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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 TO HELP BRING COMPUTER SCIENCES TO ALABAMA HIGH SCHOOLS  A collaborative project between The University of Alabama and several statewide partners was awarded a nearly $4 million grant to bring computer science education to Alabama K-12 schools. The five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education will help the Pathways for Alabama Computer Science Initiative expand computer science education in Alabama. As part of legislation that passed in May 2019, every high school in the state is required to offer a computer science course beginning this fall. The computer science project will train teachers to implement the legislative requirement. For more information, contact Melissa Parker, UA Strategic Communications, at

UA THEATRE AND DANCE RELEASES ONLINE PERFORMANCES, LESSONSThe UA Department of Theatre and Dance is releasing weekly performances and lessons through two new video series. The Virtual Black Box video series showcases theater performances on the department’s YouTube channel. New performances are planned for each Monday and Friday at noon. The Movement Series will feature mini-masterclasses taught by the department’s world-renowned faculty. Lessons will take place each Wednesday via Zoom. All sessions are free, but registration is required. For a list of upcoming Virtual Black Box videos and Movement Series lessons and registration information, visit For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communication, at  

PANDEMIC PUBLIC NIGHTS ALLOW FOR DIGITAL STARGAZING ON FOUR CONTINENTS — After more than 30 years of sponsoring public telescoping, The University of Alabama Department of Physics and Astronomy will continue to offer access to its powerful reflecting telescope in the observatory atop Gallalee Hall through what’s been dubbed Pandemic Public Nights, a digital viewing through the telescope. The first Pandemic Public Nights is available on the department’s Vimeo channel, and the department will share links to future digital viewings, which are captioned, through its social media channels. For more information, contact Jamon Smith, UA Strategic Communication, at 


TO KEEP PEACE, LAW ENFORCEMENT NEED PUBLIC SUPPORT – Dr. Luke William Hunt, incoming assistant professor of philosophy at UA and former FBI special agent, specializes in legal and political theory as it relates to policing and is available to discuss law enforcement reform proposals in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. To be legitimate, law enforcement need to police communities within the parameters of public authority. “There is good reason for the police to pursue their role in ways that go beyond a utilitarian focus on security and crime reduction,” Hunt said. “Competing values, principles, and obligations compel the police to seek public justification for their power in order to enhance legitimacy.  One practical way to do this is a renewed emphasis on strategies — such as community policing — that foster dignity and community buy-in through public reason.” Hunt can be reached at

WILL MORE COMPANIES FOLLOW QUAKER OATS AND CHANGE BRANDING DUE TO RACIAL STEREOTYPES? – Quaker Oats recently announced it will retire the name and logo of Aunt Jemima after acknowledging the brand’s origins were rooted in racial stereotypes. Will this action and the current movement for racial equality lead more companies to rethink their branding? Dr. Nancy Brinson, assistant professor with UA’s department of advertising and public relations, specializes in advertising personalization and has more than 25 years of industry experience. To schedule an interview with Brinson, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, 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.