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Campus Highlights


APRIL 2016


UAB Celebrates Opening of New Hill Student Center

The much-anticipated new Hill Student Center on UAB’s campus is open. With 162,000 square feet of space for student activities, gatherings and services, the Hill Student Center will provide meeting, conference and auditorium space; student organization spaces; upgraded dining facilities including Full Moon Bar-B-Que, Mein Bowl, Starbucks and soon-to-be-open Panera Bread; a ballroom that can be divided into four sections; a stadium-style theater; a two-story bookstore; a technology store; the Campus Visit Center; and the One-Stop Student Service center for admissions, course registration, student accounting, parking, financial aid and student ID functions.

Look up, Birmingham. Your Skyline is Changing.  Celebrating the Relationship Between UAB and Birmingham

2016 brings a new look to the Birmingham skyline. The Pepsi billboard that has overlooked the city from the Two North Twentieth Building is being replaced by new signage that celebrates the relationship between Birmingham and UAB. The new sign, 179 feet by 25 feet, will feature a variety of iconic images that showcase Birmingham’s historic past surrounding the UAB logo.

UAB to Partner with Gardendale on New Medical Facilities

The University of Alabama Health Services Foundation will purchase 5 acres of land from the City of Garden-dale to construct a medical office building. The facility will house primary care and family care services and improve overall access to medical care for residents of Gardendale/North Jefferson County. The property is in the Gardendale city center. The medical office building will expand UAB’s existing Gardendale primary care practice and provide opportunities for new and existing patients to see UAB specialists without traveling to Birming-ham. On-site laboratory services will allow for routine lab tests to be performed in Gardendale with results available to a patient’s UAB Health System physician regardless of their location. Digital radiology will also be available with all images interpreted by UAB radiologists.


UAB Continues Commitment to Student-Veterans with New Space, Increased “Unlimited” Scholarship and More Military Credits

Veterans of military service who are students at UAB now have a new space dedicated to their needs and greater support from the university through scholarships and credits.The new space for UAB’s student-veteran population is in the heart of campus. UAB has a rich history of supporting veterans, and the new efforts continue that commitment through improved scholarship offerings and by increasing the limit of acceptable military credits, says Bradley Barnes, PhD, vice provost for enrollment management.


UAB Opens Civitan International Neuroimaging Laboratory

With a new state-of-the-art full-body magnetic resonance imaging scanner, UAB has opened the Civitan International Neuroimaging Laboratory in UAB Highlands Hospital. The facility is supported by Civitan International, an organization of volunteer service clubs around the world, dedicated to helping people in their own communities. Investment in the lab includes $3 million for the 3T MRI, the fastest scanner for human use, along with $1 million for renovation of the space. The lab has 5,000 square feet of space to support advanced MRI research and clinical MRI imaging. The lab’s imaging equipment will be used for both research purposes and patient care in conditions such as autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, macular degeneration, spinal cord injury, glioma, ALS and traumatic brain injury.


UAH Philosophy Department Hosted Distinguished Speaker

Noted African American feminist philosopher Kristie L. Dotson was the guest speaker for UAH’s Distinguished Speaker Series on February 19. Her visit and public lecture, “The Philosophy of Race,” were sponsored by the UAH Department of Philosophy and the Humanities Center.


UAH History Department Co-Hosted Holocaust Workshop for Alabama Educators

The Department of History and the Division of Professional and Continuing Studies hosted “Teaching the Complexities of the Holocaust,” a professional development workshop for middle and high school  teachers. The workshop drew teachers from across northern Alabama.


College of Education at UAH Inaugural Event Held for Community Outreach Project Grant

On February 22, 2016, UAH hosted its first wheelchair basketball practice for the Ability Sport Network (ASN). ASN is a budding para-
athletic youth sports league in Alabama, aimed at providing team sport competition opportunities for disabled secondary students of all income levels. UAH’s ASN program is funded by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education and is managed by Kinesiology Lecturer Mr. David Kyle.

UAH Information Technology and Systems Center Adds Key Researchers

ITSC has recently hired Dr. John Beck from the National Geospatial Agency, who has expertise in geospatial analysis and Dr. Eric Imsand from industry, who has expertise in cyber-security. Expertise in several defense related areas is also being enhanced with the addition of some recently retired senior defense managers who are working in on-call positions which allows UAH to share in the wealth of science and engineering knowledge in this area.

UA Recognized as a Top Producing Institution for Student Fulbright Awards

UA has been recognized as a top producing institution for student Fulbright awards, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. Eleven of 30 UA applicants received the award during 2015-2016, one of the highest success ratios in the nation. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers grants for independent study and research projects and for English teaching assistantships overseas. The highly competitive program makes approximately 1,500 awards each year. Ten UA graduates won awards as teaching assistants and one UA graduate received a Fulbright research award for the 2015-2016 academic year. Other top producers this year include Harvard (31), Michigan (29), Northwestern and Yale (26), UNC-Chapel Hill (15), Texas-Austin and UVA (14), Duke and Ohio State (12), Florida State, Tufts, and Maryland (11).


UA Library School Awarded Record Number of Books to Black Belt Schools

The UA School of Library and Information Studies awarded a record $22,552 in new, free books to elementary-, middle- and high-school libraries in the Black Belt region of the state. It did so via the SLIS Book Bonanza for the BlackBelt & Beyond Program. School librarians in the Black Belt region were asked to apply for the book giveaway program from January to mid-February. From a record 36 applications, the committee chose seven school libraries to receive more than $1,500 each in new children’s and young adult books. Committee members also selected a Book Bonanza Beyond winner. The Beyond winner is a low-income private school in the Black Belt Region of the state or a public school in an economically disadvantaged area of the state outside of the Black Belt.


UA Departments of Journalism, Telecommunication and Film to Merge

UA’s College of Communication and Information Sciences announced the process of merging its department of journalism and its department of telecommunication and film in fall 2016. The new department will be named the department of journalism and creative media. The merger comes as a result of the College’s strategic planning efforts that began in the summer of 2014. The overall goals of the merger are to better serve the educational mission of the departments and respond to disciplinary and professional trends in the field of communication and information sciences. No faculty, staff or academic degrees will be eliminated as a result of this merger.


UA Receives Renewal of StormReady Status from National Weather Service

UA has had its StormReady status renewed by the National Weather Service. The certification signifies that the University’s severe weather plans, procedures and resources continue to meet or exceed National Weather Service standards, said Dr. Donald Keith, UA director of emergency preparedness. The University’s StormReady designation will last for three years.

UA Honored by Arbor Day Foundation with Tree Campus USA Recognition

UA was honored with 2015 Tree Campus USA recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management. Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation to honor colleges and universities for engaging staff and students in conservation goals through campus forestry efforts. UA achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards: a tree advisory committee, a campus tree care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and student service learning projects. UA’s urban forest is comprised of more than 10,000 trees, many more than a century old, which represent the University’s long-standing commitment to creating and maintaining a sustainable environment for the future of its students and the Tuscaloosa community.


UA Established Community Affairs Board of Advisors

The UA Division of Community Affairs has announced the creation of an alumni board of advisors made up of outstanding individuals with a commitment to community engagement and student success. The board will support campus-wide initiatives that increase student success and retention and facilitate student involvement in entrepreneurship, innovation and development of thoughtful global and community leaders. The board will also mentor current students and assist in recruiting outstanding future leaders.


UA International Relations Club Received Awards at Model U.N. in Mexico City

A delegation from the Alabama International Relations Club at UA received awards at the fifth annual Harvard National Model United Nations-Latin America conference in Mexico City. A group of 10 UA students traveled to the week-long event, where they debated international politics and discussed solutions to critical global issues with hundreds of students from universities around the world. The model United Nations is hosted by Harvard University and the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo. It is recognized as the premier conference in Latin America. For the second year in a row, the club was named Most Outstanding Small Delegation, besting all other U.S. schools in attendance and many of those from Latin America. Contributing to that distinction were three AIRC members who received individual awards at the conference.


UA Opened Intercultural Diversity Center

UA held a ribbon cutting ceremony to open an Intercultural Diversity Center on the first floor of the Riverside Community Center. The Intercultural Diversity Center was envisioned by students to increase cultural awareness and provide resources for increasing inclusion and collaboration on the UA campus, said Dr. David L. Grady, UA vice president for student affairs. It is available to students, faculty and staff. The center will also collaborate with other departments and organizations on campus to provide programming to create a supportive and empowering atmosphere for all members of the UA community.

Redesigned UA Website Unveiled

UA launched its new website featuring responsive design technology, which allows the screen to collapse to fit all screen sizes for mobile, tablet, laptop and desktop devices. It has a strong emphasis on photography, and it integrates video and social media to drive engagement and interaction. Web analytics and research were used in building the site so users can find what they are looking for more readily. The new website was developed by  UA’s Office of Web Communications. Templates and themes based on the new UA.edu framework have been built and made available to campus departments.

UA Exceeded its United Way Campaign Goal

UA again exceeded its United Way campaign goal, pledging nearly $398,000 for the 2015 campaign. The 2015 goal was $345,000, a $20,000 increase from the 2014 campaign goal. The total raised was $397,803. UA’s School of Social Work hosted the campaign with faculty members Dr. Javonda Williams, Dr. Gordon MacNeil and Angela Lockhart serving as campaign chairs, with Liz Dykes, the school’s Loaned Executive, heavily involved from start to finish. The campus coordinating committee supporting the trio included representatives from Student Affairs, Community Affairs, The University of Alabama Retirees Association and the Office of Research and Economic Development, as well as other areas of campus.