UA In the News: August 29, 2012
August 29, 2012 - Filed under: UA in the News
Scientists unlock the power of shrimp
Tuscaloosa News – Aug. 28
Strides are being made in the effort to extract uranium from the ocean. If successful, not only would there be environmental benefits with a reduction in terrestrial mining, but the move would open a vast resource for increased nuclear power production, said one University of Alabama chemist. “With a continued depletion of the major energy sources (fossil resources — oil, natural, gas, coal), our planet cannot meet its increasing energy demand, thus there is a need for better alternatives,” said Robin Rogers, chemistry professor and director of UA’s Center for Green Manufacturing, in an email. “A resource supply that is both sustainable and adequate is one of the most significant barriers to increase the nuclear power production. A cheap, viable alternative to the uranium supply would guarantee a practically unlimited fuel supply.” The oceans hold 4.5 billion tons of uranium, almost 1,000 times the terrestrial supply of the metal. Scientists have been researching how to extract uranium since the 1960s, using a variety of materials as absorbents. Japanese scientists were able to demonstrate uranium extraction from the ocean, but their method was not energy- or cost-effective, Rogers said.
Law school rankings based on value
JD Journal – Aug. 28
The National Jurist September 2012 issue updates on law school rankings in “Best Value Law Schools.” Since 2004, The National Jurist has been ranking law schools where graduates have the best chance of passing the bar exam, and obtaining a legal position, without having to repay a lot of loans. The law school that came in first was University of Alabama, where the tuition is $18,030, the bar passage rate is 95.95 based on a two-year bar pass average, and the weighted employment rate is 90 percent. Coming in second was Georgia State University at $14,770 tuition, 93.47 bar passage rate based on two-year bar pass average, and 83 percent weighted employment rate. Rounding out the top ten were: Louisiana State University, University of Nebraska, University of Georgia, University of Kentucky, University of Montana, University of New Mexico, University of North Carolina, and University of Wisconsin.
Largest Starbucks in U.S. coming to the Ferg
Crimson White – Aug. 29
The Ferguson Student Center Starbucks will find a new home in September, moving downstairs into the game room to expand the food court seating area into its current location. “This will be the largest Starbucks in the United States,” Kristina Hopton-Jones, director of University Dining Services said. Starbucks Corporate could not be reached to confirm Hopton-Jones’ statement by the time of publication. A construction timeline is not yet confirmed, Hopton-Jones said, but the hope is for the new facility to open at the end of September. However, students should not expect any disruption in getting their daily caffeine fix. “The Starbucks opening downstairs and closing upstairs will be coordinated so that we will not lose a day of service to construction,” she said. “This will likely occur over a weekend to ensure as little disruption as possible.” The new Starbucks will feature extended hours, new late-night programming and an increase in student job opportunities.
Webcomic highlighting UA astronomy to be unveiled in Atlanta
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Aug. 27
Scientists around the world are using powerful telescopes to reach out into the vastness of space to learn more about our place in the universe and some of that research is done right here at the Capstone. It will be available in an amusing webcomic sometime soon. Dr. William Keel is here from the university s department of astronomy to tell us more.
Ouellet among Tide Paralympians in London
Crimson White – Aug. 28
The rose pedal flames were extinguished in London two weeks ago, but similar international events will kick off on Wednesday. There will be plenty of names Alabama students should follow, starting with one of the most dominant wheelchair basketball players in the world: senior Cindy Ouellet. Ouellet, who is currently in London, is among four players from the University of Alabama representing Canada in women’s wheelchair basketball at the 2012 London Paralympic Games. “I am really honored to be part of such of a great program,” Ouellet said. “Having the opportunity to represent your country is a pretty unique experience.” Ouellet is no stranger to international competition. The Quebec City native also played in the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing and helped Team Canada win a bronze medal at the 2010 World Championships in Birmingham, England. Brent Hardin, Ouellet’s coach for three years at the University, said as soon as he laid eyes on the promising Canadian, he was sold immediately. “I saw Cindy in Vancouver when I was recruiting her,” he said. “You just go ‘wow’, because she’s a really dynamic athlete. She’s a great hard worker and a great competitor and has developed into a smart player.” Ouellet has been a vital piece to the Crimson Tide’s success on the hardwood, as well. The three-time national champion had her best season during the 2011-12 season, averaging 18.8 PPG, eight RPG and eight assists per game. Ouellet said she attributes much of her success for Team Canada to the mentorship and top-notch completion on her team. “UA has such a good training environment,” she said. “’That is why I moved down to Alabama because Canada does not have a wheelchair basketball program in university. UA training made me much stronger, as well, so my speed and agility is much better.”
Alabama fourth-most obese state, students strive for healthy lifestyle
Crimson White – Aug. 28
Alabama is packing on the pounds, according to an analysis released Aug. 13 that weighed the state in as the fourth-most obese state in the country. The study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Alabama had a 32 percent prevalence of obesity in 2011, just behind Mississippi, with the highest rate at 34.9 percent, Louisiana (33.4 percent) and West Virginia (32.4 percent)…“The health of the state is definitely a work in progress,” said Sheena Gregg, assistant director of Health Education and Prevention at the University of Alabama and a dietitian for the UA Student Health Center. “Nationally, weight has been in the limelight, and we need to focus on trying to make a healthy lifestyle more accessible to citizens.” Gregg, who also serves on the Alabama Obesity Task Force, acknowledges that some residents of the state don’t have access to healthy eating options, and many opt to substitute health for affordability at fast food restaurants…Gregg specifically believes that staying healthy is often hard for young adults and students due to chaotic, stressful schedules. She notices that UA strives to provide a healthy environment for students, but nevertheless, fast food options like Chick-fil-A and Starbucks tend to attract large lines. “The campus is actually very healthy, and I say that attesting to the food options on campus – balancing savory home-cooked meals, which are normally high in calories, with healthy salad bars” Gregg said. “It’s a matter of keeping healthy decisions a priority with a busy lifestyle as a student. If we make a point to mark on our schedules specific times to eat or exercise, it will keep us doing it.” Kathryn Mills, a sophomore majoring in nutrition, agrees that the University does a good job at providing healthy eating, but says students must be responsible in order to make good decisions. “They are trying to make campus more ‘health-friendly’ by offering fresh, more nutritious options and by reaching out to people with special dietary needs, such as vegan or gluten-free,” Mills said. “But you can’t completely judge the health of the campus by the University. The options are there, but it just depends on the person’s choices.”
Now what? Treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease
Huffington Post – Aug. 29
There are more than 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia, and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years after being diagnosed, though some survive up to 20 years depending on their age and other health conditions. There are treatments to slow the progressive symptoms and improve quality of life — which is important for the person with Alzheimer’s as well as their loved ones and caregivers — but there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Daniel Potts, M.D., is president of Cognitive Dynamics Foundation, associate professor at the University of Alabama, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. He offers several ideas for trial treatments for Alzheimer’s disease: 1. “First, talk to a doctor, who may know about local or specific research studies that may be of benefit,” he said. “National Institutes of Health-supported Alzheimer’s Disease Centers or specialized memory or neurological clinics near the patient’s location may also be conducting trials.”…”There are currently over 50 NIH-sponsored trials relating to Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Potts. “These range from developing new strategies and biomarkers for early detection of Alzheimer’s pathology in pre-symptomatic individuals, to trials looking into the genetics of the disease in affected families, to trials testing agents for therapeutic benefit.”
Exhibit showcases artwork of dementia patients
Crimson White – Aug. 28
Art has a special ability to impact or invoke thought in those who see it and, through a project directed by a University professor, is being used as a means of therapy, expression and reflection for area dementia patients. The iniative, called Art to Life, is an exhibit showcasing the artwork of patients suffering from forms of dementia and is hosted by The University of Alabama Honors College and Cognitive Dynamics. Daniel Potts, an associate clinical professor in the College of Community Health Sciences and the course director for Art to Life, founded Cognitive Dynamics in 2012 after his father was diagnosed with dementia. Potts said his father turned into a watercolor artist, which inspired Potts to use expressive art as a means to improve the quality of life of dementia patients. Potts said using artwork as therapy for patients is important for many reasons. “[The arts] validate the person with dementia in their present existence, at a time when losses can be overwhelming,” Potts said. “They can give back a sense of pride.” In addition to helping the patients cope, Potts said that art can also provide positive emotional responses. Art therapy can improve a patient’s mood, lessen agitation, increase expression and even aid in the patient’s recollection of their life story.
Going to class with the dean (live interview)
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Aug. 27
Students surged on the Capstone last week for the beginning of a new year at the University of Alabama. They’re heading to their classes, some of them, for the first time. And a select few will get this guy to go to class with them: Dean Robert F. Olin is here from the University of Alabama College of Arts and Sciences to tell us more.
Tuscaloosa City Schools partner with UA to provide mentoring to students
ABC 33/40 (Birmingham) – Aug. 28
Tuscaloosa City Schools are working to make sure that’s not the case with their students, and the plan appears to be working. It’s called the “Help” program. How exactly does it work? … It stands for Helping Education Linking Parents. Not only are all K through 12 schools involved, but several community leaders. The result is a steady decline in the number of suspensions district wide. They’ve partnered with the University of Alabama and Stillman College.
UA dean of education visits STJ head of school
Montgomery Advertiser – Aug. 28
University of Alabama Dean of The College of Education Jim McLean met with Saint James Head of School Melba Richardson in Montgomery in early August to plan meetings and projects for the UA School’s advisory board. Richardson will serve an unprecedented third year as chair of The College of Education advisory board. Among the advisory board’s upcoming plans are a wall of fame honoring graduates from The College of Education who have made exemplary contributions to education or to society. “The University of Alabama has always been known for their exemplary College of Education, but Dean McLean has taken the college to an even higher level with his extraordinary leadership,” said Richardson, a College of Education UA graduate.
Newspapers, colleges create new media landscape
USA Today – Aug. 28
Last Tuesday in the humid heat of central Georgia, a new experiment in journalism was launched. The Macon Telegraph, which has served the city of just under 100,000 since 1826, launched its partnership with Mercer University and Georgia Public Broadcasting. Many eyes are now on Mercer’s College Hill where the Telegraph’s newsroom has merged with Mercer’s journalism department in the brand new Center for Collaborative Journalism. Sherrie Marshall, executive editor of the Telegraph, compared the Center’s innovative approach to the “medical school” model. Just as medical students are trained in a teaching hospital, Mercer’s journalism students will be educated in an integrated environment with the Telegraph’s news staff… The University of Alabama Masters Program in Community Journalism (ComJ) has a similar collaborative effort for the local level. After a year of coursework, the six students in the program intern in the newsroom of the Anniston Star, a paper serving a small town that is a two-hour drive from the University. The students have helped pick up the slack left by financial pressures that forced the elimination of several full-time newsroom positions since 2006.
On-campus jobs convenient, available for students
Crimson White – Aug. 28
Every year, The University of Alabama hires over 4,000 students for on-campus jobs. You see them everywhere on campus: baristas at Starbucks, front-desk assistants, sales associates at the SUPe Store, resident advisors, Avanti leaders, lifeguards, food servers, cashiers at the dining halls, or support staff at the University Recreation Center. Though there are a wealth of part-time jobs in the greater Tuscaloosa community, on-campus jobs provide some students with commuting convenience and schedules that work around classes. Trinity Stennfeld, a junior majoring in public relations, works both on and off-campus jobs as a photographer for ZAP Photography and as a barista at Java City. “I love interacting with a wide variety of students and faculty members,” Stennfeld said. “Both jobs are accommodating to my class schedule as a student.” Stennfeld said a benefit of working at Java City on campus is the ability to walk to work. Stennfeld also said she still has time to take 15 hours and be involved in a sorority and campus ministry. “Working for ZAP requires a lot of planning and organizing my schedule, but it’s definitely doable,” Stennfeld said. “It’s a good experience for life lessons and how to juggle responsibilities.” Alli Segal, a junior majoring in psychology, spends her time as a desk assistant at Tutwiler Hall. Segal said she got her job through other friends on campus who work there. “I like getting to know the residents,” Segal said. “It’s challenging trying to be their friend but also look out for them as the desk assistant.” … For more information on how to apply for jobs, contact Student Employment Services at (205) 348-2971 or UArecruitment@fa.ua.edu or the UA Office of Student Employment at (205) 348-4354 or email@example.com. You can also “like” UAStudentJobs on Facebook and follow @UAStudentJobs on Twitter.
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.