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The University of Alabama

UA In the News: Nov. 16-18, 2013

University of Alabama Innovation Day winners announced
Tuscaloosa News – Nov. 16
Walker Tea won first place in the University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Commerce’s Concept Pitch Competition on Friday. UA student Stephen Walker pitched the idea for a company during the UA Innovation Day’s Concept Pitch competition. Second place was awarded to Sling Board, presented by UA student Dylan Hughes, and third place was awarded to Ripple Effect, presented by UA student Steven Bode. The students each had two minutes to make a pitch for their business idea before a panel of judges. A variety of innovative approaches to engineering, science and business challenges were outlined during Innovation Day, which was held at the Bryant Conference Center. Co-sponsoring the event with Culverhouse were UA’s Office for Technology Transfer and the Bama Technology Incubator. A panel of business startup experts from across the Southeast also discussed what’s needed to launch a successful startup business and steps in the patent process.
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Nov. 15
CBS 42 (Birmingham) – Nov. 15
NBC 13 (Birmingham) – Nov. 15

University of Alabama exhibit lights up history
Tuscaloosa News – Nov. 18
The old magazines, novelties and newspaper clippings on display in the foyer of the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library at the University of Alabama are a snapshot of the heyday of cigarettes in the U.S. and a record of the gradual shift in public attitudes about smoking following a landmark 1964 report by the U.S. surgeon general. “The report came about because the health organizations like American Cancer Society wanted the government to be involved, because they hadn’t been,” said Dr. Alan Blum, the Gerald Leon Wallace MD Endowed Chair in Family Medicine at UA’s College of Community Health Sciences. Blum, the exhibits curator, is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on the history of smoking and cigarette marketing and a vocal and long-time advocate for the anti-smoking movement. The exhibit, featuring an array of materials from the 1930s to present, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Jan. 11, 1964, release of U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health. Work on the report began under the administration of President John F. Kennedy in 1962.

University of Alabama Panhellenic sorority elects first black president – Nov. 17
After allegations of segregation marred the University of Alabama’s Greek system this fall, one sorority has made history by electing the first black president of a Panhellenic sorority at the school. Sigma Delta Tau elected Hannah Christine Patterson as its president on Nov. 6, according to The Crimson White. Patterson, a native of Pittsburgh, Penn., transferred to the University of Alabama in fall 2012 after attending the University of Dayton. She went through formal sorority recruitment, but ultimately chose to join Sigma Delta Tau, which participates rarely, if at all, in the formal recruitment process. Though sorority members know they have done something unprecedented at UA, Patterson’s  selection was entirely based on doing what is best for Sigma Delta Tau, members told the CW. “It had nothing to do with what statement it could make,” former SDT president Regina Broda told the CW. “Over the past year and a half, as I’ve gotten to know her, I’ve seen the leadership skills that she has. She served as our Panhellenic delegate, so she was on [executive] board with me, and she was a person that I leaned on constantly. I know that a lot of members of our chapter saw that she had those leadership abilities, and that’s why the chapter elected her.”
Atlanta Black Star – Nov. 17
WTVM-ABC (Columbus, Ga.) – Nov. 17

‘Fashion for Life’ to showcase talents of young designers
Tuscaloosa News – Nov. 16
Fourteen designers from the clothing, textiles and interior design department at the University of Alabama will see months of work come together on Sunday night at the “Fashion for Life” runway show. The designers are in an upper-level course that requires them to design and construct an entire line of clothes, then to accessorize and complete the outfits in time for the professional runway show. The fashion show will take place in the Ferguson Student Center ballroom. Doors will open at 4 p.m., and the show will start at 5 p.m. Admission is $5, which goes to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Student organization Fashion Inc. organized the show and will volunteer to help sell tickets, as well as assist the designers.

UA students show off fashions they have made
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Nov. 17
University of Alabama apparel design students showcased their senior collections in the fifth annual Fashion for Life. Each student was tasked with creating a collection of up to 10 looks based on instructor Brian Taylor’s design philosophy. The students have worked many hours on creating their collections from scratch. It’s a big deal because you’ve been working all semester preparing your garments. This is finally like the end of the marathon, the finish line. A lot of time and effort go into it so now that it’s finally here, it feels really good. It just prepares you for when you graduate. What to expect and how much hard work it’s going to take.

Latest American Community Survey Shows Alabama’s Housing Value at $123,400 and Homeownership Rate at 69.6 Percent Post-Recession – Nov. 15
The U.S. Census Bureau released the latest statistics from the American Community Survey, which cover a three-year period from 2010-2012 and are available for areas with a population of 20,000 or more. The statistics show the median home value for Alabama was $123,400 during the post-recession period of 2010-2012, a 4.0 percent increase from $118,700 during the recession period of 2007-2009. According to the survey, the post-recession home ownership rate was 69.6 percent, a decrease from 70.3 percent during the recession.  The number of owner-occupied units in the state fell by over 8,400 to 1,278,557 in 2010-2012, while the number of renter households increased by almost 20,700 to an estimated 496,867…The Alabama State Data Center (ASDC), a partnership between The University of Alabama and the U.S. Census Bureau, has been part of the Center for Business and Economic Research in the Culverhouse College of Commerce for 35 years.

Why A Patient’s Story Matters More Than A Computer Checklist
NPR – Nov. 17
As I walk to the door of my patient’s house on a dirt road outside Tuscaloosa, Ala., I step gingerly. Mrs. Edgars says that she killed a rattlesnake in her flower bed last year. She is at the door, expecting my visit. Mr. Edgars sits on the couch, unable to recall that I am his doctor, or even that I am a doctor. But he is happy to see me nonetheless. We chat a moment, then we move on to Mr. Edgars’ arthritis. Early on in his dementia he wandered the woods. His wife was afraid he would get lost and die, although the family agreed that this was how he would want it. Now his knee arthritis has worsened enough that it has curtailed his wanderings. I suspect that Mrs. Edgars is cutting back on his pain medicine to decrease the chance he’ll wander off again. We talk about how anxious he grows whenever she’s out of his sight, and how one of his children comes to sit with him so that she can run errands. I leave carrying her parting gift, a jar of homegrown pickled okra. (Dr. Regina Harrell is an assistant professor in the College of Community Health Services at the University of Alabama. This essay was first published in Pulse, an online magazine about people’s experiences with health care.)

Damage to city budgets: Some was self-inflicted
CNBC – Nov. 18
Five years after a once-in-a-lifetime global financial collapse and the Great Recession, many American cities now caught in a financial bind can rightly blame forces beyond their control. In some cases, though, the damage was self-inflicted. Nowhere is that more apparent than the ongoing budget drain from hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of failed bets known as interest rate swaps. These complex financial derivatives—highly profitable for the investment bankers on the other side of the deal—were supposed to help cities lower the cost of selling municipal bonds to finance everything from new schools to underfunded pensions…”It was awhile back, when the quote-unquote experts knew that interest rates weren’t going any lower that they did the deals,” said Robert Brooks, a University of Alabama finance professor and an expert on municipal finance reform. “‘Let’s fix the rate now because we all know 5 percent is as low as it’s ever going to go.’ Well, now they wake up and it’s two (percent). It was clearly a casino bet—and it was promoted by Wall Street.”

Tips for holiday food safety
WSFA-NBC (Montgomery) – Nov. 17
When getting the Thanksgiving feast ready there are some things to keep in mind while preparing the meal to make sure it doesn’t come with any unwanted surprises. Raycom News network reporter Erika Gonzalez has some easy to digest food safety reminders…Diane Bridgewater, a food safety expert at the University of Alabama, shares important advice so that special holiday meals, or any meal for that matter, don’t end with you or your guests sick. Bridgewater says before you hit the kitchen, you should have a basic understanding of what can make food dangerous. While cooking, the biggest problem is usually cross contamination.
Fox 6 (Birmingham) – Nov. 15
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Nov. 15

Bonner, Maddox to discuss University of Alabama’s growth, impact on Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa News – Nov. 18
The president of the University of Alabama and the Tuscaloosa mayor will discuss the growth and impact of the Capstone on its hometown during the third forum in a series sponsored by the UA Honors College. “Where We Were and Where We Are: The University and Tuscaloosa, Always Moving Forward,” a free hourlong event, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Monday in Room 360 of the Ferguson Student Center on the UA campus. UA President Judy Bonner and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox will be on the panel for the third event. Maddox and Bonner are scheduled to have a moderated discussion of the growth of UA and its impact on the city of Tuscaloosa. UA Honors College Dean Shane Sharpe is scheduled to be the moderator.

Musician to perform balloon concert
Tuscaloosa News – Nov. 16
An experimental composer will perform a free concert using latex balloons Wednesday at the University of Alabama as part of the Sonic Frontiers series. Composer Judy Dunaway will present balloon music she has been developing for more than two decades at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Moody Music Building Recital Hall, according to a release from UA. The concert will include an audience interactive performance of Dunaway’s Balloon Symphony No. 2. Sonic Frontiers is a concert series of innovative and experimental music meant to create an exchange between world-class performers, students and the greater community through performances and discussions, according to UA.

UATD brings ‘The School for Lies’ to campus stage
Crimson White – Nov. 18
The University of Alabama’s department of theatre and dance will offer the community a chance to travel back to 17th century France with its production of “The School for Lies.” The play, an adaptation of Molière’s “The Misanthrope” written by David Ives, features both graduate and undergraduate students from the University and welds a 1666 French setting with complementary modern interpretations. Gavin Cameron-Webb, the guest director of the play, said he encouraged the cast to research “The Misanthrope” to understand the similarities and differences in Ives’ adaptation. “[‘The School for Lies’] is a tad bit different, but then, you don’t have one of the characters in ‘The Misanthrope’ dressing up in drag either,” Cameron-Webb said. Elizabeth Bernhardt, a first-year MFA acting student and cast member, said she was impressed by the costume department’s attention to details in the script. “There’s a line making fun of my hair being a varnished log, and so the wig really absolutely looks like a varnished log,” Bernhardt said.

Academic pitch helped Bama land Hand
CBS Sports – Nov. 18
Five-star defensive end Da’Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va.) committed to Alabama last Thursday, which surprised many who had him penciled in as part of Michigan‘s 2014 class. Anyone who has ever met Hand knows that there would be more to it than him picking the most popular and successful program in the country and there was. The Crimson Tide football program (three of the last four BCS National Championships, three straight top-ranked recruiting classes, etc.) speaks for itself, the University of Alabama itself helped to win Hand with a strong academic sales pitch. A source close to Hand said that the the Tide coaching staff and university personnel convinced the talented prospect that he could graduate from UA with a degree in Civil Engineering. University of Alabama College of Engineering Dean Charles L. “Chuck” Karr will personally serve as Hand’s academic advisor. Those academic factors, combined with the chance to play in the Southeastern Conference, tipped the scales in Alabama’s favor.

UA holds Crimson Couch to 5K
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Nov. 17
More than 800 people braved wet conditions to participate in the fourth annual Crimson Couch to 5k today, the event typically promotes the benefits and importance of a healthy lifestyle but this year, the event is also promoting diabetes awareness. The condition affects 26 million Americans, another 79 million are at risk of developing diabetes.

University Programs hosts tutorial on extreme couponing
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Nov. 18
While most shoppers prepare for grocery shopping by making a simple list, there are other shoppers that get even more detailed, with a method known as couponing. Today, University Programs hosted a tutorial on extreme couponing tailored for college students. Shoppers that have recently turned to couponing just to save a little bit cash.

UA alumnus writes book called “The Crimson Dream
CBS 42 (Birmingham) – Nov. 18
University of Alabama alumnus is working to help the home of his alma-mater all while putting aside his own personal battle. 27-year-old Chad Bianchi was stricken with an undiagnosed neurological condition after he left the athletic training staff for the tide football team. That hasn’t stopped him from sharing his story and giving ‘Bama fans an inside look into the football program in a new book called, “The Crimson Dream.


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.