FEBRUARY 2016

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PARTNERSHIP LAUNCHED TO INCREASE INTERNATIONAL RECRUITMENT
AT UAB

INTO University Partnerships will help lead UAB’s efforts to increase access for international students to its globally ranked campus. UAB is home to one of the largest academic medical centers in the U.S. and welcomes students, faculty and staff from more than 100 countries. The Center for World University Rankings lists UAB as No. 146 internationally and No. 70 in the U.S. in the quality of education and training of students, as well as the prestige of the faculty members and the quality of research.

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UAB PSYCHOLOGY RANKED TOP UP-AND-COMING PROGRAM

The psychology program in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham was recently ranked first by BestPsychologyDegrees.com in its ranking for the 2015 Top Up-and-Coming Undergraduate Psychology Programs in the South. The ranking considered the presence of graduate degree programs, innovative and cutting-edge methods and resources, recent facility updates, research opportunities, internships, student organizations and societies, and “wow” factor.

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UAB MEDICINE’S UNDIAGNOSED DISEASES PROGRAM EXPANDS WITH GENOMICS CLINIC AT CHILDREN’S OF ALABAMA

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Undiagnosed Diseases Program will expand its services with a new genomics clinic located at Children’s of Alabama. The program, powered by UAB, Children’s of Alabama and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, uses sophisticated DNA sequencing and a multidisciplinary medical team to search for a diagnosis for patients with rare or unusual conditions that have defied diagnosis for years. The program was launched in October 2013.

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UAB NAMES VICE PRESIDENT FOR DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

Paulette Patterson Dilworth, Ph.D., has been named the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s next vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion after a comprehensive needs assessment and national search. Dilworth has 38 years of experience in higher education diversity consulting and training, recruitment, retention, and teaching, and she comes to UAB from Auburn University, where she was assistant vice president for Access and Community Initiatives.

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HUNDREDS OF UAB PHYSICIANS NAMED TO PRESTIGIOUS 2015-16 BEST DOCTORS IN AMERICA LIST

Hundreds of the top physicians in the nation practice at the UAB Health System, according to the latest edition of the Best Doctors in America®. The 2015 list recognizes 391 UAB physicians, the most in Alabama, in 38 specialties listed who are among the top 5 percent of clinicians in the United States, as voted by their peers.

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UAB DENTISTRY CARES COMMUNITY DAY PROVIDES CARE FOR MORE THAN 500 UNDERSERVED AND HOMELESS

More than 500 underserved and homeless people in the Birmingham area received teeth cleanings, restorations and extractions at no cost as part of the third annual UAB Dentistry Cares Community Day on October 21 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry. Organized by the School of Dentistry, many volunteers took part in the annual daylong charitable event, including partners from Cahaba Valley Health Care and other local dentists, health agencies and companies. Through generous sponsor and community support, UAB is among very few dental schools in the country to host this type of benevolent event.

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UAB ENGINEERS DEVELOP NEW METHOD TO REPAIR ELEPHANT TUSKS

When Birmingham Zoo veterinarians approached researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Engineering to help them stop a crack from growing in their oldest elephant’s tusk, the engineers saw an opportunity to use their expertise in materials science to improve the industry standard for the repair process. Cracks in elephants’ tusks have historically been repaired by adhering a metal ring to the tusk in order to stabilize the crack and prevent it from growing any farther up the tusk. The Birmingham Zoo asked the director of UAB’s Materials Processing and Applications Development Center, Brian Pillay, Ph.D., to do just that for Bulwagi, a 35-year-old male African elephant in their care. Pillay’s immediate response was to innovate the process, and apply some of the science the lab uses in other materials processes to create a new, more robust and seamless treatment for the crack.

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UAH COLLEGE OF BUSINESS HOSTS TVA REGIONAL MEETING

The UAH College of Business Administration hosted a regional meeting for the Tennessee Valley Authority Investment Challenge Program (ICP). The meeting provided students the opportunity to present an update on the performance of their portfolios and exchange ideas with students from other schools.

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UAH PHILOSOPHY DEPARTMENT HOSTED PUBLIC TALK

The Philosophy Department hosted a public talk, “Democracy and Argument,” with Dr. Scott F. Aikin, author of the book Why We Argue (and How We Should): A Guide to Political Disagreement on November 11, 2015. Dr. Aikin is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.

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UAH HISTORY DEPARTMENT HOSTED A PUBLIC LECTURE

The UAH History Department and the UAH Humanities Center hosted a public lecture with Dr. Monique Laney on her book German Rocketeers in the Heart of Dixie: Making Sense of the Nazi Past during the Civil Rights Era. Dr. Laney is Assistant Professor at Auburn University.

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UAH THEATRE DEPARTMENT KICKED OFF ITS 11TH SEASON

The UAH Theatre Department opened its 11th season with The Laramie Project, written by Moises Kaufman and directed by Dr. Chad Thomas, UAH Assistant Professor of English. The play, which opened November 4, tells the true story of how a town reacts to an unthinkable event – the murder of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old college student who was robbed, tortured, and tied to a fence post to die because he was gay.

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UAH COLLEGE OF NURSING WELCOMES FIRST COHORT FOR EARLY PROMOTION INTO NURSING PROGRAM

This fall, the College of Nursing welcomed its first cohort into the Early Promotion into UAH Nursing Program (EPNP). Open to high-achieving in-coming freshmen and offered in partnership with UAH’s Honors College, the EPNP enables those who successfully complete their lower-division nursing coursework at UAH to move on to the upper division without submitting an application for admission to upper division nursing courses.

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UAH COLLEGE OF NURSING BECOMES MEMBER OF NATIONAL CENTER OF NURSING EXCELLENCE

The UAH College of Nursing was selected as a member of the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence. Dr. Lenora Smith spearheaded submission of the application. This recognition will help support faculty and students with opportunities to network with experts in the field of gerontology and provide resources and grant funding in their quest for conducting research.

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UAH COLLEGE OF SCIENCE PROFESSOR ORGANIZES AND HOSTS PROTEIN CRYSTAL GROWTH WORKSHOP

Department of Biological Sciences Professor, Dr. Joseph Ng, organized and hosted a Protein Crystal Growth workshop for the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. This was a national event where people from all parts of the United States participated.

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UAH ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE STUDENTS HOST FIFTH ANNUAL ROCKET CITY WEATHER FEST

The UAH Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society/National Weather Association hosted the fifth annual Rocket City Weather Fest. This community outreach event attracts visitors from across the region to learn more about severe weather preparedness and meteorological research.

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UAH COLLEGE OF SCIENCE ORGANIZES AND HOSTS STEM CAREER FAIR

The College of Science organized and hosted a STEM Career Fair at James Clemens High School in partnership with the school’s Science Department. The College of Engineering and the Office of Pre-Professional Advising also participated in providing students with information on current STEM career trends and degree requirements.

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UAH DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE OPENS DAVIDSON CYBERSECURITY LABORATORY

The Department of Computer Science recently opened the Davidson Cybersecurity Laboratory to complement the five-year, $4.2 million National Science Foundation-funded full cyber-security scholarship program, now in its second year.

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FALL UAH GRADUATE OPEN HOUSE AND OTHER RECRUITING EVENTS

The School of Graduate Studies hosted its fall open house event on October 28 in the Conference Training Center. Forty students registered for the event and approximately 30 arrived and were greeted by the Graduate Dean Dr. David Berkowitz and faculty in the student’s area of interest. The event influenced 10 students to apply, and to date, seven have been admitted to attend.

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UAH GRADUATE SCHOOL HOSTS PRESENTATION WORKSHOP

On November 6th, 2015 the Graduate School hosted a presentation workshop as part of their Professional Development Series to help current students learn how to design and deliver highly effective presentations. Communications lecturer Ms. Kristin Scroggin provided valuable pointers on how to publicly speak in conjunction with the use of a presentation as a tool, not a delivery method.

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UAH HOSTS CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS EVENT

UAH Cybersecurity Research and Education (CCRE) and the Office of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) conducted a cybersecurity awareness event on campus October 20, 2015. The event included speakers from the US Army Aviation and Missiles Research and Development Center (AMRDEC), Geeks and Nerds (GAN) Corp., UAH NSF CyberCorps Scholarship for Service winners, and the CCRE.

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UAH COLLEGE OF SCIENCE ASSISTANT PROFESSOR VISITS NAVAL RESEARCH LABORATORY

Assistant Professor Dr. Qiang Hu of the Department of Space Science visited the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. from October 4-8 to discuss collaborative work on magnetic flux ropes in space plasmas that is on-going and supported by the NRL.

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UA EARNED REAFFIRMATION OF ITS ACCREDITATION

UA has earned reaffirmation of its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or SACSCOC. SACSCOC made the announcement at its annual meeting in Houston. The University’s accreditation will run through 2025. Reaffirmation is the culmination of a process designed to verify that the University adheres to standards of quality as judged by its peers. It involved a significant self-study by the University and the development of a Quality Enhancement Plan to improve student learning and the environments that support student learning. Peer evaluators conducted an on-site visit in March to review the Quality Enhancement Plan, which was accepted without recommendations. UA was first accredited in 1897.

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UA’S PUBLIC SPEAKING PROGRAM RECEIVED NATIONAL RECOGNITION

The National Communication Association named the UA public speaking program as one of the 2015 Programs of Distinction. The award, given by the organization’s basic course division, honored the College of Communication and Information Sciences’ program for its outstanding efforts to cultivate student excellence in oral communication. UA’s public speaking program recently created The Speaking Studio, developed thematic performance labs based on student academic interest, and evolved two high-profile speech competitions. These program enhancements distinguished the COM 123 program from others across the country, said John Valenzano, president of the NCA Basic Course Division.

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UA HONORS COLLEGE EXPANDED EDUCATION OUTREACH PROGRAM

The UA Honors College expanded its Education Outreach program in 2016. Education Outreach pairs Honors College mentors with under-privileged students in the Tuscaloosa County and Tuscaloosa City school systems to provide them with guidance and positive influence. Some 265 Honors College students participate in three mentoring initiatives: a literacy program for elementary students; a character development program for middle school students; and a science, technology, engineering, arts and math program for pre-kindergarten children. In the spring 2016 semester, the number of student volunteers is expected to increase to more than 400 as Education Outreach adds more schools to its scope and doubles the number of shifts during which mentors work with children. The program is estimated to reach some 1,000 children a week next year.

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STRINGS IN SCHOOLS CELEBRATED 10TH ANNIVERSARY WITH CONCERT AT UA

Strings in Schools celebrated its 10th anniversary with a concert at Moody Music Building on The University of Alabama campus. The milestone mark for the program reflects tremendous growth of what began as a grassroots funding effort that featured 18 students in its first year. Close to 315 students, from middle school to high school, are currently members of Strings in School, marking the first time the program has crossed the 300-member mark. Strings in Schools students are in grades six through 12 in Tuscaloosa City Schools. The program has experienced numerous milestones over the last 10 years, including the formation of the All-City Middle School Orchestra and the Strings in Schools Scholarship in Music Education at UA being fully funded.

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UA FAMILY MEDICINE RESIDENCY CELEBRATED 40TH ANNIVERSARY

The UA College of Community Health Sciences hosted a reunion weekend to celebrate 40 years of its Family Medicine Residency. The week-end allowed Residency alumni to reconnect with their classmates, the College and the University through social events and a lecture series for continuing medical education. The Residency, one of the oldest and largest family medicine residencies in the United States, was founded in 1974 and, to date, has graduated 450 family medicine physicians. More than half of those graduates are practicing in 46 of Alabama’s 67 counties, and 48 percent are practicing in a rural area of the state. One in seven family physicians practicing in Alabama graduated from the Family Medicine Residency, and 77 percent of the Residency’s alumni practice in a primary care physician shortage area.

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CROSSINGPOINTS TO BEGIN $2.5 MILLION EXPANSION PROGRAM ON UA CAMPUS

CrossingPoints, a student transition program on the UA campus, is growing in both size and reach through a $2.5 million grant to help those with intellectual disabilities obtain higher education. Dr. Kagendo Mutua, professor of severe and profound disabilities and transition in the department of special education and multiple abilities in UA’s College of Education, received the grant to enhance the program. CrossingPoints is a partnership among UA, the Tuscaloosa City and the Tuscaloosa County school systems that helps students with significant disabilities develop skills necessary for successful adult functioning. Over the next five years, CrossingPoints will increase its annual enrollment from 18-20 students to as many as 30, with an increased focus on developing skills for independent living and accessing post-secondary education.

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AEJMC PRESENTED UA C&IS WITH DIVERSITY AWARD

The UA College of Communication and Information Sciences received a diversity award from Dr. Lori Bergen, president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Bergen, who is the founding dean of the College of Media, Communication and Information at the University of Colorado, presented the AEJMC Equity & Diversity award to UA  representatives, including Dr. Mark Nelson, dean of the C&IS. Bergen is the 2014 Scripps Howard Foundation Journalism and Mass Communication Administrator of the Year. The UA College of Communication and Information Sciences is among the largest and most prestigious communication colleges in the nation. The College consistently is ranked among the top 10 in number of doctoral degrees awarded and in many of its research programs.

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UA EARNED EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ACCREDITATION

The Emergency Management Accreditation Program has awarded UA accreditation for its emergency preparedness and response activities. The designation is the only accreditation process for emergency management programs and is sought by federal and state agencies, counties, cities and universities. According to the EMAP standards, EMAP “fosters excellence and accountability in emergency management and homeland security programs by establishing credible standards applied in a peer review assessment and accreditation process.” To achieve accreditation, applicants must demonstrate, through self-assessment, documentation and peer assessment validation, that its program meets industry-recognized standards, according to EMAP’s website. Accreditation is valid for five years.

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UA, SHANGHAI NORMAL UNIVERSITY BEGAN ELEMENTARY ED PARTNERSHIP

UA’s College of Education has strengthened its international ties through a collaborative effort with Shanghai Normal University Tianhua College in China. Four education professors from Shanghai Normal University Tianhua College visited Tuscaloosa to observe and study pedagogy, classroom interaction, and implementation of curriculum at UA and in the Tuscaloosa-area elementary schools. The collaboration will include faculty and student exchanges over the next 10 years. The goal of Chinese education professors is to use the information gathered at UA to help develop their curriculum for their collaborative elementary education program in China. The first wave of undergraduate education students from China will begin classes at UA in three years. About 100 students, either juniors or seniors, will participate over the next 10 years.

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UA’S CULVERHOUSE OPENED PREMIER BUSINESS ANALYTICS LAB

UA’s Culverhouse College of Commerce officially opened its Business Analytics Lab. Lockheed Martin, SAS and Healthcare Business Solutions provided funding and support for the lab, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. The Business Analytics Lab will serve as a premier research center for data analytics that provides collaboration and research across government, industry and academia to help companies anticipate and solve critical problems. The unique lab setting will augment the traditional classroom experience by focusing on the development and application of analytics technology; strengthening the analytics labor pool to meet industry needs for a diverse workforce; and providing visual, hands-on experiences that represent the foundations for analytics applications and research.