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UTA In The News — Friday, September 9, 2016

Friday, September 9, 2016

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Makerspace leaders convene at White House

The University of Texas at Arlington is one of just nine universities nationally - and the only university from Texas - represented recently during a gathering of nearly 200 makerspace leaders at the White House, Dallas Innovates reported. The White House invited individuals representing makerspaces from across the country for dialogue meant to empower Americans to become tinkerers, inventors, and entrepreneurs. 

Campus development

The Star-Telegram editorial board published an op-ed piece, “UTA’s west side getting much-needed attention,” which outlined the new construction plans for the campus, including a 1,500-car parking garage, two residence halls and a dining hall near the Maverick Activity Center off West Nedderman Drive. 

Maverick Speakers Series

Author and religious scholar Reza Aslan opens UTA's 2016-17 Maverick Speakers Series, CultureMap Dallas reported. The lecture will focus on issues of religion, culture and the current political climate. Aslan is widely known for his thought-provoking book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, a New York Times best-seller in 2013.

Chao's academic article

Shih-Ho Chao, UTA associate professor of structural engineering and applied mechanics, published an article, “How Building Changed after 9/11” in the academic article news site The Conversation, which published a series of articles to commemorate the 15 year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Library's preservation efforts

Brenda McClurkin, head of Special Collections at UTA Libraries, was interviewed by KTVT CBS 11 about the artifacts in the collections, including millions of negatives and prints on file. “Sometimes we seem to be a well-kept secret even though we try very hard to get the word out, but it’s here for everybody to use,” McClurkin said. The piece also appeared on

Artist's evolution

KERA 90.1 FM’s Art and Seek spotlight featured Carlos Donjuan, a painter and UTA drawing senior lecturer, about his work that has evolved from graffiti art to murals to gallery paintings to making masks. Donjuan explained that he draws inspiration from his Mexican-American background. The story also appears online at

Claimbuster success

The Poynter Institute cited UTA’s automated live fact-checking tool Claimbuster as a success story in an article on the lessons learned from automated fact-checking experiments. Claimbuster is a research project led by UTA Computer Science Engineering Associate Professor Chengkai Li, in collaboration with journalism experts and computer scientists from Duke, Stanford and Google Research.

Liu research on PTSD

UTA bioengineering professor Hanli Liu has demonstrated the benefits of near infrared light treatment on brains traumatized by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, suffered many times by U.S. veterans, Neuroscientist News, Health Imaging and Science Codex reported. 

Meeting workforce needs

The high demand for certified construction workers has led to the creation of a free job training program offered by UTA, KVIA ABC 7 (El Paso) reported. Thirty people will be able to qualify for the two-week program that will result in certifications in OSHA construction safety standards, flagger training, heavy equipment and construction techniques. 

Graffiti and youth

Arthur Vazquez, senior lecturer in criminal justice at UTA, participated in a UT Dallas study that demonstrated that youths who paint graffiti on businesses and public property don't view their actions as criminal because they are not injuring anyone and the graffiti can be easily erased, reported. 

Saving the tiger population

UTA doctoral student Courtney Dunn is at the forefront of a movement to save the tiger population for generations to come, The Christian Science Monitor reported. Dunn is analyzing the vocal communications of tigers by using microphones spread strategically over the tiger's home ranges, as a tool for conservation but also to help anti-poaching efforts.

Alumnus in the spotlight

UTA alumnus Greg Hudson was named city manager of Gilmer City Council, the Tyler Morning Telegraph reported. He received a bachelor of arts degree in accounting from UTA in 1995 and a master of public administration degree in 2011.

Texas' fiscal picture is nearly $1 billion worse than state Comptroller Glenn Hegar predicted last year when he lowered his revenue projection, thanks largely to the faltering oil and gas industry, The Houston Chronicle reported.