UA In the News — April 21

  • April 21st, 2016

UA students taking part in NASA Competition
Fox 6 (Birmingham) – April 20
University of Alabama students are taking part in an out-of-this-world competition. Two teams of engineers will compete against 21 other schools in a NASA competition. The winner will help send astronauts deeper into space with equipment that they design with the goal of one day sending people to Mars.

University of Alabama hosting two-day Shakespeare symposium 400 years after his death
Tuscaloosa News – April 20
Why celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of a man who never reigned, probably never got rich, and didn’t even leave a large family of descendants behind? Because, despite his lack of material power, William Shakespeare reshaped the world. “All our lives are enriched, if not changed, by Shakespeare,” said Steve Burch, professor of theater history and playwriting in UA’s Department of Theatre and Dance and co-artistic director of The Rude Mechanicals, Tuscaloosa’s summer Shakespeare-performance troupe.
2011 Tornadoes: A Young Person’s Perspective
Alabama Public Radio – April 21
Five years ago a series of devastating tornadoes ripped through west-central Alabama. This week on Alabama Public Radio we’re looking at the impact of these storms five years later. A-P-R student reporter Josh Hoppenstein spoke with University of Alabama students past and present to get their take on the storms. “This is a large, violent tornado coming up on downtown Tuscaloosa, be in a safe place right now.” On April 27, 2011, TV weatherman James Spann’s jacket was off and his sleeves were rolled up. Local viewers in tornado prone Alabama knew that meant trouble. “Guys are we going to need to retreat or what?” Spann’s vantage point was from a television studio in Birmingham. Others were a lot closer. “We didn’t really know the tornado was coming, everything was just business as usual.” That’s Bobby Porter.  He was a sophomore in Tuscaloosa the day the twister hit. “People were out enjoying the day and towards the afternoon, about four o’clock was when storms were supposed to be rolling in and everyone went home to hang out.”

Historians question lessons given at Janney Furnace
Anniston Star – April 20
A group of Piedmont and Jacksonville fourth graders got a dose of Civil War history at Janney Furnace earlier this month. According to experts on the Civil War, though, some of what those children learned at the Calhoun County Commission-owned park is troubling … Stating those as facts is inaccurate, according to Dr. Joshua Rothman, a history professor at The University of Alabama and Director of the school’s Summersell Center for the Study of the South. “The framing of it as ‘the truth’ is absurd, because ‘the truth’ was that question was a matter of some dispute and the answer to it was not at all clear in 1860-61,” wrote Rothman in an email to The Journal. “Southerners put forward a reading of the Constitution and constitutional history in which the right of states to secede existed, Northerners put forward a reading in which it did not. Which one was ‘true’ was something that the war itself decided, but the idea that it was somehow unquestionably a fact that states could secede is just not the case.”

Virus expert speaks about Zika virus at The University of Alabama
WTOK-ABC (Meridian, Miss.) – April 20
A renown virus expert is warning that it is far too early to theorize about Zika because we don’t know all the facts. Dr. Michael Oldstone spoke at The University of Alabama. Oldstone explained how Zika is spread and the consequences.
WDHN-ABC (Dothan) – April 20  

Throne from Game of Thrones to be on UA campus
WVUA 23 (Tuscaloosa) – April 20
The actual throne from HBO’s smash hit fantasy series will be at The University of Alabama, Wednesday, April 27 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Ferguson Center. Fans can take pictures with the iron throne, win prizes and get free HBO merchandise. The event is a part of University Programs’ Stress Free Days – a series of events during Dead Week to help students relax before final exams.

Chemistry consortium uses Titan supercomputer to understand actinides
Chem Europe – April 20
Radioactive materials have long been a part of American history–from the Manhattan Project to the development of nuclear power. The materials central to these innovations are actinides, or elements 89-103 on the periodic table that release large amounts of energy when atoms are split. That same energy also makes actinides highly radioactive. Scientists doing early research with these substances in the 1940s and 50s did not fully understand the risks of long-term handling and storage for the resulting waste products … “We put this group together because we were already collaborating on scientific papers,” said professor David Dixon of The University of Alabama. “Rather than just saying that we were going to do one reaction and needed computing time, we’re using a team approach to try and get a broad, fundamental understanding of actinide science.”

Cornelius named UA drum major
 The Blount Countian – April 20
Miranda Cornelius, 2014 Oneonta High School graduate, was selected this week as one of the drum majors for The University of Alabama’s MIllion Dollar Band. She has played trumpet for the past two years and served as section leader this fall.

Tattoos could help fight common infections
Tekno Scienze – April 20
The study – published in the American Journal of Human Biology – found that this immune-boosting effect increases with multiple tattoos. According to 2013 statistics from Pew Research Center, around 14% of Americans have at least one tattoo, and we spend around $1.65 billion a year on professional inkings. While the majority of people do not experience any health complications after getting a tattoo, some individuals may experience an allergic reaction or skin infection. Furthermore, if the tattooing equipment used is contaminated with infected blood, it is possible to contract bloodborne diseases, such as tetanus and hepatitis B and C. But according to Dr. Christopher Lynn, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and colleagues, tattoos could also be beneficial to health, helping us to fight off colds and other common infections.

UA Alumnus to race car at Barber Motorsports Park
ABC 33/40 (Birmingham) – April 20
Check out this car. It will represent The University of Alabama this weekend at the Barber Motor Sports Park. John Allen is the driver. He’s the graduate of UA’s College of Engineering. He’ll be driving his number 16 Porsche Cayman. Allen had his car on campus on Tuesday, and he even let students sit in it.

Paleoanthropologist shares stories of discovery
Crimson White – April 20
Most “take your kid to work” days don’t end in life-changing discoveries, but that was exactly the case when Dr. Lee Berger brought his son, Matthew, to look for fossils in South Africa in 2008. Berger is a paleoanthropologist known for his discovery of the Homo naledi hominid species. University of Alabama Museums hosted him at the University on Monday to speak about his revolutionary discoveries. “It was an opportunity to bring to The University of Alabama community an internationally significant researcher,” said Bill Bomar, executive director of University Museums.

Capstone International Center encourages diversity
Crimson White – April 20
On Tuesday, April 19, the Capstone International Center held a forum to encourage a more diverse study abroad program at the University. There were four study abroad participants on the panel who gave their experience of an African-American abroad. They described their time traveling, specifically as a minority. Joshua Harvey, office aide of Education Abroad, traveled to 11 different locations through the UA study abroad program including Rome, Florence, Naples, Morocco and Saudi Arabia. “A lot of times when I was at clubs [in Rome] they would call us Afrikano and they would touch the girls’ hair,” Harvey said. “They wouldn’t let us in certain clubs and things like that because of our skin color.”

“Passage” MFA Exhibit follows the story of a civil rights activist
Crimson White – April 20
Photographs are moments of shared connection and history are frozen in place and hung up on the walls as a memory of a time long since past. Celestia Morgan’s exhibit, “Passage” is seeking to capture moments like these through a new presentation of photography. Morgan is a second year graduate student with an MFA in Photography. Living in Birmingham, Morgan commutes daily to the University of Alabama for class, originally graduating from the University of Alabama in Birmingham with a degree in elementary education. Her father was a major inspiration for her to become a photographer. “When I first asked myself [what inspires me], I thought about when my father passed and we were looking for photos of him, he was the person with the camera,” Morgan said. “When he finished up with the camera, he would give it to me.”

Crawfish boil to benefit meals for children
Crimson White – April 21
University of Alabama’s Masters of Business Administration Association will be hosting a benefit Crawfish Boil for Secret Meals for Children. Secret Meals was developed by Alabama Credit Union to aid in the issue of young children going without food. Through donations meals are able to be given to students who need them. To have one child guaranteed a meal every Friday of the school year would be $140. To get involved with feeding children you can visit Secret Meals online or stop by your local Alabama Credit Union to make a donation. Donations of any amount can be made. This has become an annual fundraising event for the MBAA. Tickets are $10 for everyone who wants to attend. The benefit will be held Friday Apr. 22 from 1-4 p.m.

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.