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  • May 24th, 2021

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MOUNDVILLE’S SATURDAY IN THE PARK RETURNS – UA’s Moundville Archaeological Park’s Saturday in the Park will return this summer to provide a series of demonstrations and presentations related to Native American culture, archaeology, natural history, sustainable gardening and more. The May 29 event will feature a birding tour with Dwight Lammon. Saturday in the Park will take place each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit the Moundville Archaeological Park website. 

UA PROFESSOR NAMED FULBRIGHT SCHOLAR ALUMNI AMBASSADOR – Dr. Steven Jones, the James R. Cudworth Professor with UA’s Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, was recently named a Fulbright Scholar Alumni Ambassador. Jones will serve a two-year term as an alumni ambassador and present information on his Fulbright experience at multiple events on college campuses and academic conferences each year. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu.

VARIETY OF UA CAMPS RETURN FOR SUMMER 2021 After a year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UA Youth Programs will host a variety of summer camps that will follow appropriate health guidelines to ensure the safety of all participants. From music to exploring Native American history to physical activities, UA offers a number of camps that will interest children and teenagers. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu.

CURRENT COMMENT

PROPOSED MENTHOL CIGARETTES BAN GOOD, BUT MORE NEEDED TO END SMOKING PANDEMIC – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s proposal to ban menthol flavoring in cigarettes and all flavors of cigars is needed to curtail a public health pandemic and is a no-lose step to reduce smoking among African-Americans, who have historically been targeted by the tobacco industry for menthol cigarettes, said Dr. Alan Blum, professor and Gerald Leon Wallace, MD, Endowed Chair in Family Medicine at UA and the director of the UA Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society. However, more is needed, he said. “The bottom line on the proposed menthol ban is that it’s better late than never,” Blum said. “Overall, though, there would be a far greater impact in reducing the terrible toll taken by smoking if the filter on cigarettes were banned, which is only there to create the illusion of safety.” For more information, contact Dr. Alan Blum at 205-348-2886 or ablum@ua.edu.

SUMMER LOOKS PROMISING FOR HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY – “The outlook for summer travel is promising as many people are ready to bring some normalcy back to life,” said Dr. Kimberly Severt, director of hospitality management with UA’s Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management. “Travelers will need to show patience with hospitality service providers (e.g. hotels and restaurants) since most hospitality operations are not fully staffed. I anticipate people making a number of shorter trips instead of long distance travel throughout the summer months. Although people are more than ready to get out and about, many are still cautious making outdoor dining and outdoor activities more appealing. Over the past year, there has been an increase in RV purchases resulting in state parks and campgrounds around the country already being booked for the summer. Whether you are camping or going to Disney World, I suggest making your reservations early, don’t expect things to be the same as they were pre-Covid, and most of all… enjoy traveling!” To schedule an interview with Severt, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu

AS MEMPHIS BRIDGE CLOSES, STEPS TAKEN IN ALABAMA SHOULD MITIGATE ISSUES WITH AGING BRIDGES – Almost half of the state’s 16,000 bridges are older than 50 years, but Alabama’s government has taken steps to address issues, said Steven Polunsky, director of the Alabama Transportation Policy Research Center that published a report in 2019 on the state’s roads and bridges. “We don’t see a cause for concern right now as long as state and local maintenance and rehabilitation programs remain on schedule,” he said. Polunsky can talk about the issues surrounding the Memphis bridge closed after an engineering inspection last week found a critical crack in a support. For more information, contact Steve Polunsky at polunsky@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.