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  • March 8th, 2021

BEST BETS

UA TO HOST WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPSThe University of Alabama men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball teams will defend their national championships on their home court when UA hosts the 2021 Toyota NWBA Collegiate Wheelchair Basketball National Championships March 12 and 13. While it’s not the first time UA has hosted the national championships, it is the first time the games will be played on campus in Stran-Hardin Arena, which opened in January 2018. More information about the teams playing in the championships can be found on the tournament’s website. For more information, contact Brent Hardin, athletic director for Alabama Adapted Athletics, at bhardin@ua.edu or Shane Dorrill, UA Strategic Communications, at shane.dorrill@ua.edu.

SOCIAL WORK STUDENTS WORK TO END CHILD HUNGER The University of Alabama’s School of Social Work is partnering with Auburn University’s Hunger Solutions Institute, which recently launched the End Child Hunger in Alabama County Food Guide Project program that connects Alabama families in crisis with food resources in their communities. UA and Auburn students have been working as interns to populate the online database housed on the ECHA website with accurate and up-to-date information on food availability throughout Alabama. For more information, contact Melissa Parker, UA Strategic Communications, at melissa.parker@ua.edu

UA MUSEUM OFFERS VIRTUAL SPRING BREAK CAMP FOR K-12 STUDENTS  — UA’s Museum of Natural History will conduct the Junior Naturalist Camp virtually over the upcoming spring break holiday, March 15-19. The virtual camp will give participants the tools to get to know the natural world through personal nature collections and nature journals. The virtual camp is open to students in grades K-12 with grade levels grouped together and scheduled for specific dates and times. Activities include making crafts, nature observations and starting a personal collection of natural items, among others. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu.

A HISTORIC SWARM IS COMING In the coming months, one of the largest broods of periodical cicadas to emerge in U.S. history will arise after 17 years of being underground. Dr. John Abbott, an entomologist and the director of research and collections for University of Alabama Museums who has studied cicadas since childhood, said they’re not a sign of the apocalypse, but they could be a tasty snack. For more information, contact Jamon Smith, UA Strategic Communications, at jamon.smith@ua.edu.

UA STUDENTS RAISE MORE THAN $303,000 FOR CHILDREN’S OF ALABAMAUA’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. Now in its 10th year, UADM has raised close to $2 million for Children’s of Alabama. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu.  

CURRENT COMMENT

A YEAR INTO PANDEMIC, ALABAMA ECONOMY REBOUNDING – The state’s economy has recovered quickly since the middle of 2020, but is not fully back. The year saw a net loss of 34,000 jobs, but those could be recouped by the middle of 2021. The latest update on Alabama’s economic numbers by the UA Center for Business and Economic Research continues to reflect the positive outlook. “We are hoping the economy should be in a fully expansion mode by the second half of 2021, although the jobs growth is expected to be fairly modest in the next few months,” said Ahmad Ijaz, CBER executive director. Ijaz cautions, though, that the forecast assumes most people in the state will be vaccinated by the second half of the year. For more information, contact Ahmad Ijaz, CBER executive director at aijaz@cba.ua.edu, or Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at adam.jones@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.