UAB Research News

  • Community Engagement Institute links community leaders and academic researchers
    UAB’s Community Engagement Institute brings academic researchers and community leaders together to brainstorm ways to improve Birmingham, the region and the world.
    Written by Christina Crowe

    Keynote speaker Sampson Davis, M.D., tours the poster session.The second annual Community Engagement Institute enjoyed an overflow crowd for the daylong education and training event designed to benefit both community and academic partners.

    The event, held Oct. 2 at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, was organized by the University of Alabama at Birmingham Center for Clinical and Translational Science’s One Great Community Council and the UAB Center for the Study of Community Health’s Jefferson County Community Participation Board.

    Author and physician Sampson Davis, M.D., addressed the more than 250 individuals in attendance about the importance of family and community support in cultivating personal success. Davis returned to his hometown of Newark, New Jersey, after graduating from medical school where he and two of his high school friends — who also became doctors — started an organization called The Three Doctors. Their goal is to spread the word of health, education and youth mentoring, and become “the Michael Jordan of education,” so that learning becomes a glamorized trend throughout all communities.

    In the afternoon, Al Richmond, MSW, executive director, Community-Campus Partnerships for Health, shared some of what he has learned in his more than 25 years in a career that uniquely blends social work and public health to address racial and ethnic health disparities.

    “This event is setting the stage for enhanced community engagement, for learning about what people can do in their own communities, as well as displaying the diversity of resources available at UAB,” Richmond said.

    This year’s CEI event was free to the public, and attendance more than doubled from last year. Attendees represented members of more than 100 Greater Birmingham faith-based organizations, universities, government and nonprofit agencies, local and state health department representatives, community organizers, city and county officials, and representatives from the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency.

    The CEI’s breakout sessions touched on three topics: activism, advocacy and community organizing; structural racism and community health; and ways to fully involve communities in collaborative research.

    The CEI’s breakout sessions touched on three topics: activism, advocacy and community organizing; structural racism and community health; and ways to fully involve communities in collaborative research.

    New this year, the CEI poster session featured more than 30 posters on a diverse array of public health topics, including domestic violence and HIV awareness and prevention programs, and other projects dedicated to tackling tough local public health issues. Event attendees were encouraged to network and receive a directory of all attendees’ names to facilitate future collaborations.

    Max Michael, M.D., dean of the UAB School of Public Health, emphasized the importance of working to foster collaborations between higher education institutions and their larger communities.

    “The momentum for this event continues to grow,” Michael said, “and reflects the desire by our Greater Birmingham community members from a broad range of organizations to have a platform to engage in meaningful conversations about how we can improve our communities’ public health.”

    “We continue to be encouraged by the response to this important event, which highlights the deep knowledge, experience and talent in our communities,” said Shauntice Allen, Ph.D., director of One Great Community. “We plan to harness the momentum the CEI generates to work toward achieving, and maintaining, improved health outcomes for our community as a whole.”

    Videos of Davis’ and Richmond’s talks, as well as photos of the event, are available on the CEI website,

  • Loder-Jackson named associate editor of urban education research journal
    School of Education professor to serve as one of two associate editors for Journal of Urban Learning, Teaching, and Research.

    Tondra Loder-Jackson, Ph.D., associate professor in the UAB School of Education’s Department of Human Studies, has been named associate editor for the 2016 issue of the Journal of Urban Learning, Teaching, and Research.

    The journal is a publication of the American Educational Research Association’s Urban Learning, Teaching, and Research Special Interest Group. The AERA is a national research society that works to advance knowledge about education, encourage scholarly inquiry related to education, and promote the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Special-interest groups like Urban Learning, Teaching, and Research provide a forum within the AERA for the involvement of individuals drawn together by a common interest in a field of study, teaching or research.

    Loder-Jackson will serve as one of two associate editors for the journal. Her program of research is focused on topics related to urban education, Birmingham’s civil rights and education history, activism of educators from a historical perspective, life course perspectives on African-American education, and home, school and community relations.

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