Aryany Breek plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in May 2024 and is applying to graduate programs for a master’s degree in physician assistant studies. She has maintained a 3.9 cumulative GPA while holding constant employment at her family’s Honduran restaurant, Las Catrachas, and volunteering at the Mobile International Festival and Victory Health Partners. 

During the Mobile International Festival, she values educating others about her cultural background. Victory Health Partners is a nonprofit healthcare organization established to provide affordable quality of care for the low-income uninsured population of the greater Mobile area. Aryany included the following statement in a patient advocacy essay written about her experiences at Victory Health Partners: “Advocacy in my role as a volunteer involved bridging communication gaps and ensuring the patients felt heard, understood and supported through their visit at the clinic.”  

Pictured from left are Dr. Matthew Downs, Dr. Lonnie Burnett, Aryany Breek, Patti Craig, Dr. Ashley Lindsey

About the University of Mobile

The University of Mobile is a Christ-centered university with a vision of “Higher 
Education for a Higher Purpose,” founded to honor God by equipping students for their 
future professions in an environment where they are known. Located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama, on a campus of over 880 acres, the university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in over 75 academic programs.The University of Mobile was founded in 1961 and is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention.

For information about the University of Mobile, areas of study, admissions and more, visit umobile.edu, connect with UM on social media @univofmobile, or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.