UA in the News: May 31, 2012
May 31, 2012 - Filed under: UA in the News
Alabama’s Mal Moore receives John L. Toner Award, given annually to nation’s best AD
Birmingham News – May 30
Arguably one of the best overall years in the history of the Alabama athletic department isn’t over yet, but the man at the top of it all is already taking home some prestigious hardware for what has already been accomplished. The National Football Foundation today named Mal Moore, Alabama’s athletic director since 1999, its 2012 John L. Toner Award winner. The honer goes annually to the athletic director who has “demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football.” ”Mal’s leadership of Alabama football has been impeccable,” said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. “The Crimson Tide’s success on the gridiron is undeniable, but his leadership can be felt throughout the University of Alabama and the NCAA as a whole. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award.” Along with its BCS national championship in football — the program’s second in the last three years — the Crimson Tide has notched national titles in gymnastics and women’s golf over the past few months. Alabama’s softball and men’s golf teams are both in position to add to that total in the coming days.
Tuscaloosa News – May 30
Sand Mountain Reporter – May 30
SEC.com – May 30
Dekalb Times-Journal – May 30
NBC 13 (Birmingham) – May 30
CBS 42 (Birmingham) – May 30
NBC 12 (Montgomery) – May 30
University of Alabama social work students headed to China
Tuscaloosa News – May 31
For the first time, the University of Alabama’s School of Social Work will send a group of students to China to learn from their counterparts. A group of six UA students enrolled in bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs will fly to Hong Kong on Sunday. They will stay at Hong Kong Shue Yan University and will examine the roles of different social work agencies there for two weeks … For 25 years, UA social work faculty made an annual trip to Hong Kong and taught the first year of their curriculum. Meanwhile, students did an internship in Hong Kong and finished the program at UA. But recently, the number of exchange students coming to UA from Hong Kong has decreased because of a rise in the number of accredited master of social work programs in Hong Kong, including one at Shue Yan, said Debra Nelson-Gardell, professor of social work at UA. “The market is no longer there. There is much more MSW education in China now,” she said. “Plus, travel is much more expensive than it has been in years past.” Nelson-Gardell said this year’s trip may be the beginning of a shift in the partnership between the two universities … Teresa Young is in the third year of the social work doctorate program at UA. She said she’s excited about coming into contact with Chinese culture for the first time. “China’s a big force in the world today. So just to meet the people and learn about their culture and their different take on things makes this a trip of a lifetime,” she said.
Transition program for students with autism grows
CBS 42 (Birmingham) – May 30
When fall classes resume on The University of Alabama campus in August, 18 students are expected to participate in UA’s transition program for students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. The program, launched at UA in 2006, is one of only a handful of such programs nationwide designed specifically for providing support for students with an ASD, which includes autism, Asperger’s syndrome and pervasive development disorder, said Dr. Sarah Ryan, the program’s director. “It’s a safety net for the students – to have someone for the students to check in with and for the students to get help from,” Ryan said. As the number of children identified nationwide as having an ASD has trended upward for several years, it’s evident, Ryan said, that universities will see an increasing number of students who could potentially benefit from the program’s services. The UA program, which began with one student and grew, over the last five years, to 12, pairs the students with a mentor – usually a graduate student in psychology — who has received training from UA’s autism experts. The mentor and student meet two to three times per week, Ryan said. The meetings are individually tailored to the student’s precise needs, but the mentor might, for example, offer tips to the student on ways to break down a large, somewhat overwhelming assignment, into smaller, more manageable segments, Ryan said.
University of Alabama names Richard Swatloski as Office for Technology Transfer director
Birmingham News – May 30
The University of Alabama has named Richard Swatloski the school’s new director of the Office for Technology Transfer. The OTT assists innovators with bringing to market technologies created at UA, such as through helping inventors navigate the patent process, find funding or license technology to off-campus entities. It also collaborates with the university’s Innovation and Mentoring of Entrepreneur Center to help start-up companies incubating there. Swatloski’s appointment will begin June 1. He’s worked at the OTT since it was established in 2006 and has been interim director since September 2011, when former director Bill Gathings died. From 2006 until taking his current position, Swatloski worked as a licensing associate in the OTT, and before that worked as a staff scientist at the university’s Center for Green Manufacturing. “Tech Transfer has become an increasingly important aspect of what it means to be a University of Alabama researcher and innovator,” UA Vice President for Research Joe Benson said in a prepared statement. “Rick brings both scientific expertise and an entrepreneurial spirit to this position, and I look forward to seeing him and our campus innovators move forward these efforts in ways most beneficial to the public we serve.” Nearly 190 invention disclosures were submitted to the OTT from fiscal 2007 to 2011, according to a statement announcing Swatloski’s new position. Those disclosures resulted in 68 patents, including 13 in the U.S. The university now has 13 active licensing agreements with external entities, according to the OTT.
UA’s Center for Advanced Public Safety receives grant from governor
WSFA-NBC (Montgomery) — May 30
Effort to make Alabama’s roadways safer … The University of Alabama’s Center for Advanced Public Safety just got $75,000. The governor awarded the grant. The funding enables the center to gather information from law enforcement agencies and telephone surveys to analyze the effectiveness of the ”click it or ticket” seatbelt campaign.
Alabama FPs Help Make Patient Care Networks Function
American Family Physician – May 31
Family physicians often are depicted as the bedrock of the nation’s health care system, the leaders of patient-centered health care teams who deliver high-quality care at a lower cost. That description readily applies to the efforts of Alabama family physicians and members of the Alabama AFP who have played a pivotal role in developing, implementing and sustaining a series of independent, nonprofit patient-centered health networks that now provide coordinated care to about 90,000 Medicaid recipients in the eastern, western and northern parts of the state… “The physician’s office is no longer the end-all and be-all of medicine,” says family physician Julia Boothe, M.D., the clerkship director for family medicine in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Boothe, who practices within the MedNet West Network in the western part of Alabama, adds, “The physician’s office serves as the hub. But we have case managers going out into the field. We also have communication with the pharmacists and the medical directors through the network.”
RSA has helped create jobs and money for Alabama, according to a study from UA Professor
WXTX-Fox (Columbus, Ga.) – May 30
Over the past 20 years, the RSA has made the state money and created jobs – a lot of both. That’s according to a pair of new studies authored by two of the state’s top economists: Auburn-Montgomery’s Dr. Keivan Deravi and the University of Alabama’s Dr. Samuel Addy. Since 1990, the retirement systems has invested about $5.6 billion dollars into the state in the forms of loans, capital investments and special projects like the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. That’s led to $1.1 billion dollars in state tax revenues, $14.3 billion in payroll and the creation of more than 280,000 jobs. The RSA isn’t exactly batting a thousand when it comes to its investment performance. The hotels, like the one behind me in downtown Montgomery haven’t quite paid off. Simply put, it costs more money to stay in a hotel in Las Vegas or Chicago than it does Birmingham or Mobile. Amidst concerns over RSA’s performance, lawmakers approved changes to the pension structure at RSA for new hires starting next year. They said the changes will keep the fund solvent moving forward. The studies show the state has done well from the RSA investments.
WSFA-NBC (Montgomery) – May 30
Song contest announced at University of Alabama farmer’s market
NBC 13 (Birmingham) – May 30
Homegrown Alabama, the student-led farmers market at The University of Alabama, invites songwriters of all ages and experience levels to participate in a songwriting contest and sing-off to celebrate its fifth anniversary. Contestants are asked to compose a theme song for the market, using the phrase, “I’m homegrown.” Songs should be less than three minutes long. The entries will be presented in a sing-off at the market on Thursday, June 7, at 3 p.m. Participants may perform solo or as a group. One microphone will be provided. Performers should bring their own additional equipment if necessary, but it should be simple and easy to set up. If contestants are unable to attend the sing-off, digital submissions will be accepted. Digital submissions and videos for YouTube should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. They will then be uploaded to the Homegrown Alabama YouTube channel.
Archaeological team searching proposed site of Walmart development for evidence of graves
Florence Times Daily – May 30
An archaeological team searching property surrounding Coffee Cemetery has yet to find anything resembling remains or evidence of burials, according to Stephen Jones, cultural resources technician for the University of Alabama. The Alabama Historical Commission requested this latest round of testing on property that is part of a proposed development for a Walmart store. The team has been on site since Monday and is expected to conclude testing Friday. The property has been heavily debated by the Florence City Council and residents in the surrounding community. On May 15, in a 5-1 vote, the council approved a resolution in support of rezoning the area to allow the proposed Walmart to be built adjacent to the property north of Cox Creek Parkway and west of Cloverdale Road. Residents have voiced concerns that the development would be built on top of an unmarked burial ground near Coffee Cemetery, which is clearly marked with gravestones and monuments. The concern is that there are unmarked graves of servants who worked for Gen. John Coffee and his family. Jones said initial remote-sensing ground radar tests did not provide enough information to the historical commission. He said the archeological team did not find anything resembling remains in the areas they were looking in Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Preliminary tests were conducted for the property developer for Walmart by Spectrum Environmental Inc. and Geo Source Inc. This additional round of testing was requested by the Alabama Historical Commission.
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.