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The University of Texas at Tyler Magazine, Spring 2010

AROUND CAMPUS

Education Professor Takes Holocaust Study Tour in Israel

Dr. Robert Stevens, UT Tyler professor of education, was one of 19 college and university educators selected nationally to participate in the January 2010 Echoes and Reflections Professors’ Study Tour in Yad Vashem, Israel. Meeting with historians and pedagogical experts, Dr. Stevens studied the literature and art of the Holocaust to effectively understand and share Holocaust history in multicultural classroom settings.
The professor was nominated by the Holocaust Museum of Houston to take part in the program, which was rounded out with excursions to the Western Wall Tunnels, the city of Jerusalem, the Great Synagogue, Massada and the Dead Sea. Noting UT Tyler’s Global Awareness Through Education initiative, Dr. Stevens said he gained valuable networks and knowledge to benefit the university’s multicultural offerings. “It is so critical that we as Americans as well as citizens begin to understand more fully the complexities of the world around us,’’ said the professor, who holds an Ed.D. in social foundations of education from the University of Massachusetts and has conducted post-doctorate research in government and international relations at Harvard University. Courses he teaches at UT Tyler include school in the social setting, educational psychology and applied learning theories.

University Receives $1.4 Million to Begin UTeach Program

UT Tyler was awarded $1.4 million to establish UTeach, a program for recruiting, preparing and inspiring highly qualified math and science teachers. The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation donated $427,000 and the Texas Education Agency provided $973,000 to fund the UT Tyler program, as announced by the National Math and Science Institute. “UT Tyler has a tradition of graduating teachers who stay in the classroom,’’ President Rodney Mabry said. “UTeach will complement and reinforce the high quality and caliber of our graduating teachers in the science, math and computer science fields.’’ Core elements of UTeach include recruitment and incentives, a compact degree program, strong focus on acquiring deep content knowledge in math and science, early and intensive field teaching experience and personal attention and guidance. UT Tyler is the 15th campus nationwide to implement the program, which originated at UT Austin. “We are confident UT Tyler is going to play an even more significant role in providing the math and science teachers our country desperately needs,’’ NMSI CEO Tom Luce said.

Student Organization Assists East Texas Crisis Center

UT Tyler’s Students in Free Enterprise provided job skills training to clients at the East Texas Crisis Center. Female SIFE members worked directly with clients as personal advocates in the Dress for Success Project, a partnership with the center. Topics included resume writing, interviewing for employment, dressing for an interview and elevator speech techniques. “SIFE hopes the skills and opportunities it has provided to the women of the East Texas Crisis Center will help them find the self-confidence they need to build a better future for themselves and their families,” said SIFE co-adviser Tammy Cowart, UT Tyler assistant professor of business law. The project was the brainchild of SIFE treasurer KeeKee Miller of Tyler. A former client herself, the senior accounting major said she wanted to give back to the center. “I wanted to make something a little bit easier for the clients during such a horrific time in their lives and help restore the self-confidence that was taken away from them,” Miller said.

Nursing School Partners With Nonprofits at Longview Clinic

The UT Tyler College of Nursing assists a Longview health clinic in partnership with Hiway 80 Rescue Mission Ministries and Refuge International. Nursing students and faculty help staff and manage the clinic at the Hiway 80 Rescue Mission Men’s Center, which provides food and shelter to homeless men in East Texas. “By partnering with Hiway 80 and Refuge International, we have been able to provide needed health care locally, making East Texas a healthier community,’’ said graduate nursing student Lorie Guthrie of Gilmer. Faculty participants are Katheryn Courville and Deborah Bell, clinical instructors, and Dr. Debbie Mahoney, associate professor of clinical nursing. Bell founded Refuge International, which works to improve lives abroad through health care and educational programs. Courville and Mahoney are Refuge board members. Courville said of the Hiway 80 clinic, “It all came together beautifully. UT Tyler needed a place to send their students for clinical experience, Hiway 80 needed someone to help manage the clinic and Refuge needed that local challenge.’’

Psychology Professors Collaborate With Alzheimer’s Research Team

Two UT Tyler professors and a graduate student participated in efforts to analyze the detection of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Dr. Andrew Schmitt, assistant professor of psychology, Dr. Ronald Livingston, professor of psychology, and graduate student Eirah Reese assisted researchers at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital- Dallas in the investigation of the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status test. Their findings, titled “Factor Analysis of the RBANS in a Large Sample,” will appear in “Applied Neuropsychology.’’ The study is reportedly the largest of its kind to date. “We think we’ve found a more diagnostically sensitive way to analyze the results of RBANS, a common dementia test,” said Schmitt, lead author. “Other studies have made similar observations, but we wanted to examine the subtle differences in the five factors and what the results really mean. A more refined cognitive test could help physicians identify people at risk of developing impairments that sometimes progress to Alzheimer’s disease.”

3 Students Chosen for Community Service Trip to Costa Rica

UT Tyler graduate students Tammy Clements of Tyler and Marc Randle of Edgewood and senior Kaitlin Brown of Amarillo were selected to participate in a community service trip to Costa Rica. They will travel to Liberia, Costa Rica, and serve in various capacities in urban and rural areas May 10-19. UT Tyler is partnering with Tyler Junior College to offer the travel/service opportunity to students. “I am extremely honored to be a part of the service trip to Costa Rica,’’ Brown said. “I look forward to being a representative of UT Tyler as well as encouraging future UT Tyler students to join the program.” Applicants are chosen based on a letter of recommendation from a professor, employer or community service representative, verification of interest in community service, leadership skills, participation in university and community events, minimum 3.0 GPA requirement and full-time student status. The program is sponsored by TJC and in part by the UT Tyler offices of International Programs and Community Relations.

University Represented at Budapest Science Forum

UT Tyler junior biology major Lauren Thomas attended the World Science Forum in Budapest, Hungary, as a member of The University of Texas System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in Undergraduate Research Academy. The Tyler resident was accompanied by Dr. Stephen B. Rainwater, interim chair of the UT Tyler computer science department and campus director of UT Tyler LSAMP. The forum provided a platform for discussions about new challenges facing science in the 21st century. Thomas has conducted LSAMP-sponsored research since 2008 under the supervision of Dr. Ali Azghani, UT Tyler associate professor of biology. LSAMP is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Sign Up for PatriotALERT Emergency Notifications

UT Tyler has implemented a new mass notification service to provide critical information to students, faculty and staff during campus emergencies. When activated, PatriotALERT can send e-mail, voice and text messages to the campus community within minutes. Everyone with a UT Tyler e-mail address will receive emergency alerts via email. To also receive text and voice message alerts, campus community members must provide updated phone contact information, following the instructions at http://www.uttyler.edu/emergency/patriotalert. While participation in text and voice notification is optional, the university strongly recommends enrollment. “In today’s current climate we need to be prepared for situations … and recognize the important role that immediate communication plays in keeping students safe,” said Dr. Howard Patterson, vice president for student affairs. “As part of our comprehensive emergency preparedness plans, we have added the PatriotALERT service because of its multi-modal capabilities that will allow us to keep students and employees informed whether they are in their dorms, sitting in front of their computers or on their way to class.”

 

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