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  • October 25th, 2021

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HAUNTING AT THE MUSEUM RETURNS WITH EXPANDED SCHEDULE  – The Alabama Museum of Natural History and the Gorgas House Museum, both on the UA campus, will hold the Halloween tradition Haunting at the Museum Oct. 25-29. At the Gorgas House, visitors can learn about the spooky and even macabre stories associated with the house. While at the Museum of Natural History, visitors can see 25 gravestones indicating extinct mussels from Alabama. For more information, contact Rebecca Johnson, UA Museums, at rljohnson8@ua.edu.

BATS: DANGEROUS BLIND BLOOD-SUCKERS OR HELPFUL, BIOLOGICAL PEST CONTROL? – As Halloween approaches, so do stories of vampire bats. But most bats aren’t looking for human blood according to Dr. John Abbott, chief curator and director of the Department of Museum Research and Collections at The University of Alabama. Bats are found all over the world, but only two types that range in the tropics are blood-feeders. Abbott said this rumor has unfortunately caused bats to gain a bad reputation when they’re really one of the most helpful mammals in existence. To schedule an interview, contact Abbott at jabbott1@ua.edu.

UA RISE CENTER HOSTS BUY FOR RISE FUNDRAISER – UA’s RISE Center will host its annual BUY for RISE fundraiser Oct. 29 and 30 which will feature numerous bargains from dozens of local retailers on everything from clothing to home décor. The fundraiser kicks off with a preview party Oct. 29 where attendees will have an opportunity to purchase items at significant discounts – 75% off the lowest marked prices. The event will take place at RISE Center, located at 600 Johnny Stallings Drive, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The general admission sale Oct. 30 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. is free and items are discounted 90%. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu

RUN ‘ROUND THE MOUNDS AT MOUNDVILLE ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK – UA’s Moundville Archaeological Park will host the fourth annual Moundville 5K Footrace Nov. 6 as part of its celebration of Native American Heritage Month. After hosting the race virtually last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Moundville 5K Footrace returns to the park for runners and walkers of all ages. Proceeds will go to the Moundville Education fund to continue its mission of celebrating southeastern Native American culture. For more information, watch for a news release or contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu

GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEEK OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES FOR INNOVATORS – The Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute, an outreach organization located in The University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Business, will host several events as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov. 8-14, to foster entrepreneurship in UA students, faculty, staff and area residents. The main event, the River Pitch Business Idea Competition, will be held Tuesday, Nov. 9, and offers any entrepreneur a solid business concept an opportunity to pitch their idea in front of a panel of judges for a chance to win a $1,000 prize. For more information, watch for a news release, or contact Zach Thomas, director of marketing and communications for the Culverhouse College of Business, at zthomas@culverhouse.ua.edu.

UA INITIATIVE TO IMPROVE DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION IN REAL ESTATE – A new effort by the Alabama Center for Real Estate aims to make the real estate industry more accessible to students and young professionals in underrepresented groups. The Career Opportunities in Real Estate initiative, or CORE, offers an online credentialing program consisting of eight modules featuring live and self-paced real estate career content, as well as professional development resources, soft skills training and access to life coaching. Applications for the program are being accepted.  For more information, watch for a news release or contact Zach Thomas, director of marketing and communications for the Culverhouse College of Business, at zthomas@culverhouse.ua.edu.

UA TO HOLD FALL 2021 COMMENCEMENT – The University of Alabama will hold fall commencement ceremonies Dec. 10 and 11 at Coleman Coliseum on the UA campus. More than 1,700 candidates are expected to be in attendance for the three ceremonies. The ceremonies will follow a modified model UA used to facilitate safe and successful commencement exercises in the past. Tickets will not be required for guests and there is no limit to the number of guests a graduate can invite. For more information, visit UA’s commencement website or contact  Caroline Gazzara-McKenzie, UA Strategic Communications, at caroline.mckenzie@ua.edu.

UA ESTABLISHES APPRENTICESHIP FOR OPIOID ADDICTION SUPPORT SPECIALISTS – UA is launching an apprenticeship program to train individuals in behavioral health and substance abuse recovery. Dr. Mercy Mumba, associate professor at the Capstone College of Nursing, and her team have successfully established UA as a sponsor for a Behavioral Health Paraprofessional Registered Apprenticeship Program through the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship. UA is the first nationally registered Certified Recovery Support Specialist apprenticeship program in the state. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu

UA RESEARCH PROJECTS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS – Several research projects on campus are seeking participants, particularly children and parents, with some offering small payments and leading-edge therapy. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA communications, adam.jones@ua.edu.

CURRENT COMMENT

PROPOSED RULE ON HEARING AIDS WILL BENEFIT MANY – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed a rule to establish a new category of over-the-counter hearing aids, allowing hearing aids within this category to be sold directly to consumers in stores or online without a medical exam or a fitting by an audiologist. It is currently in a 90-day public comment period. Dr. Marcia Hay-McCutcheon, professor of communicative disorders whose research focuses on improving access and affordability of hearing healthcare in underserved Alabama communities, said the proposed rule is great news. “The new ruling proposed by the FDA to allow adults living with hearing loss in the U.S. to purchase over-the-counter hearing aids is a welcomed and much anticipated proposal,” she said. “It is now the responsibility of hearing professionals in Alabama to get the word out to all those living with mild-to-moderate hearing loss in rural parts of our state that new low-cost interventions will soon be available.” Hay-McCutcheon is currently leading a $2 million grant to improve the lives of people with hearing loss living in rural areas of the state. To schedule an interview with Hay-McCutcheon, contact her at marcia.hay-mccutcheon@ua.edu.

WHAT DOES FDA AUTHORIZATION OF E-CIGARETTE MEAN FOR TOBACCO INDUSTRY? – “The authorization by the Food and Drug Administration of cigarette maker Reynolds American’s Vuse Solo e-cigarette is a win-win for the company, which can now cite the FDA’s description of Vuse as an ‘innovative and potentially less harmful alternative to traditional tobacco products,’ even as it continues to promote cigarette brands like Newport, Camel and Winston,” said Dr. Alan Blum, director of UA’s Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society. “Any potential benefit to public health from Vuse is unclear, however, because it is more likely to be taken up by teenagers and others who have never smoked than by people trying to stop smoking. Moreover, the success rate of smoking cessation by using alternative forms of nicotine is not that good. Even if switching to e-cigarettes may help some people stop smoking, by far the least expensive and most proven method of smoking cessation is going cold turkey. But nobody makes any money off that.” To schedule an interview with Blum, contact him at ablum@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.