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The University of Alabama / Spring 2014


nces ie Sc l ta en m n ro vi n E an m u H of ge le Col Strategic Plan 2012-2015

1. Quality teaching 2. Productive research and ser vice 3. Professional ser vice te academic programs ua ad gr d an te ua rad rg de un ed nc ha 4. En mni support 5. Growth in enrollment, quality, alu 6. Well-recognized identity

In this issue:

n o i n u e R

Spr ing 2014 of Alabama / The Univer sity




ng Lives e of Enrichi The Scienc


4 5 6 8 10 12 14 15 16 18 19 20 22 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Crimson is Tradition CTD: We Are Crimson: Identity of Excellence NHM: Food Science Lab HDFS: Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) HDFS: The Moral Development of Children CTD: A Sentimental Journey NHM: University Club HS: Service Learning: Holt Community Partnership CTD: Hunter Bell: Fashion Star NHM: Low Birth Weights in Cuba and Alabama HS: Health Literacy and the Delivery of Oral Health Care Travel and Learn: Cannes Film Festival and Olympic Training Center Italy: Season Two HS: Athletic Training Student Aide Camp CSM: Preserving a Language, Preserving a Culture CSM: Paying it Forward: Mentoring High School Students CSM: Financial Wellness and Relationship Satisfaction Shila Bowron Leadership Lecture: Dana Garmany New Faculty Letters to the Faculty

On the Cover: The newly designed and landscaped Doster Lawn is one of many recent renovations to CHES facilities. Others include a state-of-the-art Foods Lab (see pages 6-7, this issue) and renovated interior design studio and gallery space in Doster Hall, and newly renovated NHM and Health Science facilities in Russell Hall. Photos courtesy of Teresa Golson, UA CIT (TG), Genna Jones, CHES (GJ), J. Goddard, CHES (JG); Cover image by Col. Duane Lamb

We Are Crimson

As we begin the new year, I want to take the opportunity to reflect on who we are and where we are going. When you entered CHES, whether as an on-campus student or a distance student, you became a lifelong member of the Crimson Nation. At the University of Alabama, crimson is not just a word or a color; it’s who we are.

Crimson is tradition.

Not only does The University of Alabama have many treasured traditions, but the College of Human Environmental Sciences has some of its own. Our traditions, such as our Alumni Appreciation Day, Breakfast at Doster during the Homecoming Parade, Honors Day and Commencement, give us a sense of continuity, pride and heritage. They link one class with another and enable students to get to know other students, as well as alumni. They strengthen our sense of community.

Crimson is scholarship.

At CHES, we value knowledge and the opportunities to share it and create it through research and study. Our distinguished faculty is made up of some of the finest and most highly respected scholars in their fields. Our students get to work closely with them and share in the process of discovery, in classrooms as well as in labs, studios, and community settings where they apply the theories they learn in coursework.

Crimson is leadership.

CHES leads in a number of important ways. One is in enrollment growth. Our enrollment has been increasing longer than that of any other division on campus. We have experienced continuous growth since fall 1984. As a result, CHES is the largest Human Sciences unit in Alabama and the SEC and one of the largest in the nation. In addition, 84 percent of CHES alumni who graduated between 2007 and 2012 were employed within six months of graduation.

Crimson is service.

All of the fields of study within CHES have a service orientation. All are geared to making the lives of individuals or families healthier, richer or more fulfilling. That is one of the primary reasons that our ten undergraduate majors and 13 graduate areas of study offer the promise of careers that are truly rewarding. Many of the majors are top career choices for the next decade, including event planning, financial advisement and marriage and family therapy.

Crimson is integrity.

We value nothing more than integrity. It lies at the core of all that we do and permeates our outreach in working with individuals and families.

Reunion Magazine gives us an opportunity to share with you, our students and alumni, some of the recent

developments and exceptional accomplishments at CHES. In this issue, we feature the work of some of our newest faculty and our seasoned members as well, all of whom are leaders in teaching, research, and service. The articles in this issue illustrate the way that the work of our college fits into our recently revised Strategic Plan, outlined here and also available on our website. For the latest news anytime, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter, where we welcome your comments and feedback. I extend my best wishes for a winter and spring that are richly rewarding. CHES students and alumni are special individuals who want to not only build successful lives for themselves, but to also help others do the same. You inspire me every day.

From the Dean

Welcome to the latest issue of Reunion Magazine.

Crimson is Tradition














“We Are Crimson”:

Tartan, Houndstooth, and the Identity of Excellence Dr. Xiao Tong, assistant professor in Clothing, Textiles and Interior Design, has conducted research into the reasons that students buy and wear university-licensed apparel, and has discovered some important answers that can be applied to aid a university in successfully marketing its licensed apparel. Tong’s research shows that the most important factor in students’ buying decisions involves the way that students perceive and relate to the university’s identity. When students are proud of their university’s accomplishments and reputation, her research finds that they want to take on that identity for themselves, and one way they do that is to buy and wear university apparel. A second factor that influences student purchasing relates to the attributes of university-licensed apparel, such as quality, price, comfort, attractiveness and brand name. When, for example, the quality of the apparel is good, then the apparel not only serves as an identifier, but it meets the student’s practical clothing needs as well. Third, the purchasing habits of a student’s peers influence

what a student decides to buy for himself. When a student arrives on campus as a newcomer and finds himself in a crowd of others wearing universitylicensed apparel, his strong inclination is to buy and wear what his peers are wearing, and to blend in as a college student. The conclusions drawn from Tong’s research indicate that a good marketing plan for universitylicensed merchandise should include creating a strong identity for the university and using influencer marketing to promote products bearing university logos. That identity would certainly include a successful athletic program, such as the one that we enjoy at the University of Alabama. It should include TG other significant components of the university as well, such as our University’s growing national reputation as a research university and the academic excellence of its programs. The marketing plan should strive to continually improve product attributes such as quality and style. It should include monitoring prices, perhaps offering promotions and discounts, such as game-day discounts, or student discounts designed to accommodate student budgets.


We Are Crimson …and we love to wear it!


ood is the core of nutrition, and it’s an integral part of the hospitality industry,”said Dr. Mary Kay Meyer, professor and chair of the Nutrition and Hospitality Management Department in UA’s College of Human Environmental Sciences. “We talk about what food does to the body, but if you can’t get the food into the body, you’ve lost the battle,” Meyer said. “I want students to be excited about food and really appreciate what you can do with food, if you have the right equipment.” Students enrolled in food and nutrition courses should have no problem garnering some enthusiasm this semester, thanks to the recently completed $1.5 million stateof-the-art foods lab located on the ground floor of Doster Hall. The new foods lab will give food and nutrition students access to the traditional gas ranges and conventional ovens, as well as providing them opportunities to experiment with induction units, combiovens (a combination steaming unit and oven) and a convection oven. They will also have the smaller pieces that every high-quality foods lab needs – pressure cookers and fryers, mixers and more. Graduate teaching assistant 23-yearold Morgan Patterson, of Demopolis, said most students learn about this equipment in class, but they do not have an opportunity to work with it until they are in the work force.“Having this opportunity just increases their skill set,” said Patterson. “I was thrilled when I found out they were building the new lab, and I couldn’t wait to see the students firing up the grill. I just knew that first class was going to be a lot of fun.” The human nutrition and hospitality management program encompasses nutrition majors, as well as hotel, restaurant and meetings management majors. More than 1,200 students are enrolled in the program. The two classes that will initially use the lab are the food science classes – basic food science and experimental and functional foods.

uman nutrition and hospitality management are not culinary programs. The courses focus on the science behind food and how principles of food preparation impact nutrient content, taste, texture and appearance. The College of Human Environmental Sciences opened its new foods lab this fall. The $1.5 million, state-of-the-art lab offers endless possibilities for students education and community outreach. “Although there are ovens and ranges in this lab, we blend the science experimentation, which uses chemistry lab supplies like beakers, pH strips and titration equipment, with culinary applications,” said Dr. Kristi Michele Crowe, a food chemist, dietitian and assistant professor of nutrition at UA. “In other words, we teach how the concepts of food chemistry are used in the food industry to develop food products, yet the same principles are taking place in one’s own kitchen.” Last year, the program received a grant from Nestle USA to evaluate the sensory attributes of a protein-enhanced soup. The science behind the grant included evaluating the differences in taste, texture, flow, aroma and overall preference between the tested soups and standard flavor-matched, nonfortified soups, Crowe said. As a result of the data collected, the tested soups will be marketed to long-term care facilities as a means of increasing the protein content in diets of older adults, she added. “Understanding the science of food has allowed for an explosion of nutritious food choices with reasonably long shelf-lives,” Crowe said. “Without the understanding of the chemistry of macro and micronutrients and the interactions between them, dietitians could not adequately counsel patients on how to modify their diets for health and wellness.”

“We could do summer camps for children, a series on French cooking ...the possibilities are endless.”


Knife handling and instruction on chopping various foods were the focus of a recent class in the College of Human Environmental Sciences’ new foods lab. tudents can also utilize the new food sensory lab to conduct research studies, like the soup study conducted earlier this year for Nestle USA. Meyer said the department has wanted to build that research component, but this is the first time they have had the facilities to do so. The audio-visual component of the lab brings a new dimension to the curriculum for the department’s online programs by having taped demonstrations made available to distance-learning students. In addition, students enrolled in catering and quantity food production courses have utilized the lab to learn operation and safety of commercial cooking equipment, and, this spring, a new food preparation course is being offered to hospitality majors. Meyer said the department could also utilize the new lab for hosting seminars, basic cooking courses for the community and more. “We could do summer camps for children, continuing education programs for food personnel, a series on French cooking,” Meyer said. “The possibilities are endless.” 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. Reprinted with permission

“We talk about what food does to the body, but if you can’t get the food into the body, you’ve lost the battle.” Students study the various components of different types of yogurt and applesauce during a recent food science course at The University of Alabama. C OL L EGE OF H U M A N EN VIRO N ME N TAL S CI E N CE S | 7


Human Development and Family Studies

QRIS: Improving the Quality of Care for Alabama’s Youngest Citizens


ne of the most emotionally-wrenching environmental rating scales. Importantly, those “In my long career decisions a parent makes involves rating scales are based on developmental and of caring about choosing a quality child care program that will educational research designating what practices provide the best care for their precious little are developmentally appropriate and best for and loving and ones. While child care programs are many, the children who attend these programs. Areas working on behalf of being certain of the quality of a program is not assessed include physical facility, teacher/child an easy task. Human Development and Family ratio, nutrition, daily schedule, curriculum and children, this is one Studies department chair Dr. Carroll Tingle other important elements. If a program’s rating of the most optimistic and assistant professor Sally Edwards have been indicates there is room to improve, QRIS staff opportunities our selected by the Alabama Department of Human follow through and help providers locate training Resources to conduct a research project to pilot and technical assistance to improve its rating department has ever the implementation of a quality-rating system and to reach a level of excellence defined by the had to positively in Alabama, an innovative system for assisting system. child care providers in determining the quality The pilot program spearheaded by Tingle affect the care level of their programs and to help parents and Edwards will test the planned rating system young children recognize quality in child development facilities to determine how well it works, and the results receive.” in their communities. will be used to create an effective system for The Quality Rating and Improvement statewide implementation in 2014. System (QRIS), currently operating in several There are close to 1200 licensed child care states, is part of a federal initiative designed to improve the quality centers in Alabama, and once the pilot program has been concluded of child care programs for children under six years old. Alabama and a statewide system has been put in place, all 1200 will be invited has developed a new, 5-star rating system as a way to assess the to participate in the rating system. However, participation is quality of child care programs in the state, using standardized voluntary; there is no requirement that any program be rated by




the system. What, then, is the motivation for a child care program to elect to be rated by the system? One reason is that having this seal of approval can be good for business. The ratings information will be promoted publicly by DHR and communities for use by parents in selecting a program. “When parents are comparing two different child care programs, and one has a 2-star rating and another has a 5-star rating, then clearly the rating system can be advantageous to the higher-rated program from GJ a business perspective,” says Tingle. In addition to being a tool for marketing a program, she says, “The University may well consider QRIS in recruiting promising students and faculty with young children. I also envision local businesses using the ratings to attract employees to the community, and local governments might use this rating system to attract new industry to their areas, when they highlight quality of life and family-supportive programs in place to benefit industry employees,” says Tingle. For all these reasons and more, Tingle is excited about the quality ratings approach as a way to truly protect and encourage those she lovingly refers to as the youngest citizens of our state. “In my long career of caring about and loving and working on behalf of children, this is one of the most optimistic opportunities our department has ever had to positively affect the care young children receive,” she says with enthusiasm. “And, when children are thriving, families and communities are thriving. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a more positive outlook for Alabama’s children and families. We want to see all of our state’s youngest citizens flourish and reach their fullest potential, and QRIS is a significant step in that direction.”

Child Development Research Center



Completed in the Summer of 2005, the Child Development Research Center (CDRC) is dedicated to being a leader in the study of young children. The CDRC is a state-of-the-art, 64,000 sq-ft research facility equipped with the latest multimedia research technology, seven large research suites, and eight research rooms. Each research room has an adjoining observation booth. The CDRC houses the Children’s Program, an NAEYC accredited laboratory school enrolling TG approximately 120 students ages two months to five years; Child Development Resources, which assists families across the state of Alabama to provide a safe, loving, and enriching life for their young children; Capstone Family Therapy Clinic, which provides the community with help in resolving personal problems and trains graduate students specializing in marriage and family therapy; and the Pediatric Development Research laboratory. True to the interdisciplinary nature of the building, research on young children is conducted by various departments including Speech Communications, Psychology and Education.


The Moral Development of Children: What do children think about people who do bad things?


esearch by Dr. Jason Scofield, HDFS, and colleagues suggests that the answer to that question depends on exactly what those bad things are. Conducted over a four year period, Dr. Scofield’s research examines how young children judge different social actions, namely those that violate moral rules and those that violate conventional rules, and the individuals who commit them. The first study revealed that when children see someone violate a moral rule, such as stealing or hitting, they appropriately judge the act as bad. When they see the same person commit the same wrong multiple times, the study shows that children generalize to judging the person as bad. The study indicated two important points; one, that children view rule violations and rule violators as bad, and two, that some bad things (and some bad people) are worse than others. Interestingly, the study shows that the same is mostly true of good behavior. Children judge acts that comply with moral or conventional rules such as helping or being quiet in the library as good and they judge the individual who does these good things as a good person. However, different from their perceptions of bad things, children perceive that good actions and good people are basically the same degree of good. In a second study, Dr. Scofield and colleagues showed that these initial perceptions of the individual are actually powerful enough to influence future judgments. In this follow-up study, children were shown a person with a history of breaking morals and one with a history of breaking conventions. When later asked about the identity of a “mystery person” who was stealing, children overwhelmingly

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concluded that the guilty party was the person with the history of committing moral violations. This study showed children perceive not only that a person who has done bad things is a bad person, but also that a person with a history of doing bad things is likely to commit those same types of acts again in the future. The study concludes that children expect future behavior to be in line with past behavior. A third study investigated children’s perception of the victims of moral and conventional violations. This study showed, somewhat refreshingly, while children believe that being hit (a moral violation) or being interrupted (a conventional violation) are bad things, they do not conclude that the victim of these acts is a bad person. In a slight twist however, children did conclude that someone who has good things happen to them is a good person. The fourth and final study in this line of research asked whether children see a connection between the types of actions a person has committed in the past and the types of experiences they may have in the future. Here children saw two people, one with a history of breaking moral rules and one with a history of following moral rules. When later asked about the identity of a “mystery person” who was being stung by a bee children concluded that it was the person with the history of moral violations. However, when asked about the identity of a “mystery person” who found a $5 bill on the sidewalk children concluded that it was the person with the history of following moral rules. Much like adults, children appear to believe in a “just world” where good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. Together the findings from these studies suggest that children generally believe a person’s actions reflect something more fundamental about who they are and consequently can be used to guide predictions about the kinds of things that person will do or experience in the future. This project has truly been a collaborative effort with contributions from faculty and graduate and undergraduate students from three different colleges: Human Environmental Sciences, Arts and Sciences, and Education. Findings from this study have been presented before the Society for Research in Child Development and are under review for publication.


“The findings from these studies suggest that children generally believe a person’s actions reflect some thing more fundamental about who they are and consequently can be used to guide predictions about the kinds of things that person will do or experience in the future.”



“A Sentimental Journey” Interior Design Students Develop Sensitivity to the End User, and Establish Friendships Along the Way

When administrators at Tuscaloosa’s Veterans

Administration Hospital reached out to CHES Associate Dean, Stuart Usdan, to solicit the involvement of interior design students in VA efforts, it is not likely that either side would have been able to predict the rich relationships and meaningful learning experience that would develop for both clients and students over the course of the next year. In the spring of 2013, assistant professor Stephanie Sickler and 12 interior design students responded to the call and began to work with the VA’s recreational therapy staff. The recreational therapists, who work with patients to assess their skills through recreation, trained the design students to work with the patients in the areas of art, photography, storytelling, and sports. The twopronged goal was to allow the students to work with a real client, the VA, and at the same time GJ develop sensitivity to the end-user, the VA patients. Interacting with the patients in the recreational therapy setting allowed students to get to know the patients and to observe their day-to-day activities, and to understand the challenges that their health issues present for them. What developed was that, and so much more. The students spent their class time at the VA hospital for two months, working with the patients several hours per day. As they determined each patient’s area of interest, they began creating art and photography projects with them, playing sports, and listening to them tell stories of their histories and their families and, not least, their service experiences. As the students spent hours working, playing and listening to the patients, they began to not only understand the challenges these individuals face, but also the ways that design might help them


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navigate these challenges. They also began to know and love the veterans themselves, and the veterans returned their respect and affection. The veterans began to look forward to the daily time spent with the students, and some who refused to participate originally began to eagerly await the student’s daily visits. The lives are rich and the stories are many, of these patients who have lived so long and have done so much. The students worked with a resident who, after his service in the war and a career in the CIA, became the pilot for Coach “Paul” Bear Bryant. Another resident served in both the Air Force and Army over the course of 30 years, and the students learned that he had been married to his sweetheart for 80 years. Eventually they discovered his remarkable musical talent, as well. Another resident, whose stories were always rich with detail and excitement, was wellknown for his service to the local community, in addition to his military service, and had been responsible for creating a motorcycle club that helped people in need. As a culmination of the experience, the students wanted to give back to their new friends in exchange for the friendship and learning experience that they had received. As the final project for their interior design course, the students designed and built an exhibit that would document and honor the veterans’ lives and rich contributions. What resulted was a moving visual display that surpassed expectations.

As the students spent hours working, playing and listening to the patients, they began to not only understand the challenges these individuals face, but also the ways that design might help them navigate these challenges. They also began to know and love the veterans themselves, and the veterans returned their respect and affection.







he exhibit, entitled “A Sentimental Journey,” portrays the veterans’ lives through visual timelines of their oral histories, “Now and Then”-themed photographs, and the story of what the students learned from the residents, as well as the therapeutic outcomes for the veterans. Families and loved ones came from all over the country to join the residents and students to view the exhibit when it made its debut on May 1. What began as a class assignment in exhibit design turned into so much more for the students, the VA residents, and their families. Sickler says that this engaged learning project has been far more studentdriven than any other studio that she has ever led. “I gave them guidelines, and they took over. They led the project in a way that I have never experienced from a group of students.” What began as a willingness to serve those who have served us so long and so well, became an exercise in leadership and vision for the students that they are likely to carry with them throughout their careers and beyond. “A Sentimental Journey” made its debut at the VA Hospital, and planning is now in progress to have it placed on campus in Smith Hall, as well as in the Dinah Washington Cultural Museum in downtown Tuscaloosa. This spring, the exhibit will be honored as a part of the Smithsonian Museum’s traveling “Museums on Main Street,” and will be included in a segment saluting “Local Heroes.” Heroes, indeed.



Historic University Club Provides Hands-On Experience for Nutrition and Hospitality Management Students


he beloved University Club, sitting gracefully at the corner of Queen City Avenue and University Boulevard under a canopy of ancient magnolias, has a long and storied history of faithful service to the University of Alabama and the citizens of Tuscaloosa and the state. The Club now serves as a training ground for restaurant, hotel, and meetings management students, allowing them to gain hands-on experience to carry with them into their careers in the industry. The College of Human Environmental Sciences Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management took over the operations of the Club a little over two years ago. The Club serves lunch six days a week with extended hours during football season, and caters private events as well. Students work under chef Cherrie Koester and catering manager Matt Stroud and the club’s regular staff, in preparation, set up, service and breakdown. In fall 2013, a new concept was instituted, and students work catering events that are booked through the Club. Forty-five students each work 40 hours over the course of the semester, participating in all aspects of catering and meetings management, including food preparation and the logistics of transporting food to the meeting site, where another team waits, ready to serve the event. Recent years have seen the NHM program experience remarkable growth, with 1200 students currently enrolled. Department chair Dr. Mary Kay Meyer says, “Tourism is the number one industry in Alabama, and the University of Alabama has an excellent reputation for students’ performance in the industry. That track record has contributed in large part to the growth of the program.” The increasing preference of large corporations to hire their own meetings managers and changes in the healthcare environment have created new job opportunities that have contributed to overall enrollment as well, according to Dr. Meyer.


Service Learning: Eta Sigma Gamma Joins With Holt Community Partnership The Health Education Honor Society Earns “Service Activity of the Year” Award for Initiative


he University of Alabama’s Delta Xi Chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma, the national health education honorary society, joined with the Holt Community Partnership for the first time in 2013 to provide youth activities for Holt’s annual Spring Festival. Health Science students from CHES spent a beautiful spring day interacting with elementary school children at the festival, and more importantly, began to forge a relationship with the community so that ESG might be called upon to meet other community needs in the future. Assistant professor Dr.Jen Nickelson, Health Science, says, “We believe in a communitybased participatory approach, where the community members participate in planning, implementing, and evaluating their own health promotion activities. We merely responded to the Partnership’s request for help with the festival. We want the Holt community to think of us when they have health education/promotion needs.” In recognition of their work, the Delta Xi Chapter was presented with the prestigious Service Activity of the Year Award at Eta Sigma Gamma’s annual meeting in October. Dr. Nickelson says that this award is particularly important in light of the fact that the service project was almost entirely student-driven, and also because the Chapter has worked hard to grow and establish itself as a meaningful way for students to serve the community that surrounds the University. Last fall, the Chapter found itself down to two members and facing decisions about its future. The original mission of the group had been to focus on student health at the University. However, the University has an excellent student health education/promotion system in place, and the decision was made to change the focus to community health. The shift in focus gave them the opportunity to identify potential service projects, and that focus has attracted new and committed members to the Chapter. Nickelson says, “I think students want to make a difference, to spend their time doing meaningful work.” Now, the Chapter membership is made up of doctoral, masters, and undergraduate students, with the graduate students providing leadership for the younger members. Every potential member is required to participate in at least ten hours of service per semester for two semesters before they are initiated. Membership has quickly grown, and Dr. Nickelson says, “Now, we need to think about what we can accomplish as we keep growing.” Dr. Nickelson and ESG members will continue to participate in Partnership meetings on an ongoing basis, and there are preliminary plans to provide monthly health education sessions in an afterschool program in Holt. Dr. Nickelson’s unmistakable pride in the Chapter’s accomplishments is due to the fact that the students themselves have made it all possible. She says, “They’ve done it all. They had the vision, they took the lead, and they made it happen. I’m just so very proud of them.”


he University of Alabama produces champions, and

the College of Human Environmental Sciences is proud to congratulate alum Hunter Bell as the 2013 champion of NBC’s fashion design reality show, “Fashion Star.” As one of 13 designers who were selected to compete on season two of the show, Hunter’s talent and hard work earned high praise from the judges for her designs week after week, making her a force to be reckoned with for her fellowcontestants. The panel of judges, made up of buyers for fashion retail giants Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, and Express, remained enthusiastic for her designs throughout the season, and they named her the champion of the competition in May of 2013. Hunter, a 2003 graduate of the University of Alabama, earned her degree in fashion design and studio art. An accomplished designer before her appearance on the show, she and a partner launched the Hunter Dixon line in 2006. Past collections have been sold to Saks Fifth Avenue and Anthropologie, and over 150 boutiques nationwide. However, despite the popularity of her designs, her business experienced some difficulties, and in the fall of 2011 it began to appear that she might have to close its doors. What happened next was nothing short of amazing. “Out of nowhere, a few industry friends encouraged me to audition for the show,” she says. She agreed, with spectacular results. The grand prize was $3 million in contracts with Saks, Macy’s, and Express. When asked about the impact of her win, Hunter says, 1 6 | RE U N I ON MA G A ZIN E

“The win has been amazing. It has given me a whole new platform for my designs. It has helped me grow as a business, and it has helped me grow as a designer.” She’s excited about what the future holds. She no longer works with a design partner, and her Spring 2014 line will debut with the new label, “Hunter Bell.” She clearly understands the value of cultivating and nurturing relationships old and new as she markets her line, and she maintains a full schedule of personal appearances at trunk shows around the country. unter returned to Tuscaloosa on a beautiful fall weekend for just such a trunk show at Effie’s in downtown Tuscaloosa, where we were able to catch up with her for a visit. The embodiment of southern casual elegance, on this morning in September she is dressed in a form-fitting jumpsuit of her own design with clean lines and v-neck, her petite frame made taller by towering black heels. “I love this jumpsuit!” she says. “It’s so comfortable!” Self-possessed with an easy, wide smile, she is friendly, outgoing, and appreciative. She speaks fondly of her relationship with Effie’s. “I’m so excited to be here. Effie’s was the first store to pick up my clothing line. It was eight years ago, with eight pieces. I remember my meeting with them. They were my first order. Ever!” She credits much of her professional success to her experience at the University of Alabama, and the College of Human Environmental Sciences. “The University provided me with great connections that have been so important in my

“The win has been amazing. It has helped me grow as a business, and it has helped me grow as a designer.” career. The fashion design program pushes students to seek out internships, and those internships have one hundred percent influenced my career.” She speaks of her respect for Dr. Marcy Koontz, associate professor in fashion design. “She is so knowledgeable. I appreciated her knowledge of fashion outside of Alabama. She understood what New York would require of us. I loved her sketching ability, and appreciated the fact that she is so talented. She had such a fresh approach to fashion that I really respected. She was so young and cool…she made fashion fun.” On her southern roots, she says, “I came to New York very grounded, and a lot of that is how my family raised me. I was taught perseverance. I don’t know if that is necessarily purely southern, but I do know that is something that my parents certainly taught me. They worked really hard, and they taught me to work really hard.” She says she admires her parents for those lessons. “They taught me the importance of running the race, and running it with fierce endurance.” Her advice to fashion design hopefuls? “There is no entitlement. We are all working very hard. This is a different

economy, and a changed environment. Get internships, work your way up. Make yourself indispensable. Make your company not be able to let you go. Those are the ones I stick with. You have to start at the bottom. Hold your head high, roll your sleeves up, work hard, and earn your keep.”She has been pleased with the talent and the organizational and leadership skills of interns who have come to her from CHES (“They’re so great!”), and encourages students to seek out those positions. She notes that while summer is the traditional time to do internships, “We really need fashion and retail majors for internships in the fall.” And on choosing a program? “If you want a great education but also a fantastic network of love, support, encouragement, and opportunity, mixed with great football, then the University of Alabama is the place for you!” C OL L EGE OF H U M A N EN VIRO N ME N TAL S CI E N CE S | 1 7

Cuba’s Prenatal Program Improves Low Birth Weights


r. Yasmine Neggers, professor of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management, and assistant professor Dr. Kristi Crowe have been working together to research the reasons for the high incidence of low birth-weight infants in Alabama, as compared to that in Cuba. The research partnership perfectly marries Dr. Crowe’s interest in dietary antioxidants intake on health outcomes with Dr. Neggers’ focus on the causes of low birth weight. Low birth weight (LBW) is defined as less than five and a half pounds at birth, and the LBW rate of Cuba is approximately half of that in Alabama, according to statistics released by the World Health Organization (WHO). Neggers and Crowe traveled to Havana, Cuba in March 2012, where the two researchers met with faculty and scientists from the University of Havana and leaders of the Institute of Hygiene and Nutrition, which is similar to the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. After exploring the different factors that can affect infant birth weight, the team’s research pointed to the importance of early provision of prenatal care. In Cuba, each community is equipped with a maternity home with its own physician who is responsible for administering prenatal care to pregnant women, which includes assistance in increasing the caloric value of their diets and provision of prenatal vitamins. Dr. Neggers says she was also impressed by the vigilance of the maternity homes in monitoring women with high-risk pregnancies. All services of the maternity home are free. Similarly, Alabama has a strong focus on health promotion for mother and baby in the form of the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. WIC provides dietary assistance and nutrition

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education and is shown to be highly effective in reducing the incidence of LBW and healthcare costs associated therewith. In addition, Alabama’s Medicaid Program provides prenatal care and vitamins to low-income women. The research team found that many factors that cause LBW are present among Cuban mothers, such as smoking, alcohol intake, and weight gain during pregnancy. What then, causes the incidence of LBW in Cuba to be dramatically lower than that in Alabama? Neggers and Crowe believe that TG the difference lies in the fact that maternity home care in Cuba is available to all women, and the homes are proactive in assuring that all women who are pregnant participate in the one-stop service that meets all of their health care needs. In contrast, the WIC and Medicaid Programs are available only to low-income women and children. Those programs can often be complicated to navigate, and many pregnant women who use the programs often begin care much later than is recommended. Drs. Neggers and Crowe have published a research paper in the Journal of the American Board of Family TG Medicine that explores the differences in risk factors for low birth weight among infants born in Alabama and Cuba and that describes pilot programs in the southern United States, including one in Alabama, that are providing one-stop, community-based prenatal care similar to the successful maternity homes in Cuba. They believe that modifying the existing prenatal care practice in the United States to a more flexible model that encourages women to seek care earlier and more frequently during their pregnancies may improve birth outcomes. They urge medical professionals and government officials to conduct sincere investigations and discussions to find solutions to improve the health of future generations while reducing the ever-rising costs of health care.


Exploring the Impact of Health Literacy on the Delivery of Oral Health Care to Underserved Populations

r. Angelia Paschal, assistant professor in the Department of Health Studies, is passionate about her research addressing how health literacy impacts the needs and delivery of health care to medically disadvantaged and underserved children, and her current work centers around the way oral health care is delivered to these children and their families. Dr. Paschal’s work relating to oral health care began while she was on the faculty of the University of Kansas School of MedicineWithchita. Dr. Paschal conducted community health assessments which indicated a need for dental care for children. Further investigation showed that most often these children and families were uninsured. While often the assumption is that disadvantaged or underserved children are being served by Medicaid or other public insurance options, she and her colleagues were surprised to find that this was not so in an unexpectedly large number of cases. What they found was that in fact, there are many whose income exceeds the amount to qualify for Medicaid, but who cannot afford private insurance for their children, and that, among those who do qualify for Medicaid, there is a significant number who are not enrolled. That uninsured population became the focus of the efforts of Dr. Paschal and her colleagues. The group created a program that offered free dental care for one day out of the year to the uninsured children, setting up a clinic staffed by local medical professionals who donated their services, and who provided those services on the spot. If more extensive care was needed, the children were connected with a dentist who was willing to treat the child at no charge or at a greatly reduced fee. Paschal and her colleagues used this population to generate funding for a grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grant funded a study designed to improve understanding of how uninsured families access and use dental care services and public insurance, and to generate information to lead to strategies to improve access to care. The study centered around children 10 years old and younger, who had no medical or dental insurance. Information was collected from parent surveys and interviews. Additional data were collected from the children’s dental charts. The study has been implemented, and

focus study groups are planned to gather information from parents about strategies, ways professionals can better meet their needs, and tactics to influence public policy changes that are needed. Preliminary findings of the study indicated that 60% or more who took advantage of the one-day clinic were Hispanic; these families either did not have access to care, or they did not have the ability to pay. These findings indicate that there is a distinct need to determine how to better meet the needs of this population. Further, the researchers found a connection between parents’ own oral health and that of their children, and that the parents were in need of treatment as well as the children. They found that the history of dental insurance was connected to current oral health status, and that those who had never had dental insurance had more oral health issues than those who had some dental insurance at some point in their past. The interview data also showed that lack of knowledge regarding healthy oral practices were common among this underserved population. Many parents were not aware of the basics of a healthy standard of oral care, including that they and their children should see a dentist twice a year, that flossing is a part of basic oral care for children of all ages, and that parents can and should clean infants’ teeth with a soft cloth or gauze pad when they first erupt through the gums. Parents were also unaware of the connection between poor oral health and children’s physical and psychosocial well-being, such as the connection between poor oral health and school absenteeism, diabetes, and heart disease, as well as social isolation and low self-esteem. Additionally, it was found that the majority of parents in the study who brought their children to the oneday clinic thought that their children needed routine care, when in fact approximately 80% served needed services that surpassed routine care. The implications for further work are that knowledge needs to be increased for parents and families of these children, as well as for those who work with these families, such as educators and community workers. It will also be important to increase access and promote care for parents as well as children, and to influence public health policy regarding access and insurance.

Many parents were not aware of the basics of a healthy standard of oral care, and the connection between oral health and children’s physical and psychosocial well-being.


Travel and Twelve RHM students traveled to the 2013 Marche du Film and Festival of Cannes, to participate in the work of aligning the global event. The students were among the select few that held the highest credentials for the duration of the festival, and had unlimited access to all activities associated with their work. They held official positions in international pavilions, hosted press panels, assisted A-List celebrities, and coordinated exclusive events. Stephen Spielberg served as the Director of the Jury for the 2013 Festival, and the opening film was “The Great Gatsby”. The official poster for the 66th edition, shown here, features Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, photographed during the shooting of “A New Kind of Love” (1963).

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Cannes film Festival



Colorado Springs

Olympic Training Center

Dr. Ken Wright, professor and director of the Sport Management Program, Consumer Sciences, has been involved with the United States Olympic Committee for more than 30 years. His work with the Committee has created the opportunity for CHES Sport Management students to travel annually to the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center with Dr. Wright for intensive study and work in the areas of facilities, logistics, and trends in international sport settings. The University of Alabama is the only academic institution that has an agreement with the Olympic Committee to do an on-site research study and education program. The program is now in its tenth year.



“ My hope is that, as students engage in the creative process in the future and throughout their careers, their designs will be informed and influenced by the great works of art and design that they had the opportunity to experience while studying in the extraordinarily rich environment that is Italy.� 2 2 | RE U N I ON MA G A ZIN E


he first-ever study abroad program for the College of Human Environmental Sciences was launched in 2011, and was such a success that faculty members Michelle Lee and Casey Faulkner returned to Italy with a new group of students in May of 2013. Fourteen Clothing, Textiles and Interior Design students spent 30 days in May and June studying in Florence, Italy, completing six hours of intensive study in three courses that met requirements for their degrees. The students were based in Florence for the month that they were abroad, living in apartments located for them by their host institution, the accredited Santa Reparata International School of Art. Classes met three days a week, allowing students to spend the remainder of the week absorbing all that Florence has to offer. They spent time in the Gucci, Ferragamo, and Uffizi museums, among others, and visited a variety of important landmarks. Florence is the center for men’s fashion design, and the students had the opportunity to spend time in the famed Italian fabric shops, experiencing the fine silks, cottons and leathers for which Italy is so deservedly famous. The weekends saw more extended trips to Rome, Milan and Venice, where the students’ experiences included the Sistine Chapel, the Coliseum, the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, the Maxxi Museum, the Science and Technology Museum inspired by Leonardo DaVinci, and more. The weekend trips also allowed the students to visit a vast

array of showrooms for interiors, furniture and fashion. In order to accomplish all of the goals that Lee and Faulkner set for the students, the schedule for the trip was carefully planned, and was significantly facilitated by the willingness of their host institution to allow them flexibility in the scheduling of their classes. Ms. Lee is enthusiastic about the experience that their host institution, Santa Reparata, offered. In addition to the field trips that the two American professors led, the institution offered cultural events as well. Students enjoyed a wine and cheese tasting on one evening, where locals taught our students how to appreciate the wide variety of wines that Florence has to offer, as well as distinctive local cheeses. Another evening was comprised of a cooking class offered by a faculty member in her home. Students made pasta from scratch, and learned first-hand how labor intensive that process is. A presentation on “Fashion and the Mafia” was a crowd favorite. Ms. Lee says, “My hope is that, as students engage in the creative process in the future and throughout their careers, their designs will be informed and influenced by the great works of art and design that they had the opportunity to experience while studying in the extraordinarily rich environment that is Italy.” Upon their return, the students wrapped up their travel experience with a photo exhibit that documented their trip, entitled “The UnShow: Season 2.” The exhibit opened with a reception in the newly renovated Clothing, Textiles and Interior Design space in Doster Hall.




Camp gives high school students skills set; allows Athletic Training students to exercise teaching skills


he Alabama High School Athletic Training Student Aide Camp is in its fourth year, sponsored by the CHES Department of Health Science and conducted by Athletic Training assistant professor Dr. Jeri Zemke. The one-day camp is attended by 35 high school and middle school students, who learn the rudimentary athletic training skills that are the basics of an education in Athletic Training. The camp is designed to give the students the skills set that they will need in order to serve as an aide to their high school Athletic Trainer (AT), and offers them an opportunity to learn more about the profession and the career options it provides. Students spend the day at a series of 45-minute stations, where they are taught to take vital signs, conduct gait analysis, functional movement screening and compression wrapping. They are also taught to assess concussions, learning four assessment mechanisms, from low- to hightech, and to use the Ipad and Iphone to conduct SCAT 2 assessments.

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Teaching the high school campers are university students who are enrolled in the Athletic Training Education Program and who are currently completing clinical rotations with a Certified Athletic Trainer, either at an on-campus intercollegiate sport, or off-campus at a local high school. The teaching experience allows the undergraduate AT students to test their own knowledge and teaching ability. High school students from around the state attend the camp, many sent by alums of the CHES Athletic Training program who sometimes attend with their students. High school AT’s and faculty alike enjoy the opportunity to reunite and maintain the relationships begun during college careers. The popular camp also allows students, and often their families, to be on the University of Alabama campus and experience the legacy of championship athletics. During breaks between stations, students tour the new, state of the art football weight room and the football athletic training room, and have the opportunity to see the Heisman and the National Championship Trophies on display.

Interactive Technology:

Preserving a Language... Preserving a Culture


nteractive Technology graduate student Kevin Jackson is working to develop a pilot program for preserving and teaching the Cherokee language. Jackson, who lives in Whittier, North Carolina, just south of Cherokee, says that there are now fewer than 300 fluent speakers of the Cherokee language in the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. His children are in a language immersion program in their school, and while his work is inspired by his love for his people and their heritage, it was hearing his children, 2 and 6 years old, speak the language at home that motivated him to become actively involved in the preservation of this beautiful and important language. Jackson explains that the elders have always taught that without the Cherokee language, there would be no Cherokee people. They have taught that the language is to be protected, and have always encouraged their people to speak it, because it is the foundation of their cultural identity. “As long as we have the language, we can continue to be Cherokee. If we lose the language, we lose our existence as a people. That’s what makes the preservation effort so important.” He says that the elders believe that, “Bad Cherokee is better than the best English,” and he explains the reason behind the maxim. “Because the language is so descriptive and has so much meaning in a way that English is not, there is tremendous power in the words themselves.” For example, “Telling children to ‘be good’ means far

more than simply not to bother anybody. The words for ‘be good’ carry a much deeper meaning, relating to one’s heart. It means to have a good life…to be good in your heart, your life, your thoughts and emotions.” The language is so descriptive and has so much meaning, that in that sense, “English can never touch it.” Jackson, who graduated with a master’s degree in General HES with a specialization in Interactive Technology (, completed his graduate work via online; as his culminating project he created a website with interactive technology so that members of the community, and especially parents with children in the language program at school, can use it to teach the language to themselves. He describes the first time he heard his daughter speak Cherokee in their home. “I was taught the language until I was about 6 years old. Then I moved to the city with my mother and wasn’t able to hear it any more, for more than 20 years. I went into the Army, and when I returned, I moved back to Whittier, where the language program had been in place in the schools for about 3 years. It was then that I heard the Cherokee language spoken, for the first time in 20-odd years. My daughter came home from school speaking the language, and we didn’t know what she was saying.” That experience gave birth to his passion for teaching and preserving the language and his culture and launched his Capstone project in Interactive Technology, which he plans to expand to include more archival and instructional components. C OL L EGE OF H U M A N EN VIRO N ME N TAL S CI E N CE S | 2 5



Paying it Forward: Financial Planning Majors Mentor High School Students in the Basics of Financial Literacy


embers of the Capstone Financial and Consumer Education Society (FACES) had the opportunity in the 2012-13 school year to teach and mentor students at Brookwood High School in the Tuscaloosa County school system. Eight financial planning students traveled to BHS in the fall and spring semesters to hold sessions on personal money management for 35 juniors and seniors, who are just beginning to understand the quality of life implications of the financial decisions they will make as young adults. The program, designed by the members of FACES, stressed the importance of financial literacy. Topics included goal-setting, budgeting, making good financial choices and the consequences of bad decisions, using or abusing credit, controlling impulse spending, recognizing peer pressure to “keep up” with others, and understanding the time value of money. Students were also taught how to select banking services and how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. The forum offered an opportunity for lively discussions and allowed FACES members to provide information about the consumer sciences program at the University of Alabama, and the career opportunities that are available in financial planning and consumer affairs.

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The relationship between FACES members and the BHS students began when CHES assistant professor Jan Brakefield reached out to faculty member Jaqueline Emplaincourt to offer the resources of the Consumer Sciences Department to support Ms. Emplaincourt’s efforts in the classroom. While 2013 marks the first year that financial planning has been a required component of the Alabama high school curriculum, Ms. Emplaincourt, who teaches accounting, finance, and law at the high school, recognized early on the importance of teaching financial planning principles to high school students. She developed a curriculum that she has used in her classroom for several years, and has involved her eleventh and twelfth grade students in the National Personal Financial Challenge competition, sponsored by the National Conference of Economic Education. The BHS team has won the competition at the state level three years in a row. The partnership between Mrs. Emplaincourt and CSM faculty and students enabled the Consumer Sciences Department to host this year’s Challenge, and it will do so again in 2014. CHES involvement increased further with Dean Boschung serving on the Board of the Alabama Council of Economic Education.

Researcher Explores Link Between Financial Wellness and Relationship Satisfaction Dr. Melissa Wilmarth, assistant professor in the Department of Consumer Sciences, is intrigued by the way financial wellness impacts relationship satisfaction among married couples. Her research in this area has compared financial wellness and relationship satisfaction among couples before and after the recession, and has assessed the way communication impacts financial wellness and relationship satisfaction. The definition of TG financial wellness has both objective and subjective components, in that it includes not only the measure of a couple’s finances, but also how they feel about their financial situation. A couple may have significant wealth, and yet not be financially well because of feelings of insecurity, and of being strained and unable to do what they need or want to do with that money. Happily, the converse is true as well: a couple may have only a limited amount of resources and yet be financially well, if they are meeting their objective needs and at the same time perceive themselves as secure. Wilmarth says that the recession brought to light the fact that no one is as financially secure as they thought they were. Regardless of what one’s wealth or position was going into the recession, everyone was affected in some way. All investments lost value, housing values declined, and many faced foreclosures. Job losses were not limited to blue collar jobs, as has been the case in most recessions, but all levels of educational attainment and employment status were affected. Some families even experienced double job losses when both husband and wife became unemployed. Even if one escaped a direct impact to his or her own finances, the troubling economic news saturated the media, and many had a neighbor or friend who lost his job or a family member who had to postpone retirement, leading to a sense of anxiety for all. As a result, most of us experienced the stress and the subjective emotional strain of the recession. Wilmarth’s research found that couples had lower financial wellness after the recession, both objectively and subjectively, and her research bears out that financial wellness is defined as more than one’s net worth. In light of these issues, the question arises as to what a couple

A couple may have significant wealth, and yet not be financially well because of feelings of insecurity, and of being strained and unable to do what they need or want to do with that money. Happily, the converse is true as well: a couple may have only a limited amount of resources and yet be financially well, if they are meeting their objective needs and at the same time perceive themselves as secure. can do in their relationship to buffer the effects of a financial crisis. Wilmarth’s research found that good communication significantly improves the connection between financial wellness and relationship satisfaction. Therefore, when a couple is dealing with changes such as the ones brought about by the recession, it is important to be positive in strategy, and communicate in constructive ways. Unfortunately, it is easy for couples to fall into unhealthy communication habits when they are under financial strain. Some couples tend to avoid addressing the issues altogether, perhaps with an unacknowledged hope that avoiding the issues will make them go away. Avoidance by one spouse but not the other is equally detrimental, in that one spouse tends to demand a response and while the other withdraws. Sometimes spouses blame each other for their financial difficulties, or criticize the other for their handling of the situation. Wilmarth says that strong communication skills and good habits can help buffer a relationship during difficult financial times. She says that a couple should be careful not to avoid the issues, but instead to discuss them fully and openly. They should both participate in negotiations, and express their feelings and emotions in a positive way. They should talk using constructive words and messages, and be careful to nurture two-way conversations. When these practices are in place, her research shows that the resulting partnership leads to a better outcome for the relationship. C OL L EGE OF H U M A N EN VIRO N ME N TAL S CI E N CE S | 2 7


Shila Bowron Leadership Lecture

he College of Human Environmental Sciences was honored to have Mr. Dana Garmany, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of golf management company Troon, as the Shila Bowron Leadership Lecturer in March of 2013. Garmany was recently named by both Golf, Inc., and Golf Digest as one of the most powerful and influential people in golf, and has 30 years of experience as an unparalleled leader in the golf and hospitality industry. Garmany began his career as a professional golfer and later founded Troon. Motivated by a desire to set an example and demonstrate the value he placed on education, he entered the University of Alabama as a distance student, and earned his degree in Restaurant, Hotel and Meetings Management.


hen Mr. Garmany returned to campus last spring for the Leadership Lecture, he and Dean Milla Boschung had the opportunity to talk about his career, and how his experience at the University has helped to shape his success.

Mr. Garmany: Well I would say, it’s one of those things, if you understand what it is, it’s a great thing. You have to incorporate both a personal and professional combination, and you work some times that other people don’t, but it also gives you a lot of flexibility. It’s also great to see the rewards of your efforts, when you see someone smiling or someone having a great time at your facility – your golf course, your restaurant, your hotel - and so you can really get a lot out of that. In addition, it’s a growing industry so there are ways to advance your career and be able to have a long time in your career, not doing something like building widgets, but doing something fun. You’re serving people, you’re having some fun, and you’re enjoying what you do.


Dana Garmany

Dean Boschung: One of the best parts of my Guest Lecturer job is to welcome alums back to the University of Alabama, and the College of Human Environmental Sciences. We welcome you to Mr. Garmany: Well, Dr. Maize meant a lot because Tuscaloosa. Tell our readers a little bit about in the middle of going back I was sick, and I yourself. think he sensed that I wanted to get it done. I Mr. Garmany: First it’s good to be back here. It’s had about a four-year period of fighting cancer. always good to be back home! I grew up in When I came back, I said I’m ready to get this Fort Payne, Alabama, was a collegiate golfer finished, and he was very accommodating in at Chattahoochee Valley Community College helping me to get back online and overcome the and then later at Columbus State University. I delay caused by my health. Now everything is left to play golf professionally for a while, and good with my health and I’m happy to have been eventually found my way back to the University able to complete my degree. So Dr. Maize has been an inspiration and just a great guy to work of Alabama to finish my studies. with. Dean Boschung: We’re pleased that you selected our RHM program. Tell me what it was like, to Dean Boschung: If a friend of yours was asking your advice regarding a degree program, what be a non-traditional aged student. would you say about the University of Alabama? Mr. Garmany: Well, it was quite interesting to be back into writing papers again and doing things Mr. Garmany: Well, I think it’s a great place to like that, but because I knew the core business, be, and certainly from the work that Dr. Witt I probably had an advantage over the normal and Dr. Bonner have done over the years and student because I knew the subject material a the way the school is recognized around the little bit. It was great to go back and get the things world now, it’s been moving up every year in the I’d missed before. The University did a great job rankings, and particularly in our area, I would of making it easy for me to take some classes in encourage people who are in my business, the person and some classes online, and Dr. Roy hospitality business, to certainly consider the Maize was certainly a help in getting me through University of Alabama. It’s got a great program, that. I really enjoyed my time coming back, and great instructors, good facilities, and I think it I’m proud to be a graduate of the University of would be a great place to start your career. And hopefully, come to work for Troon later. Alabama. Dean Boschung: Dr. Roy Maize is a wonderful Dean Boschung: So, as you are talking to potential professor. Tell me what he meant to you, during employees, what would you say about the hospitality industry? your studies.

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Dean Boschung: The brand of the University of Alabama has been “Touching Lives.” How has the University of Alabama touched your life? Mr. Garmany: I think that it’s been something that’s been a journey of being here at very different times. Being here some when I was young and some when I was older has given me a different perspective. It’s touched my life in that I’ve met so many people. We really want to encourage and recruit more people from the University to our 10,000 employees worldwide. We’d love to show students the world, and show some new places to graduates from the program. And for me, my adventure in life, after being sick…my mantra in life is to sort of “Perfect Life.” And what I mean by that is, we all make mistakes, we all have challenges, we all go through things. But every day, we try to wake up and perfect it a bit more. To do a little bit more to make life everything it can be. So, a combination of the people I’ve met here, the people I’ve met through business, my own personal experiences of being sick, have led me to try to “Perfect Life,” and part of what I’m doing is trying to help others. And I look forward to that for the rest of my trip while I’m here. Dean Boschung: Thank you. And how about one more “Roll Tide”? Mr. Garmany: Roll Tide Roll!!! The Shila Brown Leadership Lecture of the Restaurant, Hotel, and Meetings Management Program at the University of Alabama began in 2002 to achieve the goal of exposing students to a variety of hospitality leaders and their perspectives of the hospitality industry. Mr. William A. Bowron, Jr., President of Red Diamond, Inc., Birmingham, Alabama, annually supports the Restaurant, Hotel, and Meetings Management Program through the Shila Bowron Leadership Lecture in honor of his mother.


Shannon McMahon

Instructor M.S., University of Alabama Specialty: Nutrition—Distance Education

Terry J. Crotwell

Instructor M.S., University of Alabama Specialty: Environmental Health and Safety Management

Laura A. Bloom

Assistant Professor Ph.D., University of Alabama, Birmingham, Specialty: Early Childhood Education

Kim Stran

Assistant Professor Ph. D., University of Alabama Nutrition—Distance Education

New Faculty


Angelia M. Paschal

Associate Professor Ph.D., Kent State University, (emphasis, sociology of health and healthcare) Specialty: Health Education and Health Promotion

Jeannie Hahm

Sherwood Burns-Nader

Assistant Professor Ph.D., University of Central Florida Specialty: Tourism and Events

Assistant Professor Ph.D., University of Alabama, Educational Psychology Specialty: Psychosocial Development of Hospitalized Children  

Casey J. Totenhagen

Assistant Professor Ph. D., University of Arizona, Family Studies and Human Development Specialty: Romantic relationships, relationship quality, daily stress

Kimberly S. Severt

Associate Professor Ph.D., Oklahoma State University Specialty: Meetings and Events

Adam P. Knowlden

Associate Professor Ph. D, University of Cincinnati, MBA, Franklin University Specialty: Health behavior prediction models, evaluation of theory-based interventions

Amy C. Ellis

Assistant Professor Ph.D., University of Alabama, Birmingham Specialty: Nutrition and aging

Melissa J. Wilmarth

Assistant Professor Ph. D., University of Georgia Specialty: Consumer and family economics, economic well-being of families, financial wellness

Tricia H. Witte

Associate Professor Ph. D., University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Clinical Psychology Specialty: Addictions and Recovery


Letters to the Faculty

CHES STUDENTS, alumni, and even parents often write to share with faculty members the impact

they have had on students’ lives. We think you will enjoy reading excerpts from some of these letters that demonstrate the difference that CHES makes in the lives of individuals and families.

I have just landed my first job out of college. [What I learned in your course] put me ahead of the 500 people that applied for this job and the 20 people that interviewed face to face for this job. This has seriously changed my life for the better! Thank you again for everything you taught me. It really does apply to what you do in the real world!

I graduated in August, and was getting out of the Army after a 10 year career… I don’t want to give names, but I will tell you that I got 5 interviews and out of those I got 3 offers….The one recurring response that I got from all firms was this: “What’s impressive is that you know more about this business than anyone we’ve ever interviewed [who] had no experience in this industry.” I owe much of that impression I made to the professors and world-class education that I received in the Financial Planning degree program.

I got accepted into [pharmacy school]! I had an interview…and felt very prepared because of everything that you taught me in HES 310. Also, I felt like the application process was much easier since you had explained so much about the process of applying for a job/grad school, etc. I want to tell you how much I appreciate all that you have taught me because I truly feel like it made a difference.

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Thank you for being my mentor, my personal comedian, pocket cheerleader, stress reliever, lunch buddy, and friend. I’ve learned so much from you this year and I’m thankful for every lesson. Thank you for being a part of my life.

I have learned more in your classes than I have in the entire four years I have been here at Alabama. You truly love this industry and it is comforting to see your positive outlook.

I respect your work ethic and appreciate the time you take out of your schedule to help others. It is professors like you that have inspired me to begin the next chapter of my life in the practice of law.

During my internship with a Las Vegas Casino, the food and beverage director asked me if I could develop a costanalysis program…regarding our 24-hour café. Many of the things that he wanted were covered in our course, and I was able to produce something beyond what he was expecting, and faster than he expected… I left with a standing job offer to come back full time. Your class had a direct and substantial effect on my internship, and most likely my career.

I wanted to let you know your course is by far the most important and applicable wisdom I have received at this University. For that, I can never thank you enough… While my [other] classes have somewhat prepared me for the work world, your class has prepared me for the rest of my life. I truly believe this class bears the potential to change a mind, an action, and even a life.

I just wanted to write a quick note of thanks for all you and CHES have done for me over the years. I have recently been promoted…and any time I experience positive upward movement, I look back to where it all started so many years ago at HES…I owe you and your staff a huge debt of gratitude…

Thank you so much for being our amazing teacher this semester. You made learning about nutrition for athletes so much fun.

Letters to the Faculty

I am a parent of one of your students this semester. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for such a wonderful and informative course. Being a senior, [my daughter] has had a number of professors and a slew of courses and throughout this spring she has emphasized how good your course was and how much she learned from you. In addition, she said how you made the course interesting! Math, interesting and fun, go figure. Thanks for the passion, knowledge, and education that you bestowed on my daughter. I will always be in your debt.

I can honestly say that you made me love this major and made me have the drive to pursue this career path…You opened my eyes to how many things I can accomplish with this major…I just want to sincerely thank you because if it weren’t for your enthusiasm, passion about this industry, and about the students, it would have been a very different story for myself…You should be very proud.

I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for what you’ve done as a teacher for my child. My son…has always struggled with math...however, what you have done has sparked an interest…. Every day , I would receive a phone call from [him] telling me something he learned that day in your class. When the semester was finally over, he even told me that your class was one of the most enjoyable and beneficial classes he has taken since coming to the University. This is a prime example of how EVERY class should be in college… It comforts me knowing that you have brought confidence in my son’s math ability. It’s not every day you receive an email from a parent, but I just wanted to make sure you understand the positive impact you had on my child. Thank you for having a major role in making my child successful.



Box 870158 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0158

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2014 Reunion Magazine  

2014 Reunion Magazine College of Human Environmental Sciences The University of Alabama

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