COLA Notes for September 2011

News and notes from the College of Liberal Arts…

ART and ART HISTORY: Recent graduate and adjunct professor Shannon Brunskill (MFA, ’11)  has had glass work accepted into the Stanislav Libensky Exhibition at the Imperial Stables at Prague Castle in the Czech Republic. Among the 28 artists selected, Brunskill is the sole contributor from a U.S. university in the international exhibit, which runs Sept. 15-Oct. 31. … Film and video studies graduate Eric Sinha (BA, ‘10) worked with Plano Independent School District students this summer at iD Tech Camp, teaching kids how to design video games and edit film projects. … A new film, “The Other Side of Paradise,” by Justin Hilliard (BFA, ’04) is now available for rent or purchase on The movie stars Frank Mosley (BA, ’07) and Hilliard’s actress wife, Arianne Martin, and has won numerous awards at festivals across the nation. … Faculty members Sedrick Huckaby, Marilyn Jolly and Carlos Donjuan had work included in an exhibition that ran from July to early September at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center. … The Riverside (Calif.) Art Museum recently added two pieces of mixed media work by Stephen C. Wagner (BFA, ‘75). Wagner, who began his career in San Antonio, now resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. … UT Arlington alumna Beth Hughes was named the August Artist of the Month by the Fredericksburg Art Guild and had an exhibition of her paintings on display last month. … Former instructor Melba Northum is featured in a solo exhibition, “Broken Sugar,” at Gallery 76102 in the Fort Worth Center. Her collection of mixed-media sculptures will be on display through Sept. 30. … Rachel Hayens (BFA, ’10) was one of several artists featured in “Cutting Edge,” a glass art exhibit that opened last month at an Oklahoma City gallery. … featured Kenda North, professor and coordinator of the photography program, as its August cover photographer. … Assistant Professor Ya’Ke Smith was the named the 2011 Alumnus of Distinction by the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. He was also featured in a article about his upcoming feature film, “Wolf.” … Don Beck, department research and EHS officer, donated two neon signs to Cannon Elementary School in Grapevine, Texas. The signs alert students, and parents, if they are “ON TIME” or “TARDY.” … Senior Phil Lambert, who is majoring in drawing, was recently featured in the Wunderkammer (cabinet of wonder/curiosities) exhibit in the Conduit Gallery in Dallas. Lambert was one of four UT Arlington students who had works featured in the exhibit along with Visiting Assistant Professor Stephen Lapthisophon. The exhibit has been featured in the Dallas Observer and in KERA Radio’s Art and Seek section. … Associate Professor Bart Weiss visited students at Arts Magnet High School in Dallas recently and helped them make a movie, “Dances With Bones.” … Assistant Professor Dr. Melia Belli spent a month in India this summer, completing her book on royal Hindu funerary memorials in Rajasthan, India. She also conducted research on her new project on the contemporary architectural patronage of a female politician in Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh in India.

Film and video student Patricia Newton spent part of her summer shooting and editing her film, “The Pursuit.” Many of the exterior shots, like this one on-location, were filmed in downtown Dallas.

COMMUNICATION: Two items by UT Arlington students were included as finalists in the 2011 College Broadcasters, Inc. Student Production Awards. was named a finalist in the Best PSA (Radio) category with “Don’t Sext,” a spot produced by broadcasting major Dontae Robinson. The department was also named a finalist in the Best Comedy (TV) category with “Easter Weekend.” The winners will be announced in October. … Students from each communication major are forming teams to create a professional communication packet promoting a real service to be offered by TXU Energy. The “Apprentice Challenge” finalists will present their projects at Comm Day 3.0: Communication Careers in a High-Tech World on Oct. 25 in the E.H. Hereford University Center. … Students in Dr. Shelley Wigley’s public relations campaigns class will develop a campaign plan and implement a portion of it for the Movin’ Mavs wheelchair basketball team during the fall semester. … Assistant Professor Dr. Erika Pribanic-Smith’s research paper “South Carolina’s Rhetorical Civil War: Unionist and Free Trade Presses during the Nullification Crisis, 1832-1833” has been accepted for presentation at the National Convention of American Journalism Historians Association. The convention will be in Kansas City in October. … Visiting Assistant Professor Dr. Dustin Harp recently saw four articles published in academic journals, including Information, Communication & Society and Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly. … Melissa Mia Hall (BA, ’76) offered her thoughts on the makings of a good book in a guest blog. … Keith Magee (BA, ’82) has been named managing editor of the Wharton Journal-Spector in Wharton, Texas. … Alumna Raquel Bell (’03) was interviewed on last week. Bell, an actress, has a recurring role on the CBS soap opera, “The Young and the Restless.” … The UTA chapter of The Association for Women in Communication was recently awarded the large chapter division of the outstanding student chapter award. The active chapter hosted a variety of events including student speakers, round table discussions, workshops, fundraising events and many philanthropic events. … Broadcast Lecturer Julian Rodriguez recently held a two-day video editing and production seminar for seven area Hispanic media professionals. Several of the attendees are based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but report for media outlets in Venezuela and Mexico. … Broadcast students Candace Brown and Jared Mayers both landed coveted internships with FSN-SW (Fox Sports Southwest) for the fall semester. … Aubree McFadden, a broadcast major, is interning as a producer for KLTY’s Nightlight. … Graduate Hope Ekwue recently accepted a position as Director of Communications for Strategic Government Resource and the contracted Public Information Officer for the City of Keller Public Works Department. … KKTV/Channel 11 in Colorado Springs, Colo., has hired broadcast graduate Mecca Rayne as weekend anchor. … Graduate Daniel Armbruster has accepted a position as an anchor/reporter with KBTX in Bryan/College Station and Joe Gumm, a broadcast graduate, is working for Fox’s Oklahoma City affiliate KOKH-TV as morning anchor. … Broadcast and Spanish graduate Alexis Spears has joined the staff of East Texas’ KTRE as a video journalist. … Raquel Daisy, a master’s program graduate, recently accepted a new position as a Communications Specialist for North Texas Specialty Physicians in Fort Worth. … Sarah Macias (’10) has joined KXII in Sherman as producer/editor. … Broadcast grad Diana Rojas, has been covering the Dallas Mavericks’ court action for RCN, Columbia’s national radio and television station. Rojas’ work airs nationally in Colombia.

CRIMINOLOGY and CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Department chair Dr. Alex del Carmen was quoted in a story about the progress the U.S. has made in implementing recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission. … Retired lecturer Caryl Segal wrote a review of “Critical Criminology in Canada” by Aaron Doyle and Dawn Moore for the July edition of Law & Politics Book Review. … Kaplan College’s Arlington campus recently dedicated its new criminal justice training facility to Arlington police officer Jillian Smith, who was killed in December while responding to a domestic assault call, the Arlington Citizen-Journal reported. Smith was a graduate of UT Arlington.

ENGLISH: Senior Lecturer Imrana Iqbal participated in July’s Focus Pakistan Conference, a community event sponsored by the Pakistan Council of Dallas-Fort Worth, the Dallas Peace Center and the Muslim Democratic Caucus of Texas. … The following Graduate Teaching Assistants recently received Best Practices Awards: Myra Salcedo (Class Planning), Barbi Fowler (Active Learning in Small Groups), Corby Baxter (Active Learning in Large Group Discussion), Leslie Similly (Classroom Management), Lucinda Channon (Classroom Organization and Structure), Rachael Mariboho (Learning Outcomes Met by the Lesson), Johnny Stein (Effective Mini-Lesson), Alan Cochrum (Effective Use of Textbook), and Jarrod Stringer (Knowledge of the Subject). … Dr. Stacy Alaimo, Professor of English, will deliver a talk called “What’s Love Got to Do with It?: Dominance, Affection and Ethical Provocation in the Art of Bethany Krull,” during the Centenary College (Shreveport, La.) convocation Oct. 27, the Shreveport Times reported. Alaimo will also lead a public gallery discussion and hold a book signing the next day. … Creative writing instructor Laura Kopchick was featured in a UT System article about innovative teaching. … Professor Dr. Kevin Gustafson and Dr. Tim Henry (Biology) taught a Maymester course in England on the poetry of place. … Senior Lecturer Dr. Jon David-Secord had an article, titled “Rhythm and Music: The Sequences of Notker Balbulus,” accepted for publication in the Journal of Medieval Latin. … Doctoral student Jarrod Stringer will present a paper, “Shakespeare’s Poe-tic Stamp on American Articulations of the Precariousness of Life,” at the Reception Study Society conference in Maryville, Mo., at Northwest Missouri State University this month.

HISTORY: A new department of social work at Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone is affiliated with and supported by UT Arlington and came about because of the efforts of Dr. Alusine Jalloh, Associate Professor and native Sierra Leonean, according to Sierra Express Media. The program will eventually offer a bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree. … Dr. Richard Francaviglia, Professor Emeritus of history and geography, will be the featured speaker at this month’s 17th annual Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture at Utah State University.

LINGUISTICS and TESOL: Several faculty and students were on hand Sept. 10 for the  DFW Metroplex Linguistics Conference, hosted by the University of North Texas. Dr. Jason Kandybowicz gave a talk, as did three doctoral students, Namrata Dubey, Mohamed Mwamzandi and Vitaly Voinov. Lori Pierce presented a poster. Next year, this conference will be hosted by UT Arlington. … Associate Professor Dr. Laurel Smith Stvan was quoted in a Christian Science Monitor story about the new Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary. The dictionary has added 150 words in its latest 2011 edition, including, “bromance” (a close, nonsexual friendship between men). “It’s useful for speakers of any language to see that the word stock is always changing – new words are steadily adopted by users, and some old words drop out, too,” she said. “Some of them will likely drop from use before others, of course.” … Dr. David Basilico (University of Alabama-Birmingham) will be the first guest of the department’s colloquium series. He will present “The -si marker in Inuit: antipassive and inchoative, manner and result” on Sept. 23 at 2 p.m. in Trimble Hall, room 200. … In July, Krys Boyd, host of the KERA Radio/90.1 FM program, “Think,” interviewed Dr. Colleen Fitzgerald, Associate Professor and Department Chair, and Dr. Mary Linn, an anthropologist at the University of Oklahoma, about their research helping to recover endangered Native American languages. … Students from Dr. David Silva’s Fall 2009 research methods course saw a paper about vowel variation in Iraq and Iran published in a recently issue of American Speech. Sharon Peters, Fahad Ben Duhaish, Sok-Hun Kim, Yilmin Koo, Lana Marji and Junsuk Park all contributed to the article, “Variation in the Iraq Vowels Outside the Public Forum: The Indexing of Political Persuasion Reconsidered.” Silva is a Professor and the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. … Silva was also quoted in a Shreveport Times article that advised professionals to use words that build credibility, not questions. … Doctoral candidate Vitaly Voinov spent part of his summer in Russia, working on his dissertation concerning linguistic politeness in the Tuvan language. Voinov presented a poster at the Corpora 2011 conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, in late June before travelling to Siberia to conduct field research. He also spent three days teaching local linguists at Tuvan State University how to use language-research software. Voinov’s trip was underwritten by the Dean’s Excellence Fund. … Dr. Joey Sabbagh‘s refereed article, “Adjectival Passives and the structure of VP in Tagalog,” appeared in the June issue of Lingua. … Drs. Jeffrey Witzel and Naoko Witzel have co-authored a refereed journal article for Applied Psycholinguistics. The article, “Deeper than shallow: Evidence for structure-based parsing biases in L2 sentence processing” investigates the use of eye-tracking on L1/L2 sentence processing.

MILITARY SCIENCE: Former instructor Joe Lopez recalled his initial experience with the Veterans of Foreign Wars as a Vietnam War veteran in an article in the Fort Bliss Monitor about the 90th anniversary of VFW Post 812 in El Paso.

MUSIC: Music student Jamie Bustillo is serving as assistant director of the Keene-based New Horizons band, a community music program open to musicians of all ages and talent level. … The Washington Examiner featured, Debo, a Boston-based Ethiopian funk band founded by saxophonist Danny Mekonnen (BM, ‘03), before an August show at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. … Longtime department supporter Luna Ruth Tinker of Albuquerque, N.M., passed away on Sept. 2. Contributions in her honor may be made to the UT Arlington Department of Music to fund a keyboard student scholarship in her name.

PHILOSOPHY and HUMANITIES: Journalist Renee Hopkins (MA-Humanities, ‘85) contributed to a new anthology “A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing: Advice From Leading Experts.” Hopkins is senior editor of Texas Enterprise and media relations manager at the McCombs School of Business. … Dr. Charles Ivan Spencer (Ph.D.-Humanities, ’97) was one of several professors highlights in an article about philosophy at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. … Brian Simmons (BA, ‘09), in an online story, weighed in on a centuries-old debate about how much of the Bible should be taken literally.

POLITICAL SCIENCE: Professor Dr. Jose Angel Gutierrez received the Individual Achievement Award at the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies conference in Austin last month for work he continues to do on Chicano politics and Mexico-U.S. relations. He also spent part of his summer teaching and researching at Portland State University in Portland, Ore. … Former professor Dr. Paul Geisel weighed in on the grand jury investigation into Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price during a WBAP radio interview.

SOCIOLOGY and ANTHROPOLOGY: Assistant Professor Jason Shelton commented in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article about the diversity of religions in Tarrant County. … Dr. Ben Agger, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Theory, was quoted in Christian Science Monitor story about the release Friday of the “West Memphis Three” – the men convicted in the 1993 killing of three Cub Scouts in Arkansas. Numerous celebrities have come to the men’s defense, insisting they did not get a fair trial. Agger said it’s notable that Hollywood actors are spearheading the drive for social justice. “This is a version of Hollywood that clashes with a People magazine portrayal of Hollywood simply as a celebrity culture, where the Kardashian wedding is foregrounded as weekly tabloid fodder,” he said. … Former professor of anthropology Dr. Francis Harrold was recently named the dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Weber State University.

WOMEN’S and GENDER STUDIES: Earlier this year, the Women’s Studies updated its name to “Women’s and Gender Studies” to better reflect the breadth of content available for UT Arlington students: “In the intervening years, Gender Studies has emerged as a coterminous field that addresses a broad range of topics including women, femininity, and feminism, but also men, masculinity, sexuality, gay and lesbian identity, and so forth,” said Dr. Desiree Henderson, Interim Director of the program. “Changing the name of the program to Women’s and Gender Studies is intended to signal the fact that our classes and faculty research encompass both critical approaches. Together, these two terms capture where we have come from and where we are going as a discipline.” Get more information at the program’s website,

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