University of Mobile Dean Matthew Downs Featured in Story on Encyclopedia of Alabama

Kathy DeanNews

MOBILE, Ala. – A magazine article showcasing how the Encyclopedia of Alabama fosters scholarship and research features University of Mobile history professor and College of Arts & Sciences Dean Matthew Downs.

The article, “Encyclopedia of Alabama encourages scholarship and research” in the Winter 2023 issue of Beyond Auburn Magazine, highlights Downs’ use of the online encyclopedia for his own research and as a classroom teaching tool.

The Encyclopedia of Alabama is a free, online reference resource on Alabama’s history, culture, geography and natural environment. Downs is the author of five Encyclopedia of Alabama entries, including a recent article on prohibition in Alabama. Visit to read Downs’ entries and explore the site.

During a recent semester, the UM professor’s students conducted individual research to write encyclopedia-style entries modeled after those he found in EOA, the article stated.

A University of Mobile story titled “Dream Becomes Reality for 2 UM History Students” described one such project. Two UM students in Downs’ Alabama History class, Alyssa Cherry and Eliza Colbert Simmons, researched and wrote an article that was accepted and published by the Encyclopedia of Alabama. Read about their experience here:

“When the online EOA officially launched in September 2008, there were assumptions that not only would the site be a welcomed source of information on its own merit, but it would also encourage additional scholarship and research. Fourteen years later there is much evidence that those expectations were well founded, and Downs’ work as a professor and scholar is one example,” the article stated. 

Read the full article in Beyond Auburn Magazine on pages 37-38 here:

Downs serves as editor of “The Alabama Review” and was the winner of the 2015 James F. Sulzby Award, presented by the Alabama Historical Association, for his book “Transforming the South: Federal Development in the Tennessee Valley 1915-1960.”

Visit to read Matthew Downs’ entry on prohibition in Alabama.

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.

About the University of Mobile

The University of Mobile is a Christ-centered university offering on-campus and online associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in over 75 academic programs. Founded in 1961, the University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.

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