February 2016 Newsletter
Dear UAB Community and Friends,
As UAB continues to enjoy a very productive spring semester, I wanted to share a few recent and upcoming events that underscore our excellence around campus and the recognition we are garnering around the nation and the globe.
This past Tuesday in Vancouver, British Columbia, Dr. Sarah Parcak (Anthropology) accepted the coveted TED Prize, which is awarded annually to a leading innovator or thought leader, and announced her TED “wish” as to how the $1 million award will be used. Dr. Parcak, a pioneer in the field of remote sensing, continues to discover thousands of ancient settlements, tombs and pyramids that had been lost to the ages, and is working to preserve and protect these historic sites for generations to come. We are very proud of Dr. Parcak and this well-deserved recognition of her work.
Just yesterday, the “Today” show on NBC featured a segment about a patient who recently received a rarely performed heart and lung transplant at UAB Hospital. This moving story brings home in very human terms the life-changing impact of our patient care, on this young woman and her family as well as patients from around our state, nation and world. It also speaks to the selflessness and generosity of organ donors.
Our impact in all areas of our mission is stronger than ever and I discussed some recent milestones in the UAB Institutional Presentation at our Board of Trustees meeting earlier this month. The meeting was held in our new Hill Student Center and was a great opportunity to showcase this world-class facility that is now at the heart of our vibrant student experience. I was delighted to be joined in the presentation by Marshall Scholar Ophelia Johnson, who spoke about her outstanding experience as a UAB undergraduate and graduate student in engineering. Dr. Alecia Gross, chair of the Faculty Senate, and USGA President Garrett Stephens also delivered remarks as representatives to the Board.
Also at that meeting, we advanced our plans for several key athletics facilities, including phases I and II of a football operations building and practice fields. We appreciate the strong support of the Board and our community in promoting excellence and competitiveness across all of our Athletics programs, which enabled Athletics to have an unprecedented fundraising year in 2015 with a record $5 million.
We are having another fantastic basketball season and I invite faculty and staff to participate in our next Blazer Family Day on Feb. 27, when our men’s team will take on Western Kentucky at Bartow Arena in the last home game of the season. After that, we look forward to hosting the Conference USA Basketball Championships for the second straight year on March 8-12, where we will highlight the talent of our men’s and women’s teams and the magic of Birmingham as a premier sports destination.
We are also looking forward to a rich springtime tradition on campus, the UAB Expo, which has been so successful that we’re expanding to two days this year: April 14-15. This event is always an impressive display of undergraduate innovation and imagination — typically featuring about 200 research, scholarship and creative projects from a range of disciplines — and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever.
So we have an exciting spring ahead with many opportunities and accomplishments to come. I look forward to seeing you around campus and out in our community.