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The University of Alabama

UA in the News: May 13, 2011

Departments aid affected professors, students 
Crimson White –May 13
…“On Friday, April 29, Human Resources employees and volunteers from outside the department began making phone calls to faculty and staff, targeting those living in ZIP codes affected by the tornado,” said Cathy Andreen, the director of media relations at the University. “The calls were made to make sure employees were safe and accounted for. Faculty and staff were able to provide information regarding injuries and damage to property.” Affected faculty and staff were then contacted a second time by HR Service Center employees to see how they were doing and to offer assistance with benefit-related issues, such as replacing insurance cards and prescription medicines, information on available financial resources and EAP resources, she said. In addition to outreach by the University, some of the individual colleges and academic departments made efforts to aid those who were affected by the tornado. Jennifer Greer, chair of the department of journalism, said they immediately went into triage mode, trying to track everybody down and make sure they were alright. Three journalism professors, Meredith Cummings, Rick Bragg and Dan Meissner, as well as one graduate student, had severe damage to their homes. “We tried to tend to immediate needs first, for them to function as human beings, not as faculty members,” Greer said. “We tried to make sure they had a safe place to live, water, food and clothing.”…The anthropology department is another department that has pulled together. Professors Ian Brown, William Dressler, and Vernon J. Knight, led by Kathy Oths, have been actively involved in the endeavor to help people salvage their belongings and clear debris…

(VIDEO) Strength in Disaster: Courageous Young Vets Rebuild Alabama Town Devastated by the Storms – May 12
In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, young veterans from the University of Alabama’s Campus Veterans Association are helping communities hit hardest by the recent string of tornadoes rebuild their lives. The filmmaking team from Splashlife—a member-based network dedicated to helping young Americans improve their lives and serve others—interviewed the vets and documented their courageous relief efforts. In the video, one vets talks about how he also lost his home in the storm and another compares the destruction in the South to what he saw in Iraq.

Alabama Department of Human Resources opens office at Coleman Coliseum to help storm victims
CBS 42 (Birmingham) – May 11
Fox 6 (Birmingham) – May 11
…Coleman coliseum is located on the University
of Alabama campus…

UA cheerleader collects donations and supplies from her hometown of Lexington, Ky.
WLEX (Lexington, Ky.) – May 11
A Kentucky native who is a University
of Alabama cheerleader is urging people not to forget about the devastation in her new town caused by last month’s deadly tornadoes…This weekend they’ll take everything they’ve collected to those in need in Alabama…

UA grad student collects supplies in Cincinnati, Ohio
WCPO (Cincinnati, Ohio) – May 12

Supplies a University of Alabama grad student with local ties pulled together will head to Tuscaloosa tomorrow for tornado relief. Amanda Stevens of Delhi Township survived the tornado that destroyed her campus. Tonight, she and some friends loaded the truck that will leave for Tuscaloosa.

Israeli consul general visits Tuscaloosa
ABC 33/40 (Birmingham) – May 12
The Israeli “Consul General” to the Southeast-United States toured the destruction in Tuscaloosa today…he had lunch with University of Alabama president, Dr. Robert Witt…

Fort Mill teen wins $6K on ‘Wheel of Fortune’
Fort Mill Times (Rock Hill, S.C.) – May 12
A Nation Ford High School graduate turned her appearance on national television Thursday night into a $6,000 payday…Sibley was a contestant on “Wheel of Fortune’s” College Week. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Sibley, a freshman at the University of Alabama who plays in the school’s “Million Dollar Band.”…

“Smart” cigarette pack brings social networking to smokers: Will it help them quit?
CBS News – May 13
…Dr. Alan Blum, director of the University of Alabama Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society, told CBS News the idea of a social network is “wonderful.”  Blum points to a 2008 “New England Journal of Medicine” study that showed smokers who joined others in trying to stop smoking were more likely to succeed than smokers who tried kicking the habit on their own. “But I really don’t understand how this e-pack signal is going to do anything other than help you pick up girls.”…


The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.