COLA Dean Steps Down, Returns to Faculty

November 25, 2014


Dr. Beth Wright, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and a distinguished art historian, has announced that she will step down Dec. 31 after serving in her academic leadership position for more than a decade.

A national search for Wright’s successor will begin immediately, according to the Office of the Provost. Wright plans to take a year’s leave and will return to her position as a professor in the Department of Art and Art History in 2016.

The associate and assistant deans of the College of Liberal Arts will guide the College’s 12 departments and eight centers and programs until the selection of  a new dean. Associate Dean Elisabeth Cawthon praised Wright for her legacy in leading the College.

“Dean Wright has been a master of the many details that make the college run smoothly, from faculty searches to research funding, student scholarships, and outreach among members of the community,” Cawthon said. “We will miss her as an administrator but look forward to her return to the classroom and an active research agenda.”

Under Wright’s leadership, the College of Liberal Arts has grown to include more than 4,500 students. The College awarded almost 1,200 degrees in the 2013-2014 academic year.

Read the University’s official release at

History Scholars Offer New Perspectives

November 24, 2014

It is not uncommon for graduates of the Transatlantic History Ph.D. program to publish a book now and then. What is rare is to have several recent Department of History graduates and students with recently published works all at the same time.

“In recent years, our discipline has increasingly recognized transatlantic history as an important research field,” said Associate Professor John Garrigus, advisor for the doctoral program. “This, plus the expertise of our faculty and their own hard work has paid off for our graduate students and alumni.”

Lecturer David Watry (’14) said much of his research work and dissertation made up the bulk of Diplomacy at the Brink: Eisenhower, Churchill and Eden in the Cold War (LSU Press), an exploration of the “often-strained” relationships between United States and United Kingdom leaders following World War II. He credits Associate Professor Joyce Goldberg with helping him finish the project.

“Joyce was the chairman of my dissertation committee and went over my dissertation numerous times with her infamous purple pen,” Watry said. “She always gave me excellent advice and encouragement.”

Faculty members were also influential in motivating Julie Holcomb (’13) to complete her book on slave labor boycotts and free produce markets. Holcomb, an assistant professor at Baylor University, said classes with professors Stephanie Cole and Sam Haynes shaped her work into Moral Commerce: The Transatlantic Boycott of Slave Labor, a new book currently under contract with Cornell University Press. The guidance and perspective these professors offered enabled her to make stronger connections between the morals and ethics of American society 200 years ago and today.

“I hope readers [of Moral Commerce] will have a greater appreciation of the importance of resilience and persistence,” she said. “In the 18th and 19th centuries, boycotting slave-labor goods helped thousands of people take daily action against slavery and inspired their hope that consumer choice could undermine major economic oppression. The supporters of the boycott were never a majority and their boycott failed to undermine slavery. Still, they persisted because they had a greater vision of economic harmony that extended across classes and race and beyond capitalism.”

Transatlantic History Ph.D. graduates are tackling other subjects as well: Pawel Goral (‘12) published Cold War Rivalry and the Perception of the American West (Palgrave MacMillan Transnational History), a look at identity creations of East and West Germany after World War II, and Jeff Dillman (‘11) is expected to have his book, Colonizing Paradise: Landscape and Empire in British West Indies (University of Alabama Press), published this spring.

Even current Transatlantic students are getting in on the publishing boom: Doctoral candidate Robert Caldwell is expected to release Choctaw-Apache Food Ways, a book on Native American recipes, through Stephen F. Austin University Press in February.

“I think that one of the benefits of our doctoral program is that we encourage our students to publish early and widely,” said Associate Professor and Department Chair William M. Dulaney. “We want to prepare them for a very competitive job market by having them complete research projects in our program that our publishable and that make an impact on the field.”

For more information on the Transatlantic History Ph.D. program, visit the department’s website. UTA doctoral students also publish regularly in an online, peer-reviewed journal, Traversea.



(Story by James Dunning/COLA Communciations,



German Students Unveil Original Play

November 24, 2014

modl_MurderAbroadflyerSince their return from Germany last summer, several UT Arlington students have had “murder” on their minds – a murder mystery, that is.

Students in Senior Lecturer Sabine Harvey’s German drama class have written an original play, “Murder Abroad.” The work will be performed live in German (with English subtitles) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, in the Architecture Building, Room 204.

Last summer, Harvey, coordinator for German Studies in the Department of Modern Languages, led a student group on a study abroad trip to Berlin and Erfurt, and said many of the experiences were written into the play.

“The students came up with the idea and wanted to put some of their experiences, some of the funnier incidences, into a play,” she said. “Putting this together, we realized more about ourselves and more about Germany. It’s been a very enlightening experience.”

Harvey said students used the modern German dramas they read this semester as a template for their original work. In addition to the scheduled course load, students researched the history of places they visited on the summer trip and worked those details into the play. They also met regularly an hour before class to work on acting, staging, directing and other elements necessary to build a successful performance.

“This allowed me to give my students more responsibility with something none of us have experience with,” said Harvey. “I was impressed with how much time and energy they put into the project. They used research, their own experiences, and immense creativity to work on the dialogue, acting and music. I also noticed they were more aware of the language and pronunciation throughout the whole process.”

The show is free and open to the public. The Architecture Building is located at 701 S. Nedderman Dr.


(Story by James Dunning/COLA Communciations,

Theatre Arts’ Greer Notes Robots, Emotions

November 24, 2014

As an actress, producer, director and theatre arts lecturer at The University of Texas at Arlington, Julienne Greer knows the techniques that help draw people’s deepest emotions to the surface. Now, she’s building on her experience and research to help scientists and robotics engineers better understand the human experience so that they can build more responsive robots.

Greer, who holds a master’s degree in media arts and a doctorate in humanities, recently authored the paper, “Building emotional authenticity between humans and robots.” In it, she referenced a robot named ‘Pepper,’ which has been widely hailed as an emotionally responsive humanoid robot that understands feelings, and is meant solely to emotionally interact with people.


COLA Notes for November 2014

November 11, 2014

News and notes from around the College of Liberal Arts…

ART & ART HISTORY: Dallas VideoFest featured UT Arlington student Christian Vasquez‘s film, “50 years,” D Magazine‘s Front Burner blog reported. The film looks at the 50 years of civil rights in this country. Assistant Professor Ya’Ke Smith‘s film “Dawn” also was featured. … The Amon Carter Museum hosted an artist talk with Professor Benito Heurta on Oct. 30 to celebrate a new collaborative exhibition “Fresh Perspectives: Benito Huerta and the Collection.” It was covered in an Art & Seek video report. … San Angelo quoted Ya’Ke Smith, filmmaker and Morgan Woodward Distinguished Professor of Film/Video, in a story that asked why filmmakers stay in Texas. “The bigger question is, ‘Why leave Texas?’” Smith said. “Texas is not only producing some of the most exciting new filmmakers, but it has so much to offer, including: the most bang for the independent filmmaker buck, a huge array of very varied geographical locales, and a supportive network of people and organizations that are willing and ready to help you bring your project to fruition.” … Smith is crowd-sourcing a new film, “One Hitta Quitta,” through … Work by Senior Lecturer Carlos Donjuan was referenced in an article from The New York Times about the The Cheech Marin Collection in Bordeaux, France. … Assistant Professor Sedrick Huckaby has been commissioned to design and install the Stop Six Public Art Project, according to The Black Voice, a weekly publication in Tarrant County.

COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS: Faculty and staff are encouraged to consider joining UT Arlington’s Staff Advisory Council (SAC) to assist in planning and coordination of University-wide events and programs.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, who spoke at Comm Day 2014, wore a UT Arlington jersey during a recent bike race. (Photo contributed)

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, who spoke at Comm Day 2014, wore a UT Arlington jersey during a recent bike race. (Photo contributed)

COMMUNICATION: Associate Professor Shelley Wigley has had a paper accepted for publication this month, “Examining the Impact of Negative, User-Generated Content on Stakeholders” in Corporate Communications: an International Journal. She also contributed to a book, Television, Social Media and Fan Culture, in an article on Southern chef Paula Deen, “Butter, Facebook, and Paula Deen: Examining Fans Use of Social Media in Crisis.” … Associate Professor Andrew Clark has been named honorary fellow for National Association of Television Program Executives’ (NATPE) educational foundation. … Assistant Professor Erika Pribanic-Smith has been awarded a Kappa Tau Alpha Chapter Adviser Research Grant. She was also installed as president of the American Journalism Historians Association. … Assistant Professor Rachel Stohr will travel to Chicago this month to present an original research paper, “Expertise and Emotion in Social Movement Organizing: Translating Technical and Lay Discourses in Environmental Decision-making,” at the National Communication Association. … Lecturer Austin Robinson and two students from UTA Radio covered the November race at Texas Motor Speedway. … Sonia Salas (’12) recently won a 2014 Lone Star Emmy in the Promotion, News Promo category. She works for Univision-Dallas (KUVN). … D’Andrea Willis (’14) has been hired as Internal Communications Contributor at Sabre. … Avery Anderson (’14) was recently hired as a multimedia journalist at KTAB in Abilene. … Sean Bolton (’10) was hired as a Sr. ServiceNow Consultant last month by Evanios, a IT service management company. … Jesus Silva (’14) has been hired as Communication Assistant at Fort Worth Better Business Bureau. … Katy Kiger (’12) has taken a position with the brand management team at LexisNexis in Raleigh, N.C. She previously worked as marketing manager for Radio Disney in Charlotte, N.C. … Josh Greenlee (’11) is working in Ardmore, Okla., at the Southern Oklahoma Radio Center. Greenlee is mid-day DJ on the classic hits station (GTO 107 – KYNZ) and works nights on the company’s country station (95.7 KKAJ). … Matt Jones (’91) is now working as evening news producer for KTNV in Las Vegas. … The Shorthorn‘s daily news website,, was named the top student news website in the country recently during the College Media Association/Associated Collegiate Press Association’s national convention in Philadelphia. … Several Communication students received awards during the College Media Association/Associated Collegiate Press Association national conference. Pinnacle Awards went to Max Briese (First Place, Best Social Media Presence and Third Place, Best Social Media Strategy), Ashley Pena (Second Place, Best Newspaper News Page), Genevieve Barron (Third Place, Best Editorial Illustration) and Laura Woodside (Third Place, Best Newspaper Opinion Page). … Members of The American Advertising Federation Chapter at UTA toured the Moroch Advertising Agency recently, providing advertising students a close up look at the ad industry.

Lecturer Austin Robinson, right, poses with members of the Harlem Globetrotters at a media event earlier this month. (Photo contributed)

Communication Lecturer Austin Robinson, right, poses with members of the Harlem Globetrotters at a media event earlier this month. (Photo contributed)

CRIMINOLOGY & CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Senior Davinder Jassal won best top orator at the Texas Undergraduate Moot Court Association competition earlier this month.

HISTORY: KERA/90.1 FM’s Think last month featured a conversation with UT Arlington Special Collections curator Ben Huseman, Associate Professor Gerald Saxon and Imre Demhardt, professor & Garrett Endowed Chair in the History of Cartography, about what antique maps reveal about how much America has changed.

LINGUISTICS & TESOL: Doctoral graduate Vitaly Voinov (’13) recently published, Politeness Devices in the Tuvan Language (Turcologica), a book based on his doctoral dissertation. … Professor Colleen Fitzgerald took note of Native American Heritage Month in a Huffington Post column called “7 Things to Know About Native American Languages.”

MUSIC: National Medal of Arts, Pulitzer Prize, and Grammy Award winner William Bolcom is composer-in-residence at UT Arlington this week. His visit will culminate with a performance by the UT Arlington Wind Symphony and SMU Meadows Wind Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, in Irons Recital Hall, Room 105. To purchase tickets, visit … The American Jazz Composers Orchestra was recognized for its outstanding performance at UT Arlington, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported in its Cheers & Jeers section of the editorial page. Music faculty members Dan Cavanagh, Tim Ishii and Ken Edwards lead the AJCO.

POLITICAL SCIENCE: WFAA/ABC 8 interviewed junior Stephanie Vielle, president of the Native American Student Association, about a demonstration planned at AT&T Stadium last month when the Dallas Cowboys hosted the Washington Redskins. Vielle was also interviewed by KTVT/CBS 11 regarding protest of the name “Redskins.” … Professor Tom Marshall was quoted in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram story about the Texas gubernatorial race. … Associate Professor Brent Sasley was quoted in a Vox piece about violence in Jerusalem, which has been ongoing since before this summer’s Gaza war. … Associate Professor Allan Saxe was quoted in a Dallas Voice story about whether Texas voters will cross party lines or vote straight ticket. … Saxe was also interviewed for a Fort Worth Star-Telegram story about the State Board of Education races and voter disinterest regarding those races.

SOCIOLOGY & ANTHROPOLOGY: Professor Ben Agger (Sociology) discussed ways that capitalism is destroying the American diet on the Thom Hartmann Show, a national radio show broadcast on Sirius and XM satellite radio across the nation. … Agger, who is the director of the Center for Theory, wrote an opinion-editorial for about the viral panic and politics of Ebola. … Graduate student Lukas Szrot (Sociology) recently had a paper, “Beyond the Great Demotions,” accepted for presentation at the 2015 Telos-Paul Piccone Institute Conference in New York City on Feb. 14-15.

THEATRE ARTS: Senior Lecturer Brandi Andrade is in rehearsals for Theatre Three’s production of Paula Vogel’s play, “A Civil War Christmas.” She also did dramaturgical research for the show, and wrote an essay which is housed on the Theatre Three’s website and will be included in the press packet and printed in the program. … Professor Andrew Christopher Gaupp is in the process of directing the award-winning musical “Into the Woods” for the UT Arlington Maverick Theatre Company. He is joined by Assistant Professor Anne Healy, music director for the popular production. The musical will run Feb. 25 to March 1, 2015 in the UTA Mainstage Theatre. … Associate Professor Joe Chapa is directing “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” at Creative Arts Theatre and School (CATS) in Arlington. The show runs Dec. 5-20. … Scenic Designer Michelle Harvey was hired to complete the scenic design for Mainstage Irving’s production of “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940″ that opened Nov. 7. … Senior Lecturer Julienne Greer was selected to join a small number of UT Arlington faculty invited to participate in a pilot writing group program supported by UT Arlington’s Office of Foundation Relations and the Division of Faculty Affairs (DFA). Dr. Greer will work with foundations staff to develop a grant application, identify funding sources and develop a budget through an eight-week process. … Sophomore Katie Graham is officially interning at Hip Pocket Theatre in Fort Worth.


Broadcast Students Win Conference Awards

November 10, 2014

The South Central Broadcasting Society Conference has named Department of Communication students winners and finalists in the organization’s recent competition.

The South Central Regional Conference and Competition is coordinated by interested broadcast programs in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. The competition is open to students in these states and states that border any of these states.

“This is an annual conference with a wide variety of categories. It’s great to see our students hold their own among so many other programs in the region,” said Associate Professor Andrew Clark. “I’m pleased to see our newest venture, UTA Spotlight, get mentioned.”

UTA Spotlight is a 5-minute show produced by broadcast students that takes three stories from the department’s weekly newscast and packages them together with an anchor in various locations around campus, Clark explained.

“The show is designed to highlight things of interest at UTA and showcase the university to the city,” he said. “I’m getting very positive feedback from the City of Arlington about the program, and they, in turn are getting positive feedback from viewers around the city.”

The show is aired on the City of Arlington’s cable channel and on the city’s website.

Conference winners and finalists include:

Dena Adi – Grand Prize Winner Open Category Short for Campus Craze in UTA News
Traci Hill – Grand Prize Winner Open Category Short for Campus Craze in UAT News
Angelina Armendariz – Honorable Mention News Program for UTA en Español
Angelina Armendariz – Finalist Open Category Long for UTA Spotlight
Angelina Armendariz – Finalist Hard News/Spot News for UTA News en Español story
Jimena Fraga – Honorable Mention News Program for UTA en Español
Adolfo Muniz – Honorable Mention News Program for UTA en Español
Derek Kaufman – Finalist Hard News/Spot News for UTA News story
Raegan Cardwell – Finalist Open Category Long for UTA Spotlight
Paul Bennett – Finalist Open Category Long for UTA Spotlight

Derica Booker – Finalist, Spot Production
Reg Adetula – Honorable Mention, Sports Program
Scott Stone -Honorable Mention, Sports Program
Tracie Hill -Honorable Mention, News Program

CRCJ’s Davis Tackles Domestic Violence

November 10, 2014


A random assignment has turned into a passion project for Assistant Professor Jaya Davis – one that holds potential impact on families, law enforcement and future efforts to curb domestic violence.

In fall 2011, Davis was recruited to replace a Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice faculty member as university liaison for the Tarrant County Sex Abuse Advisory Council. She represented UT Arlington at the council’s 2012 conference and formed a working relationship with council officials, including those working on a new project, One Safe Place.

This fall, Davis was included in the official ribbon-cutting ceremony of a new family justice center, the result of partnerships between the Safe City Commission, the National Family Justice Center Alliance (NFJCA) and a dozen local and regional agencies.

“This project, years in the making, is a one stop for victims of domestic violence,” Davis said. “This is the epitome of a private-public solution to a social problem.”

The facility, located at 1100 Hemphill St. in Fort Worth, offers a variety of client services, including counseling, shelter referrals, job skills training, professional attire for interviews, child care, law enforcement interviews, Child Protective Services consultations, Tarrant County district attorney consultations and legal aid. Those seeking help with domestic violence issues no longer have to drive to more than two dozen different locations to take advantage of the services available.

Davis said she’s been inspired by the commitment and the work of those serving Tarrant County families.

“My passion [for this project] comes from seeing the dedication of people who are offering these services,” she said. “To know that one in four women are going to be a victim of domestic violence at some point in their lives… I look around my class and see quite a few people who could have been affected by domestic violence.”

The five-story building also offers space for researchers like Davis. Over the past two years, One Safe Place and CRCJ have become research partners, developing a project that examines law enforcement perception of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Once complete, Davis said, the project would be the largest study of its kind, with nearly 25 agencies participating. Davis said data will be collected through the winter and spring, and she hopes One Safe Place and its affiliates will be able to use their findings to develop new curriculum and training by next summer.

Davis said there is also opportunity for collaboration with other University programs, including service-learning projects, student internships and cross-discipline coursework to view victimization holistically through CRCJ, social work, women’s studies, nursing, psychology and biology. Currently, she said, the NFJCA reports there is no U.S. university that offers an education component that incorporates all the issues connected with victim services. Davis’ unique relationship with One Safe Place has enabled her to invite experts to speak in her master’s level classes, and she said she’s seen an immediate impact with UT Arlington students.

“I applaud Dr. Davis’ work with One Safe Place and the ways in which they are bringing together her own research, teaching and community outreach,” said Dr. Beth Wright, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “I look forward to seeing faculty and students across the College of Liberal Arts and UT Arlington address the significant and complex issue of domestic violence.”

For Davis, who has previously published papers on juvenile crime, the partnership with One Safe Place and the current research project pushed her expertise and focus deeper into the dynamics of American families.

“The earlier we can identify the risk factors, the more we can prevent the negative outcomes,” she said. “Witnessing domestic violence is one of the greatest traumas that will predict whether a juvenile will be successful or not. Even if I don’t see the impact it will make with the mother, I know it will be better for the kids.”


(Story by James Dunning/COLA Communications,


Q&A: Pribanic-Smith Mixes History, Media

November 10, 2014


Recently, Assistant Professor Erika Pribanic-Smith (Communication) was installed as president of the American Journalism Historian Association – one in a series of accolades she has received in the past several years. COLA Communications Coordinator James Dunning sat down with her to talk about assassinated newspaper editors, partisan press and the future of a blossoming career.

Q: Congratulations on being named president of the AJHA. What does this say about you and the research you have been doing for the past decade?

A: I think it says I’m fairly well respected in the journalism history community. They have a fair amount of confidence in me to ask me to be their leader and run the organization as well as represent journalism historians to other historian organizations. It’s a big role.

Q: What do you have to do as president? Any changes you want to make?

A: Apart from the business side, I will represent the organization at Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) events next year. I’ll go to New York City in March, then San Francisco in August. I’m also representing my group to the American Historical Association, writing some things for their newsletter and publications. I will be trying to forge the bond between those organizations. We’ve already got good a relationship with the AEJMC, but our bonds are a little shaky with the general history associations. I want to strengthen those.

The main thing I want to work on as president is improving communication, the website and our social media presence. I want to see us attract younger members and newer scholars while maintaining high energy among our existing scholars from convention to convention. We only meet once a year. We leave those conventions reinvigorated; we’re excited about history, we’re excited about journalism, we’re excited about the organization. But that wanes as the year goes on. I feel like if we can do more things and keep up the communication, we can keep up the energy and get more people involved in the organization. That leads to better scholarship, better relationships. That’s my goal.

Q: Apart from your responsibilities as AJHA president, no doubt you’ll be spending significant time in the coming year working on your own research. What projects do you have in the works?

A: The paper I presented [at the recent AJHA conference] was about a newspaper editor named Jason Clark Swayze, who was assassinated. During Reconstruction, he had been run out of Georgia by the Klu Klux Klan for his political views. He was threatened; his print shop was burned to the ground. He did not feel safe in Georgia, so he moved to Kansas and continued to be outspoken. He eventually fell into trouble there and was assassinated by a rival. I wrote a book chapter about what Swayze did in Georgia and the paper I presented as about the issues surrounding libel that came up during his time in the Midwest.

I’m also working on a book based on some papers I have written and published about the 1844 U.S. presidential election. It’s very interesting. There was an abolitionist running as a third-party candidate who was taken pretty seriously and thought by many historians as someone who spoiled the election and changed the outcome. I’ve been interested in how that election was covered because during that era, the press was highly partisan. With a third-party candidate, I was interested in how the partisan press viewed him. I was also interested to see how the abolitionist press treated him.

I’ve received two research grants for the project, including one I received from the AJHA last year. Recently, I was awarded a grant from Kappa Tau Alpha, a journalism honor society. So I’ll be spending a lot of time at the University of Michigan where the abolitionist candidate’s papers are. No one has written about this from the perspective of his campaign and how the media covered the election.

Q: As you are reading about the partisan press in the 1800s, do you see similarities to today’s media?

A: Definitely. The state of the media and state of politics is similar. When you look at the partisan press [of the 1800s], you see how they are very passionate about their point of view. And to see how the two different sides approached the same policy or platform issue during an election campaign, it’s very similar to what we see today. You get to see two different parties address the same issue, and they are both very passionate about it and both think they are right. It’s hard to maintain objectivity at times because I can see what one side is saying and think, “This makes a lot of sense.” But I need to look at the other side and consider those arguments, too. It’s the same today with talk radio and the political pundits you see on TV. The difference is they used the medium of newspapers to present their case to the public.

Q: I know you studied journalism as an undergraduate and worked as a reporter and editor for a number of years. How did you get involved in journalism history?

A: I’ve always been really interested in history. I nearly took on a history minor as an undergraduate, but there were some issues where I was, so I stuck with the journalism route. When I got to the University of Alabama, I was assigned as a research assistant to William David Sloan, one of the founders of the American Journalism Historian Association. He’s written a number of journalism history textbooks for use in classrooms and is a prolific scholar. I was assigned to him serendipitously and realized, “Wow, there is such a thing as journalism history.” This takes two things I love and puts them together.

The work I did for him was pretty rudimentary. He was creating a supplement for a teacher’s textbook. So I learned about all these different aspects of journalism history and making supplement materials. It was very pedagogical, how you could create these teaching tools. I found it all so fascinating.

He was my advisor for my master’s project and I wrote a chapter for one of his books. It was my first serious foray into doing historical research and it was so much fun. Then the chapter I wrote began to be cited and people would come up to me and say, “I read your chapter and use it in my classes.” That really lit the fire and made me want to pursue it.

Q: What kind of impact do you think your research makes, either on journalism or history?

A: I feel like the research I do now and the topics I choose help to fill in gaps. For instance, I won an award a year ago for a paper I wrote on the Mount Vernon Ladies Association and how they used magazines to raise support to save Mount Vernon. It was a story that had never been told. A lot of people had written about the effort, but no one had written about the impact of the magazines. And I discovered there was a six-month chunk of meeting minutes from the group that was only saved in these magazines. No one would have known that had I not studied it. It’s amazing to be able to find those sorts of things and add to the historical record and help tell the story of our past. Our research can also inform the present and things that are going on in today’s society.

Q: In addition to digital storytelling and feature writing, you teach graduate students a Communication History course. How much of your passion about this field of study do your try to impart on your students?

A: I don’t get to teach the history seminar often, but when I do, it’s almost a struggle to get students to register. Often, students don’t have that passion for history or realize how powerful it can be. The focus of the course is on historical methods, teaching them how to be historians, to take a subject they’re interested in and investigate its past. That’s how I hook them. I’ve had two students this past semester that had no interest in pursuing a historical thesis before my class, and now they do. To me, that’s a success. I try to encourage them to be critical of scholarship, understand how it’s written, how it’s done, and be conscientious scholars as they do their own research.



Alumna Connects Liberal Arts, Business Careers

November 7, 2014

Business analyst Christine Eliseev (’92) talks to students at an info session on Nov. 5. (Photo by James Dunning/COLA Communications)

When UT Arlington alumna Christine Eliseev (’92) began to consider a way to “give back” to her alma mater, her business experience and acumen quickly created an efficient way to support a new generation of Mavericks and boost her own industry at the same time.

For a week in December, Eliseev, who earned a Russian Language and Soviet Area Studies degree, will introduce students to international certification as a business analyst. The former PricewaterhouseCoopers executive will teach an International Qualification Board for Business Analysts (IQBBA) certification course and help soon-to-graduate liberal arts students expand their career possibilities.

“Folks who have a liberal arts background are like sponges,” Eliseev said, “They love knowledge and can pick up new things. In my experience, those who came out of liberal arts program and started as a business analyst have had some impressive careers.”

Eliseev admits she wasn’t certain of her career more than two decades ago as she graduated and watched the fall of the Soviet Union. She discovered work as a business analyst – someone who often bridges “the gap between business need and a technological solution,” she said – and began a career path that has taken her to global destinations. Recently, she started her own firm, QMAT (Quality Management and Testing) Solutions, with 10 employees and will pursue a Masters Diploma in Strategy and Innovation at the Saïd Business School in University of Oxford (England) next year.

Eliseev said her biggest challenge is finding her clients the talent they need to succeed.

“There’s a deficit of business analysts in the industry,” she said. “Forecasts show this is an area that’s going to grow. It’s the same with software testing, too.”

With the help of College of Liberal Arts Associate Dean Elisabeth Cawthon, Eliseev has recruited at two information sessions this semester and has several students already signed up for the mid-December course. Registration ends Dec. 5; the course runs Dec. 15-19.

Cawthon said she’s excited that Eliseev, a former student, has not only used the reasoning, research and communication skills she developed as a liberal arts major to fashion an exciting career, but now she is passing along that knowledge to current UTA students.

“UTA is fortunate to have such a generous alum,” she said. “We think that many workplaces will be enhanced by our liberal arts graduates — people who will bring creativity, the ability to articulate, skill in multiple languages, organizational abilities and enthusiasm to their job projects.”

Eliseev is eager to engage UTA students in a week’s worth of foundational level training and prepare them for the exam. She said students who earn a basic certification will be able to demonstrate to employers the required foundation to become a business analyst.

“I hope the class will encourage students to seek certifications as a way to show future employers how they have critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills and can apply them to real-world needs,” she said. “At the very least, it will give them consideration to a career in this field, not just a job after college. This is a stepping stone into something bigger.”


(By James Dunning/COLA Communications,

Maverick Theatre Stages ‘Streetcar’ Ride

November 3, 2014
Brynn Apprill, left, and Travis Fant star in the Maverick Theatre Company’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” The play runs Nov. 19-23. (Photo contributed)

Brynn Apprill, left, and Travis Fant star in the Maverick Theatre Company’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” The play runs Nov. 19-23. (Photo contributed)

Dark secrets and Southern belles abound in the Maverick Theatre Company’s production of the Tennessee Williams classic, “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

The play, on the UT Arlington Mainstage Theatre, will run Nov. 19-23.

Set in the New Orleans French Quarter, the 1948 Pulitzer Prize-winning play follows the tragic trajectory of Blanche DuBois, a faded Southern belle who is haunted by her past. Blanche moves in with her sister, Stella, and is subsequently bedeviled by Stella’s frank and uninhibited husband, Stanley — who uncovers Blanche’s darkest secrets.

Directed by Senior Lecturer Natalie Gaupp, the play stars Travis J. Fant as Stanley Kowalski, Bryn Apprill as Stella Kowalski and Katherine Anne Weekley as Blanche DuBois.

Gaupp, who is also Playwright-in-Residence for the Department of Theatre Arts, said she is approaching the play as homage to Williams and the aesthetics that inspired his work.

“My vision for this production of ‘Streetcar’ is one that conjures the time, place and human dynamics of the world in which the author fostered his play, a production that is true to the author’s original intentions,” she said. “The soul of production is the French Quarter, the Vieux Carré, the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans. To me, it’s the longtime residence for those who seek to invent or reinvent themselves, or to simply find one of those long rainy New Orleans afternoons, steeped liberally in one part live traditional jazz, one part Southern Comfort.”

The “Streetcar” cast also includes Dale Shelton, Bradley Atuba, Kelly Stewart, Adrian Stecker, Michael Carver-Simmons, Amanda Sandlin, Raul Luna, Marla Acevedo, Adilita Garner and Joshua Davis.

Eric Smith is Assistant Director and Stage Manager, and Technical Director is Daniel Archibald. Kris O’Brien designed the Costumes. Jared Land created the Sound Design. Make-Up was created by Joe Kongevick. Michelle Harvey is the Scenic Designer.

Performances are Nov. 19- 22 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 23 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general public, and $7 for senior citizens, students and UT Arlington faculty and staff.

For tickets/reservations, group rates, or further information, please contact the UT Arlington Department of Theatre Arts Box Office at (817) 272-2669 or The Mainstage Theatre is located in the Fine Arts Building at 502 South Cooper St. on the UT Arlington campus.



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