Montgomery Zoo and Alabama State University Collaboration
Jenna the giraffe has a new shoe. The 17-year-old reticulated giraffe born at the Montgomery Zoo experienced a traumatic injury 12 years ago that left her with a permanent musculoskeletal abnormality in her left rear leg. Her care team at the time of the injury managed her very well throughout the ordeal. They even developed a brace for her to wear, adding support to her leg. Recently ASU Department of Prosthetics and Orthotics students were at the forefront of the design and development of a new brace for Jenna, with Zoo veterinary and care staff providing insight and suggestions.
Montgomery Zoo Debuts New Additions
The Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum has opened a new snow leopard exhibit featuring Sierra. With this addition, the Montgomery Zoo’s collection will now feature four out of the five world’s largest feline species, often called “big cats.” The term “big cat” is used in reference to any of the five living members of the genus Panthera: tigers, lions, jaguars, leopards, and snow leopards. Sierra, a three-year-old female, is a welcomed addition to the Zoo’s feline family and made her public debut on July 5, 2022.
Also in July, The Montgomery Zoo debuted four male Nile Lechwe, the first of their species, in the African Forest exhibit. Nile Lechwe are antelope, and four at the zoo, named Zap, Sjambok, Rungu, and Kaskara, make up the bachelor herd. The Lechwe join the zoo’s Eastern Bongos, Red-Flanked Duiker and East African Crowned Crane in the African Forest display.
In August, The Montgomery Zoo announced the addition of a second Giant Anteater to its Maned Wolf and Giant Anteater exhibit. Barques, a 14-year-old male, joins female Giant Anteater Zoe, 14, and Maned Wolves, Paulo and Adrianna, at the exhibit. Barques transferred from Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, New Jersey, but was born in Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Faulkner’s Autism Center Named
As members of Faulkner University’s Board of Trustees gathered in April to bid Mike and Lisa Williams a warm farewell, their parting gesture was a resolution to name the Autism Center in Faulkner University’s Center for Therapy and Research, the Mike and Lisa Williams Center for Autism. Chairman of the Board Dale Kirkland said Mike Williams’ challenging and hopeful vision to create an autism center in Montgomery was the “crowning jewel” of his endeavors as president. The mission of the center will be to prepare Christian professionals to boldly address the escalating tide of autism in the nation.
Alabama Power Foundation Awards Grant to Faulkner’s College of Health Sciences
Alabama Power Foundation has awarded a grant to fund equipment for Faulkner University College of Health Sciences’ pediatric and adult therapy gyms at the Mike and Lisa Williams Center for Autism. The grant, which comes from non-ratepayer funds, will purchase equipment that will allow the center to provide physical therapy and occupational therapy, in addition to the speech therapy the center has provided for the last four years. The center also provides hands-on experience for College of Health Sciences students that are involved in speech language pathology, physician assistant, physical therapy and occupational therapy programs. It also serves the community with pro bono healthcare services. Alabama Power Foundation has provided 20,000 grants and scholarships to Alabama communities, educational institutions and nonprofits since 1989.
Heptagon IT is Awarded the FAA eFAST Contract
Heptagon IT is a Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) business and has been recently awarded the FAA eFAST contract. The Electronic Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Accelerated and Simplified Tasks (eFAST) is the FAA’s preferred contracting vehicle for small business contracts. eFAST streamlines the procurement process for all stakeholders using a web-based acquisition tool and automated workflows compliant with applicable FAA standards. Since fiscal year 2010, the eFAST program has awarded over $1.5 billion in contracts to small businesses.
Organizational Name Change for Business and Enterprise Systems Directorate
The Business and Enterprise Systems (BES) Directorate, led by Program Executive Officer Richard Aldridge, has been approved by the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) to change its office symbol code from AFLCMC/HI to AFLCMC/GB. The change from AFLCMC/HI to AFLCMC/GB is strictly an organization symbol change. No BES positions or personnel will move. No program will align elsewhere. The unit will continue to be called the Business & Enterprise Systems Directorate. This does not change the BES mission or vision statements.
Alabama REALTORS® and ASU Partner to Provide Real Estate Microcredential
The Alabama Association of REALTORS® (AAR) and Alabama State University (ASU) have partnered to promote educational opportunities for ASU students through a microcredential in real estate. This partnership is the first of its kind in the nation between a state REALTOR® organization and a Historically Black College/University (HBCU). Alabama REALTORS® is providing a five-year financial commitment to aid in the development and implementation of the program. The curriculum will cover all facets of real estate, from lending and appraisal, to building and insurance. It will also include a homeownership education component and internship opportunities.
River Bank & Trust Opens Full-Service Branch in Birmingham Area
Prattville-based River Bank & Trust has a new branch on the way for the Park South Plaza Shopping Center in Vestavia Hills. Plans are to make 12 hires for the new, approximately 6,000-square-foot location, which is expected to open later this year. Until then, the bank is meeting with customers as needed and handling paperwork through an existing office. River Bank & Trust will lease the space for its permanent branch office. Brian Ethridge will be Regional President for the new location and a member of River Bank & Trust’s executive management team, and the new branch will give River Bank & Trust 21 locations in Alabama.
Montgomery’s Store Room Fasteners Purchased
Wisconsin-based Endries International has purchased Store Room Fasteners, a 38-year-old Montgomery business. Tim Wilsford started Store Room Fasteners out of a storage shed in 1984, and it grew to now include facilities in Montgomery, Opelika, Selma, LaGrange, Georgia, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Bob and Patricia Endries started Endries International in their basement in Brillion, Wisconsin. In 2004, their son Steve Endries took over as president, and the industrial supplier has grown steadily since, including a burst of growth and acquisitions during the pandemic. It now runs 11 domestic and international distribution centers from its Wisconsin headquarters.
Troy University Disrupts Higher Ed Pricing
For four straight years, Troy University has kept prices level for students, reflecting the University’s commitment to providing an affordable, high-quality education. TROY’s position of maintaining low prices bucks the industry trend of raising the price tag in response to inflation. Troy University froze tuition rates in Fall 2019 and Fall 2020. In Fall 2021, the University established a new pricing structure, called the Clear Cost Plan, that created one tuition rate for all undergraduate students and eliminated a host of enrollment fees, meaning the total price of enrollment stayed the same for most students. For Fall 2022, University leaders have once again frozen tuition rates and are retaining the pricing structure which has done away with all mandatory enrollment fees.
TROY, American Village Agreement seeks to Bolster Knowledge of U.S. History
Troy University and the American Village Citizenship Trust are teaming up to help Alabama youth increase their knowledge. A memorandum of understanding was signed by the two institutions in Montgomery this summer, creating a Young Leaders Program designed to educate students regarding the founding and history of the United States; the structure of federal, state and local government; and the elements of good citizenship and statesmanship. The program will target high school juniors and seniors and will be administered by TROY’s Institute for Civic and Global Leadership. Participants will receive three-hour credit for TROY’s Leadership 1100 course by passing a challenge examination.
TROY Signed Agreements with Two Community Colleges
In June, TROY signed a memorandum of understanding for concurrent enrollment with Southern Union State Community College and a memorandum of understanding for concurrent enrollment with Chattahoochee Valley Community College. The agreements will allow students at the two community colleges to enroll in TROY classes while they are taking community college courses.