COLA Notes for April 2013

News and notes from around the College of Liberal Arts…

ART & ART HISTORY: Three UT Arlington students and alumni had films featured in this year’s Dallas International Film Festival. The films included “Filmer” by alumna Britanny Ingram, “Latent” by undergraduate Nate Kantor, and “To Be Gray” by graduate student Ryan Britton. … MFA candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant Jesse England was recently selected to participate in a “best of” show at the Red Arrow Contemporary in Dallas. The exhibition, which features work by graduate students throughout North Texas, runs April 6 through May 11. … Visiting Assistant Professor Stephen Lapthisophon was featured in a Dallas Observer story about the Dallas Contemporary’s new DC University lecture series, in which he spoke. “I think that we return to good and interesting pieces of art because they baffle us,” he says. “We return to things for the mystery of things.” … An auction featuring glass art from Professor David Keens and his students will benefit the Ghana Initiative for Valued Education, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. … Work by Lecturer Carlos Donjuan was featured in a recent issue of Juxtapoz magazine. … MFA student Hannah Hudson was featured in a Dallas Observer article about her work in Deep Ellum. Hudson has a solo exhibition scheduled this summer at a Brooklyn, N.Y., art gallery. … Dr. Jonathan Bloom (Boston College) lectured on the history and impact of paper in the Islamic world earlier this month at an Islamic Art and Culture Forum event sponsored by the Department of Art & Art History.

CENTER FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES: The Center for African American Studies will host its first conference, “Critical Issues in Black Studies: Race in Context,” on May 2-3 in the E.H. Hereford University Center. Panel sessions will focus on student enrichment and community-based research.

COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS: Christy Crytzer Pierce recently joined the COLA family as Assistant Director of Development. She will assist Director of Development Myke Holt in college development and fundraising projects. Crytzer Pierce formerly worked for the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C., the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Casa Mañana in Fort Worth.

Journalism major Bernanrdo Frias works with students from Crow Elementary in Arlington. Frias and several other Department of Communication students volunteered this semester with the Reading Corps. (Photo contributed)
Journalism major Bernanrdo Frias works with students from Crow Elementary in Arlington. Frias and several other Department of Communication students volunteered this semester with the Reading Corps. (Photo contributed)

COMMUNICATION: Public Relations Lecturer Mindia Whittier will receive the 2013 William S. Ward Endowment Award. This university award was created to honor a non-tenure track faculty member with an exemplary work ethic, who loves working with students and makes a significant impact on enhancing the goals of the University. Winners of all 2013 teaching honors will be recognized at the upcoming Spring Meeting of the University Faculty and Associates on April 22 in the Rio Grande Ballroom of the E. H. Hereford University Center. … Dr. Mark Tremayne (Assistant Professor) was quoted in an Associated Press story about teenagers’ increasing use of cell phones to access the Internet, making it more difficult to monitor. As a parent, Tremayne said he has concerns about Web surfing, but the key is to keep talking with children about their Internet use. The story appeared on numerous television and newspaper websites, including Bloomberg Businessweek. … students used iPhones and Skype to capture last month’s press conference announcing the new Arlington police chief. … Students in the Department of Communication garner valuable experience and insight through service learning projects. This semester, students in a class taught by Dr. Dustin Harp (Assistant Professor) volunteered to read through the Reading Corps, an organization that partners reading mentors with Arlington schoolchildren. Students in Lecturer Suzy Nead’s “Principles in Group Communication” classes are gearing up their community service projects now.  The students will be assisting in after-school projects, movie nights at local shelters, gathering supplies for the SPCA and working with children in hospitals. … Broadcast lecturer Julian Rodriguez and members of UTA News en Español were recently featured in a story on the front page of … Dr. Megwa Eronini (Associate Professor) will present a paper at The International Association of Media and Communication Research annual conference in Dublin, Ireland, in June. The title of the research paper is “Media Hybridization and Development: An Exploratory Study of the Potential of Integrated Media to Extend Development Benefits to Underserved Communities in Africa.” … Megwa also presented a paper at a conference in Las Vegas earlier this month. The paper was part of a panel presentation that examines the use of social media by the news media in Nigeria in gathering and relaying news and its implications for international broadcasting. … Lecturer Mike Putnam serves as a communication coach for international UT-Dallas MBA students on the campus of UT-Southwestern Medical School. Putnam meets with the students following their return from Global Trip assignments. Putnam is also providing Jeremy Ago, Director of Communications for the College of Engineering, with tips on speech writing. … Public relations major Lauren Devoll was recently named a 2013-2014 Archer Fellow. … Ashley Macdonald (‘12) is interning for Texas Congressman Joe Barton in his Washington, D.C., office. … Chris Mead (’12) has been selected as a video production intern for the Oakland A’s Baseball Club, while pursuing his master’s degree at San Francisco State University. While at UTA, Mead served as sports director for UTA Radio and led the student coverage of Super Bowl XLV. … Jared Chism (‘11) was recently hired as a senior social media strategist with JCPenney. … Frankie Farrar-Helm (’12) has accepted a position as public relations/communications representative at Sellmark in Mansfield. … Alexandra Pietroforte (‘12) has been hired at Downtown Arlington Management Corporation. … Gabriel Vazquez (‘12) is preparing to defend his Master of Arts thesis in the Department of Radio, Television and Film at the University of North Texas. Gabriel’s thesis title is “Programming for the Latino Youth: A Content Analysis of Prime Time Television Programs by Three Spanish-language Broadcast Networks.” Rodriguez is a part of her thesis committee.

CRIMINOLOGY & CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Dr. Seokjin Jeong (Assistant Professor) is a member of a research team that was recently selected as a participant in the International Self-Report Delinquency Project-3, an ongoing study that gathered dates from collaborating countries worldwide. Jeong’s team includes faculty from Illinois State University and Dongguk University in South Korea. … Jeong has been selected to participate in the Crime and Justice Summer Research Institute (funded by the National Science Foundation) at the Ohio State University from July 8-26, 2013. … Dr. Jaya Davis (Assistant Professor) was invited to speak at the UTA Cultural Constructions Symposium last month. She also participated in an advanced human trafficking workshop hosted by the North Texas Human Trafficking Task Force and the North Texas Crime Commission. … Students in Davis’ juvenile justice class got an up-close look at the Tarrant County Juvenile Services last month, touring a Tarrant County juvenile detention facility and the Lena Pope Home in Fort Worth.

ENGLISH: Dr. Stacy Alaimo (Professor) gave an invited talk entitled “Plastic Bodies, Alien Objects: Trans-corporeality at Sea” as the Kurt Olsson Lecture at the University of Idaho in March. Her work will be the subject of an upcoming workshop, “Composing Blue Ecologies: Deep Sea Creatures, Taxonomy, Aesthetics,” at the University of California-Davis. … Dr. Luanne Frank (Professor) just published “Nietzsche is Said in Many Ways: Nietzsche in Heidegger’s Parmenides” in the collection In Heidegger and Nietzsche. She also presented a paper entitled “Vivifying Philosophy via Visual Media: Heidegger and Parmenides” at the 15th Annual International Conference of the Society for Phenomenology and Media in Puebla, Mexico, earlier this year. … Dr. Johanna Smith (Associate Professor) will attend the annual OnCourse Workshop conference in Costa Mesa, Calif., later this month. OnCourse is designed to aid professional development for promoting student success. … Dr. Sha-shonda Porter (Lecturer) will be the distinguished speaker at the Duncanville Public Library on April 23 to discuss her novel, The Devil Stopped By. The event and book signing is hosted by the Friends of the Duncanville Library. … Former English professor and department chair Dr. Emory D. Estes died last month at age 87. Estes taught for more than 50 years at UT Arlington.

HISTORY: WFAA/Channel 8 interviewed Dr. Elisabeth Cawthon (Associate Professor), about Britain’s first female prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who died Monday. Cawthon said Thatcher will be ranked as one of the great leaders in British history. … The Department of History hosted Erik Hinton’s talk on digital humanities late last month. Hinton is a web developer and social media editor for The New York Times.

LINGUISTICS & TESOL: Doctoral student Joshua Jensen will present a paper entitled “Jarai Predicates: Culmination & Scales of Change” next month at the 20th Annual Meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association. The event is hosted by UT Arlington and will feature 25 speakers from around the globe, with keynote talks funded by the Festival of Ideas Global Research Institute. … Two doctoral students participated in last month’s ACES Symposium. Iya Khelm presented on “Form Interference Effects During Silent Reading” and Jessica Rohr presented on “Training naive learners to identify Chinese tone: An inductive approach.” … Dr. Colleen Fitzgerald (Professor) is one of the keynote presenters for the Symposium on the American Indian at Northeastern State University, leading the Indigenous Language Documentation and Revitalization Seminar on “Immersion for Native Languages.” It is co-sponsored by the Oklahoma Native Language Association. … UT Arlington will have two presenters at this year’s Oklahoma Workshop on Native American Languages: Doctoral candidate Elizabeth Tatz will present a poster on “Mentoring at the Oklahoma Breath of Life Workshop 2012” and Fitzgerald will lecture on “Prosodic Documentation in Native American Languages: Methodologies and Techniques.” … Linguistics graduate students Samantha Cornelius and Ehsan Shafiee Zargar have been awarded Carrizo Oil and Gas, Inc. Graduate Research Fellowships for next year, when they will start the doctoral program in Linguistics at UT Arlington. … Dr. Jeff Witzel (Assistant Professor) has been awarded the UT Arlington Service-Learning Award for his service to the Arlington Community and taking part in engaged scholarship that integrate service learning into the curriculum. … TESOL graduate student Kathy Etsell has been awarded the Mary Ridgway Service Award sponsored by UTA’s Center for Community Service Learning to honor her commitment to the betterment of the communities and the enrichment of her learning experience inside and outside the classroom. This past year she has taught language learners at VMLC, North Dallas Shared Ministries, and the ELI’s Chinese MBA class.

MODERN LANGUAGES: Magdalena Salamon (‘12) is an Upstream Energy Analyst for Hart Energy in Houston covering the subjects of oil shale in the U.S., and also serving as an analyst for European and Russian energy ventures.

MUSIC: A piano trio led by Associate Professor Dan Cavanagh will perform in the semifinals of the 7th international Jazz Competition in Bucharest, Romania. The vent runs May 18-25.

POLITICAL SCIENCE: Dr. Allan Saxe (Associate Professor) has been busy touring conferences this spring. Last month, he spoke at the University of North Texas Education Law Conference and served as political commentator for 11 radio stations around the country. This month, he will speak at a TED event (April 22) and the Motor Vehicle Conference in Fort Worth (April 23).  … Saxe was quoted in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram story last month about “The Shopping Bag Freedom Act,” a bill intended to block plastic-bag bans in Austin and other Texas cities. He said: “The chance of passage of [the bill] is not very good, but [it] still is reflective of a growing disenchantment in some political quarters of being fed-up with government encroachment.” … Assistant Professor Dr. Brent Sasley used a post on the Daily Beast’s Open Zion blog to challenge a recent column on Zionist history by fellow blogger Yousef Munayyer. Sasley says the inaccurate picture of the Zionist movement “contributes to a demonization of its leaders and its goals” and “is not a useful basis for conceiving solutions to the conflict.” … Sasley recently signed a contract with Oxford University Press for a co-authored textbook on Israeli politics. … Dr. Victoria Farrar-Myers (Professor) and former graduate student Ben Copeland recently collaborated on an article, “The Paradoxes of Presidential Leadership in Pursuing Policy Goals: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Lifting of the Ban on Gays and Lesbians in the Military,” for The Presidential Leadership Dilemma: Between the Constitution and a Political Party (SUNY Press). … Farrar-Myers also presented her research at three conferences this spring: the annual meetings of the Southern Political Science Association, the Midwest Political Science Association and the Western Political Science Association. … Dr. Heidi Hardt (Assistant Professor) has been invited to discuss her research on the efficiency of international organizations in responding to international crises and events at the International Security Forum in Geneva this month. … Dr. Jose Angel Gutierrez (Professor) participated in an anti-racism seminar at Texas A&M University at College Station last week. … Christal Simanski (’12) is in her first year in the master’s program in political science at the University of California-San Diego. Last year, Simanski had an internship with the U.S. State Department at the U.S. Embassy at the Holy See (Vatican). This summer she has been selected to do an internship with the U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM)’s Student Volunteer Intern Program in Hawaii. … Verica Todorovic (’12) will tour the world during graduate school next year through Washington University in St. Louis. When she enters that program, Todorovic will study at Regents Graduate School in London, then to Vienna where she will be learning about NGOs.  In her second semester, she plans to study in Thailand, then to The Hague for a semester, and finally to Geneva. Once the program is complete she hopes to intern with NATO.

SOCIOLOGY & ANTHROPOLOGY: Dr. Susan Gonzalez Baker, Associate Professor of Sociology and director of the Center for Mexican American Studies, was recently quoted in a New America Media article about the aging Hispanic population in the U.S. … Dr. Ben Agger, Professor of Sociology, is the author of a new book, “Texting Toward Utopia: Kids, Writing, and Resistance,” due out in September from Paradigm Publishers. The book examines how today’s youth utilizes current technology in various social situations. … Agger was also quoted in a Georgia Straight article about pictures and online sharing. … Dr. Wenda Trevathan (New Mexico State University) was a guest on KERA’s THINK radio show March 27 in advance of her speech at the UT Arlington Ben and Trudy Termini Distinguished Anthropologist Lecture. On THINK, she talked about how people define “normal” when it comes to women’s health and how might the study of early humans and even precursor species help that understanding.

THEATRE ARTS: Melanie Mason (’93) is currently directing the regional premiere of the hit family comedy, “Freckleface Strawberry: The Musical,” for Creative Arts Theatre School. Mason is also a part-time instructor for the Department of Communication.  … Theatre Arts senior Jennifer N. Woodward was recently awarded Best Technical Director at the Action Design Competition at the United States Institute of Theatre Technology’s National Convention. … Lecturer Julienne Greer has been conferred a Ph.D. in Humanities by the University of Texas at Dallas.


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