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

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Jorge Rodrigues

Greenhouse filter: Dr. Jorge Rodrigues, assistant professor of biology, organized research on the Amazon rainforest's conversion to pastureland and its effects on microorganism communities that clean greenhouse gas.

Microbe changes may reduce Amazon's ability to cut carbon dioxide

UT Arlington researchers focusing on the Amazon recently found that widespread conversion from rainforest to pastureland has significant effects on microorganism communities that may lead to a reduction in the region’s role as a reservoir for greenhouse gas.

A new paper, featured in the January issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology, looks for the first time at the reaction of free-living nitrogen-fixing microorganisms called diazotrophs to the deforestation. Jorge Rodrigues, an assistant professor of biology, organized the work. Babur Mirza, formerly a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Rodrigues' lab, is the paper's lead author.

“This study shows that although the diversity of diazotrophic microorganisms remains the same with the conversion from forest to pasture, the types of species found are different,” Rodrigues says. “Our next step is to measure how the rates of biological nitrogen fixation are influenced by community changes."

The Amazon rainforest is the largest terrestrial reservoir or “sink” for carbon dioxide, a gas that has been linked to climate change. Through photosynthesis, the Amazon absorbs 1.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year.

Read more about the Amazon rainforest research.

Jacob Resch

Test results: Dr. Jacob Resch, director of the Brain Injury Laboratory, is lead author on a review of computerized neurocognitive testing for concussions that is widely used in amateur and professional sports. 

Concussion tests' marketing outpaces scientific evidence, new review says

Computerized neurocognitive testing for concussions is widely used in amateur and professional sports, but little research over the past decade proves its effectiveness, according to a paper published this month in the journal Neuropsychology Review

Jacob Resch, director of UT Arlington's Brain Injury Laboratory, is lead author on the review that updates a 2005 look at the available research on computerized neurocognitive testing. 

The more recent work acknowledges that computerized tests, such as those marketed under the name ImPACT, HeadMinder, CogState, and ANAM, have become commonplace across the sports world. But, the authors still urge caution with their use and point out a need for more peer-reviewed studies.

“While these products are an important component of concussion management, their development, marketing and sales seem to have outpaced the evidence,” Dr. Resch says.

Read more about the review of concussion testing.

Anderson Cooper

Swap old tickets for new ones to see Anderson Cooper on Feb. 10

Swap your general admission and preferred tickets to the postponed appearance of CNN anchor Anderson Cooper during a 48-hour exclusive "first buy" opportunity starting Tuesday, Jan. 14. Instructions will be sent via email.

Cooper will be on stage for the Maverick Speakers Series event at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, at College Park Center with moderator Krys Boyd, host and managing editor of KERA-FM's midday talk show Think.

Cooper's appearance Nov. 11 was postponed due to the journalist being assigned to report on the massive destruction in the Philippines caused by Typhoon Haiyan. 

All remaining tickets will be made available to the general public starting at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, through

Tickets to the Nov. 11 event will not be honored. Questions should be directed to the UTA Box Office at 2-9595.

Cooper took his background in war correspondence for Channel One News and ABC to CNN in 2001, where he reported on major breaking news stories and handled live coverage for the military conflict in Baghdad. His show, Anderson Cooper 360°, has aired on CNN since 2003. He has earned many accolades throughout his career, including several Emmys, a Peabody, and two GLAAD Media awards.

Roland Martin

Roland Martin

Events to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

UT Arlington will pay tribute this month to Martin Luther King Jr. and celebrate those who have shared the late civil rights leader’s dream of equality and justice.

Nationally syndicated columnist Roland Martin is the keynote speaker for the annual Advancing the Dream Awards Banquet at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, in the Bluebonnet Ballroom of the E.H. Hereford University Center. Martin is a former CNN political analyst, author, and host of News One Now, a one-hour weekday morning news program on TV One.

The banquet honors recipients of the first MLK Living Legend Awards and presents scholarships. CBS 11 news reporter and UTA alumna Elizabeth Dinh will emcee the event. Grammy Award-winning jazz drummer and artist-in-residence Adonis Rose will perform with the Fort Worth Jazz Orchestra. 

Banquet tickets are $40 at Delta Sigma Theta sorority hosts the awards banquet.

An Evening of Spoken Word Poetry Slam is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, in the Bluebonnet Ballroom. Admission is $15 at

A Veterans Breakfast and Opportunity Fair kicks off Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities at 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 20, at the Maverick Activities Center. Simultaneously, hundreds of volunteers will gather there to learn their assignments for the MLK Day of Service before embarking on the community projects to be held that day.

AT&T Coding Contest winning team

Winning team: Members of the UT Arlington team that won the 2013 AT&T Coding Challenge are, from left, freshman Keyurkumar Patel; juniors Andrew Toscano, Kevin Chung, Zaid Abdulla, and Sidharth Goyal; and senior James Fielder.

Engineering undergrads take first place for app that deters texting while driving

A team of UT Arlington undergraduate engineering students has taken first place and a $10,000 prize in the second annual AT&T Coding Contest for developing a cellphone app that discourages motorists from reading text messages when driving faster than 15 mph.

This is the second time UTA has earned first-place honors in the national competition.

David Levine, senior lecturer of computer science and engineering, advised the team but emphasized that the winning design was student-driven.

“It’s important to know that the AT&T contest was an engineering contest, not just a programming contest. They had to document, design, and build the app, not just program it,” Levine says. “What’s more amazing is that none of these undergraduate students have ever taken a smartphone programming course.”

The AT&T contest challenged students to devise software that curbed or prevented the social pressures of texting while driving as part of the communications giant’s "It Can Wait" anti-texting-while-driving campaign. 

Read more about the AT&T Coding Contest winning team.

Mav Pic basketball alumni night

Team Ashley

Former women's basketball players Ashley Bobb, left, and Ashley Purgason supported the Mavericks at the Alumni Day games last Saturday at College Park Center. Bobb played 2004-07 and has two conference championship rings. Purgason, a forward in 2003-04, is assistant dean for undergraduate research and student advancement in the College of Science.


Nominate faculty for research, creativity awards

Nominations are due this month to recognize outstanding research and creativity at the spring faculty meeting for Outstanding Research Achievement or Creative Accomplishments and Distinguished Record of Research or Creative Activities. Both awards include cash prizes.

Submit nominations by Friday, Jan. 17, to the Provost's Office. Nominations will be evaluated by members of the Academy of Distinguished Scholars, who will forward a recommendation to Provost Ronald Elsenbaumer and Vice President for Research Carolyn Cason.

For details, call the Office of the Provost at 2-2103.

Connection Cafe open for diners Friday, this weekend

Connection Café serves up lunch and dinner this week before returning to its full schedule. The café  is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, and 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 5:30-7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 11-12.

All dining locations, including the University Club in Davis Hall, will begin service for the spring semester on Monday, Jan. 13.

Go to Dining Services' website for hours.

Latest 'Faculty Affairs News' online

The fourth edition of Faculty Affairs News, a twice-monthly online publication of the Division of Faculty Affairs, is online.

The edition includes information about the Provost Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program, an update to the Handbook of Operating Procedures on the Pre-Tenure Research Reapportionment Program, and news about response rates for the fall’s Student Feedback Survey.

UTA Box offers online storage

UTA Box online storage is like a 25GB hard drive in the cloud for faculty and staff.

Store documents and files in UTA Box and then access them anywhere, anytime, from any device. UTA Box also can sync files from your computer automatically, providing a backup that's always available from other computers and devices.

For more information and instructions to get started, go to the UTA Box FAQ page.

Benefit Yourself

New saver's credit limits for UTSaver plans

The new year brings new limits to the annual contribution for voluntary retirement accounts and the income for the saver's credit for your UTSaver accounts.

Take a Maverick Ride after dark with police escort service

The UT Arlington Police Department provides escort services at any time requested. To request a security escort, call 2-3381.

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

Tuesday, Jan. 14

Leadership Skills for Supervisors Explore different leadership styles to bring out the best leader in you. Register online. Free. 9-11 a.m., Room 200, J.D. Wetsel Service Center. Human Resources.

Wednesday, Jan. 15

Your Professional Image Establish a professional image by examining the messages you are sending in person and online. Register online. Free. 9-11 a.m., Room 200, J.D. Wetsel Service Center. Human Resources.

Thursday, Jan. 16

Partnering with Your Boss Learn skills to help you to support your department's goals from your position as a secretary, executive secretary, or member of the administrative support staff. Register online. Free. 9-11 a.m., J.D. Wetsel Service Center. Human Resources.

Friday, Jan. 17

Statistical Training: SPSS SPSS training. Free. 10 a.m.-noon, Room 04, University Hall. Also, SAS training, Friday, Jan. 24Statistical ServicesInformation Technology.

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

Sports Notes
  Nolan Ryan

First Pitch man: Baseball legend Nolan Ryan will speak at the First Pitch Fundraiser, a dinner that benefits the UTA baseball program.

Nolan Ryan featured guest at First Pitch Fundraiser

Former Texas Rangers CEO and Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan is the guest speaker for the First Pitch Fundraiser on Friday, Jan. 17, that benefits the UTA baseball program. Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is hosting the event at 6:30 p.m. in the Capital 1 Club.

UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas will look back on the 2013 season, which included a Western Athletic Conference title, and preview 2014, the first season in the Sun Belt.

The evening includes the presentation of the 2013 WAC championship rings. Members of the 2014 baseball team and former UTA players will be in attendance.

Tickets are $50 for adults and $25 for students at Parking at Rangers Ballpark is available in Lot J, and access to the Capital 1 Club is through the Home Plate gate entrance.

Sponsorships are available for $2,000, which includes eight passes to a meet-and-photo opportunity with Ryan, a Ryan autographed jersey, and Ryan autographed baseballs. Contact Craig Shaver at 2-9608 and

Basketball teams head to Louisiana this weekend

The women's basketball team lost 84-67 to Louisiana-Monroe Wednesday night at College Park Center. The Mavs are 1-14 for the season and 0-3 in Sun Belt Conference play.

The men’s basketball team takes on Louisiana-Monroe at noon today, Thursday, Jan. 10, at College Park Center. UTA is 4-3 at home, but 0-2 in league play with losses to Arkansas State and UALR. The Mavs are 5-9 for the season.

Tipoff for Saturday’s basketball doubleheader at Louisiana-Lafayette has changed to 1 p.m. for the men’s game and 3:15 p.m. for the women’s game. The men’s game can be heard locally on 970 KHVN-AM.

Adaptive sports program honored

The Movin’ Mavs adaptive sports program has been recognized for the second year in a row with a Gold Award from the National Association of Student Affairs Professionals.

The Get Back in the Game adapted sports and recreation for injured service veterans program won in the category for civic learning, democratic engagement, service-learning, and community service.

The Movin’ Mavs program received NASAP's Silver Award for 2010-2011.

Movin' Mav, alumni named to USA team

Movin' Mavs co-captain Jorge Sanchez and former team members Aaron Gouge, Mike Paye, and Paul Schulte have been selected to the USA National Senior Team preparing for the 2014 World Championships in July in Seoul, Korea.

Maverick Club luncheon set for Tuesday

Coach Darin Thomas and coach Kristie Fox will preview the upcoming baseball and softball seasons at the Maverick Club luncheon at noon Tuesday, Jan. 14, in the Hospitality Suite at College Park Center. Cost is $5 for members and $10 for others.

(For more sports news, go to,, or

Going Out
  UTA Presents

Three new shows debut at Planetarium

Solar System

Shows are really big and really small for the Planetarium's spring schedule, which runs through June 1.

Two of the three new shows for spring travel to space, while one focuses on life's tiniest matters.

Back to the Moon for Good, narrated by Tim Allen, immerses you in the Google Lunar XPRIZE race to the moon and the human stories of both the competition and the collaboration it inspires.

Exoplanets follows mankind’s first space probe as it journeys outside our solar system to the many new worlds astronomers are discovering.

Molecularium is a magical, musical adventure into the world of atoms and molecules.

Returning for spring are Pink Floyd, a combination of amazing visual effects and classic tunes by the rock band, and Spacepark 360, out-of-this-world amusement park rides in surreal vistas. 

The Planetarium is located in the Chemistry and Physics Building.

Thursday, Jan. 9

Men's Basketball Mavericks vs. vs. Louisiana-Monroe. Tickets $5. Noon, College Park Center. Athletics.

Friday, Jan. 10

Friends of the Library O.K. Carter's book Caddos, Cotton and Cowboys tells the story of Arlington from the Cretaceous period to today. Free. 7:30 p.m., sixth floor parlor, Central Library. Friends of the Library.

Tuesday, Jan. 14

Guest Tuba and Trombone Recital Tim Buzbee and Jessica Buzbee, who teach at the Monash University in Australia, perform. Buzbee is the principal tuba in the Melbourne Symphony. Free. 7:30 p.m., Irons Recital Hall, Fine Arts Building. Music.


The Gallery at UTA: Faculty Biennial XIV This exhibition shows what Department of Art & Art History professors accomplish in their creative endeavors outside the classroom. Gallery hours 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and noon-5 p.m. Saturdays. Through Feb. 8Art and Art HistoryThe Gallery at UTA.

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

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. 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. UT Arlington Library.

Visual Resource Commons and Gallery The Jonathan A. Campbell and Tanya G. Dowdey African Art Collection is a multi-dimensional collection of 11th-20th century art and artifacts. Free. 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, Suite 2109, Fine Arts Building. Art and Art History.

(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.

© 2014 The University of Texas at Arlington


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