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UA PARTNERS WITH USGS TO BUILD HYDROLOGIC INSTRUMENTATION FACILITY — UA is partnering with the U.S. Geological Survey to construct a new Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility, a state-of-the-art science and engineering facility, that will support the agency’s Water Enterprise observing networks and research. UA was selected as the site of the new HIF for the opportunities it provides to dovetail with other water-related research and development already conducted on campus, including the NOAA National Water Center. The HIF, which will be built on the north side of campus near the Black Warrior River, will serve a fundamental role at USGS in providing instrumentation and equipment services to USGS Science Centers and external partners. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at  

UA’S MOBLEY AMONG TOP 15 EMERGING SCHOLARS IN HIGHER EDUCATION — UA Assistant Professor of Higher Education Steve D. Mobley Jr. was selected as one of the nation’s top 15 emerging scholars under the age of 40 by “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.” The magazine annually selects 15 diverse scholars out of hundreds of nominees who are making their mark in academia. “Being named one of the top 15 scholars of color in the country by ‘Diverse: Issues in Higher Education’ is a prominent accolade within the education sector,” said Mobley. “Past awardees include scholars who have gone on to become college presidents, several deans at leading institutions of higher learning, and an array of prolific researchers and thinkers of our time. I am elated to be receiving this honor and it is not lost on me that this is a distinction that several prominent Black scholars whom I respect and admire have received in the past.” For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at 

DEAN’S LIST NAMED FOR UA FALL 2021 TERM — A total of 11,979 students enrolled during the fall 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). The UA dean’s and president’s lists recognize full-time undergraduate students. The lists do not apply to graduate students or undergraduate students who take less than a full course load. 

UA EARLY COLLEGE STUDENTS NAMED TO FALL 2021 DIRECTOR’S LIST — A total of 453 students enrolled in UA Early College during the fall 2021 term at The University of Alabama were named to the director’s list with an academic record of 3.6 (or higher). The director’s list recognizes students enrolled in classes through the UA Early College program. UA Early College allows high school students to get a head start on their college courses. High school sophomores, juniors and seniors enrolled in UA Early College can choose from more than 80 different online and on-campus courses and earn up to 30 hours of college credit.   


MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. LEGACY LECTURE — Alabama State Tourism Director Lee Sentell will discuss his book, “The Official United States Civil Rights Trail: What Happened Here Changed the World,” Feb. 3 at 3:30 p.m. in 118 Graves Hall during the College of Communication and Information Sciences Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Lecture. Sentell’s book is a product of nearly 15 years of working to inventory and link the civil rights history that spans the South. The book lists historic sites in 15 states and is generating discussion of the ways sites are included, excluded, remembered or represented in the complex realm of civil rights. The lecture will also include an augmented reality demonstration. For more information, contact Dr. Meredith Bagley, associate professor of communication studies, at

FIRST UA BLACK SCHOLARS BOWL TEAM READY TO COMPETE — Five UA students are set to compete in the 2022 Dr. Trudier Harris Black Scholarship Bowl, Feb. 5 at 9 a.m. at the Bryant Conference Center. Hosted by UA’s Black Faculty and Staff Association, this year’s event will feature teams from The University of Alabama, Stillman College, Alabama State University, Alabama A&M, Stillman College and several community colleges competing in a series of questions centered on Black history. For more information, contact Caroline Gazzara-McKenzie, UA Strategic Communications, at 

WAKANDA SCHOLARSHIP BALL — The Black Faculty and Staff Association is hosting its inaugural Wakanda Scholarship Ball, Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. Inspired by the Marvel Comics’ movie “The Black Panther,” guests are invited to dress up and become kings and queens from fictional lands to celebrate Black history. The winning team of the Dr. Trudier Harris Black Scholar Bowl will be presented with an award. For more information, contact Chad Jackson, UA Black Faculty and Staff Association, at 


COVID-19 PANDEMIC REMAINS AN ‘ALBATROSS’ FOR PRESIDENT BIDEN — President Joe Biden is entering his second year in office with low approval ratings from the American public, according to a recent poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. One reason for the low rating could be the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to a UA political scientist. “President Biden has relatively few significant policy accomplishments he can name,” said Dr. George Hawley, associate professor of political science. “The pandemic remains an additional albatross for the administration. It’s no surprise that conservatives in the electorate do not like Biden, but many progressives also find him uninspiring.” To schedule an interview, contact Hawley at 

NO OUTCOME IS A GOOD OUTCOME FOR UKRAINE — The Russian government is demanding sweeping guarantees that NATO expansion will stop, that Ukraine will not be admitted into NATO, and that any NATO troops or weapons currently based in countries that joined NATO after 1997 — meaning most of Eastern Europe — be removed. If these demands are not met, they are threatening to invade Ukraine. Dr. Margaret Peacock, professor of Russian history, whose research focuses on modern Russian media and politics, sees these gestures as part of a long historical record. “Russian demands for security guarantees go back to the Napoleonic wars, the First World War, and to 1939 with the Soviet demand for collective security against rising German power. This most recent request for security guarantees, like the institution of NATO itself, is also rooted in Cold War geostrategic concerns, with Russia seeking to create a defensive buffer against what it perceives to be an antagonistic West encroaching into its sphere of influence,” Peacock said. “It is hard to know if the Russian threat of invasion is a bluff, but historical precedent would seem to indicate that the Russian ultimatum is at least partially credible. Moreover, like Churchill and Roosevelt in 1945, and like Obama in 2014, the Biden administration is aware that there is little it can do to stop Russian forces from occupying regions that lie in their back door.” To schedule an interview, contact Peacock at 

QUEEN ELIZABETH TO CELEBRATE PLATINUM JUBILEE — Next month, Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate a Platinum Jubilee commemorating 70 years on the throne, the longest reign of any British monarch and one of the longest recorded in history. “Queen Elizabeth is a fascinating figure,” said Dr. Lucy Kaufman, professor of British history. “She is at once very familiar and very enigmatic, and she has seen more in her reign than almost any monarch, anywhere, ever.” Queen Elizabeth came to the throne as Britain rebuilt from World War II, and her reign has carried through the Cold War, the decolonization of the empire and the building of the Commonwealth, deindustrialization, several wars, the digital revolution, the Olympics, Brexit and now the global pandemic. The triumphs and turmoil of her family life have been dramatized countless times, and she remains one of the most recognized people in the world. The Jubilee will consist of a year of events, from parades and concerts to a tree-planting initiative to create the Queen’s Green Canopy. “The British public have faced devastation over the past few years,” Kaufman said, “and there is a hope that this year might not only celebrate Elizabeth II’s legacy but also bring the country together.” To schedule an interview with Kaufman, contact her at 

LOWER RATINGS AHEAD FOR OLYMPICS, BUT NBC STILL MADE A GOOD BET — TV ratings for NBC’s coverage of the 2022 Winter Olympics are likely to be down from past winter games and this past summer’s games, but coverage is still likely to dominate TV ratings, said Dr. Andrew Billings, the Ronald Reagan Chair of Broadcasting at The University of Alabama and co-author of a book on Olympic television coverage. “Ratings will be down because that’s the media landscape we’re in with so much out there to draw our attention, but if anything can draw a lot of viewers, it’s sports,” he said. Live sports still rule TV ratings. Even with the winter games coming so soon after a pandemic-postponed summer Olympics combined with the games’ unfriendly timing in China, the Olympics are still coveted content in the looming landscape of streaming services bidding for sports coverage, he said. To schedule an interview, contact Billings at 

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