Hello! My name is Stephen R. Higley, but please call me Steve. I am a Professor Emeritus of Urban Geography at the University of Montevallo, a small public Liberal Arts college in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama.
I grew up in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee where I first became an “urban explorer”. Milwaukee will always be my home, but Chicago is where my heart lies (well, at least from May to October).
I received my Bachelors degree from Drake University (Des Moines, Iowa) and followed that up with an MBA in Marketing from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. After various advertising and marketing gigs in New York City and Chicago, I returned to Champaign-Urbana for my Ph.D in Geography.
My first teaching job was at Oklahoma State University located in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The school was great professionally, but after living in New York City and Chicago, Stillwater proved to be a rather charmless and dreadful place to live. After five years, I bid adieu to the plains of Oklahoma.
I found a slice of bucolic heaven at the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Alabama. Montevallo is a small town on the urban fringe of Birmingham. It once was a pleasant country drive over the 30 miles between Birmingham and Montevallo. Today, suburban sprawl is engulfing our lovely village. Change is afoot!
Montevallo is an idyllic small college where teaching triumphs over research and grant chasing. The school was originally founded as a public Liberal Arts college for women. Today Montevallo is coed and has approximately 3,000 students.
After a 17 year run, I recently retired and moved to Tucson, Arizona. I am now a happy homeowner in the Dorado Country Club in East Tucson. Free at Last!, Free at Last! I managed to get out of Alabama before I died, lol!
Montevallo was so atypical of Alabama: intellectual and liberal in its heart as a result of the University’s presence. I miss my good friends from Alabama but I am so happy to leave behind a state that at it’s heart is still a racist, heartless hotbed of anti-intellectual hypocrites. What a dump.
This website would not be possible without the help of my dear friend Scott Cammack.
I dedicate this website to my Father, Richard A. Higley, M.D., whose love and support through the vicissitudes of life made this site possible
Thank you for visiting my site! Steve Higley, Ph.D.