UAB Magazine Weekly - Features on Campus Life
Behind the Scenes of BlazeRadio
By Caperton Gillett
UAB students are reaching a nationwide audience and gaining valuable experience as programmers and managers of the university's Internet radio station.
There’s a deejay booth sitting right behind a floor-to-ceiling panel of glass on a main artery in the Hill University Center, and yet most students don’t notice it until they tune in to BlazeRadio, UAB’s student-run online radio station. Each week, for several hours per day, students take to the airwaves—or, rather, the Internet—to send music, news, sports coverage, and conversation out to an audience that spans the country. Anything, that is, that “people can feed off of, that they can enjoy listening to,” says Ryan McLaughlin, junior broadcast major, deejay, and general manager of the station.
McLaughlin’s personal programming includes an eclectic mix of hip-hop music, banter, the occasional in-studio guest, and, on Wednesday evenings, a top-15 countdown show with two of his friends joining him behind the mic and call-in topics ranging from STDs to relationships to, in one case, old-school cartoon theme songs. The show is built on “the random thoughts you always have that you’ve never bothered to say,” McLaughlin says.
Tending a Student-Led Investment Fund in Tough Times
By Caperton Gillett
For a group of students in the UAB School of Business, the colors green and gold evoke something besides school spirit. That’s the result of some wise moves by the Green and Gold Fund, UAB’s student-managed investment portfolio, which continues to rise even in the midst of a recession.
“We’ve got a lot of cash right now, which is fun, because there are a lot of long-term opportunities—if you’re particular about what you purchase,” says Stephen Garrett, a finance student who is the chief investment officer on the fund. Garrett describes his role as “part of a team that manages a chunk of money around here.” In other words, he monitors the fund’s portfolio and works with the analysts and managers to maximize performance while keeping risk to a minimum.
Finance faculty started the fund in 2005 to provide students with career experience in the fast-paced world of investments long before graduation. In 2008, the fund won first place against 50 other undergraduate growth-style portfolios at the RISE (Redefining Investment Strategy Education) forum and national collegiate competition. Both CNBC and BusinessWeek magazine have spotlighted the team’s success.
In Step with Debora Kimberlin, M.D.
By Lisa C. Bailey
Dancer, doctor: After a full week treating patients at UAB, Debora Kimberlin often drives to Nashville for a weekend of dance lessons and competitions.
By day, Debora Kimberlin, M.D., helps high-risk obstetric patients at UAB navigate the difficult steps of challenging pregnancies. Most nights and weekends, she can be found moving smoothly through the steps of very different challenges—such as waltzes, fox-trots, and tangos.
Kimberlin says she fell in love with ballroom dancing the moment she tried it. In fact, she entered her first competition just six weeks after her first lesson. “I’ll never forget going to that first competition and seeing the beauty of the sport,” she says. “I was hooked.”
Ten-Minute Plays Test Theatre Skills
By Shannon Thomason
Trista Baker and Brenton Bellamy perform in "Darcie" from the 2009 Festival of Ten-Minute Plays. "Darcie" was written by Richard Taylor Campbell and directed by Mel Christian. Photo by Richard Taylor Campbell.
In playwright Lee Shackleford’s world, the script comes first. Before the actors audition or the props are selected, the script must be conceived, written, polished, and perfected.
Shackleford is the UAB Department of Theatre’s playwright-in-residence, and he teaches several scriptwriting classes at UAB. He also is the founder and director of UAB’s edgy, creative, and tremendously popular Festival of Ten-Minute Plays, now in its seventh year.
Each year the process begins in the spring semester, when Shackleford’s students learn the art and craft of writing super-short comedies and dramas. A 10-minute play, he explains, is not a skit or a scene; it must have everything that a longer play has—without the luxury of time.
The Creative Side of Medicine at UAB
Christina Cooley has always enjoyed the visual and tactile pleasures of painting. So when it came time to pursue a career, the young artist naturally chose . . . surgery. “My artistic side influenced my decision,” says the third-year student in the School of Medicine at UAB. “I love working with my hands and looking at things meticulously.” In turn, Cooley adds, immersion in the world of health care is influencing her art. “It has given me new themes—passion, life, and death—and mediums I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.”
Cooley isn’t alone in mixing medicine with the muse. In the slideshow below, meet the winners of the 2009 School of Medicine Art Show. And don’t forget to view part 1 of this story, an exploration of the possible origins of creativity.