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Campus Highlights

 

APRIL 2014

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UAB HOSPITAL SELECTED AS ONE OF “100 HOSPITALS WITH GREAT WOMEN’S HEALTH PROGRAMS”

Becker’s Hospital Review has named UAB one of its “100 Hospitals With Great Women’s Health Programs” for 2013. Becker’s Hospital Review recognizes hospitals with exceptional programs dedicated to the health and well-being of women. UAB Hospital’s Women and Infants Center is the only hospital in Alabama where maternal-fetal medicine physicians are available in-house 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The world-class facility is dedicated to the care of women and infants and can provide inpatient surgical care or routine outpatient office visits, all under one roof in a comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere. “Our Women and Infants Center boasts one of the largest Maternal-Fetal Medicine Programs in the country, is one of only 14 centers nationwide that participate in the Maternal-Fetal Medi-cine Units Network, and is the only center in Alabama to participate in this prestigious network,” said William Andrews, Ph.D., M.D., professor and chair of UAB’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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UAB EARNS REACCREDITATION AS CENTER OF EXCELLENCE FROM NAFC

The National Association for Continence has reaccredited UAB’s Continence and Urogynecology Care Clinics as a Center of Excellence for Continence Care. The Center of Excellence designation is based on evidence of extensive training, clinical experience, resources and patient satisfaction statistics that meet established standards. UAB’s Continence and Urogynecology Care Clinics were the first in the United States to be recognized as a Center of Excellence, in 2010, by the NAFC, which established the program to offer consumers seeking solutions to their bladder- and bowel-control problems and related pelvic floor dysfunction a reliable, trustworthy means of finding an experienced and credentialed expert. Health care institutions seeking to apply for this designation must first meet prequalification requirements set by the NAFC and its Centers of Excellence Governance Board. The designation process is patient-centered and includes a patient satisfaction survey and an extensive site visit.

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UAB ANNOUNCES NEW DEAN FOR SCHOOL OF OPTOMETRY

Kelly K. Nichols, O.D., MPH, Ph.D., FAAO, one of the world’s leading vision scientists in the area of dry eye disease, has been named dean of the UAB School of Optometry. Nichols will assume the role June 25. The School of Optometry, traditionally one of the top recipients of outside research funding in the country, graduated its first class in 1973 and has awarded more than 1,300 Doctor of Optometry degrees, 322 residency-completion certificates, 62 master’s degrees and 58 doctoral degrees. UABSO is consistently a national leader in the percentage of students who pass the national board exams. “In what was a highly com-petitive search, we narrowed the list down to several strong candidates from across the country and found Dr. Nichols to be the best fit for UAB,” UAB Provost Linda Lucas, Ph.D., said. “The UAB School of Optometry has seen tremendous growth in recent years, and I am confident that this hire will ensure a bright future in which the school builds on its momentum and flourishes under the leadership of Dr. Nichols.”

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SNOW CAN’T STOP THE SOUTHEAST’S LARGEST KIDNEY TRANSPLANT CHAIN AT UAB

The arctic blast that recently caused five Southern states to declare a state of emergency did not deter the transplant team at UAB from continuing the largest nondirected donor chain ever performed at a single center in the Southeast. A nondirected donor is some-one who is committed to being a living kidney donor but does not have an intended recipient. The 13-person chain began in December as the result of the selfless act of a nondirected living kidney donor, Helena native Paula Kok, and was scheduled to continue the week of January 27 with 16 operations – eight donor nephrectomies and eight kidney transplants. These 13 patients, with a new lease on life, were the product of a unique set of circumstances. First was Kok’s willingness to consider donating a kidney to a stranger in need. Her desire led her to the South’s leading incompatible kidney transplant program, at UAB, the outgrowth of efforts spanning 45 years and almost 10,000 transplants.

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PULMONARY INJURY AND REPAIR CENTER YIELDS BIG RETURN FOR UAB

The Pulmonary Injury and Repair Center at UAB has produced a major return on investment in its six years of existence. The Center, begun in 2008 with an initial investment of $140,000 from the UAB School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology and Southern Research Institute, has since received nearly $10 million in research funding from government and industry sources. Those funds have spurred scientific research, recruited new faculty and produced new knowledge in treating lung injury, especially from chemical agents such as chlorine, ammonia and bromine. UAB is one of the few research institutions in the nation involved in countermeasure research against chlorine and ammonia, and it is the only site looking for agents that would be effective against bromine.

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UAB ANNOUNCES A NEW PROGRAM THAT WILL INCREASE STEM TEACHERS IN ALABAMA

UAB is one of five research universities awarded a grant to implement a program that will increase the number of highly trained secondary science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, teachers in the classroom. The National Math and Science Initiative announced the expansion of the UTeach STEM teacher preparation program made possible by a $22.5 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. UTeach recruits and prepares students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics to enter careers in secondary education by enabling them to earn both a degree in their major and a teaching certification without adding time or expense to their four-year degree program.

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UAH COLLEGE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION RECEIVES EXTENSION OF ACCREDITATION BY AACSB

The CBA has earned an extension of accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

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UAH PTAC CONTINUES TO SUPPORT THE VON BRAUN CENTER FOR SCIENCE AND INNOVATION

UAH PTAC supports the VCSI SBA pilot initiative “Innovative Economies” program. The Huntsville Advanced Defense Technology Cluster Initiative (HADTCI) program supports small businesses in regional economic “clusters,” which are collaborations among small businesses, the public sector, economic development, and other organizations.

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UAH MARKETING STUDENTS CONDUCT MARKETING RESEARCH FOR LOCAL NON-PROFIT BUSINESS

Foster Perry, Adjunct Lecturer, facilitated student conducted marketing research and analysis and business plan support, for the Arc of Madison County, a local non-profit dedicated to providing services, advocacy, and support to the community of intellectually disabled.

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NEW LAB AT UAH COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AT UAH OFFERS STUDENTS CHANCE TO CONDUCT RESEARCH

A new laboratory in UAH’s Earth System Science Center is giving students opportunities to gain research experience in areas as diverse as archaeology from space, and learning which biological samples might try to take over the world if the power to their hermetically-sealed freezer goes off for several days. About a dozen students in Earth System Science and Atmospheric Science are working on research projects this semester through the new Human Dimensions, Discovery and Decision Making (HD3) lab.

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UAH SIGNS MOU WITH BARON SERVICES

President Robert Altenkirch signed a memorandum of understanding with meteorological company Baron Services, Inc. on January 31, 2014. The MOU enables UAH Atmospheric Science students to gain real-world experience through internships and cooperative research.

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UAH STUDENTS CONDUCT RESEARCH IN NEW LABORATORY

Earth System Science and Atmospheric Science students are conducting research this semester through the new Human Dimensions, Discovery and Decision Making (HD3) laboratory in the Earth System Science Center.

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UAH MUSIC PROFESSOR PROVIDES CULTURAL OUTREACH TO UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS IN THAILAND

Dr. Erin Colwitz and her husband, William Dehning, were invited to Bangkok, Thailand, to headline the Chulalongkorn University Choral Festival on February 7-9, 2014. This trip was underwritten by the US Embassy in Bangkok as part of their cultural outreach activities. The pair traveled to Chiang Mai later in the week where Dr. Colwitz worked with school choirs from Montfort College, Montfort College Primary Section, and Dara Wittayalai School.

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SOUTH CAROLINA ADMINISTRATOR NAMED UAH PROVOST

Dr. Christine Curtis was recently named Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at UAH. Dr. Curtis most recently served as the Senior Vice Provost and Director of Strategic Planning at the University of South Carolina. She also served as Vice Provost for Faculty Development, and was a Professor in the USC Chemical Engineering department. Dr. Curtis received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Mercer University, and her master’s and Ph.D. degrees in analytical chemistry from Florida State University. She succeeds Dr. Vistasp Karbhari, who is now President of the University of Texas-Arlington.

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UA SCHOOL OF MUSIC TO BECOME ‘ALL STEINWAY SCHOOL’

UA and piano crafters Steinway & Sons are making beautiful music together. The University’s School of Music is becoming an “All Steinway School,” which will bring the Capstone into some rarefied air. Other “All Steinway” schools include Yale, Juilliard, and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. In the coming months and years, all of the School of Music’s pianos will be systematically replaced with state-of-the-art Steinway instru-ments. This ‘Steinway Initiative’ will publicly recognize and rank UA’s keyboard department among the finest programs in the nation, said Skip Snead, chair of the School of Music. The result will be music majors who are better prepared for work in their fields after graduation, as well as recruiting more top students to UA.

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UA CITED IN GUIDE TO MILITARY FRIENDLY COLLEGES, UNIVERSITIES

The 2014 Guide to Military Friendly Colleges & Universities, part of the Military Advanced Education magazine, has named UA one of its top schools. The listing honors programs offered by UA’s Office for Veteran and Military Affairs. Among the attributes considered in evaluating this year’s institution for inclusion in the guide are the flexibility of online learning options, extent of transfer credits accepted by degree level, on-campus ROTC, on-campus active duty or veteran assistance, the support provided to the families of service members, and full-time counselors trained in veteran-specific mental health concerns. UA’s Office for Veteran and Military Affairs provides resources, including scholar-ship assistance, to all veterans, service members, dependents and survivors from application process to UA to graduation.

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UA’S GRADUATE PARENT SUPPORT PROGRAM WON LEADERSHIP AWARD

The American Council on Education has named UA’s Graduate Parent Support program as the 2014 recipient of its State Network Leadership Award for the Advancement of Women in Higher Education. The ACE State Network Leadership Award recognizes an outstanding and innovative program that is sponsored by an ACE State Network or by a college or university that has helped advance or support women or women’s issues in higher education. UA’s Graduate School launched the support program in 2009. The program provides graduate students who have children with an innovative and accessible academic, social and emotional support system. Perdue also serves as the director of the Undergraduate Parent Support program.

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UA, AUBURN COLLABORATED ON ‘HOUSE UNITED’ HABITAT PROJECT

Ten UA students and faculty joined with counterparts at Auburn University for the third “House United” project sponsored by the Alabama Association of Habitat for Humanity Affiliates, the Lee County Habitat for Humanity and Geordan Communities. The project was in Opelika. The students worked alongside professional builders from Geordan Communities. This company and its subcontractors have donated materials and labor for the past two years, helping a family get into their own new home for Christmas. The project is intended to provide housing for a family in need before Christmas. Ten members of the Auburn community joined the 10 students and faculty from UA.

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UA’S UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER HAS SECOND LOCATION

The University Medical Center, operated by UA, now has a second location. Dr. Jennifer Clem has joined University Medical Center-Warrior Family Medicine and is accepting new patients. Clem is an assistant professor in the department of family medicine at UA’s College of Community Health Sciences, where she instructs resident physicians in the Family Medicine Residency. The college also functions as a regional campus of the UA School of Medicine. University Medical Center-Warrior Family Medicine was formed last year after Dr. H. Joseph Fritz and his practice, Warrior Family Practice, joined the College. Fritz, who has been in private practice in Tuscaloosa since 1978, continues to see patients at University Medical Center-Warrior Family Medicine.

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NEW ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT FOR ADVANCEMENT AT UA NAMED

Keith Gaskin has been named associate vice president for advancement at UA. His appointment was effective February 3. Gaskin comes to UA from Mississippi State University where he served as senior director of development since 2005. He joined Mississippi State in 1995 as a development officer and was promoted to director of development in 1997 and held that position until 2004. He served as vice president for development for Palmer Home for Children in Columbus, MS, from 2004-2005. Gaskin earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1987 and his master’s degree in public policy and administration at Mississippi State in 2000. He is completing his doctorate in community college leadership at Mississippi State. He has also attended leadership programs at Harvard and Rhodes College.

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NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR APPOINTED FOR UA-HOUSED ADAP

James A. Tucker has been selected as the new executive director of the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program, housed at UA. Prior to this appointment, Tucker served as ADAP’s litigation director for 15 years. During the last six years, he served concurrently as the agency’s associate director. Tucker received his undergraduate degree from UA in 1982. He studied law at Emory University, graduating in 1986. ADAP is part of the nationwide federally mandated protection and advocacy (P&A) system. ADAP provides legal advocacy services to Alabamians with disabilities to protect, promote and expand their rights. ADAP’s vision is one of a society where persons with disabilities are valued and exercise self-determination through meaningful choices and have equality of opportunity.