A summary of noteworthy happenings on campus
Gift fuels researchCarrizo Oil & Gas
has made a $1 million commitment to establish a graduate research fellowship program to help attract top scholars from across the country. Carrizo, a Houston-based independent energy company engaged in the exploration, development and production of natural gas and oil, is UT Arlington’s partner in a campus-based natural gas development operation
. Revenue garnered through the partnership is being used to leverage private gifts to the University’s endowment. “Commitments like this will fuel technologies and create knowledge that will shape our future economy,” says Ralph Hawkins
(’73 BS), president and chief executive officer of the architecture firm HKS Inc. and chairman of UT Arlington’s Development Board.
A major minor move
Prompted by growing demand—24 new nuclear energy plants planned in the United States, six of them in Texas—the College of Engineering launched a minor in nuclear engineering
last fall. The inaugural courses, taught by engineering faculty Ratan Kumar
and Rasool Kenarangui
, initially drew 30 students but were expanded to accommodate 35. UT Austin administrators and government and nuclear industry officials all encouraged UT Arlington to initiate the program. UT Austin and Texas A&M are the only Texas universities offering nuclear engineering majors.
Teaching teachers to teach
UT Arlington history
professors are showing area middle and high school teachers how to teach American history more effectively. Thanks to a five-year U.S. Department of Education grant worth nearly $1 million, 50 selected Dallas teachers can attend monthly workshops, participate in a summer institute and take field trips with history faculty, along the way learning how to deal with content, interpretation and methodology. History Professor Marvin Dulaney
and Dallas school district Social Studies Director Robert Edison
secured the funding.
Promoting Ph.D. production
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded more than $1.4 million in grants to the Mathematics
and Computer Science Engineering
departments to help qualified graduate students earn their doctoral degrees. Each Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need grant can potentially benefit 20 students in the three fields over the next three years. College of Engineering Assistant Dean Carter Tiernan
says underrepresented and economically disadvantaged groups should benefit from the need-based fellowships. The program is expected to impact the quality of doctoral students and the number of doctoral degrees awarded annually.
Stick around, students
The College of Engineering
and the College of Science
received nearly $2 million from the National Science Foundation to develop an interdisciplinary program to boost retention of first- and second-year students. Students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) often are unprepared for the rigor of their courses and drop out at a higher rate than other disciplines. Called Arlington Undergraduate Research-based Achievement for STEM, the program hopes to increase students’ desire to pursue graduate degrees by providing peer mentors, modified class structures and opportunities to become paid research assistants. The program is expected to boost retention by 15 percent during the five-year exploratory effort.