UA Preview


UA WILL PROVIDE EMPLOYEES CAMPUS-FUNDED COVID LEAVE IN 2021 UA President Dr. Stuart Bell has authorized The University of Alabama to provide faculty and staff 2021 COVID leave time to replace the federal benefits that expired Dec. 31. The University-provided 2021 COVID Leave helps employees affected by COVID-related illness and complications, and replaces a similar program provided by federal law, allowing employees up to 80 hours of paid leave for certain qualifying reasons related to COVID-19. It covers gaps created by the federal programs’ lapse. All full-time, part-time, temporary or contingent on-call faculty, staff and student workers who are unable to work or telework because of a qualifying reason related to COVID-19 are eligible no matter their date of hire or service time. It does not replace the University’s existing leave benefits. For more information, contact Shane Dorrill, UA Strategic Communications, at

UA PART OF NATIONAL EFFORT TO STRENGTHEN CORONAVIRUS VACCINE ROLLOUT — Five faculty members from The University of Alabama are part of a research coalition funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and aimed at strengthening the community’s role and involvement in an equitable COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Alabama is one of five sites of the CommuniVax initiative — a rapid ethnographic research project examining facilitators and barriers to vaccine uptake in historically underserved communities of color in the United States. Local research teams will listen to community members and work with them to develop suggestions on how to strengthen COVID-19 vaccine delivery and communication strategies. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at

UA, PROTECTIVE LIFE PARTNER TO ASSIST UNDERREPRESENTED STUDENTS Support from Protective Life Corporation, based in Birmingham, will start the Diversity in Business Bridge Program in the UA Culverhouse College of Business. The program will recruit and prepare about 25 high school juniors annually from underrepresented populations in Alabama for academic success across all business disciplines at UA via a summer residential experience and a robust college prep protocol. Students who decide to attend UA will be invited back for a second summer that will focus on easing the transition to college and getting off to a strong start. Furthermore, scholarships, financial assistance and ongoing development support and opportunities will be available for participants who choose to study business at UA. For more information, contact Zach Thomas, director of marketing and communications, Culverhouse College of Business, at

SOFTWARE PARTNERSHIP HELPS FILL NEED FOR CRYPTOCURRENCY SKILLS The University of Alabama is partnering with the leading provider of compliance and investigation software of cryptocurrency transactions to provide cutting-edge education and training for students. Chainalysis, the blockchain analysis company, will provide access to its market-leading software and training programs designed by instructional design and training experts for integration into a course offered through the UA Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Students will learn about cryptocurrency’s role in the financial system and criminal transactions as well as understand the principles of blockchain technologies that enable cryptocurrency. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at

UA RECEIVES GRANT TO STUDY SOCIAL, EMOTIONAL LEARNING IN CHILDREN UA’s College of Education recently received a $5 million federal grant to study the importance of social and emotional learning in relation to academic and overall success of elementary school students. The project researches how social and emotional learning, or SEL, is vital to a student’s success, in the classroom and in life, because it teaches them how to be aware and manage one’s own feelings while understanding others in any environment because they have learned to do so in a safe and positive SEL environment at school. “Development of social and emotional skills is foundational to student success in both academics and life,” said Dr. Greg Benner, Helen and Pat O’Sullivan Professor of Education at UA and principal investigator of the project. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at

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