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UA Recognized as a Top Producing Institution in Student Fulbright Awards Competition


TopProducer_FulbrightLogoUA Recognized as a Top Producing Institution in Student Fulbright Awards Competition

TUSCALOOSA – The University of Alabama has been recognized as a top producing institution for student Fulbright awards, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. Eleven of 30 UA applicants received the award during 2015–2016, one of the highest success ratios in the nation.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers grants for independent study and research projects and for English teaching assistantships overseas. The highly competitive program makes approximately 1,500 awards each year.

“Our success in placing students in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program demonstrates the far-reaching international scope of our excellent academic programs and the high value of a University of Alabama education,” said Dr. Kevin Whitaker, UA interim provost. “We continue to take pride in the many excellent and promising young people who choose UA for their academic studies.”

Ten UA graduates won awards as teaching assistants and one UA graduate received a Fulbright research award for the 2015–2016 academic year.

“It is an honor for UA to be listed as a top producer in the U.S. Student Fulbright competition,” said Dr. Teresa Wise, associate provost for international education and global outreach. “The Fulbright Program provides life-changing opportunities and experiences for our students.”

University of Alabama graduates serving abroad on Fulbright Awards are Brianna Adams (Czech Republic), Lisa Bochey (Peru), Nichole Camille Corbett (Turkey), Kathryn Crenshaw (Brazil), Scott Leary (Spain), Conner Nix (Spain), Charles Henry Pratt (Brazil), Jenna Reynolds (Spain), Hailah Saeed (Malaysia), Erin Smith (Turkey) and Russell Willoughby (France).

The Capstone International Center and the Global Café Program in the Center for Community-Based Partnerships, an initiative of the Division of Community Affairs, are partners in the UA Fulbright advising initiative, and their work together has resulted in the increased number of UA students who have won Fulbrights, said Dr. Beverly Hawk, UA Fulbright program adviser.

Students interested in applying for next year’s Fulbright program can learn more and, or by sending an email

A Fulbright informational event will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 1, at Global Café in Capital Hall, 270 Kilgore Lane, on the former Bryce Hospital campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Other top producers this year include Harvard (31), Michigan (29), Northwestern and Yale (26), UNC-Chapel Hill (15), Texas-Austin and UVA (14), Duke and Ohio State (12), Florida State, Tufts, Maryland and Alabama (11). For the full list of top student Fulbright program producers, see

SOURCE: Dr. Beverly Hawk, Director of Program Services,, 205/348-7392

Three UA Fulbright Award winners are serving in Spain this year. From left, Scott Leary, Conner Nix and Jenna Reynolds celebrate the beginning of their Fulbright grants to Spain as guests at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Madrid.

Crossroads Community Center’s Lane McLelland honored with National Dialogue Award


Crossroad Community Center’s Lane McLelland was honored at the Second Annual National Dialogue Awards on October 9th, 2015  at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Presented by the Sustained Dialogue Institute, the National Dialogue Awards honors those whose lives have been powerfully marked by the principles and values of the organization. The mission of the Sustained Dialogue Institute is to help people to transform conflictual relationships and design change processes around the world.

Lane McLelland Named Capstone Hero for Embodying Spirit of the Capstone Creed

Senior Jessie Ashton presents  Capstone Heroes Award to Lane McLelland.
Senior Jessie Ashton presents
Capstone Heroes Award to Lane McLelland.

Lane McLelland, director of Crossroads Community Center since 2013, has been named a Capstone Hero for outstanding service to students.

The award recognizes her work in strengthening Sustained Dialogue and her role in founding Blend, a student organization that promotes diversity. She was also cited for being willing to sit down with students to help them deal with their problems, whatever they might be.

“Lane McLelland has brought a spirit and enthusiasm to Crossroads that has indeed made a difference in so many aspects of life on campus and in the community,” said Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, vice president for Community Affairs, the division that oversees Crossroads Community Center. “We congratulate Lane for her excellent work that has brought honor not only to her but to our entire campus.”

The award, given by the Office of Student Conduct in the Division of Student Affairs, honors those who embody the spirit of the Capstone Creed, which reads: “As a member of The University of Alabama Community, I will pursue knowledge; act with fairness, honest, and respect; foster individual and civic responsibility; and strive for excellence.”

“Having received an honor for something I know others more clearly deserve has made me profoundly aware of the importance of finding a way to thank the many heroes I encounter in my work at UA. Their untold efforts and ongoing devotion to the University make so much possible for us all,” McLelland said on receiving the award.

The purpose of Capstone Heroes is to highlight service and positive actions of members of the UA campus. For more, go to

Dr. Jonathan Holloway of Yale University Is the 2014 Realizing the Dream Distinguished Lecturer

By Kirsten Barnes
Center for Community-Based Partnerships

TUSCALOOSA — Stillman College will host Yale University professor of history and African American studies Dr. Jonathan Holloway as the 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Realizing the Dream Distinguished Lecturer, a project jointly sponsored by the Tuscaloosa Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Shelton State Community College, Stillman College, and The University of Alabama.


The lecture is the climax of a series of activities held on each campus throughout the day. The title of his lecture is The Right Kind of Family: Addressing the Silences in a Civil Rights Memory and will be held Tuesday, March 18, 7-8:30 p.m. in the College of Education Building on the Stillman College campus.

Holloway is professor of history, American studies and African-American studies, chair of African American studies, and master, Calhoun College at Yale University.

Holloway is author of Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America since 1940. He will address the audience about national racial issues and his own family’s experience. Holloway, who is in his 15th year at Yale, said his discussion will be based on part of his book, that evolved from a personal historical search of his own family and their Southern roots in North Carolina and Virginia.

“It’s part of a personal family story,” said Holloway, who was raised in Maryland, but lived in Montgomery, Ala., while his father studied at Maxwell Air Force Base when he was 5 and 6 years old. “That’s really where my memory begins. I don’t remember much at all before that time.”

In his book, Holloway discusses how African Americans struggle with remembering the past; therefore, many worthwhile stories, which are critical parts of their history, have been lost.

“The book deals with how African-Americans have told stories about their past; and in writing these stories I discovered my own family’s personal stories and I will weave some of those in the talk,” said Holloway, who published his first book, Confronting the Veil: Abram Harris, Jr., E. Franklin Frazier, and Ralph Bunche 1919-1941 in 2002.

Holloway’s lecture will be followed by questions from the audience and is open to the public.
The Realizing the Dream program began in 1990 at a time when many communities were just beginning to celebrate King’s legacy. Today, the program includes a concert, a legacy banquet and the lecture series.

“The Distinguished Lecture Series represents a critical component of our efforts to raise consciousness about injustice and to promote human equality, peace and social justice by creating educational and cultural opportunities for growth, empowerment and social change to enable every person to experience the bounty of life’s abundant possibilities,” said Dr. Linda R. Beito of Stillman College, chair of the Distinguished Lecture series.

In addition to Holloway’s presentation, there will be additional events on both campuses for students and faculty. For more information, contact UA’s Office of Community Affairs at 205-348-8376 or visit

John Cochran Shares His Civil Rights Education Growing Up in Montgomery; Horizon, Conscience, Moutaintop Awards Presented

By Kirsten J. Barnes
CCBP Graduate Assistant

[ Complete text of Cochran’s speech ]
[ Video of Banquet ]

Former UA and Georgia Communication Dean E. Culpepper Clark, emcee of the Legacy Banquet, drives home a point.
Former UA and Georgia Communication Dean E. Culpepper Clark, emcee of the Legacy Banquet, drives home a point.

Three-time Emmy Award-winner John Cochran, a premier network correspondent for almost 50 years, knows first-hand the impact the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had on the state of Alabama and, most notably, his hometown of Montgomery.

“I was lucky enough to have been born in Montgomery before the civil rights struggle really broke out,” Cochran, who’ll be 75 on March 15, told 300 people in historic Foster Auditorium attending the 25th Annual Realizing the Dream Legacy Banquet.

Cochran captivated the audience with his firsthand, culturally sensitive story about his family’s African-American maid named Arrie, who worked for them during the mid-1950s, simultaneously weaving in information about Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

“I’ve been around presidents and prime ministers and captains of industry, but I have never known anyone with more dignity than Arrie,” said Cochran, recalling Arrie as a mid-50s, well-spoken, well-dressed, intelligent woman.

Cochran reminded the audience that although the U.S. Supreme Court had already outlawed segregation on interstate travel, Alabama state and municipal buses were still segregated.

“(Rosa Parks) and others in the Civil Rights Movement had wanted a test case in the courts to challenge the state law requiring segregated seating,” Cochran said. “Black leaders wanted not only a test case; they also wanted to test the resolve of white merchants by putting economic pressure on the white establishment.”

Retired network correspondend and UA graduate John Cochran describes his growing up in Montgomery and years at the University during the height of the Civil Rights Movement.
Retired network correspondend and UA graduate John Cochran describes his growing up in Montgomery and years at the University during the height of the Civil Rights Movement.

On Dec. 1, 1955, the day Parks refused to give up her seat to a white rider, the bus boycott began. However, many do not understand how it affected blacks and whites in Montgomery.

When blacks stopped using buses, they could not get to white-owned merchants to buy things and many domestic workers could not get to or from work.

Until the boycott, Arrie used city buses for transportation to and from work. Arrie told the Cochrans she planned to do whatever Dr. King told her to do and that meant participating in the boycott. Though she had found a ride to work, she had no way home. It was up to the Cochrans to find a solution, which turned out to be, as Cochran said, “Me. I had just gotten my driver’s license. So, every day after I got out of school it became my job to driver Arrie home.”

For the first few weeks Cochran sat behind the wheel while Arrie sat in back. He said it was the reverse of the Academy Award winning-movie “Driving Miss Daisy.” This time the black person was in the back and the white person in the front.
“That’s the way it was supposed to be in the South. Blacks and whites were never supposed to sit together. It was a rule — not a law — … an unspoken rule, but a rule nevertheless,” Cochran said. “That went on for a few weeks until one day Arrie and I were walking out to the car and Arrie stopped, turned to me and said, ‘Johnny, I’m going to sit up front with you…’.”

As they sat beside each other each day they drove through his neighborhood, a white neighborhood, and then through her neighborhood, a black neighborhood. Immediately, both whites and blacks alike stopped to stare at them as they passed.

Recipients of the Legacy Banquet Awards, from left: Cleophus Thomas Jr., Call to Conscience Award; Melanie Gotz, Horizon Award; and Dr. Roger Sayers, Mountaintop Award
Recipients of the Legacy Banquet Awards, from left: Cleophus Thomas Jr., Call to Conscience Award; Melanie Gotz, Horizon Award; and Dr. Roger Sayers, Mountaintop Award

“This went on for a couple of months,” Cochran said. “Then one day Arrie and I noticed no one was paying attention anymore. People had grown accustomed to seeing us. The rule was no longer a rule.”

On June 13, 1956 the U.S. Court for the Middle District of Alabama ruled segregation was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees protections for equal treatment.

However, the state and city appealed this ruling, and on Dec. 17, 1956 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s decision in Browder v. Gayle; and three days later the court demanded Alabama desegregate its buses.

“It was a total victory for Dr. King, but it did not come easily,” Cochran said. “Many blacks — literally — wore out their shoes walking either to work or to school, houses were bombed, Dr. King and others were put in jail, some blacks lost their jobs because white employers were vengeful, and some, like Arie, thought they might lose their jobs, but went ahead anyway.”

President Judy Bonner, part of the large crowd that attended the Realizing the Dream Legacy Banquet in Foster Auditorium.
President Judy Bonner, part of the large crowd that attended the Realizing the Dream Legacy Banquet in Foster Auditorium.

Later, Cochran described his sister’s failed efforts to integrate First Baptist Church in Montgomery with the Rev. David Abernathy, after hearing King speak. “No history was made that day, but I was proud of her for trying,” Cochran said of his sister, Mary Ann.

He then moved to the failed efforts to integrate UA by Autherine Lucy in 1956 and the failed efforts of then Gov. George Wallace, who attempted to keep Vivian Malone and James Hood from registering for classes at Foster, the very building the event was being held in.

“I crossed paths with Wallace several times over the years,” Cochran said, recalling the transformation of Wallace from a segregationist to a more caring person who worked to make amends for his transgressions.

Several attendees commented how apropos Cochran’s speech was. And Dr. Samory Pruitt, vice president of community affairs, said, “As I look around this room I see people who have been here almost every year we’ve done this,” said Dr. Samory Pruitt, vice president of Community Affairs. “We were honored to have had as the keynote speaker, Mr. John Cochran. His speech was riveting and remarkable.”

Dr. Ed Mullins, former dean of the UA College of Communication and Information Sciences and now a director within Community Affairs, introduced Cochran after another former dean of that same college, Dr. E. Culpepper (Cully) Clark, set the historical stage for Cochran’s remarks. Clark is the author of the definitive book on the integration of the University, The Schoolhouse Door: Segregation’s Last Stand at the University of Alabama.

This was the 25th anniversary of the Legacy Banquet. It began in 1990, hosted then as now by Stillman College, Shelton State Community College, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and The University of Alabama.

Pruitt shared the following message he sent to Cochran in an email after the banquet:

“Thank you for agreeing to serve as the speaker for the Legacy Banquet commemorating the 25thAnniversary of the formation of the Realizing the Dream Committee, and for providing us with the text of your speech. As I mentioned to you and Barbara (Cochran’s wife) on last Friday, you were our first and only choice as speaker. We continue to receive emails and comments about the remarkable and historic speech you gave during the banquet. Again, thanks.”

Earlier, Wendel Hudson, former UA women’s basketball coach, the first African American to receive an athletic scholarship, told of his experience as a pioneer of integration.

After Cochran’s speech, videos were shown and the 2014 Legacy Banquet honorees were recognized as follows:

• Melanie Gotz, Horizon Award, for her leadership in the fight to open traditionally white social fraternity organizations to all races.
• Cleophus Thomas, Call to Conscience Award, for his community and public leadership in race relations.
• Dr. Roger Sayers, Mountaintop Award, for the roles he played as a UA executive, including president, to open opportunities on campus to all races.