UA Preview



NASA ROBOTICS TEAM READY FOR CONTEST – A team of students from the UA College of Engineering are preparing this week to win three championships in a row at a NASA-sponsored competition. Alabama Astrobotics built a robot that can dig and collect simulated Martian soil and will compete early next week in Florida. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA media relations, at 205/348-4328 or

MAY INTERIM CLASS ON BARBECUE INCLUDES COOKOUT, TOUR — UA’s College of Communication and Information Sciences is offering a course during the May interim that explores the rich history and culture of barbecue. Students will meet in a traditional classroom setting for the first week, enact their own cookouts during the second week, and spend the third week traveling 2,300 miles through nine states in the American South, eating BBQ and meeting the people who make it a central part of their lives. On May 17, students will barbecue from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. next to Reese Phifer Hall, by the Walk of Champions, as part of their course curriculum. By examining the multiple perspectives of people who love BBQ, students will better understand the influences of BBQ on family, religion, gender, music, media and popular culture. UA’s interim program gives students an opportunity to experience a creative and innovative approach to learning. For more information, contact Rand Nelson, communication specialist in the College, at 205/348/6416 or

CAN WATERMELON REDUCE RISK OF HEART DISEASE? – Two UA researchers are recruiting for a 10-week study to see how watermelon affects blood vessel function. Study participants need to be postmenopausal African-American or European-American women ages 55 through 69 who do not smoke or have uncontrolled hypertension, diabetes, liver disease or kidney disease. For more information, contact Kim Eaton, UA media relations, at 205/348-8325 or

CO-TEACHING MODEL IMPACTING INSTRUCTION IN COUNTY SCHOOLS – The Math-Science Partnership began in 2015 with the goal of improving student achievement through co-teaching, or general education and special education teachers working collaboratively in the classroom. The findings have been encouraging: upward shifts in student engagement and classroom management and increased math content knowledge of special education teachers, which is one of the over-arching goals of the grant. The $1 million grant from the federal and state education departments closes May 16 when UA researchers and about 30 teachers from eight Tuscaloosa County elementary schools will hold their last professional development session. The groups meet from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Barnes In-Service Center on the Bryce campus at UA. The best time for interviews with researchers and teachers will be between 11 and 11:30 a.m. when they break for lunch. For more information, contact David Miller, UA media relations, at 205/348-0825 or


SUMMER WRITING CAMP — UA invites local high school students — freshmen through seniors — to register for the summer 2017 Creative Writing Camp. The camp will meet from 1 to 4 p.m. each Monday-Friday June 5-16 in 301 Morgan Hall. No previous creative writing experience is required. The instructors will be graduate students in UA’s Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program. The emphasis is on having fun while exploring what language can do. Tuition is free for students. To register for the summer 2017 Creative Writing Camp, students may follow the instructions on the camp website at For more details, contact Richard LeComte, media relations, at, 205/348-3782.

SUMMER MEDIA CAMP FOR LOCAL GIRLS —  UA’s New College department is hosting its first Druid City Girls Media Camp for underserved girls in the Tuscaloosa area. The summer day camp, which takes place June 26-30 on UA’s campus, is for girls who are interested in learning media production. Dr. Barbara Jane Brickman, an assistant professor of media and gender studies in New College, said the purpose of the camp is to empower young women to craft stories that are instrumental to expressing themselves and finding their voice at a pivotal age. “Through media production, we engage girls from diverse communities to cultivate filmmaking skills, confidence and creative projects important to them,” Brickman said. Those interested can apply here. The registration fee is $10 per person. Applications are due May 26. For more information, contact Jamon Smith, UA media relations, at or 205/348-4956.

APR’s ‘BOOKMARK’ HOST NAMED WINNER OF THE GOVERNOR’S ARTS AWARD – Dr. Don Noble, a New York City native, has spent nearly 30 years promoting Alabama writers on public radio and TV. Alabama authors such as Winston Groom, Rick Bragg and Fannie Flagg know him well. But, now it’s the retired UA English professor’s time to be honored and promoted. On May 24, the Alabama State Council on the Arts will honor Noble with the Governor’s Art Award at the “Celebration of the Arts” awards ceremony at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery at 7:30 p.m. Noble will be one of eight “outstanding Alabamians” honored at the ceremony, which is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jamon Smith, UA media relations, at or 205/348-4956. 

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.