UA in the News: October 16, 2012
October 16, 2012 - Filed under: UA in the News
Speculative fiction writer to read selected works
Tuscaloosa News – Oct. 16
When Andy Duncan released his first collection, “Beluthahatchie and Other Stories” in 2000, most of the tales — of a guitarist refusing to get off the train at hell, of a touring executioner completing the circuit, of Abraham Lincoln’s heroic exploits before he became a vampire hunter — had been read and critiqued by students and faculty in the master of fine arts program at the University of Alabama. Duncan, who returns today to the Capstone for a reading of his work, was a bit of an oddity at UA. Most writers of speculative fiction weren’t bothering with graduate writing programs, even though some of his fellow grads wrote about ghosts or in other areas of the fantastic; they just didn’t know much about the field. “So I’d say, ‘Oh, this is the thing Cyril Kornbluth was doing 30 years ago, and here’s some ideas on how to update it,’ ” said Duncan, who’s on the English department faculty at Frostburg State University in Maryland and also teaches a once-a-week seminar on 21st-century science fiction and fantasy online for UA’s Honors College. “I was sort of glad I was the unique beast in those classes, and it was very good that I had to please that audience, that it was not just a sort of echo chamber.” In the decade since, Duncan’s star has risen, with stories published in periodicals as well as original and best-of anthologies, He’s won the Theodore Sturgeon Award, two World Fantasy Awards and has been nominated for Hugo, Nebula Award, Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson awards. And his readership has grown.
Are community colleges prepared to prepare the 21st century workforce?
Community College Week – Oct. 15
In an election year that’s heavily focused on jobs and the economy, one of the few things both parties seem to agree on is that the nation’s community colleges have a key role to play in developing the higher-skilled workforce that’s needed to keep the U.S. competitive. But are community colleges actually prepared for that responsibility? An important new study suggests that the answer is “maybe.” At best. Community college systems across the country report that they face increasing expectations to focus on the workforce’s needs — but that policies and resources are not always keeping pace with those expectations. The study, Workforce Training in a Recovering Economy, was published just before Labor Day by the Education Policy Center at the University of Alabama. Based on a detailed survey of the directors of the community college systems in 49 states, it found that the lagging economy has sent community college enrollments up sharply, as the unemployed and the underemployed seek ways to upgrade their skills. But at the same time, respondents say state and federal dollars for workforce training programs at the colleges are tight or drying up in many states — and there are problems developing the facilities and recruiting the qualified faculty needed for those programs as well.
Kent Gidley: UA director of athletic photography
Tuscaloosa Magazine – Oct. 16
You’ve seen his work in books, magazines and newspapers. You can barely enter a restaurant in Tuscaloosa without seeing his pictures on the walls, and if you own any Alabama football paintings, chances are the artist used his photographs as their inspiration. A self-proclaimed Paul W. “Bear” Bryant disciple, Kent Gidley spent much of his youth visiting the University of Alabama with his parents. Gidley’s father, James William Gidley, received his B.A. degree from UA in 1964 and a Masters in ’65. “I’ve grown up in the tradition,” said Gidley, likening his childhood campus visits to a trip to Disney World. Gidley recalls a chance encounter at Coleman Coliseum one afternoon while running through the concourse. He came to a quick stop after rounding a corner almost bumping into two men. One of the men, Coach Bryant, said hello to the young boy and reached out for a handshake. While Gidley was too young at the time to snap a picture of the legendary coach, he has photographed every coach since Bryant. Gidley has been documenting Alabama athletics since he first attended school at UA in 1986.
Young voters losing interest in election?
CBS 42 (Birmingham) – Oct. 15
Young voters were one of the more unusual driving forces behind the 2008 election. Voter registration was high, interest in the campaigns was wide-spread, and the under-thirty crowd was devoted to going to the polls… However, some of the statistics show that voters between the ages of 18 and 29 are less interested and involved in the election this year for the first time since the 90′s. The study was conducted during a short period in mid-September by the Pew Research Center…Several students we spoke with at the University of Alabama disagreed with the Pew Research Center’s study. They say many students on campus are talking about the election and plan to vote, particularly first time voters. However, more graduate students say they have noticed a change in the enthusiasm and effort of young voters between the 2008 and 2012 elections.
Gadsden Times – Oct. 15
Student among youngest elected to office
Florence Times-Daily – Oct. 16
Debbie Tucker said when her son, Colby, got out of bed Wednesday morning the first thing he wanted to know was if Tuesday night’s election results were real or was he having a dream…In last week’s municipal election runoffs, her 19-year-old was elected to the Place 2 seat on Rogersville City Council, defeating the incumbent… Bill Stewart, a political science professor emeritus at the University of Alabama, said it is unusual for someone as young as 19 to be elected. “Obviously, the people (in Rogersville) thought enough of him to elect him,” Stewart said. “Hopefully, he will be an example to encourage other young people to get involved in politics and in their community.”
UA’s student-produced Dance Alabama! returns Oct. 16
Al.com – Oct. 16
This fall, the University of Alabama’s only completely student produced dance concert, Dance Alabama!, will return with 20 student-choreographed pieces. The students do all the work independently. They pick their own music, and from there, they begin to choreograph and cast their unique dances. They even pick their own costumes and lighting for the production. The student choreographs have gone through two rounds of screening from members of the UA dance faculty. The faculty has now narrowed it down from 40 students to the 20 whose work will be showcased beginning on Oct. 16. Opening night is Oct. 16 and the show runs through Oct. 19 in the Morgan Auditorium.
Student art gets time in spotlight
Crimson White – Oct. 16
The University of Alabama art and art history departments opened their fall graduate student studio art exhibition in the beginning of October. The exhibit, called “You Can’t Hold Water,” is located in Sella-Granata Art Gallery in Woods Hall and will close Nov. 2. For graduate student Andy Pruett, “You Can’t Hold Water” denotes that an artist’s work must “hold water” to be considered viable. “It is the necessity to be able to articulate your work with a solid discussion beyond the strictly formal qualities of it,” Pruett said. The title was decided after the group of artists met to collaborate on possible names for the exhibit. “We all made suggestions and voted for our favorites,” graduate student Mark Barry said. “‘You Can’t Hold Water’ finished with the most votes, so it became the show title.” For James Davis, the title represents a literal depiction of his work. “I work with functional material,” he said. “In a very literal sense, technically, all my work can hold water.” Davis, Pruett and Barry will each be displaying pieces in the exhibit.
Spanish house opens doors to visiting students
Crimson White – Oct. 16
The Spanish Department’s living-learning community, the Spanish House, is hosting an open house as a way for students to learn more information about the new program, which became available two years ago. The open house will be held next Monday, Oct. 22, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Smithwood-D located behind the Biology building. “It will be a great event,” Alvaro Baquero-Pecino, faculty director of the Spanish House, said. “With music and food, visitors will have the chance to know the Spanish House as well as the current residents and, above all, they will have a good time.” The open house is a way for visiting students who are interested or curious to see the Spanish House and to learn what to expect if they got involved, Jessica Jacob, the current student director for the Spanish House, said. The Spanish House is a live-in, culture-based living-learning community garnered toward fostering the Spanish language skills of the Spanish House residents through a relaxed pseudo-immersion process.
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.