UAH pre-health program helps students pursue healthcare dreams

Pre-Health Program

Getting into a professional school to pursue an advanced degree in the healthcare field is no easy feat, as any doctor, dentist, pharmacist, or veterinarian can tell you. But the students in the Pre-Health Program at UAH must have missed that memo, because their acceptance rate blew the national average out of the water this past year.

"Pre-health students are a group of dedicated, ambitious, and driven individuals," says Dana Warner, UAH's Coordinator of Pre-Health Professions. "The 2013-2014 cycle of pre-health students who applied for 2014 acceptance to professional school were a remarkable bunch. I am delighted to work with them, know their stories, and see their future career paths unfold."

So what's the secret to their success? As Warner is quick to point out, there's no one sure path to getting into professional school for a healthcare career. In fact, quite the opposite, as many schools look for students with diverse and unique experiences. But one thing is certain. The journey starts with a strong and innate desire to help others.

"I have been unbelievably blessed throughout my life, and for this I am incredibly grateful," says Nathan Judge, who will head to UAB's School of Medicine at the end of the month. "Knowing how much I have been given, I want to use my abilities to help others. My desire to help people, coupled with my interest in the scientific aspect of medicine, naturally steered me toward medicine."


William Wilkerson named dean of the UAH Honors College

William Wilkerson

William Wilkerson has been appointed dean of The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Honors College. He will assume his duties as dean on Tuesday, July 15.

"Dr. Wilkerson has numerous distinctions and achievements and brings a wealth of experience in leadership and administration, research, scholarship, and teaching to the Honors College. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Wilkerson to his new role here at UAH," said Dr. Christine W. Curtis, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs.

Wilkerson currently serves as professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts.

"The new Honors College will offer a unique and transformative educational opportunity for the students, as well as a chance to raise the profile of UAH as a whole. UAH has been a home to me for 16 years, and I know that this community can accomplish great things when we work together. I am excited for this new challenge," said Wilkerson.


Alabama’s first Tech Trek camp kicks off at UAH on July 20

Tech Trek

UAH will host Alabama's first Tech Trek from Sunday, July 20, through Friday, July 25. Fifty rising eighth-grade girls from across the state will participate in the weeklong residential camp, which features intensive hands-on experiments and activities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and the opportunity for campers to meet and interact with female role models in these fields.

"Tech Trek provides a wonderful opportunity for girls to become empowered and confident in their skills and abilities in math and science," says Joy Agee, a Ph.D. candidate in Biotechnology who is serving as the camp's Student and Family Coordinator. "Many of the campers have expressed interest in being surrounded by other girls that also share a love for math and science, and at Tech Trek, they will be in a space where it is okay to be a girl and like these subjects."

Agee adds that she also feels "personally involved" in this camp. "I truly feel that it is important for female students to gain maximal exposure to STEM careers at an early age, so they can have options," she says. "I didn't have opportunities like this growing up, but throughout my graduate career I've been exposed to STEM careers and I realize the need for women in technical fields."

The very first Tech Trek was held at Stanford University in 1998 and organized by the Palo Alto, Calif., branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). It later expanded to 10 camps at 8 college campuses across California. And last year, under the auspices of national AAUW, four new camps took place. In 2014, AAUW national added three more camps, of which UAH is one. Each camp sponsored by AAUW national receives guidance and $10,000 in supporting funds.


UAH introduces new Game Design & Development minor

Game Design and Development

Several graduates of UAH have already gone on to work in the video game design industry, among them Charlotte Ellett and Falco Girgis. But there's no doubt that more will soon follow in their footsteps thanks to the debut of Game Design & Development, a brand-new cross-disciplinary minor, this fall.

Comprising a mix of courses offered primarily by the Department of Art & Art History and the Department of Computer Science, with assistance from the Department of Music and the Department of Communication Arts, the minor will provide students with a strong foundation in video game creation basics. Topics will include animation, mobile app design, digital composing, game engine development, and team game development among others.

"The Department regularly receives inquiries about animation and game design from current as well as prospective students," says Dr. Lillian Joyce, chair of the Department of Art & Art History. "This growing area is the ideal synthesis of art and technology."


UAH hosts Independence Mile run, race benefits cross country scholarships

Independence Mile run

UAH will host the Independence Mile, on Thursday, July 3.

The event, sponsored by RunningLane Personal Coaching will benefit UAH cross country scholarships. Registration will remain open online until 11 p.m., on Monday, June 30. The entry fee is $25.

Packet pickup and race-day registration is from 5 p.m., to 7 p.m. There will be several races, with the first event beginning at 6:30 p.m. All events will take place on the south end of the UAH campus, near the Duck Pond and Sparkman Drive (entrance). Family activities include music, frisbee toss, and cheering sections for runners. Also, feel free to BYOPB (Bring Your Own Picnic Basket).


UAH hosts CollegeFirst AP institute for area high school students


More than 70 area high school students from North Alabama participated in the fifth annual Huntsville CollegeFirst Advanced Placement (AP) Institute, hosted on the campus of The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), June 9-26. The summer enrichment program is designed to prepare the state's high school students for the challenge of college-level advanced placement courses in mathematics, science and English.

This year's Huntsville CollegeFirst AP Institute was sponsored in part by Impact Alabama, A+ College Ready, the UAH Department of Biological Sciences and the Office of Diversity. Impact Alabama is a student service initiative dedicated to developing and implementing service-learning projects in conjunction with students from universities and colleges throughout the state of Alabama. Impact Alabama is housed and supported by The Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility at The University of Alabama (UA).

"UAH students, through the Office of Diversity, have been integral partners and participants of the Impact Alabama initiatives from the beginning of the programs. First was Focus First, then Save First and now College First. It is a win-win for all concerned, the UAH students and the underrepresented populations they serve," said Delois H. Smith, UAH vice president for Diversity.


Boeing Co. R&T managers tour UAH

Boeing Tour

Fourteen national Boeing Company Research and Technology (R&T) managers toured the research facilities at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) on Tuesday, June 24, to look at the university's capabilities.

The full-day tour highlighted UAH research in micro-systems, RF communication, data analytics and decision systems, optics, precision ultrafast light, nano- and micro-devices, software safety and security, and modeling and simulation.


UAH introduces new course on the sociology of tourism and travel

Sociology of Travel and Tourism

This fall, the Department of Sociology at UAH will offer a brand-new 300-level course on the sociology of tourism and travel. The impetus, says associate professor Dr. Bhavani Sitaraman, was twofold: first, to expand the department's curricular offerings, and second, to enhance students' understanding of the social dimensions and consequences of tourism around the world.

"Tourism is a multi-trillion dollar industry that generates significant employment and pleasure, but it is also an important phenomenon that teaches us a lot about the nature of work, leisure, consumption, and culture in modern societies," says Dr. Sitaraman. "At an individual level, critical knowledge about how tourism works can foster responsible tourism where we all benefit from travel that enhances cultural understanding, economic development, and environmental conservation."

Thus by exploring interactions between tourists and non-tourists, the creation and designation of tourist sites, and the social, economic, and environmental impact of tourism on destinations, students are afforded the opportunity to engage with the world as an educated and cosmopolitan citizen. And that's of value not just to the students themselves, points Dr. Sitaraman, but also to future employers. "Many students today are encouraged to study abroad and be prepared to live and work with a global consciousness," she says.


UAH welcomes new faculty for 2014/2015

New UAH Faculty

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) community is pleased to welcome several new faculty members to our campus for the 2014/2015 academic year. UAH New Faculty Orientation will be held on Monday, Aug. 18, and the university's Fall Convocation Ceremony will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 19.


UAH to take part in Saturday’s ‘NASA on the Square’ day

NASA on the Square

On Saturday, June 20, UAH will take part in 'NASA on the Square' day, a free event that will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Courthouse Square in downtown Huntsville.

"Huntsville has been home to the Marshall Center for more than 50 years," says Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Director Patrick Scheuermann. "From America's first satellite, to the moon landings, the shuttle program and the International Space Station, we've made history, together. NASA on the Square is a celebration of that history, and a great opportunity for your family to come and meet our family and see where we are going next."