UA in the News: July 18, 2012
July 18, 2012 - Filed under: UA in the News
Michael Connelly wins 2012 Harper Lee Prize for legal fiction
ABA Journal – July 17
Michael Connelly’s legal thriller The Fifth Witness has been named the winner of the 2nd Annual Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction…The prize, created by the University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal, honors Lee for the extraordinary and enduring influence her novel has had in the public perception of the legal profession. The prize will be awarded annually to the published book-length work of fiction that best exemplifies the role of lawyers in society. Author John Grisham won the inaugural prize last year for his book The Confession. Ken Randall, dean of the University of Alabama law school, said Tuesday that Connelly’s book is a worthy successor to John Grisham’s Harper Lee Prize-winning book last year. “The prize helps perpetuate the best traditions of legal fiction established by Alabama’s former student, the legendary Harper Lee,” Randall said. “Mr. Connelly’s book effectively portrays the critical difference lawyers can make on their clients’ lives and more generally on justice. Resourceful lawyers of different backgrounds, whether like Harper Lee’s Atticus Finch, or Connelly’s Mickey Haller, play a pivotal role in society.”
Three University professors win NSF awards
Crimson White – July 18
Three University of Alabama professors were awarded CAREER awards from the National Science Foundation for research in biological engineering, earthquake seismology and solar energy technology. The NSF’s CAREER award is a highly competitive research grant given to professors whose research displays both intellectual merit and broader impact on society and education. Yuping Bao, Dawen Li and Samantha Hansen received over $1.6 million in grants to continue their research and advance their careers through the NSF’s prestigious achievement award.
Experience outweighs stress in nursing college
Crimson White – July 18
The Capstone College of Nursing is a highly selective program, only taking 96 applicants twice a year into the upper division, but with that prestige comes a fair share of stress for those who do make into the respected upper division. Students say some of that stress comes simply from trying to get in. Channing Kirkman, a junior, said she is still waiting to find out whether or not she is accepted into the upper division beginning in the fall…Sara Barger, dean of the Capstone College of Nursing, explained why the college is so competitive. She said it is based on several factors. “Classroom space is one, and faculty is another. Also, students have to have clinical experience, so there has to be a physical space for students to practice that.” Barger said the average GPA varies every year, but on average, it runs 3.5 and above and has steadily increased over the past few years. The program itself has also grown in recent years. Berger said just 15 years ago, the nursing program was only promoting 40 students to upper division twice a year, and now they promote 96 students twice each year. Barger attributes the success of the nursing program to several aspects of the program. “For one, we have a really strong clinically-oriented faculty,” she said. “Nursing is a practiced profession. You can’t just learn it in a book. So I think it begins with really good faculty.” Clinical experience is the other factor that makes the program so strong, according to Berger. “They really get more practice time than any nursing program I know of… If you have more clinical hours, you’re going to be more comfortable and skilled when you get out.”… Barger said there are three things she consistently hears from head nurses that makes Capstone College of Nursing graduates so prepared. “They say the graduates have such solid clinical knowledge, they demonstrate initiative, and they have a very strong work ethic.”
Computer camp teaches programming
Crimson White – July 18
Beginning July 9 and continuing through Aug. 3, the University of Alabama is offering a series of camps that serve to introduce computer science concepts to middle and high school students. The middle school camp was held July 9-13, while the three high school camps were held July 16-20, July 23-27 and July 30-Aug. 3…The objective of the camp, which hosts students from twelve states, along with international students from Hong Kong, Beijing and Germany, is to introduce computer science concepts to students that they might not otherwise encounter in their studies..
ROTC cadet beats peers in physical test
Crimson White – July 18
During this year’s Army Physical Fitness Test, University of Alabama Army ROTC cadet Christina Jones scored higher than any other female within her 450-person regiment. The test was held as a part of the Army ROTC’s Leader Development and Assessment Course, and Jones came out on top. According to a media release from the Army, the fitness test includes push-ups, sit-ups and a two-mile run that is designed to measure upper body, core strength, leg muscle and endurance. Passing the test is necessary in order to become commissioned as a U.S. Army lieutenant. Jones said she knew she performed well, but did not expect to be the highest scorer. “I didn’t know I was going to be number one, and it’s just good to know that hard work pays off,” she said. “I worked my butt off every single day, and I was constantly exercising and just doing what I needed to do.” Jones grew up as a military brat, moving to a new place every three years. She said her childhood was like a series of new adventures, and her father’s military career inspired her to join ROTC. “My dad has been in the Army for the past 23 years, and I’ve seen the opportunities it has afforded him,” she said. “I just think that the Army is a perfect fit for me, and that’s why I did Army ROTC, and I have loved every minute of it.”
Bama Art House fans relieved Norwegian film screening day finally arrives
Al.com – July 17
“Turn Me On, Dammit!” will finally screen at the Bama Theatre after more than a month of controversy surrounding the Tuscaloosa Arts Council’s decision to cancel the screening and put it back on after public outcry from both sides…University of Alabama film professor Jeremy Butler thinks the controversy has only helped a previously obscure film reach an unlikely audience in Tuscaloosa. “One obvious irony in this situation is that the kerfuffle about ‘Turn Me On, Dammit!’ that has been ginned up by local pastors will have the opposite effect that they hoped for,” Butler said. “That is, by drawing so much attention to a modest, obscure Norwegian film they will ensure that its audience is much larger than it would have been otherwise. In fact, I was so concerned that it might sell out that I bought tickets in advance.” Butler says that even though he thinks the pastors’ objections are unreasonable and unfounded, his main concern all along has been the official reactions of Tuscaloosa’s elected officials. “Just by watching the previews for and reading descriptions of this film one can tell that it does not violate community standards for decency or legal standards for obscenity,” Butler said.
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.