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UTA In The News — Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

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Disability history

Researchers with the UTA Libraries and the College of Liberal Arts will use a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to develop an online portal for disability history resources, Dallas Innovates reported. The portal will be a major asset in studying the history of disabilities and how they have been a part of our society. 

High Rankings

UTA has risen in national rankings with more than 20 graduate-level programs ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report this year, MetroMBA reported. Several additional programs improved from last year’s ranking, such as the College of Business, whose Part-Time MBA program ranked as No. 82 in the nation.

Property tax

More than 500 spectators packed a large auditorium at UTA for the Texas Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief hearing, the Star-Telegram, Fort Worth Business, WFAA Channel 8 and Topix.com reported. The chief appraiser of the Tarrant Appraisal District apologized to a panel of state lawmakers after a grilling over the problems with the software that caused millions of dollars in property to remain off the books in 2015.

Faculty entrepreneurs

Jodi Tommerdahl, a UTA associate professor of curriculum and instruction and CEO of VisioSound Inc., was cited in a Dallas.CityBizList article that included Visiosound among four new companies that recently joined TECH Fort Worth’s Smart Start program as they prepare to launch their products. VisioSound is dedicated to developing personalized tools for foreign language learning using technology available on every smart phone and tablet.

Civic Engagement

Rebecca Deen, chair of the UTA Political Scienc Department, said Cecilia Abbott’s decision not to give up her volunteer commitment to Meals on Wheels when her husband was elected governor, puts a spotlight on volunteering, The Houston Chronicle reported. "I teach a class on civic engagement and we've been exploring data on volunteering at the national and state level. Texas ranks pretty low on many measures," she said.

Groundwater quality

Geologypage.com, Homeland Security Newswire , Daily Caller, Stream and EnergyWire reported on new research led by Kevin Schug, UTA Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry, that demonstrates that groundwater quality changes alongside the expansion of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing but also suggests that some potentially hazardous effects may dissipate over time.

Walkable neighborhoods

UTA doctoral students in architecture and design will take a census of every piece of real estate in Dallas for a study about walkability in car-centric places, Biznow.com reported.  The study forms part of Shea Byers new campaign “DFW’s WalkUp Wake Up Call,” which pushes for more walkable neighborhoods.

Alumni success

UTA alumna Sandi McDermott, director of Tarleton State University’s center on the Navarro College Midlothian campus, has been appointed to the advisory board of the Texas State Alliance of YMCAs, Mansfield Magazine reported. She earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing from UTA.