UA Preview

  • February 1st, 2021


UA, TUSCALOOSA FILE JOINT PATENT TO DETECT COMMUNITY BLIGHT — The University of Alabama and the City of Tuscaloosa collaborated to create a system that can automatically detect blighted areas in a community, helping prevent issues before they escalate into costly repairs for property owners. This patent-pending technology, which uses images of property captured by cameras mounted on city vehicles, particularly garbage collection trucks, will reduce personnel time devoted to inspection, limit potentially harmful interaction on properties and uniformly expand detection to all parts of the city. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at

UA’s ATHLETIC TRAINING PROGRAM MOVES TO NEW SPACE, ADDS DEGREE PROGRAM — UA’s athletic training program recently experienced several new changes that will boost the program for students, faculty and staff for years to come. The athletic training program, part of UA’s College of Human Environmental Sciences, moved into a newly renovated space in Capital Hall on the Bryce Campus in the fall. The move brought classrooms, labs and faculty under one roof for the first time. The program also recently updated its curriculum to meet national standards in the field by adding a master’s degree program. The Master of Science in Athletic Training degree was approved by the UA Board of Trustees and Alabama Commission on Higher Education, and the anticipated first cohort of the new master’s program will begin in fall 2022. Additionally, an undergraduate minor has been approved and will be a future part of the UA athletic training program. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at

REALIZING THE DREAM EVENTS TO BE HELD THROUGHOUT 2021 — The Realizing the Dream series that’s taken place for the past 30 years will continue this year in a different fashion — with events held quarterly throughout the entire year. The two most familiar components of the annual series celebrating the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — the annual concert and legacy banquet — will not occur this year due to coronavirus precautions. But plenty of other events will be held in lieu of those starting in February. For more information, contact Jamon Smith at


WHAT WILL BIDEN DO IN HIS FIRST 100 DAYS? — It was a bar that the nation’s 32nd president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, set as the standard for all U.S. presidents who followed: what a president does in the first 100 days in office determines the benchmark for the efficacy of the entire term. Dr. Stephen Borrelli, a professor of political science who specializes in American politics and the presidency, is available to offer his expertise on what President Joe Biden will do during his first 100 days in office. Borrelli can be reached at sborrelli@ua.eduFor more information, contact Jamon Smith, UA Strategic Communications, at

WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH TRUMP’S SECOND IMPEACHMENT TRIAL? — Dr. Allen Linken, an assistant professor of political science specializing in The Supreme Court, constitutional and public law, is available to offer his expertise on Trump’s second impeachment and the upcoming Senate trial. Linken can be reached at For more information, contact Jamon Smith, UA Strategic Communications, at

HOW CAN BIDEN UNITE A DIVIDED NATION? — It’s painfully clear to even a casual observer that the United States of America is extremely divided. President Joe Biden said his goal is to bring unity to the nation. That is without a doubt a difficult prospect. But can he do it? How is that even possible? What are the rifts in the nation that need immediate repair? Dr. Nicholas Davis, an assistant professor of political science who specializes in political psychology and ideology, is available to offer his expertise on the validity of Biden’s unity goal. He can be reached at For more information, contact Jamon Smith, UA Strategic Communications, at

IN STOCK MARKET TUG OF WAR OVER GAMESTOP STOCK, PROFESSIONAL INVESTOR ALSO BENEFITTED — While the gambit by retail traders to inflate the price of GameStop stock, sparked by a Reddit forum, saw some professional investors lose money, other professional investors benefited from the meteoric rise in share price, said Dr. Sugata Ray, associate professor of finance. “Some investors who were holding the stock for the long haul used this opportunity to exit at a massive profit,” Ray said. The tug-of-war bidding between retail traders and market speculators has resulted in a temporarily inflated price, but Ray said it might become difficult to maintain the momentum. “In the long run, the price will probably go back down to somewhere in the double-digit range, but it might be a wild ride until then,” he said. Ray can be reached at For more information, contact Zach Thomas, director of marketing and communications, Culverhouse College of Business, at

WILL STUDENTS BE PREPARED FOR STANDARDIZED TESTS? — The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a dramatic increase in the number of K-12 students who are virtual learners. As spring approaches, so do traditional standardized tests. “Many teachers, students and parents worry about the stresses that testing will bring,” said Dr. Lisa Matherson, clinical associate professor and coordinator of continuous improvement with UA’s College of Education. “When teachers are overextended and students emotionally stressed, requiring standardized testing may not be the wisest decision. For students who have participated in school, whether it be virtually or in-person, they will be prepared for the standardized test as best as they can be. For the students who have not participated in school, the possibility of being prepared is drastically lowered, but the greater question is if they will show up.” To schedule an interview with Matherson to discuss the subject, please contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at

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


The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.