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  • September 7th, 2021

BEST BETS

UA CULVERHOUSE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS TO CUT RIBBON FOR HEWSON HALL – The University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Business will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Hewson Hall Sept. 9 at noon. Named in recognition of a $15 million gift from alumni Marillyn and James Hewson, the $60 million Hewson Hall is a light-filled, dynamic 108,000 square-foot structure designed to connect Culverhouse faculty, staff and students through 31 collaboration rooms, 22 high-tech classrooms, three conference rooms, an executive boardroom, and a multitude of meeting and flex spaces. A media availability will be held in conjunction with the ceremony and Dr. Kay Palan, dean of UA’s Culverhouse College of Business, will be available for interviews. For more information, contact Zach Thomas, UA Culverhouse College of Business, at rzthomas@cba.ua.edu. 

PANDEMIC’S EFFECTS ON TRAFFIC CRASHES LINGER – Despite a drop in vehicle crashes this year in the state, fatal crashes have increased slightly, possibly because of lingering effects of the pandemic, according to research from The University of Alabama. When comparing the first half of 2021 to the first half of 2019, the last full year before the global pandemic started, there are close to 10% fewer vehicle crashes in Alabama, but a 1% increase in fatal crashes, boosted by more crashes caused by speeding, impaired driving and aggressive driving, according to the study. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, adam.jones@ua.edu.

PARTNERSHIP TO DEVELOP KIT TO DISCOVER DRUGS FROM NATURAL SOURCES – Researchers at The University of Alabama are leading a project with an industrial partner to develop a kit that speeds discovery of potential drug therapies from plants. Dr. Lukasz Ciesla, assistant professor of biological sciences, is working with Regis Technologies Inc. on a grant from the National Institutes of Health Small Business Technology Transfer program. The initial $250,000 award to the company allows the team to enhance the kit to become more customer-friendly and establish its commercial potential and feasibility. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, adam.jones@ua.edu.

UA RESEARCH PROJECTS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS – Several research projects on campus are seeking participants this summer, with some offering small payments or clinical-grade health information for those willing to take the time to participate. The goal of the projects have a wide range and include improving tornado warnings to understanding how children develop helping behaviors with a particular need for teens and young adults with autism spectrum disorders. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, adam.jones@ua.edu.

DEAN’S LIST STUDENTS NAMED FOR UA SUMMER 2021 TERM –  A total of 358 students enrolled during the summer 2021 term at The University of Alabama were named to the dean’s list with an academic record of 3.5 (or above) or the president’s list with an academic record of 4.0 (all A’s). 

CURRENT COMMENT

SHORT-TERM ANSWERS FOR RESTAURANT INDUSTRY MIGHT BE HERE TO STAY – “I think the pandemic has created long-term changes for the restaurant industry,” said Dr. Kimberly Severt, director of hospitality management with UA’s Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management. “First, it was people could not gather, leaving traditional dine-in restaurants struggling to survive. Creativity came into play as restauranteurs had to find a way to generate income, and by doing so, they had to reevaluate what consumers were needing and how they could adapt to meet that need. The second challenge was that employees were not coming back to the industry. Labor has and remains a big issue in the restaurant industry. Pop-up restaurants, food trucks and delivery are ways the industry has combatted the challenges of both not being able to have large groups of people gather and having limited employees. The answer may lie in the mix of people and technology. It’s a new type of product delivery system for restaurant owners and operators. I feel pop-ups are here to stay. For more information, contact Severt at ksevert@ches.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.