UM student to present research at national conference

Published 4:06 pm Monday, January 23, 2012

By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist

Mikia Carter is a senior at the University of Montevallo and author of the paper, “The Role of Anticipatory Socialism and Communication Competency in Leadership Development.”

The paper not only earned her an “A,” but also earned her way to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), a three-day conference being held at Weaver State University in Ogden, Utah in March.

The annual conference affords undergraduate students in all academic fields and from all institutions of higher education a forum of learning to share their research. Carter will be presenting her paper and the information she found as a result of her research.

Carter (Contributed)

What started out as a paper which was a requirement for her as a McNair Scholar ended up being a life-changing experience.

She interviewed 22 people in Shelby County to collect their thoughts on what leadership is and what common characteristics leaders have. She was looking for like experiences that made them leaders in their earlier years and motivated them to continue to be good leaders throughout their lives.

She gathered plenty of information, which resulted in the 25-page paper.

Some of the characteristics she found the leaders had in common were a good personality, good communication skills, a good heart and being a caring person.

“Leadership comes from someone who is willing to help others more than themselves,” said Carter.

Carter is majoring in graphic design with a minor in public relations. She is preparing to attend graduate school to receive her master’s degree in higher education. Her hopes are to one day be the director of admissions then work toward her Ph.D. and become a university’s director of student life.

In addition to her paper on leadership, she practices the subject through her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, and a company she owns in which she creates graphic designs for invitations, various types of announcements and more.

Mikia has another Shelby County connection in addition to her being a student at the University of Montevallo.  She is the granddaughter of the late Willie B. Arrington of Alabaster. Perhaps some of her leadership skills and interest in helping others came from him and the example he set for her.


Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident and writes a weekly column for the Shelby County Reporter. You can reach her at