- Published April 15, 2014
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Last month, the Charger Cheerleaders at UAH decided to take their spirit on the road. Their destination? The JAMfest Nationals Series in Mobile, where they won first place in the International Open Co-Ed Cheer and the Open Partner Stunt events.
"I was so proud of the squad and what they were able to accomplish at JAMfest," says Nikki Goode, Director of Student Activities and the squad's advisor. "Most of our cheerleaders have little or no background in cheerleading, so it is amazing to see the development that occurs in each of these students in such a short period of time."
- Published April 14, 2014
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General Dennis L. Via, Commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command on Redstone Arsenal, is scheduled to deliver UAH's commencement address on Sunday, May 4. The ceremony begins at 2 p.m., and will be held in the Von Braun Center Propst Arena in downtown Huntsville.
UAH is expected to award more than 800 diplomas at its spring graduation ceremony - 578 bachelor's degrees, 197 master's degrees and 27 doctoral degrees. General Via will be awarded an honorary doctorate from UAH during the ceremony.
The U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness to ensure dominant land force capability for the U.S. Warfighter and our allies.
- Published April 10, 2014
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New Student Orientation at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is designed to help ease the transition from high school, college, or the workforce to life in the Charger Nation. And helping facilitate that process – and make it both exciting and enjoyable – is the job of UAH's Orientation Leaders (OLs).
"OLs act as sources of support and information for new freshmen and transfer students, and they play a major role in facilitating the adjustment of new students and their families to UAH," says Jenny Russell, who serves as the Assistant Director of New Student Orientation and Family Programs at the university.
They're also highly recognizable by their boundless energy and school spirit – a must when it comes to participating in Orientation traditions like the Orientation Leader Welcome Skit & Dance and teaching new students the UAH fight song. After all, says Russell, "the goal of orientation is to make students and families feel welcome and that they've made a wonderful decision in joining the Charger Nation."
Needless to say, competition for the university's 20 OL positions is strong. "Students must be representative of our campus diversity, be active in student life, and boast a high academic standard," says Russell of the requirements. "They must also complete an application, an individual interview, and a group process to be considered for the position."
Some OLs apply and are accepted for a second or third year, and in doing so, receive additional responsibilities. "Returning OLs help with graphic design projects, developing our social media, and coming up with our traditions and skits, while two OLs each year can return for a third year as Orientation Leader Coordinators," says Russell.
- Published April 08, 2014
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When Dr. Eric Mendenhall accepted a position as assistant professor with the Department of Biological Sciences at UAH this past fall, one of the deciding factors was the university's unique relationship with the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology.
"The HudsonAlpha Institute, led by President Richard Myers, is especially prolific in their research, and future collaborations seemed like they would be easy to establish and mutually beneficial," he says. Then with a laugh he adds, "Dr. Myers really helped recruit me to come to UAH with promises of future collaborations!"
Joking aside, however, Dr. Myers has more than made good on his promise. He has partnered with Dr. Mendenhall on the ENCODE project, a large consortium effort to define the epigenome across both normal and diseased cells.
- Published April 07, 2014
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The Wind Ensemble at UAH and the U.S. Army Materiel Command Band will give a joint performance at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 11, at the First Baptist Church (600 Governors Drive).
UAH conductor Dr. David Ragsdale and AMC commander CWO Jessie Pasqua will present a dynamic evening of repertoire with guest conductors Dr. David Spencer of Huntsville High School and Mr. Gary Green of the University of Miami.
The program, an exhibition concert for the Alabama Bandmasters Association's All-State Band Festival, will conclude with David Maslanka's epic Symphony No. 4. The program, approximately one hour in duration, is free and open to the public and consists of the following:
The Star Spangled Banner
Composed by Francis Scott Key and arranged especially for the UAH Wind Ensemble by UAH alum Curtis Lindsay, the National Anthem will be performed by baritone soloist SSG Scarlett of the U.S. Army Materiel Command Band.
Fanfare and Allegro by Clifton Williams
Fanfare and Allegro was the first composition to win the Ostwald Award for original band literature. The award was presented at the American Bandmasters Association convention in 1956. It is written in an exciting contemporary style with a brilliant score. The work opens with a declamatory fanfare section, which leads directly to the allegro movement. It features ostinato figures, brilliant brass, and percussion. Although rhythmically complex, the music is impressive and straightforward, and its resonance and sonority are ideally suited to the medium of the modern wind band.
Redwood by Ryan George
"When the Collins Hill High School Band approached me about writing a piece for their head band director, who was set to retire at the end of the year, they wanted something that spoke not only to this man's love of music but also to his love for the great outdoors. I was reminded, then, of the times growing up when my family and I would go camping in Sequoia National Park, and we would set up our tents among the giant redwood trees that grow in that region of California. These trees command attention with their immense stature, their size the result of years gone by and storms weathered. And yet they exude a peaceful and subtle tranquility. This idea of 'Powerful Tranquility' became the cornerstone of this lyrical tone poem." - Ryan George
- Published April 07, 2014
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It's crunch time for graduating seniors at UAH. The few remaining days before graduation are spent dotting i's and crossing t's – cramming for exams, and completing senior theses for research papers or projects.
But students are temporarily putting books and laptops on the back burner to participate in Greek Week activities at UAH, April 5-12. The annual week-long event is filled with philanthropy projects and competitive social activities.
"One of the greatest values exemplified by our fraternity and sorority community at UAH is its commitment to community service and philanthropy. Every chapter supports both national and local organizations through these activities," said Dr. Regina Hyatt, dean of students and associate vice president of Student Affairs.
Hyatt said, in the past year UAH fraternity and sorority students have performed more than 17,000 hours of community service and raised nearly $70,000 for charitable organizations.
According to a 2013 annual report by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 312 million hours of service to communities across the country. CNCS, a federal agency that supports and tracks volunteering in America valued the service at more than $6.6 billion dollars.
During the month of April, UAH students have planned numerous fundraising activities including events for cancer and arthritis research and treatment, and bone marrow donor drives.
- Published April 02, 2014
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The Department of Education at UAH now offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Differentiated Instruction with a concentration in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), the first in the state of Alabama to do so.
"There are other autism-focused programs in Alabama, but UAH is the only one to offer a Master of Education in Differentiated Instruction with a concentration in autism," says Dr. Beth Quick, Chair of the Department of Education. "Earlier this month, we received final approval to welcome our first cohort of students into the program this summer."
The impetus for the ASD concentration came from a 2004 study concluding that the Huntsville area is home to a disproportionately high percentage of children with autism. That in turn prompted the Alabama legislature to create the Alabama Autism Task Force, whose findings included the following:
- Alabama is behind the national average in identifying and diagnosing children with autism at an early age.
- Increasing numbers of children with autism are enrolling in general education classrooms.
- Training for teachers responsible for students with autism is essential.
- There is a need for ongoing training and technical assistance for teachers.
"The result was an emphasis on the need for statewide teacher training," says Dr. Quick. "Data gathered from a needs-assessment survey of K-12 teachers and administrators in school systems located in the surrounding counties indicate there is definitely interest."
- Published April 01, 2014
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The Lancers welcomed their newest group of members for the 2014-2015 school year, a milestone that comes on the heels of their recent 40th anniversary celebration.
Made up of current students at UAH, the Lancers serve as de facto ambassadors for the university. Each semester, they donate at least 15 hours of their time - and often much more - to give campus tours; assist with Commencement, Convocation, and formal events held at President Robert Altenkirch's home; and promote a positive image of the University on campus and in the community.
And that's not all, says Taralyn Caudle, assistant director of alumni relations and Lancers staff advisor. "Their job is to provide information about the University to visitors and guests," she says, "but they also get to network with administrators, community leaders, and sometimes public officials, utilizing their etiquette and leadership skills."
As for the Lancers' newest additions, she continues, they're in good hands with the group's veterans. "They really are some of the most impressive students I've come across," says Caudle. "Not only are they all academically stellar, but they are also very dedicated – and frankly, run pretty darn efficient early-morning meetings."
To learn more about the Lancers, visit UAH Lancers.
- Published April 01, 2014
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ChargerCon is back! Held each semester at UAH, this year's gaming convention will take place April 4 and 5 in the Charger Union (CU) and will include tournaments for Brawl, Melee, Project M, Magic, Minecraft, Hearthstone, Pokémon, and League of Legends.
"ChargerCon is the biggest event on campus," says UAH junior Kyle Kosic, a co-founder of Student-Run e-Sports, the organization responsible for ChargerCon. "And for the first time it's going to be in the CU, so it's going to be a lot more centralized. There will be a large free-play area in the main lobby, with games in the conference rooms."
Another change this year, he continues, is the amount and variety of sponsors, such as title sponsor TeSPA (the eSports Association). "TeSPA is our big one this year and they're coming from Texas," says Kosic. "They are sending a couple of people out to represent TeSPA to help us grow and to promote their own organization in the area."
That makes ChargerCon not just a great place to play – or watch – the tournaments and other games, but also a great place to network. "E-sports has really grown over the past few years, and there are careers available for people," says Kosic. "And not just players but marketing, communications, management – there is a whole new genre of jobs we can filter into."
In fact, some of UAH's alumni have already gone into the field, with more than a handful working at local gaming media and technology company Curse Inc. And even those who have pursued other career fields, like recent graduate and former SRES member Nick Hanson, continue to remain involved with SRES and ChargerCon.
- Published March 31, 2014
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Cassandra Baldwin, Monique Whitaker, and Kelly Arnold, all psychology majors from UAH, attended the Mid-South Psychology Conference held March 1 at Christian Brothers University in Memphis. And all three came back with an award for their efforts.
Master's student and Samson, Ala., native Baldwin won first place for her poster presentation about how music affects the emotional and physical response system to pictures. Senior and Powell, OH, native Whitaker won second place for her paper presentation on the psychological ownership of cancer. And senior and Huntsville native Arnold won honorable mention for her poster presentation about the way teenaged girls discuss sexual activity on social media.
"The Olympics were just wrapping up at the time, and I felt like we'd done a gold, silver, bronze sweep," says assistant professor of psychology Dr. Aurora Torres of the students' success. Fortunately, the three had had a little practice, which helped. "I teach them experimental psychology and, as part of the class, they have a poster and oral presentation," she says. "So they know how to put one together."
But even if the outcome hadn't been victorious, there is always benefit to be gained by attending. "Regardless of if they win, they get that experience," she continues. And that's something that all department faculty, not just Dr. Torres, encourage. "We have a good record of mentoring students to develop a sound record, and one way to do that is for undergrads to compete against each other by presenting at conferences."
Indeed, all three students say that they took away more than just their award from the conference. "It gave me a lot of confidence, and I'm more sure I'm on the right path," says Whitaker, referring to her research. "The feedback I received from the judges and the student questions are changing how I am doing my next project."