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  • March 1st, 2021

BEST BETS

UA DEVELOPED APP HELPS CONTROL HYPERTENSION A mobile app developed by UA faculty and UA’s Center for Advanced Public Safety is helping individuals manage their blood pressure while also providing valuable resources that promote a healthy lifestyle. Through a grant from the Alabama Department of Public Health, faculty and the center collaborated to develop the HYPE app for iOS and Android formats. “We developed an app that could not only provide evidenced based lifestyle education, but also provide a mechanism for users to record their medications, activity levels, blood pressures and other key metrics,” said Dr. Louanne Friend, associate professor and director of residency research with UA’s College of Community Health Sciences. “In addition, the app provides tools to help users identify realistic goals they can achieve to help manage their blood pressure.” For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu

EVIDENCE OF PREDATION BY OCTOPUSES PUSHED BACK BY 25 MILLION YEARS New research unveiled the earliest evidence of octopus predation in the fossil record. The evidence consists of tiny holes drilled in the clams they preyed upon during the Cretaceous period about 75 million years ago. The team’s findings document the oldest recognized drill holes made by octopodoids, found in nearly 75 million-year-old bivalve shells from the Cretaceous period in South Dakota. This shows the ability of these animals to drill their prey evolved early in the evolutionary history of Octopodoidea. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu.

UA NAMED A STUDENT FULBRIGHT TOP PRODUCER, SETS UNIVERSITY RECORDFor the fifth time in six years, UA was recognized as a Top Producing Institution for Fulbright U.S. Student Awards while setting a new University record with 17 students receiving Fulbright Award offers in the 2020-2021 cohort. Now in its 75th year, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the premier educational exchange program of the United States Department of State. The Fulbright Award offers grants for independent study and research and for English teaching assistantships overseas. The highly competitive program selects about 2,200 award recipients from more than 10,000 applicants each year. For more information, contact Diane Kennedy-Jackson, UA Community Affairs, at dkkennedy1@ua.edu

STATE BUSINESS LEADERS OPTIMISTIC ON EARLY 2021 ECONOMYEven with the continued stress from the pandemic, business leaders in the state remained mostly optimistic their businesses will have a positive start to 2021, according to a quarterly survey done by economists at The University of Alabama. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu.

UA STUDENTS RAISE MORE THAN $303,000 FOR CHILDREN’S OF ALABAMA — UA’s Dance Marathon raised $303,126 for Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham during its latest annual fundraising efforts. The amount was revealed during the virtual BAMAthon, the organization’s annual dance marathon event. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu.  

UA STUDENTS SAFELY VOLUNTEER DESPITE THE PANDEMIC Tuscaloosa nonprofits are among the many who have felt the overwhelming impact of COVID-19. But The University of Alabama’s student-let organization Serving Bama found a way to safely continue vital, in-person volunteer services, despite the pandemic. “We knew that now more than ever, the Tuscaloosa community needed our support,” said Chloe Keck, the senior who leads the Serving Bama team. Through Keck’s leadership, and with the help of 23 assistant team leaders, Serving Bama partners with 11 nonprofits throughout Tuscaloosa, where 130 UA students volunteer weekly. Serving Bama has contributed nearly 1,100 hours of volunteer service to the community so far this academic year. For more information, contact Melissa Parker, UA Strategic Communications, at melissa.parker@ua.edu.

EVEN THE PARKING DECKS AT UA WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS — A panel of industry experts including engineers, architects and precast concrete producers have awarded the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute’s 2021 Design Award for Best Façade-Only Parking Deck to The University of Alabama for the Tutwiler Parking Deck. The PCI Design Awards showcase and recognize the creative and innovative use of precast concrete. All winning projects will be showcased and honored at the 2021 PCI Convention in New Orleans on May 21. For more information, contact Shane Dorrill, UA Strategic Communications, at shane.dorrill@ua.edu.

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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.