/Hill House shake-up rehouses several university programs
Exterior of Hill House. Photo by Cady Inabinett, Editor in chief.

Hill House shake-up rehouses several university programs

By Cady Inabinet, Editor in chief 

As the fall semester enters its full swing, Montevallo’s Honors Program, the Game Studies and Design Program and the Malone Center are all settling into new homes as the Malone Center’s relocation to Hill House has prompted the other programs to move to new locations.  

Hill House, prior to the start of the fall semester, had housed the university’s Honors Program as well as the Game Studies and Design Program. Hill House was also home to the offices of the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. 

The Malone Center, a university-based program that seeks to train and provide professors with the technology to more effectively teach students, had previously been located in Wills Hal is now based in Hill House. This prompted the Honors Program offices to move to Ramsay Hall and the Game Studies and Design Program to move to Harman Hall.  

Director of the Malone Center, Emily Gill, and Game Studies and Design Program Coordinator and former Director of the Honors Program, Dr. Cathlena Martin, both said that they were informed of relocation plans this summer by Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Courtney Bentley. The move was prompted because UM’s affiliate of the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative, known as AMSTI, is being moved into the Malone Center’s former space in Wills. UM’s AMSTI facility had previously been housed at a facility in Pelham.  

AMSTI is an Alabama Department of Education initiative that aims to improve STEM education throughout the state by supporting educators and students. AMSTI offers professional learning opportunities, instructional materials and educator support, with sites offering these services affiliated with universities located throughout the state.  

“I think having AMSTI on campus presents an opportunity for UM Faculty to connect with the learning experiences of our students prior to when they start at UM to best plan for how to facilitate a successful first couple of years,” said Gill regarding the move. “They are busy people and we are busy people, but at least being on the same campus makes scheduling easier!” 

Martin shared that moving the Game Studies and Design Program to Harman made sense, as it is a part of the Department of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science, which is based in Harman. 

“GSD is a minor within the BCMC department, which is housed in Harman, so it is a natural location for GSD to be moved to,” Martin said. 

She added that a classroom in Harman, Harman 114, is currently undergoing renovations and that she is, “confident the new room will provide GSD classes with the requirements they need once it is finished.” 

Similarly, Gill sees the Malone Center’s move to Hill House as an opportunity for the center. 

“I think there are opportunities for programming growth in Hill House once the renovations are complete,” she said. 

Gill went on to point out some of the changes that the Malone Center is hoping to make, saying, “What we are focusing on providing for the campus in the immediate future will be technology-enabled discussion style learning spaces for classes to reserve, training space for Faculty to learn important tools for enhancing both in-person and online instruction, and connection spaces for Faculty to exchange their research and collaborate on beneficial projects for campus from book study groups to topic-specific learning communities. Looking ahead a few years? I think we could look for some grants to improve the accessibility to/in the building, always a challenge for older structures, but not impossible and a great opportunity for creativity in design.” 

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Cady Inabinett is the editor in chief of The Alabamian. She’s majoring in English and double-minoring in political science and peace and justice studies. She enjoys reading, watching movies, caring for houseplants and generally just being pretentious in her free time.