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Student / Faculty Achievements

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JUNE 2014

 

UA STUDENT NAMED TRUMAN SCHOLAR

The Harry S. Truman Scholar-ship Foundation has named UA student Jason Arterburn, a junior from Madison, as a Truman Scholar in 2014. He is one of 59 U.S. students to receive a Truman Scholarship this year. Arterburn is studying economics and interdisciplinary studies. He is completing a year in China on a Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State and a David L. Boren Scholarship from the National Security Education Program. He is studying Chinese in Harbin, a city in Manchuria situated between North Korea and Russia. At UA, Arterburn has worked on several community programs in Perry County as a University Fellow and an Honors College 57 Miles intern. His activities include teaching an ACT prep class and an initiative using Wii dance video games to incorporate physical activity into the classroom.

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FIVE UA STUDENTS SELECTED FOR HOLLINGS SCHOLARSHIPS

Five UA students will receive the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship for 2014-2016. The scholarship provides $8,000 a year for full-time study during the junior and senior years and $6,500 for a 10-week internship at NOAA or an NOAA-approved facility during the summer between the junior and senior years. UA ranks among the top four universities in the United States this year in terms of the number of Hollings Scholarships awarded. The UA students, all sophomores, are Jake Green, a mechanical engineering major from Spartanburg, SC; Nicole Kernahan, a marine science-biology major from Slidell, LA; Thomas Ludwig, a chemical engineering major from Brunswick, OH; Zoe Nichols, a marine science-biology major from Tuscaloosa; and Leigh Terry, a Culverhouse College of Com-merce student from Sylacauga.

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TWO UA STUDENTS NAMED GOLDWATER SCHOLARS FOR 2014-15

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program has selected two UA students as Goldwater Scholars for 2014-2015. Over the past eight years, UA ranks second among U.S. universities in the number of students receiving scholarships from the Goldwater program. The students are Brian Goodell, a chemical engineering and physics major from Plattsburgh, NY; and Lynda Truong, a chemistry major from Grand Prairie, TX. In addition, Anna Moyer, a biology major from Boalsburg, PA, received honorable mention. For the eight-year period from 2007 to 2014, UA ranks second in the United States for the number of students named Goldwater Scholars. UA is tied with Arizona State University with 21 scholars during that period and just one behind Harvard University, which had 22 scholars.

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UA JOURNALISM STUDENTS RECEIVED NATIONAL PROFESSIONAL ETHICS AWARD

UA journalism students Mazie Bryant, Abbey Crain and Matt Ford likely didn’t expect during their senior year of college to be recognized alongside a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and reporters and editors for Reuters. Bryant, of Montgomery, Crain, of Huntsville, and Ford, of Tuscaloosa, are recipients of the 2014 Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism for their work on the September 2013 Crimson White story “The Final Barrier,” which detailed racial discrimination in The University of Alabama sorority formal recruitment process. The award is given by the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication and is considered a hallmark for excellence in journalism ethics.

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UA ENGINEERING PROFESSOR RECOGNIZED FOR DIVERSITY EFFORTS

Dr. Viola L. Acoff, professor and head of the metallurgical and materials engineering department at UA, is the inaugural recipient of the Ellen Swallow Richards Diversity Award given by the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, or TMS. The award recognizes an individual who reflects the remarkable pioneering spirit of Ellen Swallow Richards by overcoming personal, professional, educational, cultural or institutional adversity to pursue a career in minerals, metals or materials, or helping others to overcome these challenges to pursue such a career, according to an announcement of Acoff’s selection by TMS. Acoff was one of the first two tenure-track, African-American faculty members in the UA College of Engineering. Later, she was the first African-American to reach the rank of professor in the College of Engineering.

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ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR NAMED UA’S 2014 BURNUM AWARD WINNER

Following his passion has led Seth Panitch, associate professor of acting and director of the undergraduate and Master of Fine Arts acting programs at UA, to some interesting places, from the stage, to overseas, and finally to the department of theatre and dance at UA. The zeal he brings to the next generation of acting students has led Panitch to the 2014 Burnum Award. The Burnum Award is one of the highest honors the University bestows on its faculty. Established by Celeste Burnum and the late Dr. John F. Burnum, of Tuscaloosa, it is presented annually to a professor who is judged by a faculty selection committee to have demonstrated superior scholarly or artistic achievements and profound dedication to the art of teaching. Panitch’s selection for the award is gratifying for those who work closely with him.

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UA SPEECH TEAM MEMBERS BROUGHT HOME CHAMPIONSHIP, ALL-AMERICA HONOR

UA students Collin Metcalf and Hannah Fowler are just the latest in a long line of national champions and All-Americans. Metcalf, a junior from Cantonment, FL, and Fowler, a senior from Harrisburg, IL, are members of the Alabama Forensic Council, UA’s speech and debate team. The team recently competed in the American Forensic Association’s National Individual Events Tournament, where Metcalf won a national championship in extemporaneous speaking, and Fowler was named to the 2014 AFA-NIET All-American Team. Metcalf placed 10th overall in the competition, with an additional third-place finish in impromptu speaking and a quarter-final appearance in persuasive speaking. Fowler placed ninth in the program oral interpretation category.

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UA PROFESSOR WON 2014 SEC FACULTY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

The Southeastern Conference announced that UA’s Dr. George C. Rable won the 2014 Faculty Achievement Award. Rable, a UA history professor and the Charles G. Summersell Chair in Southern History, said he was happy to be one of only 14 professors across the SEC to be chosen for the award. SEC Faculty Achievement Award winners receive a $5,000 honorarium from the Southeastern Conference and become his or her university’s nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year Award. Selected by a committee of SEC provosts, the SEC Faculty Achievement Awards and the SEC Professor of the Year Award are part of SECU, the academic initiative of the Southeastern Conference, which sponsors, supports and promotes collaborative higher education programs and activities involving administrators, faculty and students at its 14 member universities.

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UA SENIOR WON NATIONAL JOURNALISM MULTIMEDIA AWARD

Daniel Roth, a senior telecommunication and film major at UA, has been named a winner in the “Best Use of Multimedia” category for the 2013 national Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards. Roth, a Birmingham native and 2013-14 video editor for The Crimson White campus newspaper, was honored for his multimedia package “Stepping Through,” which examines racial progress at UA during the 50 years since desegregation and the remaining challenges. The video, approximately 18 minutes long, includes interviews with the campus newspaper editor-in-chief during the 1963 integration, the first black athlete to receive a scholarship to UA, the sports information director from coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s tenure and others.

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FOUR UAB ASSISTANT PROFESSORS RECOGNIZED BY THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

An unprecedented four UAB College of Arts and Sciences faculty have been awarded CAREER Awards by the National Science Foundation. The recipients are assistant professors Ragib Hasan, Ph.D., and Thamar Solorio, Ph.D., Computer and Information Sciences, Eugenia Kharlampieva, Ph.D., Chemistry, and Karolina Mukhtar, Ph.D., Biology. The CAREER Award is the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious award. It supports junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of the missions of their organizations.

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GOLDWATER SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION HONORS UAB STUDENTS

Two UAB students, Bliss Chang, a junior with a double-major in biochemistry and biology, and Ophelia Johnson, a junior majoring in biomedical engineering, were named 2014 Goldwater Scholars by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in Excellence in Education Foundation. A third UAB student, Luke McClintock, a sophomore chemistry major, received an honorable mention. UAB’s two scholars are among just 283 students who received the award nationwide. To date, UAB has had 19 Goldwater Scholars.

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UAB PROFESSOR TO BE RECOGNIZED NATIONALLY FOR EFFORTS TO COMBAT HIV/AIDS

Michael Saag, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Center for AIDS Research, was one of three doctors receiving the Clinical Excellence Award at the ninth annual National Physician of the Year Awards by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. The award recognizes physicians who exemplify excellence in clinical medical practice, have made major contributions during the course of their medical careers and are expected to do so in the years ahead.

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UAB NURSING DEAN NAMED TO DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS’ SPECIAL MEDICAL ADVISORY GROUP

Doreen C. Harper, Ph.D., dean of UAB School of Nursing, has been selected for a two-year appointment on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Special Medical Advisory Group. Harper will be a part of the Federal Advisory Committee, which provides advice to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Under Secretary for Health on matters relating to the care and treatment of veterans and other matters pertinent to the operations of the Veterans Health Administration. The School of Nursing is home to just one of 18 VA Nursing Academies in the United States.

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THREE UAB STUDENTS WIN CRITICAL LANGUAGES SCHOLARSHIPS

Three UAB students have received prestigious Critical Languages Scholarships. Leah Berkebile and Yoonhee “Charity” Ryder, both juniors and William Jefferson Clinton Scholars, and Rebecca Hyde, a freshman international studies major, will study foreign language and culture abroad. The scholarship is a program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and has offered intensive overseas study in the critical-need foreign languages of Arabic, Bangla, Hindi, Punjabi, Turkish and Urdu since 2006. Last year, approximately 600 scholarships were awarded for 13 languages.

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UAB STUDENTS ACCEPTED TO PRESTIGIOUS PROGRAM FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

Seven UAB students have been selected to attend the prestigious Clinton Global Initiative University at Arizona State University. Together, invited students, national youth organizations, topic experts and celebrities work to make a difference in CGI U’s five focus areas: education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health. The students are Leah Berkebile, junior biology and Middle Eastern studies major; Charity Ryder, junior biology and anthropology major; Sudhanshu Kaushik, freshman international affairs major; Ali Massoud, junior international affairs major; Forrest Satterfield, freshman biomedical engineering major; Jiabin Shen, graduate student majoring in psychology; and Miesha Williams, junior political science major.

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UAB STUDY AIMS HIGH-TECH MAPPING AT VIOLENCE IN MEXICO

Chris Kyle, Ph.D., UAB associate professor of anthropology, has been awarded a $40,000 research grant from The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. The foundation sponsors scholarly research on problems of violence, aggression and dominance. The award will partially fund a year-long sabbatical during which Kyle will write a book on the spatial analysis of criminal violence in Guerrero, Mexico. Kyle’s research examines violent crime in a state that, although the size of West Virginia, has seen more than 11,000 homicides since 2007.

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UAB BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING PROJECT WINS INTERNATIONAL AWARD

A project designed as part of UAB’s Biomedical Engineering Cap-stone Design Course was awarded the 2014 student da Vinci Award. The international awards program recognized UAB students for their achievement and innovation in assistive and adaptive technology helping individuals overcome physical limitations. The winning project, a wheelchair that toddlers control with a joystick, was developed through a partnership between the School of Engineering and the Collat School of Business. It is currently in use at the Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs. Another project, the Scale-Metrix Wheelchair Scale, an affordable home wheelchair scale used for weight monitoring, was a finalist in the contest.

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UAB FACULTY RECEIVES FULBRIGHT SPECIALIST AWARD

Stephanie Yates, Ph.D., UAB associate professor of finance, has been chosen by the prestigious Fulbright Specialist Program to participate in a travel abroad project in Cape Town, South Africa. Yates will travel to the University of Cape Town to work during July and August to consult with the director of UCT’s African Institute for Financial Markets and Risk Management on curriculum design and research knowledge gaps among its constituent base. Yates is one of more than 400 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad this year through the Fulbright Specialist Program.

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UAB JAZZ ENSEMBLE, STUDENT WIN TOP HONORS AT HALL OF FAME COMPETITION

The UAB Jazz Ensemble won the top award, Most Outstanding College Band at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame’s 12th annual Student Jazz Band Festival competition. The UAB Jazz Ensemble’s lead alto saxophonist, Kameron Dickerson, won Most Outstanding College Soloist, the top individual award. Dickerson, of Birmingham, is finishing his third year at UAB. He is a graduate of the Alabama School of Fine Arts and is the grandson of bass player and jazz great Cleve Eaton.

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UAB MATHEMATICS STUDENT GETS TOP HONORS AT NATIONAL STEM CONFERENCE

Graduate mathematics student Nichole Pompey won first place for a presentation during the 2014 Emerging Researchers National Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Pompey’s presentation, titled “A Randomized Algorithm for Tensor Decomposition,” was selected as the top presentation in the Mathematics and Statistics oral presentation category. The conference is hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Education and Human Resources Programs, and the National Science Foundation.

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THEATRE UAB AWARDED NATIONAL HONORS AT KCACTF

Students in the UAB Department of Theatre and the company’s production of Big Love were honored with national awards by the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Rebecca Harper is one of two students selected for the Kennedy Center and National New Play Network MFA Playwrights’ Workshop/Directing Intensive, presented by the KCACTF in conjunction with the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Spring 2014 graduate Markeitra Gilliam won the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre Training Program Scholarship. Renita Lewis, who played Thyona in Theatre UAB’s production of Big Love, was one of four students awarded Distinguished Achievement by an Actress. The cast of Big Love was among four companies honored with a Distinguished Ensemble Achievement award.

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UAH PHILOSOPHY GRADUATE RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS FELLOWSHIP TO PENN STATE

Rachel King was recently awarded the prestigious Penn State Bunton-Waller Fellowship. It is an enhanced graduate assistantship award given to incoming graduate degree students. Competition to get into Ph.D. programs in philosophy is highly competitive. Most programs see about 150 or more applications for the 10 or fewer slots. The Fellowship, which is university-wide, is also very prestigious: only 18-25 students are selected annually to apply for four available openings in the Fellowship.

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UAH ATMOSPHERIC SCIENTIST WINS CAREER AWARD

Atmospheric Science Assistant Professor Dr. Udaysankar Nair has received the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award.

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UAH CHEMISTRY MAJOR RECEIVES NIH INTERNSHIP

Undergraduate Chemistry major Maria Emma Torres has been awarded a Summer Research Internship with the National Institutes of Health.

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UAH TEAM HONORED FOR TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT

A team of UAH Computer Science and Modeling and Simulation students won a technical achievement award in the international “Simulation Exploration Experience” event. In this annual NASA-organized event, teams of students from universities around the world develop sophisticated computer simulations that interoperate, or work together, in real-time to simulate a lunar exploration scenario. The UAH team won the award for “Excellence in Technology Application and Engineering Design” recognizing their excellent use of the HLA interoperability protocol. This is the third consecutive year the UAH team has won this award.

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UAH GRADUATE STUDENT WINS THREE MINUTE THESIS COMPETITION

Biological Sciences student David Gray took the top prize in the Three Minute Thesis and Dissertation regional competition in San Antonio, TX. Gray’s presentation explained the movement of genes between organisms using an analogy to Spider Man.

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COLLEGE OF NURSING AT UAH FACULTY RECOGNITIONS

Dr. Susan Alexander, clinical assistant professor, was elected president of the Nurse Practitioner Alliance of Alabama.

Melissa Baginski, clinical assistant professor, received the Student Government Association Faculty Appre-ciation Award.

Dr. Elisabeth Barnby, clinical assistant professor, received the College of Nursing Outstanding Faculty Award.

Dr. David Brown, director of instructional technology, received the Staff Foundation Award.

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UAH COLLEGE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION ASSOCIATE DEAN RECOGNIZED

Dr. Jatinder Gupta, Associate Dean, was recognized in Production and Operations Management as one of the top 30 researchers in production and operations management in the world.

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UAH COLLEGE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION PROFESSOR SERVES AS EDITOR

Dr. Ravi Patnayakuni, information systems associate professor, has been asked to serve as an associate editor for Decision Sciences Journal, a top tier journal in operations and management science.

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UAH COLLEGE OF BUSINESS STUDENTS WIN COMPETITION

UAH College of Business Administration students competed in the Boeing New Business Challenge. Eight undergraduate teams contended for $10,000 in tuition scholarship funds. The first place $7,000 scholarship was awarded to the Nestegg Bio team: Tanner Carden, Devon Bane, Gavon Carden, and Tim Gualdin. The second place $3,000 scholarship was awarded to the Ginger’s Cupcake Shop team: Rachel Bray, Austin Mordecai, and Cole Rickles.

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UAH COLLEGE OF BUSINESS STUDENTS WIN CASE COMPETITION

UAH College of Business Administration students participated in the 2014 SAIC Case Competition: “The Shifting Paradigm of Education in the 21st Century.” The first-place $10,000 scholarship was awarded to Aaron Byers, Jenn Tischler, Charlotte Cain, and Noah Houser. The second-place team – Jacob Bryson, Savannah Burton, and Nathan Sissom – was awarded a $4,000 scholarship, and the third-place team – Craig Hunt, Claudia Mesnil, Brett Powell, and Sean Williams – received a $2,000 scholarship award.

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UAH STUDENT TEAM HONORED FOR TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT IN SIMULATION EXPLORATION EXPERIENCE EVENT

On April 15, 2014 a team of UAH Computer Science and Modeling and Simulation students won a technical achievement award in the international “Simulation Exploration Experience” event. In this annual NASA-organized event, teams of students from universities around the world develop sophisticated computer simulations that interoperate, or work together, in real-time to simulate a lunar exploration scenario. Each of the interoperating simulations models a part of the lunar scenario, such as a transport spacecraft, a communications satellite, or a lunar mass driver. In addition to UAH, this year’s event included teams from Pennsylvania State University, University of Nebraska Omaha, University of Genoa (Italy), University of Calabria (Italy), University of Bordeaux (France), the Munich University of Applied Sciences (Germany), and Brunel Univer-sity (UK). The teams demonstrated their simulation live in front of an audience at the 2014 Spring Simulation Multi-Conference in Tampa, FL. The UAH team consisted of seven students from the CS 582 Modeling and Simulation II course, taught by Dr. Mikel Petty. The UAH team won the award for “Excellence in Technology Application and Engineering Design” recognizing their excellent use of the HLA inter-operability protocol. This is the third consecutive year the UAH team has won this award.