On October 1, 2013 the UAB Research Foundation became a part of the UAB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE). The IIE was approved by the UAB Board of Trustees in February 2013. The Research Foundation, which managed intellectual property created by the UAB community, will now have an expanded presence, and operate as the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The Institute will serve to create and foster an entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystem integrating the UABRF’s existing strengths and capabilities, enhancing and facilitating service and technology commercialization. The mission will include engagement of faculty in creating new classroom and experiential learning opportunities for students across campus, as well as, encourage and cultivate interdisciplinary scholarly research and publication among faculty and clinicians, and serve as the resource center for UAB as it continues to advance its role in innovation and entrepreneurship. The Institute will provide an entry point for industries seeking to collaborate with this world class university. Read more about the IIE.

 

In The News at UAB

  • UAB’s Quang Do named 2016 White House “Champion for Change”
    Do, a student leadership staffer, is among a group of 10 people selected from across the country as “White House Champions of Change for Asian-American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling.” He will travel to Washington, D.C., for a two-day visit May 4-5.

    The White House has chosen University of Alabama at Birmingham student leadership staffer Quang Do as a 2016 “Champion of Change” and will recognize him and nine other individuals Wednesday, May 4.

    Do is among a group of 10 people selected from across the country as “White House Champions of Change for Asian-American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling.” He will travel to Washington, D.C., for his two-day visit May 4-5. There he will attend an awards presentation at the White House, serve on panels during the day, and speak about his work at UAB, his art and spoken word, as well as meet with peers and students, and attend a gala where President Barack Obama will give the keynote. He will also likely get the opportunity to read one of his poems and maybe more.

    Do is coordinator of student leadership in the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership in the Division of Student Affairs, where he has worked with the Multicultural Greek Council, Black Student Awareness Committee, the Multicultural Council, International Mentors, and a host of other organizations and programs.

    As a spoken word poet, he has worked to empower AAPI youth and has extensive experience as a teaching artist facilitating writing/performance workshops using spoken word as a tool to help communities better understand the personal and cultural needs of the AAPI community. The themes of love, identity, oppression, compassion and humanity are all foundational to his poetry. Do is a multiple-time Grand Slam Champion of the Montevallo Poetry slam, TEDxBirmingham 2015 speaker and top finalist at the Southern Fried Regional Poetry Slam.

    Do graduated from UAB in 2012 with a degree in political science and an English creative writing minor. After graduation, he traveled to more than 100 colleges, high schools and conferences as a full-time touring and teaching artist.

    Do says he is driven to give a voice to the many Asian-Americans who have none. “The change happens through poetry and community building and having difficult conversations, something I feel that UAB really does push and wants to have," he said.

    When people ask him when he became a poet, he says “pretty much since I learned to speak English in grade school.”

    Do came to California with his family from Vietnam at the age of 3. When he was 13, the family moved to Alabama. As a child, he was the translator for his parents and had to bridge his understanding of the Vietnamese and American languages to help them understand.

    “In Vietnam, there was no true medical care, so when I got a diagnosis from the doctor my parents freaked out, even if it was just a cold,” Do said. “I may not have known the exact Vietnamese word for insurance deductible; but there are ways for me to pull other things I know from Vietnamese to tell my parents, ‘hey, this is something we have to pay.’”

    Do says he is driven to give a voice to the many Asian-Americans who have none. A lot of his work is focused on the model minority myth — the idea that Asian-Americans are the best of people of color, because they get good grades, do not get into trouble, work hard and are quiet.

    “A lot of our brothers and sisters do not have college access, have high dropout rates in high school, have language barriers and other obstacles keeping them from success,” Do said.

    He is passionate about his work at UAB, and his own work in poetry, because of the change he longs to make in the world.

    “The change happens through poetry and community building and having difficult conversations, something I feel that UAB really does push and wants to have — not just superficial conversations, but real conversations that change our community, regarding health disparities, economic disparities, education disparities," Do said. "The UAB community, when they see something, they are not only willing to do something about it, but at UAB the faculty and staff we have here really push students to do something, to think of things differently, to fix that problem.” Do blogs at  www.quangvdo.com and tweets under the handle @quangvdo.

    During Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May, the White House and White House Initiative on AAPIs are celebrating artists and advocates who have used unique channels and diverse platforms to tell powerful stories, increase awareness around key AAPI issues, and encourage diversity and inclusion in all sectors of society. These 10 individuals were selected for their leadership and tireless work to raise the visibility of diverse AAPI experiences and create dialogue around issues the community faces.

    The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. The event will be live-streamed on the White House website at www.whitehouse.gov/live at 3 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, May 4. Follow the conversation at #WHChamps.

    As part of AAPI Heritage Month, the White House is working with StoryCorps to share and document AAPI stories under #MyAAPIStory. To learn more, visit here.

     

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UAB Research News

  • First-of-its-kind driving simulator lab at UAB powered by donation from Honda Manufacturing of Alabama and ALDOT
    The facility will enable new distracted-driving research, addressing a major public health issue that is a leading cause of highway and traffic-related injuries and death.

    During Distracted Driving Awareness Month, UAB has opened the first SUV driving simulator laboratory in the world.

    In the development of this lab, UAB partnered with Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, which provided a full-bodied 2016 Honda Pilot built at their factory in Lincoln, Ala., to be retrofitted with state-of-the-art simulator technology funded by the Alabama Department of Transportation. The technology gives UAB researchers the opportunity to conduct important safety studies involving distracted driving practices.

    Representatives from Honda, ALDOT and Alabama’s Office of the Attorney General joined the UAB team to announce the new initiative at a grand opening this week.

    “Honda Manufacturing of Alabama is honored to partner with UAB in this important project, with the goal of saving lives by increasing awareness of distracted driving,” said HMA Vice President Mike Oatridge. “Honda is very pleased we could donate the most advanced Honda Pilot ever built in Alabama, which has a five-star crash safety rating and features Honda most advanced safety features including the full range of Honda Sensing technology.”

    The goal of this effort is to facilitate solutions and best practices in motor-vehicle-related safety and crash prevention, addressing the major public health problem of highway and traffic-related injuries and death. 

    “Data tell us that distracted driving is a factor in nearly 50 percent of car crashes, which translates to one million injury-producing crashes each year,” said Despina Stavrinos, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology in UAB’s College of Arts and Sciences and director of the UAB Translational Research for Injury Prevention Laboratory. “Ten percent of those crashes result in a fatality. Understanding which factors influence an individual’s likelihood to engage in distracted driving is essential to being able to purposefully address this growing problem. With this new simulator, we will be able to gain new information about how drivers participate in distracted behavior, giving us valuable insight that can increase the effectiveness of educational campaigns and improve driving safety.”

    The core of Stavrinos’ work is the prevention of injury, particularly unintentional injuries like those that result from distracted driving behaviors. She will lead her TRIP Lab in conducting studies with the new simulator.

    The first study, set to begin in a couple of weeks, will focus on teens and adults over 65, two of the most vulnerable populations when it comes to distracted driving.

    The simulator is intended to be available to researchers from all appropriate disciplines throughout UAB, other universities in the state, and even throughout the Southeast. In addition, non-university research scientists will be afforded access to the simulator and its associated support services.

    “UAB really thrives on investing in resources that are going to allow multidisciplinary research to take place,” said Richard Marchase, Ph.D., vice president for research and economic development at UAB. “With this new technology, which we are very thankful to Honda Manufacturing of Alabama and ALDOT for helping us create, we will be able to do just that and make this facility a destination for collaboration and innovation for researchers across campus and beyond. It will be a resource that I’m sure will be game-changing.”

    “Honda Manufacturing of Alabama is honored to partner with UAB in this important project, with the goal of saving lives by increasing awareness of distracted driving,” said HMA Vice President Mike Oatridge. “Honda is very pleased we could donate the most advanced Honda Pilot ever built in Alabama, which has a five-star crash safety rating and features Honda's most advanced safety features, including the full range of Honda Sensing technology.”

    Individuals interested in utilizing these resources or contributing should contact Stavrinos at dstavrin@uab.edu or (205) 934-7861. 

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