UA in the News: Sept. 2, 2015

  • September 2nd, 2015

Essay: The unattainable ‘American Dream’ behind US mass shootings crisis – Sept. 2
On 23 August, criminal justice professor Adam Lankford stood in front of a crowd of sociologists to explain how American culture contributes to the all-too-frequent American mass shootings. It’s not just that we have a lot of guns, he said – though he does believe that the high rates of firearm ownership are partially to blame. It’s the social strains of American life – the false promise of the American dream, which guarantees a level of success that can’t always be achieved through hard work and sheer willpower; the devotion to individualism and the desire for fame or notoriety.  Millions of Americans feel these strains and never commit a crime. But for a small handful, they breed the kind of resentment and fury that can explode into violence … Lankford, a criminal justice professor at the University of Alabama, is the author of a new study on what he calls the “exceptionally American problem” of public mass shootings. The study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association this week and will be published in peer reviewed journals later this year.

Kentucky clerk defies justices over same-sex marriage
New York Times – Sept. 1
Defying the Supreme Court and saying she is acting “under God’s authority,” a county clerk in Kentucky denied marriage licenses to gay couples Tuesday, less than a day after the court rejected her request for a delay. A raucous scene unfolded shortly after 8 a.m. at the Rowan County Courthouse here as two same-sex couples walked into the county clerk’s office, followed by a throng of journalists and chanting protesters on both sides of the issue … On Monday, a stay granted by Bunning expired, and the Supreme Court rejected without comment Davis’s emergency application for a new stay, pending the outcome of her appeal. That left her no legal grounds to refuse to grant licenses to same-sex couples. “There’s no doubt about how this saga comes to an end,” said Ronald J. Krotoszynski Jr., a constitutional law specialist at the University of Alabama who has followed same-sex marriage cases. “The couples in Rowan County who seek marriage licenses will have them.”
The Boston Globe – Sept. 2

University president to speak at Leadership Speaker Series
Bayou Buzz – Sept. 1
To begin the school year, the External Affairs will launch the first of their Leadership Speaker Series. It will begin with Dr. Stuart Bell, the new president of the University, directly addressing the student body and faculty for the first time. The event will take place on September 2nd. It will be hosted in Russell Hall 159 at 5:30 p.m. and it will be open to all University of Alabama faculty and students. The inaugural Leadership Speaking Series is being conducted by the External Affairs, which has partnered up with several other on-campus organizations such as Honors College Assembly, Tide Talks, UA College Republicans and UA College Democrats.
Crimson White – Sept. 2

Tuscaloosa natives create Kickstarter for film
Tuscaloosa News – Sept. 1
Bo’s wife was kidnapped years ago, and everyone has given up on finding her. But when he comes in contact with a possible suspect into her disappearance years later, he takes matters into his own hands. That sums up the first half of the script for the revenge thriller, “That Dog Will Hunt,” a story set in the South that will feature Tuscaloosa icons like the Moon Winx Lodge sign on University Boulevard. But before the film can hit the screens, it needs to be funded, and the Tuscaloosa natives who are directing, producing and acting in the film are calling on their neighbors for support. The “That Dog Will Hunt” team has launched a 30-day Kickstarter campaign to raise $8,000 to produce a film showcasing the state they come from and live in … Matt Leddo, a Tuscaloosa native and producer of the film will play the role of Bo, and Brianna Heller, a theater student at the University of Alabama, will play Bo’s wife, Clara. The film’s director of photography, Sean Davé, is also a UA student. The composer, Jacob Bailey, is from Montgomery, and the film’s makeup and wardrobe designer, Katie Hooper, was raised in Tuscaloosa.

10 Law Schools That Leave Grads With the Least Debt
U.S. News – Sept. 1
With high costs and still-shaky job prospects, law school remains a risky investment. Within 10 months of graduation, just 71 percent of the class of 2014 landed long-term, full-time jobs for which bar passage was required or a J.D. was preferred, according to data from the American Bar Association. Meanwhile, students in the class of 2014 who borrowed to pay for law school took on an average $111,899 in debt, according to data submitted to U.S. News by 182 ranked institutions. But not every law school will land students with six figures in debt. Borrowers at these 10 law schools tended to have lower student loan balances – taking on an average $62,989 in debt, according to U.S. News data. … The University of Alabama, tied at No. 22 among law schools, is the highest ranked school to make the list. Student loan borrowers in the class of 2014 graduated with $69,440. The following law schools had the least debt for the class of 2014 among graduates who borrowed. Schools designated by U.S. News as Unranked were excluded from this list. U.S. News did not calculate numerical ranks for Unranked programs because they did not meet certain criteria that U.S. News requires.
Yahoo! – Sept. 1
JD Journal – Sept. 1

Artist combines modern and classical art techniques for “Apocrypha” exhibit
Crimson White – Sept. 2
Protestors and police fight as a man with the head of a tiger is crowned king by an angel. A jilted manikin bride stands alone at an empty outdoor wedding. A lupine scientist is flanked by skeletons and cheering crowds. These are just some of the provocative, compelling images featured in Tom Wegrzynowski’s new exhibit “Apocrypha,” which opens this Friday at the Dinah Washington Gallery. “Apocrypha” is a collection of oil paintings that combine traditional artistic methods with modern themes and subject matter. “I don’t know that I ever want the paintings to be overt in terms of being about one specific episode or event or person, but I definitely think about trends and themes and contemporary culture,” Wegrzynowski said … Byrce Speed, an assistant professor of Art at the University of Alabama, said that Wegrzynowski’s work is inspired by contemporary society. “The last few paintings I have seen seem to be informative snapshots of the state of affairs we find ourselves in,” he said. “They are commentary on the America we live in, but they also have an aloofness to them that I find appealing.”

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Holds Open House
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Sept. 1
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute held an open hose this evening at the Bryant Conference Center. The organization offers classes through The University of Alabama for senior adults. Members also have opportunities to participate in social activities and field trips. Releases Ranking of Top 50 Best Value Online Master’s in Management Programs for 2015-2016
Yahoo! Finance – Sept. 1
The Top 50 Best Value Online Master’s in Management Programs of 2015 ranking, is the newest offering from, an online guide to the best values in undergraduate and graduate college education, at The list brings attention to the colleges and universities that most effectively balance cost and quality to give their graduates a reliable return on their educational investment. These 50 schools represent sound choices for students hoping to raise their career status and income with a Master’s degree in Management, even without a background in business or economics … Thomas Edison State College – Trenton, NJ; Troy University – Troy, AL; University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa – Tuscaloosa, AL; University of Colorado Denver – Denver, CO; University of Maryland University College – Washington, DC.

UA retirees association provides buses for some away games
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Sept. 1
Want to roll with the Tide to away games, but don’t have a ride?The University of Alabama retirees association is providing buses for the Georgia, Mississippi State and Auburn games. The price for your ride will vary from $50 to $75 and you must register one week before the away game. Proceeds will go to the Robert E. Witt First Generation Book Scholarship fund.

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.