The University of Alabama

UA in the News: November 16, 2012

Game of chess helps teach students about game of life
Tuscaloosa News – Nov. 16         
D’Angelo Noye views chess like a game of life. The various pieces on the board represent different people in his life who are meant to protect him, the king. He views the queen as his mother. While those pieces are meant to protect him, he still has to make the right decisions. Skills like paying attention and being observant are key. Chess players must always think ahead, rather than in the moment. A move might look good in that instant, but it could hurt the player later in the game, said the 15-year-old. “Just like life,” Noye said. “You’ve got to look at your best outcomes, not rush into decisions.” Noye had the opportunity to apply those skills Thursday during a chess match at Tuscaloosa Magnet Schools. Sponsored by the University of Alabama Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility, the event was planned, coordinated and run by UA students enrolled in Every Move Counts, an honors service-learning course in which students explore the academic and social benefits of chess for schoolchildren, and then teach those children how to play. Throughout the semester, UA students in the course learn about the state’s education system and different teaching styles. Then, they apply those lessons while “coaching” about 230 second- through 12th-graders in various Tuscaloosa schools. Every year, the UA students host a chess match for their young pupils, inviting area schools with chess clubs to participate.

BP to pay $4.5 million fines for Gulf oil spill
Alaska Dispatch – Nov. 15
British oil giant BP is agreeing to pay $4.5 billion in fines related to its role in the 2010 spill that killed 11 people and released five million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The corporate criminal penalty is the largest of its kind in US history. The settlement includes 14 criminal counts that range from misconduct and negligence to obstruction of Congress…The company is still vulnerable to federal civil claims under the Clean Water Act, which could reach $21 billion. A federal trial in New Orleans is scheduled to address those claims in February 2013. “On the criminal side we’re done, but in terms of BP paying out more, there’s the civil issue. This could go on for years still to come,” says Montré Carodine, a professor at the University of Alabama School of Law in Tuscaloosa.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – Nov. 15

For some, a second round of parenting
Birmingham News – Nov. 16 (print version only)
As of 2011, 66,788 grandparents…all across Alabama were responsible for grandchildren under the age of 18, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. That’s up 8.2 percent from 61,743 in 2009. “It’s becoming more common for several reasons,” said Martha Crowther, an associate professor and director of the clinical psychology program at The University of Alabama. “Some parents can’t afford to be the primary caregiver,” Crowther said. Other reasons include drug addiction or physical and mental health problems, Crowther said. It’s more common of a living arrangement in Alabama – and across the South – than Census numbers suggest, particularly in rural communities, because many grandparents don’t seek legal custody, Crowther said. “Grandparents will take care of that caregiving responsibility but going through the court system to get formal custody just seems like a big deal,” Crowther said.

UA students hold coat drive for Hurricane Sandy victims
Fox 6 (Birmingham) – Nov. 15
Students at the University of Alabama are holding a coat drive to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. Drop-off boxes are set up across campus. It’s a partnership between the “Tuscaloosa Gives Back” campaign and the Public Relations Student Society of America. One student from New York says she hopes her fellow students will step up for her hometown just as others stepped for Tuscaloosa following the April 27th tornado. “I believe that coats is something that a lot of New Yorkers are in need of right now. It’s freezing; people have been left out in the streets with no clothing. A lot of houses are gone. So for us, donating warm coats is something that we believe the New Yorkers will really appreciate.”

UA helps rural Alabama by providing doctors
CBS 42 (Birmingham) – Nov. 15
Medical professionals in rural areas are getting some extra attention this week. Governor Bentley has declared this week as “Rural Health Care Week.” Rural Alabamians face challenges getting adequate and quality health care close to home. But things have been improving. For example, the University of Alabama has a rural scholars program in Hale, Pickens, and Fayette counties. Students as young as grade school are getting exposed to health care education that prepares them for college.

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.