UAB Magazine Weekly - Features on Courses and Programs
Preparing Students for a New Era in Genetic Counseling
By Gail Short
Ever since high school, Rachel Reese has wanted to be a genetic counselor. "I loved science, but I knew I didn't want to be in a lab all the time," she says. "I liked the challenge of having to be a knowledgeable health care provider and an empathetic listener who helps people make tough decisions."
Once she found her career match, Reese pursued it with a passion, majoring in biomedical science as an undergraduate while shadowing genetic counselors and working at a local crisis center.
A Field in Flux
The Memphis native knew there were no genetic counseling programs in her home state. Researching online, she heard "great things" about UAB's Genetic Counseling Program, including its interdisciplinary teaching philosophy and inclusion of career-building skills, such as courses in Spanish and phlebotomy.
The two-year program is based in the School of Health Professions and includes faculty from the School of Medicine and School of Education. Since it was launched in 2010, the program has attracted highly motivated students such as Reese from across the country, says interim director Christina Hurst, M.S., CGC. The program currently accepts six new students a year, which is comparable to class sizes of other programs across the country, Hurst says.
Job prospects are strong, Hurst adds—a fact U.S. News and World Report noted when it listed the profession among its "10 Hidden-Gem Careers for 2013 and Beyond." Medical advances are leading to an explosion of new genetic tests, along with a subsequent demand for professionals to interpret the complex results to patients—and to their physicians, who often don't have time to stay abreast of the latest advances in the field.
New Offerings in UAB's College of Arts and Sciences, 2013-2014
UAB College of Arts and Sciences are painting in burnt sienna for a hands-on lesson in Renaissance art techniques, seeking out the hidden connections among living organisms, and getting down in the weeds with three of the toughest texts in English literature.Sometimes, the best way to get to know a subject is to roll up your sleeves and get a little dirt under your nails. This fall, undergraduates in the
Learn more about these and other intriguing new course offerings—and get a preview of cool new classes scheduled to debut in spring 2014.
Italian Renaissance Art
Synopsis: Gain a deep understanding of one of the most pivotal eras in world culture.
Instructor: Noa Turel, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Art and Art History
This course takes a hands-on approach to art history, including a workshop on historic technique, on-site practice in analyzing artworks on display at the Birmingham Museum of Art, and detailed readings in primary sources. During the workshop in early October, Gary Chapman, professor of painting and drawing, taught students the art of gilding; Doug Baulos, assistant professor of drawing and bookmaking, demonstrated the use of ancient ground pigments such as burnt sienna and ultramarine blue.
By Susannah Felts
Technological advances in the last 10 to 15 years have given everyone greater power to manipulate music, from professionals in state-of-the-art studios to kids with laptops. But when those kids come to campus with visions of music industry glitz in their eyes, they often need help figuring out how to turn their hobby into a career.
|Scott Phillips's new book offers secrets to success for students and teachers of music technology.|
Now they can turn to Beyond Sound: The College and Career Guide in Music Technology, written by Scott L. Phillips, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the UAB Department of Music. (The book, published by Oxford University Press, is available at the UAB Bookstore, Amazon.com, and many other outlets.)
Written for students and teachers of music technology, Beyond Sound offers a comprehensive list of academic programs in the field. There are also chapters devoted to potential job paths for music technology graduates, and interviews with leading professionals working in recording studios, live sound engineering, film and TV, video gaming, and computer programming.
Phillips shared with UAB Magazine five key things students need to know and do to make their music technology expertise pay off. He points out that UAB’s unique music technology degree program, which he co-directs, is designed to reinforce each of these important ideas.
Foreign Language Learning Opens Doors At Home and Abroad
By Meghan Davis
From Spanish to Chinese to Arabic, UAB students are using their language skills to further diplomacy across the globe and to help businesses around the corner.
“Society is changing rapidly and drastically,” says Lourdes Sánchez-López, Ph.D., associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. “Students prepare furiously for a globalized job market that is open to anyone in the world. Often, the decisive factor for an employer is the multi-linguistic and multicultural qualifications of applicants.”
Many students are attracted to languages for reasons beyond their resumes, of course. “I first enrolled in Chinese class because I was interested in the character-based writing system,” says junior Devin Thorne. “Writing characters is like drawing for me.” Thorne is one of the six UAB students who have won the U.S. State Department’s prestigious Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) in the past three years.
Online Global Health Certificate Appeals to Professionals, Students
By Matt Windsor
From an apartment in central Asia, Birmingham ophthalmologist C. James McCollum, M.D., dialed home for assistance. “I was working in the area of childhood blindness,” says McCollum, a 1988 graduate of the UAB School of Medicine and current director of the emergency department at UAB’s Callahan Eye Hospital. But as he treated patients in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, McCollum realized something was missing.
“I have long been interested in working overseas,” he says. “I feel it is something God put on my heart at a young age. That desire shaped many of my educational choices, including the decision to study ophthalmology after medical school, but I had no background in public or global health.”
Looking for a “knowledge base, tools, and perspective that would help me better serve the people in those countries,” McCollum discovered the online certificate program in global health studies offered by the UAB School of Public Health. He enrolled in the 15-hour program while still working in Uzbekistan and completed his coursework after he returned to Birmingham.