Russian Pianist Brings Music to UT Arlington

August 27, 2014
Chernov

Chernov

A former Van Cliburn semifinalist will bring his music back to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex this fall.

Russian pianist Alexey Chernov is slated to play two concerts next month, including a solo recital Sept. 18 at The University of Texas at Arlington. He will also teach a master class for the Department of Music the following day.

Chernov was a semifinalist in the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth. Raised in Moscow, he began studying music at age 4 and began winning international piano competition as a teenager. In 2012, he took the top prizes at competitions in Italy and Spain and has more than a dozen first-place awards to his credit.

Chernov is currently a teacher at the Central Music School at the P.I. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in Moscow where he once studied.

Chernov’s recital – featuring waltzes from different eras – will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18 in Irons Recital Hall. Tickets are $10 for students, $15 for UT Arlington faculty and staff and $50 for non-UTA guests.

Chernov will also perform at an Arlington Women’s Club event Sept. 13.

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Students Find Freedom in Civil Rights Event

August 25, 2014

While most UT Arlington students spent their summer working or studying for their future, two College of Liberal Arts undergraduates traveled into the past.

Communication junior Nadajalah Bennett and Art & Art History junior Christian Vasquez – alongside Biology senior Iriel Hampton – were among a handful of college students invited by the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education to celebrate this summer’s 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The trio represented UT Arlington by traveling to the Washington, D.C., area and spending time with the original Freedom Riders – men and women who traveled through the South during the tumultuous 1960s in protest of civil rights issues.

“It was a very impactful experience,” said Bennett. “We got a chance to connect with other students and see their involvement in civil rights … and all the things you can get involved in. We spent time with the Freedom Riders and discussed how civil rights has evolved.”

The trio spent several days during the Fourth of July holiday weekend visiting government buildings in D.C. and Richmond, Va. But the highlight of the trip was a two-hour bus ride through Virginia where students engaged with the Freedom Riders, shared stories and discussed current issues surrounding civil rights, public policy and immigration.

“It was revelatory in many ways,” said Vasquez, who is completing a documentary on the trip. “There seemed to be a sort of transference of ideas and history going on. The Freedom Riders were just as excited and invested in the events as the students were. They were very willing to share. They were open and honest.”

Vasquez said the experience reminded him how the Freedom Riders were college-age when they embarked on their journey into the South. There, they were met with hostility, scare tactics and violent attacks. Several participants were killed.

“They were our age and rolled out of school to participate,” Vasquez said. “They were among the first wave. At the time they left, they didn’t understand the level of violence they would encounter. They described themselves as naïve in that way. Most of the Freedom Riders we were riding with were on the bus in Birmingham that was bombed.”

In May 1961, a Freedom Ride bus heading to New Orleans was stopped by members of the Klu Klux Klan in Birmingham, Ala., and burned. All passengers inside were beaten by the mob and nearly killed.

Schnavia Smith Hatcher, Director of the Center for African American Studies, said she was please her group could support the UT Arlington students commemorating the civil rights ride experience. Now, she is excited to see what these students take away from that experience and how they apply it to civil rights efforts in Arlington and North Texas.

“The Freedom Riders expressed that, at the time, there was a sense of urgency for the climate to be changed,” Hatcher said. “This new generation of leaders was able to explore history firsthand from civil rights activists, many who were college-age themselves when they began this journey 50 years ago, and be inspired to actively engage in the struggle for justice. Given the unrest in many of our communities today, a significant amount recently profiled in the media, the status quo still needs to be challenged.”

Bennett said the experience left her pondering ways in which she could address issues surrounding civil rights and equality on the UT Arlington campus. She said she intends to continue working the local chapter of the NAACP, Black Student Association and the University’s Multicultural Affairs staff.

“I have a better understanding of how students today can improve their education in civil rights,” she said.

Vasquez said conversations with the Freedom Riders made a significant impact and caused him to spend more time reflecting the ways in which he can make a difference in his community.

“You should always try to right the wrongs that occur in the world,” he said. “One of the big takeaways I got was that the power of individuals can change the infrastructure around them. It’s incredibly inspiring to be sitting with people who have had an indirect effect on my life.

The Center for African American Studies will host a lecture event on the Freedom Rides on Oct. 1 in the Rosebud Theatre at the E.H. Hereford University Center. Students and faculty are expected to speak. For more information, visit www.uta.edu/caas.

Vasquez said he intends to have a 15- to 20-minute documentary on the anniversary event – commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education – available in early fall.

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(By James Dunning/COLA Communications, jdunning@uta.edu)

Q&A: Kunovich Leads Sociology, Anthropology

August 25, 2014

soci_kunovich_feature

Since 2004, Associate Professor Bob Kunovich has worked to strengthen the Sociology program at The University of Texas at Arlington, supporting new concentrations and coordinating internship opportunities for graduate students. This fall, he begins a new chapter as chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

Communications Coordinator James Dunning sat down with the “distinguished teacher” – he earned University-wide recognition in 2013 and an acCOLAdes teaching award in 2012 – to discover Kunovich’s approach to leading a small, but award-winning group of faculty and students.

Q: How would you describe your department?

A: The department is composed of the Sociology Program, which offers a BA and an MA in Sociology as well as the Anthropology Program, which offers a BA and an MA in Anthropology. Although the department is made up of two distinct programs, we share some common research and teaching interests – for example, immigration and reproduction/the body. We have a great group of scholars who are doing interesting and important research and faculty from both programs have won a variety of teaching awards – including the UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award.

Q: Every department at UTA is looking to increase student enrollment and expand the services each provides. One way to do that is to broaden the scope of the program or degrees offered. Has your department considered an interdisciplinary approach to better connect with students pursuing majors in other Colleges on campus?

A: Sociology and Anthropology are inherently interdisciplinary. Anthropology, for example, offers courses that cover topics such as biological variation, health, food and culture, and migration. In Sociology, some of our courses fulfill requirements for students from Mexican American Studies, African American Studies, Environmental and Sustainability Studies, Urban and Public Affairs and Women’s and Gender Studies. So the interdisciplinary aspect has been a part of what we offer for a long time.

Q: There’s also been talk of collaborating with schools around North Texas or within The University of Texas System as a way to increase available degrees at undergraduate and graduate levels. How might that affect your department?

A: We have considered participation in joint programs at UTA and beyond. I think that some possibilities may exist. Online courses and video-conferencing will continue to make long-distance courses more common. For now, though, we are looking for ways to improve the experience for our existing students.

Q: What is your approach to your first year as department chair?

A: When I was the Sociology graduate advisor, I spent most of the first year learning the institutional history, figuring out how things worked, and formulating goals. After that, I moved on to implementing changes to improve the program. I’m taking that same approach as chair. In the spring, I sat down with all of the anthropology faculty and talked with them about their concerns and hopes. It was very insightful and I learned a lot about the program. I’m planning to do the same with the sociologists this semester. I am also looking forward to completing the program review this year – I hope that going through a critical review will help to identify other ways to strengthen our department and programs. So, for now, I’m trying to listen and to learn as much as possible.

Q: So, do you have some goals in mind?

A: As I mentioned, we will be going through a program review this year. Over the summer, I assisted with the preparation of our self-study, which will be a part of that review. It gave me a great opportunity to think about where we are and where we want to be. There have been considerable changes in both the Sociology and Anthropology faculty since the previous review. Once we learn the outcome of the most recent hiring requests, I would like for us to revisit our curriculum to look for opportunities to increase the number of undergraduate and graduate students that we teach and to increase the number of majors. Along those lines, I have been encouraged by a new wave of recruiting efforts that are being coordinated by the College of Liberal Arts. The resources that COLA is providing will help us to reach many more potential students than we would be able to reach on our own.

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Texas Artists Featured in New Gallery Exhibit

August 15, 2014
Work by Andrea Rosenberg. (Photo contributed)

Work by Andrea Rosenberg. (Photo contributed)

Work by two Texas artists will be on display next month in The Gallery at UTA.

Select pieces from Mary McCleary and Andrea Rosenberg will be included in the exhibition that runs Sept. 2-Oct. 4. Gallery officials said the artworks range in scale from the intimate to oversize, but utilizing very different processes, themes and media.

McCleary, of Nacogdoches, crafts labor-intensive 3-D collages, layering materials such as plastic toy figures, beads and paper to depict arresting and dense narratives. Her content ranges from the humorous and surreal to the Biblical in complex pieces that are painstakingly constructed. McCleary received her B.F.A. in printmaking and drawing from TCU in Fort Worth and her M.F.A. in graphics from the University of Oklahoma, and is professor emeritus at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches where she taught art for 30 years.

Rosenberg, from Dallas, is known for elegant abstract drawings that use the history of botanical art as a starting point to convey her transformed interpretations of various flora. Her work is included in the permanent collections of institution such as the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Dallas Museum of Art, and The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth as well as numerous private and corporate collections

In association with the exhibition, McCleary will discuss her work in an hour-long gallery talk on Thursday, Sept. 4 beginning at 12:30 pm in the Gallery. A reception for both artists will be held Friday, Sept. 5 from 5:30-8 p.m. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

The Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. The Gallery is located in the Fine Art Building, room 169, at 502 S. Cooper Street in Arlington.

For more information contact Benito Huerta or Patricia Healy (817) 272-5658 or http://www.uta.edu/gallery.

The 2014-2015 exhibition schedule is made possible by the support of Arlington Camera, the Hanley Foundation, Hilton Arlington and Nerwin & Martin.

Work by Mary McCleary. (Photo contributed)

Work by Mary McCleary. (Photo contributed)

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Three COLA Faculty Win UT System Award

August 15, 2014

Three College of Liberal Arts faculty members are among 96 educators recognized this year by The University of Texas System Board of Regents for excellence in the classroom.

The UT System’s most innovative and dedicated educators will share $2.4 million this month as winners of the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. Faculty members from across the UT System’s 15 academic and health institutions will receive $25,000 each and will be honored at a ceremony Wednesday, Aug. 20, in Austin.

The COLA honorees are:

  • Krystal Beamon, assistant professor of sociology;
  • Darryl Lauster, assistant professor of art and art history; and
  • Allan Saxe, associate professor of political science.

UT Arlington’s Kevin Schug, the Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry, was also an award winner. Since the program’s inception in 2008, 45 award recipients have come from UT Arlington.

The awards highlight the talent and commitment to excellence in teaching among UT Arlington faculty members, President Vistasp Karbhari says.

“Preeminent research universities are distinguished by the quality of their faculty members and the faculty’s dedication to students,” Dr. Karbhari says. “The best teachers instill in their students a shared passion for lifelong learning and discovery.”

Read more about UTA’s Regents Outstanding Teachers recipients.

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Art Education Students Train at Kimball

July 10, 2014
UT Arlington students work with visitors to the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth. (Photo contributed)

UT Arlington students work with visitors to the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth. (Photo contributed)

For the past three years, Assistant Professor Amanda Alexander (Art & Art History) has been taking her art education students to the Kimbell Art Museum for what she calls the “four-part series.”

Students visit the Fort Worth museum four times each spring. In the first three sessions, Kimbell employees — Connie Barganier education manager, and Marilyn Ivy, studio and family programs coordinator — teach Alexander’s class about the strategies of teaching on the art that resides in the museum. The students, in separate groups, create a curriculum about a specific piece displayed at the museum.

In the final session, UT Arlington students teach two dozen students from Kirkpatrick Middle School in Fort Worth. After the lesson, the middle schoolers are given supplies to create their own work of art.

Art education senior Alexia Austin taught a group of middle school students about one of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux’s sculptures, Portrait of Charles Carpeaux, his brother. The students were receptive to what they were teaching them, she said, they loved the art project to accompany the lesson.

Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux depicted his brother, Charles, a violinist, strumming a violin, the object that defined him.

“The sculpture became especially meaningful to the artist when his brother died shortly after the sculpture was completed,” Austin said. “My teaching group asked our students to emulate Carpeaux’s artwork by creating their own sculptures, which held personal meaning. We gave each student a lump of clay and asked them to think about someone they love and to consider an object that best personified that individual. The students were then instructed to create that object out of their lump of clay, and the results were fantastic!”

Alexander began a similar program in Pennsylvania before she joined the UT Arlington faculty. Once here, she discussed the program with several Metroplex museums, and Kimbell embraced the idea, she said.

“The reason the education manager at Kimbell wanted to do it is because we all see it as a win-win for everyone,” Alexander said. “It is going to benefit my students and make the education program more known. On their side of it, if they get college kids or younger students in the door, [those students] will come back.

UT Arlington students tour Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth. (Photo contributed)

UT Arlington students tour Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth. (Photo contributed)

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(Story by Elissa Ammon/COLA Communications)

COLA Notes for Summer 2014

July 8, 2014

News and notes from around the College of Liberal Arts…

ART & ART HISTORY: “Dawn,” a new film by Ya’Ke Smith, the Morgan Woodward Distinguished Professor of Film, was screened during the 17th Annual HBO Short Film Award competition June 20, the FutonCritic.com reported. The prestigious award is part of the American Black Film Festival program. … Smith was interviewed on San Antonio Living, a WOAI NBC News 4 television program, about last month’s Juneteenth. He started a youth filmmaker award as part of the celebration. … Benito Huerta, professor and director of The Gallery at UTA, was featured in the July issue of 360 West. … KERA 90.1 FM reported that film students at UT Arlington competed for Best Narrative, Best Picture and Best Animation during the University’s two-day film festival last month at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. … Work by MFA candidate Morgan Chivers was featured at Ontario Science Center in Ontario, Canada. … Visual communication students Alexander Reyher, Drew CollinsKarolina Bebak, Kimi Nguyen, Samuel McKinnie and Nike Duraku from the Design Texas class have created a new identity for Humane Society of North Texas, a non-profit located in Ft. Worth. … Art Education students met four times during the Spring 2014 semester at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, teaching art lessons to middle schoolers from Kirkpatrick Middle School. … Students from UT Arlington were mentioned in the latest edition of AICC’s “Box Score” newsletter. The students — Holly Aldriedge, Ayla Haynes and Cosme Olivas — won first place in the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation’s 2014 competition this past spring.

COMMUNICATION: Radio & Television Business Report reported that 157 radio spots and campaigns, including UTARadio.com’s “Bullying Hurts,” made it to the finals of the 2014 Radio Mercury Awards, which honors outstanding radio created by advertising agencies, production companies, radio stations and students. The thirty-second PSA was produced by broadcast major Derica Booker. Though it did not win this year, this is the second time in four years UTA Radio has been named a finalist in the competition. The station won the award in 2011. … Assistant Professor Karishma Chatterjee presented in May a paper, “Negotiation of Competing Discourses by Primary Caregivers of Hospice Patients,” at the International Communication Association Conference in Seattle, Wash. Chatterjee also had an article, “The Role of Communicating Uncertainty and Information Subsidies on News Media Representation of the Female Condom’s Efficacy,” published in Journal Studies in Media and Communication. … Associate Professor Tom Christie presented a paper, “Gun Control and the Press After the Sandy Hook Killings: The Relationship Between Leading National Newspaper Coverage, Public Opinion and Public Policy,” at the 69th Annual American Association for Public Opinion Research Conference in Anaheim, Calif., in May. … Assistant Professor Shelley Wigley is co-author of an article, “Examining the Impact of Negative, User-Generated Content on Stakeholders,” which is slated for publication in Corporate Communications: an International Journal. … Wigley was one of 75 invited faculty members to Edelman’s 2014 Academic Summit, Storytelling at the Speed of Now, where educators learned from Edelman clients, media digital thought leaders and Edelman’s own leadership team. The conference was held in Chicago at DePaul University. … An article by Senior Lecturer Kim Pewitt-Jones has been accepted for publication by the Southwest Education Council. … Assistant Professor Erika Pribanic-Smith’s article, “Partisanship in the Antislavery Press during the 1844 Run of an Abolition Candidate for President,” was featured on the website of American Journalism, the journal of the American Journalism Historians Association. The article will also be published in the Summer 2014 issue of American Journalism. … Graduate student Alexandra Beshkova has been offered a graduate assistant position for UTA’s First Year Experience program. The First Year Experience Course (MAVS 1000) is required for incoming freshmen this fall. Beshkova will assist with the program in her GA position. … Broadcast major Nadi Bennett was invited by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to participate in the events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the civil rights act in 1964. Bennett traveled to Washington, D.C., on July 2. She was one of three UTA students selected. … Himanshu Patel (’14) was recently hired for a full-time internship with The Richards Group. … Several broadcast majors are interning with local television and radio stations this summer: Alexis Garcia is working with Cumulus Media while Kenzie Cox is at KEGL 97.1 (The Eagle) in Dallas; Jimena Fraga is interning with KDFW-FOX 4, and Charlie Vann and Jessica Stroud are lending their talents to Clear Channel-102.1 The Edge; David Kline is at WBAP News/Talk 820 AM, and David Bansigan is working with CBS Radio. … Public relations majors are also getting hands-on experience over the summer months: Elissa Ammon is serving as an intern for the College of Liberal Arts and Kimberly Muchow is with Easter Seals North Texas; Kieria Rickett is working with XTO Energy; and Kaigen House is with Static Magazine. … Advertising majors have also landed coveted internships: Hieu Duc Hoang at Atomic Design and Consulting, Dustin Daniel at Highland Lakes Camp and Conference Center, Katie Krivit at Parlor Advertising Agency, and Alexis Brazell at Ilfusion Creative. Cristina Arizmendiz is spending her summer with KHFA Fine Art and Abbie Beltran with the Moroch Agency. … Journalism major Maira Nieto is working with City of Arlington in its Office of Communication. … Communication Technology major Umear Ali is spending the summer in Florida, working with Fattmerchant. … Radio Advertising Bureau President Erica Farber visited the Summer I radio production class and discussed the state of the radio industry and her path from sales assistant to general manager to publication owner. … FOX 4 TV Reporter Melissa Cutler brought her 13 years of major-market experience to broadcast writing and reporting students, advising them to be creative when applying for jobs. … Alisa (Coleman) White, a former graduate adviser and associate professor from 1998-2005, has been selected as the candidate to be the next president of Tennessee’s Austin Peay State University, according to The Leaf-Chronicle (Clarksville).

Associate Professor Andrew Clark (third from right) and Assistant Professor Mark Tremayne (second from right) hosted an international group of journalists sponsored by the U.S. State Department on June 20. The professors discussed their research on drone journalism and presented information about Department of Communication. Event participants traveled from a number of different countries including Romania, Ghana and Romania. (Photo contributed)

Associate Professor Andrew Clark (third from right) and Assistant Professor Mark Tremayne (second from right) hosted an international group of journalists sponsored by the U.S. State Department on June 20. The professors discussed their research on drone journalism and presented information about Department of Communication. Event participants traveled from a number of different countries including Romania, Ghana and Romania. (Photo contributed)

CRIMINOLOGY & CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Lauretta Hill (’93) has been appointed to serve as deputy chief of police in Miami Beach, the Miami Herald reported. The new appointment makes her Miami Beach’s first black deputy chief and its highest-ranking black officer.

ENGLISH: A Fort Worth Star-Telegram story about Cinco de Mayo quoted Assistant Professor William Arce, assistant director for the Center for Mexican American Studies, on the tradition of celebrating May 5 and the Battle of Puebla. … For the first time in Nolan Catholic High School’s 53-year history, the coed school will be led by a female graduate, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Erin Vader (’94) was named president at the diocese’s 1,000-student school after a change in leadership prompted a national search.

HISTORY: In several Al Jazeera America columns, Assistant Professor Oliver Bateman addressed topics such as whether steroidal usage causes heart disease and social media policies for faculty at higher education institutions. Bateman also authored a commentary about his professional journey in Salon.com.  … Professor Emeritus Richard Francaviglia, author of “Go East Young Man: Imagining the American West as the Orient,” will be a featured speaker at the John C. Fremont symposium July 25-26 in Carson City, Nevada, the Nevada Appeal reported. Francaviglia taught at UT Arlington from 1991 to 2008. … Sylvia Leyba Hernandez (BA, ’81) was recently appointed by President Obama to lead the U.S. General Services Administration’s Greater Southwest Region, the Deming Headlight (N.M.) reported. Hernandez will oversee all GSA activities in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

LINGUISTICS & TESOL: KRLD/1080 AM (CBS Radio) interviewed Professor Colleen Fitzgerald about the Institute on Collaborative Language Institute, an international gathering of the world’s top linguists focused on preserving endangered languages. “Our language is an essential part of being human and how we express our humanity,” Fitzgerald said. “We’ve lost part of ourselves if we don’t have a connection to our heritage language.” A National Science Foundation grant awarded to Fitzgerald funded last month’s conference. … CoLang 2014, the Institute on Collaborative Language Research completed a successful two weeks of workshops on June 27, and is continuing on with more four weeks of field methods classes on the UT Arlington campus. Four linguistics doctoral students — Dan Amy, Lori Pierce, Samantha Cornelius and Elizabeth Tatz — have Graduate Research Assistantships for the summer as part of the CoLang support team, sponsored by an NSF grant awarded to Fitzgerald. … Associate Professor and Department Chair Laurel Stvan presented a paper on “Linguistic Reinforcement of Beliefs about the Causes of Health and Illness” at the Communication, Medicine and Ethics (COMET) conference in Switzerland on June 27. Funded by one of the newly launched College of Liberal Arts Research Endowment Awards, she also attended a master class there on Engaging Qualitatively with Healthcare Discourse Data. … Doctoral candidate Ashley Lober McKeever was recently hired as an assistant professor at Arkansas Tech University. McKeever, who will be defending her dissertation this summer on meter in folk verse of the Fur language, will begin this fall. … Funded from a 2013-2014 Festival of Ideas Global Research Fellowship as well as an Edmondson Endowment grant award from emeritus professor Jerry Edmondson, doctoral student Kent Rasmussen recently returned from a trip to Bunia and Nia-Nia in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There, he helped the Ndaka and Mbo communities develop draft alphabet charts and transition primers. … Doctoral student Jessica Rohr is once again teaching at Harvard University this summer, as part of the Institute for English Language Programs. … UT Arlington’s English Language Institute (ELI) has been asked again to provide instruction for the Chinese MBA English program for 3 weeks in August for UTA College of Business students. Adam Stein (MA TESOL, ’09), currently an instructor for ELI, is set to teach the program. … Adjunct instructs for ELI this summer include Iya Khelm (current doctoral student in Linguistics), Chloe Williams (M.A. Linguistics, ’14), Lana Marji (M.A TESOL, ’11) and Manar Saleh (M.A. TESOL, ’05).

MODERN LANGUAGE: Associate Professor Ignacio Ruiz-Pérez — who recently received the Ninth Annual Luis Cardoza y Aragón Poetry Prize, an international award open to poets from Mexico and Central America — was mentioned on the UT System blog, UT Matters.

MUSIC: Members of the UT Arlington jazz band spent part of their summer working with students in Germany. Check out video and pictures from the trip on the group’s Facebook page. … Visiting Assistant Professor Terri Sánchez was interviewed in the June issue of Miyazawa Flutes.

PHILOSOPHY: Four philosophy majors – Courtney Broderick, Mirza Islam, William Heeps and Jaryth Webber – will represent UT Arlington at Philosophers’ Jeopardy, a July 22 contest hosted by the Dallas Philosophers’ Forum. Teams from Southern Methodist University and University of Dallas will also compete. The event is slated for 7 p.m. at Unity of Dallas Church and admission is $10. … Associate Professor Charles Chiasson and the annual UTA Homerathon were featured in an article in Greek newspaper, Ethnos.

POLITICAL SCIENCE: Political Science major Heba Said, opinion editor of UT Arlington’s student newspaper The Shorthorn, received an unfriendly welcome at the Republican state convention in Fort Worth, Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy wrote. Said detailed her experience in a Shorthorn column. … Associate Professor Brent Sasley wrote an opinion piece for The Jerusalem Post about the need for Israel to address discrimination of its Arab population. The Jerusalem Post is Israel’s best-selling English-language daily. … Sasley was also quote in an AFP article about Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s campaign for the Turkish presidency.  … The Dallas Morning News quoted Associate Professor Allan Saxe in a story about the small impact that opposition groups had on local school bond elections. “It’s extremely difficult to defeat a school bond election,” Saxe said. “You have to go up against administrators, teachers, retired teachers, chambers of commerce, the city officials and parents, all of whom generally believe the bond is in the best interest of the community.” … Professor Thomas Marshall was featured in a Dallas Morning News story about Rep. Ralph Hall touting the National Rifle Association’s endorsement and chiding his GOP runoff challenger for not being a member of the group. … The Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News quoted Associate Professor and Department Chair Rebecca Deen in stories about the Texas Democratic Convention. The convention began June 26.

SOCIOLOGY & ANTHROPOLOGY: The Census released new statistics last week that show the number of U.S. residents living in “poverty areas” has jumped significantly since 2000, the Christian Science Monitor reported. Professor Ben Agger (Sociology) said poor neighborhoods lack decent housing, schools, health care and food. … Agger weighed in on the Jahi McMath case for a Christian Science Monitor article and was quoted in a Tech Page One piece about BuzzFeed’s viral quizzes that have become popular with millions of social network users. … Earlier this year, Randolph College professor Lori Lee (BA, ’93; MA, ’97) was named the 2013 Virginia Professional Archaeologist of the Year by the Archaeological Society of Virginia. She received the award for her years of research at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, where she has helped discover, document, and analyze the lives of slaves who lived on the plantation.

THEATRE ARTS: Specialist Michelle Harvey designed the scenery for the U.S. premier of “Soho Cinders” at Uptown Players in Dallas which opened June 13. Harvey also designed “Divas Gone but not Forgotten” (June 20) for the Turtle Creek Chorale in Dallas. … Lecturer Felicia Bertch, a founding member of Wheaton Shakespeare in the Park in Chicago, is co-producing “Love’s Labour’s Lost” for the company in August as well as playing Jacquenetta in the show. … Bertch also taught a movement workshop at Trinity Valley School’s “Much Ado About Shakespeare.” This is the 8th annual Shakespeare performance/seminar for young adults produced by artistic directors, Anna and Dr. Don Carlson. … Associate Professor Joe Chapa and Specialist Jared Land taught workshops in stage combat and design respectively at the “Much Ado About Shakespeare” month-long seminar. … Senior Lecturer Natalie Gaupp directed a one-night-only crime drama, “A Steady Rain,” in the UTA Studio Theatre on June 28. The play starred senior Travis J. Fant and UT Arlington alumnus David Wilson-Brown. … Senior Lecturer Brandi Andrade is writing dramaturgical articles on all of Theatre Three’s female playwrights this season. Andrade is also performing readings at the Grand Prairie Library on July 15. … Senior Bentleigh Nesbit was cast as Mama Ogre and one of the 3 little pigs in “Shrek: the Musical” at Fort Worth’s theatre for children, Kids Who Care! Winston Daniels (’12) was cast as Donkey. … Senior Anna Marie Boyd has been cast in the national tour of “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer.” … Olivia Shadan Aigbogun (’13) is currently in graduate school at UTA’s School of Social Work. Her master’s thesis will examine theatre as therapy. … Matthew Grevan (’08) Stage Managed and earned his Actors Equity Association union membership with “Soho Cinders” at Uptown Players in Dallas. … Theatre Arts major Omar Gonzalez worked as a set construction intern for “Soho Cinders” at Uptown Players in Dallas. … Senior Tiffany Cromwell was hired as a spotlight operator for “Soho Cinders” at Uptown Players, Dallas. She is also working backstage on the following show, “The Boy from Oz.” … Brittany King (’12) was a costume intern on “Soho Cinders” at Uptown Players, Dallas … Jason Villarreal (’09) performed in Dallas Woody’s Turnabout on June 15, raising money and awareness for the Resource Center. He will also teach at the Dallas Children’s Theatre this month.

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MFA Students Shine in Summer Exhibit

July 8, 2014

art_mfa_summer2014_500px

This summer, visitors to The Gallery at UTA will see the fruits of graduate student research and study.

The 7th Annual Summer MFA Exhibition, running through Aug. 25, presents the artwork of a diverse group of 21 candidates from the Department of Art & Art History. The students, at varying stages of the program, display a broad range of contemporary art-making practice in terms of concept, media and scale, organizers said.

The MFA Program is organized into four areas — studio-intermedia, visual communication, film/video and glass — and the works in this exhibition reveal the artists’ conceptual investigations of a variety of issues as they realize their visions in these respective mediums.

This year’s exhibition was selected by three jurors: Katrina Moorhead, Steven Holland and Julia Dyer. After visiting each MFA candidate’s studio and reviewing all the works that had been completed or were currently in progress, the jurors selected one or two pieces they felt demonstrated the students’ best accomplishments. Their thoughtful choices reflect the depth and diversity of both the program and the student artists who generously share their intellectual and creative explorations, organizers said.

Participating artists include: Ryan Britton, Morgan Chivers, Gladys Chow, David Diaz, Gabriel Duran, Jackson Echols, Elizabeth English, Brendan Feltrup-Exum, Laura Garcia, Christine Heimerman, Ginnie Shih En Hsu, Jean-Patrick Mahoney, Emily Nicastro, Neal Paustian, Michelle Pennington, Maryam Rezaei, Alison Starr, Seth Victorious, Shuhong Wang, Sydney Webb and Joshua Wilson.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. The Gallery is located in the Fine Art Building, room 169, at 502 S. Cooper Street in Arlington.

For more information visit http://www.uta.edu/gallery.

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Pre-Law Center Connects With AISD Students

July 1, 2014
Students from Arlington ISD attended a pre-law workshop April 2 on the UT Arlington campus. The event was hosted by the Pre-Law Center and equipped the students with information on making plans for law school. (Photo by James Dunning)

Students from Arlington ISD attended a pre-law workshop April 2 on the UT Arlington campus. The event was hosted by the Pre-Law Center and equipped the students with information on making plans for law school. (Photo by James Dunning)

Thanks to a grant from the Texas Bar Foundation, UT Arlington’s Pre-Law Center is making an impact in the community.

This past spring, 150 students from six different Arlington high schools visited with Pre-Law Center faculty and students at UT Arlington. Volunteers shared with Arlington ISD students about the preparation necessary to apply for law school, as well as the experience gained through volunteering at legal aid clinics and learning about the different types of law practiced.

“We were overwhelmed with how many students came,” said Elisabeth Cawthon, associate professor of history and interim director of the Pre-Law Center. “We expected 50, but got three times as much. Students were serious about it and AISD seemed to really like the program.”

The program started when a teacher from Carter Junior High inquired about UTA’s Pre-Law Center and said she had students interested in immigration law. Several UTA students went over and talked to those students.

“Our students spent quite a long time acting as mentors to the junior high,” Cawthon said.

Cawthon explained the program was successful because UTA students have a heart for public service. They inspired and encouraged Arlington ISD students, because many of them, similarly, are first generation students in their families, she said.

“It is really helpful for them to share that similarity,” Cawthon said. “There is no substitute for that. If they see a lawyer, they cannot relate with that; they think they can never do that. But if they have as student who is one step ahead of them, who walked the same path, they can relate and it gives people hope.”

AISD students visited the UTA campus on three different dates in April. Each visit was planned with activities: a sample pre-law class with Assistant Professor Oliver Bateman (History); a talk from Megan Hansen, admissions director at Michigan State Law School; and a presentation from Brittany Dunn, a lawyer in the Dallas District Attorney’s office.

Cawthon said Hansen talked to the students about applying to law school and introduced the group to a webinar at Michigan State Law School. In the webinar, students reviewed the various career paths available with a law degree.

The Pre-Law Center intends to host several more events for Arlington ISD students next year, Cawthon said.

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(Story by Elissa Ammon, COLA Communications)

One Night of ‘A Steady Rain’

June 26, 2014

“A Steady Rain” is a one-night stage reading of Keith Huff’s riveting crime drama. Show time is 8 p.m. Friday, June 27, at the UTA Studio Theatre in the Fine Arts Building.

The play explores the lives of two Chicago policemen who, after years of friendship, become doomed by a horrifying and tragic fate.

Directed by Senior Lecturer Natalie Gaupp (Theatre Arts), the show features Travis J. Fant, theatre arts senior, and alumnus David Wilson-Brown.

The performance is for mature audiences only because of graphic language and adult themes. Admission is free.

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(Source: MavWire)


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