Alabama's Public Liberal Arts University

News and Events

Wednesday Memo
March 4, 2015

Faculty research symposium is today

UM dedicates new 3D art building at Homecoming

Lilly Ledbetter to give Hallie Farmer lecture


Faculty research symposium is today

The Faculty Research Symposium is set for Wednesday, March 4, from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. in Wills 200 (master classroom).

All are encouraged to stop by as time permits throughout the day to see presentations both formal and informal, given by University of Montevallo faculty members who will be showcasing their latest research and creative activities.

UM President John W. Stewart and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Suzanne Ozment will open the day’s activities with brief remarks beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Presentations will begin at 10:40 a.m. The first four presentations before a noon-1 p.m. lunch break include:

New Methods of Achieving Success
Session chair: TyAnn Lindell, executive director of academic success

  • “Lost and Found: The Highs and Lows of Historical Research,” by Jim Day, professor of history;
  • “Successful Families: Review of Literature from a Human Ecology Perspective,” by Cindy Wilson, assistant professor of family and consumer sciences;
  • “Publicitaires and the Great Depression: Advertising in France in the 1930s,” by Clark Hultquist, professor of history; and
  • “Rediscovering Maya Artifacts: A 3D Outlook to Clay Figurines from Belize,” by Virginia Ochoa-Winemiller, assistant professor of geography.

The symposium will continue from 1-2:30 p.m. with presentations as follows:

Artistic Creation and Re-Creation
Session chair: Scott Stephens, professor of art and chair of the department of art

  • “Scapes, by Lee Somers, assistant professor of art;
  • Nathaniel Giles, Service Music: A New Critical Edition,” by Joseph Sargent, assistant professor of music;
  • “August Wilson’s ‘Pittsburgh Cycle’ and The Designer’s Notebook Series,” by Kel Laeger, associate professor of theatre; and
  • “Reconstructed: Sampling as a Method for Pictorial Abstraction,” by Michael Willett, assistant professor of art.

A coffee break is scheduled from 2:30-3 p.m., followed by the final presentations of the day, which include:

Conflict, Resolution, and New Paths of Discovery
Session chair: Helen Moshkovich, professor of business (management information systems)

  • “Characterization of TGFβ/ TGFβR3 Signaling Pathways in Autoimmune Disease,” by Christine Sestero, assistant professor of biology;
  • “Relative Salience of Market versus Organizational Factors in Influencing Strategic Adaptation,” by Tom Sanders, associate professor of business (management); and
  • “Cauldron of Democracy: American Pluralism and the Fight over Yellowstone Bison,” by Scott Turner, professor of political science.


 Back to top

bar.gif (828 bytes)


UM dedicates New 3D Art Building at Homecoming


UM President John W. Stewart III assists Aidan Smith and Barbara Blackerby with cutting the ribbon at the dedication of the New 3D Art Building at the University of Montevallo, while Chris Smith, far right, and DeAnna Smith, second from right, look on.


A ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony took place for the University of Montevallo’s New 3D Art Building Saturday, February 14, during the annual 2015 Homecoming festivities.

Located where the building known as “The Laundry” had stood since its construction in the early 1900s, the new building gives a respectful nod to the past, including a triangular gable, a red brick façade and a carved limestone windowsill bearing the year 1908, which was salvaged from the original building. That structure was determined to be unsound in 2013 during renovation plans for an adjacent building, and the cost of repairs made new construction a better fiscal option.

Designed by Birmingham’s TurnerBatson architects and built by Clements Dean Construction, the approximately 10,000-square-foot structure houses a ceramics studio, a metalwork/sculpture studio and 3-D classroom space. The facility opened for classes at the start of the spring semester in January.

Donors and UM alumni H. Conrad and Barbara Martin Blackerby (classes of 1966 and 1965, respectively) noted, “The new 3D Art Building brings forth an outstanding venue where students and teachers alike will share in the creative process, producing great works of art to inspire others. We are honored to participate in this endeavor by naming The H. Conrad and Barbara Blackerby Ceramics Studio.”

“The University of Montevallo has long been deeply committed to the arts, not only because they are a vital part of a liberal arts education, but also because the University has long recognized that the quality of our lives and the quality of the arts are deeply and closely interconnected,” stated Steven J. Peters, dean of the College of Fine Arts at UM. “The New 3D Art Building is emblematic of that interconnectedness, as well as of the enduring impact of philanthropy. For these three reasons, I am convinced that the choices we make in the arts are as central as any choices that we will make as a University in the decades ahead.”

Chris and DeAnna Smith funded The Donald G. McCarley Metal Shop, named in memory of DeAnna’s father.

“My father, Donald G. McCarley, was a hard-working welder,” said Smith. “He moved throughout the ranks, even without a college degree, and eventually opened his own industrial design and manufacturing business. In addition, he had amazing artistic talent. We are so fortunate to have many metalworking pieces as family heirlooms, from the unity candle at my wedding to a gliding baby bassinet for my sister’s firstborn, which has welcomed home all of the grandchildren in the family. He and my mother worked hard so that my sister, Kristy, and I, could have a better life. For me, that meant Montevallo — which absolutely changed my life. There is no more fitting remembrance of my father than to encourage students with artistic talents in metalworking.”

Chris Smith is a current MBA student at UM. DeAnna Smith is a 1999 graduate of Montevallo and currently serves as the vice president for business affairs and treasurer for the University.

Members of the art department faculty were afforded unprecedented input, within budgetary constraints, for the functional design details of the building. Among those details are a loading dock and roll-up doors for materials delivery, with a smooth surface from indoors to out to allow wheeled carts of delicate, unfired ceramics to be moved from studio to kiln without damage. Floor drains that run the length of the ceramics studio will aid greatly in keeping the facility clean, and two important safety features include eye-washing stations and a state-of-the-art ventilation system.

An additional feature, required in new public construction, is a tornado shelter. The shelter is used as classroom space but can serve double-duty when needed, holding up to 192 people and designed to withstand winds of up to 250 miles per hour.

Outdoor workspaces are located on either side of the structure. Both covered by large awnings, one will provide an area for kilns for firing ceramics, and the other shelters a kiln and sand pit constructed for poured metalwork. Combining a learning opportunity with the needs of the facility, one class of students is learning kiln building this semester, and their work will live on as part of the department’s history, available for use by countless students who follow in their footsteps along the red brick streets of the Montevallo campus.


 Back to top

bar.gif (828 bytes)


Lilly Ledbetter to give Hallie Farmer lecture


The University of Montevallo’s Hallie Farmer Lecture Series committee has recently announced that this year’s Hallie Farmer lecturer will be Alabama native Lilly Ledbetter.

The lecture is scheduled for Tuesday, March 10, at 7 p.m. in Montevallo’s Parnell Memorial Library (277 Park Drive).

Ledbetter will deliver a lecture titled “My Experience for Equal Pay for Equal Work.” Ledbetter will offer “The inspiring story of the woman at the center of the historic discrimination case that inspired the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act—her fight for equal rights in the workplace, and how her determination became a victory for the nation.”

The lecture is open to the public and will be followed by a reception and booksigning catered by Eclipse Coffee and Books.

For more information about Ledbetter, visit Wikipedia and the The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

For questions about the lecture, contact Carey Heatherly at 9-665-6107 or at