Category: News

UA Welcomes More than 20 Cuban Scholars, Artists for Cuba Week

  • October 1st, 2016
  • in News
capitol building in Cuba
Photo by Chip Cooper

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama’s Cuba Week kicks off Monday, Oct. 24 at 8:30 a.m. at Bryant-Jordan Hall on the UA campus.

Following an opening ceremony, in which President Stuart R. Bell and others will speak about the success and history of UA’s relationship with Cuba, members of the UA staff will join with more than 20 Cuban artists, musicians, writers, doctors and scholars for a series of panel presentations, readings, lectures, exhibitions and discussions sharing their collaborative and individual work.

The conference presentations, held Oct. 24–28, are free and open to the public, and topics range from engineering, science and health science to history, film, theatre, literature and art.

“UA has worked for years to develop these collaborative relationships,” said Steve Miller, a professor in the school of library and information studies and a co-director of the Center for Cuba Collaboration and Scholarship. “Cuba Week is our opportunity to share that work and create future opportunities for collaborations.”

In addition to the array of scholastic presentations, Cuba Week also includes three cultural events featuring Cuban film, music and artistry.

Read the rest of the press release in the UA News.

UA to Dedicate Cuba Center; Analyst to Discuss U.S.-Cuba Relations

  • October 6th, 2015
  • in News

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – A dedication ceremony for The University of Alabama’s new Center for Cuba Collaboration and Scholarship will be held Thursday, Oct. 15 at Capital Hall on UA’s Bryce campus.

In conjunction with the dedication, special guest Dr. Peter Kornbluh, a senior analyst for the National Security Archive, will present “The Secret Story of How Washington and Havana Normalized Diplomatic Relations” at 3:30 p.m. in room 1004 of Shelby Hall on the UA campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Kornbluh will also sign copies of his book, “Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana,” which he co-wrote with William LeoGrande.  The book was re-released this month containing a new epilogue detailing how U.S. President Barack Obama secretly negotiated a reconciliation with Cuba.

The Center for Cuba Collaboration and Scholarship was approved earlier this year by the UA Board of Trustees. The academic center builds on the activities of the 13-year Alabama-Cuba Initiative by continuing to develop scholarly activities for UA faculty and students with institutions and programs in Cuba. Both the center and the initiative efforts have been led by UA’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Speakers at the dedication will include Dr. Stuart Bell, UA president; Dr. Robert Olin, dean of UA’s College of Arts and Sciences; Kornbluh; and members of the center’s faculty advisory board.

Read the full article in the UA News

What a Difference Two Days Makes

  • August 25th, 2015
  • in News

In this article from RTDNA, Dr. Pamela Tran, a professor of electronic news at The University of Alabama, discusses her most recent trip to Cuba. As a journalist, Tran offers a unique behind-the-scenes perspective on the changing relations between Cuba and the United States. Read more.


  • June 8th, 2015
  • in News

Photographs by Chip Cooper, University of Alabama faculty member and artist-in-residence, and Cuban photographer Julio Ángel Larramendi Joa have been on display since June 4 at the Massimiliano Massimo Institute in Rome in an exhibit titled “ Campesinos.” The exhibit will be on display for a month in Rome before traveling to other Italian cities, and is part of the celebration of the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the Vatican.

UA Faculty Member, Collaborator to Display Photographs of Cuban Farmers in Rome for Vatican Celebration

  • May 26th, 2015
  • in News

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – An exhibit featuring a series of photos taken in Cuba by Chip Cooper, faculty member and artist-in-residence at The University of Alabama’s Honors College, and Julio Ángel Larramendi Joa will be on display starting June 4 at the Massimiliano Massimo Institute in Rome in an exhibit titled “ Campesinos.” The exhibit is part of the celebration of the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the Vatican.

After the exhibit in Rome, which is scheduled to run a month, the photographs will travel to other Italian cities including Naples, Turin and Milan. The works previously were displayed in Havana in March 2015. The exhibit came about through communication between officials in the Vatican and the office of the Cuban ambassador to the Vatican.

Read more here.

UA Students in Cuba Meet with World Record Holder in High Jump

  • May 12th, 2015
  • in News

2015 students with Sotomayor.On March 11, students in the University of Alabama Semester Program had the opportunity to meet and talk with with the current world record holder in the the high jump, Javier Sotomayor.

In the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, “Soto” won gold n the high jump for Cuba. Only a year later, in Salamanca, Spain, Javier set the world record in the high jump: 2.45 meters. Now, in 2015, (22) years later, Soto’s record still stands.

Javier spent over an hour and a half with the UA students. He explained how he at first he did not really want to be a high jumper and that he actually had to, consult psychologists to overcome his fear of heights. He spoke with emotion about the coach that guided him to so many triumphs and about how difficult it was when his mentor passed away.

He talked about the role of talent hunters in the Cuban sports system and about how he was discovered. In response to a question from one of the students, he explained that during the “Special Period” in the 1990s, Cuba actually went through a highly successful period with regard to sports even though there was frequently a lack of food and training facilities lagged far behind those of his competitors. Soto enjoys a close relationship with the Castro brothers and will attend the upcoming “Cumbre de las Américas.”

Cuba teaches lessons in severe weather

  • April 15th, 2015
  • in News

Dr. Pamela Tran, a professor of Electronic News at The University of Alabama, recently visited Cuba as part of UA’s Center for Cuba Collaboration and Scholarship. While there, Tran met with various Cuban weather officials to discuss a joint conference between UA and Cuba on severe weather coverage. Read more about Tran’s experience here.

UA Establishes Center for Cuba Collaboration and Scholarship

  • February 6th, 2015
  • in News

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama Board of Trustees approved today the establishment of the Center for Cuba Collaboration and Scholarship at UA.

The new research center will build on the activities of the Alabama-Cuba Initiative, a 13-year effort to establish educational opportunities in Cuba for UA students and faculty. Both the center and the initiative efforts have been led by UA’s College of Arts and Sciences.

UA and Cuban educators and academic institutions have worked together since 2002, through an academic travel license from the U.S. Department of Treasury, which permits travel to Cuba for certain specific educational activities. More than 45 disciplines and departments, approximately 85 faculty, and nearly 75 graduate and undergraduate students at UA have participated in the initiative.

“The last 13 years have been highly productive for our students and faculty,” said Dr. Robert Olin, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “This new center allows us to dive deeper into those educational opportunities. The study of Cuba is indeed a growing research field, one for which we are prepared with our already established ties with our Cuban educational counterparts.”

The center, as approved by the board, will continue the development of scholarly activities for faculty and students with institutions and programs in Cuba. Its main focus will be to actively encourage authorized activities between UA faculty and students and their counterparts in Cuba.

Read the full article in the UA News

Alabama-Cuba Initiative 10th Anniversary Events

  • January 12th, 2012
  • in News

As part of 10th Anniversary events for the Alabama-Cuba Initiative, 34 UA faculty members traveled to Cuba in February to explore future academic and research collaborations with their Cuban counterparts as part of a week-long series of meetings. Those faculty are listed below.

Topic UA Faculty Cuban Scholars
 Literature: Hemingway, Valdés, Whitman Department of English
Emily O. Wittman
Philip Beidler
Nikhil Bilwakesh
School of Foreign Languages
Ida Maria Ayala
Astrid Santana
Pedro Aragonés
Samual FuréDirector of Museo Hemingway
Ada Rosa Alfonso RosalesPatricia Motola
Chemistry Department of Chemistry
Robert Melville Metzger
University of Havana (UH) School of Chemistry
Luis Montero
Margarita Suárez
Roberto Cao
José Manuel Nieto
Cuban and Cubamerican Literature Department of Modern Languages and Classics
Ignacio F. Rodeño
Ana Corbalán
Alvaro Baquero-Pecino
Karina Vázquez
UH School of Arts and Letters
Ariel Camejo
Ana Cairo
 Law Academic Affairs/School of Law
Stanley Murphy
Rosa López Oceguera
Raúl Rodríguez
Carlos AlzugarayUH Law School
Juan Mendoza
Mayda Goite
  Cuba and U.S. South Department of History
Lisa Lindquist Dorr
Rosa López Oceguera
Raúl Rodríguez
Carlos AlzugaraySan Gerónimo
Félix Julio Alfonso
 Theatre Department of Theatre and Dance
Seth Panitch
Vice-Minister of Culture
Julian González ToldeoPresident, National Council of the Arts
Gisela González CerdenaVice President, National Council of the Arts
Bárbara Rivero SánchezProducer
Erich CartayaAssistant

William Ruiz

Allianne Portundo
Rayssel Cruz

Ceramics Department of Art and Art History
W. Lowell Baker
Angel Oliva Llorett
Carlos Enrique Prado
Carlos Alberto PérezDirector of the Cuban National Museum of Ceramics
Alejandro Alonso
 History of Cuban Theatre Modern Languages and Classics
William Worden
 Cuban discussion
 Music, Trumpet School of Music
Eric Yates
 Cuban Musicians
Conversation of Music and Text Department of English/Academic Affairs
Hank LazerNew College/School of Music
Andrew Dewar
 Music, Oboe and Guitar School of Music
Shelly Meggison
Tom Wolfe
  Semester in Cuba Director, Semester in Cuba
Mike Schnepf
University of Havana
Raúl Rodriquez
Mayra Heydrich
 Cartography Department of Geography
W. Craig Remington
University of Havana School of Geography
Nancy Pérez
Julia de León
Ricardo Seco
Ricardo Remond
Religious Healing Department Gender and Race Studies
Maha Marouan
UH School of Arts and Letters
Lázara Menéndez
National Library
Tomás Fernández RobainaISA
Bárbara Balbuena
 Tropical Geography Department of Geography
David Brommer
Institute of Tropical Geography
Enrique Rodríguez-Loeches Diaz ArgullesUH School of Geography
Juan Manuel Fernández Lorenzo
José Evelio Gutiérrez
Ivan González Piedra
Karel Aguilar Mujica
 Cuban Plant Diversity Department of Biological Sciences
John Clark
Director of the Cuban Academy of Sciences in the Institute of Ecology and Systematics
Mayra Fernández ZequeiraHolguín Botanist
Sara Suárez TeranUH Biology School
Alejandro Barro
Lourdes Mujica
Ana María SuárezJardines Botanicos Nacionales
Rosalina Berazain
Rosa Rankin
  Sustainable Infrastructure College of Engineering
Steven Jones
Instituto Superior Politécnico in Cuba José Antonio Echeverria (ISPJAE)
José Ma. Amereiros Martínez
Norberto V. Marrero de León
Rosa María Valcarce Ortega
María Caridad Cruz
  Archaeology Department of Anthropology
Jim Knight
Roberto Valcárcel Rojas
Elena Guarch Rodríguez
Lourdes Pérez Iglesias
Racso Fernández Ortega
Dany Morales Valdés
Liamne Torres La Paz
Armando Rangel
 Nutrition in Pregnancy Human Nutrition
Yasmin Neggers
Kristi Crowe
Vanessa Vázquez
Ma. Elena Díaz Sánchez
Heritage Education Department of English
Karen H. GardinerNew College and Anthropology
Marysia GalbraithNew College and American Studies
Ellen Griffith Spears
Ailet Vega
Alicia Reyes
Beatriz Revuelta
José Vázquez Rodriguez
  Accounting  Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration
Walter A. Robbins
UH School of Accounting
Lissi Campos
Francisco Borras
Julia Ilena Deas
Marisela Reyes

10th Anniversary of the Alabama-Cuba Initiative

  • January 12th, 2012
  • in News

Thirty-five University of Alabama faculty researchers are traveling to Cuba February 5–11 for a series of academic meetings with their Cuban counterparts. The meetings mark the 10th anniversary of the Alabama-Cuba Initiative, which has brought UA and Cuban educators together to establish opportunities for graduate student research, teaching, and formal course work for undergraduate students at Cuban academic institutions and have also allowed Cuban educators to come to UA for collaborative work.

The week-long series of meetings will take place at three Cuban educational institutions: the University of Havana, the Institute of Art (Instituto Superior de Artes) and the University of San Gerónimo. UA faculty members will be presenting proposals for future educational and research collaborations and discussing project descriptions with Cuban educators working in comparable areas.

A milestone in the trip will take place at the University of San Gerónimo where Olin will present a new book, La Habana Vieja/Old Havana, to Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler, Cuba’s historian for Havana and director of the Old Havana restoration project. Authored by Chip Cooper, a faculty member in UA’s department of art and art history, and Néstor Martí, a photographer of the Havana Historian’s Office, La Habana Vieja, published by The University of Alabama Press this month, presents 200 pages of photographs of the people and places of Havana taken by both Cooper and Martí. The two photographers have been collaborating since 2008 to produce a body of photographs that capture the spirit of the city and its people during this pivotal time in Cuba’s development.

Cooper and Martí will discuss this research collaboration as part of the week-long events. Other researchers and scholars will explore topics in history, chemistry, law, modern languages, poetry, art, music, theatre, literature, writing, anthropology, geography, biological sciences, cultural studies, engineering, human nutrition, and others.