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Profiles in Goodwill: Carol Ann Vaughn Cross

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Carol Ann Vaughn Cross is an assistant professor in the Howard College of Arts and Sciences at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, studying social history at the intersection of religion, technology and culture, sex and gender.

  • Where did you grow up?

On a farm in Monrovia, just outside of Huntsville, Alabama.

  • What is your favorite verse, book or story in the Bible? Why?

One of my favorite passages in the New Testament is Romans 16.

It’s overlooked and underappreciated by a lot of people; it contains a lot of puzzle pieces and clues for consideration and further research about the history of early Christianity, which the historian in me loves; and it reflects my idea of “spiritual siblings” practicing Beatitudes in the dynamic of mutual leadership and service that can come out of individuals’ diverse experiences, expertise, needs, gifts, changing contexts, opportunities and challenges – if we will see each other that way.

  • What is your favorite movie? Why?

“Cinema Paradiso.”

I love film history, and that’s what it’s about: memory, growing up, what changes, what remains, what is beautiful and inspiring; and I’m a fan of Ennio Morricone’s music.

  • Who are three people you admire?

Each of my three siblings: Rex Vaughn, Ronda Vaughn West and Cliff Vaughn.

  • What is one little-known fact about yourself?

I have yet to be beaten in a pickle brine drinking contest and am always looking for challengers.