For Students of The University of Texas at Arlington

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

John Gurak

Green fellowship: Junior John Gurak was recognized by the EPA for his work in the area of "green chemistry."

Biochemistry junior wins EPA fellowship

A UT Arlington junior who found a way to blend a passion for chemistry with ideals of environmental sustainability is getting help from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to further his education and his research.

John Gurak is one of fewer than 40 scholars nationwide to be awarded the EPA National Center for Environmental Research’s two-year fellowship for undergraduate study this year. The fellowship provides $50,000 over two years.

“John Gurak is one of our brightest undergraduates and his involvement in Dr. Foss’ laboratory is a great example of the early, hands-on research experiences that create great scientists,” Rasika Dias, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and department chair, says.

Gurak is working with chemistry and biochemistry Assistant Professor Frank Foss to adapt riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, for use as a metal-free catalyst in oxidative reactions that create heterocyclic compounds, or heterocycles. Heterocycles have wide-ranging uses and are important to the future of pharmaceutical development and manufacturing of materials such as light-emitting diodes.

Read more about Gurak and the EPA fellowship.

NASA weightless

Weighty subject: UT Arlington engineering students and recent graduates will join the ranks of other collegiate researchers, such as these from Purdue, who have performed tests in a reduced-gravity environment.

Students to test project in reduced gravity

An engineering lab’s research project will be tested in a reduced-gravity environment when a team of students hitches a ride on a NASA airplane for a series of parabolic flights.

The team will test a Wireless Strain Sensing System in Space Application in four flights Thursday, Sept. 25-Friday, Oct. 4, in Houston.

Monica Hew, aerospace engineering '13, leads the team that includes recent graduate Erica Castillo (aerospace engineering '13); Fernando Leal-Arizpe, psychology graduate student; Austin Mears, mechanical engineering junior; and Jun Yao, electrical engineering graduate student.

The project uses a tiny piece of metallic fiber that attaches to a structure and can detect stress and strain, then send a wireless signal to a remote location, allowing researchers to identify possible trouble spots.

"On metal structures, like a sheet of metal on the Space Shuttle, vibrations on takeoff might cause unseen damage,” Hew says. “This device could help engineers determine if they need to abort a mission or make repairs.”

The principal investigators for the project are Associate Professor Haiying Huang and Assistant Professor Ben Harris of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department.

Read more about the Wireless Strain Sensing System in Space Application test.

Materials Genome Initiative

Hard facts: Stathis Meletis, professor and chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, leads UT Arlington's interdisciplinary team for the Materials Genome Initiative.

UT Arlington takes role in Materials Genome Initiative

UT Arlington engineers are assembling a computer-based “genome” that will aid in the design and development of advanced new materials that are super hard, can resist extreme heat, are highly durable, and are less expensive through a new, $640,000 National Science Foundation grant.

The work is funded through a 2011 White House Materials Genome Initiative intended to cut in half the time it takes to develop novel materials that can fuel advanced manufacturing.

Stathis Meletis, professor and chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, leads the interdisciplinary team that includes Peter Kroll, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Jiechao Jiang, a research associate professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department.

“We will combine methods for designing and attaining these extremely hard and high-temperature resistant materials on computers at first. Eventually, we’ll synthesize these materials in the lab and test them,” Dr. Meletis says. “This could revolutionize future engineering.”

Read more about UT Arlington's role in the Materials Genome Initiative.

Watch Maverick action with All-Sports Pass

With a Maverick All-Sports Pass, students are admitted to intercollegiate games as fast as a Maverick athlete moves on the court or field.

Only $25, the pass includes admission to all home sports events and a T-shirt, too. Without the pass, individual student tickets are $3 each to all athletic events.

Purchase a pass through MyMav's Student Center. To buy in person, drop by Suite 1102 of College Park Center.

Find schedules and news about Maverick sports online at

Dr. Christian Zlolniski

Dr. Christian Zlolniski

Anthropology associate professor named new director of Center for Mexican American Studies

Christian Zlolniski, an associate professor of anthropology and an expert in international migration and economic globalization, has been named director of the Center for Mexican American Studies.

Dr. Zlolniski joined UT Arlington in 2001 and served as a research associate of the center for more than 10 years. The center administers an 18-hour academic minor in Mexican American Studies and awards three scholarships annually.

“We are fortunate to have in Dr. Zlolniski an internationally renowned scholar, a respected teacher, and a valued mentor who unites his efforts in all of these roles on behalf of the wider community," Beth Wright, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, says.

Zlolniski succeeds Susan Gonzalez Baker, who will continue as a member of the sociology and anthropology faculty.

Read more about Dr. Zlolniski and CMAS.

MavPic Sunrise pep rally

Dawn's early light

Students gathered at the crack of dawn for a sunrise pep rally with WBAP 820 AM/96.7 FM and on Friday, Aug. 30, on Moritz Plaza by College Park Center. UT Arlington President Vistasp Karbhari and Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck chatted with the radio morning crew. Men's basketball coach Scott Cross and women's coach Krista Gerlich shared updates about their Maverick teams with listeners before introductions of the teams, including the volleyball Mavericks. See more photos.


Prepare for Fall Job Fair with helpful career workshops

A great resume and polished interviewing skills don't happen by chance, and that's why Career Month brings workshops to help students and alumni do their best at the fall Job Fair.

Career Month wraps up with the fall Job Fair Wednesday, Sept. 18, at the Maverick Activities Center.

Even if you are pursuing a field that might not be represented at the Job Fair, the experience of speaking with professionals can be invaluable. More than 120 employers are registered.

Find a complete list of employers attending the Job Fair as well as a calendar of events on the Career Center website.

Volunteers are needed for one-hour shifts 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Student groups are encouraged to assist. To volunteer, visit the Career Center in Room 216 of Davis Hall and fill out a form or contact the Career Center at 817-272-2932 or

International Friendship Program seeks students, community partners

International students and faculty members can link up with Arlington community members through The Link’s friendship program, sponsored by the Office of International Education. The purpose is to foster an appreciation for how others live and view the world. This is achieved by matching international students and scholars with families and individuals from the Arlington community.

Friendship partners will meet at least once a month for activities together, such as conversations over coffee, dinner, playing sports, or attending festivals.

Online applications for international students and faculty and for community friends are due by Friday, Sept. 20.

Maverick mentoring is In Reach

Students can receive a helping hand during their college career with the In Reach Maverick Mentor Program.

The program encourages academic excellence, enhances self-awareness, and promotes the personal growth of participating students by providing caring guidance from qualified faculty and staff, tools and opportunities to develop academically, and awareness of the University’s student support services and resources.

First-year students can apply at

For more information, contact Zeb Strong in the Office of Human Resources at

Tail Waggin' Wednesdays


Library to start Tail-Waggin' Wednesdays this fall

The popularity of Paws for Finals has led to Tail-Waggin' Wednesdays at the Central Library.

Therapy dogs from Paws with Partners will be available for unconditional love 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. The dogs range from a toy poodle to a Great Pyrenees mix.

Duke, Max, Winston, Ziva, and other pooches offered the comforting services at Paws for Finals for the end of the fall 2012 and spring 2013 semesters.

Engineering students nab best time in unmanned flight competition

UT Arlington finished 10th of 35 teams at the Student Unmanned Aerial Systems Competition in Maryland.

Engineering students Hakki Erhan Sevil, Onur Daskiran, Jonathan Efringer and Hasintha Amaranayake, along with faculty advisor Brian Huff created an unmanned system capable of conducting air operations including autonomous flight, navigation of a specified course, and use of onboard payload sensors.

The team, which won $700, had one of the quickest completion times and landed its aerial vehicle within six inches of the target.

MavPic Health Services Open House

Check up

Courtney Mutchler, exercise science junior, has her glucose checked by medical technician Maha Alkhafaji at the Health Services Open House on Thursday.


Deadline Friday for leadership retreat

Discover how to become a successful student leader at the Fall Leadership Retreat set for Friday-Sunday, Sept. 20-22.

Students will be exposed to leadership topics including ethical leadership, empowerment of others, diversity, global leadership, and effective communication. Troy Stende will lead the retreat with his "Break on Through" leadership development program.

Registration is open through Friday, Sept. 6. The retreat is sponsored by The Leadership Center and the Division of Student Affairs.

West campus roads to close two hours Saturday morning

Portions of the west campus will close 8:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, for the Zero Prostate 5K Run.

The area involved is from UTA Boulevard south to Fourth Street and from Davis Drive to West Nedderman Drive.

Parking lots along and adjacent to the 5K route will temporarily close, and the opportunity to enter or leave will be limited by barricades.

Lot 33W will be blocked off. Timberbrook Apartment residents who use the area for overflow parking will need to make alternate arrangements.

highway slopes

Road report: Sadik Khan, civil engineering doctoral student, examines a failing slope at U.S. 287.

Civil engineers using recycled plastic pins to shore up highway slopes

Civil engineering Associate Professor Sahadat Hossain has won a $1 million state transportation department grant to install pins made from reclaimed and recycled plastic along some of the region’s busiest highways to shore up clay soils that support the roads.

Dr. Hossain demonstrated the technique as a cost effective and efficient solution to failing soil slopes as part of the project during the last few years. His team first installed the pins along U.S. 287 in Midlothian.

The study also indicates that the cost of slope stabilization and repair can be reduced by more than 50 percent in using these recycled plastic pins when compared to conventional methods. The current phase calls for the pins to be installed along parts of Texas 183 or Texas 360, depending on where they are needed most.

Read more about Hossain's work on recycled plastic on highway slopes.

New law concerns false alarms, reports

Effective Sunday, Sept. 1, Section 42.06(b) of the Texas Penal Code mandates that the penalty for the offense of making a false alarm or report involving a public or private institution of higher education is a state jail felony.

MavPic Maverick Cookout

Maverick cookout

University departments and student organizations served up information and goodies at the Maverick Cookout featuring the Activities Fair Day. Faculty and staff worked the grills for the burger meals. President Vistasp Karbhari, right, and his wife, Lisa, center, volunteered as burger flippers. See more photos.


Submit art for MavsArt exhibit

Students can share their artistic sides in the semester-long MavsArt exhibit at the Central Library. Submit your art for the theme "What does UTA mean to you?" by Tuesday, Sept. 24. For more information, go to MavsArt page or email

Correct URL, password change can help with email issues

If you are having trouble accessing your MavMail student email account, make sure you are using the correct URL.

Go to, and enter your full email address including the and your NetID password. This is the same password you are using to access MyMav. Your NetID password now can be used for accessing MyMav, Blackboard, and your student MavMail account.

If you get the message We don't recognize this user ID or password, go to the website to change your NetID password. Allow 20 minutes for the password to “sync.” You then should be able to log in to your student email account.

For any additional assistance, contact the Help Desk. You also can learn more about MavMail at


Update your contact information for MavAlert system

The next system-wide test of the MavAlert Emergency Notification System is at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4. Update your personal contact information and phone numbers at

The MavAlert system rapidly notifies students, faculty, and staff in the event of a campus emergency via registered email addresses and text message devices.

To enable MavAlert text messages, add your mobile phone number or other SMS text message device to your UT Arlington personal contact information and label it "mobile phone" via the drop-down menu. Log in to MyMav, then click on the "Sign up for MavAlerts" link in the right column.

During the Wednesday test, faculty, staff, and students will receive the following message via the email addresses and mobile devices designated in their MavAlert profile: “Attention: This is a test of the UT Arlington MavAlert Emergency Notification System. Update your personal contact information at”

The MavAlert test will coincide with the regular monthly test of the Outdoor Warning System, also at 12:30 p.m. The University’s voice annunciation system will be activated inside campus buildings. The City of Arlington's monthly weather warning test will follow at 1 p.m.

Check List


Friday, Sept. 6

Deadline to apply for fall 2013 graduation for undergraduate students

Monday, Sept. 9

Census Date

Deadline to apply for fall 2013 graduation for graduate students

Last day to reserve graduate courses for graduate credit

Tuesday, Sept. 10

Grade exclusion site opens

Friday, Sept. 13

Deadline for changes to MyMav privacy settings to be included or excluded from Maverick Connection campus directory

Make sure you're included in the campus directory, if you want to be

Friday, Sept. 13, is the deadline to specify whether you want to be included in the Maverick Connection campus directory and other University publications. Read the procedures for setting your privacy preferences in MyMav, as well as the notification of your rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Prepare for fall graduation

Undergraduates must apply for fall graduation by Friday, Sept. 6. Graduate students must apply for graduation by Monday, Sept. 9. A $40 filing fee is billed each semester that you file and is non-refundable and non-transferable. After these deadlines, a $60 late fee will be assessed. Read more about undergraduate graduation procedures.

Schedule changes before Census Date not on transcript

Class drops made on or before Census Date, Monday, Sept. 9, will not be recorded on academic transcripts. Undergraduate students considering dropping one or more classes must meet with an academic adviser, who will process the drop or withdrawal transaction. In some cases, the signature of the faculty teaching the course will be required. Read more about schedule changes.

Print your own enrollment verification

Letters of intent to enroll for the fall semester are available online. Official enrollment verifications will be available after Census Day, Monday, Sept. 9. Both are available through self-service in your MyMav Student Center. To print, log on to MyMav, go to Student Center, and click on Request Enrollment Verification to access the National Student Loan Clearinghouse.

Going Out

Friday, Sept. 6

Friday Night Movie: Iron Man 3 Rated PG-13. $1 admission. 8 p.m., Rosebud Theatre, E.H. Hereford University Center. EXCEL Campus Activities.

Saturday, Sept. 7

Communities Against Crime 5K Join the UT Arlington Police and other Tarrant County police departments to benefit Child Protective Services of Tarrant County. The race starts at 8 a.m. at River Legacy Park. The event includes a 1-mile fun run/walk, and a 5K run. The $20 registration fee includes a goodie bag and refreshments. Register online. See the event on Facebook.

Coming up

Linton Powell Organ Recital Music Professor Linton Powell performs his 38th annual organ recital. Free. 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 12, Irons Recital Hall, Fine Arts Building. Music.


Planetarium The fall schedule starts Thursday, Sept. 5, with Bad Astronomy: Myths and Misconceptions; Pink Floyd; Secret of the Cardboard Rocket; Spacepark 360; and Stars of the Pharaohs. Planetarium.

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

Learn More


Wednesday, Sept. 4

Metal Stamping at Arlington's GM Plant Leonard Pollum of the Arlington General Motors plant describes the complex procedures and exacting processes in creating the 50-some stamped metal auto parts used in the manufacture of a typical GM sport utility vehicle. Light breakfast provided. RSVP. Free. 7-8 a.m., Room 100, Nedderman Hall. Engineering.

Study Abroad 101 Hear from study abroad experts on how traveling the world broadens your world view. Free. Noon, Room 303, Ransom Hall. University College, Success Series.

Food for Thought Series Janet Ellis speaks on “Clearing the Clutter from the Inside Out.” Assess the barriers that prevent you from becoming who you fully are. Free. Noon-1 p.m., Room 213, Maverick Activities Center. Campus Recreation.

Science Speaker Series Luis F. Parada, professor of biology at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, discusses "New Frontiers in Brain Cancer Research." Free. Noon-1 p.m., sixth floor parlor, Central Library. Center of Excellence for the Study of Health and Chronic Illnesses, College of Science.

NORML Documentary Film Series Grass: The History of Marijuana is the first of five documentary films. $2. 6 p.m., Rosebud Theatre, E.H. Hereford University Center. NORML.

Thursday, Sept. 5

Word for Dissertations and Theses Learn advanced features in Word 2007/2010 that will make meeting the dissertation and thesis formatting requirements a less arduous process. Register online. Free. 2-4 p.m., Room 315A, Central Library. Graduate Studies.

Friday, Sept. 6

Science Speaker Series A.R. Ravishankara, senior scientist at NOAA, discusses "Keeping Cool with HFCs: Science Behind Their Present and Future Use." Free. 3-4 p.m., Room 114, Chemistry Research Building. Center of Excellence for the Study of Health and Chronic Illnesses, College of Science.

Saturday, Sept. 7

Prioritize: The Skeleton Key for Success In this online class, discover how setting priorities early and keeping calm can help you ensure a successful and personally fulfilling graduate student experience. Register online. Free. 10-11 a.m. Graduate Studies.

Monday, Sept. 9

Architecture Speaker Series Neil Denari of Los Angeles uses the recent work of his architecture firm to explore the value and functionality of architecture and its global image in the time of new ethics. Free. 4 p.m., Room 204, Architecture Building. Architecture.

Tuesday, Sept. 10

Engineering Distinguished Lecture Series Soroosh Sorooshian speaks on "Climate Change and the Global Hydrologic Cycle: Efforts in Monitoring, Modeling and Ability to Forecast Changes." RSVP by Friday, Sept. 6. Free. 5 p.m. reception, Room 601, Nedderman Hall; 6 p.m. lecture, Room 100, Nedderman Hall. Engineering.

Wednesday, Sept. 11

There's an App for That See how smartphone apps can help you with the seven habits of highly successful college students. Free. 2 p.m., Room 303, Ransom Hall. University College, Success Series.

Goal Setting and Motivation Discover how goals can motivate you to succeed. Free. Noon, Room 303, Ransom Hall. University College, Success Series.

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

Sports Notes
  Ashley Bennett

Slap happy: Junior Ashley Bennett is one of 10 returning players and five starters for the Maverick volleyball team, which hosted and won the UTA Hilton Invitational Tournament Friday and Saturday.

Mavericks take crown in Hilton Invitational

The volleyball team opened its season by winning the 2013 UTA Hilton Invitational Friday and Saturday at College Park Center.

The Mavericks won three of five sets against Abilene Christian on Friday night. Saturday's action resulted in five wins over Grambling State and four of five against Louisiana Tech.

Sophomore defensive specialist Caitlyn Cooney was named MVP as well as being named to the all-tournament team. Junior setter Amanda Welsh and junior outside hitter Taylor Gross also earned all-tounament team.

The Mavericks' first road match starts at 7 p.m. today, Tuesday, Sept. 3, against North Texas in Denton. The Mavs will face stiff competition in Mississippi State, Baylor and Tulsa in the Baylor Classic in Waco on Friday-Saturday, Sept. 6-7.

UT Arlington hosts the Hilton Maverick Classic Friday-Saturday, Sept. 13-14, with UTSA, Mississippi Valley State, and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Sun Belt Conference play for the Mavs begins against Louisiana-Monroe at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, at College Park Center.

See the volleyball schedule. Season tickets are $25 at

The team was picked to finish sixth in the Sun Belt Preseason Coaches' Poll.

Male practice squad being formed for women's basketball team

The women’s basketball program is hosting tryouts for a male practice squad, as well as walk-ons, for the upcoming 2013-14 season.

The tryouts are 6:30-8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, at the College Park Center. Enter through the west entrance. Each player must be a full-time student and bring proof of health insurance and a recent physical exam.

Contact assistant coach Talby Justus at before Sept. 16.

Walk-on tryout set for Sept. 4 at Clay Gould Ballpark

Students interested in trying out for the UT Arlington baseball team can do so at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, at Clay Gould Ballpark.

Those trying out must be full-time students, have graduated from high school within the last five years, and have health insurance. For more information, email

Sports shorts

An adapted wheelchair sports division is available with advanced request for tennis, Monday, Sept. 9; racquetball, Monday, Sept. 16; billiards, Saturday, Sept. 21; badminton, Wednesday, Oct. 2; and table tennis, Saturday, Nov. 16. Contact for details.

See the men's basketball schedule and women's basketball schedule. Both teams open Friday, Nov. 8, with the men playing at Boise State and the women at Houston Baptist.

Premium seat tickets for men's and women's basketball games are now on sale. To upgrade or change seats, contact Brian Lukas at 817-272-6319 or

For volleyball season tickets go online, call 817-272-9595, or visit the College Park Center Box Office.

Intramural entries due for tennis, 3-on-3 wheelchair basketball

Entry deadlines for team sports are outdoor basketball and 3-on-3 wheelchair basketball,Wednesday, Sept. 4; and softball, Wednesday, Sept. 11. If you don't have a team, sign up as a free agent.

Deadlines for individual/dual intramural sports aretennis, Friday, Sept. 6; foosball, Tuesday, Sept. 10; and racquetball, Friday, Sept. 13.

See the intramural sports schedule. Pick up entry forms at the Services and Information Desk of the Maverick Activities Center. For questions, call 817-272-3277 or email

Sign up for CPR/AED, boot camp, group exercise, fitness class

Plan your week for fitness with group exercise and instructional classes at the Maverick Activities Center.

CPR/AED is a single four-hour class that covers the American Heart Association’s first aid basics, medical emergencies, injury emergencies, environmental emergencies, adult CPR and AED use. $50. 1-5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 6, Room 102A, Maverick Activities Center. Also Oct. 11, Nov. 1, Dec. 6.

Maverick Boot Camp is an intense one-hour workout that gets your heart racing and your muscles burning. $25. 6:30-7:30 a.m. Mondays/Wednesdays, Sept. 9-Oct. 2, west lawn, Maverick Activities Center; Room 133, MAC, rain site. Also Oct. 7-30.

(For more sports news, go to,, or



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


TrailBlazer is published by the Department of University Communications on Tuesdays during the fall and spring semesters, and every other Tuesday during the summer. To submit items for possible inclusion in TrailBlazer, email Items must be received three working days before distribution. Inclusion of events and activities in TrailBlazer does not necessarily constitute an endorsement by the University. Read the TrailBlazer Guidelines.

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