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UTA In The News — Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

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Anti-Bullying Programs

U.S. News & World Report featured a story on a new UT Arlington study finds that students attending schools with anti-bullying initiatives may be more likely to be a victim of bullying than children at schools without such programs. The study was also reported by the United Kingdom's Daily Mail, the Science BlogHealth, Medical and Science UpdatesMedIndia and other online sites. "One possible reason for this is that the students who are victimizing their peers have learned the language from these anti-bullying campaigns and programs," said Seokjin Jeong, an assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at UT Arlington and lead author of the study.

Campus diversity

UT Arlington should be congratulated for placing No. 5 in the country in terms of being an ethnically diverse campus, a Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial said, citing a U.S. News & World Report ranking. UT Arlington moved up from its No. 7 spot last year. The “diversity index” as defined by the magazine, is based on where college-bound students seeking diversity “are most likely to encounter undergraduates from racial or ethnic groups different from their own.” The diversity ranking wasn’t the only praise U.S. News had for UT Arlington. The university’s undergraduate business school, ranked 141 last year among 388 similar programs, shot up to No. 119 in this year’s listing.

Shoring up roads

A UT Arlington program of shoring up failing highway slopes using recycled plastic pins is extending the lives of those roadways, CBS 11 KTVT reported. Sahadat Hossain, a UT Arlington associate professor of civil engineering, is leading the research and work effort with a $1 million grant from the Texas Department of Transportation.

MAX ridership

Arlington’s new MAX bus service is averaging about 250 riders per day in its first month, which the region’s top transportation official says is an amazing number for a new route in a city with virtually no tradition of public transportation, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. The MAX service — which stands for Metro Arlington Xpress — began Aug. 19. It is a partnership of the city, UT Arlington, area businesses and two transit agencies. Buses make 18 daily departures, connecting the eastern edge of the UT Arlington campus near Center Street and East Border Street to the Trinity Railway Express train station at CentrePort/DFW Airport.

Faculty research

UT Arlington’s Nanotechnology Research and Education Center joined the University’s Shimadzu Institute for Research Technologies on Sept. 1 in an effort to better support faculty research, lower operating costs and adapt to user needs, Nanowerk reported.

Faculty member honored

D Healthcare Daily reported that Daniel W. Armstrong, UT Arlington professor of chemistry/biochemistry, has been named a fellow of the American Chemical Society. Armstrong, UT Arlington’s Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry, has authored more than 550 publications, including 29 book chapters and one book, and holds 20 U.S. patents.

Preservation efforts

Environmentalists, naturalists and conservationists are trying to preserve the future of the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area, a 2,000-acre preserve aimed at restoring natural habitats, The Dallas Morning News reported. The evaporation of federal funding now threatens its existence. UT Arlington is part of a consortium that helps manage the preserve, which has 20,000 visitors a year.

Violent video games

Whether the impact of playing violent video games influences real violence from those players continues to be debated, Zero Hora, a Brazilian magazine reported. Michael Ward, UT Arlington economics professor in the College of Business, was quoted in the article. His published work says that when violent video games are played, acts of violence tend to drop slightly. Marcelo Pesseghini, a 13-year-old Brazilian boy who killed his family and himself, played one such violent video game, the article said.

Historic moment

Dallas Mexican-Americans, who voted overwhelmingly for John F. Kennedy in 1960, don't let the FBI surveillance during the 1960s taint their fond memory of the role they played in that close election, The Dallas Morning News reported. Historians and university professors Ignacio García, who wrote the book Viva Kennedy: Mexican Americans in Search of Camelot, and José Angel Gutiérrez agree that anti-discrimination protests seemed to attract Hoover’s FBI. “The more they claimed to be pro-American and America-love-it-or-leave-it attitude, the more the FBI thought it was a ruse, that they were hiding their true identity,” said Gutiérrez, a UT Arlington professor who studied FBI spying on Latino groups.

Universal Pre-Kindergarten

The Fort Worth school district bond plan includes $24 million for universal pre-kindergarten, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Universal pre-kindergarten is not a new idea, said Amber Brown, assistant professor of elementary education in the UT Arlington College of Education. She said a universal program would help families that can’t afford private pre-kindergarten but that earn too much income to qualify for the district’s current program.

Proposed apartment complex plans revised

A developer has resubmitted plans for a scaled-back student housing apartment complex downtown after the Arlington City Council rejected its first proposal for having too many units, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. The new proposal calls for 169 units that would serve nearly 100 fewer students. Arlington city staff are currently reviewing Greystar Student Living’s revised plans for the four-story Arlington Lofts at 815 W. Abram St., which the developer has said will be marketed to students at UT Arlington.