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The University of Alabama

UA in the News: December 1-3, 2012

As expected, Tide, Irish to play for national title
Tuscaloosa News – Dec. 3
What college football fans have known since the last seconds ticked off the Georgia Dome clock Saturday night is official: It’s the University of Alabama vs. Notre Dame for the national championship. The top-ranked Fighting Irish will play the second-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on Jan. 7 in Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. The 7:30 p.m. game will be televised by ESPN. Two of college football’s all-time giants couldn’t expect to keep such a big secret for long. Notre Dame clinched its spot in the game two weekends before Sunday night’s official announcement, and the Crimson Tide secured its spot in the Bowl Championship Series title game by defeating Georgia 32-28 in Saturday’s Southeastern Conference Championship Game thriller. Now all that remains is the wait and the buildup to a contest between two tradition-rich programs. Alabama, of course, claims 14 national championships and is seeking to win its third BCS title in four years. Notre Dame hasn’t been a player in the national title picture since the early 1990s, but has 11 consensus national championships and has finished No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 eight times, the most of any school since that poll began in 1936.
Bloomberg Business Week – Dec. 1
Crimson White – Dec. 1

Alabama students and fans celebrate Georgia win on the strip in Tuscaloosa (video)
ABC 33/40 (Birmingham) – Dec. 1
University of Alabama students and football fans once again flooded the strip in Tuscaloosa Saturday night following the Crimson Tide’s 32-28 win over Georgia. This is the third wild celebration since Alabama’s come-from-behind victory over LSU on November 3rd. Fans also celebrated two weeks ago when both No. 1 Kansas State and No. 2 Oregon were upset, paving the way for Alabama’s return trip to the BCS National Championship game.
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Dec. 1

UA professor works to develop new advanced placement computer science curriculum and test
ABC 33/40 (Birmingham) – Nov. 30
Certain skill sets match certain careers. Computer skills especially software development, are in demand now, and will be even more so in the future. One University of Alabama professor’s fear is that students won’t be ready for the jobs in high demand. Software development positions are expected to grow by more than 30 percent over the next decade. Professor Jeff Gray wants students ready to fill those positions. He’s working with educators to develop a new AP curriculum and test to get students excited about a career in computer science.

Society of Women Engineers awarded bid for 2014 conference
Crimson White – Dec. 3
At the Society of Women Engineers’ national gathering in Houston, The University of Alabama’s chapter won hosting privileges for the Region D conference in 2014. “We are especially excited to host this conference in order to utilize and showcase our new engineering facilities,” Grace Hoover, vice president of membership of the SWE, said. At the conference, Hoover and Lexi Romine, the vice president of outreach, gave a presentation for the Capstone’s bid to host its regional conference, which was then voted on by the SWE region’s members. Several members including Sarah Johnson, Rachel Mitchell and Beth Todd, the faculty sponsor, helped prepare the presentation…Mitchell, the president of the University’s SWE chapter, said the event will be hosted sometime in early March. It will primarily take place inside the University’s engineering facilities. In addition, the UA chapter also won a gold level Outstanding Collegiate Section award for its activities last year. Mitchell said the award is judged by a committee and is based on a report of the chapter’s events and meetings last year.

Blitz Build allows students to create recycled art
Crimson White – Dec. 3
Local folk-artist Charlie Lucas, or the “Tin Man,” led a “Blitz Build” in the lobby of The University of Alabama’s Alabama Institute for Manufacturing Excellence, coordinated by Creative Campus, the Honors College and the College of Engineering Friday afternoon. “How do we recycle ourselves?” Lucas said. “How do we recycle our mind?” He proposed this question but set no certain rules to their experiment. The lobby full of students and observers settled into six groups and created projects out of piles of junk from 3 to 4 p.m. Tinkering with scrap items since his youth in rural Autauga County, Ala., Lucas’ interest developed into a full-time passion of forming old metals and trashed items into art after a work-related back injury in 1984. Lucas has since been featured in exhibits across the nation, lectured at Yale University and caught the attention of collectors internationally. “Everything I do is about recycling,” Lucas said. “We’re so wasteful, and we have so many beautiful things in this world and things we’ve built that we just throw away.” Assigned to only create from a pile of scrap gathered over the past two months from the UA Recycling Center, the students’ efforts began in sifting through their metallic pallet.
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Dec. 3

UA profs take stance on fiscal cliff solutions
Crimson White – Dec. 3
The looming confluence of economic forces known collectively as the “fiscal cliff” is probably not on the radar of most folks at The University of Alabama. But for some UA professors, the self-imposed crisis serves as a case study of what ails the American government and economy. “I think the cliff is more like a slope that we may or may not go down,” J. Norman Baldwin, professor of political science, said. “It’s an embellishment for political purposes.” That “embellishment” has the potential for very real economic consequences. The Christian Science Monitor reports that the cliff adds up to be $600 billion in a mixture of government spending cuts and tax increases for fiscal year 2013. The largest part of the cliff would come from not extending benefits ensured under the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts signed into law by President George W. Bush. The cuts were temporarily extended two years ago by President Barack Obama and are due to expire at the end of 2012. If allowed to expire, the tax cuts would increase government revenue by $221 billion in 2013 alone. While Democratic and Republican leadership seem supportive of extending tax benefits for the middle class, the real fight is over those who make more than $250,000 a year. That fight extends back home to the Capstone. “It is absolutely unclear that raising taxes on productive people would raise more tax revenue,” said Robert Brooks, a professor of finance and the Wallace D. Malone, Jr. Endowed Chair of Financial Management at the University.

Mines could face tough battle against evangelist
Rapid City Journal (South Dakota) – Dec. 2
Christian evangelist Mark Gavin wanted to share his message person-to-person, without grandstanding or a megaphone, in hope others will follow Jesus Christ, and he wanted to do it outside in the highest traffic area on the campus of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in Rapid City. But the school told him he could only reach out to students in a low-traffic area inside the student union, and it would cost him $50 to use the space. Those requirements did not sit well with Gavin, a Black Hawk resident who has since sued the school alleging a violation of his First Amendment constitutional rights … University of Alabama law professor Paul Horwitz, an expert on free speech, said schools may be able to limit full access to campus, but it needs to do so equally. “The answer seems to be yes, although it can’t just be done arbitrarily: the school at least would have to have a clear policy that doesn’t discriminate on the basis of the speaker’s viewpoint,” Horwitz said in an email. “In fact, a number of universities in the past few years have established specified ‘free speech zones’ on campus, while keeping others clear of speech.” When Gavin filed his lawsuit, some students expressed concern about having a religious advocate preaching on school grounds. “I understand their point of view, and there are good reasons not to view a university campus as an absolute free-for-all space, and establish some kind of order,” Horwitz said. “But I think the importance of being exposed to different points of view on a public campus outweigh the inconveniences involved in free speech.”

Former Ala. first lady Jamelle Folsom dies at 85
Newnan Times-Herald – Dec. 1 
Jamelle Folsom, the wife of one former Alabama governor and the mother of another, died Friday in Cullman… She met James E. “Big Jim” Folsom during his successful run for governor in 1946, and they married two years later…William Stewart, retired chairman of the political science department at the University of Alabama, said “Big Jim” Folsom was known as Alabama’s most eligible bachelor and had a lively lifestyle when he married Jamelle Folsom. “She seemed to calm him down and she was a very faithful companion to him for the rest of his life,” Stewart said.

Paul R. Jones art gallery to showcase new UA student exhibit ‘Identity Lessons’ – Nov. 30
“Identity Lessons,” featuring works curated by University of Alabama, will open at the Paul R. Jones Gallery of Art in downtown Tuscaloosa Dec. 3. The exhibit will showcase works from the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at UA, chosen by more than 200 UA students enrolled in the course “Introduction to Fine Arts.” An opening reception will be held at the gallery on Thursday, Dec. 6 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public. The exhibit will be on display until Dec.17. The exhibit sets a unique precedent for student involvement with the collection, according to Lucy Curzon, director of education and outreach for the collection. The 200 students who participated in curating the exhibit did so in large part through online interactions, including the use of discussion boards, surveys and document sharing, according to UA Students were divided into groups of 10 or 12, and each group was asked to investigate works in the collection.

SGA’s ‘Got Meals’ revamps meal donation program
Crimson White – Dec. 3
University of Alabama students can continue to donate meals from their meal plans through Student2Student, a program designed by the Student Government Association to assist those in need. The SGA hopes to renew interest in the program by beginning a new campaign known as “Got Meals?” Student2Student, enacted by the SGA in 2010, has not seen the feedback that was hoped for. The “Got Meals?” campaign was set in motion in order to raise awareness for the program and to reintroduce it to students, SGA Executive Secretary Brielle Appelbaum said. “The original thought was to help students out through the Student Government, but it really kind of fizzled out, and not that many people know about it,” Appelbaum said. “What we wanted to do this year was revamp the program, and keep the original programming in place that we had, but make it really cool and really fun to use.” The Student2Student program has seen some success. More than 200 meals were donated during the summertime, and the initative served 70 Oakdale Elementary School students a Thanksgiving meal through the Meaningful Meals Thanksgiving program.

12 Days of Wellness aims to ease holiday stress
Crimson White – Dec. 3
Instead of the two turtle doves or the partridge and pear tree of the traditional 12 Days of Christmas, The University of Alabama Office of Health Promotion and Wellness promotes exercise, nutrition and emotional strength of the participants of their 12 Days of Wellness. The program includes 12 days of activities for University faculty and staff that encourage wellness and alleviate the stress of the holiday season. Participants are given a calendar of events and asked to complete at least twelve of the activities. Upon completion, participants will be entered in a drawing for a free massage. These events kicked off on Saturday, Dec. 1.

University of Alabama alum competes for big money prize
CBS 4 (Dothan) – Dec. 3
WTVY received a U-report from an University of Alabama alum who is competing for a $100,000 scholarship. Check out his story. My name is Xavier Burgin. I am an alumni of The University of Alabama. I graduated last May and I am currently a graduate student at The University of Southern California’s Cinematic Arts Program.  I recently entered a contest known as the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway. Essentially, it is a contest where you make a one minute video sharing what you want to become in the future. You also explain why you need financial help…Dr. Pepper called me back. I won a $2500 scholarship and they told me I’m one of ten who have the opportunity to go to the National Championship in January to compete for the $100,000 scholarship. The competition has already started so I need your vote! The five who get the most votes will go to the National Championship and throw for the scholarship. As a resident of Alabama living in California to pursue my dream as a filmmaker at USC’s Cinematic Arts Program; I would truly appreciate your votes! This is even bigger because Alabama will be going to the National Championship and I could be an alumni representing the school for 100K tuition scholarship throw.

CDC study illustrates caloric cost of alcohol
Crimson White – Dec. 3
American adults consume an average of 100 calories per day from alcoholic beverages, with young adults racking up the most calories from alcoholic drinks, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This calorie intake from alcoholic beverages ranks almost as high as American’s calorie intake from sugar drinks like sodas, which is on average 178 kilocalories a day for men and 103 kilocalories for women, according to a 2011 CDC study. “Given the current state of health of Americans in terms of weight status, I believe it’s important for us to recognize all areas in which Americans may have a tendency to get unneeded calories, which can often include alcohol consumption,” Sheena Quizon Gregg, registered dietician and assistant director for Health Promotion and Wellness Nutrition at The University of Alabama, said.

County system spotlighted by state officials
Daily Mountain Eagle – Dec. 1
Officials with the Alabama State Department of Education recently spotlighted the Walker County School System for efforts to prepare students for higher education…Joel Hagood, director of curriculum for the Walker County Schools…said state department officials were particularly interested in the Walker County School district’s training on teaching reading skills throughout all subjects. He said administrators brought in a University of Alabama professor, Edwin Ellis, to assist in the training. Ellis is associated with the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning.

UA associate AD talks seasons and her favorite Druid City food (Trending Tuscaloosa) – Nov. 30
(Our series “Trending Tuscaloosa” takes a look at what public figures and other notable residents in the Druid City find fun and interesting about the city’s sights and sounds). This week we talk with the University of Alabama Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator Marie Robbins about where she takes her out-of-town friends to eat, seasons in T-town and more.


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.