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  • November 28th, 2022

BEST BETS 

DESHE FAMILY GIFT LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO RENOVATE ALSTON HALL — A $2 million commitment from alumnus Ari Deshe and his wife, Ann, kicks off The University of Alabama’s $4 million fundraising campaign to renovate Mary Hewell Alston Hall, home of the Culverhouse College of Business. The campaign to renovate Alston Hall will modernize the more than 30-year-old building, providing UA business faculty and students with facilities matching their success. The Deshes’ commitment includes $1.1 million to the Alston Hall renovation, $400,000 to scholarships for first-generation business students and $500,000 to the Bloom Hillel Student Center, a gathering place for UA Jewish students. For more information, contact Stephanie Kirkland, UA Division of Advancement, at stephanie.kirkland@ua.edu 

ENGINEERING PROFESSOR SELECTED TO USE SUPERCOMPUTER — Dr. Myoungkyu Lee, assistant professor of aerospace engineering and mechanics, was one of fewer than 60 researchers across the country awarded time on some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers. Lee will conduct high-fidelity simulations on a computer at Argonne National Laboratory. The research seeks to understand the fundamental physics of wall-bounded turbulent flows in electrically conducting fluids with external magnetic fields, a crucial step in developing engineering applications such as improving nuclear fusion reactors. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu 

CURRENT COMMENTS 

CONSUMERS WILL SPEND LIKE ANY OTHER YEAR DESPITE ECONOMY — According to Dr. Robert Nielsen, the Helen M. Goetz Endowed Professor and chair of the department of consumer sciences, predictions about consumer spending this holiday season are a study of contrasts. “Consumers report declining confidence about current and future economic conditions yet plan to spend about as much this holiday season as they did last year despite persistently high inflation,” said Nielsen. “Retailers anticipate the top gift categories to be clothing, gift cards, toys, books and media, and food. I’m concerned that consumers will face the choice of either buying fewer gifts for fewer people or relying on credit cards that have the highest interest rates we’ve seen in decades.” To schedule an interview, contact Nielsen at rbnielsen@ua.edu 

TIPS TO AVOID A STRESSFUL HOLIDAY SEASON — “While the holiday season is supposed to be filled with joy and cheer, it is often filled with the stress of shopping, traveling, preparing for visitors, cooking meals, running last minute errands, feeling lonely or missing loved ones,” said Dr. John Burkhardt, associate professor with UA’s department of psychiatry and behavioral medicine. “So, what are some coping strategies to employ if your holidays take a downturn? For stress, try planning ahead, making time in your schedule for yourself, keeping healthy habits like exercise and learning to set limits. Not isolating, starting a new tradition, limiting social media, or engaging with friends and family are great ways to stave off loneliness. Finally, the holidays are a time to be thankful, so it is the perfect time to start a gratitude practice by looking for good things; paying attention to those things; and expressing gratitude by writing it down, thanking someone and making this a daily habit.” To schedule an interview, contact Burkhardt at jeburkhardt@ua.edu. 

STYLISH TRENDS FOR YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING LIST — “As temperatures cool off, you can find plenty of new fall fashion trends,” said Babs Davis, an instructor in UA’s department of clothing, textiles and interior design. “Many people returning to the office after working remotely want to dress up with a little more flair and we’re seeing bright colored and patterned suits, eschewing the traditional colors of black or navy. While we see leather in some form every fall, this year we’re seeing it in abundance in the form of long leather coats and leather blazers paired with leather pants for a head-to-toe leather look. In footwear, we’re still seeing plenty of the platform shoes we saw in spring, just more closed up, and several clogs. Cowboy and western style boots are also huge.” To schedule an interview, contact Davis at bdavis@ches.ua.edu. 

EVENTS 

THE SCHOOL OF MUSIC PRESENTS ‘HILARITAS’ — The School of Music’s annual “Hilaritas” performance returns this holiday season featuring the UA Jazz Ensemble, Studio Orchestra and University Singers. Shows will be Friday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 4, at 2 p.m. in the Moody Music Building Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $5 for senior citizens and children, and $3 for UA faculty/staff and students. Tickets can be purchased online at ua.universitytickets.com. 

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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.