UA in the News: August 24, 2012
August 24, 2012 - Filed under: UA in the News
UA film professor makes documentary about eating foods grown in Alabama
Fox 6 (Birmingham) – Aug. 23
A new documentary at Sidewalk Film Festival focuses on Alabama and our food supply … Andy Grace is here to talk about the film “Eating Alabama.”…In the film, University of Alabama professor of documentary film, and Tuscaloosa resident, Andy Grace, embarks on a quest to eat only local foods for one full year. “Eating Alabama” has an accompanying blog, headed by Grace that pre-dates the documentary, as well as multiple offshoot projects.
UA sends athletes to Paralympics
NBC 13 (Birmingham) – Aug. 23
The 2012 Paralympic Games kick off in London next Wednesday. The University of Alabama is sending seven athletes to this year’s games. They’ll be competing in wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis. The university is also sending a wheelchair basketball assistant coach.
Why Kristen Stewart shouldn’t be taking so much heat
Psychology Today – Aug. 23
by Rosanna Guadagno, Ph.D.
I’ll admit it, I love celebrity watching. I am fascinated by famous people and love reading celebrity magazines and websites. It’s not all that surprising since I am a social psychologist — I study human social behavior. Celebrities are public figures and therefore interesting to watch. I’ve been very disturbed by the media’s reaction to Kristen Stewart’s fling with her Director, mostly because of the way the blame has fallen squarely on her shoulders. It’s a sad reminder of the sexist world we live in but also a lesson in social psychology. Social psychologists seek to answer the question, “What drives human social behavior?” Most social psychologists believe human behavior is a result of the power of the situation interacting with individual personalities. Thus, most of the time, in most situations, people from diverse backgrounds respond similarly to the same thing. Another principle of social psychology is called the Fundamental Attribution Error which states that we underestimate the power of the siutation on others’ behavior but not our own. Thus, we don’t believe that soldiers commit atrocities on the command of an authority, yet that is their explanation (anyone remember Private Lynndie Englund?). This has also been demonstrated by Zimbardo’s prison demonstration and the famous Milgram experiment in which approximately 66% of ordinary people believed they shocked a person (really a confederate — a member of the research team) to the point of potential death on the order of an authority. So, what does all this have to do with Kristen Stewart? A man who was in a position of power over her as her director and was also nearly 20 years her senior is a hard man to turn down. Now, I am not condoning cheating, I am just saying that the blame needs to shifted to the person in power, not the powerless young actress. Yet, owng to the fundamental attribution error and a dose of sexism, Stewart is getting most of the blame. It’s just not right. The media needs to change their perspective by learning a little from social psychology. (Rosanna Guadagno, Ph.D., is a social psychologist who studies online behavior at the University of Alabama)
UA education professor says parents, teachers and the state must work together to prepare students for college
CBS 42 (Birmingham) – Aug. 22
Students are back in the classrooms, and education is in full swing. But a new report shows that when it comes to preparing our children for higher education, Alabama students are not making the grade. It’s all thanks to a study compiled by the Condition of College and Career Readiness that tracked ACT scores for the 2012 graduates. Nearly one-third of students tested failed to meet even the average requirements for English, math, reading and science. Nineteen percent of 2012 graduates in Alabama failed three of the four categories. An additional 19 percent were only able to pass two … But teachers think scores are only one indicator of a bigger issue. Dr. Joyce Stallworth (University of Alabama’s College of Education): “Exposure, not teaching to the test, but having students become comfortable with the kinds of questions on these standardized tests and then strategies for doing well when they take the test.” The state department of education hopes to provide that exposure earlier, in the 8th, 10th, and 12th grades to ACT type tests. And all year, teachers must work to provide a rich, classroom experience. “Do a lot of work in that crucial relationship between home and school. Get guardians, all family members more actively involved in that. I think that can only benefit students, because we cannot put the onus completely on schools to improve student performance. Educators say extending the learning at home is crucial for student success. As opposed to hiring expensive tutors, that could mean trips to the library, or asking a school counselor for supplemental materials.”
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.