New Exhibition Shines Light on ‘Disability’

February 26, 2015

A new exhibition at The Gallery at UTA – presented in conjunction with the 2015 Walter Prescott Webb Memorial Lectures – opens this week.

“Subject: Disability” features nine artists from both the DFW area and from across the United States whose work addresses issues concerning disability today. Visiting Assistant Professor Stephen Lapthisophon (Art & Art History) curated the exhibition.

Lapthisophon, a respected artist and educator who teaches classes for UT Arlington’s Disability Studies Minor, said the exhibition title “serves not only as a marker for the content of the show but also as a reference to a subject-object relation on questions of being – agency, authority and power – ‘who speaks for whom?’ in our world.” Media ranging from painting and drawing to installation and video works were chosen to illustrate the ways art can challenge and inform our experience of others, he said.

The artists include Gary Cannone, Sally Glass, Joseph Grigely, Olga Koumoundouros, Pierre Krause, Michelle Rawlings, Sunaura Taylor, Lauren Woods and Michael Wynne. The exhibition will run through April 4.

“Subject: Disability,” as well as the Webb Lectures slated for March 4-5, marks the 25th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act. Assistant Professor Sarah Rose (History) said several disability-related events are planned throughout the year.

The exhibition’s opening reception is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 27, and is free and open to the public. Lapthisophon offered a gallery talk for students and faculty on Thursday, Feb. 26.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. (The Gallery will be closed during the university’s spring break, March 9-14.)

The Gallery is located in the Fine Art Building, room 169, at 502 S. Cooper St. in Arlington. For more information contact Benito Huerta or Patricia Healy (817) 272-5658 or

The 2014-2015 exhibition schedule is made possible by the generous support of Arlington Camera, the Hanley Foundation, Hilton Arlington, and Nerwin & Martin. This exhibition and related events are co-sponsored by the Minor in Disability Studies and the Department of History.


Webb Lectures Review Disability & Family

February 25, 2015

hist_2015WebbposterDisability history and families are the central focus of the 2015 Walter Prescott Webb Memorial Lectures.

The annual event, sponsored by the Department of History, will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a slate of events over two days, March 4-5. This year’s theme is “Beyond Attics and Activists: Rethinking Family in Disability History” and was organized by Assistant Professor Sarah Rose.

“Disability is normal,” she said. “People with disabilities have always been part of families. It’s an essential part of diversity.”

Rose, who directs the Disability Studies Minor at UT Arlington, said the Webb Lectures topic is timely as 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act. She said several disability-related events are planned throughout the year. With the Webb Lectures, she hopes those in attendance will discover a great appreciate for how the issue of disability may be viewed.

“People outside the field of disability studies, and even within it, often see people with disabilities as individuals isolated or separated from their families,” said Rose. “This series explores the ways in which concepts and experiences of disability have profoundly shaped families, and vice versa. We’re re-embedding individuals with disabilities into families and looking at their relations with larger communities.

The Webb Lectures begins Wednesday, March 4, with a screening of the documentary film, “Invitation to Dance” and a question-and-answer session with the film’s creators, Simi Linton and Christian von Tippelskirch. A reception and tour of a new exhibition, “Subject: Disability,” at The Gallery at UTA – curated by Visiting Assistant Professor Stephen Lapthisophon (Art & Art history) – will follow.

On Thursday, March 5, the Webb Lectures will include scholarly presentations from Rose, Dea H. Boster (Columbus State Community College), Anne E. Parsons (University of North Carolina at Greensboro) and Susan Burch (Middlebury College).

The free event is also sponsored by the Disability Studies Minor, Office for Students with Disabilities, the Movin’ Mavs Adapted Sports and Recreation, the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society.


Schedule of events:

Wednesday, March 4
2 p.m.
“Invitation to Dance” – Documentary Screening
Followed by a Q&A with Simi Linton and Christian von Tippelskirch
Introduced by Richard Scotch (UT Dallas)
E.H. Hereford University Center, Rio Grande Ballroom

5 p.m.
“Subject: Disability” – Art Exhibition
Curated by Stephen Lapthisophon (UT Arlington)
Fine Arts Building, The Gallery at UTA
(Art exhibit will be ongoing through April 4)

Thursday, March 5
9:30 a.m.
“Disability and Slave Motherhood in Antebellum South”
By Dea H. Boster (Columbus State Community College)
Introduced by Associate Professor William M. Dulaney (UT Arlington)
E.H. Hereford University Center, Rio Grande Ballroom

11 a.m.
“‘She Played like any Ordinary Child’: Idiocy, Disability, and Family”
By Assistant Professor Sarah F. Rose (UT Arlington)
Introduced by Assistant Professor Kenyon Zimmer (UT Arlington)
E.H. Hereford University Center, Rio Grande Ballroom

1:30 p.m.
“Personal Politics, Disability rights, and the Deinstitutionalization of Psychiatric Hospitals”
By Anne E. Parsons (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
Introduced by Assistant Professor Oliver Bateman (UT Arlington)
E.H. Hereford University Center, Rio Grande Ballroom

7:30 p.m.
“Disorderly Pasts: Kinship, Diagnoses, and Native American-U.S. Histories”
By Susan Burch (Middlebury College)
Introduced by Associate Dean Elisabeth Cawthon (UT Arlington)
E.H. Hereford University Center, Bluebonnet Ballroom

Grad Student Tunes in to Broadcasts in Japan

February 17, 2015

Earlier this year, UT Arlington graduate student LaDonna Aiken (Communication) returned to her former duty station in Okinawa, Japan, to investigate the impact of a U.S. military broadcast station on local residents.

With the aid of a $1,000 Dean’s Award for Research Travel from the College of Liberal Arts, Aiken flew to Okinawa to interview locals and former U.S. military personnel. The research will feature prominently in her master’s thesis work as well as a possible manuscript. Aiken is researching the influence of the Far East Network (FEN) Okinawa during its first 50 years of broadcasting.

“Without the funding from the College, there would be no way [Aiken] would be able to complete the research project,” said Associate Professor Andrew Clark, Aiken’s mentor. “She’s doing oral history, so she needed to visit with people in person and talk to them, witness the changes in broadcasting and do some archival research. The research she conducted there will make up the bulk of her thesis.”

With the grant funds, Aiken flew to Okinawa and conducted field research Jan. 5-17. During her service in the U.S. Marine Corps, Aiken was stationed at FEN Okinawa and worked in both radio and television. The stationed was established at the end of World War II, in May 1945. Now the name has changed to American Forces Network (AFN) Okinawa, and as of 2011, the television signals are no longer broadcast over-the-air. Island residents can still tune in to the AM or FM radio stations, but television is only available to military members via satellite dish. Aiken’s review of the station’s history also includes a look at the impression it has made with Japanese residents in the area.

“I went to Okinawa to get the Japanese perspective,” she said. “I wanted to hear what Japanese living there had to say. I was also able to review existing archival documents – something I could not have done very well from home.”

Aiken, who is also employed by UT Arlington as a broadcast lecturer, said she was able to connect with former colleagues and sources from her time as a news reporter – including former Okinawa governor Masahide Ota. Ota, she said, gave her good insight into the way local residents viewed FEN Okinawa and its American programming.

“[Ota] had a lot to say about the current situation regarding the military bases on island,” Aiken said. “He used to watch FEN Okinawa for the American perspective on issues. When I asked him if he thought it was propaganda, he said ‘no, because it wasn’t in Japanese.’”

Aiken also received a $400 Dean’s Award for Non-Travel Research that she used to procure Japanese news broadcasts about the military station and have those transcribed and translated. As she continues to review her notes and research, Aiken said an early conclusion is that FEN Okinawa not only offered Japanese audiences a look at American culture but also provided island residents with timely weather and typhoon reports.

Aiken, who intends to graduate in May, left the Marines in 1993, moving to Texas to work as an independent video producer. Over the past several years she has returned to higher education to complete her degrees and begin a new career as a college professor.


(By James Dunning/COLA Communications,

COLA Notes for February 2015

February 9, 2015

News and notes from around the College of Liberal Arts…

ART & ART HISTORY: WOAI/NBC 4 in San Antonio interviewed Associate Professor Ya’Ke Smith, the Morgan Woodward Distinguished Professor of Film, about his short film, “dawn.” The movie will premiere on HBO next month. … Assistant Professor Justin Ginsberg (MFA, ’11) and Jeff Gibbons (MFA, ’13), who collaborate as Apophenia Underground, were recently named 2015 Masterminds by the Dallas Observer. … Students of Fall 2014 Design Texas produced branding for the newly created UTA FAB LAB. Susan Nguyen designed the winning logo and worked with Evelyn Barker, director of marketing and communications for the UT Arlington Libraries. Members of the design team include Elena Chudoba, Bobby Cerda, Julia Cooper, David Rosales, Cali Stewart, Andrew Vo and Chase Whittington. … MFA candidates Michelle Pennington and Christine Heimerman each produced solo exhibitions Jan. 30 at a vacant retail space in Arlington.

CENTER FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES: Associate Professor Jason Shelton (Sociology) and a social work doctoral student discussed racial identity in “The New Black: Examining Racial Identity from a Contemporary Perspective,” a Center for African American Studies lecture held Wednesday, Feb. 4, in the E.H. Hereford University Center.

COMMUNICATION: Associate Professor Andrew Clark traveled to Miami last month to participate as a faculty fellow for the National Association of Television Program Executives. Clark was invited to NATPE Miami after the Department of Communication hosted a career day for NATPE Educational Foundation in October last year. … Broadcast lecturer LaDonna Aiken (’14) traveled to Okinawa, Japan, last month to conduct research. Aiken was awarded a Dean’s Award for Research Travel grant for $1,000 to make the trip. Her research focuses on military broadcasting, including the first 50 years of the Far East Network Okinawa. … Lecturer Melanie Mason and Steven Morris (’87) are sharing the stage in a production of the farce, “Rumors,” at Onstage in Bedford at the Bedford Boys Ranch. The show runs through Feb. 15. … Specialist Roby Mceuen served as a judge at the Corpus Christi American Advertising Awards as part of the AAF 10th District Small Club Advertising Competition judging. … Lecturer Austin Robinson has had a piece of photographic art accepted in Arlington Visual Arts Association juried show. The show runs this month at Arlington’s Bob Duncan Community Center. … Students in Associate Professor Karishma Chatterjee’s “Communication in Human Relations” course are collaborating with the non-profit Helping Restore Ability as part of the class’ service learning efforts. … Students from the Department of Communication served as interns at the 2015 Cotton Bowl last month at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. They were featured in an online video and blog post as well as an article in the game day program. … Students in Associate Professor Shelley Wigley’s public relations class made a trip to Tandy leather in Fort Worth to learn about different types of leather and leather crafting this week. Wrigley said students will develop a comprehensive campaign and work with the company’s social media director Michael Magnus (’14). … Public relations major William Aleman is interning with Social Media Delivered while COMM student Graham Ashley is spending the semester at The Pavlov Agency. Other PR students working around the area: Mark Bullock II with C. Pharr & Company Inc.; Shakesha Crutchfield with The American Red Cross; and Valerie Edwards with Streams & Valleys. Remy McCool is interning with Jo Design and Lauren Mims with D Magazine. Noe Ponce is lending his talents to Adapt Marketing while Anachrista Robles is working with Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas. … Several students majoring in both public relations and advertising are working in the area: Amanda Gilliam is with Wise Strategy LLC, Maritza Moreno is working with Richards/Lemar in Dallas and Hillary Fluster is interning with the Pavlov Agency. … Broadcast majors are also busy interning: Allison Cox is with Charla Corn Beauty, LLC & TonerTunes, LLC; Heidi Everley is at Creatures LLC; Dylan Fry is working at CBS Radio; Sean Fuller with Fielder Road Baptist Church; and Arian Hernandez is at NBC 5, Telemundo 39. Merna Mohamed is spending the spring semester at NBC DFW/NBC Universal and Rosa Ramirez with Cyan Films Studios. … Advertising major John Hong is working with GCG Marketing and COMS major Aubrey Kenney is interning with Arlington Public Library. … Everett Hinson (’07) was promoted as the lead developer for user experience/user interface development at Apptricity Corporation. … Shunkecia D. Lewis (’14) has been hired as Social Media Account Executive for Wheeler Advertising Inc. … Broadcast graduate Felicia Bolton is now weekend anchor and reporter at WMC, the NBC station on Memphis, Tenn. … The UTA chapter of Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) will host a kickoff meeting from 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, in Room 327A of the Fine Arts Building. Students are asked to bring resumes, clips and a laptop to get advice from media professionals on how to build a good resume and what clips are needed for an internship and job application. … The Association for Women in Communication has a new slate of officers: Ashley Snedden, President; Kaleigh Williams, Vice President, Julie Dy and Sasha Beshkova, Public Relations Co-Officers, and Fatima Hazma, Secretary/Treasurer. … The Department of Communication is sponsoring the creation of a new student organization. Creo is a new graphic and web design organization focused on creating websites/graphics for businesses and competitions. The group hosted its first meeting on Feb. 5 and will have weekly meetings throughout the semester.

CRIMINOLOGY & CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Stanley Security is currently promoting its “Together for Safer Schools” grant program. The top-voted college will receive up to $200,000 in security products. The online contest that ends Feb. 13 and UTA is in the top 10 of the Tier 3 category (20,000-plus students).

DISABILITY STUDIES: The Disability Studies Minor program was a co-sponsor of a free screening of “Working Like Crazy” on Jan. 29. After the film, invited faculty and students discussed issues surrounding madness and unemployment in local communities.

ENGLISH: Professor Stacy Alaimo will lecture on “Your Shell on Acid: Posthuman Vulnerability, Anthropocene Dissolves” at noon Wednesday, March 4, in University Hall, Room 432, part of the Center for Theory’s Spring 2015 Colloquia. … Lecturer Matthew Lerberg will take over as interim director of the UTA Writing Center while longtime director Tracey Clough spends the spring and summer months on a dissertation fellowship. Lerberg previously served as the center’s assistant director.

HISTORY: The Dallas Morning News columnist Steve Blow interviewed Professor Robert Fairbanks for a piece about the annual Dallas history conference that was held Jan. 31. Fairbanks was also interviewed extensively on KERA about the history of controversy surrounding the Trinity River that dates back decades before toll roads were even considered. … The Waco Tribune reported that Associate Professor and Department Chair Marvin Dulaney has been selected to serve on a national committee led by U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, that will push for a Medal of Honor to be awarded posthumously to World War II hero and Waco native Dorie Miller. Miller was a mess cook aboard the USS West Virginia when the ship was attacked at Pearl Harbor. After Japanese fighters shot his captain, Miller carried him to safety, and then manned a .50-caliber machine gun to shoot down enemy aircraft, despite having no formal weaponry training. … The Fort Worth Star-Telegram interviewed Professor Donald Kyle for a story last month about the Super Bowl, comparing the annual event to Roman gladiator battles and chariot races. … Associate Professor David Narrett will discuss Native American perspectives and European forces at noon Wednesday, Feb. 11, at the Focus on Faculty lecture event in the Central Library Sixth Floor Parlor. … Photos from Assistant Professor David LaFevor were included in an article on Cuba on … For 30 years, Todd Holzaepfel’s passion was making downtown Fort Worth better, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. At the end of the month, Holzaepfel (MA, ’01; PhD, ’09) is retiring from Downtown Fort Worth Inc., an advocacy organization launched in the early 1980s to improve downtown. … Peter Brand (’90), a professor at the University of Memphis, recently completed a research trip to Luxor in Egypt, part of the Karnak Hypostyle Hall Project. … Cultural historians Greg Kosc (PhD, ’10) and Bradley Borougerdi (PhD, ’14) wrote an article about the impact of consumer electronics on Africa culture for George Mason University’s History News Network.

LINGUISTICS & TESOL: The Huffington Post Impact blog posted an op-ed by Professor Colleen Fitzgerald connecting Martin Luther King Junior’s call for social justice to the need for linguistic justice for Native Americans. Fitzgerald, director of the Native American Languages Lab, said: “Language is always a vehicle for social justice. Righting wrongs. Native American language revitalization sustains the life force of communities.” … Associate Professor and Department Chair Laurel Smith Stvan had a chapter published, “Truth is, sentence-initial bare shell nouns are showing up bare,” in the volume titled Complex Visibles Out There published by Palacký University. … Stvan was also quoted in a recent BuzzFeed story about 10 words and phrases you wish you used less. … Doctoral student Samantha Cornelius and graduate student Vicki Caña were each awarded $500 travel grants from UTA’s Sustainability Committee to attend the 4th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation in Honolulu, Hawaii, Feb. 26-March 1. They will co-present on “Designing pedagogy from Cherokee language and ecological documentation” with Fitzgerald and the Cherokee Nation Language Program’s Roy Boney, John Ross and David Crawler. … The English Language Institute’s Senior Instructor Eun-Jung Brown has just published her ninth book on English for Korean learners. … ELI’s Listening-Speaking Coordinator Sally Stevens and Director Keith Maurice gave a presentation, “Teaching in English,” to a group of Korean education majors from Ewha Women’s University (South Korea) for the UTA-EWA Teacher Internship Program on Jan. 21. … Linguistics major Gabrielle Johnson accepted a part-time position teaching ESOL at Tarrant County College District, Southeast campus, while three other Linguistics students will be gaining experience in the field by supporting the ESOL program at TCCD SE campus as volunteer tutors: Linguistics majors David Beard and Thuy Nguyen Jesus, and Linguistic minor Omar Chavez. … Linguistics minor Kimberly Niestroy will take part in the International Leadership Texas program at Arlington Charter High School, shadowing a speech pathologist and communication disorders assistant. … Six Linguistics students have begun working as part-time teachers in an online program instructing students in Ceibal, Uruguay, via UTA’s Office of Enterprise and development: Linguistics majors Alberto Navarro and Rubi Orozco; Linguistics minors Paola Zuniga, Jesus Omar Chavez, Kyla Self and Jared Wide (’14).

MUSIC: A article noted a hearing protection awareness program provided in the UT Arlington Department of Music. The goal of the program is to preserve hearing and prevent injury in music students, faculty and staff.

PHILOSOPHY: Associate Professor and Department Chair Ken Williford contributed to a collection of articles posted at Researchers and editors plan to publish the collection into a 2,000-page book later this year. Williford’s contribution to the project was cited last month in an article in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a German newspaper. … The Texas Winds Musical Outreach, a nonprofit that brings professional musical performances to hospitals, nursing homes, and facilities for veterans and at-risk children, will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a series of special concerts, The Dallas Morning News reported. Associate Professor Charles Nussbaum, a veteran of the Atlanta Symphony for 17 years, is a member.

Nine UT Arlington students competed recently in the American Mock Trial Association regional tournament at UT Dallas. Pictured, from left, are Nahielys La Fontaine, Davinder Jassel, Ashley Pfeifer, Mehwish Merchant, Ramon Hernandez, Madison Speer, Karina Loya and Eddie Rodriguez. Not pictured are Jaqueline Ramos and the group’s coach, Pre-Law Director Amber White. (Photo contributed)

Nine UT Arlington students competed recently in the American Mock Trial Association regional tournament at UT Dallas. Pictured, from left, are Nahielys La Fontaine, Davinder Jassel, Ashley Pfeifer, Mehwish Merchant, Ramon Hernandez, Madison Speer, Karina Loya and Eddie Rodriguez. Not pictured are Jaqueline Ramos and the group’s coach, Pre-Law Director Amber White. (Photo contributed)

POLITICAL SCIENCE: Associate Professor Brent Sasley told the International Business Times that he doesn’t expect a mass exodus of French Jews to Israel in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. He was also interviewed last month by IBT on the likelihood of escalation after the Israeli strike on Hezbollah. … KTSA 550 AM in San Antonio interviewed Associate Professor Allan Saxe about Sen. Ted Cruz’s recent admission that he smoked marijuana in the 1970s. … Professor Jose Angel Gutierrez wrote a letter to The Shorthorn editor last month, celebrating the legacy of Chicano activist Reies Lopez Tijerina. … The Arlington City Council has appointed a new city attorney, KTVT/CBS 11 reported. Teris Solis (’86) has been an employee of the city since 2001. … Piper Stege Nelson, deputy director of Annie’s List, presented “The State of Women in Politics in Texas,” at noon Wednesday, Feb. 11, in University Hall room 25. The lecture was sponsored by the Department of Political Science.

SOCIOLOGY & ANTHROPOLOGY: The Cambridge University Press blog posted a piece by Assistant Professor Ritu Gairola Khanduri (Anthropology) in reaction to the attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo. Khanduri commented on the complex global history and tension between cartoons and politics. … The latest issue of Fast Capitalism, a journal produced by the Center for Theory and its director, Professor Ben Agger (Sociology), was recently posted online. Agger said Noah Kersey and Alison Torres Ramos contributed to the project. … The Leakey blog featured a story about Assistant Professor Naomi Cleghorn (Anthropology), who recently received a Leakey Foundation grant to research early humans in Knynsa, South Africa. … Associate Professor Jason Shelton (Sociology) spoke on racial identity in a Center for African American Studies lecture held Wednesday, Feb. 4. … An article from Ashley Wendell Kranjac (MA-Sociology, ’12), a doctoral student at State University of New York-Buffalo, titled “The moderating effect of self-efficacy on normal-weight, overweight, and obese children’s math achievement,” was recently published in the journal Social Science and Medicine.

THEATRE ARTS: An article by Assistant Professor and Technical Designer Daniel Archibald has been accepted for publication in the 2015 Theatre Technology Exhibition Catalog. The article, “The Smoking Staff,” details the development of a portable “fog machine” special effect, designed to make a performer portraying a witch in the upcoming Maverick Theatre Company production “Into The Woods” look like she is casting a spell live on stage. … Scenic Designer Michelle Harvey has been accepted into USA 829, the professional association of designers, artists and craftspeople. … Senior Lecturer Felecia Bertch devised and directed a production at Wheaton College over the winter break titled “KJV:II.” … Senior Lecturer Seraphina Nova wrote a screenplay pilot called “The Sycamores,” a dark comedy optioned by Darius Films in Los Angeles. Love is also acting as writer/director for a short film, “Cyberdancing,” Cshooting in the DFW area this month and produced by Zane Levitt Production in Los Angeles. … Associate Professor Dennis Maher will play the role of “Walter Flood” in Theatre Arlington’s Production of “Becky’s New Car” by Stephen Dietz. … Arlington Today recently featured Maverick Theatre Company as a primary mover and shaker in the Arlington theatre landscape. … Senior Lecturer Julienne Greer and Production Manager Jared Land attended the Texas Educational Theatre Association’s Theatrefest event Jan. 29-Feb. 1 in Houston. … Danielle Georgiou, director of the UTA Dance Ensemble, will be choreographing a new play being produced at Kitchen Dog Theater this spring. “Wilde/Earnest” by local playwright Lee Trull, is an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest,” and will be a highly physical exploration of today’s hipster culture. It opens on March 13 and runs until April 18. … Georgiou’s dance company, DGDG (the Danielle Georgiou Dance Group), will remount their critically acclaimed dance theatre work, “Nice,” this spring at Addison’s WaterTower Theatre for the Out of the Loop Festival. They will be performing on March 7 and March 12. The show features UTA alumni Gabriel King, Nanci Mendoza, Sarah Dye and Jana Duplechin. … Senior Toni Garner has been cast as Shelby in “Steel Magnolias” at the Richardson Theatre Center. The production runs March 20-April 5. … Several Maverick Theatre Company members attended the University/Resident Theatre Association’s annual auditions and interviews in Chicago late last month. The event serves as auditions for graduate schools.

WOMEN’S STUDIES: The 29th annual Women’s History Month Lecture series is themed “Futuristic Females: Women in Science and Science Fiction” and will culminate with guest speaker Charlaine Harris, science fiction writer whose novels inspired the HBO series “True Blood” on Tuesday, March 24. Other talks include, “Afro-futurism” (Dr. Susana Morris, Auburn University); “Gender and Epigenetics: Control, Intervention, and Agency at the Maternal-Fetal Nexus” (Dr. Sarah Richardson, Harvard University); and “Gendered Geographies: The African Explorations of Alexandrine Tinne, 1860 – 1864” (Mylynka D’Ann Kilgore-Mueller, doctoral candidate in History). The Women’s and Gender Studies program will also screen the films, “Orgasm, Inc.” and “FIXED.” … On Feb. 14, 2015, Whitney Peoples, the Women’s and Gender Studies Provost Post-doctoral Fellow, will be the banquet speaker for the Black Leadership Institute.


Advertising Students Tackle Chicken Campaign

February 9, 2015

comm_raisingcanesStudents in Advertising Specialist Jeff Williams’ and Associate Professor Tom Ingram’s advertising campaigns classes are working on a new campaign for regional chicken eatery, Raising Cane’s.

Williams has been working closely with the company to provide a service learning opportunity to students in the Advertising IMC Campaign development course, the capstone class in the advertising sequence.

“The students are extremely excited about this opportunity where they work directly with Raising Cane’s and will even get to pitch the final plans at the Raising Cane’s headquarters with all marketing executives evaluating,” Williams said. “Raising Cane’s has committed to treating each team of students as an individual advertising agency pitching to be the official agency of record.”

The Department of Communication students will work in teams of six to eight with each team member holding a job position as they would in an agency environment, Williams explained.

“We have five teams total and Raising Cane’s has stated only one team will be the winner, just like the real world. No second or third place,” he said. “This class functions as if each team is their own advertising agency with independent rules created by the teams. In the end, the students will present a professional presentation with research, strategy and creative executions that Raising Cane’s may actually use in the company’s ad campaigns. “

The winning team of students will go home with a unique Raising Cane’s prize, Williams added.


Theatre Arts Students Win at USITT Symposium

February 6, 2015

Members of the Maverick Theatre Company are still celebrating competition wins from last month’s United States Institute of Theatre Technology (USITT) Southwest Regional Section Winter Symposium.

Five Department of Theatre Arts majors won top prizes in eight categories at the annual event, held Jan. 16-18 at Texas A&M University in College Station. Theatre Arts faculty, Assistant Professor and Technical Director Daniel Archibald and Scenic Design Specialist Michelle Harvey, accompanied nearly a dozen UT Arlington students to the regional meeting.

The Department of Theatre Arts group that attended a recent theatre competition and symposium included (from left) Whitley White-Body, Elly Hunt, Austin Brown, Jorge Lanuza, Jailene Torres, Gatlin Douglas, Tiffany Cromwell, Taylor Adams, Alohilani Valdez, Raul Luna and Jesse Scott. (Photo contributed)

The Department of Theatre Arts group that attended a recent theatre competition and symposium included (from left) Whitley White-Body, Elly Hunt, Austin Brown, Jorge Lanuza, Jailene Torres, Gatlin Douglas, Tiffany Cromwell, Taylor Adams, Alohilani Valdez, Raul Luna and Jesse Scott. (Photo contributed)

“We are so proud of our student designers and technicians,” said Harvey. “It is wonderful to see their hard work and dedication to the craft of theatre and design being recognized by the regional conference and nationally recognized adjudicators.”

USITT is a national organization for design, production, and technology professionals in the performing arts and entertainment industry. The Southwest Regional Section includes members from universities and theatre companies throughout Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

The winter symposium offers members hands-on training, lectures and exhibitions regarding all areas of technical theatre. A major focus is the student design, technology and management competition, which annually awards over $30,000 in prizes in the form of scholarships, conference registrations, travel expenses and physical prizes.

For UT Arlington, first place prizes went to Austin Brown (for Excellence in Lighting Design), Tiffany Cromwell (for Excellence in Stage Management) and Alohilani Valdez (for Excellence in Scene Art). Raul Luna earned a second place finish for Achievement in Costume Technology. Elly Hunt won third place prizes in Costume Design and Costume Technology.

Valdez and Luna were also selected to the Gateway program, which pairs minority students with industry professionals. Both will begin their mentorship assignment at the USITT national conference in Cincinnati next month.

In addition to the competition, both faculty members presented workshops: Archibald weighed in on homegrown special effects – including a portable fog machine audiences will see during Theatre Arts’ production of “Into the Woods” later this month – and Harvey reviewed advanced 3-D printing. Archibald was also nominated for a board of directors position, a position in which he has served previously. Elections are held at the USITT National Conference and Stage Expo in March.

“This sweep of the student technical awards places UTA Theatre Arts Department and the Maverick Theatre Company (MTC) at the forefront of theatre excellence,” said Professor and Department Chair Kim LaFonataine, who also serves as producer of MTC.

UT Arlington and the Department of Theatre Arts will host the next regional winter symposium Jan. 15-17, 2016.


Awards results (by student):

  • Austin Brown: Excellence in Lighting Design (1st place); winner of the Don Childs/Shuler Shook award for accomplishment in design
  • Tiffany Cromwell: Excellence in Stage Management (1st place); USITT national conference registration award
  • Alohilani Valdez: Excellence in Scenic Art (1st place)
  • Raul Luna: Achievement in Costume Technology (2nd place)
  • Elly Hunt: Costume Design (3rd place); Costume Technology (3rd place)

POLS Grad Student Honored by TACHE

February 5, 2015


For her work with immigrants and their children, Political Science graduate student Olivia Llanes will be honored this month by the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education.

Llanes (’12) will attend the group’s state conference Feb. 11-14 in El Paso, where she’ll receive the TACHE Fellowship Graduate Award for her current research with DAPA, or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents. As an undergraduate, Llanes volunteered with Proyecto Immigrante in Dallas-Fort Worth and worked with another U.S. Department of Homeland Security program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA

Llanes said the experience as an undergraduate gave her a clear research focus when she returned to UTA last fall to pursue her master’s degree.

“I wanted to explore the role of education and find a way to emphasize education with the migrant community and its children,” she said.



That desire for community activism led Llanes to help organize a TACHE chapter on campus. The group, led by political science junior Mario Vargas, has been recruiting on campus for the past several months and working with faculty advisor Professor Jose Angel Gutierrez (Political Science). Vargas said the group will focus on raising educational awareness in the Hispanic community and connecting high school students with college opportunities.

“TACHE is about giving back to the community,” he said. “We want to go back to the high schools and community colleges in the area and educate students and parents.”

TACHE was formed in 1974 by Chicano faculty at UT Austin. According to its website, the organization is focused on “the improvement of educational and employment opportunities for Hispanics in higher education.”


(By James Dunning/COLA Communications,

COLA Faculty, Staff Honor Dean Wright

February 3, 2015

Maverick Theatre Heads ‘Into the Woods’

February 3, 2015
UT Arlington students (from left) Blake Rice, Elicia Gantverg and Tyler Moore star in the upcoming production of “Into the Woods.” (Photo contributed)

UT Arlington students (from left) Blake Rice, Elicia Gantverg and Tyler Moore star in the upcoming production of “Into the Woods.” (Photo contributed)

Storybook characters collide as The University of Texas at Arlington’s Maverick Theatre Company presents the award-winning musical, “Into the Woods,” Feb. 25-March 1 in the Mainstage Theatre.

Recently a major motion picture, this stage production of “Into the Woods” is directed by Professor Andrew Christopher Gaupp (Theatre Arts) and stars a host of UT Arlington students. Gaupp said the musical will stay truer to its original Broadway form.

“I feel that the movie was a very good adaptation of the stage play into a movie,” he said. “However, the stage play and the movie have significant differences. Our production is more like the original Broadway version than the movie in that it has more humor in the interpretation and is staged for a theatre, not a film. They are just two very different mediums.”

“Into the Woods,” with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King’s Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse, causing a myriad of unintentional consequences.

The UTA cast includes: Alexander Pope (Narrator/Mysterious Man), Elicia Gantverg (Cinderella), Tyler Moore (Jack), Blake Rice (Baker), Bryn Apprill (Baker’s Wife), Emily Burgardt (Stepmother), Lauren Moreau (Florinda), Marla Acevedo (Lucinda), Bailey Venable (Jack’s Mother), Elizabeth Stevens (Little Red Ridinghood), Kelly Stewart (Witch), Caleb Hall (Cinderella’s Father), Whitney Jones (Cinderella’s Mother/Sleeping Beauty), C.C. Weatherly (Rapunzel), Brian Boyce (Rapunzel’s Prince), Rachel Glass (Granny/Snow White), Austin Bender (Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf), Glenn Long (Steward), Adrian Stecker (Milky White), Kevin Duran (Male Understudy) and Alexandria Fazzari (Female Understudy).

Gaupp is assisted by Assistant Professor Anne Healy (Theatre Arts) as associate director and music director; Associate Professor Clifton Evans as music conductor; and Elise Lavalee as choreographer. Specialist Michelle Harvey (Theatre Arts) is scenic designer and Production Manager Jared Land is lighting and sound designer. Associate Professor Daniel Archibald (Theatre Arts) is technical director. Lecturer Laurie Land (Theatre Arts) is costumer and makeup designer; Associate Professor Joe Kongevick (Theatre Arts) is makeup consultant. G. Dean McBride is stage manager.

“Into the Woods” will run Feb. 25-28 at 8 p.m. and March 1 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 for general public and $9 for students, senior citizens, and UTA faculty and staff. The Mainstage Theatre is located in the north section of the Fine Arts Building, 502 South Cooper Street, on the UT Arlington campus.

For tickets/reservations, group rates, or further information, please contact the Department of Theatre Arts Box Office at (817) 272-2669 or


Film Looks at Mental Illness, Work

January 26, 2015

Madness and community are the topics for the documentary “Working Like Crazy,” set for 3:30p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, in Room 104 of University Hall.

The film will be followed by a discussion about madness and community with Associate Dean Elisabeth Cawthon, who is an associate professor of history, and disability studies scholar Richard Scotch of UT Dallas.

An estimated 85 percent of people labeled mentally ill are unemployed and often viewed as incapable of working. “Working Like Crazy” challenges these stereotypes by profiling six former mental health patients, once labeled “unemployable,” who now work in businesses run and staffed by other psychiatric survivors.

Sponsors are Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society, Disability Studies, and the Office for Students with Disabilities.

For more information, contact Assistant Professor Sarah Rose (History) at or visit




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 99 other followers