The University of Texas at Arlington College of Science July 2013  
Welcome to the July 2013 edition of Maverick Science E-News. This monthly e-newsletter 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.
Stephens, Long assuming new roles to help College of Science better serve students  

For Alumni

UT Arlington Alumni
You can help the next generation of Mavericks

Andrew Baum

Did the University of Texas at Arlington change your life? Do you want to help a future Maverick? Call Dr. Ignacio Nuñez, the chair of the College of Science Advisory Council. He'd love to help get you involved on campus again. The Advisory Council is issuing a challenge to each alumnus and to each member of our North Texas community who believes in our mission. The challenge: Give one day a year and $1,000 annually (that's just $83.33 a month) to benefit the students of UT Arlington. Dr. Nuñez was a first-generation college student, and UT Arlington made it possible for him to attend medical school and create a life vastly different than that of his parents. Did UT Arlington change your life too? Let's work together to help the next generation. You can contact Nuñez at or leave a message for him at 817-272-1497.

Memorial fund created to honor Truman Black

Andrew Baum
A special fund has been created to honor the memory of Dr. Truman Black, professor of physics and beloved member of the UT Arlington family, who died on Sept. 12, 2012.
Donations to the fund may be mailed to:
Truman D. Black Scholarship Fund at The University of Texas at Arlington
Office of Development
P.O. Box 19198
Arlington, TX 76019-0198
The Planetarium at
UT Arlington

Have you been to a show at the planetarium lately? The facility, one of the finest in the nation, offers a variety of exciting shows and programs year-round and is equipped with Digistar 5, the latest in planetarium software. The Summer 2013 schedule, featuring the new public show TimeSpace, runs now through August 25. See the full Summer schedule here.
Maverick Science
New edition of Maverick Science magazine
The 2012-13 edition of Maverick Science Magazine has arrived! Copies are available in the Dean's Office (Life Sciences Room 206) and in LS 112. The magazine has the latest College of Science news and features about faculty, students and alumni. The website version is online here.
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Maverick Science
E-Newsletter Archives
Stephens Long
The College of Science welcomed two new members to its administrative staff this month, with the goal of better serving the needs of its students.
On June 1, following the retirement of Assistant Dean Ed Morton, Kent Long assumed the position of Health Professions advisor and director of the College's Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP). Long previously served as Morton's assistant for two and a half years. Kathleen Stephens joined the College on June 7 as Coordinator for Student Affairs, coming over from UT Arlington's University College, where she was an academic advisor.
"We're very pleased to have Kathleen Stephens and Kent Long join our staff," Dean of Science Pamela Jansma said. "They both have a long history of working with students and bring considerable knowledge to their positions, which will help us enhance the student experience in the College of Science, particularly in pre-professional advising, transitioning from University College to the College of Science, scholarships, and any other academic issues students may encounter. Together with Minerva Cordero serving as associate dean for academic affairs, they form an outstanding team dedicated to ensuring success for all our students."
Read more on this story here.
Johnson named to National Academy of Sciences advisory panel on Gulf of Mexico
Ashanti Johnson, a faculty research associate in the UT Arlington College of Science, has been appointed to a 24-member panel creating a strategic vision for the National Academy of Sciences' Gulf of Mexico program.
The Gulf of Mexico program is a $500 million, 30-year endeavor established as part of the settlements of federal criminal complaints against BP and Transocean Ltd. following the 2010 Deep water Horizon explosion. It will focus on human health, environmental protection and oil system safety and will fund and carry out studies, projects, and activities in research and development, education and training, and environmental monitoring.
The new advisory committee, which includes 23 other leaders from around the country, "will articulate the program's mission, goals, and objectives - including preliminary thinking about metrics to measure its impacts - and outline how the program will operate in the first three to five years," according to a news release from the National Academies.
Read more on this story here.
Moody brings passion for math to new role as director of UT Arlington Math Emporium
Shanna Moody took over as new director of the UT Arlington Math Emporium on June 1.
Shanna Moody's mission, she says, is to disprove the notion that math is just too hard for some people to grasp. On June 1, Moody took over as the new director of the Department of Mathematics' Math Learning Resource Center, or Math Emporium. She has made it her job to dispel the myth that mathematics is something to be feared or simply endured on the way to obtaining a college degree.
"Everybody can do math. They may not think so, but they can do it," Moody said. "They just need the right instruction. Right now, our public K-12 education system often leaves gaps in students' mathematical education, and a lot of them come to college with a fear of math. That's part of the mindset I want to change."
In an attempt to help students clear what is for many the biggest hurdle to graduation, the UT Arlington Department of Mathematics opened the Math Emporium in August 2012. The emporium is a tutorial lab with computer software which supplements and reinforces classroom instruction and allows students to receive help from instructors and graduate teaching assistants in areas where they are having difficulty. Algebra was selected as the initial pilot program for the emporium, and the results have been encouraging.
Read more on this story here.
Levine co-chairing 2013 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks in Dallas
Levine Lewis
Daniel Levine, professor of psychology, is serving as co-chair of the International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN 2013), slated to be held August 4-9 at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas.
The IJCNN is the premier international conference in the area of neural networks. IJCNN 2013 is organized by the International Neural Network Society (INNS), and sponsored jointly by INNS and the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society - the two leading professional organizations for researchers working in neural networks.
The field of neural networks encompasses researchers from academia, industry, and government, interested both in the relationships of brain functions to cognition and to the engineering applications of intelligent computing.
The conference will feature invited plenary talks by world-renowned speakers in the areas of neural network theory and applications, computational neuroscience, robotics, and distributed intelligence. In addition to regular technical sessions with oral and poster presentations, the conference program will include special sessions, competitions, tutorials and workshops on topics of current interest.
Levine, who is general co-chair along with Plamen Angelov of the Lancaster University (U.K.) School of Computing and Communication, has served in organizing roles at past IJCNN conferences.
Frank Lewis, UT Arlington professor of electrical engineering, will be among those giving plenary talks. He will also receive the 2013 IEEE Computational Intelligence Society Neural Networks Pioneer Award. UT Arlington is an official sponsor of the conference.
For more information on IJCNN 2013, click here.
Two physics students doing research at UT Arlington receive 2013 SPIE Scholarships
Mondal Lakhotia
Argha Mondal and Harshit Lakhotia, two students from India conducting research at UT Arlington, have been awarded 2013 Scholarships by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, for their potential contributions to the field of optics, photonics, or related fields.
Mondal is a fourth-year undergrad student at the India Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER, India) where he is pursuing his M.S. in Physical Sciences. At UT Arlington, Mondal is working in neuron guidance using optical tweezers under the guidance of Samarendra Mohanty, assistant professor of physics.
Lakhothia is a final year student in the Integrated B.S.-M.S. course at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research - Kolkata, where he is majoring in physics. His research interests are photonics, light matter interaction and biophysics. Lakhotia is a 2013 Summer Research Fellow at UT Arlington, and is also working in Mohanty's lab.
SPIE scholarships are open to full- and part-time students studying anywhere in the world. All scholarship applications are judged on their own merit based on the experience and education level of the individual student. To date, SPIE has distributed over $3.5 million in individual scholarships, reflecting the society's commitment to education and to the next generation of optical scientists and engineers around the world.
Learn more about SPIE here.
Research of turtle genome done by Castoe, Fujita featured in Star-Telegram article
Castoe Fujita
Genomics research on the Western painted turtle done by Todd Castoe and Matthew Fujita, assistant professors of biology, was featured in a front-page story by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in its June 14 edition.
Castoe and Fujita were part of a team which co-authored a paper published in the journal Genome Biology this spring that described the findings from the genome sequencing, only the second full genetic mapping on a reptile, the article states.
The knowledge gained from mapping the turtle's genome could some day help give doctors advanced knowledge of how to treat certain human diseases, according to the article.
Pamela Jansma, dean of science, Jonathan Campbell, professor and department chair in biology, and Jill Castoe, director of UT Arlington's Genomics Core Facility, are also quoted in the story.
Read the Star-Telegram story here.
Rajeshwar is elected to new role as vice president of The Electrochemical Society
Krishnan Rajeshwar, interim associate vice president for research and distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has been elected as a vice president of The Electrochemical Society.
The society is an educational nonprofit with more than 8,000 members in more than 70 countries around the world. The organization is based in New Jersey and also has about 100 corporate members, including many laboratories.
Rajeshwar has been a faculty member in the College of Science since 1983 and was a charter member of the UT Arlington Academy of Distinguished Professors. Some of his specialties include: photoelectro-chemistry, nanocomposites, electrochemistry and conducting polymers. He is the author of over 400 peer-reviewed journal articles, including several in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society and Electrochemical and Solid-State Letters.
Learn more about the Electrochemical Society here.
Dougall quoted in Science article about ways scientists can improve grantsmanship skills
Angela Dougall, assistant professor of psychology, was quoted in Science magazine online in an article about how to win research funding through improving grantsmanship skills.
Early-career scientists who wish to win research funding from federal agencies face a number of obstacles, not least of all the formidable competition: senior researchers who have spent years improving their grantsmanship skills, the article states. In June 2011, the National Institutes of Health's Center for Scientific Review debuted a program aimed at leveling the playing field—somewhat — by giving young researchers experience on grant-review panels so that they could see what they look for in the grant applications they choose to fund.
"Learning about the review process gives you a completely different perspective when you're writing yourself," said Dougall, who became an Early Career Reviewer last year. She has served at one meeting and will serve at her second one soon. Her ECR experience has, she says, helped her crack the code of the National Institutes of Health's scoring. "I got to understand more about what the 1-through-9 scores actually mean," she said.
Read the article here.
McMahon quoted in newspaper stories after zebra mussels found in Lewisville Lake
Robert McMahon, professor emeritus in biology, was quoted in news stories in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Dallas Morning News on June 20-21 about the discovery of a juvenile zebra mussel clinging to a settlement sampler 10 feet below the surface of Lewisville Lake.
Zebra mussels, which are native to Eastern Europe and Russia, breed prolifically, with the female releasing "a couple of hundred thousand eggs in a breeding season," McMahon told the Morning News. He told the Star-Telegram that more than a few zebra mussels have to get together before a colony can start, but the fear is that they will eventually infest all area lakes.
The mollusks are dangerous for their ability to clog public-water intake pipes and harm boats and motors with their sharp-edged shells, and can have significant economic and recreational impacts, according to a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department news release.
McMahon has been monitoring area lakes for the presence of zebra mussels for over a year. They were first detected in Lake Ray Roberts last year.
Read the Star-Telegram story here.
Ickes quoted in Parade magazine about the ways sibling relationships impact our lives
William Ickes, professor of psychology, was quoted in a Parade Magazine story about how siblings can shape people's lives more than they realize.
In the June 22 issue of Parade, Ickes said when it comes to learning about the opposite sex, there's nothing better than having an older member at home. Ickes' now classic 1983 study showed girls with older brothers and boys with older sisters broke the ice more easily and were more likely to rate each other favorably.
"If you are a girl with an older brother or a boy with an older sister, you should thank them for whatever romantic success you've had," Ickes jokes in the article.
Read the Parade article here.

Newest edition of Maverick Science magazine is online

     The electronic version of the 2012-13 Maverick Science magazine, the official magazine of the College of Science, is now online! The magazine includes highlights from the past year and features in-depth looks at some of the College's outstanding faculty, students and alumni.
     Print copies of the magazine can be picked up in the Dean's office (Life Science Building Room 206) or in Life Science Building Room 112.
     The web version of the magazine is online here. It also contains links to past issues of Maverick Science.