UA in the News: October 10, 2012
October 10, 2012 - Filed under: UA in the News
The Iron Bowl of jobs: Alabama’s business college dean weighs in
Al.com – Oct. 9
In the view of J. Michael Hardin, the biggest thing holding the University of Alabama’s business students back in the job market is a lack of visibility. That’s why he’s been hitting the road, visiting major employers like Apple, Google, and Wells Fargo — and in some cases bringing his students with him. “I’m a man on a mission,” Hardin says. Hardin’s mission began in June 2011, when he replaced J. Barry Mason as Dean of the Culverhouse College of Commerce at the University of Alabama. Shortly after assuming that role, Hardin set a goal for his students: increase the placement rate for graduates that receive a bachelor’s degree in business from UA to 85 percent. What exactly would that entail? Most colleges and universities consider a student to have been “placed” if they end up in one of four categories: full-time employment; part-time employment; continued education by way of a graduate degree; or military service. Students among UA’s most recent class of bachelor’s degree recipients majoring in business reported a 74 percent placement rate in December 2011. Of that group, most reported having found full-time employment, with another substantial portion going after an additional degree. For Hardin — holder of a doctorate in applied statistics from UA — research and education are crucial priorities. But those trips to California aren’t about degrees. “My job is to go out and tell people” — again, people at Apple and Google — “how great these students are,” he says.
Honors program aims to connect students from Perry County
Crimson White – Oct. 10
Marion, Ala. may be 57 miles from the university, but students in the Honors College want to make it seem a lot closer. Perry County community members and students involved with the 57 Miles Perry County Partnership, a new initiative that will expand the three-week University Fellows immersive experience to the entire Honors College, discussed experiences and plans from the organization that looks to merge the resources of the University with the provincial city of Marion. Hosted by the Honors College in Gorgas Library on Oct. 9, the event featured a panel of Marion locals and college students as a part of the 57 Miles program, where students have the opportunity to work in the county with members of the community. Chris Joiner, a senior majoring in biology, was one of the featured student panel members and has visited the area twice. “It’s about bridging the gap from what we do here on campus to what we can do in Marion,” Joiner said. Located 57 miles to the south of Tuscaloosa, Marion holds the county seat of Perry County and is known as a city heavily influenced by the culture of the Black Belt region. Alabama’s Black Belt region, once among the richest areas in the United States before the Civil War due to its black soil perfect for large-scale cotton production, now suffers from severe economic underdevelopment.
Insurance Day to be held in Bryant Conference Center
Crimson White – Oct. 10
The 29th Annual Alabama Insurance Day will be held Oct. 10 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Bryant Conference Center. I-Day is held each year, aiming to inform and engage professionals in the local insurance industry. The event is hosted by the Alabama Insurance Planning Committee and benefits the Alabama Insurance Society. I-Day will feature speeches from 13 industry professionals including motivational speaker Kevin Elko, author of “True Greatness: Mastering the Inner Game of Business Success.” I-Day will commence with a breakfast social in memory of John S. Bickley, UA professor, founder of the International Insurance Society, Inc. (New York) and founder of the Insurance Hall of Fame. In addition to insurance professionals, attendance is open to all Alabama Insurance Society members who are encouraged to participate in the networking opportunities and speaker sessions.
UA to host first of two probate judge hopefuls
Tuscaloosa News – Oct. 9
The candidates for Tuscaloosa County probate judge will speak at separate appearances in October on the University of Alabama campus. Hardy McCollum, the incumbent probate judge, will speak at 3 p.m. Thursday in Room 213 at Graves Hall. Sheriff Ted Sexton will speak at 3 p.m. Oct. 25 in the Ferguson Forum room on the third floor at the Ferguson Student Center. Each candidate will give opening remarks, followed by questions from the audience. Both appearances will be open to the public
Katie Farms owners cultivate heirloom fruits, vegetables and a love of farming
Tuscaloosa News – Oct. 9
The family farm isn’t a thing of the past — not, at least, in Coker. Katie Farms is just a short hop off U.S. Highway 82. Its owners say that on game days, they can hear the roar of the crowd at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Despite its location, the farm is a world away for Jon Fleenor and his wife, Dr. Margaret Purcell. Although both have demanding full-time jobs, they’ve developed a passion for their 640-acre property…Like the produce grown there, Katie Farms has bloomed. Several Tuscaloosa restaurants buy the farm’s heirloom fruits and vegetables. A herd of shaggy Scottish Highland cattle grazes in the fields. Chickens earn their keep with free-range eggs…Fleenor and Purcell want to grow more than just crops. They also want to cultivate knowledge of and appreciation for family farming. Purcell, an instructor in the University of Alabama’s New College, taught a class this summer called “The Local Farm Movement as a Political Movement.” The course examines the current interest in farmers’ markets and growing one’s own food to enable students to “apply concepts of collective behavior and political movements to activities in their local communities,” she said. Her students examine and log their own eating patterns and grow food at home, both in containers and in square-foot gardens. Class members spent a day at Katie Farms, touring the grounds, meeting the cows and chickens and getting the opportunity to ask questions.
Grissom teacher headed to Antarctica through grant program
C and G News (Michigan) – Oct. 8
Brian Dubay is still weeks away from leaving for Antarctica, but already his eighth-grade social studies students at Grissom Middle School are learning a little something about the icy continent. “They want me to bring back a polar bear, and so I had to explain, ‘No, that’s the North Pole,’” he laughed. “They said, ‘OK, bring us back a penguin,’ and I said, ‘No, that’s illegal!’” What Dubay does plan to bring back is abundant firsthand knowledge from accompanying researcher Samantha Hansen on a Tectonic History of the Transantarctic Mountains expedition. Hansen, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama, is completing a seismic array that will collect data on earthquakes in an effort to explain the formation of the Transantarctic Mountains and Wilkes Subglacial Basin. While most mountains resulted from collision between continents, that’s not the case in Antarctica, and researchers are trying to determine exactly what occurred, said Dubay. Dubay was tapped from more than 1,200 candidates to embark on the six-week adventure through a grant from the National Science Foundation and PolarTREC, a program that gives K-12 teachers real-world research experience in the North and South poles.
Show distills Ann Norton’s Alabama tribute
Palm Beach Daily News (Fla.) – Oct. 10
Ann Norton exhibited three times at the Whitney Museum of American Art – the first time when she was 25 – and twice at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Not bad for a young woman from Selma, Ala., in the pre-women’s lib years of the 1930s and 1940s…But exhibitions slowed down considerably after her death in 1982, although her work continued to be exhibited at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens in West Palm Beach, the main repository of her work. When University of Alabama officials collaborated with the sculpture gardens on a solo show of the native Alabamian’s art at the campus in Tuscaloosa, there hadn’t been such an exhibition outside the sculpture gardens since a 1991 show at Old School Square in Delray Beach. The university’s show, held in March, filled two large galleries and included drawings, maquettes and full-scale sculptures, all from the sculpture gardens. The exhibition is grouped by visual themes, with works that repeat certain forms clustered together. The drawings show Norton working out her thoughts with signature shapes that recur throughout her work, including mountain peaks, bird beaks, arches, circles, triangles and simplified figures. “The directness in her drawings correlates directly with her work in her sculptures, particularly those in wood,” said William Dooley, director of the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art at the University of Alabama. “It was easy to see because her sensibilities are so reductive you’re not caught up in detail that sends you somewhere else.”
The Clause and Effect collection
Meetingsnet.com – Oct. 3
Tyra Hilliard, PhD, JD, CMP, who currently is a professor in the Restaurant, Hotel, and Meetings Management program in the University of Alabama Department of Human Nutrition & Hospitality Management, wrote a series of columns for MeetingsNet called “Clause and Effect.” In these columns, she provided a sample clause commonly found in meetings contracts, and provided advice on each clause’s possible ramifications. Here are links to 31 of her Clause and Effect columns …
Groups join to spread suicide awareness on campus
Crimson White – Oct. 10
In an attempt to create awareness and advertise forms of help for people living in Tuscaloosa struggling with suicidal ideations and depression, the National Alliance on Mental Illness at The University of Alabama, or NAMI, the counseling center and the University’s Psychology Department have teamed up this fall for the Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk, to take place this Sunday, Oct. 14. “There will be suicide help cards and information on knowing the signs of suicide,” Holly Prewitt, staff therapist at the UA Counseling Center, said. “We will have information on the local SOS, Survivors of Suicide Tuscaloosa chapter, available for students who may benefit from this support group. We will also have brochures about counseling center services.” Lisa Dunn, the director of the Alabama chapter of the American Foundations for Suicide Prevention, coordinates the walks across Alabama. Dunn will team up with Lee Keyes, the executive director of UA’s Counseling Center, to sponsor this weekend’s event. Keyes will also be taking the stage to speak on behalf of the counseling center on coping skills and suicide prevention…The walk hopes to raise $5,000 to fund research based on understanding and preventing suicide. Additionally, NAMI hopes to raise their own $600 for the event. The donations gathered from the Out of the Darkness walk will go toward funding educational programs that can help create further knowledge and awareness, as well as teach the warning signs that can lead to suicide, in order to reduce the risks.
Music fraternity hosts American music benefit concert
Crimson White – Oct. 10
The sisters of Sigma Alpha Iota Music Fraternity invite The University of Alabama to join them in celebrating the legacy and the future of American music Wednesday, Oct. 10, in the Moody Music Building. “This concert has the dual purpose of both celebrating music written by American composers and supporting the local music programs, which are two of the aims of our fraternity,” Allison Jack, editor of the Theta Delta chapter of SAI, said. Jack said the mission of SAI is to encourage, nurture and support the art of music…“The University’s SAI chapter currently has 26 active members, majoring in everything from music performance, music education and music therapy to advertising, telecommunications and film, women’s studies, biology, chemistry and more. The concert will feature works by composers Aaron Copland, John Philip Sousa, Samuel Barber and George Crumb, as well as UA student composers Timothy Gibbons, Justin Langham and Derek Holden. The Capstone String Quartet, UA Brass Ensemble, Chamber Wind Ensemble and the Afro-American Gospel Choir will also provide musical contributions.
Study abroad helps students compete globally
Crimson White – Oct. 10
A recent emphasis on study abroad by The University of Alabama and employers suggests the experience may be more valuable than previously acknowledged – an investment in a student’s future as opposed to just an interesting way to earn academic credit. As the economy has evolved, professors and staff at the University have focused on developing competitive students for the international market. Consequently, representatives at the Career Center, Capstone International Center and Crossroads Community Center work together to advise and prepare students to study abroad in order to enhance their skills. “Employers and graduate schools don’t just want to see the degree,” said Beverly Hawk, a professor in the international honors program and the director of the Crossroads Community Center, which assists international students and provides intercultural education. “They know when you graduate you have overcome many obstacles.”
Freshman anthropology class researches UA student behavior
Crimson White – Oct. 10
While many students think of Lakeside Dining as an all-day food buffet, a small group of freshmen see it as an observation room. These anomalies belong to the one-hour credit, Freshman Learning Community class “The Exotic Undergraduate,” taught by Elizabeth Cooper of the anthropology department…The Exotic Undergraduate” also gives students a chance to get first-hand experience as an anthropologist working in the field, or in this case, the Quad. Students first read the book “My Freshmen Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student” by Rebekah Nathan, which describes the story of an undercover teacher who used a college campus to observe the “exotic undergraduate.” After reading the book, the class then takes Nathan’s experiments and recreates them on the University’s campus. Students have the option to decide what they would like to do with the information they collect, and in last year’s Exotic Undergraduate, the class chose to take on two research projects. For these projects, the class traveled to several dining halls to look into how students naturally segregate themselves. The differences between the bulletin board messages in the honors and non-honors residence halls were also studied. The students’ results were showcased at the 47th Annual Meeting of the Southern Anthropological Society in Birmingham, Ala. The research was also published in “Joshua,” the University’s undergraduate journal of science and health.
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.