UTA In The News — Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Wednesday, Jul 14, 2021 • Media Contact : UT Arlington Media Relations

Success U aids students

Ashley Purgason, associate vice provost for student success at UT Arlington, told KDFW Fox 4’s Good Day that the University is offering Success U, which allows students to address learning loss that might have occurred during the pandemic. The program plugs students into peer mentors and coaches to help them catch up.


Working together in disasters

Daniel Sledge, associate professor of political science, is conducting a National Science Foundation-funded study to determine how governmental entities and non-profit aid groups responded during emergency situations like the pandemic and the Texas winter storm, Texas Public Radio’s All Things Considered and KERA 90.1 FM reported. Sledge said he would share his findings with those entities.


Answering nursing shortage

The University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing and Health Innovation is adding nursing cohorts, establishing partnerships with rural healthcare systems and expanding opportunities for new nurses in fighting a growing shortage of nurses nationwide, D Healthcare Daily reported in a story about the sector’s shortage both now and in the future. Elizabeth Merwin, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at The University of Texas at Arlington, said she is concerned that the pandemic has exacerbated what already was known: The nursing shortage is getting worse.


New cancer medication

Sherri McFarland, UT Arlington professor of chemistry, and her team of researchers is developing a cancer medication that uses light to target and destroy tumor cells in a process known as photodynamic therapy, Immunotherapy Daily reported. The National Science Foundation awarded McFarland a $440,000 grant to investigate the photodrug’s unusual effectiveness in low-oxygen environments.


Detecting tiny tumors

The National Institutes of Health recently awarded Baohong Yuan, a UT Arlington bioengineering professor, a $440,000 grant to develop a method to use high-resolution imaging with super-sensitive temperature probes to determine if tiny tumors are active and potentially harmful and, if so, to what degree, Technology.org and Targeted News Service reported.


Flooding woes

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says communities trying to fight sea-level rise could inadvertently make flooding worse for their neighbors, UPI Science News and Science Codex reported. Michelle Hummel, UT Arlington assistant professor of civil engineering, was the lead author. “It's critical to consider the regional impacts of local actions. Studies like ours can identify actions that will have large impacts, either positive or negative, on the rest of the [area] and help to inform decisions about how to manage the shoreline,” Hummel said.


EPA says PFAS created

For much of the past decade, oil companies engaged in drilling and fracking have been allowed to pump into the ground chemicals that, over time, can break down into toxic substances known as PFAS — a class of long-lasting compounds known to pose a threat to people and wildlife — according to internal documents from the Environmental Protection Agency, The New York Times reported. Kevin A. Schug, a UT Arlington professor of analytical chemistry, said the chemicals identified in the FracFocus database fell into the PFAS group of compounds, although he added there was not enough information to make a direct link between the chemicals in the database to the ones approved by the EPA. Still, he said it was clear “the approved polymer, if and when it breaks down in the environment, will break down into PFAS.”


Systemic racism affecting therapy

Kiva Harper, UT Arlington assistant professor in practice of social work, said some of her clients, often people of color, have experienced stereotyping and microaggressions when they seek therapy, The Dallas Morning News reported in a story about how North Texas counseling services educates therapists about systemic racism’s impact on mental health care.


UTA student to celebrate  birthday at Olympics
Austen Smith, one half of the USA women’s skeet shooting team, is going to get one of the best birthday gifts ever this year, News Nation USA said. She will be at the Tokyo Olympics. The UT Arlington student is competing in her first ever Olympics.