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  • September 14th, 2020

ANNOUNCEMENT

Department of communications employees continue to work mostly remotely, but they are readily available to assist members of the media. Reporters are encouraged to contact the sources below, to use our experts directory to find contact information for other subject matter experts and to visit the UA News Center.

BEST BETS

IN-STATE INCREASE, RECORD NUMBER OF GRADUATE STUDENTS HIGHLIGHTS UA ENROLLMENT — A 2% increase in the number of in-state undergraduate students and record-setting Graduate School enrollment highlight The University of Alabama’s fall 2020 total enrollment of 37,842. The number of students who identify as African American, Hispanic and Asian American is up 3.6%. Graduate School enrollment of 5,730 is a 17.7% increase over last year and includes a 34% increase in the number of graduate students studying via distance course work. For more information, contact Deidre Stalnaker, UA communications, at deidre.stalnaker@ua.edu.

UA SCIENTISTS TAKE PART IN ANTARCTIC BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH — Twenty scientists soon embark on a 14-week voyage to study unexplored Antarctic waters to improve understanding of biodiversity undergoing rapid changes because of a changing climate. The expedition includes researchers from The University of Alabama, Auburn University, Central Michigan University, the University of Alaska Anchorage and other institutions who will also train the next generation of zoologists in developing expertise on marine invertebrate animals using traditional and cutting-edge techniques. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu.

UA PROGRAM OFFERING FREE, VIRTUAL TUTORING, JOB SKILLS TRAINING — Free tutoring, job skills and financial literacy training sessions will be virtually available to West Alabama residents, including veterans and teens, through The University of Alabama’s business college. Culverhouse LIFT, or Learning Initiative and Financial Training, will begin classes for its fall 2020 term in mid-September. Registration and specific course descriptions are available on the Culverhouse LIFT website. Sponsored by the Culverhouse College of Business and the Culverhouse School of Accountancy, LIFT’s sessions include computer skills, bookkeeping and introduction to coding. Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, all classes will be conducted virtually using Zoom or other online platforms. For more information, contact Zach Thomas, Culverhouse communications, at zthomas@culverhouse.ua.edu

NEW UA.EDU HOMEPAGE FEATURES DYNAMIC, MODERN UPDATE — The University of Alabama unveiled a new homepage, showcasing the University’s world-class visual identity and featuring an accessible and user-friendly navigation and design. The redesign project, a collaborative effort by the Division of Strategic Communications, the Office of Information Technology and web developers across campus, is part of a larger effort to broadcast the University’s story and reconfigure the campus web ecosystem to provide a consistent user experience and centralized resources and support. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu.

UA SENIOR CREATES GREETING CARDS TO CHEER NURSING HOME RESIDENTS — University of Alabama senior Demarcus Rudolph started a project creating greeting cards for senior citizens in nursing homes. Rudolph, a 22-year-old Daphne native studying early childhood special education, said he started the project because nursing home residents can’t see their loved ones in person due to the novel coronavirus, and he wanted to do something to lift their spirits. The project, called “Putting A Smile In Nursing Homes,” is a part of Rudolph’s foundation, Mary’s Dream, named for his grandmother who taught him to always give back to others. She died a decade ago. For more information, contact Jamon Smith, UA communications, at jamon.smith@ua.edu.

CURRENT COMMENT

PARENT GIVES PERSPECTIVE UA’S COVID-19 RESPONSE — Mark Utzig, father of UA sophomore Sam Utzig, says while he had some concerns sending his son to college this semester, those concerns were calmed and he put his full trust in UA after seeing its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Obviously, sending a child off to college is a big deal. We want him to be safe, but we also want him to be able to experience the things that a college kid should experience,” Utzig said. “I felt it was a very good balance where Alabama was using common sense and judgment in being able to keep the kids safe.” For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu.

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 shane.dorrill@ua.edu.

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

VISIT THE UA NEWS CENTER FOR STORY IDEAS.

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.