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Campus Highlights

 

JUNE 2014

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UAB USES ECMO TO SAVE CARBON MONOXIDE VICTIM, FLU PATIENTS

When Allison Morgan arrived at UAB, she was experiencing multi-organ failure, and traditional therapy by means of a mechanical ventilator could not get enough oxygen into her body. There was one last option – ECMO, or extra corporeal membrane oxygenation. ECMO is a technology using a portable heart/lung bypass machine originally developed for heart surgery. ECMO takes on the function of the heart and lungs by routing the patient’s blood into the machine where carbon dioxide is removed and oxygen is added. The blood is then pumped back into the body. After a month at UAB, Morgan went home and is expected to make a full recovery. Enrique Diaz, M.D., associate professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, and his team have also used ECMO to treat about 20 patients with severe influenza this winter. He says it is now an option for patients with severe lung injury or heart issues such as cardiogenic shock.

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UAB’S SPAIN REHAB TURNS 50

The UAB Spain Rehabilitation Center celebrated its 50th anniversary in April with a scientific symposium on traumatic brain injury, a career fair and a reception. The Spain Rehabilitation Center was dedicated April 26, 1964. The 63,000-square-foot, three-story building was made possible in part by a more than $500,000 gift from philan-thropists Frank and Margaret Cameron Spain, along with funding from the Foundation for Hearing and Speech. The facility opened with 58 inpatient beds. In its first four years, more than 1,600 inpatient admissions and 12,000 outpatient visits were recorded. Two floors and 20 inpatient beds were added in 1969. Now with all-private rooms, SRC is a 49-bed rehabilitation hospital featuring advanced care for adolescent and adult patients recovering from a variety of health problems.

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MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR ANTIVIRAL DRUG DISCOVERY CENTERED AT UAB AIMS TO TAKE ON DISEASES LIKE WEST NILE, INFLUENZA

Viral infections with limited or no treatment options can pose a major global health threat, but a new national research consortium centered at UAB is focused on the discovery of new and better drug therapies as these viruses emerge. The UAB School of Medicine will lead in the establishment of the Antiviral Drug Discovery and Develop-ment Center, or AD3C, funded by an up to $35 million, five-year grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. Richard Whitley, M.D., distinguished professor of pedia-trics and director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, will serve as the principal investigator and program director of the AD3C. He says the creation of the Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance in 2008 by UAB and Southern Research Institute helped make this new center possible.

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UAB ART AND ART HISTORY PRESENTED ARTIST’S PERFORMANCE AND EXHIBITION

Artist George Ferrandi developed a performance and exhibition in a 10-day residency presented by the UAB Department of Art and Art History. During Ferrandi’s UAB residency from March 11-20, she worked with students, faculty, staff and community members to create “The Prosthetics of Joy,” commissioned by the DAAH. “The Prosthetics of Joy” is a multimedia project based on a photographic image found by the artist on Facebook. The performance was a one-act play in which the 40 or so players, the set, and the costumes are indivisible. The performance then became part of the resulting exhibition and features sculpture, photography, video and drawings. “The Prosthetics of Joy” was on exhibition from March 19-April 18 at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts.

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UAB HELPS BIRMINGHAM LAND IBM SMARTER CITIES CHALLENGE GRANT

Mayor William Bell announced that Birmingham, in collaboration with the UAB Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center, is one of 16 cities selected worldwide to receive an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant. The Smarter Cities Challenge grant contributes the skills and expertise of IBM’s top talent to help cities address critical issues. During the past three years, 100 cities have been selected to receive grants, with contributions valued at more than $50 million. The UAB SSCRC signed a memorandum of understanding with the City of Birmingham in February 2013 to partner on projects that would help make a more livable city. In October, the city and the SSCRC submitted the application for the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge in an attempt to continue the momentum already started through the original MOU.

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ALYS STEPHENS CENTER PRESENTS FREE 3-D LIGHT DREAMS II FESTIVAL

UAB’s Alys Stephens Performng Arts Center (ASC) and some of Birmingham’s most innovative artists hosted the second annual Light Dreams festival, a free celebration of art, music, dance and light. A team of professional and student artists used the ASC as an enormous canvas for their digitally projected artworks and large-scale light installations. The entire southern façade of the ASC building was wrapped in fabric and transformed into a projection screen. This year the festival featured the premiere of architecturally mapped “light dreams” projection shows in 3-D, with glasses included.

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UAB NAMES DEAN OF LIBRARIES

After a national search, UAB has named John M. Meador Jr. its dean of UAB Libraries. This new role was created in an effort to further increase the quality of service the libraries provide to the university community. Meador will provide leadership as Mervyn H. Sterne Library and Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences combine resources, which will allow for seamless service to faculty and students, more effective management of the libraries’ resources, and increased efficiencies in operations as the libraries shift more resources toward its collections and new user services. Together, the libraries have more than 2 million volumes with over 500,000 titles.

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UAH CHEMISTS HOST CHEMISTRY OLYMPIAD

The UAH Department of Chemistry hosted the North Alabama Regional Chemistry Olympiad, as part of the National Chemistry Olympiad. A total of 75 area high school students participated.

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UAH COLLEGE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION RANKED 8TH IN THE NATION IN RESEARCH FUNDING

The National Science Foundation recognized UAH as 8th in the nation in federal funding of research in management and economics.

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UAH CENTER FOR MANAGEMENT AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (CMER) TEAM RESEARCHES ALABAMA INDUSTRY

UAH CMER completed a Disaster Resiliency analysis project in conjunction with the Center for Modeling Simulation and Analysis (CMSA) for the U.S. Economic Development Administration. UAH partnered with the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama to study four major Alabama industries (aerospace, automotive, and two agriculture sectors) to identify and analyze opportunities for strengthening infrastructure critical to the functioning of each industry. Findings are scheduled to be released this summer. CMER’s team included Lauren Neppel, Lynsey Delane, Rana Clark, Allison Moore, Karen Yarbrough, and Jeff Thompson. CMSA’s team was comprised of Dr.’s Mikel Petty and Wes Colley.

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UAH COLLEGE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION PRESENTS FORUM ON CLIMATE CHANGE

UAH College of Business Administration hosted a Distinguished Speaker Series, “A Conversation on Climate Change,” featuring noted scientists Kerry Emanuel, professor of atmospheric science at MIT, and John R. Christy, distinguished professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at UAH. The conversation was moderated by Dr. Russ Roberts of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University and host of the EconTalk podcast. The program attracted over 400 attendees.

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UAH COLLEGE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION DEAN CHAIRS ROUNDTABLE

UAH College of Business Administration Dean Caron St. John chaired the Entrepreneurs Roundtable featuring Tomorrow’s IT: A Focus on IT Entrepreneurs, with panelists Michael Comperda, UAH alumnus and chief technology officer of Curse; Matt Fowler, co-founder, president and CEO of Solid Earth; and Mark Spencer, founder, chairman and chief technology officer of Digium.

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UAH COLLEGE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION HOSTS SPEAKER EVENT

UAH College of Business Administration hosted the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi, Founder and Director of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT, speaking on “Ethics and Transformative Leadership.”

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UAH COLLEGE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION HOSTS ALA-WSL CONFERENCE

Fair pay activist, Lilly Ledbetter, spoke to a group of UAH business students as part of the Alabama Women Student Leaders Conference (ALA-WSL). This conference was co-sponsored by the UAH College of Business Administration, College of Engineering, the Office of Diversity and the Women’s Studies Program.

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UAH HOSTS GROWING SEMI-MONTHLY ENTREPRENEURSHIP INITIATIVE

UAH College of Business Administration Visiting Professor and Interim Director of the ICE Lab, Dr. John R. Whitman reported growing attendance at the Huntsville Open Tech Coffee entrepreneurship startup initiative (HOTCoffee) hosted at the College.

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SPRING UAH GRADUATE OPEN HOUSE

The School of Graduate Studies hosted a spring open house event on April 23 in the University Center. Seventy-five students registered for the event and approximately 30 arrived and were greeted by the Graduate Dean, Dr. David Berkowitz and faculty in the student’s area of interest. Due to the event, Graduate Studies has already received several applications from open house attendees, as well as two business students who have already registered for summer 2014.

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UA HONORED 100 HIGH-SCHOOL SOPHOMORES AT CAPSTONE LEADERSHIP ACADEMY

One hundred outstanding high-school sophomores who have shown an interest in leadership through service were selected to participate in the Capstone Leadership Academy at UA. The sophomores participated in two day leadership and fellowship activities sponsored by UA’s Honors College. The students participated in talks and discussions focusing on values, vision and voice. Among the speakers were Lew Burdette, president of King’s Home, and members of UA’s Capstone Council. The Capstone Council, which is made up of former Crimson Girls, Capstone Men and campus leaders from the 1970s, hosts the Capstone Leader-ship Academy. The academy’s purpose is to give the tools and training to apply to leadership opportunities in their communities for the chosen outstanding high-school sophomores in Alabama.

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UA’S UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER LAUNCHED WELLNESS WALLS FOR ART PROGRAM

Area artists have joined together to bring the healing effects of art to UA’s University Medical Center through a new program – Wellness Walls for Art. More than two decades ago, artists affiliated with The University Women’s Club at UA began volunteering their time to keep the walls of the former Capstone Medical Center’s patient waiting areas filled with bright and vibrant paintings. Keeping in line with that initial concept, Deborah Hughes, a Tuscaloosa artist who serves as coordinator for Wellness Walls for Art, said she is committed to keeping the walls of University Medical Center, which replaced Capstone Medical Center in 2004, filled with art work.

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UA-BASED APR WON REGIONAL MURROW AWARDS

The Radio Television Digital News Association named UA-housed Alabama Public Radio the winner of five regional Edward R. Murrow Awards in the categories of overall excellence, best series, best soft feature, best use of sound and best documentary. All but one of the winning entries came from the newsroom’s yearlong coverage of the 50th anniversary of key moments in the fight for civil rights in Alabama. The overall excellence entry included Ryan Vasquez’s story on how the media in the 1960s failed to cover the civil rights movement and Stan Ingold’s feature on how the locations like the Edmund Pettus Bridge are now tourist attractions. A newscast by APR’s Jeremy Loeb rounded out the winning entry. APR was also recognized for best documentary for “Civil Rights Radio.”

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UA SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK LAUNCHED HONORS PROGRAM

UA’s School of Social Work has launched an undergraduate honors program, and, with it, an internship experience that, until this semester, has only been available to its graduate students. Undergraduates in UA’s Honors College who enroll in the 18-hour program will have the chance to complete work placements in Washington DC. The School of Social Work’s internship program in the nation’s capital, normally reserved for second-year master’s students, places students in full-time jobs with social service agencies. More than 500 UA students have completed internships at agencies such as Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the Children’s National Medical Center. Also, students meet with members of Congress and their staffs, interact with speakers from policy and advocacy agencies, and learn firsthand how policy is created.

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TOP SCHOLARS, LEADERS RECOGNIZED ON CAMPUS AT 2014 UA HONORS DAY

UA honored its top students for their academic achievements and leadership during the Honors Day Tapping Ceremony, the highlight of UA’s annual Honors Week. Also, recipients of UA’s Premier Awards were recognized. These top awards, given by the UA president, include the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, the William P. Bloom Scholarship Award, the John Fraser Ramsey Award, the Morris Lehman Mayer Award and the Catherine Johnson Randall Award. Sullivan Award winners were Kirkland Back, of Gadsden, Margaret Garner (faculty) and David Phelps, of New Orleans. Winner of the Bloom Award was Al-Karim Gilani, of Flower Mound, TX. The Ramsey Award was presented to Brian McWilliams, of Wexford, PA. The Mayer Award was given to Caroline Fulmer (faculty) and Mary Sellers Shaw, of Birmingham. The Randall Award was presented to Joshua Moon, of Arlington, TN.

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UA DIGITAL MEDIA CENTER OPENED MARCH 13

UA’s College of Communication and Information Sciences held a grand opening for its 40,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Digital Media Center with a symposium and tours of the facility. The keynote address was from UA alumnus John Cochran (ABC News), followed by a panel with Cochran and recent C&IS graduates working in digital media: Lee Boulie (Country Music Hall of Fame), Kathy Nontasak (Google) and Victor Luckerson (Time.com). The panel discussed the past, present and future of digital media. Following the panel, the College hosted a reception in the North Zone, and guests took self-guided tours of the Digital Media Center, located on the two floors below the North Zone.

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STUDENT TEAM FROM UA’S CULVERHOUSE WON INVESTMENT COMPETITION

Students from UA’s Culverhouse College of Commerce placed first in the regional CFA Institute Research Challenge, an annual regional, national and global investment research competition. The five-student team from the Culverhouse Investment Management Group, a student investment fund, won the competition designed to promote best practices in equity research among the next generation of analysts. They were awarded the Ridgeworth Cup trophy at the competition in Atlanta. The students are Zac Adams, of Birmingham; Forrest Hames, of Florence; Jeff Priester, of Houston, TX; Kevin Whitney, of Atlanta, GA; and Daniel Smith, of Alpharetta, GA.

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FORMER UA, PENN STATE PRESIDENT JOAB THOMAS DIES

Dr. Joab Thomas, president emeritus of both UA and The Pennsylvania State University and former chancellor of North Carolina State University, died March 3 in Tuscaloosa. He was 81. A native of Tuscaloosa County, AL, Thomas was a world-renowned botanist and a three-time graduate of Harvard University. His tenure at the Capstone began in 1961 when he joined the biology department as an assistant professor, ascending through the ranks to become assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in the mid-1960s. Later named dean of student development and vice president for student affairs, he left the University in 1976 to become the ninth chancellor of North Carolina State University. Thomas returned home in 1981 to become president of UA, a position he held for seven years.

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FROM CROWDSOURCING TO MARKETING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA, UA’S INNOVATION DAY OFFERED INSIGHT

There may be “strength in numbers” as the axiom goes, but there’s also money. Business owners, managers, entrepreneurs and others looking for tips on crowdsourcing and using social media for marketing attended UA’s Innovation Day. The event was hosted by UA’s Office for Technology Transfer, also showcased multiple UA start-up companies. Featured speakers were Dr. Craig Armstrong and Susan Fant. Armstrong, a UA associate professor of management in UA’s Culverhouse College of Commerce with expertise in entrepreneurship, presented “How to Fund Your Idea Through Crowd-funding.” Fant, president of Castle Sands LLC, a marketing firm for website and social media development, presented “Social Media Marketing for Your Business.” Fant is also an adjunct instructor in UA’s Manderson Graduate School of Business.

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UA HOSTED ROBOTICS COMPETITION

More than 350 students from across Alabama, from third graders to seniors in high school, were at UA programming robots and hoping their instructions are good enough to win the Alabama Robotics Competition. The competition, which is in its fourth year, was hosted by the UA College of Engineering’s department of computer science. The goal is to spur interest in computer science among the state’s primary and secondary education students, said Dr. Jeff Gray, associate professor of computer science. Unlike other robotics competitions, students were not judged on building the robot, rather how the robot performs in obstacle courses set up in the Bryant Conference Center. Started in 2011 with 25 students, the competition has grown each year. This year’s contest had more than 70 teams from across the state and more than 450 teachers, volunteers and family members accompanying the students.