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

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Vassilis Athitsos

Signing on: Dr. Vassilis Athitsos has secured more than $1.15 million for research on gesture recognition.

Researcher uses grants to help create online sign language dictionary

Vassilis Athitsos, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, has won two new National Science Foundation grants to further his work in developing a computer recognition system that eventually will yield a visual, online American Sign Language dictionary.

Dr. Athitsos has now secured more than $1.15 million for research on gesture recognition since joining UT Arlington in 2007.

One of the new grants will fund collaborative work among faculty from Boston, Rutgers, and Gallaudet universities to organize large collections of sign language video and make them easy to search and download from the web. Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. is the world's only university in which all programs and services are specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students.

“UT Arlington’s specific part in this project is coming up with a system that allows people to submit videos of signs online,” Athitsos says. “We then identify if and where those signs appear in our videos.”

Athitsos says the goal is to give researchers and the general public better access to these collections of videos.

Read more about sign language recognition.

George Low

Dr. George Low

Fellowship brings TCU marketing chair to campus

George Low, associate professor and chair of the Marketing Department at Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business, is serving as an ACE fellow at UT Arlington for the 2011-12 academic year.

His fellowship focuses on strengthening the relationship between higher education institutions and students upon receipt of their degrees/certificates.

Dr. Low has been a member of the TCU marketing faculty since 1996 and has served as chair of the department since 2007. Previously, he was a member of the faculty at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada.

“Working with UT Arlington President James Spaniolo and through a series of campus visits to other leading institutions, I hope to learn more about leadership in higher education,” Low says.

The ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, is designed to strengthen institutional capacity and build leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration.

College Park garage

Parking available: The College Park north garage has entrances on UTA Boulevard and Center Street.

New garage just one of several parking options this year

The morning rush can be a hectic challenge. Follow these tips for finding a parking spot and getting to your office.

Look for a parking lot on the interactive parking map. Build in time to catch free campus shuttle service, which runs along three routes every 15 to 20 minutes.

The recently opened College Park north garage has 529 spaces for faculty and staff. There is no extra charge to park in the garage. The only requirement is a University parking permit.

  • From the west, enter the north garage from UTA Boulevard.
  • From the north or east, enter via UTA Boulevard or Center Street.
  • From South Cooper Street, turn right on West Park Row Drive, turn left on Center Street, which becomes Mesquite Street. Turn left onto UTA Boulevard and south on Center Street to enter the garage.

Maverick Parking Garage, which requires a parking fee, is between Planetarium Place and South West Street, north of Pickard Hall.

Committee listing now available online

Several committees address many issues on campus, thanks to volunteers who serve. See a list of University committee representatives for 2011-12.

Committees are appointed upon the advice and counsel of the Committee on Committees or are elected through the Rules and Elections Committee.

If a chair is not designated, the first named committee member will be responsible for convening the committee to choose a permanent chair. Notify Connie Frazier at when a permanent chair has been selected. Minutes of meetings should be submitted to the administrative officer to whom the committee reports.

Many appointments involve a rotation system, with term expiration at the end of the summer session of the year designated in parentheses. Committee members serving in an ex officio capacity do not have term appointments.

Students are members of several committees. Student representatives will be named later and forwarded to the chair or convener of the committee.

  Mav Pic Maverick Cookout

Hot off the grill

Keeping the burgers moving at the Maverick Cookout and Activities Fair are, from left, Vice President for Student Affairs Frank Lamas, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Donald Bobbitt, and President James D. Spaniolo. More than 150 campus departments and organizations provided displays as faculty, staff, and students enjoyed food and fun while collecting information about the campus. See a slideshow.

Partner Breakfast brings faculty, community together for service

Faculty members are invited to meet directors of nonprofit community organizations in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex interested in forming partnerships with faculty and students at the Partner Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, in the Carlisle Suite of the E.H. Hereford University Center.

The Center for Community Service Learning presents the complimentary breakfast. To attend, RSVP by Monday, Sept. 12, to Sharon Hughlett at or 2-2124.

Travelers must submit documentation

For all point-to-point mileage reimbursements, University travelers must submit payment vouchers and documentation from either the traveler’s odometer reading or the University’s approved mapping service at

Mileage will be reimbursed at $0.555 per mile for travel dates effective July 1.

For assistance with mileage reimbursement or any other travel-related question, call Travel Support Services at 2-2194.

Water restrictions cause Oozeball postponement

North Texas drought conditions and severe water restrictions have prompted the University to postpone the annual Oozeball event until the spring.

The Maverick-style mud volleyball tournament was scheduled to take place Friday, Sept. 16. It will now be held Friday, April 27.

Read more about Oozeball.

Job Fair volunteers needed

Volunteers are needed for the Fall Job Fair Wednesday, Sept. 21, at the Maverick Activities Center. The fair, hosted by the Career Center, has shifts available in one-hour increments 7 a.m.-4 p.m.

To volunteer, visit the Career Center in Room 216 of Davis Hall and fill out a form or contact the Career Center at 2-2932 or

University Club monthly special today features fried chicken

The University Club's first monthly special for the fall is today, Thursday, Sept. 1. Cost is $8 per person plus tax.

Executive Chef Steve Vincent is preparing fried chicken, vegetarian chili bread bowl, corn on the cob, red skin mashed potatoes with gravy, green bean salad, and cheesecake tartlets with blueberries and cherries. The regular menu will not be available today.

The University Club is located on the basement level of Davis Hall and is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Offices closed for holiday

Campus offices will be closed and there are no classes Monday, Sept. 5, in observance of the Labor Day holiday. MavWire will not be published Monday and will resume Thursday, Sept. 8.

Benefit Yourself

Rape Aggression Defense System

Learn the 10 basic principles of self-defense, risk avoidance, and more. Free for female faculty, staff, and students. Register. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 24, Room 135, Maverick Activities Center. UT Arlington Police, Officer Randy Reynolds,

Effective Delegation

Learn practical tips and specific steps to boost productivity, maximize teamwork, and meet deadlines. Free. 2-4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, Room 200, Wetsel Service Center. See a complete list of HR training classes.

Hip Hop Dance

Work your body and mind with everything from breakdancing and jazz to pop and lock, and house stepping. Call 2-2581 to receive faculty/staff discount fee of $50. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Fridays, Sept. 9-Oct. 21, Maverick Activities Center. Continuing Education.

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.

In Quotes

Involved grandparents can make life grand

Achieving success through perseverance

Words come and go in the dictionary

"In an age of single parents and dual careers, families can use all the support they can get."

"My thoughts or advice for the younger generation is to slow down in your studies and learn the basics very well."

"It's useful for speakers of any language to see that the word stock is always changing-new words are steadily adopted by users, and some old words drop out, too."

— Dr. Mary Lynn Crow, professor of curriculum and instruction in the College of Education and Health Professions, on how grandparents bond with their grandchildren.

— Dr. Minerva Cordero, associate professor of mathematics in the College of Science, in an autobiography on growing up.

— Dr. Laurel Smith Stvan, associate professor of linguistics in the College of Liberal Arts, on adding and dropping dictionary words.
Christian Science Monitor

Sports Notes

Top flight: Amanda Aguilera was named to the All-Tournament team at the El Paso Volleyball Invitational last weekend.


Volleyballers travel to Tulsa for tournament

After opening the season with a 1-3 record, the Maverick volleyball team plays four matches in the Hurricane Invitational at the University of Tulsa this weekend, meeting host Tulsa and UC Davis on Friday before facing North Dakota State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday.

In the El Paso Invitational last weekend, UT Arlington downed Southern University on Friday before losing to Portland State and UT El Paso on Saturday. The Mavericks then dropped a 3-0 decision to North Texas at Denton on Tuesday.

Schedule announced for conference golf champs

The Notre Dame Gridiron Classic highlights the fall golf schedule for the defending Southland Conference champion Mavericks.

UT Arlington opens the fall season with a tournament at Wichita, Kan., Sept. 12-13, and will host its own tournament at Waterchase Golf Club Sept. 19-20, before going to Notre Dame Sept. 26-27.

Other fall tournaments include trips to Macon, Ga., and San Antonio.

(For more sports news, go to,, or

Going Out

Thursday, Sept. 1

Organ and Harpsichord Recital Linton Powell, professor of music, performs his 36th annual fall recital. Free. 7:30 p.m., Irons Recital Hall, Fine Arts Building. Music, 2-3471.

Friday, Sept. 2

$2 Movie: Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl Blacksmith Will Turner teams up with pirate Jack Sparrow to save his love from Jack's former pirate allies, who are now undead. Rated PG-13. 5:30 p.m. Also 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3. Planetarium, 2-1183.

Wednesday, Sept. 7

College of Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series Craig Newmark, founder of and, presents "Getting Real Change Done with Social Media." RSVP. Free. 6 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. lecture, Lonestar Auditorium, Maverick Activities Center. College of Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series.

Immortal Life

$2 Movie: Tron A hacker is literally abducted into the world of a computer and forced to participate in gladiatorial games in this 1982 version. Rated PG. 5:30 p.m. Also 5:30 p.m. Friday Sept. 9, and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10. Planetarium, 2-1183.

Thursday, Sept. 8

Mavs Book Club This month's book is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. It is also the OneBook program selection for this year. The club meets the second Thursday of each month and everyone is welcome. Free. 5 p.m., Starbucks, E.H. Hereford University Center. See the current reading list.


Levitt Pavilion Concert Series The fall Levitt Pavilion Arlington concert series begins today, Thursday, Sept. 1, featuring Brave Combo, a nuclear, mosh-pit polka band. Highlights include UT Arlington Night on the Town on Friday, Sept. 16, and the UTA Jazz Orchestra performing Sunday, Sept. 25. The month-long series continues through Saturday, Oct. 1. Free. Levitt Pavilion Arlington, 100 W. Abram St.

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 Friday, 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 Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Broken Sugar An exhibition of 22 mixed-media sculptures and two-dimensional works by Melba Northum. Free. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays; 2-6 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays. Through Friday, Sept. 30. Gallery 76102, Fort Worth Center.

Pink Floyd

Life and Death in the Northern Passage Photojournalist Dominic Bracco II ('08 BA) provides a view of drug violence in Ciudad Juarez. Free. Through Jan. 14. Sixth floor parlor, Central Library.

Planetarium Enjoy a '60s style laser light show set to the music of Pink Floyd. 7 p.m. Saturdays. 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.

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