A&S Diversity News
Kruuttika Satbhai Awarded for Toxicology Research
Kruuttika Satbhai has been fascinated by science since childhood. It is a calling that brought her halfway around the world to earn her Ph.D. from Texas Tech University's Department of Environmental Toxicology. She graduates in August following a June dissertation defense. Along the way, Satbhai has received numerous awards for her research—most recently from the Society of Toxicology—and is learning the craft of leadership by serving on local and national boards and committees. This November, she will co-chair a session at the annual North America meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC). Satbhai won the 2022 John Doull Risk Assessment Endowment Award, presented by the Society of Toxicology's Risk Assessment Specialty Section, for her research on a class of pollutants called perfluorinated compounds (PFAS), which have been found in local groundwater. Read the complete article about Kruuttika Satbhai's research at this link.
Madison Howard Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
Madison Howard, a graduating senior majoring in physics and mathematics, has won a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. The fellowship is the most prestigious graduate student fellowship awarded in basic science and engineering in the United States and commonly goes to students already in graduate school. “Howard's selection as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow is a highly significant accomplishment,” said Sung-Won Lee, professor and physics department chair. Howard, a Lubbock native, will begin her graduate studies at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in September 2022. Read the complete article about Madison Howard at this link.
Ramkumar Invited as Keynote Speaker at Symposium in Turkey
Seshadri Ramkumar, a professor of chemical countermeasures and advanced materials in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, has been invited to give a keynote speech at the 10th International Fiber and Polymer Research Symposium, May 13-14, 2022, in Bursa, Turkey. The symposium is expected to attract experts in the field from Canada, Greece, Malaysia, Egypt and India, as well as from Turkey and the United States.
Tetarenko on Global Team That Reveals Black Hole at Center of Our Galaxy
Texas Tech University's NASA Einstein Fellow, Alexandra Tetarenko (foreground), with the first image of Sagittarius A* (background), the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy. The background image is the first direct visual evidence of the presence of this black hole. It was captured by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). Background photo courtesy EHT Collaboration.
Alexandra Tetarenko, a NASA Einstein Fellow in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, is part of an international research team that has unveiled the first image of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. This result provides overwhelming evidence that the object is indeed a black hole and yields valuable clues about the workings of such giants, which are thought to reside at the center of most galaxies. The image was produced by a global research team called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, using observations from a worldwide network of radio telescopes. Read the complete article at this link.
Four From A&S Receive President's Excellence Award for Diversity
Two A&S professors, Britta Anderson (above left) and Kanika Batra (above, second from left), along with two A&S undergraduate students, Nanette Kay Dolera (above, third from left) and Olivia Rentería (above right), were among eight recognized campuswide with diversity awards from TTU President Lawrence Schovanec. Follow this link for details about the winners' efforts toward diversity, equity and inclusion.
Andrew Ibrahim Named 2022 Goldwater Scholar
Andrew Ibrahim, a cell and molecular biology major and an Honors College student, has been named a 2022 Goldwater Scholar, the nation's top undergraduate award in science, engineering and mathematics. Ibrahim is pursuing dual bachelor's degrees: one in cell and molecular biology with double minors in public health and chemistry, and the other in Honors Sciences & the Humanities with concentrations in Medicine, Global Health & the Humanities. "I feel blessed to have been selected as a 2022 Goldwater Scholar,” Ibrahim said. “Having discovered a passion for scientific research, being selected as a scholar is tremendous validation that I can do what I love and make meaningful contributions to the scientific community. I am honored to receive this award, and very grateful and appreciative of all the help given by Texas Tech faculty and staff throughout this process.” After he graduates in May 2023, Ibrahim plans to pursue his master's and doctoral degrees in molecular physiology and conduct translational research exploring diabetic cardiomyopathy models. But before then, he still has goals as an undergraduate. “Next year, I serve as student body vice-president, through which I look to collaborate with administration to establish lab-training programs for local underrepresented minority students in STEM, with the goal of matching students with mentors and allowing them to have the same immersive experiences in research that I have been so fortunate to receive." Read the complete story about Andrew Ibrahim at this link.
Michael Anand Lands Forecaster Job at National Weather Service
Michael Anand, an atmospheric science graduate student in the Department of Geosciences, recently won the Best Poster Award at the 5th Texas Weather Conference held April 1-2 at Texas Tech's International Cultural Center. Anand's presentation, “Understanding Atmospheric Boundary Layer Depth Variability in Frontal Environments over an Arid Region in West Texas,” was in the field of applied meteorology. The award, Anand said, validates his ability to communicate the complex terminology and concepts in atmospheric science to anyone outside of his field. “This skill will be essential when I am communicating forecasts and hazards from incoming storms to the public, local officials and emergency management,” said Anand, who will join the National Weather Service as a forecaster for the Albuquerque office starting in mid-July. For the complete article about Michael Anand, follow this link.
Austin Coleman Wins Best Oral Presentation at Weather Conference
Atmospheric science Ph.D. student Austin Coleman (right) with her advisor, TTU atmospheric scientist Brian Ancell (left).
Austin Coleman, a Ph.D. student of atmospheric science in the Department of Geosciences, received the Best Oral Presentation Award at the 5th Texas Weather Conference held April 1-2 at Texas Tech's International Cultural Center. Coleman, who presented her ongoing thesis work, concentrates her research on developing a computational tool that will provide an understanding of how atmospheric features influence the predictability of high-impact weather events such as severe thunderstorms later in the day. Read the complete article about Austin Coleman at this link.
15 from Arts & Sciences Nominated as Phenomenal Women 2022
In March, during Women's History Month, the call went out: Have you been positively impacted by a woman student, faculty member or staff member from Texas Tech University? You answered—with the names of 15 outstanding faculty members, staffers and students. Follow this link to meet Arts & Sciences' Phenomenal Women Nominees of 2022!
Clive Binu Selected for Radio Astronomy Research Assistantship
Clive Binu, an undergraduate in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, has been selected for a Summer Student Research Assistantship at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). As an NRAO program trainee, Clive plans to conduct a research project, “Testing Satellite Impacts on Radio Telescopes: VLA and VLBA,” for 10 to 12 weeks at the NRAO site in Charlottesville, Va. Binu is the fourth Texas Tech student in recent years to be selected for participation in the NRAO Summer Student Research Program. For more about Clive Binu, follow this link.
Wong Heads to Italy to Direct the American Academy in Rome
Aliza Wong, a professor in the Department of History and interim dean of the Honors College, has been appointed the 25th director of the American Academy in Rome (AAR) following a national search process. Wong begins her appointment in Rome in July 2022 and will serve a three-year term. She will maintain her faculty position at Texas Tech throughout her directorship. “The search committee was impressed with Aliza's scholarship, her immersion in multicultural work and her experience as an academic administrator,” said Mark Robbins, AAR President and CEO. “We are delighted to welcome her to the academy.” For more, follow this link.
Alumnus Ronnie Green Shares 'A Fishing Story'
Ronnie Green ('91 Physical Education) has earned many titles throughout his life—All-American sprinter, Marine Corps officer, corporate executive, and world-renowned professional fisherman, to name a few. But to Green, there's one title synonymous with each chapter of his life: storyteller. Today, Green integrates his knack for storytelling with his passion for fishing as the charismatic TV host of the award-winning A Fishing Story, where he shares the unique life experiences of his guests and encourages viewers to celebrate and pursue their passions.
Lumpkin Featured in Texas Tech Today for Teaching Award
Angela Lumpkin, professor and chair in the Department of Kinesiology & Sport Management, was featured in a Texas Tech Today article highlighting the achievements that led to her receiving a 2022 Chancellor's Council Distinguished Teaching Award earlier this year. Lumpkin started her teaching career at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill the same year she was named head women's basketball coach for the now-famous Tar Heels, so perhaps it comes as no surprise that, even today, she's as much of a coach and motivator as she is an educator. It's not just her nature – it's also her focus. Lumpkin specializes in how teaching and learning happen, including the areas of sport leadership, ethics and intercollegiate athletics. Perhaps that emphasis is one reason she's such a good teacher. Since arriving at Texas Tech in 2014, she's been selected to the university's Teaching Academy and subsequently elected chair of its executive council; received the 2018-2019 Faculty Spotlight Award from the Teaching, Learning & Professional Development Center; and received a 2019 President's Excellence in Teaching Award. She's also been honored for her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; ethics; and assessment. In 2018, she received the North American Society for Sport Management's Distinguished Sport Management Educator Award. Read the complete article at this link.
Three Chemistry Students Win Travel / Study Abroad Awards
Akram Bani Ahmad, a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Georgieva lab, was selected to receive the Study Abroad Competitive Scholarship (SACS) for the 2022 Spring Semester.
Saman Majeed, Pharm. D., a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Georgieva lab, has received an ASBMB 2022 Graduate Student Travel Award. In April 2022, Saman will attend the ASBMB Annual Meeting in Philadelphia to present her work, and that of her colleagues, on viral membrane proteins.
Dong Zhang, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Gamez lab, has received a 2022 ASMS Graduate Student Travel Award to attend the 70th ASMS conference in Minneapolis, June 2022. The ASMS Graduate Student Award recognizes graduate students whose academic achievements and current mass spectrometry research display a high level of excellence and distinction. He will be recognized during a ceremony at the conference.
Pal's Article in 'Atmospheres' Recognized as Top-Cited
Sandip Pal, an assistant professor of atmospheric science in the Department of Geosciences, is PI on “Observations of Greenhouse Gas Changes Across Summer Frontal Boundaries in the Eastern United States,” a NASA-funded project that published in the AGU Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. This research now has been recognized as a top-cited paper (2020-2021), counting more than 24 citations in one year.
Higgins Receives Distinguished Service Award
Raegan Higgins, an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, is the recipient of this year's Ron Barnes Distinguished Service to Students Award, granted by the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). Higgins' award will be recognized at the Texas Section MAA awards banquet on April 1.
Thacker Elected Vice-Chair of Physics Teachers Association
Beth Thacker, an associate professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, has been elected vice-chair of the Texas Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), an organization dedicated to the teaching of physics at all levels. Her election as vice-chair puts Thacker next in line next to serve as president-elect, then president and finally past president of the Texas Section.
Karin Ardon-Dryer Leads Only U.S. Cohort of She Space International
Karin Ardon-Dryer, an assistant professor of atmospheric science in the Department of Geosciences, is mentoring high-school girls ages 14-16 toward careers in STEM through her affiliation with She Space International (SSI), a multi-national outreach and education program for the advancement of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Currently active in eight countries on five continents, She Space International, which began in 2018, has only one U.S. participant: Texas Tech. This year, Ardon-Dryer, three graduate student mentors and five high school students from Lubbock and Levelland meet in person biweekly. They also interact regularly with their counterparts in Germany, Israel, Ivory Coast, Peru, South Korea, Spain and Togo. Read the complete article at this link.
Garza, Oliver, Pazhoor Celebrate Women's History Month
Kiara Garza, Kinesiology & Sport Management major; Ava OliverBiological Sciences major; and Anya Pazhoor, Psychological Sciences major; celebrate Women's History Month by sharing their experiences, insights, inspirations and advice. Follow this link to read their responses.
VIDEO: Gollahon Speaks on Obesity & Breast Cancer
Lauren Gollahon, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, spoke at the Celebration of Women's Health on March 8. The virtual event was held by Texas Terch University's Obesity Research Institute (ORI). Gollahon's topic: Obesity: Fanning the Flames of Breast Cancer Progression. Other speakers on the panel were Jennifer Phy, D.O., of TTU's Health Sciences Center; Betsy Goebel Jones, Ed.D., of the Laura Bush Institute for Women's Health; and Nannette Santoro from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Naima Moustaid-Moussa, Ph.D., ORI director; and Jannette Dufour, Ph.D., ORI associate director; welcomed viewers. The webinar was recorded and may be viewed at this link.
Celebrate Women's History Month
The College of Arts & Sciences celebrates Women's History Month by sharing topics that are relevant to the lived experiences of women and their achievements. Join us to explore courses in women's history and gender studies, review faculty publications pertinent to women and gender studies, enjoy the voices of the women of A&S, link to Women's History Month events around campus, and nominate a Phenomenal Woman for recognition. Find it all at this link.
Cho Invited to Serve on 2 Editorial Boards
Seungjong Cho, assistant professor of social work in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work, has been invited to serve on the Editorial Board for Nature: Humanities and Social Sciences Communications. His term started in March 2022. This follows on a previous invitation to serve on the Editorial Board of The Gerontologist, a high-impact interdisciplinary journal published by the Gerontological Society of America and Oxford. His term with The Gerontologist began in February 2022.
Lee Leads Annual Science Fair for K-12 Students
Sung-Won Lee, physics professor and chair, at left. Remaining photos are from the 2022 South Plains Regional Science and Engineering Fair.
Sung-Won Lee, physics professor and chair of the Department of Physics & Astronomy, welcomed some 250 K-12 students to the 2022 South Plains Regional Science and Engineering Fair. The students came to present their projects in agricultural, biological, engineering, mathematical, and physical sciences. This year's fair, was held in-person at the United Supermarkets Arena on Feb. 25, 2022, with limited capacity due to the influence of COVID-19. “We brought the fair to our campus 26 years ago,” Lee said. “Many offices at Texas Tech, including College of Arts & Sciences, have generously provided support; and hundreds of students, teachers, family, and friends have visited the campus this year.”
Iroro Tanshi Reports on 10 New Bat Species
Texas Tech University Ph.D. student Iroro Tanshi.
Iroro Tanshi, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biological Sciences and director of research at the Nigeria-based Small Mammal Conservation Organisation (SMACON), was PI on a recent study that discovered 10 bat species never seen before in Nigeria. After 15 months of intensive survey using mist-nets and harp traps to catch bats, the international research group published its findings in the journal Acta Chiropterologica. Of the 36 bat species recorded in the survey, 10 are newly recorded, including an endangered species (Hipposideros curtus); and six are species for which there is insufficient information to assess their conservation status. “You're not going to find the complement of species that you find here elsewhere in the world, so having their habitat intact, is critical,” said Tanshi, who is a student in the lab of TTU biologist Tigga Kingston. Read the full account at this link.
Ramkumar Named Fellow by 3rd International Association
Seshadri Ramkumar, a professor of chemical countermeasures and advanced materials in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, has been named a TAPPI Fellow-Class of 2022 by the Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI). The international professional body elected its first class of fellows in 1968. Ramkumar has achieved international stature in his field through a career dedicated to researching and developing technical textiles, and with this recognition now holds fellowships across three continents. In addition to the fellowship with United States-based TAPPI, Ramkumar is a fellow of the world's oldest chartered professional textile association, The Textile Institute, based in the United Kingdom; and he is an honorary fellow (highest research recognition) of the world's largest fiber-fashion association, the India-based Textile Association India.
Satchell Welcomes Black History Month
Donovan Satchell, a global studies major in the Department of Political Science and a President's Select ambassador, introduces the celebration of Black History Month in the College of Arts & Sciences. Follow this link for a lineup of stories and resources as Arts & Sciences honors Black History Month 2022.
Wong and D'Amico Bring TTU Into Global Humanities Research Project
Aliza Wong and Stefano D'Amico, both history professors, were instrumental in bringing Texas Tech University into a global humanities research effort funded by the European Union (EU). Thanks to their efforts, Texas Tech is one of only four institutions in the United States—and one of only 15 worldwide—invited to participate in the two-year project. “Being accepted as one of the member institutions is a great honor and a recognition of Texas Tech's commitment to be a global partner in teaching, research and outreach and engagement,” said Wong, who also serves as interim dean of the Honors College. The project will see Texas Tech hosting humanities scholars from member institutions in Europe and Latin America. “This is a wonderful opportunity to work with outstanding humanists and a recognition of the global standing of Texas Tech,” D'Amico said. Read the full account at this link.
Wright Reflects on Black History Month
Nathaniel Wright, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, assistant dean of strategic initiatives in the College of Arts & Sciences, and director of the Masters of Public Administration Program, shares his thoughts on Black History Month and invites the college to pause and reflect, then come together to fight racism and champion social justice. Read Nathaniel Wright's reflections at this link.
Lumpkin Receives Chancellor's Council Distinguished Teaching Award
Angela Lumpkin, professor and chair of the Department of Kinesiology & Sports Management, was one of eight Texas Tech University faculty members to receive a 2022 Chancellor's Council Award, the highest honor bestowed by the TTU System. Lumpkin received the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award. The awards recognize faculty who demonstrate exemplary service and commitment to the achievement of the university. The awards come with a $5,000 stipend and an engraved medallion, made possible through philanthropic gifts to the Chancellor's Council. Review the complete list of this year's recipients at this link.
Cristina Bradatan Invited to Join NSF Sociology Advisory Panel
Cristina Bradatan, a professor of sociology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work, has been invited to join the Sociology Advisory Panel at the National Science Foundation (NSF). The panel, which consists of 14-16 members who meet twice a year, is the primary advisory group that reviews sociology proposals submitted to the NSF.
Ramkumar Studies Which Face Masks Offer Protection Against Omicron
As the Omicron variant surges, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expected to issue more robust mask guidelines to help curb COVID-19 transmission. During personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages, it has been necessary for people to utilize materials already at their disposal to craft their own face masks. Seshadri Ramkumar, a professor of chemical countermeasures and advanced materials in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, has co-authored a study utilizing standardized methods to evaluate common household fabrics as alternative materials for barrier face coverings. Olukayode James Ayodeji, a PhD candidate in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, conducted the standardized tests measuring the filtration efficiency (FE) of different facial coverings. Using mask filtration testing standards developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), Ramkumar and his team compared the performance of popular ready-made facial coverings, such as bandanas and neck gaiters, to alternative household materials including denim, cotton shirts, bedding and towels. Both categories of materials were measured against R95 masks, which offer the highest level of protection against viral particles. To read their findings, follow this link.
Tosha Dupras Named Dean of Arts & Sciences
Tosha Dupras has been named dean of Texas Tech University's College of Arts & Sciences, the university announced on Jan. 7. She begins in the role June 1. Dupras has served as senior associate dean of the University of Central Florida's College of Sciences since October and as a professor in the Department of Anthropology since 2015. She previously served as interim dean of the college and department chair. Dupras has been at the University of Central Florida since 1999. Prior to that, she spent one year as a visiting instructor at the University of Calgary. A native of Canada, Dupras earned her bachelor's degree in archaeology from Simon Fraser University in 1993, master's degree in human biology from the University of Guelph in 1995 and her doctorate in anthropology from McMaster University in 1999. Her dissertation was nominated for the Canadian Distinguished Dissertation of the Year in 2000. Read the complete article about Tosha Dupras at this link.
For more Diversity News in Arts & Sciences, follow this link.