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  • September 19th, 2022

BEST BETS 

UA HONORED BY GOVERNOR IVEY FOR DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT INITIATIVE — UA was named the Alabama Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities Large Business Employer of the Year. Over the past two and a half years, through a partnership with the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the University Enable Program served to drive disability inclusion within the workforce community and state. The purpose of the program and partnership is to provide a work-based learning experience for individuals with disabilities within various university departments. For more information, contact Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications, at bryant.welbourne@ua.edu 

NATIONAL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION TO HONOR YOUNG ALUMNI WITH NEW AWARDThe University of Alabama National Alumni Association is accepting nominations for the inaugural 18 Under 31 Young Alumni Awards. The awards honor outstanding young graduates who have made significant contributions to their industry, field or community. A complete list of criteria for the award can be found on the 18 Under 31 website. Nominations may be submitted through Oct. 14. Recipients will be announced later this year and will be recognized at the 18 Under 31 Young Alumni Awards ceremony Jan. 20, 2023. For more information, contact Julia Service, National Alumni Association, at jmservice@ua.edu. 

RECORDS BROKEN: UA SEES HIGHEST ENROLLMENT, NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARS — Enrollment at The University of Alabama reached a record this fall. It includes some of the most academically talented students and a record number of National Merit Scholars. The 38,645 students enrolled tops the previous record of 38,563 set in 2017. This fall there are also 1,088 students recognized as National Merit Scholars, the most ever to attend the Capstone and 16% more than a year ago. For more information, contact Deidre Stalnaker, UA Strategic Communications, deidre.stalnaker@ua.edu. 

UA WORK SHOWS PATH FOR FINDING EARLY LIFE HERE AND ON OTHER PLANETS — Using a powerful microscope, researchers at The University of Alabama have shown a method that can provide strong data in determining the origin of life on Earth and if life existed on another planet. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu. 

LOW-COST SOLUTION VIABLE FOR SELF-DRIVING CARS TO SPOT HACKED GPS — Transportation researchers at The University of Alabama developed a promising, inexpensive system to overcome one challenge of self-driving vehicle technology: GPS hacking that can send a self-driving vehicle to the wrong destination. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu.  

UA, AUBURN FANS CLASH IN CITIZEN SCIENCE COMPETITION — A new competition aims to excite everyone’s inner scientist by bringing the gridiron competition of the Iron Bowl into the realm of citizen science. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System has organized the Marble Bowl for fans of The University of Alabama and Auburn University to compete in collecting much-needed data for Alabama’s ecosystems. The competition is ongoing throughout the fall and will end Nov. 27. For more information, contact Rebecca Johnson, UA Museums, at rljohnson8@ua.edu 

CURRENT COMMENT 

AFTER THE PANDEMIC, WEDDINGS ARE BACK — Weddings are back and bigger than ever according to Kim Boyle, assistant professor in the department of human nutrition and hospitality management at The University of Alabama. “During COVID, the ceremonies that did take place were small but intimate putting safety at the forefront,” Boyle said. “While safety is still a concern for event planners, the main focus is to plan a wedding to remember.” Boyle said the trends for 2022 include non-traditional weddings, larger guest lists, destination weddings, big wedding weekends and formal attire. “COVID allowed the wedding industry to stop, reflect and make positive changes to the event world. At the end of the day, people just want to celebrate love with friends and family. That part, however, will never change.” To schedule an interview, contact Boyle at kboyle@ches.ua.edu. 

UA EXPERT STILL POSITIVE ABOUT HOUSING MARKET IN ALABAMA Even with rising interest rates, an increase in supply of homes on the market and slower home sales, Alabama’s housing market should continue to see prices increase, albeit at a slower growth rate, said Stuart Norton, associate director of Alabama Center for Real Estate at UA. Norton expects home sales to slow 10-15% from last year by the end of 2022, but he still sees a positive outlook for the state’s housing market in 2023. “Sustained economic growth in a majority of the state’s metro areas has resulted in a relatively strong job market,” Norton said. “The state continues to see in-migration, especially in Huntsville and Baldwin County, as people relocate from more expensive regions of the country for job opportunities, lower taxes and Alabama’s unique amenities.” To schedule an interview, contact Stuart Norton at tsnorton@culverhouse.ua.edu.  

EVENTS 

AIDS QUILT EXHIBIT — In observance of National HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the UA Intercultural Diversity Center and Five Horizons will host a special observance Monday, Sept. 19, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Student Center. Panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display. For more information, contact the Intercultural Diversity Center at ua_idc@ua.edu 

DEAF AWARENESS PUBLIC FORUMThe UA Critical Languages Center is hosting a public forum for Deaf Awareness Week Sept. 19 and 20 at Hotel Capstone from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Panelists include Dr. Kenneth DeHaan, an assistant professor from Gallaudet University, and Debrah Bryant from the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind. Topics include local services, Deaf culture awareness, American Sign Language instruction in higher education, accessibility and inclusion. Registration is required and can be completed here or by emailing clc@ua.edu. For more information, contact Koji Arizumi at karizumi@ua.edu. 

UA 2022-2023 SEASON OPENS WITH ‘GLORIA’ — The University of Alabama Department of Theatre and Dance kicks off its season with “Gloria” — a dark comedy that follows several young editors whose lives are changed after co-worker Gloria goes on a shooting rampage within their office. “Gloria” runs Sept. 26 through Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 2 at 2 p.m. in the Allen Bales Theatre. Tickets are $15 for adults, faculty, staff and senior citizens, and $10 for UA students. Purchase tickets at ua.universitytickets.com. For more information, contact Emilia Stuart, marketing manager for UA Theatre and Dance, at epstuart@crimson.ua.edu. 

FREE FLU SHOTS AVAILABLE ON CAMPUS THIS FALL — UA faculty, staff and students can help protect themselves this flu season by getting a free flu shot on campus Sept. 8 through mid-November. Nurses from University Medical Center, Student Health Center and Pharmacy, and Capstone College of Nursing will administer vaccines at various locations on campus. For a list of dates and details visit the CCHS website 

ART AND SCIENCE MIX IN NEW EXHIBIT The Collaborative Arts Research Initiative at The University of Alabama is presenting the exhibition, “Rebecca Rutstein: Out of Thin Air: Microscopic Journeys Through Cosmic Landscapes,” through Oct. 14 in the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art in Garland Hall on the UA campus. The exhibition is the result of a collaboration between Rutstein and UA Department of Geological Sciences assistant professor Dr. Julia Cartwright. Rutstein’s paintings for this exhibition are inspired by microscopic investigations of ancient meteorite materials being analyzed by Cartwright, while considering both their formation, and the wild journeys that they experienced, before hurtling to Earth. For more information, contact Rachel Dobson, department of art and art history communications specialist, at rachel.dobson@ua.edu

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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.