Category: Events

Taylor Hicks, Reuben Studdard to Perform at Culture Fest

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. "” Planners hope to attract large crowds to the third edition of Culture Fest by going back to the original crowd-pleasing formula they used in 2008: Invite an American Idolwinner.

That year it was Birmingham's Ruben Studdard who brought out 15,000 to the kickoff of CultureFest at McKenzie Court in Tuscaloosa. He was named the American Idol in 2003.

This year the big draw could very well be another Birmingham native, R&B singer Taylor Hicks,who won the competition in 2006.

Both Studdard and Hicks will perform at Culture Fest.

The University of Alabama's Office of Community Affairs and Holt Community Partnership will host Community Culture Fest 2011 at Holt High School on Sunday, April 17, from 1-6p.m. Among the other entertainers will be Caroline Shines, Arrow Trim (featuring local lawenforcement officers), local gospel groups, and other artists from the Tuscaloosa community,representing country, gospel, R&B and more.

New this year will be a custom car and motorcycle show featuring area enthusiasts.

"Culture Fest is an opportunity to show the wealth and diversity of West Alabama culture," saidDr. Samory T. Pruitt, community affairs vice president. "We are pleased that so many groups have come together with the University to make this event possible."

Culture Fest 2011 will transform Holt High School into a multicultural atmosphere with streetsblocked off to make way for entertainment, food, community service groups, health screenings,sports tournaments and other activities. The festival will take place throughout the entirety ofHolt High School campus on Jack Warner Parkway.

Culture Fest 2009, held in downtown Northport, featured Alabama Music Hall of Fame member Rick Carter, the Homemade Jamz Blues Band, jazz guitarist Eric Essix, a Mariachi band, andother headliner musicians.

"Culture Fest showcases our community's cultural wealth while strengthening ties between theuniversity and its neighbors," said Brice Miller, assistant director of Crossroads CommunityCenter at the university.

Culture Fest began as an idea by University students that envisioned a festival that would unite the Tuscaloosa community with entertainment, games and fun activities for people of differentages and cultures. It is produced by student interns in the Division of Community Affairs. Theseinterns have organized this multicultural festival for three years, and have brought people fromdifferent locations of Alabama to the Tuscaloosa community. The process has been one ofteamwork, dedication and educational experience as the interns have learned such skills as eventplanning, staging, sound setup and crowd management all while juggling their classes.

"From planning for food vendors and activities to working with professional artists, the process has been both demanding and rewarding as the festival has developed into an atmosphere forindividuals of all cultures," Miller said.

One goal of Culture Fest is to "showcase and recognize the amazing cultural heritage around us that we don't recognize on a daily basis," Miller said. Another goal is to unify communityoutreach organizations and to inform the community about the array of resources they provide, he said.

There will be face painting, finger painting, storytelling, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, cotton candy, inflatable bouncers and other activities. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the NAACP chapter atthe University and the UA Student Government Association will assist with the festival.

The UA Student Health Center, Good Samaritan Clinic and Tuscaloosa Red Cross will be among the health care providers attending. Free blood pressure screenings will be available.

Other UA organizations that will be on hand include Cultural Connections, Ghanaian master drummer/dancer Emmanuel Agbeli, the Community Service Center, Collegiate 100, Team Ferg,Freshman Forum, University Programs and the Center for Community-Based Partnerships.Dozens of volunteers from many student organizations will assist. The event will be free ofcharge, and CrimsonRide will provide pick up and drop off at the Ferguson Center.

Fitzgerald Washington, general sales manager of Buffalo Rock, a partner for the third consecutive Culture Fest said the festival "has a solid vision of developing proven strategies that attract localcitizens from diverse backgrounds and providing activities to strengthen the community, idealsthat Buffalo Rock also shares."

Culture Fest 2011 is the "ideal gateway to summer," Miller said. "Rain or shine Culture Fest will spotlight the unique community that is Holt and will welcome all West Alabama residents backhome to Holt."

The partnership of Holt residents, local school staff members, community service agencies,church leaders and numerous UA schools, colleges and departments was formed in 2009. Thepurpose was to promote the general well being and social welfare of the Holt Community througheducational, social and health services, by improving and maintaining community parks andpublic spaces and cemeteries, and by promoting community festivals, concerts and programs forthe benefit of the Holt Community.

Minority Business Forum to Meet April 19 at Bryant-Denny

TUSCALOOSA "” Another in the popular "Breakfast and Business" series sponsored by the Minority Business Forum (MBF) and The University of Alabama will be held Tuesday, April 19, in the Recruiting Room of Bryant-Denny Stadium, beginning at 7:45 a.m.

"Like the others in this series, this meeting will give minority vendors and contractors the chance to network with and hear from fellow suppliers, university officials and various service specialists to learn how to do more business with the university," according to program organizer Christopher H. Spencer, director of community development at the Center for Community-Based Partnerships (CCBP) on the UA campus."

"Participants tell us they receive valuable information at these meeting," Spencer said. "They establish useful contacts that have helped their businesses overall and their opportunities to do business with the University in particular."

Speakers from various UA business areas such as procurement services, contracts, construction, purchasing and other offices will address the participants. The UA divisions of Community Affairs and Financial Affairs are co-sponsors with the MBF.

The most recent program, on February 15, drew more than 60 business men and women from all over the state. For more information and to register, send an e-mail to

CCBP, whose slogan is "Engaging Communities and Changing Lives," is an initiative of the Office of Community Affairs connecting faculty, staff, students and community partners in research-based projects to help solve critical problems within communities.

Call for Applications: Editor Advances in Service-learning and Community Engagement Journal

For the past decade, the Advances in Service-Learning volume series has served the service learning/community engagement community as a primary publishing venue and a major source of current information on theory, issues, and findings in this rapidly-expanding research field.

The International Association for Research on Service-learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE) is pleased to announce that as of 2012, the Advances in Service-learning series, sponsored by the IARSLCE, will become a journal, published by Information Age Publishing, Inc. The new Advances in Service-Learning and Community Engagement Journal will be edited by an active member of the IARSLCE. In the first three years of its publication, the journal will be published once a year. The Journal Editor will solicit manuscripts at large annually in January and will send them out for peer review, with the aim of making final decisions by April of each year.

The IARSLCE Publications Committee is seeking applications for the position of Editor of this new IARSLCE journal.  This position is an exciting opportunity to shape and contribute to emerging scholarship in the field of service-learning and community engagement. The Editor will be involved with appointment of the editorial review board (see below), supervise the review and publication process, and supervise all marketing for the journal.

To Apply:

Each applicant should submit a CV and a letter of interest that details areas of expertise, scholarship, and previous editorial experience.  Given that serving as Editor of the journal will require significant professional, unpaid service, it will be also important to indicate the kinds of support that will be provided by the applicant's institution.  Such support might include a course release, graduate student or administrative support, office space, etc. (though this is not required to apply).

Applications are due to Stephanie O'Brien at by May 2, 2011. Questions about this opportunity may be directed to KerryAnn O'Meara or Barbara Moely, IARSLCE Publications Committee Co-Chairs.

The IARSLCE Board will review applications and appoint an Editor by May 30. The Editor will work with the IARSLCE's Publications Committee Co-Chairs to appoint an editorial review board that represents the diversity of areas of research on service-learning and community engagement, research designs, forms of scholarship and range of educational settings representative of our membership and conference scholarship.  The initial Call for Submissions will be issued in the fall of 2011.

Call for Applications: IARSLCE Conference Proceedings Editor and Editorial Fellows

The IARSLCE is soliciting applications for the positions of Conference Proceedings Editor and Editorial Fellows.  The Conference Proceedings Editor and Editorial Fellows will oversee the publication of a new online IARSLCE Annual Conference Proceedings. The published Proceedings will include accepted paper abstracts from each year's conference and serve as an added resource, especially for international audiences. The new Proceedings will increase the public visibility of the conference scholarship and the potential of communication with other researchers.

Proceedings Timeframe and Editorial Work:

Editorial work will occur over the summer prior to the Fall IARSLCE conference.

The Editor and Editorial Fellows will be appointed by June 15, 2011 and begin their work in July, 2011.

Proceedings will be published on line prior to the annual conference, no later than October 1, 2011.

Qualifications for and Responsibilities of the Conference Proceedings Editor:

  • The Editor must be a member of the IARSLCE.
  • Both Conference Proceedings Editor & Editorial Fellows will have 2-year appointments.
  • The IARSLCE Board will work with the Graduate Student Network to review applications and appoint a scholar as Conference Proceedings Editor.
  • The Editor will supervise the work of the Editorial Fellows and work closely with an Associate Editor, appointed from the Graduate Student Network Steering Committee.
  • While it is not required that the Proceedings editor have institutional in-kind support for these efforts, if this is possible, applicants should mention this in their application.

Qualifications for and Responsibilities of the Editorial Fellows:

  • The IARSLCE Board will appoint approximately ten Editorial Fellows from within the Graduate Student Network.
  • Work will primarily entail selecting and editing the abstracts and 1000-word summaries of accepted papers submitted for the annual conference into a common form suitable for the Proceedings.  Recent conferences have had 120 papers selected for the conference.
  • Editorial Fellows must be members of the IARSLCE Graduate Student Network.
  • Previous editing experience is desirable but not required.
  • These positions will create an opportunity for graduate students to learn more about the process of editing and publishing, as well as working collaboratively with and learning from a more senior scholar.

To apply to be the Editor of the Proceedings or to be an Editorial Fellow: Please submit, by May 2, 2011,a letter of interest highlighting research background and interests, editorial review experience, and CV, to the Publications Committee Co-Chairs, KerryAnn O'Meara and Barbara Moely, at the IARSLCE Office:







CCBP Marks Fifth Anniversary of Awards Program, April 22

Click here to download nomination forms.

TUSCALOOSA "” The Center for Community-Based Partnerships (CCBP) will present awards for the best faculty-, student- and community-initiated projects during ceremonies Friday, April 22, at the Hotel Capstone on the campus of The University of Alabama.

The keynote speaker for the event will be the president of Morgan State University, Dr. David Wilson, a native of Marengo County and former vice president for University Outreach at Auburn University.

The program begins at 10 a.m. with poster presentations showing the variety and effectiveness of community-partnered projects during previous years as well as some that will be up for awards this year. The luncheon and awards presentation will follow.

"This will be our fifth annual awards program," said Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, vice president for Community Affairs, who oversees outreach work at CCBP, which includes the areas of educational development, community development, and community research and communication.

"We are pleased to welcome Dr. Wilson back to Alabama. He was a leader in community engagement at Auburn University and at the University of Wisconsin-Extension before becoming the 10th full-term president at Morgan State," Pruitt said.

A widely published scholar, Dr. Wilson holds the doctorate in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University. One of 10 siblings living on a sharecropper farm outside the small town of McKinley in Marengo County, Wilson became the first person in his family to attend college.

Janet Griffith, assistant provost for communications, chairs the awards committee and program. "Nomination forms are available at or by visiting the CCBP or Community Affairs offices on campus," she said.

Nominations should be delivered to Griffith's office, 254 Rose Administration, by 5 p.m., Wednesday, April 6.

To propose a poster, e-mail Tommy Syx, a member of the awards committee, at describing your poster. Posters may be original or presented earlier at completive events. The deadline for proposing a poster is Friday, April 1, with notification by Wednesday, April 6.

There is no charge for the program or luncheon, but registration is required. To register, send an e-mail to, indicating your desire to attend. As attendance is limited to 200, early registration is recommended. If space is available, your registration will be confirmed by return e-mail.

The Center for Community-Based Partnerships is an initiative of the Office of Community Affairs. Its purpose is to provide leadership for campus and community projects that bring lasting benefits to both. Among the examples are the Parent Leadership Academy, a partnership between city and county schools and three divisions of the University; Black Belt 100 Lenses, a community identity, development and leadership partnership between CCBP and the Black Belt Community Foundation; and the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, a scholarly journal that publishes leading community engagement research. For more information, see

Digital Humanities Symposium on Saturday, March 5th

A Symposium on the Digital Humanities will be held on Saturday, March 5th, in 301 Morgan Hall, on the University of Alabama campus.  Sponsored by the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies, the University Libraries and the Center for the Book, e-Tech, and the College of Arts and Sciences, this Symposium brings together five scholars from the USA, the UK, and Canada to discuss the practical and theoretical implications of computer technology for research in the humanities.  Following the lectures will be a round table discussion by the lecturers and the Symposium’s auditors.  For more information about our speakers, click on the links below.

The program is as follows:

 9 am: Christie Carson, Royal Holloway, University of London, “Early Modern Theatre (EMLoT) Online: Exploring Multiple Histories.”

10 am: Jennifer Boyle, Coastal Carolina University, “Hacking the New Humanities: The virtual sovereign in Thomas Hobbes and militant video games.”

11 am: Richard Cunningham, Acadia University, “INKE at 1:  The First Year (and a half) of a Major Digital Humanities Initiative.” [INKE = Implementing New Knowledge Environments]


 2 pm: Patricia Fumerton, University of California, Santa Barbara, “Vexed Impressions: Toward a Digital Archive of Broadside Ballad Illustrations.”

 3 pm: Kevin Kee, Brock University, “Fiddling while Rome burns: Why Digital Humanists should be more like Nero.”

 4 pm: Round table discussion.

We will provide coffee, cookies, pastries, and such at 8:30 am, so that we may begin the Symposium promptly at 9 am.  Parking is available on campus; visitors can park without fear of ticketing in any open lot, so long as they park legally.  Probably the closest is the lot behind Ten Hoor, unless you arrive early and can snag a spot behind Rowand-Johnson.

We hope to see you on Saturday the 5th!  Don’t let a little rain stop you!


Sharon O’Dair
Hudson Strode Professor of English
Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies
Department of English
University of Alabama
Tusaloosa, AL 35487-0244

Plans Moving Forward for UA to Host the National Outreach Scholarship Conference





UPDATE: Plans Moving Forward for UA to Host the National Outreach Scholarship Conference

Left: Dr. Samory Pruitt holds a replica of the Olympic Torch as a reminder that The University of Alabama will be the host of the National Outreach Scholarship Conference in 2012. Dean Carolyn Dahl, a member of the NOSC 2012 planning committee, presented the torch to Dr. Pruitt at the 2010 CCBP Awards Program.

In 2007, The University of Alabama became the first non-land-grant institution voted into the National Outreach Scholarship Conference. And in 2012 we are scheduled to host this largest conference in the engaged scholarship field. In just four years we have developed our engagement agenda so that today we are recognized as one of the leading engaged institutions in the nation. We have obtained that recognition by remaining true to our motto, “Engaging Communities and Changing Lives.”

The NOSC 2012 planning committee has selected “Partner. Inspire. Change.” as its theme. The committee chose this theme after considering many proposals from on and off campus. We believe it will provide an exciting framework for universities and their community partners from all over the country to demonstrate how colleges can work with communities to improve both. The dates of the conference are September 30 through October 3.

In the process of becoming a national leader in engaged scholarship, we have brought together community partners and university faculty, staff, and students in hundreds of ongoing projects. We have also launched what many consider the leading research journal in the field, the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, a feature magazine, PARTNERS, that tells the local engaged scholarship story, and several websites that help to keep all parties informed about our progress.

Areas in which we have applied the engaged scholarship concept include education, engineering, medicine, nursing, health/nutrition, communication, journalism, local produce, veterans services, business, youth leadership, community festivals, entrepreneurship, ethics, social work, literacy, creative writing, and others.

The old model of teaching, research, and service as separate entities has given way to one in which community leaders and rank and file citizens, plus faculty, staff, and students "” undergraduate as well as graduate "” come together in a process in which all groups collaborate, contribute, achieve, and learn from each other.

CCBP’s purpose is multifold:

  • to enrich and improve teaching, research/creative activity, and service through engaged scholarship
  • to create an engaged university that is local, national, and international in its outreach
  • to prepare educated, engaged citizens
  • to strengthen community economies, democratic values, and civic responsibilities
  • to apply these ideas and practices in diverse settings

In 2008, the University applied for and was approved for the Carnegie Foundation’s classification in Curricular Engagement and Outreach & Partnerships, the most comprehensive of several Carnegie elective classifications. That successful application guarantees recognition of our University as a leader in this new area of comprehensive scholarship that combines teaching, research, and service.

But all the news about engaged scholarship is not good; we still have much work to do. A 2007 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education said despite strong interest among colleges and universities in the new classification, few institutions have aligned promotion, tenure, and hiring polices that reward scholars’ work in community-engaged scholarship.

A copy of our final report can be found at See our full Carnegie Engagement Application at

In connection with NOSC 2012, Dr. Cassandra Simon, editor of the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship (JCES), has called for a special edition of JCES based on the conference theme “Partner. Inspire. Change.” For more about this special edition, see JCES Call for Manuscripts.

We are advised and led in this work by an active Council composed of faculty, staff, students, and community partners from many disciplines, occupations, and backgrounds (see As you click through our website, we hope you will see an area of interest to you. Get in touch with us to consider joining the thriving engaged scholarship movement here at UA If you see an area that is missing, let us know.
Just e-mail any one of the directors "” Dr. Heather Pleasants (, Dr. Ed Mullins ( or Mr. Christopher Spencer (, or call us at 205-348-7392.

Members of the NOSC 2012 planning committee are Gary Creek, Dean Carolyn Dahl, Janet Griffith, Dr. Ed Mullins, Dr. Samory Pruitt, Leonard Smith, Cresandra Smothers, Sea Talantis, and Joanne Terrell.

Dr. Samory Pruitt
Vice President of Community Affairs
President of the CCBP Council
The University of Alabama