Dr. Mary Harrison
, assistant professor of marketing, joined the Birmingham-Southern College faculty in 2011. She
received a B.S. in business administration with a minor in English from Mississippi College, where she actively
participated in the Student Government Association, Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society, Mortar Board, and the
School of Business Advisory Board. She also studied abroad in London while in college. After college, Dr. Harrison
worked as a public relations specialist for an industrial firm with branches throughout the United States and Canada.
She then continued her education, earning her M.B.A. with a concentration in marketing and her Ph.D. in marketing
from the University of Alabama. Dr. Harrison received the Hess Institute M.B.A. Scholarship Award, which is given to
the top M.B.A. student concentrating in marketing, and has presented her research at national conferences as well as
conferences in Oslo, Norway, and Reims, France.
Dr. Harrison’s primary area of academic interest is marketing, particularly consumer behavior, services marketing,
branding, and social media. Dr. Harrison currently teaches three courses, BA 201 Foundations of Business Thought, BA
120 Marketing: Maximizing Social and Economics Opportunities, and BA 475 Advanced and International Marketing.
Dr. Carolyn Garrity
, assistant professor of marketing, joined the Birmingham-Southern faculty in the fall of 2012. She
graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management. She later received
her M.B.A. in marketing and nonprofit management from American University and her Ph.D. in marketing from
Louisiana State University. Prior to coming to Birmingham-Southern, Dr. Garrity worked in marketing with several
organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America, the North Carolina Institute for Minority Economic Development,
National Public Radio in Nashville, and Innovation Depot in Birmingham. She already loves Birmingham-Southern
College and says that a liberal arts education makes sense in preparing students for the challenges they will face in the
Dr. Garrity’s academic interests include marketing strategy, entrepreneurship, and product innovation. She hopes to
enhance the entrepreneurial focus of the business department. Dr. Garrity is currently teaching two courses, BA 311
Quantitative Analysis for Business and Economics and BA 350 Principles of Marketing.
Dr. Paul Cleveland
joined the Birmingham-Southern faculty in 1990 and currently serves as a professor of economics
and finance. Previously, Dr. Cleveland taught five years at the State University of New York in Geneseo and two years
at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. When asked what distinguishes BSC, he highlighted the institution’s
interdisciplinary focus and the relationships that students are able to build with their professors.
Originally from Huntsville, Alabama, Dr. Cleveland earned his B.A. and M.A. in economics from Auburn University
and his Ph.D. in economics from Texas A&M University. He has lectured on economics in China, Taiwan, Chile, Peru,
Ukraine, Poland, and Russia, among other countries. When Dr. Cleveland was asked to share something about himself
that many students would not know, he replied that he wakes up by 5:00 a.m. without an alarm and is exhausted by
Dr. Cleveland currently teaches BA 201 Foundations of Business Thought and BA 474 Advanced and International
Financial Management. He will be on sabbatical during the spring 2013 semester while he works on two book projects,
Monuments of the Fall
Embracing Dignity and Freedom
, which will be his third and fourth books.
Dr. Rick Lester
, assistant professor of management, joined the Birmingham-Southern faculty in 2012. A native of
Huntsville, Alabama, he earned his B.S. in economics and management from the University of North Alabama, his M.A.
in manpower from the University of Alabama, and his Ph.D. in employee relations from the University of Mississippi.
While working on his doctorate, Dr. Lester taught at the University of West Alabama and the University of Alabama at
Huntsville. He has also taught management at the University of North Alabama. Interestingly, Dr. Lester once served as
academic dean of a fashion school in New York City and taught at a middle school in Huntsville.
In Dr. Lester’s view, the students distinguish Birmingham-Southern. He believes that BSC students, when compared
with other undergraduates, are more grounded, better prepared academically, and more capable of thinking creatively.
He also enjoys the small size of the school and the emphasis on teaching. When asked to provide a fact about himself
that many students would not know, Dr. Lester replied that he has run in two marathons and six half marathons.
Dr. Lester currently teaches BA 201 Foundations of Business Thought and BA 320 Management Principles and
Organizational Behavior. He is enjoying teaching at Birmingham-Southern and living on campus in the Hilltop Village
by Terria Punturo, a junior from Tuscaloosa,and Robert Potts, a junior from Mountain Brook