UAB alumnus and Birmingham native Ray L. Watts, M.D., has been named the next dean of the School of Medicine and senior vice president for medicine at UAB. Watts, an internationally renowned leader in Parkinson’s disease research and care, is currently the chair of the UAB Department of Neurology and president of the UA Health Services Foundation. He graduated from UAB with an engineering degree in 1976 and earned his medical degree from the Washington University School of Medicine in 1980. “In today’s environment, medical schools must prepare tomorrow’s physicians for many challenges while also supporting their faculty in sustaining excellence in patient care and research,” says UAB President Carol Garrison, Ph.D. “Dr. Watts has consistently demonstrated superior leadership in the academic, executive, clinical, and scientific realms.”
On July 1, the UAB College of Arts and Sciences welcomed its first permanent dean after a national search. Thomas DiLorenzo, Ph.D., was formerly chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Delaware. “We found in Thomas DiLorenzo the right mix of experience and expertise, as well as a strong commitment to interdisciplinary education, a passion for learning and discovery, and a demonstrated ability to bring together diverse groups to further advance UAB’s vision to be a world-renowned research university and a first choice for education,” says UAB Provost Eli Capilouto, D.M.D., Sc.D., M.P.H. DiLorenzo earned his doctoral degree in clinical psychology in 1984 from West Virginia University. His research interests focus on health psychology with an emphasis on addictive behaviors, particularly tobacco use.
For his work on the history of labor, UAB professor of history Colin J. Davis, Ph.D., has earned the 2010 Caroline P. and Charles W. Ireland Prize for Scholarly Distinction. Davis has written several books on comparative labor history and U.S. labor history, including studies of dockworkers and railroad shopmen. His recent research has focused on the experiences of North Atlantic fishermen from 1960 to 1974.
Chemistry professor Charles L. Watkins, Ph.D., has been at UAB since the beginning. In his 40-year UAB career, Watkins has instructed tens of thousands of students, served as associate dean of the former School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics for 10 years, and spent another decade as a member of the University Honors Council. That legacy of service was honored with the 2010 Ellen Gregg Ingalls/UAB National Alumni Society Award for Lifetime Achievement in Teaching. The award, given annually to a full-time, regular UAB faculty member, is considered the highest annual prize for teaching presented by the university.