Category: Events

Council Hosts Twelfth Annual Excellence in Community Engagement Awards

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By Kirsten J. Barnes
CCBP Graduate Assistant

The Council on Community-Based Partnerships hosted its Excellence in Community Engagement Awards on April 18 at the Bryant Conference Center with more than 200 people in attendance to share in the celebration of research and service activities of The University of Alabama and its community partners. It was the 12thannual awards ceremony.

The luncheon is a culmination of the efforts of faculty and students working to fulfill the University’s teaching, research and service mission through partnerships with community groups.

Each year this program recognizes faculty, community partners and students who work to change the lives of others through their engagement research efforts by granting seed funds, graduate fellowships, undergraduate scholarships, travel grants and a variety of other activities.

Not only does this event serve to recognize and encourage social consciousness that manifests itself through active problem-solving, this year’s event recognized a person who has been an integral part of CCBP since its inception. CCBP Director of Communication and Research Dr. Edward Mullins was this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Special Achievement in Community Engagement Award.

“Every year with this program I’ve had the opportunity to present the very first award. It’s the highest award that we give and it’s to someone who has made a significant impact on the landscape of community-engaged scholarship and through their work and through their lives have made a tremendous difference in the quality of lives for others,” said Vice President of Community Affairs Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, recalling such past recipients of the award as UA Chancellor Dr. Mack Portera, former UA President Dr. Judy Bonner, and current president of Morgan State University Dr. David Wilson,. “These are all giants and the person who will receive this award today is also a giant.”

Mullins, a retired dean of UA’s College of Communication and Information Sciences, according to Pruitt, has dedicated his entire life to helping others achieve their educational potential.

“Years ago,” Pruitt recalled, “when we had this hair-brained idea of trying to do this kind of work on our campus, Ed was retiring from the College of Communication, and he said to me, ‘I’ve got a sense that I know what you’re trying to do, and if you’ll find a corner somewhere in an office with a computer I’ll help you.’ And help me he has. From our research journal to our inclusion in ESC (Engagement Scholarship Consortium), to our Carnegie Classification and countless conversations about strategy and staffing, he’s always been there.”

Pruitt gave special credit to Mullins for his role, along with that of founding editor Dr. Cassandra Simon, in the development of the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship (JCES), now in its second decade of publication. It is published at the University and today is considered the leading journal in engaged scholarship.

Mullins came up with the original design and format for the publication and with the editorial philosophy that writing for the journal would place a priority on a style of writing that would be accessible to non-academics. As Simon put it in her original column about the journal, “We want JCES to look different, to be different, and to make a difference.” Apart from JCES publisher Pruitt, Mullins is the only member of the original staff still working for the journal.

Three awards were made in the faculty, staff and community partner Distinguished Community-Engaged Scholars category. They were Laurie Bonnici, associate professor, School of Library and Information Studies; Justin Washington, graduate student in the Culverhouse College of Business; and Jim Page, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.

A veteran community-engaged scholar, during the past year Bonnici was a visiting scholar at the Social Media Lab at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. Washington used his UA-acquired entrepreneurial skills to assist with funding to start programs and to help existing programs such as the Tuscaloosa Boys and Girls Club.” Under Page, the chamber was cited for its work with supporting youth, former inmates and nonprofits.

Five people received the Excellence Award for Outstanding Engagement Effort. They were: Amanda Lightsey of Tuscaloosa’s One Place; Lauren Martin, an undergraduate student in Honors College; Melanie Acosta, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction; Darrin J. Griffin, assistant professor of communication studies; and Yuehan Lu, associate professor of geological sciences.

These awards come with a $2,000 stipend to help the scholars continue their work. For example, Griffin said the funds would enable his team to produce weather workshops for the deaf community preliminary to seeking larger grants in the future.

The Council awarded two seed grants. One went to Dr. Abbey Gregg, assistant professor in the Department of Community Medicine and Population Health and the Institute for Rural Health Research in the College of Community Health Sciences (CCHS), and Dr. Elwin Crawford in the state Department of Public Health’s Office of Emergency Medical Services. They received $3,520 to assess community needs related to mobile integrated healthcare intervention. The second was to Dr. Robin A. McWilliam, professor of special education and multiple abilities to support his work with Alabama’s Early Intervention System, Community Service Program of West Alabama. McWilliam was awarded $4,902 for telehealth research for families with infants and toddlers.

Graduate fellowships were awarded to Temilade Ayo Aladeokin and Kim Wang, doctoral students in social work, and for a student to be named later to work with Dr. Yuehan Lu, assistant professor in geological sciences.

The council also assists students and faculty with travel to present their research at scholarly conferences around the world. This year’s $1,000 travel grant recipients were Emily Brown, master’s student in biological sciences; Dr. Abbey Gregg, CCHS; Dr. Mary Kelley, assistant professor with the Capstone College of Nursing; Ashley Stewart, anthropology doctoral student; and Calia A. Torres, psychology doctoral student.

“I went to Tucson, Arizona to attend the American Ornithological Society annual meeting. It’s a nationwide conference on bird research,” said Brown. “I got to speak to someone who has been working with red-cockaded woodpeckers for 30 years and learning from what he’s learned from his research really helped me to frame my papers and research that I am working on.”

Another highlight of the luncheon was the presentation of the Zachary David Dodson Memorial Endowed Scholarship, named for a CCBP work-study student who died the night before he was to graduate magna cum laude with a degree in economics. This year’s recipient was Kathryn Taylor, a sophomore in communication studies who came to CCBP and immediately involved herself in its mission.

“It is the best department on campus,” said Taylor, who followed her older sister to UA from Connecticut. “I work alongside so many professional people and it’s been such a great opportunity for me to grow professionally. Working with them sets you up for a passionate future doing what you love.”

Dr Peter Hlebowitsh, dean of the College of Education and chair of the executive committee Council, brought welcome to the audience and gave a brief report on the achievements of the past year. He praised the award recipients and their partners for their “remarkable individual efforts” and “life-reaching work.”

Parent Teacher Leadership Academy to Host Speaker Marsha Greenfeld December 1


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Parent Teacher Leadership Academy (PTLA) at The University of Alabama will host Marsha Greenfeld, senior program facilitator at Johns Hopkins University, as a guest speaker at its all-day teacher workshop, to be held Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Bryant Conference Center on the UA campus.

“We are happy to have Marsha Greenfeld, of the National Network of Partnership Schools, with us to share her knowledge and experience regarding school, family and community partnerships,” said Dr. Holly Morgan, director of community education in the Center for Community-Based Partnerships.

Greenfeld, who works with the prestigious university’s National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS), will lead the second session of the Teacher Leadership Academy (TLA), titled “Communicating Academic Goals Necessary for Student Success.” Her knowledge of goal-oriented partnership programs stems from time spent as a teacher and district-level facilitator for partnerships in the Baltimore City Public School System. Additionally, she worked in the technical assistance branch of the Office of Federal Grants Programs in Washington, D.C. Public Schools and as a partnership coordinator in the national office of Communities in Schools.

Established at Johns Hopkins University, NNPS provides professional development for schools, districts, states and organizations, utilizing research-based approaches to implement and sustain programs of family and community involvement to increase student success in school.

The PTLA is expanding the NNPS model during the 2016–2107 school year to foster leadership and develop partnerships with members of the Parent Leadership Academy (PLA), Teacher Leadership Academy (TLA), Hispanic Parent Leadership Academy (HPLA) and Pre-Kindergarten Parent Leadership Academy (PKPLA) in their respective classrooms, schools and communities.

“We believe that [Greenfeld] will help us to ‘connect the dots’ between the framework set forth by the National Network of Partnership Schools and the goals of the Parent Teacher Leadership Academy,” said Morgan.

The NNPS framework is comprised of six types of involvement: parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision making and collaborating. Informed by these central concepts of involvement, parents and teachers of participating schools will join together to build a one-year action plan to improve school, family and community partnerships.

“All academy members will work collaboratively in their respective school teams in order to design a PTLA partnership project,” said Morgan. “The partnership project should be guided by at least one of the school’s improvement goals.

“We are thrilled to have 43 teachers from Tuscaloosa City, Tuscaloosa County, Lamar County and Alabaster City Schools as participants in the Teacher Leadership Academy for the 2016–2017 school year. Additionally, the Parent Leadership Academy hosts 75 parent participants from these same school districts,” said Morgan, who went on to note that both parents and teachers are selected for participation by their school’s principal.

“We look forward to welcoming all who are participating in the December 1 workshop, and to a productive day of learning and planning for the future,” said Morgan.

The Parent Teacher Leadership Academy (PTLA) is a leadership program that utilizes research-based practices to provide professional development to parent and teacher leaders who use their knowledge to support student achievement through strong family/school partnerships. It is a joint initiative of the Tuscaloosa City and County School Systems, The University of Alabama’s Center for Community-Based Partnerships and the faculty in the University’s College of Education and College of Human Environmental Sciences.

Fall 2015 Fulbright Scholarship Informative Events

Fulbright Scholarships for Students
Students are invited to learn more about Fulbright Scholarships by participating in three informative events on campus scheduled for 8/25, 8/27, and 9/2.  Attend as many of these events as you can.  The Fulbright Program of the U.S. Department of State connects American students with more than 150 countries by offering undergraduate and graduate students funding for an academic year of study, research, and teaching.  Please remember the campus application deadline is Tuesday, September 8, 2015.

UA Student Fulbright Winners Share Tips for Overseas Scholarships
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 | 3:30 pm | 900 Anna Avenue

UA Fulbright winners will share their experiences and explain what it is like to serve on a Fulbright grant overseas.  Student-to-student, they will offer tips for the application process and answer questions.  Following the panel, there will be a reception celebrating our UA Fulbright success.  Fulbright Campus Program Advisors will be available to answer questions about the application process.  Open to the Public.  To be held at the UA Center for Community-Based Partnerships, 900 Anna Avenue (directly behind the Arby’s on University, near Newk’s). 
For more information and a map, click here. 

The Fulbright Scholarship: Overseas Opportunities for Students
Thursday, August 27, 2015 | 3:30 PM |  258 BB Comer

Dr. Michelle Williams, a Fulbright Ambassador who served as a Student Global Health Researcher in 2011, will speak about the Fulbright Scholarship.  She will explain how to apply.  Everyone is invited to hear about Fulbright Overseas Scholarship Opportunities for Students.
For more information, click here.

How to Win a Fulbright Scholarship to Go Abroad for a Yea
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 | 3:30 PM | 3108 Ferguson Student Center

UA Student Fulbright Winners will share secrets for a successful Fulbright application.  Everyone is welcome to come and learn about Fulbright opportunities.  Campus Fulbright Program Advisors will be present to answer questions about the application process.
For more information, click here.

24th Annual MLK Celebration to Feature Well-Known Alabama Singing Groups, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Speaker

  • January 31st, 2013
  • in Events
Take 6, left, and the Aeolians will perform in concert Saturday, January 19, at the Moody Concert Hall in Tuscaloosa, beginning at 7 p.m.
The Aeolians and Take 6 (below) will perform in concert Saturday, January 19, at the Moody Concert Hall at The University of Alabama.


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. "“ The singing ensemble Take 6 and the Aeolians of Oakwood University will highlight the 24th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Realizing the Dream concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, in the Concert Hall at The University of Alabama's Moody Music Building. Tickets for the event are $15 and may be reserved by calling 205/348-7111.

The concert is part of a weekend of events organized by West Alabama's Martin Luther King Realizing the Dream Committee, including a banquet featuring Cynthia Tucker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist formerly with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Tucker is a native of Monroeville, Ala., and a graduate of Auburn University. The Pulitzer Prize winning former editorial page editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is currently the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer-in-Residence in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

Among the nation's most recognized vocal ensembles, Take 6, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, has received 10 Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards and a Soul Train Award. Take 6 features Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea and Khristian Dentley. The group was founded at Oakwood University in Huntsville in 1980 and took its current name in 1988. Take 6's newest recording, "One," in 2012, is notable for the group's return to its spiritual heritage.

The Aeolians of Oakwood University is a vocal ensemble founded in 1946 by Dr. Eva B. Dykes. The group has traveled around the world, including a 2012 performance at the Moscow International Performing Arts Center under the patronage of Michael McFaul, U.S. ambassador to Russia. The group's current director is Dr. Jason Max Ferdinand.

In addition to the concert, the Realizing the Dream Committee will recognize three West Alabamians at a banquet at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at the Hotel Capstone. Tickets are $25 each and are available by phoning 205/348-7111. Tucker will be the speaker.

Lubna Alansari, a UA undergraduate from Saudi Arabia, will receive the Horizon Award for her work in sponsoring workshops for students in the Alabama Black Belt as well as the student on The University of Alabama campus that focused understanding and working with various cultures around the world.

Dr. Paula Sue Burnham, a former administrator at Shelton State Community College, will receive the Mountaintop Award for her role as a student in supporting the enrollment in 1956 of Autherine Lucy Foster, the first African-American student to be admitted to the University of Alabama as well as for her work in helping women further their education to enter the workforce.

Michael Culver, a transition patient advocate for the Tuscaloosa V.A. Medical Center, will receive the Call to Conscience Award for his work in helping diverse groups of veterans re-enter civilian life.

A Unity Breakfast will be offered at 7 a.m. Monday, Jan. 20, in the Hay College Center at Stillman College, and a Unity March will be held at noon Monday, Jan. 20, starting at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School and proceeding to City Hall. Finally, a mass rally will be held at 6 p.m. at the First African Baptist Church, 2621 Stillman Blvd.

This year's MLK theatrical performance will be Theatre Tuscaloosa's production of "Ain't Misbehavin'." Harlem's 1930s Cotton Club lives on in this musical revue that pays tribute to the jive swing of Thomas "Fats" Waller. Performances run February 8"“17 in the Bean-Brown Theatre on Shelton State's Martin Campus. Tickets are $22 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $14 for students and children. Discounted rates are available in advance for groups of 10 or more. Tickets and more information are available at or by calling (205) 391-2277, according to Adam M. Miller, managing director of Theatre Tuscaloosa.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Realizing the Dream program exists 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 so that every person may experience the bounty of life's abundant possibilities. The program is a collaborative effort of The University of Alabama, Stillman College and Shelton State Community College.

Third Annual 100 Lenses Creative/Leadership Camp Begins Sunday, June 10 on UA Campus.

Contact: Dr. Heather Pleasants,, 205-535-8073

Black Belt 100 Lenses Summer Camp Set For June 10"“14

TUSCALOOSA "” The third annual Black Belt 100 Lenses Summer Camp begins Sunday, June 10. The University of Alabama campus will host 50 public and private high school students from the 12 counties of Alabama's Black Belt region.

The campers will develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the history and people of the Black Belt region through photography, writing, performance, discussion, and multiple hands-on activities.

The project is one of the signature programs under the Office of Community Education in the Center for Community-Based Partnerships (CCBP). Community Education Director Dr. Heather Pleasants had this to say as the camp opened:  “The camp’s legacy is the growth in knowledge, creativity and leadership that students experience. We look forward to seeing how these students will go on to create positive change in their communities and how the 100 Lenses experience affects their life's goals."

Key personnel for the camp are graduate students Meredith Randall, Kristin Law and Elliot Knight. Camp facilitators are undergraduate students Betsy Seymour, Greg Houser, Juan Carlos Rayes, Katy Gunn, Katie Berger, Ellie Isenhart and D’Anthony Jackson.

Selected by an advisory committee prior to the camp, participants are chosen based on creative submissions. The students were given cameras and asked to explore and document what was important in their lives and communities. Participants will share those photos with their peers to generate ideas to make their communities better. During camp, students will work together on creative photography activities, hear from community leaders, participate in creative writing workshops, and collaborate with local artists.

Black Belt 100 Lenses Camp will culminate with an exhibition of the students' photography and writing at a reception with their families and community leaders on Thursday, June 14 at The University of Alabama's Ferguson Center Gallery. The exhibit will continue until June 29. Following this initial exhibition, photographs will travel to venues in all 12 counties of the Black Belt region, each event organized with the help of the campers from their home county.

In conjunction with promoting skills in the art of photography and creative writing, the program also includes the goals of strengthening each students leadership skills, knowledge of Black Belt history, civic and community awareness, and critical thinking skills.

Doctoral Student Elliot Knight, the founder of 100 Lenses, is writing his dissertation about the history and impact of 100 Lenses.

Following is a sampling of his presentations and exhibitions based on his research: Fall 2008, Imagining America national conference. Los Angeles; fall 2009, Imagining America national conference, New Orleans; fall 2009, National Association of Graduate and Professional Students, Lincoln, Nebraska; spring 2010: Connecting the Dots: David Matthews Center for Civic Life national conference, Point Clear, Ala.; September 2010: Alabama Rural Health Conference in Tuscaloosa; spring 2011: Citizens Toolbox National Conference, Miami University; January 2012: Alabama Digital Humanities Center Luncheon in Tuscaloosa.

Future presentations: Proposals accepted at Scholarship in Action: Communities, Leaders and Citizens Conference, Auburn University, August 9-11, 2012 and NOSC 2012, September 30"“October 3, The Univesity of Alabama. Other submissions awaiting notification.

Black Belt 100 Lenses is a partnership between the Black Belt Community Foundation, The University of Alabama's Center for Community-Based Partnerships, the Alabama State Council on the Arts and both public and private high schools in Bullock, Choctaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Perry, Pickens, Sumter and Wilcox counties.

Eighth Annual Open Arms Festival to Be Sunday at Riverside-Collins School

The Hispanic Service Providers of Tuscaloosa announces the Eighth Annual Brazos Abiertos (Open Arms) Festival, Sunday, April 10, from 2-6 p.m. at Riverside-Collins Elementary School. The festival serves as both an informational fair and cultural exchange.

A Community Service Provider Information Booth Fair and a Health Fair, where local doctors and nurses will be conduct free health, vision and hearing screenings, will be available, and the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice will present a special panel on immigration reform.

Experts will present informative panel discussions on education, crime and safety, nutrition and strengthening family health and wellbeing from the Alabama Department of Public Health, the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, and the Tuscaloosa Police Department. The festival will also feature a live remote courtesy of "La Nueva" radio program (WWPG-AM / WQZZ-FM), children's activities, food and fun.

The Hispanic Service Providers is an alliance of Tuscaloosa city and county social service agencies and various community partners that have united to meet the needs of the growing Hispanic/ Latino community. This group has begun working to address issues such as the language barrier, education, health, safety, social service deficits, legal issues, and housing, employment and community inclusion.

Brazos Abiertos is an annual event allowing the Hispanic/ Latino community access to information regarding important issues. Community representatives will be available to answer questions.

The event is free to the public and both children and adults are encouraged to attend. If you would like more information about this event, call Wanda Martin of Tuscaloosa's One Place (867 Redmont Drive, P.O. Box 40764, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404 at (205) 462-1000, or e-mail her at

CCBP Awards Banquet 2012

The sixth annual CCBP Awards Banquet was held on the University of Alabama campus on April 20. Photos below showcase the recipients of each award.

Dr. Lee T. Todd, Jr., receives the Distinguished Special Achievement in Engaged Scholarship Award. Center for Community-Based Partnerships Awards Banquet 2012 (Photo by Marion R Walding) 4/20/2012 -- Dr. James E. "Jim" McLean, dean of the College of Education, receives the Distinguished Achievement in Engaged Scholarship award. Center for Community-Based Partnerships Awards Banquet 2012 (Photo by Marion R Walding)




4/20/2012 -- Kate Werner, College of Education, receives the Outstanding Student-Initiated Engagement Award. Center for Community-Based Partnerships Awards Banquet 2012 (Photo by Marion R Walding)


4/20/2012 -- Sebastian Medina, left, and David Bailey, receive the Outstanding Student-Initiated Engagement Award. Center for Community-Based Partnerships Awards Banquet 2012 (Photo by Marion R Walding)



4/20/2012 -- Ellen Griffith Spears, holding certificate at right, receives the Outstanding Faculty/Staff-Initiated Engagement Award along with Jim Hall left, Jennifer Barnett, center, and Andy Ray. Center for Community-Based Partnerships Awards Banquet 2012 (Photo by Marion R Walding) 4/20/2012 -- Lynne Adrian, accepts the Outstanding Faculty/Staff-Initiated Engagement Award on behalf of Michael Innis-Jimenez. Center for Community-Based Partnerships Awards Banquet 2012 (Photo by Marion R Walding) 4/20/2012 -- Ameila Trowbridge and Paul Kennedy, receive the Outstanding Community Partner-Initiated Engagement Award. Center for Community-Based Partnerships Awards Banquet 2012 (Photo by Marion R Walding) 4/20/2012 -- Melissa Kent, left, and Latrina Spencer, right, of Oakdale Primary School receive the Outstanding Community Partner-Initiated Engagement Award. Center for Community-Based Partnerships Awards Banquet 2012 (Photo by Marion R Walding) 4/20/2012 -- Melissa Kent, left, and Latrina Spencer, right, of Oakdale Primary School receive the Outstanding Community Partner-Initiated Engagement Award. Center for Community-Based Partnerships Awards Banquet 2012 (Photo by Marion R Walding) 4/20/2012 -- Kristina Scott of the Alabama Poverty Project, receives the Outstanding Community Partner-Initiated Engagement Award. Center for Community-Based Partnerships Awards Banquet 2012 (Photo by Marion R Walding)

Winds of Change open house 4/19

Tonight is the public open house for Winds of Change: Youth perspectives on Community Recovery at Holt High School in the auditorium from 6:30 to 8:30. The Winds of Change program is a set of interactive exhibits for youth and by youth related to the youth’s experience of the April 27 tornado and possibilities for community recovery. Over 500 Holt area youth have been participating each day this week and sharing their views. Tonight’s open house is for the community. Drop in at any point during the open house tonight to see what the youth have been up to! Further information is attached.

To view a PDF of the Winds of Change program, click here.