FLORENCE – The University of North Alabama fall commencement ceremonies will take place over two days in December.

The ceremony for the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions and the College of Education and Human Sciences will be Friday, December 13 at 7pm in Flowers Hall. Carol Behel, Alabama’s Teacher of the Year and a 1990 UNA graduate, will be the featured commencement speaker.

Graduation ceremonies for the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business will take place on Saturday, December 14 at 10am and again at 2pm in Flowers Hall. Dr. Deborah E. Barnhart, the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, will be the featured commencement speaker.

Behel has 25 years of experience in education. She is a first-generation college graduate with degrees from UNA, and she is pursuing her Doctor of Education degree from the University of Alabama. Behel has been working with children and families of various language and cultural backgrounds at Weeden Elementary School in Florence for the last eight years. As the state’s Teacher of the Year, she will travel to different schools in Alabama to share her teaching philosophies. Behel is also a contender for the National Teacher of the Year and will travel to Washington, D.C. in January to participate in that event.

Dr. Barnhart has served in her role at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center since December of 2010. The Center is the official Visitor Center for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and is home to U.S. Space Camp, U.S. Space Academy, Aviation Challenge, and Robotics Camp. The Center is also Alabama’s leading tourist attraction.

Barnhart’s career spans four decades of service in commercial industry, government, aerospace and defense. Dr. Barnhart is a retired Navy Captain (0-6). She was one of the first ten women assigned to duty aboard ships and commanded five units in her 26-year career. She was vice president of three Dow 30 aerospace and defense companies, serving in manufacturing, business development, program and research management, and congressional lobbying for Honeywell International, McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing), and United Technologies Aerospace.