UA In the News — March 12-20

  • March 20th, 2017

Alabama women’s wheelchair basketball team wins fifth national title
Tuscaloosa News – March 11
The University of Alabama women’s wheelchair basketball team won its fifth national championship on Saturday. UA defeated the University of Texas at Arlington 57-48 at the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, avenging a 72-49 loss at home in February.
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Georgia) – March 13
CBS 42 (Birmingham) – March 12

Holt High class presents legislator with proposed bill
Tuscaloosa News – March 18
State Rep. Chris England was immediately put to use after he walked through the front door of Holt High School on Friday afternoon. England, D-Tuscaloosa, was scheduled to meet with an advanced placement government class to hear a presentation about a bill they wanted him to support. The bill would protect animals locked in hot cars and the people who want to save them … In conjunction with a psychology class at the University of Alabama, the Holt High class presented England with their own bill, which calls for animals locked in hot cars to be classified as a Class A misdemeanor, as well as protecting those who break into cars to save locked-up animals.
Fox 6 (Birmingham) – March 10
NBC 12 (Montgomery) – March 10
ABC 9 (Columbus, Georgia) – March 10
ABC 33/40 (Birmingham) – March 10
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – March 10

Donkin’s Jamey Jewells helps propel Alabama to hoops glory
Local Xpress (Canada) – March 13
Cape Breton’s Jamey Jewells has capped her first season at the University of Alabama with a national championship. ‘Who would ever think that a small-town girl from Donkin would win a national championship for the Crimson Tide?’ she said. ‘Certainly not me.’

The Finalists for Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of Alabama
Journal of Blacks in Higher Education – March 14
The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa has announced a field of four finalist for the position of vice president and associate provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Each of the four candidates will visit the university’s campus by the end of March to meet with faculty and staff and to participate in an open forum. All four candidates are African Americans.
Why are more people dying in car crashes?
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer – March 18
The bad news is so frequent now that folks get used to hearing it: Another traffic fatality. Maybe two. Maybe more. Maybe here in Columbus, which has had 10 so far in 2017, nearly a year’s worth in just 2½ months … Researching Alabama fatalities, a University of Alabama study cited four factors for why deaths jumped as car crashes across Alabama increased only 2 percent from 2015 to 2016, from 149,339 to 152,532.

Sensor helps you watch your diet by tracking your chewing
Daily Tech Whip – March 14
Tired of having to catalog every meal in your favorite fitness app just to get a sense of whether or not you’re burning enough energy? You might get some relief in the near future. The University of Alabama has built an ear-worn sensor that estimates your food intake by tracking your chewing. The Automatic Ingestion Monitor (AIM) combines imagery of your meals with jaw vibrations to determine both the volume and energy levels of whatever you’re eating. It’s smart enough to filter out talking, so you won’t throw it off by holding conversations in between bites.

Are you a liberal or a conservative? That may depend on where you live.
Washington Post – March 16
What does a strong liberal in Clay County, Fla., have in common with a strong conservative in Denver County, Colo.? Not much, you might guess, considering how politically polarized our nation is. But in fact, these two sometimes hold similar positions on political issues. For example, the average “strong liberal” in Clay County is likely to be slightly against using enhanced interrogation techniques — as is the average “strong conservative” in Denver County. (Alexa Tullett is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Alabama, where her research looks into the social psychology of belief systems.)
What Is a ‘Gun-Free Zone,’ and What’s Behind the Movement to Get Rid of Them?
The Trace – March 16
Want to prevent the next mass shooting? Give everyone a gun, allow them to carry it everywhere, and hope they fend off the killer … One study published last year found a relationship between a country’s rate of gun ownership and the rate of public mass shootings. Adam Lankford, a professor of criminal justice at the University of Alabama examined data from 171 countries, and found that countries with the highest rates of gun ownership had the highest rates of mass shootings, “even if they are relatively peaceful or mentally healthy according to other national indicators.”

‘King of Snakes’ Defeats Larger Serpents by Squeezing Them to Death
Live Science – March 15
How does the mighty kingsnake overpower the even mightier rat snake? It uses its tremendous constriction power, a new study finds … The study is an informative one, said Stephen Secor, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Alabama, who was not involved in the study. “They are finding that the kingsnakes were able to induce much greater peak constriction pressure than the rat snakes and the corn snakes [a type of rat snake],” Secor told Live Science.

The Alt-Right Likes the Same Pop Culture as Everyone Else — for Totally Different Reasons
Mel Magazine – March 17
As the term “alt right” has come into mainstream consciousness over the last 18 months, there’s been increased media interest in what exactly makes these people tick — and what they’re into. By now, most of us are familiar with bizarre, ubiquitous neo-Nazi talismans like Pepe the Frog, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still be surprised by the pop-culture the Alt-Right has made as its own — whether or not the original artists intended that to happen … How the Alt-Right Coopted It: George Hawley, an assistant professor in the department of political science at the University of Alabama, writes about alt-right culture and says that the movement latched onto one specific plot point in the film. It’s the scene where Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus invites Reeves’ Neo to take the red pill and escape the Matrix.

UA professor lectures on key issues with over-the-counter drugs
Crimson White – March 10
To help society become smarter consumers in pharmacies, Dean and professor of Family Medicine in College of Community Health Sciences Dr. Rick Streiffer presented a lecture entitled, “Over-the-Counter Drugs: A Prescription for Confusion” on Thursday. “Streiffer completed his family medicine residency at the University, previously known as the Family of Practice Center,” said Gloria Oglesby, lecture facilitator. “He is board certified in family medicine and holds a certificate in geriatrics, so he’s really an expert in the field.” Streiffer initially spoke about how common the confusion in buying over-the-counter drugs is for most ages, and how people in the United States make trips to drug store regularly for various concerns, spending a lot of money on items they do not need. According to him, many products can cause adverse effects for people as well.

UA’s Culverhouse College of Commerce has new library and trading room
Fox 6 (Birmingham) – March 10
The University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Commerce has a new library. The Vulcan Value Partners Research Library and Trading Room opened today.

David Staples: Councillors get one-sided advice on City Hall security risks
Edmonton Journal – March 15
City council is listening to experts on bringing in bag checks and metal detectors for members of the public hoping to attend council meetings, and erecting a half-wall in council chambers, but it’s not getting the straight facts … Council would do well to get advice from other kinds of experts on the risk of violent crime and the proper responses to it. A leader in this field, Prof. Walter Enders, a University of Alabama economics professor and a leading researcher on terrorist networks, says little work has been done looking into the need for security at municipal council meetings largely because there have been so few violent incidents at such meetings.

CTX teen raises more than $6,000 for diabetic alert dog
CBS 10 (Amarillo, Texas) – March 17
A Central Texas teen raised more than $6,000 for a diabetic alert dog at a garage sale, all thanks to an outpour of support from the community. News Channel 25 brought you 18-year-old Morgan Johnston’s story back in February. She, her family, and friends held the sale Saturday outside Midway Middle School in Hewitt … Morgan is studying nursing at the University of Alabama. And with no one else keeping an eye on her sugar levels, both she and Pam know the difference a dog like Levi can make in her life.
NBC 7 (Lake Charles, Louisiana) – March 18
NBC 5 (Memphis, Tennessee) – March 18
ABC 9 (Pollock, Texas) – March 18
Telemuno Amarill (Texas) – March 18
Fox 29 (Lake Charles, Louisiana) – March 18

Invest in the future
Self-Builder and Homemaker – March 16
The European Union’s Ecodesign Directive Standards aren’t coming in to force until 2022, but the UK stove industry is upping its game to ensure it isn’t left behind. The industry is manufacturing a new era of stoves in response to the lowest emission standards ever set, and to ensure consumers install a stove which will give them greener living and longevity for the future … While the modern day stove dates back to as early as 1741, a recent study from anthropologist Christopher Lynn of the University of Alabama reminds us that our natural enjoyment of fire has been a part of our evolution.

UA archaeologists find indications of first state house at Old Cahawba
ABC 33/40 (Birmingham) – March 13
There are plans in the works to celebrate the bicentennial of Old Cahabwa, Alabama’s first state capital. Officials at Old Cahawba Archaeological Park say they have found indications of the state’s first state house using ground penetrating radar from The University of Alabama.

Helpful Hacks for Conducting Research With Older Adults
Psychology Today – March 18
For better or for worse, I hail from New Jersey—from a terrifyingly loud, frenetic Italian family no less. At the risk of propagating stereotypes, I should pause to admit a few things: (1) I speak quickly, (2) talk frequently, and (3) gesticulate wildly. And if we’ve ever talked at length, please know that my tendency to interrupt (I’m sorry) comes from nothing more than my inability control the thoughts a-bubbling at the tip of my tongue. As a trainee of clinical psychology (working with older adults, no less) these tendencies sometimes present a few problems. (Christina M. Pierpaoli, MA, is a third-year graduate student in the Clinical Geropsychology doctoral program at the University of Alabama under the mentorship of Dr. Patricia A. Parmelee.)

Moundville park makes list of top attractions
Tuscaloosa News – March 13
Moundville Archaeological Park made the Alabama Department of Tourism’s list of top attractions for spring break family trips. The park, which is about 17 miles south of Tuscaloosa in Hale County, was the only West Alabama site included on the list. The list also features beaches, moon rockets and the world’s largest cast iron statue as places families might want to visit during spring break in Alabama.

Credit unions: A ‘winner’ worth picking
Saint Peters Blog (Florida) – March 14
Free market, corporate welfare, winners and losers. These phrases are uttered every day in the halls of the Florida Capitol while lawmakers are in Session; but, the reality is, government is, across many sectors of society, still in the business of picking winners and losers … According to a 2013 report by Luis Dopico and William Jackson of the University of Alabama: “It’s good policy to allow credit unions to accept public deposits, because it increases choice in the marketplace, provides greater competition, and in many cases provides better convenience for trustees of the public’s money.”
Why Rachel Lindsay makes all-too-white ‘Bachelor’ and ‘Bachelorette’ better
Telegram (Worcester, Massachusetts) – March 15
The moment Dallas woman Rachel Lindsay stepped out of a limo and onto prime time television as one of the contestants on the 21st season of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” she was immediately captivating. Wearing a floor-length red dress and sparkling smile, the 31-year-old attorney proved to be charismatic, witty and a league above the other contestants … Kristen Warner, assistant professor in the Department of Journalism and Creative Media at the University of Alabama, studies how women of color are represented in TV and film. She believes having Lindsay as the bachelorette is a win for black women because it proves the show’s tastemakers deem her “worthy of them investing the time and marketing into.” And that’s not any easy find, she says.

UA professor to star in Birmingham Opera (live interview)
Fox 6 (Birmingham) – March 14
UA professor Paul Houghtaling will perform in Birmingham Opera’s performance of “Elixir of Love”
ABC 33/40 (Birmingham) (Live Interview) – March 13

Tuscumbia resident goes shoeless for Lent
Florence Times Daily – March 18
As the calendar crept closer to March 1, Emily Benefield started examining her conscience. March 1 signaled the beginning of Lent, a period of preparation for Easter in the Catholic Church and several other Christian denominations. Part of that preparation often includes making a sacrifice or devotion throughout Lent. As a Catholic, Benefield pondered ideas … “I wasn’t satisfied with any of them, and felt like I wanted to give something up,” said Benefield, who grew up in Tuscumbia and is a freshman at the University of Alabama.

THE PORT RAIL: God, friends sustained us after the fire
Tuscaloosa News – March 19
I loved the template reason on the shipping notice I received not too long ago. I forget if it came from Fedex or UPS, but it was just their normal way of inserting a reason for not delivering a package. (Larry Clayton is a retired University of Alabama history professor. Readers can email him at

Our College Students
Empire Press (Wenatchee, Washington) – March 15
University of Alabama: TUSCALOOSA — Alexandrea Nessi of East Wenatchee was named to the dean’s list for fall 2016 at the University of Alabama. Eligible students must earn a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher to make the list.

Area residents graduate from University of Alabama
Morning Journal (Lorain, Ohio) – March 14
The University of Alabama awarded some 2,270 degrees during winter commencement Dec. 10, 2016. With this graduating class, UA will have awarded more than 257,000 degrees since its founding in 1831 as the state’s first public university.
The Star Democrat (Easton, Maryland) – March 10
Beloit Daily News (Wisconsin) – March 11
Prime Publishers (Southbury, Connecticut) – March 11

Debra McMichael Shares Tips For Staying Awake On The Road And Her Memories Of Owen Hart
UpRoxx – March 16
Fans of the Attitude Era will likely remember Debra McMichael as a valet to a number of stars from the 1990s, from the Four Horsemen, to Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart, to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. They may also remember her as a former WWF Women’s Champion, or perhaps most infamously, as the inspiration for Jerry Lawler’s “puppies” catchphrase … Debra McMichael: Oh, you’re welcome. I’m just sitting here being so boring. I’m such the different Debra, because you know I’m getting my Masters at the University of Alabama. I’m about to graduate. I’m very studious now. I mean, I’m getting my Masters in Criminal Justice at the University of Alabama.

You have excellent communication skills
Her Campus – March 13
The humanities—or the study of human culture—are a broad term that can encompass a variety of majors. Whether you’re working toward a degree in art history, anthropology, philosophy, literature, performing arts or visual arts, your humanities major will take you far in life … No matter where your specific major falls under the humanities umbrella, you are constantly improving your oral and written communication skills. Your ability to relay information in a succinct and persuasive way will help you out, regardless of what your future career ends up being. Kristen Fowler is a junior English major at the University of Alabama who switched her major from mechanical engineering because she missed being able to express ideas through writing. “In my experience, communication is the most important skill to have in the workforce,” she says.

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.