ChargerCon kicks off April 4 in the Charger Union


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.


Three UAH students win awards at Mid-South Psychology Conference

Mid-South Psychology Conference

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."


UAH Alumni Association to host Leadercast 2014


Community business leaders can access the knowledge and experience of world-renowned leaders by attending Leadercast® live simulcast event at UAH on Friday, May 9, presented by The UAH Alumni Association.

The Leadercast event is broadcast LIVE from Atlanta, Ga., to hundreds of sites around the world, including UAH. This year's speaker lineup includes:

  • Andy Stanley, Leadership author and communicator
  • Malcolm Gladwell, Journalist and best-selling author of The Tipping Point and Outliers
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel laureate & human rights activist live from Cape Town, South Africa
  • Randall Wallace, Screenwriter, director, producer & songwriter (Braveheart, Secretariat)
  • Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP
  • Laura Schroff, Former ad sale executive and best-selling author of An Invisible Thread
  • Dr. Henry Cloud, Clinical psychologist and leadership consultant
  • Simon Sinek, Best-selling author of Start with Why and leadership expert
  • Laura Bush, First Lady of the United States (2001-2009) via exclusive video interview

Last year, over 100,000 leaders from 14 countries attended Leadercast. Now, in its 15th year, this full day, experiential conference is on track to reach it's largest audience to date.


Noted philosopher David Hildebrand to lead annual UAH Philosophy Forum

David L. Hildebrand

Noted philosopher David L. Hildebrand will be the keynote speaker for the Annual Philosophy Forum at UAH on Friday, April 4.

His talk "Pragmatism and Objectivity: Habits for Democratic Life," will begin at 7 p.m., in the Union Grove Gallery (adjacent to the University Center). The forum is sponsored by the UAH Philosophy Department and is free and open to the public.

Hildebrand is professor and chair of the University of Colorado Denver (UCD). Before completing his graduate studies in philosophy, he was director of Education and Public Relations at a non-profit arts organization in Washington, D.C.

Prior to his arrival at UCD he taught at Rice University, The University of Memphis, and the University of Houston.

In addition to teaching and advising students, Dr. Hildebrand is an active researcher and presenter in philosophy, and holds memberships in several academic societies, and is very active in the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy and the Southwestern Philosophical Society. He is also responsible for creating and maintaining a number of philosophy websites including UCD's Philosophy Department website and his own,


UAH once again tops the list for return on investment among Alabama schools


UAH once again tops the list of all colleges and universities in the state with the best return on investment (ROI), according to PayScales's just released 2014 College ROI Report.

It is also the only school in the top ten with back-to-back rankings for both its in-state and out-of-state ROI, which is based on the total cost of education and alumni earnings over a 20-year period following graduation.

"The success of our students is of paramount importance to the faculty and staff of UAH, and PayScale's ranking gives us confirmation that we are providing the necessary education to give our graduates an advantage when they enter the workforce," says UAH President Robert Altenkirch.

Of course, this most recent standing atop the ROI list is nothing new for UAH, whose graduates earn an average starting salary of $49,600 according to the report. The university was ranked number one for ROI by both Affordable Colleges Online and the College Database last year.


Colloquium contextualizes thermodynamics for UAH honors students


Any thermodynamics class worth its salt will include a lecture on the second law of thermodynamics. But what about the man behind the second law, Nicholas Carnot? Few may know that this son of a prominent French politician actually spent much of his life in the military before being interned in an asylum and dying of cholera at the age of 36.

But that is exactly the kind of fascinating backstory that Dr. Daniel Armentrout hopes to impart to the students in his Honors Thermodynamics Colloquium at UAH. Offered by the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the course runs concurrently with – and builds upon – the traditional Thermodynamics lecture.

"The more you learn about the people who made monumental contributions to science, the more you are confronted with their humanity and recognize that discovery is obtainable," says Dr. Armentrout. "So all of the students in the colloquium get exposure to the historical and personal context that led to significant discoveries in thermodynamics."

This semester, those students are Victoria Cain, Ryan Gott, Moriah Morehouse, and Kareem Omar. All are undergraduates in UAH's Honors College, and all say that the colloquium allows them to explore thermodynamics in a more meaningful way than the course's lecture-style counterpart.

"We learn about what people in the past did with significantly less technology, which gives me the confidence that I will be able to solve problems and make new discoveries," says Gott. Adds Omar, "this is what university is all about – a professor knowledgeable about a topic entertaining discussion with students who have the same interests."


UAH Honor’s Convocation recognizes distinguished undergraduate students

Honors Convocation

UAH will recognize outstanding undergraduate students for their distinguished academic achievements during Honors Convocation on Tuesday, April 1, on the university's campus.

The UAH Undergraduate Academic Honors Convocation is an important tradition, allowing the university to honor our students and to recognize their successes. This year, the event will be held at 9 a.m., in the Chan Auditorium. A reception will follow the ceremony.

Each college within the university will also hold separate honorary programs, and schedules are listed below:

  • College of Nursing — Chan Auditorium at 1 p.m.
  • College of Liberal Arts — Roberts Recital Hall at 2 p.m.
  • College of Business Administration — Chan Auditorium at 3 p.m.
  • College of Engineering — Charger Union Theater at 3 p.m.
  • College of Science — McDonnell Douglas Auditorium at 4 p.m.


Fifty-three UAH students initiated into Phi Kappa Phi honor society


Fifty-three students from UAH were initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi at a ceremony held March 14 in UAH's Shelby Center. The occasion marked the 41st Initiation Ceremony for the UAH chapter of the nation's oldest and largest honor society.

"In speaking with a number of the initiates after the ceremony, I sensed a commonality, that is, of a drive, a passion even, to learn all they could about their field of study," says UAH nursing professor Dr. Peggy Hays, who also serves at the chapter's vice president. "I heard nothing of 'doing only enough to just get by.'"

The ceremony's keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Christine Curtis, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. In her remarks, Dr. Curtis spoke to the honor society's dual mission of excelling in one's own academic endeavors while at the same time being of service to others.


UAH celebrates Greek Week with "edutaining" presentation on social media dangers

Rob Hackenson

The dangers of irresponsible social media use and the destructive repercussions will be examined during a presentation by Rob Hackenson, Jr., on Monday, April 7, at UAH.

Hackenson's edutaining lecture is at 7 p.m., in the Charger Union Theater. The event is free and open to the public. His visit to the UAH campus is sponsored by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Since 2004, Hackenson has traveled across the United States, and Canada speaking and giving keynote addresses to schools, colleges, organizations and companies, delivering highly interactive presentations on "Bullying Prevention," "Social Media Dangers and Cyber Safety," "Drug, Alcohol, and Tobacco Awareness (Sobering Thoughts)."

He specializes in educational entertainment that engages and educates. Hackenson's use of skits, hypnosis, mind magic, illusions, videos, and true stories will have the audience on the edge of their seats, laughing hysterically, or sitting in silence thinking about the important lessons of responsible posting.


UAH’s College of Business Administration to host Spring Entrepreneurs Roundtable

Spring Entrepreneurs Roundtable

The College of Business Administration at UAH will host its annual Spring Entrepreneurs Roundtable at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 17, in the Chan Auditorium with a reception to follow.

With a theme of "Tomorrow's IT," this semester's roundtable will focus on entrepreneurial leadership in the field of information and communications technology and will feature three panelists from the Huntsville business community:

  • Michael Comperda, CTO of CURSE, an on-line game portal and network of gaming sites
  • Matt Fowler, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Solid Earth, a B2B provider of innovative technology to the real estate industry
  • Mark Spencer, Founder and CTO of Digium, a communications hardware and telephony software company