The University of Texas at Arlington College of Science September 2014  
Welcome to the September 2014 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.
Griffith receives NSF CAREER grant to study rock loading rates, create teacher geocorps  

For Alumni

Alumni Relations
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

Calendar of events

Friday, October 3
College of Science Picnic
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Library Mall
Come by for hamburgers, hot dogs and other goodies and support the College of Science!
Wednesday, Oct. 29
Last day to drop classes for Fall 2014 semester; submit requests to advisor prior to 4 p.m.
November 3-7
2014 Science Week

The College of Science spotlights the achievements of its alumni, students and faculty with a week of special events. Details coming soon.
Monday, Nov. 3
Registration begins for Spring 2015 semester
Wednesday, Dec. 3
Last day of classes for Fall 2014 semester
December 6, 8-12
Final exams for Fall 2014 semester
Friday, December 12
3 p.m. COS Fall 2014 Commencement
College Park Center

The College of Science will celebrate its newest group of graduates with the Fall 2014 graduation ceremony. Complete information coming soon.
Planetarium’s Fall schedule is under way
A new semester of shows and events is under way at the Planetarium at UT Arlington! 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 planetari-um software. The Fall 2014 schedule runs through Nov. 30. See the schedule here.
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Keep up with the COS with Maverick Science
Read the 2013-14 edition of Maverick Science for the latest College of Science faculty, student and alumni news. Copies are available in the Dean’s Office (Life Sciences Room 206) and in LS 112. The online version can be shared via social media and is available here.
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E-Newsletter Archives
W. Ashley Griffith has been awarded up to $400,000 from the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program.
W. Ashley Griffith, an assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, has been awarded up to $400,000 from the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program to study how rock structures react to events such as earthquakes, meteor impacts and explosions.
Griffith also will use the new grant to partner with Teach for America – Dallas/Fort Worth to create the TFA Geocorps. His project will involve secondary school teachers in research and provide them with geophysics-based curriculum for their classrooms. Griffith was a Teach for America corps member before earning his Ph.D.
Griffith’s CAREER proposal outlined a modern approach to examining what geo-physicists refer to as loading rates. Those are the rates at which pressure on rocks build from outside forces like the movement of tectonic plates. The pressure leads to the “slip” associated with earthquakes as well as other structural failures.
Read more on this story here.
University research to receive boost from $500K grant for computing network upgrade
UT Arlington physicists depend on the campus' computer network to deliver data from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. A grant for computer system upgrades will help.
UT Arlington has received a $500,000 National Science Foundation grant to provide networking capacity that is 10 times faster to campus researchers using massive amounts of data.
The funding from the NSF Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure will support UT Arlington’s role in high-energy physics discoveries being made at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. It also will boost UT Arlington’s capacity in a wide variety of science and engineering investigations, such as linking chronic disease with features of the human genome, building better civil infrastructure through data collection and tracing the path of past climate change events.
The project will provide dedicated pathways for academic research needs.
Kaushik De, professor of physics, is principal investigator on the new grant. Co-investigators include James Bradley, vice president for information technology and chief information officer; Jeff Demuth, associate professor of biology; Jianzhong Su, professor and chair of the mathematics department; and Anand Puppala, professor of civil engineering.
Read more on this story here.
College of Science welcomes new faculty members, announces tenure promotions
The College of Science recently announced changes to the dean’s staff, faculty additions, and promotions for faculty members.
Carl Lovely, professor of chemistry & biochemistry, will serve as interim associate dean for research and graduate studies , in place of James Grover, who is serving as interim dean of science.
New faculty members for 2014-15 include: David Nygren, professor, physics; Mingwu Jin, assistant professor, physics (started Spring 2014); Jorge H. Pinzón C., postdoctoral research educator/lecturer, College of Science; Gretchen Gann, lecturer, biology; Xavier G. Aranda, lecturer, biology; Judi Elliott, lecturer, biology; Claudia Marquez, lecturer, biology; Sonja Godeken, lecturer, mathematics (started Spring 2014); Alice Lubbe, lecturer, mathematics; Jeremy Glass, lecturer, mathematics; Karl Backs, lecturer, mathematics; Scott L. Coleman, lecturer, psychology; Cornelia Winguth, lecturer, earth and environmental sciences; Priya Iyer, lecturer, psychology; Jennifer Rhinehart, lecturer, chemistry & biochemistry; Joniqua Howard, provost postdoctoral fellow, biology.
Eight faculty members received promotions, which were approved by the UT System Board of Regents in August. Promoted to full professor: Yuan Bo Peng, psychology. Promoted to associate professor: Woo-Suk Chang, biology; Yue Deng, physics; Angela Dougall, psychology; Frank Foss, chemistry; Muhammad Huda, physics; Linda Perrotti, psychology; Brad Pierce, chemistry.
Shimadzu Center for Bio-Molecular Imaging hosts reception to celebrate grand opening
Dozens of students and faculty members attended a grand opening reception for the Shimadzu Center for Bio-Molecular Imaging on September 25.
The center, located on the basement level of the Life Sciences Building, is the newest facility of the Shimadzu Institute for Research Technologies, a partnership between UT Arlington and the Shimadzu Corporation. The Institute is comprised of multiple instrumentation facilities, each with a different focus and operated under the “centralized research resources” model.
The Shimadzu Center for Bio-Molecular Imaging provides instrumentation focused on the identification of molecular signatures such as protein and lipid detection, microorganism identification, biomarker discovery and advanced brain imaging.
Li Li is the center’s facility manager. Li graduated from UT Arlington in May with a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry and previously worked as a research assistant in the lab group of associate professor of chemistry & biochemistry Kevin Schug, who was also supervising professor for her dissertation.
“The goal of the center is to provide advanced instrumentation and expertise for automated, mass-spectrometry-based peptide, protein and microorganism analysis, and meanwhile supporting scientists and engineers with a mix of academic and industry experience,” Li said.
The center offers an automated protein digestion station with liquid chromato-graph-mass spectrometer, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-mass spec-trometer, protein sequencer, a variety of spectrophotometers from the UV-Vis to the Near-Infrared region, and the first functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy brain imager in the United States.
Learn more about the Shimadzu Institute for Research Technologies here.
New ASSURE program aims to spark interest in research for freshmen science students
UT Arlington students Michael Atwood, Evelyn Wang, Dhvani Derasari and Yu-Sheng Sung participated in a pilot project that gave freshmen better access to research experiences.
The College of Science has launched a new program to connect freshmen science majors and authentic research experiences with the goal of igniting a passion for inquiry and charting a path to a career in the STEM fields.
The Achieving Success through Undergraduate Research and Engagement (ASSURE) program begins this fall. A class of 24 students will spend this semester studying research methods. In Spring 2015, they will take part in a course through which they seek to answer a research question, such as analyzing natural products for new antibacterial drugs, rather than enrolling in a traditional lab introductory course.
The progression from classroom to research lab will be quicker than in the past when positions in research labs were hard to come by for freshmen. The group will work under the direct guidance of an experienced postdoctoral researcher, a graduate research assistant and several undergraduate research assistants.
“At UT Arlington we are committed to finding new ways to fulfill our central mission of academic excellence,” said Ron Elsenbaumer, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Engaging outstanding students in inquiry-based laboratory experiences as soon as possible has been shown to build a strong foundation for their college success and the ASSURE program will give more of our students that opportunity.”
Read more on this story here.
$800K Noyce grant will help University to better prepare new science, math teachers
Ann Cavallo
A UT Arlington education professor with a passion for supporting upcoming middle and high school science and mathematics teachers is getting major federal assistance for her efforts.
The National Science Foundation has awarded an $800,000 Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program grant to Ann Cavallo, professor of curriculum and instruction and associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Education and co-director of UTeach Arlington.
The award will be used to provide one- to two-year scholarships worth $10,000 a year to selected undergraduates who are pursuing teacher certification in high school mathematics, physical science or chemistry. A one-year stipend will support post-baccalaureate students who want to switch careers to become secondary school math or science teachers. The grant also provides internship opportunities, enrichment activities, learning seminars and mentoring.
In exchange for the generous support, the newly certified math and science teachers will pledge to work at least two years at a school in an economically disadvantaged community. If the teachers receive two years of scholarship support, they will teach at the school for four years.
Read more on this story here.
Mandal, Rajeshwar to be honored by Indian organization for contributions to chemistry
Mandal Rajeshwar
The NRI Welfare Society of India has awarded two of its annual honors to a pair of UT Arlington professors noted for their contributions to the field of chemistry and biochemistry.
In October, Subhrangsu Mandal, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UT Arlington, will receive the Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Samman Award at a NRI Welfare Society conference in London. Then, in January, Krishnan Rajeshwar, distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry, will receive the Hind Rattan Award at another conference in India.
The NRI Welfare Society is an international organization based in India that connects “non-resident Indians” or NRIs with the country. An advisory board of Indian leaders, such as politicians, business people and journalists, leads the group. Their awards recognize “those Indians who have made their mark overseas and have kept the flag of India high,” according to the group’s website.
Read more on this story here.
Earth and environmental sciences doctoral student recognized for human rights essay
Wasiu Adedapo Lawal
The American Association for the Advancement of Science has honored a College of Science Ph.D. student with a first place award for his unique essay on the intersection of science and human rights.
Wasiu Adedapo Lawal was among 53 students from 11 countries to enter the first student essay competition from the Science and Human Rights Coalition of the AAAS. His essay, "Water as a Friend and a Right," focused on the undeniable need for water and the role environmental scientists play in making it available. Woven through his essay were lyrics from a song called "Water No Get Enemy" by Nigerian human rights activist and singer Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
Lawal was born in the United States and grew up in Nigeria. As a young man, he saw firsthand how lack of water infrastructure could lead to inequities among people in a community. The goal of his education and research has been to learn more about making water more widely available and making sure it is safe for use.
Read more on this story here.
University to host STEM summit October 31 to help undergrad students with networking
UT Arlington will host a STEM Summit on campus from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, October 31 in the E.H. Hereford University Center for sophomores, juniors, and seniors interested in STEM careers.
The event is sponsored by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and will offer students the opportunity to network with academics in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and corporate recruiters seeking a diversified workforce. It will also allow students to get input on career-building skills and learn about job and internship opportunities.
To be eligible to attend the summit, students must have a 3.0 GPA, be a college sophomore, junior or senior, have a major in a STEM field, and register at
The event is sponsored by HACU and the UT Arlington Center for Mexican-American Studies.

Maverick Science magazine is available in print, online
The 2013-14 edition of Maverick Science Magazine includes College of Science highlights from the past year and features in-depth looks at some of the College’s out-standing faculty, students and alumni.
The magazine’s online version can be shared via social media, is downloadable and is compatible with smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops. Print copies of the magazine are available in the Dean’s office (Life Science Building Room 206) or in Life Science Building Room 112.
Read the online version here.