The Graduate School offices in Rose Administration Building have closed for renovation, from March through August. In the meantime, the Graduate School staff have moved to 2830 Capital Hall, 270 Kilgore Lane (just east of the white Bryce building).
Our phone numbers and campus box number remain unchanged. The easiest way to get to our new location is to take a Crimson Ride bus to the North Lawn building; behind that is the white Bryce building, and Capital is just beyond that. We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to the Fall semester when we can welcome you to our redesigned space, back in Rose Administration Building.
Congratulations to the following Graduate Student Award winners:
The University of Alabama Outstanding Dissertation Award
Dr. Briana Whiteside
Title: “Octavia E. Butler: History, Culture, and the Future: A Comprehensive Approach”
Department of English
College of Arts and Sciences
Department Chair: Joel Brouwer
Advisor/Committee Chair: Trudier Harris
The University of Alabama Outstanding Thesis Award
“Temporal dynamics affecting ground flora recovery after fire in thinned Pinus-Quericus stands”
Department of Geography
College of Arts and Sciences
Department Chair: Douglas Sherman
Advisor/Committee Chair: Justin Hart
Outstanding Research by a Master’s Student
Program: Book Arts, MFA
Sico’s research is highly significant in the field of book arts and is having regional, national and international impact.
College of Communication & Information Sciences
Department Chair: James Elmborg
Faculty Advisor: Anna Embree
Outstanding Teaching by a Master’s Student
Program: Communication & Information Sciences, MA
College of Communication & Information Sciences
Department Chair: Beth Bennett
Faculty Advisor: Beth Bennett
Outstanding Service by a Graduate Student
Hicks received funding to develop and stock the Crimson Career Closet so that UA students may have professional clothes for interviews.
Program: Counselor Education, PhD
College of Education
Department Chair: Aaron Kuntz
Faculty Advisor: Joy Burnham
Outstanding Teaching by a Doctoral Student
Program: English, PhD
College of Arts & Sciences
Department Chair: Joel Brouwer
Faculty Advisor: James McNaughton
Outstanding Research by a Doctoral Student
Program: Psychology, PhD
College of Arts & Sciences
Department Chair: Fran Conners
Faculty Advisor: Jennifer M. Cox
These awards will be presented during UA Honors Week from Monday, April 1, to Friday, April 5.
“As an artist, anthropologist, and book lover, I have long been fascinated by Mexico’s paper and bookmaking traditions. So when I began UA’s Book Arts MFA program last year, I jumped at the chance to learn more through a summer research trip to Mexico, supported by the School of Library and Information Studies and the Capstone International Center.
From as early as 800 AD, the Maya, Mexica, and Mixtec peoples created beautiful screenfold books containing hand-painted text and images, almost all of which were destroyed by the Spanish. But today, some artists in Mexico are working to revitalize and modernize their country’s paper and book traditions. Among them are the workshops Taller Leñateros in the city of San Cristobal de las Casas and Taller Santos Rojas in the town of San Pablito.
I visited Taller Leñateros in the state of Chiapas in late May 2018. The taller was started in 1975 by the poet Ambar Past with the goal of reviving the Maya art of bookmaking. Today, it employs local artists to make eco-friendly recycled paper and print and bind original artists’ books containing Maya songs, poetry, and stories in multiple languages. I did an intercambio, or knowledge exchange, with the four artists at Taller Leñateros. After I gave them bookbinding lessons, they taught me how to make paper from maguey fiber — the same plant used to produce tequila and mezcal. Before I left, I filled my suitcase with many beautiful (and heavy!) books, paper, and prints.
In early June 2018, I embarked on the second leg of my trip to learn about amate, a prehispanic type of bark paper. Artisans in San Pablito, Puebla have been continuously making amate since before the arrival of Cortes in 1519, first for books commissioned by the Aztecs and later for religious rituals. Contemporary amate makers are experimenting with different types of bark and are creating modern designs for everything from wall hangings to lampshades.
I took a workshop with Juan and Jorge of the Santos Rojas family, who taught me the entire process of making amate. First, we tromped in the woods to harvest mulberry and jonote bark, then headed back to the taller to cook the fibers over a small fire. The next day, I learned how to use a volcanic rock to pound the delicate fibers into thin sheets. The pounding process resulted in a lovely marbled-textured paper that I am excited to incorporate into my book work this semester.
When I came back to Alabama in late June, I was struck by how we lead our lives almost entirely indoors — from house, to car, to work, to studio, and back again. In Mexico, I spent almost all of my days outdoors. People were always walking and working outside, exposed to the elements; and despite having limited resources and studio space, the artists I met were able to create high-quality, interesting books and paper. I was sad to leave, but I am also energized to spend more time outdoors here in Alabama and start new book projects inspired by my trip. I am incredibly grateful to the Capstone International Center and the SLIS Department for this opportunity.”
The Office of Academic Affairs and the Capstone International Center (CIC) are pleased to be able to offer limited funding to students and faculty who are participating in conferences and other opportunities abroad. Please visit the International Funding Request page to learn more.
Photo provided by Chengru He.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Researchers at The University of Alabama will lead a project to develop and deploy radars that obtain information about snow and soil moisture to help manage the nation’s water resources.
The project is funded through $6 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, in partnership with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, or UCAR.
It includes $5 million for the University and $1 million to UCAR to establish new capabilities enabling the National Water Model, the nation’s first-ever continental-scale hydrologic prediction system operated by the NOAA’s National Water Center, located on the UA campus.
“This is excellent news for The University of Alabama, our state and the nation,” said U.S. Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama. “The research made possible by this $6 million grant will drive scientific advances to help improve the nation’s water prediction capabilities and forecasts. I am proud to have helped secure this funding that will better protect the lives and property of all Americans.”
UA President Stuart R. Bell said, “This award further demonstrates the University’s commitment to cultivating a research culture that will have a far-reaching impact. We are very pleased to see our research efforts making a significant difference for water resources and for the nation at large.”
Faculty, students and staff with the UA Remote Sensing Center, part of the Alabama Water Institute, will lead the development of radars capable of high-resolution measurements from radar fixed to airplanes flying at medium and high altitudes
“This award leverages existing partnerships, boosting opportunities for our researchers to be successful in addressing challenges facing society,” said Dr. John C. Higginbotham, UA interim vice president for research and economic development. “Our expertise in remote sensing is an asset in our nation’s efforts to prepare and manage hydrological events.”
Dr. Prasad Gogineni, the Cudworth Professor of Engineering at UA and an internationally recognized expert in the field of remote sensing, directs the center established by UA trustees in 2017.
“We are developing a world-class remote sensing center on campus to contribute to the efforts of the National Water Center to improve flood and drought forecasts and manage operations during floods,” Gogineni said.
Precise measurements of snow depth and water in the soil can help those who manage water resources, such as reservoirs, and officials who prepare and manage for flood or drought events, Gogineni said. Researchers with UCAR and NOAA will model and analyze the data.
“Water managers, public safety officials and business leaders are seeking this kind of intelligence to protect lives and property and safeguard our economy,” said Dr. Antonio Busalacchi, the president of UCAR. “This project is further evidence of the productive and maturing relationship that exists among UCAR, UA and NOAA to grow the nation’s water prediction capabilities. It is a perfect example of an academic-government partnership that we need more of to move cutting edge research into operational forecasting.”
The support of Shelby and others in Congress has been instrumental in advancing the nation’s water prediction capabilities, Busalacchi added.
As part of its mission, the National Water Center models and forecasts flood and droughts, and data from the radar imaging developed by UA will improve those forecasts, Gogineni said.
“If you want to manage water resources effectively, you need better information,” he said. “The information that exists is not sufficient.”
Dr. Ying-Hwa “Bill” Kuo, director of UCAR Community Programs, said the data will serve a vital role.
“This research will fill a critical gap needed to continue to improve the performance of the National Water Model,” he said. “UCAR is very pleased to partner with UA and the National Water Center on this important effort.”
UA researchers, with an assist from colleagues at the University of Kansas, will develop ultra-wideband, or UWB, radars for aircraft to begin field testing in the spring of 2019.
UWB radar operates over a large bandwidth to penetrate deep into snow and soil, as opposed to commercial radios or satellites that use microwave frequencies with large antennas to transmit over longer distances.
The proposed radar will image not just below the aircraft, but on the sides as well, allowing it to view a larger swath of earth.
“This is going to be a state-of-the-art system with multiple receivers and multiple transmitters to be able to look straight down as well as to the sides,” Gogineni said.
Over the longer term, the UWB radars will be made smaller and integrated with sensors operating on other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum to provide high-resolution, fine-scale imaging over large areas. The system should be able to image snow as thin as 3 centimeters to as thick as 2 meters from high altitudes.
Funding will support new technical and administrative support staff for the Remote Sensing Center along with providing leading-edge technological research to a post-doctoral researcher, 15 graduate students and 15 undergraduate students.
“Education and training is integrated in all aspects of the research,” Gogineni said.
Adam Jones, UA communications, 205-348-4328, email@example.com
Congratulations to our 2018 Graduate Student Award recipients — Blake Ball, Gregory Brenn, Mohamed Mulla, Dinuke Munasinghe, Amy Williamson, Kirstin Bone and Jenna Graham. We celebrate your achievements!
“I want to explore” is a phrase Jamileh Beik Mohammadi uses often when speaking of her career and work. Still, her decision to travel from her home in Iran to The University of Alabama for her doctoral studies in physics was not easy for her, or her family.
Before she enrolled at Alabama in 2012, she had not lived further from home than Tehran, Iran’s capital city, 15 miles away. With master’s degrees in condensed matter physics and nanophysics already complete in Tehran, she needed experience in a scholarly community beyond her home country to progress in her career. Alabama offered everything she sought in a doctoral program, though choosing a school in the United States meant not seeing her family for the duration of her studies.
“I applied and got admission. Comparing the offers and research studies going on to (those at) other universities, I was financially supported and found the research very interesting at Alabama, and I was offered a graduate teaching assistantship position. So I decided to go, though it would be harder for my family and myself not to see them for a long time.”
Finding a New Home Across the Atlantic
Traveling to a new country to live and study for years requires a leap of faith.
“(You have) to trust and believe that the environment will be friendly enough to be able to continue. Back then, I was thinking maybe this would not be the case because I was going to a completely different environment. But when I came here, I found a new home,” Beik Mohammadi said.
“The campus itself is very friendly, more than I expected. I have also gotten even more interested in research. It is very satisfying and rewarding, and it helps me continue.”
When it does get difficult to continue, as can sometimes happen at the doctoral level, Beik Mohammadi says she has a support system in her adviser, Dr. Tim Mewes, professor of physics, and co-adviser, Dr. Claudia Mewes, associate professor of physics and astronomy. “Supporting me with their words and actions in those situations has always happened in the last five years,” she said.
With the Mewes’ support, Beik Mohammadi has thrived in the lab and in the greater campus community since coming to Alabama—so much so that she received the University’s Outstanding Service by a Graduate Student Award in 2017.
“Besides her excellent experimental and computational skills, over the years Jamileh has also become very active in helping other students not only in the laboratory but also across the campus and is very active in numerous outreach activities,” said Drs. Mewes.
Joining an Interdisciplinary Research Community
One of the most appealing aspects about The University of Alabama for Beik Mohammadi was the research in magnetics happening at the University’s Center for Materials for Information Technology, or MINT.
More than 40 faculty from a broad range of academic disciplines—including biological, chemical, electrical, and metallurgical and materials engineering; chemistry; geology; materials science; and physics—work together in a team environment at MINT to develop new materials for advanced data storage.
“Collaboration across disciplines is key for success in our research area of spintronics,” said Drs. Mewes. “While our focus is on understanding the underlying physical principles, we need our colleagues from chemistry, engineering and sometimes biology to successfully synthesize the materials, build the devices and test them. National labs and international collaborators are another aspect of this, as each collaborator contributes unique capabilities and knowledge that are vital for the projects.”
When Beik Mohammadi joined the team at MINT, she liked that people from different departments were looking at the same problem from different points of view and for different applications. It gave her the opportunity to explore all the research going on at the center, and then choose which direction she wanted to go.
“The use of magnetic materials to store information—this is one of the things I chose later,” she said.
Learning to Be Courageous
When Beik Mohammadi first started working at MINT, surrounded by state-of-the-art equipment, she was overcautious using the instruments.
“You really don’t want to break some fancy expensive equipment or cause damage to other people’s research because if you do something wrong with a setup and cause a piece of equipment to be down for a while, you are basically taking someone else’s time. I really didn’t want to do that, so I was too cautious at first,” she said.
Her adviser, Dr. Tim Mewes, taught her to be brave—to distinguish between things she should be careful about and things she could try for the sake of exploring.
“At the time I started working with him, he told me, ‘It’s okay if you make mistakes performing an experiment. When you go to the lab, experience as much as you want.’ This gave me more confidence. And maybe this was the reason I never made a big mistake, because I was really confident. Sometimes if you are warned too much, you make more mistakes because you are more stressed.”
The trust and support she received from her advisers has been an inspiration, and now she wants to become a professor so that she can teach others.
“I did not think about this before I came here. I did not like the teaching style that I knew before as much as I like it here,” she said. “I would like to be a professor and teach and also do research.”
Beik Mohammadi plans to complete her doctoral degree in physics in Fall Semester 2017. Most recently, she was lead author of the paper “Broadband ferromagnetic resonance characterization of anisotropies and relaxation in exchange-biased IrMn/CoFe bilayers,” which was published in Physical Review B, an international journal specializing in condensed matter and materials physics.
Hands-on run through of the process to submit your thesis or dissertation to the Graduate School using the ProQuest portal.
If you need help with your thesis or dissertation submission, each of these workshops will take you through the following:
Show you the ProQuest submission portal
Assist you with establishing your unique submission account
Take you through set up and data input
Demonstrate how to create a PDF from your digital thesis or dissertation
Review publication options and agreements
Consider embargo options
Review of copyright and registration
Ordering bound copies
The process once you have submitted
At the end of the workshop you will:
Have an understanding of the submission process using the ProQuest portal
Understand some of the terminology and options for copyright, publication, and embargo
Know how to convert your original digital thesis or dissertation to PDF
Workshop schedule for 2017:
Friday, March 3rd 09:00am – 10:30am
Wednesday, June 14th 09:00am – 10:30am
Wednesday, September 20th 09:00am – 10:30am
Location: G54 Rose Administration Building, limit 40 maximum reservations
Wifi computer access is available. Space is limited, so please contact Kathleen Nodine (348-5921) to make a reservation. Send her your CWID and home department.
Previous workshop video
UA students were recognized at the recent SAS Global Forum 2017 conference in Orlando, Florida. Cameron Jagoe, a graduate student in the Culverhouse College of Commerce, Manderson Graduate School online Decision Analytics program, shared his success story, featuring The University of Alabama, SAS and US Bank during the opening session. Cameron is the first UA student to be recognized at the main opening session – his story can be found here. Cameron, together with three other students (Caroline Bell — MBA Business Analytics, Taylor Larkin — Interdisciplinary PhD Business Analytics, Huan Li — PhD Applied Statistics), received the SAS Global Ambassador award for demonstrating their innovative use of SAS software towards solving real-world problems in their research posters. Alexandra DeKinder, an undergraduate student (BS Math) received a student scholarship award to attend the conference. Caroline Bell and Alexander DeKinder are picture above with Dr. Jim Goodnight, the co-founder and Chief Executive officer of SAS.
The Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program is a federal TRIO program funded at 151 institutions across the United States and Puerto Rico. Each year in November, The University of Alabama invites McNair Scholars to visit our campus for a day to learn more about graduate programs. Scholars interact with current graduate students, tour the campus and the facilities, and meet with faculty members in their prospective departments. This year, students traveled from Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Texas, and West Virginia to participate in the day’s activities.