A&S Student News
Scholarship in the College of Arts & Sciences includes the advancements, accomplishments, appointments and the progress of our graduate and undergraduate students.
To submit news items for consideration, contact Toni Salama, Senior Editor, Office of the Dean.
Carroll Aims to Improve Foster System
Angel Carroll, a Social Work Junior in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work, was featured in two videos about her experiences as a foster child and how she wants to change the system. A Jan. 4 story on KVUE (Austin) covered Carroll's time as a child in the Texas Foster Care system, and how she is working to build an alumni program for foster children who "age out," or become too old to remain in foster care, but still need a support system. "A lot of things that we're not able to do that some kids are able to do when they go out to college on their own is call their parents—How do I make this, or can I use bleach, do I use hot or cold water?" Carroll said during the interview with the Austin television station. Carroll, who hails from Austin, is working with The SAFE Alliance, a merger of Austin Children's Shelter and SafePlace, to see that these young adults can use the shelter facilities when they need a shower before a job interview, for instance, or a gift card to buy groceries. "It may seem small, but it helps a tremendous amount," said Carroll. According to the news report, the program is open to all former foster care children, not just those who spent time at Austin Children's Shelter. A Feb. 2 Texas Tech Today video focused on Carroll's career as a student at Texas Tech.
Geology Grad Students Study in San Salvador
Graduate-student geologists followed Dustin Sweet, Assistant Professor of Geology in the Department of Geosciences, on a field trip to San Salvador, where they studied carbonate sediments, better known as limestone. That's student John Brotherton in the photo, holding up a queen conch in Fernandez Bay. The most recent trip was the subject of a Jan. 6 story in Texas Tech Today: "San Salvador Helps Geologists Connect the Past with the Present." Sweet is quoted in the story as saying that he hopes students learn by getting to "take modern carbonate sediment and run it through their fingers, look at the different constituents—there's a snail, there's a clam and there's all this fine-grain sediment—and picture that mass of sediment in their hand being turned into a rock." Sweet explained that carbonate sediments are most commonly created directly from sea shells or are created as a result of erosion caused by fish chomping on corals. Other types of sediments are inorganic and created through physical or chemical erosion that find their way out into the ocean. Living creatures adapt to changing conditions in ways that inorganic sediments cannot, Sweet told Texas Tech Today, so carbonate sediments—and the rocks they form into—can tell geologists about the environment at the time they were created.
Spanish Grad Students Give Readings
Grad students in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures continued the tradition of Live Poetry on Dec. 9. Organized by Genaro Pérez, Professor of Spanish, and Rodrigo Pereyra, Instructor of Spanish, the event brought
faculty and graduate students together for readings of their personal creative writing:
fiction, poetry, short story, and essay.
- Rolando Díaz: Más Pretty Que Las Rucas (short story), R&R (short story)
- Isabel Ojeda: Lujuria, Desnudo, Nostalgia (poems)
- David Arocho-Pérez: Tipos de amantes (creative essay)
- Rocío Vargas: Una parodia del borracho enamorado (essay)
- Cecilia Palacio-Ribón: ¿Un espacio en blanco o un hoyo negro? (essay)
- Genaro Pérez: Three poems from his latest poetry book, "Estelas en la mar."
Herrera Quoted in Story about Goodfellows
Jasmin Herrera, an undergraduate pursuing a dual major in psychology and business, was featured in the Dec. 7 Lubbock Avalanche Journal article, "Goodfellows: Buckner Program Helps Mom Reach Life Goals." Buckner International's Family Pathways program helps single parents become self-sufficient by providing affordable housing and reduced rates for child care, along with a support system. Herrera told the A-J that she had been looking for a fresh start when she heard about Family Pathways and has been using the program's services for about a year and a half. The story detailed the challenges that single mothers face and how Family Pathways helps clients by pushing them to get an education, teaching them to set goals, and providing opportunities for spiritual guidance. "It's hard juggling things sometimes but in the end you have to," Herrera told the A-J. "When I first moved here, I was like, I'd rather it be hard right now than it be hard the rest of my life."
4 Undergrads Publish Case Study Research
Collin Quinn, Ryan Neumann, and Sean Woyton, all majors in the Department of Kinesiology & Sport Management, along with Brittany Whittaker, an undergraduate on the Pre-Professional Health track, published their case study, "All or Nothing: A Case Study in Muscle Contraction," in the Sept. 2016 National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. Breanna Harris, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, taught the course, Peer Mentoring in Human Physiology, in which the four were undergraduate teaching assistants. The course required the students to write an original case study. But these undergraduate researchers and their professor did the extra work of submitting their research and ultimately saw it published.
Hayes, Thompson Win Grad School Award
Kia Hayes and Kelsey Thompson, both graduate students in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, received the Fall 2016 Grant-in-Aid Award from the Texas Tech University Graduate School. The award funds the research of graduate students.
Geosciences Field Camp at Manzano
Hannah Cunningham (BS Geology, TTU 2016), reported in the Fall 2016 Caprock Connections newsletter the following about the Department of Geosciences 2016 Field Camp that the trip to the Manzano Mountains State Park, New Mexico, was more helpful in preparing the students to become scientists and professional geologists than a trip one to a more familiar location would have been. The participants, led by Aaron Yoshinobu, Professor of Structural Geology & Tectonics, were forced to think for themselves about what they saw and were able to contribute to the first definitive geologic interpretation of the area, Cunningham determined.
Biochemistry Society Designs Winning T-shirt
The TTU Biochemistry Society, a student chapter of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), has won the International ASBMB Student Chapter's T-shirt Contest, and the winning design is pictured at right. T-shirts will be available for sale at the ASBMB 2017 meeting in Chicago April 22-26.
Hayes Receives $1,000 Research Grant
Kia Hayes, a Graduate Student in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, was awarded a $1,000 research grant from the San Francisco Bay American Cetacean Society Chapter for her research on "Contaminant concentrations in Eastern North Pacific gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) – spatial and temporal patterns and influence of life-history parameters."
Anderson Wins Undergrad Award for Paper
Seamus Anderson, an undergraduate researcher in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work, won the undergraduate student paper competition at the 74th Plains Anthropological Conference held in Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 12-15, by the Plains Anthropological Society (PAS). Anderson's paper, titled, "Death, Divination, and Obligation: Owls in Nineteenth Century Kiowa Culture," will be published in an upcoming issue of the PAS journal Plains Anthropologist. Mike Jordan, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Anderson's research mentor, said that Anderson's ethnobiological research focuses on the relationship between humans and other species. "In his paper, Seamus examined the symbolism that nineteenth century Kiowa people ascribed to owls and contrasts this with contemporary Kiowa understandings of owls," Jordan said. "As far as I can tell, this is the first time that a representative from Texas Tech has won a PAS student paper award. He is an exceptionally bright and hardworking student, and I am extremely proud of him."
Quintero Presents at English Speaker Series
Iracema Quintero, a Master's Student in the Department of English, gave a presentation, "Empowering Others By Empowering One's Self: Mestizo Feminism in Real Women Have Curves," during the Department's Sept. 7 LSJE Lunchtime Speaker Series. (LSJE stands for Literature, Social Justice, and the Environment.) The event also featured Scott Baugh, Associate Professor of Film/Media Studies in the Department of English, who presented on "Sustainable 'Developments' in Contemporary Latin American Political Cinema."
Chemistry Students Present Posters
The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry held its first Departmental Research Poster Presentation and Competition on Aug. 26. The event created a place and time for students, postdocs and faculty from different research groups to discuss one another's work and for the Department to award the best among them. Competition winners were:
First Place Undergraduate Research Poster
- Amanda C. Miller (Casadonte Group), The Reductive Sonochemical Synthesis of Superparamagnetic Nanoparticles
First Place Graduate Research Poster
- Suresh Mummadi (Krempner Group), Inverse FLP Approaches for Metal-Free Catalytic Hydrogenation of Imines and Carbonyl Compounds
Second Place Graduate Research Poster
- Olga Estrada (D'Auria Group), Type III Polyketide Synthases Participate in Secondary Ring Formation of Tropane Alkaloids in Erythrocylum coca
Third Place Graduate Research Poster
- Wenjie Li (Pappas Group), Microfluidic Separation of Lymphoblasts in Diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Geosciences Students Study Abroad in Guyana
Students in the Department of Geosciences traveled to Guyana July 24-Aug. 3 to learn how Guyana is preparing for petroleum production, according to an Aug. 17 article in Kaieteur News. Guyana is expected to begin petroleum production within five years. The students met with Guyana's Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman and ExxonMobil geologist Richard McKenzie, and visited bauxite mines, the article stated. Before TTU's Geosciences students made the trip to Guyana, students from the University of Guyana visited Texas Tech in mid-July to learn how to support the oil and gas industry and to conduct experiments in Tech's state-of-the-art laboratories. The collaborative study-abroad program was funded by a grant from ExxonMobil, through President Obama's "100,000 Strong in the Americas" initiative, according to the article.
HFES Student Chapter Lands 9th Gold Award
The Human Factors and Ergonomic Society Student Chapter in the Department of Psychological Sciences, will receive its 9th consecutive gold level award from the HFES awards committee at the 2016 HFES National Meeting Sept. 19-23 in Washington, D.C. The HFES Student Chapter works to develop professional skills and opportunities of students interested in Human Factors and Ergonomics. The gold level award recognizes the many activities conducted annually by the chapter and the dedication of its student members.
Carson May Go to the Olympics
Hannah Carson, Teaching Assistant in the Department of Kinesiology & Sport Management, has become the only female athlete to ever break the 60 meter mark in both the javelin and the discus in the same NCAA career and in the same season. She now has met the Olympic Standards for both discus and javelin, and may be headed to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She also was named United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Athlete of the Week on May 10 and Big 12 Athlete of the Week on May 11.
ENTX Student Chapter Featured in Newsletter
The Llano Estacado Student Chapter of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry was featured in the Back to School Edition of TTU's Student Organizations Weekly e-newsletter. The feature recognized the chapter for winning TTU's 2015-2016 Overall Student Organization of the Year, and described the chapter's membership--mostly grad students in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, though all majors are welcome—and activities in education outreach with local schools.