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PROFESSOR’S WORK GRABS ‘BEST FILM’ HONOR AT BLACK FILM FESTIVAL — Seth Panitch’s first full, feature-length film, “Service to Man,” was awarded the grand jury prize for best film at the 20th American Black Film Festival Sunday. The film was one of 25 selected for showcasing at the festival, which is the largest of its kind in the country. The festival is dedicated to bringing awareness of entertainment content made by and about people of African descent to a worldwide audience. It was held in Miami June 15-19. “Service to Man” was the only university-produced film in the festival. It premiered alongside films such as comedian Kevin Hart’s “Central Intelligence.” Panitch, a UA professor of acting who heads the MFA Acting Program in the department of theatre and dance, said the film is loosely based on his father’s experiences as one of the first white students at Merharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., in 1968. He said the film depicts white and black medical students communicating and working together during a time of great duress in the country, including the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and its aftermath. For more information, contact Jamon Smith, UA media relations,, 205/348-4956.

PROFESSORS CREATE BRANDING COURSE FOR OLYMPIC ATHLETES — Drs. Andrew Billings, Kim Bissell and Kenon Brown, from the College of Communication and Information Sciences, have created a course for Olympic athletes on managing their online presence, engaging with traditional media channels and handling situations that may compromise their image or reputation. The International Olympic Committee initiated the project, and the course is now available to all Olympic athletes through the Athlete Learning Gateway. The course addresses case studies and practical examples of how to take control of online identity and build a successful athlete brand. The videos for the course were produced at the Digital Media Center located inside Bryant Denny Stadium. For assistance, contact Hailey Grace Steele, UA media relations, at 205/348-6416.

UA ESTABLISHES SPORT TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH CENTER UA will be home to a new center whose researchers will study the intersection of sports and technology, involving Crimson Tide athletics, in an innovative approach to improve training and performance of athletes across the world. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA media relations, at 205/348-6444 or

UA ROBOTICS TEAM ADVANCES IN NASA CENTENNIAL CHALLENGE After winning one NASA robotics contest, a team of engineering and computer science students from UA successfully completed the first leg of another high-profile NASA robotics contest. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA media relations, at 205/348-6444 or

SUMMER BRDIGE, SPECIAL EDUCATION MAJORS LEARN TOGETHER – Each weekday morning in June, students from the first UA Summer Bridge program engage in lessons and activities with special education majors at UA in the Intro to Special Education class, essentially providing the students a lecture and practicum experiences in one class. The Bridge students, who have an array of intellectual disabilities, experience a traditional class setting and collaboration. Two Bridge students are using covert audio coaching to help them interact in class and complete exams. “There’s been a lot of group work so far, rotating so everyone can see the diversity in disabilities and what we do to address them,” said Dr. John Myrick, clinical assistant professor. “I can see them learning how to handle situations right then and there. A lot of times, they think there’s a complicated mechanism to address issues, but it’s as seamless as any other student.” The class meets from 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. each weekday throughout the month. For more information, contact David Miller, UA media relations, at 205/348-0825 or

WEST ALABAMA K-12 TEACHERS PREPPING FOR NEW SCIENCE STANDARDS – Implementation of the Alabama College and Career Readiness science standards will begin in August, and teachers from across 12 counties in West Alabama are increasing their content knowledge and learning new strategies for teaching at the UA-UWA Inservice Center through July 1. Through the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative and Alabama Science in Motion, teachers will learn new engagement activities to help spark creativity and develop lessons and strategies to meet more three-dimensional, hands-on standards, which include more engineering concepts than previous standards. For more information, contact David Miller, UA media relations, at 205/348-0825 or


UA MATTERS: BENEFITS OF EATING CARBOHYDRATES — Ah, carbohydrates, though often touted by the media as an enemy in the game of weight loss, they are an essential macronutrient as our body’s main source of fuel and a necessary component to maintaining proper cellular function. When eaten strategically in amount and type, carbohydrates can serve as a key player in not only losing weight but maintaining weight loss. UA’s Sheena Quizon Gregg shares how to do just that in this week’s UA MattersFor assistance, contact Kim Eaton, UA media relations, at 808/640-5912 or

UA MATTERS: USING MINDFULNESS TO LOWER STRESSMany chronic conditions, like high blood pressure, insomnia or heartburn, can be traced to a single common problem: stress. Common advice for fighting stress can be to eliminate the stressors, which could mean going to bed early or just saying “no” more often. But that doesn’t address how our brains handle stress hour-to-hour or moment-to-moment, says Dr. Harriet Myers, clinical psychologist and UA assistant dean for medical education for the College of Community Health Sciences. For assistance, contactKim Eaton, UA media relations, at 808/640-5912 or


NEW EXHIBIT TO OPEN AT TRANSPORTATION MUSEUM – “Remembering 4 Little Girls: A Gallery of Creative Expressions” opens Tuesday, June 28, at the The Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum. On loan from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the exhibition includes 36 multi-media pieces including paintings, sculptures and other media and was inspired by “4 Little Girls,” Spike Lee’s Oscar-nominated documentary about the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that took the lives of four young girls. The display will run from June 28 through Sept. 24. Contact: Katherine Edge, museum director, 205/348-4932 or or Kim Eaton, UA media relations, 808/640-5912 or

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.