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  • August 29th, 2022

BEST BETS 

UA AWARDED NSF GRANT FOR HBCU BRIDGE PROGRAM — UA has received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a bridge program for students from three Historically Black Colleges and Universities interested in opportunities in renewable energy. The UA Graduate School’s Strategic Graduate Partnerships Initiative and department of chemistry and biochemistry worked together to develop the program that partners with Stillman College, Fort Valley State University and Jackson State University to prepare undergraduate students for graduate programs, industry careers and entrepreneurial opportunities in renewable energy. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu 

UA RESEARCH ENTERPRISE ENJOYS REMARKABLE YEARThe advancing research enterprise at UA is benefiting the institutional mission of teaching and service to the state. The UA Office for Research and Economic Development recently released a report on the progress of researchers across campus. Among the highlights is more faculty members engaged in externally funded research during the last academic year at UA than ever before. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu 

CURRENT COMMENT 

ALABAMA’S UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS PAINT MULTIPLE PICTURES — “As of July 2022, Alabama’s unemployment was at record low levels that are comparable to pre-recession levels. However, part of that story is that some people are still facing barriers to enter the job market, as support services like child care services are yet to recover to pre-COVID levels and many older workers are retiring,” said Dr. Kilungu Nzaku, associate research economist at the Center for Economic and Business Research in the Culverhouse College of Business. “It is also important to keep in mind that employment is a lagging indicator, so we have to be careful when interpreting the numbers. With inflation persisting and concerns of a recession, a lot could change in the job market by the end of the year.” To schedule an interview, contact Nzaku at knzaku@cba.ua.edu. 

BUSINESSES ADOPTING FOUR-DAY WORK WEEK CAN SEE IMMEDIATE BENEFITS — While four-day work weeks are not a new concept, businesses are seeing the benefits work both ways, said Dr. Maura Mills, associate professor in the Culverhouse College of Business. “Companies can benefit from reduced overhead costs, lower turnover and even the improved productivity that results from employees working more efficiently,” she said. “Workers, meanwhile, stand to benefit from improved well-being and more time available for their nonwork commitments. Ultimately, when employees feel as though their company respects and values their time, everyone benefits.” To schedule an interview, contact Mills at mjmills@cba.ua.edu. 

EVENTS 

OVERDOSE AWARENESS WALK — UA Collegiate Recovery and Intervention Services is hosting the Overdose Awareness Walk Aug. 31 at 6:30 p.m. at Denny Chimes on the UA campus. The recovery event will be held in remembrance of those who have experienced an overdose. Free t-shirts, resources, fellowship and speakers will be available. 

UA ASTRONOMY DEPARTMENT TO HOLD PUBLIC NIGHT — The public is invited to learn about NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and to view the waxing gibbous moon and nebulae Tuesday, Sept. 6. The presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. in 227 Gallalee Hall, while the observation will begin at 8 p.m. on the rooftop observatory. 

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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. 

 

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.