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First Ph.D. Program Approved

nurse photo
UT Tyler has received approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to offer its first doctoral program. UT Tyler’s Ph.D. in nursing will be the only completely online program in Texas, providing greater access to advanced education and career mobility. Applications are being accepted for enrollment in the fall. “We are extremely proud that this moment has arrived,’’ UT Tyler President Rodney Mabry said. “This approval is a significant step for UT Tyler, as well as the region and the state. With this Ph.D. program we will be able to directly impact the national nursing faculty shortages and we know this will ultimately provide more nurses and administrators for our health institutions.”

Palestine Campus Expansion Campaign

The UT Tyler Palestine Campus development council has launched the public phase of the Paving the Way fundraising campaign to support future expansion of the campus. “Our goal is not only to enhance educational opportunities for the area but also to pave the way for a stronger workforce and economic stability,” said David Barnard, development council chair. “The expanded campus will become a landmark for our community making a positive statement about our commitment to education and building for the future.’’ The Texas Legislature authorized $7 million in Tuition Revenue Bond funds for the construction of a new building at the campus. The building, to be designed by Barnes Gromatzky Kosarek Architects of Austin, will be constructed at a 50-acre site purchased by Palestine community leaders south of the current campus on North Loop 256. The development council is working with Texas Area Fund Foundation. Palestine business leader Cad Williams is chairing the fundraising campaign.

Creative Effort for Hunger Relief

student doing ceramics
UT Tyler beginning and advanced ceramics classes participated inceramic bowl a community service project to help fight hunger. Students created ceramic bowls for donation to the Empty Bowls program. The bowls were delivered to Trinity Ceramics in Dallas, whose owner organizes an Empty Bowls fundraising luncheon each year in February. The event is part of the national Empty Bowls hunger relief program. “It is a unique opportunity for the students to use the skills they have learned over the semester to serve the community,” said Dr. Merrie Wright, assistant professor of art. “Donations raised by the Empty Bowls event will go directly to our community, including the East Texas Food Bank. It is a great way for us to help our community fight hunger by doing what we love.”

Cyber Security Institute

UT Tyler is providing research and first responder training in computer security and emergency preparedness for the state with the opening of a new institute on campus. The university has formed a partnership and collaboration with Mississippi State University’s renowned Center for Computer Security Research to start the Texas Emergency Preparedness and Cyber Security Institute. “This new institute will have four separate research and first-responder training components to include the Center for Petroleum Security Research, Texas Firefighter First-Responder Training, Texas EMT and Paramedic Emergency Response and Crisis Management Training and Texas First- Responder Cyber SecurityTraining,” said Dr. Arlene Horne, UT Tyler associate vice president for research. In addition to MSU, partners in the program include the UT Tyler Police Department, Smith County Sheriff ’s Department, Tyler Police Department and the Texas Attorney General’s Office. “We hope to develop other strategic partnerships throughout the state,” Dr. Horne said. Sustainability funding will be sought from the National Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. For more information, contact Dr. Horne, 903.566.7132 or ahorne@uttyler.edu or Dr. James Nelson, dean of the UT Tyler College of Engineering and Computer Science, 903.566.7267 or jnelson@uttyler.edu.

McCoy Named UT Tyler Registrar

LaTonya McCoyLaTonya McCoy has been appointed to serve as UT Tyler registrar. In her new position, she is responsible for maintaining class schedules and grades, processing registration requests and holding other related duties. McCoy joined the UT Tyler staff in 1990 and became the associate registrar in 2005. She also served as assistant registrar, senior admissions counselor, information services specialist and admissions assistant. She holds a bachelor of science degree in computer science from UT Tyler and an associate of applied science degree from Kilgore College. “With this background and experience, LaTonya will be able to lead us into the next phase of development of UT Tyler,” said Dr. Richard Osburn, UT Tyler provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Ensuring Timely Graduation

graduation photo

UT Tyler has developed an agreement that will help students graduate on time and receive a $600 tuition rebate. The university’s timely graduation contract is designed to help first-time freshmen meet requirements for graduation in a four-year period. Students who satisfy all of the conditions of the contract and graduate on time will be guaranteed a one-time $600 graduate-on-time tuition rebate. Freshmen who choose to enter into the agreement must enroll in a minimum of 15 semester credit hours each fall and spring semester, maintain an overall C average, be willing to enroll in specific courses even if they are not offered at preferred times and attend summer school if the degree requires more than 120 hours or if they fall behind in academic progress. “Our goal is to help students stay on track, so they will be required to consecutively enroll in and successfully complete their minimum 15 hours each semester, complete a degree plan by the end of their second semester, meet with academic advisers at least once a semester and declare a major by the end of their second semester,” said Dr. Muthukrishnan Sathyamoorthy, UT Tyler associate provost for academic affairs. For more information, contact the UT Tyler Office of Academic Advising, 903.565.5718.

Garland Scholars Honored

Garland Scholarship recipients for 2007-08 were recognized during the UT Tyler Longview University Center’s first endowed scholarship luncheon. Longview residents Neal and Peggy Garland established a $500,000 endowment for deserving students. Garland Scholarships are awarded to Longview students who attend either the Longview or Tyler campus. Scholarship recipients recognized during the luncheon were Melissa Arroyo, Tamara Brown, Kyia Burns, Ludie Karen Cook, Angella Ewing, Evelyn Green, LaDonna M. Hill, Alicia Jackson, Anthony Jenkins, Jennifer Lake, Tamara Langley, Linda Marroquin, Tiffany McGuire, Amanda Montgomery, Rita O’Rear, Shannon Silvas, Michelle Slaback, Stephanie Smith, Carla Standly, Amanda L. Wheeler and Gail Yarbrough. “The Neal and Peggy Garland Scholarship Fund returns about $25,000 each year for Longview students, and we are pleased to meet each current recipient and give them the opportunity to express their gratitude to Neal and Peggy,’’ UT Tyler President Rodney Mabry said in reference to the luncheon. “We look forward to making this an annual event.’’

Biology Professor Receives Grant

Dr. Neil Ford, UT Tyler professor of biology, has been awarded a grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife to examine reptile and amphibian populations in bottomland hardwood forests near the Sabine River. Dr. Ford, principal investigator, will study how flood reductions over the past two years at the Old Sabine Bottom Wildlife Management Area have affected the diversity and abundance of amphibian and reptile populations there. He will be assisted by UT Tyler graduate students David Kimberly of Little Hocking, Ohio, and Jake Pruett of Murfeesburo, Tenn., and undergraduate student Chevaun McCray of Chula Vista, Calif. The wildlife management area is a 5,727-acre bottomland hardwood forest in Smith County and one of the largest bottomland forests remaining in East Texas.

Honor Society for Greek Leaders

UT Tyler has established a chapter of the national Order of Omega Honor Society to recognize exceptional leadership and academic abilities within fraternities and sororities. Eight charter members were inducted into the all-Greek honor society, including Anna Huttenhoff of Katy, a member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority; Le’Rettia Johnson, Midland, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.; Krystal King, Tyler, Alpha Chi Omega Sorority; Kayla Krause, Tyler, Alpha Chi Omega Sorority; Ashlyn Thompson, Lufkin, Alpha Chi Omega Sorority; Alica Vanderburg, Irving, Alpha Chi Omega Sorority; Stephanie Ward, Tyler, Alpha Chi Omega Sorority; and Sarah Worsham, Joaquin, Delta Gamma Women’s Fraternity. Huttenhoff received the Distinguished Pledge Honor, which is given to the inductee who is ranked highest in overall achievement.

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