Scholarship in the College of Arts & Sciences includes professional advancements, accomplishments, appointments and the progress of ongoing endeavors.
Arts & Sciences faculty are encouraged to contact Toni Salama, Senior Editor, Office of the Dean, to submit items of interest.
Linda Allen, Horn Professor of Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, was honored Aug. 13 for her contributions to the field by the Association of Women in Mathematics (AWM) and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). Each year, the two groups jointly present the Sonia Kovalevsky Lectureship award to a woman who has made significant contributions to applied or computational mathematics. The award includes Allen delivering a lecture in Beijing during the 8th International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics.
Yi-Yuan Tang, Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences, has published a review of addiction research inTrends in Cognitive Sciences. The article, republished by CNN Philippines and in theAssociation for Psychological Science, suggests that people with addictive behaviors, such as smoking, may boost their self-control with mindful meditation, even among smokers who don't intend to quit. Tang, lead author, compared this form of mental training focuses on becoming self-aware of one's experience and can improve areas in the brain related to self-control.
Dimitri Pappas, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry, has been named President's Administrative Fellow by TTU President M. Duane Nellis and will assume the fellowship beginning Sept. 1, 2015 and ending May 31, 2016. During that time, Pappas will report directly to President Nellis and interact with the President's Executive Council. Nellis developed the program to give selected faculty members an opportunity to enhance their professional experiences by working as an administrator within an academic environment.
"My duties will be to work on one or more projects in the president's office in order to advance the university," Pappas said. "I will work within his office and across campus to reach the goals set out at the start of the fellowship."
Amelia E. Talley, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences, led a new study on the risks of alcohol abuse among non-heterosexual women. The study, titled "Longitudinal Associations among Discordant Sexual Orientation Dimensions and Hazardous Drinking in a Cohort of Sexual Minority Women," published in the June issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. and was covered by Science Daily and the Lubbock Avalanche Journal.
"There's a lot of research that shows people who are not heterosexual--that is, those who are bisexual, gay or lesbian--have higher levels of alcohol-use disorders," Tally said, "but it was not clear what explains that disparity aside from looking at the fact that they identify as non-heterosexual..." Talley's study searched for reasons. Data came from the Chicago Health and Life Experience of Women (CHLEW) study, which followed a group of self-identified lesbians from 2000-2010. That study was led by Tonda L. Hughes, who also was involved with Talley's study. Other authors were Frances Aranda, Bethany Everett and Timothy P. Johnson, all four from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
John Zak, Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and Co-Director of Texas Tech's Climate Science Center, has been asked by the USDA South Central Climate Hub to serve on its soil health advisory committee covering Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. The committee will establish pathways for collaboration among the individuals who are currently involved in the soil health work being undertaken in the region, and promote the adoption of soil health practices by farmers, ranchers, and other landowners.
Abigail Swingen, Assistant Professor in the Department of History, was interviewed by Liz Covart on "Ben Franklin's World," a program dedicated to early American history. The interview focused on Swingen's first book, titled "Competing Visions of Empire: Labor, Slavery, and the Origins of the British Atlantic Empire."
Mark Stoll, Department of History and Director of Environmental Studies at Texas Tech, has posted a July 5 blog, headlined "The Christian Roots of Modern Environmentalism," to TIME Magazine's Zocalo Public Square column. Stoll credits President Theodore Roosevelt and his "profoundly moralistic worldview" for planting the seeds of environmental fervor.
Randy D. McBee, Associate Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences and Associate Professor in the Department of History, continues to serve as a source of reliable quotes about people who ride motorcycles. In the aftermath of the biker shootout in Waco, McBee's new book, titled "Born to be Wild: The Rise of the American Motorcyclist," has most recently attracted interviews of McBee from numerous national and international media, most recently from Al Jazeera and The Wall Street Journal.
Katharine Hayhoe, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, has been named a Top 10 Environmental Leader by the Huffington Post. Hayhoe received the recognition for her work in bridging the communication gaps about climate change to the general public.
David Sand, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics, is on a research team that has confirmed the location of three supernovae that exploded in the seemingly empty space between galaxies. In early June, Sand's team presented their findings at the FOE Supernova Conference at North Carolina State University, and their research paper has been accepted by the Astrophysical Journal.
John Zak, Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, Co-Director of TTU's Climate Science Center and Associate Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences, hosted a group of climate science interns from around the region. The group spent its week at Texas Tech conducting research as part of a multi-university tour of regional climate science programs.
Brian Still, Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Director of TTU's Usability Research Lab (URL), was selected to receive the 2015 President's Excellence in Commercialization Award. Still was chosen for developing and bringing to market a mobile eye-tracking technology. Still, working alongside his graduate research assistant, Nathan Jahnke (PhD 2012), developed an eye tracking and control research system in 2010. Their creation spun off into a startup company, Grinbath, that licensed from TTU the invention they created in the URL. To date, Still, Jahnke, and the Grinbath team have generated five patents.
After raising necessary funding, Grinbath began to make and then sell worldwide its first product, EyeGuide Tracker, in 2011. The following year it began to sell EyeGuide Assist, providing customers with limited or no hand functionality the ability to control a computer mouse with their eyes. Before the year was out, Still debuted Grinbath's next generation invention, EG, at a Tedx presentation in Lubbock. EG is now delivered to customers as a research tool. Grinbath clients include Google, PayPal, and Oxford University. Continuing research and collaboration could customize the technology to detect concussions, supplement wheelchair control, and even serve as a gaming platform.