UA Preview


BACK-TO-SCHOOL: TIPS TO HELP KIDS SUCCEED — As K-12 students across Alabama get ready to head back to the classroom, faculty members from The University of Alabama College of Education are offering some tips to help ensure a successful start to the new school year. Among other things, experts recommend prioritizing sleep, establishing routines and for parents to take time each day to connect with their children. To schedule an interview, contact Dr. Cailin Kerch, clinical assistant professor of education, at

UA STUDIES HOW BODY COMPOSITION, SLEEP AFFECT CHRONIC DISEASES — Dr. Adam Knowlden, associate professor of health science, was awarded a National Institutes of Health grant to develop a comprehensive body composition-sleep model that will lay the foundation for further research into the prevention and treatment of body composition and sleep-related cardiometabolic disease risk factors. Knowlden’s study will investigate the relationship between body composition and sleep duration while considering the participant’s gender, body composition and socioecological factors. The one-week study will include an in-lab component to collect cardiovascular and metabolic data, and an in-home sleep study and assessment. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at 

STATE BUSINESS LEADERS NOT CONFIDENT IN ECONOMY For the first time in eight years Alabama business leaders have a negative outlook for the 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 June, shows that despite moderate optimism for sales and hiring, business leaders have a gloomy forecast for the state and United States economies. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at 

NEW DIRECTOR TO FORM PARTNERSHIPS THAT SUPPORT INDUSTRY, BOOST UA A new role at The University of Alabama is charged with creating transformational partnerships that combine outcomes from impactful research with the critical technology and workforce needs of industry. Dr. Patrick Mendez has been tapped as the director of strategic research partnerships and consortiums. He began Aug. 1. Mendez brings more than a decade of experience in project management and empowering organizations through long-term, innovative and scalable solutions while influencing research strategy. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at 

AUTOMOTIVE VETERAN TAPPED TO LEAD MOBILITY AND POWER CENTER — An experienced leader in the automotive industry and entrepreneur will direct the Alabama Mobility and Power Center at The University of Alabama. Michael Oatridge will serve as AMP executive director. AMP was recently established in partnership with Alabama Power Company and Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. as a research and workforce development center to meet the needs of the emerging electric vehicle market. Oatridge worked for Honda Motor Company for more than 30 years, retiring in 2021 as senior vice president of Honda Manufacturing of Alabama. Most recently, he has been president and owner of Strategic Workforce Solutions, a startup company in Birmingham that helps recruit businesses to the state. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at 

ALABAMA BUSINESS HALL OF FAME TO INDUCT EIGHT FOR 2022 — The Alabama Business Hall of Fame, located in Hewson Hall on the UA campus, will induct eight new members in a ceremony Nov. 10 in Birmingham. The inductees are Walter Batson Jr. of Huntsville, F. Dixon Brooke Jr. of Birmingham, Ronald G. Bruno of Vestavia Hills, Grayson Hall of Birmingham, Alexis M. Herman of Washington, D.C., Michael Mouron of Birmingham, the late William S. Propst Sr. of Huntsville and C. Kemmon Wilson Jr. of Memphis, Tennessee. For more information, contact Zach Thomas, director of marketing and communications for the Alabama Business Hall of Fame, at 


HYDRATING BEFORE PRACTICE KEY FOR YOUNG ATHLETES — “Being intentional about hydration status in the days prior to the onset of activity, especially rigorous activity that occurs in high temperature and humidity, is a good way to minimize the effects dehydration will play on health and performance,” said Dr. Jeri Zemke, assistant professor with the UA College of Human Environmental Sciences. “Two to three days prior to the planned activity, young athletes should eliminate caffeinated beverages and drink an increased amount of water and/or sport drinks. Additionally, eating foods high in water content, such as watermelon, cucumber, apples, peaches and celery, is another way to improve hydration prior to the onset of intense exercise. Monitoring the color of your urine is an easy way to assess hydration status. Urine the color of lemonade, or lighter, indicates you are in a hydrated state, while urine darker than lemonade suggests you are either dehydrated, or moving toward a dehydrated state. Weighing the athlete before and after activity is another way to assess loss of fluids. For every one pound lost during activity, the athlete should drink approximately half of a liter of fluids. Finally, thirst is a very poor indicator of hydration status. If you wait to drink fluids until you are thirsty, you are probably already dehydrated.” To schedule an interview, contact Zemke at 


OLLI TO HOST OPEN HOUSES — The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, or OLLI, will host open house events in August for adults over the age of 50 to learn about the program. The Tuscaloosa open house will be held Tuesday, Aug. 9, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Bryant Conference Center. The Birmingham open house will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 15, at Riverchase United Methodist Church, and the Gadsden open house will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 18, at the UA Gadsden Center. For more information, contact Ashley Chambers, director of OLLI, at 

SEAN OF THE SOUTH TO SPEAK AT OLLI DAY The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at The University of Alabama will host OLLI Day, featuring author Sean Dietrich, better known as Sean of the South, Monday, Aug. 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bryant Conference Center on the UA campus. The event, which includes lunch, a one-year membership to OLLI and a chance to meet Dietrich, is $50 for the public and free for 2022-2023 OLLI members. To register for OLLI Day, visit the OLLI website. For more information, contact Ashley Chambers, director of OLLI, at 

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


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.