• Stacey Beth-Mackowiak Ayotte, Foreign Languages, led a workshop titled “Apprendre la grammaire avec des chansons” (Learn Grammar with Songs) at the annual meeting of the Alabama Association of Foreign Language Teachers (AAFLT), which teamed up with the Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT) April 11-13 at the BJCC. Ayotte’s research in the field of second-language acquisition (SLA) helped guide middle- and high-school language teachers to create and design pedagogical activities that can be used with songs. Ayotte also finished serving her two-year term as president of the Alabama Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) at the conclusion of the conference.
• Joseph Bennett, Art, was awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award in the College of Fine Arts April 17. The Distinguished Teacher Award includes a recognition plaque and an honorarium. The award is presented to one fine arts faculty member each year and is based on student nominations. Bennett is an assistant professor of art and director of drawing concentration at the University of Montevallo. He received the B.F.A. degree in computer art in 1995 and the M.F.A. in illustration in 1998, both from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Bennett is an active artist, creating work primarily in the mediums of drawing and painting. He has participated in solo, invitational, group and juried exhibitions, and continues to build his career on both a regional and national level. He has taught all levels of drawing. His work has been published and reviewed in editorial sources such as Creative Loafing, The Athens Banner-Herald, Diversion and The Guardian. He has received numerous awards for his work, including a scholarship for excellence in illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design, a Juror’s Choice award in the Lyndon House Juried Exhibition and Best in Show in OCAF Annual Exhibition.
• Misty Bennett and Kelly Wacker, Art, have work in an exhibition, “Fables of the Eco-Future,” at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences in Rabun Gap, Ga. The exhibition includes work by both artists and writers. Bennett is exhibiting two paintings, Green Ghost 2 and Green Ghost 3. Wacker is presenting an essay, “For Love of Moths.” The exhibition opened March 30 and runs through Saturday, June 8. For more information, visit website.
• James Day, History, will have a book published in June. Diamonds in the Rough: A History of Alabama’s Cahaba Coal Field, is forthcoming from The University of Alabama Press. The book combines existing written sources with oral accounts and personal recollections of the coal operations in this region, which were later overshadowed by the rise of the Birmingham district and the larger Warrior Field to the north. In his work, Day considers the chronological discovery, mapping, mining and marketing of the field’s coal, as well as the issues of convict leasing, town development, welfare capitalism and unionism, weaving it all into a rich tapestry. At the heart of the story are the diverse people who lived and worked in the district and who left a legacy for posterity now captured in Day’s work.
• Jeremy Hampton has recently been named head coach of the UM women’s soccer team. Hampton has been serving in this position on an interim basis for the last five months and, with this promotion, becomes the program’s third head coach in its 17-year history. Read more about Hampton.
• Carey Heatherly, Carmichael Library, will attend the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia July 8-12. The University’s website describes the Rare Book School as providing continuing-education opportunities for students from all disciplines and levels to study the history of written, printed and born-digital materials with leading scholars and professionals in the field. Most Rare Book School courses are limited to 12 or fewer students who make a full-time commitment to any course they attend.
• John Herron, Mathematics, received the annual College of Arts and Sciences Teaching Award. Herron has a history of exceeding expectations in all areas of teaching on course evaluations, and student comments are always positive. For example, “I love Dr. Herron. He made me look at math in a more positive way. I love his teaching style. He is a great professor,” and “… Dr. Herron is an exceptional teacher and helps students really understand what they are learning.”
• Michael Sterner, Mathematics, has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 Faculty Service Award. Sterner will be recognized for this achievement at the annual Founders’ Day convocation in October.
• Samantha Webb, English, presented a paper titled “Our Village Politics: Hannah More, Mary Russell Mitford, and Women’s Reformist Writing” at the annual British Women Writers Conference, held April 3-6 in Albuquerque, N.M.