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  • December 11th, 2017



RESEARCHERS AWARDED GRANT TO IMPROVE TORNADO WARNINGS FOR DEAF – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded UA’s Drs. Jason C. Senkbeil and Darrin Griffin a  $250,000 grant to study how tornado warnings could be improved in their accessibility and comprehension by members of the Deaf, Blind and Deaf-Blind communities. The grant will enable researchers to build and test a system whereby Deaf people can view a local weather broadcast in a split-screen format. Half of the screen will show a meteorologist and the other half will show an American Sign Language interpreter. The team will conduct interviews with members of the Blind community in Mississippi and the Deaf and Deaf-Blind communities in Talladega to ascertain the specific needs of each community. For more information, contact Rand Nelson, communication specialist, at 205-348-6416 or

IMPROVED SENSORS COULD IMPROVE HVAC EFFICIENCY — Engineering researchers at UA are part of a nationwide project to find ways of reducing energy used to heat, cool and ventilate buildings. Dr. Zheng O’Neill, UA assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is leading a team developing testing standards and control strategies for sensors used to control heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC, in commercial and residential buildings. The goal is to provide a way for those who manage HVAC systems to know sensors work efficiently when detecting human movement and occupancy to control heating, cooling and ventilation. UA received nearly $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy for the effort. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA communications, 205-348-4328 or


PERFORMING ARTS ANNOUNCEMENT, TOUR OF FORMER BRYCE HOSPITAL THURSDAY – Mary and Bill Battle, co-chairs of the fundraising campaign, will announce a campaign and major gifts supporting performing arts facilities at 2 p.m. Dec. 14 at Bryant Jordan Hall. Expected attendees include: the Battles, campaign donors, UA President Stuart R. Bell and Dr. Robert F. Olin, dean, College of Arts and Sciences. Tours of the former Bryce Hospital, where performing arts facilities will be constructed, will be available to media beginning at 1:30 p.m. To RSVP for the tour, contact Shane Dorrill at 205-535-0196 or For more information, contact Stephanie Kirkland at 205-348-8663, or Taylor Bryant, 205-348-8718 or

WINTER COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES SET FOR SATURDAY – UA will hold its winter commencement exercises Saturday, Dec. 16, at Coleman Coliseum. The ceremonies will be held at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. More than 2,200 diplomas are scheduled to be awarded to undergraduate and graduate students from all colleges and schools. For more information, contact David Miller, UA Strategic Communications, 205-348-0825 or

UA LAW RECEIVES GRANT TO HELP INCREASE DIVERSITY IN LEGAL PROFESSIONThe Law School Admission Council awarded UA’s School of Law a grant to help prepare students from historically underrepresented groups for the admission process, success in law school and careers in the legal profession. UA Law will use the $300,000 grant to create the Alabama Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars Program. It will invite about 30 undergraduate students to the Law School in the summers of 2018, 2019 and 2020 to expose them to the joys and rigors of legal education for four weeks. For more details, contact Monique Fields, manager of communications, UA School of Law, 205-348-5195,

NEED A SOURCE? GET A SOURCE – Do you need a subject matter expert for a non-UA related topic? Check out our updated directory of experts at The directory will be expanded regularly, so return frequently for the latest. Don’t see who you need? Contact UA communications at 205-348-5320. 

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.