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UTA In The News — Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

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Beyond the decision

KTVT/CBS 11 interviewed Jason Shelton, UT Arlington associate professor of sociology, about the rioting and protesting that followed the decision by a grand jury not to indict a white police officer in Missouri who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager. “You sort of have a situation with Ferguson where a decision is made and people lash out, not just because of this one situation, but because of the buildup of the frustration. And here is the outlet,” Shelton said. He described underlying issues that preceded Monday’s violence as poverty, poor public school systems and unemployment that has lasted for decades, particularly among African-American people. 

Norman Hackerman awards

Two UT Arlington researchers were recently awarded Norman Hackerman Advanced Research Program awards, BioNews Texas reported. The awards are highly competitive prizes given by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The awards were created to support early-stage basic research that might attract more external funding. Baohong Yuan, associate professor of bioengineering, received a $100,000 grant to improve monitoring of cancer metastasis in deep tissues. Hyeok Choi, an environmental assistant professor of civil engineering, received $80,000 to study photocatalytic decomposition of lethal algal toxins in water resources in Texas.

More to Thanksgiving than feasts

For some Americans, fighting to reclaim their culture involves resuscitating their language, Colleen Fitzgerald wrote in a Diverse: Issues in Higher Education column. Fitzgerald is a professor of linguistics and director of the Native American Languages Lab at The University of Texas at Arlington. "Language is a powerful badge of identity. There is a hunger for language. Reconnecting with tribal languages nourishes the soul," Fitzgerald wrote.

Social robotics

As an actress, producer, director and theatre arts lecturer at The University of Texas at Arlington, Julienne Greer knows the techniques that help draw people’s deepest emotions to the surface. Now, she’s building on her experience and research to help scientists and robotics engineers better understand the human experience so that they can build more responsive robots, Product Design & Development reported.

Surprising power of emoticons

Emoticons have become a staple for communicating online, a BBC story reported. For UT Arlington Sociology Professor Ben Agger, the growth of emoticons says a lot about how people are otherwise limited when communicating online. In his book, "Texting Toward Utopia," Agger says emoticons are a fundamental component of that expression. “Emoticons bring the nuances of face-to-face or voice-to-voice interaction.”

Alumnus remembered

Lloyd Clayton Clark Jr., who cherished his Dallas and UT Arlington ties, died earlier this month of natural causes, The Dallas Morning News reported. He was 91. Clark had a long career in journalism, public relations and public service, which he blended with his passion for history. No services are planned, but his ashes will be scattered at The University of Texas at Arlington, where he entered journalism on the student newspaper. Clark maintained his ties to UTA, visiting the Shorthorn and updating his wishes for his remains as administrations changed. Clark was a member of UTA’s Cadet Corp Alumni Council and was inducted into the UTA Military Hall of Honor in 1998.