UA in the News: Jan. 20, 2016

Dr. Stuart Bell to speak at Madison County Alumni & Friends Annual Dinner
WAAY-ABC (Huntsville) – Jan. 19 (Live interview)
Joining us now is Susan Griffin from the Alabama Alumni Association to tell us about a couple of events coming up for Tide fans in our area. They are celebrating a national title victory still one week later. Dr. Stuart Bell will be attending a dinner meeting to talk about his ideas on moving the University forward. We expect to hear his vision and his building plan, and what his goals and objectives are.

Economic progress may come slowly for Alabama in 2016, experts say – Jan. 19
Don’t expect 2016 to be the year that Alabama suddenly rebounds to the heady job and salary levels of a decade ago. It’s been a slow, steady climb back for the state since the recession hit, and some of the region’s leading economists said there’s more of the same ahead. In fact, progress may be even slower this year. The University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research is predicting a slightly lower rate of growth for the state’s economy in 2016 – partly because of economic concerns in China and the effect it could have on manufacturing here. The state’s economic forecast was discussed Thursday at the center’s annual conference in Montgomery. “China is now the second-largest trading partner for Alabama,” said Ahmad Ijaz, executive director of the center. “Any impact on the Chinese economy does have some impact on the state, particularly in manufacturing.”
Greenfield Reporter (Ind.) – Jan. 19

Mentally challenging activities key to a healthy aging mind
Bright Surf – Jan. 19
One of the greatest challenges associated with the growing numbers of aged adults is how to maintain a healthy aging mind. Taking up a new mental challenge such as digital photography or quilting may help maintain cognitive vitality, say researchers reporting in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience. Recent evidence suggests that engaging in enjoyable and enriching lifestyle activities may be associated with maintaining cognitive vitality. However, the underlying mechanism accounting for cognitive enhancement effects have been poorly understood … Ian McDonough, who is now an assistant professor of Psychology at the University of Alabama and was first author on the study, said: “The study clearly illustrates that the enhanced neural efficiency was a direct consequence of participation in a demanding learning environment. The findings superficially confirm the familiar adage regarding cognitive aging of ‘Use it or lose it.'”

Registration open for Doing What Matters for Alabama’s Children conference
Tuscaloosa News – Jan. 19
The 10th annual Doing What Matters for Alabama’s Children conference will be held Jan. 26 at the Bryant Conference Center, 240 Paul W. Bryant Drive. The objective of the conference is to discuss the needs of children and their families and identify ways to improve the quality of life in Alabama. Speakers will include Thomas Bice, state superintendent of education, Nancy Buckner, commissioner of the state Department of Human Resources, and Rhonda Mann, policy and research director of Voices for Alabama’s Children. Session topics will include charter schools, recognizing early onset mental illness, human trafficking and more.

People of Tuscaloosa: Shelia O’Connor
Crimson White – Jan. 19
Being from Birmingham I thought adjusting to college and making friends would be easy because I was close to home and I knew people coming here. I quickly found that it wasn’t so easy. I was so focused on trying to fit in on campus I didn’t realize that I wasn’t being true to myself. I tried to do the typical college thing like joining a sorority in hopes of making more friends. That still posed a challenge as I felt like people didn’t understand my personality and I started seeing my priorities change into things I never really believed in. Now as a junior, I realize that being true to who I am is the best way to make friends and to make the most of my college experience and to those coming into college, honestly just be yourself and don’t worry about what others think of you. People are more likely to be your friend if they see you for who you are and if they don’t, then they don’t deserve to be your friend.”

National championship parade will affect on-campus traffic
Crimson White – Jan. 19
Spring semester started last week, and there is already a lot going on on The University of Alabama campus. The University asked faculty, staff and students with ideas to help move the University forward to create the school’s strategic plan. Those interested should complete the UA Strategic Plan Survey at

Voter registration to take place
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Jan. 19
Free voter will take place on The University of Alabama campus tomorrow from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Lloyd Hall. The event is open to the public for anyone who wants to vote in Tuscaloosa County. The UA Student Government Association is hosting the event.