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UTA In The News — Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

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Reaching new heights

Fall enrollment at The University of Texas at Arlington continues to set records, as enrollment has hit a new high of nearly 35,000, the Dallas Business Journal, Fort Worth Business Press, WBAP/820 AM, KLIF/550 AM and CultureMap Dallas reported. Engineering, education and nursing programs are fueling most of that growth. “We’ve been focusing on areas where there’s a workforce need. And, we’ve really been meeting those workforce needs. Students who come here know they’re going to get jobs,” UT Arlington President Vistasp Karbhari said in an interview with KXAS/NBC 5.

Global community

UT Arlington leads the list of universities with the largest numbers of foreign students in Dallas-Fort Worth, the Dallas Business Journal reported. Dallas-Fort Worth ranks among the top areas in the country for attracting foreign students and retaining students who study science, technology, engineering or math, according to a new Brookings Institution report. The story also appeared at Technology Today.

Keeping it cool

A team of researchers has discovered a way to cool electrons to -228 °C without external means and at room temperature, an advancement that could enable electronic devices to function with very little energy, the National Science Foundation, Science360.gov, eScience News and Opli.net reported. The process involves passing electrons through a quantum well to cool them and keep them from heating. "We are the first to effectively cool electrons at room temperature. Researchers have done electron cooling before, but only when the entire device is immersed into an extremely cold cooling bath,” said Seong Jin Koh, an associate professor in the UT Arlington Materials Science & Engineering Department, who led the research. Nanowerk.com, Hispanic Business.com, Science Newsline, Science Codex, Science Daily and R&Dmag.com also reported on the new research.

Strategy unveiled

Brent Sasley, associate professor of political science at UT Arlington, was interviewed extensively by KLIF/550 AM, about President Obama’s strategy to combat the militant group ISIS. “In his first campaign to become president, he campaigned on pulling American troops out of these foreign conflicts and he’s working really hard to do that in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Sasley said. ”I think he’s not happy about being dragged back in, and so I think he’s trying to balance that opposition to getting more involved with the pressure that’s been put on him to get involved.”

Predicting political fallout

Rebecca Deen, associate professor and chair of the UT Arlington Department of Political Science, was quoted in a San Antonio Express-News story about Democratic candidate for governor Wendy Davis. Detractors are questioning her motives for disclosing in her new memoir that she terminated two pregnancies due to serious medical issues. Deen said she doesn't see a political risk from anti-abortion activists suggesting that what Davis did was wrong.

Getting ahead in high school

Tuesday marked the launch of online education startup edX's new high school initiative, InTheCapital reported. The new program offers 26 massive open online courses now available to high school students worldwide to better prepare them for college. A total of 22 leading global education institutions submitted proposals to be a part of the high school initiative. Only 14 were chosen, including UT Arlington.

Cleaner coal

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, Hispanic Business.com 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. 

Advancing heart health

In a story about a million-dollar pilot study to assess new regimens for peripheral vascular disease, BioNews-TX.com reported that a member of the faculty at UT Arlington has partnered with the American Heart Association in the development of a breakthrough method in nanomedicine, which involves stimulating analogous stem cells to form stents in patients’ blood vessels. Kytai Nguyen, a bioengineering associate professor at UT Arlington, received the grant last year to fund her research. The new study involves the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio.

Substance abuse trends

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, Renew Everyday.com 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. “Our study should re-emphasize the direction for practice and policy, for example, examining the elements in the family structure that are deemed protective and can enhance the well-being of children,” Small said.

Food Fights: The contested terrain of the American dinner plate

Truth-out.org carried an op-ed by Ben Agger, sociology professor and director of the Center for Theory at UT Arlington, about the fight between health care costs and the Western diet. “Nearly half a century ago, feminists put bodies on the political agenda. There they remain, as we struggle over what to have for dinner,” Agger wrote.

Leading the way

The U.S. India Chamber held its 15th annual awards banquet last week in Dallas, where it honored UT Arlington President Vistasp Karbhari, the Dallas Morning News reported. Karbhari received the Outstanding Leader in the Field of Education Award. Raj Malik, a UT Arlington graduate, received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

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, IPS Cell Therapy, TwoCircles.net, NDTV.com and One News Page 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.

Tuition troubles

Hispanic students may have been kept away from Texas’ public research universities after the Legislature allowed state colleges to set their own tuition prices, according to a study published this month in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Inside Higher Ed reported. Deregulation’s effects on tuition have also varied dramatically across Texas. Tuition at UT Arlington went up by 133 percent from 2003 to 2009, for instance, while tuition at Tarleton State University went up 56 percent.

Crime stats examined

The Dallas Observer’s Unfair Park blog questioned numbers provided by local universities and colleges, including UT Arlington, of on-campus sexual assaults that occurred from 2010 to 2012. Part of the Clery Act requires schools to report the number of campus sexual assault cases each year to the Department of Education and mandates that schools be as transparent about crime as possible with students. Still, some schools are better than others at encouraging students to report their assaults, and the law's requirements leave gaps that make collecting accurate data difficult.

A visit to campus

The Architect’s Newspaper Blog reported that Facades+, the premier conference on high performing building envelopes, is coming to Dallas in October. The event will include intimate opportunities for hands-on exposure to real-world examples and cutting-edge design tools. Three workshops will incorporate field trips to either The University of Texas at Arlington or the Nasher Sculpture Center.

Architecture support

Ed Bass, the Fort Worth developer and investor behind Sundance Square, is being honored with the Topping Out organization’s 2014 Visionary Award, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. The group annually hosts an awards program to honor the top 10 design, engineering and construction projects in Dallas-Fort Worth. It benefits the University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture Alumni and The Arc of Collin, Dallas and Rockwall counties.