With 14 departments and more than 30 majors, Howard College of Arts and Sciences (HCAS) is the historic heart of Samford University. The HCAS Advising Center is dedicated to working with every student to find the right major, to develop an academic plan and to help navigate academic opportunities. We are committed to providing the support, encouragement, and guidance students need to achieve their academic goals.

Meet Your Academic Advising Team

Dana Basinger

Dana Basinger

Assistant Dean
Howard College of Arts and Sciences
Communication Arts
Office: 101 Brooks Hall
Email: dkbasing@samford.edu
Phone: 205-726-2216

Dana Basinger grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degrees in English from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She always knew she wanted to teach, and she felt she couldn’t take a position that did not involve working with students in the energizing environment of the classroom.

One of the things she loves most about teaching is forming relationships with her students. Basinger believes incorporating service learning into her Communications Arts and Foundations classes makes teaching not only more meaningful for her, but more meaningful for her students as well.

Before coming to Samford, Basinger worked as an adjunct instructor of English at the University of Montevallo and as an English teacher at Homewood High School. At Samford, she has served as Director of Freshman Life and Assistant Dean for Howard College of Arts and Sciences. In her current position, Basinger is available to help her students as much as possible. She enjoys that role and hopes to continue to be a “go-to” person for students.

Basinger believes that the most important thing in teaching is helping students every day to understand why they are here, and why they are doing what they’re doing; helping them realize their purpose in even the smallest of things.

Degrees and Certifications

  • B.A., University of Alabama in Birmingham
  • M.A., University of Alabama in Birmingham

Detailed Biography

Leslie Armstrong

Leslie Armstrong

Academic Advisor
Howard College of Arts and Sciences
Office of the Dean
Office: 127 Brooks Hall
Email: larmstr3@samford.edu
Phone: 205-726-4890

Leslie Armstrong has been working with college students for over ten years, having discovered her passion while a student at Mississippi State University. During her junior year of college, she began volunteering in the Disability Support Services Office. It was there that she realized that working with students on a college campus was something she wanted to do as a career. She completed a graduate program in Student Development in Higher Education and has been working with college students ever since except for a 15-year break to stay home with her children.

“I love working directly with students and watching how each individual progresses from our first contact through graduation,” Leslie said.

Advising is more than approving a student’s class schedule each semester. Advising plays a role in promoting student success and retaining students. Advisors who are able to connect with students help those students become engaged, and the students are then more likely to make good choices that move them toward graduation and careers or graduate school.

“You have to care about students, but you also have to care about the department, college and university which you are representing,” she explained. “Part of being a good advisor is making sure that university standards are upheld and applied consistently."

Mrs. Armstrong has four children ranging from high school to middle school. She is a sports fan and is often spotted in the stands watching her sons or daughter play soccer, lacrosse, basketball or volleyball.  Her family enjoys watching collegiate sports, going out to eat, working in the yard and binging on Netflix shows.

Degrees and Certifications

  • B.B.A., Mississippi State University
  • M.S., Mississippi State University

John David Corwin

John David Corwin

Academic Advisor
Howard College of Arts and Sciences
Office of the Dean
Office: 127 Brooks Hall
Email: jdcorwin@samford.edu
Phone: 205-726-2947

John David Corwin was raised in Montgomery, Alabama before coming to Birmingham to attend Samford as an undergraduate from 2007 to 2011. Post-graduation he hiked the Camino de Santiago in Spain before moving to Durham, North Carolina where he attended Duke Divinity School for his Master of Theological Studies. While at Duke he worked with high school students in various capacities as tutor, teacher, and mentor. He realized a passion for supporting students both inside and outside of the classroom. This led him to his current work at Samford when he returned to Alabama. He maintains his academic interests in the patristics and Medieval philosophy, which he finds still hold relevant truths for life today, even student life.

Degrees and Certifications

  • B.A., Samford University
  • M.T.S., Duke Divinity School

Kendra Lyas

Kendra Lyas

Student Services Coordinator
Howard College of Arts and Sciences
Office of the Assistant Dean
Office: 101 Brooks Hall
Email: rlyas@samford.edu
Phone: 205-726-2216

Kendra Lyas is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. She attended Alabama A&M University where she was a pre-med/biology major with a chemistry minor. While at A&M, Kendra studied Spanish Culture and Civilization abroad at Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain. With a heart for service, she reigned as Miss Alabama A&M University 1999-2000 while using the platform to serve her community, university, and fellow students. Upon graduation, Kendra worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative for twelve years. In 2014, she launched her own company, The Paisley Pea, a baby and maternity brand. The company grew into a substantial business with 75 retailers across the country before it was acquired in 2019. The business functioned as a ministry to meet the needs of “little peas” across the globe—extending its philanthropy to children in the Republic of Congo.

Kendra joined the Samford family in September 2019. She is excited about continuing her journey of servant leadership at Samford University. As the Student Services Coordinator, Kendra assists with the planning of key recruitment events for Howard College of Arts and Sciences, assists faculty and students with academic forms, conducts advising campaigns for students approved for language substitution, serves as course guardian for the HCAS Academic Advising Center, and provides support with the administrative needs of the school.

Degrees and Certifications

  • B.S., Alabama A&M University

Request an Advising Appointment

Academic advising appointments are available for advisor changes, major/minor changes, schedule questions, policy explanations, 4-year plans, major exploration, and any other advising-related subject.

To request an appointment, select your advisor from the list below and send an e-mail indicating the reason for your request and times you are available, or call Kendra Lyas at 205-726-2216 to schedule an appointment.

Essential Resources

General Education: Distribution Areas

Samford University’s required core curriculum of 22 credits provides the academic foundation for all undergraduate students.

Prepare for Registration

Samford students register for credit courses via the web, through the campus portal, during their assigned registration time. Undergraduate students must obtain an alternate PIN from their advisor and complete a trial study list before registration can take place.

Prepare for Graduation

Transfer Credits

What If I Am Undeclared?

The HCAS Academic Advising team is committed to helping you explore, evaluate and declare your major.

Advisor Resources

Announcements