The University of Alabama

UA in the News: Aug. 7, 2012

Former Alabama runner Kirani James wins Olympic 400-meter gold
Tuscaloosa News – Aug. 7
Kirani James claimed Grenada’s first medal in Olympic history Monday night, leaving the field behind in a drizzle to win the 400-meter gold by more than a half-second. The 19-year-old James, the reigning world champion and a two-time NCAA champion for the University of Alabama, finished in 43.94 seconds. He took the lead at the halfway point and ran hard to the finish line even though he hardly needed to. It was the first time since the Moscow Games in 1980 that someone other than an American won the men’s 400. “It’s probably crazy at home right now,” James said. “There’s probably a road party right now in the streets. I don’t think there are any words to describe the celebration right now.” … James’ gold medal is the fourth medal earned by a former UA male track athlete as he joins Americans Jan Johnson and Calvin Smith. Johnson earned a bronze medal in the pole vault in the 1972 games while Smith won a gold medal as part of the 4×100-meter relay team in 1984 and an individual bronze medal in the 100 meters in 1988.
Al.com – Aug. 6
‘Bamamag.com – Aug. 6
NBC 12 (Montgomery) – Aug. 6
NBC 13 (Birmingham) – Aug. 6
Fox 10 (Mobile) – Aug. 6
Taiwan News – Aug. 6

EDUCATION NOTEBOOK: Haygood, Tarvin attend top-notch programs
Sand Mountain Reporter – Aug. 6
Sarah Haygood, a rising Boaz High School senior, was among a select group of 25 students from across the state who attended the Rural Health Scholars program at The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences, according to a July 25 press release from the college. The program introduces students from rural areas to college life, giving them an orientation on the need for health and medical professionals in communities like their own. Haygood, the only student from Marshall County to attend, was chosen based on her academic achievements and interest in rural health care. Haygood attended the program at UA during the summer to take courses for college credit and to attend seminars. Cynthia Moore and Dr. John Wheat of the College of Community Health Sciences direct the program. After 20 years and $6 million in support from the state, UA’s Rural Health Programs have benefited the state by encouraging high school and college students to follow careers in rural medicine, according to Wheat. 523 rising high school seniors from 66 Alabama counties have participated in the Rural Health Scholars program.

Municipal elections to be held two months before national election
WHNT-CBS (Huntsville) – Aug. 6
City elections are creeping up faster than you may even realize. The valley will vote in municipal contests on Aug. 28. But given the magnitude of this year’s presidential race, why not pair the city races up with the national ones? WHNT News 19′s David Kumbroch has the answer. With “the big one” coming up in November, it seems like an odd quirk that city elections take place more than two months earlier. It’s actually mandated by state law. University of Alabama professor emeritus Willia Stewars says it is specifically to keep the fervor of national partisanship away from the pragmatism of city government. “Obviously candidates at times identify themselves as democrats or republicans, but the ballots that citizens will receive when they go to the polls later this month in our municipal elections is a non-partisan ballot.

Changes in how math is taught
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Aug. 6
This is a big change in the focus of our state. It’s called “common core standards,” and it will transform the way math is taught in schools across Alabama. Director of secondary instruction for Tuscaloosa County Schools Amanda Cassity says the change will help students in the long run. “We’re getting away from the standardized test that just measures stuff. You know it measures math learning, and we’re going towards assessments that show us growth, that teach us how to think, and apply things. It goes into effect this year. They may not be responsible for a lot of material but they will be responsible to really know what they are being taught.” University of Alabama secondary math professor Jermey Zelkowski says the common core standards give states a common ground in education. “They are meant to make us competitive across all states. Prior to this, all states did their own thing. Some states had higher expectations than others, so this is a unified approach to what we are going to do in this country.”

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

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