summer 2023 newsletter

Summer Days in Tuscaloosa Honors UA’s Visiting Fulbright Scholars

Visiting Fulbright scholars engaged in research in a dozen departments across campus came together during the inaugural Summer Days in Tuscaloosa reception on June 5 at Capital Hall.

Junior Swim Instructors Reflect on Swim to the Top

Swimming is a life-saving skill, and learning to swim is the most proactive way to prevent drowning. Once children learn to swim and develop confidence in the water, new challenges are required to ensure their swim skills do not diminish. To promote retention and provide new opportunities for competent swimmers in the Swim to the Top program, four junior swim instructors were recruited for the first time this June.

BOA Member Partners with SEA for Aviation Day

It looked like a scene out of “Top Gun” with Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” playing in the background as STEM Entrepreneurship Academy (SEA) students donned their aviator sunglasses and posed for pictures outside the hangar of Sanders Aviation and Sanders Flight Training Center in Jasper, Alabama, during a special aviation day of camp on Wednesday, July 12.

BLAST Academy Returns, Encourages K–8 Summer Learning

After the success of its launch last summer, BLAST (Building Leaders Through the Arts, STEAM and Teamwork) Academy returned to UA’s campus July 3–28, offering K–8 students and camp staff a unique summer learning experience.

Realizing the Dream Essay and Art Contest Recognizes Students’ Creativity.

Winners of the 2023 Realizing the Dream Essay and Art Contest were recognized for sharing their interpretations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy during a reception on March 30 at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa.

Board of Advisors Hears from Trustee Simon, Announces Upcoming Initiatives.

The Community Affairs Board of Advisors concluded its spring 2023 meeting in Tuscaloosa on Monday, April 3 at the Bryant Conference Center with a series of meetings followed by the keynote address from University of Alabama System Trustee Kenneth Simon.

Parent Teacher Leadership Academy Celebrates 2023 Graduation.

The Parent Teacher Leadership Academy (PTLA) celebrated the graduation of its 2022–2023 class April 6 at the Tuscaloosa River Market. Parents and teachers from 35 schools joined the celebration.

Engaged Scholarship Showcase Highlights Community Engagement Projects.

Students and faculty got together for the Engaged Scholarship Showcase at the Student Center Ballroom on April 20. A complement to the 2023 Annual Excellence in Community Engagement Awards Luncheon, the showcase shares community-engaged work and inspires others to develop as engaged scholars.

Council hosts 17th Annual Excellence Awards.

The Council on Community-Based Partnerships recognized University of Alabama students, faculty and staff, as well as community partners, for their achievements in community-engaged scholarship during the 17th Annual Excellence in Community Engagement Awards on April 20 at the UA Student Center Ballroom.

New Faculty Community Engagement Tour Inspires Community Collaborations.

The 2023 New Faculty Community Engagement Tour introduced University faculty, staff, students and community members to areas of community-engaged partnerships across various counties in the Black Belt region, Wednesday through Friday, May 10–12.

From the Division of Community Affairs

Join us in welcoming Tara Jimerson, who joined Community Affairs as the Administrative Assistant.

In this role, she will provide high-level and confidential administrative support; will manage our office in Rose 250; and will serve as our office liaison to other UA administrative offices, faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, donors, community partners and key stakeholders.

Join us in welcoming Paige Rentfro, who joined the Community Affairs team as a program coordinator for Community Education.

In this role, she supports the Vision Days Program, our K–12 summer programs and other existing and emerging Community Education programs.

As students return to campus and fall courses begin, Crossroads Civic Engagement Center staff will be engaged in collaborations with several campus partners, including Housing and Residential Communities and the Women and Gender Resource Center, to include civic themes in several back-to-school programs and activities for UA students.

The ongoing “Crossroads on the Road” initiative continued with visits to the Energizers Club in Headland (Henry County), the Rotary Club in Demopolis (Marengo County), and the National Alumni Association Chapter in Barbour County.
These visits to community organizations are a chance for Crossroads Civic Engagement Center representatives to share the story of civic education and engagement efforts at UA, while also learning about the evolving civic challenges and successes across Alabama communities.

In June, Dr. Lane McLelland, executive director of Crossroads Civic Engagement Center, and Dr. Jackson Harris, director of Community and Civic Engagement, presented research at the Civic Leadership and Democratic Engagement conference in Boston.
Additionally, the summer months provided the Crossroads team an opportunity to make progress on research projects in the areas of dialogue-based learning experiences, as well as civic education theory.  

Dr. Nicole Prewitt, director of Programs and Partnerships for Community Engagement, and James Renshaw, program coordinator for Programs and Partnerships for Community Engagement, presented at the annual International Town and Gown Association Conference on June 7–9 at Colorado State University.

We are pleased to welcome our new and returning graduate assistants back to campus!

Chloe Barnette

Christopher Brewster

Hannah Corbin

Tiffany Green

Emily Locke

Jigisha Lokhande

Ella Maggio

Preston McGee

CJ Patton

Xiangyan (Sophia) Xiong

fall calendar snapshot

August 11 HomeFirst Participant Info Session

August 16 Winning Grants and Sustaining Communities

August 18 HomeFirst Participant Info Session

August 18 Emerging Community Engagement Scholars

August 18 Public Engagement Learning Community

August 19 Greene County HomeFirst Coaches Retreat

August 21 Community-Engaged Learning Fellows

August 21 Public Engagement Learning Community

August 28 Women's Equality Day Celebration and Dialogue

August 29 Vision Days Legacy

August 30 Fall Neighborhood Partnership Committee

August 31 United Way Partner Agency Volunteer Recruitment (Get On Board Day)

September 1 HomeFirst Coaches Retreat

September 1 Public Engagement Learning Community

September 5 SCEC Leadership Academy

September 7 Vision Days Senior Session

September 8 Emerging Community Engagement Scholars

September 12 SCOPE

September 12–14 Vision Days Senior Sessions

September 14 HomeFirst Financial Wellness Event at Shelton State

September 14 Parent Teacher Leadership Academy

September 15 Community-Engaged Learning Fellows

September 19 Global Café

September 19 National Voter Registration Day

September 19 UA United Way Campus Coordinator Training

September 19–21 Vision Days Senior Sessions

September 22 Emerging Community Engagement Scholars

September 22 HomeFirst Coach Check-in

September 26 United Way Agency Tour

September 26 Vision Days Legacy

September 28 Council on Community-Based Partnerships

October 2–6 Roll the Vote and Voting Matters Week

October 3 Global Café

October 4–5 Engagement Scholarship Consortium

October 6 Public Engagement Learning Community

October 10 SCEC Leadership Academy

October 11–12 Vision Days Freshmen Sessions

October 12 UA United Way Campaign Kickoff

October 13 Emerging Community Engagement Scholars

October 13 HomeFirst Coach Check-in

October 17 SCOPE

October 17 Global Café

October 17–19 Vision Days Freshmen Sessions

October 19 Parent Teacher Leadership Academy

October 20 Community-Engaged Learning Fellows

October 22–24 Board of Advisors Fall Meeting

October 24 Vision Days Legacy

October 27 Emerging Community Engagement Scholars

November 2 Council on Community-Based Partnerships

November 2 UA United Way Campus Coordinator Check-in

November 3 Community-Engaged Learning Fellows

November 3 Public Engagement Learning Community

November 3 HomeFirst Coach Check-in

November 7 United Way Agency Tour

November 7 SCEC Leadership Academy

November 10 Emerging Community Engagement Scholars

November 14 SCOPE

November 14 Global Café

November 28 Vision Days Legacy

November 29 Winning Grants and Sustaining Communities

November 30 Parent Teacher Leadership Academy

December 7 UA United Way Campaign Celebration