Meredith C. Cummings, a journalism instructor and director of the Alabama Scholastic Press Association at the University of Alabama, has achieved certified journalism educator status from the Journalism Education Association. Cummings was honored Nov. 8 during a luncheon in Washington, D.C.

Journalism certification recognizes teachers who meet national standards of preparation to teach high school journalism classes and advise student media.

Certification requirements include earning college credit in news reporting and writing, communications law and publications advising, or passing an examination that demonstrates the educator’s proficiency in those areas.

J. Michael Hardin, dean of the Culverhouse College of Commerce at the University of Alabama, announced the appointment of Lars Powell as the inaugural director of the newly created Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research.

Powell is a professor of finance and holds the

Whitbeck-Beyer Chair of Insurance and Financial Services at the University of

Arkansas-Little Rock. He earned a bachelor of business administration in insurance and finance from the University of South Carolina and a doctorate in risk management and insurance from the University of Georgia.

Before pursuing an academic career, he worked as an insurance agent and as a medical malpractice claims adjuster. Powell has been an active consultant to private and public entities in matters related to insurance operations, regulation and empirical analysis.

The Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research was authorized in 2013 by Gov. Robert J. Bentley and is designed to be a non-

partisan and highly credible source for information about various insurance issues of importance to the people of Alabama. The center will be on UA’s campus as an outreach center within the Culverhouse College of Commerce.

An initial focus of the center will be the study of methods to improve the availability and affordability of homeowners insurance in counties along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. The center will bring together resources to provide a analysis and solutions for insurance issues in the state.

The search process was conducted by a committee of UA faculty, business leaders and state government officials, chaired by Samuel Addy, director of UA’s Center for Business and Economic Research and associate dean of research at the Culverhouse College of Commerce.

Christopher Ashton Suttle-Ware of Northport has enrolled at Clemson University. Suttle-Ware is a graduate of Tuscaloosa County High School and he’s majoring in architecture.

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