2018 TUARA Fall Winter Newsletter
Two Students awarded Robert E. Witt First Generation Book Scholarship
University of Alabama sophomores Sophia Nasrat and Nicquavious Craig have been awarded TUARA’s Robert E.
Witt First Generation Book Scholarship for the 2018 fall semester. The scholarships, funded by TUARA members’ donations, provided $500 for each student for the purchase of textbooks. Sophia Nasrat is a sophomore from Northport, majoring in nursing. She has a 4.0 grade point average and her goal is to
become a nurse practitioner. “I’m so honored and grateful to be receiving this scholarship,” Nasrat wrote.
Nicquavious Craig is a sophomore from Aliceville, majoring in mechanical engineering. He has a 3.63 grade
point average and describes himself as “a very outgoing person who loves a challenge.” Craig also expressed his thanks for the scholarship. “Receiving the Robert E. Witt Book Scholarship is such a major accomplishment. I am extremely grateful to have this scholarship to help me further my education,” he wrote.
For many students, the unmet financial need – the difference between the cost of attendance and the amount
a student receives in financial aid – is great. Supporting the Robert E. Witt First Generation Book Scholarship is one way to make a difference for students in need. Please help by making a contribution. Make your check payable to The University of Alabama with “Robert E. Witt Book Scholarship” in the memo line. Mail your donation to TUARA, Box 861493, Tuscaloosa, AL 35486-0013. You will receive a tax-deductible statement from the University.
Judy Bonner Plaque Unveiled
TUARA and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) unveiled a plaque listing the winners of The Judy Bonner Award for Leadership and Service (TUARA) and The Judy Bonner Excellence in Teaching Award (OLLI) on Aug. 13. Former UA President Judy Bonner joined TUARA award winners Martha Rogers (2017) and Mildred Switzer (2018), along with OLLI winners, at the ceremony. The plaque is displayed outside the OLLI office at the Bryant Conference Center.
Bell, Jackson Speak at Spring Luncheon
More than 100 TUARA members gathered for the annual luncheon and general membership meeting on April 17 to hear an institutional update from University of Alabama President Stuart Bell and comments from AERA Executive Director Jill Jackson, participate in the TUARA business meeting and enjoy food and fellowship with friends and colleagues. In addition, the Judy Bonner Award was presented to Mildred Switzer (see page 3). For many of the facts Bell presented visit https://www.ua.edu/about/quickfacts.
Mildred Switzer Honored with Judy Bonner Award
Mildred Switzer, past president and dedicated TUARA executive board member, was honored with The Judy Bonner Award for Leadership and Service at the general membership meeting at the Embassy Suites in April. The award is presented annually to an individual who exemplifies the leadership and service characteristics set forth during Dr. Judy Bonner’s tenure at The University of Alabama.
Bonner served as UA president from 2012-2015. Her career at UA spanned decades and included serving as dean of the College of Human Environmental Sciences, provost and vice president for academic affairs, and executive vice president and provost.
TUARA executive board member Mathew Winston presented the award to Switzer with this tribute:
“It is my honor and privilege to name Mildred Switzer as the recipient of this year’s Judy Bonner Award. She has spent both her career and her free time helping others professionally and personally. Even before she joined the department of human nutrition and hospitality management in the College of Human Environmental Services at UA in 1992, she worked to teach and implement sound nutrition and food management to schools and to hospitals in both Mississippi and Texas.
“Once here, in addition to fulfilling her academic responsibilities, which continue, she developed and taught workshops on child nutrition to schools in Tuscaloosa and other parts of the state. She has served to monitor registered dietitians. She joined the community board of the Alabama Institute on Aging.
“Mildred worked tirelessly for TUARA, serving two terms as president, guiding us through our tasks, editing our newsletter, and even now, as past president, monitoring our community service activities and helping us to stay on track.
“Last year she was elected to be this area’s representative to AERA, the Alabama Education Retirees’ Association, where she continues to work on behalf of all of us in this room.”
Switzer called the award a particular honor because “Judy Bonner continues to be my professional mentor and personal model.
“To be recognized for my efforts to reach the standards she exemplified is a personal reward,” she said. “The services rendered in working with TUARA have simply been a labor of love. The people I have met and the individuals I continue to work with in transacting TUARA business, fill my life with joy.”
The TUARA executive board includes several new faces followingelectionsandappointmentsforthe 2018-2019 year. In elections at the general membership meeting in April, current board member Barry Mason was elected vice-president/ president-elect and Cathy Andreen was re-elected recording secretary. Newly-elected members-at-large are Ron Dulek, Benton Gup, Deborah Lane and Ruth Roberts. Mason’s election as an officer opened a member-at-large position, and that position was filled by the board’s appointment of Pam Pruitt in May. Current officers and board members also include Kathleen Cramer, president; Molly Lawrence, vice- president for membership; Voni Brown Wyatt, vice-president for programs; Betty Wedgeworth, database secretary; Marvin McKinley, treasurer, and members-at-large Phil Crunk, Glenda Guyton, Gina Johnson, Carlene Jones, Mary Bess Paluzzi, Rod Roth and Mildred Switzer.
The membership also approved an amendment to the TUARA constitution changing the officer position of database secretary from an elected position to an appointed one.
TUARA Volunteers Give Back to Community
TUARA members make significant contributions of time and energy to the West Alabama community. From January through August 2018, some 35 TUARA members reported more than 3,400 hours of volunteer service and there are many more unreported hours. Reported volunteer hours include the following:
Each year, TUARA reports community service hours to AERA. AERA identifies the economic impact Alabama Education Retirees continue to make on our state’s economy by converting our community service hours to a monetary value at the rate of
$24.00 per hour. Watch for the monthly e-mail message requesting community service hours and be sure to report yours! It’s not too late to report hours from January 2018 to the present. Thank you, TUARA volunteers, for all you do!
Opportunities t o Help STREAM, West Alabama Food Bank
As reported above, TUARA members volunteer regularly in the West Alabama community. Pam Pruitt, volunteer committee chair, is seeking out volunteer opportunities:
Dear TUARA Members,
Southview Elementary School’s STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Art, and Math) Program needs your support. The children will be participating in educational hands on activities for the 2018-2019 school year that will expose them to concepts needed to gain 21st Century jobs. Please see the attached list of items needed to support this outstanding program. Many of these items are things that are normally thrown away in our homes. Please save them and support STREAM. Supplies can be dropped off at Southview Elementary School in the front office on Tuesdays from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. in an effort to avoid the traffic.
If you are interested in volunteering on one of the monthly “STREAM” days please contact Jeannie Largin at JeannieLargin@ yahoo.com. Let’s make a difference in the lives of the children in our community.
I have contacted the West Alabama Food Bank (WAFB)
– Secret Meals/Backpack Meals to discuss potential volunteer opportunities. Our organization can help bridge the nutritional gap for children in Tuscaloosa and surrounding counties on weekends by volunteering to pack food items for school aged children. Currently the WAFB packs 1,800 meals per week for children and teachers discreetly place the bags of food in the children’s backpacks. Details regarding dates and times for us to volunteer will be shared at our upcoming meetings and in e-mail updates.
Pam Pruitt, Volunteer Committee Chairman
News From AERA District 10
The Alabama Education Retirees Association and District 10 have been busy over the summer months and we have exciting plans for the fall. As the higher education representative, I attended three of the nine district meetings held throughout the state. These opportunities were informative, energizing and motivating. The most exciting outcome resulting from contact at one of the district meetings is that work has begun on establishing a new District 10 local unit for Central Community College retirees. Hang on for updates!
District meetings provide the opportunity for local retirees to congregate with retired associates, to meet state officials and spokespersons and to stay abreast of issues, particularly those concerning our retirement funding and health benefits. It is exciting that on Thursday, Nov. 1, higher ed colleagues throughout the state will meet in Tuscaloosa, at the Child Development Research Center on the UA campus for our first AERA District 10 meeting. The agenda will be filled with news from AERA, legislative topics, information concerning TRS, healthcare updates and more. Mark your calendars!
AERA District 10 will also have a local presence by sharing a table with TUARA at the UA Work-Life and Wellness Expo, Wednesday, Oct. 17, from 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Coleman Coliseum. Bring your UA identification card and join us for this event.
Summer programs provided TUARA members with an update on changes on The University of Alabama campus and a chance to express their creativity.
Newbuildings, parkingdecksunderconstruction: Tim Leopard, associate vice-president for planning, design and management at UA, presented an update on current campus construction and a look toward the future at the McAbee Center in June. Projects include a new residence hall across from Paty Hall and the new Tutwiler parking deck, both scheduled to open this fall. The Capstone parking deck is under construction across from the Moody Music Building. The Bryce Main building stabilization project is under way. Once complete, the building will house Admissions and a new University welcome center. The new performing arts center will be located north of Bryce Main (see rendering). Future plans include a new Tutwiler residence hall, a new building for the College of Commerce, a new alumni building, an addition to the College of Nursing, a total renovation of the Aquatic Center and other projects. For more information, visit http://universitylands.ua.edu/campus-master-plan/.
Art class! Several TUARA members were artists for a day at an acrylic paint class held at the McAbee Center in July. Led by instructor Sandy Krueger, participants created some impressive paintings.
Parking Changes Will Not Affect Retirees
The Universityof Alabama’s planstoimplement new evening parking permits in January 2019 for faculty/staff and students whose work or class schedules begin late in the day will not affect retired faculty and staff. Our permits will continue to be free and valid on surface lots during both day and evening hours.
Retiree permits are issued for two years and expire in October. Be sure to check your hangtag to see if you need to renew this October.
Here is the official information about retired faculty and staff permits from the Parking Services website:
Retired Faculty and Staff Permits
Retired faculty and staff are eligible to receive a Retired University parking permit free of charge. Two-year permits, which expire bi-annually in October, are issued when a registration form is completed and retirement is verified. Registration forms are available in the Parking Services office located at 451 Campus Drive East. License plate information is required when completing the registration form. Retired faculty and staff permits are valid in any surface lot on campus except reserve lots. These permits are not valid in any state-designated space, area coordinator spaces, handicap spaces (unless a state issued plate or placard is displayed on the vehicle), or in parking decks. Retired faculty/staff permits are issued as a privilege and should only be used by the retiree. Abuse of this privilege may result in the deactivation of the permit.
TUARA Welcomes New Members
Samory & Pam Pruitt Jackie & Curtis Taylor
For information about joining TUARA or renewing your membership, visit hr.ua.edu/tuara today and click on TUARA Membership Application. Invite your retired and soon-to-be-retired friends and colleagues to join as well!