The University of Alabama

UA in the News: April 10, 2012

More undergraduates at the University of Alabama doing research with Emerging Scholars Program
Birmingham News – April 10
A record number of undergraduate students at the University of Alabama are taking on the role of young researchers — in effect spending their time “learning by doing.”  This includes freshmen such as Brittani Hays.  Working in the biochemistry lab of Patrick Frantom, Hays can dirty her hands and stretch her mind with a real research problem, while also mastering basic skills and testing a possible career path. On Monday she was one of 415 undergrads who gave posters presentations or short talks at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference, which filled the Bryant Conference Center for the day. “This is a record,” said Joe Benson, vice president for research. “It tells us that students are really understanding the value of participating in research at the undergraduate level.”
Tuscaloosa News – April 10
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – April 9

Search begins for University of Alabama president
Birmingham News – April 9
University of Alabama System Chancellor Robert Witt has named an advisory committee to help find his own successor as president at UA. There are 23 members on the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, including five university trustees, UA faculty and administrators, the president of the student body and others. “They will play a vital role in helping select the 40th president of the university,” Witt said in a news release. “We greatly appreciate their willingness to serve.” The first organizational meeting of the group should be announced later this month, according to a release from the chancellor’s office. Witt left UA in March after a decade in the post to become chancellor of the three-campus system. 

Art history professor to retire after 40 years at UA
Crimson White – April 10
Art history professor Robert Mellown is set to retire at the end of the spring semester after decades of teaching at the University. The 2011-2012 academic year marks his fortieth in the department of art and art history, and, according to Mellown, 40 is enough. “It was about time to retire, and it seemed like a good idea to end it on a nice round number like 40,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve spent almost two-thirds of my life teaching art history.” After completing his undergraduate degree at UA and doctoral studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Mellown returned to the University to teach 19th-century art and architecture, ancient art and Renaissance art and has done so ever since. Mellown said he wouldn’t have had it any other way. “To teach effectively, you’ve really got to like your subject, and I do. I love art, and I love teaching it,” he said. “Also, to teach effectively you have to keep up with your research, so you’re always learning something new.”

UA theater professor to direct his own play in New York
Al.com – April 9
University of Alabama associate professor of theater Seth Panitch will direct an Actors Equity Association Showcase production of his own comedy “Hell: Paradise Found” in July at the 59E59 Theatre in New York City. Panitch, head of the Master of Fine Arts/Bachelor of Arts acting programs, will be joined by graduating, recently graduated theater and dance students and professionals for the production, which will run from July 10-22. Tuscaloosa will get its own preview shows from July 2-4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Allen Bales Theatre on campus before they head to the Big Apple. Panitch’s play examines how traumatic it can be when one’s after-life expectations aren’t quite met. It follows recently deceased lawyer Simon Ackerman as he finds himself desperate to get into hell, which turns out to be the better place to both visit and spend eternity.

Design students turn trash into fashion for charity
Crimson White – April 10
The College of Human and Environmental Sciences and Fashion Inc., a student-led organization on campus, will be hosting their eighth annual Tee Time fundraiser tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Doster Hall Lawn. Tee Time is a fashion show that will feature close to 30 students’ designs and dresses made only from recycled T-shirts. Lindsay Cornelson, a senior majoring in apparel design, is the vice president of Fashion Inc. “This year, we’re putting in a little twist,” Cornelson said. “Designers are allowed to use any materials such as duct tape, trash bags, phone books, anything that’s not fabric.” This is the first time Rachel Pate, a junior majoring in apparel and textile design, has had the opportunity to showcase her talents at a fashion show for an audience. Her one-shoulder dress is made completely out of recycled T-shirts, and the shirt she made features a mop head. “I am most excited to put my outfits on a model and present them to people,” Pate said. “This is a big deal since this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

University Place may get magnet program
Tuscaloosa News – April 10
The Tuscaloosa City School System is considering adding a special magnet type program to the curriculum at University Place Elementary and Middle School to focus on math, science and engineering. Although the system has not decided exactly what type of program it should use, school administrators are considering a STEAM approach, where instruction would focus on science, technology, engineering, the arts and math. The approach could be added to the current curriculum, but would have an added emphasis on the math and sciences, along with experiential learning. “STEAM uses math as the common language throughout,” said University Place Elementary Principal Darron Cameron. “We would be using authentic lessons to get children excited about what is going on.” That would include a possible partnership with the University of Alabama, where students could work with UA’s College of Engineering or in the area of fine arts.

International student makes music on the UA quad
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – April 9
One foreign exchange student is making music on the University of Alabama quad, and her gift of song is grabbing lots of attention. WVUA’s Taylor Sanders, a student from Birmingham, has more in this week’s Capstone Correspondent report. If you’ve visited the University of Alabama’s quad in the past year, you’ve more than likely been serenaded by the soothing sounds of the famous saxophone girl. But who is the girl behind the music?…Her name is Mami Shimada, a foreign exchange student from Tokyo, Japan who loves playing tunes for her fellow students on the quad. 

Many students prefer print format to get their news
Crimson White – April 10
The Collegiate Readership Program, sponsored by the office of the provost, provides about 800 copies daily of USA Today and The New York Times to students and faculty as an academic resource, said Jennifer Greer, chair of the University’s department of journalism. The program, which has been on campus since 2000, provides newspapers to the University at a discounted rate, where they are distributed free to students. The papers are available in 19 academic buildings and some residence halls, Greer said, and students are not charged for this service. The program is designed to help students be more informed about issues and events. Many classes, such as English 102, incorporate the newspapers as part of their classroom exercises. “When you come here, it’s a different kind of campus feel when we say that we want students to be informed about not just our campus or our state, but also learn about the nation and the world by reading these papers,” Greer said…Although some students prefer to get news through social media websites, most students prefer to receive their news in print, according to a study conducted by USA Today and four students in April 2011.

 

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.