ACU named 2011 Credit Union of the Year

HUNTSVILLE, ALA. (JULY 26, 2011) — The Alabama Credit Union (ACU) was recently named the “2011 Credit Union of the Year,” by the League of Southeastern Credit Unions in the under $500 million category for the state of Alabama. The main branch of the ACU in North Alabama is located on John Wright Drive on the campus of The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAHuntsville).



Alabama Credit Union staff from left to right are: Nikki Fleming, accounting department; June Landrum, area branch manager; Debbie McDaniel, new accounts/loan officer; Lee Prysock, teller; Linda McNary, new accounts/teller supervisor; Pat Henson, teller; and Lori Rush, head teller. ACU staff member not pictured Donna Duke, who works in the accounting department.  

“The ACU has been serving the UAHuntsville campus for over 30 years!  It is a great pleasure to get to know the faculty, staff, and students and be here to assist with their financial needs. UAHuntsville has been a huge part of Alabama Credit Union’s success,” said June Landrum,Alabama Credit Union Area Branch Manager.

During the past year, existing members have referred a record number of new ACU members to the organization. Existing members have expanded their use of the credit union’s services including loans, and certificates of deposit. Additionally, the ACU’s signature charity, Secret Meals For Hungry ChildrenSM, has fed more children in the past 12 months than ever before.              

The ACU’s other North Alabama branches are located in south Huntsville, Decatur and Cullman. A new branch will open soon in Madison on Paramount Drive.

The first branch of the ACU opened in Tuscaloosa in 1970. The credit union opened on the UAHuntsville campus in 1978. The ACU’s first location on campus was a small office in Morton Hall.


For more information
Joyce Anderson-Maples

(256) 824-2101

UAHuntsville offers Latino summer institute

The University of Alabama in Huntsville offered its first Latino Summer Institute recently. Middle school Latino students spent a week on the UAHuntsville campus, staying in residence halls as well as conducting hands-on activities in STEM activities, such as rocket launches. 

The students were also exposed to literacy activities and film studies. The goal of the institute is to increase the opportunities for higher education to Latino students.


Westlawn students Laiza Rodriquez and Solimar Gonzalez get some help as they build their robot car that when they have finished programming it will be able to use a marker to make patterns.

Assistant Professor of Education Philip Kovacs directed the institute, which was funded by UAHuntsville Provost Vistasp Karbhari.

Space Shuttle art contest sponsored by AIAA, hosted by UAHuntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (July 21, 2011) — The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAHuntsville) recently hosted the Greater Huntsville Section American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Student Space Shuttle Art Contest.

     UAHuntsville Art and Art History students assembled the scale Space Shuttle models for entries in the contest. The models are on exhibit at the U. S. Space and Rocket Center.


Dr. Deborah Barnhart (’74 BA), C.E.O., and Executive Director of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center with AIAA award recipients Autumn Nelson (left, first place winner), and Beth Broussard (second place recipient). Carol Agola, third place winner was not present. 

     Contest judges included Deborah Barnhart (’74 BA), C.E.O. and executive director of the U. S. Space and Rocket Center and several AIAA members, John Lassiter, Emmett McDonald and Tom Hancock. UAHuntsville faculty members assisting with the event were Dr. Lillian Joyce, chairperson of the Art and Art History Department, and Keith Jones, associate professor of graphic design and photography. 

     Cash prizes were given to three UAHuntsville students. The third place award of $100 was given to Carol Agola for her design of detailed gold lettering on all the space shuttle orbiters; the second place award of $150 was presented to Beth Broussard for her space shuttle rendition of an Apollo Crew Module and Lunar Excursion Module; and the first place award of $250 was given to Autumn Nelson, for her space shuttle with artistic bright color patchwork.



For more information

Joyce Anderson-Maples, (256) 824-2101

UAHuntsville Student Affairs launches newsletter and calendar for students

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (July 7, 2011) — The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAHuntsville) Office of Student Affairs launched a newsletter and an online calendar earlier this year for students, Charger Student News and the UAHuntsville Student Events Calendar.

            Charger Student News is distributed each Monday to student email accounts. The newsletter features the week’s upcoming events as well as other campus information. If you have information you would like to include in Charger Student News, please complete the online form linked here to submit information. 

            Additionally, we have an online student events calendar that features programs and activities specifically for UAHuntsville students. Registered student organizations and campus departments can submit events to be included in the calendar. The calendar and an online submission form can be found at


Charger Student News submission form:


For more information

Joyce Anderson-Maples, (256) 824-2101


Donna E. Shalala to speak at UAHuntsville’s spring commencement 2011

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (July 6, 2011) — Donna E. Shalala, president of the University of Miami and former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, will give the keynote address during the spring commencement ceremony on Saturday, August 13, at 9 a.m., at Spragins Hall on the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAHuntsville) campus.

            During the ceremony, 1021 degrees will be conferred. UAHuntsville will award 794 bachelor’s degrees, 194 master’s degrees and 33 doctoral (PhD) and doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degrees. Shalala will be awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree during commencement services.

            At 9 a.m. on Saturday, all College of Liberal Arts, Nursing, and Science undergraduates, and master’s degree students will receive their diplomas. And, PhD and DNP students will be hooded during the ceremony.

         During the noon ceremony all College of Engineering, and Business Administration undergraduates and master’s degree students will receive their diplomas. All engineering and business Ph.D., students will be hooded at the service.

            Donna E. Shalala became professor of Political Science and President of the University of Miami on June 1, 2001. She has more than 30 years of experience as an accomplished scholar, teacher, and administrator.

            In 1993 President Bill Clinton appointed Shalala U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) where she served for eight years, becoming the longest serving HHS secretary in U.S. history. At the beginning of her tenure, HHS had a budget of nearly $600 billion, which included a wide variety of programs including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Child Care and Head Start, Welfare, the Public Health Service, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). At the end of her tenure as HHS secretary, The Washington Post described her as “one of the most successful government managers of modern times.” 

            Shalala also served in President Jimmy Carter’s administration from 1977-80 as assistant secretary for Public Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

            She is a director of Gannett Co., Inc., the Lennar Corporation, and Mednax, Inc. In 2007, President George W. Bush handpicked Shalala to co-chair with Senator Bob Dole the Commission on Care for Returning Wounded Warriors, to evaluate how wounded service member’s transition from active duty to civilian society. In 2009 she was appointed chair of the Committee on the Future of Nursing, at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

            Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Shalala received her A.B. degree in history from Western College for Women. One of the country’s first Peace Corp Volunteers, she served in Iran from 1962 to 1964. She earned her Ph.D. degree from The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. She has held tenured professorships at Columbia University, the City University of New York, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She served as president of Hunter College of the City University of New York from 1980 to 1987 and as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1987 to 1993.

            Shalala has more than four dozen honorary degrees and a host of other honors, including the 1992 National Public Service Award, the 1994 Glamour magazine Woman of the Year Award; in 1992, Business Week named her one of the top five managers in higher education; in 2005 she was named one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government; and she received the 2010 Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights, which recognizes individuals for outstanding dedication to improving the health and life chances of disadvantaged populations in South Africa and internationally.

            In June 2008, President Bush presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. She has been elected to the Council on Foreign Relations; National Academy of Education; the National Academy of Public Administration; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the American Philosophical Society; the National Academy of Social Insurance; the American Academy of Political and Social Science; and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

For more information

Joyce Anderson-Maples
(256) 824-2101

Senator Shelby secures grant for construction of transportation corridor at UAHuntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (July 1, 2011) - A federal grant secured by U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) will create a transportation corridor within the interior core of The University of Alabama in Huntsville campus.

The grant will construct an interconnecting pedestrian/bicycle route, thus providing a better connection between the north and south ends of campus, according to university officials.

Sen. Shelby is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He announced that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded $1,646,000 to the UAHuntsville Intermodal Facility for the construction of the transportation corridor.

"It is critical that Alabama's universities have strong infrastructure in place to support students, faculty and community members as well as surrounding businesses," Shelby said. "The University of Alabama in Huntsville will use this grant to make improvements that are essential for efficient transportation on campus."

The corridor will be composed of walkways for pedestrians, bicycle lanes, covered bicycle storage, extensive landscaping and green space, and other pedestrian use amenities.

Construction is expected to begin late this year and should be finished before students arrive for the Fall 2012 semester, according to Mike Finnegan, assistant vice president of facilities.

"This generous grant by Sen. Shelby will improve the efficiency and safety of traffic on our campus," Finnegan said. "It will create more of a demand for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, thus adding to our transition of a more traditional campus setting. This infrastructure will also make the campus safer by separating vehicular traffic from pedestrian and bicycle traffic." He added that the corridor would also be helpful to meet the needs of the university's mobility-challenged students.

The corridor is adjacent to the campus Intermodal Facility in the center of campus. The north end begins at Holmes Avenue and will run south to Lakeside Drive.

For more information 
contact Ray Garner