The University of Alabama

UA Preview

MONDAY, SEPT. 24 – SUNDAY, SEPT. 30, 2012

BEST BETS

CONFERENCE LOOKS AT ACADEMICS AND STRONG COMMUNITIES – UA is hosting the largest gathering in the world of university faculty, staff, students and community partners who are engaged in research projects that bring together community and academic leaders to solve problems and create positive change. The 2012 National Outreach Scholarship Conference will be Sept. 30-Oct. 3 at the Bryant Conference Center. Some 500 delegates from 75 colleges and universities in 35 states, Canada and Africa are expected to attend the conference that is themed, “Partner. Inspire. Change.” For details, contact Linda Hill in media relations, 205/348-8325, lhill@ur.ua.edu, Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, UA vice president for community affairs, 205/348-8376, samory.pruitt@ua.edu, or Janet Griffith, UA assistant provost, 205/348-8314, janet.griffith@ua.edu. A UA news release at http://uanews.ua.edu/2012/09/ua-to-host-national-conference-on-academics-strong-communities/ also provides information about several of the community engagement projects by UA faculty, staff and students to be highlighted at the meeting.

MEMORY SCREENING – Graduate students and faculty in UA’s psychology departmentare offering a no-cost memory screening to members of the West Alabama community ages 55 or older. The screening, which is both a service to the community and part of a UA research study by the clinical geropsychology program, is offered at Capstone Village by appointment. The screening will include a short clinical interview, a brief cognitive assessment and tests for depression and anxiety. The researchers will share results with the participants. The program will use data collected during the screenings for research into cognition among older adults. Contact: Richard LeComte, media relations, 205/348-3782, rllecomte@ur.ua.edu.

MIDDLE SCHOOL – THE CRITICAL LINK IN DROPOUT PREVENTION – Parents and teachers of middle school students should be diligent in watching for the warning signs for dropping out of school. According to Dr. Joyce Stallworth, senior associate dean in UA’s College of Education, the warning signs include poor school attendance, poor academic achievement, and poor behavior. “These characteristics have been found to be more accurate predictors than socioeconomic factors of whether or not a student will become a drop out in high school,” she said. “Students become disengaged during the tween years. They are frustrated, so they see no need to continue to come to school. Interventions in middle school can turn students around and reduce dropout numbers in high school.” She said teachers and parents should not overlook the motivation that extracurricular activities can provide in engaging students. Stallworth can be reached at 205/348-6051 or jstallwo@bamaed.ua.edu. More tips can be found in a video interview with Stallworth at http://ua.edu/features/tween/dropout.html

CURRENT COMMENT

UA POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR READY TO SPEAK ON ROMNEY VIDEO – Dr. Richard C. Fording, chair of the UA political science department, states that he finds several key lessons in the debate over the “47 percent” statement former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney made on recently distributed video. “This 47 percent Gov. Romney refers to consists of several distinct groups. The majority of that 47 percent are people who are working and paying payroll taxes. They also pay state and local taxes. The only tax they don’t pay is the federal income tax, because they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which offers a tax rebate to poor, working adults with children. This tax rebate was started by a Republican president, Gerald Ford, and is viewed as a great success by liberals and conservatives alike because it helps to ‘make work pay’ and keep families off public assistance. The next largest group of the 47 percent is the elderly, who receive Social Security and Medicare benefits. This demographic group actually supports Romney, at least before his remarks were made public. Finally, there is a smaller group of individuals and families who are receiving public assistance right now because of the economic downturn. When the economy improves, this group will shrink, leaving only a tiny fraction of the population on welfare, primarily due to long-term or short-term disabilities and other work barriers that prevent them from being able to work full time.” Fording is co-author of the book “Disciplining the Poor: Neoliberal Paternalism and the Persistent Power of Race” with Drs. Joe Soss and Sanford S. Schram, published by the University of Chicago Press. Contact Fording directly at rcfording@as.ua.edu or through Richard LeComte, media relations, at rllecomte@ur.ua.edu, 205/348-3782.

SOURCE ON ATTACKS IN LIBYA AND EGYPT –Dr. Emily Ritter, assistant professor of political science, is ready to give expert opinion on the fatal attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya last week. “The attacks on U.S. personnel in Libya, Egypt, and Yemen may seem systematic, but I believe they are likely to stay contained – isolated incidents,” Ritter says. “Armed extremists reacted to a single video created by another extremist with violence that ended in a terrible loss. However, Libya’s government has responded to strongly condemn and isolate the violence in a way that supports human rights in general, and the U.S. has deployed a very small force to keep Americans in Libya safe in a way that shouldn’t create tension with the new government. In all, this has been a terrible, but largely anomalous, set of attacks.” Contact Ritter at emily.ritter@ua.edu or contact Richard LeComte, media relations, at rllecomte@ur.ua.edu or 205/348-3782.

EVENTS

NO FOOLING – UA’s department of theatre and dance launches its 2012-2013 season with Neil Simon’s “Fools” from Monday Sept. 24, to Friday, Sept 28 as well as Sunday, Sept. 30, in the Allen Bales Theatre. In 19th century Russia, young Leon Tolchinsky is ecstatic for landing his first teaching job.  But when he arrives to the idyllic hamlet of Kulyenchikov, he finds that it is living under a 200 year old curse of “Chronic Stupidity.”  On top of that, his star pupil, Sophia, quickly becomes the object of his desires – and the only way to win her heart and get married is to break the curse once and for all. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10. For more information, go to http://theatre.ua.edu/.

SONIC FRONTIERS – Tim Daisy’s Vox Arcana trio will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, in UA’s School of Music Recital Hall as part of UA’s Sonic Frontiers series. Percussionist and composer Tim Daisy leads the Chicago-based trio, which also features James Falzone on clarinet and Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello and electronics. The concert is free and open to the public. Contact: Dr. Andrew Raffo Dewar, 205/348-9928, adewar@ua.edu.

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH – The UA Crossroads Community Center is organizing a variety of campus events open to the community for national Hispanic Heritage Month. Activities and events and will range from health forums and guest speakers to films and women’s soccer. A complete listing of events can be found at http://crossroads.ua.edu; also contact Dr. Beverly Hawk, UA Crossroads Community Center, 205/348-6930, beverly.hawk@ua.edu for more information.

LOOKING AHEAD

MOUNDVILLE NATIVE AMERICAN FESTIVAL – UA Museums’ Moundville Archaeological Park will host its 23rd Native American Festival from Wednesday, Oct. 10, through Saturday, Oct. 13, at the park. Performers will include flutists Billy Whitefox, Sydney Mitchell, Jimmy Yellowhorse and Charlie Mato-Toyela; the flute-guitar duo Injunuity; singer-songwriter Michael Jacobs; storyteller Gayle Ross; and the Chickasaw Nation Dance Troupe. For details, go to http://moundville.ua.edu/festival/ or contact Richard LeComte, media relations, rllecomte@ur.ua.edu, 205/348-3782.

SLASH PINE FESTIVAL – The Slash Pine Press’s poetry festival will be Friday, Oct. 12, and Saturday, Oct. 13, in venues at UA and in downtown Tuscaloosa. The events, which feature UA and regional poets, are free and open to the public. The first reading will be at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, on the Quad in front of Gorgas Library. The second will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at 205 Gorgas Library. The third will be at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 13, at the Green Bar 2350 Fourth St. in Tuscaloosa; and the fourth will be at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at Mellow Mushroom, 2230 University Blvd. in Tuscaloosa. For details, go to http://slashpinepress.com/.

ALUMNUS TO SHOW PAINTINGS AT UA – New York artist and UA alumnus Thornton Willis will be in Tuscaloosa for an artist reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, including a question-and-answer session at 7 p.m. in the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art. His appearance supports an exhibit of his work titled “Thornton Willis: Structural Abstractions,” which features selections from a decade of his large abstract oil paintings. The show will run from Thursday, Oct. 4 to Friday, Nov. 16. Contact: Richard LeComte, media relations, rllecomte@ur.ua.edu, 205/348-3782.