UA In the News — Oct. 10

Are You an ‘Anti-Vaxxer’? Your Friends Are on Twitter
HealthDay – Oct. 9
American parents who oppose childhood vaccines often take to Twitter to vent, share and seek reinforcement for the widely disproven notion that these shots can trigger autism, new research shows. But the phenomenon is unevenly spread, the researchers noted, with states such as California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania leading the pack when it comes to the highest prevalence of Twitter-based vaccine-bashing. The findings stem from the sifting of roughly 550,000 tweets posted between 2009 and 2015. All of the tweets contained at least one reference to both autism and vaccines, and about half were found to express anti-vaccine sentiments. “Unfortunately, these results were not terribly unexpected,” said study author Theodore Tomeny. Why? Tomeny suggested “that sites primarily based on user-generated information, like Twitter, may be popular sounding boards for these types of issues because they are uncensored and there is little oversight of the information that is posted.” Tomeny is an assistant professor in the department of psychology at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. – Oct. 9 – Oct. 9
UA creates auto, aerospace industry accelerator – Oct. 9
The University of Alabama has created a way to keep pace with other states in research and development resources for the automotive and aerospace industries. Last week, the university’s Alabama Innovation and Mentoring of Entrepreneurs (AIME) Center launched the Automotive-Aerospace Accelerator. Its creation was announced at the 10th annual Southern Automotive Conference in Birmingham. According to a news release, the AIME Accelerator will “help create solutions to manufacturing issues and provide assistance to newly formed companies in the automotive and aerospace industries.”

Student runs sea to sea for cancer research
Crimson White – Oct. 8
Most people would think that Forrest Gump was the only UA graduate to run across the country. But that was before this summer, when one UA senior tied up her laces and just kept going, running clear to the ocean.  But for this one student, she wasn’t running “for no particular reason.” Abby Rentschler ran for her grandfather.  “I was running for my grandpa, who had melanoma for 17 years but did not tell anybody about it until the last three,” Rentschler said. “My grandparents’ resilience was an inspiration to me.” Rentschler, a senior at the University and president of Run UA, has enjoyed the exhilaration of running her entire life. This summer she found a new thrill when an Instagram advertisement popped up on her feed that featured a 4K sponsored by the Ulman Cancer Fund.

Alabama researcher: Don’t name the shooter
Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer – Oct. 9
A researcher at the University of Alabama says that giving less news coverage of rampage shooters could be a deterrent to future mass shooters. A report on the school website,, says Adam Lankford, an associate professor of criminology, recently authored a paper, “Don’t Name Them, Don’t Show Them, But Report Everything Else: A Pargmatic Proposal for Denying Mass Shooters the Attention They Seek and Deterring Future Offenders.” In the research, done along with Eric Maddis, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Washington at Tacoma, Lankford proposes news media not name the shooter, don’t use photos of the shooter, and stop using the names and photos of past perpetrators.

University students offer tutoring sessions to local students
Crimson White – Oct. 10
What: Free tutoring sessions in a variety of subjects, such as algebra, spelling, and physics.  Who: Tutoring sessions are offered to local students in grades K-12.  The sessions are run by Bama Tutors for Service, a group of University of Alabama students.  When: Monday and Wednesday, 6-8:30 p.m. Where: Tuscaloosa Public Library, located at at 1801 Jack Warner Pkwy NE.

Rick Santorum speaks at UA
WVUA – Oct. 9
Monday, the Young Americans Foundation hosted former Senator and presidential candidate Rick santorum at the UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA. Santorum is on his “God is a Microaggression” tour. He wants college students to understand why freedom of speech and religious liberty are so important in the current political climate.

Homecoming Week at UA
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Oct. 9
Tonight, you can catch a bowling tournament or bowl yourself, between 9:30 and 12:30 tonight at Bama lanes. Tuesday, catch Alabama’s recreational basketball tournament at 5:45 the UA rec center. Wednesday, catch the dodgeball competition at the same time and place. On Thursday, Coleman Coliseum is hosting the annual choreography competition at 6 p.m. And heat pizza is hosting trivia night at 8. And Friday is the always-famous pep rally and bonfire, at 7 p.m. on the quad, followed by the annual step show at 8:30, at Coleman Coliseum. If you’re curious about any other events or details, check out

UA researchers study why fireplaces are so romantic
KTLA-CW (Los Angeles) – Oct. 9
A study out of the UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA found that people are more social and relax while watching a fire burned. Researchers say fire seems to be a multisensory stimulator which captures our attention in a variety of ways. It is also a reason why we want to snuggle it is not around it because it stimulates the brain’s and body.
KDVR-Fox (Denver) – Oct. 9

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.