- Published January 03, 2014
- Hits: 841
Growing up in Iowa, Dr. Eric Mendenhall says biology always "came really easily" to him. But other than becoming a doctor, which he wasn't interested in, he didn't know what to do with a degree in the field. That is, until he landed a job at a human genome lab as an undergraduate.
"I was just looking to see if research would interest me," he says. "But to see people analyze blood samples from patients with birth defects and figure out what genetic mutations they had - that seemed very proactive."
So Dr. Mendenhall became, in his words, a "lab rat." And once he completed his bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa, he decided to continue on, earning a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Minnesota.
- Published December 19, 2013
- Hits: 693
It may seem like the government has never been less effective and less able to cooperate for the greater good of the people. But a new book by Dr. John F. Kvach shows that the political gridlock currently plaguing the nation has done so since its earliest days.
De Bow's Review: The Antebellum Vision of a New South - set during a time when the country was even more divided - reopens the debate on sectionalism and secession in the years leading up to the Civil War. But it does so through the eyes of one of the South's most controversial figures: journal editor and fire-eater James Dunwoody Brownson (J. D. B.) DeBow.
"I argue that De Bow was the most influential editor in the Antebellum South," says Dr. Kvach, professor of history at The University of Alabama in Huntsville and co-author of Images of America: Huntsville. "As early as the 1840s, he uses his journal to tell Southerners that they need to embrace commerce and industry."
- Published December 11, 2013
- Hits: 779
In his recent receipt of the National Role Model Faculty Mentor Award from Minority Access Inc., Dr. Emanuel Waddell sees a steady line of continuity and responsibility that spans high and low points in the campus history of The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). "Wilson Hall here on campus is named after Dr. Harold Wilson, who is deceased and was the dean of the College of Science," said Dr. Waddell, an associate professor of chemistry. "He mentored Dr. Adriel Johnson, and Adriel mentored me." Dr. Johnson, whose minority outreach efforts were well-known and prodigious, was one of three faculty members who lost their lives in a 2010 campus shooting.
- Published December 10, 2013
- Hits: 545
Robby Renz enjoys the rush of a challenge. UAH senior mechanical engineering student has "always enjoyed building things and taking things apart," from Legos as a youngster to cars and electronic devices as a teenager.
It wasn't only the dismantling and the reassembling of things that excited Renz - the why of how something worked sparked his imagination much more. "I have always enjoyed inventing products as well. I was originally interested in being an architect, which prompted me to do drafting in high school and college. I was not attracted to the low statistics of just being able to design modern type houses. This led me to a drafting job with a mechanical engineering consultant group in Huntsville. I immediately knew from the experience at that job, that this was what I wanted to do," Renz said.
- Published December 04, 2013
- Hits: 471
Ross Compher knows a thing or two about serving. The Huntsville native previously served in the U.S. Army, complete with a tour of duty in Iraq. And he continues to serve today as part of the Army National Guard. "It's my duty and my privilege," he says.
But that's not all. Since becoming a senior at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), Compher has served as president of UAH's Veterans Network, a student-run organization that assists and advocates for the university's student veterans and their dependents. "We reach out to veterans as well as educate students and faculty about what it's like to serve," he says.
Compher is actually one of the group's original founders, having experienced for himself the challenges of being a student veteran. "By the time I got to UAH, all of my friends had already graduated," he says, "so that made the transition to campus life a little more difficult."
But he soon realized he wasn't alone; UAH has around 700 veteran students, a much higher percentage than most other schools thanks to the proximity of Redstone Arsenal. So to meet the needs of this special demographic, the Veterans Network holds bi-monthly meetings and provides career development assistance.
- Published November 28, 2013
- Hits: 823
A clear idea for a better future is how Tiffany Webb ('13 B.S. Earth System Science), a recent graduate of UAH, and social entrepreneur describes her educational interests and personal motivation to change environmental issues.
A native of Birmingham, Webb witnessed the extreme pollution caused by the old iron and steel smoke stacks now at a standstill in the city. "You can still see them (smoke stacks) from the interstate," she said. "I never realized the extent of the pollution until I moved away, but the area remains effected, particularly with soil and air contamination in the northern part of Birmingham."
A graduate of Locust Fork High School, Webb heard about UAH from one of her "more influential high school teachers." With her heart and mind set on a career in engineering at UAH, Webb left the small town of Locust Fork, Ala., right after graduation.
- Published November 27, 2013
- Hits: 569
If you ask Taylor Bono what she wants to accomplish in life, she will tentatively respond that she hopes to become a surgeon - possibly even a neurosurgeon. But the junior biology major at UAH knows that it's a calling that comes with high demands.
Great surgeons, after all, have to possess a lot of the same characteristics that great leaders do. In the tense milieu of the operating room, they have to be confident and capable of making time-sensitive and often unilateral decisions for their patients.
- Published November 26, 2013
- Hits: 490
A new book in the American Chemical Society (ACS) series entitled "Tailored Polymer Architectures for Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Applications" has been co-edited by UAH chemistry professor Dr. Carmen Scholz.
The book is the fifth ACS book Dr. Scholz has edited. It contains chapters contributed by top researchers in the biomedical polymer field, including Dr. Holger Frey, professor at Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz; Dr. Kathyrn Uhich, dean of mathematical and physical sciences and professor of chemistry, Rutgers; Dr. Harm Anton Klok, professor of materials and chemical sciences, ETH Lausanne; Dr. Kazunori Kataoka, professor of chemistry, The University of Tokyo; Dr. Buddy Ratner, Michael L. & Myrna Darland endowed chair and professor of bioengineering and chemical engineering, University of Washington; and 14 others.
- Published November 25, 2013
- Hits: 557
The Christmas season will have a service oriented theme for student members of UAH Hispanic Student Organization (HSO) this year.
The newly formed group recently organized a service trip to Puerto Rico to reach out to high school students in Hispanic communities to promote college education. In December, six students and one faculty advisor will travel to the island. "We will share our college experiences with potential UAH students and discuss the importance of obtaining a college degree," said Maria Emma Torres, president of the HSO.
Torres, a junior at UAH, is double majoring in chemistry and biology. A graduate of East Limestone High School, she was born in Huntsville and raised in the Harvest community. Her parents are native Puerto Ricans, and the family settled in North Alabama after her father was hired at NASA.
- Published November 25, 2013
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When Huntsville native Mary Katherine Smartt Atnip headed to New York City to try out for the Radio City Rockettes in May of 2007, she wasn't expecting anything to come out of it. After all, she was just one of 800 dancers, almost all of whom were older than her.
"I'd heard it takes several times, so I was just there for the experience," says Atnip, who at the time was just 18 years old. But after she successfully passed the tap section and the jazz section, she began to gain confidence. "I kept making it through the cuts," she says. "At that point I was starting to think I was crazy!"
Eventually, the two-day auditions weeded the total number down to a group of just 30 women, among them the shocked Atnip. "I made it through the end," she says. "Then they measured every square inch for costumes and said, we'll call you." Two months later that call came: Atnip was officially a Rockette.