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Campus Highlights


JUNE 2016


UAB Nursing School Professionals to Chair Recently Established Health Literacy Partnership of Alabama   

Gov. Robert Bentley announced April 26 that he had signed an executive order establishing the Health Literacy Partnership of Alabama. The Health Literacy Partnership of Alabama, created by Executive Order 18, will recommend to the governor ways to improve the health literacy of Alabamians. Recommendations may take the form of regulatory or statutory changes, with initial recommendations due before the start of the 2017 regular session of the Alabama Legislature. Joy Deupree, an assistant professor in the UAB School of Nursing and Robert Wood Johnson executive nurse fellow, will chair the Partnership.


UAB Cancer Center Creates Coalition to Increase HPV Vaccination Rates

As part of its ongoing efforts to serve as a leader in cancer prevention and control, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center has led the establishment of a coalition of organizations from across Alabama to address barriers and improve human papilloma virus vaccination rates in the state. Cervical cancer is the only cancer that can be prevented through vaccination, yet HPV vaccination rates remain low.


After 30 Years at UAB, Research VP Announces Plans to Retire

UAB Vice President for Research and Economic Development Richard B. Marchase, Ph.D., will retire at the end of 2016 after three decades of service to UAB students, faculty and staff that influenced the institution’s growth, economic impact and world-changing advancements in research. A national search to fill the position will begin in the coming weeks. Marchase joined UAB in 1986 as associate professor of cell biology and anatomy, and has since held titles including professor, chair, associate dean, vice president and interim president.

UAB Hospital Recognized for Decreasing Inappropriate Use of Antibiotics

One of today’s urgent health threats is antibiotic resistance, caused by inappropriate prescription and use of antibiotics, and – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – approximately 50 percent of all antibiotics prescribed in the United States are unnecessary or inappropriate, with many of them prescribed in inpatient settings. Inappropriate use of antibiotics increases the risk of developing Clostridium difficile, an illness that causes diarrhea and can be fatal if not treated properly. UAB was featured in a report published in April by The Pew Charitable Trusts as one of 10 acute and long-term care facilities leading the way in improving antibiotic use.


UAH Music Department Hosts Grammy Award-winning Performers

The Department of Music hosted a performance by Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble, Roomful of Teeth, in April as part of the department’s yearlong Constellation Concert Series. The season also included the Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet in March.


UAH Theatre Presents Eurydice

UAH Theatre offered eight performances of Eurydice, a play by Sarah Ruhl that reimagines the classic myth of Orpheus through the eyes of its heroine. The play was directed by Theatre lecturer Ms. Karen Baker.


UAH Humanities Center Celebrates 25 Years

The UAH Humanities Center celebrated its 25th anniversary in April with a series of commemorative events, including performances by award-winning musicians, talks by renowned academicians, and readings by critically acclaimed contemporary writers.


UAH College of Business Launches Speaker Series

Dr. Julian Earls, former NASA Glenn Research Center Director, presented “Things They Don’t Teach in College” at the inaugural College of Business Administration Speaking of Success lecture series.


Local Middle School Students Speak to ISS Astronaut with Help From UAH Club

A number of local middle school students were able to speak directly with American astronaut Tim Kopra via amateur radio as the International Space Station (ISS) passed over Huntsville. The rare opportunity was made possible by members of the Space Hardware Club (SHC), a student-run organization at UAH, who applied and were accepted to NASA’s Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program.

UAH Outreach Program Introduces Students to Engineering

Drs. P.J. Benfield and Matt Turner, Principal Research Engineers at UAH’s Systems Management and Production (SMAP) Center, visited Decatur, AL, to debut their Innovative System Project for the Increased Recruitment of Emerging STEM Students (InSPIRESS).


UAH Propulsion Research Center Student Association (PRCSA) and Society of Women Engineers Judge Science Project Competitions at the UAH Science Olympiad

The PRCSA teamed with the Society of Women Engineers to judge bottle rocket, electric vehicle, scrambler, and wind power events at the 2016 UAH Science Olympiad. The Science Olympiad is a competition that challenges teams of middle and high school students to solve various scientific problems.


UAH University Student Launch Initiative Team Participates in NASA Competition

Over the course of two semesters, students designed, built, and flew a high powered rocket carrying two scientific payloads as part of the NASA Student Launch Competition. The rocket was launched from Bragg Farms in Toney, AL, and flew to an altitude of 4,720 feet on an Aerotech K700 solid rocket motor. The project is performed as a senior design course, conducted at the PRC, and sponsored by the Alabama Space Grant.


UA’s Rural Medical Scholars Program Celebrated 20th Class

The Rural Medical Scholars Program at the College of Community Health Sciences honored the graduates of its 20th class, as well as alumni of the now two-decade-old program, at Hotel Capstone on UA campus. Approximately 200 rural Alabama students have entered the College’s Rural Medical Scholars Program since its founding in 1996. Many graduates have chosen primary care fields. The majority of the program’s graduates practice in Alabama, and more than half of those practice in rural communities. The College works to address the shortage of primary care physicians in Alabama through the Rural Medical Scholars Program, which is for rural Alabama students who want to become physicians and practice in rural communities.


UA Student Team Wins Dow Big Data Challenge

A UA student team from the Culverhouse College of Commerce won first place in the 2016 Dow Big Data Challenge. Team members Bryant Cassidey, of Mobile, and Ford McDermott, of Atlanta, GA, are master’s students in operations management, specializing in decision analytics at Culverhouse. They competed with some 20 teams composed of up to two graduate students and one undergraduate student. Dow Chemical formulated a problem from its daily operations and provided the data to the teams in the competition. The problem represented a Dow business segment either in industrial engineering, operations research, supply chain or management sciences. The students analyzed the data and developed solutions. They presented their solutions to Dow executives for judging. The Culverhouse team placed second last year.


Three Innovative Teams Win UA Business Plan Competition

Three UA student teams are on their way to starting their own businesses after winning the Culverhouse College of Commerce’s third annual Edward K. Aldag, Jr., Business Plan Competition.  A synthetic skin to aid in the healthcare industry, a medical surgical device with a panoramic camera created through a NASA technology project, and an application-based grocery delivery company targeting college towns are the three innovative business plan ideas that resulted in wins for the student teams. Each of the teams already received $2,000 each to develop a prototype and specialty advising in developing their pitch, as a result of winning the preliminary round. In winning the competition’s final round, the teams received co-working space at The Edge in downtown Tuscaloosa. They will receive specialized consulting in business development.


UA Team Wins SEC MBA CaseCompetition

UA took first place in the 2016 SEC MBA Case Competition held at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. This was the fourth SEC MBA Case Competition and is the first win for UA. UA’s Manderson MBA Case Team from the Culverhouse College of Commerce included Katie Lamberth, of Alexander City, Abhinav Bhattacharya, of Kolkata, India, Matt Collins, of Greensboro, and Katie Grayson, of Fayette. Two team members also won individual awards. Lamberth won Best Presenter and Bhattacharya won Best Q&A in the divisional round against Auburn and Kentucky. A team of four MBA students from each of the 14 SEC universities was presented a business case by Henkel, a multinational company that produces consumer and industrial products in the laundry and home, beauty care and adhesive technologies sectors.

Online Resource Ranked UA Degree Program in Nursing No. 1

An online resource for helping students find appropriate and affordable degree programs has listed UA’s online Bachelor of Science program for RNs No. 1 in its field. The degree is offered in UA’s Capstone College of Nursing. College Choice, an independent online publication that helps students find and pay for college programs, ranked UA’s RN Mobility – RN to BSN – program first. The Capstone College of Nursing’s RN to BSN program of study provides registered nurses who hold an associate’s degree or a diploma in nursing the opportunity to pursue a bachelor’s degree in a convenient online format. The program can be completed in three semesters and enrolls approximately 230 students a year.


UA Students Updated Capstone Creed

UA students announced during Honors Week an updated statement of the University’s core values to reflect the importance of promoting equity and inclusion on campus. UA’s Capstone Creed, developed in 2000 and designed to identify and sustain the core values which are manifest in all members of the University community, was reviewed by the Student Leadership Council and recently approved by UA’s Office of Student Affairs. The newly adapted Creed reads: “As a member of The University of Alabama community, I will pursue knowledge, act with fairness, integrity and respect; promote equity and inclusion; foster individual and civic responsibility; and strive for excellence in all I do.” The Capstone Creed is a pledge made at convocation by first-year students at the start of the academic year.


UA Action Card Recognized with National Social Networking Award

UA’s Action Card Office was presented with the 2016 National Association of Campus Card Users’ Best Social Networking and/or Website Award at the 23rd annual NACCU conference in San Francisco, CA. The award, sponsored by TCF Bank, is presented to the institution whose submission receives the most votes from its NACCU peers before the conference. The Action Card is the official UA photo identification and prepaid purchasing card. Its uses include access to athletic events, UA libraries and various campus facilities. The NACCU is the only association serving the national and international campus card transaction industry.


UA Design/Production Team Wins National ADDY Award

The Office of Design/Production in UA’s Division of Strategic Communications has received a National ADDY in the American Advertising Awards competition. The award is for the design of an invitation to the 40th anniversary of the UA President’s Cabinet. With more than 40,000 entries from across the country, the American Advertising Awards are the world’s largest and most competitive advertising competition. Entries pass through three rigorous rounds of judging by advertising industry creative executives. The awards are a program of the American Advertising Federation. Established in 1905, the American Advertising Federation includes members from all disciplines and career levels in advertising. UA’s Division of Strategic Communications manages and promotes The University of Alabama brand worldwide.


UA Center for Community-Based Partnerships Celebrated Anniversary

A UA awards program recognizing the best of engaged scholarship conducted by faculty, staff, student and community teams turned 10 years old recently. The Excellence in Community Engagement Awards brings the campus and community together to give much-deserved recognition of the many examples of campus-community collaboration that take place each year, said Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, UA vice president for the Division of Community Affairs. A highlight of the event each year is the presentation of research posters. This year a record 21 posters were accepted for presentation. Guests in attendance became members of the newly created Community Affairs Board of Advisors. Its purpose is to support campus-wide initiatives that encourage student success and retention, facilitate entrepreneurship and support innovation and global leadership.