UA – FRC –
What an exciting time to be on The University of Alabama campus and to be in The College of Human Environmental Sciences. The campus is beautiful and full of students with high expectations, and there is a true spirit of success permeating the air.
Imaging Servic es
College of Human Environmental Sciences
Welcome to an update on the College of Human Environmental Sciences at The University of Alabama. In 1911, the very first foods course was offered at The University of Alabama, in 1917 a department was created and then in 1931, the school was created. HES has experienced enrollment growth since 1984 and two years ago became the third largest College on The University of Alabama campus. This growth can be attributed to the dedicated faculty and staff who are committed to the success of our students. Although this update will not include all of the achievements of the students, faculty, and alumni, it does include information on some of the latest faculty research, innovations in teaching, support from our alumni and friends, and activities of our students. Our fine faculty continues to be involved in cutting edge research with a focus on enhancing the quality of life of individuals, families, and communities. Although we would like to include the research of all HES faculty members, space will only allow us to feature one researcher from each department. Future updates will continue to provide updates on other faculty.
“The campus is beautiful and full of students with high expectations, and there is a true spirit of success permeating the air.” LEADERSHIP BOARD The newly formed HES Leadership Board consists of 45 alumni and friends of the College whose role is to provide support and guidance through leadership and development efforts, financial support, and student recruitment. A major project of the Leadership Board is support for the Crenshaw Leadership Academy for a select group of outstanding undergraduate students. You will enjoy the article on this academy and the students involved. DISTANCE EDUCATION Our distance education programs are featured in this issue. For over 10 years, graduate students around the world have been enrolled in the distance program in health promotion and health education. Currently, there are five undergraduate degree programs available online and five graduate programs. One other degree program is available with a com-bination of innovative distance deliveries. ALUMNI & FRIENDS As both The University of Alabama and the College of Human Environmental Sciences grow, the support of
our alumni and friends is most important. We are grateful to each and every one of you who have answered our call for support both financially and through personal interest. The College of Human Environmental Sciences continues to be the place we all remember from our years past and in order to maintain this nurturing environment, we ask each of you to consider how you can do your part as an alum. Whether it be financial or networking opportunities, student recruitment based or simply returning each year for our annual events, we welcome the opportunity to have you be actively involved in your college. It would be my privilege to welcome you back any time for a visit. We hope you will please stay in touch with us by sending us important updates about you and your family in the enclosed envelope. This will ensure we can continue to stay in touch with our valued alumni and friends. I hope you enjoy the newsmagazine and find interest in the work our college continues to do each and every day to improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities across the state and around the world.
Human Environmental Sciences
Innovations in Teaching
Development & Leadership Board Activities
Academic Programs Spotlight
Parenting Assistance Line
Scholarships & Outstanding Students
College of Human Environmental Sciences Box 870158, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0158 Phone: 205.348.6250 Fax: 205.348.3789 Student Services: 205.348.6150 Departments: Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP) 106 East Annex; Box 870311 Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487-0311 Phone: 205.348.8683 Fax: 205.348.7568 Department of Consumer Sciences Adams 212; Box 870158 Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487 Phone: 205.348.6178 Fax: 205.348.8721 Department of Clothing, Textiles, and Interior Design 307 Doster Hall; Box 870158 Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487-0158 Phone: 205.348.6176 Fax: 205.348.3789 Department of Human Development and Family Studies 214 Child Development Research Center; Box 870160 Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487-0160 Phone: 205.348.6158 Fax: 205.348.8153 Department of Health Science Box 870311 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0311 Phone: 205.348.8371 Fax: 205.348.7568 Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management 206 Doster Hall; Box 870158 Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487-0158 Phone: 205.348.6157 Fax: 205.348.3789
2 | College of Human Environmental Sciences
On the cover: CHES students Michael Santina, majoring in Consumer Sciences; Cindy Waldrop, majoring in Food & Nutrition; and graduate students Tabitha McMullen from Health Science and Melinda Thomason from Clothing, Textile & Interior Design are true scholars for life.
Innovations in Teaching If you step into any number of College of Human Environmental Sciences classes that are in session, it won’t take you long to determine one thing. It’s a whole new world. In days past, students met in a room at a given time and the “sage on stage,” or the professor in front of the class, lectured, while students busily took notes. Today, professors and instructors are using an array of digital teaching tools, which are meant to enhance the students’ learning experience, both on campus and in the far corners of our planet.
CLOTHING, TEXTILES & INTERIOR DESIGN Take DR. MARCY KOONTZ, associate professor in the Department of Clothing, Textiles & Interior Design. Her “Visual Merchandising” course is not a stereotypical course with lectures, group projects and exams. The focus of the class is to introduce students to displays, advertising, marketing and promotion of products in a retail environment. At the beginning of the course each student sits in front of a computer where they will eventually learn how to use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, the standard programs for design in the working world. She then creates teams of students. So, far so good.
digital teaching tools
Here’s where the class takes a drastic turn from most, if not all. There are no exams. All grading is based on the end product and the process. And, a student can literally get fired from their team. “Students have to learn how to communicate and work with others in a real work environment,” Dr. Koontz explained. “They have to learn that you don’t work in a vacuum. If you’re working in a team on a job, and one of the team members never contributes, or can never meet deadlines, and no one speaks up, s/he will get the credit, and be making the same money as you are.” If a team fires a member, the student has two alternatives. Drop the course or be re-hired by another group. “If someone is fired, and wants to stay in the class, they must create a professional presentation explaining what they did wrong and how they plan on changing, and make it in front of the entire class,” Dr. Koontz says. If another group hires them, fine, they’re still in the class. If no other group wants them, they have no alternative but to drop the class. “It’s changed the lives of students,” Dr. Koontz said. “For most of them,
interactive video classes
their academic careers are never the same, and for the better. Their friends and classmates say, ‘Wow, something’s different here.” Once the groups get going, they create a theme, and a promotional calendar for that theme, build boutiques, craft fixturing systems for products and design lighting for retail displays. Throughout the semester, the student teams sit in front of computers and work on their project. Dr. Koontz is right there with them. From the computer at her desk, she is able to access any of the 20 computers in the room, at any given time. If she needs their undivided attention, she can shut down everyone’s computer, make her point and release them so the students can continue their work. “There is a minimal amount of project work outside of the classroom,” she said. “So, for the most part, I’m as much as an integral part of each team, as anyone else.” Throughout the semester, the students create presentations of their finished products and present them to the entire class. She is obviously proud of her students when she explained, “When they first come to this class, some know very little www.ches.ua.edu | 3
Clothing, Textiles & Interior Design
Today, professors and instructors are using an array of digital teaching tools, which are meant to enhance the studentsâ€™ learning experience, both on campus and in the far corners of our planet.
FASHION RETAIL STUDENTS Kate Keene, Elizabeth Summers, and Crista Bowers created this Marc Jacobs Boutique concept.
4 | Innovations in Teaching
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about a computer, other than word processing, and just about all of them have little knowledge about design software. But, by the end of the semester they have created professional and extremely creative projects.” Even so, Dr. Koontz said that most students don’t realize what they’ve done or the value of it until they
graduate and have secured their first job. “It’s not unusual for students to graduate and come back to visit. They say, ‘This happened. That happened.’ And, I say, ‘I told you so.’ I get a lot of that. I also get it from employers. They tell me, ‘I wish I had that kind of experience when I was in school.’.” Dr. Koontz explained that hearing this feedback from both students and professionals in the field reinforces
her philosophy that it’s her job to give students practical skills that can help them begin their careers, walking if not running. TRACY REESE BOUTIQUE Section of the boutique by: Lindsey Padgett, Fashion Retail; The other two group members were: Candice Wright, Apparel Design and Megan Ziesler, Fashion Retail
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Faculty, staff, students and alumni in the Department of Clothing, Textile, and Interior Design celebrated the opening of the CHES Design House in Spring 2008.
6 | Design House Open House
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Celebrating our Future A PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDY OF CHILDREN By Melissa Bridges
Melissa Bridges, CHES alumna and current graduate student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, trained under UA photographer Chip Cooper as part of the Wednesdays at Work staff development program with Child Development Resources. She photographed children at the Child Development Research Center and exhibited the images at the center in the fall 2008 term.
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Innovations in Teaching DR. CARROLL TINGLE
According to Dr. Carroll Tingle, assistant professor and chair for the Human Development and Family Studies, the true benefit of all of the new technology and innovations is the ability to interweave teaching classes, conducting research and providing supervised practical experience for the students. For instance, in the classroom, Dr. Tingle and associates use a combination of online components, such as podcasting, interactive video, webcasting and e-portfolios, among others. The students may assist a faculty member with a research project using coded video from subject interviews and observations.
Later that day, the students may be recorded interacting with preschoolers at the Children’s Program and then be evaluated by a faculty member based on those recordings. Human Development and Family Studies courses are taken by a number of military personnel. In fact, there are entire course sections of enlisted students. Dr. Tingle says that providing courses for the military is interesting, “because the dynamics are different. They interact with each other virtually and are very meticulous on timelines, which is not always the case with distance education students in the general population.”
CONSUMER SCIENCES DEPARTMENT
“I can’t see them, but they can see me and they can ask me questions through a chat situation.”
Another innovative teaching tool that allows for a more enriching experience is video streaming. Eve Pentecost, assistant professor in the Department of Consumer Sciences knows this firsthand. Pentecost teaches courses in the financial planning curriculum.
She has used video streaming in her classes since the summer of 2005. There are two cameras in her classroom. While she is talking, one camera focuses on her. If students want to contribute by asking or answering a question, they press a microphone button and a voiceactivated camera will focus on that student. Students who are registered for the class, but are unable to attend the actual class, which is located at the University of Alabama Gadsden Center for Education and Research, can view the class in real time
(as it is actually occurring) from their computers. All they need is a highspeed internet connection. “I can’t see them, but they can see me and they can ask me questions through a chat situation,” Pentecost explained. “I believe it’s the wave of the future. All a student needs is a DSL or a cable connection, and is wired to receive it. And, we usually archive it in case of bad weather, or someone can’t attend the class.” Pentecost said preparation is her greatest challenge in teaching a course that is streaming along the digital world. “There’s no last minute planning. You can’t find a magazine article at the last minute and use it in the class.” The course material has to be on the computer for them to download ahead of time.
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Innovations in Teaching Before this generation’s technology kicked in, distance students had to go to a local community college or university, and be proctored for the exam. Not now. She is currently using eLearning for testing. While taking the exam from home, a student sees each question one at a time, and has a specific amount of time to answer that question, before moving on to the next one. “So, there’s not much time for cheating,” she said. So, what happens if someone is taking the test and his or her internet goes out, from a storm, or some other technical difficulty? Pentecost says that she takes it on a case-by-case basis. “But, I do try to eliminate as much of that as possible by telling them before hand, that if they are not extremely confident that their home computers will make it through the entire exam, they need to go somewhere, like a community college, that they know has a reliable high speed connection.” With all of the technical ups and downs of the interactive streaming of the course, Pentecost feels strongly that it is serving a very important purpose. “If you want to be a certified financial planner in Alabama, you must either take your course work on the University campus in Tuscaloosa, or through streaming. And, since a lot of my students are older and are working, this is the only opportunity for them to take the course and further their careers.” 10 | Innovations in Teaching
down to business immediately, while others want to sit and visit for a while. But, that’s just like in the real world. We’re training them for the rest of their lives. No matter what you do, it’s a team effort.”
Taking responsibility for your own actions is one of the key attributes of being a leader, and that is exactly what Caroline Fulmer, instructor in the Department of Consumer Sciences, teaches her students in her iconoclastic “Developing the Leader Within” course. The class meets all day for five days during the interim in the summer. There are no tests. No quizzes. No PowerPoint presentations. No lengthy lectures. “Before I taught, I was in the position responsible for leadership development and executive coaching for a bank holding company,” Fulmer explained. “I translated some of those activities, so that this course is more like corporate training than school.” At the beginning of the class, each student completes the Myers Briggs Personality Type questionnaire. Fulmer then pairs the students with others who are not like themselves. In other words, she pairs the taskoriented with the relationshiporiented. “Of course, they drive each other nuts,” she laughed. “Some want to get
In addition to the interactive exercises, another important component of the class is keeping a journal. Each student is asked to evaluate themselves on 21 characteristics of leadership that they garner from textbooks and another 10 assessments of leadership that are covered by Fulmer. “They take a topic (characteristic) and discuss what it is, whether it’s a strength or a weakness for themselves and why. Then I ask them to create an action plan of five things that the student will do to make themselves a better leader, with goals and timelines. I then follow up with them, after the semester, and give them feedback on their progress.” At the end of the semester, the students are graded based on peer evaluations, effort and thoroughness. Proving that the student is a born leader is not part of that equation. “Even if they haven’t proven to me that they understand leadership through the activities, I can usually tell if they’ve learned something. Sometimes I hear from a student’s parents. Recently a mom and dad called me and said that they don’t know how I taught their daughter since there were no tests. I asked them to see if she minded if they read her journal. The student said OK. The parents read it, and told me, ‘You finally explained to her what never sunk in, after living in this house for 20 years.’ Those conversations are very rewarding,” Fulmer said.
HUMAN NUTRITION AND HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT Online courses:
“The ones who really love it are the ones who say that it is particularly rewarding because they were entirely responsible for their own actions, and they did it.” for each one. So, we took the association’s curriculum called Course Line, and we were able to use that as the core class and built our program around their courses, using their syllabi and exercises.”
Dr. Roy Maize received the 2008 Excellence in Management Practice Award, awarded by The American Dietetic Association.
DR. ROY MAIZE
Dr. Roy Maize, associate professor in The Department of Human Nutrition & Hospitality Management, directs courses in The Restaurant, Hotel, and Meetings Management major. Many students receive a degree in this curriculum without stepping foot on campus, while others are traditional students who take some courses on campus and some online. “We have traditional students who take as many classes on campus as possible,” Dr. Maize explains. “But due to their schedule, they can’t take some courses on campus. Since they want to graduate at a certain date, they choose to take the class online, rather than wait until it’s offered in Tuscaloosa.”
A large majority of students take the courses online, primarily because many are in the U.S. Army.
“Online students are a little different than traditional students,” Dr. Maize noted. “Online students need a lot of structure. They are older students. At some point, a lot of them started their education, but for some reason didn’t finish. They may need 30 to 60 hours to finish. It may be that they need it to get a promotion, or they just to return for the self-satisfaction of receiving their degree.” All course materials, books, assignments, etc. are the same whether someone is taking the course on campus or online.
Even though the program has been in existence since 1985, and went through revisions in the year 2000, Dr. Maize said that creating a new curriculum for his online students was a monumental task. Thankfully, he had help.
Dr. Maize emphasized that online courses are not for everyone. Some never adapt to not having that traditional classroom experience with the teacher. There are those who are wary at first. “But after they get into it, they really like it. Students have to be extremely “Luckily, we use the course outline engaged in their own program. from the American Hotel and The ones who really love it are the Lodging Association Educational ones who say that it is particularly Institute, which is the professional association for the hotel business,” he rewarding because they were entirely responsible for their own explained. “They publish a number actions, and they did it.” of textbooks with different options. And, one was a digitized version
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Distance Education DISTANCE EDUCATION Age-old teaching tools such as blackboards, chalk, desks, erasers and projectors have been replaced with podcasts, eLearning, message boards and e-portfolios. Nothing illustrates this new world order of instructing college students better than the Distance Education program in the College of Human Environmental Sciences.
Age-old teaching tools such as blackboards, chalk, desks, erasers and projectors have been replaced with podcasts, eLearning, message boards and e-portfolios.
Distance Education allows individuals to take courses and work toward a degree without stepping foot on campus, whether it’s someone two blocks away at home, or a soldier serving thousands of miles away in Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany or Korea.
DR. OLIVIA KENDRICK
Dr. Olivia Kendrick, associate dean and department head for the Department of Human Nutrition & Hospitality Management, says Distance Education may seem like the students are a million miles away, in both body and spirit.
12 | Distance Education
But she explains that is not the case. Many people believe that students are not getting the same level of attention as in the conventional classroom. As all instructors know, some students talk to the teachers before and after class, e-mail and call them. These students need that interaction with the teacher. Others simply come in, do their job, and leave. It’s no different with CHES students receiving their degrees online. “The interaction with our distance education students is as great as on-campus students,” Dr. Kendrick notes. “It’s just not face-to-face, but we do have a bond with them. Instead of visiting you in your office and talking to you before and after every class, they may e-mail you
five times a day. Some even send you photos of themselves and their families.” For Dr. Kendrick, converting from conventional classroom instruction to teaching a course online meant changing her paradigm. “My greatest challenge was the delivery of material, such as having the confidence that it could be delivered without my speaking. It’s a totally different way of doing things. You have to be absolutely comfortable teaching a course through assignments and interaction with web sites, e-mail or video conferencing.” One of the most satisfying things about providing this opportunity to students is illustrated in a conversation Dr. Kendrick had with
a distance education student. The student’s husband was in Iraq and she lived in a rural area. Taking online classes kept her professionally involved in the field of nutrition, and it kept her mind active while he was serving overseas.
said. “In addition, it will provide an opportunity for students who can’t visit our campus to receive their degrees. Some of these programs, like interactive technology, are only offered through the web, because of the environment.”
Because of students like this, Dr. Kendrick feels that distance education will become more prevalent as time passes. “It will not take the place of campus instruction, but it will continue to augment conventional classes,” she
Dr. Kendrick said that Distance Education students come from all walks of life, but it does take a certain type of person to succeed and make the most of the experience. “You really have to be self-disciplined and motivated. For
the students who procrastinate, they really get behind. But if you can keep up with the assignments and the class, you can graduate with flying colors.” She laughed when explaining that some students even attend graduation ceremonies on campus. “It’s the first time we meet them, and it’s very exciting. They say, ‘It was my dream of attending the University of Alabama, and I can’t believe I can do this if I’m not living in the state.’.”
One of the more specialized areas of Distance Education is through Go Army Ed. It is a program where the U.S. Army enables enlisted soldiers to receive an education by earning their degrees online.
Sunset in Iraq Russell Bledsoe, a May 2006 graduate in General Studies in Human Environmental Sciences. He was the first graduate from CHES in the Go Army Ed program.
In fact, according to Jason Blumenthal, instructor in the Department of Human Nutrition & Hospitality Management and coordinator for the College’s Go Army Ed program, there are quite a few military personnel working toward a degree through the CHES Distance Education curriculum. “Today, we have 600 military personnel in our Go Army Ed program,” Blumenthal explained. “About 70 percent of them are in General Studies and the rest are in Hospitality Management.”
“Soldiers say they really appreciate the opportunity and they enjoy it. It keeps them busy during those times when they don’t have anything to do, and it helps them further their education. A lot of our students have been in the military for 12 to 15 years, and, don’t have an education yet. They’re getting ready to retire, and they’re fairly young. So, this gives them an opportunity to get an education, and together with their military experience, makes them very marketable.” Blumenthal said Go Army Ed also help soldiers move up in the military,
as well. “To get promoted, you must have a bachelor’s degree to get into officer’s school,” he explained. “A lot of students in the RHM major are already in the food service industry in the military, and many have associate’s degrees, but they want to go that step further and receive their bachelor’s degree.” Serving these students gives Blumenthal a great deal of satisfaction. “I take great pride in our program because these soldiers are serving our country and defending our freedom. And, one contribution I can make is helping them in their future after their military careers. I feel really good about that.” www.ches.ua.edu | 13
1) Alice Maxwell and Dean Milla Boschung; 2) Beverly Kissinger, Dr. Shirley Foster, Paula Robinson, and Dr. Virginia Winberley; 3) Dr. Jason Scofield with his son and Dr. Yasmin Neggers; 4) Dean Boschung with Dr. Lawrence Elson and Ellyn Elson; 5) Caroline Fulmer and Dr. Hyun-Joo Jean; 6) Jo Ann Ray and Alice Maxwell; 7) Caroline and Woody Fulmer with Jean and Bill Martin; 8) Betty Laney with Dean Milla Boschung and Angie Webb; 9) Ellyn Elson with Dr. Cherie Hutton
14 | Leadership Board Reception
1) Dr. Ken Wright and Bill Martin; 2) Dr. Roy Maize and Dr. Chang Lee; 3) Dean Boschung with Dr. Carolyn Callis and Sally Edwards; 4) Tommy Davis with Dean Boschung and Annie Hunter Galloway; 5) Dean Boschung with Ree Almon and Robert Almon; 6) Sam Ray with Bill Martin and JoAnn Ray; 7) Dr. Virginia Wimberley and Dr. Sue Parker; 8) Angie Webb and Alice Maxwell; 9) CHES Ambassadors; 10) Amy Baker-Parton with Courtney McGahey and Betty Laney
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1) UA President Dr. Robert Witt; 2) 2007 Jack Davis Professional Achievement Award Recipients; 3) Jack Davis Award Recipient Stephanie Pope and her daughter; 4) John Peaslee with CHES Alumni; 5) Dr. Roy Maize and an alum; 6) Jan Brakefield and Mr. Tommy Davis with an alum; 7) CHES Ambassadors; 8) Caroline Fulmer and Shelley Hancock; 9) Mrs. Jack Davis and family with Dr. Mallory Boylan, 2007 Jack Davis recipient; 10) Dean Milla Boschung and Dr. Deidre Leaver-Dunn; 11) Amanda Perna and Virginia Wimberly
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1) Dean Milla Boschung with Drs. Bob and Bobbie Walden and Dr. Olivia Kendrick; 2) Dean Boschung with CHES alums; 3) Michelle Harcrow and Susanna Johnson; 4) Dr. Anna McFadden and Dr. Carolyn Callis; 5) Buffy, Molly, and Bob Donlon; 6) Oldest living UA graduate; 7) Jane Drake Hale and Cathy Guzzo; 8) Jack Davis Award winner Ginger Gilmore and family; 9) Dean Boschung greets UA fans during the game day reception; 10) Mary Lynn Porter with Dr. Lydia Roper; 11) Dean Boschung and Beverly Kissinger; 12) John and Mary Frances Slaughter
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The 2007 Crenshaw Fellows, pictured above, participated in the Crenshaw Leadership Academy at the historic Tutwiler Hotel in Birmingham.
DEVELOPMENT Over the last several years, the College of Human Environmental Sciences has launched a proactive development program as a means to strengthen the College by reaching out to those whose lives have been enhanced through CHES. ANGIE WEBB
One such effort of the development program is the creation of the Leadership Board. Angie Webb, Leadership Board member, said that when asked to participate, she didn’t hesitate for a second. “I got involved with the College back in the ‘80s,” she explained. “I saw a need to help the College, especially in the area of creating scholarships. I made a commitment to help whenever and however I could. So, when they created the Leadership Board, I was asked if I was interested in joining, and, of course, I said yes.”
18 | Development
The Leadership Board is comprised of approximately 45 members. One of its main objectives is to raise scholarships funds for students. “Sometimes, people don’t stop to realize what their education has done for them and their careers,” Webb said. “This board reaches out to others to remind them what the College did for them and also has an impact on students who are currently enrolled.” According to Webb, the Leadership Board is making inroads. “The word is spreading and more people are interested in giving back and making a big impact on the College.” Webb feels strongly that one reason why people are giving back to the College is CHES’ philosophy of emphasizing the individual, not just a collective group of students. “If I had to give one message, I would like for our graduates to think about what the College did for them when they needed an
education,” Webb explained. “And, I would let them know that there are others who need their help. Expenses are greater and more students are going to college. We need diversity, and we need leaders in the community. And, it’s going to take everyone helping out in some capacity. There’s always a way for someone to come forward to help someone less fortunate.” SARAH OGIE
Like Webb, Leadership Board member Sarah Ogie, a 2002 graduate from the College and a member of UA’s National Steering Committee, agrees. As she reflected on her service to the College, she said that she felt honored to be asked to serve on the Leadership Board. “The University and CHES have meant so much to me, and from the start, I wanted to make a contribution.” Ogie has helped CHES raise funds as part of the University’s overall Capital Campaign. According to Ogie, the College’s initial goal was to raise
CRENSHAW ACADEMY In 2005, The College of Human Environmental Sciences created the Crenshaw Academy, which identifies the best of the best among the CHES students. According to Jan Brakefield, assistant professor in the Department of Consumer Sciences, the Academy was named after Mary Crenshaw, a former dean of the College, “who exhibited exceptional leadership qualities her entire professional life.” Once a year, each of the five departments chooses three students who they feel are ideal students and have shown extraordinary leadership abilities. The faculty can also choose students in the General Studies program. “These students have to really impress the faculty in their departments,” Brakefield explained. “Every member of the faculty votes. Our goal is to encourage them to do more of what they’ve been doing already. Step up and become strong leaders.” These “Crenshaw Fellows” are not merely identified and given an award. They attend a workshop that lasts a little longer than 24 hours. Approximately 1 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, they gather and are driven to a retreat location. For the last three years, the “academy” has been held at either the Ross Bridge Resort or the historic Tutwiler Hotel in Birmingham. There they attend intensive workshops, listen to speakers, and participate in role playing exercises and small group discussions and make presentations. Students are invited to a fine dining experience where they are encouraged to engage in appropriate dinner conversation. “When we bring them back to campus around two or three o’clock the next day, their heads are swimming,” Brakefield said. “They tell us that the experience was phenomenal and it far exceeded their expectations, and it gives them the motivation to move forward.”
one million dollars. “This time a year ago, she explained, “we had raised $2.6 million dollars, so we’re quite ahead of schedule.” Ogie explained that when the campaign started, there was a twoyear, “silent phase,” where major donors are asked to contribute, before the general campaign begins. “We had secured almost a third of our goal during that period.” The campaign continues through June 2009, Ogie said. Like Webb,
Ogie feels that convincing people to contribute to the success of the school is simply a matter of reminding them of what the school did for them. “Once people are reminded of their experience, it really makes a difference. We have donors who love CHES and enjoyed their time earning their degree. Their generosity is a reflection of that. They tell their family and friends, and hopefully they will want to see it grow, as well. That is a very exciting thing to see, and I feel very privileged to be a part of it.”
Leadership Board members.
In addition to contributing to conventional giving opportunities, others may take a more creative approach. For example, Phil Laney, a member of UA’s National Steering Committee, has established the Radford P. & Betty L. Laney Scholarship Fund. In addition, Laney has assisted in supporting funding the Spring Sport Management Silent Auction, which has been a success for the last three years.
and continual review by faculty and staff is very impressive to me,” Laney explained. “When Dean Boschung asked me to be a part of the Leadership Board, I had no knowledge of the requirements. However, I soon realized that it appeared to be something that could add value to CHES from my life process and journey. I see CHES to be a positive step for growth of individuals and provides the opportunity for students to learn and develop for success in the marketplace.”
“The fact that CHES provides students with ‘tender loving care’ www.ches.ua.edu | 19
Research Initiatives Fascinating. Intriguing. Vital. Life-saving. These are the words that best describe the many research projects currently being pursued by the faculty, staff, and students of the College of Human Environmental Sciences. LOOKING TO THE FUTURE OF TEXTILES BY STUDYING ANCIENT FIBERS DR. AMY THOMPSON
Sometimes it is important to look to the past, to see where we are going, or where we need to be heading. Such is the case with the research project headed by Dr. Amanda Thompson, assistant professor in the Department of Clothing, Textiles & Interior Design. For the last several years, Dr. Thompson and her colleagues studied small bits of textiles found at historical Moundville. “These pieces are about two to three centimeters,” Dr. Thompson explained. “So, they’re very small. But, not so small that we can’t study and learn from them.” According to Dr. Thompson, she and her team are coming into this study up to 70 years “late.” The pieces were found many years ago, and someone had the foresight to save them in a file, or in a drawer. There they waited until a researcher would use them for scientific study. The textiles that are being studied are charred, which means that they have been exposed to heat, but not high enough to be completely destroyed. 20 | Research Initiatives
Dr. Amanda Thompson studies textiles found in historical Moundville.
The heat does not completely take out the organic material in the cloth; it carbonizes them, which preserves the cloth. Without that process, tiny microbes would have long ago eaten the organic material in the fibers. As in many archeological sites, it is not easy to find even small pieces of elements like textiles to study. Many pieces have simply disappeared in the mist of time. Others were destroyed by fellow scientists decades ago. For instance, textiles can sometimes be found on an interesting artifact, such as a breastplate, which may have textiles encrusted through a pseudomorph process. “The organics in the breastplate are replaced by metal ions like the copper from the breastplate, and the iron in the ground,” Dr.
Thompson explained. “This creates a fossil called a pseudomorph, she explained. “In the past, if someone wanted to study the breastplate, they would really be interested in what was under the pseudomorth that is the actual breastplate. So, they would give it an acid bath and eliminate those pesky pieces of textile on top.” However, a breastplate was found at Moundville, which obviously had not been through the acid bath treatment. As a result, she was able to find bits of ancient textiles to study. Dr. Thompson said it’s important to study these textiles because it gives us a window from which to view how our ancestors used textiles on a daily basis. “Sometimes, this is the only evidence we find.” Historians or record keepers wrote about how
people waged war or what was hunted, not what kind of cloth was being used for this or that. So, scientists have these samples and they can piece together how people were using them. Dr. Thompson said her research has shown in the Southeast, our ancestors were twining textiles. This is different from weaving and knitting. “It’s much like braiding,” she explained “So, it helps us understand what they did hundreds of years ago.” By understanding what was done in the past, we are also able to look to the future. “If we ask ourselves, ‘How many uses did they create for these textiles?’ We could possibly consider using textiles for the same purposes today. Milkweed, nettles, those types of things. Maybe this could be a reusable fiber, like bamboo today.” In addition to studying the fibers to determine how textiles were used in certain cultures, Dr. Thompson’s studies also help to date gravesites. But, she cautions, this can be tricky. “Even if you find cloth at a site, that doesn’t necessarily tell you the age of the site. For instance, there may be a piece of clothing that might have been handed down from generation to generation. So, you do have to be very careful.” Dr. Thompson is confident there are enough ancient textile samples in sites throughout Alabama to keep her busy for many years to come.
OSTEOPOROSIS CAN HAVE DEVASTATING RESULTS
“Many people say ‘I wish I had died’ because they end up in a nursing home, bed ridden, totally dependent on someone else and they’re in physical pain.” Dr. Lori Turner studies health behaviors to prevent osteoporosis.
DR. LORI TURNER
This, according to Dr. Lori Turner, professor in the Department of Health Science, is one of the reasons why she continues to study the devastating results of osteoporosis on women of all ages, and is doing her best to spread the word. She began to study the disease at the University of Arkansas. There she received grant monies to create an osteoporosis prevention program. Three hundred women, aged 30-64 were involved in the study. They attended classes and sessions on nutrition, diet, supplements, physical activity and medicine. There was bone density testing and consultations with physicians. At the completion of the process, each woman was given an individual course of action. Dr. Turner said after a two-year follow up, the results were obvious. Those that followed the physician’s recommendations, particularly
concerning physical activity and supplement, improved. However, the women who made the most improvements were the ones who followed those recommendations, and one other thing—took the medication prescribed. While that may sound like a “no-brainer,” Dr. Turner says that it can be very difficult to convince women to take their medication for osteoporosis. “Surprisingly, very intelligent women were against taking medication,” she explained. “Some were aging hippies who did not want to take any medicine, others were afraid of doctors, while others were listening to or reading extremely erroneous and dangerous information from friends or from the Internet.” She said another reason why women don’t feel the need to take their medication to prevent osteoporosis is they are not in pain yet, and because it is not in the news, like breast cancer, they simply do not understand the severity or the consequences. She is currently analyzing the data from her study, and hopes www.ches.ua.edu | 21
Research Initiatives to receive further grant monies to conduct a similar study in Alabama. She said she would like to use the University female faculty and staff community as participants. Dr. Turner said that she recently conducted a study where she invited female students to participate. The program included bone density testing, and surveys on behaviors, diet, physical activity and so on. Dr. Turner found two students had osteoporosis and 15 had osteopenia, which is condition that warns of impending osteoporosis. “One had all sorts of physical problems, so that didn’t surprise us, but the other that had it was very healthy and vivacious, with no family history of it. She is now under a doctor’s care and is under treatment, and that is very rewarding.” Rewarding because osteoporosis can cause death. Dr. Turner emphasizes that you can die from a hip fracture, which is often caused by the disease. “Twenty five percent of people who have hip fractures die within a year,” she said. Death is usually from pneumonia. So, osteoporosis doesn’t get the credit, but it starts the dominoes falling. “The word needs to get out that it can kill you, or cause extreme suffering,” she explained. “Even some doctors think it’s an inevitable part of aging, but it’s a disease and women need to know and understand that.” 22 | Research Initiatives
Dr. Maria Hernandez-Reif studies the stress hormone cortisol in infants.
LOWERING STRESS IN NEWBORNS AND PREGNANT MOTHERS DR. MARIA HERNANDEZ-REIF
One in every 10 babies is born preterm. In Alabama the average is even higher. Ten to 30 percent of pregnant women suffer from clinical depression, and are untreated because they are undiagnosed. Through a research initiative of studying the cortisol level in newborns and expectant moms, Dr. Maria Hernandez-Reif, professor in the Department of Human Development & Family Studies, is doing everything possible to substantially lower those numbers. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is secreted in saliva. For researchers, it’s easy to measure. Get a sample and send it to the lab. The lab will return a number, and that number will indicate the person’s stress level. Dr. Hernandez-Reif began her studies on cortisol levels while at the University of Miami. There she
and associates found that pre-term infants (those born before 37th week of mother’s pregnancy), with high cortisol levels were developing at noticeably slower rates than those infants with lower levels of the hormone. The research led to two questions. How and why did their cortisol rates increase, and how can you lower the level so the infants’ development can quicken? “Typically, infants who are born early are not touched,” Dr. Hernandez-Reif explained. “They’re often placed in incubators and due to life-threatening infections, the staff is concerned about anyone touching them. And, of course, research has shown that touch is extremely important for normal development. We found that touch or massage therapy had a dramatic effect. The babies stroked for 15 minutes per day gained more weight on average and were discharged about a week earlier from the hospital. They also had better physiological responses.”
After some investigation, Dr. Hernandez-Reif and her team found that many of these infants’ mothers suffered from clinical depression, which caused increased stress, thus increasing the amount of cortisol. This often caused a pre-term birth. According to Hernandez-Reif, the fetuses were very active in the womb, suggesting their babies were already stressed. “As for the mothers, our challenge was how do we keep the hormone levels from crossing the placenta. One problem is to recognize maternal depression. That can be difficult since many of the symptoms for depression are the same as pregnancy.” One solution is to create awareness in the medical community, she said. “It doesn’t take a lot to determine if a woman could possibly be suffering from depression,” she said. “There are some very sensitive screening tools. Five minutes with a pencil. You can ask women questions about whether they experience certain symptoms and the severity of those symptoms. In five minutes, you can get a pretty good idea of whether someone has depression, or not.” In addition to conducting her research on cortisol levels, Dr. Hernandez-Reif is director of the Pediatric Development Research Lab at the Child Development Research Center. There she will continue her studies by testing the cortisol levels on pre-school children and work to reduce their stress, as well.
Dr. Yasmin Neggers studies the mineral zinc and how it affects pregnancy outcomes.
ZINC LEVELS AFFECT BIRTH WEIGHT AND INFANT MORTALITY DR. YASMIN NEGGERS
Research conducted by Dr. Yasmin Neggers, together with associates at UAB, have found that zinc levels in expectant mothers affect the birth weight significantly. “I’ve been studying this since earning my doctorate degree,” Dr. Neggers explained. “I studied the Black Belt and the area around UAB, especially low income African American Women. I found that women in this area had low zinc levels, and low birth weights and a high infant mortality rate.” Dr. Neggers, who received her doctorate from the UAB Department of Epidemiology, has continued a partnership with two associates from that university, Dr. Robert Goldenberg and Dr. William Andrews. She said that the
partnership between herself and the two researchers from UAB is allowing the study to move forward. “We received a grant to study zinc levels and its effect on birth weight,” Dr. Neggers said. “It was a double blind trial. We gave 30 mg of supplemental zinc to indigent women. One group got minerals and vitamins, and the other group got the minerals and vitamins, plus a zinc supplement. We then followed them for nine months. We found that there were significant differences in the birth weight.” Dr. Neggers said that low zinc in the body is primarily a function of a person’s diet. “As in so many other reasons, you need to have a balanced diet. And, zinc supplements are fairly easy to get, and it does seem to help.”
www.ches.ua.edu | 23
Research Initiatives are increasingly responsible for their own retirement planning and savings,” he explains. America is experiencing a shift from defined benefit to defined contribution plans and a weakening of the Social Security system.
Dr. Cliff Robb studies consumers’ financial knowledge
DOES KNOWLEDGE IMPROVE CONSUMERS’ FISCAL HEALTH? DR. CLIFF ROBB
Dr. Cliff Robb, an assistant professor in the Department of Consumer Sciences, focuses on personal financial knowledge as it relates to financial behaviors such as debt use, savings, and investments. “The relationship between what individuals know about personal finance and what they actually do is not well understood based on the present literature,” Dr. Robb says. He points to a number of reasons for his interest in this area. “Probably most important, financial markets are increasingly complicated, and individuals in the United States
24 | Research Initiatives
While it has generally been accepted that consumers need better financial education based on very low scores on measures of knowledge, the impact of such education on observable behavior remains unclear. Dr. Robb hopes to develop a better understanding of how individuals use the financial knowledge they have in making financial decisions, thus providing justification for education programs.
Summer camp teaches children that smart money habits start young.
“Most of the research I have conducted to date deals with college students’ financial knowledge and their use of credit cards,” Dr. Robb explains. “My research suggests that there is a relationship between financial knowledge and use of financial instruments such as credit cards, but the exact nature remains unclear without more data.”
Brakefield led Camp Cash students through financial lessons from day one. On the first day of camp, she gave each camper $5 and the group went to a store to purchase a writing utensil for camp. Brakefield told students they could spend as much of the $5 as they desired. After each camper’s purchase, the student explained why they chose the pen or pencil they did, and why they spent what they did. Lessons also included a basic understanding of the stock market, interest rates, and investing. And while those topics may seem like future issues for middle school students, Brakefield said ensuring a firm financial foundation starts young.
Internally, Dr. Robb is collaborating with Dr. Linda Knol in the Department of Human Nutrition & Hospitality Management. They constructed a grant for the Department of Agriculture dealing with household time use and obesity, particularly as it related to food assistance program participation.
Jan Brakefield, assistant professor in the Department of Consumer Sciences, offered CHES’s first Camp Cash in summer 2008. The two-week experience developed by Brakefield and offered through The Capitol School’s Summer Explorations program, taught 18 middle school students basic money management skills. Campers also developed leadership skills and experienced life on a college campus.
“I believe that at this age it’s more likely to stick with them for life,” she said. The mother of Cash Camper Brandon McMahan agreed. “I just want to applaud Camp Cash,” said Shannon McMahan. “Brandon thoroughly enjoyed camp and learned a lot during these two weeks.” Mrs. McMahan was so impressed she plans to ensure Brandon’s brother Aaron develops fiscal know-how like his brother. Aaron will be attending Camp Cash 2009.
In a research room, Dr. Carroll Tingle and Craig Graves study the interaction of children reading. Each classroom also has an adjoining observation booth.
CHILD DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH CENTER
“The Center is the hub for providing lab experiences for UA students, for producing research with children and families and for serving the UA and wider community with quality child care and clinical resources.” Since the 1930’s, the University and the College of Human Environmental Sciences has realized the importance of the whole child in relation to the family unit. Over the last 75 years, that commitment has grown and flourished with innovative labs, observation areas for students to view infants and toddlers, and a model educational program for children ages two months to five years.
This rich history of providing laboratory experiences for students in Human Development & Family Studies, opportunities for scholarly research and an exemplary program for children and their families has led to building a state-of-theart interdisciplinary teaching and research center. The magnificent 64,000 squarefoot Child Development Research Center is home for the Department of Human Development & Family Studies, the College of Human Environmental Sciences’ research facilities, the Children’s Program, the Capstone Family Therapy Clinic and the Child Development Resources Program, as well as various research projects from other UA Departments. The Children’s Program consists of 10 children’s classrooms with
separate teaching and research observation booths complete with sophisticated digital video recording equipment, a laboratory setting for UA students, a large multi-purpose room for indoor play activities and a scientifically designed outdoor play area, in addition to other amenities. The Center’s technology is stateof-the-art, including web video and video coding capability for use in research. The video conferencing system is real-time, so faculty, staff and students can interact with anyone in the world. DR. CARROLL TINGLE
According to Dr. Carroll Tingle, assistant professor and chair for the Department of Human Development & Family Studies, it’s the interdisciplinary nature of the center that makes it such an invaluable resource. www.ches.ua.edu | 25
New Facilities CHILD DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH CENTER “Students learn in the classroom the theory and developmental principles and are able to observe and practice interacting with young children in a high quality controlled environment.” This is where the lab comes in. Dr. Tingle noted that the Center’s environment strongly emphasizes diversity. Children from various economic backgrounds, cultures and needs are welcome. From that diversity, students receive a broad spectrum of experiences that they do not always observe in schools in the general community. “It is by design that we have a very good laboratory setting under trained teachers,” she explains. “Before the Research Center was built, the students could go out and get internships in the community, and still can, but all are required to spend time in the center. It’s a controlled environment. An environment where we know they’re seeing developmentally appropriate practice.” Ongoing research related to child development and the practical application afforded to students is interrelated at the Child Development Research Center. As an example, students are involved in research conducted by Dr. Maria Hernandez-Reif, who leads the Pediatric Development Research Lab. The students collect and code data and write research results.
26 | New Facilities
“One of the reasons for the Center’s success is its interdisciplinary feature,” Dr. Tingle emphasized. “The Center is the hub for providing lab experiences for UA students, and for producing research with children and families and for serving the UA and wider community with quality child care and clinical resources.”
“It is by design that we have a very good laboratory setting under trained teachers.” For instance, if the Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic suspects that a child suffers from autism, and the parents need help or support, they can seek
that assistance through the Family Therapy Clinic. If a child is having developmental problems, then the staff has access to the Pediatric Lab or the Autism or the Literacy Lab. They all interweave, and it’s the holistic nature of the Center that helps fulfill its mission of treating the whole child in relation to the total family. Dr. Tingle said that students who have graduated from the program often come back and say they appreciate the experience they received from the Center. “Although they realized the real world is a little different because it’s not a controlled situation, students still say they learned a lot and are thankful for the opportunities we offered them.”
Completed in the summer of 2005, the Child Development Research Center is a 64,000-square foot research facility.
DESIGN HOUSE With the Child Development Research Center leaving its home and moving into its new facility, this opened the door for the Department of Clothing, Textiles, & Interior Design to expand its space and allowed its students to spread their wings. DR. SHIRLEY FOSTER
“Our department has been growing so quickly, we created a proposal for the Dean to allow us to move into the Georgia building (now named the Design House), and she agreed that our students would greatly benefit from the move,” noted Dr. Shirley Foster, assistant professor in the Clothing, Textile & Interior Design Department. After some renovation, and using as many “green” or “environmentally friendly” materials as possible, the department is enjoying its new home. Not only do students attend class in the building, they also have studios with drafting tables, computer access and a lighting lab, which allows students to see how natural and artificial light affects different materials. The facility also has room for receptions and design shows. “In addition to all of those attributes, our new space allows us to have pin up galleries,” Dr. Foster proudly noted. “It’s extremely important for our students to display their creations for others to critique.
Dr. Shirley Foster displays students’ work in the pinup galleries. These galleries allow students to view peers’ work.
and the younger ones are more receptive to hearing something from older students.”
Dr. Foster says that the space also allows for vertical classrooms. That means different levels of students are involved with each other. The same class can be ongoing in different studios, and the faculty can switch, so students can receive different perspectives. “The beginning students really get a lot of from interacting with each other,” Dr. Foster explained. “The older students sometimes critique the work from the introductory students. They are able to communicate well,
Dr. Foster feels very strongly that one good thing about moving into the new building is providing a sense of ownership in the program. “Because our program has grown, we’ve been in three or four buildings. It’s good that we’re in one building.” “It’s very important to realize that it’s a symbol that represents the program for the students, and the administration’s support of the programs that work hard and succeed,” she noted. “Our students take great pride that they made it happen. When you’re a major in the program and you see the commitment of the administration, the students have a sense of pride and they take pride, and work harder.” www.ches.ua.edu | 27
Academic Programs Spotlight Creating new and innovative academic programs has always been the cornerstone of the College of Human Environmental Sciences’ mission of improving the quality of life of individuals, families and communities. One exemplary example is the Sports Management masters program.
SPORTS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM Prior to the mid-1970s, post undergraduate “studies” in sport administration was experiencedbased, versus educational-based. Eventually colleges began to offer a graduate program in athletic administration. Through the years, the term “athletic” evolved to become “sports” and “administration” progressed to “management.” In 2004 the College of Human Environmental Sciences (HES) began to offer its own Sports Management Masters program.
“We have the resources, a great program, and the University brand. Students just gravitate to us. It’s a great position to be in.”
DR. KEN WRIGHT
According to Dr. Ken Wright, professor in the Department of Consumer Sciences and director of the Sports Management Program, students earning a Masters degree in Sports Management are offered a cross-discipline perspective on issues they will face in the real world. “We have collaboration with the College of Education and have participation from scholars throughout the university community, including faculty from HES, Communication and Information Sciences, College of Commerce and Business Administration, and the School of Law.”
28 | Academic Programs Spotlight
The majority of students entering the program have earned a financial planning, business administration or public relations degree. “The students enter the program with backgrounds in finance, business, public relations, consumer affairs, restaurant and hospitality management, and accounting. On a graduate level, we offer required courses in sports law, organization and administration, sport facilities,
event management, marketing, and sport finance. But, most of all there is a huge commitment for our students to get an internship or fellowship.” Receiving “real world” experience is an integral element of the Sports Management Program. Students entering the graduate program are encouraged to have real world experience before admission. Even so, they are required to spend nine credit hours on practical experience before earning their Masters degree. Students have participated in a myriad of activities and venues including working at University of Alabama Athletics, United States Olympic Committee (USOC), Crimson Tide Sport Marketing, Colonnade Group, and the Bruno’s Event Team. Several students have completed semester long internships at the USOC. The CHES Sports Management strong relationship with the Olympic Committee has also helped the program offer opportunities to students and faculty for sports
outside world is paying off. “Our graduates are getting good jobs, and the opportunities are expanding,” he said. “Our students are finding jobs in ticketing, compliance, development, hospitality, media relations, radio, television and sales.”
Sports Management students trained at the ESPN Sportscenter.
management seminars held at the Committee’s headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While there, they studied 28 topics including marketing, contemporary legal issues, operations and international game preparation and logistics. They covered logistics and operations related to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and other international sporting events. Additionally, during the 2008 Olympics, seven UA graduate students were selected for Beijing Fellowships. The students participated in a six-week experience at Colorado Springs and gained experience in logistics, operations, and venue management. “It’s important to get students outside the classroom,” Dr. Wright noted. “We want to give them a global perspective in the sports industry. They need to think about how to handle logistics for athletes and support staff when traveling to and competing in
“The brand equity of The University of Alabama, its excellence in academics and its long tradition of successful athletic programs helps in recruiting quality candidates for the Sports Management Program,” said Dr. Wright. “As we continue to grow and build our alumni base, we look forward to the future opportunities for our graduate students.”
national and international sporting events. Another important topic is corporate sponsorships. One corporation might sponsor an event, but a competitor might endorse the athlete. What happens? Who overrides whom? These are the subjects that are important for our students to be exposed to, and we do our best to make it an important part of their coursework.” A vital element of the program is the Distinguished Lecture Series. Held throughout the academic year, content experts from the sport industry are invited to campus. “We bring in experts from all over the country to speak to our students, faculty, and guests,” Dr. Wright said. “We’ve had speakers from leading licensing and copyrighting athletic apparel companies, nationally known sports magazines, and companies involved with NASCAR, PGA and NCAA marketing rights.” This mix of theory in the classrooms and exposure to the
Students attended a sports management seminar at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs is headquarters for the U.S. Olympic Committee.
www.ches.ua.edu | 29
Academic Programs Spotlight INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGY DR. BARRIE JO PRICE and DR. ANNA McFADDEN
Graduates of the CHES Interactive Technology curriculum are in a great position, as well. According to Dr. Barrie Jo Price, professor in the Department of Consumer Sciences, the proliferation of technology in today’s working world makes the program increasingly valuable. “The program is predicated on the difference between people doing work, versus people going to work. In the last few years, there have been several major changes in the workforce, relating to interactive technology,” she explained. “In many businesses, you have to be hooked into cyberspace, be familiar with the internet technology, and know how it can be used to further your businesses goals and objectives. In addition, due to fuel costs, overhead and lost time in travel, many traditional office jobs are now looked at as contract or distributed work.” Dr. Price noted that the students in the Interactive Technology Program come from various backgrounds and work experiences. Some have their own e-training companies. “One of our students owns a consulting firm that focuses on online newsletters and online information,” Dr. Price said. “Two graduates are from the Fire Academy in Virginia, and we have a few who are in higher education.”
30 | Academic Programs Spotlight
Dr. Anna McFadden, left, and Dr. Barrie Jo Price educate students in the Interactive Technology Program. The program trains students in today’s workplace, meaning one in which the geography that matters relates more to the Internet than to physical proximity.
Most of the students in the program are more computer savvy than most people randomly plucked off the street. However, the quintessential “computer techies” do not gravitate to the program. “Our students like the technology, and are self-taught,” Dr. Price explained. “They say, ‘Hey, I can do a few things, or see a little more than my contemporaries, and I can help my office use this technology. Or, they see it as a growing field and use it to further their careers.” If there is a challenge in drawing students, Dr. Price said it’s the fact that she can’t tell students, “You’re training to be a fill-in-the-blank career.” Some people throw around the term knowledge engineer or e-trainer. But, our graduates have
much more to offer. That’s why we stay away from labels.” The Interactive Technology curriculum focuses on how technology changes organizations and how they work. According to Dr. Price, “Just putting technology in a box doesn’t make it happen. We are all about bridging the technology with individuals and organizational behavior. We look at the behavior of the employees and the culture of the organization. Then, we ask questions like, ‘How realistic is it to take the current staff and teach them the new interactive online technology?’ We make our students realize that some of the best technologies won’t work, depending on the organization. Sometimes you just have to move very slowly toward your ultimate goal.”
The curriculum is not taught in a traditional classroom setting. It is strictly online. The professors serve as mentors or guides as the students make their way through the program. The courses are asynchronous, which means the students take the courses, which include topics such as research, cognition (how people learn), technical tools, multimedia design and evaluation, in their own time. There is one exception. Students take the “Computer Mediated Communications” course at a particular day and time. It focuses on how a task can be completed by a team of co-workers, regardless of where they’re located. To that end, there are a lot of group activities and peer evaluations, without ever meeting face-toface. “If a student says that he or she can’t learn unless they are in the same room with the teacher, they’re going to have some trouble in life, because you’re always going to have to deal with someone who is miles away from you.”
Dr. Anna McFadden and Dr. Barrie Jo Price introduced Second Life to their courses in the Interactive Technnology Program. Second Life is a three-dimensional virtual world. Above is a screen image from Second Life.
“This is a great program for people who want to learn something new,” Dr. Price continued. “When we first started in 2001, we had about five students, we now have 40. Our gender mix is roughly 50/50. I feel that as that tube gets fatter, and information begins to flow even faster, our students will become even more valuable in the marketplace. We are giving them the skills to take full advantage of all of the technology, which will allow them to do what they ultimately want to do with their lives and to be viable in the 21st Century workplace.” www.ches.ua.edu | 31
Parenting Assistance Line
Parenting Assistance Line aids parents through challenging times. “I can’t get my child to sleep.” “My child is four and is still wetting the bed.” “I can’t get my baby to stop crying.” Parenting can be challenging, especially if you don’t have friends or family to draw on for advice, comfort and support. Today, there is help for any parent or caregiver of children from birth through age 12. The Parenting Assistance Line (PAL) is a collaborative service of the University of Alabama Child Development Services, Wal-Mart and the Alabama Children’s Trust Fund. PAL is service where anyone can call a toll free number and receive useful, practical information and assistance with developmental and parenting questions and concerns. The idea for PAL was initiated by Patsy Riley, wife of Alabama Governor Bob Riley. Child Development Resources, which is housed in the Child Development Resource Center, was receiving funding from the state’s Children Trust Fund for a program called “Baby Talk.” One of its components was “Warm 32 | Parenting Assistance Line
Line,” a service where caregivers in the Tuscaloosa area could receive general parenting information. Sally Edwards, director of Child Development Resources, said that the staff fielding the calls includes parenting resource specialists and child development specialists. “They are not counselors or therapists, “she explained. “They are trained to listen and provide assistance with developmental and parenting questions, and they can make referrals to specific resources for something that is local.” Realizing that helping someone over the phone is very different than a face-to-face meeting, the staff goes through specialized training related to families. “Dr. Linda Enders, who is in our Department of Human Development & Family Studies, shared information on reflective and active listening skills,” noted Valerie Thorington, assistant director of Child Development Resources.
“We’re there for people who just want to talk, and maybe receive a little validation and encouragement,” she continued. “Sometimes you just need to have somebody that understands and will not judge you and provide that level of support. It doesn’t matter how much or how little support. We all need help from time to time. No question or feeling is stupid.” Thorington is adamant about drawing a distinction between being a “resource and child development specialist” versus being a therapist or counselor. For instance, a parent calls and says that their child is four and is wetting the bed. The specialists may offer a tip as simple as creating a sticker and reward system. As opposed to a counselor or therapist who may delve deep into any emotional or psychological issues that may be causing the inappropriate behavior.
occur at the same time. That was just serendipitous. But we do know that you either pay now, or pay later, and hopefully the Parenting Assistance Line will be a tremendous help for families.”
Currently, PAL is receiving an average of 80 calls a week, and not only from Alabama. The call center is also helping folks caring for children from other states. They have received approximately 1,100 hits on their web site from 22 countries on six continents. In addition to a statewide multimedia campaign, Edwards, Thorington and associates are busy spreading the word themselves. They are distributing print materials to PTAs, pediatricians’ offices, family resource centers and school, among many other avenues. The materials include such titles as “Divorce and Children,” “10 Tips for A Single Parent,” “Successful Stepfamilies,” “Toilet Mastery: How Do I Teach My Child?” and “Your Amazing 2 Year Old: 2 Year Milestones.”
out, not take it out on their children” came on the heels of a recently published study called, “The Costs of Child Abuse vs. Child Prevention: Alabama’s Experience.” The project was conducted by the University’s Center for Business and Economic Research and the College of Human Environmental Sciences. The study found that the costs of doing nothing to stop or stem child abuse are staggering in relation to the costs of preventing the abuse of children. Direct costs include hospitalization, chronic health problems, mental health treatment, and strain on the child welfare system and law enforcement. Indirect costs consist of special education, juvenile delinquency, lost productivity to society and adult criminality.
“The response has been overwhelming,” Edwards said. “It was exceeded our expectations with people wanting this valuable service, wanting it in their area and wanting to tell their friends and family.” This effort to help parents “talk it
“It makes a strong case for what we in child development have always known, said Edwards. Even though we’ve never seen a study, we knew it anecdotally. It’s just makes good common sense. There was no plan to have both PAL and the study
To Edwards’ and Thorington’s knowledge, PAL is the only service in the country that is available to anyone and is free. “As far as we know, all other similar services are crisis oriented, or they’re programs that are specific to areas such as single parents or parents of teenagers,” they said. “These are great programs, but Mrs. Riley wanted to throw an umbrella over the programs and make them available to any parent, and make them easy to get to and confidential and anonymous. That was her intent, and we’re happy to help her reach her goals.” Because sometimes it just takes a soothing voice to talk to and a caring shoulder to lean on.
PARENTING ASSISTANCE LINE Available 8 am-8 pm Central Time Monday-Friday 1-866-962-3030 Calls are toll-free.
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Scholarships & Outstanding Students
Hometown: Glencoe, Alabama
Hometown: Vestavia Hills, Alabama
Major: Junior in Interior Design
Major: Sophomore in Human Development & Family Studies
Why did you choose this major? It was my freshman roommate’s major and it looked like something I would enjoy doing. I took one class to see how I would like it and completely fell in love with the major! What are your career goals? I hope to obtain a career focused in residential design and eventually open my own business in the field. How does the College make a difference in your academic career? I love how all of my classes are hands-on experience and how all of the instructors are eager to help and are completely knowledgeable about my career choice - especially Mr. Peaslee. Every problem or little question I have had he has been there to answer it or point me in the right direction. I love Mrs. Kissinger. She expects nothing but the best out of us and is right there by our sides to help us achieve our goals. Studying under these professors has given me the confidence that I will need in my field.
Why did you choose this major? I want to pursue a career where I could help people. What are your career goals? I’m not sure yet, but I’m thinking either a therapist for teens or a youth pastor. . How does the College make a difference in your academic career? My favorite thing is how easy it is to get to know the instructors and staff, and how they genuinely care for you and help you. Do you have any advice for incoming students? Do not worry about anything, pray about everything. Philippians 4:6.
Do you have any advice for incoming students? College will be hard, but it will also be an amazing experience. Stay focused on your goals but don’t let the stress overwhelm you.
Amy Baker-Parton The College of Human Environmental Sciences continues to grow and improve year after year. It is through committed alumni and friends that we are able to achieve so many great things. We appreciate so much the gifts that have been made to the College and look forward to those to come. If you are interested in a wonderful way to recognize a loved one’s memory or honor a special occasion or life milestone, we can help you make this a reality. A scholarship can be created in the College of Human Environmental Sciences, which will allow the best and brightest students to have the opportunity to study in the College of HES and become outstanding professionals in the Human Sciences field. I look forward to the opportunity to assist you with any gifts to the College, large or small; they are all needed and appreciated. As always, we look forward to hearing from you.
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Box 870158 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0158 205.348.4919 email@example.com
Cindy J. Waldrop
Derek A. Walker
Hometown: Trussville, Alabama
Hometown: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Hometown: Coker, Alabama
Major: Junior in Athletic Training
Major: Sophomore in Consumer Sciences, with a concentration in Financial Planning
Major: Junior in Food and Nutrition
Derek is completing his undergraduate degree through the Go Army Ed distance learning program. Through this program, he has worked on his academic career while serving in the Marine Corps, the National Guard, and the U.S. Army.
Why did you choose this major? I chose Athletic Training as my major because it has always been my passion. I love the aspect of being involved in sports and taking care of athletes. I love this major because it allows me to incorporate medicine outside an office and on a field. What are your career goals? My career goals are to pursue my masters in teaching. I hope to teach Anatomy and be an athletic trainer at a high school. How does the College make a difference in your academic career? The best part of CHES is the instructors. They are unlike any from the other schools on campus. Every one of them I have been taught by has gone out of their way to offer help and advice to students. They make the college transition so much easier because it’s nice to have the guidance in college. Do you have any advice for incoming students? Get involved! I think the biggest thing is to join clubs and participate in the school. You’re only here for a short time and use it wisely! It will definitely pass you by if you don’t get plugged in to clubs and organizations.
Why did you choose this major? Family financial planning is one of the fastest growing career tracks and provides many opportunities for success. It will also help me to manage my own finances productively. What are your career goals? After I complete my bachelor’s degree in consumer sciences, I plan to pursue a master’s degree in sports management and work within a professional sports organization. How does the College make a difference in your academic career? Being in CHES allows me the comfort of knowing that every teacher and advisor will do everything in their power to help solve any problems I might have so that I can succeed. Do you have any advice for incoming students? Keep an open mind to new fields and majors you might not have come across before being in CHES. Never be afraid to ask a question. All of the faculty and staff in CHES are always willing to help.
Why did you choose this major? What attracted me to food and nutrition is the growing health related problems in our society. Through education we are learning to understand how food and nutrition work to better our overall health. The Food and Nutrition instructors are so passionate about what they teach that it makes you want to be just as passionate about it. What are your career goals? Food and Nutrition open so many opportunities for careers. After becoming a Registered Dietitian, I dream of working in pediatrics with mothers and their children. My ultimate career goal, however, is to become a nutrition educator working in a wellness setting. How does the College make a difference in your academic career? The faculty and staff are an excellent support group. They continuously try and help each and every student reach their full potential and succeed. Someone was always available to help me with any questions or concerns. I could not ask for a better college. I am truly blessed to have been led to CHES. Do you have any advice for incoming students? In time of worry or stress, which will come often, never hesitate to ask faculty about any concerns or problems. They are always very pleased to help.
Hometown: Savannah, Georgia; currently serving on his 5th deployment overseas Major: pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the Executive Restaurant & Hospitality Management program through Go Army Ed What are your career goals? My overall career goal is two-fold: obtain my bachelor’s degree and one day own/operate my own catering business. Having attended college in the later years of my life, I have personally seen the significance of having a college education. Being both a civilian and a soldier, having a college degree pays off in many ways. On the civilian side, it allows for a better position. In the military, it helps in advancement through the ranks. Being in the military, time management is a key in being a successful leader. I have had to balance work, family, and education on a daily basis. Keeping up with the demands of the military and continuing my education has made me a more responsible and well-rounded person.
www.ches.ua.edu | 35
Special Tribute The College of Human Environmental Sciences lost two beloved faculty members in recent years. Dr. Joseph S. Rowland and Mrs. Wilma S. Greene both were retired CHES faculty members who devoted their professional lives to the advancement of their respective fields and to the personal and professional development of students.
Dr. Joseph (Joe) S. Rowland
Dr. Joe S. Rowland, Jr., joined the Department of Human Development & Family Studies faculty in 1956, and served as department chair from 1956-1969. Dr. Rowland retired from the University in 1988. He passed away in November 2005 at the age of 79.
Dr. Rowland served to improve the lives of children and families with his work for the Alabama Council on Family Relations, the Southeastern Council on Family Relations, the Head Start Training Program and the First United Methodist Church in Tuscaloosa. Those organizations are just a few of the many to which Dr. Rowland contributed his professional and personal time. He was a highly regarded educator, and his legacy as an outstanding teacher is carried on in the Joseph S. Rowland Teaching Excellence Award. That award is the top faculty award given in CHES. Former Human Development faculty member Dr. Becky Ladewig remembered her late colleague’s professionalism and personal values. “When I think of Joe, I think of the many students and professionals whose lives he touched through his teaching and work with the Alabama Council on Family Relations,” she remembered. “But perhaps more importantly, I remember him as a true ‘southern gentleman’ who treated everyone with dignity and respect.”
36 | College of Human Environmental Sciences
Mrs. Wilma Greene joined the Department of Clothing, Textiles & Interior Design in 1960. She coordinated the Fashion Retailing Program in CHES for 32 years. Mrs. Greene established the interim New York Study Tour during her tenure. That program opened the doors of top New York Mrs. Wilma S. Greene fashion houses for CHES students. Dean Milla Boschung recalled how Mrs. Greene was on a firstname basis with fashion industry leaders. “The CEOs would meet her at the door, and greet her by name,” Dean Boschung remembered. “They knew her and respected her. The students she took up there were well-prepared.” Much-loved by colleagues and students, Mrs. Greene retired from the University in 1998, but came back to CHES from 2003 to 2007 after the department “begged” her to return. Fellow faculty members and former students expressed sorrow and shared memories upon learning of Mrs. Greene’s death at the age of 70 in April 2008. Dean Boschung summed Mrs. Greene’s impact on CHES, the University, and the fashion retailing industry. “What a marvelous role model she’s been for not only students, but for colleagues,” Dean Boschung said at the time, speaking not only as the CHES Dean but also as one of Mrs. Greene’s former students.