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UA CENTER TO ADDRESS SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS AND HEALTH EQUITY – The University of Alabama will be home to a new research center dedicated to the prevention, treatment and management of substance use disorders. The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama System approved the Center for Substance Use Research and Related Conditions to focus across the lifespan of conditions to include integrated behavioral health, mental health and more. Housed in the Capstone College of Nursing and in collaboration with the Alabama Life Research Institute, the mission of the CSURRC is to promote the health and well-being of individuals and communities affected by substance use disorders in Alabama and beyond through innovative, state-of-the-science and culturally responsive research that reduces health disparities, improves health equity and addresses social determinants of health. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at

UA TO CONSTRUCT CUTTING-EDGE FACILITY FOR FASHION AND DESIGN – A new building coming to the UA campus will provide space to conserve and celebrate fashion history and groom fashion trendsetters of the future. The College of Human Environmental Sciences has announced plans to construct Drummond Lyon Hall to house its fashion retailing and apparel design concentrations. Through the support of alumni, the CHES Leadership Board and other friends of the college, an effort to secure $4 million in charitable gifts to support the construction of the state-of-the-art facility has begun. The building will be named in recognition of a commitment from 1986 alumna Terri Drummond Lyon. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at 

STATE ECONOMY TO GROW IN 2022; PANDEMIC PITFALLS REMAINAlabama’s economy could see stellar growth in 2022 as the state and country continue reopening commerce in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic, according to researchers at The University of Alabama. Pitfalls remain with the unknown behavior of the virus and continued pandemic-related supply chain bottlenecks, labor shortages and rising prices. Still, low unemployment across Alabama coupled with increased output by the state’s manufacturing and service sectors should mean a rise in the value of goods and services produced in the state, according to the annual economic forecast from the Center for Business and Economic Research at UA. UA economists predict the state’s economy will grow 3.4% to reach $213.5 billion in Alabama’s gross domestic product. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at 

UA JUNIOR RECEIVES NATIONAL AEROSPACE FELLOWSHIP – Simran Dhoju, a junior majoring in aerospace engineering, was one of 51 students in the nation to earn a Brooke Owens Fellowship, a nationally acclaimed program that awards exceptional undergraduate women and gender minorities studying the field of aerospace. Dhoju, of Kathmandu, Nepal, will take part in the program that pairs each fellow with a summer internship at one of the leading aerospace companies, an executive-level mentor who is a senior leader in the aerospace industry and a peer-level mentor from the Brooke Owens Fellowship alumnae network. According to the organization, Dhoju will be part of the most diverse and competitive class to date. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at 


ACCLAIMED MOVIES TO BE FEATURED AT TUSCALOOSA FILM FESTIVALThe 10th annual Tuscaloosa Africana Film Festival, co-sponsored by the UA College of Community Health Sciences, will be held virtually Feb. 19-20. Six acclaimed movies from the African continent and the broader African Diaspora will be screened during the festival. Participants can join via their own devices by logging on any time during the festival from 2 p.m. Feb. 19 to 9 p.m. Feb. 20. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at   

UA FACULTY MEMBERS PRESENT ARTWORK UA studio art faculty will exhibit their ongoing research in art during the 2022 Faculty Biennial Exhibition. The exhibition is open to the public Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art at 700 Capstone Dr., on the UA campus. For more information, contact Bill Dooley, director of the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art, at 

UA COLLECTING BOOK DONATIONS FOR SCHOOLS IN THE BLACK BELT – The UA Center for Economic Development, or UACED, has launched the 16th annual Books for the Alabama Black Belt campaign that encourages UA students, faculty, staff and residents to donate K-12 books for students in the region. UACED will accept donations of new or gently used classic and award-winning books frequently found on school reading lists for K-12 children until Feb. 25. For more information, contact Sally Brown, UACED, at 

UA TO SIGN PARTNERSHIP TO MAKE JOB SITE SAFER –The UA SafeState Occupational Safety and Health Consultation Program will sign a partnership with the OSHA Area Office in Birmingham and Brasfield & Gorrie General Contractors for the new UAB MedWest project being built in McCalla. The signing will take place Wednesday, Mar. 2 at 11 a.m. at 4501 Bell Hill Rd., Bessemer. The partnership will establish a job site safety team, consisting of all the primary contractors who work at the site, whose responsibility will be to develop an understanding and awareness that all accidents are preventable and unnecessary. For more information, watch for a news release or contact Don Elswick, executive director of UA SafeState at 


YOUNGER PEOPLE RETHINK RELATIONSHIPS DUE TO COVID – The COVID-19 pandemic has caused younger adults to shift their perspectives on dating and relationships, according to Dr. Heather Love, assistant professor of human development and family studies. “For those who were single, dating became less of a priority due to restrictions on their ability to meet people,” Love said. “Though many turned to dating apps during the pandemic, they were often frustrated by the experience, either due to feeling the apps could not replicate meeting people more organically, or because they were not able to physically meet up with potential dates.” Overall, many young people feel their dating experiences have been made worse because of the pandemic, Love said. To schedule an interview, contact Love at 

MORE BRANDS LET CUSTOMERS OPT OUT OF VALENTINE’S DAY MARKETING EMAILS – Modern marketers understand that building relationships with consumers is key to enhancing their bottom line, according to Dr. Nancy Brinson, assistant professor of advertising and public relations, and that is why some are allowing customers to opt-out of marketing emails for Valentine’s Day. “Allowing them to opt out of Valentine’s Day promotional emails is a way to authentically connect with those who find the holiday triggers feelings of anxiety or depression,” Brinson said. “Communicating this type of empathy builds long-term brand loyalty, which is far more valuable than the sales they might expect to generate from this target segment.” To schedule an interview, contact Brinson at 

TREAT YOURSELF TO A HEALTHIER HEART – February is American Heart Health Month. When it comes to eating for health and wellness, mixed messages abound. “Let’s be clear, dietary nitrates in vegetables provide the fuel for heart health and longevity,” said Dr. Kristi-Crowe White, associate professor and chair of the department of human nutrition and hospitality management at The University of Alabama. “These bioactive compounds are abundant in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and arugula, along with celery, beets, radishes and rhubarb. Vegetable sources of dietary nitrates promote optimum blood vessel dilation or expansion. As blood vessels become stiff with age, dietary nitrates combat both age- and lifestyle-associated changes in cardiovascular health.” For more information, contact Crowe-White at 

HOW DOES ONE MAKE A SMOOTH, MEANINGFUL TRANSITION INTO RETIREMENT – During his retirement announcement after 22 years in the NFL, Tom Brady hinted that he may need counseling to help with the transition to retirement. Why would someone need retirement counseling? “Retirement is a major life transition,” said Dr. John Burkhardt, associate professor with UA’s department of psychiatry and behavioral medicine. “Retirement counseling can increase a retiree’s awareness of their attitudes, values and behaviors that could affect their retirement transition. The new retiree also faces new challenges with role-confusion as they seek a new identity away from their professional persona; coping with the loss of work/life structure, having a purpose or value away from home and work-related friendships; and the task of creating a retirement/life structure with new life goals. These challenges lead us to the popular concept that ‘to have a successful retirement, one needs to retire to something.’ This general notion of activity versus inactivity is generally considered a protective behavior against negative factors associated with a poor retirement transition highlighted by mood changes like depression, physical and cognitive decline, and losing the meaning in one’s life.” To schedule an interview, contact Burkhardt at 

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The University of Alabama strives to remain neutral on public policy issues. Strategic Communications may facilitate interviews or share opinions expressed by faculty, staff, students, or other individuals regarding policy matters. However, those opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the University or its leadership, and do not constitute a statement on behalf of the University unless explicitly designated.