New College Connection

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New College Connection

NC Retreat


Environmental Council


Alumni notes


Individualized programs


Scottsboro Boys Pardoned


Where are they now?


Upcoming events


Few academics ever get a chance to appear on shows that people actually watch. So, when ESPN called me early December 2003, I was ecstatic. They flew me to New York to appear on their morning show, “Cold Pizza”, to talk about my new book, Cheerleader! An American Icon. I arrived at the ESPN studio ready for my live interview only to find out that Steve Spurrier was bumping me. He had resigned as coach of the Washington Redskins the night before. Apparently ESPN producers thought his resignation was more newsworthy than a book on cheerleading. He got the live spot, and my interview was taped during a commercial and aired two weeks later. Thanks, Steve.


What I’d Say to Steve Spurrier (by Natalie Adams)

Special points of interest:

Natalie Adams – New Director of New College

Louisiana Native; LSU Graduate

Author of Cheerleader! An American Icon

Claim to fame: Guest on ESPN’s “Cold Pizza”

Inside this issue:

Meet Our New Director

On October 15, 2012 Natalie Adams became the fifth director/dean of New College. Natalie is a native of Louisiana. She has an undergraduate degree in English Education from Louisiana State University, a master’s degree in gifted education from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana-Lafayette), and a PhD in curriculum and instruction from LSU. She was a middle school teacher in Baton Rouge and New Iberia, LA before deciding to go back to school to pursue her PhD. Before coming to UA, she was an assistant professor at Georgia Southern University from 1994-1997 and an associate professor at Oklahoma State University from 1997-2000. Since 2000, she has been a professor in the College of Education and became the Assistant Dean of UA’s Graduate School in 2007.

Natalie is the author of three books: Learning to Teach: A Critical Approach to Field Experiences; Cheerleader! An American Icon, and Geographies of Girlhood: Identities In-Between.

Natalie is married to Jim Adams, a professor at Mississippi State University and is the mother of three children: Chris, Hunter, and Rebecca. Hunter graduated from New College in 2009.

April 2013

Volume 1, Issue 1

UA’s Environmental Council (ECo) has been effectively engaging the student body in environmental issues for years. Reflecting their commitment to non-hierarchical ways of affecting change, this year’s ECo adopted a “snowflake” organizational model of leadership. They have also been involved in numerous sustainability efforts,

including working with Bama Dining to incorporate more sustainable food choices into dining halls, collaborating with Honors College to create a course in sustainable development, and coordinating with administrative bodies to establish a “sustainability fund” for campus. Eco exemplifies the depth of creativity, foresight, and initiative New College students can bring to any organization or team. The group enjoys a diverse mix of students from across campus, but many of the current leaders are New College students, including Anna Turkett, studying zoo education; Olivia Besinger, studying ecological economics; Robert Cayaban, studying environmental policy planning, and Jennifer Davidson, interdisciplinary environmental studies.

Alumni notes (featuring the cool things NC alums do)

From February 11 to July 11, recent New College graduate Lindsey Weiner will be living, working, and learning on an educational farm in Israel. The farm operates with a zero-waste policy and even uses collected rainwater, compost toilets, and solar panels for energy. This is especially important in a region with immense conflict, some of which stems from the scarcity of water and other precious resources. During her five months in Israel, Lindsey will also participate in a five-day hike to Jerusalem and visit with the nomadic Bedouin tribe in Negev desert. Lindsey will also have the opportunity to take class in Hebrew, Judaism and the Environment, sustainable economics, and medicinal herbs.

ECo demonsrates the kind of change student organizations can initiate at UA.”

Every year New College takes its students and faculty on a retreat to Camp McDowell in Jasper, Alabama. Organized, planned, and carried out by the New College Council, the weekend getaway provides an opportunity for the New College community to bond with group activities like hiking, canoeing, and cooking. This year 40 students, faculty, and children of faculty made the trek to Camp McDowell. There were many memorable experiences – playing music on the front porch, hiking with Big Dave, yoga in the morning, and eating hamburgers that were a bit on the rare side. But the Saturday night bonfire and drum circle was probably the highlight of the trip. With African drums provided by New College professor, Jennifer Caputo, students and faculty made music well into the night. This year a new tradition was introduced. All the graduating seniors gathered together around the fire for a special dance and the opportunity to showcase their own individual (and unique) dancing skills. Next year’s seniors need to start thinking now about their Camp McDowell tradition. Perhaps a Senior Splash into a freezing creek?


New College Leads Sustainability Efforts on Campus (by Caitlin McClusky)

New College Retreat at Camp McDowell (by Bre Swims)

New College Faculty Lend Support for Exoneration of the Scottsboro Boys

More than 80 years ago, nine young African American men hopped a train in a Chattanooga freight yard and headed west. Unemployed and desperate for a better life, they were not unlike millions during the Great Depression. In Memphis, perhaps there would be work. Instead, they found themselves part of a life and death courtroom drama, falsely accused of rape. The Scottsboro Boys’ cases cast an international spotlight on Jim Crow treatment of African Americans in the U.S.

In 2012, with momentum building to exonerate the nine young men through the campaign by the Scottsboro Boys Museum, New College faculty John Miller and Ellen Spears, along with doctoral student Tom Reidy, provided historical research detailing the legal cases against the Scottsboro defendants and to outline model pardon legislation. The Joint Resolution, by which the Alabama Legislature would exonerate the Scottsboro Boys, has been approved by the House Rules Committee as HJR 20, and is now awaiting approval by the Senate Rules Committee.

Joel Vanderford (NC 1999): “After 12 years of hard work, I am now finishing my Pediatric fellowship in Pediatric Clinical Care medicine, specializing further in pediatric cardiac ICU management. This has led my wonderful wife and beautiful children to relocate to Uganda starting in August 2013,where I will work for 2 years(hoping longer) running their pediatric cardiac ICU.”

Emmanuel Amido (NC ) : “Since founding AmidoProductions I am now in the late production phase of my first feature, “Orange Mound.” The documentary film is about the historical community by the same name here in Memphis.”

Share your story:

Where are they now?

In a recent Wall Street Journal article entitled “Can’t Pick a College Major? Create One,” Anya Kamenetz, author of DIY U, notes that allowing students to create their own majors “introduces the idea that students should be in charge of designing their own learning plans.” Of course, New College students have been involved in designing their own majors for over 40 years now. According to the Wall Street Journal article, more than 900 four-year colleges and universities have some form of “design your own major” – a 5.1% increase from five years ago. Aspiring entrepreneurs, the article states, are particularly drawn to New College-type programs which allow students the flexibility to take courses in business, computer science, psychology, etc. while participating in internships and starting a business on the side. Another reason cited for the growing interest in individualized majors is the reality of today’s job market. Traditional disciplinary majors do not guarantee jobs like they once did. New College-type programs “allow students to plunge into emerging fields and anticipate job shifts,” the article concludes.


Individualized Programs Growing in Popularity


Test Your New College Trivia

  1. When was New College established?

  2. Who were its first two deans?

  3. Which of the original New College Faculty is still teaching classes for New College?

  4. How many years has Margaret D’Souza been working with New College students?

  5. Who were New College’s first two graduates?

  6. Which New College faculty writes romance novels under the pseudonym Catherine LaRoche?

  7. Which of the following began in New College: the Computer-Based Honors Program, the Mallet Assembly, or the International Business program?

  8. Who was the President of UA when New College was formed?

  9. Which former New College Director is now the Executive Director of CIEL (Consortium for Innovative Environments and Learning)?

  10. Which New College faculty played at the Venice Biennale with Anthony Braxton in 2012?

Answers: 1971; Drs. Neal Berte and Bernard Sloan; Dr. Jerry Rosenberg; 21; Steven Berryman and Lucille Terry; Dr. Catherine Roach; Computer-Based Honors; Dr. David Matthews; Dr. Jim Hall; Dr. Andrew Dewar


Upcoming New College Events
April 2 George Thompson: New College Honors Week Alumni Speaker

4:00-5:30 p.m. – 227 Lloyd Hall

April 4 Jeff Levitetz Talk; Presentation of Rosenberg and

Levitetz Scholarships

5:00-6:30 p.m. – 216 Lloyd Hall
April 5 New College Recognition and Awards Day

3:00 p.m. – Ferguson Theatre

April 8 Sonic Frontiers Presents Aaron Siegel’s “Science is Only

Sometimes Friends” with UA Percussion Ensemble

6:00 p.m. – The Park at Manderson Landing
May 4 New College Convocation

9:00 a.m. – Ferguson Theater

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