The University of Texas at Arlington College of Science May 2011  
Welcome to the May 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.
College of Science celebrates with newest graduates at Spring 2011 Commencement    

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
Graduation Spring 2011

The College of Science awarded a record number of degrees at Texas Hall on May 12.

     The College of Science held its annual Spring Commencement ceremony on May 12 at Texas Hall, with a near-capacity crowd gathering to celebrate the achievements of a record number of COS graduates.      UT Arlington alumna Sally Welborn (B.S. Mathematic '75), senior vice president of benefits at Wal-Mart, delivered the commencement address. She encouraged students to not allow themselves to be pigeon-holed, to not compromise, to look for outside opportunities, to never stop learning and to build a professional network.
      One important lesson she has learned in her highly successful career is that "A bend in the road is not necessarily the end of the road," she said.
      For a video of the ceremony, click here. To see more photos from the ceremony, click here.

Math professor Danny Dyer honored for 48 years of service to UT Arlington at reception
Danny Dyer Jianping Zhu
Danny Dyer, professor of mathematics, holds a plaque presented to him by Jianping Zhu, math department chair, at a reception in honor of Dyer, who is retiring.

     Faculty, staff and friends gathered at a reception May 5 to honor Danny Dyer, professor of mathematics, who is retiring from UT Arlington after 48 years of service.
      Dyer has actually been at UT Arlington since the late 1950s, when he was studying as an undergraduate student. He received a bachelor's degree in 1961, and started working at UTA after earning a master's degree from Southern Methodist University in 1963. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in math from SMU in 1970.
     "Dr. Dyer has been a great asset to this department and the university," said Jianping Zhu, Department of Mathematics chair. "His leadership was crucial to the growth of this department and his help greatly eased my transition into a new working environment when I became department chair at UT Arlington. I have always enjoyed working with him. His excellent teaching has had a lifelong impact on thousands of students, and his expertise in statistics has contributed significantly to both academic research and real world applications in government labs and private sectors."
      An expert in mathematical statistics, Dyer is much-loved by students and colleagues, as was obvious by the number of them who spoke at his retirement reception. They recalled his leadership in serving as a former department chair and helping build the department and hire top-notch faculty. They also recalled his fun-loving side, his skills as an athlete on department softball teams, and most of all, his friendship.

Gatchel named 2011 Outstanding Career Contributions award winner by APA Div. 38
Robert Gatchel
Robert Gatchel
    Robert Gatchel, Psychology Department chair and the Nancy P. and John G. Penson Endowed Professor of Clinical Health Psychology, has been named recipient of the 2011 American Psychological Association Division 38 Award for Outstanding Career Contributions to Health Psychology.
      Gatchel has conducted extensive clinical research, most of it supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), on the psychophysiology of stress and emotion, the comorbidity of psychological and physical health disorders, and the etiology, assessment and treatment of chronic stress and pain behavior.
      The APA Division 38 facilitates collaboration among psy-chologists interested in the psychological and behavioral as-pects of physical and mental health. It is committed to providing information about current practice and research, and connecting its members and creating opportunities for professional growth.
     "Division 38 (Health Psychology) includes the leading health psychologists in the field today," Gatchel said. "I am honored to be recognized for my contributions to this important and growing area of science by such an illustrious peer group. It is a great sign that I am leaving a great legacy to the field."
      Gatchel, who is also Clinical Research Program Director of the Eugene McDermott Center for Pain Management at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, has been chair of the UT Arlington Department of Psychology since 2004. He began his career as an assistant professor at UT Arlington in 1973, then joined the Medical Psychology faculty at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., from 1978-81. He then joined UT Southwestern's Division of Psychology in 1981, and has remained at UT Southwestern in various capacities ever since.
      Read more here.
Chemistry faculty members win microplate reader to aid in research, education
Chemistry and Biochemistry Team
Members of the Chemistry & Biochemistry team which was awarded the new microplate reader, from left, Kayunta Johnson-Winters, Kevin Schug, Frank Foss, Brad Pierce, Subhrangsu Mandal and Roshan Perera.
     A group of chemistry and biochemistry faculty members has been award-ed a new high-tech lab instrument, an ultra-fast microplate reader which will help them in numerous research and education initiatives.
      The group - Kevin Schug, Frank Foss, Roshan Perera, Kayunta Johnson-Winters, Subhrangsu Mandal and Brad Pierce - will receive one of five instruments being awarded by BMG LAB-TECH, a developer and global manufacturer of microplate reader instrumentation with a wide range of measurement methods. The group is the second to win one of the instruments, with three more still to be awarded by BMG, which is based in Germany.
      Read more here.
Dias' presentation on carbon monoxide, gold particle research featured in C&E News
Raska Dias
     A presentation by Rasika Dias, Chemistry and Biochemistry Department chair, about research he and his group conducted on gold and carbon monoxide particles was featured in the March 2011 edition of Chemical & Engineering News.
     Dias spoke at a recent Division of Inorganic Chemistry symposium at the American Chemical Society national meeting in Anaheim, Calif. An expert in gold chemistry from Germany's Technical University of Munich called the complexes created by Dias' research group "remarkable for several reasons."
     The research doubles the number of gold(I) monocarbonyl complexes that chemists have managed to isolate and study, thanks to a pair of N-heterocyclic carbene-stabilized compounds created by Dias and his group. These complexes are expected to help chemists further investigate reaction intermediates and mechanisms of gold-catalyzed reactions and aid development of new catalysts.
     Read the full article here.
Research by Mydlarz on diseased, stressed Caribbean coral reefs featured on KTVT
Laura Mydlarz
     Research by Laura Mydlarz, assistant professor of biology, and her students on diseased coral reefs in the Caribbean and the potential implications for coral worldwide was featured in a May 3 story on KTVT Channel 11.
      Mydlarz and collaborators from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received a $409,500 grant from the National Science Foundation last fall for their project, titled "Assessing the effect of environmen-tal stressors on invertebrate innate immunity using a coral pathosystem". They are looking at how coral responds to stress and how it fights disease.
      Watch the KTVT story here.
White tabbed as chair of Physics Research Committee for accelerator center lab
Andy White
Andy White, professor of physics and member of UT Arlington's High Energy Physics group, was recently appointed chair of the Physics Research Committee (PRC) of the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron Laboratory (DESY) in Hamburg, Germany.
     DESY is one of the world's leading accelerator centers and a member of the Helmholtz Association. DESY develops, builds and operates large particle accelerators used to investigate the structure of matter. DESY offers a broad research spectrum of interna-tional standing focusing on three main areas: accelerator development, construction and operation; photon science; particle and astroparticle physics. The PRC is charged with reviewing the High Energy Physics Research program of DESY; it also serves as a review body for European high energy physics and detector activities not associated with a specific laboratory. The PRC meets twice a year, and the chair subsequently reports to the DESY Scientific Council.
      White has worked with DESY personnel for several years developing a new type of "digital hadron calorimetry" that is projected for use at future experiments requiring high precision measurements of particle energies. UTA is a member of the SiD detector concept studying this approach to calorimetry for experiments at the future International Linear Collider.
      For more on the High Energy Physics Group, click here.
Veerabathina uses astronomy class to help students learn, and learn how to serve
      Nilakshi Veerabathina wants students in her astronomy class for pre-service teachers to do more than just learn how to become teachers.
      The class, SCIE 3304 Astronomy, includes topics such as the evolution of the universe, properties of light, galaxies, the life cycle of stars, and characteristics of the solar system. The course is designed to meet the needs of students seeking to become elemen-tary or middle school science teachers.
      Veerabathina, a physics lecturer at UT Arlington since 2005, became interested in teaching the course because she has always felt a sense of commitment to serving others, particularly those less fortunate. The opportunity to incorporate service with teaching made SCIE 3304 a perfect fit.
      Her commitment to ensuring her students get more out of the class than the basics of astronomy has earned accolades for Veerabathina. On May 2, she was presented with the University's Faculty Service Learning Award during the annual Spring Meeting of the Faculty and Associates. The award is given to a faculty member for innovations in engaged scholarship that integrate service learning into the curriculum.       Read more here.
Trio of UTTER students win award for best undergrad presentation at MAA meeting
MMA Meeting
Brian Hull, Lindsey Dornberger and Christopher Mitchell, from left, present their research during the Texas Section MAA meeting in Tyler in mid-April.
      A trio of College of Science students — Lindsey Dornberger, biology; Brian Hull, mathematics; and Christopher Mitchell, mathematics, won an award for "Best Undergraduate Student Presentation in Modeling and Differential Equations" at the 91st Annual Meeting of the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), April 14-16 at the University of Texas at Tyler.
      The students are members of UT Arlington's Undergraduate Training in Theoretical Ecology Research (UTTER) program. Their project was titled "When Zombies Attack: Quarantine Dynamics in a Small Urban Population". They were accompanied to the meeting by Hristo Kojouharov, UTTER co-director.
      For more on the UTTER program, click here.
Toliver, Sanchez selected to participate in
I Engage Mentoring Program this summer
     Adria Toliver, a graduate student and Ph.D. candidate in psychology, has been selected to participate in the I Engage Mentoring (IM) Program this summer. She will be working closely with Jessica Sanchez, a psychology undergraduate student, mentoring Sanchez on a research project titled, "Nonverbal Communication in the Workplace." Nicolette Lopez, assistant professor of psychology, will be serving as faculty mentor for the project.
     The IM Program provides doctoral and doctoral-bound students who have completed 30 hours of graduate study an opportunity to gain teaching and mentoring experience by serving as a research mentor to a UT Arlington undergraduate. The program is open to all junior-senior level undergraduate students but minority and underrepresented and first generation undergraduates are particularly encouraged to participate. Graduate students receive a $400 stipend during the term in which they participate in the project, while undergraduates will receive a scholarship for three semester credit hours of independent study.
     For more on the I Engage program, click here.
College of Science honors achievements of students, faculty at annual awards ceremony
     Faculty members, family and friends gathered to honor College of Science stu-dents for outstanding achievement in academics and research at the annual College of Science Awards Ceremony on April 19 at the Lone Star Auditorium of the Maverick Activities Center.
      Dean of Science Pamela Jansma said that while UT Arlington has made great strides in teaching and research, the best indicator of the University's increasing national prominence can be attributed to the students who strive for excellence in their work in the classroom and the laboratory.
      "The true measure of success is the accomplishments of our students," Jansma said. "We are very proud of you and your high levels of achievement."
      The College presented 83 awards to students, with department chairs making the presentations. For the first time, awards were made to students in the University's new UTeach Arlington program, which equips science and education majors to become science and math teachers. One faculty award was presented, the Research Excellence Award, to mathematics professor Jianzhong Su, for his work in computational neuroscience.
      For a complete list of honorees, click here.
College of Science faculty members among winners at annual UTA awards ceremony
     The University presented a variety of awards to faculty members during the annual Spring Meeting of the Faculty and Associates May 2 in the Rio Grande Room of the E.H. Hereford University Center, and the College of Science was well-represented among the honorees.
      Among the recipients were: Asok Ray, professor of physics, Distinguished Record of Research or Creative Activity award; Nilakshi Veerabathina, lecturer in physics, UT Arlington Service Learning Award; Martha Mann, associate professor of psychology, who was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers; and Jianzhong Su, professor of mathematics, Outstanding Academic Advisor Award, Graduate level.
      For a complete list of College of Science award recipients, click here.