Texas Tech University

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Innovation in Arts & Sciences

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FALL 2019

Ramkumar Finds Success With Towelie™

TTU environmental toxicologists Seshadri RamkumarSeshadri Ramkumar, professor and director of the Nonwovens & Advanced Materials Laboratory in Texas Tech University's Department of Environmental Toxicology, reports on the successful use of the Towelie™, a cotton-based oil absorbent wipe. On Nov. 2, the wipe was used to remedy a minor oil spill at a National Thermal Energy Corporation (NTEC) plant near Chennai, India. "Towelie™ wipe instantaneously absorbed heavy furnace oil and light crude oil," said Nambi Srinivasan, vice president of marketing for Chennai-based WellGro United. At California-based Davis Wire, Towelie™ is used to clean-up oil spills during the manufacture of products such as metal fences. Ramkumar is the scientist behind Towelie's™ development, and it is marketed by Lubbock-based E Innovate. Ronald Kendall Jr., president of E Innovate, says, "Towelie™ has been widely accepted by companies in the oil and gas, auto mechanic, manufacturing and marine industries who care about reducing their impact on the environment."

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Salazar-Bravo Named Interim Director of ICASALS

TTU biologist Jorge Salazar-BravoJorge Salazar-Bravo, an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, has been appointed interim director of Texas Tech University's International Center for Arid and Semi-Arid Land Studies (ICASALS). His term is effective Nov. 1; and his mission will be to lead in stimulating, coordinating, and implementing teaching, research, and public service activities concerning all aspects of the world's arid and semiarid regions, their people and their problems. Salazar-Bravo's research specializes in the evolution and systematics of Neotropical mammals and the interplay between systematics and disease ecology. He teaches courses such as Evolution and Ecology & Environmental Problems. ICASALS was created in 1966 to promote the university's special mission toward the interdisciplinary study of arid and semiarid environments and the human relationship to these environments from an international perspective.

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Reyes Makes Most of First-Gen Opportunities

TTU student Ximena Chavez Reyes

Ximena Chavez Reyes of San Antonio is an anthropology major who is sharing highlights of her experiences as a nontraditional, first-generation and international student. Chavez said being active in the first-year program in First Generation Transition & Mentoring Programs (FGTMP) led her to some of the best friends she has made in college and also allowed her to become engaged with local organizations. "Through this program, I was given opportunities to network, develop academically and professionally and give back to my community," Chavez said. "We had volunteer opportunities at South Plains Food Bank, Lubbock Impact and Ronald McDonald House, to name a few." Follow this link for the complete story about Ximena Chavez Reyes.

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Ribeiro to Pursue Research in Germany

TTU philosophy professor Anna Christina RibeiroAnna Christina Ribeiro, an associate professor in the Department of Philosophy, has been invited to spend June 2020 in Frankfurt, Germany, as a visiting researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics. Ribeiro specializes in the philosophy of aesthetics—particularly in the areas of literature and poetry—and has two books on the subject currently under contract: "Beautiful Speech: The Nature, Origins, and Powers of Poetry" at Oxford University Press and "The Philosophy of Poetry and Literature" at Routledge. A trustee of the American Society for Aesthetics (2017-2020), Ribeiro has been a visiting researcher at the University of Barcelona and a visiting professor at the University of Vienna.

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Pal Has NASA Grant to Study Greenhouse Gases

TTU atmospheric scientist Sandip PalSandip Pal, an assistant professor of atmospheric science in the Department of Geosciences, has received a new grant from NASA for research entitled, "Multi-instrument observations of greenhouse gases across frontal boundary and comparison with WRF-Chem simulations." The project, connected with NASA ACT-America (Earth Venture Suborbital Mission, Atmospheric Carbon and Transport - America), is funded at $159,077 and runs from 2019 to 2021. In news from earlier this year, Pal was named associate editor for Atmospheric Sciences Letters, a publication of the Royal Meteorological Society.

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Watson Develops Programs for Latinx Youth

TTU professor Brandy Pina Watson

Brandy Piña-Watson, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences, launched the Latinx Mental Health and Resiliency Lab with only one student. Now, five years later, her lab has grown from a bare room upstairs in the psychology building to a full, running lab with more than 20 team members. Follow this link to learn how the lab is serving the Texas Tech community.

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Hernandez's Success as First-Gen Nontraditional

TTU biochemistry senior Colton Hernandez

Colton Hernandez, a biochemistry senior, sat down with us to share some of his experiences as a first-generation and nontraditional Red Raider. A Lubbock native, Hernandez is an undergraduate researcher in the Texas Tech McNair Scholars Program, a graduate school preparatory program for undergraduate students from historically underrepresented groups who demonstrate strong academic potential for graduate research and studies. Follow this link for details of Colton Hernandez's interview.

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Morales Receives NIH Grant

TTU chemist Jorge MoralesJorge Morales, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, received a $440,768 research grant from the National Institutes of Health. The project, titled "Computational Studies of Ion-Induced Water Radiolysis and DNA Damage," The project starts Sept. 20 and will run for three years, concluding Aug. 31, 2022.

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Harris Named to Teaching Academy

TTU research biologist Breanna Harris

Breanna Harris, a research assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, was inducted into the Texas Tech University Teaching Academy on Sept. 18. Harris says, "Biology is fun, engaging, exciting, and relevant to our lives. As an educator, I want to help my students get excited about science, about using the scientific method and critical thinking, and about appreciating evolution and the shared ancestry of life on earth. I strongly believe that teaching, especially engaging, active teaching, is paramount for the success and reputation of a university, thus I want to do my part to make Texas Tech University an exceptional place."

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Lockwood Named to Teaching Academy

TTU-Waco biologist Stephanie Lockwood

Stephanie Lockwood, an assistant professor of practice in the Department of Biological Sciences at TTU at Waco, was inducted into the Texas Tech University Teaching Academy on Sept. 18. Lockwood says, "Opening students' eyes to the beauty of the natural world around them inspires me to teach. I want to make biology accessible and enjoyable to everyone, especially students who may think they do not like biology. With a solid foundation students can evaluate scientific ideas and formulate their own points of view and make knowledgeable, healthy, and environmentally sound decisions."

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Lumpkin Featured for Academic Assessment

TTU professor and chair of Department of Kinesiology & Sport Management Angela Lumpkin

Angela Lumpkin, professor and chair in the Department of Kinesiology & Sport Management (KSM), is Texas Tech University's Fall 2019 Assessment Spotlight recipient. Because of her commitment to academic assessment, she was chosen unanimously for the honor by the Office of Planning & Assessment (OPA). "Dr. Lumpkin is a champion for improving student learning, and we applaud her for creating departmental assessment procedures that put KSM students first," Jennifer Shaulis-Hughes, president of the Texas Association for Higher Education Assessment (TxAHEA) and managing director of OPA, wrote in announcement. "It's an honor for me personally to work with Dr. Lumpkin, and Texas Tech is better because of Angela's commitment to assessment excellence." To read more about Lumpkin's approach to academic assessment, follow this link.

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Larson Plans Luso-Hispanic Conference for October

TTU Qualia Professor Susan LarsonSusan Larson, the Charles B. Qualia Professor of Romance Languages in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, is bringing an international group of teachers, scholars, activists and students to Lubbock for the "Language, Image, Power" conference. From Oct. 10-12, 2019, the conference will take up the history, evolution and future of Luso-Hispanic Cultural Studies as a discipline, a pedagogical tool and a set of working practices from October 10-12, 2019. Speakers and attendees will share ideas about how Luso-Hispanic Cultural Studies has grown out of and radically reconsidered some of the basic principles of British Cultural Studies since the 1960s to address the many cultures of the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking world. More information on "Language, Image, Power" is available by following this link.

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Acosta Headed to Russia on Fulbright

TTU linguisitics grad student & instructor Nicholas Acosta

Nicholas Acosta, a grad student and adjunct instructor of applied linguistics in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, has won a scholarship on the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. He will head to Moscow for an academic year beginning fall 2019, as yet uncertain of the university where he will teach. Acosta, who earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in economics from Texas Tech, switched disciplines to further his education by applying to the linguistics master's program. He says the transition to applied linguistics took some getting used to, and that he took up the Russian language on a dare. "One of my friends was taking Japanese, another was taking Italian and another was taking Spanish," Acosta says. "Then, they said, 'You should take Russian,' and I said, 'OK, I'll do it.'" His Fulbright application was for an English teaching assistantship in Moscow. Though competition was fierce, he won. "I will be teaching English as a second language while also doing a cultural unit with Russian speakers to help them understand American culture a little bit more," Acosta says. "I'll focus more on American movies and books, and maybe some music, art and poetry." A detailed story about Acosta may be found by following this link.

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More Diversity & Inclusion News in Arts & Sciences

Diversity & Inclusion News - Current

Diversity & Inclusion News  - Fall 2020
Diversity & Inclusion News  - Summer 2020
Diversity & Inclusion News  - Spring 2020

Diversity & Inclusion News  - Fall 2019
Diversity & Inclusion News  - Summer 2019
Diversity & Inclusion News  - Spring 2019

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