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

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dan Popa

Dr. Dan Popa

Researchers get $1.35 million grant to develop sensor garments for robots

Human-like robots with skin and clothes embedded with sensors that could help machines accurately perceive the environment and better assist human owners are at the heart of a new $1.35 million National Science Foundation project led by Dan Popa, associate professor of electrical engineering.

Dr. Popa, who leads the Next Gen Systems group within the College of Engineering, is the principal investigator of a collaborative effort to advance robots and robotic devices, improve prosthetics, and enable those devices to perform tasks that people can no longer do themselves.

The four-year project is part of the NSF’s National Robotics Initiative, which is aimed at accelerating the development and use of robots in the United States that work beside or cooperatively with people. The UT Arlington team’s grant was the largest among the initiative’s 37 awards this fall.

Co-principal investigators are Zeynep Celik-Butler, professor of electrical engineering and director of the Nanotechnology Research and Education Center; Donald Butler, professor of nanotechnology and electrical engineering; Frank Lewis, professor of electrical engineering and the Moncrief-O’Donnell Endowed Chair; and Nicoleta Bugnariu, associate professor of physical therapy and neuroscience at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth.


Graduate change: Phil Cohen, left, vice provost and dean of Graduate Studies, is returning to full-time faculty status. David Silva, vice provost for academic affairs, will serve as interim dean.

Cohen leaving Graduate Studies, Silva will serve as interim dean

Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies Phil Cohen will return to full-time faculty status in the Department of English. He will take a one-year faculty development leave during calendar year 2013 and resume his faculty role in January 2014.

Dr. Cohen joined the faculty in 1986. He served as associate dean of the Graduate School and chair of the Department of English before being named vice provost and dean of Graduate Studies in 2001.

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs David Silva will serve as interim dean, effective Jan. 2, 2013, and continuing until a replacement is named. This will be in addition to his current responsibilities as vice provost.

Dr. Silva joined the faculty as an assistant professor of linguistics in 1993, eventually becoming founding chair of the Department of Linguistics and TESOL in 2003. He has served as vice provost since 2007.


Commencement ceremonies begin Friday at College Park Center

Fall Commencement ceremonies for graduating students are Friday-Sunday, Dec. 14-16, at College Park Center. For the complete Commencement schedule and detailed information about tickets, attire, parking, formalities, photography, special accommodations, and more, go to

Friday, Dec. 14 - College of Nursing, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 15 - College of Business 10 a.m.; College of Education and Health Professions, 2 p.m.; College of Liberal Arts, 6 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 16 - School of Urban and Public Affairs, School of Social Work, and University College, noon; College of Science and School of Architecture, 3:30 p.m.; College of Engineering, 7 p.m.

Michael Moore

Dr. Michael Moore

Moore takes position with UA System

Michael Moore, senior vice provost and dean of undergraduate studies, has been named vice president for academic affairs of the University of Arkansas System.

Dr. Moore, who is credited with helping UT Arlington's 25-percent growth in online enrollment, will work with individual campuses within the system to coordinate online education and distance learning programs. He will begin Jan. 14, 2013.

“Michael Moore and I worked closely together when I served as provost at UT Arlington and I’m thrilled to bring his outstanding leadership skills to our administrative team at the University of Arkansas System,” says Donald R. Bobbitt, president of the UA System.

Jorge Rodrigues

Dr. Jorge Rodrigues

Research team recognizes predator-producing bacteria

Unique viruses called bacteriophages may play an important role in competition among bacterial strains, influencing the overall ecosystem of the human intestine, scientists at UT Arlington and UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say.

Biology Assistant Professor Jorge Rodrigues is part of a team led by Lora V. Hooper, an associate professor of immunology and microbiology at UT Southwestern, that examined the bacteriophages, or phages, produced by genetic information harbored in the chromosome of the mammalian gut bacterium Enterococcus faecalis.

They found that a phage unique to Enterococcus faecalis strain V583 in mice acts as a predator, infecting and harming other similar, competing bacterial strains. They believe these lab results suggest what goes on in the human intestine.

Read more about the bacteriophages research.

  Mav Pic Friends of Library

Holiday chorus

The Texas Tradition Chorus, a women's group that sings a cappella four-part barbershop harmony, performed at the Friends of the Library holiday meeting Friday at the Central Library.

Police Department recognized with National Night Out award

The UT Arlington Police Department is one of 12 universities or communities to receive the National Night Out All-Star Award from the National Association of Town Watch.

The awards are selected annually by NATW to honor individuals, organizations, or programs for outstanding participation, leadership, or assistance during the National Night Out campaign. The award recognizes exceptional or innovative accomplishments.

Mileage reimbursement changes Jan. 1

The standard reimbursement rate for mileage will change to 56.5 cents per mile for travel occurring on or after Jan. 1, 2013.

Note that the rate of reimbursement is affected by the travel date, not the reimbursement date.

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

SAC sponsoring food and toy drives

The Staff Advisory Council is collecting non-perishable items and new unwrapped toys for its food and toy drives through Friday, Dec. 14.

Drop-off boxes are in Davis Hall, the Central Library, E.H. Hereford University Center, University Hall, the Health Center, the Social Work Complex, Maverick Activities Center, and the Arlington Regional Data Center. The drives benefit the Tarrant Area Food Bank and the Arlington Life Shelter.

For more information, email

Planetarium hosts toy drive

The Planetarium is collecting toys for Cook Children’s Medical Center. Help make the holidays a little brighter by donating a new, unwrapped toy. Bring donations to the Planetarium ticket booth in the Chemistry and Physics Building.

In return, receive a $2 discount on any adult ticket through Sunday, Dec. 30.

Need ideas on what to donate? See the Cook Children’s wish list.

Benefit Yourself

Tobacco Cessation: Fresh Start from Tobacco

Four one-hour sessions cover steps to understanding addiction, quitting and coping strategies, and receiving help. It is important to attend all four sessions. Register. Free. Tuesday-Wednesday, Dec. 18-19. Room B03, Health Services Center. Human Resources training classes.

Winter Break Group Exercise

Classes are available in cycle, group strength, kickboxing, pilates, ultimate conditioning, yoga, and zumba. Participants must have an activated ID. Participation is limited to space and equipment availability. All classes must have a minimum of two participants. Through Friday, Dec. 21, and Wednesday, Jan. 2-Friday, Jan. 11. See the group exercise schedule. Maverick Activities Center, Campus Recreation, 2-3277.

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.

Sports Notes
Jordan Reves

Triple threat: Jordan Reves leads the men's team in scoring, rebounding, and blocks.


Mav men host Houston Baptist tonight

Returning to action after a 10-day layoff, the men’s basketball team hosts Houston Baptist at 7 p.m. tonight Thursday, Dec. 13, at College Park Center. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to the U.S. Marine Corps' Toys for Tots program and receive a free ticket for each toy donated.

The second home game of the season for the Mavericks, who are 4-2, is followed by four of their next five at College Park Center. The Mavs are tied for second in the nation in field goal percentage defense, limiting opponents to 34 percent shooting.

Jordan Reves leads the team in scoring (10.3), rebounding (11.0), and blocked shots (2.2). The balanced attack has seen five different players lead the team in scoring in the first six games.

Women return to action next week

Seeking to improve on a 1-7 record, the women’s basketball team gets back in action at North Texas at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Following the game at North Texas, the Mavericks host Oklahoma State at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22.

Malaika Green leads the team in scoring with 8.4 points per game, while Aron Garcia is the top rebounder with 6.6 per game.

(For more sports news, go to,, or

Going Out
  UTA Presents

Planetarium presents 'Not the End of the World'

Not the End of the World

Celebrate the end of the Mayan calendar, not the end of the world, at the "Not the End of the World" party 7 p.m. to midnight Friday, Dec. 21, at the Planetarium.

Take part in space-related arts and crafts, enjoy a lecture from astronomy professors, see the latest shows, and warm up with hot chocolate or apple cider. Planetarium shows cover topics on the end of the world, the Mayan civilization, and the winter solstice. Also, enjoy the real sights in the night sky with telescopes, weather permitting.

Save by purchasing a $15 pass to come to all shows and lectures. Individual tickets for shows are $6 for adults, $4 for children and seniors. Lectures are $2 per person.

Thursday, Dec. 13

Men's Basketball Mavericks vs. Houston Baptist. Boys & Girls Club Night. Free Santa hats and candy canes to first 50 fans. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to the U.S. Marine Corps' Toys for Tots program and receive a free ticket for each toy donated. 7 p.m. Also, 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, vs. New Mexico State; 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, vs. Denver. Tickets $3-$15. College Park Center. Athletics.

Friday, Dec. 14

Mavs Book Club Monthly selection is Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Both the book and the movie of the same name will be discussed. Everyone is welcome. Noon. Mellow Mushroom, downtown Arlington. Mavs Book Club.

Friday-Sunday, Dec. 14-16

Commencement Ceremonies open with the College of Nursing on Friday and conclude with the College of Engineering on Sunday. See schedule. College Park Center.

Saturday, Dec. 22

Women's Basketball Mavericks vs. Oklahoma State. Blaze's Kids Club Night, all members receive a UT Arlington bag. Free Santa hats and candy canes to first 50 fans. Jet Blaq will perform at halftime. Tickets $6. 2 p.m. College Park Center. Athletics.


BFA Exhibition Recent work created by 60 graduating seniors of the Department of Art and Art History is showcased in a variety of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, glass, printmaking, film/video, photography, and visual communication. Through Saturday, Dec. 15. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, noon-5 p.m. Saturdays, The Gallery at UTA, Fine Arts Building. Art and Art History.

African Art Collection Includes works collected by Jonathan Campbell, professor and chair of the Department of Biology, and his wife, Tanya Dowdey. Free. 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Room 2109, Visual Resources Commons, Fine Arts Building. Through Friday, Dec. 21. African Art Collection.

Planetarium Enjoy the holiday schedule through Sunday, Dec. 30. Holiday shows include Holiday Music Magic and Season of Light. Planetarium.

India Unveiled: The Photography of Robert Arnett A collection of images highlighting the diversity of India and its various regions. Free. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, through Jan. 5, 2013, sixth floor parlor, Central Library. Special Collections.

Pearls of the Antilles: Printed Maps of Caribbean Islands A look at maps and how they reflect and shape the history of Caribbean islands. Free. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, through Feb. 9, 2013, Special Collections, sixth floor, Central Library.

(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.

© 2012 The University of Texas at Arlington


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