UA in the News: April 28-30, 2012
April 30, 2012 - Filed under: UA in the News
Longtime Alabama architecture expert is retiring after 44 years
Tuscaloosa News – April 29
There are words in the walls of Garland Hall. And Robert Mellown can hear them. Etched by bayonets and knives into 124-year-old brick, are initials, fraternity symbols and, even more intriguing, the names of some of the University of Alabama’s earliest pupils. As he ran his fingers along the scarred bricks, hand-made by patients of Bryce Hospital from Tuscaloosa clay, Mellown recently recalled first noticing the name “Garth” in meticulously carved cursive. “It was years ago that I first saw it. They’re really apparent at certain times of the day,” he said. “But it wasn’t until just recently that I took the time to find out who this ‘Garth’ really was.” It turns out that William Willis Garth scribbled his well-to-do family’s name on that brick around the turn of the 20th century when he was around 15 or 16 years old. At the time, UA was a military academy, and Garth would have been one of many young, bored cadets who etched their initials into the side of Garland Hall. Mellown has spent 44 years on the UA campus gathering such subtle details and secrets about its buildings … For the past 40 years, Mellown has been an art history professor at UA, instructing students in 19th-century art and architecture, ancient art and Renaissance art. In June, Mellown is retiring from his teaching position.
Research finds deadliest times to be on roadway
Huntsville Times Daily – April 30
Reports from the Center for Advanced Public Safety at the University of Alabama show that in 2010, Saturday was the deadliest day of the week with 146 of the state’s 862 fatalities occurring that day. Those same statistics point out during the four-hour window of 3- 7 p.m., 198 fatal crashes happened in 2010. State public safety officials said the 2011 data has not yet been tabulated. The statistics show that most crashes in 2010 happened between 3-6 p.m. on Fridays…
Donations flowed into Tuscaloosa after the tornado
Tuscaloosa News – April 28
…University of Alabama students in Greek social fraternities and sororities stepped up to raise a considerable amount of cash donations as well, through the UA Greek Relief Fund. A joint effort between the fraternities and sororities, the fund was born when UA members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity took the food they purchased for end-of-year events and cooked it for volunteers. The group also began raising money. To date, the fund has raised more than $230,000 for relief efforts. “We have created a board of trustees to oversee the money including student, university, city and alumni representation,” said Greek Relief board of trustees co-chairman Patrick Morris. “We have been accepting grant applications through our website www.UAGreek.com.
One-year tornado anniversary hits some Alabama residents harder than they imagined
Joplin (Mo.) Globe – April 27
On paper, everyone knew the anniversary was coming. But Tuscaloosa, Ala., resident Clay Leak said Friday’s one-year anniversary of the April 27, 2011, tornado was a more emotional experience than he and many other people expected…Jeff Hamilton, professor of psychology at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, said there are psychological and non-psychological reasons for stopping to remember traumatic events. “People would not so consistently do these things in the wake of a tragedy if there were not some psychological benefit,” he said. Non-psychological benefits include using the anniversary as a reminder to check up and see how everyone is doing, and to find out if victims still need help, and then to organize more volunteers and donations if necessary. Psychologically, anniversary commemorations give people an opportunity to recall the events in a way that allows them to exert some control over an otherwise traumatic experience, Hamilton said, and it also allows them to integrate those memories with more positive events of the past year. “Instead of being part of a 15-minute or one-hour event, they become integrated into a yearlong event,” he said of the memories.
Disasters can have long-term mental impact
Tuscaloosa News – April 28
In the hours after the tornado hit on April 27, 2011, people were concerned about their immediate needs: food, shelter and locating their loved ones. But in the weeks and months that followed, many started to feel the impact of the tornado on their emotional health…While most people have not been impacted in their day-to-day life by last year’s tornadoes, it’s normal to have a heightened sensitivity when it comes to serious weather in the following months and even years, said Jim Hamilton, associate professor of psychology at the University of Alabama. About 4 to 6 percent of people impacted by natural disasters will continue to have more serious long-term effects, including post-traumatic stress disorder, Hamilton said. Symptoms of that disorder include flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, avoidance behavior and difficulty sleeping. “If anxiousness comes and goes, it should get less and less as time goes on,” Hamilton said. “But if the problem is getting in the way of normal life, you need to seek help.”
Did HB 56 affect unemployment rate drop?
Montgomery Advertiser – April 29
Proponents of Alabama’s controversial immigration law often cite the state’s falling unemployment rate as a sign the statute, known as HB 56, is doing its job…Ahmad Ijaz, an economist with the University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research, said the contraction likely was because of people leaving the workforce, either through retirement or by giving up the search for work. “It’s mostly because as the jobs are hard to get during the recession, a lot of people give up on looking for a job,” Ijaz said.
Cracking The Code: Making Vegan Cheese Taste Cheesier
National Public Radio – April 29
Cheese is a staple of many diets and, let’s face it, it makes us happy. But sometimes we worry about the fat and calories it contains…Ready to swap these for the vegan kind? But making such a product is easier said than done…”It is very American to want cheese alternatives to be identical [to eating regular cheese],” says food scientist and nutritionist Kristi Crowe, a spokesperson for the Institute of Food Technologists and assistant professor at the University of Alabama. How to do this has been stumping scientists for years…
UA to host free creative writing camp for high school students
Al.com – April 29
High school students with an interest in creative writing can attend a free camp at the University of Alabama to kick off their summer. Applicants need not have previous writing experience and can range in age from rising freshmen through graduating seniors. The summer 2012 Creative Writing Camp at the University of Alabama is set for May 28-June 8. The camp will meet on weekdays from 1-4 p.m. in 301 Morgan Hall. The instructors are all published writers and graduate students in UA’s master of fine arts program. They will lead a two-week exploration of creative writing under the direction of poet and professor Robin Behn. Participants will experiment with different forms of writing, including fiction, nonfiction and poetry. They will also give a public reading and create their own publication.
LEND A HAND: Events highlight importance of local lake, water quality
Tuscaloosa News – April 29
The 2012 Tuscaloosa Water Fest will include the city’s first Watershed Festival and the fourth annual Clean Our Lake Day… Mary Ann Pitts, a geography teacher at the University of Alabama and coordinator for the Watershed Festival, said that she took her geography class to a small cleanup in Lake Tuscaloosa in March. About 15 students sifted through small debris, flotsam and garbage in the lake and on the shoreline. One student picked up a Mountain Dew bottle. The student discovered five letters stuffed into the bottle by a third-grade class at Berry Elementary. “Dear bottle finder, please visit our school and tell us about yourself,” the note read. So they did. Pitts and her class discovered that the bottle had been released in the water 14 years ago.
Meridian Museum exhibit reveals contrasting artists’ ‘elemental’ connections
Al.com – April 27
The use of elements begins the connection. One uses organic elements and the other uses thematic elements to bring forth meaning. Both bring thought- provoking works to the Meridian Museum of Art, where their creations complement and contrast each other. One uses paint and flat surfaces in his paintings; the other uses actual materials in her sculpture. Tom Wegryznowski’s work is an investigation of ideologies and interpretation. He is interested in the paradoxical relations that develop among cultural strands and how unstable the concept of meaning can become. Palo Pallas’ intention is that the end of making a work signals the beginning of another person’s desire to continue the journey through looking and contemplating ) a passing of the stick, if you will. Wegrzynowski is a full-time instructor of studio and art history at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where he lives and works with his wife, book artist Charlotte Wegrzynowski, and sons Sam and Ben.
MEET THE BAND: Doobie ‘Doghouse’ Wilson
Tuscaloosa News – April 27
In 1967 Alan Lane’s sister bought him a Takamine acoustic guitar for his 14th birthday. He learned to play some popular folk songs of the time and eventually discovered blues musicians such as Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. Lane, who goes by the stage name Doobie “Doghouse” Wilson, was in his 40s before he played in front of a crowd. He worked up the courage and brought his Takamine to a Monday songwriter’s night at the now defunct Hale’s Tavern on the Strip. Hale’s was unexpectedly packed, it turns out it was the week before Fall classes. He considered fleeing but ultimately braved it out, played his songs, everyone clapped and he never looked back. Today Lane will play for any crowd willing to listen. He is now a professor of chemical and biological engineering at The University of Alabama. That same Takamine guitar now sits in his office on campus for the occasional break from work.
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.