UA Preview


FIFTH ANNUAL BAMA BLITZ RAISES $6.1 MILLIONThe University of Alabama raised more funds than ever during its annual giving days, Bama Blitz. Alumni and supporters contributed 1,329 gifts totaling more than $6.1 million during the crowdfunded, social-media-driven campaign, surpassing a previous record of $3.6 million. Bama Blitz showcased passion projects from UA colleges and schools while tallying gifts made in real time via online dashboards. The goal of Bama Blitz is to encourage giving at any level while highlighting unique and impactful projects that might otherwise go without funding. For more information, contact Shane Dorrill, UA Strategic Communications, at 

UA DANCE MARATHON SURPASSES $2 MILLION MILESTONE FOR HOSPITAL — The UA Dance Marathon was recently honored by Children’s of Alabama for donating more than $2 million to the hospital since the student-led organization was created in 2011. UADM’s growth and fundraising activities at the University are evident in the amount of time it took to reach the new milestone. The organization reached the $1 million mark in a seven-year period and raised an additional $1 million in the four years that followed. UADM is the largest student-run philanthropy on campus. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at 

EQUITABLE CARE PATH REDUCES DISPARITY IN SPORT-RELATED CONCUSSIONSWhile previous work indicates Black patients of sports-related concussions suffer worse outcomes and receive lesser-quality care, a new study involving The University of Alabama shows racial disparity is greatly reduced with equitable resources and established care paths. Athletic trainers were also shown to be integral to the care pathway and may help to reduce disparities in treatment of sport-related concussions, or SRC, according to the study “Health Care Navigation of Black and White Adolescents After Sport-Related Concussion: A Path Towards Achieving Health Equity.” The study appears in the April issue of the Journal of Athletic Training, the scientific publication of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at 

STATE BUSINESS LEADERS SOUR ON NEAR-TERM U.S. ECONOMY — Even with confidence in the state economy growing along with increasing industry profits and sales, state business leaders are decidedly negative in their outlook for the nation’s economy, according to the latest quarterly survey by The University of Alabama. The UA Center for Business and Economic Research’s latest Alabama Business Confidence Index, taken in early March, showed nearly 58% of business leaders forecast worse economic conditions for the United States in the second quarter of 2022. The Alabama Business Confidence Index was 54.6, meaning state business leaders have mostly positive economic expectations for their businesses and the state economy in the upcoming quarter; however, the latest survey continues the downward trend. The ABCI dropped 2.6 points from the last survey and is down from 67 in a survey taken in June 2021, just before a resurgence of the coronavirus through the Delta variant. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at 

JONES NAMED DEAN OF UA STUDENTSDr. Stacy L. Jones has been named the new dean of students at UA after serving as interim dean since August 2020. Jones has served as a student affairs practitioner at the University for more than 28 years. As dean of students, she will continue to provide leadership for Student Conduct, Veteran and Military Affairs, Mentoring and Resiliency, Student Care and Well-Being, and Off Campus Resources. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at 

FROM SMALL TOWN TO MAYO CLINIC, GRADUATE DRIVEN TO BOOST RURAL HEALTH — Mason Aldridge found his passion to help others after experiencing rural health care firsthand with family members. However, it wasn’t the doctors who influenced him, it was the nursing staff who comforted the family. Through the Rural Health Scholars program, Aldridge found his way to the Capstone College of Nursing. He founded The Rural Health Project, a nonprofit educational program for rural areas. Aldridge will graduate May 6 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing before going on to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. For more information, contact Caroline Gazzara-McKenzie, UA Strategic Communications, at 

WORLD CHAMPION WATER SKIER, GRADUATE LEADS BY EXAMPLE Sean Hunter, a native of Dothan, has embodied numerous leadership traits for many years as one of the best slalom water skiers in the world, winning numerous championships, setting records and becoming a world champion along the way. Hunter, who is president of the UA Water Ski Team, started water skiing at 4 years old and won his first national title at age 10. He is the current slalom water ski world champion for the 21-and-under age division. Hunter will graduate from UA with a bachelor’s degree in operations management May 6. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at 


NEW DISCOVERIES AT HISTORIC NOTRE DAME  Archaeologists from the French national institute of preventative archaeology recently made major discoveries in an excavation at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. In addition to a tomb that likely contains a 14th century high-ranking cleric, they have found numerous fragments of the mid-13th century choir screen, or jubé, that was once installed in the cathedral. Jennifer Feltman, assistant professor of art history at UA and member of an international team contributing to the historic building’s restoration, says the discoveries are monumental. “The discovery of the 13th-century sculptures is extremely exciting,” said Feltman. “They are without a doubt one of the most significant finds related to Notre Dame in the last 50 years. Most importantly, because the sculptures were initially covered in plaster, their original paint has been preserved.” To schedule an interview, contact Feltman at  

NEW APP WANTS PEOPLE TO BE REAL — A new social media app, which claims to allow users to share their real life once per day, is growing in popularity. The “BeReal” app does not allow users to edit photos or use filters. “BeReal is based on a premise that will be intriguing to many — no filters,” said Jessica Maddox, assistant professor of journalism and creative media. “But it is still a performance, and still curated, despite its claims. Even though the app doesn’t use filters, individuals can still ‘game’ the system by choosing what two minutes of their day are best for a photo. Everything we do online is mediated and curated, and BeReal is no exception. It is merely mediated and curated behind buzzwords that will appeal to many.” To schedule an interview, contact Maddox at 

THOSE PESKY ANTS — Red Imported Fire Ants, which become active when the soil and temperatures start to warm, are busy building mounds in yards across Alabama. “Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to get rid of them,” said Dr. John Abbott, chief curator and director of museum research and collections at the Alabama Museum of Natural History. “There are a number of biological control measures that have been working. These include parasitic head-decapitating flies and nematode worms. Research labs have reared these and released them in the environment, but you can’t do anything to really attract them or introduce them to your yard.” To schedule an interview, contact Abbott at 

NEED A SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT ON TOPICS MAKING NEWS? – See our frequently updated experts directory here.