Category: Events

CCBP Honors Campus and Community Partners

April 27, 2007

The Center for Community-Based Partnerships honored nine of its most successful projects and their leaders at its first awards program Friday, April 27, at the Sheraton Four Points Hotel in Tuscaloosa. More than 250 university and community leaders attended the ceremony.

The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Arthur N. Dunning, vice president for public service and outreach and associate provost at the University of Georgia and a three-time graduate and former faculty member at The University of Alabama. Dunning also received the first award of the day, a Distinguished Achievement Award for his national leadership in community-partnered research and service.

Dunning urged academic scholars to convert their research and instruction in ways that can be used by ordinary people. The people of Alabama's Black Belt may not ever be interested in your basic research, he said, "but if you can translate that research into something that makes an impact, it will be recognized.”

Receiving awards for projects initiated by students were:

"¢ Amanda Brozana, for The West End Journal and WestEndJournal.Com, a newspaper and website that cover western Tuscaloosa around Stillman College, where Brozana, a UA doctoral student, is an instructor.

"¢ Stephany Collins, a senior photojournalism major, for her work with Creative Campus to integrate the arts into local school curricula.

"¢ Students in the School of Social Work for P.A.S.S. (Preparing Alabama Students for Success) "“ Jacauel Lakesha Lee, Stephanie Workman, Jacquelyn Johnson, Kathleen McNamara, Paulette Martin, R. Taylor Putnam, Rita Smith, William Thompson, Krista VanDerwood, Debra Watkins. They mentor and instruct Black Belt area students on college-bound goals, helping them to see themselves as future college students

For projects by faculty and staff:

"¢ Dr. Carmen Taylor, assistant dean, College of Arts and Sciences, for SMILE (Science and Math Involved Learning Experience), which engages students in learning and enjoying math and science.

"¢ Dr. Pauline Johnson and Dr. Phillip Johnson, associate professors in the College of Engineering, for community projects at home and abroad through Engineering Students Without Borders.

"¢ Dr. Heather Pleasants, assistant professor, College of Education, for Our Voices, which enables black middle school students to tell their stories in new forms of media.

For projects by community partners:

"¢ Carol Eichelberger and Jean Mills, for Tuscaloosa Community-Supported Agriculture through New 226 Organic Farming, a course open to community and campus members through New College.

"¢ Dr. Alesa Judd of Centreville, for Bibb County Child Caring Project through Bibb County Public Schools.

"¢ Mayor Walt Maddox, Shelly Jones, Earnestine Tucker, Stephen Black, for Tuscaloosa Pre-K Initiative. the city's pre-kindergarten initiative.

Distinguished Achievement Awards, for sustained, distinguished and superb achievement in public service and outreach went to:

"¢ Dr. Jim Hall, director, New College, campus

"¢ Felecia Jones, executive director, Black Belt Community Foundation in Selma. Ms. Jones' was recognized for her leadership in an organization that since 2003 has raised funds to sustain an operation that now includes a full-time staff of five and has distributed more than $300,000 in small grants in support of health, education, the economy and the arts to nonprofit organizations throughout the Black Belt.

Dunning, who has advised Dr. Samory Pruitt, vice president for community affairs, in his efforts to establish the University's engagement programs, explained how engagement based on the university's teaching and research strength can put a university at the center of the public's concerns.

Pruitt praised the projects recognized at the luncheon, saying, "These outstanding projects and individuals connect the outreach mission of the University to its teaching and research functions while serving the needs of our local community, the state of Alabama, the region, the nation and the world. They operationalize our motto: Engaging Communities and Changing Lives."

Winning projects will receive funds to be used in future projects or to extend current ones, Pruitt said. All of the nominated projects involve the community, faculty, staff, students, curriculum and formal research, Pruitt said.

Following the luncheon, many attendees attended an open house at the Cannon House, 824 4th Avenue, the home of CCBP.

CCBP began in 2006 as an initiative of the Office of Community Affairs. It mobilizes the resources of the University to address problems identified jointly by community and academic partners. Its purpose is to engage communities, expand the classroom and laboratory, and promote better education, health, economic and cultural opportunities for all Alabamians.

Minority Business Forum III Scheduled for May 6 at Bryant-Denny Stadium

For Immediate Release
Contact: Christopher H. Spencer,

By Jessie Gable
CCBP Intern

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. “” To encourage more partnerships with minority contractors and vendors, the UA’s Community Affairs and Financial Affairs offices have teamed up to host the third Minority Business Forum on Tuesday, May 6, at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Like the first two, held in March and October 2007, this forum is themed “How to do Business with The University of Alabama.” The forums offer minority owned and operated businesses lessons and tactics for getting more general business, construction and vending contracts, managing risks, and improving networking and communication with the University.

“Response has been great and we expect another large crowd,” said forum coordinator Christopher H. Spencer, associate director for Community Development at the Center for Community-Based Partnerships.

Dr. Lynda Gilbert, vice president for Financial Affairs, and Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, vice president for Community Affairs, will welcome attendees and introduce the program.

There will be two panel discussions, one on finance led by local bankers, and the main event, “How to Do Business with the University,” featuring UA officials who work directly with contractors. They are Tim Leopard, assistant vice president for Construction; Trip Farmer, director of Contract Administration; Judy Voss, associate director for Purchasing; Vicki Santani, contract administrator; Lane Cox, associate purchasing manager for Facilities; Jeanine Brooks, Action Card director; and Robin Coleman, Action Card specialist.

Among the main speakers will be Bob Pugh, UA director of Risk Management, and Teresa Wilson, public information officer with the Small Business Administration district office in Birmingham.

At the luncheon local minority businessmen will talk about their experiences doing business with the University. They are Robert Thomas of Thomas Cleaners; Mehul Vashi of Quiznos; and Willie Darden of Darden Contracting and Remodeling.

“Attendees will learn, among other things, how to work through red tape that at first can be discouraging,” Spencer said, “but with experience can be worked through resulting in success for the local business man or woman.”
But the value of the forums goes beyond the technical information attendees will receive, Spencer said. “From evaluations of the first two forums, we learned that networking with others in your same situation and breakout sessions about specific types of contracts were also well received.”

“It’s not difficult to do business with the University, but you do need to understand the process,” said Spencer, “and that’s why we are offering these forums.”

Since the two forums, Spencer said, minority businesses have won bids to build sidewalks and other structures related to new dormitory construction and other goods and services.

Maurice Muhammad of Warren Asphalt Construction of Tuscaloosa attended the early forums and said that dealing with large institutions can be overwhelming to small-scale contractors. After attending the forum, Muhammad said he had a better understanding of how to place winning bids. A byproduct of the forum, he said, is that he picked up some tips for marketing his business better.

“These forums began turning the theoretical ideas into the actual process,” Muhammad said. Warren Asphalt Construction has won several bids with the University related to parking lots, parking decks, hauling and trucking services.

Charles Hicks of Omega Co. in Birmingham has long been associated with the University of Alabama. Before joining Omega he worked as a recruiter for the College of Engineering. Hicks made contacts at the forums and established a relationship with Tim Leopard, assistant vice president for construction.