The University of Texas at  Tyler Magazine - Spring 2011

Around Campus

UT Tyler Hole-in-One Contest group photo
Patriot Hole-in-One Contest’s 25th Anniversary Celebration

The 25th Annual UT Tyler Suddenlink Patriot Million Dollar Hole-in-One Contest is set for May 7-14 on campus with finals Sunday, May 15, at Hollytree Country Club. Since its creation by the Patriots honorary organization in 1984, the event has raised more than $1 million for scholarships, UT Tyler President Rodney Mabry said. “These volunteer efforts ensure that very bright students are able to receive a truly excellent education at UT Tyler. This means we’re all winners!’’ he said. The contest offers amateur golfers age 18 and older the opportunity to compete, at $1 per shot, in preliminary daily rounds. Daily qualifiers are those who hit a hole-in-one, as well as those who hit closest to the hole during the daily qualifying rounds. Those who qualify will advance to the finals. Qualifiers have the opportunity to win $1 million, $25,000 or a Sony 55-inch 3D HDTV with a hole in one. The first person to hit inside 2 feet of the million dollar pin wins $500. The chance to qualify on Saturday, May 7, and Friday, May 13, will feature extended hours and allow contestants to try and qualify until 11 p.m. under the “The Night Lights.’’ The tee box and green will be well lit for players and will feature one additional qualifier each hour from 7-11 p.m. For more information contact the UT Tyler Office of University Advancement at 903.566.7411 or email Information also is available at


UT Tyler Enrollment ServicesEnrollment Services Center Provides One-Stop Convenience 

UT Tyler’s new Enrollment Services Center gives students one convenient place to handle their admissions, financial aid and registrar needs. The center is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday in the UT Tyler Administration Building, Room 230. Its staff is knowledgeable in all three areas, eliminating the need for students to shuffle through stations or visit various offices, said Rosemary Cooper, director of enrollment services. “This is a centralized location where students can get information from a front-counter source.’’ The center includes eight stations for front-counter staff and offices in the rear for second-level staff and supervisors. Students may use the self-service computer station across the hall to print bills and class schedules or make payments online. The center was unveiled along with UT Tyler’s new Admissions Visitor Center in a November grand opening. Located in the University Center, Room 2160, the Visitor Center facilitates daily campus tours and provides information to prospective students and their families. For information about enrollment services call 903.566.7180 or visit To register for a campus tour, call 903.566.7203. 

Promoting Prostate Cancer Awareness in Local Communities 

Dr. William Sorensen (right) pictured with conference participants.The UT Tyler Department of Health and Kinesiology conducted a communitywide conference promoting prostate cancer awareness, as part of its Tyler Prostate Cancer Awareness Project. The Prostate Health Initiative for Gregg and Smith Counties Conference was held in the fall on campus. "Prostate cancer strikes one out of six men, about the same as breast cancer in women, yet there is much more silence concerning prostate cancer than breast cancer,” said Dr. William Sorensen, associate professor of health and kinesiology. “With the many prostate health options available, an enhanced community awareness should connect men in ways whereby they can talk about illness, share experiences without embarrassment and contemplate whether a certain treatment fits their needs.” Featured speakers included Dr. James Belarmino, Urology Tyler urologist; Dr. Gary Gross, Blood and Cancer Center of East Texas founding physician; Wolfram Blattner, North Texas Prostate Cancer Coalition programs director; Dr. Carolyn Harvey, Behavioral Hospital of Longview nursing director; and Dr. Barbara Haas, UT Tyler associate professor of nursing and Cancer Foundation for Life research director. With a grant from the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Tyler Prostate Cancer Awareness Project began in 2008 to promote prostate cancer awareness throughout Tyler and both counties. 

UT Tyler Asian Studies program group photo
Asian Studies Program Brings Visiting Lecturers to University

The UT Tyler Department of Literature and Languages welcomed Lei Li and Zheshi Mao to the faculty in October as visiting lecturers in Chinese, as part of the university’s Asian studies program. Li and Mao are sponsored by UT Tyler and the China Ministry of Education on a two-year contract. UT Tyler will bring in new visiting instructors every two years to offer Chinese language courses. In addition to teaching Chinese, Li and Mao are developing on- and off-campus programs and activities related to Chinese culture and language. Mao holds a master of arts degree in linguistics and applied linguistics from Ji Nan University in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province. She taught Chinese at Konyang University in South Korea. Lei Li holds a master of arts degree in curriculum and pedagogy from Beijing Language and Culture University. He worked in the Department of International Cooperation and Exchange of Beijing Jiao Tong University. 

Jill Blondin to Lead Global Awareness Through Education Program 

UT Tyler professor Jill BlondinDr. Jill Blondin, UT Tyler associate professor of art history has been named director of the university’s Global Awareness Through Education program. “The GATE project is one of the most important programs we have ever had at UT Tyler, and Dr. Blondin is uniquely qualified to lead this effort,” said Dr. Donna Dickerson, interim provost for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies. GATE is a multi-faceted global immersion program for freshmen and sophomores, blending coursework, service opportunities and international experiences. UT Tyler chose the integrated program for its Quality Enhancement Plan, which is part of the requirements for re-affirmation of UT Tyler’s accreditation by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. GATE was selected through broad-based input of the entire campus community and developed by UT Tyler faculty and staff. The program will begin in the fall. As GATE director, Dr. Blondin will be responsible for the program’s oversight, development and delivery. Among various duties, she will coordinate faculty training and the GATE Faculty Learning Community, and recruit freshmen to the GATE program. She also will plan and implement a sophomore summer overseas program and collaborate with community organizations that have a global/cross-cultural emphasis. 

New Center to Train Students in Semiconductor Engineering

UT Tyler Semiconductor Engineering photo
The UT Tyler College of Engineering and Computer Science has received an endowment from SPEA-Test and Automation to create a new testing center in the Department of Electrical Engineering. The SPEA Center for Semiconductor Testing will bring hands-on laboratory semiconductor test procedures to the curriculum to prepare students for careers in the semiconductor industry. SPEA designs and manufactures automatic test equipment for microchips and electronic boards. Its systems are utilized in all high-tech fields, including aerospace, aeronautics, telecommunications, automotive, consumer and safety electronics. A strong supporter of UT Tyler and its engineering programs, SPEA President David Buhrkuhl has a vision to develop a long-term college-industry partnership with UT Tyler to include training programs and cutting-edge research for military and consumer electronics applications. The first step in making that vision a reality, SPEA’s gift to the university includes semiconductor testing equipment for the new UT Tyler SPEA Computer Engineering Laboratory and support for graduate students. “College-industry partnerships are the best way to introduce high-tech jobs to invigorate the East Texas economy, and we hope to have many such successful collaborations in the near future,” said Dr. James Nelson, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. 

Mechanical Engineering Student Internationally Recognized 

UT Tyler student Ian McDanielUT Tyler senior Ian McDaniel of Ennis is one of 13 mechanical engineering students worldwide to receive an international scholarship for outstanding achievement and leadership. McDaniel was awarded the 2010-11 Petroleum Division Scholarship from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International Petroleum Technology Institute.

“It is a substantial and prestigious award, and we are all very proud to have McDaniel among our active ASME student body,” said Dr. Y.J. Lin, mechanical engineering chair and professor. McDaniel serves as the university’s ASME student chapter chair and is a UT Tyler Reformed University Fellowship member. He also was listed in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges and received the 2010 UT Tyler Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Junior Award. McDaniel plans to graduate in May and hopes to be involved in the development of alternative energy solutions across the United States and developing countries. 

University Reaffirmed Following SACS Review

The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has reaffirmed UT Tyler’s accreditation through 2020. This reaffirmation must be received every 10 years and is the result of a self-evaluation and then a full, on-site review by a national team of reviewers. “We are extremely pleased with the result of the SACS review,” President Rodney Mabry said. “The review team applauded the quality of programs and operations and requested no corrections or changes – putting us in a very unusual and select group. We are committed to continuously improving the quality educational experience that our students receive, and this reaffirmation indicates that we are doing everything right.” Accreditation for colleges and universities indicates the university has met high standards of quality in its academic and administrative functions, said SACS liaison Dr. Donna Dickerson, interim provost for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies. “It has been a three-year process to achieve reaffirmation, and the result is testimony to the many faculty and staff who put in a tremendous amount of time and effort preparing for this review,” she said. 

Health and Kinesiology to Offer Accelerated Degree Program

UT Tyler Health and Kinesiology studentThe UT Tyler health and kinesiology department has received approval to establish an accelerated program, allowing a select group of students to complete both undergraduate and graduate degrees in kinesiology in only five years. The department’s accelerated bachelor to master’s degree program is the first of its kind in the field. Students in program must complete core courses with at least a 3.0 GPA and then complete kinesiology core courses with at least a 3.5 GPA. “This opportunity is awesome,” said Dr. Scott Marzilli, health and kinesiology department chair. “Following the completion of the kinesiology core, students would begin taking 15 hours of graduate course work. Upon completion of their bachelor’s degree, they would only have 21 hours of graduate courses to complete their master’s degree.” The accelerated degree program prepares for a broad range of careers in exercise, physical education, coaching or sport-related settings and provides the foundation for subsequent doctoral study in exercise science, physical education and/or kinesiology. The program will begin in the fall. To apply, call 903.566.7031. 

UT Tyler Accredited by Register of Professional Archaeologists 

UT Tyler’s archaeological field school in Belize has been accredited by the Register of Professional Archaeologists. Out of 100 universities nationwide with field schools, UT Tyler is one of 12 to carry the certification, which highly qualifies graduates going into the applied archeology field of cultural resource management. “This certification demonstrates to companies across the country that our graduates have the level of expertise that the companies need,” said Dr. Thomas Guderjan, UT Tyler assistant professor of anthropology and field school principal. Student training activities are integrated into planned research in RPA-certified field schools. UT Tyler annually sends five to 10 students to its field school, which coexists with the Mayan Research Program’s field station in Belize. The collaboration is a result of Dr. Guderjan’s nonprofit work with the Mayan program.

Nursing Professor Appointed to Chair Statewide Initiative 

Dr. Gloria Duke, a professor and associate dean in the UT Tyler College of Nursing and Health Sciences, has been appointed chair of the Texas Pain Advocacy and Information Network, a statewide, multidisciplinary initiative aimed at improving pain management in Texas. TxPAIN represents a volunteer collaboration of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, government, industry, academia and advocacy. “I am humbled and honored to assume this role,’’ said Dr. Duke, who has been involved in the initiative since 2005. “It is very rewarding to serve in this capacity and to be able to contribute in some way to improving pain management and quality of life in persons in a variety of settings and situations.” An affiliate of the Alliance of State Pain Initiatives, TxPAIN is housed in and supported by the American Cancer Society – High Plains Division in Austin.



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 Last Published 5/4/11