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.
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'snext 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.
Alessandra Corsi, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics, received a five-year, $720,000 NSF CAREER grant to study the origins and reasons for gamma ray bursts (GRBs). Corsi's grant was from the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program, a foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.
"I feel very grateful, and excited, about this award," said Corsi, who joined Texas Tech in 2014. "I also feel a big responsibility, so I am determined to put all of my energy into making sure that great science gets done via this project. Finally I see this award as my opportunity to make a difference for other young scientists. The success of students and post-docs who will work with me, and the involvement of high school students and teachers to whom I hope to reach out, will be key to measuring the success of this project."
Justin Hart, Associate Professor in the Department of History, is the author of the book, "Empire of Ideas: The Origins of Public Diplomacy and the Transformation of U.S. Foreign Policy" (New York: Oxford University Press, January 2013), which won Second Place in the President's Faculty Book Awards for 2014-2015.
John Beusterien, Director of the Comparative Literature Program and Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures,is the author of the book, "Canines in Cervantes and Velazquez: An Animal Studies Reading of Early Modern Spain" (London: Ashgate, April 2013), which won Third Place in the President's Faculty Book Awards for 2014-2015.
Gary Elbow, Professor of Geography in the Department of Geosciences and faculty for the Honors College, received the Faculty Distinguished Leadership Award from the Texas Tech University Parents Association on March 28. The Faculty Distinguished Leadership Award was established in 1986 and honors a faculty member who demonstrated distinguished service on committees, boards and councils and outstanding leadership, which propels the university's pursuit of excellence.
Michael Findlater, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, received the Hemphill Wells New Professor Excellence in Teaching Award from the Texas Tech University Parents Association on March 28. The Hemphill-Wells New Professor Excellence in Teaching Award was established in 1973 and honors a member of the faculty of no more than four years who has demonstrated exceptional teaching ability as attested to by his/her students, fellow faculty members and administrators.
Linda Allen, Horn Professor in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, has been selected by the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) to deliver the prestigious Sonia Kovalevsky Lecture at the 8th International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM) in Beijing, China, August 10-14, 2015.
Mark Stoll, Associate Professor in the Department of History and Director of Environmental Studies at Texas Tech, blogged about naturalist John Muir for Oxford University Press, and blogged about the environmental movement for the History News Network. Stoll is author of "Inherit the Holy Mountain: Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism" (Oxford University Press, May 2015).
Genaro Pérez, Professor of Spanish in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, presented a paper dealing with the detective fiction of two Chicano writers, Lucha Corpi and Marcos Villatoro, at the 57th Annual Western Social Science Association Conference held in Portland, Ore., April 8-11, 2015.
The Office of the Provost named 11 faculty members from across campus as Integrated Scholars for 2014-2015. Integrated Scholars are chosen for consistently promoting active learning and using their research to enhance their teaching. The four from the College of Arts & Sciences are:
Angela Lumpkin, Chair of the Department of Health, Exercise & Sport Sciences, was a keynote speaker at the Kansas Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association annual conference, Wichita, Kansas, March 23. Lumpkin spoke on the topic, "Keeping the Fun in Sports."
Ronald Kendall, Professor of Environmental Toxicology and director of The Wildlife Toxicology Laboratory in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, received a $305,171 award from Park Cities Quail to continue research on the impact of eyeworm infections in wild bobwhite quail in West Texas. These funds are in addition to more than $1.6 million from the Rolling Plains Quail Research Foundation, Park Cities Quail, and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to discover what is causing northern bobwhite populations to decline.
In related news, Kendall was keynote speaker in Dallas at the Distinguished Lectureship in Quail Management, conducted by The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Kendall's seminar topic was: "On the Trail of the Eyeworm in Texas Bobwhites."
Karlos Hill, Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Coordinator of the African-American History Month Lecture Series, welcomed New York Times best-selling author Tavis Smiley and social activist Angela Davis to TTU. Smiley discussed his book, "Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year," and Angela Davis discussed mass incarceration in the United States.
Jonathan Maul, Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, has been tasked by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to evaluate published temperature and dissolved oxygen (DO) toxicity data for fish, amphibian, and invertebrate species endemic to Texas in order to re-evaluate current temperature variation and DO presumptions for TCEQ’s surface water quality criteria. Maul also is part of an Environmental Health and Toxicology Workgroup within the Texas Department of State Health Services that is examining Texas’ current fish consumption advisories and bans related to dioxin and mercury.
Seshadri Ramkumar, Professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, was interviewed by KLBK-TV March 4 about the commercialization of Fibertect®. On Feb. 13, KCBD-TV told the Fibertect® story, explaining how the product is made.
The versatile substance also has earned considerable recognition in print and online media, most recently in a Ramkumar article titled "Commercializing new technologies: the Fibertect experience." The article published Feb. 10 in Advanced Textiles Source, the flagship trade publication for the Industrial Fabrics Association International.
Fibertect®, developed by Ramkumar's researchers in Texas Tech's Nonwovens & Advanced Materials Lab, is a nonwoven decontamination wipe that has proven its worth at cleaning up a nerve chemical surrogate. A modified version of Fibertect is useful in mopping oil slicks from the ocean's surface after shipping disasters such as Deepwater Horizon.
Genaro Pérez, Professor of Spanish, and Jorge Zamora, Associate Professor of Spanish, both in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, led TTU's Spanish Program in hosting the 4th International Hispanic Crime Fiction Conference. The Conference was held at the National University of Mexico ("UNAM") in Mexico City, and contributes to TTU's Strategic Plan of international development and collaboration with institutions of higher education on a global level.Juan Muñoz, TTU's Senior Vice President Conference for Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement, attended the conference as a special guest.
Ernest Smith, Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, accepted an invitation from the Deer Breeders Corporation (DBC) to meet with and update State Senator Charles Perry on the White-Tailed Deer and Cervid Research Program at Texas Tech. The partnership between DBC and Texas Tech is developing a state-of-the art research and educational initiative to investigate both short and long term challenges relevant to the white-tailed deer farming industry, a growing sector of the Texas economy. These challenges include a better understanding of pharmaceutical metabolism and persistence, transmission dynamics and prevention of infectious diseases of cervids, and genetic and nutritional factors that influence white-tailed deer farming.
Joaquin Gonzales, Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Exercise & Sport Sciences, was awarded a Beginning Grant-in-Aid from the American Heart Association, Southwest Affiliate. The two-year project will be a collaborative effort with Michael O'Boyle, Associate Dean for Research in the College of Human Sciences, and the Texas Tech Neuroimaging Institute. Their study will focus on the impact of vascular aging on peripheral vascular function and brain function in older adults.
Steve Presley, Professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, was selected for the Governor’s Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response. Presley will be part of a group charged with educating a broad range of health care professionals, emergency responders, and public leadership on the identification and reporting of Ebola and other serious emerging infectious diseases.
Jill Patterson, Professor in the Department of English, is quoted extensively in the article "A new defense approach to storytelling changes capital cases in Texas," published March 6 in the online version of the ABA Journal, produced by the American Bar Association. Patterson began work this year as a Soros justice fellow, writing case narratives. Case narratives strive to go beyond the who, what, when and where of a crime to understand and explain, in story form, why a crime was committed. She has been a case storyteller for the Texas Regional Public Defenders Office for Capital Cases since 2009.
Robert Duncan, TTU Vice President of Research and Professor in the Department of Physics, has been elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He is one of 170 distinguished innovators who will be inducted during the 4th Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors in March at the California Institute of TechnologyinPasadena.
Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.
Sung-Won Lee and Shuichi Kunori, both High Energy Physicists in the Department of Physics, were featured, along with other U.S. physicists, in the Jan. 30, 2015, issue of Fermilab Today. The article, "One measurement, many implications," covers their crucial contributions to the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland.
Their research contributions were described as crucial to the search for resonances and quantum black holes using dijet mass spectra in proton-proton collisions at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
Amy Koerber, Professor and Associate Chair for Technical Communication and Rhetoric in the Department of English, has earned a 2015 Technical and Scientific Communication Award for her book, Breast or Bottle: Contemporary Controversies in Infant-Feeding Policy and Practice. Koerber won for the Best Book in Technical or Scientific Communication. The award was granted by the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), a constituent organization within the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). She will receive her award March 20, 2015, during the group's annual convention in Tampa, Fla.
Kristen Moore, Assistant Professor in the Department of English, has earned a 2015 Technical and Scientific Communication Award for her co-authored article, "Time Talk: On Small Changes That Enact Infrastructural Mentoring for Undergraduate Women in Technical Fields," in Volume 43 Issue 3 of the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication. Moore won for the Best Article on Philosophy or Theory of Technical or Scientific Communication. The award was granted by the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), a constituent organization within the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). She will receive her March 20, 2015, during the group's annual convention in Tampa, Fla.
Alessandra Corsi, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics, was among the honorees at a ceremony in in Rome on Dec. 18. During the ceremony, the University of Rome recognized its distinguished top PhD Alums from all around the world. Corsi earned her PhD in Astronomy at the University of Rome Sapienza in 2007.
Jens Omli, visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Exercise & Sport Sciences, delivered a sport outreach-focused keynote address titled, "Attaching What They Need to What They Want,"at the University of the Philippines during the 3rdNational Conference on Sport Pedagogy. Omli also delivered a lecture on a games approach to teaching sport skills to preschool-aged children.
Peter Miller, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, received the Governor-General's Academic Gold Medal, the highest honor the Canadian government gives for graduate work. Miller completed his graduate work in June 2014 at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. Out of more than 350 graduating masters and PhD students, the University of Western Ontario awards three medals per year across all its faculties and schools. The medals were established in 1873 by Lord Dufferin, Governor-General of Canada (the vice-regal representative of the Queen and head of state of Canada) to encourage academic excellence across the country. The congratulatory letter Miller received noted not only Miller's outstanding academic and research excellence, but also the exceptional personal talents he displayed in collaborations with colleagues, and in his contribution to the development of new knowledge in Canada and abroad.
Dean Diersing, Supervisor of Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehabilitation at TTU-HMC and teacher of ESS 3368 Exercise Testing and Prescription in the Department of Health, Exercise & Sport Sciences, has passed the Certified Cardiac Rehabilitation Professional (CCRP) exam. Department Chair Angela Lumpkin said this credential is new within the cardiac rehab profession and is the only comprehensive professional certification in cardiac rehab. Diersing is among the first 100 Cardiac Rehabilitation professionals in the U.S. to obtain this honor, Lumpkin added. Diersing earned his B.S. and M.S. from TTU's Department of Health, Exercise & Sport Sciences.
Katharine Hayhoe, A Professor in the Department of Political Science, director of TTU's Climate Science Center and a principal investigator for the Department of Interior's South-Central Climate Science Center, has been named by editors of Foreign Policy magazine as one of the publication's 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2014. She received the award Nov. 17, 2014, in Washington, D.C., and will be featured in the magazine and on the publication's website.
Breanna Harris, a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, along with colleague Brian Gray, Assistant Director for Community Engagement at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif., published an article headlined "Volcanic Smoke and Mirrors: Tricks for a Successful Science Fair Project," in the Nov. 2, 2014 Lubbock Avalanche Journal.
Charles Cannon, an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, has published a study, entitled "Historical distribution of Sundaland's Dipterocarp rainforests at Quaternary glacial maxima, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA). The collaborative study focused on the effects of past climate change on the rainforests of Southeast Asia and deepens understanding into the dynamic nature of tropical rainforests.
Bill Poirier, Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, has published an invited Commentary in Physical Review X, the newest, open-access journal within the Physical Review family. With an impact factor of nearly 9.0, Physical Review X has a higher impact eventhan its sister publication, Physical Review Letters. The Commentary PRX 4, 040002 (2014) discusses the "many interacting worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics, first proposed by Poirier in 2010, and now gaining attention in the broader physics community, and the popular press. This work has led to an invited Featured Blog on the Science page of the Huffington Post and a radio interview on Houston's KPFT Community Public Radio (air date 11/25/14), in addition to extensive media coverage elsewhere.
John Schroeder, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences in the Department of Geosciences and Director of the National Wind Institute, along with Brian Hirth and Jerry Guynes, both Research Professors at the National Wind Institute, are the inventors behind two recently filed U.S. patent applications for the optimization of wind plant performance through the use of radar technology and associated analysis techniques. The patent rights are licensed to SmartWind Technologies LLC, a technology development and service company founded by Schroeder, Hirth and Guynes.
Genaro J. Pérez, Professor of Spanish in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, was the organizer and chair of two panels dealing with Hispanic Film at the 71st Annual Conference of the South Central Modern Language Association in Austin. Professor Pérez is also Representative at Large of the association and serves in the Executive Committee.
Kimi Nakatsukasa, Assistant Professor in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, received a $10,000 grant from Language Learning's Small Grant Research Program. This grant will fund her joint project, "Gestures and Acquisition of Prepositions by L2 Learners," which investigates the role of embodiment in the conceptualizations of prepositions by second language learners.
Sung-Won Lee, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics, gave an invited plenary talk on "High-energy jet spectra and strong coupling constant measurements up to the scale of the Top quark" at the 34th International Symposium on Physics in Collision, Sept. 16-20 on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington. Lee presented an experimental overview on the QCD (Quantum chromodynamics), the theory of strong interactions, from four major experiments, ATLAS and CMS at LHC (proton-proton collider at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland) and H1 and ZEUS at HERA (electron-proton collider at DESY, Hamburg, Germany), on behalf of all collaborations.
John Beusterien, Director of the Comparative Literature Program and Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, has received word that the collection "Touching the Ground: Female Footwear in the Early Modern Hispanic World," which he co-edited with Noelia Cirnigliaro of Dartmouth College, will be awarded Best Collaborative Project, 2014, from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women. "Touching the Ground" is a special issue of Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies.
Christopher Witmore, Associate Professor of Archaeology and Classics in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, has been awarded a National Humanities Center Fellowship for 2014-2015. Witmore will use the Fellowship to write his book, "Old Lands: A Chorography of the Eastern Morea, Greece." Witmore was one of 41 Fellows chosen from a group of 362 who applied for academic year 2014-2015.
Kimi Nakatsukasa, Assistant Professor in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, and her collaborator, Dr. Shawn Loewen from Michigan State University, investigated a teacher's use of first language in a Spanish-as-a- foreign-language classroom, especially when the student-teacher interaction is about languages. Their findings, published In the journal Language Teaching Research, showed that the teacher often used the students' first language when talking about vocabulary and grammar.
Sung-Won Lee, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics, gave a talk entitled "What's Next for the Large Hadron Collider?" at the 2014 US-Korea Conference on Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship (UKC 2014), Aug. 6-9 in San Francisco. Lee summarized the latest experimental results from the LHC experiments and presented a road map for the High Energy Physics program at CERN LHC over the next 10 years. He also served as a co-organizer of the "High Energy and Nuclear Physics" session during the UKC 2014 conference.
Jeff Key, Instructor in the Department of Health, Exercise & Sport Sciences (HESS), led his summer class, ESS 3335 Health and Physical Education for Children, in collecting donations for the children who are staying at the immigration transition center in Mercedes, Texas. They donated more than 35 soccer balls and 20 jump ropes to the children. Key said, "These children have all their physical needs met as they are processed to either be returned or stay. But their need to play was not being met." Key is a statewide speaker on play and Coordinator of Community Outreach for the HESS after-school Fun & Fit programs at Harwell and Alderson Elementary Schools.More Faculty Achievements: 2013-2014More Faculty Achievements: 2012-2013