UA in the News: May 15, 2012
May 15, 2012 - Filed under: UA in the News
Sponge Soaks Up Jet Engine Noise
Popular Mechanics – May 14
A roaring jet engine is one of the loudest objects on earth. At 140 decibels, the noise is on par with gunshots and rock concerts, and can immediately and permanently damage human ears; even hearing protection can stave off damage only for short periods of time. And it’s not just ears that are at risk: Intense sound waves from aircraft engines vibrate the plane’s hardware, causing wear and, potentially, mechanical failure. “If engine damage occurs, it’s very disastrous,” says Ajay Agrawal, a mechanical engineer at the University of Alabama. “It doesn’t happen often, but it could happen at any time, and can destroy the engine within seconds.” That’s why Agrawal has been developing a device that could curb engine noise not just in aircraft, but in factories, power generators, machinery, and other engines. While most sound-reduction measures such as noise dampers and ear protection try to cope with the noise, Agrawal’s new device is intended to prevent the sound from being generated in the first place by changing the way fluids flow through an engine.
Science conference slated for the University of Alabama
NBC 13 (Birmingham) – May 14
A national conference on college level science education will convene at The University of Alabama’s Bryant Conference Center May 21-22. The conference, “Research Based Undergraduate Science Teaching: Investigating Reform in Classrooms: National conference II,” is sponsored by the National Study of Education in Undergraduate Science, a project funded by the National Science Foundation and The University of Alabama Office of Research on Teaching in the Disciplines. The conference focuses on best practices and reforms in teaching undergraduate science and their impact on student learning outcomes. This highly interactive meeting combines presentations with time to interact and network with researchers.
Petunias sprout through Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa News – May 15
The path of destruction left by the April 27 tornado left behind a jagged, bare gash running five miles long, straight through the city, where homes, trees and businesses were leveled to the ground. But now, pale purple and white faces have sprouted all along the bare path. Throughout Tuscaloosa, petunias have sprouted in back yards, on vacant lots, next to busy roadways, and it’s not entirely clear how the perky funnel-shaped flowers came to be there, although there are some theories. . . . “Petunia seeds need light to germinate and now that so many trees are gone, there is light like crazy,” said Mary Jo Modica, horticulturist at the UA Arboretum. “Regardless of where the seeds came from, the fact that they suddenly have all this light is probably what is causing so many of them to appear.”
At Clay County school, concerns over race and cheerleading
Anniston Star – May 15
Concerns over racial discrimination are surfacing in Clay County as two area schools prepare to merge into one. The four black students who tried out the first cheer team at Central High School of Clay County didn’t make the cut. School officials say the girls didn’t score well enough to secure a place on the team. Members of the black community say that the selection process was unfair from the start. . . . America’s black population is more inclined to face poverty for a number of reasons, said Richard Fording, who chairs the political science department at the University of Alabama. Black children are more likely to live in single-parent homes. Their parents are less likely to have a high level of education, work skills or experience, Fording said. Political scientists believe that is at least in part due to contemporary and historic discrimination against blacks.
Ballet, art, cooking offered in upcoming summer programs
Columbus (Miss.) Dispatch – May 15
The end of the school year doesn’t have to be the beginning of the summer doldrums. Area organizations have planned a jam-packed calendar of events spanning the gamut of interests, from educational programs to outdoors camps and creative pursuits. Along with perennial favorites, a few offerings are new to the summer camp scene this year, including ballet lessons at the Frank P. Phillips Memorial YMCA in downtown Columbus. Sarah Mutch, 20, is a dance major at the University of Alabama, so when she found herself in Columbus for the summer, she decided to use her spare time to give back to area children and perhaps instill her love for ballet in them, as well. Mutch plans to teach ballet technique and beginning choreography for children, ages eight to 12, and she said all levels of dancers are welcome. The students will attend classes from June 4-8 for three hours a day.
High schooler earns her spot in Women’s U.S. Open
Bellingham (Wash.) Herald – May 15
Like most high school seniors, Emma Talley is making the most of her final month at Caldwell County High School in Kentucky. You know, doing the normal things seniors do – going to a couple proms, getting ready for her graduation, getting ready to attend her boyfriend’s graduation, saying goodbye to friends, getting ready to go to college and qualifying for the Women’s U.S. Open Golf Championship. OK, maybe that last one isn’t so normal, but Talley is not your average high school girls’ golfer. She is a three-time Kentucky state champion and would have won four straight if she hadn’t mistakenly signed an incorrect scorecard, called herself on the error and been disqualified. She’s headed to play golf at the University of Alabama and has played for the United States’ Junior Ryder Cup team and the Junior Solheim Cup squad.
A Mother’s Love: Keeping Loryn Brown’s Dream Alive
WHNT (Huntsville) – May 14
Sunday, May 13, is Mother’s Day. It’s a day set aside each year to show moms how much they’re loved and appreciated. But the day can be bittersweet for a mother who has lost a child. Ashley Mims says she’d rather not belong to that group, but she became part of it when her daughter died in the Tuscaloosa tornado last year. Part of Ashley’s mission now as a mom is keeping her daughter’s dream alive. Loryn Brown’s dream was to attend and graduate from the University of Alabama. It was where her daddy Shannon played football and was part of the 1992 National Championship team. Walking across campus recently, Ashley talked about her daughter saying, “She only wanted to be here. There was no other option for her.” Ashley says from the time her little girl was 4 years old, she wanted to be at UA. Loryn was living and working in Tuscaloosa and was scheduled to start at Alabama during the fall semester last year. Ashley said Loryn “Had to be here. She had to be on this campus and this school and she had to graduate from this school.” But Loryn’s dreams ended April 27, 2011 when an EF-4 tornado rolled across Tuscaloosa. Ashley was at home in Wetumpka watching the storm live on television. She was also on the phone with Loryn. Ashley recalls the conversation like it was yesterday . . . .
Hoover family honors fallen Marine with care packages for troops
Birmingham News – May 14
A Hoover family started sending care packages to troops serving in Afghanistan shortly after the death of their loved one because they knew the conditions service members live under while serving their country. Rachel Rivers, a student at the University of Alabama, came up with the idea after her brother, 22-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Thomas Rivers Jr., was killed in Afghanistan in 2010 by a roadside bomb, said Charon Rivers, their mother. The family recently set up a nonprofit organization, Support our Soldiers, which sends care packages to service members.
Women need to pay attention to their heart health
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – May 14
Today the focus is on heart attacks and strokes. More than 200,000 women die each year from heart attacks. That’s five times as many women as breast cancer. Dr. Tucker Leigh with the University of Alabama Medical Center says it’s important to understand the symptoms for heart attacks in women aren’t like the classic chest pains. Often times they’ll start with nausea and an upset stomach. Dr. Leigh says women should know their family history, because it’s easier to prevent heart attacks than it is to recover from them.
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.