MAVERICK SCIENCE
  The University of Texas at Arlington College of Science 2012-13  

Student and Alumni News

Erica Castillo, a double major in physics and aerospace engineering, was named UT Arlington's first Goldwater Scholar. Her research focuses on structural health monitoring. She plans to expand her research to include soft biomaterials.
 
Uyen Dang, an undergraduate student in biology, received a 2012 Undergraduate Research Fellowship by the American Society for Microbiology. Dang, who plans to graduate in 2013 with a B.S. in Microchemistry, is a scholar in UT Arlington's LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation) program. Dang, whose mentor is biology assistant professor Julian Hurdle, was honored for her project, "Analysis of fitness cost and virulence of Rifamycin resistance in Clostridium difficile". Each fellow receives up to a $4,000 stipend, a two-year ASM student membership, and travel expenses to the ASM Presentation Institute and 113th ASM General Meeting from May 18-21 in Denver, where they can present their research.
 
Yayu Monica Hew, a senior majoring in physics and aerospace engineering, was named one of two recipients of Boeing/Flightglobal's Engineering Student of the Year award during a ceremony on July 11 in London. Hew wants to pursue a career in space physics, working for a private spaceflight company in the U.S. or on China's space program.
 
Shweta Panchal, a graduate student in biology under the guidance of assistant professor Maeli Melotto, was awarded a scholarship from the American Phytopathological Society-Public Policy Board (APS-PPB) and USDA-National Institute of Food Agriculture (NIFA) to present her research at the 2012 Human Pathogens on Plants: A Multidisciplinary Strategy for Research Conference, in Hyattsville, Maryland. Panchal was selected for the honor after a nationwide competition based on students' scientific contributions and academic achievements.
 
Ashley Purgason, a Ph.D. student at UT Medical Branch in Galveston who earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in biology from UT Arlington, was appointed as a student regent to the UT System Board of Regents. She was one of 10 appointed by Gov. Rick Perry as student regents for terms effective June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013. She is the first UT Arlington alumnus appointed as a UT System Board of Regents student regent.
 
Alex Villalobos, who graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Physics in May, was awarded a highly-competitive SPIE Scholarship in Optics and Photonics in the amount of $4,000. Villalobos is an All-Texas Academic Team scholar whose interest in medicine and research led him to contribute to communities across South, Central and North America, and also to discover new ways to use optics in biophysical research and to inspire young audiences to admire science.
 
The Society of Physics Students (SPS) UTA Chapter inducted nine new members during a Fall 2011 ceremony on Nov. 29, 2011. They include: Christie L. Boone, undergraduate; Andrew Brandt, professor of physics; James Bourbeau, undergraduate; Bill Dawson, Irving High School science teacher and UTA alumnus; Bethany Hiller, undergraduate; Christopher B. Jackson, assistant professor of physics; Elijah Murphy, undergraduate and president of the UTA SPS chapter; Cezanne Narcisse, undergraduate; and Alexander Villalobos, undergraduate.
 
The UT Arlington Undergraduate Training in Theoretical Ecology Research (UTTER) program recognized its latest second-year cohort of students and celebrated their accomplishments and those of the cohort which completed the first of its two-year participation in the program at a May 11 ceremony. Completing their second year were: Stephanie Campos, Lindsey Dornberger, Sarah Gauntt, Brian Hull, Mark Jackson, Christopher Mitchell, Wilber Ventura and Tina Vu. Completing their first year were: Andrea Calderon, Amit Dhillon, Logan Grimes, Whitney Houston, Ryan Landrith, Nhan Le, Ileana Munoz and Kevin Roche.
 
College of Science students received numerous awards at the Annual Celebration of Excellence by Students (ACES) symposium on March 22, 2012. They include:
Jayme Walton, biology, Graduate Sustainability Award ($200) for the project, "The Effects of Mineland Reclamation on Turtle and Frog Communities in North Central Texas."
Alexandra Schiller, psychology, Women's & Gender Studies Undergraduate Award and President's Poster Award ($200) (Undergraduate), for her project, "Influence of estrogen on cocaine reward."
Lindsey Dornberger, biology, Provost's Poster Award ($100) (Undergraduate) for her poster, "Colony Collapse Disorder Dynamics in Apis mellifera."
Sarah E. Hardee, biology, Graduate Dean's Poster Award ($50) (Undergraduate) for her poster, "Learning to Survive: Learning Outcomes-Based Assessment of the Emerging Scholars Program in Freshmen Chemistry."
Tony Nguyen, chemistry, Honorable Mention ($25) (Undergraduate) for his poster, "Preliminary Studies on a Conserved Mutant Variant, E109N in F420-Cofactor Dependent Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase."
Joshuah Beach-Letendre, biology, President's Award ($200) (Undergraduate oral presentation) for his project, "Are increasing global temperatures allowing fungi to devastate sea fan corals?"
James Bourbeau, physics, Provost's Award ($100) (Undergraduate oral presentation) for his project, "Developing of a Fast Timing System for the ATLAS Forward Proton Detector."
Catherine Spann, psychology, Graduate Dean's Poster Award ($50) (Graduate Poster) for her poster, "Where's My Car? Brain Activity Predicts Successful Memory for Car-Parking Location."
Samuel Yang, chemistry, Provost's Award ($200) (Graduate oral presentation) for his project, "Mesh Screen Affinity Materials for Drug Discovery Using Transmission Mode Desorption Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry."
Colin Jenney, psychology, Graduate Dean's Award ($100) (Graduate oral presentation) for his project, "Sociodemographic and Lifestyle Risk Factors of Weight Gain and Obesity Among Undergraduate Students."
Matthew Steffenson, biology, Honorable Mention ($50) (Graduate oral presentation) for his project, "Size and behavior mechanisms that affect predation ability in wolf spiders (Hogna helluo)."
Ryan Hall, physics, Provost's Award ($200) (Graduate oral presentation) for his project, "Nano-Crystal Yttrium-Aluminum-Garnet for Radiation Detection."
 
The College of Science honored outstanding students and faculty members with annual departmental awards and scholarships for the 2011-12 academic year. Recipients included:
Biology: Lindsey Dornberger, Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award; Christian Cox, Shweta Panchal, Outstanding Graduate Research Award; Emiko Dougherty, Allied Health Award; Coleman Sheehy III, T. E. Kennerly Award for Excellence in Teaching; David Sanchez, The William F. Pyburn Fellowship; Paul Pasichnyk, The Dr. Thomas R. Hellier, Jr. & Mrs. Evelyn F. Hellier Biology Scholarship; David Chapman, Tarik Shihabeddin, Jyotiska Chaudhuri, Maureen Vignaux, Ryan D'Cunha, Patricia Vignaux, Shweta Panchal, Tina Vu, Parosto Rohanni, Idalia Zamora, The William L. & Martha Hughes Award for the Study of Biology.
Chemistry & Biochemistry: Daria Zhukova, CRC Handbook Award for Outstanding Freshman; John Gurak, Robert F. Francis Award for Outstanding Sophomore; Jonathan Thacker, R. L. Hoyle Award for Outstanding Junior; Sarah Hughes, John T. Murchison Award for Outstanding Senior; Jon Bobbitt, American Chemical Society Award for Outstanding Chemistry/Biochemistry Major; Chris Parikh, Outstanding Chemistry Clinic Tutor Award; Catrina Campbell, Chemistry and Biochemistry Society Outstanding Member Award; Steven Poteet, Undergraduate Teaching Award; Omobonike Osunloye, Undergraduate Research Award; Josh Crowell, Graduate Teaching Award; Charles Shelor, Graduate Research Award.
Earth and Environmental Science: Sarah Allen, Kelly Boyce, Wanda Slagle Field Camp Scholarship; Nathan Campbell, Christina Dance, Christopher Hendrix, Preston Mee, Franklin Shane Peterson, Louis Zastoupil, Donald F. Reaser Scholarship; Kelly Boyce, Michael Read, J. D. Boone Scholarship; Nicole Shifflett, Joseph Tony Sortore, Eric Van Vleet, Louis Zastoupil, Fort Worth Wildcatters Scholarship; Leila Ahmadi, Madhu Rani, Sustainable Energy Scholarship; Christy Xavier, North Central Texas Region Texas Water Utilities Association Scholarship.
Mathematics: Huankun Fu, Stephen R. Bernfeld Memorial Scholarship; Feifan Meng, Kathryn C. Schalla, John A. Gardner Scholarship; Erick Villarreal, H.A.D. Dunsworth Scholarship; Kaiem Joseph, R. Kannan Memorial Scholarship; Charles Kristopher Garrett, Benny M. McCarley Scholarship; Erick Villarreal, Outstanding Junior; Sarah Gauntt, Jianan Hui, Christopher Mitchell, Outstanding Senior; Jesse Baum, Outstanding Math Clinic Tutor; Angela Brown, Outstanding Graduate Teaching; Caixia Chen, LinLin Chen, Outstanding Graduate Research; Alicia Machuca, Yonghua Yan, Outstanding Graduate Student. Physics: Tej Lamichane, Billy Quarles, Outstanding Physics Major; Ashely Allen, Ashely Herbst, Alexander Villalobos, R. Jack Marquis Scholarship; Elijah Murphy, Danrae Pray, Keith W. Tompkins Scholarship; Carlos Medina Hernandez, Kunal Tiwari, Prabath Wanaguru, John D. McNutt Memorial Scholarship; Robert Bruntz, Ian Howley, Heeyeun Kim, Scharff Award Scholarship; James Bourbeau, Nguyen Phu, Bonnie Cecil and Jo Thompson Award; Erica Castillo, Ya-Yu Hew, James L. Horwitz Scholarship; Cheng Sheng, Zhaopeng Wang, Richard and Wanda Racy Fellowship.
Psychology: Kara Moore, Outstanding Senior in Psychology; Amy Truong, Distinguished Senior in Psychology; Laqruishia Gill, James Baerwaldt Memorial Service Award; Man Ian Tam, Andy Baum Memorial Award; Sneha Shankar, James Kopp Memorial Award; Tamer Desouky, Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award; Emily Brede, Verne Cox Outstanding Graduate Research Award; Karla Martinez, Dr. Gary K. Teng Endowed Scholarship in Psychology.