Texas Tech University

A&S Faculty News

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March 2019

Williams, Higgins Get $1.1 Million for Math Teachers

TTU math professonrs Brock Williams and Raegan HigginsBrock Williams, professor, and Raegan Higgins, associate professor, both of the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, are co-principal investigators on a team that has received a $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The money will fund their proposal that responds to the local shortage in qualified mathematics teachers. Over the five-year duration of the award, their proposal, "Leveraging Learning Assistantships, Mentoring, and Scholarships to Develop Self-Determined Mathematics Teachers for West Texas," aims to produce 27 new, certified mathematics teachers who will teach in high-need school districts in West Texas. The work will be done by a partnership that includes Texas Tech University, South Plains College, Midland College, and the Lubbock Independent School District. The project will recruit first- and second-year undergraduates and provide them with an early teaching experience through work as learning assistants in college-level math classes. By providing the learning assistants with financial support, near-peer mentoring, and direct classroom experience, the recruitment strategy is expected to encourage students to pursue a career in secondary mathematics teaching. This new NSF grant begins June 1, 2019, and is supplemental to an already existing Noyce Scholarship program that fosters high-quality STEM teacher recruitment. Other faculty on the team are principal investigator Jerry Dwyer, professor in the College of Education and director of CISER; and co-principal investigators Michael Galyean, TTU Provost, and Jill White, associate program director of STEM outreach for CISER.

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Surliuga Speaks in Dallas

TTU professor of Italian Victoria SurliugaVictoria Surliuga, an associate professor of Italian Studies and Italian Program Coordinator in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, spoke about contemporary Italian artist Ezio Gribaudo on March 29 at the University of Dallas. Surliuga has written extensively about Gribaudo, having authored several publications in both Italian and English about his works. In 2016, Surliuga curated the exhibition "Ezio Gribaudo's Theaters of Memory" held at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts in Lubbock. And her book, "Ezio Gribaudo: The Man in the Middle of Modernism" (New York-London: Glitterati, 2016), won First Place in the Texas Tech University President's Faculty Book Award for 2017-2018.

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Gittner Awarded by Lubbock YWCA

TTU political science professor Lisa Gittner

Lisa Gittner, an associate professor in both the Texas Tech Department of Political Science and the TTU Health Sciences Center Julia Jones Matthews Department of Public Health is recipient of the 2019 Women of Excellence Award for Science from the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) of Lubbock. The presentation took place during an awards dinner March 19 at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. Gittner is a member of The American Society of Public Administrators and The American Public Health Association and an associate member of the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health within TTUHSC. She is an expert on peer social support to improve health outcomes. Her research focuses on the management of life-course disease risk through networks. She currently is working on a collaboration with the Lubbock County Detention Center, funded by a U.S. Department of Justice grant, to analyze trends in and reduce incarceration of individuals with serious mental illness. More about Lisa Gittner may be found by following this link.

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Scaringi Awarded International Grant

TTU astrophysicist Simone ScaringiSimone Scaringi, assistant professor of astrophysics in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, was awarded an International Research and Development Seed Grant 2019 from TTU's Office of International Affairs. His country of interest is The Netherlands and his project is " Data Discovery Within the BlackGEM Survey." The International Research and Development Seed Grants were awarded March 15 and are intended to enhance international research and development activities at Texas Tech University and support faculty in developing new, long-term international relationships that are interdisciplinary and multi-institutional.

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Wong Receives Award for Excellence

TTU history professor Aliza WongAliza Wong, associate professor in the Department of History and associate dean of the Honors College, received the 2019 Professing Excellence Award, presented by Texas Tech University Student Housing and announced in March. Recipients are nominated by students for having demonstrated exceptional educational skills. Electrical engineering senior Ryan Clark nominated Wong, remembering in a YouTube video the time she invited a prince for lunch with the class. "It was the first time and only time I've ever met a prince, and we just all sat down and I think we either ate pizza or lasagna with him," Clark said pf the prince. "He just kind of talked about the EU and how Brexit was affecting everything, and that was amazing." Clark also studied abroad in Italy with Wong, saying, "I learned to speak Italian to Italians, and I'm someone who's not necessarily (comfortable) speaking English to people who speak English. She really helped me through that, and she helped me pursue leadership opportunities and pushed me to the best person I could be." Clark said he now has roots at Texas Tech: "And one of those is definitely Aliza Wong."

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Pal Named Editor, Awarded R&D Grant

TTU geosciences professor Sandip PalSandip Pal, assistant professor of atmospheric sciences in the Department of Geosciences, was awarded an International Research and Development Seed Grant 2019 from TTU's Office of International Affairs. His country of interest is Bulgaria and his project is "Impact of Advected Urban Boundary Layer on the Atmospheric Dynamics and Convection Initiations over the Adjacent Sub-urban and Rural areas." The International Research and Development Seed Grants were awarded March 15 and are intended to enhance international research and development activities at Texas Tech University and support faculty in developing new, long-term international relationships that are interdisciplinary and multi-institutional. Pal also recently was named associate editor for Atmospheric Sciences Letters, published by the Royal Meteorological Society.

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Carbone Presents at Annual AAAS Meeting

Dario Carbone, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, recently presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, D.C. The AAAS annual meeting offers a unique, exciting, interdisciplinary blend of more than 120 scientific sessions, plenary and topical lectures, flash talk sessions, e-poster presentations and an international exhibit hall. Each year, the community of leading scientists, educators, policymakers, and journalists gathers to discuss cutting-edge developments in science, technology and policy.

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Weaver Wins Teaching Award

TTU atmospheric science instructor Justin WeaverJustin Weaver, instructor of Atmospheric Sciences in the Department of Geosciences, received the 2019 Professing Excellence Award, presented by Texas Tech University Student Housing and announced in March. Recipients are nominated by students for having demonstrated exceptional educational skills. Graduating journalism senior David Lucero told in a YouTube video why he nominated Weaver. "Senior year comes around, and I have a project where I have to interview someone in a job I want and also go to their workplace and take B roll," Lucero said. He said Weaver welcomed his interview request without hesitation and set himself apart by providing numerous resources and keeping the door open for future correspondence, even to the point of offering information on internships. "He embodies the spirit of Texas Tech just perfectly," Lucero said.

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Ancell, Lindquist Receive Seed Grant

TTU professors Brian Ancell and Carol LindquistBrian Ancell, associate professor of atmospheric sciences in the Department of Geosciences and Carol Lindquist, assistant professor of practice of sociology the Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work, were awarded an International Research and Development Seed Grant 2019 from TTU's Office of International Affairs. Their country of interest is Costa Rica and their project is "Assessing the Livability and Technological Compatibility of Independent, Interactive, and Sustainable Water and Power Home Utility System." The International Research and Development Seed Grants were awarded March 15 and are intended to enhance international research and development activities at Texas Tech University and support faculty in developing new, long-term international relationships that are interdisciplinary and multi-institutional.

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Christensen Receives Excellence Award

TTU math professor Lars ChristensenLars Christensen, professor in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, received the 2019 Professing Excellence Award, presented by Texas Tech University Student Housing and announced in March. Recipients are nominated by students for having demonstrated exceptional educational skills. Mathematics senior Samantha Keltner described in a YouTube video why she nominated Christensen. "I don't know of many professors who would be OK with someone taking their class twice," she said, elaborating on Christensen's patience with students who have hit a rough patch. "I was having so much trouble I just wanted to leave the class and that was actually one of the days he made us turn around and talk to everybody," she said. Keltner described Christensen as a professor who doesn't talk down to his students but rather treats them with respect. "He was there (for me) without really knowing he was there for me," she said. 

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Whitbeck Awarded International Grant

 TTU physics professor Andrew WhitbeckAndrew Whitbeck, assistant professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, was awarded an International Research and Development Seed Grant 2019 from TTU's Office of International Affairs. His country of interest is India and his project is " Advanced Particle Detectors for Glimpsing Dark Matter." The International Research and Development Seed Grants were awarded March 15 and are intended to enhance international research and development activities at Texas Tech University and support faculty in developing new, long-term international relationships that are interdisciplinary and multi-institutional.

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Hetherington Wins R&D Grant

TTU geoscienes professor Callum HetheringtonCallum Hetherington, associate professor of mineralogy and geochemistry in the Department of Geosciences, was awarded an International Research and Development Seed Grant 2019 from TTU's Office of International Affairs. His countries of interest are the Republic of South Africa and Norway, and his project is "Application of Electron Back Scatter Diffraction (EBSD) and Trace Element Analysis to Understating Magnetite-Growth Processes in Layered Igneous Intrusions." The International Research and Development Seed Grants were awarded March 15 and are intended to enhance international research and development activities at Texas Tech University and support faculty in developing new, long-term international relationships that are interdisciplinary and multi-institutional.

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Godard-Codding Studies Endangered Whales

TTU professor Celine Godard-Codding with whale

Céline Godard-Codding, associate chair of the Department of Environmental Toxicology and an associate professor of endangered species toxicology at The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH), is leading a worldwide research effort to study the health of the western gray whale, a critically endangered species found only along Russia's Pacific coast, and has developed a new method that could impact her entire field along the way. Her part in the research began five years ago after ExxonMobil asked the Russian government for permission to drill in the waters where the western gray whales feed. As part of the subsequent government-mandated environmental assessment, which examines how such activity might impact the already endangered species, Godard-Codding was hired to lead a study of whether the whales also reproduce in those waters. "There are only about 300 or so left, so there's a lot of concern about that population of whales," Godard-Codding said. The trouble is, western gray whales are extremely shy and avoid human interaction, so it's difficult to obtain information about them. In contrast, their so-called "sister" population, the eastern gray whales, found all along the Pacific coast of the United States, are much more comfortable around humans. "It started as only whether the whale was pregnant or not; that's it," Godard-Codding said. "I've since expanded that part of the program because, with hormone analysis, you could potentially look at more than just if the whale is pregnant or not. The more information we have about these animals, the better we can have science-based conservation efforts." For a full account of Céline Godard-Codding's whale research, follow this link.

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Cardenas Wins Teaching Award

Zachary Cardenas, a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, received the 2019 Professing Excellence Award, presented by Texas Tech University Student Housing and announced in March. Recipients are nominated by students for having demonstrated exceptional educational skills. Mechanical engineering sophomore Grant Tekell, who nominated Cardenas, described in a YouTube video how Cardenas gets to know the students in his lab by asking about how their week is going or what sports they like, for example. "I forget exactly what he said to me, but I remember he made me feel genuinely cared for." Tekell said Cardenas answers student's questions in a way that makes the subject matter easy to understand. "To teach it well, you have to understand it well. And he teaches and makes things clear."

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Harris Develops 'Science in Cinema' Guide

TTU Research Biologist Breanna HarrisBreanna Harris, a research professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, has developed a new discussion guide that uses a major motion picture as a classroom tool for talking in-depth about science in cinema. "Is it Reel? Using Cinema to Explore Science," takes on the challenging subjects of death, dying and decay. The guide is based on the movie "To Dust," which won the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award. Starring Matthew Broderick and Géza Röhrig, this dark comedy explores a man's obsession with how a loved one's remains will decay. Harris's guide, subtitled "Case Study #1: To Dust—A Story of Love, Loss, and Decomposition," contains movie scenes along with scientific discussion questions that introduce topics—death and decomposition—that Harris says are seldom approached in American society and are often glossed over in biology courses. By combining a movie with questions ranging from basic science (e.g., What is apoptosis?) to philosophy (e.g., What is death?), the guide brings critical thinking to bear on the subject matter. Harris designed the guide for use in high school and introductory college-level courses. She says this case study would be appropriate for a variety of courses, including introductory biology, forensic science, research method, gerontology, anatomy and physiology, aging/lifespan, religion, media communication, and film study. To help instructors guide students, a list of resources is included; but instructors are free to add whatever other sources they deem relevant to their course, syllabus, and learning goals.

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Findlater Receives 2nd Welch Grant Renewal

TTU chemist Michael FindlaterMichael Findlater, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, for a 2nd renewal of his Welch Foundation Grant entitled "Base Metal Catalyzed Transformations." The grant will be funded at $195,000 for three years beginning June 1, 2019.

 

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Recent Books

"Moments of Joy and Heartbreak: 66 Significant Episodes in the History of the Pittsburgh Pirates"

Book by TTU's Jorge Iber, Moments of Joy and Heartbreak about the Pittsburgh PiratesJorge Iber, Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and Professor in the Department of History, leads as author and editor in this 208-page paperback, "Moments of Joy and Heartbreak: 66 Significant Episodes in the History of the Pittsburgh Pirates." The Pittsburgh Pirates have a long history, peppered with moments significant both to Pirates fans and Major League Baseball. While the Pirates are recognized as fielding the first all-black lineup in 1971, the 66 games in this book include one of the first matchups in the majors to involve two non-white opening hurlers (Native American and Cuban) in June 1921. We relive no-hitters, World Series-winning homers, and encounter the story of the last tripleheader ever played in major-league baseball. Some of the games are wins; some are losses. All of these essays provide readers with a sense of the totality of the Pirates' experiences: the joy, the heartbreak, and other aspects of baseball (and life) in between. This book is the work of 37 members of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), SABR Digital Library, Vol. 46, paperback. (Society for American Baseball Research, March 2018)

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"True Sex: the Lives of Trans Men at the Turn of the Twentieth Century"

True Sex: the Lives of Trans Men at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, by Emily Skidmore, TTUEmily Skidmore, Assistant Professor in the Department of History, uncovers the stories of 18 trans men who lived in the United States between 1876 and 1936 in "True Sex, the Lives of Trans Men at the Turn of the Twentieth Century." At the turn of the 20th century, trans men were not necessarily urban rebels seeking to overturn stifling gender roles. In fact, they often sought to pass as conventional men, choosing to live in small towns where they led ordinary lives, aligning themselves with the expectations of their communities. They were, in a word, unexceptional. Despite the "unexceptional" quality of their lives, their stories are nonetheless surprising and moving, challenging much of what we think we know about queer history. By tracing the narratives surrounding the moments of "discovery" in these communities—from reports in local newspapers to medical journals and beyond—this book challenges the assumption that the full story of modern American sexuality is told by cosmopolitan radicals. Rather, "True Sex" reveals complex narratives concerning rural geography and community, persecution and tolerance, and how these factors intersect with the history of race, identity and sexuality in America. (NYU Press, September 2017)

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"The Restless Indian Plate and Its Epic Voyage from Gondwana to Asia"

Sankar Chatterjee Book "The Restless Indian Plate"Sankar Chatterjee, Horn Professor in the Department of Geosciences, writes that the fossil history of animal life in India is central to our understanding of the tectonic evolution of Gondwana, the dispersal of India, its northward journey, and its collision with Asia in "The Restless Indian Plate and Its Epic Voyage from Gondwana to Asia" . According to a review in Phys.org, "This beautifully illustrated volume provides the only detailed overview of the paleobiogeographic, tectonic, and paleoclimatic evolution of the Indian plate from Gondwana to Asia," and quotes Chatterjee and his colleagues as saying, "The tectonic evolution of the Indian plate represents one of the most dramatic and epic voyages of all drifting continents: 9,000 kilometers in 160 million years. ... The extensive reshuffling of the Indian plate was accompanied by multiple temporary filter bridges, resulting in the cosmopolitan nature of tetrapod fauna." The review goes on to conclude that "This thorough, up-to-date volume is a must-have reference for researchers and students in Indian geology, paleontology, plate tectonics, and collision of continents." (The Geological Society of America, July 2017)

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"Modern Sport Ethics: A Reference Handbook, 2nd Edition"

Angel Lumpkin Modern Sport EthicsAngela Lumpkin, Professor and Chair of the Department of Exercise & Sport Science, offers, in "Modern Sport Ethics: A Reference Handbook, 2nd Edition," descriptions and examples of unethical behaviors in sport that will challenge readers to think about how they view sport and question whether participating in sport builds character—especially at the youth and amateur levels. Sport potentially can teach character as well as social and moral values, but only when these positive concepts are consistently taught, modeled, and reinforced by sport leaders with the moral courage to do so. The seeming moral crisis threatening amateur and youth sport—evidenced by athletes, coaches, and parents alike making poor ethical choices—and ongoing scandals regarding performance-enhancing drug use by professional athletes make sports ethics a topic of great concern. This work enables readers to better understand the ethical challenges facing competitive sport by addressing issues such as gamesmanship, doping, cheating, sportsmanship, fair play, and respect for the game. A compelling read for coaches, sport administrators, players, parents, and sport fans, the book examines specific examples of unethical behaviors—many cases of which occur in amateur and educational sports—to illustrate how these incidents threaten the perception that sport builds character. It identifies and investigates the multiple reasons for cheating in sport, such as the fact that the rewards for succeeding are so high, and the feeling of athletes that they must behave as they do to "level the playing field" because everyone else is cheating, being violent, taking performance-enhancing drugs, or doing whatever it takes to win. Readers will gain insight into how coaches and sport administrators can achieve the goals for youth, interscholastic, intercollegiate, and Olympic sport by stressing moral values and character development as well as see how specific recommendations can help ensure that sport can serve to build character rather than teach bad behavior in the pursuit of victory. (ABC-CLIO, December 2016)

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"Introduction to Physical Education, Exercise Science, and Sport" 10th Edition

“INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICAL EDUCATION, EXERCISE SCIENCE, AND SPORT” 10th Edition

Angela Lumpkin, Professor and Chair of the Department of Exercise & Sport Science, gives college students a wide-angle view of physical education, exercise science, sport, and the wealth of careers available in these fields in the 10th Edition of "Introduction to Physical Education, Exercise Science, and Sport." The textbook provides the principles, history, and future of physical education, exercise science, and sport. Lumpkin's clear writing style engages the reader while covering the most important introductory topics in this updated introduction to the world of physical education. (McGraw-Hill, July 2016)

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"God's Foolishness"

God's Foolishness William Wenthe TTUWilliam Wenthe, Professor in the Department Of English, explores painful and fleeting emotions within the 96 pages of "God's Foolishness." Here, he mines the feelings of human uncertainty in matters of love and desire, time and death, and uncovers difficult truths with transformative insights. These are poems of crisis. Wenthe examines our conflicting urges to see nature as sustenance and to foolishly destroy it. His poems shift from close observation to panorama with cinematic fluidity, from a tea mug to an ancient monument, from a warbler on an elm branch to the specter of imminent natural disaster. Offering passion and intellect balanced with a careful concern for poetic craft, Wenthe's "God's Foolishness" gives us fine poems to savor and admire. Watch the YouTube video here. (LSU, May 2016)

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"Before the Gregorian Reform: The Latin Church at the Turn of the First Millennium"

Before the Gregorian Reform, John Howe TTUJohn Howe, Professor in the Department of History, challenges the familiar narrative that the era from about 1050 to 1150 was the pivotal moment in the history of the Latin Church. The status quo states it was then that the Gregorian Reform movement established the ecclesiastical structure that would ensure Rome's dominance throughout the Middle Ages and beyond. In "Before the Gregorian Reform," Howe examines earlier, "pre-Gregorian" reform efforts within the Church—and finds that they were more extensive and widespread than previously thought and that they actually established a foundation for the subsequent Gregorian Reform movement. The low point in the history of Christendom came in the late ninth and early tenth centuries—a period when much of Europe was overwhelmed by barbarian raids and widespread civil disorder, which left the Church in a state of disarray. As Howe shows, however, the destruction gave rise to creativity. Aristocrats and churchmen rebuilt churches and constructed new ones, competing against each other so that church building, like castle building, acquired its own momentum. Patrons strove to improve ecclesiastical furnishings, liturgy, and spirituality. Schools were constructed to staff the new churches. Moreover, Howe shows that these reform efforts paralleled broader economic, social, and cultural trends in Western Europe including the revival of long-distance trade, the rise of technology, and the emergence of feudal lordship. The result was that by the mid-eleventh century a wealthy, unified, better-organized, better-educated, more spiritually sensitive Latin Church was assuming a leading place in the broader Christian world. "Before the Gregorian Reform" challenges us to rethink the history of the Church and its place in the broader narrative of European history. Compellingly written and generously illustrated, it is a book for all medievalists as well as general readers interested in the Middle Ages and Church history. (Cornell University Press, March 2016)

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"New Developments in Biological and Chemical Terrorism Countermeasures"

New Developments in Biological and Chemical Terrorism Counter Measures

Ronald J. Kendal, Professor of Environmental Toxicology; Steven Presley, Professor of Immuno-toxicology; and Seshadri Ramkumar, Professor of Countermeasures to Biological Threats, all from the Department of Environmental Toxicology, have co-edited the newly published textbook, “New Developments in Biological and Chemical Terrorism Countermeasures.” The volume compiles a decade's worth of research through TTU's Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. National Program for Countermeasures to Biological and Chemical Threats, and updated many changes in the field since an earlier book, “Advances in Biological and Chemical Terrorism Countermeasures,” came out in 2008. “It's not just for college students,” Ramkumar said. “It's a tool for people in the field, from first responders all the way to policy makers.” (CRC Press, February 2016)

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"Psychoanalytic Treatment in Adults: A Longitudinal Study of Change"

Rosemary Cogan Psychoanalytic Treatment of AdultsRosemary Cogan, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences, is co-author of "Psychonalytic Treatment in Adults: A longitudinal study of change." The book draws from 60 first-hand case studies to explore the outcomes of psychoanalytic treatment, providing examples of the long-term effectiveness of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic work as it delineates negative therapeutic treatment and discusses crucial changes in care. Outcomes of psychoanalysis, as with other psychotherapies, vary considerably. Cogan and her co-author, J.H. Porcerelli, used the Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure to describe a patient at the beginning of psychoanalysis and every six months until the analysis ended. This allowed the authors to learn about changes over analysis and, in turn, improved treatment planning and practice for the well-being of other patients. Findings will be of interest to researchers and academics in the fields of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, psychodynamic therapy, psychoanalytic education, psychiatry and psychology, and should also help clinicians recognize potential problems early in analytic treatments in order to work more effectively with patients. (Routeledge, February 2016)

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