Keeping Halloween safe: Tips from UAB experts

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  • Amsler, Kempin Reuter receive mentorship award

    The UAB Graduate Dean's Excellence in Mentorship Award recognizes full-time regular UAB faculty members who have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments as mentors of graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows.

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  • Pioneering Women in UAB Biology: Nancy Love

    On June 5, 1971, Nancy Love became the first woman to receive a master’s degree from the Department of Biology.

    First Woman to Graduate with a Master’s Degree

    Nancy Love, a Gadsden, Ala. native, arrived at UAB in spring 1968. She had completed a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, at Vanderbilt University and was eager to delve deeper into biology. Under Dr. Patrick Dagg’s mentorship, Nancy joined the UAB Department of Biology graduate program and began research on early developmental events of mouse embryos. The program had just been established, and she was one of only a few female students. Even so, she recalls UAB feeling like a breath of fresh air after spending four years in Vanderbilt’s high-pressure environment. She enjoyed the opportunities UAB offered, particularly the graduate classes she took in UAB’s medical school and serving as a teaching assistant for the undergraduate introductory biology course. One special opportunity was provided by Dr. Dagg who arranged for Nancy to spend the summer of 1969 doing research at Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. On June 5, 1971, Nancy became the first woman to receive a master’s degree from the Department of Biology.

    Nancy went on to obtain a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and later joined the faculty at the University of Maryland’s Zoology Department. She spent thirteen years at the University of Maryland, eventually transitioning into an administrative role where she served as the Assistant Provost of Behavioral and Social Sciences and later as the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies. After relocation to Charlottesville, Virginia, and marriage to a University of Virginia faculty member, Nancy joined the faculty of the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine, where she spent 10 years in research administration before retiring in 2000. Nancy and her husband Tom currently enjoy a calm life in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. In her spare time, she works away at a fiction book she’s writing – a murder mystery at a medical school – using all her experiences during graduate school to describe faculty and graduate students and their misadventures.

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  • Pioneering Women in UAB Biology: Janice Roberts

    In August 1971, Janice Roberts became the second woman to graduate with a master’s degree from UAB’s Department of Biology.

    One of the First Women to Graduate with a Ph.D.

    Upon graduating from nearby Judson College, Janice Roberts took a research position at Birmingham’s Southern Research Institute. Confident in her desire to pursue a career in research, she enrolled in graduate school at the Extension Center for the University of Alabama (soon to become UAB) researching ribosomes under Dr. Donald Fattig’s mentorship. During that time, something unexpected happened: Janice developed a love of teaching. Since childhood, she declared she would never become an educator, but the teaching assistantship that helped fund her graduate studies sparked her passion for teaching and changed the trajectory of her career. In August 1971, Janice became the second woman to graduate with a master’s degree from UAB’s Department of Biology.

    Later that year, Janice accepted a position as an instructor in the Biology Department at Jefferson State Community College (known then as Jefferson State Junior College). She thrived in the classroom, teaching courses in microbiology and freshman biology, as well as the interdisciplinary honors science course. In 1980, Janice took a leave of absence from JSCC to return to UAB to pursue her Ph.D. Janice’s doctoral research, performed under Dr. Patrick Dagg’s mentorship, studied caffeine-urethane interactions in mouse embryos. She was happy to be back at UAB among the close-knit group of graduate students. In 1983, Janice received her doctorate from UAB’s Department of Biology (only the second woman to do so) and then returned to her teaching career at JSCC. During her time at JSCC, Janice received many local, regional, and national accolades, including a Fulbright Teacher Exchange Fellowship in England, as well as the state of Alabama’s first ever Outstanding Junior College Faculty Award.

    Janice retired from Jefferson State Community College in 2010 after 38 years of service. A long-time supporter of Birmingham’s arts scene, Janice is a docent for the Birmingham Museum of Art and leads tours of the museum. As a lay member of the Board of the American Pulmonology Medicine Institute, she helps promote scholarship programs for medical students. Since retirement, Janice has indulged her love of travel and has visited six of the seven continents. In her down time, she enjoys playing bridge and spending time with her family, especially her great nieces and nephews.

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  • Pioneering Women in UAB Biology: Dr. Vithal Ghanta

    In 1986, Dr. Vithal Ghanta joined the Department of Biology as an Associate Professor, making her the department’s first female tenured faculty member. In 1989, she was promoted to full professor. Dr. Ghanta has spent the past 33 years advancing the department’s research and teaching.

    First Female Tenured Faculty Member

    In 1986, Dr. Vithal Ghanta joined the Department of Biology as an Associate Professor, making her the department’s first female tenured faculty member. In 1989, she was promoted to full professor. Dr. Ghanta has spent the past 33 years advancing the department’s research and teaching.

    Prior to joining the Department of Biology, Dr. Ghanta worked in the Department of Microbiology for 15 years as a postdoctoral fellow and an Assistant Professor researching immunology and cancer in mouse models. Over the span of her career, Dr. Ghanta’s research has primarily focused on tumor immunology, the immunology of aging, and regulation of the immune system by the central nervous system. Several years ago, she ceased her research efforts to focus on teaching.

    Since her early days in the department, Dr. Ghanta has been a staple in our classrooms, teaching courses such as Immunology, Biology of Aging, and Evolutionary Medicine. She is known and beloved by many students, going above and beyond to help them grow—not just as students, but as people. One student says, “Dr. Ghanta is a fantastic professor. She consistently makes herself available for questions and goes out of her way to ensure students understand the material if they approach her. She has definitely become one of my favorite teachers at UAB.”

    After almost 50 years at UAB and more than 30 years in the Department of Biology, Dr. Ghanta reflects back on her career with affection. She has cherished her time at UAB and says she is appreciative to have worked in a unified department with colleagues who were always supportive, respectful, friendly, and caring. Outside of work, Dr. Ghanta can be found tending to her garden and spending time with her husband of 43 years, Dr. Subbarao Vadlamudi.

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  • Pioneering Women in UAB Biology: Mary Shepherd

    In June 1970, Mary Shepherd received her diploma from UAB, making her the first woman to ever graduate with a bachelor’s degree from the Department of Biology!

    First Woman to Graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree

    After graduating from Birmingham’s Samuel Ullman High School (known today as UAB’s Ullman-Bell Complex), Mary Shepherd packed up her belongings and headed to Tuskegee University to pursue a degree in the sciences. During her junior year of college, she found out she was eligible to attend a state-supported school due to her husband’s status as a disabled veteran. In 1969, Mary and her husband moved back to Birmingham, and Mary transferred to UAB for her senior year. Adapting to UAB’s environment and academic requirements proved challenging. Being one of only a few African-American women in the program, she felt isolated and excluded, a far cry from her experience at Tuskegee. When her professor, Dr. Charles Crispens, saw her struggling, he stepped in to offer support—something Mary says she will never forget. Dr. Crispens inspired her stay in the program and encouraged her to focus on her course work and matriculation. In June 1970, Mary received her diploma, making her the first woman to ever graduate with a bachelor’s degree from the Department of Biology!

    With her degree in hand, Mary had her heart set on teaching, so she returned to UAB to get a master’s degree in education. After receiving her certification, Mary spent 29 years teaching science in the Alabama public school system. Her longest tenure was at Hewitt-Trussville High School. In 2000, with her first grandchild on the way, Mary retired so that she could focus on her family. Nineteen years later, she and her husband are the proud grandparents of 10 grandkids. Outside of family time, Mary enjoys participating in her church, traveling, and serving her community.

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  • Michele Forman profiled in Harvard alumni magazine

    Michele Forman, director of the UAB Media Studies program, was recently profiled in Harvard University's alumni magazine. Forman graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in 1993 and then received her M.A. from UAB in 2009.

    Michele Forman, director of the UAB Media Studies program, was recently profiled in Harvard University's alumni magazine. Forman graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in 1993 and then received her M.A. from UAB in 2009.

    Forman is well-known for a number of short films and documentaries, including Alabama Bound, which she produced in 2017. The documentary, which tells the story of lesbian families in Alabama, was an official selection at the prestigious Frameline 41 San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival; Out on Film Atlanta LGBT Film Festival, and NewFest, New York's LGBT Film Festival, where it also received the Grand Jury Award.

    Forman is the immediate past-president of Birmingham's Sidewalk Film Festival, where she remains an advisory board member. She co-founded the Media Studies program in 2003.

    Read the profile in Harvard University's alumni magazine.

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  • Biology Faculty Secure NSF Grant to Investigate Dwindling Macroalgae Community

    UAB Department of Biology professors Dr. Charles Amsler and Dr. Jim McClintock, along with co-PIs Dr. Katrin Iken (University of Alaska, Fairbanks), Dr. Aaron Galloway (University of Oregon), and Dr. Andrew Klein (Texas A&M University), secured a $880,000 NSF grant to investigate brown macroalgae in the northern portion of the western Antarctic Peninsula region.

    UAB Department of Biology professors Dr. Charles Amsler and Dr. Jim McClintock, along with co-PIs Dr. Katrin Iken (University of Alaska, Fairbanks), Dr. Aaron Galloway (University of Oregon), and Dr. Andrew Klein (Texas A&M University), secured a $880,000 NSF grant to investigate brown macroalgae in the northern portion of the western Antarctic Peninsula region.

    Brown macroalgae form extensive undersea forests in the northern part of the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) and play a key role in providing both physical structure and energy sources in shallow water communities. Further south on the WAP, these macroalgae become markedly less abundant and diverse, presumably because increased sea ice to the south reduces light available to the algae. This creates a fundamental change in ocean floor community processes and organization which impacts nutrition and food chain levels. As climate change has resulted in drastically reduced sea ice coverage in the southern WAP over the past 30 to 50 years, macroalgal communities typical of the northern part of the region should be expanding southward. In an effort to identify the extent and ramifications of the impact of this shift on the seafloor communities, a nine-person field team will travel to Antarctica in April and May 2019 to document the macroalgal communities and test hypotheses about the cause and consequences of the alteration of macroalgal communities. The field team consists of 3 UAB researchers - Dr. Charles Amsler, Maggie Amsler, and Sabrina Heiser, - as well 2 researchers with academic roots at UAB – Dr. Julie Schram and Dr. Katrin Iken. They hypothesize that increased sea ice cover along the region from north to south plays an important role in decreasing light available to the macroalgal communities. The team will use satellite data to choose study sites where variation in light due to differences in annual sea ice cover will be a major environmental variable. Their research should ultimately allow them to predict what community-level impacts might result from further changes in sea ice cover as a result of global climate change, which is already having other major impacts in the region.

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  • Faculty honored at 2018 Fall Awards Convocation

    President Ray Watts and Provost Pam Benoit honored faculty across UAB during the annual Faculty Convocation on October 22.

    Award winners Scott Phillips, Ph.D., Cassandra Ellis, Ph.D., and Michael Sloane, Ph.D., with Robert Palazzo, Ph.D., dean of the UAB College of Arts and Sciences.President Ray Watts and Provost Pam Benoit honored faculty across UAB during the annual Faculty Convocation on October 22.

    Scott Phillips, Ph.D., director of the UAB Center for Teaching and Learning and associate professor of Music Technology, received the 2018 Sam Brown Bridge Builder Award for his deep and abiding commitment to collaborating across campus that enhances the research and teaching activities of the University.

    Michael Sloane, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Psychology and director of the University Honors Program, is the recipient of the 2018 Ellen Gregg Ingalls/UAB National Alumni Society Award for Lifetime Achievement in Teaching. This award is presented annually to a full-time regular UAB faculty member who, throughout his/her career at UAB, has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to teaching.

    The President's Award for Excellence in Support of UAB and Shared Governance was presented to Professor Mike Wyss, Ph.D., immediate past chair of the UAB Faculty Senate. Dr. Wyss also directs UAB's Center for Community Outreach Development and has been a longtime champion for interdisciplinary collaboration across campus, as well as developing strong partnerships with the City of Birmingham.

    The President's Award for Excellence in Teaching was awarded to Cassandra Ellis, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of English. Ellis has a long history of high scores on her evaluations from students and was honored with the Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching in early 2018.

    Congratulations to our College of Arts and Sciences faculty!

    Dr. Michael Wyss (right) with Dr. Brad Yoder, Chair of the Department of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology in the School of Medicine

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  • Laurel Hitchcock receives Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Service Learning

    The 2018 Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Service Learning goes to Dr. Laurel Hitchcock, Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work.

    The 2018 Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Service Learning goes to Dr. Laurel Hitchcock, Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work.

    Dr. Hitchcock deservedly receives this award for:

    • She has worked to incorporate service learning activities for the online and face to face courses in her area to enrich the experience of her social work students.
    • She organizes activities within the service learning opportunities to help her students reach out to the community and to help her students experience authentic social work challenges as part of their studies.
    • She also works to assist other faculty in her department to have the same activities and online resources to be successful in their sections as well.
    • She has collaborated with people across campus to gather the most effective resources for her students.

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  • Keeping Halloween safe: Tips from UAB experts

    UAB experts offer ways to keep your little ghosts and goblins safe this Halloween.

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  • Dr. Stacy Krueger-Hadfield named Norma J. Lang Fellow

    Dr. Stacy Krueger-Hadfield, assistant professor in the Department of Biology, was selected as the 2018 Norma J. Lang Early Career Fellow from the Phycological Society of America.

    Dr. Stacy Krueger-Hadfield, assistant professor in the Department of Biology, was selected as the 2018 Norma J. Lang Early Career Fellow from the Phycological Society of America ($10,000) for her proposal "Spatiotemporal adaptation in the rocky intertidal: evolutionary responses of intertidal Chondrus crispus populations to climate change." Dr. Krueger-Hadfield is only the second Lang Fellow and was chosen from a very competitive pool of 31 applicants.

    "Seaweeds are critical ecosystem engineers in near-shore marine ecosystems worldwide, and form the basis of lucrative aquaculture," says Dr. Krueger-Hadfield, summarizing the project. "Yet, these diverse eukaryotes have received collectively less attention, despite their ecological and economic importance. With the Norma J. Lang Early Career Fellowship, I will investigate genome-wide patterns of divergence and genetic diversity at small spatial scales across a gradient of rapid change in the red seaweed Chondrus crispus." Her research will allow her to see if there are changes between time points (which was also associated with several degrees Celsius temp increase) and along the French Atlantic coastline as they have spatial sampling in 2008 and 2018.

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  • Online communities see large growth in anti-Semitic comments, memes

    Large-scale quantitative analysis details the rise of anti-Semitism and how anti-Semitic content flows across mainstream and fringe web communities.

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  • Dione Moultrie King appointed to diversity council

    Dr. Dione Moultrie King was recently appointed to a three-year term on the Council on Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Diversity.

    Dr. Dione Moultrie King of the UAB Department of Social Work was recently appointed to a three-year term on the Council on Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Diversity through the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This council promotes expanding the knowledge base for educators, students, and alumni through education and research about members of historically and emerging underrepresented groups.

    Dr. King is honored to serve the profession and work collaboratively with this council in the challenging times that lie ahead. Dr. King asserts “it is critical that social work educators demonstrate our commitment to social justice, service, dignity, and competence ensuring social work professionals understand these are truly the core values of our profession.”

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  • Faculty receive honors for their commitment to disability support

    UAB Disability Support Services (DSS) named this year’s winners of the Spring 2018 Faculty Awards. They are Mickie Powell (Ph.D.) and Robin Lorenz (M.D., Ph.D.).

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  • Study reveals misuse of archive services by fringe communities on the web

    In a large-scale analysis, Jeremy Blackburn, Ph.D., and collaborators found that the misuse of web archive services cause loss of ad revenue for popular news websites. 

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  • Art historian recognized for scholarly research and teaching

    Heather McPherson, Ph.D., was awarded the 2018 Ireland Prize for Scholarly Distinction.

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  • Stephen Watts to chair organizing committee for NIH workshop

    Stephen A Watts, Ph.D, a professor in the Department of Biology, has been selected to chair the organizing committee for the ORIP/DPCPSI/OD-NIH workshop on “Defining Nutrition in Zebrafish and other Biomedical Research Diets: Needs and Challenges.”

    Stephen A Watts, Ph.D, a professor in the Department of Biology, has been selected to chair the organizing committee for the ORIP/DPCPSI/OD-NIH workshop on “Defining Nutrition in Zebrafish and other Biomedical Research Diets: Needs and Challenges.”

    The Office of Research Infrastructure (ORIP) at NIH is supporting research community efforts to improve lab animal nutrition and increase rigor and reproducibility in biomedical research. Watts and the committee will address further development of standardized diets and feed management strategies which promote healthy animal husbandry, thus improving experimental design and outcomes.

    A workshop will be held at NIH in July 2018 to develop a roadmap for enhancing nutritional competency in biomedical research.

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  • Bicycle safety: Know the laws, prepare accordingly before you ride

    Riding bicycles is a fun and healthy way to get around efficiently. Know the rules and keep yourself safe while riding.

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