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APRIL 2015

CECE WINANS HEADLINED 2015 REALIZING THE DREAM CONCERT AT UA

Gospel singer CeCe Winans was the featured artist for the 2015 Realizing the Dream Concert
at the Moody Music Concert Hall on the UA campus. Winans’ appearance capped off the 26th annual weekend of recognition for the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Also, Fox
News political analyst Juan Williams delivered the annual Legacy Banquet lecture at the Hotel Capstone. Sponsors for the Realizing the Dream events are Shelton State Community College, Stillman College, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and The University of Alabama. The annual Realizing the Dream Distinguished Lecture will feature Bryan A. Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery.

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UA’S ANNUAL ECONOMIC OUTLOOK CONFERENCE HELD

What does 2015 hold for Alabama’s economy? Economists and representatives from UA and its Culverhouse College of Commerce answered that question at the 27th annual Economic Outlook Conference. Speakers included UA’s Jo Bonner, Ira Harvey, Dr. Sam Addy and Ahmad Ijaz and David Altig of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Altig, executive vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and Ijaz, associate director of UA’s Center for Business and Economic Research and director of economic forecasting, discussed the U.S. and Alabama outlooks. Harvey, executive assistant to UA’s vice president for financial affairs, and Addy, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research and associate dean for research and outreach at UA’s Culverhouse College of Commerce, discussed the state’s tax revenue issues.

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UA THEATRE STUDENTS PERFORMED TRIBUTES TO TENNESSEE WILLIAMS

UA theatre students performed dramatic readings from the plays of Tennessee Williams, including performances from Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire, as part of a tribute to Williams and his friendship with Dr. Marian Gallaway, longtime professor of theatre at UA and director of UA’s department of theatre from 1947-1973. The two-night tribute, which included performances in both Demopolis and Tuscaloosa, was sponsored by UA’s department of theatre and dance and the Southern Literary Trail.

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UA’S CULVERHOUSE CELEBRATED NATIONAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEEK

The Culverhouse College of Commerce at UA and the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute celebrated National Entrepreneurship Week in February. Annually sponsored by the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education, the week is designed to celebrate American entrepreneurs and the lifelong learning educational opportunities that prepare the business leaders of the future. Culverhouse and AEI celebrated with events throughout the week. The Entrepreneurship program at the Culverhouse College of Commerce equips its students with a strong foundation in the creation, development and operation of new, brave and exciting business ventures. Students work closely with industry-experienced lecturers and faculty to provide a real-world perspec-tive on their degree and career choice.

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BIOLOGIST DISCUSSED EVOLUTION’S IMPACT ON MEDICINE IN UA LECTURE

Dr. Mike Antolin, a biologist, presented a lecture at UA on the relationship between public health and evolution. The lecture, “What Doctors Need to Know About Evolution,” was part of the 2014-2015 Alabama Lectures on Life’s Evolution, or ALLELE, series at UA. Antolin addressed the ways that evolution impacts medicine. He also explained how understanding evolutionary processes has the potential to impact public health. Dr. Laura Reed, assistant professor of biology at UA, said there is a growing movement toward recognizing how evolution shapes medicine. For example, the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has caused a worldwide crisis because doctors are unable to treat them, Reed said.

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U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE DELIVERED KEYNOTE AT VOTING RIGHTS ACT SYMPOSIUM AT UA

U.S. District Judge Myron H. Thompson delivered the keynote address for the Alabama Law Review symposium as it marked the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act at the UA School of Law. Thompson was appointed to the federal bench in 1980. He became Chief Judge in February of 1991, becoming the first African-American Chief Judge of any U.S. District Court in the state of Alabama. Along with Thompson, the nation’s foremost experts on the Voting Rights Act commemorated the 50th anniversary of this historic enactment during a one-day symposium in the Bedsole Moot Courtroom.

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UA CELEBRATED 2015 AFRICAN-AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH WITH TOURS, EVENTS

The UA Crossroads Community Center invited the UA campus and community to participate in events throughout February during African-American Heritage Month. This year’s events were held in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery and Voting Rights Act of 1965. Multiple UA departments and collaborative campus partners made possible creative and thought-provoking experiences for UA students, faculty, staff and the broader Tuscaloosa community, said Lane McLelland, director of UA Crossroads.

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UA HOSTED REGIONAL SCIENCE OLYMPIAD

More than 400 students participated in the 2015 regional Science Olympiad competition at UA. Science Olympiad is an international non-profit organization founded in 1982 that promotes teamwork in the disciplines of life science, earth and space science, physical science, chemistry, technology and engineering among elementary-, middle- and high-school students. The regional competition for middle- and high-school students, hosted by UA, is just one of many taking place across the country. Winners advance to compete in state and national competitions. More than 12,000 schools from all 50 states participate in Science Olympiad events each year. Events scheduled for the students include competitions in air trajectory, entomology, experimental design, fossils, disease detectives and more.

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NOTED HUMANITIES SCHOLAR MICHAEL BÉRUBÉ LECTURED AT UA

Dr. Michael Bérubé, director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities and the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Literature at Pennsylvania State University, presented “The Value and Values of the Humanities” as part of UA’s Hidden Humanities lecture series. The series was founded in 2014 to bring nationally prominent scholars and writers to UA to discuss the so-called “crisis in humanities.” Each lecturer was invited to address, head on, the positive contributions of the humanities to society at large. In his lecture, Bérubé surveyed the intellectual state of the humanities since 1980. He focused on the decades-long debate about the status of universalism, asking not only what it means to think of all humans as “equal,” but also why so many scholars in the humanities have become skeptical of this ideal.

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UAB STUDENTS, FACULTY TO STUDY CITIES OF THE FUTURE AT A2RU SUMMIT

University of Alabama at Birmingham students and faculty joined peers at a national conference to shape cities of the future. Two students and two professors from the Department of Art and Art History represented UAB at the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities 2015 Emerging Creatives Student Summit, PULSE: Creative Collaborations for Cities in Flux, in January, at Virginia Commonwealth University. UAB is a founding member of the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru), and the summit is part of its national conference.

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UAB SCHOOL OF NURSING TO HOST LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP THIS SPRING

The Office of Professional Development in UAB’s School of Nursing will again host the Leadership Practices for Quality and Safety workshop this year, from April 30 to May 1 in the UAB National Alumni Society House. The second annual workshop will seek to build upon the success of the 2014 event and target the development of early and mid-career nurse leaders who want to enhance their leadership practices to improve quality and safety.

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UAB SYMPOSIUM TO EXAMINE BRAIN-MACHINE INTERFACE

Leading scientists and engineers from around the nation and from the University of Alabama at Birmingham gathered for a symposium on the brain-machine interface at the 2015 Bevill Neuroscience Symposium on February 27. Sponsored by the UAB Comprehensive Neuroscience Center, the symposium highlighted the collaboration between the fields of engineering and medicine.

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UAH MANAGEMENT SCIENCE PROFESSOR SPEAKS AT MISSILE DEFENSE WORKSHOP

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Management Science Dr. Wes Colley was invited to speak at the Missile Defense Agency’s Cost-Estimation Workshop (an ICEAA conference) in January. He spoke on a new fully probabilistic and self-consistent technique he has developed to rank college football teams.

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UAH ENGINEERING PROFESSOR PRESENTS PAPER

Bryan Mesmer, a first year professor in the ISEEM Department, presented a paper titled “Report on the Science of Systems Engineering Workshop” at the AIAA SciTech Conference in Florida in January 2015.

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UAH ENGINEERING PROFESSOR LEADS CONFERENCE SESSION

Paul Collopy, chair of the ISEEM Department, led a standing-room-only session discussing development of a theory of systems engineering at the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) International Workshop in California in January 2015.

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RELACS SERIES AT UAH CELEBRATES 25TH ANNIVERSARY

RELACS, a colloquium series that allows faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts to present their latest research to an audience of their peers, celebrated its 25th anniversary with a talk by Dr. Andrew Cling, Professor in the UAH Philosophy Department. Dr. Cling was the original RELACS speaker in 1990.

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UAH ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE DOCTORAL STUDENT WINS AWARD

Atmospheric Science Ph.D. student, Retha Mecikalski, was awarded Best Student Oral and Poster presentation from the 7th Annual Conference on the Meteorological Applications of Lightning Data at the American Meteorological Society conference in Phoenix, AZ.

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EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE GRADUATE STUDENT AT UAH WINS THESIS COMPETITION

Recently the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools requested nominations from participating universities for their annual thesis competitions. UAH’s graduate committee submitted Eric Anderson’s thesis titled “Analysis Of Rainfall-Triggered Land-slide Hazards through the Dynamic Integration of Remotely Sensed, Modeled and in Situ Environmental Factors in El Salvador,” for Innovative Application of Digital Technology to Scholarship in a Master’s Thesis. Mr. Anderson won his category and will be awarded a $1000 scholarship, plus travel expenses to accept his award at the Annual CSGS conference in New Orleans in early March. Ms. Aleksandra Pivovarova, a UAH biological sciences graduate student, will also be present at CSGS to compete in the regional Three Minute Thesis competition, which is an oral presentation to explain her thesis in under three minutes. Ms. Pivovarova’s presentation is titled, “Targeting Cancer’s Sweet Tooth,” and her presence marks the second time UAH has entered the CSGS Regional 3MT competition.

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ELECTRICAL & COMPUTER ENGINEERING DOCTORAL STUDENTS AT UAH EARN TOP PRESENTATION HONORS

Three Ph.D. students in ECE earned top honors for their poster presentations at the 2015 Science & Technology Open House. Abubaker Tareki took home first prize and a cash award of $1000 for his poster, “Enhancing Nano/Bio Sensors in the Terahertz Regime via Research in Tunable Metamaterials Using Liquid Crystals.” Seyed Sadreddin Mirsha-fieyan took home second prize and a cash award of $800 for his poster, “Optical Colors and Perfect Light Absorption in Silicon Nanostructures.” William Gaillard took home third prize and a cash award of $600 for his poster, “Microfluidic Reactor Development for Oligonucleotide Synthesis.” More than 110 students at both the undergraduate and graduate level from nine Alabama counties took part in the competition, which was judged by representatives from over 17 industries.