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  • Hurst-Wajszczuk named new associate dean of UAB Honors College
    As Associate Dean, Dr. Hurst-Wajszczuk will help lead the teaching and engagement mission of the UAB Honors College and facilitate the recruitment and academic success of a diverse student body.

    Shannon L. Blanton, Ph.D., Dean of the UAB Honors College, announced today that after a university-wide search Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk, DMA, will be the new Associate Dean of the college. Dr. Hurst-Wajszczuk is an Associate Professor of Voice, and Director of Opera, in the Department of Music in the College of Arts and Sciences.

    As Associate Dean, Dr. Hurst-Wajszczuk will help lead the teaching and engagement mission of the UAB Honors College and facilitate the recruitment and academic success of a diverse student body. She will contribute to the intellectual life of the Honors College and the University as an active faculty member, continuing to teach and engage in scholarly activity through the Department of Music.

    Dr. Hurst-Wajszczuk received both Bachelor of Music in voice performance and a Master in Music in voice performance and pedagogy from Westminster Choir College of Rider University in 1991 and 1994, respectively. She went on to the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she completed her Doctor of Musical Arts in voice performance and pedagogy.

    As a soprano, Dr. Hurst-Wajszczuk is a specialist in the lute songs of John Dowland, and her solo CD of lute songs was released in 2008 by Centaur. In 2018, she gave the world, European, and Canadian premieres of Lori Laitman’s The Secret Exit, composed for her and clarinetist Denise Gainey. A CD is under negotiation and is forthcoming. She debuted with the Boulder Bach Festival in 2004, Alabama Symphony in 2011, and the Tuscaloosa Symphony in 2016. In demand as a clinician throughout the United States and Europe, she has been featured at several national and international conferences and presents regularly at many universities and colleges. She teaches applied voice to music majors, minors, and musical theater majors, and has served as stage director and musical director for UAB Opera, which has won three awards through the National Opera Association under her direction. She began serving as Coordinator of Voice in 2018, previously has taught honors courses with the Honors College, and served as a 2018-2019 Honors Faculty Fellow.

    “I am delighted that Dr. Hurst-Wajszczuk is joining our leadership team as the first associate dean for the UAB Honors College,” says Dean Shannon Blanton. “She has already made important contributions to Honors education as both a professor of honors courses and as an Honors Faculty Fellow. Her interdisciplinary research and teaching, as well as her compassion, thoughtfulness, and organizational skills, will be a true asset for the Honors College as we continue to support a rapidly growing number of outstanding students in their journey to achieve their academic and leadership goals.”

    Dr. Patrick Evans, Chair of the Department of Music, notes that Dr. Hurst-Wajszczuk "brings a great deal of artistic, pedagogical, and administrative experience to the role, as well as those qualities of heart and mind that make her such a student-centered professor. We are grateful she will still be teaching some voice students in the Department of Music during her tenure as Associate Dean, and look forward to supporting her in this new and exciting role in every way we can."

    “My teaching in the Honors College, its University Honors Program, and as an Honors Faculty Fellow has been deeply gratifying and has informed my work in the Department of Music,” says Dr. Hurst-Wajszczuk. “I’m looking forward to working with Dean Blanton and my colleagues in the Honors College, and am excited to join such a creative team. Both my department chair, Patrick Evans, and Honors colleagues have been very supportive, and for that I am very grateful.”

    Dr. Hurst-Wajszczuk will begin her new duties as Associate Dean on August 12, 2019.

  • The College to offer training for NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

    The UAB College of Arts and Sciences will offer a training session for students preparing an application to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). Training will occur on Thursday, Sept. 5, at 3:30 p.m. in Volker Hall Lecture Room B.

    The UAB College of Arts and Sciences will offer a training session for students preparing an application to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). Training will occur on Thursday, September 5, 2019, at 3:30 pm in Volker Hall Lecture Room B. We welcome anyone from across the UAB campus to attend.

    The NSF GRFP program offers up to three years of financial support to graduate students enrolled in a wide range of scientific fields. The program’s stipend is generous ($34,000 per year, plus up to $12,000 for “cost-of-education allowance,” including tuition), although the written application is short compared to many other grants and fellowships. Students may apply as undergraduates or in their first or second year of graduate school. There are various categories of students who are excluded from submitting, including international students and those who recently earned a master’s degree and are entering a Ph.D. program. Deadlines for submission are from October 21 to November 1, 2019, depending on the field of study.

    More information about the fellowship program solicitation is available at the National Science Foundation website.

  • Dr. Gregory Pence wins 2019 Ireland Prize for Scholarly Distinction
    Dr. Gregory Pence, Professor in the Department of Philosophy, has been named the 2019 winner of the Ireland Prize for Scholarly Distinction.

    Dr. Gregory Pence, Professor in the Department of Philosophy, has been named the 2019 winner of the Ireland Prize for Scholarly Distinction.

    Dr. Pence graduated with a B.A. from the College of William and Mary, then received his M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University, where he studied applied ethics with renowned ethicist Peter Singer. He joined the faculty at UAB in 1976 and has not only been instrumental in developing our bioethics program within the Department of Philosophy, but also taught, for three decades, a required bioethics course to all UAB School of Medicine students. Dr. Pence served as chair of the Department of Philosophy from 2012-2018.

    Now an acclaimed bioethics scholar, Dr. Pence's research and teaching interests include cloning and assisted reproduction. He also studies and teaches on other emerging issues in bioethics, including neuroethics, enhancement, the Ebola virus, and the Affordable Care Act.

    Within his field, Dr. Pence is best known for his best-selling Medical Ethics textbook, now in its eighth edition (2017). He's also widely known for his defense of humane biotechnology—such as cloning and genetically modified crops—a position that has often put him at odds with his peers in the scientific community. His ideas on biotechnology have garnered him significant public appearances and media engagement, including testifying before the U.S. Congress and the California State Senate against bills criminalizing cloning. He has published more than 70 opinion essays in publications such as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Wall Street Journal.

    In addition to his seminal textbook, Dr. Pence has also published two books that have been influential not only in the field of bioethics, but within our broader society: How to Build a Better Human: An Ethical Blueprint (2012), and What We Talk About When We Talk About Clone Club: Bioethics and Philosophy in "Orphan Black" (2016), which references the blockbuster BBC America television program that ran from 2013-2017. He's also given nearly a dozen endowed lectures on bioethics at universities across the U.S. as well as in Brazil, Switzerland, China, Norway, Israel, and England.

    As a UAB professor, Dr. Pence has won both the Ingalls and President's Teaching Awards; he also directs the Early Medical School Acceptance Program. Many of his students have won prestigious national scholarships and fellowships, including the Marshall and Fulbright; two students have won Rhodes Scholarships. More than 50 of his students have been awarded scholarships to medical school, and six have entered Harvard Medical School.

    In addition, for many years Dr. Pence coached the UAB Ethics Bowl Team, which won the national championship in 2010. He continues to coach the UAB Bioethics Bowl Team, which won national championships in 2011, 2016 and again in April of this year.

    Congratulations to Dr. Pence on this achievement.

    The Ireland Prize

    Charles W. Ireland and his wife Caroline P. Ireland established The Caroline P. and Charles W. Ireland Endowment for Scholarly Distinction, which today funds two annual Ireland prizes. The Ireland Distinguished Visiting Scholar Award is given to a distinguished intellectual outside of the UAB academic community whose work is groundbreaking and transformational in his or her field. While on campus, honorees give a public lecture and share their knowledge through informal meetings with students and members of the faculty.
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