For the Faculty and Staff of The University of Texas at Arlington

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Pomp and circumstance: More than 1,300 students are candidates for degrees at Summer Commencement ceremonies, which will be held Friday through Sunday in Texas Hall.

Summer Commencement ceremonies begin Friday

The newest class of UT Arlington graduates will earn degrees at Summer Commencement ceremonies Friday, Aug. 14 through Sunday, Aug. 16 at Texas Hall.

The students include 850 candidates for bachelor's degrees, 472 for master's degrees and 44 for doctoral degrees.

Ceremonies for the College of Education and Health Professions and the School of Nursing will be held Friday, Aug. 14. School of Social Work, College of Business, College of Engineering and College of Liberal Arts ceremonies are scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 15. The ceremony for the College of Science will be held Sunday, Aug. 16.

The School of Architecture and the School of Urban and Public Affairs will not have summer ceremonies.

For more information, see


Celebrate the new academic year with MavsMeet and faculty/staff reception

Kick off the 2009-10 year in grand style by attending the annual MavsMeet New Student Convocation at 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21 in Texas Hall. MavsMeet has grown into one of UT Arlington's signature traditions and provides a great opportunity to celebrate your Maverick pride.

The keynote speaker is Darryl Lauster, assistant professor of art and art history in the College of Liberal Arts. The event also features remarks and multimedia presentations by President James D. Spaniolo, Provost Donald Bobbitt, Vice President for Student Affairs Frank Lamas and Student Congress President Kent Long, as well as performances by the Adonis Rose Quintet and the UT Arlington Marching Band.

MavsMeet commemorates the beginning of the academic year and launches the Maverick Stampede Welcome Week, which includes a robust slate of programs centered on integrating new and returning students into campus life.

Immediately following the convocation, faculty and staff are invited to join the president and MavsMeet platform party for a reception at the University Club in Davis Hall. Light hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be served, and music will be provided by the Adonis Rose Quintet.

For more information, see MavsMeet.

Dr. Jian Yang

Breakthrough fluorescent biomaterials
to aid disease treatment

A breakthrough discovery in fluorescent biomaterials can more efficiently deliver medicine to cancerous areas of the body, build temporary stents in arteries and even regenerate tissue, a research team from UT Arlington and the UT Southwestern Medical Center has found.

The team, led by Jian Yang, assistant professor in the Department of Bioengineering, has developed fluorescent biopolymers that use small, non-toxic molecules such as citric acid to illuminate cancerous regions and deliver needed drugs to the body. The polymers also function as implant materials and are biodegradable, so they eventually dissipate naturally, Dr. Yang says.

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Yang's team $406,218 during the next two years.

The findings have been published in the prestigious "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" and have "spectacular implications for biomedicine," says Ralph Mason, professor of radiology and director of the UT Southwestern Cancer Imaging Center.

"This is exciting because we use small molecules like citric acid that can be found in human bodies and also in beverages in our daily life to make the totally degradable polymers for drug and luminescence delivery," Yang says. "These new materials build a solid foundation for many biomedical applications."

For more information, see the news release.

A difference charge density plot showing significant charge transfer

Atoms bond: UT Arlington researchers are looking at simulations to help dispose of nuclear weapons.

Cleaning up the Cold War

The United States and Russia agreed this summer to cut their strategic nuclear arsenals by at least 25 percent. Researchers led by UT Arlington physics Professor Asok Ray now are helping determine how to safely dispose of the highly radioactive uranium and plutonium in the decommissioned nuclear weapons.

Dr. Ray and his team of postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students are using the Lonestar supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center in Austin, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center operated by the Department of Energy and the UTA Supercomputing Center, to simulate the electronic structures of uranium, plutonium and other actinide materials. These simulations help the group understand the basic nature of radioactive elements and better predict their reaction processes when exposed to common elements like oxygen, hydrogen, water and carbon dioxide, among others.

"Let's say the United States and the former Soviet Union come to agreement on how to destroy some of their nuclear weapons, which have plutonium and uranium in them," Ray says. "When you destroy them, what happens to the uranium and plutonium? Or if you want to store them underground, how, over hundreds of years, will they react with atmospheric gases?"

For more information, see the news release.

Staff Advisory Council nominations due by Sunday

The Staff Advisory Council's biennial elections will be held online throughout August, and the deadline for nominations is midnight Sunday, Aug. 16.

  MavPic New space for new discoveries

New space for new discoveries

Dr. Karel Zuzak, assistant professor of bioengineering, and bioengineering graduate student Abhas Thapa, unpack items for the optical table after moving into the newly added third floor of the Engineering Lab Building last week. The 700-pound optical table, made of stainless steel with threaded holes evenly spaced on a grid, allows components to be bolted down so they can't move when designing electro-optical systems for surgical utility and performing vibration-less measurements.

Nominations can be made at SAC representatives have reorganized the council's districts by campus buildings rather than job titles; therefore, the employee names eligible for your district may include others from various departments.

Speak with the individuals prior to nominating them to make sure they are interested in serving. Only benefits-eligible, classified employees and librarians are eligible. If your name is not on the nomination form and you would like to be added, e-mail

SAC is an advisory body through which eligible staff members may make recommendations to the UT Arlington administration about staff-related interests, concerns and issues. A transcript and audio of the Annual Staff Forum held July 1 is available on the SAC Web site.

Dr. Nedderman to appear at Theatre Arlington on Saturday

UT Arlington President Emeritus Wendell Nedderman will appear as a special guest star in the Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy "Harvey" at Theatre Arlington at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15.

B.J. Cleveland, a UT Arlington adjunct lecturer in theatre arts, is starring as Elwood P. Dowd, a role created by Jimmy Stewart in the vintage film. Cleveland, who is also an alumnus, isn't divulging information about Dr. Nedderman's role, but says it's not just a silent walk-on. Performances are scheduled Thursday-Sunday through Aug. 30, but Nedderman will appear only on Aug. 15. Call 817-275-7661 for reservations.

Volunteers needed for Move-In Event

Faculty and staff are invited to help the newest Mavericks settle in by participating in the 10th annual Residence Hall Move-In Event from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20 at any of five residence halls on campus.

  MavPic Dinosaur dig

Digging in

Dinosaurs lecturer Derek Main shows area Boy Scouts the Arlington Archosaur Site in north Arlington. Main, a geology graduate student and teaching assistant, says the site is unique because it's a major dinosaur excavation in the middle of a large metropolitan setting, and it preserves many fossils from different animals. Excavation began in spring 2008 when the Huffines Group obtained the property and granted access to UT Arlington. To date, more dinosaur fossils have been recovered from the site than from any other location in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The site lies within Cretaceous rocks, formed 95 million years ago when Arlington was the beachhead for a giant sea that divided the continent.

Please click the link to volunteer. Jobs include working at the welcome table, cart driver, mover or working at the cardboard recycling station. Volunteers will receive a free T-shirt. The event is sponsored by the Office of Apartment and Residence Life in the Division of Student Affairs and is a part of the Maverick Stampede Welcome Week. For a full schedule, see

Street Work on UTA Boulevard,
Pecan Street

The intersection at UTA Boulevard and College Street will be partially closed and, at times, fully closed until Friday, Aug. 21 while an electrical duct bank is installed. Plan your travel route to faculty/staff parking lot F-12 accordingly.

Pecan Street, from UTA Boulevard to Mitchell Street, will remain closed until resurfacing is completed Wednesday, Aug. 19.

Get a free two-week pass at the MAC

Faculty and staff can sign up for a free two-week pass to the Maverick Activities Center now through Sunday, Aug. 16 by presenting a valid ID at the MAC Services and Information desk and by turning in this coupon. The coupon must be presented by Aug. 16, and you can then use the MAC facilities free of charge for two weeks, but no later than Aug. 30.

The MAC features cardio machines, circuit training units, free weights, group exercise rooms, basketball courts, volleyball courts, indoor tracks, racquetball courts, badminton courts, a game room and a climbing wall. Memberships for employees and retirees can be paid monthly, by semester or by payroll deduction. Memberships for spouses of employees also are available. For more information, call 2-3277 or visit

Campus Recreation lists interim hours for MAC, P.E. Building

The Maverick Activities Center and Physical Education Building will have limited hours starting Saturday, Aug. 15. The Campus Recreation Fields Complex will be closed from Aug. 15-22. The schedule for the MAC and P.E. Building is:

Saturday, Aug. 15-Sunday, Aug. 16


Monday, Aug. 17-Wednesday, Aug. 19

6 a.m.-10 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 20

6 a.m.-6 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 21

6 a.m.-10 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 22

Noon-9 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 23


Monday, Aug. 24

Fall Schedule Begins

MAC and P.E. Building Fall Hours


6 a.m.-Midnight


Noon-8 p.m.



Campus Recreation Fields Complex Fall Hours


5 p.m.-11 p.m.




7 p.m.-11 p.m.

OIT maintenance scheduled Sunday morning

The Office of Information Technology file and print services will be unavailable from 2-7 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 16 due to system maintenance. This will affect the J: and K: drives as well as MavSpace for all faculty, staff and students.

Cowboys Stadium employees to use campus parking

During stadium events, Cowboys Stadium employees use lots 47, 49, 50, 51 and 52. Nursing students can park at the north end of lot 47, east of Pickard Hall. Other students, faculty and staff will be redirected to lot F-10 and, if needed, lot F-13. Upcoming events include:

  • Paul McCartney concert, 7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 19

  • Dallas Cowboys vs. Tennessee Titans, 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 21

  • Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers, 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 29

Benefit Yourself

Living Well Health Manager: Health coaching

Some individuals may be eligible to receive support from a personal health coach. Through a series of convenient phone conversations, your health coach can help you establish your health goals—and create a personalized program to meet your needs. Your coach will help you focus on the lifestyle behaviors that can help maximize your health. Some of the topics you discuss may include:

  In the Spotlight

Carla Amaro-Jiménez, coordinator of the Center for Bilingual Education, received the Garvin Distinguished Dissertation Award this summer at the University of Cincinnati. Her dissertation was titled "Latino children's English as a second language and subject-matter appropriation through technology-mediated activities: A cultural historical activity theory perspective."

Carla Amaro-Jiménez

Q: Tell us about the Garvin Distinguished Dissertation Award.
A: It's an award that recognizes the scholarship/research of one recently graduated doctoral student from the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services at the University of Cincinnati. A blind-review panel of faculty carefully selects nominees, and one recipient is selected per year.

Q: How did you choose your dissertation subject?
A: After three years of coursework and reviewing the literature, I realized that there was a great need to understand the impact that the use of technology activities in elementary classrooms was having on the achievement of Latino children, in general, and third-grade children, in particular. I chose third grade because of the "fourth-grade slump," which refers to the lack of readiness that some third-grade minority and at-risk children have that prevents them from achieving academic success in school.

Q: How did you do the research for the dissertation?
A: I conducted a longitudinal mixed-method study in which I actively participated in six classrooms at three different public schools in the Midwest. I say actively because I spent many hours in the classrooms, trying to understand the 21 children participants, the six teachers and everything that went on at the respective schools.

Q: Tell us about your position as coordinator for the Center for Bilingual Education.
A: I have had many opportunities to work both directly with pre- and in-service teachers as well as parents and stakeholders in the field of ESL and bilingual education in the Metroplex. I also have been the adviser for G-Force, a student-run initiative here at UTA that seeks to provide mentoring opportunities to high school students who are underserved and underrepresented in higher education such as Latinos.

  • Exercise

  • Nutrition

  • Strength training

  • Weight management

  • Stress management

  • Smoking cessation

To see if you're eligible for a personal health coach, you must first complete your HQ located in your Living Well Health Manager. While it's up to you to take the first step toward better health by completing the HQ, support is just around the corner to help you achieve your big dreams of better health.

To complete the WebMD HQ, go to

Food for Thought: Nutrition and Healthy Living

Come learn ways to implement effective lifestyle changes, including healthy eating habits, snacking on the go, incorporating more exercise into your daily life and other tips for healthy living. Wednesday, Aug. 12, Noon-1 p.m., Maverick Activities Center, Room 101B. See the complete list of training classes.

Discovering purpose

Having a clear purpose helps guide your decisions and empowers you to act in a clear and focused manner. In a world that perpetuates your fears and plays on your doubts, it is essential that you discover your purpose and learn how to live it out. This course offers you the tools for discovering purpose and keys to putting the purpose into your every action and response. Thursday, Aug. 20, 2-4 p.m., Wetsel Service Center, Room 200. See the complete list of training classes.

Employment information

Check out UT Arlington employment opportunities at Have questions? Call Human Resources/Employment Services at 2-3461 or TDD 2-8139 or e-mail The University of Texas at Arlington is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.

In Quotes

GI Bill benefits keep improving

Some water users could fill a ballpark

New branding doesn't always work

"This is a great option for today's young veterans. I'm just thrilled."

"The water would be roughly eight feet deep."

"A few years ago, K-Mart did a similar thing when they came out with the Big K. They haven't had great success with that."

– Dr. Alexa Smith-Osborne, assistant professor of social work, who works with the student veterans programs, on how expanded GI Bill benefits are affecting universities and providing veterans with a greater opportunity to earn their college degrees. Star-Telegram.

– Dr. Jianping Zhu, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics in the College of Science, on mathematical calculations in a story about some of North Texas' biggest water users. KXAS NBC 5.

– Dr. Elten Briggs, assistant professor of marketing in the College of Business, was quoted as a branding expert in a story on Radio Shack's planned rebranding as "The Shack." Star-Telegram.

Sports Notes
  Teena Sobczak

Volleyball workouts under way

Volleyball practices began Monday as the Mavericks point toward the season opener in late August. Only three newcomers arrive into preseason workouts compared to eight freshmen a year ago. Teena Sobczak enters her fourth season with the Mavericks and is the lone senior on this year's squad. Last year UT Arlington had only two seniors, Ally Wade and Michelle Schwartz.

The Mavericks open the season Aug. 28 against Oral Roberts University in the Illinois State Redbird Classic at Normal, Ill.

Athletics Hall of Honor to induct four new members

Baseball pitcher Jeff Burrow, football standout Mike Barnes, javelin All-American Jenny Hockett and softball player and coach Rayla Allison will be inducted into the Department of Athletics Hall of Honor on Sept. 12 at the Arlington Hilton Hotel Grand Ballroom.

Athletics launches new Web design

There's a new look to the Athletics Department's Web site. Check it out at

Going Out

Aug. 15 through Sept. 13 World View at Eclectic Expressions World View features three artists who have recently moved to this area. They are successful Nigerian artist Okezie Nwosu, Panamanian art professor Natascha Riffkogel and Carol Simmons from Charleston, S.C. Free. Eclectic Expressions Artists' Studios & Galleries, 201 E. Sanford, Arlington. Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, noon-5 p.m.; and by appointment, 817-860-ARTS. Faculty, staff and students receive a 15 percent discount on all paintings. Classes also available. See Eclectic Expressions.

Now through Aug. 22 Master of Fine Arts Exhibition The second annual Master of Fine Arts Exhibition features works by a diverse group of graduate student artists at varying stages of their program of study. Free. The Gallery at UTA, Room 169, Fine Arts Building. Films will be screened concurrently in Room 2105. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays through Aug. 22. Contact the Department of Art and Art History at 2-2891.

Now through Sept. 30 Fort Worth: A Vision in Glass Gallery 76102 at the Fort Worth Center hosts an exhibit that highlights various disciplines in the glass arts, including glassblowing, kiln-formed glass, flameworking, neon sculpture, stained glass, glass mosaic and cast glass. Free. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday. Monday, Wednesday and Friday by appointment only. Contact Christina Graves at 2-5988.

The Planetarium at UT Arlington

Ongoing UT Arlington Planetarium programs Summer shows include Texas Stargazing, Stars of the Pharaohs, Black Holes, Secret of the Cardboard Rocket, Stars at Night are Big and Bright, Bad Astronomy, matinees and $2 movies. Faculty and staff with ID and their accompanying family members receive free admission on Thursdays through Aug. 20. Check the Planetarium Web site for upcoming shows. Contact the Planetarium at 2-1183 or for tickets.

(For an expanded list of events, see the UT Arlington Calendar)


Editors: Jim Patterson, Teresa Newton

Web Developer: James Barberousse

Photographers: Beth McHenry,
Robert Crosby

Executive Director for University Publications: Mark Permenter

Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing:
David Johnson

Vice President for Communications:
Jerry Lewis

Published by University Communications

© 2009The University of Texas at Arlington

MavWire is published by the Department of University Communications on Mondays and Thursdays (except for holidays) during the fall and spring semesters, and on Wednesdays during the summer. To submit items for possible inclusion in MavWire, e-mail Items must be received three working days before distribution. Inclusion of events and activities in MavWire does not necessarily constitute an endorsement by the University. Read the MavWire Guidelines .

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