UA In the News — March 3-5

Study highlights need for workforce training
Tuscaloosa News – March 5
Workforce training is the top issue facing the state and its industries, according to a survey of business executives by the University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research. “If you look at that survey that CBER did, it pretty much lines up with what is going on across the country. There is a disconnect between education system and needs of employers,” said Donny Jones, executive director of West Alabama Works.

Personal experiences build UA students’ strong connections with Miracle Families
Alabama News Center – March 5
Jack Ebersold and his family know firsthand what it’s like to spend countless hours, days and weeks in a children’s hospital. The Downers Grove, Illinois, native was born eight weeks early and spent the first month of his life in a children’s hospital. “I owe my life to those doctors and nurses who took care of me as an infant,” said Ebersold. “I’ve always wanted to find ways to support families who are in a similar situation.” As a freshman at the University of Alabama, Ebersold came across the UA Dance Marathon table at Get On Board Day.

Black-College Renaissance
Chronicle of Higher Education – March 5
Enrollment at black colleges is on the upswing — and it’s not just because students are seeking “safe spaces.”
In the decade from 2006 to 2015, bachelor’s-degree-granting black colleges posted a 6-percent drop in enrollment across the board, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, even as black enrollment nationwide increased. But the tide appears to be turning as several historically black colleges and universities are once again seeing their student populations tick upward. In the fall of 2016, 11 HBCUs had record enrollments, and several saw increases this past fall after years of decline. . . . “The HBCU consumer is being very savvy and really researching these schools,” says Steve D. Mobley, an assistant professor of higher education at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. “They read the news and keep their ears to the ground with what’s going on at college campuses” — including a surge in activity by white-supremacist groups — “and a lot of them are deciding they want to be in a predominantly black environment for four years.”

Called racist on a national stage: How does Gardendale, an aging city, bounce back?
AL.com – March 5
This Birmingham suburb has been called racist. It’s been criticized in federal court and censured in the national media for an attempt to increase resegregation in Jefferson County schools. Now the small city faces an uncertain future. Having failed in its bid to form its own school system and watching an aging population, Gardendale is forced to come up with a new plan. . . . Amanda Ross, an assistant professor of economics, finance and legal studies at the University of Alabama, agreed that forming a school system is a good strategy for attracting families and stabilizing the population. She said the 1 percent drop in population “is not huge, but you don’t want to see that become any worse. Improving the schools will stop some of that. For younger families, schools are one of the things they care about.”

There’s an Awful Lot We Still Don’t Know About Guns
New York Times – March 2
It’s a measure of the divisiveness of guns in the United States that federal public health officials barely spend any money funding gun violence research. Because of the deaths of students and adults in Parkland, Florida, last month, there’s a chance this will change … Adam Lankford, a criminologist at the University of Alabama, said we need more research into how more restrictive gun laws affect the lives of law-abiding gun owners.
WRAL (Raleigh, North Carolina) – March 2

For many mass shooters, armed guards aren’t a deterrent; they’re part of the fantasy
Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, Kentucky) – March 4
Speaking at a bipartisan meeting on school safety this week, President Donald Trump reiterated his belief that arming teachers would prevent school shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida … “Because many offenders are suicidal and expect to be shot and killed, they wouldn’t be deterred by places with armed guards or gun-toting citizens,” said criminologist Adam Lankford, who studies mass shootings at the University of Alabama.

Experts Are Stumped by the Toad with a Stump for a Face
Live Science – March 5
Scientists recently took to Twitter to puzzle over an unusual sight captured by a biologist in photos and video — a toad that had no face … The toad’s unsettling appearance also invited comparison to the four-legged form of the faceless Demogorgon, the terrifying monster in the TV show “Stranger Things,” Nick Caruso, an ecologist at the University of Alabama, pointed out in a tweet.

The debate over gun legislation
WPIX-CW (New York, New York) – March 4
You’ve got to ban the assault rifles and the high capacity magazines. Those are the killing machines. That’s what matters more than everything else combined, frankly, because a researcher from The University of Alabama did an analysis from 171 countries and murder rates from guns, and they found the only thing that really tracks with murder rates from guns is the easy availability of guns. We’ve got to get rid of these assault rifles.

COLLEGE NEWS: March 4
Tuscaloosa News – March 4
University of Alabama – Working through simulations, team activities and shared knowledge from industry professionals, a handful of faculty-selected upper level College of Human Environmental Sciences majors took part in the annual Crenshaw Leadership Academy on Feb. 9.

Scholastic Recognition
Dispatch Argus (Moline, Illinois) – March 4
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The following local students were named to the Carl Sandburg College fall dean’s list and honors list … Connor Dessert of Moline and Lucie Dierikx of Taylor Ridge were named to the University of Alabama fall president’s list for earning a 4.0 grade-point average.

Coach Nick Saban and UA football players build Habitat for Humanity house
WLTZ-NBC (Columbus, Georgia) – March 4
Some University of Alabama football stars devoted part of their weekend, to help build homes for habitat for humanity.
Fox 6 (Birmingham) – March 4
CBS 42 (Birmingham) – March 4

Students explore the future of film at Black Warrior Film Festival
Crimson White – March 4
The University of Alabama transformed into a hub of all things film over the weekend. Students, UA alumni and industry professionals joined together at the sixth annual Black Warrior Film Festival on Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3 to celebrate the art of filmmaking.

Law enforcement training held at UA School of Law
CBS 42 (Birmingham) – March 2
Members of local law enforcement receive some valuable training at the University of Alabama School of Law. U.S. Attorney Jay Town conducted the training seminar for West Alabama law enforcement on constitutional protections dealing with search warrants, arrests and trials. The training took place inside the Bedsole moot courtroom.
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – March 2

THEATER REVIEW: ‘Bright Room’ uses unreal setting to deliver message
Tuscaloosa News – March 3
Godwin’s Law: The longer online dialogue extends, the greater chance Hitler will arise. That didn’t originate with the ’Net. The Nazi monster’s been parodied and prodded relentlessly by historians, documentarians, and artists from Charlie Chaplin to Walt Disney to Mel Brooks, ad nauseum … “A Bright Room Called Day” has its final showing at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Allen Bales Theatre on the University of Alabama campus.

Play examines political unrest in 1930s Germany
Tuscaloosa News – March 2
The University of Alabama’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents its production of “A Bright Room Called Day.” The play, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner, is about political disillusionment in 1932 Germany during the fall of the Weimar Republic and the rise of the Nazis.

UA to present opera ‘Semele’ on Sunday
Tuscaloosa News – March 2
The University of Alabama Opera Theatre will present its production of “Semele” on Sunday. The opera, with music by Handel, tells the story of a princess who dreams of immortality through an affair with the god Jupiter. The production is directed by Paul Houghtaling and conducted by Blake Richardson.

UA Cheerleaders and Big Al take part in Book Character Parade at Verner Elementary School
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – March 2
Several special guests joined the fun, including the University of Alabama cheerleaders, Big Al, and musicians from the Northridge High School band. The “book character parade” is a 30-year Verner tradition.

UA Public Relations Student Society of America raises money
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – March 2
The University of Alabama’s Public Relations Student Society of America gathered at heat pizza this afternoon to eat with purpose, the PRSSA developed a campaign to benefit the group with purpose, which is a youth and community led movement dedicated to making sure children with cancer have access to safe and. Effective treatment options. After only two weeks they have already raised two thousand pledges from the Tuscaloosa community.

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.