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UTA In The News — Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

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Violent video game impact

Conventional wisdom suggests violent media is harming kids but some research says that sometimes a game is just a game, Scientific American reported. The article cited research by Michael Ward, a UT Arlington economics professor, which found that higher rates of violent game sales actually coincided with a drop in crimes, especially violent crimes. 

Examining produce market

A new book by a University of Texas at Arlington anthropologist examines the demand for fresh produce in the United States and the effect of a robust agro-export business on workers in Mexico, The Dallas Morning News reported. Christian Zlolniski, an associate professor of sociology and anthropology, wrote De Jornaleros a Colonos: Residencia, Trabajo e Identidad en el Valle de San Quintin (From Migrant Farmworkers to Settlers: Residency, Work and Identity in the San Quintin Valley) to shed light on how transnational agribusinesses in Mexico are growing crops to meet U.S. demand.

Fracking and groundwater

Samples taken from drinking water sources within or near active natural gas wells in the Barnett Shale contain metals and chemical compounds at levels exceeding federal limits, according to a peer-reviewed UT Arlington study that expands on findings made in 2013, NGI Shale Daily reported. Researchers from The University of Texas at Arlington published their findings in the American Chemical Society scientific journal Environmental Science & Technology. Natural gas drilling was not singled out as the source of contamination, but the findings should be "an impetus for further monitoring and analysis of groundwater quality," the co-authors said.

Composites in infrastructure

A new National Science Foundation center at The University of Texas at Arlington will determine how to best use composite materials to extend the life-cycle of civil infrastructure, resulting in less maintenance and lower costs to taxpayers, JEC Group reported. The new Center for Integration of Composites into Infrastructure, an NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center, will highlight the sustainable benefits of using composites in infrastructure construction because traditional methods of repairing roads, bridges and other structures are not working, said Anand Puppala, associate dean for research in UTA’s College of Engineering and the center’s director.

Job seeker challenges

Results from a new study show that, compared to younger job seekers, older adults receive fewer job offers, search for weeks longer and are ultimately less likely to find re-employment after losing a job, BrightSurf.com, Rehacare.com, Business News Daily and Futurity reported. The study is published by the journal Psychological Bulletin. Darla Hamann, assistant professor in the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs, contributed to the study along with researchers from Georgia Tech, University of Minnesota and Arizona State University.

Beak-like water system

UT Arlington College of Engineering researchers' work on a fog-harvesting system that can collect water in arid areas was featured in an article in Mental Floss. The article highlighted bio-inspired innovations that were based on animals' physiology. The UT Arlington system is based on a shorebird's beak and how it collects water.

New assistant vice president

The University of Texas at Arlington hired Andre Fortune as assistant vice president for student affairs, the Dallas Business Journal's People on the Move column reported. Dr. Fortune will direct an array of campus life initiatives by directly overseeing a number of student affairs departments. The division is comprised of 17 departments, 180 professional employees, 330 student organizations, and more than 425 student employees.