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

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Nur Yazdani

Disaster planning: Dr. Nur Yazdani, professor of civil engineering, recently was awarded an NSF grant that allows students to work on research with a Spanish technical institute. 

Students team with Spanish researchers to better disaster recovery

A three-year, $250,000 National Science Foundation grant will match six undergraduate students with a Spanish technical institute so they can learn how to prepare civil infrastructure for natural, manmade, and accidental disasters and how to recover quickly from such events.

The grant will allow UT Arlington to collaborate with AIDICO, Technological Institute of Construction, Valencia, Spain, on projects aligned with the multi-disciplinary Disaster Mitigation Group at UTA, which civil engineering Professor Nur Yazdani leads. 

Read more about Dr. Yazdani's grant.

Student Affairs VP candidates to visit campus

The Vice President for Student Affairs Search Committee has invited four candidates to the UT Arlington campus this month for meetings with students, alumni, administrators, and staff.

The name of each candidate and details about open sessions will be released 24 hours in advance of his or her campus visit.

The first candidate is Leah A. Barrett, associate vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at The College of Brockport, State University of New York, in Brockport, N.Y.

Dr. Barrett will meet with students 2:30-3:20 p.m. Friday, July 11, in Room 105 of Nedderman Hall.

Learn more about the vice president for Student Affairs search.

Dr. Jamie Rogers

Dr. Jamie Rogers

Rogers named IIE Fellow

Jamie Rogers was named a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) during the IIE Annual Conference and Expo in Montréal.

The award recognizes outstanding leaders of the profession who have made significant, nationally recognized contributions to industrial engineering. 

Dr. Rogers is the 2014-2015 president of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and has served as an ABET volunteer.

She has received the prestigious Piper Professor nomination (2013), was selected as a UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teacher (2012), was inducted into the UT Arlington Academy of Distinguished Teachers (2011), and received the UTA Chancellor’s Council Award for Teaching Excellence (1999).

Read more about Rogers' honor.

Dr. Leisa Martin

Dr. Leisa Martin

Study examines middle, high school students' attitudes, understanding of Pledge of Allegiance

Many middle and high school students may not understand the concepts or purpose of the Pledge of Allegiance, according to a study by a UT Arlington researcher published by the International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum.

Leisa Martin, assistant professor of social studies in the College of Education, analyzed responses from 100 middle school and 36 high school social studies students for the study.

Overall, the students said the pledge evoked feelings of respect and loyalty. But 9 percent of middle school students and about 28 percent of high school students surveyed said the pledge meant nothing to them.

“While not all students understand the meaning of the words in the Pledge of Allegiance, educators can use the pledge ceremony as a time to discuss the meaning of the words and to show how history has influenced the wording of the oath," Dr. Martin says.

Read more about the Pledge of Allegiance study.


Benefits Fair on Friday

Learn about changes for 2014-15 at the Benefits Fair 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, July 11, in the second-floor lounge of the Maverick Activities Center.

Both insurance and retirement plan providers will be available to answer questions as well as conduct presentations throughout the day. Representatives from the Office of Employee Benefits with the UT System also will be at the fair.

Annual Enrollment is your opportunity to enroll or make changes to your current insurance coverage without a family status change. The enrollment period is July 15-31.

Read more about the benefits overview, premium rates, and other topics for the 2014-15 year. Changes in benefit programs will be effective Sept. 1.

For more information regarding Annual Enrollment and UT Arlington benefits for the 2014-15 plan year, see Employee Benefits Services, call 2-5554, or email

Formula SAE 2014

Winning formula: The Formula SAE racing team will host the 14th Annual Texas Autocross Weekend on July 11-13.

14th Annual Texas Autocross Weekend comes to campus

The Formula SAE racing team has fine-tuned its Active Aero technology in time for the 14th Annual Texas Autocross Weekend Friday-Sunday, July 11-13.

This year’s car features Active Aero technology implemented last year to reduce drag and increase downforce, enhancing handling and efficiency. But student engineers have incorporated four on-board computers instead of the single computer used in 2013 to enable the car to respond more quickly and easily than before. UTA’s FSAE team was ranked fifth in the world earlier this year.

“The computers allow for a smoother, more efficient drive on the track,” says Randy Long, a civil engineering graduate and electrical engineering master’s student who developed the system. “We’ve decreased the times on the track with the technology. We’re always looking for something that will allow us an edge.”

Read more about the Texas Autocross events.

Lots reserved this week

Parking spaces in Lots 49, 50, 51, and 52 between Cooper and Pecan streets and north of Mitchell Street will be reserved for the 14th Annual Texas Autocross Weekend and the Police Explorer Olympics Thursday-Sunday, July 10-13

Contact Parking and Transportation Services at or 2-3907.

  Mav Pic Fourth of July parade

Fun Fourth

Crowds arrived early at the College Park District for Arlington's annual Fourth of July parade. Cooling stations, bounce houses, and other fun greeted the crowds along Spaniolo Drive. UT Arlington's parade entries included a float, spirit squads, and the Formula SAE race car. See more photos.

Philosophy to begin ethics certification

Beginning this fall, UT Arlington students can earn an ethics certificate from the Department of Philosophy and Humanities.

The certificate, which faculty members say will appeal to a variety of majors, requires 15 hours of credit in various philosophy and ethics courses.

"This could be really good for students planning to go to law school or into politics medicine, and business," says Ken Williford, department chair and associate professor. 

The ethics classes will be offered during the day and initially serve undergraduates. He hopes to expand the program to include evening and online courses for graduate and distance education students.

Aerospace students win national contest

A team of aerospace engineering graduate students won its category at the 2014 NASA/NIA Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) forum in June.

Ghassan Atmeh, Pavan Nuthi, Pengkai Ru, Ameya Godbole, Laura Henderson, Alok Rege, and Paul Quillen won with their proposed concept, "SMIRFF: Smart Maintenance, Inspection and Repair Free-Flyer" in the tele-operated robot category. Atmeh also earned the Best Presenter award in the graduate category.

Kamesh Subbarao, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, is the faculty adviser for the team.

Law enforcement personnel on campus for Explorer competition

More than 600 law enforcement officers and members of the Explorers come to campus Thursday-Saturday, July 10-12, for the Texas Law Enforcement Explorer Advisors Association's annual competition.

The State Explorer Competition features teams of youth and adults competing in real-life scenarios at parking lots, classroom buildings, residence halls, and the E.H. Hereford University Center.

The Law Enforcement Explorer program offers career exploration for youth and young adults.

Hard drive destruction

New procedure set for destruction of hard drives

A new procedure has been implemented to ensure the proper handling of official records prior to the destruction of hard drives. 

Texas Administrative Code 202.78 requires that any official records on hard drives be removed and retained or deleted with appropriate documentation prior to the destruction of the hard drive.

All University employees are responsible for complying with the Information Resources Acceptable Use policy, which requires critical records to be stored on network drives.

Department heads or others authorized to destroy hard drives are responsible for ensuring that the process is followed prior to destruction of the hard drive.

Records management contacts training is scheduled for 2:30-4 p.m. Thursday, July 17, and 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, July 23. Both are in Room 108 of University Hall. Send questions and class registration to Karen Phillips at 2-5571,, or

Professional grant development workshop July 24-25

Master the techniques of writing superior proposals at a professional grant development workshop 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, July 24-25, at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Topics include finding funding sources, grant design, abstracts, and budgets.

Workshop fee is $535. Save $45 per person when two or more people register from the same organization. A live, interactive webinar is available.

 For more information, go online or call 1-866-704-7268.

Benefit Yourself

UT System benefits has new website

The UT System Office of Employee Benefits has a new website with a fresh look and layout. The new web address is If you have favorites or bookmarks set for the old web address, you'll need to update to the appropriate link on the new site.

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

Saturday, July 12

CPR/AED/First Aid Class This single, four-hour class covers the American Red Cross first aid basics, medical emergencies, injury emergencies, environmental emergencies, and adult CPR and AED use. Sign up at the Services and Information Desk at the Maverick Activities Center. $50. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., MAC. Campus Recreation.

Tuesday, July 15

Motivating Your Employees, Register online. Free. 9-11 a.m., J.D. Wetsel Service Center. Human Resources.

Friday, July 18

Welcoming Diversity This experiential, interactive program promotes awareness and increased sensitivity and focuses on developing self-pride, examining stereotypes, and learning skills in responding to prejudicial jokes, remarks, and slurs. Lunch provided. Register online. Free. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Room 200, J.D. Wetsel Service Center. Human Resources.

Coming up

Human Resources Training Dealing Effectively with Conflict and Confrontation, Wednesday, July 23; Managing Stress in the Workplace, Thursday, July 24; The Art of Listening, Tuesday, July 29. Register online. Free. 9-11 a.m., J.D. Wetsel Service Center. Human Resources.

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

Sports Notes

Summer intramural registration continues

Register for upcoming intramural sports in innertube water polo, July 17; poker tournament, July 24; and MavStrong competition, July 24-Aug. 8.

See the intramural sports schedule. Pick up entry forms at the Services and Information Desk of the Maverick Activities Center. For questions, call 2-3277 or email

(For more sports news, go to,, or

Going Out
  UTA Presents

New items added to African Art Collection

African Art

A second exhibition of African art and artifacts has opened, thanks to Edmund Brodie, former chair of the Department of Biology, and his wife, Judith Brodie.

The donation joins the Campbell–Dowdey African Art Collection in the UT Arlington African Art Collection.

Many of the works are rare, and are made of fragile materials such as textiles, animal hair, plant fibers, and terra cotta.

The Brodies collected the works during trips to Africa, some with current biology chair Jonathan Campbell and his wife, Tanya Dowdey. Brodie is the executive director of program development for the College of Science at Utah State University, as well as a researching professor and biologist.

The exhibit, “Fertility, Fetish and Sacred Ritual,” is on display in the Visual Resource Commons in Room 2109 of the Fine Arts Building.

Thursday, July 10

Summer Movie Hullabaloo: 'Crapshoot: The Gamble with Our Wastes' Filmed in Italy, India, Sweden, the United States, and Canada, this bold documentary questions our fundamental attitudes about waste. Free popcorn. Noon, sixth floor parlor, Central Library. Also, ShakespeaRe-Told: A Midsummer Night's Dream, July 17; Megamall: A Story of Money, Power, July 24; Kings of Pastry, July 31UTA Libraries.

Outdoor Movie: 'Transcendence' Rated PG-13. Free popcorn. Concession stand. Bring a blanket or chair for lawn seating. Free. 9 p.m., west lawn, Maverick Activities Center. Also, Brick MansionsJuly 17NeighborsJuly 24; and The Amazing Spider-Man 2July 31. EXCEL Campus Activities.


Gallery 76102: 897 Square Features contemporary art by University faculty, staff, and students, and other Tarrant County artists. 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 31. Gallery 76102, Fort Worth Center.

Ongoing A juried exhibition displays work by 21 Master of Fine Arts students from the Department of Art and Art History. Gallery hours noon-2 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Closing reception noon-2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25. Through Aug. 25. The Gallery at UTAArt and Art History.

Special Collections: The U.S.-Mexico War, 1846-1848 Attention on the "forgotten" U.S.-Mexico War through letters, diaries, daguerreotypes, sketches, maps, and other materials. Gallery hours 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, sixth floor, Central Library. Through Aug. 30UT Arlington LibrariesSpecial Collections.

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.

Planetarium The Planetarium will be closed Tuesday-Friday, July 22-25, for a professional conference. The summer schedule includes Texas StargazingAstronautBack to the Moon for GoodOne World, One Sky: Big Bird's AdventurePink 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.

© 2014 The University of Texas at Arlington


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