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The University of Alabama

UA in the News: January 4, 2013

UA giving students chance to volunteer in Tuscaloosa, Miami before BCS game – Jan. 3
The University of Alabama wants to use the BCS National Championship Game as an opportunity for UA students to give back to their community, as well as the Miami community. UA will offer two volunteer opportunities for students and alumni on Sunday, Jan. 6 in Miami and Monday, Jan. 7 in Tuscaloosa before the game. Wahnee Sherman, the Director of UA’s Community Service Center, said these opportunities have become a tradition for UA.  “Doing a service project as part of the National Championship game experience has become a tradition for us,” Sherman said. “We want UA students, alumni, faculty and staff to be able to make a positive impact in the communities where the games are played.”

UA Alums ready to welcome ‘Bama fans to South Florida
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Jan. 3
They also say they’re proud of their UA roots, and they’re excited to show the best of what south Florida has to offer to their fellow ‘Bama fans. 
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Jan. 3
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Jan. 3

UA PR team wins national championship
ABC 33/40 (Birmingham) – Jan. 3
The University of Alabama’s Public Relations Student Society of America placed first in the national Duck brand College Duck Tape PRSSA Challenge.  They will receive $1,000 for completing a public relations campaign to promote The University of Alabama College Duck Tape on campus. Duck brand, which markets College Duck Tape, a line of Duck Tape prints featuring logos and mascots from more than 40 college teams, challenged PRSSA chapters across the country to develop and execute a well-organized public relations plan to generate awareness of College Duck Tape on campus and host a College Duck Tape-themed tailgate. In response, UA PRSSA developed a month-long public relations campaign to increase product awareness at the University, with the goal of hosting at least 200 students at their tailgate event.
Fox 6 (Birmingham) – Jan. 3
WVUA (Tuscaloosa)Jan. 3

Study: 75% of homeless youth in U.S. use social networks
Digital Journal – Jan. 4
It seems the homeless youth in the United States use social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, just as much as college students, according to a new University of Alabama study led by Rosanna Guadagno. The study, titled “The homeless use Facebook?! Similarities of social network use between college students and homeless young adults,” was performed surveying 237 college kids and 86 homeless youth that were averaged at 19 years old. The research concluded that 90 percent of college students used social media outlets at least one hour per day, while 75 percent of homeless kids used the social networking websites to keep in touch with others and to solve daily issues. University participants were given the chance to participate filling in an online survey, while the homeless individuals were chosen at two multi-service agencies in Los Angeles and New York where paper copies of the surveys were handed out.  After the study was completed, Guadagno explained that the “digital divide” between homeless youth and university undergraduate students is the type of Internet usage and not access to the Internet, which “is relatively minor.” – Jan. 4

Paul W. Bryant Museum keeps UA football alive 365 days a year
WALA-Fox (Mobile) – Jan. 3
For the Crimson Tide, winning championship games are not just celebrated they are cherished. Its championship rings and trophies are polished and placed behind glass cases at the Paul Bryant Museum. Its legendary coaches are carved in bronze in Tuscaloosa — it’s clear, Alabama loves to win. They say that in some places football is just a sport. It’s a saying you know here in Alabama: it is a way of life. And it is. Because it is 365 days a year. The museum is filled with stories of big wins and legendary coaches, director Ken Gaddy says, these archives show just how dedicated the University of Alabama is to the game of football. “It’s been going on since the 1920s, the first trip to the Rose Bowls in the 20s, national championships in the 20s, 30s all through the sixties dominating the 60s and the 70s. That’s one of the things we need to remember: it’s not just today, it’s a long, long history and tradition here on campus.”

GPS Has Screening Of Eating Alabama Documentary Tuesday
The Chattanoogan (Tenn.) – Jan. 3
Andrew Beck Grace, director, filmmaker, and producer of the critically acclaimed documentary “Eating Alabama,” will screen his award-winning film on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Frierson Theatre at GPS. The public is invited, and there is no charge. Mr. Grace and his wife, in search of a simpler life, returned to their home state of Alabama and set out to eat the way their grandparents did – locally and seasonally. “Growing up on my granddaddy’s stories, I really thought, rather naively, that all these farmers were just out there but didn’t know how to get their product to us,” Mr. Grace says. But as they navigated the agricultural industrial complex, they soon realized that nearly everything about the food system has changed since farmers once populated their own personal family histories. A thoughtful and often funny essay on community, the south, and sustainability, “Eating Alabama” is a story about why food matters. “I hope people get a sense of how difficult farmers have it and how hard they work,” Mr. Grace says, “and that they will try to make choices—even small ones—that will lead to change.” Mr. Grace is a past fellow at the CPB/PBS Producers Academy and directs the Documenting Justice program at the University of Alabama.

Volunteer helps museum connect with community
Tuscaloosa News – Jan. 4
It was the perfect fit, combining her love of social science and museum work with her education background. Allie Sorlie could not imagine a more perfect placement. The 26-year-old Niceville, Fla., resident began her year as an AmeriCorps Vista volunteer at the University of Alabama’s Museum of Natural History in August. As the museum’s first AmeriCorps volunteer, Sorlie has added a “whole new layer of what we’ve been able to do,” said Amanda Espy-Brown, the museum’s education and outreach coordinator. “Our mission is to be a resource for the community, but a lot of people don’t know that,” she said. That is where AmeriCorps Vista stepped in to help. A national service program designed to fight poverty, Vista volunteers commit to serve full-time for a year at a nonprofit organization or a local government agency.

Praxis makes perfect? New teacher standards aim to boost quality
Cedar Rapids Gazette – Jan. 3
Iowa’s new teachers will be among the top 75 percent in the nation, at least according to new licensure requirements that went into effect this week. The regulations stipulate that all new educators must score in the 25th percentile or higher nationwide on tests measuring content knowledge and teaching skills…As of Tuesday, any teacher seeking licensure in Iowa must be among the top 75 percent of performers nationwide on the Praxis tests. The Educational Testing Service, which also is behind the GRE, SAT and Advanced Placement tests, administers the exams … Peter Hlebowitsh, dean of the University of Alabama College of Education and former department executive officer and professor at the University of Iowa College of Education, doubts whether the new regulations will result in a stronger crop of teachers, though he did call the Praxis “a nice test.” “It might keep weaker academic students out of the profession, but I’m not certain that will be the case, and I’m not certain that will necessarily keep weaker teachers out of the profession,” he said. “I’m not certain what the Praxis has to do with quality teaching.” Licensure applicants will be able to take the tests, which cost an estimated $250, an unlimited amount of times — with no penalty — until they reach the score threshold. “It seems to me, if you have unlimited shots at it, you’re eventually going to hit the 25th percentile,” said Hlebowitsh, who advocated for grade-point average as a more accurate measure or indicator of teacher efficacy.

Raudelunas retrospective opens Monday
Tuscaloosa News – Jan. 4
A retrospective of Tuscaloosa’s Raudelunas art collective will open in the Ferguson Center Art Gallery Monday and remain on display through Feb. 2. A closing reception will be held 5-7 p.m. Feb. 2 in the gallery, followed by a concert in the Ferguson Center Theatre 7:30-9 p.m. The gallery is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and admission is free. Trans/Productions and the University of Alabama created the exhibit to honor the Raudelunas collective’s contributions to the cultural and artistic heritage of Alabama, making cutting-edge music, theater, literature and visual art. From the dark satire of Dada-­inspired big band leader Rev. Fred Lane, to the free-improv excursions of the Blue Denim Deals Without The Arms and TransMuseq, the Surrealist-inspired artwork of Craig Nutt, Janice Hathaway and Fletcher Hayes, among others, the exhibit attempts to corral the relatively small but wide-ranging group of artists who began working in and around the Woods Quad classrooms on the UA campus.

UA theatre alum Sonequa Martin-Green lands role on ABC hit ‘Once Upon a Time’ – Jan. 4
Nearly a month after appearing on the smash hit AMC zombie series “The Walking Dead,” 2007 University of Alabama graduate Sonequa Martin-Green landed a gig on ABC’s popular fantasy series “Once Upon a Time.” Entertainment Weekly reports Martin-Green will join the cast as Tamara, “a charming and likable woman who’s secretly highly ambitious and a fearless leader driven to get what she wants.” The report says Tamara is expected to be a recurring character in the show’s second season but possibly even its third as well. Green, from Russellville, began her role on “Walking Dead” during the Dec. 2 mid-season finale “Made to Suffer” as Sasha, Tyreese’s sister. She is set to return in future episodes. Martin-Green, a UA theatre veteran who appeared in several campus productions and was a regular performer at Alpha Psi Omega’s Guerrilla Theatre shows, has had a busy past couple of years. She’s appeared on a slew of popular shows along with “Walking Dead” and “Once Upon a Time,” including “The Good Wife,” “Army Wives” and “NYC-22.”

UA advertising and public relations professor is married to a Notre Dame grad
WALA-Fox (Mobile) – Jan. 3
We know of at least one person in Tuscaloosa who will be cheering for the Fighting Irish. But he won’t be too upset if Alabama wins. Fox 10 news reporter Andrew Perez is live in South Florida with that story… “(Notre Dame graduate) Joe Herron and his wife (UA advertising and public relations professor Suzanne Horsley) will be sitting on opposite sides of the couch come Gameday; needless to say there’s been quite a bit of banter the last couple of weeks…

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.