UAB Students Reimagine the Book
By Charles Buchanan
It seems that you can judge a book by its cover—if it’s one of the fanciful tomes created by students in UAB’s book arts course. You’re more likely to find these books in a gallery than on a bestseller list, however, because each volume is designed to be a unique work of art.
Students in UAB's book arts program create their own unique works from scratch, combining centuries-old techniques with cutting-edge designs. The work above was created by Brooke Lancaster.
“These pieces use the format of the book as an avenue for creative expression,” explains Doug Baulos, assistant professor of drawing and bookmaking in the UAB Department of Art and Art History. Each book’s structure, binding, paper, and printing are part of the art. “Content is not limited to words alone,” says Baulos, and in fact, some of the books contain no words at all.
Creating a book from scratch—and by hand—is a time-honored tradition. Centuries ago, it was the only way to make a book. Today, Baulos says, students from a variety of majors are eager to experiment with the techniques and materials that are part of the process. They also enjoy the challenge of seeing the book as an art form. “Sculpture students, for example, use the class to explore narrative, mass, and the book as object,” Baulos adds. “Graphic design majors use it as a professional practice course for layout, production, and so forth.”
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New Truths About Transfusions
By Tara Hulen
Blood transfusions are a vital part of modern medicine, but recent research shows that patients who receive fewer transfusions often fare better. These findings have spurred changes in the way blood is used at UAB Hospital.
Blood is known as the “gift of life,” but the present isn’t as welcome as scientists once thought. Research over the past decade has revealed that patients fare better when blood transfusions are kept to a minimum, a realization that has brought major changes in the way UAB and other medical centers across the country handle their blood.
When a patient gets a transfusion—to replace blood lost during surgery or after a car accident, for example—the blood the patient receives isn’t the same as the blood flowing through that patient’s own body, even if it’s the same blood type, says Marisa B. Marques, M.D., director of the Transfusion Service at UAB and co-chair of the UAB Blood Utilization and Management Committee. That is where the problems start.
The fluid we call blood actually includes many components, including red blood cells (which carry oxygen), plasma (the liquid portion that carries the red blood cells), and platelets (cell fragments that, among other things, cause blood to clot). Blood donated to the American Red Cross and other collection organizations is separated into these three components for storage. Each has its own use in a blood transfusion.
Because the original plasma that surrounded the red blood cells has been removed, “the red cells are re-suspended in a fluid to keep them ‘alive,’” Marques says. “What is becoming more and more clear is that as these cells sit in a bag in a blood bank for up to six weeks, a lot of things are happening inside.”
A Math Teacher’s Journey to the Classroom
By Shelley Stewart
Terri Hipps came back to UAB in 2009 to finish her degree in mathematical reasoning—more than two decades after she first started. Now a math teacher at Vincent Middle/High School, Hipps was honored as the Shelby County Board of Education's 2010 First-Year Teacher of the Year.
Terri Hipps has taught school for decades, but it’s only in the last few months that she’s started receiving a paycheck. After home-schooling her own children and tutoring dozens of others, Hipps came back to UAB to finish her degree in 2009—following a 21-year break. Her goal was to put her teaching skills to the test in public-school classrooms. She passed with flying colors: Hipps, who now teaches advanced math courses at Vincent Middle/High School outside Birmingham, was honored as the Shelby County Board of Education’s 2010 First-Year Teacher of the Year.
Teaching was never part of Terri Hipps’s life plan, but somehow it kept coming up. When she first started at UAB in the 1980s, she enrolled in the nursing program. One day a professor took her aside and advised her to consider teaching instead; he had seen how her fellow students improved after Hipps tutored them.
Hipps changed her major to mathematical reasoning, but before she could get her degree, she received a higher calling: As young newlyweds, she and her husband became intent on Christian missionary work. After completing intensive training, they were on the verge of moving to Micronesia, “and the only thing we knew is that we’d need to home-educate any future children because there were no schools where we were going,” Hipps explains.