Displaying items by tag: Department of Mathematics

The contest is motivated by the desire to help in the development of the next generation of mathematical talent in Alabama.

For Lauren Wickman, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics, calculus is far more than numbers and equations.

If you step into a class taught by John Mayer, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Mathematics, you will hear very little lecturing. Instead, you are likely to witness an engaging environment where students do most of the talking.

Each academic year, the UAB College of Arts and Sciences receives departmental nominations for the Dean’s Awards for Outstanding Undergraduate Students and Outstanding Graduate Students.

Roger T. Lewis, Ph.D., served as a thoughtful and forward-looking leader in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Mathematics for over four decades.

When Johnny Edward “Rusty” Bates, M.D., was growing up in Sipsey, Alabama, he viewed his father, a draftsman and engineer, as one of the smartest people he knew.

For students who study math in college, the notion of saving lives with their knowledge may seem distant — maybe even far-fetched. For Eric Teoh, director of statistical services at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the connection between math and lifesaving work is crystal clear.

Milena Stanislavova, Ph.D., has been named the chair of the Department of Mathematics in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Roger Lewis has passed away, but his impact on the development of our Mathematics Department will be felt for many years by both students and faculty. 

Vincent Cirel developed a passion for mathematics in high school and found personal inspiration even earlier in life working with his grandfather as a land surveyor. When it was time to pursue his undergraduate degree, he looked to the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Many of our donors give to the College as a way of showing their appreciation for the people who inspired and guided them to academic and professional success. We asked a few of our supporters to share their stories of why they give and how investing in the College will ensure the success of our future students.
Many of our donors give to the College as a way of showing their appreciation for the people who inspired and guided them to academic and professional success. We asked a few of our supporters to share their stories of why they give and how investing in the College will ensure the success of our future students.

Mathematics alumnus Stephen G. Odaibo, M.D., is an ophthalmologist and retina specialist, as well as a mathematician, computer scientist, and physicist.

Rusty Bates is an alumnus of the College of Arts and Sciences who went on to complete his medical degree at the UAB School of Medicine. He founded and is the chief executive officer of Quality Correctional Health Care, which provides inmate healthcare in the correctional environment.

The number of College of Arts and Sciences students who win major national and international scholarships and fellowships grows every year. What does it take to win one of these major prizes?

Johnny “Rusty” Edward Bates, M.D. has established the Henry E. Bates, Jr. Scholarship in the Department of Mathematics—one of UAB's new Blazing the Way Scholarships.

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  • Department of Mathematics Hosts 19th Annual Math Talent Search Contest

    The contest is motivated by the desire to help in the development of the next generation of mathematical talent in Alabama.

    Many professional mathematicians share a surprisingly similar point-of-origin story about the reasons they chose to pursue mathematics. They were encouraged by an elementary, middle, or high school teacher to participate in a local math contest and unexpectedly won it. Motivated by the desire to help in the development of the next generation of mathematical talent in Alabama, the UAB Department of Mathematics has been offering several contests and informal seminars to local high school students for the past 20 years. The list includes the Math-by-Mail Contest, Train-Your-Brain Math Club, UAB Math School (by correspondence), and, finally, the UAB Math Talent Search (MTS) Contest.

    Since its inception in 2001, apprioximately 3,000 students have participated in the MTS Contest. Information about our past and current work can be found Dr. Alexander Blokh's website.

    The contest is for students in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12. It features a two-hour Math Olympiad-style test, featuring five to seven problems of increasing difficulty. The problems require creativity, knowledge, and ingenuity. UAB Mathematics professors grade the tests; for the professors, clarity and completeness of the justification of the solution is as important as finding the correct answer. Drs. Alexander Blokh, John Mayer, Lex Oversteegen, Nikita Selinger, Roman Shterenberg, Nandor Simanyi, and Rudi Weikard—along with many mathematics graduate students—have provided regular support to this event. They compile and proofread the problems, as well as host the students, parents, coaches, and chaperons. And, of course, they grade all the solutions in less than two hours.

    After a short break due to the pandemic, the UAB MTS Contest resumed on October 29, 2022. In its 19th year, the competition attracted 84 students from eight participating schools. The graders did an excellent job of determining winners in time for the awards ceremony at 1:00 p.m. Schools that won the contest received trophies, while the student winners received certificates and books about mathematics. The following individual prizes and school prizes for top scores were awarded.

    9th Grade Individual Winners

    • 1st place: Alan Yvan (Hoover)
    • 2nd place: Sarah Thomas (Briarwood)
    • 3rd place: Emory Causey (Briarwood)
    • 4th place: Hampton Smith (Briarwood)

    9th Grade School Winners

    • 1st place: Hoover
    • 2nd place: Briarwood

    10th Grade Individual Winners

    • 1st place: Isabella Rutladge (Briarwood)
    • 2nd place: Hill McCloney (Mountain Brook)
    • 3rd place: Carmen Britt (Spain Park)
    • 4th place: Reid Gill (Jefferson County International Baccelaureate)

    10th Grade School Winners

    • 1st place: Briarwood
    • 2nd place: Mountain Brook
    • 3rd place: Spain Park

    11-12th Grades Individual Winners

    • 1st place: Tommy Daley (Mountain Brook, 12th grade)
    • 2nd place: Vu Ho (Bob Jones, 12th grade)
    • 3rd place: Mark Thomas (Briarwood, 12th grade)
    • 4th place: Abbey Waters (Briarwood, 12th grade)

    11-12th Grades School Winners

    • 1st place: Briarwood
    • 2nd place: Mountain Brook
    • 3rd place: Bob Jones

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  • Department of Social Work Student Recipient of Prestigious Award

    Tashee Brown has been selected to receive the respected Council of Social Work Education Minority Fellowship (CSWE-MFP) for 2022-2023. Tashee is one of only 34 Master’s level students select from over 350 programs. Candidates must demonstrate commitment to addressing the mental health needs of individuals, groups, and communities. The fellowship is an incredible training and professional development opportunity.

    The faculty and staff of the Department of Social Work would like to give a collective and whole-hearted congratulations to Tashee Brown.

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  • Maluff connects with the recipient of his new endowed scholarship in psychology

    “I try to give back what UAB did for me, my business, and my family,” says Maluff. “UAB is my heart and soul."

    Niki Ookeditse sits at a small table near the front of Full Moon Bar-B-Que on 25th Street South in Birmingham. It’s a bustling community restaurant near the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) campus that features dozens of photos on the walls, delicious food, and a welcoming atmosphere. Ookeditse, a sophomore majoring in psychology and minoring in neuroscience at UAB, is visiting the restaurant for the first time and there’s a sparkle in her eye.

    “My family loves Full Moon,” says Ookeditse. “I had no idea the original store was [located] here.”

    She turns and sees Joe Maluff, co-owner of Full Moon, approaching the table.

    “What can I get for you?” asks Maluff. “Chicken, pork, turkey?”

    Ookeditse looks over the menu and decides to order a plate of riblets. Maluff’s smile grows as he makes his way to the back of the restaurant. Within a few minutes, Maluff comes back to the table with a plate stacked high with smoked ribs and a pile of French fries. As he delivers the food, Maluff settles in across from Ookeditse and begins to learn more about her life and her time at UAB.

    This is a significant moment for both of them because Ookeditse is the first recipient of the Brooke and Joe Maluff Family Endowed Scholarship in Psychology, which is also the first endowed, undergraduate scholarship in the history of the Department of Psychology. Maluff, a psychology major who graduated from UAB in 1996, established the scholarship because he loved his experience at the university and wanted to find an opportunity to give back.

    “I try to give back what UAB did for me, my business, and my family,” says Maluff. “UAB is my heart and soul—it’s in my backyard. I lived right there in Southside. So, I knew nothing but UAB.”

    As a restaurant owner—with 17 locations across the Southeast—Maluff values his background in psychology. He is fascinated with people and the way they think, and he views the restaurant business as an ideal field to apply that fascination. Ookeditse is also drawn to the human mind.

    “Psychology is very interesting,” says Ookeditse. “I love anything that has to do with the brain and behavior. Learning, in general, is fun to me.”

    She grew up in Hoover and attended John Carroll High School. While in high school, she took her first psychology class and saw a future in the discipline. She later moved to Roebuck and started considering UAB after a campus visit.

    “When I saw the campus for the first time, I was surprised,” says Ookeditse. “It looked really nice—I saw the dorms, and I [thought], ‘I definitely need to go here.’”

    Along with her appreciation for the campus and the dorms, Ookeditse also has a longstanding family connection to institution. Her mother worked at UAB and also studied both psychology and computer science at the university.

    Maluff leans forward as Ookeditse shares her story and nods as she details her future plans.

    “I’m considering Physicians Assistant (P.A.) School,” says Ookeditse. “I will just keep going until I can get my doctorate and become a psychologist or psychiatrist. Anything in the field. As long as I can do something I love, I’m content.”

    The two continue to chat about UAB and finish up lunch. As the plates clear and the lunch rush begins to file into the restaurant, Ookeditse looks over at Maluff and takes a moment to share the importance of the scholarship that bears his name.

    “When I got the email [about receiving the scholarship], I immediately ran downstairs and told my grandparents. They were so happy. My grandaddy said, ‘See, I knew you could do it,’” says Ookeditse.

    Maluff smiles again and stands up and walks over to the counter, grabbing a bag of Half Moon Cookies. He walks back to the table, hands the cookies to Ookeditse, and lets her know that he is excited about her future and happy to meet her.

    “I wish you all the luck in the world,” says Maluff.

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  • Introducing New Faculty Members in the Department of Social Work

    The Department of Social Work welcomes three new clinical faculty members, Quachetta Jones, Jacqueline Jones, and Tommie Watkins. They began teaching this fall.

    The Department of Social Work welcomes three new clinical faculty members, Quachetta Jones, Jacqueline Jones, and Tommie Watkins. They began teaching this fall.

    [widgetkit id="83" name="SOCIAL WORK - New Faculty - 2022"]

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  • Department of Sociology receives generous gift from Dr. Mike Wilson

    Michele “Mike” Wilson, Ph.D., was an award-winning faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Sociology and launched the Women’s Studies Program.

    Michele “Mike” Wilson, Ph.D., was an award-winning faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Sociology and launched the Women’s Studies Program. She researched numerous topics, including abortion rights, activism in government, and civil rights, and she served as an active member of the Southern Sociology Society. According to her colleagues, she also strongly advocated for women graduate students and faculty members.

    “When I arrived at UAB, Dr. Wilson was the only female faculty member [in the department]. She was steadfast in her commitment to women and social justice,” said Patricia Drentea, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Sociology. “She led many classes and projects that helped students understand how gender affects them. She also supported those who had survived violence against women, leading initiatives such as the T-Shirt Project and Take Back the Night. Students (both men and women) flocked to her leadership, advocacy, and classes.”

    Wilson retired as an associate professor in 2008, and, afterward, she continued to work for and engage with the department. Sadly, Wilson passed away on May 30, 2021. Her colleagues wrote a thoughtful remembrance of her.

    Wilson generously donated a significant portion of her estate to the Department of Sociology with the goal of supporting women’s studies within the department. Her gift will help the department recruit and hire a new faculty member whose scholarship focuses on women, gender, and health.

    “The Department of Sociology is delighted and humbled to accept this wonderful gift from Dr. Wilson,” said Verna Keith, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Sociology. “We are looking forward to using these funds in ways that live up to her dedication to women at UAB and in the community.”

    “This gift is such a surprise, and yet in some ways it is not,” said Drentea. “Mike wanted to make sure that the sociology department continued to do its work in understanding inequality and applying those lessons to real life.”

    The department recently announced the associate professor position. Interested applicants can access the announcement and learn more about the position.

    The College and the Department of Sociology are both grateful to Dr. Wilson for her generous gift.

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  • UAB faculty host chemistry students from across the country

    In June 2022, Jonathan Burns, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, and Suzanne Lapi, Ph.D., professor in the Departments of Radiology and Chemistry, hosted 8 graduate students from across the country through the Horizon-broadening Isotope Production Pipeline Opportunities (HIPPO) collaboration.

    In June 2022, Jonathan Burns, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, and Suzanne Lapi, Ph.D., professor in the Departments of Radiology and Chemistry, hosted 8 graduate students from across the country through the Horizon-broadening Isotope Production Pipeline Opportunities (HIPPO) collaboration.

    This training program, which is based at Texas A&M University (TAMU) and sponsored by the Department of Energy Isotope Program, exposes students to the different activities that are required to provide the nation with radioisotopes needed for science and other applications. Drs. Burns and Lapi are co-investigators on this project, and, together, they offered an engaging week-long program at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB.

    Throughout the week, they focused on nuclear and radiochemistry for isotope production and radiopharmaceutical development. The participants included UAB chemistry students, as well as students from other HIPPO partner institutions, including TAMU, Argonne National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Lab, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the City University of New York, University of Notre Dame, Stony Brook University, and the University of Utah.

    “It is exciting to be a part of a program, which is investing in young scientists who will be an integral part to finding creative solutions to the many challenge the isotope science community faces,” said Burns.

    For Lapi, the experience proved to be valuable. “It was wonderful to interact with students excited about radioisotopes, and it was a great opportunity to showcase our nuclear and radiochemistry program at UAB,” said Lapi.

    UAB students had the opportunity to participate in similar activities at HIPPO sites across the country throughout the remainder of the summer. Learn more about the HIPPO collaboration.

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  • Alabama Power Foundation supports new program for Central Alabama nonprofits

    The Alabama Power Foundation and the Department of Political Science and Public Administration are teaming up to promote capacity building and credential attainment within Central Alabama’s nonprofit community.

    The Alabama Power Foundation and the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration are teaming up to promote capacity building and credential attainment within Central Alabama’s nonprofit community.

    Beginning in Fall 2022, the department will begin offering scholarships to eligible students who pursue a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management. The Alabama Power Foundation provided a generous gift to fund these scholarships, aiming to remove financial barriers for current and future nonprofit leaders who want to build competencies vital to nonprofit organizations.

    UAB’s Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management is the only certificate of its kind in the state of Alabama and the classes taken in the program can be used towards further graduate work. Through the program, students can take an array of courses on topics ranging from data management to grant writing. Many notable nonprofit leaders have taken courses in the program and went on to earn their MPA degrees, including Katrina Watson, executive director of the Literacy Council of Central Alabama.

    “We are very happy to be collaborating with the Alabama Power Foundation,” said Rob Blanton, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration. “We are excited about the ways in which we can further develop the considerable talent in this sector and provide a foundation for increased collaboration among these organizations.”

    The new partnership, also known as the UAB Nonprofit Certificate Management Scholars Program, will strive to nurture a cohort model with scholarship recipients. By catalyzing these new connections, both the Alabama Power Foundation and the Department of Political Science and Public Administration aim to prompt new strategic alliances and partnerships across the nonprofit community.

    “We’re excited to support this unique initiative that will open the door for more nonprofit leaders in Alabama to attain and share valuable information,” said Hallie Bradley, manager of Strategic Initiatives for the Alabama Power Foundation. “The knowledge and training they gain through this program can help these leaders become even more effective in serving their clients.”

    Visit the department's website to learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management. You can also learn more about scholarship opportunities.

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  • Donor establishes endowed scholarship honoring Liliana and Marcelo Benveniste

    A new scholarship is now available for students majoring or minoring in Spanish in the Department of World Languages and Literatures at UAB.

    A new scholarship is now available for students majoring or minoring in Spanish in the Department of World Languages and Literatures at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). An anonymous donor recently established the Sefarad Endowed Scholarship Honoring Liliana and Marcelo Benveniste in celebration of the Department’s 50th anniversary during the 2022-2023 academic year.

    The scholarship is named in honor of Liliana and Marcelo Benveniste who founded Centro Cultural Sefarad (Sepharad Cultural Center), a non-profit organization based in Argentina whose objective is to promote the culture of Sephardic Jews through activities, courses, concerts, and more. In the 15th Century, a royal edict in Spain forced Jews to either convert to Catholicism or face expulsion. After their expulsion from the Iberian Peninsula, the dispersed Jews maintained a strong relationship to their Iberian traditions, customs, and the Spanish language from that time. “Sepharad” is the Hebrew word for Spain, which is why descendants of these Jews are known as “Sephardic Jews.” The Benvenistes and the Sepharad Cultural Center aim to highlight the universal values of the Sephardic community and Judeo-Spanish languages, including Ladino.

    “It is wonderful that the donor chose to honor Liliana and Marcelo Benveniste because their Sepharad Cultural Center promotes the endangered languages and culture of the Sephardic diaspora not only in Argentina but also worldwide,” says John K. Moore Jr., Ph.D., professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages and Literatures. “It is even more meaningful that this award celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the Sephardic Jews alongside the achievements of UAB's Spanish students.”

    The mission of the UAB Department of World Languages and Literatures is to educate, motivate, and inspire students to interact with people from other nations and/or cultures in a multiplicity of languages; to develop linguistically proficient and culturally competent individuals who think critically and communicate effectively in local, national, and global communities; and to foster the international exchange of knowledge and information between humanities scholar-teachers and other professionals. For students interested in the Spanish language, the department offers a concentration in Spanish, a concentration in Applied Professional Spanish, as well as minors in Spanish and Spanish for Business. This new scholarship will honor the legacy and impact of Liliana and Marcelo Benveniste and support students as they pursue studies in the Spanish language.

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  • Employees recognized at 2021 UAB Service Awards

    Twenty-seven College of Arts and Sciences employees who have worked at UAB for 20 years or more were recognized at the UAB Service Awards reception on April 11, 2022.

    Dean Kecia M. Thomas with Kim Hazelwood at the UAB Service Awards reception.Twenty-seven College of Arts and Sciences employees who have worked at UAB for 20 years or more were recognized at the UAB Service Awards reception on April 11, 2022. These dedicated colleagues were honored for their number of years of employment at UAB as of December 31, 2021.

     

    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 invited to a reception on behalf of UAB President Ray L. Watts and presented with a service award pin, certificate, and a gift of gratitude.

     

    This year, Dr. Vithal K. Ghanta, professor in the Department of Biology and co-director of the Undergraduate Immunology Program, was honored for 50 years of service to UAB. Dr. Gregory Pence, professor in the Department of Philosophy and director of the Early Medical School Acceptance Program, was honored for 45 years of service. Congratulations to all our colleagues for their dedication and commitment to the University’s mission and vision.

    50-Year Recipient: Dr. Vithal K. Ghanta, professor in the Department of Biology

    20-Year Recipients

    • Kimberly H. Hazelwood, College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office
    • Erin Wright, Art and Art History
    • Tanja Matthews, Chemistry
    • Dr. Jacqueline Nikles, Chemistry
    • Daniel L. Butcher, English
    • Dr. Gale M. Temple, English
    • Dr. Lourdes M. Sanchez-Lopez, Foreign Languages and Literatures
    • Dr. Stephen J. Miller, History
    • Dr. John Heith Copes, Criminal Justice
    • Dr. Reinhard E. Fambrough, Music
    • Dr. Gitendra Uswatte, Psychology
    45-Year Recipient: Dr. Gregory E. Pence, professor in the Department of Philosophy

    25-Year Recipients

    • James R. Grimes, Advising
    • Margaret Amsler, Biology
    • Leslie C. Hendon, Biology
    • Adriana S. Addison, Psychology
    • Dr. Karlene K. Ball, Psychology
    • Wanda R. Fisher, Psychology
    • Pamela Y. Robinson, Psychology

    30-Year Recipients

    • Dr. Tracy P. Hamilton, Chemistry
    • Dr. Kathryn D. Morgan, Criminal Justice and African American Studies
    • Kimberly A. Schnormeier, Theatre

    35-Year Recipients

    • Dr. Edwin W. Cook III, Psychology
    • Dr. Edward Taub, Psychology

    40-Year Recipients

    • Dr. Howard L. Irving, Music
    • Dr. Franklin R. Amthor, Psychology

    45-Year Recipient

    • Dr. Gregory E. Pence, Philosophy

    50-Year Recipient

    • Dr. Vithal K. Ghanta, Biology

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  • State Farm invests in TRIP Lab outreach efforts

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) College of Arts and Sciences is excited to announce that State Farm will make a new investment in the Translational Research for Injury Prevention (TRIP) Lab.

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) College of Arts and Sciences is excited to announce that State Farm will make a new investment in the Translational Research for Injury Prevention (TRIP) Lab.

    The TRIP Lab was established in 2009 by Despina Stavrinos, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Psychology. The mission of the lab is “to help the nation achieve a significant reduction in the rate of transportation-related deaths, injuries, and resulting disabilities, particularly in the southeastern United States.”

    To accomplish this mission, the TRIP Lab interdisciplinary team—which includes undergraduate and graduate students—conducts research projects. Current research projects in the lab focus on driving safety among teens, patients who have sustained a traumatic brain injury, and health care providers who have unique occupational challenges.

    The TRIP Lab also leverages a driving simulator with eye tracking which was designed by Realtime Technologies, Inc. The TRIP Lab team uses the simulator to conduct research and facilitate a distracted driving program. The team also used social media strategies (e.g., Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) to increase public awareness under the handle @UABTRIPLab. The distracted driving program serves as a powerful outreach tool that can save lives.

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, the TRIP Lab team created a virtual version of the program for young drivers available via Zoom sessions and YouTube videos. The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham (RPCGB) currently supports the program through a generous grant, which helps the TRIP Lab reach students across Central Alabama. With additional resources, the virtual program has the potential to reach more schools and students across the state, including in rural areas.

    Moving forward, State Farm will join RPCGB in supporting the expansion of the distracted driving outreach program, keeping true to its mission of helping to create safer and more educated communities. Through this new grant from State Farm, the TRIP Lab will reach dozens of additional schools and thousands of new students, saving lives and making roadways safer in the process.

    The College of Arts and Sciences and the TRIP Lab appreciates the investment from State Farm and look forward to expanding this important work.

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  • New history scholarship honors Fred Dyess

    If you ever stepped foot inside of Avondale Antiques in Birmingham, Alabama, you surely met owner Fred Dyess. His engaging personality and encyclopedic knowledge of antiques would grab ahold of every customer, prompting new friendships and sparking dynamic conversations.

    Fred DyessIf you ever stepped foot inside of Avondale Antiques in Birmingham, Alabama, you surely met owner Fred Dyess. His engaging personality and encyclopedic knowledge of antiques would grab ahold of every customer, prompting new friendships and sparking dynamic conversations.

    “He was an interesting person with a lot of different hobbies,” said Seth Dyess, Fred’s son. “He was always willing to help people.”

    Fred nurtured his interest in antiques and history as he traveled the country as a young man. He grew up in Saraland, Alabama; moved to Waynesboro, Mississippi; then settled in Houston, Texas for several years. While in Houston, Fred met his wife Judy Flowers Dyess, and they began to build a life together.

    “Throughout his travels, he gained a passion for history,” said Seth.

    Along with his journeys, Fred also explored several career fields, including landscaping and sales. When Fred and Judy moved to Birmingham, he made a major life decision and enrolled in college. He selected the University of Alabama at Birmingham and, after taking a few courses, decided to pursue his academic passion: history.

    According to Seth, his father was a first-generation college student, which is why he held a special place in his heart for UAB.

    “[Many UAB students] are doing everything they can, which is what my father did,” said Seth.

    Over time, Fred put his business-sense and love for history into practice, and, in 2015, he opened a mid-century community institution simply known as Avondale Antiques.

    When spending time in his store, Fred was more than a salesman. He was a guide—someone who could help you curate a room, while also providing historical context for a rattan chair or a mid-century buffet. In some cases, Fred would personally drive a piece to a customer’s home, carry it inside, and help arrange it. Clearly, he loved his work.

    Sadly, on January 2, 2022, Fred passed away after battling COVID-19. The painful news reverberated through his community of friends, supporters, and customers, many of whom shared heartfelt memories of Fred on the Avondale Antiques Facebook page and elsewhere.

    While still grieving, Seth sought a way to honor his life and legacy. Given his father’s love for history and UAB, Seth established the Fred Dyess Endowed Student Award in History.

    “It honors him,” said Seth. “For someone who is working and raising kids and is trying to go to school, [this scholarship] will hopefully ease the burden.”

    Through this scholarship, Seth and his family may help another first-generation college student invest in their love for history and fulfill their dreams. The College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of History deeply appreciate this new scholarship and offer condolences to the Dyess family.

    More information about the Fred Dyess Endowed Student Award in History is available here.

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  • UAB Historical Collections Fellowship Opportunity

    The Reynolds-Finley Associates, in conjunction with the Historical Collections (HC) unit of UAB Libraries, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), are pleased to announce the availability of fellowship awards of up to $2,500 to individual researchers within the UAB community.

    The Reynolds-Finley Associates, in conjunction with the Historical Collections (HC) unit of UAB Libraries, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), are pleased to announce the availability of fellowship awards of up to $2,500 to individual researchers within the UAB community. This funding is intended to support professional travel and conference engagement for UAB faculty and student research using the HC unit’s resources. The fellowship requires the on-site use of at least one of the unit’s three components, which are the Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences, Reynolds-Finley Historical Library and UAB Archives. For more information on the three different areas, please visit the UAB Libraries Fellowship page.

    Application materials should include an outline of the proposed project, an abstract (not to exceed 250 words) stating how collection use will shape its general scope and purpose, a brief curriculum vitae, and one letter of recommendation (preferably from individuals familiar with the nature of the applicant’s research and scholarly interests). Funding of up to $2,500 for travel expenses will be awarded on a case-by-case basis, and details of those requirements (i.e. budget of expenses) will be coordinated with the applicant as appropriate. There is no deadline for UAB fellowship applicants, as awards will be granted on a rolling basis. To apply, or for more information, please contact Peggy Balch at pbalch@uab.edu.

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  • College of Arts and Sciences offering two new minors

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) College of Arts and Science is offering two new minors for undergraduate students.

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) College of Arts and Science is offering two new minors for undergraduate students.

    The Department of Political Science and Public Administration recently launched the Public Management and Policy Minor. According to Rob Blanton, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration (PSPA), “The department’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program has a long history of providing graduate and professional students some of the necessary skills to succeed in the management of public and nonprofit organizations, two large and vibrant sectors within our economy.” PSPA faculty reflected on the MPA program’s successes and established a clear goal for the new minor: to build some of the same key skills and competencies for undergraduate students. The minor can thus provide a strong foundation for future graduate work in public management or give students valuable skills to help them in their career journeys.

    The College is also excited to announce the new Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies Minor. This minor is focused on material, intellectual, sociopolitical, literary, and linguistic approaches to the Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance periods. According to Walter Ward, Ph.D., professor in the Department of History, “Students will learn current theories and methods for working with a range of source materials and objects, from archaeological finds and architecture to historical documents and poetry.” The interdisciplinary program combines the fields of history, literature, archaeology, anthropology, art history, philosophy, cultural studies, economics, and more to understand the premodern world. All courses are taught by faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences.

    You can learn more about both programs by visiting the Undergraduate Course Catalog Addenda. Also, for more information about the Public Management and Policy Minor, you can email Dr. Blanton at rgblanton@uab.edu. For more information about the Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies Minor, you can contact Dr. Ward (wdward@uab.edu) or Dr. Clements (jclements@uab.edu).

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  • Cadence Bank establishes a new scholarship for computer science students

    Mamoudou Barry and Ayusha Khadka, two computer science majors at UAB, are the first scholarship recipients through the new Cadence Bank Computer Science Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program.

    Mamoudou Barry

    Mamoudou Barry and Ayusha Khadka, two computer science majors at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, are the first scholarship recipients through the new Cadence Bank Computer Science Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program.

    Established in 2021, this annual scholarship provides funding for tuition and fees for two students who are enrolled in a degree-granting program in the UAB Department of Computer Science with preference given to students from underrepresented backgrounds.

    Mamoudou Barry, a senior majoring in computer science at UAB, plans to pursue a career in software development after graduating from UAB in Fall 2022. “When I moved to the United States in 2017, I faced many challenges, such as learning English and working double shifts, but my dream to become a computer scientist and the first in my family to graduate from college gave me the courage not to give up,” Barry said. “[Cadence Bank’s] generosity is helping me to make my goals and dreams a reality.”

    Ayusha KhadkaAyusha Khadka, also a senior majoring in computer science, is pursuing her goal to become a software engineer after graduating from UAB. “This scholarship has helped me cover my tuition during my senior year,” she said. According to Khadka, the award from Cadence Bank has allowed her to continue her involvement in student organizations such as the Alabama Agni Dance Team, the Nepalese Student Association at UAB, and the TRIO STEM-H Program.

    The Department of Computer Science prides itself in providing innovative degree programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate degree programs include a B.S. in Computer Science, a B.A. in Computer Science, a B.S. in Bioinformatics (offered jointly with the UAB Heersink School of Medicine and the Department of Biology), and a B.S. in Digital Forensics (offered jointly with the Department of Criminal Justice). The department also offers an M.S. in Computer Science, an M.S. in Data Science, an interdisciplinary M.S. in Cyber Security (offered jointly with the Department of Criminal Justice), and a Ph.D. in Computer Science.

    Cadence Bank is a regional banking franchise with dual headquarters in Tupelo, Mississippi, and Houston, Texas, and a significant support center in Birmingham, Alabama.

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  • Donors establish endowed lectureship and scholarship in honor of Roger T. Lewis

    Roger T. Lewis, Ph.D., served as a thoughtful and forward-looking leader in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Mathematics for over four decades.

    Roger T. Lewis, Ph.D.Roger T. Lewis, Ph.D., served as a thoughtful and forward-looking leader in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Mathematics for over four decades. He joined the department in 1975 and, through his tireless efforts, advocated for research programs that led to numerous grants from the National Science Foundation. Dr. Lewis also served as chair of the department and helped establish a strong foundation for its future growth and prosperity.

    Sadly, Dr. Lewis passed away in 2021. His commitment to and passion for the Department of Mathematics will carry on, though. Through a generous gift, Dr. Barbara A. Lewis, Dr. John C. Mayer, and Dr. Jeanne Hutchison have established the Roger T. Lewis Endowed Lectureship and the Roger T. Lewis Endowed Scholarship.

    The Roger T. Lewis Endowed Lectureship in Mathematics will fund and create opportunities for lectures and events within the Department of Mathematics that will spur collaboration between faculty, students, and staff.

    The Roger T. Lewis Endowed Scholarship in Mathematics will provide financial support to undergraduate or graduate students based on their academic achievement.

    “Roger, along with three other faculty members, was instrumental in putting UAB Mathematics on the international map by initiating a series of International Conferences on Differential Equations and Mathematical Physics in 1981, his own research area,” said Dr. John C. Mayer, professor in the Department of Mathematics. “He was also eager to support and encourage the research of the faculty in other areas as well, culminating in establishing the Ph.D. degree program in Applied Mathematics at UAB.”

    The College of Arts and Sciences deeply appreciates the extraordinary contributions Dr. Lewis made to the department over the years. Also, the College offers its appreciation to Dr. Barbara A. Lewis, Dr. Mayer, and Dr. Hutchison for honoring his life and work with a heartfelt gift that focuses on the future of the department and its people.

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  • The Joe and Mary Ann Cromeans Foundation provides scholarships to music and theatre students

    The foundation aims to advance the field of medicine and broaden the arts by providing scholarships to qualifying juniors and seniors at universities in the South.

    In March 2021, the Joe and Mary Ann Cromeans Foundation provided a generous donation to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Both the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Nursing received a portion of the gift to provide scholarships to juniors and seniors.

    The Joe and Mary Ann Cromeans Foundation is located in Orange Beach, Alabama. The foundation aims to advance the field of medicine and broaden the arts by providing scholarships to qualifying juniors and seniors at universities in the South.

    In the College of Arts and Sciences, both the departments of Theatre and Music awarded scholarships to a total of nine students for academic year 2021-2022. Five students in the Department of Music received scholarships, and four students in the Department of Theatre received scholarships.

    Rachel Thomas, a music education major and scholarship recipient, aspires to become an elementary music teacher after graduation. “This would not be possible without the funding of the Joe and Mary Ann Cromeans Scholarship,” said Thomas. “This scholarship has helped me continue my learning experience and will be a great help in achieving my goal of becoming a teacher.”

    Nina Ballon, a senior majoring in musical theatre and scholarship recipient, will graduate in Spring 2022. During her tenure at UAB, she has focused on developing her talent as a performer—at the same time, she has developed technical theatre skills too. “It’s good to know or be familiar with all of the other aspects of the theatre world and not limit myself to just performing on stage,” said Ballon. “This scholarship helps me not only achieve my goals but also have the freedom to create goals that I probably wouldn’t have even thought about if I were anywhere else.”

    Clearly, The Joe and Mary Ann Cromeans Foundation is fulfilling its mission by investing in students who will further broaden and advocate for the arts in Alabama and beyod.

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  • Windgate Foundation makes donation to Department of Art and Art History

    The Department of Art and Art History is honored to announce a generous donation to the department’s Diversity and Inclusion Scholars Program.

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Art and Art History (DAAH) is honored to announce a generous donation to the department’s Diversity and Inclusion Scholars Program.

    The Windgate Foundation—a private, family foundation based in Little Rock, Arkansas that advances contemporary craft and strengthens visual arts education in the United States—donated the funds to remove financial barriers for underrepresented students studying art and art history at UAB. Specifically, through the donation to the Diversity and Inclusion Scholars Program, four in-state students will receive scholarships that will cover the full cost of their tuition and fees.

    Rich Gere, MFA, chair of the department, views the donation as a gamechanger for the students in his department. “As we look to the future with innovation and vision, students are still held back by one of our biggest challenges, funding in higher education. The ability for a student to successfully study in the arts often depends on their ability to secure scholarships and additional aid,” said Gere. “Windgate Foundation funding for scholarships to underrepresented groups will be a cornerstone of student retention and success.”

    The DAAH offers two undergraduate degrees: a Bachelor of Arts (with concentrations in Art Studio and Art History) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. The department, along with the Department of Anthropology, also offers an interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Cultural Heritage Studies. Lastly, DAAH offers a Master of Arts in Art History in conjunction with the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa.

    The new scholarships will be offered to students in the 2022-2023 academic year. CAS looks forward to highlighting stories of the future scholarship recipients and continuing to elevate Inclusive Excellence across the College.

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  • Stanislavova selected to lead UAB Department of Mathematics

    Milena Stanislavova, Ph.D., has been named the chair of the Department of Mathematics in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s College of Arts and Sciences.

    Milena Stanislavova, Ph.D., has been named the chair of the Department of Mathematics in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s College of Arts and Sciences.

    Dr. Stanislavova was trained in all areas of pure and applied mathematics. She earned her M.S. in Mathematics from Sofia University in Bulgaria in 1993 and Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Missouri in 2000. Dr. Stanislavova’s goal as an educator is to help students gain a more complete understanding of the intrinsic beauty of mathematics, its interdisciplinary connections, and the many doors its analytical skills can open.

    Dr. Stanislavova comes from the University of Kansas, where she started in 2002. She was director of graduate studies in the Department of Mathematics from 2012-2017 and, most recently, served as chair of the Department of Economics since 2017. Dr. Stanislavova’s research is in differential equations and dynamical systems, focusing on the stability of special solutions of nonlinear differential equations of mathematical physics.

    “Dr. Stanislavova is uniquely prepared to lead the Department of Mathematics. As a productive and funded scholar at the University of Kansas, she provided transformative leadership to the Department of Economics there,” said Kecia M. Thomas, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “I look forward to all the ways in which she will support the growth of mathematics at UAB, while also promoting greater collaboration with other College of Arts and Sciences units — like physics and computer science — as well as other schools at UAB.”

    Dr. Stanislavova’s research has been continuously supported by the Applied Mathematics Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF). She has collaborated on establishing a new NSF-funded regional partial differential equations and dynamical systems annual conference together with colleagues from the University of Missouri and the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

    She is passionate about creating opportunities for women to pursue careers in mathematics and about helping and mentoring them in the profession.

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  • Pitner selected to lead UAB Department of Social Work

    Ronald Pitner, Ph.D., ACSW, has been named the chair of the Department of Social Work in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s College of Arts and Sciences.

    Ronald Pitner, Ph.D., ACSW, has been named the chair of the Department of Social Work in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s College of Arts and Sciences.

    Dr. Pitner received a Master of Social Work and a Ph.D. in Social Work and (Social) Psychology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He also earned an M.A. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

    He currently serves as the interim dean in the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina, where he is also the I. DeQuincey Newman Endowed Chair for Peace and Social Justice and the director of the I. DeQuincey Newman Institute in the College of Social Work. Dr. Pitner previously served as the associate dean for curriculum in the College of Social Work.

    Prior to joining the College of Social Work, Dr. Pitner worked at a global market research firm where he managed research projects focused on consumer health care practices and pharmaceutical brand perceptions and attitudes. Moreover, prior to his industry experience, Dr. Pitner was on faculty at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis.

    “The College is very fortunate to attract a candidate with Dr. Pitner’s academic profile and significant leadership experience,” said Kecia M. Thomas, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “I am confident that under his leadership, the Department of Social Work will continue to experience growth in its undergraduate and graduate programs while extending the department’s reach throughout the community, the state, and the world. Dr. Pitner’s career is a model of engaged scholarship for the College as well as for the university community.”  

    Dr. Pitner’s research interests are broadly defined in terms of social cognition, stereotypes, prejudice, stigma, social cognitive aspects of interpersonal forms of violence, and youth and community based civic engagement. His primary area of research focuses on residents’ understanding of neighborhood violence and safety, as well as how neighborhood civic engagement can be used to help make such neighborhoods safer for residents who live there. His secondary area of research is focused on diversity, social justice, and multicultural and anti-oppressive social work practices. Dr. Pitner currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina.

    “The Department of Social Work at UAB is one of the few health social work programs in the nation, and it is well-positioned to become one of the preeminent programs,” said Dr. Pitner. “I am very excited to work with the faculty to make this one of the strongest programs in the nation.”

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  • Chris McCauley named director of communications for the College of Arts and Sciences

    The College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce Chris McCauley as the new director of communications, effective February 1, 2021.

    The UAB College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce Chris McCauley as the new director of communications, effective February 1, 2021.

    An expert in strategic communications and project planning, McCauley comes to the College an experienced nonprofit director, communications specialist, project manager, and facilitator. After earning his master’s degree in public administration from Auburn University in 2009, he began his career with the David Mathews Center for Civic Life, a statewide nonprofit that promotes civic and community engagement in Alabama. While at the Center, McCauley developed numerous issue guides on complex issues ranging from early childhood development to prison reform.

    Through his five years with the Center, McCauley worked in 49 counties and reached approximately 40,000 Alabamians. He moderated hundreds of forums and developed partnerships with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Alabama Media Group, and numerous institutions of higher education.

    McCauley left the Center in 2014 to join Markstein, a strategic communications agency in Birmingham. While at Markstein, he managed accounts for Shipt, the Alabama Power Foundation, the Alabama Humanities Foundation, the Alabama Media Group, Alabama Possible, and Building (it) Together. He specialized in strategic communications, corporate social responsibility, strategic planning, and community outreach. McCauley became a senior director at Markstein in 2018, and, later that year, he worked alongside TechAlabama to develop a three-year program plan for an initiative entitled Ed Farm.

    Apple’s Community Education Initiative supported the Ed Farm program plan, and TechAlabama invited McCauley to launch the initiative. In one year, McCauley and his team launched three programs, co-designed a state-of-the-art facility, and hosted Tim Cook for a kickoff event that reached audiences across the world.

    Soon after the launch, McCauley began consulting with numerous nonprofit organizations and coalitions across Alabama. He is co-chair for the World Games 2022 Community Engagement Committee and serves on the PARCA Roundtable with the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama.

    “I am thrilled to welcome Chris to CAS and UAB,” says Kecia Thomas, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “He has accumulated an impressive portfolio of work—locally and globally—that will serve the College well. I look forward to working with him for years to come.”

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