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

Thursday, July 21, 2011

WAC news conference

That's WAC: Western Athletic Conference Commissioner Karl Benson, left, joined President James D. Spaniolo, center, and Athletics Director Pete Carlon at a news conference last week announcing UT Arlington's move to the WAC in 2012.

Mavericks move to Western Athletic Conference in 2012

UT Arlington has accepted an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference, a move that will elevate the University’s competitive sports programs and increase its national profile.

UT Arlington becomes the 10th member of the WAC for the 2012-2013 academic year, joining Louisiana Tech University, New Mexico State University, and Utah State University, among other institutions. UT Arlington is the third Texas institution to move to the WAC for the 2012-2013 season, along with UT San Antonio and Texas State University.

The University of Texas System Board of Regents approved the move unanimously during a regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, July 14. WAC conference play will coincide with the first, full basketball season in UT Arlington’s College Park Center, a 7,000-seat, split-bowl arena—part of a 20-acre mixed-use development scheduled to open in late summer 2012.

“We are honored to join the Western Athletic Conference,” President James D. Spaniolo says. “This is an extraordinary opportunity that advances the interests of our University and positions our athletics programs to compete at a higher level. It is clear recognition of the growing prominence of UT Arlington.”

Read more about UT Arlington and the Western Athletic Conference.

Town hall meeting at noon Friday in Maverick Activities Center

Faculty and staff are invited to attend a town hall meeting hosted by President James D. Spaniolo and Provost Donald R. Bobbitt noon-1 p.m. Friday, July 22, in the second floor lounge of the Maverick Activities Center.

The president will provide a brief update on issues of interest and importance to the University community, but the bulk of the forum will be dedicated to a question-and-answer session.

If you're unable to attend the meeting, feel free to submit any questions via email to the president at or to the provost at

  Mav Pic Benefits Fair 2011

Beneficial moment

Jordan Durham, left, track and field assistant coach, listens to Jud Arrington of ING at the Benefits Fair on Wednesday in the Bluebonnet Ballroom of the E.H. Hereford University Center. Annual Enrollment continues through July 31. Learn more about Annual Enrollment or contact Employee Benefits Services at 2-5558 or

Tobacco-free campus set for Aug. 1

UT Arlington will become a tobacco-free campus on Monday, Aug. 1, to foster a healthier community for students, employees, and visitors.

The ad hoc committee began meeting in January 2009 and solicited input about University tobacco use rules through a series of campus forums and meetings. Other data were collected through an online survey distributed to 29,000 members of the campus community. The committee issued a report recommending that UT Arlington become a tobacco-free campus by August 2011, and President James D. Spaniolo approved the measure.

Read more about UT Arlington's tobacco-free policy.

Health Services offers the Fresh Start From Tobacco program free to all faculty, staff, and students. See the schedule for the classes.

Sign up online for Maverick Cookout

Join the fun of the annual Maverick Cookout and Activities Fair Day by volunteering. Sign up online by Friday, July 29, as a hamburger flipper, soda server, or other needed position.

The cookout and activities fair are 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31, on the E.H. Hereford University Center mall. The event draws more than 3,000 students and allows faculty and staff a chance to interact with them.

More details are available from Molly Albart at or 2-1104.

Summer issue of Environmental Health and Safety newsletter now online

Stay inside out of the heat and read the summer issue of the Environmental Health and Safety summer newsletter. Find articles about avoiding heat stress, how to handle suspicious mail, and helpful guidelines on how to set up the ideal ergonomic workstation.

Mav Pic Benefits Fair 2011

Veterans' voice

Annetta Ramos, left, a Navy veteran and undeclared freshman, talked with Meighan Burke, student orientation special programs coordinator, at last week's veterans orientation. The students learned about programs and benefits in addition to campus tours and routine orientation presentations.


Reserved space permits available at the Parking Office at Wetsel Service Center

Reserved space permits and permit upgrades are available at the Parking Office, 1225 W. Mitchell, Suite 112, in the Wetsel Service Center. Hours are 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.

The cost is $500 to renew, which can be posted to payroll deduction. Employees who work at least 30 hours per week may use payroll deduction, which starts with the Oct. 1 paycheck for eight months. Options include pre-tax or after-tax payroll deduction, or charging your University account.

Reserve permits are not available online, so they need to be picked up in person. Current reserved space owners must renew their permits by Wednesday, Aug. 31.

For questions or if you want to be placed on the waiting list, email Mary Mabry at

Use survey to let management group, city know what you want downtown

Your feedback can help the Downtown Arlington Management Corporation and the City of Arlington. Take a couple of minutes to complete a survey that will help DAMC and the city focus on priorities that are important to people who work in or near downtown Arlington.

The downtown Arlington survey link has been updated.

The survey is available through Saturday, July 30.

Benefit Yourself
  In the Spotlight

Blog brings attention to biologist's research

Dr. Laura Gough

The National Science Foundation awarded biology Associate Professor Laura Gough two grants to study the impact of soil temperature changes in artic Alaska. Her research spans different ecosystems with an emphasis on arctic tundra and has been profiled this summer in the New York Times' Scientist at Work blog.

Q. Tell us about your research in Alaska.

A. The first is focused on understanding how climate warming is affecting plant and soil communities. As the atmosphere warms, arctic soils thaw in summer more deeply, allowing bacteria, fungi, and invertebrates to become more active and decompose dead plants in the soil. This provides more nutrients to other plants so they can grow larger. We are trying to understand these interactions using long-term experiments that increase soil nutrient availability.

My other project is a collaboration with Natalie Boelman at Columbia University and John Wingfield at California-Davis. We are studying how migratory songbirds use shrub and open tundra for food and shelter to understand how the changes in vegetation affect their breeding. My students and I are sampling insects, spiders, and other arthropods in shrub and open tundra to figure out how they use these habitats and how much food they provide for the birds. Boelman and I work together to study vegetation, and Wingfield and his students focus on the birds.

Q: Is your research limited to certain months?

A: Our field season begins in early May and ends in mid-September. The migratory songbirds always arrive about the third week of May. By late August, fall has arrived. We process plant and soil samples in the lab at UT Arlington during the winter and spring.

Q: How have the NSF grants helped your research?

A: My research would be impossible without these grants. It is quite expensive to reach the field station and costs a lot to stay there. Luckily, both of these grants are relatively lengthy—four to five years—allowing us to sample multiple seasons. The grants provide funding to support graduate and undergraduate student research, as well as a postdoctoral scientist.

Q: How have the blogs in the New York Times increased exposure for your research?

A: The blog definitely brought new interest in the songbird project. An entomologist in Texas saw the post and distributed it to other entomologists in Texas. Boelman was interviewed by Newsday because of the blog. We've also been contacted by teachers and others interested in our work, which will help us with scientific outreach.

Managing Stress in the Workplace

Is stress affecting how you function at work or at home? How you handle stress makes all the difference. Learn what stress is and how to identify and understand it. In addition, discover how to identify the sources of your stress. Free. 9-11 a.m. Wednesday, July 27, Room 200, Wetsel Service Center. See the complete list of HR training classes.

Public Speaking

Discover public speaking techniques that will prepare you to convey your message in a clear and understandable way, and learn how to interact with, persuade, and influence your audience. Call 2-2581 for faculty, staff discount fee of $99.50. 6-9 p.m., Monday, Aug. 1, and Wednesday, Aug. 3, Continuing Education and Workforce Development. Continuing Education.

Microsoft Outlook 2010

Explore the basic and advanced features of MS Outlook that uses Exchange connection to connect to the UTA email system. Learn how to manage your emails, quota, appointments, and scheduling more effectively. Free. 2-4 p.m. Monday, July 25, Room 123, Hammond Hall. See more information about OIT training classes.

Mindful Moments

Take a break from stress with Mindful Moments. Free. 12:15-12:45 p.m. Wednesdays, Room 150, Business Building. Health Services, Marie Bannister, 2-2771.

Employment Information

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

Going Out
  UTA Presents

Hybrid Formula SAE race car debuts this weekend

Formula SAE car

UT Arlington’s Formula SAE racing team will debut its hybrid car in the 11th annual Texas Autocross Weekend beginning Saturday, July 23, on the University campus.

Top cars designed and built by student members of the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers will compete for bragging rights on two different autocross tracks on UT Arlington parking lots near Cooper and Mitchell streets. The competition measures speed and precision.

J.P. Merkel, a UT Arlington senior and captain of the hybrid team, estimates that the vehicle may top out at 80 mph on the track and accelerate at more than 1G—four times faster than an average street car.

Attend an open house during the afternoon Friday, July 22, in the UT Arlington FSAE shop in Woolf Hall, Rooms 102, 104, and 121. Teams will tweak their racing machines to provide an edge for the weekend’s competition.

The 11th Annual Texas Autocross Weekend runs 8:30 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at Lot 49.

Read more about the hybrid race car and the Texas Autocross Weekend.

Thursday, July 21

Free Movie: Scream 4 Sidney's appearance brings about the return of Ghostface. Rated R. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. Refreshments at the concession stand. Beginning after dusk, approximately 9 p.m., lawn west of Maverick Activities Center. EXCEL Campus Activities.

Friday, July 22

$2 Movie: True Grit Nominated for 10 Academy Awards. Rated PG-13. 5:30 p.m. Also 2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 23. Planetarium, 2-1183.

Wednesday, July 27

$2 Movie: Finding Nemo A boy clownfish is stolen from his coral reef home, and his timid father travels to find Nemo. Rated G. 5:30 p.m. Also 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 29, and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 30. Planetarium, 2-1183.

Thursday, July 28

Free Movie: Prom Teenagers get ready for their high school prom. Rated PG. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. Refreshments at the concession stand. Beginning after dusk, approximately 9 p.m., lawn west of Maverick Activities Center. EXCEL Campus Activities.


897 Square Features contemporary art by University faculty, staff, and students, and others in Tarrant County. The title refers to the U.S. Census Bureau's calculation that Tarrant County has a total area of 897 square miles. Free. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays; 2-6 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. Through July 30. Gallery 76102, Fort Worth Center.

Flow: Dalton Maroney 1982-2011 Exhibit is composed of 17 sculptures and six works on paper created by Maroney, an associate professor in the Department of Art and Art History. Free. 1-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays, 1-5 p.m. Sundays. Through July 31. Arlington Museum of Art, 201 W. Main St., Arlington.

Exposure: Photos from the Second Battle of Fallujah Photographs taken by UT Arlington student and Marine Corps veteran Joel Chaverri. Free. Through Aug. 6. Sixth floor parlor, Central Library.

Six Flags Over Texas Exhibit Celebrate 50 years of an Arlington landmark. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays. Free. Through Aug. 13. Special Collections, sixth floor, Central Library.

Influence Exhibit Three members of the Department of Art and Art History faculty—Marilyn Jolly, Sedrick Huckaby, and Carlos Donjuan—have combined their talents for this painting exhibit. 3-9 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays. Free. Through Sept. 9. Oak Cliff Cultural Center, 223 W. Jefferson Blvd., Dallas.

Texas Rangers Baseball Get tickets for faculty, staff, students, alumni, family, and friends. Access and use the password rangers for designated games through Sept. 14.

Planetarium NanoCam: A Trip Into Biodiversity is a fascinating journey exploring life-forms that are invisible to the human eye and contribute to a better understanding of the world we live in. 5:30 p.m. Saturdays, 6 p.m. Tuesdays. See the summer schedule. Planetarium, 2-1183.

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



Editors: Jim Patterson, Teresa Newton

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. Photography, video, design, and online services provided by the Department of Communications and Marketing.

© 2011 The University of Texas at Arlington


MavWire is published on Mondays and Thursdays (except for holidays) during the fall and spring semesters and on Thursdays during the summer. To submit items for possible inclusion in MavWire, email 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.

MavWire welcomes any non-employees of UT Arlington who would like to subscribe.

The University of Texas at Arlington

UT Arlington News Center UT Arlington Magazine Research Magazine Maverick Calendar MavWire Archives


Mavericks Go Green