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  • December 5th, 2022

BEST BETS 

FALL 2022 DEGREE CANDIDATES ANNOUNCED — The University of Alabama will award some 1,650 degrees during fall 2022 commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 10, at Coleman Coliseum on the UA campus. More information, including live and recorded webcast details, an interactive campus map, parking information, lodging details, graduate profile stories and fast facts about the 2022 fall class can be found on UA’s commencement website. Commencement information can be heard on UA’s radio station, 92.5 FM. For more information, contact Shane Dorrill, UA Strategic Communications, at shane.dorrill@ua.edu 

UA, ADMH TO HOST STATEWIDE EVENTS ON SUBSTANCE MISUSE STIGMA — UA and the Alabama Department of Mental Health will host a series of professional development conferences across the state in January for those interested in understanding the stigma of individuals with substance and opioid use disorders. The “Stop Judging; Start Healing Stigma Summit 2023” will be held in eight locations across Alabama from Jan. 17-26, 2023, and features speakers Ryan Leaf and Damon West, two former college football quarterbacks whose substance misuse led to jail time and, ultimately, a career inspiring others to seek treatment. Summit topics include the disease of addiction, general stigma, stigma in the primary care setting, combating stigma for law enforcement and first responders, understanding trauma’s relation to substance use, and addiction stigma and the criminal justice system. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu 

NEW MICROSCOPES TO POSITION UA AS LEADER IN MATERIALS CHARACTERIZATION — A suite of new instruments focused on understanding materials will give UA an elite platform to offer solutions to perplexing challenges while expanding opportunities for students to participate in cutting-edge research and enhanced classroom instruction. The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama recently approved upgrading equipment in the Alabama Analytical Research Center with a state-of-the-art atom probe, advanced imaging electron microscopes and focused ion beam based sample-preparation machines that build on UA’s established reputation at the forefront of materials characterization and analytical metrology. 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. 

EVENTS 

HOLIDAY FACULTY RECITAL — School of Music faculty will perform holiday favorites as part of the Faculty Recital Series. The performance will be Friday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the Moody Music Building Concert Hall. Admission is free.  

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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.