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Press releases & Announcements

 

June 13, 2012

CollegeFirst kicks off third annual Summer Advanced Placement Institute
More than 50 high school students from Tuscaloosa City and Tuscaloosa County Schools have begun CollegeFirst, a nationally unique summer enrichment program designed to better prepare students for the challenge of college-level Advanced Placement courses in math, science and English. This joint partnership of UA’s Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility and A+ College Ready is sponsored by Wells Fargo and Maynard, Cooper & Gale ... read more.

 

May 9, 2012

UA students secure $5.8 million in tax refunds for Alabama families through SaveFirst
University of Alabama students recently worked at free tax preparation sites across the state to prepare more than 3,200 returns for working families, securing $5.8 million in tax refunds and saving them almost $1 million in commercial tax preparation fees. The statewide initiative, sponsored by the UA Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility and Impact Alabama, is the largest campus-based volunteer income tax assistance initiative in the country ... read more.

 

April 20, 2012

UA students lead Alberta youth in revitalizing tornado-ravaged community
As part of a unique service-learning course sponsored by the UA Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility, UA Honors College students designed and implemented service initiatives to empower and encourage youth in Tuscaloosa’s Alberta neighborhood to help rebuild and revitalize their tornado-damaged community. As the one-year anniversary of the April 27, 2011, tornado approaches, two of these innovative projects will culminate with events in Alberta this weekend, April 21-22 ... read more.

 

Nov. 21, 2011

UA student films on international justice to debut Nov. 29 at Bama Theatre
The Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility and the Department of Telecommunication & Film at The University of Alabama will host the Third Annual International Documenting Justice Film Screening on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. at the Bama Theatre. The film screening will be the culmination of the International Documenting Justice course, in which students devote two on-campus semesters and a study-abroad term to telling stories of international justice and injustice through film ... read more.

 

Nov. 16, 2011

UA students raise more than $5,500 for Secret Meals
University of Alabama APR students raised $5,585 for Secret Meals For Hungry Children, an Alabama Credit Union program, Nov. 1-8. With the help of local businesses, including Piggly Wiggly, Innisfree Irish Pub and the Bear Trap, they gathered funds to supply meals for 46 children for an entire year. Students developed fund-raisers as part of a service-learning course taught by Susan Daria, who developed the service component of APR 419 while participating in the UA Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility's Faculty Fellows in Service Learning Program, a one-year fellowship that trains faculty to design new courses or modify existing courses to include service learning ... read more.

 

Nov. 10, 2011

UA Math/Science Outreach Initiative Wins $25,000 Award from Pepsi Refresh Competition
The University of Alabama Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility announced today that its CollegeFirst Advanced Placement Mentoring Initiative will be the recipient of a $25,000 award from the Pepsi Refresh online voting competition. Out of thousands of applications from around the country, 220 initiatives were selected to participate in the $25,000 funding category, and the Top 15 will receive funding. CollegeFirst received the second-most votes in the country in the $25,000 category ... read more.

 

Nov. 3, 2011

UA student social entreprenuers compete in final round of tornado recovery initiative
As part of a nationally unique service-learning course sponsored by the UA Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility, 81 UA Honors College students are vying for up to $15,000 to implement student-designed projects to aid in Tuscaloosa’s recovery from the April tornado. The course culminates with the final round of competition on Monday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. in Lloyd Hall Auditorium (Room 38). Eight groups will present their projects to a grant-awarding committee consisting of Mark Nelson, vice provost and vice president for student affairs; Shane Sharpe, Honors College dean and director of the Computer-based Honors Progam; and Jacqueline Morgan, associate dean of the Honors College and director of the University Honors Program. The event is free and open to the public ... read more.

 

July 5, 2011

UA Center for Ethics to present disaster-recovery lecture series, fund student proposals
During the Fall 2011 semester, University of Alabama students enrolled in Moral Forum: Rebuilding Tuscaloosa Today and Tomorrow (UH 101) will attend an engaging, seven-week, multidisciplinary lecture series on Tuscaloosa’s response to the April 27 tornado, natural disaster preparedness, the challenges of disaster recovery in low-income areas, and the resources and planning needed to successfully rebuild a community. Students will also serve three hours a week with a local relief agency. The course will culminate with the students, working in small teams, presenting creative proposals that address Tuscaloosa’s ongoing, long-term needs. A panel of UA faculty and city administrators will select the most innovative proposals to receive funding for implementation over the following year.

 

June 28, 2011

UA students prepare high schoolers for Advanced Placement courses through growing initiative
University of Alabama students last month led rising high school juniors and seniors through three weeks of rigorous academic curriculum, including calculus lessons and biology and chemistry labs, as part of CollegeFirst, a nationally unique summer enrichment program designed to prepare the state’s high schoolers for the challenge of college-level Advanced Placement courses in math and science. Forty UA students participated in the program through a service-learning course developed by the UA Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility in partnership with Impact Alabama and A+ College Ready. Read More...

 

May 13, 2011

University of Alabama receives national recognition for community service, service learning
The University of Alabama has been named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service learning and civic engagement. “The Presidential Honor Roll formally recognizes UA’s commitment to teaching students to identify needs within their communities, inspiring students to speak up, and equipping students with the skills to effect change within those communities,” said Stephen Black, director of the UA Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility. Read more...

 

April 27, 2011

Fifth annual Documenting Justice film screening packs Bama Theatre
Six original, student-produced films debuted before an audience of more than 1,000 during the fifth annual Documenting Justice screening at the Bama Theatre in Tuscaloosa, Ala., April 26. Working in teams, 13 undergraduate and graduate students produced the documentaries as part of a two-semester course taught by award-winning filmmakers. Read more...

 

Feb. 21, 2011

Documenting Justice applications available for short time
Applications are now available for the 2011-2012 class of Documenting Justice, a nationally unique, two-semester course in documentary filmmaking that gives University of Alabama students of all majors the opportunity to explore social justice issues in their state or around the world through the creation of original, nonfiction films. Applications are due March 11, but early submittal is recommended.
Read more...

 

Nov. 18, 2010

UA student films on justice issues around the globe debuted Nov. 17
The Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility, the Department of Telecommunication & Film and Capstone International at The University of Alabama hosted the Second Annual International Documenting Justice Film Screening Wednesday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Bama Theatre. The film screening was the culmination of the International Documenting Justice course, in which students devote two on-campus semesters and a study-abroad term to telling stories of international justice and injustice through film.  The 2010 screening featured four short documentaries filmed by four undergraduate students in Uruguay, Rwanda, Cuba, and the border town of El Paso, Texas. Read more...

 

Sept. 15, 2010

Nationally acclaimed vision-care initiative reaches milestone with help from UA quarterback
University of Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy conducted a high-tech vision screening for the 100,000th child screened by Impact Alabama’s FocusFirst Initiative on Sept. 15, at Tuscaloosa Head Start. FocusFirst provides a cost-effective direct response to the vision problems of children who live in urban and rural areas throughout the state. In the last six years, more than 250 UA students have participated in FocusFirst vision screenings. They have screened 10,769 children at 335 day care centers in more than 27 counties throughout the state, with approximately 11 percent of the children failing the screenings and receiving subsidized follow-up care through Sight Savers of Alabama. Read more...

 

June 16, 2010

UA students prepare high schoolers for college-level math, science classes
University of Alabama students this month are leading high school sophomores and juniors through three weeks of rigorous academic curriculum, including calculus lessons and biology and chemistry labs, as part of CollegeFirst, a nationally unique summer enrichment program designed to prepare the state’s high schoolers for the challenge of college-level Advanced Placement courses in math and science. Fifteen UA students are participating in the program through a new service-learning course developed by the UA Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility in partnership with Impact Alabama and A+ College Ready.
Read more...

 

May 11, 2010

UA students secure $6 million in tax refunds for working Alabama families
During the 2010 tax season, more than 150 students from The University of Alabama traveled statewide to prepare over 2,900 returns for working families – helping them to secure $6 million in tax refunds and saving them approximately $800,000 in commercial tax preparation fees. UA students served a critical role in SaveFirst, a state-wide initiative sponsored by the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility and Impact Alabama. UA students collaborated with 400 additional students from 12 other campuses across the state to assist low-income, working families. In total, SaveFirst students assisted more than 3,500 families who claimed $7 million in refunds and saved approximately $1 million in commercial preparation fees – a 35 percent increase in families served compared to the 2009 tax season.
Read more...

 

May 10, 2010
UA students screen 1,730 children for vision problems in 2009-10 
Through FocusFirst, a collaboration between the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility and Impact Alabama, University of Alabama students screened 1,730 children in 58 child-care centers across 10 counties for vision problems during the 2009-10 school year. The program serves children ages six months to five years in Head Starts and lower-income daycares. Since FocusFirst’s launch in November 2004, more than 1,900 student volunteers from 22 campuses throughout Alabama have screened more than 88,000 children in all 67 counties. Volunteers detected potential vision problems in 10.25 percent of children screened in 2009-10. Sight Savers of Alabama is providing subsidized follow-up care to those children. For more information, see Focus First or contact Lindsey Thomas at lmthomas@aalan.ua.edu or 205-348-6491.

 

May 10, 2010

CESR recruiting student mentors for summer service-learning course
University of Alabama students can earn college credit this summer while providing academic and cultural learning experiences to at-risk incoming high-school freshmen. During June, UA students participating in Tuscaloosa Academic Enrichment will plan reading-comprehension/language-skills lessons and activities and mentor incoming ninth graders on the University campus Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Interested students should register for Adolescent Literature (CSE 455/555) or contact Lindsey Thomas (CESR) or Dr. Lisa Scherff (course instructor) for more information.

 

May 3, 2010

Tuscaloosa Pre-K Initiative, CESR looking for summer 2010 JumpStart volunteers
The Tuscaloosa Pre-K Initiative, in conjunction with the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility, is recruiting volunteers for the 2010 JumpStart summer program. Volunteers will participate in a five-week, half-day summer program for children entering kindergarten with little or no pre-school experience. They will help prepare children academically for the school year as well as introduce them to situations which facilitate sharing and compromise. The JumpStart program will be held June 7-July 15. Volunteers are needed for both Tuscaloosa city and county schools and may serve throughout the program or for only a few sessions. If interested, complete the Tuscaloosa Pre-K JumpStart 2010 volunteer application and return to Lindsey Thomas at lmthomas@ua.edu. Please indicate which days you are available to volunteer.

 

April 29, 2010

Inaugural Documenting Justice: Law film screening fills Carver Theatre
More than 400 people turned out for the inaugural Documenting Justice: Law film screening held at the Carver Theatre in Birmingham, Ala., April 28. The screening was the culmination of a year's work by University of Alabama law students who came together to create documentaries focusing on issues of concern to the state. The audience consisted of members of Birmingham's business and law communities, the filmmakers, who introduced their documentaries, individuals featured in the films and the general public. The UA Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility, the University of Alabama School of Law and the UA Department of Telecommunication & Film hosted the event. Read more...

 

April 29, 2010

Fourth annual Documenting Justice screening draws more than 1,000
Five original, student-produced films debuted before an audience of more than 1,000 during the fourth annual Documenting Justice screening at the Bama Theatre in Tuscaloosa, Ala., April 27. The short documentaries that premiered at the event were created by University of Alabama non-film majors who dedicated a year to learning how to document and analyze culture and social experience – and communicate about issues of justice and injustice in Alabama – through videography. Attendees included University of Alabama students and faculty members, Tuscaloosa business and community leaders, filmmakers and their families as well as the general public. The UA Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility and the Department of Telecommunication & Film hosted the free event. Read more...

Jan. 26, 2010
Documenting Justice film earns praise from U.S. military community
Searching for Normal,” a documentary film by University of Alabama students Dick Powers and Elizabeth Jones that features four veterans discussing life after tours in Iraq, is garnering praise and appreciation from the U.S. military community after the federal Department of Veterans Affairs posted a link to the film on its Facebook fan page. In the documentary, Powers – an Iraq war veteran himself – tries to make sense of his experiences both in combat and returning home. After meeting Powers at a Washington, D.C., conference, Brandon Friedman, director of new media for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, placed a link to the film on the VA page Jan. 22, 2010. As of Jan. 25, 44 people had noted they liked the post and 29 had taken the time to write comments thanking filmmakers Powers and Jones and sharing their own experiences or expressing gratitude and support for returning soldiers. Powers and Jones created “Searching for Normal” as part of The University of Alabama’s Documenting Justice course, a signature initiative of the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility. Read more…

Dec. 15, 2009
CESR recruiting students for new chess outreach course
If you’re a student who likes chess, you have the opportunity to turn something you might have viewed as a pastime into a credit-earning independent study that changes the lives of area school children. Every Move Counts: A Chess in Education Project is a new, innovative service-learning course in which you will learn to teach the game of chess and explore how it improves math, reading, critical thinking and analytical skills of school-age children. In collaboration with Freedom Chess Academy, a Tuscaloosa non-profit organization, you will develop lesson plans and execute them at local schools. As a member of the inaugural class (Spring Semester 2010), your ideas, thoughts and suggestions will be critical to shaping its future. You won’t just be taking a class — you will be helping construct a program that will be part of the University of Alabama and the Tuscaloosa community for years to come. To learn more, see Every Move Counts or contact Olivia Grider at ogrider@ua.edu or (205) 348-6493.

Nov. 24, 2009
Four films debut at inaugural Documenting Justice International screening
Student-created films exploring pressing social issues in South Africa, Argentina, New Zealand and Kenya debuted Nov. 23, 2009, at the University of Alabama Ferguson Theater.The film screening was the culmination of the inaugural Documenting Justice International course, in which students devote two on-campus semesters and a study-abroad term to telling stories of international justice and injustice through film. Documenting Justice International is a collaboration between the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility and Capstone International. The screening featured the following short films:

  • “Young People Anywhere” explores the tension in the air as a generation of South African freedom fighters watches up-and-coming South Africans experience a childhood free from struggle. (Lindsey Mullen)
  • “Kiwi” tells the story of mankind's noxious relationship with nature by examining introduced species, good intentions, and unforeseen negative consequences in the efforts to save New Zealand's endangered national icon, the kiwi. (Paul Hanninen)
  • “Damming in Progress” addresses the implications of large-scale hydroelectric dam construction for the indigenous community of Peruti in the Amazonian lands of Misiones in northern Argentina. (by Nicole Ortega)
  • “The Story of Beth and Mercy” explores the power of friendship for two young Kenyan girls who live in a home for children orphaned or displaced by AIDS. (Linn Groff and Lindsey Mullen)

The 2009-2010 group of Documenting Justice International students are in pre-production on their projects and will be going abroad to Costa Rica and Africa in the spring and summer of 2010. The Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility also is developing a partnership with the Department of History to implement a film component for a summer course taking place in Tibet. For more information, visit Documenting Justice International or contact Heather Christensen at hchristensen@aalan.ua.edu or 205-348-6495.

Dec. 10, 2009
Innovative software tracks service learning, community outreach
As of December, 2009, more than 9,000 University of Alabama students were registered in Service Learning Pro database, a Web-based application that tracks all service learning and community outreach activities at the University. This number is up from 7,398 in August 2009 and from 1,106 in May 2007.Managed by the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility, the database also measures hours of service as well as the number of service-learning faculty and community partners. In December, 135 faculty members and 149 community partners were registered. Students logged more than 619,000 community outreach hours as part of service-learning courses in the 2008-09 academic year.SL Pro administrators are working with Greek and other student organizations on a new function that will allow chairs of these groups to use SL Pro to track and verify the volunteer hours of their members. For more information, visit SL Pro or contact Lindsey Thomas at lmthomas@aalan.ua.edu or 205-348-6491.

Oct. 27, 2009
$10,000 in scholarships awarded at Fifth Annual Moral Forum Tournament 
Arguing against lowering the legal drinking age, sophomores Hallie Paul and Christy Boardman won the Fifth Annual Moral Forum Tournament Oct. 26, 2009. An audience of more than 300 filled Morgan Auditorium the last night of the event and watched as Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility scholarships totaling $10,000 were presented to winners and finalists. The three-week tournament is part of the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility-sponsored Moral Forum course. It was held in the School of Law and the Ferguson Center with the support of 60 volunteer judges, including law, graduate, and undergraduate students and faculty from across campus. Sixty-six students enrolled in five sections of the Fall 2009 course. During the semester, they researched and debated the resolution: “In order to foster a more moral society, the federal government should lower the legal drinking age from 21 to 18.” In the final round, senior Zackary Stillings and freshman Lissa Handley-Tyson argued in favor of lowering the legal drinking age. Sydney Branch, Blaine Davis, Gregory Poole, and John Elder were quarter-finalists. To learn more about the course, visit Moral Forum or contact Heather Christensen at hchristensen@aalan.ua.edu or 205-348-6495.

 June 1, 2009
UA students screen 2,161 children for vision problems in 2008-09 
Through FocusFirst, a collaboration between the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility and Impact Alabama, more than 100 University of Alabama students screened 2,161 children for vision problems during the 2008-09 school year.The program serves children ages six months to five years in Head Starts and lower-income daycares. Since FocusFirst’s launch in November 2004, more than 1,700 student volunteers from 20 campuses throughout Alabama have screened more than 54,000 children in all 67 counties. Volunteers detected potential vision problems in 11.7 percent of the children. Sight Savers of Alabama is providing subsidized follow-up care to those children. For more information, see FocusFirst or contact Lindsey Thomas at lmthomas@aalan.ua.edu or 205-348-6491.

May 15, 2009
UA students secure $3.7 million in tax refunds for working families 
During the first six weeks of the 2009 tax season, 100 UA undergraduate and law students worked at free tax preparation sites across the state to prepare over 1,900 returns for working Alabama families--helping them to secure $3.7 million in tax refunds and saving them $475,000 in commercial tax preparation fees. This is close to doubling the effort of UA students who participated in SaveFirst in 2008. Learn more about the SaveFirst Initiative.

Feb. 7, 2009
Documenting Justice student-film selected for ethics symposium 
“Storybook,” a documentary film created by UA students Kristian Collins and Stephen Lovell has been selected for inclusion in the 2009 Undergraduate Ethics Symposium to be held at DePauw University from April 9 to 11. Collins and Lovell are two of only 30 students from across the country whose work was selected for inclusion in the symposium sponsored by the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics at DePauw University. Additionally, “Storybook” is the first film to be selected for the Undergraduate Ethics Symposium, which typically focuses on written pieces such as essays and poetry. Collins and Lovell will receive an all-expense paid trip to present their work and will receive critiques and comments from their peers and visiting scholars. Read more about this honor, watch Storybook, and learn more about Documenting Justice.