I have decided to keep this page separate from my other content, as it is for a specific class I am taking and would break the flow of my work. Please know that these assignments are all new to me and may need polishing compared to my other work on this site. Also, I will have to publish them in standard blog form and will have to paste them all on this one page for simplicity. Thank you for your patience!
20 March, 2018: Here at the University of North Alabama, we pride ourselves in having the best facilities and opportunities for our students. Our students range from places around the globe, but it is safe to say we have a major impact on the education here in the northern region of Alabama. Students feed in from Birmingham, Huntsville and the Shoals and combine to try to grow as a student body so that they can take what they learn and return home to better their own community. Project 208 isn’t just about getting more funding for our school. It is about securing our own future as a state.
Project 208 is our effort to secure more funding for the university, and get back the cash influx that has been withheld from us over the years. Historically, UNA has been overlooked on budgets and pushed aside for other universities in the state. Through Project 208, President Kits has formed a well rounded idea about how to secure the funding necessary for students, and plans to use those funds to better the university as a whole.
Over 75% of our students are from in-state, and beyond that they are from Mississippi and Tennessee. Most students do not travel very long distances to come to school here at UNA, and this may be due to a variety of reasons. Some students can’t financially support themselves away from the nest egg of their families, while others can’t afford to uproot their lives to move 4 hours away. These factors should not limit a student to a sub-par education. This matters because these students may very well stay in this area after they graduate and will keep that education centered in these very important cities here in the state. Students at UNA have a large variety of majors. The nurses of tomorrow come from our nursing program. The communicators of tomorrow come from our communications department. The business men and women of tomorrow are located right inside Keller Hall. In three years, these same students will be back in Birmingham, Huntsville or here in Florence doing their best work to ensure the future of these major cities in Alabama.
To ensure these students are able to live up to that huge potential, shouldn’t they get the same funding as other school on our same level? UNA receives on average $2.5 thousand less per student than other schools of similar size. That missing dollar amount could make a huge difference here on campus and in the community surrounding us. Students would no longer have to struggle to get decent equipment to run the operations to kickstart their career.
A genuine example from the school right now is the television lab. Students have been without half of their required course materials for over 5 years now. There have been no professors to teach the courses, and there has been such little funding they had to chose to release the broadcast license they had to run a campus radio station. These students can not meet the requirements for their degree because the university can not afford any of their equipment needs. The department chair has done all he can to secure any funding possible, but any further costs could really hurt the entire communications department. These students are going to be the broadcasters of the next generation. They will be the individuals standing on the street helping the people of Alabama stay informed about events, tragedy and ideals. Do these students not deserve better than this?
Project 208 is our effort to turn this all around and finally have funding to push UNA into the next generation. The school has grown so much lately, and students are seeing the value of a local school more than ever. The pride in this university is palpable, but the students are still cut short. Please, take the time to consider Project 208 in your next budget.
Do it for the students. Do it for the future.
19 Feb, 2018: When on the competing floor of an international competition, it is beyond bizarre to see that men and women are still not put on the same podiums. I am not discussing this in a literal sense, though there are definitely women and mens sports that should be combined due to flawed logic, but rather I want to highlight that the achievements and goals set forth by these individuals are not viewed equally in the eyes of many. Sexism plagues the Olympics and the discussions around them. The counter argument may be that there are other countries with their own ethics and ideas of society, however that does not excuse the language used by individuals here in the United States of America.
The current Winter Olympics have already had a fair share of controversy, however two years ago during the summer olympics there were tons of allegations of sexism running rampant through the media. An article from Splinter News went through the trouble of highlighting each and every offense they could find. This may not even be a full list, as there could have easily been behind the scenes issues flying through media that did not actually gain the traction these events received. Now, in 2018, it seems as though this will be a repeated action as a member of Barstool Sports has spouted extremely sexist and demeaning remarks about a snowboarder. In a satellite radio broadcast he commented on her physical appearance in a way that took all of her other characteristics and simplified them into a single dimension. Thankfully, the reporter has been terminated, however the process leading up to his termination was slow and if the company over barstool broadcast did not step in he may not have been terminated at all. When dealing with athletes who have worked their entire lives to perform on the international stage, it is humiliating to have such comments be thrown your way. At that level there is a need for respect and admiration.
Even the core of the Winter Olympics is stacked heavily against women. Sochi was the first year ever to have women ski jump competitions, and even to this year they only have ⅓ of the events given to men in this category. In an article by Think Progress, the vast differences in men’s rights to compete and women’s rights are weighed and proven to still have a very large gap.
Hopefully someday both men and women will share the same stage. For now, we will continue to push for professional news coverage and equal rights to just simply compete.
2 Feb, 2018: PR Letter to the stakeholders of Dr. Colleen Wilson-Hodge: Specifically the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center.
In light of Dr. Colleen Wilson-Hodge’s recent accomplishments, it is requested that there be a presentation at the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center for school age children who may be interested in astronomy. Recently, Hodge has with her team discovered what happens when two stars collide together. She measured both the light and gravitational aspects of the event, and studies are now being done on the visual spectrum of the event. This event has awarded her with the highest honor in high-energy astrophysics known as the 2018 Bruno Rossi Prize and is a great achievement for both her and her hometown.
Hodge herself is a Huntsville native and is proud to bring her accomplishments home with her to share both her knowledge and her drive for astronomy. Her love for stars and other astronomy began for her back in the 3rd grade and grew as she grew. Her career grew with her as she began to learn more about gamma bursts. Hodge set out her own personal goal to measure these seemingly random bursts to fully prove how they correlate to stars. With the technology being just over 50 years old to even measure these occurrences, Hodge has effectively been a pioneer through her career. Her pursuit of learning through this new science and finding out how it relates to the universe around us has led to data that was never before able to be measured.
To celebrate this accomplishment, Hodge hopes to have a presentation at the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center to inspire young students in her area to pursue the sciences. Hodge hopes to display her set of motion graphics to make the discussion more interesting to children through showing what two stars colliding may look like. After the presentation, she hopes to give her personal experience working for NASA and take any questions the students may have. Finally, she hopes to take the students to a courtyard and show off sunspots through telescopes using high density filters to prevent eye damage to the students, similar to what you would use during a solar eclipse.