UA Alumni Association Names 2005 Teaching Award Winners

  • October 6th, 2005

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama National Alumni Association has announced the four recipients of its 2005 Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award (OCTA), the University’s highest honor for excellence in teaching.

This year’s winners are Dr. Tom Albright, professor of accounting in the Culverhouse School of Accountancy; Dr. Joanne Hale, associate professor of management information systems in the Culverhouse College of Commerce; Dr. Stanley E. Jones, James R. Cudworth Professor of aerospace engineering and mechanics in the College of Engineering; and Dr. Marcia L. Rock, associate professor of special education in the College of Education.

Established in 1976, OCTA recognizes dedication to the teaching profession and the positive impact professors have on their students. Presentation of the awards to this year’s winners took place during a recent UA Alumni Association reception at NorthRiver Yacht Club; the recipients will also be recognized during the fall faculty-staff meeting later this month.

Tom Albright
Tom Albright

Dr. Tom Albright, CPA, joined the Culverhouse School of Accountancy in 1990 after completing his doctoral studies at the University of Tennessee. While pursuing his research interests, he has consulted with manufacturing companies in both the U.S. and Mexico. His work is used to help companies determine more accurate product costs and develop better performance measures for manufacturing excellence.

Albright has published 26 articles in scholarly and applied journals as well as publishing a variety of teaching cases based on his work with industry. Two teaching cases were published as part of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Professor/Practitioner Case Development Program. Albright was named the J. Reese Phifer Faculty Fellow in Accounting at UA in 1997. Albright has also received the Professor of the Year award from the MBA and Executive MBA students nine times, as well as served as a faculty mentor for the McNair Scholars Program.

“Dr. Albright is an amazing and inspiring teacher. He understands how to connect with young, inexperienced college students as well as returning, continuing education students. As a teacher of both entry level and upper level accounting classes, he uses real-world situations to excite and inspire his students to participate and develop an inquisitive mind,” said a UA student of the professor.

Dr. Joanne Hale
Dr. Joanne Hale

Dr. Joanne Hale joined the UA MIS faculty in 1995 after serving as a faculty member at the University of Florida and the University of Calgary. She received a bachelor of science in industrial engineering and master’s degree in statistics from the University of Missouri. She later received her doctorate in MIS from Texas Tech University.

She serves as the director of UA MIS Forum, director and faculty coach of the MIS MBA Managed Internship Program, director of the MIS Ph.D. Program and faculty adviser for Graduate Women in Business. Her research agenda is focused on improving the information systems development and delivery process. Along with being a Leadership Team Member for Information Technology Workforce Resources Centers, Hale has been recognized as a faculty mentor for the C&BA Faculty Scholars Program and a faculty mentor for the McNair Scholars Program.

A former student said, “She has encouraged me to excel and expand my horizons and to incorporate my personal goals into my educational goals. She has become the most important mentor I could have at Alabama. Because of her, I strive to achieve far beyond the high expectations she has set for me.”

Dr. Stanley E. Jones
Dr. Stanley E. Jones

Dr. Stanley E. Jones began his teaching career as a high school mathematics instructor. After receiving a doctorate in computer science from the University of Delaware, he joined the faculty at the University of Kentucky. Jones came to UA in 1987, was named University Research Professor in 1990 and named Cudworth Professor in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics in 2001. He received the Charles Henry Radcliff Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching in Engineering Science and Mechanics in 2002 and Outstanding Professor in the College of Distance Education Award in 2004.

Jones has authored or co-authored more than 130 research papers. For the past 25 years he has concentrated on high strain-rate constitutive modeling, high-rate testing of materials and penetration mechanics. This work has resulted in the construction of the Impact and Penetration Mechanics Laboratory. In this facility, students have designed experiments, reduced data and written papers related to terminal ballistics.

“He is an outstanding teacher both inside and outside of class. Dr. Jones understands how to utilize undergraduate students in research so that the student makes a meaningful contribution to the project while gaining significant knowledge of the problem being researched,” said a former student.

Dr. Marcia L. Rock
Dr. Marcia L. Rock

Dr. Marcia L. Rock joined the Capstone College of Education in 2000 after completing her doctoral studies at the University of Pittsburgh and teaching briefly at Millersville University. Rock has more than 20 years of extensive experience in the field of special education. During her tenure at the University, she has taught a wide variety of graduate and undergraduate classes in the Special Education and Multiple Abilities Programs.

She serves on numerous committees at the university, state and national levels to advance high-quality special education services for students with learning and behavior disorders. She has been part of more than 45 service-related activities during the past five years including her extensive involvement with Professional Development Schools and her co-development of the UA CrossingPoints program with Dr. Kagendo Mutua.

A former student said, “Only accepting the personal bests of her students, Dr. Rock teaches her students that excellence is possible, even when it seems unattainable. Her students will approach any classroom amazed at the undeniable possibility and promise held within those walls … it is impossible to predict what her impact will be beyond the University as her students go on to reach students of their own.”

The UA National Alumni Association gives the annual OCTA awards and is made up of more than 30,000 active alumni and friends of the University, organized into more than 100 local chapters nationwide. The association stimulates interest in and supports the betterment of the University, with member contributions accounting for more than $2 million per year in academic scholarships.


Robin Elmore, UA Alumni Association, 205/348-1545,


Beth Stephenson or Linda Hill, UA Media Relations, 205/348-8325,

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.