COLLEGE NEWS: April 30

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Auburn University

Auburn University graduate Kenneth “Ryder” Digmon of Thomasville has been awarded a German Academic Exchange Service Scholarship, or DAAD. A fall 2016 graduate in the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business with a degree in supply chain management and a minor in German, Digmon will pursue a master of science degree in business administration with concentrations in supply chain management and information systems at the University of Cologne.

The DAAD Scholarship is Germany’s premier scholarship program, and awards competitive merit-based grants for use toward study and/or research in Germany at any of the accredited German institutions of higher education.

As a graduate student in Cologne, the focus of Digmon’s studies will be closed-loop and sustainable supply chains. Specifically, his research and course work will focus on the constraints of producing zero-emission automobiles and the challenges in broadly adopting such technologies. His long-term goals are to devise a better way to promote “green” supply chain innovation as it adapts to the demands for renewable energy.

Prior to graduating from Auburn, Digmon spent the 2015-16 academic year in Germany as a Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals with the Technical University of Stuttgart. This program gives young professionals in both Germany and the United States the opportunity to spend one year in each other’s countries–studying, interning and living with hosts as a cultural immersion program.

Among his more notable achievements, Digmon completed a semester-long internship with Daimler-Benz working in the global procurement division, served as a peer instructor with the Auburn Summer Programs and completed with “highest distinction” the rigorous test of German language administered by the Goethe-Institute. Digmon currently serves as an intern with Bosch Automotive Electronics in Stuttgart.

University of Alabama

• Ten University of Alabama students studying African American and women’s studies have curated an exhibit about identity at the Paul R. Jones Gallery in downtown Tuscaloosa.

The exhibit, titled “Perspectives: Individual Explorations of Identity through Image,” runs from May 5 to June 30 and showcases about 30 works by African American printmakers, photographers and painters.

A reception will be 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, May 5. The exhibit and the reception are free and open to the public.

Each of the participating students is enrolled in graduate student Christopher Davenport’s image and identity course, and, in addition to selecting the works of art for their research projects, they have written curatorial statements for each image.

The gallery honors the late Paul R. Jones who, during his lifetime, amassed one of the largest collections of African-American art in the world. The Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at UA includes more than 2,100 works valued at $10.3 million. Jones donated the collection to UA in 2008.

The Paul R. Jones Gallery is at 2308 Sixth St. in downtown Tuscaloosa. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and the first Friday of every month from noon to 8 p.m.

• Two University of Alabama historians, Michael Innis-Jiménez and Andrew Huebner, were recently appointed distinguished lecturers of the Organization of American Historians.

As speakers for the Distinguished Lectureship Program, Huebner and Innis-Jiménez agree to a three-year renewable term in which they will travel the country, speaking about all facets of U.S. history in museums, libraries, universities, community centers and churches.

Innis-Jiménez’s lectures will focus on various aspects of food, environment and cultural tourism in Mexican immigrant neighborhoods during the first half of the 20th century.

• The University of Alabama has welcomed the 11th cohort of Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars to campus. Among them is Rhonalda Bonner of Aliceville. The Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship program was established at UA in 2006. Since then, the Coca-Cola Foundation has donated $3 million to support first-generation scholars at UA. The scholarship provides $5,000 a year, renewable for four years, provided that recipients maintain a 3.0 GPA. The program also provides a strong support structure for the scholars.

• Six professors from across the University of Alabama were selected for the President’s Faculty Research Award and honored at a ceremony on campus.

The ceremony at the Bryant Conference Center April 12 was part of Faculty Research Day, established to highlight and celebrate excellence in research and scholarship by bringing together faculty from across the campus.

The annual event aims to increase awareness and generate enthusiasm for scholarship among faculty at UA as the University moves to advance its research enterprise.

Sponsored by the offices of the President and Vice President for Research and Economic Development, the award goes to outstanding faculty researchers from across UA’s Colleges and Schools.

The winners include a senior and junior investigator from each of three groupings: physical and biological sciences, mathematics and engineering; social and behavioral sciences; and arts and humanities.

The faculty-led Research Advisory Committee chose the winners of the 2017 President’s Faculty Research Award from 16 finalists. They are:

Physical and Biological Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering

Senior Investigator: Dr. Gregory Starr, associate professor of biological sciences, focuses on understanding the role humans play in shaping ecosystems across the globe and how this alters their biogeochemical processes. He is particularly interested in how ecosystems sequester or release greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

Junior Investigator: Dr. Kim Genareau, assistant professor of geological sciences, studies the field of volcanology, with a focus on the hazards that volcanic ash poses to water quality and electrical infrastructure. Her research combines different analytical and experimental tools to analyze volcanic deposits, assess eruption dynamics, and evaluate eruptive hazards.

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Senior Investigator: Dr. Aaron Kuntz, associate professor of educational research, is head of the UA department of educational studies. His research agenda focuses on developing “materialist methodologies” – ways of producing knowledge that take seriously the theoretical deliberations of critical theory, postmodernism, and poststructuralism that have emerged in social theory over the past 50 years.

Junior Investigator:  Dr. Jingping Sun, assistant professor of educational leadership, is committed to understanding educational leaders. She researches leadership model development and policy evaluation, and she has conducted the most comprehensive meta-analysis on transformation school leadership to date.

Arts and Humanities

Senior Investigator: Dr. Michael Picone, professor of French and linguistics and graduate director for the UA department of modern languages and classics, studies an assortment of lexicological, phonological and language-contact topics, as well as contemporary and historical profiles of language use in Louisiana, Alabama and elsewhere.

Junior Investigator: Rebecca Salzer, assistant professor of theatre and dance, is a collaborative and multi-disciplinary art-maker whose work transcends disciplinary labels. Her collaborative projects have been supported by private and corporate donors across the country, and her stage work, films and videos have been seen internationally.

The University of Alabama National Alumni Association recently named the recipients of their top awards. The 2017 Distinguished Alumna Award winner is Shelley E. Jones, of Tuscaloosa, and the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus Award winner is Frederic W. Sington Jr., of Gadsden.

Troy University

Troy University recognized students for outstanding achievements in academics, leadership and service during the annual Honors Convocation on April 17 at the Troy Campus.

Local residents who received honors include:

Northport: Miranda Adkins, Beta Beta Beta Leadership and Scholarship Award.

Tuscaloosa: Katelyn Lipscomb, Alpha Phi Sigma Distinguished Honors Graduate Prize; JoAnna Simon, Ray S. Baggett, Ed.D., ATC Memorial Scholarship.

Vernon: Laura Hinson, Art and Design Award of Outstanding Scholarship and Achievement in Fine Arts

The Honors Convocation was held on April 17, at the Troy Campus with Dr. John W. Schmidt, a former Troy University senior administrator, serving as keynote speaker.

The Provost’s List for Term 3 of the 2016/2017 academic year included these local residents: 

Magnolia: Tanya Lucy.

McCalla: Angelo Hines, Bethany Styron.

Tuscaloosa: Don Travo.

Full-time undergraduate students who are registered for at least 12 semester hours and who have a grade point average of at least 3.65 qualify for the Provost’s List.

Collegiate 100

At their April 19 pinning ceremony, candidates from Shelton State Community College’s and the University of Alabama’s Collegiate 100 were recognized as national Collegiate 100 members. 

The following students were inducted: Jacoby Alford, Brandon Browder, Veyonte Bynum, Terrance Dallas, Latasha Gibbs, Angelan Gibson, James Gross, Jocelyn Hurst, Lawrence Jones, Myles Kelley, Dedrick Lee, Neil Malone, Julian McCray, Clifton Monroe, Dennis Parnell, Jordan Phillips, Christian Malik Shorter, Brandon Thrash, and Justin Tripp.

The ceremony, held on Shelton State’s Martin Campus, included motivational words from keynote speaker, Thomas Dedrick. Mr. Dedrick, Senior Vice President for Investments at Raymond James Financial, encouraged new and current members to meet financial challenges and make informed decisions about their futures.

Collegiate 100 provides an avenue for chapters of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. to continue their one-on-one mentoring program for students as they matriculate from high school to college. The program supports the initiatives set forth by the 100 Way Across a Lifetime organization.

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