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The University of Texas at Tyler Magazine, Fall 2009


UT Tyler Honored Nationally for Community Service
UT Tyler received federal recognition for outstanding community service provided in 2008. The university was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, a program of the U.S. Corporation for National and Community Service and supported by the U.S. Department of Education. It is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for service-learning and civic engagement. UT Tyler served as a special needs shelter for Hurricane Gustav evacuees, and more than 500 students volunteered a total of 8,717 service hours to eight community agencies. The Patriot baseball team and coaches visited children in local area hospitals as part of the team’s annual, nationally recognized Cards for Kids Program. Nursing students and faculty participated in the international Christmas Shoe Box program, providing toys and necessities to children in developing countries. UT Tyler students also participated in the Peltier Reading Program at the Boys and Girls Club of East Texas, offering reading assistance to children in at-risk communities. “It is an honor to be recognized for our commitment to service and to our community,” said Ona Tolliver, UT Tyler Office of Student Life and Leadership director. “We are proud of our diverse group of student, faculty and staff volunteers who have made this recognition possible. Our individual students, student organizations, student athletes and Greek community all contribute countless hours to serving Tyler and our surrounding community.”

Civil Engineering Students Place First in Canoe Building
The UT Tyler Student Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers placed first overall in the Texas section’s 2009 Concrete Canoe Competition and advanced to nationals, where it placed in the top 20. In the Texas competition at South Padre Island, UT Tyler competed with nine other Texas universities including UT Austin, UT El Paso, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University and two institutions from Mexico. Participants built canoes with concrete and were judged in four categories: technical design report, oral design presentation, canoe final product and racing. UT Tyler’s canoe entry was titled “The Krewe of Rex.’’ This was the university’s second year to participate in the regional competition. UT Tyler placed second last year. At the 2009 ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition, the 19-member team won the Spirit of Competition Award in addition to placing in the top 20. The award recognizes a team’s good spirit, camaraderie and instances of aiding other competitors.

Art Students Leave Legacy Behind in New Facility
A streak of bright lights flashes across a workroom filled will the smell of burning metal. This is not another science lab experiment at UT Tyler. But with fabricated metal, hard work and dedication, two art students will leave something behind for future students. With the assistance of Dewane Hughes, UT Tyler professor of art, junior art majors Alicia Conway of Longview and Simon Saleh of Tyler constructed entrance gates last summer for the Department of Art and Art History’s new fine arts complex, slated to open in 2010. Hughes built two sets of gates, while the students constructed the third. “In a way it is sort of like commissioned work – doing something for a specific purpose – but we are free to make them look how we want,’’ Saleh said. “It’s cool to leave something like that behind. It’s also great for us that we have so much ‘two- on-one’ time with our professor.’’ The new fine arts complex will allot an additional 29,000 square feet surrounding the existing art studio. It will include a 100-seat lecture hall, studio work spaces and department offices.

Texas House of Representatives Honors Softball Team
The UT Tyler softball team was honored by the House of Representatives of the 81st Texas Legislature with the passing of HR 2775, recognizing the accomplishments of the 2009 Patriot squad. The resolution was authored by Representatives Leo Berman, Tommy Merritt, Byron Cook, Bryan Hughes and Chuck Hopson. HR 2775 honors the Patriots for achieving a record of 39-10, winning the American Southwest Conference championship, winning the West Regional and advancing to the NCAA Division III College World Series. The resolution also recognizes the All-American achievements of sophomore Whitney Wyly of Hardin and senior 'Roo Richardson of Platteville, Colo., and the guidance provided by head coach Mike Reed and assistants Keith Bell, Christy Shipley-Gipson, Coby Gipson and Kate Lightfield. Berman presented an official copy of the resolution to the Patriots in a ceremony at the UT Tyler softball field.

Palestine Campus to Headquarter Research Center
UT Tyler has established the Center for Research and Economic Development, a university-level center that will have its headquarters located in the current building of the UT Tyler Palestine Campus when the new building on that campus is completed in 2010. The primary focus of this new center will be product development research and commercialization. The building will be designed to accommodate the entire life of a product, from concept through to commercialization. This new model of research management will incorporate any grant or contract at UT Tyler that has product development as part of its goals, aims or scope. “The creation of this center will allow enhanced visibility and management of our research grants and contracts that involve product development by elevating them from the college level to the university level,’’ Dr. Peter Fos, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said. “This elevation will help to insure their success by providing quality management, oversight, promotion and funding.”

Doctoral Nursing Student Wins Innovation Contest
UT Tyler doctoral nursing student Marylyn Harris of Houston won the 2009 National Black MBA Association, Inc., Houston Chapter’s Innovation Whiteboard Challenge for a program she created to assist veterans and their families in educational pursuits. Harris received a $1,000 cash prize and an opportunity to compete at the national association’s 2009 Annual Conference and Exposition in New Orleans, La. She is a registered nurse and founder/president of Harrland Healthcare Consulting, LLC. Her award-winning Veterans Infosource Project is a 24/7/365 online coaching and counseling assistive service that helps eligible veterans, military spouses and dependents to be successful in their academic pursuits. “The new Post 9/11 GI Bill, effective Aug. 1, 2009, allows veterans to transfer their educational benefits to spouses and dependents,’’ Harris said. “The VIP Project exists to ensure that this special population gets the support they need to achieve academic success and to also improve their quality of life.”

New Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management, Marketing
John C. Hutchins has been named assistant vice president for enrollment management and marketing at the university. Hutchins comes to UT Tyler after more than 20 years at the Noel-Levitz higher education consulting firm, where he served as a senior consultant focused on enrollment management. Prior to joining Noel-Levitz, he was the vice president for enrollment management at North Carolina Wesleyan College. His areas of expertise include recruitment and retention, predictive modeling, leveraging financial aid and staff training and development. In his position at UT Tyler, Hutchins oversees the admissions and financial aid offices. His duties include using data, research and information technologies to implement and evaluate marketing and recruitment strategies and linking the strategic use of financial aid to student enrollment and retention. Hutchins holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from Florida Atlantic University and a master of business administration from Tulane University.

Texas Microbiologists to Convene at UT Tyler
The American Society for Microbiology, Texas Branch, will hold its fall meeting at UT Tyler Nov. 5-7, with Dr. Ali Azghani, UT Tyler associate professor of biology, serving as chair. The event, to be held in the University Center addition, will include research presentations by scientists throughout Texas, student presentations and workshops. Dr. Stan Maloy, dean of San Diego State University’s College of Sciences and an expert in salmonella virulence and genetics, will serve as keynote speaker. This will be the organization’s first time in its 40-year history to meet at UT Tyler, Dr. Azghani said.

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