Published on March 16, 2022 by Morgan Black  
Collins Noelle
Cumberland School of Law has announced the inaugural Outstanding Instructor Award for the school’s online master’s program. Noelle Fleming Collins, a Cumberland School of Law graduate from the class of 1998, has been named the first award recipient for the 2020-21 academic year.
 
The award was established to recognize an instructor in the online master’s program, which delivers the Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.) and the Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees for professionals looking to elevate their careers in compliance-related fields. Requirements to be considered for the award include mastery of the subject matter, the ability to convey information effectively to students, demonstrated enthusiasm for teaching, commitment to excellence in the online classroom, innovation in teaching techniques, and commitment to student success.
 
“It is a great honor and privilege to be recognized for this inaugural Outstanding Instructor Award,” Collins said. “The students bring such enthusiasm to the learning environment and with a passion to learn. They inspire me as our future leaders. As a former Cumberland law student, being able to teach in the M.S.L. program has brought me full circle—the opportunity to influence and have a positive impact on rising compliance professionals. This experience has given me the opportunity to combine my love of compliance, the law and mentorship. I am humbled by the recognition of this tremendous honor!”
 
With more than 20 years of ethics and compliance and privacy compliance experience, she currently serves full-time as the project risk and contract compliance manager in Southern Company’s Southern Power division. In this role, she is responsible for providing contract risk management and oversight of material contracts associated with Southern Power’s acquisition and development projects. When she first joined Southern Power, she managed the ethics and concerns program for the corporate offices and operational sites. Prior to joining Southern Power, Collins spent two years as the compliance coordinator with Southern Nuclear.
 
Prior to joining Southern Company, she was the privacy officer for Healthfirst, a managed care plan based in New York City. There she was responsible for the development of a privacy compliance department inclusive of policy development, conducting privacy assessments and investigating employee misconduct. She was also responsible for handling all breach-related incidents inclusive of reporting to state and federal entities as well as members.
 
After graduating from Cumberland School of Law, she began her career at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama where she spent 10 years in various roles of compliance consultant, privacy officer and associate counsel. Additionally, she is a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional with the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics.
 
Not only does her professional experience make her a well-suited inaugural award recipient, her passion for the students and the subject matter also rise to the top of her qualifications.
 
“Noelle is a year-in, and year-out favorite among our students,” said Kerry McInerney, director of Cumberland’s online master’s programs. “She gives tirelessly of her time and attention to the students in her classes and serves as a mentor for many of our students in their capstone project, a testament to her commitment to going above and beyond the call of duty in supporting our program. Our students are fortunate to have her as an instructor, and we are proud to recognize her with this most deserving recognition.”
 
Cumberland School of Law’s online master’s program continues to earn recognition for excellence in legal education. In addition to the many distinguished rankings the law school has earned for its Juris Doctor program, the Princeton Review recently included Cumberland in its list of the top 31 online Master of Studies in Law programs for nonlawyers.
 
“This ranking is a testament to not only the quality of our students, but the quality of our curriculum and instructors, like Noelle,” McInerney add. “We’re thrilled with her involvement in our program as well as that of many other devoted instructors.”
 
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.