Accolades for June 18, 2012
June 18th, 2012 - Filed under: Accolades
UAPD Officers Awarded Commendation
Several members of UA’s police department were honored by Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service for rendering assistance at a medical emergency. The officers performed CPR on a UA employee and were nominated for a commendation by EMS supervisor Travis Parker, a lieutenant in the Tuscaloosa fire department. The award presented to the officers recognizes outstanding achievement, community service and citizenship within the community.
UA-housed APR Wins National Edward R. Murrow Award
Alabama Public Radio, housed in the College of Communication and Information Sciences, has been announced as the 2012 recipient of the Radio Digital News Association’s national Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in radio, small market.
The recognition largely recognized APR’s news coverage of the April 27, 2011, tornadoes in Alabama, as well as its ongoing coverage of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Words alone can’t express my pride in the team,” said Pat Duggins, APR news director. “They dug down deep for our international coverage of the Tuscaloosa tornado, the gulf oil spill, the immigration law controversy, and feature stories like the battle to save Fort Gaines, and ‘Coondog Cemetery,’ among other stories. This prestigious national award is a humbling acknowledgement of that yearlong effort.”
APR joined NBC News, CBS Radio News and The Associated Press as one of seven winners of the Overall Excellence awards. According to a press release from RTDNA, a news organization “must exemplify the absolute highest standards in serving its audience through quality electronic or digital journalism” to win the award.
“I am so proud of the APR news team and the communities that value their hard work,” said Elizabeth Brock, director of the Center for Public Television and Radio. “The generosity of our listeners and the support of
The University of Alabama make it all possible.”
Alabama Public Radio is listener-supported radio that broadcasts from the Tennessee Valley to the Gulf Coast. For more information, visit the APR website.
Lunar-Mining Team Wins National Contest
In what’s become a common theme in the past year, a team of University of Alabama students won a national championship. The latest championship came not on an athletic field, rather on a simulated lunar surface navigated by robots.
Alabama Lunabotics, a team of students from The University of Alabama and Shelton State Community College, won the top prize in the NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The week-long contest included more than 50 teams from universities around the world.
The team was challenged with designing and building an autonomous, or remote controlled, excavator called a lunabot. The robot was tasked with collecting and scooping a minimum of 10 kilograms of a lunar-like material within 10 minutes. Design challenges include the abrasive characteristics of the material, the weight and size limitations of the lunabot and the ability to control the lunabot remotely.
On-site, the judging consisted of the robot’s weight, how much material it excavated and deposited along with the amount of bandwidth used to communicate to the robot. The team was also judged on its systems engineering paper, community outreach, a presentation, team spirit and the multidisciplinary level of the team.
On May 26, the last day of the contest, NASA officials announced Alabama Lunabotics notched the most points in the competition, winning the Joe Kosmo Award for Excellence. The team also won first place for its presentation and demonstration, first place for team spirit and second place in the mining portion of the competition.
In all, Alabama Lunabotics won $8,000 to use for next year’s competition, and NASA will pay for this year’s team and faculty adviser to participate at one of NASA’s remote research and technology tests. They also received an invitation to watch a spacecraft launch at Kennedy Space Center as guests of NASA.
The group was led by experienced students marking their second or third year on the team. In 2010, the first year NASA held the competition, Alabama Lunabotics placed sixth, and, in 2011, the team placed fourth, said Dr. Kenneth Ricks, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and the team’s faculty adviser.
“The students on this UA team are very talented engineers with competition experience,” Ricks said. “That experience of being at the competition before is very valuable, so they knew what had to be done to be competitive.”
Ricks said the lunabot designed by the team was strong, lightweight and versatile, a combination many teams found hard to master.
Dr. Nitin Chopra, assistant professor in the department of metallurgical and materials engineering, co-authored with J. Wu, W. Shi, “Plasma Oxidation Kinetics of Gold Nanoparticles and Their Encapsulation in Graphene Shells by Chemical Vapor Deposition Growth” in Journal of Physical Chemistry May, 2012. The research for the article was funded by Chopra’s National Science Foundation grant.
Dr. Cynthia Sunal, professor in the department of curriculum and instruction, published with Dr. Kagendo Mutua, associate professor in the department of special education and multiple abilities, ”The limits of policy and praxis: Critical issues in inclusive education in selected countries of Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Book VI in the series Research on education in Africa, the Caribbean and the Middle East.’ (Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishers, 2012.) Sunal and Mutua also edited ”Advances in special education research and praxis in selected countries of Africa, Caribbean and the Middle East.” (Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishers.)
5 Questions: Wayne Rau
What do you love about your job? I love being able to give back knowledge. It’s wonderful to witness that information light bulb going off and know you were a part of it.
Describe your ideal summer afternoon. Grill out, picnic in the backyard, a double-feature movie fest, topped off with some old school Nintendo gaming and a night of camping. I know it’s Alabama, but this would hopefully be on a cool, not-so-humid day.
Do you have a survival plan for the zombie apocalypse? Of course, who doesn’t?! If you raised your hand, get to planning.
What is your favorite holiday? It would have to be a tie between Halloween and Christmas. Halloween, because it’s the one day you can officially dress like and be someone or something else. Christmas, because getting to see family members that I haven’t seen in a while makes me happy.
What is the greatest compliment anyone could give you? It would be that I have made a positive difference in someone’s life. Being able to help and share knowledge is already enjoyable, but to be told about it is incredibly rewarding.
Wayne Rau is a digital media specialist with the Sanford Media Center in Gorgas Library.
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