Student / Faculty Achievements
TWO UA ENGINEERING STUDENTS AWARDED NATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS
Two students studying metal-lurgical and materials engineering at UA were recently awarded prominent scholarships within the metal casting industry. John Calhoun, of Chelsea, received the Loper Award, and David Fletcher, of Huntsville, was selected for the Burleigh Jacobs Scholarship. Both students are seniors. The two were part of UA’s delegation of four students to the College Industry Conference held by the Foundry Educational Foundation in Chicago. Along with Calhoun and Fletcher, fellow seniors Jeremy Peters, of Evergreen, and Erica Barnes, of Selma, attended. The students were accompanied by Dr. Laurentiu Nastac, UA associate professor of metallurgical and materials engineering, who serves as an FEF key professor, a liaison between the foundation and students.
UA STUDENTS BROUGHT HOME TOP PRIZE IN NATIONAL ANALYTICS COMPETITION
Business students from the Culverhouse College of Commerce at UA landed the top spot in the seventh annual national 2013 SAS Analytics and Data Mining Shootout in Orlando. The six-member team made of graduate students from Culverhouse won the top prize for their research into disease prevention. Their strategy for treatment and costs revealed potential savings of nearly $180 million. The winning UA team sponsored by Dr. Denise McManus, associate professor, management information systems, and Dr. Mike Adams, professor of statistics, included Semhar Michael, of Tuscaloosa; Rong Zheng, of Tuscaloosa via Zhengzhou, China; Xuwen Zhu, of Tuscaloosa via Shanghai, China; Kevin Crandall, of Tuscaloosa via Huntsville; Emma Grice, of Birmingham, and Chris DiSalvo, of Atlanta.
UA SENIOR NAMED ONE OF NATION’S TOP 50 MINORITY STUDENTS IN ADVERTISING
UA senior Adrienne Gates has been named one of the American Advertising Federation’s 50 Most Promising Minority Students for 2013-14. Gates, an advertising major from Robertsdale, said she became interested in applying because of the opportunities it would present her, as well as a chance to represent her Korean heritage. As an AAF outstanding minority student, Gates will attend a luncheon where she will have the opportunity to meet recruiters from some of the nation’s largest advertising agencies.
UA FACULTY AIDED IN PUSH TO PARDON SCOTTSBORO BOYS
UA faculty aided the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center in setting the stage for the state to rectify a miscarriage of justice when the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles posthumously pardoned the “Scottsboro Boys.” The Scottsboro defendants were nine African-American youths wrongly convicted of raping two white women in 1931. Legislative language proposed by the Museum in collaboration with UA faculty made the petition for the posthumous pardons possible. The Scottsboro Boys Act, which was signed into law after the 2013 legislative session, changes Alabama law to allow posthumous pardons for certain kinds of felons if a petition can show that racial prejudice affected the outcomes of their trials. UA faculty also contributed to a successful joint resolution exonerating all nine of the Scottsboro defendants.
UA JOURNALISM STUDENTS WON NATIONAL FREE PRESS AWARD
Three UA journalism students recently received the 2013 College Press Freedom Award from the Student Press Law Center. The $1,500 cash award was shared by Crimson White editor-in-chief Mazie Bryant, culture editor Abbey Crain and magazine editor Matt Ford. Crain and Ford co-wrote the September 11, 2013, article “The Final Barrier,” which detailed racial discrimination in the UA sorority formal recruitment process. The story subsequently received national coverage and prompted action by UA’s administration. The award is given annually by the Student Press Law Center and the Associated Collegiate Press to recognize student journalists who have taken on difficult stories in the face of adversity.
UA PROFESSOR RECEIVED HONOR FOR RESEARCH ON MASSAGE THERAPY
Dr. Maria Hernandez-Reif, professor of human development and family studies and director of the Pediatric Development Research Lab at UA’s College of Human Environmental Sciences, has received the Ashley Montagu Award from the Canadian Touch Research Center. The center gives the Ashley Montagu Award biennially to “a distinguished world personality who brilliantly excels at his or her work and whose devotion leads to the advancement of touch in the world.” Hernandez-Reif earned her doctorate from Florida International University in psychology with a focus on infant cognition. She then joined the pediatrics faculty at the University of Miami, where she gained an international reputation for her collaborative research on massage therapy effects for enhancing the development of infants, children and adolescents.
UA PROFESSOR TO HELP GROUP PROMOTE COMPUTER-SCIENCE EDUCATION
Dr. Jeff Gray, a UA associate professor of computer science and a national leader in computer science education, has been invited to serve on Code.org’s Education Advisory Council. Code.org is a non-profit that aims to raise the awareness of the need for computer science education in kindergarten through 12th grade, asserting that computer science is a valuable skill for any career path. As a member of Code.org’s Education Advisory Council, Gray will be tasked with helping to advance the organization’s mission of expanding the presence of computer science programs nationwide. The 10-person council is comprised of faculty from Duke, UCLA, the University of Chicago, the University of Oregon, UA, and several K-12 computer science teachers.
ENGINEERING RESEARCHER NAMED UA’S BLACKMON-MOODY OUTSTANDING PROFESSOR
Dr. Ajay K. Agrawal, professor and Robert F. Barfield Endowed Chair in Mechanical Engineering at UA, received the 2013 Blackmon-Moody Outstanding Professor Award. Agrawal, whose research expertise includes combustion and fluid flow, invented the “noise sponge” concept that uses strong, porous structures to reduce noise generated from gas flow in jet engines, power generating gas turbines and industrial burners without compromising the combustion process. Agrawal developed an innovative fuel injector that drastically reduces harmful emissions and allows for clean combustion of fossil and alternative liquid fuels. Agrawal has worked to increase the number of doctoral students in mechanical engineering at UA with the help of two U.S. Department of Education funded Graduate Education in Areas of Need Fellowship awards.
UA PROFESSOR WON NATIONAL GROUND WATER ASSOCIATION’S TOP SCIENCE AWARD
Dr. Chunmiao Zheng, a professor of hydrogeology at UA, received the 2013 M. King Hubbert Award from the National Ground Water Association for major science contributions to the knowledge of groundwater. The award was presented at the 2013 association’s Groundwater Expo and annual meeting in Nashville, TN. Among Zheng’s many achievements in groundwater science is the development of the MT3D/MT3DMS contaminant transport model, which has become an industry standard since the 1990s. In 1993, Zheng joined UA as an assistant professor in the department of geological sciences and in 2010 he was named the George Lindahl III Endowed Professor of Hydrogeology. He also is a professor and director of the Center for Water Research at Peking University in Beijing, China.
UA STUDENTS, PROFESSORS AUTHORED BOOK CHAPTER ON AUTISM APP
Three UA students along with two professors published a book chapter detailing their research in developing a smart phone application for children with autism. The app is designed to boost the interpersonal communication skills of children with autism.Two of the students, Cassidy Lam and Lauren Lambert, are a part of the University’s Emerging Scholars program, a program that provides research opportunities to eligible freshman students. Lam, a junior in computer science, and Joshua Wolfe, a sophomore in computer science, are in charge of the technical aspects in developing the app while Lambert, a junior majoring in psychology, applies her emerging expertise on the development of children with autism spectrum disorders. The students’ research follows a growing trend of using social media technology in developmental intervention.
UAB PROFESSOR CO-CHAIRS COMMITTEE THAT RELEASES NEW GUIDELINE FOR MANAGEMENT OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
A new guideline developed by evidence gathered from randomized clinical trials for the management of high blood pressure contains nine recommendations and a treatment algorithm to help doctors treat patients with hypertension. The guideline was published online by the Journal of the American Medical Association with the goal of giving health care providers recommendations for the pharmacologic management of hypertension. A panel appointed to the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8), co-chaired by Suzanne Oparil, M.D., UAB professor of Medicine and director of the vascular biology and hypertensive program in UAB’s School of Medicine, used rigorous evidence-based methods to develop recommendations for blood pressure treatment based on a systemic review of the literature.
TWO UAB PROFESSORS ELECTED AS FELLOWS TO NATIONAL ACADEMY OF INVENTORS
UAB Professor of Microbiology David Briles, Ph.D., and Professor of Optometry Lawrence DeLucas, O.D., Ph.D., have been named National Academy of Inventors Fellows. Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.
UAB PROFESSOR NAMED PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF OTOLARYNGOLOGY
Richard W. Waguespack, M.D., clinical professor of Surgery in the UAB Division of Otolaryngology, is the new president of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and its foundation. He assumed his elected position for the 2013-2014 term on October 1 during the 2013 Annual Meeting and OTO EXPO.
UAB SCHOOL OF NURSING PROFESSOR BESTOWED ESTEEMED NURSING RESEARCH HONOR
UAB School of Nursing Professor and Associate Dean for Research Karen Meneses Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, was selected to receive the 2013 Ada Sue Hinshaw Award from the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research, one of the highest honors that can be given to a researcher in the field of nursing. Each award recipient must have a practical, sustained program of research that would afford her or him recognition as a prominent senior scientist.
TWO UAB POSTDOCS RECEIVE SPONSORSHIP FOR LARGEST MINORITY DOCTORAL GATHERING IN THE U.S.
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology/Maximizing Access to Research Careers Program sponsored two UAB students to attend its annual teaching institute. Patrice L. Capers, Ph.D., Mentored Experiences in Research, Instruction and Teaching postdoctoral scholar in the Office of Energetics, and Chelsea R. Singleton, MPH, doctoral candidate at the Nutrition Obesity Research Center, attended the Compact for Faculty Diversity’s 2013 Institute on Teaching and Mentoring. Capers’ research focuses on childhood breakfast consumption and its effects on weight, body composition and cognitive function, and Singleton’s research interests include neighborhood food environments, obesity, physical activity and minority health.
UAB PROFESSOR’S ESSAY NOTED AMONG AMERICA’S BEST
UAB professor of English Kieran Quinlan, Ph.D., penned an essay that has been named a notable in “The Best American Essays 2013.” “Kirwan Street, In Memory” was originally published in 2012 in the New Hibernia Review, a multidisciplinary journal of Irish studies published by the University of St. Thomas. In it, Quinlan writes about growing up on Kirwan Street, a modest community situated between a convent and an asylum in Dublin, Ireland.
UAB PROFESSOR ELECTED MASTER BY AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS
Gustavo (Tavo) Heudebert, M.D., a professor of Medicine and Medical Education and assistant dean of Graduate Medical Education at UAB, has been elected by the American College of Physicians to mastership, one of the highest honors available to primary care physicians. Mastership is conferred only on a select number of worthy candidates who are deemed distinguished through the practice of the specialty of internal medicine.
UAB BIOLOGY PROFESSOR RECEIVES NATIONAL BARTHOLOMEW AWARD
Dan Warner, an assistant professor who studies ecology and the evolution of reptiles in UAB’s Department of Biology, has won the 2014 George A. Bartholomew Award for distinguished contributions by a young researcher in comparative physiology, biochemistry, or functional or integrative biology. The award is given by The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.
GRADUATING UAB STUDENT CURATES SHOW OF MODERN ART AT BMA
“Vanguard Views,” a show curated by UAB fall 2013 Art History graduate Bethany McClellan, is on display through March 23. McClellan, of Birmingham, just completed a yearlong UAB/Birmingham Museum of Art Curatorial Fellowship that culminates with the show.
UAB FRESHMEN ACCEPTED TO CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE UNIVERSITY MEETING
Two UAB freshmen, Economics major Sudhanshu Kaushik and Biomedical Engineering major Forrest Satterfield, were chosen to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative University meeting at Arizona State University in March. CGIU was launched by President Bill Clinton in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world. To be considered for the annual meeting, each student must develop a commitment to action, which is a specific plan of action that addresses a pressing local or global challenge in one of five categories: education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health.
UAH COLLEGE OF BUSINESS PROFESSOR INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CHARGER INNOVATION FUND ADVISORY COUNCIL
UAHuntsville College of Business Administration visiting professor and interim director for the ICE Lab Dr. John R. Whitman was invited to participate in the Charger Innovation Fund Advisory Council managed by the Office of Technology Commercialization for the Office of the Vice President for Research.
UAH STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN THE 1ST ROUND OF THE BOEING NEW BUSINESS CHALLENGE
UAH College of Business Administration and undergraduate students across campus formed ten teams to compete in the Boeing New Business Challenge poster presentation as the first of two pitch events leading to a $10,000 tuition scholarship prize for the winning team to use at UAH. The judges included Boeing executives: Ginger Barnes, Jack Kachelman, and Elliot Jones; UAH Dean Caron St. John, and visiting professor and interim director of the ICE Lab, Dr. John R. Whitman.
UAH CHEMIST IS EXECUTIVE EDITOR
Carmen Scholz attended the board meeting of Polymer International, which she serves as Executive Editor. The meeting was held in London, UK, in November, 2013.
UAH BIOTECH STUDENT WINS BEST POSTER AWARD
Gnana Sreekar Nidadavolu, a Biotechnology Science and Engineering doctoral student, won the best poster prize at this year’s Biological Science Symposium held in September at Tim’s Ford State Park, TN (co-organized with MTSU). He also won both the First Place and People’s choice award at the 3-minute thesis competition.
UAH STUDENT TEAM WINS DATAFEST AWARD
The UAH programming team won the Popular Choice Award at the America’s Datafest global competition. Previously, in regional competition at Auburn University, the team won the America’s Datafest grand prize and earned $1,000 from Alabama Media Group. The team consists of students from the Computer Science department at UAH. Computer Science Professor Feng Zhu was the team mentor. Team members built a set of products, called Health 24, that can take photos of medical labels and translate to any language; list popular medicines sorted by common symptoms; and offer a searchable database of medicines that lists interactions.
UAH PHYSICIST PUBLISHED GRADUATE TEXTBOOK
UAH Professor Massimiliano Bonamente has published Statistics and Analysis of Scientific Data in the Graduate texts in Physics series for Springer (2013).
UAH SPACE SCIENTIST PUBLISHES BOOK ON TRANSPORT PROCESSES
Professor Gary Zank’s book Transport Processes in Space Physics and Astrophysics (Lecture Notes in Physics) (Volume 877) was released in October 2013. The book is aimed at graduate level students to provide the necessary mathematical and physics background to understand the transport of gases, charged particle gases, energetic charged particles, turbulence, and radiation in an astrophysical and space physics context.
OPTICAL SCIENTIST EARNS PH.D. AT UAH
James T. Mooney, the chief optical scientist of Exelis, a global leader in the fields of aerospace, electronic warfare, sensing and surveillance based in Rochester, NY, received the Ph.D. in Optical Science and Engineering from The University of Alabama in Huntsville on December 15. Dr. Mooney’s research advisor was Physics Professor Don Gregory.
UAH SPACE SCIENTIST FEATURED IN MEDIA DISCUSSING MASSIVE GAMMA RAY BURST
Professor Rob Preece has been featured in numerous media accounts of a powerful recent gamma ray burst. Gamma-ray burst (GRB) 130427A is one of the most energetic GRBs ever observed. It is difficult for any of the existing models to account for all of the observed spectral and temporal behaviors simultaneously. The chances of Earth being fried by a burst are exceedingly rare. In fact, say Preece, recent doctoral recipient J. Michael Burgess and Dr. Michael S. Briggs, Earth was actually at the center of the hit from April’s big gamma ray burst, which they picked up on equipment aboard the Fermi Space Telescope that UAH and partners NASA/MSFC and the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany designed and tested.
UAH AWARDS FIRST MODELING AND SIMULATION PH.D. DEGREE
Gregory S. Reed, Research Engineer at UAH’s Center for Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis, successfully defended his doctoral dissertation, thereby becoming the first person to earn a Ph.D. degree in Modeling and Simulation in UAH’s M&S degree program, which was approved by the UA System Board of Trustees in 2010. Three previous graduates of the program all completed M.S. degrees. Dr. Reed’s dissertation was titled “A Quantitative Model of Relative Ethical Violation for Use in Military Decision-Making”. In his research he developed a quantitative model of the relative ethical violation of different courses of action. The model considers four basic principles of ethical behavior and evaluates the degree to which a given action violates those principles. He validated the model by comparing its assessments on six military scenarios with strong ethical elements with the assessments of human experts in the military and humanities domains on the same scenarios. His dissertation advisor was Dr. Mikel D. Petty.
UAH RESEARCHER AT CENTER FOR APPLIED OPTICS RECEIVES “BEST TUTORIAL” AWARD
A tutorial titled “Model Verification and Validation Methods” presented by Dr. Mikel D. Petty of UAH’s Center for Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis at the 2013 Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) was selected as this year’s “Best Tutorial”. I/ITSEC is the largest conference of the year in modeling and simulation; over 16,000 people attended the 2012 conference. Approximately 40 tutorials were submitted in 2013 and 21 were accepted for presentation. Dr. Petty has delivered versions of this tutorial at I/ITSEC for four consecutive years.
UAH SCIENTIST INTERVIEWED
Dr. Jon Campbell, a Research Scientist at UAH-CAO, was interviewed for a new British Science television show being developed for international distribution. His discussions covered the topics of Space Debris, Planetary Defense, and laser applications in space.
CENTER FOR SPACE PLASMA AND AERONOMIC RESEARCH AT UAH
James (Jim) Adams was appointed as a member of the American Astronautical Society’s International Space Station Utilization Technical Committee for a term of 5 years. The primary purposes of the Committee are to assist with organizing and conducting the AAS International Space Station Research and Development Conference; nominate deserving AAS members for professional awards; administer other awards (e.g., student travel, if any); and provide advice to the AAS Board of Directors.
COLLEGE OF NURSING AT UAH
- Megan Heekin, Senior Nursing Student and Vice President of the Association of Nursing Students, UAH Huntsville Chapter, received a Breakthrough to Nursing Scholarship awarded by the Alabama Student Nurses Association in Montgomery, AL, on October 12, 2013.
- Lisa Boctor (2013) “Active Learning Strategies”: The use of a game to reinforce learning in nursing education. Journal of Nursing Care, December 2013; Vol. 2, Issue 3, p. 128.
- Karen Frith (2013). “Medication errors in critical care: Evidence and implications for practice.” AACN Advanced Critical Care, 24(4), 1-16.
- Karen Frith (2013). “Bibliographic management software is an author’s best productivity tool.” Nurse Author & Editor, 23(4).
- Sharon Spencer along with Gilliam, P., Pabst, P., (2013). “Making high fidelity simulation relevant to the home setting.” Nurse Educator, 38(5), 214-217.
- Ellise Adams was selected as board member for the Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing.
- Angela Caires received the Alabama Outstanding Nurse Practitioner Award for 2013, from the Nurse Practitioner Association of Alabama.
- Haley Hoy was appointed to the Quality Improvement Task Force a division of The Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance.
- Lori Lioce was selected to serve on the National Code of Ethics for Nurses Revisions Panel Steering Committee by the American Nurses Association. She was selected as the Honoree in Health and Human Services by the Women’s Economic Develop-ment Council in Huntsville.
- Louise O’Keefe was selected as the recipient of the 2014 American Association of Nurse Practitioner State Award for Excellence. The award is pre-sented annually to one nurse practitioner in each state who demonstrates excellence in their area of practice.
- Mark Reynolds was invited to serve on the International Nurse Leader Review Committee for the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.
- Kacy Taylor Senior Nursing Student and President of the association of Nursing Students, UAH Chapter, was voted President of the Alabama Association of Nursing Students in Montgomery, AL, on October 12, 2013. She also received the state award for Outstanding Chapter President.
- Master’s Student Deidra Fortenberry Carter won first place for her poster presentation at the 6th Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium sponsored by the American Astronautical Society in October, 2013. Her poster was entitled “Promoting Human Health through Manned Space Flight.”
- Undergraduate Honors Students Lydia Adams and Kelly Vasquez were awarded first prize for their scholarly poster, “Formaldehyde, Styrene, Toluene and Perchloroethylene – Common Indoor Air Pollutants in Office and Residential Buildings: Health Effects and Steps to Reduce Exposure” at the Beta Phi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society Research Day in October 2013. Faculty member Azita Amiri is the Research Mentor for the students’ research project.
- The Association of Nursing Students received the Outstanding Community Health Project from the Alabama Association of Nursing Students.
UAH PROFESSOR RECIPIENT OF NATIONAL MENTORING AWARD
UAH’s Dr. Emanuel Waddell, associate professor of chemistry, recently received the National Role Model Faculty Mentor Award from Minority Access Inc. Waddell was nominated for the award by Dr. Louis Dale, vice president for equity and diversity at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Waddell has been assuming some of the duties and functions previously conducted by Dr. Adriel Johnson, one of three faculty members who lost their lives in the 2010 UAH campus shooting.
UAH FACULTY MEMBER RECEIVES ASAHPERD HEALTH EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD
Tonya Meier-Hardy, UAH health and physical education faculty member, recently received the ASAHPERD Health Educator of the Year Award. She officially received the award in October at the organization’s fall conference. Meier-Hardy is also an instructor for UAH’s nationally recognized fitness program, Just Move It!
HUNTSVILLE NATIVE AND STUDENT VETERAN SERVES AS PRESIDENT OF UAH’S VETERANS NETWORK
Ross Compher a senior at UAH, serves as president of UAH’s Veterans Network, a student-run organization that assists and advocates for the university’s student veterans and their dependents. UAH has around 700 veteran students, a much higher percentage than most other schools thanks to the proximity of Redstone Arsenal. To meet the needs of this special demographic, the Veterans Network holds bi-monthly meetings and provides career development assistance.
NEW YORK NATIVE ELECTED PRESIDENT OF UAH’S SIGMA ALPHA PI CHAPTER
Taylor Bono a junior biology major at UAH was elected president of UAH’s Sigma Alpha Pi (SAP) chapter. A student-run organization dedicated to enhancing leadership skills among its members, SAP streams six nationally broadcast inspirational speakers each year at the Chan auditorium. “UAH is a good environment to gain leadership experience. It’s easy to just get out there and find opportunities to lead and impact the community,” said Bono. She also volunteers as a tutor for the UAH Student Success Center and participates in the Student Government Association.
UAH EDUCATION PROFESSOR HONORED FOR SERVICE TO OTHERS
Dr. Derrick Smith, assistant professor of education at UAH, has been named Faulkner University’s 2013 Alumnus of the Year. Smith recently won a National Science Foundation grant, in partnership with CANnect and gh LLC, to help improve the way in which the visually impaired interact with their math teachers. He is also co-author of the MathBuilders series, a supplemental math program for Braille users in kindergarten through third grade. Smith graduated from Faulkner with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, a master’’s degree in education from The University of Alabama in Birmingham, and a doctorate from Texas Tech University. He joined the UAH faculty in 2005.