The University of Alabama

Educated Guesses: Top 15 Predictions for 2015

EduGuesses2015

For the 34th consecutive year, The University of Alabama’s Office of Media Relations offers predictions from faculty experts for the coming year. See our list of the Top 15 “Educated Guesses” for 2015:

For more insight into some of the thinking behind each guess and for contact information, see below. Media Relations contacts: Cathy Andreen, candreen@ur.ua.edu, 205/348-8322 (print/online media); Shane Dorrill, sdorrill@ur.ua.edu, 204/384-8319 (broadcast media)

EDUCATED GUESSES 2015

Beijing to Become First to Host both Summer, Winter Games
Beijing will be named in 2015 as the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics, becoming the first city to host both a Summer and Winter Games, predicts Dr. Andrew Billings, director of the Alabama Program in Sports Communication at The University of Alabama and the Ronald Reagan Chair of Broadcasting in UA’s department of telecommunication and film.
Contact: Dr. Andrew Billings, acbillings@ua.edu, 205/239-2337
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Three-Square Meals Go Belly-Up
Despite Pinterest and food delivery companies further inspiring millennials to cook at home with fresh, organic ingredients, the concept of three square meals a day will dissipate in 2015 as more people will dine on the go or choose options like green smoothies or snacks, predicts Sheena Quizon Gregg, a registered dietician and assistant director in The University of Alabama’s department of health promotion and wellness.
Contact: Sheena Quizon Gregg, sqgregg@cchs.ua.edu, 205/348-0205
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Controversy Surrounding ACA to Show Signs of Slowing in 2015
Implementation of the Affordable Care Act will further increase demand for primary care doctors in 2015, and the controversy surrounding it will begin waning as people see the benefits, predicts Dr. Richard Streiffer, dean of The University of Alabama’s College of Community Health Sciences.
Contact: Dr. Richard Streiffer, rhstreiffer@cchs.ua.edu, 205/348-1288
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70’s to Dominate Spring Fashion Trends
Spring fashion trends will include a return to the past as popular styles from the 1970s, including longer silhouettes, suede fabrics, fringe, tie dye, patchwork, and a fuller volume pant leg will become new again in the coming year, says Brian Taylor, instructor in the department of clothing, textiles and interior design in The University of Alabama’s College of Human Environmental Sciences.
Contact: Brian Taylor, btaylor@ches.ua.edu, 205/348-6020
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Economy to grow by 2.6 percent in 2015
The U.S. economy is forecast to grow by about 2.6 percent in 2015 and will be led, in part, by growth in transportation equipment manufacturing, says Ahmad Ijaz, associate director of The University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research in the Culverhouse College of Commerce.
Contact: Ahmad Ijaz, aijaz@cba.ua.edu, 205/348-2955
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Commissioner’s Authority to Punish NFL Players to be Curbed
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s role in determining the punishment for player crimes and misbehavior will be significantly lessened, as a consensus forms that this power serves no one well, says Dr. Andrew Billings, director of the Alabama Program in Sports Communication at The University of Alabama and the Ronald Reagan Chair of Broadcasting in UA’s department of telecommunication and film.
Contact: Dr. Andrew Billings, acbillings@ua.edu, 205/239-2337 
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New Cars Become Smart Phones on Wheels
In 2015, cars will become more connected to the Internet with a seamless integration between smart phones, computers and vehicles, according to Dr. Bharat Balasubramanian, a former Daimler vice president and a University of Alabama professor with joint appointments in mechanical engineering and electrical and computer engineering.
Contact: Dr. Bharat Balasubramanian, via Adam Jones in media relations, acjones12@eng.ua.edu, 205/348-6444
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Yik Yak, Snapchat Users to Trend Younger, Facebook Older
Grandparents following the exploits of their kids and grandkids will be among those causing the age of the typical Facebook user to trend older while the typical Yik Yak and Snapchat user trends even younger in 2015, says Susan Fant, instructor of marketing in The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce.
Contact: Susan Fant, scfant1@cba.ua.edu, 205-348-3940
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NASA to Cite Additional Evidence of Water on Mars
During 2015, NASA will announce that one of its Mars rovers has revealed the most concrete evidence to date of water on the Red Planet, but evidence of the existence of previous life on the planet will remain elusive, predicts Dr. William Keel, professor of astronomy in The University of Alabama’s College of Arts & Sciences.
Contact: Dr. William Keel,wkeel@ua.edu, 205/348-1641
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Cheap Natural Gas Prices Continue Move Away From Coal
With or without new environmental regulations on emissions, electric utilities will continue the trend of using natural gas to replace coal-fired power generation as the price for natural gas remains cheap, predicts Dr. Jason Bara, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering in The University of Alabama’s College of Engineering..
Contact: Dr. Jason Bara, jbara@eng.ua.edu, 205/348-6836
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Softer, Cooler Colors among Interior Design Trends
Nature-inspired neutrals will be paired with softer, cooler colors in the coming year’s interior designs, putting us at peace within our fast-paced lives that seem consumed with technology, says Stephanie Sickler, assistant professor in the department of clothing, textiles and interior design in The University of Alabama’s College of Human Environmental Sciences.
Contact: Stephanie Sickler, ssickler@ches.ua.edu, 205/348-4262
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Warren May Get Democratic Nomination Over Clinton, UA Analyst Predicts
Elizabeth Warren may have a real shot at the Democratic nomination over Hillary Clinton; although Warren has said she won’t run for president in 2016, the party may see her as a fresh alternative to the polarizing Clinton, says Dr. George Hawley, assistant professor of political science in The University of Alabama’s College of Arts & Sciences.
Contact: Dr. George Hawley, ghawley@ua.edu, 205/348-5528
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Small Businesses to Expand Social Media’s Growth
More employees with social media skills will join small businesses in the coming year, leading to an increased presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, while viral marketing will provide unpredictable but massive growth in brand awareness, predicts Susan Fant, instructor of marketing in The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce.
Contact: Susan Fant, scfant1@cba.ua.edu, 205/348-3940
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Lower Gas Prices Will Only Negate Some Impacts of Higher Groceries
Lower gas prices will add about .4 percent to real gross domestic product, but this will only negate some of the economic impacts of higher grocery prices, estimates Ahmad Ijaz, associate director of The University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research in the Culverhouse College of Commerce.
Contact: Ahmad Ijaz, aijaz@cba.ua.edu, 205/348-2955
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Effective Challenges to Common Core More Likely From State Level
If any large-scale changes to the Common Core Standards occur in 2015, those will likely come from state-wide efforts and not from the federal level, predicts Dr. Jeremy Zelkowski, professor of math education in The University of Alabama’s College of Education.
Contact: Jeremy Zelkowski, jzelkowski@bamaed.ua.edu, 205/348-9499
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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.