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The University of Alabama

UA In the News — Aug. 27-29

UA has new Strategic Plan (Live Interview wth Ty West of the Birmingham Business Journal)
Fox 6 (Birmingham) – Aug. 26
Ty West of the Birmingham Business Journal speaks in a live interview on WBRC-Fox 6. “It’s a pretty ambitious plan. One of the goals of it. They are planning to boost faculty by about 40%, and also really put a flag down and focus on research, and really boosting UA’s research profile, which would be a really big thing for the state of Alabama and the community.”
 
UA holds star gazing
ABC 33/40 (Birmingham) – Aug. 27
Astronomy buffs, or people looking for a different or interesting way to spend a Friday night, may want to head to Tuscaloosa. Tonight, The University of Alabama’s Department of Physics and Astronomy will kickoff a series of public nights. It will allow people to look at a number of different things from planets to star clusters and nebulae. The first one is tonight at 8, at Gallalee Hall observatory.
NBC 13 (Birmingham) – Aug. 27

Six UA filmmakers are featured at Sidewalk Film Festival
Crimson White – Aug. 29
It’s one of the largest film festivals in the South, and it screens everything from internationally recognized independent movies to locally-made shorts and documentaries. Sidewalk Film Festival, entering it’s 17th year, is a part of Alabama’s growing arts scene, and it just had it’s closing night on Sunday. Six films made by University of Alabama students and alumni were shown at Sidewalk this year, in a variety of venues in downtown Birmingham’s 
revitalized theater district. Many of these directors have since graduated and gone on to careers in 
Los Angeles. . . . The winner of numerous awards at Campus Movie Fest, “Samantha Throws a Party” was directed by John Wachs, a senior majoring in 
telecommunication and film. The story focuses on a woman who can’t catch a break while preparing for a dinner party with friends, and eventually spirals out of control. Through cinematography, the typical event of an evening meal is turned into a strange experience. “[There’s] kind of an ethereal, otherworldly vibe to the whole movie,” Wachs said. This is not Wachs first time being shown at Sidewalk, and the student said the festival had a good reputation. In the future, Wachs would like to work as a cinematographer for film or television.

Students Get on Board at the University of Alabama
Alabama News Center – Aug. 26
Students at the University of Alabama were given an opportunity to hop on board with a wide variety of organizations on Thursday, Aug. 25. Get on Board Day, led by student group The Source, is large-scale, annual event that encourages students to get involved in extra-curricular activities. The event showcases organizations on campus, as well as business and service opportunities within the Tuscaloosa community.

Art installation uses music to highlight African American migration
Crimson White – Aug. 29
Over the summer, Sharony Green, an assistant professor of history, asked her students to come up with a song that they thought described moving through space. What would they listen to on a road trip if they wanted to put everything that hurt them in their rear view? What would they play for someone their great grandparents’ age in the same situation? The goal was to have her students help create a playlist that will be used as the backdrop to Green’s digital art installation, “Mississippi and Miami,” showing on Monday night. The exhibit focuses on the stories of African-American migrants after World War II and how they claimed power through their migration, specifically migrants who moved to south Florida, like Green’s own family. “They were sharecroppers, so they used to follow the crops so when tomatoes were ready to be picked in Florida they would go down there just like migrants who would go anywhere,” Green said. “My mother had asthma and my grandparents realized her health was better in Florida. They sent for my mom and my aunt and then my great grandmother came too. In order to improve their lives they had to move.”

No longer homemade in labs, methamphetamine remains a raging and violent concern for police
Al.com – Aug. 28
As Derrick Dearman was led by corrections officers to the Mobile County Metro Jail this week, he turned to the TV cameras and told the public “don’t do drugs” and admitted to being high on methamphetamine when he murdered five adults near Citronelle … “I would say that the majority of folks who use meth long-term, are more pre-disposed to violence than any other drug – cocaine, heroin or anything like that,” said Jennifer Kenney, assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Alabama. “The folks who use meth have more likely to have a violent history and have experienced violence in their past.”

UA professor is in new Educational Documentary
ABC 33/40 (Birmingham) – Aug. 27
A new documentary, celebrating how students in Alabama are learning, is being promoted in local movie theaters. The goal is to tell the story, about what’s taking place, inside Alabama’s classrooms. Alabama schools are starting their fifth year of teaching students under the state’s college and career ready math standards … UA Associate Professor, Dr. Jeremy Zelkowski, is featured in the documentary.He told ABC33/40 they hope it bridges the gap between parents and their children. “There’s a disconnect between what parents are seeing kids bring home and being asked to do, that’s so different then what they did, so those times have changed dramatically and a lot of it is based on what we know from research, at this point in time, that those kinds of things just memorizing procedures don’t result in long term understanding and learning,” Dr. Zelkowski said.

Two veterans share the important bonds established in fraternities
AL.com – Aug. 28
Paul Bodholdt’s eight years of service in the Army includes deployment in Afghanistan from 2009-2010. Jeff Chapman served eight years in the Marines. They are members of Phi Kappa Sigma at the University of Alabama, where they are both majoring in criminal justice. (Paul Bodholdt) As I begin another semester at the University of Alabama, I’m keenly aware of both the opportunities and challenges that await me. This year will not only further my education, but also bring new friends and memories that are certain to last a lifetime. It also represents the prospect of furthering the leadership skills I learned in the military, especially in my fraternity. Military service represents the highest calling in defending a nation. Those in the service frequently refer to themselves as a band of brothers. The military made me a team player by illustrating the importance of a strong brotherhood and how successful you can be when you work as a team. And, like the military, my involvement in a fraternity provides a different kind of brotherhood as we work to serve on campus and in the community. . . .

Tuscaloosa Sister Cities International promotes peace through friendship
Tuscaloosa News – Aug. 26
The words came in a flurries. Some people spoke in Japanese, some in German and some in Ghanaian English. And because they were in Tuscaloosa, local people added a few Southern “y’alls” to the mix of international languages … On Friday, a barbecue for the delegates, host families and friends of Tuscaloosa Sister Cities was held at the University of Alabama.
 
University of Alabama’s Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations Adds Members, Re-Elects Leaders
Bulldog Reporter – Aug. 27
The board of advisers for the University of Alabama’s Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations has re-elected seven members and added two new advisers, bringing the group to 25. Advisers re-elected to three-year terms are …

UA Gymnastics program holds donation drive for Louisiana Flood Victims
CBS 42 (Birmingham) – Aug. 27 and Aug. 28
You don’t have to go far to help the survivors of the Louisiana floods. The University of Alabama gymnastics program is teaming up with Read Bama Read and Two Men and a Truck to host a donation drive.
WVUA 23 (Tuscaloosa) – Aug. 27
 
UA’s Alabama Public Radio holds fundraiser
WVUA 23 (Tuscaloosa) – Aug. 27
The Third Annual Putting the “Pub” in Public Radio fundraiser was held today. On this hot Saturday afternoon, many community members cooled off with some cold beer at Druid City Brewing Company. It was all part of the third annual putting the “pub” in public radio fundraiser.

What’s not to love about romance novels?
Sydney Morning Herald – Aug. 28
A good measure of freedom in society, according to the US artist Sophia Wallace, is the distribution of orgasms among its citizens. Which casts the increasing eroticisation of romance fiction in a very happy light, says Wallace fan and University of Alabama Professor of Gender and Culture Studies Catherine Roach. I met Roach at the University of Love conference where she was speaking about “cliteracy”, Wallace, and other topics from her latest book Happily Ever After: The Romance Story in Popular Culture. Her alter ego, romance writer Catherine LaRoche, was there to plug her “slightly steamy” historical romances. Arranging to meet her in the lobby of the conference hotel, I did consider asking which Catherine to expect. LaRoche, according to Roach’s book, prefers glamorous floor-length gowns. But it is Roach who turns up: an attractive woman wearing glasses and a sensible aqua sweater over a white shirt. The only evidence of LaRoche is a husky voice left over from a cold.
 
THE PORT RAIL: Christianity: Is it waning in America?
Tuscaloosa News – Aug. 27
Is Christianity is on the decline in America? What do the statistics tell us? Statistics in fact point to a downward trending number of Christians in America, but not to a uniform decline across the board. There exist pockets of hope and amazing vigor in Christianity which we will explore in a future column. For now, let’s explore the downward trending aspects reported by the well-respected Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life.
(Larry Clayton is a retired University of Alabama history professor. Readers can email him at larryclayton7@gmail.com.)

College Republicans Split on Trump
Inside Higher Ed – Aug. 29
Donald Trump is a historically controversial presidential candidate — even within his own party. That fact is being reflected in the endorsement decisions, or lack thereof, issued by campus GOP groups. A number of College Republican organizations have either refused to endorse Trump or have declared themselves on the fence … Certainly not all or even most campus Republican groups are rejecting their party’s nominee. Campus groups at Citadel, Liberty University and University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa have all backed the candidate.
 
Birmingham Fashion Week 2016 concludes; could be last, founders say
Al.com – Aug. 28
Birmingham Fashion Week 2016 ended Saturday night with a bang. Gold streamers emitted from party poppers rained down on models wearing heidi elnora couture. It signaled the end of the dramatic runway show in Birmingham’s Boutwell Auditorium. It also marked the end of three days of style and inspiration from up-and coming and acclaimed designers, make-up artists, hair stylists, models, and artists … This year, the University of Alabama and Savannah College of Art and Design offered scholarships for the winners.
My Fashion Magazine – Aug. 28

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.