Tag: The Collegian 2016

Tiny Giant

There are three things always at the tip of Pam McCollough’s tongue—The University of Alabama, adversity, and her mom. In the fall, especially, the University rolls off her tongue like drumsticks on a snare beginning the national anthem, and rightfully so. Since 1984, the year she graduated from law school, it’s been her tradition to attend nearly every home football game, trekking from Houston and further to Alabama to cheer on her alma mater. The most home games she’s missed were those […]

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Ancient Artifact

When a Torah scroll salvaged from the Holocaust came to the Temple Emanu-El, located just west of the Frank Moody Music Building, Drs. Paul Aharon and Steven Jacobs—both UA professors and members of the local Jewish congregation—wanted to know more about the scroll and when it was created. With the permission of the Westminster Synagogue in London, which had permanently loaned the Torah to the Tuscaloosa temple, their congregation decided to have the scroll radiocarbon-dated. Aharon, a professor in the […]

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‘Til the Wheels Fall Off

Twenty-two year old U.S. Army Sgt. Shaun Castle was on a training mission in Germany when the pulsing rounds of a Mark 19 automatic grenade launcher rang out unexpectedly and drastically changed the course of his life. He had been teaching a solider how to use the weapon, which was mounted on the top of a Humvee, but the soldier fired prematurely. The Humvee recoiled, and, in an instant, the brush guard of the vehicle slammed into Castle’s lower back—cracking […]

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Bridging the Gap

Growing up, Seth Panitch thought he would be a doctor like his father. He dreamed of going to medical school and was familiar with the apprenticeship-like process of residency that allows young professionals to apply their academic training in the real world. But when Panitch, now the director of UA’s acting programs, pursued theatre instead of medicine, he was on his own. Despite the classical training he received at the University of Washington, the professional theatre world was uncharted territory […]

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From Space to Surgery: Student revamps NASA technology for cardiologists

NASA’s high-tech inventions aren’t just for outer space. Through the NASA Technology Transfer Competition, UA students are able to take NASA patents and re-envision them for use on earth. Virginia Morgan, a senior studying neuroscience in New College, re-envisioned a panoramic lens—which NASA designed to measure heat distribution efficiency in rocket engines—and retooled it to improve heart surgery. “When doctors perform heart surgery, they often try to look at the walls of a heart valve, but their cameras only look […]

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The Legacy of Harper Lee

Harper Lee with some of her fellow students

In the wake of Rosa Parks’ famous bus ride and the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, young Harper Lee wrote the first iteration of To Kill a Mockingbird—an unforgettable story of racial injustice, loosely based on Lee’s Alabama hometown and the 1930s Scottsboro rape trials. Mockingbird preceded the Civil Rights Movement by 30 years, but readers and critics alike saw the parallels to their current social climate, and they loved it. Overnight it became a public […]

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Freedom and Fire! A Civil War Story

When Colonel Thomas M. Johnston and the Second Michigan Cavalry arrived in Tuscaloosa in 1865, they carried with them orders to destroy The University of Alabama—the Confederacy’s makeshift West Point at the time. The war was nearly over—Johnston arrived only five days before the surrender at Appomattox—and professors like Andre DeLoffré pleaded for campus, especially the library, to be spared. But the order to burn everything remained. Still, some structures including the President’s Mansion were preserved. The president’s wife, Louisa […]

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The Next Generation of Scientists: Hands-on outreach encourages middle school students to consider careers in science

When Dr. Laura Reed passed around two dozen photos of racially and gender diverse UA students to a classroom of seventh graders, she asked them to choose which ones were scientists and which ones weren’t. The kids responded with comments like, “This person is wearing big earrings, so she couldn’t possibly be a scientist,” but, in reality, each photo was of a member of Reed’s biology lab. “I wanted the students to recognize and address some of their potential stereotypes,” […]

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Police and the Polls: Student Receives First-Ever Pre-Doctoral Fellowship at Brown University

Brandon Davis, a doctoral student in the Department of Political Science, recently received a paid pre-doctoral fellowship from Brown University to study how negative experiences with the criminal justice system keep people from voting—and hinder political involvement in general. While research has shown how incarceration negatively impacts political participation, Davis looks more closely at how second-tier experiences with the police—like getting pulled over, being verbally or physically harassed, or having a family member go to jail—also impact political involvement. Davis […]

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Racing in Rio

When recent graduate and first-time Olympian Alex Amankwah moved to the United State as an eight-year-old, he said that he expected to see futuristic marvels like flying cars and hoverboards. He had grown up in a poor part of Ghana, and his mother brought him to Los Angeles, California, so he and his family could have a better life. But in L.A., Amankwah didn’t find the high-tech fantasy he’d dreamed of. Instead, he found a poor neighborhood full of gangs […]

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