The University of Texas at Arlington
College of Science
October 2017
Armstrong, Dasgupta named to magazine’s 2017 Power List of top analytical scientists
Daniel Armstrong, left, and Sandy Dasgupta
Two renowned chemists at The University of Texas at Arlington are among those honored as the best and brightest analytical scientists in the world by The Analytical Scientist magazine.
Daniel Armstrong, Robert A. Welch Distinguished Professor, and Purnendu “Sandy” Dasgupta, the Hamish Small Chair in Ion Analysis, are included in the magazine’s fifth annual Power List edition, which this year is comprised of Top 10 scientists in 10 categories: Separation Scientists, Spectroscopists, Mass Spectrometrists, Giants of Nano, Pharma Pioneers, Omics Explorers, Public Defenders, Inventors, Mentors and Leaders.
While a handful of scientists are included in more than one category, Dasgupta and Armstrong are the only honorees from Texas universities to make the prestigious 2017 Power List.
Armstrong was ranked No. 5 in the Mentors category and No. 7 in the Separation Scientists category. Dasgupta was ranked No. 7 in the Inventors category.
Read more of this story here.
Basu co-authors cover article in Geology probing the nature of Earth’s deep mantle

Cover of the August issue of Geology, featuring an article co-authored by Asish Basu. Photo courtesy of Geology.

Research from UTA and the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology suggests that hydrogen, oxygen, water and carbon dioxide are being generated in the earth’s mantle hundreds of kilometers below the earth’s surface.
“This discovery is important as it shows how earth’s planetary evolution may have happened,” said Asish Basu, UTA professor of earth and environmental sciences and co-author of the cover paper published in Geology in August.
The researchers focused their attention on a seven-kilometer thick portion of the earth’s upper mantle now found in the High Himalayas, at altitudes between 12,000 and 16,000 feet. This section of the mantle was pushed upwards to the top of the mountains as a result of the Indian Plate pushing north into Asia, displacing the ancient Tethys ocean floor and underlying mantle to create the Himalayan Mountain Belt around 55 million years ago.
“This is important as it means that we can analyze the nature of the mantle under the earth’s crust, at depths where drilling cannot reach,” Basu explained. “One key initial discovery was finding microdiamonds whose host rocks originated in the mantle transition zone, at depths between 410 and 660 kilometers below the earth’s surface.”
Read more of this story here.
New faculty, staff recognized and awards presented during COS annual fall meeting
Merlynd Nestell, right, with Dean Morteza Khaledi, was among those honored for their longtime service to the College of Science. Nestell has been at UTA for 48 years.
The College of Science welcomed new faculty and staff members, honored faculty members for longtime service and recognized those who received promotions during the annual COS Faculty and Staff Fall Meeting on October 6 in the Central Library atrium.
New faculty and staff members for 2017-18 include: (Biology) Joseph Boll, assistant professor; Cara Boutte, assistant professor; Andrew Gardner, academic advisor; (Chemistry & Biochemistry) Joshua Crowell, lecturer; He Dong, assistant professor; Cynthia Griffith, undergraduate lab coordinator; Beth Klimek, stockroom supervisor; (Mathematics) Aida Allen, lecturer; Nasrin Sultana, lecturer; Souvik Ray, assistant professor; Li Wang, assistant professor; Yolanda Humphrey and Laura Holm, coordinator of special projects, Learning Resources Center; Velvet Denny, office assistant; (Physics) Yujie Chu, assistant professor; Laura Zhu, accountant II; (Psychology) James Cotten, support specialist II.
Awards for longtime service to UTA went to Merlynd Nestell, mathematics and EES, 48 years; Paul Paulus, psychology, 47 years; Suresh Sharma, physics, 37 years; Thomas Chrzanowski, biology, 36 years; William Ickes, psychology, 36 years; Jonathan Campbell, biology, 35 years; and Chien-Pai Han, mathematics, 35 years.
Receiving promotion to full professor were James Alvarez, mathematics, and Yue Deng, physics. Receiving promotion to associate professor with tenure were Junha Jeon and Kay Johnson-Winters, chemistry & biochemistry; Majie Fan, earth & environmental sciences; and Mingwu Jin, physics.
See photos from the meeting on the COS Facebook page here.
Science Week features guest speakers, career panel, alumni mentoring sessions
Michael Turner gave a talk on dark matter to a large audience of faculty, students and alumni in Nedderman Hall.
College of Science students received valuable insight and advice from alumni mentors during the College’s annual Science Week, held October 9-14.
Science Week highlights included special guest lectures, and events which allowed COS alumni and industry experts to share their knowledge and expertise with students.
This year’s highlights included a guest lecture on Lambda Cold Dark Matter by Michael Turner, National Academy of Sciences member and a theoretical cosmologist at the University of Chicago, who coined the term “dark energy” in 1998.
COS alumni who shared their insight and experience with COS Freshmen Interest Group students included Michael Ray (Mathematics B.S. ’76, M.S. ’78; Ph.D. Mathematical Science ’81); Dr. Ignacio Nuñez (B.S. Biology ’75); Chloe Lemelle (M.S. Psychology ’08; Ph.D. Experimental Psychology, ’10); and Lekha Gopalakrishnan (M.S. Chemistry ’90).
COS alumni Dr. Dale Martin, D.D.S. (B.A. Chemistry, ’78), and Dr. Kiran Nangrani, M.D. (B.S. Biology ’03) discussed their careers and offered valuable advice to pre-med students during a medical/dental panel Q&A hosted by UTA’s student chapter of MDPA.
Colloquium and seminar talks were presented by Asish Basu, UTA professor of EES; Barbara Shipman, UTA associate professor of mathematics; Érico Flores, professor of chemistry, Federal University of Santa Maria, Brazil; and Sarbajit Banerjee, professor of chemistry, Texas A&M University.
Lisa Balbes of Balbes Consultants, LLC, talked with chemistry students on the wide variety of career options available to chemistry majors. Industry experts critiqued resumes and provided tips on how to improve them during a resume workshop.
Newest UTA Spirit Horse, featuring space design, installed outside Planetarium

Aria Green with the UTA Spirit Horse sporting her winning design outside the UTA Planetarium.

Anyone who has passed by the Chemistry & Physics Building lately has noticed the uniquely painted horse statue standing outside the Planetarium.
The statue is the latest in UTA’s Spirit Horse project, which places a new painted fiberglass horse on or near campus each year. Students submit design entries and a winner is selected by members of the UTA Ambassadors program. The student or students with the winning proposal paint the horse over the summer and the completed statue is unveiled at the MavsMeet AfterParty in August.
This year’s winning entry, the eighth since the project began, was designed by Aria Green, a sophomore psychology major from Forney. Green’s design features Earth and the other planets of our solar system, along with countless stars. The space theme represents UTA’s strong science programs as well as its aerospace engineering department, she said. It also pays homage to UTA alumna Kalpana Chawla, a NASA astronaut who was among the crew lost in the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy in 2003.
The horse has already proved to be popular, with many passers-by and schoolchildren on campus to see shows at the Planetarium posing for photos in front of the statue.
“I am super excited to have a piece of myself on campus for some time to come, and very thankful that UTA allowed me to leave a legacy in the form of my design and artwork,” Green said. “Every day I walk by and see people or children looking at the horse and taking pictures with it, I can’t help but get a big smile on my face.”
Kenworthy co-authors new book examining issues around changes in health behavior
Photo of book cover courtesy of Amazon.
Jared Kenworthy, associate professor of psychology, is the co-author of a new book on health behavior change.
The book, titled Health Behavior Change: Theories, Methods and Interventions, is the first textbook to present not only the theoretical foundations that explain health behavior change but also the methods by which change can be assessed and the practical contexts where theory and method can be applied, the authors explain.
“We live in an era where people live longer but also suffer more chronic illnesses,” the authors write in the foreword. “Yet these two issues present not only significant challenges to healthcare professionals, but also governments seeking costeffective ways to manage their health and social care budgets. Encouraging people to live healthier lifestyles is, therefore, a fundamental issue for both those at risk as well as for society as a whole.”
The book provides a full understanding of health behavior change, “from its theoretical building blocks to the practical challenges of developing and testing an intervention.”
Co-authors are Andrew Prestwich, senior lecturer in health and social psychology at the University of Leeds, UK, and Mark Conner, professor of applied psychology at Leeds. The book is published by Routledge.
The book is available for purchase in a variety of formats on Amazon here.
Gatchel co-authors two volumes focusing on pain management in the workplace

Ronald Elsenbaumer

Robert Gatchel, the Nancy P. & John G. Penson Endowed Professor of Clinical Health Psychology, co-authored the first two in an ongoing series of papers on pain management as part of an initiative by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).
Gatchel is a member of the Musculoskeletal Conditions and Pain Management Policy Working Group, a part of the Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Policy Collaborative, which was created by the ODEP to support the development of policies, programs and practices that encourage the continued employment of workers likely to leave the workforce due to injury, serious illness or disability.
The series is titled “Improving Pain Management and Support for Workers with Musculoskeletal Disorders: Policies to Prevent Work Disability and Job Loss.” The first volume is a policy action paper and the second is titled “A Resource Compendium for Musculoskeletal Disorders and Pain Management.” They were both published in August.
The policy working group focused on three topics: replicating and adapting the state of Washington’s Centers of Occupational Health and Education model; musculoskeletal conditions and pain management; and transition back to work.
Read Volume One here and Volume Two here.
Strom co-organizes symposium on women chemists, co-edits new book on Nobel Prize


E. Thomas Strom, adjunct professor of chemistry and biochemistry, was co-organizer of the symposium “Ladies in Waiting for Nobel Prizes: Overlooked Accomplishments of Women Chemists”, held at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Washington, D.C. in August.
The symposium featured science historian Magdolna Hargittai from Budapest, Hungary, as the keynote speaker. Other speakers described the careers of 15 women chemists who didn’t receive the recognition they deserved for their contributions to chemistry. The symposium was topped off by a presentation of the theatre piece “No Belles”, presented by the Portal Theatre Group from Oregon. The performance covered the lives of a number of women scientists, some of whom won the Nobel Prize. The symposium was featured in a threepage article in the September issue of Chemical and Engineering News, the news magazine of the ACS.
Strom also served as co-editor of a new book, “The Posthumous Nobel Prize in Chemistry Volume 1: Correcting the Errors and Oversights of the Nobel Prize Committee”, which was published online on October 5. Hard copies published by Oxford University Press will follow in early 2018. The August symposium described above will be Volume 2 of the series.
Read Volume 1 of the book at the ACS Publications website here.
Grover to serve as interim dean of CAPPA; Schug takes on interim associate dean role

James Grover, left, and Kevin Schug

James Grover, COS associate dean for research and graduate studies, will serve as interim dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs (CAPPA) beginning November 1.
Grover, a professor of biology who has served as associate dean since 2012, will serve as CAPPA dean until a national search for a permanent dean is completed. Grover served as interim COS dean from 2014-15.
“Dr. Grover has been with UTA for more than two decades and is highly respected by peers and students,” UTA Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Teik Lim said. “I offer him my congratulations and support in this new role.”
Kevin Schug, Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry, will serve as COS associate dean for research and graduate studies in Grover’s absence.
“As we embark on implementing our strategic plan, Dr. Schug will bring valuable experience and insights in supporting our programs and key initiatives,” COS Dean Morteza Khaledi said. “I am grateful for his willingness to serve the College in this new role.”

COS Alumni

UT Arlington Alumni Relations

We invite you to become involved with the College

Hello, I'm Dr. Ignacio Nuñez, chair of the College of Science Advisory Council and a proud UTA alumnus (B.S. in Biology, 1975). I would love to help get you involved on campus again. I was a first-generation college student, and UTA made it possible for me to attend medical school and create a life vastly different than that of my parents. Did UTA change your life too? Let's work together to help the next generation of Mavericks. To learn more, please contact College of Science Director of Development Christie Mosley-Eckler at817-272-1497 or

COS Students

Student Spotlight
Pooja Mallipaddi

Pooja Mallipaddi has been a leader since the day she arrived at UTA in the fall of 2014. That year she served as a member of Freshman Leaders on Campus (FLOC), which promotes member involvement in student governance and community service. She went on to serve as a Maverick Mentor and as a Peer Leader, helping to teach a MAVS 1000 seminar course for firstyear students and assisting them in their transition to university life. Last year she served as a science senator in the UTA Student Senate, and in June 2016 she was named to a two-year term as a student representative on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Apply Texas Advisory Committee. The committee provides the board with advice and recommendations regarding the Apply Texas System, which is the state’s primary method for applying for admission to Texas public universities. “I wanted to expand my horizons and not just limit myself to serving the UTA community,” Mallipaddi says. “I saw this opportunity as a merger between education and legislation. It was a prestigious platform to use the leadership skills I attained in student government and apply it to enhance the education system in Texas. It also allowed me to make an impact and empower my peers, which I consider as one of my biggest accomplishments at UTA.” Mallipaddi has also excelled academically, making the Dean’s List and receiving the Dr. Gary Teng Scholarship, the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship and the Allan Saxe Health Related Scholarship. She’s majoring in psychology with a biology minor and plans to graduate in May 2018. “Psychology lets me see things holistically or on a macro level. It allows me to focus on the big picture rather than the little details. I am more interested in dealing with human subjects, and research in psychology allows me to do just that.” She plans to go on to medical school following graduation. “Growing up in India, I recognized and was inspired by the need to bring medical knowledge to rural communities and to individuals who often lack even the most basic care,” she says. It wouldn’t be surprising at all if Mallipaddi becomes a leader in the medical field; after all, she’s already has plenty of experience with leadership.
Birthplace: Hyderabad, India; her hometown is Fort Worth
Major: Psychology with a minor in biology
Current status: Senior
Favorite professorsr/instructor: Lee Ann Frederick, lecturer in biology. “She brings a lot of energy into the classroom and makes even the most boring concepts sound interesting,” Mallipaddi says.
Where she hopes to be in 5 years: “I want to graduate from medical school by then, and get into a competitive residency program.”

COS Spring 2017 Dean’s List
UTA student organizations

Calendar of events

Friday, November 3
3rd Annual Research Integrity Symposium
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rio Grande Ballroom, E.H. Hereford University Center
This year’s event will focus on collaborations between UTA researchers and those in nonacademic organizations. It will include panel discussions and a keynote address by Yali Friedman, author, chief editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and a leader in the biotechnology field.
Monday, November 6
Registration begins for Spring 2018 semester
Friday, November 10
Reception for Chien-Pai Han 1:30-3 p.m., Pickard Hall 305
Join the math department for a reception honoring Prof. ChienPai Han, who is retiring at the end of the semester after a 35- year career at UTA. Cake and punch will be served.
November 23-24
Thanksgiving holidays
Wednesday, December 6
Last day of classes for the Fall 2017 semester
Saturday, December 9
Departmental final exams
December 11-15
Final exams for the Fall 2017 semester
Friday, December 15
COS Fall 2017 Commencement 7-9 p.m., College Park Center
The COS and COE will hold a joint ceremony. Full details available here.

Planetarium at UTA

The Planetarium at UTA, one of the finest facilities in the nation, is equipped with a state of the art Digistar 5 DLP Projection system. The facility hosts shows, school field trips, special events and private functions. The Spring schedule runs through May 28. For show schedule, tickets, reservations and more, visit The Planetarium at UT Arlington and plan your trip to the stars today!

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