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Matthew Downs, PhD
Assistant Professor of History
(251) 442-2588

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Welcome to our RAM FAM!

Shirley Sutterfield – Executive Director of Student Success.

 I am delighted to have you join our RAM FAM and hope you have a wonderful experience during your UM journey. I am proud to have worked at the University of Mobile since 1993. During this time, I have had the opportunity to work with students in various capacities of academic and non-academic student programs, and now am pleased to be leading the Student Success Team.

 My personal mission in life is to help others become the best version of themselves. I believe every individual has God given purpose, talents, and gifts that He has given to build His kingdom. We have a mantra in Student Success called College, On Purpose and I believe this is the approach every student should take. I want you to succeed in whatever way you define success, but with God’s plan in mind. This does not always come easy and sometimes we need a little guidance and mentoring from others. It is a journey I am excited to take with you. Every day I support and challenge students to meet their academic, spiritual, personal, and professional goals.

 Student Success at the University of Mobile is committed to providing you with support and guidance as you journey through the difficulties of college life. Whether your concerns are with your challenging relationships with family and friends or with class and work responsibilities, Student Success is a safe place for you to come for support and guidance.

 Student Success can help you improve your study skills and test taking skills. If you need tutoring in any subject, the Chora Godwin Learning & Writing Center located in the Student Success Building is available. Have you ever wondered what makes relationships work? Student Success offers you the opportunity to learn about personality types and relationships. Ask a Student Success staff member how you can begin your own personality study. If you sometimes find yourself dealing with depression or anxiety a personal counselor is available to assist you. All of these services are available to students at no additional charge. To make an appointment visit the Student Success page on MyUM.

 Ignite the path to your dream career by connecting with Career Services in Student Success.

Student Success offers career guidance and exploration for all UM students. Learn more about career choices, resume writing, interviewing skills, internships, and portfolio compilation. Student Success offers one-on-one consultations designed to fit your needs. We also offer a variety of resources that will provide you with tools for success both here at UM and in the world of work.

 Stay connected with Career Services as alumni for continual career development and access to local and regional job opportunities.

Again, I look forward to taking this journey with you, encouraging you along the way, and celebrating every success on your path to obtaining your educational and career goals.