The University of Texas at Arlington College of Science April 2011  
Welcome to the April 2011 edition of Maverick Science E-News. This monthly e-newletter provides information about College of Science events involving students, alumni, faculty and staff. To contribute items for inclusion, please send an email to If possible, please include a high-resolution headshot photo of those mentioned in your items.
Truman Black Scholarship established to honor retiring longtime physics professor    

For Alumni

UT Arlington Alumni
The Dr. Andy Baum
Memorial Fund

Andrew Baum
A special fund has been created to honor the memory of Dr. Andrew Baum, professor of Psychology and beloved member of the UT Arlington family, who died on Nov. 22, 2010. Donations to the fund may be mailed to: UTA College of Science/Dr. Andy Baum Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 19047
Arlington, TX 76019

Calendar of events

Friday, May 6
Last day of classes for
Spring 2011 semester.

Thursday, May 12
College of Science Spring
2011 Commencement
4 p.m., Texas Hall

Monday, June 6
First day of classes for
Summer Term First 5

Monday, June 6
First day of classes for
Summer Term 11 Weeks

Thursday, July 7
Last day of classes for
Summer Term First 5

Tuesday, July 12
First day of classes for Summer Term Second 5

July 17-29
ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp
A two-week residential
camp for middle school students designed to increase interest in science and math through fun experiments, activities and field trips.

Thursday, August 11
Last day of classes for
Summer Term Second 5

Thursday, August 11
Last day of classes for
Summer Term 11 Weeks

Thursday, August 25
First day of classes for Fall 2011 semester

The Planetarium at
UT Arlington

UT Arlington's planetarium, one of the finest in the nation, offers a variety of exciting shows and programs year-round and is now equipped with Digistar 4, the latest in planetarium software. The new Spring 2011 schedule has been released; see details here.
Maverick Science
Read the latest edition of Maverick Science
The Fall 2010 edition of Maverick Science Magazine is here. The magazine includes features on College of Science faculty, students alumni, as well as the latest news on what's happening in science at UT Arlington. Pick up a free print version in the Dean's Office (Life Science Room 206) or read the online version here.
COS T-Shirt
College of Science
T-shirts are here

The new College of Science
T-shirts are here, and they're only $10 each! They're shortsleeve, 100% cotton, with a small College of Science UT Arlington logo on the front and a full color logo on the back. Available in S, M, L and XL. Available in the Dean's Office in Life Science Room 206.
Follow the College of Science on Facebook
Facebook LogoKeep up with the College of Science on Facebook, the largest social networking site in the world! 'Like' our page and learn about the latest College of Science news and events on campus. Find our page here.
E-Newsletter Archives
Truman Black

Truman Black, second from left, with reception co-hosts Nelson Claytor, Carol Johnson and Dan Dahlberg, from left

     Truman Black, a pro- fessor of physics at UT Arlington since 1965, was honored with a reception on April 9 at the Univer- sity Club where the crea- tion of the Truman Black Endowed Physics Scholar- ship was announced.
     The scholarship fund has already reached $25,000, and through the University's Maverick Match program, all donations for the next year will be matched using natural gas royalty funds.
     The reception was attended by current and former faculty members, friends and former students of Dr. Black.
     "The party was a complete surprise to me and so was the scholarship," said Black, who is retiring at the end of this semester. "It's very nice of them to do this for me."
     Physics chair Alex Weiss said the honor is richly deserved. "He's one of the pioneering members of our department," Weiss said.
     "He was one of the first faculty to do experimental research here, and he made a huge contribution to the creation of the research program and the expansion of the graduate program."
      For more information on the Truman Black Endowed Physics Scholarship, or to start a scholarship of your own, please contact College of Science Director of Development Shelly Frank at 817-272-1497 or

Health Professions Day lets students learn firsthand about schools' admission standards
Health Professions
Representatives from 55 health profession schools answered students' questions at the annual fair.

     The College of Science had its annual Health Professions Day on April 13 in the University Center. The fair drew rep-resentatives from 55 health professions schools, including medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy, optometry and a host of other schools from around Texas as well as other states.
     The event provides pre-med students the opportunity to ask questions of admissions officers and pick up information on admissions requirements.
      "This event is always a good way for our students to be able to get direct interaction with people from the schools they're going to be applying to," said Ed Morton, assistant dean and Health Professions advisor. "It's a good thing for our students because they can meet with representatives from the schools without having to drive all over the state."

Mathematics Teacher Preparation Academy receives additional $150K in THECB funding

Mathematics Group
James Epperson, Theresa Jorgensen and Christopher Kribs Zaleta, from left.
    The UT Arlington Mathematics Teacher Preparation Academy, a part-nership between UTA and the Fort Worth and Arlington school districts, received supplemental funding of $150,000 from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) in February.
      James Epperson, (PI), associate professor of mathematics, Christopher Kribs Zaleta (co-PI), professor of mathematics and curriculum & instruction, and Theresa Jorgensen (co-PI), assistant professor of mathematics, direct the project, which has now received $850,000 from the THECB since July 2009. The project has also been generously supported by Department of Mathematics, College of Science, College of Education and Health Professions, and the Office of the Provost as well as by primary school district partners Fort Worth ISD and Arlington ISD.
      For more on the UT Arlington MTPA, click here.
Isanapong named Outstanding Doctoral Student for 2010-11 by EES Program
     Jantiya Isanapong, a student in the lab of assistant professor of biology Jorge Rodrigues, received the 2010-11 Outstanding Doctoral Student Award from UT Arlington's Environmental and Earth Sciences Program.
     Isanapong received a scholarship from the Royal Thai Government to pursue her Ph.D in environmental science and technology. She was accepted to Environmental and Earth Sciences program at UTA in 2009 and joined Rodrigues' research group in the Department of Biology. She is interested in the application of microbiology for biofuel production.
      Currently, her research focuses on studying the ecological and physiological roles of a bacterium isolated from the termite hindgut for cellulose degradation. She has been analyzing the whole cell proteome and transcriptome of the Verrucomicrobium sp. strain TAV2 cultivated under different oxygen concentrations.
Longtime psychology professor James Kopp remembered as friend, mentor who cared
     James Kopp, associate professor of psychology who served as a faculty member at UT Arlington for 40 years until his death at age 75 on Nov. 19, 2010, was remembered during a memorial service March 26 at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens.
      Dr. Kopp was recalled fondly by a host of friends, colleagues, former students and family members during the service, which was held in the Japanese Garden pavilion. Many spoke of how he influenced their lives or careers, and how they appreciated his willingness to be mentors to them, and how he regularly remained friends with his former students for years, sometimes decades, after they left UT Arlington.
      Dr. Kopp loved jazz music and was an accomplished baritone saxophone player. Music was provided before and after the memorial by the Paul Unger Trio, and Dr. Kopp's saxophone rested in front of the podium from which guest after guest spoke about how much Dr. Kopp meant to them.
      Read more about the service here.
Perry names UTA alumna Johnson to Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists
     Gov. Rick Perry recently appointed three members to the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists for terms to expire Feb. 1, 2017, including UT Arlington alumna Becky Johnson of Fort Worth.
     Johnson, who earned a bachelor's degree from UTA, is a board certified professional geoscientist and geologist, an environmental science professor at Texas Christian University, and owner of Environmental Trainers Inc.
      She is secretary of the Society of Texas Environmental Professionals, a partner with the Sustainable Energy Roundtable Initiative, and a volunteer with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality EnviroMentor Program. She is past president of Environmental Education for Tomorrow, and a past member of the Fort Worth Brownfields Consortium and Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Environmental Health and Safety Committee. She also has a master's degree in environmental science and hydrogeology from TCU.
      The board licenses and regulates the public practice of geoscience.
Hunt receives $498K HUD grant to study fix for lead contamination in New Orleans' soil
    Andrew Hunt, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, will soon begin testing a unique method for cleaning up dangerous lead contamination in urban soil with the help of a new $498,138 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
      Hunt will use a phosphate called Apatite II to treat plots of vacant land in New Orleans. Years of leaded gasoline use and repeated applications of lead-based paint to the outside of homes have left many areas in New Orleans and other urban environments with unsafe levels of lead in the soil, Hunt said.
Read the full story here.
College of Science students earn praise, awards for research at ACES symposium
      The College of Science was well-represented at the Annual Celebration of Excellence by Students (ACES) symposium on March 24.
      ACES, a university-wide symposium showcasing the best of UT Arlington undergraduate and graduate students' research and creativity, presented its 2011 awards at a ceremony following a full day of oral and poster presentations by students.
      "Our College of Science students routinely do high-quality research and this was demonstrated again at this year's ACES," Dean of Science Pamela Jansma said. "ACES is a wonderful way for our students' hard work to receive recognition, and we are very proud of all those who entered the event and presented their research."
      The College of Science was well-represented among the award winners. For a list of the COS winners, click here. For complete results, click here.
Liu's work with magnetic materials featured in article about quest for 'super' magnet
     J. Ping Liu, professor of physics, is featured in a new article in Nature News about the quest to produce the "next generation" of super-powerful magnets.
      The article in the April 6 edition mentions the 2006 work of a team led by Liu, which pioneered a new manufacturing method which used steel balls to grind up magnetic material to produce nanoparticle grains which retain their magnetic properties. His group continues to work on the project.
      Read the article here.
Planetarium at UT Arlington exhibit examines search for gravitational waves
     The Planetarium at UT Arlington is hosting a National Science Foundation-funded exhibit about the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory or LIGO. "Astronomy's New Messengers: Listening to the Universe with Gravitational Waves" will be on display through July 29.
      LIGO is a unique effort to detect and monitor ripples in the fabric of space and time produced by violent events like the collision of black holes. Albert Einstein predicted the existence of "gravitational waves" in his 1916 general theory of relativity. LIGO, which has a detection station in Louisiana and one in the state of Washington, was developed by scientists from the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
      The exhibit inside the UT Arlington Chemistry and Physics Building, 700 Planetarium Place, is free of charge.
      Manfred Cuntz, associate professor of physics and the director of UT Arlington's astronomy program, said the exhibit is a good example of the NSF and UT Arlington's commitment to bringing science to the general public.
      "Black holes are just one of those terms which catch the imagination of many people and this exhibit has the potential to engage young students who may one day pursue a career in science," he said.
      Please contact Levent Gurdemir, UT Arlington's planetarium director, at 817-272-1183 for more information.
Flower Mound High wins second straight Calculus Bowl title; Paschal takes 2nd place
Calculus Bowl
Flower Mound High School team members, from left, Richard Wang, Cameron Blocker, Tyler Fugere, Adeesh Jain and team advisor Mary Walker.
     Flower Mound High School successfully defended its 2010 championship when it bested 22 other teams and won the 11th annual Calculus Bowl on March 4 at Pickard Hall.
      It was Flower Mound's third win overall, tying the Oakridge School of Arlington for most wins.
      In the final round, Flower Mound scored 37 points to Paschal's 18.
      The students were treated to a show at the Planetarium and then got down to competition, with each team vying to be first to correctly answer a series of pre-calculus and calculus questions and acquire enough points to advance to the final round, where 10 teams battled for supremacy.
      The event had to be rescheduled after snow and ice postponed it Feb. 4. For more on the Calculus Bowl, click here.
Corduneanu presents periodic oscillations lecture during trip to Romanian universities
     Constantin Corduneanu, professor emeritus of mathematics, visited the Ovidius University in Constanta, Romania and presented a lecture at a gathering of the math faculty during the university's semicentennial in March. He also presented the university with copies of historical documents taken from the UT Arlington library.
      Corduneanu also presented the lecture, titled "Almost Periodic Oscillations and Waves, in a new approach" at the Valahia University in Targoviste, Romania. He then visited his alma mater, University of Iasi in Iasi, Romania, where he met with former students and colleagues.
      He also attended the meeting of the Section of Mathematical Sciences of the Romanian Academy on March 29 in Bucharest.
Strom co-organizes symposium on pioneers of quantum chemistry for ACS meeting
E. Thomas Strom
, adjunct professor of chemistry and biochemistry, co-organized a symposium on "Pioneers of Quantum Chemistry," at the spring meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) on March 28 in Anaheim, CA.
      The symposium covered leading figures and concepts in quantum chemistry from the 1930s to the present. The international group of 12 presenters included active and retired quantum chemists, chemical historians, and a Nobel Laureate.
      Strom, currently chair of the ACS Division of the History of Chemistry, presented the paper "George Wheland: Forgotten Pioneer of Resonance Theory" at the symposium, and he will be co-editor of a book coming from the event.
Psychology alumna Jacquot named campus dean in Strayer University system
     Colette Jacquot, who received a Ph.D. in Psychology from UT Arlington, has been named a Campus Dean at Strayer University. Strayer specializes in higher education for working adults seeking career advancement and has over 80 campuses, including six in Texas.
      At UT Arlington, Jacquot was a graduate teaching assistant and received honors for her teaching ability. After completing her Ph.D. she taught in the community college and the private for-profit college systems. She had a background in business prior to coming to UTA.