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Campus Highlights

 

SEPTEMBER 2014

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NATION’S LARGEST SINGLE-SITE KIDNEY TRANSPLANT CHAIN UNDERWAY AT UAB

Twenty-one living donors have changed the lives of twenty-one recipients so far as part of the nation’s longest ongoing single-center paired kidney transplant chain, which is underway at the UAB Hospital. The chain began December 5, 2013, with Pelham, AL, resident and donor Paula Kok, who approached UAB about the possibility of donating a kidney to a stranger in need this past fall; she was committed to donating a kidney despite not having an intended recipient. In a paired transplant chain, a donation like this can set off a series in which family or friends of recipients give a kidney to another person in need – essentially paying donations forward on behalf of a loved one. Kok’s altruistic gift began a chain of transplants that involves people from nine states – Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, Illinois and New Jersey. The chain was featured nationally on the ABC news program “Nightline” on July 3, 2014, and across multiple local and regional news outlets. The program featured several members of the chain and showcased the work of UAB Medicine physicians, nurses and staff who helped make this lifesaving, complex chain a reality.

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TOP NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCIES RECOGNIZE UAB’S CYBERCRIME RESEARCH

For the second year in a row, the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have designated UAB as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense Research. The goal of this recognition program is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in information assurance, as well as producing a growing number of professionals with information assurance expertise in various disciplines.

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FORMER UAB EXECUTIVE TO RETURN AS NEW VICE PRESIDENT FOR FINANCIAL AFFAIRS AND ADMINISTRATION

After a national search, UAB has named G. Allen Bolton Jr., MPH, MBA, as vice president for Financial Affairs and Administration. In his new role, which he will assume October 1, 2014, Bolton will lead UAB’s Financial Affairs and Administration, which supports the education, research and patient-care missions and activities of the institution, primarily through divisions including Business and Auxiliary Services, Facilities, Financial Affairs, Human Resources, Risk Management, Faculty and Staff Benevolent Fund, UAB Police Department, and the University Compliance Office. Bolton has worked for the last three years as senior vice president for Finance and Administration and chief operating officer at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Prior to that, he gained extensive academic medical center experience at both UAB and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

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UAB ANNOUNCES FIRST DIRECTOR OF ABROMS-ENGEL INSTITUTE FOR THE VISUAL ARTS

The UAB College of Arts and Sciences has announced Lisa Tamiris Becker as the new director for the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts. Becker previously directed the art museums at the University of New Mexico and the University of Colorado, Boulder. In her roles as director, she oversaw numerous exhibitions and a permanent collection of more than 30,000 works of photography, painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics and African art. At both universities, Becker increased annual programming and exhibition support, expanded the collections of both museums, and enhanced the arts on campus and in the communities.

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UAB ENROLLS NATION’S FIRST PATIENT IN PHASE III DRUG TRIAL FOR PREECLAMPSIA

The UAB Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has enrolled the first patient in the United States in a Phase III clinical trial for a drug to treat preeclampsia in pregnant women that, if successful, would be a significant clinical breakthrough for reducing preterm births and infant mortality. ATryn®, or antithrombin recombinant, will be administered to treat pre-eclampsia in pregnant women during the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy as part of the PRESERVE-1 trial. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial will assess whether ATryn, produced by rEVO Biologics Inc., prolongs pregnancy in women with early-onset preeclampsia and reduces the high rates of perinatal mortality and disability it causes.

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UAB SCHOOL OF EDUCATION EARNS NATIONAL REACCREDITATION

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation has reaccredited the UAB School of Education. CAEP is the premier accreditting agency for education professionals in the United States. Its evidence-based accreditation system is based on annual progress reports, comprehensive institutional reports and on-site visits. The CAEP team completed its on-site visit to the School of Education in December 2013 and notified the school of reaccreditation in May 2014. The School of Education’s CAEP-accredited programs include undergraduate and graduate tracks in educator preparation, counselor education, teacher leadership and educational leadership.

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UAH COLLEGE OF SCIENCE NSF-FUNDED HELIOPHYSICS RESEARCH EXPERIENCE FOR UNDERGRADUATES COMPLETES ITS 10-WEEK SUMMER PROGRAM

This year 12 students, six male and six female, were selected to work with scientists from either MSFC or CSPAR and completed research projects related to various topics in heliophysics. Students came from Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Colorado, Georgia, Texas, Kansas, New York, Virginia and one student (non NSF-funded) came from Cambridge University in the UK. Research projects ranged from testing the next generation of solar instruments to using Voyager data to understand the structure of the heliosphere. During the last week of the program each student presented a poster on their work, and also submitted an abstract to present a version of their poster at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in December.

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UAH COLLEGE OF SCIENCE

- Atmospheric Science Professor, Dr. Sundar Christopher, has been appointed as Dean of the College of Science.

- UAH Atmospheric Science Associate Professor, Dr. Lawrence Carey, has been appointed Interim Chair of the Department.

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UAH COLLEGE OF NURSING

Marsha Howell Adams, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, a nationally recognized leader in the nursing field has been named dean of UAH College of Nursing. Dr. Adams has numerous distinctions and achievements and brings a wealth of experience in leadership and administration, research, scholarship, and teaching.

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UAH COLLEGE OF BUSINESS ENTREPRENEURSHIP CAMP HELD FOR ALABAMA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

Eighteen high school students from across north Alabama attended a six-day camp at the College of Business Administration. Students worked in teams to plan the launch of a new product or service, all under the guidance of successful community entrepreneurs including Mark Spencer, founder of Digium, Brandon Kruse founder of DialMaxx, and Peggy Sammon of GeneCapture. The week concluded with a business plan presentation with prizes and awards for the winning team.

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UAH STUDENTS PREPARE FOR SPACE WEATHER SUMMER CAMP TRIP TO GERMANY

Eight students from UAH learned rudimentary German language and culture in preparation for a Joint Space Weather Summer Camp (JSWSC) with students from that country. The JSWSC is an opportunity to learn about space physics and to begin to understand the influence of the sun on the space and upper atmosphere of the Earth and its related impact on the technological systems and needs of modern society.

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UAH APPLYING “LEAN” TECHNIQUES TO HEALTH CARE

The Research Institute’s Office for Operational Excellence (OOE) has been focusing on applying its expertise for customers outside of Department of Defense and NASA. As part of this effort, OOE has engaged with the medical sector in applying lean and six sigma concepts in healthcare. Currently OOE is under contract with Huntsville Hospital to train and mentor hospital personnel in the implementation of lean concepts throughout the hospital in medical, surgical and administrative areas. OOE initiated training and project implementation support with the pilot group at Huntsville Hospital in May and is scheduled to continue training and implementation support through 2015.

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CONNECTING AMERICAN MANUFACTURING TASK COMPLETED BY UAH RESEARCH INSTITUTE STAFF

Dr. Kenneth Sullivan (OOE Director) served as principal investigator on a recently completed two year program in support of the Connecting American Manufacturing (CAM) program. This program’s intent was to select, mature and implement an electronic marketplace that will enhance the industrial base’s ability to access and bid on relevant business opportunities while addressing a diminishing DoD supply-base, high lead times for parts acquisitions and higher than needed lifecycle costs.

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UAH ACCEPTED INTO COOPERATIVE INSTITUTE

UAH has been accepted as a member of the NOAA-supported Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICS), which could open research and funding opportunities for researchers in UAH’s Earth System Science Center. ESSC director John Christy said the cooperative institute is a vehicle designed to make it easier for federal agencies to work with university researchers. CICS is coordinated through the University of Maryland and North Carolina State University. The consortium focuses on collaborative research in satellite observations and Earth system modeling.

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UAH SIGNS MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH THE ENERGY HUNTSVILLE INITIATIVE

The Research Institute’s Reliability and Failure Analysis Lab (RFAL) staff members worked with Huntsville area volunteers on an initiative that resulted in the signing of an MOU between UAH President Dr. Bob Altenkirch and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle on July 31 at the UAH Shelby Center to formally recognize a relationship in developing and testing energy technologies. The RFAL is developing energy testing capabilities that support the University’s larger energy initiatives, including providing electric cars to students and several energy projects at the Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship (ICE) lab.

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NEW DEAN OF UA COLLEGE OF COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION SCIENCES APPOINTED

Dr. Mark Nelson has been named dean of the College of Communication and Information Sciences at UA. Nelson has served as vice president for student affairs and vice provost for academic affairs at UA since 2008 and has been a member of the College of Communication and Information Sciences’ faculty for more than 20 years. His appointment as dean was effective July 1. Nelson was selected following a national search. Nelson joined the University in 1991 as a faculty member in the communication studies department of the College of Communication and Information Sciences. He served as assistant dean and then associate dean for undergraduate studies in C&IS from 1996-2006. He was named assistant provost for academic affairs in 2006 and interim vice president for student affairs and vice provost for academic affairs in 2007.

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NEW INTERIM VICE PRESIDENT FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS AT UA

UA President Judy Bonner named Dr. Steven Hood as interim vice president for student affairs. The appointment was effective July 1. Hood has served as executive director of housing and residential communities at UA since 2011. Hood came to UA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he served as assistant vice chancellor for student housing from 2010-2011 and director of housing and residential life from 2003-2011. He began his career in student affairs as residence life area coordinator at Samford University from 1999-2003. He replaced Dr. Mark Nelson, who was recently named dean of the UA College of Communication and Information Sciences.

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UA, UAPD AWARDED GRANT FOR CYBERCRIME LAB

UA’s department of criminal justice, in conjunction with the UA Police Department, received a $60,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to start a digital forensics crime lab at UA. Law enforcement officers will be able to process any evidence in which a crime occurred via computer technology, from laptop computers to video gaming systems. The lab will assist local, and hopefully national, law enforcement agencies with processing digital evidence for use in cyber-crime prosecutions. With the help of the UA Police Department this digital forensics lab, which partners UA and other area law enforcement agencies, is the first joint partnership of its kind in the state. Key components for UA are the opportunities students will have to study cybercrime and the chance for expansive research for faculty.

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EIGHT UA GRADUATES RECEIVED FULBRIGHT AWARDS FOR STUDY, TEACHING ABROAD

Eight UA graduates have won Fulbright Awards from the U.S. State Department to serve abroad as researchers and English Teaching Assistants during 2014-2015. They will serve in Malaysia, Turkey, Spain, Macedonia, Indonesia, Germany, and Sichuan Province, China. Each Fulbright grantee will also serve as a resource person for American culture in the communities in which they serve. In addition to these duties, these Fulbright winners will complete individual independent research projects in their host countries. The Fulbright Scholarship Program, sponsored by the U.S. State Department, is the largest U.S. international exchange program, offering opportunity for students, scholars and professionals. This year, 1,800 students were chosen from more than 11,000 applicants nationwide.

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UA BUSINESS SCHOOL REACHED OUT WITH NEW DIVERSITY INITIATIVE

A new initiative at UA’s Culverhouse College of Commerce aims to recruit and reach out to rising high school seniors with diverse backgrounds who are enrolled in magnet and accelerated programs. CMAP (Culverhouse Majors Awareness Program), headed by lecturer Lisa McKinney, is a residential summer institute for exceptional students who are typically underrepresented in the Culverhouse College of Commerce. This can include students from diverse ethnic backgrounds and cultures and students with disabilities. The inaugural camp included 30 rising high school seniors from Alabama and Georgia. CMAP exposes the students not only to Culverhouse, but also to leaders of successful businesses, faculty and the UA campus. The goal of the camp is to provide the students with a better understanding of business and how Culverhouse can help them on their path to success.

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UA INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS HONORED

The Capstone International Academic Programs at UA received recognition for excellence by CISabroad at the NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference in San Diego. CIAP received the 2014 Going Places award, which is given annually to one CISabroad affiliate school for outstanding work in education abroad. CIAP works with CISabroad to create a variety of study abroad programs that are designed to enrich the cultural and academic experience of students at UA. CISabroad cited numerous reasons for UA’s recognition, including CIAP’s new semester-long UA in London program, which uses an innovative curriculum geared especially toward first-year and New College students; and the Intern in Barcelona summer program, which allows several majors to work abroad and take their financial aid with them.

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UA-BASED ALABAMA PUBLIC RADIO WON INTERNATIONAL AND STATE AWARDS

Alabama Public Radio, housed in UA’s Digital Media Center in Bryant-Denny Stadium, has been named a 2014 Silver Radio Award winner for its documentary “Civil Rights Radio.” APR’s award was in the “Information/Documentary” competetion, “History” category. The international award, given by the New York Festivals International Radio Competition, honors radio programming and promotions in all lengths and formats from radio stations, networks and independent producers from around the globe. Broadcasters from more than 30 countries entered the contest. “Civil Rights Radio” was a half-hour program chronicling the 50th anniversary of the anti-segregation protest called “the children’s march” in Birmingham. Also, for the third year in a row, the Alabama Associated Press Managing Editors named the Alabama Public Radio newsroom the state’s “Most Outstanding News Operation” in the radio category.

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UA’S CENTER FOR PUBLIC TELEVISION AND RADIO WON TWO EMMYS

The UA-housed Center for Public Television and Radio brought home two Southeast Regional Emmy Awards from the National Academy for Television Arts and Sciences. The Center won Best Historical Documentary for “Mama Called,” an hour-long program on the life and times of legendary Crimson Tide football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. “Mama Called” won the honor over entries from stations and producers in Atlanta and South Carolina. The Center for Public Television and Radio also won Best Promotional Campaign for “Alabama Detours,” short documentaries that air between programs on WVUA-TV. This entry won over competition from Atlanta and Georgia Public Broadcasting.

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UA, MUSCOGEE (CREEK) NATION PARTNERSHIP HOPES TO SHED LIGHT ON PAST

UA and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Cultural Preservation Office in Oklahoma have teamed up to find evidence that links prehistoric Muscogee people within different geographic regions. The partnership provides a graduate research assistantship in UA’s department of anthropology to look at Creek homeland sites. The goal of the assistantship is to research possible links in the archaeological record from the Tennessee Valley area to the historic Creek archaeological record in Alabama and Georgia that may link these two geographic regions and possible material culture together. Dr. Ian Brown, chair of the anthropology department, and Eugene Futato, deputy director of the Office of Archaeological Research and a 45-year veteran of archaeological research at UA, will guide the graduate assistant.

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UA STUDENTS PARTICIPATED IN CO-OP PROGRAM IN SUMMER 2014

More than 180 UA students during the summer 2014 semester received a hands-on educational experience at more than 60 companies and organizations through UA’s Cooperative Education Program. In the Cooperative Education Program, students alternate periods of full-time study with periods of full-time employment. This program offers work related to the academic major or career interests of each student. The experience enhances the students’ employment prospects after graduation. Naomi Powell, who has worked with UA Co-op for 20 years, was named director of UA Cooperative Education and Professional Practice Program after long-time UA Co-op director Roy Gregg retired.