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UT Arlington professor honored for scientific achievement and work with underrepresented minority students

News Release — 20 August 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media contact: Traci Peterson, (817) 272-9208, tpeterso@uta.edu

ARLINGTON - The Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science will award UT Arlington physics professor Ramon Lopez its 2010 Distinguished Scientist Award, the group announced this week. He was one of five honorees from across the country recognized for their "exemplary scientific achievement, teaching, and mentorship of underrepresented minority students."

Ramon Lopez

Ramon Lopez

Lopez leads a research group in the College of Science that focuses on both space physics and science education. He has long worked to draw more students into science and technology fields, with a particular connection to Hispanic American youth.

"That community is underrepresented in science for a whole host of reasons," Lopez said. "If the United States as a  country is going to maintain a strong technology-based society we are going to have to, in the future, draw from groups that have not traditionally gone on to science careers."

Among his many activities, Lopez is co-principal investigator for Arlington Undergraduate Research-based Achievement for STEM or AURAS. That program, which is funded by nearly $2 million from the National Science Foundation, has teamed faculty from the Colleges of Engineering and Science to address retention rates for first- and second-year students. Lopez is also the co-director of UTeach Arlington, a new program aimed at increasing the number of science and math teachers UT Arlington graduates.

Lopez is a fellow of the American Physical Society and served as director of education and outreach for that organization from 1994-1999. He also chaired the APS forum on education in 2005. He is the author or coauthor of more than 120 publications, including the book "Storms from the Sun."

"We were particularly inspired by the fact that Dr. Ramon Lopez has done nationally and internationally recognized work in space physics, as well as in physics education research," said J.D. Garcia, president of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.  "He is truly an inspiration for America's young scientists."

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive undergraduate and graduate research institution in the heart of North Texas. Lopez joined UT Arlington in 2007 and is representative of the dynamic faculty working to educate a projected 30,000 or more students this year.

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