UA In the News — Sept. 15

UA enrolls 38,563 students
Tuscaloosa News – Sept. 14
Enrollment at the University of Alabama grew by about 2 percent this fall to 38,563, continuing a trend of record growth. Fall enrollment grew by 908 compared to last year, though the freshman class of 7,407 was slightly smaller than it was last year. The 2016 freshman class was 7,559. Graduate student enrollment increased by 158 to 4,787, said UA spokesman Chris Bryant.
NBC 13 (Birmingham) – Sept. 14
CBS 42 (Birmingham) – Sept. 14
 
UA hires new chief diversity officer
CBS 42 (Birmingham) – Sept. 14
The University of Alabama is taking steps to make the school a more diverse and inclusive campus in Tuscaloosa. The University hired Dr. Christine Taylor, who is the first vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion. Taylor’s job will focus on providing leadership to build an even more inclusive learning environment on campus.

UA plans renovations, new restaurant
Tuscaloosa News – Sept. 14
The University of Alabama System board of trustees is set to consider plans to renovate Lakeside Dining and building a new restaurant in Robert Witt Student Activity Center when it meets Friday. The physical properties committee gave preliminary approval to the project on Thursday. The preliminary plans for the $4.5-million renovation of Lakeside Dining include building an a 5,400-square-foot mezzanine inside that can seat 200 diners.

Research could improve storm shelters
Tuscaloosa News – Sept. 14
With blast of smoky condensation, a pressurized air cannon shot an 8-foot 2-by-4-inch board into a mockup of a storm shelter wall, a strike meant to replicate flying debris during a hurricane or tornado. The cannon is one of four in a lab at the University of Alabama, where professor Michael Kreger, the Drummond chair of civil engineering, and a team of graduate students are testing the shelter walls to see how they behave in violent storm conditions when they are struck by airborne debris.

National Science Foundation grant funds engineering preparatory class
Fort Payne Times-Journal – Sept. 14
The University of Alabama College of Engineering is using a National Science Foundation grant to start three preparatory classes and a scholarship fund in an effort to address student retention. The grant will fund a one-credit preparatory class offered to students the semester before taking one of three gateway courses. Circuit analysis, statics and data structures/algorithms were chosen to be the focus of the scholarship program because they set the foundation for future courses to build on and are also known to be difficult for students.

DACA’s Fate Still Uncertain, Librarians Reach Out to Dreamers, Offering Resources and Safeguarding Student Information
School Library Journal – Sept. 14
Scott Wolf knew that some of his students at North High School in Denver, CO, wanted to join a planned protest against the ending of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). The problem? The morning event in downtown Denver, about two miles from the high school, started at 11:30 am—right in the middle of an early September school day … “I can’t imagine what it’s like to be in that position, if your status is in question, to reassure students whose status is in question,” says Yates, an assistant professor at the College of Communication and Information Sciences at the University of Alabama. “It’s hard to wrap my brain around.”

NSF awards $14.7 million for research to deepen understanding of Earth’s biodiversity
Eureka Alert – Sept. 14
Symbiotic bacteria — microbes that have close and long-term relationships with their “hosts” — are everywhere on Earth: in soil, in coral reefs, in humans …2017 NSF Dimensions of Biodiversity Awards … Laura Reed, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa: Dimensions: Collaborative Research: Integrating phylogenetic, genetic, and functional approaches to dissect the role of toxin tolerance in shaping Drosophila biodiversity.

Creative Minds: Potential Diabetes Lessons from Binge-Eating Snakes
Elbirunblogspot.com – Sept. 14
Many people would do just about anything to avoid an encounter with a snake. Not Stephen Secor. Growing up in central New York State, Secor was drawn to them … now a professor at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, he’s spent 25 years trying to understand how some snakes, such as the Burmese python shown above, can fast for weeks or even months, and then go on a sudden food binge.

College Night well-received by recruiters and students
Augusta Chronicle (Georgia) – Sept. 14
A 3-year-old Kevin Freeland knew he wanted to go into aviation. Now a senior at Wardlaw Academy in Edgefield, he continued to pursue that at CSRA College Night on Thursday … More than 130 colleges and universities were on hand to provide information regarding degree programs, admissions requirements and scholarship opportunities. Numerous recruiters complimented the event. “This is a great event. They really put it on nicely,” said Patti Dinger, regional recruiter for the University of Alabama.

Oxford municipal budget said to contain surplus
Anniston Star – Sept. 14
City officials considered a draft budget for the next fiscal year Thursday night, but declined to provide a copy of the document. After trimming expenses from the $5.2 million deficit-inducing draft received in August, the spending plan members of the City Council are considering for fiscal 2018 is said to contain a $239,000 surplus … Arranged for a sexual harassment prevention workshop for city employees given through the University of Alabama, and approved an agreement that will allow a cable network to photograph and video upcoming clogging performances at the Oxford Civic Center

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.