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The University of Alabama

UA’s Culverhouse College of Commerce Website Named a Finalist

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.  The redesigned website at The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce has been selected as one of five Educational Resource finalists in the 2013 SXSW Interactive Awards competition in Austin, Texas.

All finalists are projects that were launched or completely redesigned in 2012, with the exception of those in the Classic category. The winners in each category will be revealed at the 16th Annual SXSW Interactive Awards Ceremony presented by Bloomfire on Tuesday evening, March 12 at the Hilton Austin Downtown.

“It is difficult to put into words what this means to the Culverhouse College of Commerce, just to be one of the finalists in what is arguably the most influential event of its kind in the world,”  said Dr. J. Michael Hardin, dean of the UA Culverhouse College of Commerce. “Some people say that it is sort of like being nominated for an Academy Award in Web design.”

The announcement comes almost a year after Red Square Agency, a Mobile-based advertising and public relations firm, and Jam3, a Toronto digital design and development agency, began redesigning the Culverhouse website.

“Our old site had grown too large and cumbersome and was far too static for much of today’s population, with all the mobile apps and the demand for instant communication, 24-7,”  Hardin said. “Interactive is now the way to experience what is unfolding in the world of technology. Whether our site wins the category or not, just to be considered with the other finalists represents a quantum leap from where we were a year ago.”

Year after year, the SXSW festival is a launching pad for new creative content. New media presentations, music showcases and film screenings provide exposure and recognition for creators and compelling entertainment for audiences.

Conference panel discussions present a forum for learning and business activity at the SXSW Trade Show.  The event has been produced since 1987 by SXSW Inc., a private company based in Austin.

The festival is celebrated around the world as one of the great institutions of independent music, film and interactive media, drawing record labels, bloggers, booking agents, filmmakers and radio programmers from  corporate America.

For the music part of the festival, about 2,000 acts play official showcases while many others sing from parking lots or street corners.

But before the music comes the South by Southwest Interactive part of the festival March 8 through 12, which offers a glimpse of some of the newest Web and mobile innovations.

The SXSW Interactive Awards competition honors the best new digital work, from mobile and tablet apps to websites and installations, and it showcases tomorrow’s interactive trends. Founded in 1997, this competition was initially known as the SXSW Web Awards.

In addition to the Culverhouse College of Commerce, the other finalists are:

Chronozoom, an online program that visualizes time on the broadest possible scale from the Big Bang to the present day;

Clouds over Cuba, an interactive documentary that retraces the steps of the United States during the Cuban Missile Crisis;

Harvard Graduate School of Design: Ecological Urbanism, an app that adapts content from the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s book, of the same name, for a tablet. Much more than an ebook, it’s an entirely new way of looking at the information interactively;

Miso Music: Plectrum,  a free music application developed by Miso Media for the iPad and designed to provide users an interactive tool for learning musical instruments.

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.