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Leading an Evolution

Coach Bill Clark Challenges the Blazers

By Cary EstesPhoto by Steve Wood

Among the items on display in the office of new UAB head football coach Bill Clark is a quote given to him by his father, longtime Alabama high-school coach Ragan Clark, who had received it from his own father: “What a man learns after he thinks he knows it all is what counts.”

Bill Clark says the quote sums up his attitude throughout his nearly 25-year coaching career. “We never arrive. We’re constantly trying to get better,” he says. “That’s the thing we’re trying to teach our guys. Keep learning. Keep evolving. Keep getting better.”

Animated gif of bubbling beer and steaming coffee

The Flavorful Science Behind Beer and Coffee

By Clair McLaffertyIllustration by Jessica Huffstutler

If you’ve never heard of zymurgy, you aren’t alone. But if you’ve ever tasted a beer, you’ve experienced it: Zymurgy is the science of fermentation. For Tracy Hamilton, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, zymurgy is also a passion—and the topic of lectures he presents around the country for the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Books of Summer article header

By Charles BuchananIllustrations by Ron Gamble

The firecracker-hot days of an Alabama summer provide the perfect encouragement to get lost in the cool, crisp pages of a good book. But with infinite shelves of reading material available, where do you begin? We asked faculty members in UAB’s Department of English for inspiration, and they shared a few of the titles that sparked their passion for literature.

0214 DestinationTransformation
By Matt Windsor • Illustrations by Ernie Eldredge

In June 2012, five years after she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, Lessley Hynson threw a party. The guest list included doctors, nurses, CT scan technicians—“anybody who had anything to do with my care,” says Hynson. She had beat heavy odds to make it so far; only 5 percent of patients with pancreatic cancer reach the five-year milestone.

“I’m aware of how few people survive, and it still surprises me all the time that I made it,” says Hynson, who credits UAB surgeon Martin Heslin, M.D.— and an experimental vaccine treatment she received at the Cancer Center— for her success. “I’m very blessed.” Hynson is already planning her 10-year bash, but she is also gearing up for an even bigger party “when the cancer cure is here.”

Hynson is doing all she can to hasten that day. “UAB has given me life,” she says. “The least I can do is give as much of my life and abilities back as I can.” In the past five years, she has helped raise around $150,000 for UAB pancreatic cancer research through the Robert E. Reed Gastrointestinal Oncology Research Foundation. “My goal is to raise enough money to fund one researcher every year,” Hynson says. She has had the chance to meet many scientists working at the Cancer Center, and their dedication “is overwhelming,” she says. “They are committed to finding a cure for cancer, and I think it is going to happen at UAB.”

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