New Chairs, New Faculty Join the College

This fall, we welcomed several new faculty members, a new chair for the Department of Sociology, and three interim chairs. We are proud to have all of them in leadership and academic positions and are excited to see what they accomplish at UAB.

This fall, we welcomed several new faculty members, a new chair for the Department of Sociology, and three interim chairs. We are proud to have all of them in leadership and academic positions and are excited to see what they accomplish at UAB.

Verna Keith Verna Keith Named Chair of Sociology

Dr. Verna Keith will begin her new position as chair of the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Sociology on January 1, 2018. Dr. Keith comes to UAB from the Department of Sociology in the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University, where she has been a professor and director of the Race and Ethnic Studies Institute (RESI). She received her B.S. in sociology in 1974 from the State College of Arkansas, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Kentucky in 1979 and 1982.

Dr. Keith has held an affiliated faculty position in the School of Public Health at the Texas A&M Health Science Center and was associate head of the Department of Sociology at Texas A&M. Prior to that, she was professor in the Department of Sociology and Center for Demography and Population Health at Florida State University; chair of the Department of Sociology at Arizona State University, and a research fellow in the Institute of Gerontology and in the School of Public Health, both at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Keith’s research interests include the social demography of health, particularly gender, race, and class disparities. In the interim, the department will be led by associate professor Dr. Patricia Drentea.

Jessica Dallow Jessica Dallow Named Interim Chair of Art and Art History

Dr. Jessica Dallow, associate professor in the Department of Art and Art History, has been named interim chair of the department for a two-year period.

Dr. Dallow received her B.A. in art history and criticism from the University of California, San Diego and then her M.A. and Ph.D. in art history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She joined the UAB Department of Art and Art History faculty as an assistant professor in 2002 and was promoted to associate professor in 2008. She has served as associate chair from 2007-2011 and again in 2015. She was also acting chair of the department in 2012, and directed the master’s program in art history from 2013-2015.

Dr. Dallow’s specializations are Modern and Contemporary American Art, African American Art, Animals in Art, and Human-Animal Relations. She teaches contemporary art history, modern architecture, art criticism and theory, race and representation, and American art to 1900, among other courses. In recent years, she has worked closely with her students to develop a digital archive documenting the history of Birmingham artists and arts workers.

Sylvie Mrug Dr. Sylvie Mrug Named Interim Chair of Psychology

Dr. Sylvie Mrug, professor in the Department of Psychology, has been named interim chair of the department.

Dr. Mrug has been at UAB since 2004, when she began a year-long internship in Child Clinical/Pediatric Psychology. Following that internship, she was hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology. She was named associate professor in 2010 and full professor in 2015. In addition, she serves as a center scientist in the Center for the Study of Community Health in the School of Public Health, a position she has held since 2008. She’s also affiliated with the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC), the UAB Center for Educational Accountability and the UAB Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Research Center.

Dr. Mrug is a native of the Czech Republic and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Charles University in Prague. She received additional master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology and Applied Statistics at Purdue University, before completing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Purdue in 2005.

Dr. Mrug’s work focuses on behavioral and emotional problems in adolescents and how young people’s exposure to violence and their relationship to their peers can influence the development of substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and anti-social behavior.

  • Letter from the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
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  • Finishing Strong

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  • New Chairs, New Faculty Join the College

    This fall, we welcomed several new faculty members, a new chair for the Department of Sociology, and three interim chairs. We are proud to have all of them in leadership and academic positions and are excited to see what they accomplish at UAB.

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  • Nine Departments Welcome New Faculty Members

    This fall, new faculty members join the Department of Communication Studies, the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Criminal Justice, the Department of English, the Department of Music, the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Social Work, the Department of Sociology, and the Department of Theatre.

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  • New Degrees, New Department Names

    At recent Board of Trustees meetings, two new degrees and two new department names were approved.

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  • New Building Groundbreaking

    Dean Palazzo, along with President Ray Watts and Provost Pam Benoit, joined several invited guests to celebrate the groundbreaking for our new arts and sciences academic building on Tuesday, September 19, 2017.

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  • Remarkable Generosity

    Donors establish five new endowments in the College—the most ever received in one year.

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  • Message from the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
    Right now is such an exciting time on campus, and not just because the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing. With the approval of our new Arts & Sciences building, scheduled to be open in Fall 2019, we are embarking on an exciting journey to construct a stunning space for our faculty and students.
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  • Senior Wins Gilman Scholarship
    Jane Murphy, a student in foreign languages with a concentration in French, has been awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad.
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  • Dean's Award Winners
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    Hriday Bhambhvani, a double major in mathematics and neuroscience, was named a finalist for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship
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  • Lamario Williams Wins Scholarship and Travel Award
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  • Students, Faculty and Alumni Win Big at 2017 ADDY Awards
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  • Public Relations Certificate First in State
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  • Dr. David Schwebel Receives Multiple Honors
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  • Dr. Christopher Lawson Named Chair of National Research Nonprofit
    Dr. Christopher Lawson, professor in the Department of Physics, has been elected board chair of a national nonprofit coalition.
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  • Dr. Sarah Parcak Launches TED Wish, Receives Additional Recognition
    Dr. Sarah Parcak, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, launches GlobalXplorer, a project funded by her $1 million 2016 TED Prize.
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  • Dr. Shahid Muhktar Receives Large NSF Grant
    Dr. Shahid Mukhtar, assistant professor in the Department of Biology, has been selected to receive a three-year $800,000 grant for his research from the National Science Foundation.
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  • Two Biology Faculty Members Elected as Fellows in American Association of Advancement of Science
    Department of Biology faculty members Dr. Charles Amsler, professor, and Dr. Steven Austad, distinguished professor and department chair, have been elected fellows of the American Association of the Advancement of Science.
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  • Psychology Professors Part of New Alabama Regional Autism Network
    Dr. Fred Biasini and Dr. Sarah O’Kelley, professors in the Department of Psychology, are part of a new Alabama regional autism network.
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  • Dr. Melissa Harris Receives Award from PanAmerican Society
    Dr. Melissa Harris, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology, has received the 2016 PanAmerican Society for Pigment Cell Research (PASPCR) Medrano Award.
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  • Dr. Margaret Johnson Awarded NIH Funding
    The Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded a five-year MIRA R35 grant to Dr. Margaret Johnson, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry.
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  • NSF Grant Funds New CyberCorps Scholarship Program
    After years of collaboration between the Departments of Criminal Justice and Computer Science, The National Science Foundation has awarded a $2.1 million Scholarship for Service grant to address cybersecurity challenges.
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  • One for the Books
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  • 2017 Ireland Prize for Scholarly Distinction Dr. Heith Copes, Department of Criminal Justice
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  • 2016 Alumni Awards
    Our 2016 Alumni Award winners represent another outstanding class of graduates who have made—and continue to make—a tremendous impact in their respective fields and in the larger community. This year’s winners graduated with degrees in Computer and Information Sciences, Political Science, History, Physics, and Public Administration, reflecting the breadth of scholarship and study in the College.
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  • Class Notes
    We want you to share your accomplishments! Update your alumni information.
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  • Write On
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