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UTA In The News — Monday, January 11, 2016

Monday, January 11, 2016

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Understanding chemical imbalance

UTA biochemists are mapping the catalytic processes of sulfur-oxidizing enzymes to improve understanding of the chemical imbalances found in patients with autism, Alzheimer's disease and Down syndrome, Topix.com, eScienceNews and News-Medical.net reported. Brad Pierce, an assistant professor of biochemistry, is principal investigator on the project, supported by a three-year, $333,810 National Institutes of Health grant through the agency’s Academic Research Enhancement Award Program.

Handwritten letters important

Phys.org and eScienceNews reported that a new UTA study published in the journal "The Reading Teacher" found that young children who exchange handwritten letters with extended family members develop stronger connections with those relatives and strengthen their literacy skills. The study was conducted by Kathryn Pole, an assistant professor in the UTA College of Education's Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Chancellor mentions Cho research

In a recent UT System blog post, Chancellor William McRaven highlighted research by Michael Cho, professor and chair of UTA’s Bioengineering Department. Cho is leading an effort to better understand brain injuries among veterans caused by shockwaves from explosions. UT Matters blog also shared the post.

Flagging statements

The Dallas Sun reported on Claimsbuster, a database query system that flags politicians’ statements by level of importance and helps identify claims that should be verified. The system is being developed by Chengkai Li, UTA computer science engineering professor, with Duke and Stanford universities through a National Science Foundation grant.

UTA faculty named to NAI

Fort Worth Business noted that three additional UTA faculty members have been named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors for a total of 13, the highest number for a Texas university and the second-highest number in the nation. The 2015 class will include UT Arlington’s Duane Dimos, vice president for research; David Nygren, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Physics; and Kenneth Reifsnider, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The new fellows will be inducted April 15 as part of the academy’s fifth annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Lottery reasoning

Daniel Levine, a UTA psychology professor, was quoted in a Nautilus Magazine article about why we keep playing the lottery. Regarding people’s proclivity for fantasy making them an easy target for advertising, Levine said, “The motivational areas of the brain can be heavily influenced by vivid daydreaming. Just like seeing something can activate the emotional system, so can envisioning it.”

Athlete development

KUT 90.5 FM (Austin) reported that UTA assistant sociology professor Krystal Beamon spoke at the Black Student-Athlete Summit, telling the audience that communities, parents and the media define black male student athletes by their athletic performance, meaning those students don’t make plans for themselves after college. “What do we owe our athletes? Most of us seldom think about what happens to these guys when we stop cheering for them on Saturdays and Sundays. What role do universities and professional sports leagues play in their development off the field? I’ll tell you this, it should be a much bigger role,” Beamon said.

Macy's closings

Elten Briggs, an associate marketing professor in the UTA College of Business, spoke with WBAP 820 AM about Macy’s recent decision to close 40 stores, including the one at Ridgemar Mall. “You don’t think about online shopping alot, for example, when you think about Macy’s,” said Briggs. “So I think some of those things are starting to affect those retailers, especially those that aren’t located in the most prestigious areas.”

Perry endorsements

Allan Saxe, a UTA associate professor of political science, was quoted in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article about the impact of Rick Perry’s endorsements of candidates in local races. “Any former governor’s endorsements are important and nice for a candidate to have and it also may enhance the name recognition of someone who is endorsed,” Saxe said.

Math, CSE grants

Fort Worth Business reported that the UTA departments of mathematics and computer science and engineering received a total of $1.5 million for two U.S. Department of Education grants to help students earn doctoral degrees in areas of national need.

Fair Park forum

Dallas Uptown Bubblelife and ArchDaily.com reported that Dallas Architecture Forum, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing public education about architecture, design and the urban environment, will continue its 2015-2016 Panel Discussion Series with “Making Fair Park Work.” The panel discussion will be moderated by Mark Lamster, UTA architecture professor in practice in the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs and Dallas Morning News architecture Critic, and will be presented in partnership with the Dallas Festival of Ideas and CAPPA at UTA.

MLK events

To commemorate the birthday of civil-rights pioneer Martin Luther King Jr., committees in Fort Worth and Arlington have events planned for the long weekend coming up, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Social Eyes column reported. Lisa Thompson, director of the TRIO Pre-College Programs at UT Arlington, is in charge of the Advancing the Dream Awards Banquet on Jan. 15 at UTA’s Bluebonnet Ballroom. Guests will enjoy dinner and entertainment along with the presentation of scholarships and the announcement of the MLK art and essay contest winners.

Foreign-born leaders

UTA was mentioned in a University World News article about the increased value of foreign-born university leaders. Vistasp Karbhari, who took the helm as UTA president in 2013, is a native of India.

Campus carry

UTA was mentioned in a Texas Tribune article about Texas Universities allowing guns in the classroom as a university already reviewing draft policies for campus carry. The article also appeared in The Gilmer Mirror and Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.