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Conferences / Symposia / Programs

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FEBRUARY 2015

UA HOSTED HEALTH CARE JOURNALIST, AUTHOR FOR COMMUNITY TALK

T.R. Reid, a Washington Post journalist and author of the best-selling book The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care, gave a community
talk in Tuscaloosa. Reid’s talk, “Better Health, Lower Costs: One Man’s Global Quest to Fix
a Bum Shoulder,” was hosted by UA’s College of Community Health Sciences, College of Communication and Information Sciences and Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration. Reid’s 2009 New York Times best-seller, The Healing of America, which details how other industrialized countries provide health care for all of their citizens at a reasonable cost, launched him into a national role in describing ways to provide health coverage for all Americans.

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UA HONORS COLLEGE PRESENTED TOWN HALL ON RESHAPING ALABAMA’S IMAGE

UA’s Honors College presented a Town Hall event titled “Reshaping Alabama’s Image” featuring speakers Greg Canfield, Alabama secretary of commerce; Charles Spurlin, owner of the Shirt Shop; R.B. Walker, senior governmental relations analyst for Alabama Power; and Jimmy Warren, president of the UA National Alumni Association. Town Hall is an interactive and engaging program sponsored by the Honors College that brings together students, faculty and community members to create solutions to real world problems. Speakers representing different viewpoints or occupations related to a topic give informative presentations. Town Hall coordinators partner campus organizations and community groups to act on these ideas in follow-up meetings.

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PROFESSOR DISCUSSED VALUES, PERSONAL IDENTITY IN ‘PHILOSOPHY TODAY’ AT UA

Dr. Jesse Prinz, a distinguished professor of philosophy at City University of New York, discussed values and personal identity in the second lecture of UA’s 2014-2015 Philosophy Today lecture series. His lecture, “A Moral Self,” argued, based partly on empirical findings, that values are central to personal identity. He also discussed how values are social in nature, often deriving from the groups to which we belong. Prinz is an expert on the philosophy of psychology. His research focuses on the relationship between morality and the self, the role of psychology in constructing the world, and the role of emotions in art. He has authored several books and more than 100 articles related to his research, including Gut Reactions: A Perceptual Theory of Emotion and The Emotional Construction of Morals, both published by Oxford University Press.

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UA SOCIAL WORK HOSTED INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL EDUCATOR

Charles P. Goff, an American educator and founding member of Cemanahuac Educational Community, a Spanish and Latin American culture school in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, presented a public lecture about Mexican culture at UA. His talk was titled “Mexico: Current Events and Historical Perspective of Society and Culture.” Goff’s activities at the Spanish and Latin American culture school include leading field study trips to places of archaeological and historical interest and weekly current events in Mexico talks and discussion. Goff’s lecture was hosted by the UA School of Social Work.

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UA MUSEUM’S SCIENCE SUNDAY FEATURED HODGES METEORITE, EXPLORED EARTH’S FORMATION

On November 30, 1954, Sylacauga resident Ann Hodges was struck by a meteorite while napping on her couch. This incident, known as the Hodges Meteorite event, was the first authenticated case of a person being struck by an object from space. Hodges donated the meteorite in 1956 to the Alabama Museum of Natural History on UA’s campus. Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Hodges Meteorite event, the museum created a special exhibit case featuring artifacts from that event. As part of Science Sunday, a guest speaker helped share the story of the Hodges event, and “Earth, the Early Years” allowed museum visitors an opportunity to explore the Earth’s formation and delve deeper into the abundance and diversity of life found on Earth. UA paleontologists, astronomers, geologists and biologists offered science experiments and demonstrations.

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UA HOSTED TUSCALOOSA AREA DRUG SUMMIT

A Tuscaloosa drug summit titled “Engage in Tuscaloosa: Envisioning Drug Education for All” was hosted by UA in partnership with the Parent Resource Institute for Drug Education, Stillman College, Shelton State Community College and the Tuscaloosa County district attorney’s office. The summit, which was free and open to the public, was designed to develop heightened awareness of the dangers of drug use and the importance of drug education in an effort to promote community involvement. It included medical information on the physiological effects of certain drugs and testimonials from individuals and families who have been personally affected by the consequences of the use and availability of those drugs.

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FORMER NTSB MEDICAL OFFICER SPOKE IN UA LECTURE SERIES

Dr. Mitch Garber, an expert on medical issues in transportation accidents, spoke about the intersection of engineering and medicine as part of the Richard C. Bradt Lecture Series in the UA College of Engineering. Garber, a physician and engineer with more than 20 years of military and civilian experience in transportation accident investigation, is a senior managing consultant with Engineering Systems Inc., specializing in medical analysis, transportation policy, human factors and ergonomics, accident investigation and reconstruction, and biomechanics. Before joining ESI in 2011, he was the first and only full-time medical officer for the National Transportation Safety Board, participating in more than 1,000 transportation investigations. He also testified to Congress regarding medical issues in transportation accidents.

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UA HOSTED MEDAL OF HONOR EXHIBIT

UA was selected by the Saluting America Foundation as the nation’s first university to host the Medal of Honor Exhibit of Valor, a traveling exhibition that features some 155 “Portraits of Valor” of the nation’s most honored heroes. The exhibit also features rarely seen Medals of Honor representing three military service branches and personal citations describing combat actions. The event, which was being held as part of the UA Office of Veteran and Military Affairs’ Veterans Week activities, was free and open to the public. UA was selected to host the exhibit by the Saluting America Foundation board, comprised of Medal of Honor recipients, because of its outstanding community partnerships. A limited edition series of commemorative coins and Medal of Honor pictorial books signed by some 30 recipients were available for purchase.

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SCIENTIST DISCUSSED PHYSICS, NATIONAL SECURITY IN UA’S MILLS LECTURE

R. Michael Dowe Jr., chief scientist of Raytheon Ktech, discussed “A Career in Physics and National Security,” for the Helen Crow Mills and John Carroll Mills Lecture at UA. Dowe, a UA alumnus who studied physics, discussed how his education prepared him for his decade-long career in the Army and his subsequent work in the defense research and development industry. He has more than 40 years of experience in national security-related industrial research and development. The Mills lectureship was established and endowed in UA’s College of Arts and Sciences by Helen Mills Pittman and her late husband, Dr. John Mills, of Birmingham, to bring successful and distinguished alumni and citizens to campus to speak as a way to motivate and inspire students.

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AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR SPOKE AT UA’S LAIBLE MEMORIAL LECTURE

Award-winning author Dr. Patricia Hill Collins delivered the annual Julie C. Laible Memorial Lecture at UA. Hill Collins, professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, promoted anti-racist education in “Sharpening Intersectionality’s Critical Edge: Implications for Education.” Hill Collins has written eight books, mostly addressing race and ethnicity. The lecture series, which focuses on anti-racist scholarship, education and social activism, honors the memory of Julie C. Laible, who was an assistant professor in the College of Education before passing away unexpectedly in 1999. Laible served at UA for four years and was known for her community involvement through such programs as the Community Anti-Racial Group, which she helped found, and Aid to Inmate Mothers.

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DALAI LAMA KICKS OFF VISIT TO BIRMINGHAM AT UAB SCIENTIFIC SYMPOSIUM

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama hosted a dialogue at the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Saturday, October 25, alongside leading experts in the brain’s healing power and how the brain changes. The “Neuroplasticity and Healing” forum featured the Dalai Lama, UAB behavioral neuroscientist, Edward Taub, Ph.D. and Michael Merzenich, Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco. Both are known for expertise in brain plasticity, or changes in how the brain works due to modifications in behavior, environment, neural processes, thinking and emotions, as well as changes resulting from bodily injury.

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THIRD ANNUAL INNOVATIONS IN WELLNESS CONFERENCE HELD AT UAB

The third annual Innovations in Wellness conference, hosted by UAB Employee Wellness, featured other successful programs and leaders in the world of employee wellness. The conference was held November 21 at the UAB Alumni House. The University of Alabama at Birmingham Employee Wellness program has seen a lot of success in the few years it has existed. From recognition by the American Heart Association to being named a “healthiest employer,” other various accolades have been received.

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CHEMISTRY CHAIR AT UAH INVITED TO ATTEND RESEARCH WORKSHOP

Professor and Chair of Chemistry Will Setzer was invited to attend the 2nd Research Network Natural Products against Neglected Diseases (ResNet NPND) Scientific Meeting and Workshop held November 25-28, in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

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UAH DIRECTOR ATTENDS AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY STRATEGIC PLANNING MEETING

Jeff Thompson, Director of the Center for Management and Economic Research (CMER) participated in the Alabama Automotive Manufacturing Industry strategic planning meeting where he presented a summary of the automotive industry workforce and supplier issues conducted by CMER in 2013-2014.

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UAH PHILOSOPHY CHAIR PRESENTS AT SOUTHWESTERN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY

Dr. Deborah Heikes, Chair of the UAH Philosophy Department, presented “Can Mind Be a Virtue?” at the Southwestern Philosophical Society, in November 2014. This paper was published in Southwest Philosophy Review, January 2015.

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UAH ART HISTORIAN PRESENTS AT SOUTHEASTERN COLLEGE ART ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE

Dr. David Stewart, Associate Professor in the UAH Art Department, presented the paper, “Fracturing the Renaissance: G. F. Watts’ Powerful Women” at the annual meeting of the Southeastern College Art Association Conference, held in Sarasota, FL, in November 2014.

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UAH COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING PROFESSOR ATTENDED CONFERENCES

Dr. Hongyu Zhou attended the 1st International Conference on Comp Mech 2014 and the ASCE EMI Annual Conference 2014.

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UAH PRESENTS RESEARCH AT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

Dr. Sara James Graves, director of the UAH Information Technology and Systems Center (ITSC), was invited to give talks at the International Conference on Data Sharing and Integration for Global Sustainability (SciDataCon) 2014 conference in New Delhi, India, on November 2-6. Dr. Graves, Secretary General of CODATA, presented several talks, including “Exploitation of Big Data Using Semantics and Metadata,” the keynote address at the International Workshop on Semantics for Data (SeMDAT); “Providing Tools and Services for Data Usability as well as Accessibility”; and “Challenges and Benefits of Open Science Data and International Data Sharing” at the SciDataCon session on “The Importance of Provenance in Scientific Discovery.”

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UAH REPRESENTED AT NATIONAL RESEARCH SYMPOSIUMS

- Dr. Sara James Graves, director of the UAH Information Technology and Systems Center (ITSC), attended the eleventh meeting of the National Academy of Science’s Board on Research Data and Information (BRDI). The Symposium on the Interagency Strategic Plan for Big Data: Focus on Research and Development, held October 23, 2014 in Washington, DC, is gathering information from multiple sectors to inform the development of the National Big Data Research and Development Strategic Plan.

- Dr. Qiang Hu, an Assistant Professor at the Department of Space Science and CSPAR, attended the 13th Quadrennial Solar-Terrestrial Physics Symposium in Xi’an China, from October 12-18, 2014. This is the thirteenth in the series of Solar-Terrestrial Physics Symposia organized by the Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP) and held approximately every four years. Dr. Hu presented a talk entitled “Magnetic field-line twist and lengths inside interplanetary flux ropes” and will be the lead editor for the forthcoming conference proceedings to appear in the Journal of Geophysical Research published by the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

- Graduate student Xiaocan Li (advisor: Gang Li) attended the 2014 APS Division of Plasma Physics Annual meeting, held on October 27-31, New Orleans, LA, and presented a poster with title: “On the energy conversion and particle acceleration during magnetic reconnection.” He was also awarded the DPP Student Travel Grant Award.

- Gang Li attended the L5 symposium held on December 2-4, in Boulder, CO, and presented a talk with title: “Inferring large scale U-shape magnetic field topology between two CIRs.”

- Professor N.V. Pogorelov organized a mini-conference “Non-thermal Ions in Space and Laboratory Plasmas” at the Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society, Division of Plasma Physics, October 27-31, 2014, New Orleans, LA. The conference was attended by leading scientists from both space physics and fusion communities who discussed the importance of non-thermal ions and mathematical approach to study their transport using kinetic algorithms.

- Professor N.V. Pogorelov gave an invited talk “Turbulence in the Heliosphere” at the International Workshop “Turbulence: In the Sky as on Earth” organized by the International Institute of Physics, Natal, Brazil, October 6-16, 2014.