Step by Step

people1For 30 years, James Rimmer, Ph.D., has developed and directed programs for people with disabilities. But the new director of the Lakeshore Foundation/UAB Research Collaborative is convinced that the best is yet to come. Rimmer joined UAB in January as the first Lakeshore Foundation Endowed Chair in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation Sciences. He will lead a partnership between UAB researchers and rehabilitation specialists at Birmingham’s Lakeshore Foundation that is aiming to make breakthroughs in rehabilitation science research. “During the next 10 years, Birmingham will transform itself into the epicenter of research, professional growth, and development in this important and understudied area of science,” Rimmer says.

Leadership Material

Few people know as much about education at UAB as Linda Lucas, Ph.D. After all, Lucas has earned an undergraduate degree in engineering; master’s degrees in mathematics, education, and materials engineering; and a doctorate in biomedical engineering from UAB. She also has been a member of the UAB faculty since 1982, and was dean of the School of Engineering until she was appointed interim provost in 2011. Now, after a national search, Lucas has been named to the permanent post. “She is high-energy, innovative, and devoted to UAB and will continue to push to improve the academic experience of our students and faculty,” says UAB President Carol Z. Garrison.

Grade-A Teachers

people2Tonya Perry

In March, 11 UAB faculty members, representing each school, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Joint Health Sciences departments, received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching: Mark Bevensee, Ph.D. (Joint Health Sciences); John M. Coke, D.D.S. (Dentistry); Leslie McClure, Ph.D. (Public Health); Teena McGuinness, Ph.D. (Nursing); Sylvie Mrug, Ph.D. (Arts and Sciences); Tonya Perry, Ph.D. (Education); Talat Salama, Ph.D. (Engineering); Elizabeth Steele, O.D. (Optometry); Joseph Van Matre, Ph.D. (Business); Jonathan Waugh, Ph.D. (Health Professions); Lisa Willett, M.D. (Medicine).

Two other educators earned top honors. Robin Foley, Ph.D., was presented with the Ellen Gregg Ingalls/UAB National Alumni Society Award for Lifetime Achievement in Teaching. She is an associate professor of materials science and engineering and manager of UAB’s Electron Optics Labs. Stephen Yoder, J.D., assistant professor and honors program director in the School of Business, won UAB’s Odessa Woolfolk Community Service Award.


Dentistry’s New Dean

people3Michael Reddy (left)Michael Reddy, D.M.D., is a highly respected dental scholar, educator, and clinician—and now the new dean of the UAB School of Dentistry. Previously, he was chair of the UAB Department of Periodontology and the former assistant dean for planning and clinical activity. An internationally recognized master clinician in periodontal therapy and dental implants as well as a senior scientist in multiple UAB research centers, Reddy says that he intends to encourage and expand interprofessional research and help UAB continue to set the standard for excellence in oral health care.


Sight Selection

Christopher Girkin, M.D., an internationally known clinician-scientist in glaucoma, is the new chair of the Department of Ophthalmology. Since arriving at UAB in 1999, he has won research support and awards from Research to Prevent Blindness, the EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, the Glaucoma Research Foundation, and the National Eye Institute. He has been included in the “Best Doctors in America” each year since 2003.

people4Talk of the Planet

UAB space archaeologist Sarah Parcak, Ph.D., has already been featured in documentaries on the Discovery Channel and the BBC, and was recently named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic magazine. But on February 28, she got a chance to follow in the steps of Bill Clinton, Bono, and Bill Gates by giving a TED talk—a high-stakes summary of her work delivered to a live audience of the world’s most vibrant minds at the 2012 TED Full Spectrum conference in Long Beach, California, and to a far larger audience on the Internet. Watch Parcak’s talk here.

Breaking the Cycle

people5Joshua Carpenter, who graduated from UAB in 2010 with a degree in accounting, has become the university’s second Rhodes Scholar. Only 32 students annually are selected for the honor, which allows recipients to study at Oxford University in England. Carpenter spent the past two years teaching English and coaching football and baseball in Alabama’s Marion County as part of the Teach for America program. At Oxford, he plans to seek a master’s degree in comparative social policy and to focus on ways that education can break the cycle of poverty. Learn more about Carpenter in this UAB Magazine feature.