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“He was always fairly talk-ative with me and the friendsI’d be with, but I could tell hewas a reserved person and fair-ly quiet,” Sbrissa said. “It wasalso evident that he was a veryfocused student and alwayswanted to share his passion forphysics.”According to Burell’s aca-demic web page and LinkedInaccount, he graduated with aBachelor of Science in phys-ics from AuburnUniversity in2007 beforeobtaining aMaster’s of Science in thesame field fromAlabama in 2011.He graduatedfrom Locust ForkHigh School,located about30 miles northof Birmingham,Ala., in 1998.In additionto working as aresearch assis-tant at the Oak Ridge NationalLaboratory, the Space ResearchInstitute and Alabama’s Centerfor Materials for InformationTechnology in the last sixyears, Burell works as a gradu-ate teaching assistant at theUniversity.His LinkedIn page lists teach-ing experience in EngineeringPhysics I, Engineering PhysicsII, Astronomy Lab and CollegePhysics II.On ratemyprofessors.com, awebsite commonly used by col-lege students to provide publicfeedback on classes or profes-sors they’ve had, Burell has a3.8 out of 5 overall quality rat-ing.In a comment dated from2009, an Astronomy 102 stu-dent rated Burell as ‘AverageQuality.’“Zac [sic] is apretty cool guy,”the commenterwrote. “If youdon’t under-stand, just ask…and tell him toslow down. Heknows what heis talking about,he just doesn’treally know howto say it.”Sbrissa saidhe didn’t knowof Burell beingarrested untilThe CrimsonWhite approached him forcomment Tuesday but was sur-prised by the news.“He had mentioned thateven as a graduate studenthere at UA, he had been bulliedbefore,” Sbrissa said. “I want-ed to get to know him moreso that he’d have someone totalk to and someone to just callhis friend.”
FROM PAGE 1
Physics student Zachary Burell arrested forterrorist threats against UA administrators
Brown said enrollmentgrowth and campus expansionled the administration to enterinto conversations about build-ing a second recreation centerfor students on campus.“When webecame aware of the dorms addi-tions towardsthe north end of campus, I think[former UAPresident] Wittwas concernedsomewhat anec-dotally aboutthe growthof campusand how thataffects our rec-reational facilities,” Brownsaid. “As he became aware of this, they were also movingforward with the demolitionof Rose Towers and the build-ing of the new dorms. To myunderstanding, they knewcampus was continuing togrow, and I think they knew arelocation to offset some of thecongestion at the current RecCenter was a good idea.”Wolfe said the StudentCenter will not only addresscampus growth and expan-sion, but also bemore accessibleto students onthe north end of campus.“We alsobelieve thataddressinggrowth throughregional satel-lite facilities isa good conceptthat will makeaccess for usersmore convenientand increase usage,” Wolfesaid. “This concept is goodfor campus planning as well,because it reduces the needfor additional parking at themain complex and allows forwalkable access to about 5,000students who live in the northarea of campus.”
FROM PAGE 1
New Student Center slated for completionin 2014; UA planned for student body growth
Shark being tracked off North Carolina shore capitvates fans
We also believe that address-ing growth through regionalsatellite facilities is a goodconcept that will make accessfor users more convenientand increase usage.
— Dan Wolfe
He had mentioned that evenas a graduate student hereat UA, he had been bulliedbefore. I wanted to get toknow him more so that he’dhave someone to talk toand someone to just call hisfriend.
— Andrew Sbrissa
RALEIGH, N.C. — If not forthe GPS device, no one wouldknow she’s here.A great white shark affec-tionately dubbed Mary Lee byscientists and adopted by thou-sands of online fans has beenusing the waters off NorthCarolina’s coast as a privateall-you-can-eat buffet.There’s no way of telling if many boaters or tourists havecrossed currents with thecelebrity shark that’s as largeand as heavy as a family sedan.Mary Lee’s admirers are fol-lowing her movements at a safedistance – by laptop, iPad andat the office.Mary Lee is being trackedby a GPS-type device that pro-vides real-time data as to herwhereabouts. Dozens of greatwhites have been tracked thisway, but none in the Atlantic,where they are rare, and theirsub-aquatic habits are shroud-ed in mystery.Each time the shark’s finbreaks the surface of theAtlantic Ocean, the $1,000device bolted to its fin signalsa satellite, and the shark’sposition appears on an onlinemap. Some sharks rarely sur-face, but Mary Lee has comeup more than 100 times, some-times multiple times a day.The string of dots she hasleft resembles a hurricanetracker, showing inexplicablestops, reversals, loops andsudden bursts.Last ping: Tuesday at 9:08a.m. EST, showing Mary Leein a holding pattern – or is it afeeding frenzy? – just south of Myrtle Beach, S.C.Since having her dorsalfin tagged in mid-Septem-ber by scientists in CapeCod, Mary Lee has cruisedbetween Wilmington, N.C., andJacksonville, Fla., throughoutOctober and November. Shehas hugged the shore in MyrtleBeach, paid her respects toCape Fear, and slipped in andout of inlets at Bald HeadIsland.“This is the real-life Jaws,bro,” said Chris Fischer, proj-ect manager at OCEARCH,the scientific organization thattagged the fish. “I believe thatMary Lee is the most legendaryfish caught in history.”Shark aficionados grindtheir mandibles at the mentionof the bestselling book andblockbuster movie that por-trayed their beloved sharks aspredatory monsters and man-eaters. Fischer and his col-leagues are tracking Mary Leeto learn where great whitesbreed and give birth so thatshe and her watery kin can beprotected.A threat to humans? Mostlyhype, Fischer said. Greatwhites don’t attack people –except when mistaking themfor seals or other prey.Nothing pleases Fischermore than the viral crazeand resulting news attentionshowered on Mary Lee. TheOCEARCH site has been over-whelmed by as many as 2,000unique visitors in one hour and75,000 last week.Among the engrossed is JoO’Keefe of Carolina Shores,N.C., a marine life enthusiast,who checks in on Mary Leeat least three times a day andpromptly updates friends andreporters on Mary Lee’s status.“They are thrilled to hearabout Mary Lee becauseshe’s massive,” O’Keefe said.“I wanted the public every-where she went to share theexcitement of a macrocosmicexperience.”Great whites are presumedto follow two-year migratoryloops, traveling thousands of miles, Fischer said, but almostnothing is known about theseapex predators that rule thewaterways.It’s also assumed that MaryLee is a habitue of the EastCoast, not an interloper fromanother part of the globe, butnothing is certain.“How big is their world?What does their neighborhoodlook like?” said Greg Skomal,a leading shark author-ity and senior scientist at theMassachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. “In essencewe’re studying their life his-tory.”The tracking device has a lifeexpectancy of five years, plentyof time for Mary Lee to give aguided tour of her domain.“We’ve known there’s theseplaces in the world where whitesharks show up and people seethem,” Fischer said. “But theyhave no idea where they camefrom, what they’re doing, orwhere they go to when they’renot there.”Fischer and his crew canhaul a mature shark aboardtheir floating laboratory, takeblood samples, tissue samplesand bacteria scrapings, all thewhile calming the giant fishby covering its eyes with a wetcloth and running a water hoseinto its mouth.