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Due to the need for social distancing, UA  is operating under limited business operations, which includes remote work assignments. While employees in the department of communications are working remotely, they are available to assist members of the media. Reporters are encouraged to contact the sources below or to use our experts directory to find contact information for other subject matter experts.


UA RESEARCHERS TO DEVELOP MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING FOR POLICELaw enforcement officers throughout Tuscaloosa County will soon be better equipped to interact with citizens with serious mental illness and substance abuse. Dr. Hee Yun Lee, professor in The University of Alabama School of Social Work, was awarded a $375,000 grant by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to develop a web-app training course to help police officers respond appropriately to these situations. The web app training titled, mobile Mental Health Education, Awareness, and Learning, or mHEAL, will increase officers’ mental health awareness and efficacy and include de-escalation techniques and mental health first aid program, while decreasing stigma associated with mental illness and substance abuse. For more information, contact David Miller, UA School of Social Work, at 205-348-3942 or

UA PARTNERS TO PROVIDE COVID-19 TESTING IN UNIONTOWN – UA’s Office for Research and Economic Development and University Medical Center are collaborating with Alabama Power and C.H.O.I.C.E. to provide COVID-19 screenings in Uniontown May 28. Screenings will take place at Uniontown City Park from 9 a.m. to noon both days, or as long as supplies last. Attempts will be made to screen all who come, but only those meeting Alabama Department of Public Health guidelines will be tested for COVID-19. Participants don’t need health insurance to be screened. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at  

UA STUDENTS, FACULTY WIN FULBRIGHT AWARDS – Eleven UA students received Fulbright Student Awards for the 2020–2021 academic year. The Fulbright Program is the most prestigious U.S. international exchange program, offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals. In addition, two faculty members will receive Fulbright Scholar Grants for the upcoming year. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program offers approximately 470 teaching, research or combination teaching and research awards in more than 125 countries. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at  


2020 HOME SALES FALL BECAUSE OF PANDEMIC – “Closed sales data from April shows that total residential sales declined 8.9% year-over-year,” said Stuart Norton, research coordinator with the Alabama Center for Real Estate in the Culverhouse College of Business. In addition to lower sales, Norton says the number of properties listed for sale, or inventory, declined 16% from 2019. “As expected, sales activity for the foreseeable future when compared to the prior year is likely to decline due to the growing economic impact of the pandemic,” Norton said. To schedule an interview, contact Norton at

RESTAURANTS STILL CLOSING AS HEALTH GUIDELINES ADJUST – “As far as factors that contribute to restaurant closures, the biggest impact is not generating revenue for the past two months,” said Dr. Kimberly Severt, director of UA’s hospitality management program, and Dr. Shatina Chen, assistant professor in the department of human nutrition and hospitality management. “Many businesses in the hospitality industry operate on a low profit margin and depend on volume to create profitable business outcomes. Many restaurants and hotels in saturated markets didn’t have the financial security to ride out two months of very limited or no revenue being generated and still having expenses.” To schedule an interview, contact Severt at, or Chen at

UA EXPERTS AVAILABLE TO DISCUSS ISSUES AMID CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC  – Faculty at UA are available to discuss aspects of the coronavirus pandemic including topics related to health care, education and the economy. This list will be updated, so check back often for new sources. For assistance with reaching any of these sources or for topics not highlighted, contact Shane Dorrill at

NEED A SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT ON TOPICS MAKING NEWS? – See our frequently updated experts directory here.