MAVERICK SCIENCE E-News
The University of Texas at Arlington
College of Science
May 2017
 
College of Science faculty, staff honored for outstanding teaching, research, service
College of Science award recipients, from left, Todd Castoe, Corey Roelke and Junha Jeon with Dean Morteza Khaledi, right.
Excellence in research, teaching and service was honored during recent events hosted by UTA and the College of Science, with a host of College of Science faculty and staff members receiving honors and recognition for their efforts.
University-wide awards were presented at the annual Spring Faculty and Associates Meeting on April 25. College of Science awards were presented during the College’s annual Spring Faculty and Staff Meeting on May 3 in the E.H. Hereford University Center.
College of Science Dean Morteza Khaledi praised the work of the College’s faculty and staff, noting that the College accounted for nearly a quarter of all research expenditures at UTA last year, while also providing exceptional and innovative teaching for students and helping them to reach their goals with outstanding mentoring and advising.
Read more of this story here.
UTA honors Kribs for research and teaching excellence with three major awards

Christopher Kribs with the awards he received from UTA in April and the UT System Regents Outstanding Teaching Award he received last August.

In April, Christopher Kribs, a professor of mathematics at The University of Texas at Arlington, received three prestigious University awards - induction into the UTA Academy of Distinguished Teachers and the UTA Academy of Distinguished Scholars, and the UTA President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, Tenured Faculty.
Kribs is the first UTA faculty member to be inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers and the Academy of Distinguished Scholars in the same year. He joins Jonathan Campbell, professor of biology, as the only College of Science faculty members to be inducted into both academies (Campbell was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 2000 and was a member of the inaugural class of the Academy of Distinguished Scholars in 2004).
“I was quite surprised to receive so much recognition at once, but I'm very honored by it,” Kribs said.
Read more of this story here.
Lopez named to 2017 class of Fellows by American Association of Physics Teachers
Ramon Lopez
Ramon Lopez, professor of physics, has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to physics education with a Fellowship from the American Association of Physics Teachers.
Lopez, a longtime leader in physics and science education, has been named one of eight Fellows for 2017 by the AAPT. The criterion for selection of Fellows is exceptional contribution to AAPT's mission — to enhance the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching. Nominations are evaluated by the AAPT awards committee and approved by the organization’s board of directors.
"Being elected a Fellow of the AAPT is a great honor, and it is a recognition of the work I have done in physics education and my standing in the physics education community," said Lopez, whose research includes heliophysics, or the science of the Sun-Earth connection through the space environment, space weather and magnetospheric physics.
The AAPT is the third scientific professional society to elect Lopez a Fellow, following the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Read more of this story here.
Gatchel focuses attention on how patients' doubts can influence pain treatment success
Robert Gatchel
A leading psychology professor at The University of Texas at Arlington has focused international attention on how a chronic pain patient's irrational doubts about never getting better can influence both his reactions to pain and even treatment outcomes.
Chronic pain costs the United States up to $635 billion each year in medical treatment and lost productivity, and is considered a problem of epidemic proportions. The influence of these irrational beliefs on both patient behavior and chronic pain treatment success is of growing interest to the scientific community.
"We are seeing that patients who tend to have these irrational beliefs are at greater risk of misusing opioid medicines and take longer to return to work when experiencing work disability for acute lower back pain," said Robert J. Gatchel, UTA Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Nancy P. & John G. Penson Endowed Professor of Clinical Health Psychology.
Read more of the story here.
UTA team scores third victory in annual Brain Bowl neuroscience competition

UTA Brain Bowl team members, from left, Brandon Butler, Josimar Hernandez, Ariel Elmore, J.C. Holt and team mentor Linda Perrotti.

A University of Texas at Arlington team has won the 2017 Brain Bowl organized by University of Texas Health Science Center - San Antonio Center for Biomedical Neuroscience, beating out teams from Trinity University and the defending champions from the University of Texas at Dallas.
The Brain Bowl is modeled after the 1960s quiz show University Challenge and includes three rounds of short answer questions that increase in difficulty with each round. The final round is comprised of a single complex challenge question, where teams wager points they have accumulated in the previous rounds.
"All five members of our team are active members of my behavioral neuroscience laboratory," said Linda Perrotti, UTA associate professor of psychology and team mentor. "We made a victorious comeback to reclaim the title of Brain Bowl champions after having lost it to UT Dallas in 2015. We also get to house the Brain Bowl Trophy on our campus for another year."
The questions asked during the Brain Bowl cover many fields of neuroscience research, including neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, neuropharmacology and behavioral neuroscience.
Read more of the story here.
Chen receives Best Paper award for work on how nanoparticles can aid cancer treatment
Wei Chen
American Scientific Publishers, a publisher of scientific journals and books in the fields of science, engineering, and technology, has given Wei Chen, a physics professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, a Best Paper Award for a journal article cited 364 times to date..
"According to a statistical report in the journal Science, only five percent of articles are cited more than 200 times in 10 years after publication, so this is an important recognition of my work," Chen said. "It also reflects that this paper opens a new area of research where many other scientists are now also working."
The paper, "Using Nanoparticles to Enable Simultaneous Radiation and Photodynamic Therapies for Cancer Treatment," was published in the Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in 2006.
For this paper, Chen described how new materials called nanoparticles could be activated by light to produce toxins to kill cancer. This research involved developing the materials and developing an entirely new method to fight cancer.
Read more of this story here.
College of Science welcomes newest alumni as Class of 2017 celebrates commencement

Dr. Ignacio Nuñez (B.S. Biology '75) addresses the audience during the Spring 2017 commencement ceremony.

The College of Science celebrated its newest class of graduates during the Spring 2017 Commencement ceremony on May 12 at College Park Center.
The College of Science and College of Education held a joint ceremony, with bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree candidates hearing their names called as they walked across the stage to the cheers of family and friends.
College of Science Dean Morteza Khaledi introduced the guest speaker, College of Science alumnus Dr. Ignacio Nuñez, who earned a B.S. in Biology from UTA in 1975 before going on to receive his M.D. from UT Southwestern. Nuñez has practiced obstetrics/gynecology in Arlington for over 30 years and is currently medical director of robotic surgery at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital. He has been a partner with Family Healthcare Associates in Arlington since 1985. In 2010 he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from UTA.
Nuñez recounted his own journey as the son of immigrant parents who emphasized education. Nuñez started out at UTA as an engineering student, but after realizing mathematics wasn't his strong suit, he decided to become a pre-med major. He went on to become the first member of his family to graduate from college.
"I am forever and always extremely grateful for the four years I spent here," Nuñez said in his address. "I learned confidence, how to work hard intellectually, to love my chosen path in life. This is really your university, and I hope that when you come back one day, as I have, I hope you give back in some way, to aid those who come after you. Many of you are, like me, the first college graduates in your family. Many of you are from immigrant families, just like I was. All of you just wanted a chance to prove yourselves, and now here you are, here today, celebrating your achievement. You did the work, you achieved your degree. Be proud of yourself and your accomplishments, be thankful to those who helped you get here, and be very, very, very proud of UTA."
See a video of the ceremony here and see photos from the event on the College of Science Facebook page here.
CLEAR lab sponsors Responsible Shale Extraction symposium at Earth Day Texas

Kevin Schug

UTA's Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation (CLEAR lab) sponsored the first annual Responsible Shale Energy Extraction Symposium and Exposition, held April 21-22 as part of the Earth Day Texas 2017 festival at Fair Park in Dallas.
Former Texas governor and U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry was keynote speaker for the event. He stressed Texas' reasonable approach to regulation of the oil and gas industries and shale extraction, and the economic benefits that policy has reaped for the state.
The event brought together scientists, industry executives, and journalists for talks about a variety of issues, and also featured roundtable discussions and live technology demonstrations, including the detection and remediation of environmental contamination events; management of light pollution and induced seismicity; and intelligent recycling of brackish and waste waters for commercial applications.
In addition to Perry, speakers included Kevin Schug, CLEAR director and Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry at UTA; Zacariah Hil-denbrand, a member of CLEAR's scientific advisory board; Doug Carlton, CLEAR project manager; and Inês Santos, a postdoctoral fellow in Schug's laboratory.
"We believe that it is important to host a variety of perspectives at a venue like Earth Day Texas where we can have honest discussions about the strengths and weaknesses of shale energy extraction," Schug said "Our goal through this conference is to facilitate new collaborations that will have a positive impact on the environment."
Learn more about the event here and read a Star-Telegram story about the event here.
Mydlarz, Walsh labs host booth focusing on their research at Earth Day Texas 2017

Laura Mydlarz (fourth from left) and members of her lab with Sylvia Earle (third from left), marine biologist, oceanographer, author, and a National Geographic explorer-in-residence.

Laura Mydlarz, associate professor of biology, and Matt Walsh, assistant professor of biology, and members of their labs offered visitors the chance to learn about their research during Earth Day Texas 2017, held April 20-22 at Fair Park in Dallas.
Over 1,200 visitors to the UTA booth learned about Mydlarz's research in immunity and disease in coral reef ecosystems, as well as about Walsh's research in ecosystem ecology and evolutionary biology. Special guests to visit the booth included Sylvia Earle, marine biologist, oceanographer, author and a National Geographic explorer-in-residence; and Tommy Remengesau, Jr., president of Palau, a small island nation in the western Pacific.
Earth Day Texas 2017 featured over 900 exhibitors and drew well over 100,000 visitors. Earth Day Texas, which originated in 2011, is the largest event of its kind in the world. It brings together environmental organizations, businesses, academic institutions, government agencies, speakers, interactive programming, and subject matter experts to share the latest discoveries, research, innovations, policies and corporate practices that affect the environment.
Learn more about Earth Day Texas here.

COS Alumni

UT Arlington Alumni Relations

We invite you to become involved with the College


Nuñez
Hello, I'm Dr. Ignacio Nuñez, chair of the College of Science Advisory Council and a proud UTA alumnus (B.S. in Biology, 1975). I would love to help get you involved on campus again. I was a first-generation college student, and UTA made it possible for me to attend medical school and create a life vastly different than that of my parents. Did UTA change your life too? Let's work together to help the next generation of Mavericks. To learn more, please contact College of Science Director of Development Christie Mosley-Eckler at817-272-1497 or cmeckler@uta.edu.

COS Students

Student Spotlight
Ariel Elmore




Ariel Elmore's interest in psychology started at a young age, but her decision to pursue a career in the field didn't come until her freshman year at UTA in 2013, when she was diagnosed with epilepsy — a chronic disorder characterized by recurrent, sudden seizures and associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain. She hopes to someday contribute to scientists' understanding of the disorder through research. Elmore received a B.S. in Psychology in May and will be a first year doctoral student in the Experimental Psychology graduate program at UTA this fall. Her faculty advisor is Linda Perrotti, associate professor of psychology, and her doctoral research will focus on the neurobiological mechanisms of stress in females. Elmore began working in Perrotti's lab as an undergraduate, and last summer she participated in UTA's I-Engage Mentoring Program, which brings together graduate and undergraduate students for a summer-long research experience. As a senior, Elmore received the Dr. Gary K. Teng Endowed Psychology Scholarship and was a member of the UTA team which won the championship at the Brain Bowl, an annual neuroscience quiz show style competition held in San Antonio between teams from three Texas universities. She was also active with UTA Volunteers and the UTA French Club. In her free time, Elmore enjoys hiking, reading, cooking and listening to music.
Birthplace: Macon, Georgia
Current status: Starting Ph.D. program in Experimental Psychology in August
Favorite professors:Linda Perrotti, associate professor of psychology. "Dr. Perrotti believed in me when I first started in the lab, and she has inspired me to be a better student and researcher," Elmore said. "She is such an intelligent and driven woman who influences everybody around her to push their limits."
Where she hopes to be in 5 years: "I hope to be graduating with my Ph.D. in five years, and I will hopefully be on track to starting a postdoctoral fellowship."

UTA student organizations

Calendar of events

Monday, June 5
First day of classes for Summer
first 5-week session and 11-
week session
Thursday, July 6
Last day of classes for first
Summer 5-week session
Tuesday, July 11
First day of classes for second
Summer 5-week session
Thursday, August 10
Last day of classes for Summer
11-week session and second 5-
week session
Thursday, August 24
First day of classes for Fall
2017 semester

Planetarium at UTA

Planetarium
The Planetarium at UTA, one of the finest facilities in the nation, is equipped with a state of the art Digistar 5 DLP Projection system. The facility hosts shows, school field trips, special events and private functions. The Spring schedule runs through May 28. For show schedule, tickets, reservations and more, visit The Planetarium at UT Arlington and plan your trip to the stars today!

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