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The University of Alabama

UA in the News: February 15, 2013

Univ. of Alabama students ready to help Southern Miss rebuild
Fox 6 (Birmingham) – Feb. 15
University of Alabama students are preparing to visit Hattiesburg, Miss. to help those affected by the recent tornado. This past weekend’s tornado is a reminder of the destruction these storms can cause. When the April 27 ripped through Tuscaloosa, people didn’t clean up or rebuild on their own. Thousands of volunteers came to help with the recovery and that included a group from Southern Miss. This week, the University of Alabamas Community Service Center is preparing to help Mississippi tornado survivors. They’re collecting gift cards for families to get food or supplies and there are also plans underway to send students to Southern Miss to remove debris and help rebuild. “We want to give our students a chance to pay that forward and really pay it back and pay it forward to the group of students there at Southern Miss that are going through the same thing,” Wahnee Sherman with the community center said. “Because we really understand what that feels like in Tuscaloosa. So we want to give people a chance to be part of that to help rebuild another community.”

UA PR students help with anti-bullying Campaign
ABC 33/40 (Birmingham) – Feb. 14
The anti-bullying campaign in Tuscaloosa City Schools is getting some incredible help. Five University of Alabama public relation students are helping with the Halt program. Halt stands for Harassment Awareness Learning Together. It was launched at the beginning of the school year. The UA students are members of a nationwide Bateman team, which is competing to help implement the best anti-bullying campaign.

Longtime newspaper editor, Charles Porter, recalls being one of the first African-American professors at UA
Fox 10 (Mobile) – Feb. 14
According to Charles Porter, the late 1960s were a magical time in America, as first-time opportunities became available for many African-Americans. Porter achieved several firsts in his lifetime. But, the one that happened in Mobile in 1968 was the one that started him on a nearly 40-year career in the newspaper industry. “Interesting to me, how God was preparing me for this, I was the only boy in typing, my first day at the Mobile Press-Register, they said here’s your typewriter — it was a manual underwood — so now it made sense why I took typing.”…Porter’s desire for education took him to Tuscaloosa for a master’s degree…”I received a teaching assignment at the University of Alabama in 1969. One of the professors said I was the first Black to teach in the College of Communication…”

The truth about suicide bombers – Feb. 14
(Editor’s note: Adam Lankford is a criminal justice professor at The University of Alabama. The views expressed are his own.) The truth matters. For instance, the truth is whether civilians are killed intentionally or as collateral damage, their families and friends suffer the same trauma, the same devastation. As the foundational quote for the website Pakistan Body Count explains, “Whether it is a suicide bombing or an attack by a flying drone, for me it’s the same: a Pakistani got killed.” This is why we were never going to change perceptions about suicide terrorism worldwide by making an oversimplified moral argument. In the aftermath of 9/11, the White House insisted that “no cause justifies terrorism.” And, as noted in the Middle East Quarterly in 2003, similar arguments were espoused by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian Sheikh Muhammad Sa’id Tantawi, and Saudi Arabian Sheikh Muhammad bin ‘Abdallah as-Sabil, among others. But the claim that suicide attacks are always immoral, while Western military actions are always justified, simply could not stand up to scrutiny. Skeptics could see the truth for themselves: despite some black-and-white differences between the two sides, the conflict between Western powers and Islamic jihadists involves many shades of gray. Meanwhile, government officials and leading scholars – from Kabul to Cairo to Washington, DC – have spent years overlooking a powerful truth that should help them deter future suicide terrorists. In my new book, I present overwhelming evidence that suicide terrorists are typically committing suicide, not making a sacrifice or engaging in martyrdom, as has been assumed.

Ranburne: Physics students ace competition
Cleburne News – Feb. 14 
Ranburne High School physics teacher Jason Cole now realizes that his physics students have become “the team to beat” at the annual University of Alabama High School Physics Contest. When they walked into the building a few years ago, his students were wearing their team t-shirts and, for a joke, they all wore sunglasses. As they passed the other students who were at the university for the contest, they heard whispers of “It’s Ranburne.” “It just built the kids up,” Cole said. And it’s a far cry from where they started in 2003 when he took one student who was unprepared for the event and didn’t do well. The contest this year drew nearly 300 students from 21 schools in Alabama and Georgia. The students take a written test and also do a cipher competition which gives them 40 seconds to find the answer to a word problem. They each have four ciphers to figure out. Each correctly answered problem can win their team up to five points.

‘Immortal Life Across Cultures’ documentary series continues tonight at UA – Feb. 14
The University of Alabama will host a series of events throughout February in honor of African-American History Month, including a documentary series. UA will continue its three-week “Immortal Life Across Cultures” documentary series examining women’s agency as well as civil rights at the Gorgas Library room 205 tonight at 7 p.m. “In Search of Lin Zhao’s Soul” is a 2004 documentary by independent film maker Hu Jie. The film tells the story of Lin Zhao, who spoke up about civil rights during the Cultural Revolution of China in during 1966-1976. Zhao was eventually imprisoned due to her outspokenness and this ultimately would lead to her death. Jie tells the story of Zhao and the hardships she faced during this time period in the documentary.

Kentuck takes kids to Ghana for this month’s ‘Around the World’ – Feb. 15
The Kentuck Museum continues its “Around the World” tour for kids this Saturday and this week, they’ll take a trip to Ghana on Saturday at noon.  The Kentuck’s year-long cultural travel for kids offers them a “passport” they get stamped at each location. If kids gather 10 stamps, they will get a prize at the end of the year. This week’s trip will include demonstrations by the University of Alabama West African drumming ensemble, a Skype session with real kids living in Ghana, bracelet-making using hand-dyed beads made by Ghanaian women, mask-making and a question-and-answer session with Tuscaloosa Sister Cities International delegates.


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.