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

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gina Thames

A winning distance: Nursing Clinical Instructor Gina Thames received a top honor from the U.S. Distance Learning Association.

UT Arlington receives third consecutive award for excellence in distance education

Gina Thames, a clinical instructor in the School of Nursing, won the Gold Best Practices in Excellence in Distance Learning Teaching, marking the third year in a row that a UT Arlington faculty member has received a top honor from the United States Distance Learning Association.

The three consecutive wins "speak very highly of our online teaching efforts and our commitment as an institution to quality online education," said Pete Smith, assistant vice president for distance education.

Thames teaches pharmacology in nursing, a prerequisite course that nursing students must pass before entering the nursing program. Her online course includes video vignettes or mini-soap operas about misdiagnosis.

Previous winners from UT Arlington include Debbie DeWitte, who won the 2008 platinum medal for Best Practices Award for Excellence in Distance Learning Teaching, and Caryl Segal, who received the 2007 gold medal for Best Practices in Online Distance Learning Programming. DeWitte is an adjunct assistant professor of art and art history, and Segal is a former lecturer in criminology and criminal justice.

learn more

Basketball camp

Camp action: Several sports camps are available on campus this summer, and faculty and staff are invited to enroll their children.

Sign up your children for sports camps

UT Arlington offers several summer camps for young athletes, ranging from those beginning a sport to those who want to refine their skills. Camps are available in baseball, tennis, basketball, volleyball, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis.

A high school showcase baseball camp will begin May 25. A baseball all-skills camp and a junior tennis camp start June 8 with the baseball competition camp starting June 15. There are two boys' basketball camps, one starting June 8 and another beginning June 29. A $25 discount is available on the boys' basketball camps for children of UT Arlington employees. Girls' basketball camps will begin June 15 and June 29. Two volleyball camps will begin July 13; one is an all-skills camp and the other is an advanced position camp.

There are also two camps for wheelchair athletes. The Movin' Mavs wheelchair basketball camp and the wheelchair tennis camp both begin July 27.

learn more

Bike rack at UT Arlington

Pedal pushers: Faculty and staff are encouraged to ride a bicycle to work on National Bike to Work Day on May 15.

National Bike to Work Day May 15

The North Central Texas Council of Governments invites you to participate in National Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 15. Take this day as an opportunity to break out of the regional habit of driving to work alone—a practice of 79 percent of regional commuters—to support alternative commuting. The physical, environmental and mental rewards of commuting by alternative modes are numerous. If biking or walking is not possible, consider arranging a carpool or vanpool or commuting by bus or rail.

Although more than half of the U.S. population lives within five miles of their workplace, lack of knowledge and incentive has deterred many from commuting by bike. Hundreds of U.S. cities have been successful in increasing bicycle commuters by offering enticements on Bike to Work Day.

MavPic Marvin Malecha and Wanda Dye

Architecture professor receives national award for teaching excellence

Architecture Assistant Professor Wanda Dye received the national American Institute of Architects Education Honor Award for teaching excellence in her course, "The Everyday City." The purpose of the award is to discover and recognize the achievement of individuals who serve the profession as outstanding teachers. She is pictured with Marvin Malecha, president of AIA.

Planetarium gets NASA designation

NASA logo

The Planetarium at UT Arlington has been designated as a member of the NASA Museum Alliance, which entitles it to use a special NASA logo and send staff members to space launches.

NASA's Museum Alliance is a nationwide network of informal educators at museums, science centers and planetariums that present NASA information to their local audiences. Begun in 2002 as the Mars Museum Visualization Alliance with advisers from a dozen museums, the network has grown to more than 300 people from 200 organizations, including a dozen or so international partners.

Graduate Studies offers grants to faculty for course modification

The Office of Graduate Studies is once again offering seed grants to graduate faculty to develop or modify graduate courses to include an intellectual engagement component for the fall 2009 semester. The grants aim to increase the number of graduate courses that provide opportunities for students to participate in a mutually beneficial partnership with an external organization in which students may directly experience and observe a course's conceptual and theoretical content in a real-world setting.

Intellectual Engagement Seed Grants (I Engage Grants) will be awarded to support the following: (1) development of a graduate course that includes an intellectual engagement component, (2) addition of an intellectual engagement component to an existing graduate course or (3) improvement upon an intellectual engagement component that already exists within a graduate course. Up to $5,000 will be awarded, with a maximum individual award of $1,000.

The call for proposals and an application to apply can be obtained at The deadline to submit a proposal is July 1.

Steam outage scheduled to begin May 18

Just a reminder that the Thermal Energy Plant must shut down steam service to portions of campus to complete inspection and repair requirements of the system components. The shutdown will begin Monday, May 18 at 1 a.m. and continue through Wednesday, May 20 at 10 p.m.

During the time designated, the buildings served by the Thermal Energy Plant will be without hot water and steam (yes, you will still have electrical power, air conditioning and cold water service). If you have any questions concerning the buildings or equipment that will be affected by this outage, call Larry Harrison in the Office of Facilities Management at 2-3458.

Make plans now to attend MavsMeet

Save the date! Help kick off the 2009-10 academic year at the MavsMeet New Student Convocation on Friday, August 21 at 4 p.m. in Texas Hall. Faculty, staff and students will be welcomed by President James D. Spaniolo, Provost Donald Bobbitt, Vice President for Student Affairs Frank Lamas, Dean of Architecture Donald Gatzke, Student Congress President Kent Long and a distinguished UT Arlington faculty speaker.

A faculty and staff reception will immediately follow the convocation in the University Club. The MavsMeet AfterParty will feature live music, free food, games and activities on the Library mall.

Benefit Yourself

The art of listening

Although most people believe they are good listeners, many only really listen to a small portion of a conversation. If you want to become a good listener, then this course is for you. Participants will learn the basics of good listening as well as tips for identifying listening style and how to get the most out of a face-to-face conversation. The course is scheduled for Thursday, May 14, 2-4 p.m., Wetsel Service Center, Room 200.

For a complete list of training classes see

BlueExtras discount program

Living Well from the UT System

BlueExtras is a discount program that provides you and your covered dependents access to discounted health care products and services not usually covered by your health care benefit plan. There's no additional fee to participate in BlueExtras. It's just one more advantage of being a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas member.

learn more

OIT training and documentation services

OIT's Training and Documentation Services team provides training, orientations and workshops to meet the needs of faculty, staff and students. Every semester, Training and Documentation Services offers free computer classes covering topics such as MyMav, MavSpace, MavMail, MS Office 2007, MacOS, PowerPoint, Access, HTML, Student Web pages, NetID and others. In addition to free computer classes, team members are available to provide customized training and orientation services to your class or department.

For a full up-to-date list of computer training classes or to register for a computer class, please visit the OIT Training Web site.

In Quotes

Legislation welcomed for Tier One

Steel quality must be checked

Texas modernism relates to 1950s

"I don't think there is a precise timetable for any of the institutions. The way I would characterize it is as a marathon and not a sprint."

"The steel is not checked for quality control. It's not right. I guess if accidents happen, it will change eventually."

"A concept that took off in the 1950s, Texas modernism refers to homes that use local materials, are designed to respond to the area's hot summers and mild winters and nod to traditional Texas structures."

- UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo on measures recently discussed in the Texas Legislature that would boost the University's quest to become a Tier One or national research university. Star-Telegram. learn more

- Dr. Stathis Meletis, a structural engineering professor and chair of the Materials Science and Engineering Department, on accidents involving light poles that have cracked or collapsed at stadiums across Texas and in other states. Dallas Morning News. learn more

- Donald Gatzke, dean of the School of Architecture, on a project called the Urban Reserve, a 13-acre development in Dallas dedicated to contemporary design. The Wall Street Journal. learn more

Sports Notes
Andrew Kainer

Hitting streak: Andrew Kainer has now hit safely in 35 straight games to set a Southland Conference record.

Baseball reaches milestones

The baseball team achieved several milestones in the past week. Senior Andrew Kainer extended his hitting streak to 35 games, breaking the Southland Conference record set in 1996 by Brett Lockwood of Nicholls State.

The Mavericks also clinched a spot in the SLC Tournament as they swept a three-game series with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at Clay Gould Ballpark. In doing so, the baseball program notched its 700th home victory, and head coach Darin Thomas picked up his 50th career win in his third year at the helm. The Mavericks play a three-game series against Lamar University this weekend in Beaumont.

Sports briefs

The softball team opens play in the Southland Conference Tournament against Stephen F. Austin at 11 a.m. today at Lake Charles, La. … The women's tennis team will face Baylor at 2 p.m. Friday in the NCAA Regional. … Track teams begin competition Friday in the Southland Conference Championships at Nacogdoches. … The golf team will make its fourth NCAA regional appearance in the last five years, playing at Austin, May 14-16.

For more information on athletics, see

Going Out

Thursday, May 7 UTA Symphony Orchestra Concert Tickets are $5 general public and $3 students/seniors. 7:30 p.m., Fine Arts Building, Irons Recital Hall. 2-3471 or

Friday, May 8 Spring Choral Concert Tickets are $5 for general public and $3 for students/seniors. 7:30 p.m. Fine Arts Building, Irons Recital Hall. Contact 2-3471 or

Saturday, May 9 Three in One Room Three short one-act plays directed by Natalie Gaupp, UT Arlington visiting assistant professor of Theatre Arts. The plays, which deal with the complexity of human relationships, are performed by students from the UT Arlington Theatre Arts Department and professional Metroplex actors. Free. 2 p.m. The Modern in Fort Worth.

Now through May 16 Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition Showcases 74 graduating BFA students working in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass, metals, printmaking, film/video and visual communication. Fine Arts Building, The Gallery at UTA. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Call 2-5658 for more information.

Now through May 16 Collecting Our History: 35 Years of Special Collections The exhibit features photographs, documents and artifacts from the UT Arlington Library's Special Collections. Five areas of interest within the collection are University archives, local history, Texas history, labor union archives and cartography. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Central Library, sixth floor. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. 2-3393 or e-mail for more information.

Now through May 31 Faculty/Staff Creative Works Exhibit Features books written by UT Arlington faculty and staff. Free and open to the public. Central Library, sixth floor atrium and parlor. Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Contact Tommie Wingfield at 2-2658 or

Ongoing UT Arlington Planetarium programs Spring shows include Ice Worlds, Bad Astronomy, Rock on Demand, The Secret of the Cardboard Rocket, matinees and $2 movies. 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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