UAB Magazine Online Features
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.
Meet the Face that Launched Gang Green
By Grant Martin
Jeremiah Haswell is larger than life. He has appeared on T-shirts, billboards, newspaper ads, and stadium scoreboards. With a six-inch green wig, Blazer logos on his cheeks, and a mouth frozen mid-shout, Haswell’s green-tinted visage has been the face of UAB athletics for years. Yet even though the two-time alumnus is a regular at Blazer sports events, few of his fellow fans recognize the icon in their midst—even if they’re wearing his face on their shirts.
Haswell’s spirit-filled image, as captured in a nine-year-old photograph, is the logo of Gang Green, the UAB student organization formed to support Blazer athletics. Haswell was a founding member of the group in 2001 and served as its third president in 2003, in between earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering from the university. Yet his most lasting contribution came, unbeknownst to him, when he was just another face in a packed Bartow Arena.
A Pianist Reaches Out
By Jo Lynn Orr
Artist-in-residence Yakov Kasman travels the world giving piano performances. Back in his office at UAB, he welcomes future performers and talented amateurs alike for personal instruction.
As a young artist, Yakov Kasman, D.M.A., faced many closed doors—which is why he works to open them for burgeoning musicians. Kasman, an associate professor of piano and artist-in-residence at UAB, is a tireless recruiter of students to a program that has steadily gained recognition both nationally and internationally (see slideshow below). He maintains a schedule of performances that takes him around the world, and he has instructed several rising stars in piano circles, but his students are often headed for careers far from the concert hall.
“I think every person has some sort of talent in classical music,” Kasman says. “The task of a teacher is to discover it, feed it, and help this talent to grow.”
Examining an Economic Expert
By Glenny Brock
Friedrich Hayek's warnings against the dangers of government intervention have won the late economist a new following. But Hayek's views are more complex than many of his fans realize, says UAB philosopher and economist Erik Angner.
Austrian economists are hot these days. In 2010, The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich A. Hayek, which was originally published in 1944, rocketed to the top of Amazon’s list of bestselling nonfiction books—propelled in part by praise from commentator Glenn Beck. Hayek’s warning against the dangers of government intervention has earned him renewed attention in recent years, but his ideology was far more nuanced than many of his fans may realize, says Erik Angner, Ph.D., UAB assistant professor of philosophy and economics, director of the UAB Center for Ethics and Values in the Sciences, and author of the book Hayek and Natural Law (2007: Routledge). Here, Angner offers a closer look at a man who is often described as one of the key economists of the 20th century.
Opposition to Intervention
Unlike many contemporary authors who write about Friedrich Hayek, UAB's Erik Angner (above), says he approaches his subject as a scholar rather than a proponent or critic.
Angner explains that contemporary conservatives like Hayek for his opposition to government intervention in the marketplace. They emphasize three main tenets of his philosophy:
1. Government intervention leads to increased debt and inflation, particularly when the government spends money it doesn’t have.
2. Economic control is, in effect, political control. For instance, monetary policy defined by a central banking authority represents government encroachment on overall freedom.
3. Individual freedom is a precondition for prosperity. “Hayek believed that the price system fulfilled a critical function in society, and the price system only works if people can choose freely what to buy and at what price” Angner explains. Consequently, Hayek opposed government monopolies and price ceilings or floors that limit consumer choice. Moreover, Hayek believed that interference with the price system could be the first step toward government intervention in other aspects of people’s lives.