The University of Texas at  Tyler Magazine - Fall 2010

Around Campus

Graduate Engineering Degree Programs to be Offered Online

In efforts to continue distance education enhancement at UT Tyler, the College of Engineering and Computer Science will offer two engineering master’s degree programs online. Courses for the master of science in electrical engineering and master of science in mechanical engineering will be offered from the Longview University Center beginning fall 2011. A working engineer will be able to complete a master’s degree within two to three years as a part-time student, said Dr. James Nelson, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “With both of these offerings, we hope to better serve practicing engineers and particularly those in Tyler and Longview.” By 2012, the college hopes to offer additional master’s degrees online and on-site professional development courses to help licensed engineers meet continuing education requirements for license renewals. For more information about electrical and mechanical engineering programs at UT Tyler, contact Dr. Mukul Shirvaikar, Department of Electrical Engineering chair, 903.565.5620,; or Dr. Y.J. Lin, Department of Mechanical Engineering chair, 903.566.7468,


UT Tyler Honored at Alpha Chi Super-Regional Convention

Tiffany Allison, Brittany Pierce and Brianna Moore
UT Tyler’s Texas Alpha Xi, a chapter of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, was named a Star Chapter during the society’s first-ever Super-Regional Convention this year. The award is presented to top chapters in the nation. UT Tyler was one of eight honorees in Region II, which includes Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and part of Texas. In other events during the Little Rock, Ark., convention, UT Tyler biology majors Brittany Pierce and Tiffany Allison and health studies major Brianna Moore presented scholarly papers. And a Region II Pryor Fellowship for graduate studies was awarded to Pierce, who entered the biology doctorate program at the University of California-Davis this fall. The fellowship is given in recognition of outstanding scholarship. UT Tyler chapter sponsor Suzanne Pundt, senior lecturer in biology, served on the national Gaston/Nolle Scholarship Committee and as a presentation judge and presider at the convention. Assistant chapter sponsor Dr. James Koukl, associate professor of biology, also was a presentation judge. Alpha Chi admits students from all academic disciplines. Membership is limited to the top 10 percent of an institution’s juniors, seniors and graduate students.

Civil Engineering Faculty Assume Leadership Roles in Professional Organizations

 Nalbone RogersDr. J. Torey Nalbone, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Dr. Peter Rogers, assistant professor of civil engineering, were appointed to the ABET Applied Sciences Accreditation Commission and the International Rural Water Association Board of Directors, respectively. Dr. Nalbone will serve as a 2010-11 commissioner for ABET Inc., the accreditor for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering and technology. He will act as a team chair for program evaluation visits, supervise program evaluators, serve as a contact point for academic programs during their accreditation cycle and advocate for engineering programs in deliberations for their reaccreditation. He also recently was elected chair of the American Board of Industrial Hygiene and has been active on technical committees of the American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists and the American Industrial Hygiene Association. Dr. Nalbone has been a practicing industrial hygienist for more than 25 years. Dr. Rogers will serve a three-year term with the IRWA, which seeks to improve the quality of water for residents of developing nations. He will oversee governance issues, partake in fundraising efforts and help enhance the association’s overall functionality capabilities. Dr. Rogers served as a water and sanitation engineer in Peace Corps Honduras and has worked with a variety of international engineering and aid organizations. He also recently received a $50,000 grant from the Water Research Foundation to study dual distribution water systems.

Randle, Ward Named Rotary Young Citizens

Marc Randle
Graduate student Marc Randle of Edgewood and junior Ciera Ward of Tyler were selected to represent UT Tyler in the Rotary Young Citizens Club of Tyler. To be named a Rotary Young Citizen, a student must be exceptional in the practices of citizenship, thriftiness, loyalty, courtesy, honesty, service, dependability, sportsmanship, scholarship and leadership. Honorees were recognized during the 2010 Rotary Club of Tyler and Rotary Young Citizens Club Annual Awards Banquet. “Marc and Ciera are two outstanding examples of the literally thousands of high-ability students enrolled at UT Tyler, and we are grateful to Rotary Club of Tyler for recognizing not only Marc and Ciera, but also recognizing representatives of all schools in East Texas,” UT Tyler President Rodney Mabry said.

UT Tyler Unveils Renovated University Center

University Center
The UT Tyler University Center renovation was completed and unveiled to the public in a grand opening ceremony this Barnes & Nobleyear. Constructed in 1976, the building now includes a 300-plus seat auditorium/theater along the north wall, a fully-expanded, two-story bookstore, new study lounge areas and office spaces for student government, student services, testing and other student-related programs. The renovation complements a two-story addition to the center that was completed last year. “Before it was just a place for students to be able to
auditoriumgather; now, they can gather with a purpose,’’ Amy Whitehouse, Student  Government Association past-president, said during the unveiling of the renovated facility. “It’s really starting to become a community and that’s what I’m excited about.’’ The entire university community is excited about the space,’’ said Gregg Lassen, UT Tyler executive vice president for business affairs. “The informal seating areas seem to be very popular. The Barnes and Noble at UT Tyler looks fantastic and the new auditorium is a welcome and important addition.’’

One-Stop Center to Enhance Registration, Student Business Services

The university will enhance student business services and the enrollment management process with a one-stop shop. The second floor of the Administration Building is being renovated to house the UT Tyler One-Stop Shop Service Center, which will give students a centralized location to handle admissions, financial aid and registration needs at one convenient station. Enrollment management staff will be cross-trained to become knowledgeable in all three areas. “Providing seamless and integrated student services in the areas of enrollment, registration, financial aid, billing and student accounts receivable is a struggle for every higher education institution,” said Charlie Hutchins, assistant vice president for enrollment management, marketing and customer service. “Integrating this format allows you to personalize service and change the administrative experience of students, providing them with the tools they need to easily manage their education.”  The One-Stop Shop also supports student recruitment and retention efforts by immediately, clearly and accurately responding to the applicants’ and students’ initial questions, Hutchins said. The renovation by Nouveau Construction is expected to be completed this fall.

Muntz Library Features Sarah McClendon Exhibit Online
Sarah McClendonThe UT Tyler Robert R. Muntz Library’s university archives and special collections division has created an online exhibit about Tyler-born journalist Sarah McClendon. One of the first female White House news correspondents, McClendon covered presidential politics for a half-century, with a reputation for a shrewd and sometimes acerbic manner of questioning and challenging 11 U.S. presidents. The exhibit, “Sarah McClendon: An East Texan in Washington,’’ showcases materials based on her autobiographies and the Sarah McClendon Papers, which are housed at the library. McClendon presented materials, photographs and documents from her life and work as a gift to UT Tyler in 1992. To view the exhibit, visit

Physical items from the exhibit and other collections may be viewed by researchers at Muntz Library 1-4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, or by appointment, library director Jeanne Pyle said.



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 Last Published 4/27/11