Dear UAB Students, Faculty, and Staff,
As we conclude an exciting and eventful spring semester, I want to highlight some of our most recent successes:
I echo President Watts in expressing my gratitude to those of you who exemplified what it meant to be a Blazer during the winter storm of 2014. It was heartwarming to witness our UAB family taking care of each other and the community during that stressful time.
We continue to recruit the best and brightest students to UAB, enhance our campus facilities, provide academic support services to enrich the student experience, and advance faculty excellence across campus.
Enriching the Student Experience
- 28 UAB students have been awarded national and international scholarships and fellowships for the 2013-2014 award cycle – an increase from 15 awards during 2012-2013.
- A record number of scholarship offers have been extended to students for fall 2014, and we have a record number of offers for students to participate in our Blazing Start program and our innovative joint admissions program with four Alabama community colleges.
- The University Academic Success Center saw students attending 3,924 Supplemental Instruction sessions in the month of March.
- The Undergraduate Research Expo had an all-time high in participation with 340 students presenting.
- Service Learning at UAB has had a tremendous semester. UAB students participated in the Clinton Global Initiative from March 21-23, 2014.
- UAB was also listed with distinction in the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll because our students completed nearly 180,000 community service hours.
- Students in UAB's TRIO program have been accepted with full scholarships to UAB’s joint MD/PhD program and to Duke University for the PhD in molecular biology program.
- A new director for the Office for Study Away has been appointed and will begin on May 12.
- You voted, and we listened. Canvas is UAB’s new learning management system. Integration is on track for faculty piloting Canvas this summer and full rollout in fall. View the Canvas Success Site for updates and helpful information. Join us on the Campus Green August 25 and 26, for fun, games, and prizes to learn more about Canvas.
- UAB is one of five research universities awarded a UTeach STEM teacher preparation program grant made possible by a $22.5 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. UTeach recruits and prepares students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to enter careers in secondary education by enabling them to earn both a degree in their major and a teaching certification without adding time or expense to their four-year degree program.
- A work of art in itself, the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts (AEIVA) opened its doors to the public on January 16, 2014. The AEIVA joins the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, William Hansell and Susan Mabry Hulsey Center for Arts and Humanities, and the National Alumni Society House in a burgeoning cultural arts corridor that is a tremendous asset for UAB, Birmingham, and the state of Alabama.
- Construction has begun on UAB’s new residence hall and student wellness center. The new U-shaped residence hall will consist of an eight-story tower and a four-story wing that will contain common space, a multipurpose meeting/event space for the residents of this facility and the Student Housing and Residence Life offices in addition to the student bed spaces. The New Student Health & Wellness Center is scheduled to open this summer.
- Look for new and exciting dining options coming this fall to Lister Hill Library and the UAB Dining Commons.
Advancing Faculty Excellence
We continue to attract the best individuals to lead UAB into the future:
- Dr. Kelly K. Nichols will begin in June as the next dean of the UAB School of Optometry.
- John M. Meador, Jr. will begin serving as inaugural dean of UAB Libraries effective August 5th.
- And two finalists for the Dean of the UAB Honors College will be visiting campus to present on The Future of Honors Colleges this week.
Our UAB faculty members continue to garner success in teaching, research, and service:
- Dr. Kieran Quinlan, professor of English has been named the winner of the 2014 Caroline P. and Charles W. Ireland Prize for Scholarly Distinction.
- The TEDx “Rediscover the Magic of Birmingham” conference this spring featured several UAB faculty and staff.
- Congratulations to our faculty members who were honored with the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching!
- Dr. Cynthia Ryan, associate professor of English, was honored with the Odessa Woolfolk Community Service Award for her extraordinary efforts to help the homeless receive cancer care.
- Drs. Lynda Wilson, David Schwebel, Nicole Riddle and Jamil Saad received the Provost's Award for Faculty Excellence in Academic Engagement and Global Citizenship.
- To both chronicle his journey and shine a light on a broken health care system, Dr. Michael Saag has released his first book, “Positive,” which chronicles Saag’s life on the front lines of the fight against HIV/AIDS.
- Dr. Doreen C. Harper, dean of the UAB School of Nursing, has been selected for a two-year appointment on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Special Medical Advisory Group.
And last, but certainly not least, we congratulate all of our students who have graduated! We are proud of you and wish you a bright and wonderful future!
We have accomplished much this semester, and I sincerely thank you all for your continued hard work and effort to make UAB the exceptional institution it is.
Wishing you a terrific summer,
Linda C. Lucas, Ph.D.