MavWire 2015 Archive » MavWire — Thursday, December 17, 2015

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For Faculty and Staff of The University of Texas at Arlington

Thursday, December 17, 2015


Graduate stories: UTA's fall graduates have diverse stories of reaching their commencement milestones. Randi Burns cheered for UTA in the late '90s, but then life took a series of twists and turns, including a seven-year battle with Lyme disease. As she regained strength, she rediscovered UTA. Watch the videos about Burns and other graduates.

Record number of graduates set for December commencement

More than 6,500 students will receive their degrees during winter commencement exercises, and UTA is on its way to another record-breaking year for graduates.

Fall commencement ceremonies are Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 17-19, at College Park Center. The schedule is:

Thursday, Dec. 17—7 p.m. College of Nursing and Health Innovation

Friday, Dec. 18—11 a.m. College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs, School of Social Work, University College; 3 p.m. College of Science; 7 p.m. College of Liberal Arts

Saturday, Dec. 19—11 a.m. College of Business; 3 p.m. College of Engineering; 7 p.m. College of Education

For the complete commencement schedule and detailed information about tickets, attire, parking, formalities, photography, special accommodations, and more, go to

Read more about fall commencement and the graduates.

Dr. Yue Deng

Physicists analyze space weather effects in the polar regions for better satellite tracking

Researchers are analyzing the energy entering the upper atmosphere following space weather events like solar flares to help refine the models used to forecast and track satellite trajectories.

Current estimates of the energy entering the upper atmosphere during times of greatest solar output can be off by as much as 100 percent. As a result, the models used to forecast trajectories and track the satellites orbiting in that region also can yield an error of up to 30 percent, depending on the different space environment conditions.

Yue Deng, associate professor of physics, is principal investigator on a new $378,350 grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to model the energy entering the polar cap regions of the upper atmosphere from the magnetosphere, or Earth’s magnetic field, following different space weather events. 

Read more about the Dr. Deng's space weather research.

Study explores adult learners’ motivations for engineering degree

Adult learners, aged 25 and older, are motivated to transfer from community college to an engineering program at a four-year university because of the perceived prestige that is associated with becoming an engineer, according to a recent study.

Taryn Ozuna Allen and Yi “Leaf” Zhang, assistant professors of education, co-authored the study on transfer students, which is published in the current journal Community College Review.

These influences are important, say the study’s authors, because understanding the role of community colleges and the way that individuals learn is needed to help meet national goals of increasing the number of graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, fields by one million over the next 10 years.

Read more about the engineering transfer student study.

Learn more about Strategic Research Appointments for Faculty

An information session for the Strategic Research Appointments for Faculty program is 3 p.m. today, Thursday, Dec. 17, in Room 228 of the Engineering Research Building.

The program enables faculty members to conduct research at other institutions and develop research collaborations.

The next info session is 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, in Room 210 of the Life Science Building.

Read more about Strategic Research Appointments for Faculty.

Upgrades at MAC, PEB underway

Upgrades haves started at the Maverick Activities Center and Physical Education Building.

All basketball courts in the MAC and PEB are closed at alternate times for floor resurfacing and refinishing through Jan. 10. Players can find open space for basketball at all times, rotating between buildings as they are completed. There may be a brief time when all courts are closed. It will be safe to be in the facilities, but there will be a strong odor from the refinishing materials.

The controlled access turnstiles to the MAC will undergo major repair starting Thursday, Dec. 17. To enter the MAC for exercise or recreation or to visit the Department of Kinesiology, use the temporary north or south entrances that will be clearly marked. To access the Campus Recreation office, New Maverick Orientation/Off Campus Mavericks space, or the MAC computer lab, use the regular building entrance.

Stay connected with Campus Recreation via the websiteTwitter, and Facebook for updates.

Turn on to winter break energy savings by turning off electrical devices

A few actions on your part can help conserve energy on campus during the winter break. The Office of Facilities Management suggests these steps to realize maximum energy savings:

• Turn off and unplug electrical devices. Many devices remain in a standby mode or use power even when turned off, including computers, monitors, scanners, printers, copiers, chargers, power supplies, appliances, and other electrical devices. If items are plugged into power strips, simply turn off the power strips.

• Lower the heating temperature and turn off air conditioning. Areas controlled directly by an occupant should have the air conditioning and fans turned off. Heating and air conditioning in many campus buildings are controlled by a computerized energy management system that will set these areas to maximize energy conservation during the break.

• Turn off all lights when you leave. Parking lot lighting schedules have been adjusted where feasible, taking campus safety and security into consideration.

Clean up before winter break to prevent post-holiday surprises

The Office of Facilities Management suggests cleaning break rooms before the winter break.

• Wipe down and clean out break rooms or common areas of any food items or candy to keep from attracting insects.

• Empty the refrigerator and turn off the ice maker.

• Remove all perishable items from the refrigerator and freezer. Check all expiration dates and dispose if expired.

• Clean the inside of the refrigerator. Wipe down the drawers, shelves, sides, and floor of the fridge. Dry thoroughly.

• Place baking soda, a bowl of dried oats, or a shallow bowl of dry, fresh coffee grounds and crumbled newspaper inside the refrigerator to combat mildew, mold, and bad odor. When you return, remove newspapers and oats/coffee grounds and wipe down the drawers and sides.

Know the rules about political activities

As another election year begins, please remember public employees are prohibited from engaging in political activity during work hours or using any UTA resources—including office email, equipment, or their position at UTA—for the purposes of supporting a candidate or issue.

See the UT System's memo on employee political activity.

New funding for faculty travel available

President Vistasp Karbhari has authorized an additional travel funding source for tenured and tenure-track faculty through the Faculty Senate. Faculty may apply for up to $500 per two-year period.

Requests may be submitted earlier than the deadlines, which are at 5 p.m. Aug. 25 for travel Sept. 1-Nov. 30; Nov. 25 for travel Dec. 1-Jan. 31; Jan. 25 for travel Feb. 1-April 30; and April 25 for travel May 1-Aug. 31.

Funds will be allocated at the discretion of the Faculty Senate based on review on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For details and application instructions, read more about the faculty travel funds.

FabLab closing for maintenance and training

The UTA FabLab will close at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23, through mid-February for the installation of new equipment and training student employees.

Renew your locker at MAC

Renew your locker at the Maverick Activities Center by Friday, Jan. 7, to save the space for the spring semester. If you choose not to renew, please clean out the locker by that date.

Available lockers will be ready to rent on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

For details, email Blair Schuyler or call 2-0207. Visit the Campus Recreation website for MAC programs and services.

ARDC upgrade set for Dec. 28

Scheduled electrical maintenance to add additional generators and power feeds for Arlington Regional Data Center (ARDC) is planned for 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 28.

The upgrade will ensure the stability to UTA services in the event of a power disruption.

Service may be temporarily interrupted during the upgrade. If service is lost, visit the Office of Information Technology’s system status page for the latest update.

Use 'Employees' option for VPN connection off campus

Faculty and staff will be required to use NetIDplus and the .Employees VPN option when accessing UTA resources from off campus.

Users accustomed to using the .Default VPN group will need to click the group drop down and select .Employees for a successful login. All future logins from that computer should automatically choose .Employees from then on. How will users know they’ve selected the correct group? There will be three blank fields instead of the usual two.

NetIDplus, UTA’s two-factor authentication, is the best defense against password compromise via phishing schemes or malicious software. Use of two-factor authentication is mandated by UT System policy.

Self-enroll at any time using the NetIDplus enrollment site. The enrollment process requires the use of a computer and an authentication device, such as a cell phone, landline, or tablet.

Later, NetIDplus will be expanded to UTShare and additional UTA applications.

For more information, visit the NetIDplus website and two-factor authentication site or contact Help Desk for assistance at and 2-2208.

Beware of holiday season cyber criminals

The Information Security Office (ISO) encourages you to be aware of holiday seasonal scams, phishing, and malicious software distribution campaigns.

Cyber criminals send personal messages that appear to be legitimate websites that look real with logos, email, or web templates.

These phishing and malware campaigns include fake shipping/courier notifications; electronic greeting cards or links to holiday screensavers; requests for charitable contributions that appear to be from the real organization; and credit card or gift card applications or enticing discounts that lead to unfamiliar websites.

Look for signs that an email or website is not legitimate:

• Sender’s address or website address does not match the organization listed in the content of the message.

• Grammar in the message or website is poor.

• Format of the email or website is poor or inconsistent with what you’ve seen from the organization.

• Hovering your mouse over the links reveals web addresses inconsistent with the content of the message.

Never click on links or open attachments in emails that you’re not expecting, nor provide personal information in an email or on a website unless you are confident of the source.

If you do receive suspicious email messages, contact the Information Security Office at

Read about more online security tips during the holiday buying season on the ISO website.

Sports Notes

Giving season: The Student Athlete Advisory Committee won the Sun Belt Community Service Initiative for November. Projects included a canned food drive, visits with patients at Cook's Children's Medical Center and providing backpacks filled with food for underprivileged children. UTA Volleyball's Dig Pink match raised more than $2,300 for the Sideout Foundation. Read more and see the video.


Holiday treats at men's game Monday

On Monday, Dec. 21, be among the first 200 fans to nab a UTA stocking for Santa to fill with goodies when the Mavs face Sul Ross State at College Park Center.

Single game tickets are $7-20 for the general public and $3 for students.

Take advantage of the All-Sports Pass for $99 and catch all home athletic competitions. For these and other ticket options, go to Watch the Maverick motivation video.

The game includes a Maverick basketball T-shirt toss.

The Mavs are 8-2 overall and begin Sun Belt Conference play Wednesday, Dec. 30, against Georgia State as part of a four-game homestand.

Women's team on road

The women's basketball team are on the road for games against Houston Baptist on Saturday, Dec. 19, and UT San Antonio on Monday, Dec. 21.

College Park Center will see action again when the team hosts Georgia State on Wednesday, Dec. 30, for the Sun Belt Conference opener. The game is a double header with the women's game starting at 5 p.m. and the men's game at 7 p.m.

The Lady Mavs are 3-5 after falling 73-64 to Western Kentucky on Sunday.

Intramural deadline for badminton

Upcoming intramural sports deadlines are badminton, Sunday, Dec. 20; billiards, Wednesday, Jan. 6; racquetball, Tuesday, Jan. 12; and table tennis, Thursday, Jan. 14.

See the intramural sports schedule. Pick up entry forms at the Services and Information Desk of the Maverick Activities Center. For questions, call 2-3277 or email

(For more sports news, go to,, or

Going Out

Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 17-19

Commencement Ceremonies College Park Center. Commencement.

Coming Up

Basketball Double Headers Maverick women's game followed by men's competition. Tickets $7-20 general public, $3 students. Mavs vs. Georgia State, Wednesday, Dec. 30; vs. Georgia Southern, Saturday, Jan. 2; vs. Arkansas State, Thursday, Jan. 21; vs. Arkansas-Little Rock, Saturday, Jan. 23. Women's 5 p.m., men's 7:15 p.m., College Park Center. Athletics.

Maverick Speakers Series Ron Paul, Feb. 2; Donna Brazile, Feb. 25; and Jane Goodall, March 31. Free general admission, but tickets required. Premium, season, and VIP ticket packages include reserved seats, parking, and more. Tickets available at 7:30 p.m., College Park Center. Maverick Speakers Series.


Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition The exhibit showcases showcases recent work by graduating seniors in painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, glass, film, and photography. The Gallery at UTA. Through Dec. 19. The Gallery at UTA.

Special Collections: Ringside: Memories of WCC Wrestling 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, sixth floor, Central Library. Through Jan. 16UTA Libraries Special Collections.

Planetarium Holiday season  includes four programs using a full-color, 360-degree laser projector: Laser Country, Laser Holidays, Laser Pink Floyd, and Laser Zeppelin. Also, Holiday Music Magic and Season of Light as well as One World/One Sky, Cosmic Colors, Spacepark 360: Infinity, and Secret of the Cardboard Rocket. See the schedule. Closed Fridays, Dec. 24 and 30. Planetarium at UTA.

(For an expanded list of events, see the UTA calendar.)


Editor: Teresa Newton

Editorial Director: Kathryn Hopper

Associate Vice President for Marketing: Marc Witter

Vice President for University Communications: Lynne T. Waters

The University of Texas at Arlington does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, genetic information, and/or veteran status in its educational programs or activities it operates. For more information, visit For information regarding Title IX, visit

© 2015 The University of Texas at Arlington


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