Alison grew up in Bakersville, N.C., and attended UNC-Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar. At UNC, Alison was co-chair of Habitat for Humanity and played club Ultimate Frisbee. A religious studies and anthropology major, Alison graduated from UNC in 2001 with highest honors and received the Bernard Boyd Memorial Prize as outstanding senior in religious studies. Prior to taking the Autry Fellowship, Alison taught fifth grade in Marianna, Arkansas, as a Teach for America corps member.
At MDC, Alison worked on State of the South 2004, “Fifty Years after Brown v. Board of Education.” She also assisted with Achieving the Dream and the Program for the Rural Carolinas.
After her year as Autry Fellow, Alison received a Mellon Fellowship to begin work on a Ph.D. in American History at Yale University. She currently lives in Starkville, Miss., where she is completing research for her dissertation, “Religion and the Great Depression in Memphis and the Delta.”