UA in the News: August 3, 2012
August 3, 2012 - Filed under: UA in the News
Couple marries after meeting in UA online class
Tuscaloosa News – Aug. 3
Brittany Turner was in love — with books. When she was accepted into the University of Alabama’s Masters of Library and Information Sciences online program in 2010, it seemed like a no-brainer. She loved that the program was online and the price was right. What the now 30-year-old New Yorker didn’t like was the mandatory orientation session scheduled on campus before the program’s start. “What was the point of enrolling in an online program if I had to fly from New York to attend orientation?” Turner said. “But I made it.” Two years later, she is graduating with a new dream for her future and some incredible friendships, including one in particular. “I never imagined how great the program would be,” she said. “We were in such a wonderful community who shared these same, nerdy interests. I made a lot of great friends, and one happened to become my husband.” Enter Lamont Pearson, a 44-year-old Mississippi native, with a passion for libraries and a desire to preserve rare books — his way of “keeping our cultural history for future generations.” The two kept bumping into each other during orientation, but it wasn’t until they “geeked out” over a unique art book, “Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern Issue 24,” that their friendship started. The pair stayed in touch after orientation, and through group assignments, phone calls, text messages and video chats, their friendship grew into something more. Before they knew it, they were saying “I do” in New Orleans.
Tornado survivor to receive Ph.D. on Saturday
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Aug. 3
Amanda Cassity and her family were in their basement in the Forest Lake neighborhood when the tornado hit. After everything cleared, thankfully, Cassity and her family were alive, but their home was destroyed. This happened just as she was finishing her doctoral degree at the University of Alabama. After April 27th, her focus shifted from finishing her degree to rebuilding her family’s life. A little more than a year and a half later, she will graduate Saturday. It’s been a long journey, but one Cassity says has been worth it. “It’s exciting, it kind of gives you a sense of ‘alright i have gotten through this. We also moved into a new house the week after I defended my dissertation. This is the end of the tunnel, kind of the light at the end of the tunnel … I think we are in the light now and that certainly is a great feeling.”
Nick’s Kids Fund distributes $415K at annual luncheon
Tuscaloosa News – Aug. 3
The Nick’s Kids Fund, for 14 years the charity organization of University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban and his wife, Terry, distributed more than $415,000 to over 100 organizations dedicated to serving the needs of children in Alabama at its annual luncheon at Bryant-Denny Stadium today. The figure represents the majority of the money generated by the fund during its fiscal year. “We’re really proud of what we’re able to accomplish on a yearly basis for a lot of young people in the state of Alabama, as well as other places in the Southeast,” Saban said. “Nick’s Kids is really not about me. It’s really about extending the legacy of what my dad tried to do to help young people, which my mother always wanted me to try to continue. “‘No man stands as tall as when he stoops to help a child’, that’s sort of what we built this on.” The non-profit organization supports children, family, teacher and student causes in the state. Since 2007, the year Saban arrived at UA, the Nick’s Kids fund has distributed $2.55 million in donations, including more than $1 million to tornado relief.
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Aug. 3
CBS 42 (Birmingham) – Aug. 3
CBS 42 (Birmingham) – Aug. 3
WDHN-ABC (Dothan) – Aug. 3
Calhoun County home sales up in second quarter compared to recent years
Anniston Star – Aug. 3
The local housing market showed improvement in the last three months, but it’s still not back to pre-recession levels. More Calhoun County homes were sold in the second quarter of 2012 than in the same period in each of the last three years, indicating consistent improvement in the market. However, a glut of foreclosures is still keeping the market from fully recovering from its downturn in 2007, experts say…In contrast, before the recession hit in 2008, 383 homes were sold in the area during the second quarter of 2007 and 406 in the second quarter of 2006. Alabama had similar improvements in home sales in April, May and June. Center for Real Estate statistics show state home sales were 9.7 percent higher than in the same period last year…Leonard Zumpano, professor of finance at the University of Alabama and the chair of real estate economics for the Alabama Association of Realtors, agrees that the housing market is improving. “There is strong evidence across the country that the housing market has bottomed out,” Zumpano said. “I think because interest rates are incredibly low, it’s spurring more people to buy.” However, Zumpano also agrees with King that foreclosed homes are still keeping the market from making a full recovery. “There is no viable mechanism in place to really eliminate that glut from the market,” Zumpano said of foreclosures.
Opinion: EPA foolishly seeks to destroy nation’s coal industry
Myrtle Beach Online – Aug. 3
By Andrew P. Morriss The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates the share of U.S. electricity generated from coal will fall from 42 percent in 2011 to 36.8 percent in 2013. Some of that decline is due to advances in fracking making cheaper natural gas available. That’s bad news for coal miners but no different than problems all industries face from competition. Cheaper natural gas cannot explain all coal’s decline, however. A federal study found that coal use in electricity declined just 1.4 percent for every 10 percent change in relative prices between the coal and natural gas. This is not surprising because electric plants cannot change from coal to natural gas by just throwing a switch. There is great deal of confusion about new EPA regulations affecting coal-fired power plants, and also opposition to regulations that could lead to plant closings or loss of jobs…It is time for an “all of the above” energy policy to reduce our energy costs. An important reason for coal’s decline is the administration’s war on coal…Deliberate government efforts to end an industry are not part of normal competitive market pressures and bad for the U.S. economy…(Contact Morriss, a law professor at the University of Alabama, at email@example.com.)
Long Island Newsday – Aug. 2
If Gabby’s Got The Gold, Why Flip Over Her Hair?
NPR – Aug. 3
Never mind how she flies like a raven on the balance beam. Or flutters across the floor. Or soars on vault. Or swings on the uneven bars. On Twitter and Facebook, black women shared their disapproval of Douglas’ ponytail, the same hairstyle all of her teammates sported. It appeared unkempt to some, didn’t have enough gel for others and a few demanded a chance to make over her style. The criticism started on social media, but hair bloggers and even Jezebel defended the gymnast. This is the Olympics, where world-class athleticism is on display. It is not a hair show. American gymnast Gabby Douglas has won her second Olympic gold medal of the London Summer Games. Make no mistake, though, the matter of hair is as serious to some in the black community as losing a tenth of a point on the balance beam. Douglas, some feel, isn’t just representing herself, her family and all of the sacrifices they made to get to the world stage. She is representing black people, who take a certain pride in their appearance. She is representing a race of people who have been taught over and over again that they must be better than everyone else just to be on an equal playing field. She is representing a history of hurts and wrongs. But Douglas is a gymnast. It is not her responsibility to represent black people, or more specifically, black women, and prove to the world how talented and beautiful we are. It is not her responsibility to defy stereotypes. What she is is a role model. Douglas has accomplished a feat that is unattainable for most of the population. (Monique Fields teaches at the University of Alabama and blogs at Honeysmoke.com)
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.