UA in the News: September 19, 2012
September 19, 2012 - Filed under: UA in the News
White House honors UA public relations professor
Crimson White – Sept. 19
Suzanne Horsley, a University of Alabama advertising and public relations professor, was recognized Friday as a “Champion of Change” at the White House for her service to the American Red Cross. Horsley was among other Red Cross staff workers and volunteers honored for their outstanding work building resilient communities. She received the news a week before the event and said she was shocked, excited and overwhelmed to know her nation’s capital was keeping up with her community service. “I thought ‘Wow, they really just said my name at the White House’,” Horsley said. Horsley met Federal Emergency Management Agency and White House administrators during her visit to the White House. Government officials like Janet Napolitano, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, congratulated her and the rest of the “Champions of Change” honorees. Cari Euart, a UA graduate, said her former professor deserves the honor. “She is a pillar of the Tuscaloosa community and her work with the American Red Cross undeniably deserves recognition,” Euart said. Her commitment to service started at a young age. Horsley’s family often spent Saturdays visiting nursing homes or volunteering in the community and her upbringing inspired her to continue the contribution to various community service projects. She developed an Adult Literacy Committee through Campus Outreach and Resources her junior year at Mary Washington College, which worked with a local literacy council to recruit, train and place tutors throughout the community. Eager to do her part for the community, she was pleased to find out American Red Cross needed a public relations volunteer. “I love the work I have been doing at the Red Cross,” Horsley said. “It fits in so well with my teaching and research as a professor.”
UA’s RISE program, School of Music taking music therapy concepts to Russia
Al.com – Sept. 19
Educators from the University of Alabama’s RISE program and the UA School of Music will travel to St. Petersburg, Russia from Sept. 21-26 to work with children with disabilities and to develop a bilingual musical. RISE director Martha Cook, RISE director, RISE music therapist Dawn Sandel and UA associate professor of music Diane Schultz will work with members of the Russian National Orchestra and the State Hermitage Museum to develop a bilingual musical adaption based on the book “Anna and the Hermitage Cats.” The project, suitable for general audiences as well as children with disabilities, will introduce some concepts of music therapy to Russia. Cook and Sandel also will assist in developing programs for young children with special needs who are institutionalized at the charitable organization Perspektiva, a center for disabled children, according to UA. The musical, called “Hermitage Cats Save the Day,” will preview at UA on March 6 and then premiere at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. on March 10. It will find its home audience at the Hermitage Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia on April 6 and 7 during the annual Day of Cats at the State Hermitage Museum.
National Water Center goes to college in Tuscaloosa
Equipment Guide – Sept. 19
Construction on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Integrated Water Resources Science and Services (aka the National Water Center) began in Spring 2012 on the University of Alabama (UA) campus in Tuscaloosa. The project will result in a first-of-its-kind facility that will combine hydrological forecasting operations and research under one roof to support field operations, improve joint agency coordination and address emerging stakeholder needs. “Water resource issues are complex, multi-disciplinary and growing, as we’ve seen with this year’s floods in the northeast and the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio rivers and the prolonged drought across much of the South,” said NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco. “The necessary expertise and capabilities to address these cross-boundary issues rarely reside within one agency or organization. There is an increasing need for close partnerships among federal agencies and local, state and regional entities; the National Water Center provides a focal point to address this national need.” The building will be used as a consortium of cutting-edge water resource integrated services with complementary operational missions in water science, observation, prediction and management. To complement the work of the agencies, the National Water Center intends to create a reciprocal relationship with UA and plans for the new facility to provide avenues of hydrological research to UA students and staff. “The research conducted at the National Water Center at the University of Alabama will be critical to gaining an increased understanding of our vital water resources,” said Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony. “This Center will allow us as a nation to better predict and manage various water-related ecological problems while fostering nationwide collaboration on water issues.”
UA co-op students made more than $5 million last year
Crimson White – Sept. 19
With the job market in the United States steadily declining, any internship or job experience that undergraduates can add to their resume while they are in school is beneficial. Engineering students at The University of Alabama have the opportunity to participate in the Cooperative Education and Professional Practice Program, gaining real world job experience while they are still enrolled at the Capstone. “Co-op programs are resume-enhancing experiences,” Roy Gregg, director of cooperative education and professional practice programs, said. “Students with significant work experience have an advantage at graduation.” In addition to work experience, co-op students are paid and receive health benefits. Last year, UA co-op students earned over $5 million, averaging $17 per hour. One of the most popular of the engineering co-op options at the University is the Mercedes-Benz Graduate Fellowship. The University of Alabama’s partnership with Mercedes began with two students in 1995, and it has now grown to as many as 45 engineering and business students. Students apply as freshmen and begin work their sophomore year. “Mercedes is popular because of its name and location,” Gregg said. “It also has a first-class world reputation.”
Women’s Resource Center to host HB 56 seminar
Crimson White – Sept. 19
Following the one year anniversary of the signing into law of Alabama’s immigration bill, The University of Alabama Women’s Resource Center will host an event, “Effects of HB 56: One Year Later,” on Wednesday, Sept. 19 in an effort to do more than scratch the surface of opinions regarding the law. The seminar will be held in Room 205 of Gorgas Library and will focus on the facts of the law and its effect on the Hispanic community, particularly women…Wanda Burton, peer education coordinator for the WRC, said the discussion will cover more than just talking points. “We’re focusing on the people whose stories haven’t been told,” Burton said. “I think students can definitely benefit by learning the laws here in this state. I want them to know how this will affect people in Alabama.” A representative from Alabama Appleseed, a statewide organization that deals with legal advocacy, and the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice will share personal accounts from immigrants that she has worked with. There will be a brief question and answer session afterwards.
Best time for grad school varies by student lifestyle, career goals
Crimson White – Sept. 19
With the job market becoming increasingly competitive, graduate school is becoming a greater requirement to enter the workforce. Many professors and advisors agree that the decision to postpone graduate school depends on the student, and there are pros and cons to both sides. “It really does depend,” Blake Bedsole, director of graduate recruitment, said. “It’s a personal decision whether the students would like immediate income or not.” Bedsole said he usually recommends students to go straight through to graduate school, if possible. “The pros to doing it right now are that you are already in the academic mindset and the routine of school,” he said. “In some fields, even entry level positions may require another degree.” Shelby Hutson, a first year graduate student at The University of Alabama, decided to go straight to graduate school after finishing as an undergrad. She graduated from the University with a bachelor’s degree in collaborative special education, and is currently pursuing a master’s in severe disabilities. “I feel good and bad about [graduate school],” Hutson said. “I’m still in that school state of mind. I know how to write papers, and I am used to that academic schedule.” Hutson said she knew she wanted a master’s to be more qualified in her field. Brian Gray, a statistics professor, said a master’s degree could be beneficial in setting a person apart in the job application process. “A master’s degree can distinguish them from everyone else,” Gray said. “An undergraduate degree today is almost like a high school diploma was 30 years ago.”
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.