UA in the News: September 29-October 1, 2012
October 1, 2012 - Filed under: UA in the News
Project Green to be held at University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa News – Sept. 29
Julia Whitten had always been passionate about the environment, but she did not realize how little she knew until she discovered Project Green Challenge. Participating in the 30-day ecological lifestyle challenge last year, the 18-year-old University of Alabama freshman said she learned how much her daily decisions impact the planet as well as her health. “The challenge was incredible; it changed my life,” she said. Whitten and two other UA students are serving as campus representatives for this year’s challenge, which begins Monday. Her goal is to have 50 students sign up for the challenge…The project consists of 30 challenges in 30 days through October, with each day representing a different theme, from labeling to paper and fair trade. Each challenge has four levels at varying degrees of engagement — green, greener, greenest and extra credit — and participants can complete one or all of them.
Program keeps mind, body limber
Tuscaloosa News – Oct. 1
One by one, students eagerly made their way to open seats, some with coffee, others with soda. Today’s lesson promised to be an interesting one. While the instructor walked to the podium, the room quieted, everyone waiting for him to begin. As he launched into his lesson, the students listened intently. There was no quick scribbling of notes or anxiety about mid-terms. There were no credit hours to be earned or diploma to receive at the end of the course. The students were there simply for knowledge. “You just can’t afford not to keep learning,” said 73-year-old McCalla resident Jack Halcom. “The world moves right along, and if you don’t move along with it, you become a stump. You have to keep your mind exercised, just like your body.” The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Alabama does just that. With an assortment of classes, social activities, field trips and more, the institute aims to keep the mind and body active, at a cost many seniors can afford. The program began about eight years ago as Exploration and Lifelong Learning, but changed its name a few months later after receiving funding from the Osher Foundation. Starting with about eight courses and 100 members, the program has expanded to more than 580 members, and more than 100 courses and 30 field trips per year, said Jennifer Anderson, assistant director of the Bryant Conference Center and OLLI program manager. It also offers a satellite location in Gadsden.
Student club connects with even industry professionals
Crimson White – Oct. 1
New to campus, The University of Alabama’s Meeting Professionals International club provides opportunities for real-world experience and professional networking to students with aspirations of working in event, restaurant, hospitality, public relations or communication industries. The University’s chapter stems from Meeting Professionals International, a global organization with over 21,000 members and 71 different chapters. The group works alongside different companies and organizations to enhance students’ degrees beyond the limits of the classroom. Lorie Tuma, the faculty advisor for UA MPI,…said the UA chapter serves as a connector between students and the industry. Throughout October and November, UA MPI will be working with Martie Duncan, a season eight finalist of the Food Network’s show “Food Network Star” and has been invited to help coordinate events in Dauphin Island and Gulf Shores. “UA MPI is also collaborating with the student club at Central Michigan University and joining forces to coordinate events at the Superbowl, Boston Marathon and the Country Music Festival,” Tuma said. “In May, club members will also coordinate events at the Cannes International Film Festival in South France.”
UA professor offers insight on an Alabama doctor’s promising pain relief theory
ABC 33/40 (Birmingham) – Sept. 30
He was stunned when the patients returned to his office after a period of months. They came back and said, “I’m thrilled my diarrhea and constipation has gotten better. My belly pains are so much better but why are my headaches better? I seem to have more energy.” Pridgen says, fibromyalgia patients were across the board better and that 89 percent of the study patients attributed improved health to Pridgen’s prescribed drug combination. Dr. Carol Duffy is a virologist at the University of Alabama and has studied herpes viruses for many years. We asked her about Dr. Pridgen’s herpes virus theory and his combination therapy of an anti-viral plus an arthritis drug. Dr. Duffy, herpes virologist, has known for a while that it also has antiviral effects.
University planner explains vision for larger Ferg, Presidential recreation center
Crimson White – Oct. 1
The expansion of the Ferguson Center and a new recreational center are among the highlights of future construction on campus, said to University planner and designer Dan Wolfe. “The Ferguson project is a $33 to $35 million expansion,” Wolfe said. “We’re expanding the bookstore, office and office meeting space. The building was built in the 1970s, so the mechanical systems also need to be updated.” The 58,000 square-foot expansion of the Ferguson Center will start in the next few months and is projected to take two years to complete. “The expansion will be toward Woods Quad,” Wolfe said. “We will continue to operate the Ferguson Center. They’ll do the addition first, move people into the addition and then go back to the older area.” Phase II of the construction by Presidential Village includes plans to build a new recreational center, to be completed fall 2014. “This recreational center will be a smaller facility,” Wolfe said. “It is intended to be a regional recreational center for all the surrounding student housing.”…Wolfe said he hopes the new recreational center will alleviate some of the crowds at the current recreational center. “It will hopefully relieve a lot of the current traffic at the recreational center off of University Boulevard,” he said.
Social media sites improve voter participation
Florence Times Daily – Oct. 1
A study by a professor at the University of California in San Diego, conducted with the cooperation of Facebook in 2010, revealed the power of social networking and how it can affect elections…Jennifer Greer, head of the Journalism Department at the University of Alabama, is aware of Fowler’s study and is doing some research of her own. The effects of social media on elections are significant, she said. “It’s a huge issue in U.S. elections, with declining turnout and voter alienation,” Greer said. “It is a way to reverse this trend.” On Facebook, friends’ networks offer a level of trust that politicians are learning to use, she said. But along with the new tool, which allows politicians to appeal directly to voters and bypass traditional media, comes a challenge for journalists whose role it is to be watchdogs for the public. Greer said traditional media have, to a great extent, become fact checkers in the new environment. “A question we are asking is, are candidates going directly to voters through social media and bypassing traditional media, and are traditional media pushing back,” she said. “The traditional media have said they will police those messages, and take back some of the power in that relationship. Journalists are inserting themselves in the process to keep them honest.”
TN Democrats not the only ones in South with candidate problems
The Tennessean – Sept. 30
Tennessee Democrats haven’t been the only branch of the party suffering heartburn over a nominee for statewide office this election. All over the South, the party that once dominated the region has struggled to offer qualified contenders for major statewide offices…“The lack of even qualified Democrats is really becoming a problem (in the South). More and more Republicans are running unopposed,” said Steve Borrelli, political analyst at the University of Alabama. “The lack of good candidates can hurt a party more than anything.”
Democratic Party opens county headquarters atop the hill on Quintard
Anniston Star – Sept. 29
As music blasted from a sound system set up at 401 Quintard Ave., supporters of the local Democratic Party lined the small yard and held up signs displaying their political allegiance. It was an appropriate activity for the location, for the old house at that address was officially opened Friday morning as the party’s Calhoun County headquarters. From there the Democrats are looking to young voters to revive their shrinking ranks in the county… “Even though Democrats may be in a very weakened state right now, they’ll never be as weak at the Republican party was,” said Bill Stewart, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Alabama. Stewart said this is due partially to a very loyal base of black voters and the establishment of minority-majority districts under the Voting Rights Act. “They’ll always have a presence in political office,” Stewart said.
John Merrill considers running for secretary of state
Gadsden Times – Oct. 1
State Rep. John Merrill, R-Tuscaloosa, said Friday that he’s considering running for statewide office in 2014… Merrill, 48, a bank employee, is a former public school system spokesman and was a student body president at the University of Alabama. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 and his term will end in November 2014. “He’s got a lot of work to do,” said William Stewart of Tuscaloosa, a retired University of Alabama political science professor. “I know he’s been traveling around the state and visiting the Republican parties to get known.” Stewart compared Merrill to former legislator Glen Browder of Anniston. Browder wasn’t well-known in the mid-1980s, but he traveled around the state before seeking statewide office. “He wasn’t that well-known, but he got known and went on to Congress,” Stewart said.
Tuscaloosa News – Oct. 1
MOM STOP: Tips to help parents with picky eaters
Tuscaloosa News – Sept. 30
According to Lori Greene, a registered dietitian at the University of Alabama, a child being a picky eater is normal. “That’s typical, especially for a toddler and pre-schooler to be picky,” said Greene, who has two young children. “It’s their way of showing their independence and a normal part of their development.”
Student group provides support for St. Jude’s
Crimson White – Oct. 1
The University of Alabama’s Up til’ Dawn, a collegiate program that raises awareness and funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, is looking to involve more students, faculty and staff in their work. The program, founded in 1999, gives participants various opportunities to contribute to St. Jude, an organization with a mission to find cures for children with cancer and other diseases through research and treatment. For instance, every fall, the executive board visits patients at St. Jude in Memphis, Tenn. and the Target house, a local home sponsored by Target that provides free housing to families whose loved ones are receiving long-term care at the hospital. Sara Hartley, co-advisor of Up ‘til Dawn, made the trip in 2010. “When the executive board came back to campus ready to work hard to make a difference in the fight for childhood cancer, I realized the impact a few college students can have in the world,” Hartley said. The program holds several events throughout the year leading up to their big program in the spring, which involves addressing pre-written letters to friends and family asking them to join their mission. “The fact that college students can make such a difference in these children’s lives is incredible,” Hartley said.
Tourism Initiative moves forward – slowly
Alexander City Outlook – Sept. 29
The East Central Alabama Tourism Initiative is continuing to move forward after its most recent meeting Thursday in Lineville. Joanne Ninesiling with the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce said representatives from four of the seven counties involved in the initiative were in attendance. Part of the discussion centered on whether to invite three additional counties – Calhoun, Etowah and Cherokee – to join … A lot of the small communities have several really cool things that are going on in their towns, but they are, on their own, not necessarily enough to bring someone from Atlanta for a four night visit,” said Joe Watts, a consultant from the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development.
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.