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MONDAY, NOV. 19 – SUNDAY, NOV.25, 2012

BEST BETS

STUDY: THANKSGIVING DRIVING PATTERNS INCREASE RISK FOR FATAL CRASHES – Analyzing Alabama and national fatal crash data during Thanksgiving week, UA researchers found common factors in fatal crashes throughout the year are exaggerated by the activity of Thanksgiving week. For more information, go to http://uanews.ua.edu/2012/11/ua-study-thanksgiving-driving-patterns-increase-risk-for-fatal-crashes/ or contact Adam Jones at 205/348-6444 or acjones12@eng.ua.edu.

HELPING THE VICTIMS OF HURRICANE SANDY – The UA chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America is working closely with New York Cares to send assistance to those in New York City affected by Hurricane Sandy through the Tuscaloosa Gives Back campaign. The organization has placed boxes around campus for students, faculty and community members to donate coats from now until Dec. 7. The group also has teamed with Tuscaloosa’s Buffalo Wild Wings for an event to benefit the effort, tonight from 11 to midnight. For more information, go to http://uanews.ua.edu/2012/11/ua-student-pr-organization-collects-coats-for-hurricane-victims/ or contact Christi Rich, CLRich@crimson.ua.edu, or Nicole Schimmel, NLSchimmel@crimson.ua.edu. For assistance, contact Misty Mathews, communication specialist, mmathews@ua.edu, 205/348-6416

ENGINEERING PROFESSOR DEVELOPING BETTER ANKLE PROSTHESIS – Dr. Xiangrong Shen, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UA, hopes to develop an alternative, below-knee prosthesis capable of actively powering the ankle joint for amputees. For more information, go to http://uanews.ua.edu/2012/11/ua-engineering-professor-developing-better-ankle-prosthesis/ or contact Adam Jones at 205/348-6444 or acjones12@eng.ua.edu.

CALL FOR NOMINEES – UA’s Institute for Rural Health Research is seeking nominations for its 2013 Rural Health Heroes Awards. The awards will honor rural health care providers and others who assist in reducing or preventing obesity and promoting wellness. Winners will be honored Feb. 20 at the 14th Annual Rural Health Conference at UA’s Ferguson Center. Nominations are being accepted in the following three categories: rural community members or organizations, health care providers or government officials and agencies; students enrolled in Alabama colleges and universities, including undergraduate, graduate, medical students and residents; and faculty and staff of Alabama colleges and universities. To nominate an individual or organization, contact Barbara Wright at bwright@cchs.ua.edu or 205/348-0025. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 11. For more information about the conference, visit the Rural Health Conference website at http://rhc.ua.edu or phone 205/348-0025. For assistance, contact Richard LeComte, at 205/348-3782 or rllecomte@advance.ua.edu.  

CURRENT COMMENT

THE FISCAL CLIFF – Dr. Stephen Borrelli, UA professor of political science and expert on the U.S. Congress, offers his insights as President Obama and congressional leaders face legislation to prevent the “fiscal cliff” of spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to begin at the end of 2012: “To resolve the so-called ‘fiscal cliff,’ we have essentially the same set of players who brought us the debt limit fiasco last summer: Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, etc. The American people have, perhaps unintentionally, cast their collective ballot for the same divided government we’ve had since January 2011. So if the players haven’t changed, we can only hope the political calculations on all sides have changed because the election is now past, or the economic calculations have changed due to our credit downgrade and the continuing problems in Europe.” Borrelli can be reached at 205/348-3802 or sborrelli63@gmail.com. For assistance, contact Richard LeComte, at 205/348-3782 or rllecomte@advance.ua.edu.  

ABRAHAM LINCOLN – With the opening of Steven Spielberg’s film “Lincoln” starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Dr. George C. Rable, Charles G. Summersell chair in Southern History at UA, is available as a source about the 16th president’s life and the adoption of the 13th Amendment barring slavery. He is the author of “Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!” andGod’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War.” Rable is researching the relationship between Lincoln and Union Gen. George B. McClellan. Contact Rable at grable@bama.ua.edu. For assistance, contact Richard LeComte, at 205/348-3782 or rllecomte@advance.ua.edu.  

LOOKING AHEAD

HEART AND ART: Alabama artist Charlie Lucas will offer a two-day residency with Creative Campus Nov. 29 and 30 at UA. The residency is titled “Tin Man: The Mechanics of a Heart.” Lucas, a self-taught artist known as Tin Man, creates sculptures made from junk. His pieces have received both national and international acclaim in the area of folk art. Events include an opportunity for UA students to interact with Lucas from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, Nov. 30, in the lobby of Nott Hall. At 2:30 p.m. Nov. 30, Lucas will preside over a Blitz Build, designed to demonstrate the collision of the artistic right brain and engineering left brain, in the lobby of the AIME Building. Students will create sculptures from a selection of recycled materials. This event will occur in partnership with the College of Engineering and Honors College. Recycled materials are being provided by UA’s Recycling Center in cooperation with UA’s Environmental Council. Details: Kelly Konrad: klkonrad@crimson.ua.edu, 901/326-1223 or Richard LeComte in media relations, 205/348-3782 or rllecomte@advance.ua.edu.

HILARITAS: The UA School of Music presents the annual holiday concert featuring the University Singers with conductor John Ratledge; the Jazz Ensemble with conductor Chris Kozak; and the Huxford Symphony Orchestra with conductor Demondrae Thurman. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, in the Concert Hall of Moody Music Building. Tickets are $10 to $15 adults, $5 to $7 seniors and students. For tickets, go to uamusic.tix.com or call 205/348-7111. Details: Tiffany Schwarz, 205/348-1477, tschwarz@music.ua.edu. For assistance, contact Richard LeComte, at 205/348-3782 or rllecomte@advance.ua.edu.  

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.