UAB Concert Choir Set for European Competition, Tour July 5-28

On Thursday, July 3, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Music will present the UAB Concert Choir in a bon voyage concert as the choir heads to Riga, Latvia, to represent the United States in the “Olympics of choirs,” the Interkultur Eighth World Choir Games from July 5-15.
On Thursday, July 3, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Music will present the UAB Concert Choir in a bon voyage concert as the choir heads to Riga, Latvia, to represent the United States in the “Olympics of choirs,” the Interkultur Eighth World Choir Games from July 5-15.

The Concert Choir, conducted by Brian Kittredge, DMA, will perform at 7 p.m. at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. The choir will perform all of the music selected for the competition performance, including works by composers Mendelssohn, Burchard, Hogan, Dawson, Gretchaninoff, Mawby and more. Admission is free. Call 205-934-7376 or visit www.uab.edu/music.
  • Remembering Professor Marlene Johnson

    It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Professor Marlene Johnson on November 2, 2020. After teaching in the UAB Department of Theatre for 14 years, Prof. Johnson will be remembered as a dedicated educator, a generous colleague, and an inspired artist. She is survived by her husband Edwin Booth and sister Myrna Johnson Moehring.

    It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Professor Marlene Johnson on November 2, 2020. After teaching in the UAB Department of Theatre for 14 years, Prof. Johnson will be remembered as a dedicated educator, a generous colleague, and an inspired artist. She is survived by her husband Edwin Booth and sister Myrna Johnson Moehring.

    Prof. Johnson received her MFA in Voice Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University before joining the UAB Department of Theatre in 2006. She was a master teacher of the Alexander Technique and taught courses in voice, movement, dialects, and acting.

    Prof. Johnson received extensive training over the years to perfect her craft, including with the Professional Voice Trainers Intensive at the National Theatre in London with Patsy Rodenburg; at the American Repertory Theatre with Bonnie Raphael; at the Canadian National Voice Intensive with David Smukler and Judith Koltai; and at Shakespeare and Company with Kristin Linklater. Prof. Johnson was honored by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival as a 2011 National Teaching Artist and by Region IV of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival as a Regional Teaching Artist. She was a frequent presenter for VASTA, ATHE, ATI, KCACTF, and SETC and taught or presented workshops in Glasgow, Madrid, Mexico City, Vancouver, Herefordshire, Serbia, and London where she taught a summer class in Acting Shakespeare at the University of Westminster in 2005. She served on the Board of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association and served as Chair of the SETC Voice and Speech Committee. She was the vocal coach for more than 100 productions at venues such as the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, the Alliance Theatre, Theatre Virginia, PA Stage Company, Theatre Outlet, the University of Minnesota, and the University of West Georgia.

    Everyone who knew her will miss her smile, her laugh, and her wit; she was truly one of a kind. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an orphan elephant rescue and wildlife rehabilitation program in Kenya.

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  • Winners of the 2020-2021 “Building a Multicultural Curriculum” grants

    Congratulations to the winning proposals for the 2020-2021 academic year.

    This fall, all tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure-earning College of Arts and Sciences faculty were invited to submit proposals for a new grant titled, “Building a Multicultural Curriculum.” The goal of these awards is to support faculty in developing new courses or revising existing classes in order to expand the College’s offerings that will support students’ diversity awareness and build their multicultural competence.

    Congratulations to the winning proposals for the 2020-2021 academic year.

    • Dr. Erin Borry, Department of Political Science and Public Administration: “Isms in Public Administration”
    • Dr. Olivio J. Clay, Department of Psychology: “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Research and the Workplace”
    • Prof. Michele Forman, Department of History: “Our Histories: Documentary Film and Public History in Birmingham”
    • Dr. Reginald Jackson, Department of Music: “African American Music from 1619-Present”
    • Dr. Dione Moultrie King, Department of Social Work: “The Health and Well-being of Black Americans: A Social Work Approach”
    • Dr. Angela Lewis-Maddox, Department of Political Science and Public Administration: “Social Justice and Pop Culture”
    • Dr. Samiksha Raut, Department of Biology: “Building a Multicultural Curriculum”
    • Prof. Ana Maria Santiago, Department of English: “Themes in Lit with a Latina-o-x American Identity Focus”

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  • College names new Executive Director for Business Operations

    Kimberly Hazelwood has accepted the position of Executive Director for Business Operations and will start in August 2020.

    Kimberly Hazelwood has accepted the position of Executive Director for Business Operations and will start in August 2020.

    Kim comes to the College of Arts and Sciences from the School of Engineering, where she has been the Director of Administration and Fiscal Affairs since March 2015. In that role, she has provided oversight for all of the school’s administrative operations including finance, research administration, human resources, information technology, safety, and facilities management in coordination with school leadership. In addition, she has been responsible for financial analysis, budgeting, and forecasting; oversees finance and research administration staff in pre- and post-award sponsored research management; served as the human resources officer, including recruitment, onboarding, termination, promotion and tenure; has been responsible for space and facilities management, including physical security, safety, renovation and planning for capital construction; and has ensured compliance with University policies and procedures.

    Kim has had a long and successful UAB career. Before her current role, she was a projects analyst for the Associate Provost for Student and Faculty Success, was a business officer in the School of Engineering, and was a data collections coordinator and then financial officer in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the School of Medicine.

    She graduated with honors with a degree in biology from the University of North Alabama in 2000 and received her MBA from UAB in 2005.

    She serves on a number of committees within UAB, including the RCM Task Force, and is a graduate of Blaze Leadership Academy. She’s also active in service in her home community.

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  • Celebrating 20 years of the UAB African American Studies Program

    The program was approved as a degree-granting program by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education on April 28, 2000.

    By Kathryn Morgan, Ph.D., Professor of Criminal Justice and Director of the African American Studies Program

    The UAB African American Studies Program will celebrate its 20th anniversary on April 28, 2020. The program was approved as a degree-granting program by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education on April 28, 2000.

    At the time of its inception, the UAB African American Studies Program was the only one of its kind in the Southeast and is still only one of two degree-granting African American Studies (AAS) programs in Alabama. In the 1970s, Dr. Horace Huntley taught the first Black History courses at UAB, and in the 1990s, Dr. Virginia Whatley Smith worked diligently to implement the first organized African American Studies Program. When it was approved as a program on April 28, 2000, Smith was appointed as the first Director.

    Coker AdeniyiAfter Smith left the University, Dr. Niyi Coker, associate professor of Theater, was named program director. Under Coker’s leadership, the program grew in size and visibility. During his tenure as director, he explored the possibility of a shared AAS program with the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa.

    When Coker left in 2005 to accept a Distinguished Professorship at the University of Missouri, Dr. Dellita Ogunsula became interim director and continued to pursue this endeavor. Leaders of both the UAB and UA African American Studies programs envisioned that a shared program would be advantageous to the University of Alabama System. The vision of the program was to implement a unique shared course of study that led to the completion of a Bachelor of Arts degree in African American Studies at both universities. In 2009, the joint UAB-UA program was approved by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE). After meeting several post-implementation conditions, the shared program was re-accredited by ACHE in 2014-2015.

    Dellita OgunsulaSince 2005, Dr. Dellita Ogunsula, Dr. Jacqueline Wood, and Dr. George Munchus served as interim program directors and made significant contributions to the advancement of the program. Dr. Kay Morgan was appointed as program director in 2013.

    After graduating its first student, Angela Craig, with a BA in AAS in 2001, the AAS program has established itself as a program committed to producing scholars and citizens who are equipped to effectively, critically, and actively engage the world and create positive change. Graduates of the program today reflect the remarkable opportunities afforded by completing a BA in African American Studies. Program graduates have gone on to excel in careers in many fields including social and behavioral sciences, medicine, education, and engineering.

    Twenty years after its launch, the UAB African American Studies Program continues to walk in the spirit of the black intellectual tradition. Dedicated to the critical study of the lived experiences, culture, and history of people in Africa and the African diaspora, it offers a major and minor, and students are able to choose from one of three areas of interest: Global Public Health and Social Justice, Historical Investigation and Social Awareness, and History and Culture of Afro-Caribbean and Latino People.

    Kathryn MorganThe AAS program, while focusing on the experience of African-descended people in the United States, has also provided a critical understanding of the cultural, historical, and social value and experiences of people of African descent across the African diaspora. Unlike other programs, the program’s focus is anchored in, but not limited to, history and the social and behavioral sciences. Students in this program receive a well-rounded, coherent body of knowledge that expands their fields of knowledge by including courses in public health, music, literature, and language. Students in the program develop their critical thinking skills and enhance their reading, writing, and public speaking skills, allowing them to engage in critical discourse concerning people of African descent. Students in the program are better prepared to enter various fields such as medicine, education, law, non-profit sector, arts, and public health because of their interdisciplinary training. And the AAS program’s location in Alabama, which holds a significant place in American history, underscores the importance of its presence in and contribution to the University.

    This fall, the program hopes to host several celebrations to honor the students, faculty, and staff who have helped the program develop and thrive at UAB.

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  • College Advisors Win UAB Advising Awards

    Congratulations to UAB Advising Award winners Deborah Littleton, College of Arts and Sciences Director of Advising and advisor for Criminal Justice majors; and Whitney Woodard, who advises all our Neuroscience and International Studies majors.

    Two advisors in the College of Arts and Sciences have received UAB Advising Awards for 2020. Congratulations to Deborah Littleton, College of Arts and Sciences Director of Advising and advisor for Criminal Justice majors; and Whitney Woodard, who advises all our Neuroscience and International Studies majors. Both exemplify dedication, effectiveness, and thoughtfulness: the trademarks of all our College advisors.

    Indirectly, these awards also honor the work that our advising team does every day under Deborah’s leadership. Our College of Arts and Sciences advisors support our students and departments with compassion, integrity, and a positive attitude. They play an essential and critical role in our College of Arts and Sciences graduation and retention efforts.

    Both Deborah and Whitney will be recognized on April 13 along with other UAB winners. They will advance to the National Academic Advising Association’s award competition.

    Congratulations, Deborah and Whitney!

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  • Michel de Montaigne Endowed Prize in the History of Ideas

    In honor of the 16th-century French essayist Michel de Montaigne and the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Catherine Danielou, Senior Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and recipient of the UAB Frederick W. Conner Prize in the History of Ideas, has established the Michel de Montaigne Endowed Prize in the History of Ideas.

    In honor of the 16th-century French essayist Michel de Montaigne and the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Catherine Danielou, Senior Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and recipient of the UAB Frederick W. Conner Prize in the History of Ideas, has established the Michel de Montaigne Endowed Prize in the History of Ideas.

    Eligibility

    To be eligible, a person must currently hold a full-time faculty appointment at UAB, as defined by the UAB Faculty Handbook.

    A nomination package should consist of an essay and the faculty member's curriculum vitae. Additional guidelines are below. This information should be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on January 15, 2020, to Veronica Speight (HHB 560, 4-5238, vspeight@uab.edu). Questions can be directed to thecollege@uab.edu.

    Additional Guidelines

    • The Montaigne Prize will be a cash prize and award, awarded for a scholarly essay in the history of ideas written by any member of the University’s faculty. The winning essay will make a unique contribution to the history of thought and culture. The term "history of ideas" is to be interpreted liberally, encompassing a broad range of interdisciplinary concerns, including those at the intersection of cultural and intellectual history.
    • The Montaigne Prize will be awarded by the College of Arts and Sciences. An individual may receive the award only once in any three-year period.
    • All submissions will be blind. Any unpublished essay may be submitted. Pending publication essays may be submitted but should appear in print the calendar year of submission. All entries should be submitted in a form that is suitable for publication and in English.
    • Entries will be reviewed anonymously by a committee panel of judge-scholars, on which former winners may be asked to serve by the College. No panel judge is allowed to submit an entry the year they serve on the panel.
    • The author's name should not appear anywhere in the essay, and each submission must be accompanied by a cover sheet identifying the author.
    • The winner will be recognized by the College of Arts and Sciences and he/she may be asked to give a presentation, which will be open to the public. The College also may provide a plaque should funds be available from endowment earnings or other sources.
    • The Prize will be awarded provided that three or more entries are received. If fewer than three entries are submitted, the Prize is to be awarded the following year.

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  • 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.

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  • Nominations open for 2019 Ireland Award for Scholarly Distinction

    Annual prize awarded to College of Arts and Sciences Faculty.

    The Ireland Prize for Scholarly Distinction will be presented at a reception to be held in the Fall of 2019. Candidates for this award must be a full-time, regular College of Arts and Sciences faculty member who has (1) demonstrated notable achievements in their field of the arts and sciences, (2) gained national and/or international recognition of peers, and (3) demonstrated talents that contribute to the elevation of the arts and sciences at UAB and in the Birmingham community.

    Nominations for this award are solicited each year with a faculty committee choosing the winner. A letter of nomination and a current vitae of the nominee should be included. The prize carries a cash award. The funds for this award are provided by an endowment established by Caroline P. Ireland and the late Charles W. Ireland for the purpose of recognizing, rewarding, and encouraging scholarly distinction in the arts and sciences.

    Please submit your nominations or requests for additional information to Dr. Catherine Danielou (danielou@uab.edu) in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Dean’s Office, Heritage Hall 560. The deadline for receipt of nominations is Friday, April 12, 2019. 

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  • 2019 NSF CAREER Award Training

    The UAB College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to again offer campus-wide training to junior faculty planning to apply for a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award.

    The UAB College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to again offer campus-wide training to junior faculty planning to apply for a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award. The NSF awards CAREER research grants to new faculty at universities who are at the rank of Assistant Professor (or equivalent) in any of the broad science and social science disciplines that are eligible for NSF grants.

    Training will be led by NSF CAREER awardee Dr. Eugenia Kharlampieva (Department of Chemistry), with support from current and previous awardees in multiple College of Arts and Sciences departments. The two-session training program will walk applicants through the process of applying for and winning prestigious CAREER Awards from the NSF. All UAB faculty members are invited to attend.

    Sessions will be held in Heritage Hall Room 500 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on April 5 and 19. The second session builds off knowledge from the first, so attendance at both sessions is recommended. Lunch will be provided.

    To assist with catering plans, please RSVP your intention to attend by Wednesday, March 25 to Veronica Speight at vspeight@uab.edu.

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  • Employees recognized at 2018 UAB Service Awards

    Twenty-six College of Arts and Sciences employees who have worked at UAB for 20 years or more were recognized at the annual UAB Service Awards Reception on March 1, 2019.

    Dr. Harriet Amos DossTwenty-six College of Arts and Sciences employees who have worked at UAB for 20 years or more were recognized at the annual UAB Service Awards Reception on March 1, 2019. These dedicated colleagues were honored for their number of years of employment at UAB as of December 31, 2018.

    The UAB Service Awards are given to active employees beginning at five years of employment and at each five-year milestone. Employees who reach 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45 years of service are presented with a service award pin, certificate, and a gift of gratitude.

    This year, Dr. Harriet Amos Doss, associate professor in the Department of History, was honored for her 40 years of service to UAB. We congratulate her and all of our colleagues for their hard work and commitment.

    20
    Kelly Allison, Theatre
    Dr. Todd Devore, Physics
    Dr. Cassandra Ellis, English
    Mary Pamela (Pam) Gore, Psychology
    Christopher S. (Kip) Hubbard, Advising
    Dr. Bruce T. McComiskey, English
    Staci Bishop McKay, Psychology
    Dr. James Larry Powell, Communication Studies
    Dr. Jeffery (Jeff) Warren Reynolds, Music
    Dr. Cynthia Ryan, English
    Susan Brooke Thompson, Dean's Office/Grants
    Dr. Trygve Tollefsbol, Biology

    25
    Dr. David Basilico, English
    Amy W. Evans, Dean's Office/Administration
    Dr. Wendy Gunther-Canada, Political Science and Public Administration
    Dr. Christopher M. Lawson, Physics
    Deborah W. Littleton, Advising
    Dr. Sergey B. Mirov, Physics
    Dr. Eduardo De Castro Neiva, Jr. Communication Studies
    Dr. Carlos L. Orihuela, Foreign Languages and Literatures
    Dr. Mary B. Whall, Philosophy
    Dr. Thane Wibbels, Biology

    30
    Dr. Jonathan H. Amsbary, Communication Studies
    Dr. R. Douglas (Doug) Watson, Biology

    35
    Dr. Gary Gray, Chemistry

    40
    Dr. Harriet E. Amos Doss, History

    Amy W. Evans Kip Hubbard and Deborah Littleton

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  • 2019 Winners of College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching Announced

    Established in 2018, the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes full-time regular faculty members of College of Arts and Sciences who have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments in teaching.

    Established in 2018, the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes full-time regular faculty members of College of Arts and Sciences who have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments in teaching. The individual must have held faculty status at UAB for a minimum of three years and may receive the award only once in any three-year period. Winners were selected by the CAS President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Committee from three groupings of the College's academic departments:

    • Arts and Humanities – Art and Art History, Music, Theatre, Communication Studies, English, Foreign Languages, History and Philosophy
    • Natural Sciences and Mathematics – Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics and Mathematics
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences – African American Studies, Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Political Science and Public Administration, Psychology, Social Work and Sociology

    Winners were selected for their outstanding accomplishments in teaching as demonstrated by broad and thorough knowledge of the subject area; ability to convey difficult concepts; fairness, open-mindedness and accessibility to students; ability to inspire and mentor students; effective use of innovative teaching methods, promotion of ethical and professional values; modeling service and scholarly activities; and more.

    The three winners will be honored at a reception at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts on March 5 and will be considered for the final College of Arts and Sciences nominee for the President’s Award of Excellence in Teaching.

    From the Arts and Humanities, Dr. DeReef Jamison, Associate Professor in the African American Studies Program

    Dr. Jamison explores the connections between Africana intellectual history and social science, particularly the notion of cultural consciousness. In his teaching, Dr. Jamison encourages students to think critically about the world in which they live. As he says in his faculty bio, he seeks to follow the model set by pioneering African American Studies scholars who stressed academic excellence, social responsibility, and social change.

    Dr. Jamison received his bachelor's degree in psychology from Bowie State University, his master's in community psychology from Florida A&M University, and his doctorate from Temple University in African American Studies.

    One of his student nominators said, "Dr. Jamison's classroom is unlike any other educational space. His remarkable teaching style remains a highlight of my education at UAB. He also takes a careful interest in each student and is available to expound on class assignments and topics or just sit and listen to the fanciful ideas of aspiring scholars. It was Dr. Jamison’s encouragement that persuaded me to apply to be an intern at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and his love of and commitment to his research and publications emboldened me to pursue graduate school."

    From the Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Dr. Karolina Mukhtar, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology

    Dr. Mukhtar graduated with a joint B.S./M.Sc. in biology from the University of Szczecin, Poland. She received her Ph.D. in genetics from the Max-Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Germany, and completed her post-doc in plant immunity from Duke University.

    Her research focuses on various aspects of plant-microbe interactions using genetic and biochemical approaches. Specifically, she explores the interface between the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and several of its pathogens, including both fungi and bacteria. She is a committed teacher at all levels, including K-12, and was named one of the 11 inaugural UAB Faculty Fellows in Service Learning.

    She has created innovative teaching methods and is committed to developing instructional strategies for students with various learning disabilities. In Spring 2015, she was named Outstanding Faculty Mentor by the Office of Disability Support Services.

    One of Dr. Mukhtar's student nominators said, "Dr. Mukhtar's engaging lectures, clear explanations, and presentation of the field's newest discoveries combined to make my undergraduate Plant Biology class the best lecture-based course I have ever experienced. Later, when I was one of her Supplemental Instruction Leaders, she always made sure I had everything I needed to do my job well and made time to explain the concepts so I could better serve the students. I was able to see how she adapted her plans based on the needs of the students. She consistently looks for ways to improve her teaching methods to ensure her students gain a deeper understanding of genetics."

    From the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Erin Borry, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration

    Dr. Borry's research focuses on bureaucratic structure, employee minority status, and employee willingness to bend rules and perceptions of red tape. She has also published work on governmental transparency and government websites.

    Dr. Borry received her bachelor's degree and master's in public administration from Rutgers University and her doctorate from the University of Kansas. She currently serves as the digital media editor for the journal Public Integrity and as a board member for two sections within the American Society for Public Administration. She is also a research fellow with the Center for Organization Research and Design (CORD) at Arizona State University and is an affiliated researcher with the Local Government Workplaces Initiative (LGWI) at the University of North Carolina.

    Some of her most recent courses include Human Resources Management, Intergovernmental Relations, Open Government, and Scope of Public Administration.

    One of her nominators wrote, "Dr. Borry’s teaching influences my daily leadership. As an executive director of a local non-profit, I frequently rely on the concepts Dr. Borry demonstrated in the Human Resource Management class. When I took her class, I had limited experience managing employees. She had the challenging task of conveying a topic with which most of us had no experience, and she did so brilliantly. I’ve heard that alumni success raises the caliber of academic programs. However, alumni would not be successful without relevant, engaging, and high-caliber teaching. Dr. Erin Borry provides the academic foundation for me and my fellow alumni to succeed."

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  • Dr. Jill Clements named first-ever winner of the Michel de Montaigne Endowed Prize in the History of Ideas

    Jill Clements, Ph.D., has been named as the recipient of the first Michel de Montaigne Endowed Prize in the History of Ideas.

    Jill Clements, Ph.D., has been named as the recipient of the first Michel de Montaigne Endowed Prize in the History of Ideas.

    Established by Dr. Catherine Danielou, Senior Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, the prize honors the 16th-century French philosopher who is credited with developing the essay as a literary form. Candidates for the award had to hold a full-time appointment at UAB and provide a scholarly essay in the history of ideas that made a unique contribution to the history of thought and culture. Clements was selected by a committee of senior faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences for her essay, "Sudden Death in Early Medieval England and the Anglo-Saxon Fortunes of Men."

    Clements will receive a $1,000 award and will be honored at the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Book Reception on March 5.

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  • New ‘History of Ideas’ prize encourages essay submissions through Jan. 6

    Catherine Daniélou, Ph.D., senior associate dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs, has established the Michel de Montaigne Endowed Prize in the History of Ideas.

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  • Biology faculty receive NSF grant to increase minority representation in STEM

    Underrepresented minorities make up about 30% of the U.S. population but only 5% of U.S. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) doctorates.

    Biology faculty Sami Raut and Jeff Morris. Underrepresented minorities make up about 30% of the U.S. population but only 5% of U.S. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) doctorates. UAB Department of Biology assistant professors Sami Raut, Ph.D., and Jeff Morris, Ph.D., along with Co-PIs Jeff Olimpo, Ph.D. (University of Texas at El Paso), and Trent Sutton, Ph.D. (University of Alaska Fairbanks), intend to change this statistic. The four PIs have secured a $500,000 NSF education grant that aims to increase research inclusivity through a grassroots culture of scientific teaching.

    “A lot of students from underrepresented groups come in to UAB from community colleges and don’t know that undergraduate research is a thing you can do,” says Morris. “Our goal is to get them involved in genuine research while they’re still in introductory classes with the hope that it will get them excited about pursuing careers in science.”

    Funded through 2023, the team will build a network of faculty and staff at the three hub universities, as well as their affiliated community and technical colleges, with an eye toward putting active learning and CURE (Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience) reforms into as many introductory-level biology classes as possible.

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  • Japanese Consul-General presents grant

    Takashi Shinozuka, Consul-General of Japan in Atlanta, presented the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures a grant for $30,000 to further Japanese education in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences.

    Mr. Takashi Shinozuka, Consul-General of Japan in Atlanta, presented the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures a grant for $30,000 to further Japanese education in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences.

    In his role as Consul-General of Japan in Atlanta, Shinozuka is responsible for strengthening relations between and Japan and the United States, specifically in the four states in his jurisdiction: Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Unfortunately, on the day of the scheduled reception and award presentation, Hurricane Florence was making landfall and Shinozuka was required to stay in Atlanta to provide assistance to Japanese citizens affected by the storm. But he was connected to the reception via Skype and gave remarks praising UAB and the department for their support of Japanese-language and cultural education.

    In Shinozuka's absence, Mark Jackson, a local businessman and Alabama's Consul-General to Japan, shared remarks and presented the check to Provost Pam Benoit, Ph.D.; Dean Robert Palazzo, Ph.D.; Chair Julian Arribas, Ph.D.; and Yumi Takamiya, Ph.D., assistant professor of Japanese—all of whom spoke at the reception. Additional speakers included alumna Jolie Thevenot, who graduated with a minor in Japanese and is the director of the Japan-America Society of Alabama (JASA), and Bezawit Eyob, a current student and instructor of Japanese who is pursuing her minor in the language. Thevanot and Eyob gave their remarks in both Japanese and English.

    [widgetkit id="35" name="FFL Consul General Grant"]

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  • Dr. Stacy Krueger-Hadfield pursues international research and service

    Dr. Stacy Krueger-Hadfield, assistant professor in the Department of Biology, and colleague secure a $60,000 Binational Science Foundation Start-Up Grant to investigate the response to temperature and ocean acidification in the Levantine region of the Mediterranean Sea.

    Dr. Stacy Krueger-Hadfield, assistant professor in the Department of Biology, along with her Israeli colleague Dr. Gil Rilov, secured a $60,000 Binational Science Foundation Start-Up Grant that will investigate the response to temperature and ocean acidification in the Levantine region of the Mediterranean Sea. This is one of the fastest warming regions in the world, but in terms of evolutionary ecology, is poorly understood despite being heavily impacted for thousands of years by human behavior, such as over-fishing. With the support of the two-year grant, Krueger-Hadfield and Rilov will use one native and one non-native seaweed to contrast response to these abiotic stressors associated with climate change. They will follow up with work on differences in mating system dynamics that might help them forecast how these population will respond to climate change. UAB alumna Kathryn Schoenrock will also collaborate on this project with Drs. Krueger-Hadfield and Rilov during this project.

    In addition, Dr. Krueger-Hadfield was part of an international team that was awarded an Agence Nationale de la Recherche Appel à Projets Générique (French National Research Agency General Projects; 437.707,80€) called Clonix2D that will use algal, cnidarian, pathogen, plant, and aphid models to expand the tools available for population genetics in organisms that are partially clonal (i.e., they undergo both sexual and asexual reproduction. The consortium will build on a previous iteration, Clonix, that released many new analytical tools for population genetics. Dr. Krueger-Hadfield will co-coordinate one of the working groups on the dissemination of results and outreach while also contributing data sets for testing new population genetic tools.

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  • PAINTalks Speaker Series begins this fall at UAB

    The premiere lecture in the new PAINTalks Speaker Series will feature Dr. Roger Fillingim, a world-renowned clinical researcher in the field of chronic pain and past-president of the American Pain Society.

    The premiere lecture in the new PAINTalks Speaker Series will feature Dr. Roger Fillingim, a world-renowned clinical researcher in the field of chronic pain and past-president of the American Pain Society. PAINTalks is a series of public lectures by leading experts that focuses on the latest research and treatment for the relief and management of chronic pain and is sponsored by the UAB College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology.

    The October 25, 2018, lecture is entitled, “Let’s Get Personal: How Can Biology, Psychology, and Social Influences Inform Personalized Pain Treatment.” The event will be held at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts (AEIVA) and guests are invited to attend a reception at 5:00 p.m. immediately preceding the 5:30 p.m. lecture. The reception and lecture are free and open to the public.

    Fillingim earned his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from UAB, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in pain research at the University of North Carolina. From 1996-2000 he was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at UAB, and in 2000 he moved to the University of Florida as an Associate Professor in the College of Dentistry. Currently, he is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Florida, College of Dentistry and the Director of the University of Florida Pain Research and Intervention Center of Excellence (PRICE). Fillingim served as the President of the American Pain Society (2012-2014) and has authored over 250 peer-reviewed articles related to pain.

    AEIVA is located at 1221 10th Avenue South on UAB Campus directly across the street from the Alys Stephens Center for the Performing Arts. Parking is available in Lot 15D behind AEIVA, which can be accessed from both 13th Street and 11th Ave. S.

    Download Event Flyer (pdf)

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  • Researchers propose new method for secure, speech-based two-factor authentication

    Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have developed a new method for two-factor authentication via wearables using speech signals.

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  • Interview with the artist: Stacey Holloway

    AEIVA will host a solo exhibition for UAB Assistant Professor of Sculpture Stacey Holloway, who is the recipient of SECAC’s annual Artist’s Fellowship. AEIVA recently spoke with Holloway about her work and the upcoming exhibition, which opens Sept. 10.

    This year, the University of Alabama at Birmingham will host the 2018 SECAC Conference, a national non-profit organization devoted to education and research in the visual arts. As part of the conference, AEIVA will host a solo exhibition for UAB Assistant Professor of Sculpture Stacey Holloway who is the recipient of SECAC’s annual Artist’s Fellowship.

    AEIVA recently spoke with Holloway about her work and the upcoming exhibition, which opens Sept. 10 at AEIVA.

    By Tina Ruggieri, AEIVA Intern


    AEIVA: How would you describe your work and your process?

    Stacey Holloway: My work is very process-based and I like to work in a variety of materials. I don't stick to just one medium or process. I like to do a lot of metal casting, mold making, and wood working. I am more of a mixed media artist, which opens many possibilities. The conceptual ideas behind my work mostly come from my childhood memories. I thought I was going to be a vet. I grew up riding horses with my mom and volunteering at wildlife rehabilitation centers. We always had a ton of animals in and around the house. It was in grad school when I started symbolically using animals as to represent how we relate to one another as humans. We are all animals. When you see a sheep or a fawn, you think about vulnerability. When you see a lion, people might have different ideas behind its meaning. These animals may mean different things in different cultures. I also like to play around with ideas about aging and home.

    AEIVA: Would you say your work is somewhat autobiographical as well?

    Holloway: Yes. I am not originally from the South, I am from Northern Indiana, the Chicago area. I lived most of my life in the Midwest. I make work about how you never really feel like you are part of a group. My nephew is autistic, and I think he has trouble making friends. I see myself, and many others, dealing with the same issues he deals with. I think in certain ways that may be comforting for him and others like him, to know that everyone deals with these same issues.

    AEIVA: Being a working artist, and a faculty member at UAB, how do you get involved in the community?

    Holloway: I do a lot of community-based projects with my students. I believe it is extremely important to teach the students that being involved in the community can help their personal practice. We have worked with Sloss Metal Arts and with Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve. Working on projects that involve the community shows students their work doesn't have to always be this single thing that lives in a gallery. Although artists often work alone, great ideas can also come from the community. However, they might not have the ability to execute their ideas. Working together, collaborating, can often make work stronger. We have done some work with Birmingham Water Works, creating water protector awards for them. We have also worked with the Birmingham Museum of Art. As I mentioned, I am a metal caster. The casting community, both locally and nationally, is a collaborative group and community-based. It is really one big family. For example, I worked with a professor locally and another professor from Massachusetts on a book project. We had many of the iron casting pioneers write letters to a fictitious young caster. We then put all of those into the book. The book is titled Warmest Regards: Letters to a Young Caster.

    AEIVA: How do you inspire your students?

    Holloway: Through social media, my students can see what I am doing with my personal practice on a daily basis. They see how busy I am, and how much hard work goes into my practice. I feel this inspires them, especially seeing me working so hard at my age. This helps them see what they can accomplish at their age with hard work. It makes me realize that I am not that young anymore. Also, whenever my students have ambitious ideas, instead of dismissing them right away, or saying, "I do not think we can do that", we say, let’s call Sloss Metal Arts and see if we can do it. We may also contact other universities, such as the University of Montevallo, to see if they can possibly help us. Once again, we work with the casting community, while making great connections, so that we won’t be limited on materials. The students get excited when they see their ideas realized, and the different ways we can go about it.


    AEIVA: Can you briefly describe the SECAC Fellowship? Qualifications, process, results? And what it means for you to have won?

    Holloway: I think this was the fourth or fifth year that I have applied for the SECAC Fellowship. SECAC asks you to propose a specific project that you would need additional funding on. It is also based off of merit. You must show that you can do what you say you are going to do. I feel that this fellowship is important because it is a peer award, and has also helped me in receiving my tenure. This funding will help me do something that I have been wanting to do for awhile. I want to create one large exhibition environment rather than separate pieces. The viewer will be immersed into the environment rather than looking from the outside. I am recreating a china shop filled with bees, birds, rabbits, and squirrels. I am investigating porcelain slip casting. The animals will be made to look like Blue Willow or Wedgwood china. There will be a giant bison in the center of this shop. He will be a bull in a china shop. I grew up with my parents saying stuff like, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water” and other humorous sayings. One of the things they would say about me is that I was really clumsy, I was a “bull in a china shop.” I have also been investigating inner-species relationships that occur in nature. I think that it is really interesting when one animal joins a herd that they are not normally a part of, even a different species. Some people would see these animals as outsiders, but I actually see it as a way to make the herd stronger. Different animals carry different characteristics and when they combine the two you actually have a stronger sense of the group—the group can do something differently than what they could have done before without the outsider.

    In doing research, I found that when they actually did put a bull in a china shop, the bull was quite aware of its space. An artist from New Orleans did a similar project. She brought a horse into an antique shop. She thought the horse would break the objects around it, but did not. The horse was aware of the space around it. So, the “bull in a china shop” idiom was actually proven wrong. The images that you see of the bull breaking the stuff in the china shop, that was because the bull was provoked. I used to make a lot of work about being an outsider and having a herd being very curious about the outsider and vise versa but now I am just trying to make work where that outsider is accepted into the herd.

    AEIVA: Is SECAC a fellowship that helps artists with specific projects?

    Holloway: Yes. It helps artists create a new body of work, or pursue something that they would not normally do. Even though I did slip-cast porcelain—very small things—in grad school, the larger porcelain project is new to me. I work mostly with metal and wood. These materials are structurally rigid. Up until it is fired, porcelain is very fragile. I have been the bull in the china shop. I am finding out ways that I can and cannot work with this new material.

    I really enjoy working in a process-based way. In my metal casting, I will do a lot of different things. When I take a mold of something, I will pour it in wax and then I will manipulate the wax in some way. Then, I will pour metal, etc. With all of the new technologies used in making art today, I still enjoy feeling that the hand has been involved.

    AEIVA: As an artist, why is it important to be involved in professional conferences?

    Holloway: You learn a lot. I’ve done SECAC almost every year that I have been here at UAB. This last summer I went to the Memphis Metal Museum for the Iron Invitational. I have been to Scranton, Pennsylvania for the International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art. And I am on the steering committee for the National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and Practices, which happens here in Birmingham at Sloss Furnaces every other year. During these conferences you get to see a lot of exhibitions. There are also a lot of panels and presentations to attend that are very beneficial. You also meet a lot of people, and some of those people can help you in different ways. The conferences are important in making connections to those who are doing similar things, people you can bounce ideas off when you are trying to figure out a new method of working. During some of these conferences there are workshops, demos and classes that you can attend. You have to keep up with all the new techniques in order to stay knowledgeable for teaching. I never want to say to a student, "No, we can’t do that because I do not know how.” At the least, I will be able to say, "I know a person we can call because they do that.” Staying up to date with all of the different practices, especially in sculpture, is something that is very encompassing. There are also a lot of different materials that you can use. Staying up to date with materials and processes is something that helps you grow as an artist and helps you grow as a teacher.

    Don’t miss the 2018 SECAC Fellowship Exhibition — Stacey Holloway: Not to Be Otherwise, opening Sept. 10 at AEIVA.

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  • Lauren Rast featured on The Weather Channel during Lightning Safety Week

    Dr. Lauren Rast, Instructor of Physics and Project Leader for UAB Physics Online Education Project, offered her particular expertise in understanding how lightning works and how to stay safe.

    Dr. Lauren Rast, Instructor of Physics and Project Leader for UAB Physics Online Education Project, recently appeared on The Weather Channel during Lightning Safety Week, June 24-30, 2018. Dr. Rast and Dr. Walter Schrading, Associate Professor in the School of Medicine, offered their particular expertise in understanding how lightning works and how to stay safe. Dr. Rast offered a clear explanation of how nitrogen is added to the Earth’s environment with every lightning strike. Congratulations!

     

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