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Student / Faculty Achievements

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SEPTEMBER 2014

 

UA DIRECTOR SELECTED FOR NATIONAL TRAINER HALL OF FAME

Dr. Kenneth Wright, professor and director of the sport management program in the UA College of Human Environmental Sciences health sciences department, was selected to enter the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame. Induction into the Hall of Fame honors athletic trainers who exemplify the mission of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association through significant, lasting contributions that enhance the quality of health care provided by athletic trainers and advance the profession. With more than 42 years of experience in the sports industry, Wright has done a little bit of everything including serving as a head athletic trainer and member of the board of directors of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. He also has been involved with the U.S. Olympic Committee as an athletic trainer, educator and invited presenter.

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UA STUDENT SELECTED TO ATTEND NOBEL LAUREATE MEETING IN GERMANY

Brandon Hill, a UA doctoral student, was one of 600 students from around the world selected to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. Thousands of young researchers applied for the opportunity to attend the meeting and interact with 37 Nobel Prize winners in Lindau, Germany. Hill, a native of Jackson, MS, is studying biology at UA after earning both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Jackson State University. Hill’s graduate work at Jackson State focused on assessing the effect of Vernonia amygdalina leaf extracts on microtubule destabilization in cancer cells. This research has application in future, potential cancer-treatment methods. At UA, where he began his doctoral studies in the fall of 2010, Hill’s work blends the fields of molecular biology, cell biology, virology and nanotechnology.

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UA DOCTORAL STUDENT SELECTED FOR GERONTOLOGICAL SOCIAL WORK AWARD

Quentin Maynard, a doctoral student at the UA School of Social Work, has been selected for the fifth cohort of the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work Pre-Dissertation Initiative. This honor is made in recognition of Maynard’s potential in the field of gerontological social work. The Initiative provides support each year for a cohort of 10 students who have completed the first year of doctoral studies. The goal of the Initiative is to support dissertation and career development in gerontological social work research and education. As part of the award, Maynard will receive a one-year membership to the Gerontological Society of America and the Association for Gerontological Education in Social Work. He will also be invited to attend the 67th Annual Scientific Meeting of the GSA to be held in Washington, DC, in November.

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UA LECTURER RECEIVED OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR AWARD

Lisa McKinney, accounting lecturer at UA’s Culverhouse College of Commerce, was recognized with the Outstanding Accounting Educator Award from the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants. The award acknowledges excellence in the classroom and contributions to the accounting profession. McKinney received a record 14 letters of support from current and former students. McKinney collaborated with Dennice Hillard, a CPA and one of McKinney’s former students, to create a National Association of Black Accountants, or NABA, chapter at the Culverhouse College of Commerce in 2007. McKinney remains the NABA adviser and holds an annual residency program for minority high school students under the NABA banner – the Accounting Career Awareness Program. She is also sponsor for the Capstone Academy, another summer residency; this one for academically gifted high-school juniors and seniors.

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UA ENGINEERING STUDENTS WON METAL-CASTING CONTEST

A team of UA engineering students won the 2014 Student Casting Competition for the Southeast organized by the American Foundry Society. This is the third time in four years UA students have won the AFS competition. The UA chapter received a $1,000 award. For the competition, the students, all studying metallurgical and materials engineering, were tasked with creating innovative casting molds of a school mascot, a community project or an industry product fix. The UA students decided to create molds for bells. One bell was made with a brass alloy, and the other was made with a more traditional tin bronze alloy. The students used 3-D silica sand mold printing from ExOne Digital Part Materialization to create the molding for the bells.

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UA MUSEUMS SELECTS NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

After more than 26 years in the museum profession, Dr. William Bomar was ready for a new challenge – and he found it as the executive director of UA Museums. Bomar, director of UA’s Moundville Archaeological Park since 1998, was selected for the position after serving as the interim director since May 2013. As executive director, he is responsible for overseeing the activities of UA’s museum system, which includes the Alabama Museum of Natural History, Moundville Archaeological Park, Gorgas House, Museum Research and Collections, Office of Archaeo-logical Research and the Emmy award-winning television program “Dis-covering Alabama.” Prior to Moundville, Bomar worked at the Atlanta History Center, Nebraska State Historical Society, Coastal Heritage Society in Savannah, GA, and Georgia Southern University Museum.

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UA DOCTORAL STUDENT NAMED TILLMAN MILITARY SCHOLAR

Michael A. LaRocca, a UA doctoral student in clinical psychology, is one of 60 U.S. service members, veterans and military spouses chosen as 2014 Tillman Military Scholars, a program of the Pat Tillman Foundation. The newly selected class will receive $1.4 million in scholarships for higher education. LaRocca, of Milan, IN, served as an infantry officer in South Korea and later Iraq, where he earned a Purple Heart. He works with veterans at the local VA while completing his dissertation on predictors of post-traumatic stress syndrome symptoms in combat veterans. Founded in 2008, the Tillman Military Scholars program supports active-duty service members, veterans and military spouses by investing in their higher education.

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UA SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK SELECTS NEW DEAN

Dr. Vikki Vandiver has been named dean of the UA School of Social Work. Vandiver has served as associate dean for academic affairs at the Portland State University School of Social Work since 2012 and has been a faculty member at PSU since 1992. She succeeded Dr. Lucinda Roff, who has served as interim dean at UA since 2010 and previously served as dean from 1987-2000. Vandiver has extensive clinical and academic experience, including within programs for persons with severe mental illness and in cross-cultural mental health systems. Her additional research interests include: evidence-based mental health practice, traumatic brain injury, health promotion and equine-assisted activities with tribal youth.

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UA LAW SCHOOL NAMES LAW PROFESSOR AS NEW DEAN

Dr. Mark E. Brandon, a professor of law at Vanderbilt University since 2001, was named dean of the UA School of Law. A constitutional law expert with extensive experience in both academia and private and public law practice, Brandon is a graduate of UA. He succeeded William Brewbaker, the William Alfred Rose Professor of Law at UA, who has served as interim dean since July 2013. After earning his UA law degree, Brandon served as an assistant attorney general for the state of Alabama from 1978-1980. He was then a staff attorney and consumer unit coordinator for Legal Services Corp. before becoming a partner in a private practice.

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UA CHEMISTRY PROFESSOR AMONG WORLD’S MOST HIGHLY-CITED RESEARCHERS

A UA chemistry professor ranks among the top 1 percent of most cited researchers in his field worldwide in 2014, according to a report published by Thomson Reuters. Dr. Robin Rogers, Robert Ramsay Chair of Chemistry at UA and director of UA’s Center for Green Manufacturing, made the Highly Cited Researchers 2014 list, which represents some of the world’s leading scientific minds, according to its web site. Approximately 3,200 researchers earned the distinction by writing the greatest numbers of reports officially designated by Essential Science Indicators as Highly Cited Papers. Rogers, who earned both his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in chemistry from UA before joining the faculty at Northern Illinois University, has served on UA’s faculty since 1996.

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UAB NAMES FIRST DEAN OF HONORS COLLEGE

Shannon Blanton, Ph.D., has been named the inaugural dean of UAB Honors College. Blanton comes to UAB from the University of Memphis, where she was professor of political science and vice provost for undergraduate programs, responsible to the provost for leadership and oversight of all undergraduate programs. Blanton has 19 years of experience as university faculty, department chair and vice provost.

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UAB PROFESSOR APPOINTED HONORARY CONSUL FOR BRAZIL

Isabel Scarinci, Ph.D., MPH, recently appointed associate director for globalization and cancer at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and professor in the Division of Preventive Medicine in the UAB School of Medicine, has been appointed honorary consul for Brazil for the state of Alabama. Her appointment was recently confirmed by the U.S. Department of State. The Brazilian Consulate in Atlanta approached Scarinci, a UAB graduate, about the position. The Brazilian government gave its clearance, and the U.S. Department of State made Scarinci’s appointment official.

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UAB DIRECTOR TO LEAD ASSOCIATION OF SURGICAL RESIDENCY DIRECTORS

William D. Jordan Jr., M.D., the Holt A. McDowell Jr., M.D., Endowed Chair in Vascular Surgery in the School of Medicine and director of UAB’s Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy, has become president-elect of the Association of Program Directors in Vascular Surgery for the 2014-16 academic years. He will serve as president from 2016-2018. The association comprises directors of all U.S. vascular surgery residency programs working to address academic, regulatory and financial issues affecting the education of vascular surgeons.

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UAB DIRECTOR HONORED FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO VISION RESEARCH

Christine A. Curcio, Ph.D., director of the UAB age-related macular degeneration histopathology lab and scientific director of the Alabama Eye Bank, is the recipient of the 2014 Ludwig von Sallmann Prize, awarded to an individual for significant contri-butions to vision research and ophthal-mology at the International Society for Eye Research meeting. Curcio is the first member of the UAB faculty to be so honored.

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RECENT UAB PUBLIC HEALTH GRADUATE RECEIVES NATIONAL DISSERTATION AWARD

Alva Ferdinand, Dr.P.H., who earned her doctorate from the UAB Department of Health Care Organization and Policy in December 2013 and immediately landed a tenure-track position at Texas A&M University, has received the AcademyHealth 2014 Outstanding Dissertation Award. Ferdinand’s dissertation examined distracted driving. She wrote a systematic review and meta-analysis of the varying distractions that affect drivers, which was published in the American Journal of Public Health. Also accepted to the journal was Ferdinand’s empirical paper on the impact of texting laws on motor-vehicle fatalities; she has written another paper on texting laws and hospitalizations.

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UAB PUBLIC HEALTH ASSISTANT PROFESSOR RECEIVES TERATOLOGY SOCIETY AWARD

UAB School of Public Health Assistant Professor Julia Gohlke, Ph.D., was named the 2014 recipient of the F. Clarke Fraser New Investigator Award from The Teratology Society, which is committed to cutting-edge research and authoritative information related to birth defects and other disorders of developmental origin. Gohlke has performed several studies on birth defects. Her more recent work examined the association between pre-term birth and heat waves in Alabama.

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UAB EDUCATION PROFESSOR TO HELP LEAD NATIONAL CONFERENCE

The National Council of Teachers of English has elected Tonya Perry, Ph.D., assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in the UAB School of Education, to serve on its Conference on English Education executive committee. The conference exists to help its members who are engaged in the preparation, support and continuing education of teachers of English language arts and literacy.

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UAB ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SCIENCES FACULTY MEMBER RECEIVES NATIONAL AWARD

Elizabeth H. Maples, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UAB Department of Environmental Health Sciences and deputy director for the Deep South Center for Occupational Health and Safety, has earned the John Palassis Memorial Award from the American Industrial Hygiene Association.

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UAB ASSISTANT PROFESSOR NAMED TO PRESTIGIOUS LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT CLASS

Lindsay A. Rhodes, M.D., assistant professor in the UAB Department of Ophthalmology was named to the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Leadership Development Program Class of 2015. This prestigious program represents a commitment by the AAO to develop future leaders. Rhodes, who joined the faculty in 2013 upon completion of her glaucoma fellowship and residency at UAB, has taken an active role in the ophthalmic community.

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UAB NEUROLOGIST EDITS FIRST TEXTBOOK ON NEWLY DEFINED DISEASE PROCESS

Anthony Nicholas, M.D., associate professor in the UAB Department of Neurology, is a co-editor of the first textbook on the subject of protein deimination in human health and disease. The book is a comprehensive look at this rapidly developing field and illustrates the connection between deimination and numerous illnesses, including autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cancer, periodontitis, glaucoma, spinal cord trauma and peripheral nerve injury.

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UAB PEDIATRIC OPTOMETRY RESIDENT RECEIVES AWARD

UAB School of Optometry pediatric optometry resident Jessie Dinkel, O.D., has received a Johnson & Johnson Vision Care 2014 Residency Award. Dinkel is one of three to be awarded the Terrance N. Ingraham Pediatric Optometry Residency Award, which is intended to promote the practice and development of the field of pediatric optometry by providing incentives and support to talented optometric residents who demonstrate a passion and commitment to practice, research and education in the field of children’s vision.

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FOUR UAH COLLEGE OF SCIENCE UNDERGRADUATES AND THREE COLLEGE OF SCIENCE GRADUATE STUDENTS WIN BIOTRAIN INTERNSHIPS AT THE HUDSONALPHA INSTITUTE FOR BIOTECHNOLOGY

UAH College of Science undergraduate students Candice Coppola, Garrett Dunn, Jonathan Trinh, and Rebecca Hauser and College of Science graduate students David Gray, Fariba Shater Ferdosian, and Adam Miller won competitive HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology BioTrain summer internships.

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UAH BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES GRADUATE STUDENT WINS BEST POSTER PRIZE

Michelle Morris, a master’s student in Biological Sciences, received the Taylor & Francis Biomolecular Crystallography Best Poster Prize at the American Crystallographic Association Annual Meeting, May 24-28, 2014, in Albuquerque, NM. Her poster was titled “Monoclinic and rhombohedral crystals of Inorganic Pyrophosphatase from Thermococcus thioreducens.”

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UAH DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES FACULTY APPOINTED ADJUNCT FACULTY AT THE HUDSONALPHA INSTITUTE FOR BIOTECHNOLOGY

Drs. Leland Cseke, Luciano Matzkin, Eric Mendenhall, and Joe Ng have been appointed Adjunct Faculty Investigators at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. All four are involved in collaborative research with investigators at the institute. Their appointments resulted from the strong ties between UAH and HudsonAlpha.

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UAH COLLEGE OF SCIENCE ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR SELECTED AS DELEGATE TO INTERNATIONAL CRYSTALLOGRAPHY MEETING

UAH College of Science Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Dr. Joe Ng was selected on June 9, 2014, by the National Academy of Science, the U.S. adhering body to the International Union of Crystallography, as one of five delegates to the 23rd Congress and General Assembly of the International Union for Crystallography. The primary responsibility will be to represent the U.S. at the General Assembly.

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UAH PROFESSOR RECEIVES 2014 NASA DISTINGUISHED PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD

Dr. John C. Gregory, professor of chemistry and materials science, UAH, and director of the Alabama Space Grant Consortium was invited to Washington, DC, to receive the 2014 NASA Distinguished Public Service Award from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on August 14th. The award is “NASA’s highest form of recognition that is awarded to any non-Government individual whose distinguished service, ability, or vision has personally contributed to NASA’s advancement of United States’ interests. The individual’s achievement or contribution must demonstrate a level of excellence that has made a profound or indelible impact to NASA mission success, therefore, the contribution is so extraordinary that other forms of recognition by NASA would be inadequate.”

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UAH PHYSICS PROFESSOR WINS NASA HOPE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Don Gregory and his graduate student Tomasz Lis are members of a NASA/MSFC team that has been awarded a NASA Headquarters Hands On Project Experience (HOPE) Group Achievement Award for their contribution to the recent balloon flight of HEROES (High Energy Replicated Optics to Explore the Sun). Gregory and Lis designed and built the optical system that monitored the X-ray telescope’s critical alignment to the star camera used for position determination.

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COLLEGE OF NURSING AT UAH

- Dr. Sheree Carter, clinical assistant professor, received her Ph.D. in Nursing from Georgia Baptist College of Nursing from Mercer University.

- Dr. Lori Lioce, clinical associate professor and simulation coordinator, was re-elected for 2014-2016 as Vice President of Operations for the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning.

- Dr. Lori Lioce, clinical associate professor and simulation coordinator, was appointed to the finance committee for the national leadership society Omicron Delta Kappa in July 2014.

- Dr. Marlena Primeau, clinical assistant professor, was appointed as ICS Operations Chief for the Keep Volunteering Disaster Team.

- Dr. Marlena Primeau, clinical assistant professor, was appointed as a panel member for the Clinical Tenure and Promotion Panel speaking at the UAH New Faculty Orientation.

- Dr. Marlena Primeau, clinical associate professor, traveled with 10 students to the UK for the Global Health course in May.

- Dr. Louise O’Keefe, assistant professor, received the State Award of Excellence in NP Clinical Practice, May 2014.

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UAH COLLEGE OF BUSINESS STUDENT SHRM CHAPTER AWARDED FOR THE SECOND YEAR

The national professional organization for human resource managers, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), awarded its Superior Merit Award for the 2013-2014 academic year to the UAH Student SHRM Chapter for its excellence and achievement. This is the second year in a row the UAH Chapter has received this award. Dr. Ivey MacKenzie is the chapter’s faculty advisor.

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UAH PROFESSOR WINS OUTSTANDING FACULTY AWARD

Dr. Cynthia L. Gramm received the College of Business Administration’s Outstanding Faculty Award for 2014 at UAH’s May Commencement. Dr. Gramm is a Professor of Management and Chair of the Department of Management, Marketing and Information Systems.

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UAH CHAIR WINS DISTINGUISHED RESEARCH AWARD

Dr. Jatinda (Jeet) Gupta received the College of Business Administration’s Distinguished Research Award for 2014 at UAH’s May Commencement. Dr. Gupta is an Eminent Scholar and Professor and the Associate Dean for Graduate and Sponsored Programs.

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UAH GRADUATE STUDIES DEAN SEEKS TO INCREASE UAH GRADUATE STUDIES VISIBILITY

Dr. David Berkowitz, Dean of Graduate Studies, was recently appointed to the Executive Committee of the Congress of Southern Graduate Schools and traveled to New Orleans to attend the Executive Committee Planning Meeting. In July, Dr. Berkowitz also attended the New Deans Workshop of the Council for Graduate Schools and was invited to be a panelist during the Freshman Deans’ Reflection session.

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UAH ENGLISH PROFESSOR WINS BEST ESSAY OF THE YEAR AWARD

UAH Assistant Professor, Joseph Conway, won The Best Essay of the Year award from the Nathaniel Hawthorne Society for his article “Hawthorne’s Backwood’s Puritan: Sir William Phips and the Democratic Clown Tradition.”

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UAH ENGLISH PROFESSOR NOMINATED FOR NATIONAL COUNCIL OF TEACHERS OF ENGLISH AWARD

Assistant Professor Ryan Weber’s article, “Constructions of Agency in Corporate Social Media Policies” (The Journal of Technical Writing and Communication) was nominated for the 2014 National Council of Teachers of English Award in the category Best Article Reporting Qualitative or Quantitative Research in Technical or Science Writing.

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UAH ENGLISH PROFESSOR APPOINTED TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE HIGHER EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP

Dr. Diana Bell was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Higher Education Partnership (HEP). In conjunction, she was also appointed as faculty advisor/representative to STARS, the student arm of HEP, where she works closely with the Student Government Association and the Student Coordinator of STARS.

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UAH ENGLISH GRADUATE STUDENT RECEIVES SCHOLARSHIP, STIPEND AT VANDERBILT

English graduate student Kylie Lemon, who presented three papers (two of them co-authored) at a variety of conferences last year, has accepted a scholarship and generous stipend to study English Literature at Vanderbilt University. She will begin her Ph.D. coursework in September.

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UAH HISTORY STUDENT RECOGNIZED FOR STUDY ON DIVORCE IN THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH

John O’Brien, a 2014 graduate of the UAH History Program, won best undergraduate paper at the Alabama Regional Phi Alpha Theta conference. It was the second year in a row that a UAH History student has won the award.

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UAH STUDENT’S ARTWORK RECEIVES RECOGNITION FROM THE HUNTSVILLE ART LEAGUE

The Huntsville Art League featured the work of student Naomi Traynor in their 2014 Perceptions Art Show in June at Lowe Mill.

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UAH ACCOMPLISHMENTS

- Dr. Erin Colwitz and Dr. David Ragsdale led student performances of the UAH Choir and Chamber Winds in London, England, and Paris, France.

- Dr. Melody Ng performed a series of solo recitals in China and Indonesia.

- Dr. Aaron Cain performed at the distinguished Oregon Bach Festival.

- Dr. Carolyn Sanders performed in Athens, Greece.

- Dr. Ron Wray wrote an original composition, The Lion and the Mouse, for clarinet, cello, and narrator for performance in Birmingham public schools.

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UAH ENGLISH GRADUATE STARTS THEATRE COMPANY

- Mandy Hughes, who completed her MA in English at UAH, has started a theatre company, Rocket City Shakespeare. The troupe has already staged The Taming of the Shrew and As You Like It, with major roles acted by Mandy Hughes, Assistant Professor Chad Thomas, and undergraduate English major Shawn Murdock. She plans to present Coriolanus in December.

- Dr. Clarke Rountree presided as President of the Kenneth Burke Society at the Ninth Triennial Conference in St. Louis, MO.

- David Harwell designed the sets for the off-Broadway plays Enter at Forest Lawn and The Qualifications of Douglas Evans.

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UAH OFFICE OF RESEARCH DIRECTOR PROFILED IN NEW YORK TIMES

Dr. John Christy, director of UAH’s Earth System Science Center, was profiled in July by the New York Times in the article “Though Scorned by Colleagues, a Climate-Change Skeptic Is Unbowed” by Michael Wines.

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UAH GRADUATE STUDENT RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS AWARD

Laxman Adhikari is one of six UAH student recipients of prestigious ALEPSCoR Graduate Research Scholars Program awards. Dr. Gary P. Zank, director of CSPAR and chair of space science is his faculty advisor. A total of 36 graduate students from seven universities across the state of Alabama are round nine GRSP awardees, receiving a total of $849,370. Each of the six UAH graduate students wrote a proposal for external research funding in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) discipline. The student awards are being funded for the fall 2014 academic year. Students will work with their faculty advisors, during the award period. Additionally, students are expected to make formal presentations of their GRSP research findings at nationally recognized technical meetings and/or an Alabama EPSCoR meeting.

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UAH GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANT ACCEPTED TO BLUE WATERS GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM

Dr. Nikolai Pogorelov from the department of Space Science is the faculty advisor of the graduate research assistant, Matthew Bedford, who was selected as one of seven recipients of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign’s Blue Waters Graduate Fellowship program for the 2014-2015 academic year. Recipients of this award were evaluated based on their academic record, GRE score, related experience and service, research plan and its relationship to use of the Blue Waters supercomputer, and letters of reference. Bedford met those requirements and has been awarded a total of $50,000 to cover stipend and tuition and an allocation of 50,000 node hours on the Blue Waters system. He will focus on the research program and will later present the research progress at the 2015 Blue Waters symposium.

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UAH GRADUATE STUDENTS SUCCESSFULLY DEFEND PH.D. DISSERTATIONS

- Tae Kim, advised by Dr. Nikolai Pogorelov, successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation titled “Modeling the Solar Wind Outflow Using Boundary Conditions from Interplanetary Scintil-lation Observations” on June 13, 2014.

- Eric Zirnstein, advised by Professor Jacob Heerikhuisen, successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation entitled “Simulating Hydrogen Energetic Neutral Atom Flux Measurements for NASA’s IBEX Mission,” in June 2014.