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UTA In The News — Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

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Enrollment record

KRLD/1080 AM interviewed UT Arlington President Vistasp Karbhari about enrollment at the University, which has hit a record high of nearly 35,000 students. That’s up 65 percent since 2001. The growth is driven largely by engineering, which has 6,000 students – a 25 percent jump compared to this time last year. “Most of this has really been fueled by workforce needs that we have in the North Texas area and across the nation,” Karbhari said. “Our College of Engineering, across all departments, has been able to move very quickly to meet those needs.” Enrollment in the business, education and nursing programs is up, too.

Coal research

UT Arlington is among six universities with coal research projects that the U.S. Department of Energy has selected to help seek long-term solutions for the clean and efficient use of coal resources, Energy Central and Energy Industry Today reported. A nearly $400,000 award over the next three years will help UT Arlington to develop low-cost distributed condition monitoring of coal-fired boilers through materials development, sensor design, and wireless flexible antennae sensor arrays. The sensors will be designed to detect soot accumulation and to monitor temperature and strain of steam pipes. 

A changing ocean

Older Caribbean coral lineages may be better able to fight disease and climate stress, according to a new study by biologists from UT Arlington and the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez, Climate Wire reported. The researchers examined 140 samples of 14 species of Caribbean corals for a study published by the open-access journal PLOS One. 

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Parental influence on teens

A new UT Arlington study has found that a high school senior who lives with two college-educated parents is significantly less likely to drink alcohol or smoke marijuana than a teenager who lives with one parent, Headlines & Global News, Counsel & Heal and the Jagran Post (India) reported. The research, led by Eusebius Small, an assistant professor in the School of Social Work, was recently published in the journal, Social Work in Public Health. In terms of race, the study found that the presence of both parents is an especially strong protective factor for African-American adolescents.

Securing data online

KXAS/NBC 5 interviewed M.K. Raja, a professor in the Information Systems and Operations Management Department of the UT Arlington College of Business, about a dentist’s office in Arlington that had its computers stolen. Private patient information including social security numbers was on the computers. Raja recommended that anyone who thinks that their personal information has been compromised should immediately contact all three credit bureaus and put an alert on their credit. He also recommended filing an identity theft report on the Federal Trade Commission’s website and with the local police department. “That way if any organization claims that you have bought something or someone has opened an account or something that you didn’t do, you can send them a copy,” Raja said. The story also appeared online at

Scotland's future

USA Today interviewed Elisabeth Cawthon, a UT Arlington associate professor of history, about the fate of the British monarchy as Scotland prepares to vote on whether to exit the United Kingdom. Nationalist leaders have suggested Scots will vote after Queen Elizabeth II has died. "It could get really interesting if she dies soon because Charles is not nearly as popular," Cawthon said. "Her personal presence on the throne guarantees a certain civility and respect for the English monarchy, and it's based on her iconic status."

Food fight

WCPT/820 AM (Chicago) interviewed Ben Agger, sociology professor and director of the Center for Theory at UT Arlington, about a piece he wrote concerning the fight between corporations and Americans who want to eat healthy. “The basic premise, which I think is relatively uncontroversial, is that food, diet and bodies themselves are both political and economic,” Agger said.

International honors

The NRI Welfare Society of India has awarded two of its annual honors to a pair of University of Texas at Arlington professors noted for their contributions to the field of chemistry and biochemistry, BioNews Texas reported.  In October, Subhrangsu Mandal, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, will receive the Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Samman Award at a NRI Welfare Society conference in London. Then, in January, Krishnan Rajeshwar, distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry, will receive the Hind Rattan Award at another conference in India.

College rankings

Despite falling a spot in this year’s U.S. News & World Report college rankings, Rice University remained the only Texas university to crack the top 20, the Texas Tribune reported. UT Arlington continues to rank fifth among national universities for undergraduate diversity, according to the report. UT Arlington ranked No. 100 among the nation’s best undergraduate engineering programs and in the top 140 of undergraduate business programs.