Are we alone in the universe? This is the central question posed in Encountering Life in the Universe: Ethical Foundations and Social Implications of Astrobiology, a compilation of works by authors ranging from philosophers and theologians to astronomers and astrobiologists, edited by UA researchers and writers and published by the University of Arizona Press in 2013. The book explores the ethical and societal implications of finding life elsewhere in the universe.

He suggested the restaurant. She chose the language — Arabic. He is a native speaker helping with a new UA effort to train students who can say, fluently and beautifully, “Ma ahla al-lugha al-Arabeya ya shabab?” Or, “What’s more beautiful than Arabic?”

She is Jamie Zettlemoyer, one of the first to join the UA Arabic Flagship Program, which aims to turn out skilled Arabic speakers for top jobs in business and diplomacy. 

How fluent was your French after French 101? Well, consider this method.

Human flight has come a long, long way since Icarus plummeted to Earth. But many argue that it’s not come far enough. They would likely include Israel Wygnanski, UA professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, who has spent a career developing the next major leap forward in aircraft design.

His work could boost flight efficiency to breathtaking new levels — and help cut jet emissions that contribute to global warming. 

It is an opportunity no other university choir has earned: an invitation to perform in the Grand Hall at the Musikverein in Vienna — one of the most prominent stages in the world, where famous composers and conductors such as Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler once showcased their masterworks.

UA among Top 100 for World’s Best Reputation

The University of Arizona boasts a strong reputation not only nationally but also globally, according to rankings that track institutions around the world.

The UA tied with other institutions in the 91-100 category in Times Higher Education’s World Reputation Rankings, part of the annual World University Rankings.

NASA gave the UA a thumbs-up during a Critical Design Review, moving OSIRIS-REx, the $1 billion mission to study the origin of life, from the design stage to building the craft for its 2016 launch.

“We are now cutting metal, building a spacecraft, and writing software,” says Ed Beshore, a UA lunar and planetary scientist and deputy principal investigator for the mission.

The UA-led team was interviewed by a panel at Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colo., in April.

University of Arizona Professor Diana Liverman is among the 178 scientists, artists, and scholars from the United States and Canada to receive a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship Award.

Liverman, co-director of the Institute of the Environment and Regents’ Professor in the School of Geography and Development, will use her one-year fellowship to write a book on poverty and climate change in the Americas.

Gilberto Dena was stumbling through his math class when a teacher recommended the Think Tank, a smart UA program that pairs struggling students with specially trained student tutors. 

For Dena, the referral was a breakthrough. The 20-year-old Hispanic-American student was only the second member of his family to attend college, and pride had kept him from seeking help. “Just knowing that I have help available motivated me to do my homework more,” he says. “When you can go to a place where other people are also having a hard time, you don’t beat yourself up so much.”

Get a massage. Go for a swim. Take an Argentine tango class. Learn self-defense. Or just hit the treadmill. You can do all that and lots more at the UA Campus Recreation center, which was recently named the most impressive college gym and rec center in the country by bestvalueschools.com.

The UA topped the list due to its environmental and efficiency standards, design awards won, and “wow” factor. 

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