How can your son or daughter get the best return on your investment in their college education—a good job and launch into their first career?

Good grades and the right major are important blocks in the foundation of finding a job after graduation. There are, however, other steps students can take to increase their value to potential employers.

  • Do an internship. Maybe the most important thing a student can do is find an internship—get real work experience in the field. Many employers look within their own internship programs when they need to fill entry-level positions.

students 5That means, if a student does a good job while in an internship, he or she may get a job offer from that organization. And, while an internship could be the foot-in-the-door that a new grad needs, it also gives a student a realistic look at the prospective job, company, and career.

  • Go to the career center. Research shows that tapping into the resources offered by career services can increase the likelihood of getting a job offer.

While career counselors won’t “place” a student in a job, they teach students skills that will help them find their way onto and up the career ladder. They teach students how to put together winning resumes and cover letters, how to interview successfully, and how to dress professionally. They critique resumes, practice interview techniques, and field job listings. Most services at the campus career center are free.

Plus, career counselors know the employers that hire on their college campuses—they work with them on a regular basis—and can put a student in touch with the organizations looking for new hires.

  • Start the job-search process early.
    • Find the right major and start to plot a career path during the freshman year.
    • Start exploring internship opportunities. What’s better than an internship the summer after junior year? Multiple internships. Freshmen and sophomores may find internships too.
    • Get ready to be recruited in the fall. Employers do many of their on-campus interviews—for internships and entry-level positions—in the fall. And while employers interview in the spring, it’s best to be an early bird.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers

UAB News

  • ArtPlay presents MoveSpeakSpin in “The Daughters of Hypatia: Circles of Mathematical Women” on Oct. 24
    A sensory-friendly performance will also be offered earlier in the day, in a supportive environment for an audience of families and friends with children or adults who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or other sensitivity issues.

    The Daughters of Hypatia: Circles of Mathematical Women” is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. Tickets are $9 for children, $11 for adults. Call 205-975-2787 or visit A special sensory-friendly performance will take place earlier in the day at 11 a.m.

    The Santa Cruz, California-based dance company MoveSpeakSpin honors the often-overlooked contributions of women to mathematics in this ensemble piece. The dancers recount intriguing stories from the lives of the foremothers of mathematics, as well as leading contemporaries in the field, and perform in patterns suggestive of the mathematicians’ work.

    Choreographer Karl Schaffer, a mathematician himself, uses live projections of video mosaics of dancers. The production features geometric art designs by Marjorie Rice, guest choreography by Sarah-Marie Belcastro and musical compositions by the women’s vocal ensemble Zambra, as well as songs by Vi Hart and Victor Spiegel.

    MoveSpeakSpin has created groundbreaking dance performances linking mathematics and dance with humor, playfulness and physicality, and members have performed at the opening of the National Museum of Mathematics in New York City and a conference on math and the arts in Seoul, Korea.

    An additional free sensory-friendly performance of this show is planned at 11 a.m. at the ASC. Presented by ArtPlay in partnership with KultureCity, the sensory-friendly performance will feature a friendly, supportive environment for an audience of families and friends with children or adults who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or other sensitivity issues. Slight adjustments to the production have been made, including the reduction of any jarring sounds or strobe lights focused into the audience. The outer lobby will include quiet areas and an activity area staffed with autism specialists for those who need to leave their seats during the performance. All are welcome to come to the performance, with the understanding that the theater is a judgment-free zone with a performance geared toward individuals with sensory issues. Call 205-975-2787 or visit

    ArtPlay is the Alys Stephens Center’s home for arts education. ArtPlay also presents Meet the Artist school shows, set for 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23.

  • UAB continues to put Safety Task Force recommendations into action
    Implementation of safety measures continues following UAB Safety Task Force assessment and action plan.

    The launch of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Rave Guardian safety app and continued emergency notification upgrades — two of many recommendations outlined in the action plan of the UAB Safety Task Force finalized during the spring 2015 semester following input and feedback from students, faculty, staff and outside experts — highlight the latest actions taken as a result of the thorough campus safety review.

    “Our highest priority is the safety of our students, faculty, staff, patients and guests,” said Chief Anthony Purcell of the UAB Police Department. “Our accredited police department trains regularly and works closely with the UAB and Birmingham communities to stay at the forefront of law enforcement excellence in a diverse environment of higher education, health care, and arts and entertainment.”

    In late summer of 2014, UAB President Ray L. Watts initiated a review of the institution’s on-campus threat preparedness that would enlist outside consultants. An October assault and robbery in an on-campus parking deck accelerated that initiative; following immediate actions including campus-wide communications, increased UAB Police Department patrols, and extended hours for campus escorts and shuttles, the administration assembled a Safety Task Force.

    That group of UAB and external constituents conducted a comprehensive survey of facility features, existing safety support services and education programs, as well as institutional practices and procedures intended to create and sustain a safe environment. Faculty and student leaders participated in the process, and the entire student body was encouraged to read the task force’s draft report and provide suggestions and questions.

    “Broad input was imperative in these efforts, and I thank everyone who contributed to what became a robust assessment and action plan,” said Vice President Allen Bolton, who chaired the task force. “Students and parents, faculty and staff, and community partners, thank you. We continue to implement and build on the actions outlined in the report and will continue to invest in these and other safety initiatives as we strive for a crime-free campus.”

    In conducting its assessment and developing its action plan, the task force studied best practices and considered strategies used by peer universities. The group also reviewed UAB crime statistics and took into account a safety study conducted by the Assessment Unit of the School of Public Health, which demonstrated that the perception of crime on campus considerably outweighs actual crime. Safety on the UAB campus compares favorably to other universities, particularly regional institutions in or near urban settings, including peer universities like Tulane, Houston, Emory, Vanderbilt and Memphis.

    *Violent crimes against persons: Murder, Negligent Manslaughter, Sexual Offenses, Robbery, Aggravated Assault

    The full Safety Task Force report and action plan is posted on the UAB Emergency Management website. It addresses communication and education, facilities, safety services, specific student concerns, and other safety topics like pedestrian safety. Key recommendations in different phases of implementation — in place, in process, in planning stages or under feasibility review — include:

    • Permanently increase UABPD patrols by plain-clothed and uniformed officers
    • Update B-Alert emergency messaging protocol and tools to increase speed and accuracy
    • Improve parking structures to enhance safety
    • Launch a free, university-sponsored smartphone application, Rave Guardian
    • Increase transportation options through Blazer Express and Safety Escort Service
    • Improve communication protocols and expectations with external agencies like Crimestoppers
    • Expand communication and safety education for students and employees, and train additional UABPD officers to conduct safety education like Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Programs
    • Review campus facilities for potential expanded lockdown of UAB buildings
    • Work with community partners to improve campus lighting
    • Build a more robust on-campus surveillance camera network — now with more than 2,800 cameras on campus
    • Partner with appropriate stakeholders on neighborhood revitalization efforts
    • Revise communication protocols for incident management

    Specifics of many safety initiatives implemented — details of UABPD patrols, locations and operations of cameras — cannot be shared publicly for security reasons; but initiatives that can be shared will be included in communications to the UAB community.

    UAB Executive Director of UAB Emergency Management Randy Pewitt says this process does not end with this report and action plan, or with the initiatives implemented to date, and he hopes students, faculty and staff will be active in learning about what UAB and UABPD are doing, as well as what they themselves can do.

    “Awareness is vital to maintaining a safe campus, and we encourage the UAB community to share our responsibility for safety by taking full advantage of available resources,” Pewitt said. “Read the task force report, download the free RAVE Guardian safety app, call for on-campus safety escorts and use Blazer Express, take advantage of UABPD education and safety programs, and update your B-Alert emergency notification profile. If students, faculty and staff read their campus communications like the eReporter and Greenmail electronic newsletters, they can stay aware of important updates and resources.”

    Learn more at and

  • UAB names vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
    Dilworth will lead efforts to build upon UAB’s longstanding reputation as one of the most diverse college campuses in the nation.

    Paulette Patterson Dilworth, Ph.D., has been named the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s next vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion after a comprehensive needs assessment and national search.

    Dilworth has 38 years of experience in higher education diversity consulting and training, recruitment, retention, and teaching, and she comes to UAB from Auburn University, where she was assistant vice president for Access and Community Initiatives.

    UAB’s student, faculty and staff population represents more than 100 countries and is consistently ranked among the nation’s most diverse campuses. UAB President Ray L. Watts says diversity is a strategic institutional priority.

    “I look forward to what Dr. Dilworth will do to support diversity as one of our core values and strengths; it is a part of UAB’s very fabric and the guiding force behind our involvement in our community, throughout Alabama and around the globe,” Watts said. “We continue to recruit and retain outstanding students, faculty and staff because of our deeply embedded culture of diversity, equity and inclusion — we want to provide equal opportunities for everyone at UAB to thrive and excel.”

    As vice president, Dilworth will report to the president as a member of the senior administrative team. She will have enterprise-wide responsibility for facilitating strategic initiatives to promote diversity excellence as a fundamental institutional and educational value in campus culture, operations, business practices and programming. Dilworth will also nurture collaborative and engaging relationships with internal and external constituents to provide effective leadership in the coordination of diversity-related programs and initiatives, as well as work across the enterprise to optimize UAB’s decision-making capabilities and inspire the highest standards of performance.

    “This is an incredible opportunity to make a positive impact on diversity, equity and inclusion on a campus already well-known for those values,” Dilworth said. “I enjoyed my visits to campus and meeting the leadership team, as well as many students and employees, and I look forward to working closely with the UAB family to capitalize on the exciting momentum that has been building over many years.”

    The national search was led by a 19-member search committee made up of student, faculty, staff and community leaders and co-chaired by School of Medicine Associate Dean Mona Fouad, MD, professor of Preventive Medicine, and Collat School of Business Dean Eric Jack, Ph.D., Wells Fargo Endowed Chair in Business. Their time and dedication to this process yielded great results.

    “Dean Jack and I are excited to have a visionary like Dr. Dilworth join UAB and know she will be an asset to the leadership team and the Birmingham community,” Fouad said. “The search committee was pleased with the caliber of candidates we reviewed, and the process that took place before the search was invaluable.”

    As vice president, Dilworth will report to the president as a member of the senior administrative team. She will have enterprise-wide responsibility for facilitating strategic initiatives to promote diversity excellence as a fundamental institutional and educational value in campus culture, operations, business practices and programming.

    UAB conducted a comprehensive assessment of the roles and functions of the UAB Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion before the search began. The assessment involved faculty and staff representatives of groups and programs that advocate for diversity on campus, members of the Faculty Senate, undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, and senior leadership.

    UAB Chief Human Resources Officer Alesia Jones says it was important that all views were considered in laying the foundation to recruit a leader to this important role.

    “More than 100 stakeholders have participated in these discussions,” Jones said. “We have an amazing opportunity to continue to be a frontrunner in terms of diversity and inclusion, and we worked with the UAB community so the diverse needs of this growing campus can be met.”

    At Auburn, Dilworth remained active in professional, civic and higher-education organizations. She led the Access and Community Initiatives unit of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and provided leadership for staff engaged in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in areas including recruitment, retention and civic involvement. She also developed multicultural programs and services, built and strengthened partnerships on and off campus, and advanced academic support services for students.

    Dilworth has also served as an associate professor in the School of Education at Indiana University–Bloomington, where she was also co-director of Project TEAM, supporting underrepresented groups and first-generation college students in STEM disciplines. Prior to that, Dilworth was at Emory University for 12 years, where she was director of Minority Affairs. A Selma, Alabama, native, she started her career in higher education at Florida A&M University, where she earned an undergraduate degree in political science. Dilworth holds a Master of Art degree in educational research and a Ph.D. in educational studies from Emory University.

    When she begins work at UAB on Jan. 15, 2016, Dilworth will be the second person in the position created in 2003, with Louis Dale, Ph.D., having held the position with distinction since its inception and set to retire after 40 years at UAB.

    For more information on UAB’s Diversity Program, visit  

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