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

Monday, November 11, 2013

Samarendra Mohanty

Laser focus: Samarendra Mohanty, assistant professor of physics, has received a two-year grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

NIH funds researchers using light to control, monitor neural activity

UT Arlington researchers are exploring a better method for initiating certain gene therapies that could better fight the sight-deteriorating disease retinitis pigmentosa.

Samarendra Mohanty, assistant professor of physics, has received a two-year grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Dr. Mohanty's research involves using near-infrared ultrafast laser beam to deliver genes that allow expression of light-sensitive proteins, called opsins, in specific cells. The proteins’ expression allows researchers to influence neural activity through optical or light stimulation—a technique known as optogenetics.

“Our minimally invasive near-infrared method can deliver DNA and other impermeable molecules effectively where you want it and only where you want it,” says Mohanty. “For example, in retinitis pigmentosa, only peripheral retina begins to lose light sensitivity due to loss of photoreceptors. This is where a laser can deliver the genes, making those neurons respond to light again.”

Some of those methods are described in a recently published paper by the Biophysics and Physiology Laboratory group called “Fiber-optic two-photon optogenetic stimulation,” which appeared in the journal Optics Letters.

Digant Dave, associate professor of bioengineering, is the co-investigator on the new grant.

Read more about the optogentic research.

Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper appearance postponed

The appearance of CNN anchor Anderson Cooper today, Monday, Nov. 11, has been postponed. Cooper is traveling on assignment to cover the massive destruction in the Philippines caused by Typhoon Haiyan over the weekend. The Nov. 11 appearance will be rescheduled and announced at a later date.

All ticket holders will be contacted by email. Preferred ticket holders will be given a full, automated refund. Once a new date is set for the event, current general admission and preferred ticket holders will be contacted and given a "first buy" opportunity 48 hours in advance of tickets being released to the general public. Current standby ticket holders will not be included in the "first buy" opportunity. Questions should be directed to the UTA Box Office at 817-272-9595.

The New York Times has described Typhoon Haiyan as "one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall." Unconfirmed reports have placed the death toll as high as 10,000.

Cooper's appearance is part of the Maverick Speakers Series, the University's premier lecture series. In its sixth year, the Maverick Speakers Series provides a forum for today's brightest minds to examine the people, ideas, actions, and solutions that impact the world around us. For more information, visit

GO Centers-Carla Amaro-Jiménez

Dr. Carla Amaro-Jimenez

Coordinating Board awards funds for GO Centers

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has awarded a $200,000 grant to enhance UT Arlington's high school-based college readiness offices, also known as “GO Centers."

Now in its fifth year of operation, UT Arlington has one of the largest such programs in the state.

“The THECB support that we receive is critical to helping all students find their educational path upon high school graduation, including those who may have at one point or another not considered college as an option,” says Carla Amaro-Jiménez, director of the Pathways to College Access and Career Readiness Program that oversees the GO Centers and assistant professor of bilingual/ESL education in the College of Education and Health Professions. 

UT Arlington has 20 GO Centers at schools within five area school districts—Arlington, Grand Prairie, Mansfield, Everman, and Fort Worth. UT Arlington undergraduate students known as the “G-Force” staff the centers. Over the past five years, UT Arlington has received more than $930,000 in THECB funding for its efforts.

Read more about the GO Centers.

Homecoming 2013

Homecoming is here

It’s Homecoming time in Maverick Country. Join the excitement Monday-Sunday, Nov. 11-17, for a week of fun activities, heart-pounding sports action, and unbridled enthusiasm for all things Maverick.

The week warms up when teams compete for bragging rights and a trophy in the Chili Cookoff. Register by today, Monday, Nov. 11. The cookoff is noon-1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, on the University Center mall.

Have your car painted with Maverick pride 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, in the Arlington Hall turnaround. Removable car decals are available, and it's all free.

Exchange those old school rags for designer Maverick duds 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday-Friday, Nov. 14-15, on the University Center mall.

Other events include Friday's pregame fun at 4 p.m., the 5 p.m. Homecoming parade featuring big lighted floats, marching bands, special guests, and UTA's traditional display of decorated and lighted golf carts. It all winds up with a pep rally in front of College Park Center, where the men's basketball team plays Cleveland State.

Saturday is filled with open houses and more.

Lend a hand by volunteering for one or more Homecoming events.

See the schedules and details for Homecoming 2013.

 Austan Pierce, Desherra Nwanguma, and Brandon Edwards

Back in action: From left, Austan Pierce, Desherra Nwanguma, and Brandon Edwards are among the returning Maverick basketball players.

Basketball season 2013-14 tips off

Basketball season starts in earnest after out-of-town games for the men's and women's Mavericks and a weekend tournament for the wheelchair teams.

The men's team opens its home season at College Park Center against Samford Tuesday, Nov. 12, and Howard Payne Wednesday, Nov. 13. The men face Cleveland State Friday, Nov. 15, for Homecoming at College Park Center. All three games start at 7:30 p.m. UT Arlington was 19-14 last season and reached the NIT in 2012 as the Southland Conference regular-season champions and the CIT in 2013.

The women's basketball program starts a new era with head coach Krista Gerlich. The women opened the 2013-14 season Friday at Houston Baptist and Sunday at Oklahoma State. The first home game is 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, against Incarnate Word at College Park Center.

See the various season ticket packages at or call 2-6319. Faculty/staff specials are $75 and $50.

In wheelchair basketball, the Lady Mavs made their debut in collegiate play during the weekend tournament. The new team played Alabama, Illinois, and Dallas. 

The Movin' Mavs men's team faces the Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, in the Maverick Activities Center. All Movin' Mavs games are free.

The Movin' Mavs host the NWBA Intercollegiate Division National Championships March 6-9, 2014, at College Park Center and the Maverick Activities Center.

Veterans Day Event

Veterans honored today

UT Arlington will recognize the service of students, faculty, and staff who have served in the armed forces at "A Celebration of Service" on Monday, Nov. 11.

The Maverick Battalion and Color Guard, plus the UTA Drum Corps, oversee the flag retreat ceremony at 5 p.m. on the Central Library mall. Guest speakers include State Rep. Diane Patrick and UTA President Vistasp Karbhari.

A limited number of tickets are available to veterans to see Anderson Cooper at the Maverick Speakers Series at 7:30 p.m. at College Park Center. Student veterans will receive free T-shirts from the Student Veterans Organization. Pizza on the mall follows the program.

In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in the atrium on the sixth floor of the Central Library.

Robert Hower

Robert Hower

Hower named to NASAD Commission on Accreditation

Robert Hower, professor and chair of the Department of Art and Art History, was recently named to the National Association of Schools of Art and Design’s Commission on Accreditation.

NASAD is the national accrediting body for more than 330 schools throughout the U.S. In his new role, Hower will meet with the commission twice a year to make accreditation recommendations to the NASAD board.

Hower has a 15-year relationship with NASAD and helped UT Arlington earn NASAD accreditation on its first submission.

“Our goal is to be a Top 25 art and art history department," Hower says of UT Arlington's art program. "It’s a challenge. You need to have all the pieces to the puzzle: the advertising, visiting scholars and artists, funding, and our faculty and students who create outstanding work. The NASAD appointment is just one of the pieces.”

  Mav Pic Poly Sci Week-José Ángel Gutierrez

Public debate

Dr. José Ángel Gutiérrez, professor of political science, discusses immigration Thursday on the Central Library mall during Political Science Week.

Today's HUB fair promotes underutilized businesses

Companies compete for your department's business at the Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Vendor Fair 1:30-3:30 p.m. today Monday, Nov. 11, in the Bluebonnet Ballroom of the E.H. Hereford University Center.

Representatives from more than 25 companies will be on hand for office supplies, office furniture, florist, promotional items, computers, apparel, cookies, chocolates, signs, framing, printing, information technology equipment, scientific equipment, medical supplies, and much more.

To be HUB certified, a company must be a minimum of 51 percent owned and operated by a minority, woman, or disabled veteran. Read more about UT Arlington's HUB program.

Because the event is on Veterans Day, bring your old American flags, which will be retired by the Boy Scouts of America. Door prizes, snacks, and giveaways are part of the event.

For information, contact Jean Carlton, director of the HUB program, at 2-2140 or

Mav Pic Veterans Activities Fair

Serving those who serve

Earl White, left, computer science junior and a U.S. Air Force veteran, discusses resources with Roxanna Latifi, a student development specialist with University College, at the Veterans Activities Fair on Thursday at the Maverick Activities Center.


SharePoint User Group meeting Wednesday

The UTA SharePoint User Group (SPUG) invites faculty and staff to attend its meeting 1–2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, in Room 106 of College Hall.

SPUG was created to help users share ideas about how to use SharePoint to streamline common departmental/committee tasks and processes. During SPUG meetings, users are invited to highlight their sites and solutions or ask how a particular process might be improved using SharePoint. SPUG is also intended as a means of communication with departmental site owners.

Users new to SharePoint are encouraged to log in to learn more about SharePoint and the training opportunities available within

For more details, go to the SPUG website.

Alternative Breaks needs advisers for Denver trip

Alternative Breaks is looking for faculty/staff advisers for the Alternative Spring Break trip to Denver on March 9-14, 2014.

Faculty and staff will work in an advisory capacity with a student site leader on the trip. Fees are waived for advisers.

During the trip, students will work with PlayWorks Denver, the Florence Crittenton Teen Pregnancy Services, and the Denver Parks and Recreation.

Applications are due by Wednesday, Nov. 27. For more details, contact Joey Usher at or 2-9220.

Angels available for adoption this holiday season

Sponsor a child's holiday wish list this season through the Angel Tree. Choose an infant to young teen to sponsor by yourself, with friends, or with your department.

To adopt an angel, visit the Leadership Center in Suite B 160N of the lower level of the E.H. Hereford University Center. All gifts are due by Wednesday, Nov. 27.

For questions, call the Leadership Center at 2-9220.

  Mav Pic Sarah Little

New game on campus

Senior Sarah Little made her mark when the Movin' Mavs women's team debuted in collegiate play Friday. The women's wheelchair basketball team faced Alabama during a weekend tournament. 

Recycle electronics at two events

Two electronic recycling events are coming to campus this month.

America Recycles Day is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, near the southwest corner of Woolf Hall. Departments will be responsible for bringing their items for recycling. Items with a UT Arlington sticker will not be accepted.

The University and the city of Arlington host another recycling day 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, Nov. 23, in Lot 49, on the southeast corner of Cooper and Mitchell streets. Enter the lot from the south on Doug Russell Road. Proof of Arlington residency is required.

Bring computers/CPUs, monitors, computer peripherals, printers, fax machines, keyboards, photocopiers, televisions, VCRs, microwaves, stereos, home and office phones, cellphones, consumer electronics, printer cartridges, and rechargeable alkaline batteries.

Not accepted are large household appliances such as washers, dryers, and refrigerators. Call 817-317-2000 for disposal of these items.

Campus Sustainability hosts the event. For more information, contact Becky Valentich at or 2-0199.

Native American Month explores family, frybread

Explore native family roots and the deeper meaning of frybread during Native American History Month in November.

Associate Professor Donna Akers, director of the Interdisciplinary Studies program, will lead a discussion on "How to Discover Your Native Roots" at noon-1 p.m. today, Monday, Nov. 11, in Room 101 of College Hall.

Filmmaker Travis Holt Hamilton screens his award-winning film, More than Frybread, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, in Room 106 of College Hall. A pseudo-documentary, the film centers on a handful of Native American contestants at a fictionalized First Annual Frybread Championship. 

Both programs are free and open to the public.

Sponsors include the Native American Student Association, Honors College, Multicultural Affairs, and the Division of Student Affairs.

Mav Pic talent show-Asian Heritage Month

On a roll

Wes Mathewson, University Studies, rocks and rolls at the One Night in Asia talent show for Asian Heritage Month. The entertainment was Wednesday in the Rosebud Theatre.


See demonstration of travel booking portal

Take a tour of Concur, the University's new online travel booking portal. Representatives from Corporate Travel Planners will demonstrate the portal and answer your questions.

Travelers and travel arrangers have three chances to participate.

 2-4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, second floor lounge, Maverick Activities Center

 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, Room 609, Business Building

 2-4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, Room 100, Nedderman Hall

RSVP to for the location you will attend.

Outstanding Maverick Awards deadline extended

There's more time to nominate a great employee or team of employees for the Outstanding Maverick Awards. The nomination form can be submitted electronically through Friday, Nov. 22.

Regular full-time and part-time employees who have been employed for a minimum of two years are eligible for nomination. Each Outstanding Maverick selected will receive $1,000 and a plaque at a dinner honoring the recipients.

Award categories are (1) professional, para-professional, and technical; (2) administrative support; (3) service and maintenance; (4) administrative and professional; and (5) team with a maximum of 10 members.

For questions please contact Eunice Currie at 2-7091.

Benefit Yourself

FlexPay grace period, claims filing deadline Nov. 15

The grace period for your 2012-13 UT FLEX Health Care Reimbursement Account (HCRA) ends Friday, Nov. 15.

The UT FLEX Dependent Day Care Reimbursement Account (DCRA) does not qualify for the grace period. 

All UT FLEX HCRA and DCRA claims for the 2012-2013 plan year, which ended August 31, 2013, including those incurred during the grace period, must be submitted no later than Saturday, Nov. 30, or they will not be eligible for reimbursement. Submissions may be faxed, uploaded, or postmarked by that date. 

For questions regarding your UT FLEX account, visit or contact PayFlex Customer Service at 866-887-3539.

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.

Extra Credit

Monday, Nov. 11

Donna Akers

How to Discover Your Native Roots Associate Professor Donna Akers, right, director of the Interdisciplinary Studies program, explores Native American genealogy. Free. Noon-1 p.m., in Room 101 of College Hall. Native American Student Association.

HUB Vendor Fair Join forces with historically underutilized businesses for purchasing opportunities. 1:30-3:30 p.m., Bluebonnet Ballroom, E.H. Hereford University Center. Business Affairs.

Tuesday, Nov. 12

Developing Assertive Communication Skills Register online. Free. 9-11 a.m., Room 200, J.D. Wetsel Service Center. Human Resources.

Martial Arts/Self-Defense Workshop Following a demonstration, participants pair up for a self-defense workshop and a discussion on how to defend yourself in the real world. Free. Noon-1 p.m., indoor soccer court, Maverick Activities Center. Asian Heritage Month

Wednesday, Nov. 13

Research Incubator Seminar Series James Campbell Quick, the John and Judy Goolsby-Jacqualyn A. Fouse Endowed Chair in Management, and Ann McFadyen, associate professor of management, present "No Accident: Health, Well-being, and Performance at Work." Free. 2-3:30 p.m., Room 245E, Business Building. Business. Business.

Thursday, Nov. 14

Dealing with Difficult Employees and People Register online. Free. 2-4 p.m., J.D. Wetsel Service Center. Human Resources.

NanoFab Seminar Yogesh B. Gianchandani, director of the Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSensing and Systems at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, discusses "Emerging Research in Microsystems: Opportunities and Challenges for Environmental Sensing." RSVP to, 2-1536. Free. 3:30 p.m., Room 106, Nedderman Hall. Nanofab

Friday, Nov. 15

Videoconferencing Tools for Teaching Faculty members can discover how to use videoconferencing tools and webinars in classes. Bring a mobile device to download the free Blackboard Collaborate mobile app. RSVP to Free. Noon-1 p.m., Room 324, Science Hall. Curriculum and Instruction.

Robotics Activities at NCSR: Deomkritos Costas Spyropoulos and Vangelis Karkaletsis discuss the National Centre for Scientific Research. Free. 2:30 p.m., UTARI, 7300 Jack Newell Blvd. S., Fort Worth. UTA Research Institute.

Coming up

Human Resources Training Classes Dealing Effectively with Conflict and Confrontation, 9-11 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 19; Team Building for Supervisors, 9-11 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 21; and Time Management, 9-11 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 26. Register online. Free. J.D. Wetsel Service Center. Human Resources.

Global Entrepreneurship Week Speakers present their successful ideas and experiences in the world of entrepreneurship. Schedule. Free. 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, Room 100, Nedderman Hall. Business.

The Body Language of Leadership and Power Caroline Keating, professor of psychology at Colgate University, speaks on how the way a leader looks, sounds, and moves is a powerful weapon. Part of the Goolsby Leadership Academy 10th anniversary celebration. Free. Wednesday, Nov. 20, Bluebonnet Ballroom, E.H. Hereford University Center. Goolsby Leadership Academy, Business.

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

Going Out
  UTA Presents

Religious Conflict in 'Heaven'

As If In Heaven

Religion and conflict propel As It Is in Heaven, a Maverick Theatre Company production Nov. 15-24 in the Studio Theatre in the Fine Arts Building.

As It Is in Heaven by Arlene Hutton looks at the lives of nine Shaker women as they struggle to maintain balance in their day-to-day life as members of the United Society of Believers in the Second Coming of Christ. A vision of angels sets the Shaker village of Pleasant Hill, Ky., spinning when a newcomer to the religious community claims to receive special “gifts” from above.

Directed by Assistant Professor Anne Healy, the cast includes theatre arts majors Ashley Clyde, Emily Burgardt, Molly Pope, Rachel Glass, Kristina Broadway, Anna-Marie Boyd, Samantha Fields, Stephanie Olivas, and Chasity Willis. Kathryn Graham is the understudy.

Production by theatre specialists include: D.J. Badon, scenes; Kris O’Brien, costumes; Austin Brown, lighting; Christopher Jared Land, sound; and Joe Kongevick, makeup. Eric Smith serves as stage manager.

Show times are 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Nov. 15-16, and Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 21-23, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24.

Tickets are $7 for faculty, staff, students, and senior citizens, and $10 for the general public.

For tickets/reservations, group rates, or further information, contact the UT Arlington Department of Theatre Arts Box Office at 2-2669 or

Monday, Nov. 11

Faculty Trombone Recital Dennis Bubert, visiting assistant professor of trombone, performs. Free. 7:30 p.m., Irons Recital Hall, Fine Arts Building. Music.

Tuesday, Nov. 12

Maverick Club Luncheon Meet the Maverick cross country team, which won the 2013 Sun Belt Conference championship. $5 for 2013-'14 Maverick Club members, and $10 for non-members. Noon, Hospitality Suite, College Park Center. Maverick Club.

Honors Recital Free. 7:30 p.m., Irons Recital Hall, Fine Arts Building. Music.

Men's Basketball Mavericks vs. Samford. Tickets $5. 7:30 p.m., College Park Center. Also, vs. Howard Payne, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13Athletics.

Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company Improv comedy show. Free. 7:30 p.m. Rosebud Theatre, E.H. Hereford University Center. EXCEL Campus Activities.

Thursday, Nov. 14

Women's Basketball Mavericks vs. Incarnate Word. Tickets $5. 7:30 p.m., College Park Center. Athletics.

Friday, Nov. 15

UT System Day Wear your orange and blue for a group photo of Maverick Pride in being part of the UT System. Refreshments. Noon, Moritz Plaza outside College Park Center. UT System Day.

Men's Basketball Mavericks vs. Cleveland State. Tickets $5. 7:30 p.m., College Park Center. Athletics.

Saturday, Nov. 16

Faculty Jazz Concert Free. 2 p.m., Rosebud Theatre, E.H. Hereford University Center. Music.

Wind Symphony Concert Tickets $5 students/seniors, $8 general public. 7:30 p.m., Irons Recital Hall, Fine Arts Building. Music.

Movin' Mavs Wheelchair Basketball Movin' Mavs vs. Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks. Free. 2 p.m., Maverick Activities Center. Movin' Mavs.

Sunday, Nov. 17

UTA Jazz Alumni Concert Free. 7:30 p.m., Irons Recital Hall, Fine Arts Building. Music.

Coming up

Concerts Percussion Ensemble Concert, Tuesday, Nov. 26.  Free. 7:30 p.m., Irons Recital Hall, Fine Arts Building. Music

'More than Frybread' Mockumentary about native contestants in the fictionalized 1st Annual Frybread Championship. Free. 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, Room 106, College Hall. Native American Heritage Month.


The Gallery at UTA: Amy Blakemore/Sarah Williams Sarah Williams' haunting paintings and Amy Blakemore's offbeat photographs provide an introspective view of human activity. Gallery hours 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and noon-5 p.m. Saturdays. Through Saturday, Nov. 16Art and Art HistoryThe Gallery at UTA.

Gallery 76102: Sweetie Pie Gallery 76102: Sweetie Pie Works made of cast granulated sugar by Janet Morrow examine the notion of sweetness and our ambiguous reactions to it. Gallery hours noon-6 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, Gallery 76102, 1401 Jones St., Fort Worth. Through Saturday, Nov. 30Fort Worth CenterGallery 76102.

MavsArt View artwork created by UT Arlington students, staff, and faculty. Free. First floor, Central Library. Through Sunday, Dec. 8. MavsArt.

Special Collections: Howdy, Mr. President! A Fort Worth Perspective of JFK Photos of President John F. Kennedy's visit to Fort Worth in November 1963 are from the historic Fort Worth Star-Telegram Collection in Special Collections. Gallery hours 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, sixth floor, Central Library. Through Feb. 8, 2014. UT Arlington Library, Special Collections.

The Maverick Lens: Views from the Library This annual photo exhibit reflects the diversity of learning, living, and working at UT Arlington. See also "50 Years of Views." 8 a.m.-7 p.m., sixth floor parlor, Central Library. Through March 5, 2014. UT Arlington Library.

Mindful Moments Learn techniques to help deal effectively with stress. New day and location. Free. 12:15-12:45 p.m., Fridays, Room 310, Ransom Hall. Health Services.

Planetarium The fall schedule includes Bad Astronomy: Myths and MisconceptionsPink FloydSecret of the Cardboard RocketSpacepark 360, and Stars of the PharaohsPlanetarium.

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



Editor: 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.

© 2013 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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