College of Science 50th Anniversary
Transforming the world around us through research and innovation
Peter R. Girardot (1966-73)
Peter R. Girardot
Girardot was born in Detroit, Michigan on
August 15, 1922. He served in the U.S.
Navy during World War II, then returned
to Michigan and earned an B.S. in Chemistry
from the University of Detroit in
1944. For the next year he served as a
group leader in the physics division of the
Manhattan Project at the University of
Chicago, where he researched nuclear
technology. In 1945 he became a research
associate in the Applied Physics Laboratory
at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and the following
year he worked as a patent agent at the Naval Research Laboratory
in Washington, D.C. He then started graduate school at the University
of Michigan, where he received an M.S. in Chemistry in 1948
and a Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1952. He took a job as a group leader
with Bjorksten Research Laboratories in Madison, Wisconsin, then
in 1955 he started a decade-long stint as a senior supervisor in exploratory
inorganic chemistry at Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. in Pittsburgh.
He was hired as a chemistry professor by Arlington State
College (now UTA) in early 1966 and on September 1 became the
first dean of the School of Science (later renamed the College of
Science). Under his guidance, the College of Science won approval
for its initial master’s programs, beginning in 1966 with math and
physics, followed by biology and chemistry in 1968 and geology in
1970. One of his points of emphasis was lab safety protocol, which
was given a full overhaul. In addition to his administrative abilities,
Girardot was also a nationally recognized researcher in inorganic
chemistry. His areas of research interest included Mossbauer spectroscopy;
metal cluster compounds; and alleviating air pollution and
the amount of metals present in roadside soil. He served as dean
until September 1973, when he stepped down to focus on research
and teaching. He was a gifted and student-oriented teacher; he won
the Outstanding Educator of America Award in 1985 and the Amoco
Foundation Outstanding Teacher Award in 1982. He also developed
a popular class, Wine Making and Fermentation Science; Girardot
was descended from six generations of French wine makers. He held
11 patents; authored or co-authored numerous publications; served
on the editorial board for the prestigious Journal of the American
Chemical Society
from 1966-76; and reviewed articles for various
journals. He died on September 2, 2000 at age 78, just four months
after retiring and being named professor emeritus.
William R. Meacham (acting dean 1973-74)
William R. Meacham
Meacham was born in Fort Worth on January
12, 1923. He attended North Texas
Agricultural College (now UTA) in 1941-42
and went on to Texas A&M University from
1942-43 and 1946-48. In 1948 he earned
a B.S. in Biology (Wildlife Management)
from Texas A&M. He went on to receive
an M.S. in Biology from North Texas State
Teachers College (now the University of
North Texas) in 1950, and a Ph.D. in Zoology
from UT Austin in 1958. He came to
UT Arlington (then named Arlington State College) as an assistant
professor of biology in 1950, taking a leave of absence from 1953-
55 to do doctoral study. He was promoted to associate professor in
1955, and in 1963 he was promoted to professor and named chair
of the Department of Biology. He stepped in to serve as acting dean
of the College of Science when Peter Girardot stepped down in 1973
and served in that capacity for a year. His areas of research included
vertebrate ecology; vertebrate evolution and speciation; zoology;
genetics; and vertebrate taxonomy. He served for years as chair of
the Arlington public schools’ Science Fair, held annually at UTA, and
also served in various capacities on numerous department and university
committees. In January 1988 he retired from UTA and was
named professor emeritus.
Howard J. Arnott (1974-90)
Howard J. Arnot
Arnott was born in Los Angeles on March
9, 1928. After serving in the U.S. Navy
from 1946-48, he went on to earn an A.B.
in Botany with a minor in Zoology from
the University of Southern California in
1952, an M.S. in Botany from USC in 1953,
and a Ph.D. in Botany from the University
of California at Berkeley in 1958. He spent
six years as an assistant professor at
Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois
before leaving for UT Austin, where
he spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at the Cell Research Institute.
From 1965-72 he worked at UT Austin as an associate professor,
professor and acting chair in the Department of Botany. From
1972-74 he was professor and chair of the Department of Biology at
the University of South Florida. In 1974 Arnott accepted an offer to
join UT Arlington as dean and professor of biology. He went on to
become the longest-tenured dean in the College of Science’s history,
serving for 16 years. He also served as director of UTA’s Center
for Electron Microscopy from 1984-2008. His research interests included
the development of biological crystals; calcification in higher
plants and fungi; mineralization in plant pathogens; reflecting systems
in the eyes and skin of vertebrates. He delivered over 400 lectures
and invited talks and authored or co-authored over 400 papers
and abstracts. He also served as chair or member of various committees
at UTA and also as an editor or reviewer for various scientific
journals. From 1991-96 he held the title of Ashbel Smith
Professor of Biology and from 1996-2008 he was the Jenkins Garrett
Professor of Biology. He retired from UTA in 2008 and was named
professor emeritus and dean emeritus in 2009.
S. Peter Rosen (1990-96)
S Peter Rosen
Rosen was born in London, England in
1933 and earned a B.A. in Mathematics
from Oxford University in 1954. He went
on to receive both an M.A. and Ph.D. in
Theoretical Physics from Merton College,
Oxford University, in 1957. He was a
physics professor at Purdue from 1962-84,
and from 1983-90, he was an associate division
leader for nuclear and particle
physics at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
He became a naturalized American
citizen in 1972. In 1990 he came to UT Arlington to become College
of Science dean. As a visiting scientist at the Superconducting Super
Collider in Waxahachie from 1990-93, he helped develop the project,
which became a victim of federal budget cuts in 1993. In 1996
he left UTA to become associate director of the Department of Energy’s
Office of High Energy and Nuclear Physics. While there he
helped to secure American participation in an international consortium
building the Large Hadron Collider, a high-energy particle accelerator
project near Geneva in which UT Arlington physicists have
been heavily involved. He was named UTA professor emeritus in
2000. In 2003 he became senior science advisor to the director of
the Department of Energy's Office of Science. In the field of theoretical
physics, he was most widely recognized for work that began
in the 1950s on a neutrino phenomenon known as double beta
decay, a rare but naturally occurring form of radioactivity. The research
has had implications for explaining the composition of unseen
‘dark matter,’ believed to be a powerful influence behind the
expansion and evolution of the universe. Rosen died of pancreatic
cancer on October 13, 2006 at his home in Rockville, Maryland, at
age 73. His obituary in the New York Times said he “combined pioneering
studies of the subatomic particles called neutrinos with an
administrative role in helping to guide federal research in high-energy
Verne C. Cox (interim dean 1996-98)
Verne C. Cox
Cox was born in Newport, Rhode Island on
August 31, 1938. He earned a B.A. from
UT Austin in 1960, an M.A. in Psychology
from the University of Houston in 1962
and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston
in 1964. He worked as a research scientist
from 1964-70 at the Fels Research
Institute for the Study of Human Development
in Yellow Springs, Ohio before coming
to UTA in 1970 as an associate
professor of psychology. At UT Arlington,
he established a research laboratory that focused on brain systems
involved in pain and analgesia and brain systems involved in food
intake and body weight regulation. With Psychology Department
colleagues Paul Paulus and Garvin McCain, he also did groundbreaking
research on the effects of overcrowding in prisons in the 1970s
and 1980s. He was promoted to full professor in 1973. In 1974 he
was awarded The University of Texas at Arlington Distinguished Research
Award. He was also a popular teacher who twice was named
UTA College of Science Teacher of the Year (1981, 1996). He served
as chair of the Psychology Department from 1982-88 and as interim
Dean of Science from 1996-98. He retired in 1998 and was named
professor emeritus. He returned to UTA in 2000 and taught parttime
until May 2015.
Neal J. Smatresk (1998-2004)
William R. Meacham
Smatresk was born in New York on July 9,
1951 and earned a B.A. in Biology from
Gettysburg College in 1973, an M.A. in Biology
from the University at Buffalo, The
State University of New York, in 1978 and
a Ph.D. in Zoology and Marine Science
from UT Austin through its Marine Science
Institute at Port Aransas in 1980. He came
to UTA in 1982 as an assistant professor of
biology; he was promoted to associate
professor in 1988 and to professor in 1994.
From 1994-98 he served as chair of the Department of Biology and
he was named dean of the College of Science in 1998. At UTA, his
research focused on how the respiratory neurobiology of vertebrates
changes during the evolutionary transition from aquatic breathing
to aerial breathing. In 2004 he left UTA to become vice chancellor
for academic affairs at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In 2007
he took a position at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as executive
vice president and provost, becoming acting president in July
2009 and president in August 2009. In 2014, he became president
of the University of North Texas in Denton.
Paul B. Paulus (2004-09)
William R. Meacham
Paulus was born in the Netherlands during
World War II and moved to the United
States with his family in 1957. He earned
a B.S. in Psychology from Otterbein College
in Ohio in 1966, an M.S. in Psychology
from the University of Iowa in 1970 and a
Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of
Iowa in 1971. He came to UTA in 1970. In
the 1970s and 1980s he teamed with Department
of Psychology colleagues Verne
Cox and Garvin McCain to publish groundbreaking
research on the effects of overcrowding in prisons. He
served as associate dean of the College of Science from 1998-99
and then as chair of the Department of Psychology from 1999-2004.
In 2004, he began a five-year tenure as dean of the College of Science.
For over 20 years he has been investigating the factors that
influence group creativity and has published over 60 papers and
chapters on that topic and the related issue of team innovation. His
research has been supported by major grants from the National Science
Foundation and other sources. Among the many awards he has
received are the UTA Outstanding Research Achievement Award in
1989 and the UTA Distinguished Record of Research Achievement in
2007. He was named a Distinguished Professor by UTA in 2010, and
was named to UTA’s Academy of Distinguished Scholars that same
Pamela E. Jansma (2009-14)
William R. Meacham
Jansma was born in Tokyo, Japan, and
also lived in Chicago, the Netherlands and
Scarsdale, N.Y., while growing up. She
earned a B.S in Geology from Stanford
University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in
geological sciences from Northwestern
University. She served as associate professor
and associate dean for research and
academic affairs for the College of Arts
and Sciences at the University of Puerto
Rico, Mayagüez, then became professor
and chair of the Department of Geosciences at the University of
Arkansas before becoming professor and dean of New Mexico State
University’s College of Arts and Sciences. She came to UT Arlington
in 2009 as the first female dean of the College of Science as well as
a professor of earth and environmental sciences. Her research interests
include microplate tectonics and strain partitioning, as well
as using the Global Positioning System to examine deformation of
Earth's surface with emphasis on active tectonics of the Caribbean
region. She has published numerous articles in scientific journals,
and her research has received funding from the National Science
Foundation, Department of Defense and NASA, among other
sources. Jansma left UTA to become dean of the College of Liberal
Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado in Denver in August
James P. Grover (interim dean 2014-15)
William R. Meacham
Grover was born in Binghamton, New York
on September 15, 1959. He earned a B.A.
in Environmental Science at State University
of New York in Purchase, N.Y., in 1982
and a Ph.D. in Ecology at the University of
Minnesota in 1988. He spent the next four
years as a postdoctoral researcher at the
Max Planck Institute of Limnology in Germany
and Imperial College at Silwood
Park, U.K. He came to UT Arlington in
1993 as an assistant professor of biology
and was promoted to associate professor in 1998 and to professor
in 2006. His areas of research interest include algal ecology, microbial
ecology, theoretical ecology, and water quality in lakes, rivers
and reservoirs. He is well known for his theoretical and experimental
studies of competition between species for resources and of ecological
stoichiometry, the formulation and analysis of ordinary and
partial differential equations models of interacting populations, and
the ecological study of the toxic fish-killing alga, Prymnesium
parvum (“golden algae”). His research has been continually supported
by grants from the National Science Foundation and other
agencies. He received the UTA Outstanding Research Achievement
Award in 1998. He became associate dean for research and graduate
studies in April 2012 and served as interim dean for a year (2014-
15) while the search for a permanent dean was conducted. He returned
to his role as associate dean in August 2015.
Morteza G. Khaledi (2015-present)
William R. Meacham
Khaledi joined the College of Science as
its 10th dean in August 2015. He was born
in Iran and earned a B.S. in Chemistry
from the University of Shiraz (Iran) in
1978 and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the
University of Florida in 1984. He spent a
year as a postdoctoral associate at the
University of Florida before joining the
faculty at the University of New Orleans
as an assistant professor in 1985. In 1988
he joined North Carolina State University
as an assistant professor of analytical chemistry. He was promoted
to associate professor in 1991 and to full professor in 1997, and he
led the Department of Chemistry as chair from 2005-11 and again
from 2014-15. As department chair at N.C. State, he successfully
increased funding for research from federal and state agencies,
foundations and corporations; initiated curricular reforms at the
undergraduate and graduate levels; led the creation of a strategic
plan which promoted collaborative and interdisciplinary research;
implemented a review of the graduate program which led to increased
funding for student recruitment; and created new programs
aimed at improving student success and access. As a chemist,
Khaledi is a renowned expert in mechanistic studies and bioanalytical
applications of high performance capillary electrophoresis and
high performance liquid chromatography. His research has been
funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science
Foundation, among other sources, and he has authored or co-authored
over 100 papers.