Communication Students Launch Learning Site

April 15, 2015

Earlier this week, students in Lecturer Melanie Mason’s Communication Studies class introduced a new website for educations and theatre professionals.

The Reader’s Theatre Room is an open source community for leaders seeking to add theatrical performance elements into educational curriculums or programs. Mason and her students researched the learning needs for each grade level, then built the site with specialized material and lesson plans. The website also offers users a chance to leave feedback and collaborate on future materials.

“We want our website not only to be a place for educators and artists to quickly find resources, but also as a point of connection to those who are actively using and creatively implementing this amazing way to share literature” said Mason. “Building an online learning network of like-minded individuals is, we think, an important undertaking.”

Mason and her team collaborated with Associate Professor Dennis Maher (Theatre Arts) and April Sanders (Spring Hill College).

UTA Communication Studies students performing an RT piece at the Arlington Museum of Art. (Photo contributed)

UTA Communication Studies students performing an RT piece at the Arlington Museum of Art. (Photo contributed)





Linguistics MA Student Wins NSF Award

April 7, 2015


For her proposal to do research on Muskogean languages, the Department of Linguistics & TESOL graduate student Kimberly Johnson has received a National Science Foundation’s 2015 Graduate Research Fellowship Program award.

Johnson is one of 10 linguistics recipients nationwide and among more than 16,500 applicants for the coveted grant. Graduate students from Yale University, the University of Arizona, Emory University and the University of California-Santa Cruz were among the winners. The fellowship, equivalent to nearly $150,000, will provide three years of financial support and allow Johnson to investigate language attrition within Native American communities.

“The [NSF] reviewers recognized that UT Arlington was a great place to look at language change with Muskogean languages,” said Professor Colleen Fitzgerald, who mentored Johnson and assisted in the fellowship application. “We do community outreach, documentation and revitalization with Native American groups. This is a nice, viable project because it synthesizes what we do here and plays to Kimberly’s strengths.”

Johnson, who earned her bachelor’s degree in Louisiana, is excited about the project and eager to explore linguistic changes in the Muskogean languages – a language family that includes Choctaw, Creek and Chickasaw – that she hypothesizes are similar to changes occurring in pidgin and creole formation. Johnson explains that pidgin language develops through language contact – when two people who speak different languages work to find common ground in which to communicate. The resulting language can have a direct impact on the original languages.

“As a language declines, nuances of grammar, such as irregular forms, which are most difficult to acquire, are likely to be lost,” Johnson said. “Another result of language contact, in addition to language decline, is the loss of complicated inflections to form an easily-acquired pidgin language. My proposed research project will test whether or not there are parallel processes in these two situations.”

Johnson spent time with Fitzgerald and her student team on Native American community projects in Oklahoma over the past several months, witnessing first hand the direct impact of language revitalization efforts. Inspired, she feels the work she will do with the NSF fellowship will have direct application to work on endangered languages.

“I’m very passionate about language rights and minority languages,” she said. “Native American languages are coming back from decades of language oppression. I think the application of my work will help communities identify signs of language decline and help in efforts to revive their language.”

Fitzgerald, who has earned several NSF grants during her tenure at UT Arlington, said she is excited about Johnson’s project and eager to see the results. She is also pleased the University’s reputation for working with endangered languages continues to grow nationwide.

“Kimberly is in top company,” she said. “It’s an incredible moment for us to shine.”

For more information about ongoing language revitalization projects, visit the Native American Languages Lab’s website.


(Story by James Dunning/COLA Communications,



COLA Notes for April 2015

April 7, 2015

News and notes from around the College of Liberal Arts…

ART & ART HISTORY: Lecturer Patricia Newton was quoted in a Palm Beach Post story about female characters’ likability. … The Dallas Morning News reported on “Subject: Disability,” a new exhibition that ran Feb. 28-April 4 at the Gallery at UTA. … Associate Professor Bart Weiss, artistic director of Dallas VideoFest, talked to KERA 90.1 FM about the contributions to the world of film that were made by Albert Maysles. He died last month at the age of 88. … Professor Nicholas Wood has opened an exhibit, “Recent Works: Drawings/Sculptural Objects,” at William Campbell Contemporary Art in Fort Worth, Visual Art Source reported. The exhibit runs through April 25. … Senior lecturer Stephen Lapthisophon and his work were recently featured on the UTArlington Magazine website. … The Fort Worth Star-Telegram noted the Department of Art and Art History annual glass art sale, held March 28 at the UTA Studio Arts Center. Television station CBS 11 also did a report. … Five of the department’s advisors were nominated for the 2014-2015 Outstanding Academic Advisor Award: Jessica Betancourt, Mathew Clark, Christine Pierce, Jessica Rose and Nick Wood. … Work from Art majors Cosme Olivas, Kim Inthirath, Karen Nguyen, Susan Nguyen, Samantha Garcia, Patty Gonzalez and Danyel Harris advanced in the recent 2015 Dallas Society of Visual Communication Student Competition. … Several Art students won awards at the American Advertising Federation (AAF) Fort Worth chapter competition. They included Susan Nguyen, Andrea Norcross, Karolina Bebak, Ginnie Hsu, Jesse Estanes, Candice Anglin, Jane Lam, Stacy Weber and Brianne Wilsford. … MFA Candidate Shuhong Wang won a Gold Prize at a recent Society of Korea Illusart (Soki) event. … The Student Gallery Organization presents “Recent Works: Advanced Clay & Moldmaking” April 6-10 at Gallery West inside the Studio Arts Center, 810 N. Davis St. A reception is slated for 4:30 p.m. today, April 8.

CENTER FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES: UT Arlington senior Emmanuel Fordjour (Biology and Microbiology) earned top honors recently at the Emerging Researchers National Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in Washington, D.C. Fordjour is one of the Center for African American Studies’ Emerging Leaders.

CENTER FOR MEXICAN AMERICAN STUDIES: A Dallas Morning News article about efforts to bring attention to the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico noted a forum that was hosted by the Center for Mexican American Studies last month. … A recent UT Arlington forum explored immigration and social justice, Hoy Dallas reported. The forum centered on Dreamers, the young people who were brought by their parents in childhood to the United States without documents. The Center for Mexican American Studies helped organize the event.

COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS: The National Science Foundation’s SouthWest I-Corps Node at the University of Texas at Austin, in conjunction with the University of Texas System, is accepting applications until April 15 from undergraduate students interested in the inaugural Student Entrepreneurship Fellowship. … Executive Assistant to the Dean Cindy Wilder-Graves this week received her 30-year pin from the University.

COMMUNICATION: Communication faculty members Andrew Clark, Dustin Harp and Mark Tremayne hosted a delegation of Russian journalists March 20. Sponsored by the U.S. State Department, the group visited UT Arlington to learn how journalists are being trained in the U.S. … Associate Professor Shelley Wigley has been appointed to a new UTA Presidential task force on “Campus Climate for Women.” The task force was organized as part of the university’s strategic plan and to enhance the climate of women on campus. … Assistant Professor Dustin Harp’s research paper, “The Gendering of Spectacle: Politics, Pink Shoes and the Texas ‘Fillybuster,’” has been accepted for presentation at the International Communication Association’s annual conference in Puerto Rico May 2015. … Harp and Senior Lecturer Kim Pewit Jones will attend Teachapalooza in June, a three-day workshop hosted by the Poynter Institute. … Advertising and Public Relations Senior De’Angela Giles was awarded a $2,000 scholarship from DFW interactive Marketing at FIG: Fashion Industry Gallery in Dallas on March 19. … Assistant Professor Sabrina Habib‘s article, “Teaching Approaches in Advertising: Creativity and Technology,” will be published in the Journal of Advertising Education in May. … Habib and Advertising Specialist Jeff Williams presented at the American Academy of Advertising last month in Chicago. The presentation was titled: “Storyscaping: Creating Immersive Worlds.” … Williams, Habib and Lecturer Brian Horton recently completed work on an interdisciplinary project with the UTA Department of Chemistry to develop the marketing communications for a new collaborative laboratory that investigates anthropogenic processes that affect the environment. The team worked together to create a website, social media presence, content marketing and strategic communication mechanisms. … Broadcast Lecturer Lance Liguez was selected as a National Association of Television Program Executives Faculty Development Grant winner for Summer 2015. Winners also receive complimentary registration for NATPE 2016 in Miami Beach in January 2016. NATPE provides members with education, networking, professional enhancement and technological guidance through year-round activities, directories and events. … Several faculty and staff members will attend the Broadcast Educators Association Conference in Las Vegas April 11-15. Associate Professor Tom Ingram will participate on a panel, “Partnering with the Industry: Funding Contingent Sharing and Employment Opportunities.” Associate Professor Thomas Christie will participate as a panel member for “It’s the Medium and the Message: The Digital Evolution of International Broadcasting in Revolutionary Times.” Associate Professor Andrew Clark, Vice Chair of Radio and Audio Media Division and Paper Chair, will serve as presenter of a panel “It’s the Medium and the Message: The Digital Evolution of International Broadcasting in Revolutionary Times.” Clark will also serve as moderator for a second panel. Liguez, Lecturer Julian Rodriguez and Technical Operations Manager Joe Carter will also serve as panelists. … Lecturer Carie Kapellusch recently attended the Gulf South Summit Conference for Service Learning in Little Rock, Ark. … The Shorthorn, UT Arlington’s student newspaper, took home second place as best college student newspaper in Texas in the Associated Press Managing Editors competition, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and many other websites reported. … Two Communication students won ACES awards March 25: Lawanda McKelvy won the Dean’s Award for oral presentations and Nadajalah Bennett won the President’s Award. … Advertising and Public Relations senior Erika Long was selected as a finalist for the UT System Board of Regents student regent position. … Communication student Seehum Isa was among those selected to speak at TEDxUTA on March 28. Isa’s presentation, “Finding Faith When You’re Born Into Two Religions,” detailed her experience growing up in a Muslim/Catholic household. … Broadcast major Shayda Nazifpour recently won an internship at WFAA in Dallas. … Broadcast major Cameron Matthew Ray recently released his first EP. While at UTA, Ray served as music director for UTA Radio and interned at Kirtland Records in Dallas. … Alanna Quillen (’11) has a new job as anchor/reporter at KTBS Channel 3 in Texarkana. … Vidisha Bhopatkar (MA, ’12) was recently promoted to Marketing and Communications Officer position at L&T Infotech in Mumbai, India. … Kristy Phillips (’12) has been accepted into the educational leadership program at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. … UTA Radio staff members Amanda Kent and Sam Hale will join The Ticket (KTCK 1310/96.7) morning show April 13 in an Ask The Experts segment at 6:20 a.m. … UTA Public Relations Student Society of America students attended the PRSA Dallas Pro-Am Day March 27.

UTA Radio’s Same Hale (right) interviews former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros during his recent visit to UT Arlington. (Photo contributed)

UTA Radio’s Same Hale (right) interviews former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros during his recent visit to UT Arlington. (Photo contributed)

CRIMINOLOGY & CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Greg Conley (MA, ’96), a longtime assistant chief in Garland, has been tapped to lead the McKinney Police Department, The Dallas Morning News reported. … The UTA chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, a national criminal justice honor society, hosted its annual career fair April 1 in the University Center. … The Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice held its annual scholarship awards luncheon April 8 in the E.H. Hereford University Center. Student winners include: Destiny Adamas (Dr. James Stevens Memorial Scholarship); Paul Guillotte and Jung Kim (Corporal Joey Cushman Endowed Scholarship); and Llynea Sherwin and Nicholas Shawn (Gary D. Harl Memorial Scholarship).

DISABILITY STUDIES: Disability Studies Minor co-sponsored the March 17 screening of the award-winning documentary, “FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement.” Additional sponsors included Women’s and Gender Studies and the Office for Students with Disabilities.

ENGLISH: Peggy Kulesz, director of First Year Writing, Jo Ward, coordinator of Developmental English, and Lecturer Sarah Visser presented last month at the 2015 Conference of College Teachers of English in Houston. They participated in a panel discussion entitled, “Approaches for Accelerated Learning in Developmental English and Beyond.” Ward’s paper, “Supporting Accelerated Learning in the Traditional Integrated Reading and Writing Classroom,” won an award for outstanding presentation in rhetoric/composition pedagogy. … Professor and Department Chair Bruce Krajewski has been invited to present his research paper, “The Comedy of Theory, the Tragedy of Practice: Hans Blumenberg and the Question of the Last Laugh,” May 8-9 at the 2015 Weissbourd Conference at the University of Chicago. … Professor Stacy Alaimo presented “Anthropocene Dissolves,” an invited talk, March 20 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In February, she participated in a webinar for the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture and the Environment. In January, Alaimo was a guest speaker at the University of California-Los Angeles and the chair and organizer of the literature and science division panel for the Modern Language Association’s meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia. … Professor Timothy Morris recently published a chapter “Magnane as Translator” in Georges Magnane: La plume et le sport by Thomas Bauer. … Associate Professor Kevin Gustafson has been awarded a short-term residential fellowship at the Huntington Library in San Marcos, Calif., this summer to work on his critical review of Richard Rolle’s English Psalter. … Associate Professor Jackie Stodnick will offer an invited talk, “Eating Dirt, Eating History: English Soil in Anglo-Saxon Hagiography,” May 13 at the University of Seville in Spain. … Associate Professor Luanne Frank presented a paper, “Heidegger’s ‘Beginnings’: Something has Changed,” last month at the 17th International Conference of the Society for Phenomenology and Media at National University in Del Mar, Calif.

… The New Haven, Conn., Register noted UT Arlington in its story about a newly discovered Jupiter Hammon poem. Hammon was a slave, pastor and essayist considered one of the founders of African American literature. In 2013, doctoral candidate Julie McCown uncovered an original Hammon poem at Yale University.

HISTORY: The Fox Business Network interviewed Professor Sam Haynes, director of the Center for Greater Southwestern Studies, for its program, “Strange Inheritance.” The episode focused on a De Cordova 1849 map of Texas that was inherited by an Alabama family, and the history relating to the Mexican-American War. “Although the war is very little known among Americans, it’s actually the most important war fought between two neighbors in the western hemisphere,” Haynes said. The program also included video of one of just a few other De Cordova maps held in the UT Arlington Libraries Special Collections. … The Huffington Post and NBC feature photos and an essay about a Cuban boxer by Assistant Professor David LaFevor. … Wiley Blackwell recently published a second edition of Professor Donald G. Kyle’s book, Sport & Spectacle in the Ancient World. First published in 2007, Sport & Spectacle won the 2008 Book Award of the North American Society for Sport History. … Department faculty members who have published books in the past year were honored at a special reception March 27 in the University Club. … Emir Caner (Ph.D., ’99) is president of Truett-McConnell College, a four-year Baptist college in Cleveland, Ga.

The Department of History honored last month faculty members or graduate students who published a book or manuscript in the past year. Picture, from left, are Jerry Rodnitzky, Dave Watry, David Narrett, Kenyon Zimmer, Stephanie Cole, Robert Fairbanks, Katy Beebe, Donald Kyle, Pawel Goral and Douglas Richmond. (Photo contributed)

The Department of History honored last month faculty members or graduate students who published a book or manuscript in the past year. Picture, from left, are Jerry Rodnitzky, Dave Watry, David Narrett, Kenyon Zimmer, Stephanie Cole, Robert Fairbanks, Katy Beebe, Donald Kyle, Pawel Goral and Douglas Richmond. (Photo contributed)

LINGUISTICS & TESOL: Twelve students participated in ACES on March 25 including three award winners: Linguistics major Jayr Logan won the Provost’s Award for the morning oral presentations, and Linguistics major Jessica Nordon won Honorable Mention for the morning session. Doctoral student Kent Rasmussen won the Dean’s award for the morning session of oral presentations. … Rasmussen presented a paper March 28 at the 46th Annual Conference on African Linguistics held at the University of Oregon in Portland, presenting on a language spoken in the Democratic Republic of Congo. … Professor Colleen Fitzgerald spoke March 18 at the Library’s Focus on Faculty speaker series on Native American language revitalization. … recently named the Department of Linguistics & TESOL’s English as a Second Language program among the top five in Texas. … Doctoral student Ji Yea Kim will be presenting a paper at the 7th Illinois Language and Linguistics Society (ILLS7) held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign April 17-18. … Keith Maurice (Director of the English Language Institute) is conducting a site review for the University and College Intensive English Programs consortium in New York in April. … Nikki Adams (University of Maryland-College Park) will be a department colloquium speaker Thursday, April 9, talking on “Negation and Force in Zulu.” … Masaya Yoshida (Northwestern University) will be a department colloquium speaker April 17, talking on “The Online Long-Distance Dependency Formation and Local Ambiguity Resolution.” … Tracy Rundstrom Williams (Ph.D. in Linguistics, ’07) created an iPhone app, Change Your LENS, an educational program that provides “a step-by-step process to examine the way you view the world, recognize cultural differences and adapt your style for more effect intercultural interactions.”

Doctoral candidate Dan Amy (Linguistcs & TESOL), right, talks with a group during the 22nd annual UTA Student Conference in Linguistics and TESOL conference held Feb. 19-20. Scholars from across the globe attended the event. (Photo by Les Riding-In/COLA)

Doctoral candidate Dan Amy (Linguistcs & TESOL), right, talks with a group during the 22nd annual UTA Student Conference in Linguistics and TESOL conference held Feb. 19-20. Scholars from across the globe attended the event. (Photo by Les Riding-In/COLA)

MILITARY SCIENCE: The Hispanic Heritage Foundation, the U.S. Army, UT Arlington and the Maverick Battalion ROTC have teamed up to promote and strengthen local academic curriculum in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics area, El Hispano News reported. The group of organizations sponsored Latinos on the Fast Track, a seminar for more than 200 Hispanic students. … Veterans Fred Campos, Orlando Reyes and Kevin Smith were inducted into the UTA Military Science Hall of Honor last month, The Shorthorn reported.

MODERN LANGUAGE: Associate Professor and Department Chair Chris Conway was the featured speaker in the Focus on the Faculty event April 1 in the Central Library. … A CultureMap Dallas article about author Sergio Pitol noted that Associate Professor Ignacio Ruiz-Perez studied under and worked closely with Pitol in Xalapa at the University of Veracruz. Pitol, 82, is considered one of the most prominent and influential authors in the entire Spanish-language world. … Associate Professor Alicia Rueda-Acedo published two articles, “El estudio del periodismo poniatowskiano desde los Estados Unidos” in Ventana Abierta and “El eros y sus representaciones: del modernismo al posmodernismo” in Verba Hispánica. … Assistant Professor Amy Austin gave an invited talk, “Reading Translatio Studii from Ramon Llull’s Llibre del gentil (1274-1276),” recently at the University of Colorado. … Spanish major Jayr Logan won the Provost Award for his Annual Celebration of Excellence by Students (ACES) presentation last month. He explained the reasons why Catalonia has historically pursued for independence from Spain. Spanish major Jessica Nordon won an Honorable Mention for her ACES presentation on human trafficking. UT Arlington student Robert Phillips won the Graduate Dean’s Award for his presentation on the visual depiction of the converted Jew in Alfonso X’s 13th-century work Las cantigas de Santa María. Ruiz-Pérez served as faculty mentor to Logan and Nordon; Austin mentored Phillips. … An article by Assistant Professor Marko Miletich, “Women Interpreting Masculinity: Two English Translations of Don Segundo Sombra,” was recently published in Perspectives: Studies in Translatology. … Senior Lecturer Sok Ju Kim’s article, “Negative polarity items (NPIs) in Heritage Korean: Language maintenance and transfer” will appear in June 2015 issue of The Korean Language in America. … Senior Lecturer Tatiana Baeva was recently named Director of International Operations of Allies in Youth Development (AiYD), a nonprofit helping orphans in Russia. … Senior Lecturer Sabine Harvey, Coordinator for German Studies, has been selected as an official tester for the Goethe Institute. She will train June 5-7 in Atlanta. … German students are slated to participate in “Deutscher Samstag” April 11 at the University of North Texas. “Deutscher Samstag” is a German Immersion Day for high school students. UT Arlington students will host two interactive sessions and lead group discussions. … A UT Arlington student group, the Korean Culture Association, hosted Korean Lunar New Year Festival, in celebration of Korean New Year, Seollal (Feb. 8), one of the biggest Korean traditional holidays. … La Société Francophone (French Club) will be participating in International Week events such as the Food Fair on April 7 and the Fashion Show on April 8.

MUSIC: Assistant Professor David Grogan joined Fort Worth’s Wyeth String Quartet in a Cliburn Foundation concert entirely dedicated to chamber music, D Magazine reported. The concert was at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth last month.

PHILOSOPHY: The UTA Homerathon — an oral recitation of Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey — will take place on today, Wednesday, April 8, from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on the University Center Mall. … Visiting Assistant Professor Charles Hermes lectured on “Free Will and the Laws of Nature” on March 27 in College Hall. … Richard Bett (Johns Hopkins University) will be the featured speaker for the “Adventures in Antiquity” symposium at 3:30 p.m. Friday, April 24, in the Fine Arts Building, Room 2102A. Bett is an international authority on ancient Greek philosophy and has published translations with commentary of several works by Sextus Empiricus. … Montana State University President Waded Cruzado (M.A. Spanish, ’84, & Ph.D. Humanities, ’90) was mentioned in a UTArlington Magazine article about UTA alumni who hold top posts and colleges and universities nationwide.

POLITICAL SCIENCE: Associate Professor Brent Sasley addressed the recent Israeli elections in an article for Foreign Affairs. Sasley also appeared on local radio station KRLD 1080 to discuss the issue. … Sasley was quoted by the International Business Times in two articles on last month’s Israeli elections. Read more here and here. After the elections, Sasley was quoted in an article from Vox. … During an interview with KFBK/1530 AM in Sacramento, Calif., Associate Professor Allan Saxe discussed the email controversy surrounding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram and WFAA/ABC 8 also interviewed Saxe about efforts by lawmakers to repeal laws banning the sale of vehicles on consecutive weekend days, and package liquor sales on Sundays. … KFBK/1530 AM and KOGO/600 AM (San Diego) interviewed Saxe about the tense relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. … Professor Susan Hekman will be the keynote speaker at the International Colloquium on Michel Foucault (a French philosopher and social theorist) in Recife, Brazil. The conference runs April 11-18. … Professor Jose Angel Gutierrez was a guest lecturer Feb. 23 for the Arthur Foundation Transformative Leadership Speakers Series at the University of Notre Dame. … Junior Stephanie Vielle, president of the Native American Student Association, is leading a video project to show support for 57 elementary school children who were racially harassed at a hockey game in South Dakota on Jan. 24, The Shorthorn reported. … Senior Tinuade Dina shared in a Shorthorn article about why she moved from Nigeria to Texas to study psychology and political science at UTA.

PRE-LAW CENTER: The Pre-Law Society, a new student group, met for the first time March 4 to discuss spring semester events. The meeting was led by graduating seniors Mark Cantrell (president), Angela Coward (vice-president) and Davinder Jassal (secretary-treasurer). … Interdisciplinary studies major Theresa Lim is one of several students spearheading a new group, UTA Model UN. The student group will focus on regional, state and national competitions as well as foster community involvement. English major Esther Oni is also part of the leadership team.

SOCIOLOGY & ANTHROPOLOGY: India Abroad published a commentary by Associate Professor Ritu Khanduri about the caricaturing culture and a world still recovering from the Charlie Hebdo tragedy. … The Department of Sociology and Anthropology’s annual banquet is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 6, at the University Club.

THEATRE ARTS: An article by Assistant Professor Anne Healy, “An Unlikely Star: Bert Williams,” was accepted for presentation at the Song Stage & Screen X Conference in June at Regent’s University in London. … Senior Lecturer Julienne Greer was panelist last month in a discussion of the film, “Fixed: The Science Fiction of Human Enhancement,” presented by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the Office for Students with Disabilities. … Fourteen Maverick Theatre Company students and four Theatre Arts faculty members traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio, March 18-21 for the USITT National Conference and Stage Expo. Students who won an award included Elly Hunt, Gatlin Douglas, Austin Brown, Tiffany Cromwell, Raoul Luna, Alohi Valdez and Daniel Archibald. … Senior Lecturer Laurel Whitsett will appear April 10-11 in a staged reading of “Shoe Confessions” at The Bath House Cultural Center in Dallas. The show is produced by Wing Span Theatre Company. … The department’s annual awards luncheon was held Monday, April 6 in the E.H. Hereford University Center. … BFA student Haley Boswell was cast in The Plaza Theatre Center’s production of “Shrek: The Musical” this May and June in Cleburne, Texas. … Jean Gonzales (’14) chaired a session on alternative career opportunities for students with theatre design skills at the USITT national conference. … Anna Marie Boyd (’14) was accepted into the Masters of Arts Drama Therapy program at New York University. … Bridie Corbett (’13) recently earned the role of Emily in the iconic play, “Our Town” by Thorton Wilder. The play will be performed by the Stolen Shakespeare Guild in Fort Worth on April 10-26. … UT Arlington alumna Toni Garner landed the role of Shelby in a recent production of ”Steel Magnolias” at the Richardson Theatre Centre.


(Notes compiled and edited by James Dunning/COLA Communications,

COLA Faculty Win UTA Teaching Awards

April 7, 2015

Several College of Liberal Arts faculty members will be honored May 5 at the Spring Meeting of the University Faculty and Associates.



Associate Professor Alicia Rueda-Acedo (Modern Languages), who is also director of the B.A. in Spanish Translation, has been named to the UT Arlington Academy of Distinguished Teachers. Inaugurated in 1996, the Academy is comprised of tenured UTA faculty “who have been selected for membership for their outstanding teaching, personal commitment to students and the learning process, and the ability to inspire and motivate students,” according to the group’s website.



Lecturer Alicia Soueid (Modern Languages) has been awarded the William S. Ward Endowment Award, which honors the life and contributions of UT Arlington faculty member Bill Ward. The prize recognizes a non-tenure track faculty member “with an exemplary work ethic, who loves working with students, and who makes a significant impact on enhancing the goals of the University.”



Senior Lecturer Sabine Harvey (Modern Languages), coordinator of German Studies, will receive the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award honors “non-tenure track instructors who have demonstrated a record of excellence in teaching, strong personal commitment to students, and the ability to motivate, challenge, and inspire.”



Assistant Professor Naomi Cleghorn (Anthropology) will receive the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (Untenured Category) for her work in the classroom and mentoring graduate students.

The Spring Meeting is slated for 4 p.m. in the Rio Grande Ballroom of the E. H. Hereford University Center.

For more information on previous award winners, visit the College of Liberal Arts’ website.


 (Story by James Dunning/COLA Communications,

NABJ Chapter Welcomes New Members

April 6, 2015

UT Arlington’s National Association of Black Journalists is gaining momentum this semester as the resurrected group organizes and spreads the word that the NABJ is back on campus and accepting new members.

NABJ had its first official meeting March 25. Julian Rodriguez is the chapter’s faculty advisor and broadcasting major Reginald Adetula helped launch the new chapter.

“Julian suggested to me that I try to help resurrect the NABJ chapter here at UTA, and I agreed but was sluggish,” Adetula said.

In December, Adetula came across an old column by Scoop Jackson for ESPN’s Page 2 entitled “The 1.3 percent doctrine.”

“In the article, Jackson writes about how four out of the 305 (or 1.3 percent) sports editors at APSE newspapers are black,” Adetula said. “That statistic gave me the kick I needed to actively pursue bringing the NABJ back to UTA.”

About a dozen students attended the initial meeting and new members are hoping to spread the word to others interested in joining. “There is also a chance that — with the cooperation of the national NABJ offices— all those who get involved early will be able to receive a free first-time NABJ student membership,” Adetula said.

Students interested in learning more about the NABJ are encouraged to email Reginald Adetula at for more information.

(SOURCE: The Department of Communication)

Student members of the UT Arlington chapter of National Association of Black Journalists include, from left to right, Rodney Sanders, Tony Curtis Hughes, Christian Clark, Secret Bridgewater, Denisecia Wilson, Lauren Womble, Sylvia Elgin, Reginald Adetula and Tre' Stein. Adetula was vital in reviving the NABJ chapter. (Photo contributed)

Student members of the UT Arlington chapter of National Association of Black Journalists include, from left to right, Rodney Sanders, Tony Curtis Hughes, Christian Clark, Secret Bridgewater, Denisecia Wilson, Lauren Womble, Sylvia Elgin, Reginald Adetula and Tre’ Stein. Adetula was vital in reviving the NABJ chapter. (Photo contributed)

Healthcare, Elections Top Political Science Week

April 3, 2015

Issues related to health insurance and the 2016 presidential elections are part of the Department of Political Science’s week-long event April 6-10.

The slate of lectures kicks off Monday with an alumni panel and faculty mixer and ends with a guest lecture from Harvard University’s Joshua Kertzer. Throughout the week, Political Science faculty members Burcu Bayram, Thomas Marshall, Allan Saxe and Brent Sasley will lead noontime discussions on a variety of topics.

For more information, visit the department’s website.



Political Science Week

Monday, April 6
Noon – Alumni Panel and Faculty mixer
University Hall, Rm. 116
6:30 p.m. – Arlington Candidates Forum
University Hall, Rm. 108

Tuesday, April 7
12:30 p.m. – Dr. Brent Sasley, “Assessing the Obama Administration’s International Policy;” Dr. Burcu Bayram, “From Class to Paycheck: What to do with international relations knowledge”
Pickard Hall, Rm. 110

Wednesday, April 8
Noon – Dr. Thomas Marshal & Dr. Allan Saxe, “Off to the Races: Electing a President in 2016”
University Hall, Rm. 108

Thursday, April 9
12:145 p.m. – Pi Sigma Alpha info session/meeting; Dr. Daniel Sledge, “Dismantling Obamacare? King v. Burwell and the Future of American Health Insurance”
Pickard Hall, Rm. 110

Friday, April 10
Noon – Dr. Joshua Kertzer (Harvard University), guest lecture
University Hall, Rm. 116

One-Acts, Short Works in MavPlays

March 30, 2015


Conventional and unconventional acting, directing and staging techniques combine in the Maverick Theatre Company’s annual theatre festival, MavPlays.

The six shows run at various times in two theatres throughout April. Visit the Department of Theatre Arts website or see the list below for more details.

Among the faculty- and student-directed plays is “Waiting for Lefty,” a Clifford Odets-penned work, helmed by Senior Lecturer Julienne Greer (Theatre Arts). “Lefty,” said Greer, made an impact when it debuted more than 70 years ago and “changed the face of American theatre with its dedication to realism narratives and ensemble, rather than ‘star’ projects.” Originally performed by the iconic Group Theatre, Greer is a student of a student of Lee Strasberg, an original Group member. Greer said she is excited about the “unconventional and non-traditional staging” of actors among the audience during the performance.

“Lefty” is paired with “Trifles,” by Susan Glaspell, a one-act mystery set in the early 1900s. Both plays are scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 15 and Saturday, April 25 and at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 18.

The 2015 lineup of one-act and short plays also include:

  • “Wrong Turn at Lungfish,” an action-comedy directed by Associate Professor Joe Chapa (Theatre Arts) and written by Lowell Ganz and Garry Marshall.
  • “Homebound,” written by Theatre Arts major Lea Arista.
  • “Musical Chairs,” written by Theatre Arts major G. Dean McBride and directed by Senior Lecturer Seraphina Nova.
  • “Next Time Let’s Go Out to Dinner,” a short dramedy written by Theatre Arts major Erin Turner and directed by Nova.

Greer said Nova and Assistant Professor Anne Healy have worked for the past several months mentoring the student writers and actors.

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



Studio Series
UTA Studio Theatre, Fine Arts Building, Room 137

“Waiting for Lefty”
8 p.m., April 15 and 25
2:30 p.m., April 19

“Wrong Turn at Lungfish”
8 p.m., April 17 and 24
2:30 p.m., April 26

Collected One-Acts
Stage 143, UTA Fine Arts Building

“Musical Chairs”
“Next Time Let’s Go Out to Dinner”
8 p.m., April 16, 18, 23
2:30 p.m., April 25



UTA Glass Program Preps for Annual Sale

March 27, 2015

Faculty and students in the Department of Art & Art History’s glass program are putting the final touches on the annual glass art sale, Saturday, March 28. UT Arlington faculty, staff and students had access to the showroom Friday, March 27, to preview the items and place orders for departments. The sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Studio Arts Center, 810 S. Davis Dr.


Married Faculty Members Star in Play Together

March 27, 2015
UT Arlington faculty members Dennis Maher (Theatre Arts), left, and Melanie Mason (Communication) star in Theatre Arlington's new production, "Becky's New Car." (Photo contributed)

UT Arlington faculty members Dennis Maher (Theatre Arts), left, and Melanie Mason (Communication) star in Theatre Arlington’s new production, “Becky’s New Car.” (Photo by Eric Younkin Photography)

For the first time in 24 years of marriage, Lecturer Melanie Mason (Communication) and Associate Professor Dennis Maher (Theatre Arts) will star in a theatrical production together.

Mason is the lead in Theatre Arlington’s newest show, “Becky’s New Car,” which opened Friday, March 27, and includes her real-life husband Maher as a co-star.

“I’ve directed him [in past productions] and he’s directed me, but we’ve never been on stage together,” Mason said. “It’s so nice to be able to look across the stage and look into his eyes. It’s such a new experience for me.”

“Becky’s New Car” follows the travails of a woman in a mid-life crisis and mediocre marriage who considers a new life when she crosses paths with a grief-stricken millionaire. Mason said one of the reasons she and Maher auditioned for the roles was to work together in a different setting. Ignoring a natural desire to coach or direct the other hasn’t been an issue, she said.

“When you step into an acting role, you have to let those other things go away,” she said. “You have to play the role you’re supposed to, play the role in the project.”

Combined, Mason and Maher acted in or directed 14 productions in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex from October 2013 to October 2014. While that pace will slow in 2015, Mason said she and Maher are always on the lookout for new experiences and opportunities – such as working together on “Becky’s,” a play that had only been preformed once before in DFW.

“It’s refreshing to see and work on something new,” she said.

“Becky’s New Car,” written by Steven Dietz, runs March 27-April 12 with shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. (There will be no show on April 5, Easter Sunday.) For ticket prices or more information, visit the Theatre Arlington website.

“Rush” tickets for UT Arlington students – available tickets sold five minutes before the show begins – are only $5 with an ID.


(By James Dunning/COLA Communications,


Liberal Arts Students Shine at 2015 ACES

March 26, 2015

Several students from the College of Liberal Arts won awards for their presentations at the 2015 Annual Celebration of Excellence by Students (ACES) symposium Wednesday, March 25, at the E.H. Hereford University Center.

Communication major Nadajalah Bennett won the President’s Award in the Undergraduate Poster competition. For the oral presentation sessions, other undergraduate winners were Linguistics major Jayr Logan (Provost’s Award, Morning Session), History major Courtney Broderick (Honorable Mention, Morning Session), Linguistics major Jessica Nordon (Honorable Mention, Morning Session), English major Hannah Bradley (Provost’s Award, Afternoon Session) and Communication major Lawanda McKelvy (Dean’s Award, Afternoon Session).

Top graduate students in oral presentations included Linguistic’s Kent Rasmussen (Dean’s Award, Morning Session) and Modern Languages’ Robert Phillips (Dean’s Award, Afternoon Session).

Nearly 200 UT Arlington students participated in this year’s ACES event. The annual symposium is organized by the Office of Graduate Studies. For more information, visit the ACES website.


Participating COLA students were: 

Oral Presentations

LaDonna Aiken, Communication
Daniel Amy, Linguistics & TESOL
Darcey Browning, Linguistics & TESOL
Vicki Cana, Linguistics & TESOL
Jazmin Chinea Barreto, Modern Languages
Morgan Chivers, Art & Art History
Laura Copeland, Linguistics & TESOL
Michael Deliz, History
Jason Hogue, English
Karily Garcia Cruz, Modern Languages
Alicia Garza, Modern Languages
Adam Guerrero, History
Jacob Jones, History
Ji Yea Kim, Linguistics & TESOL
Karen McAlister, Communication
Lucianne Nelson, Political Science
Jennifer Omaña, English
Robert Philips, Modern Languages
Anna Prieto, Communication
Kent Rasmussen, Linguistics & TESOL
Stephanie Sulik, History
Lukas Szrot, Sociology
John Watson, Communication
Todd Womble, English


Hannah Bradley, English
Courtney Broderick, History
Breann Brown, Music
Isaac Frias, History
Peter Hedleston, History
Doreen Hernandez, History
Felipe Javier Garcia, Modern Languages
Jayr Logan, Linguistics & TESOL
Karina Martinez, Modern Languages
Lawanda Mckelvy, Communication
Diana Moreno, Modern Languages
Anthony Musselman, History
Jessica Nordon, Linguistics & TESOL
Heribero Rodriguez, History
Jeremy Schack, Communication
Nicholas R. Wilson, English


Kimberly Johnson, Linguistics & TESOL

Nadajalah Bennett, Communication
Alyssa Dequeant, Modern Languages
Devin Hornick, Linguistics & TESOL
Karah Kattenby, Art & Art History
Eric Katz, Linguistics & TESOL
Juan Lopez, Linguistics & TESOL
Joaquín Machado, English
Abraham Montano, Modern Languages


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