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Mechref to Receive Genomic Sequencer
Yehia Mechref, Horn Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, is a Principal Investigator of a Biomedical Research Support (BRS) Shared Instrumentation Grant announced April 17, awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH funds will be supplemented with funds from additional sources so that TTU's Center for Biotechnology & Genomics (CBG) can acquire a $900,000 state-of-the-art genomics sequencer and share its use with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). This new technology will allow the CBG to provide genomic sequencing at a much-reduced cost, which will benefit researchers at TTU, TTUHSC, and the region. The NIH grant will provide $600,000 toward the cost of the genomic sequencer; the CH Foundation will provide $150,000; TTUHSC will provide $100,000; and TTU will provide $50,000. The NIH grant was an "S10", a category that specifically supports the purchase of commercially available instruments that are typically too expensive to be procured by an individual investigator with a research project grant, and requires that the instruments be shared, according to the NIH. Mechref described this S10 grant as the first of its kind awarded to TTU/TTUHSC and that the success of the application represents true synergistic activity between TTU and TTUHSC. (Mechref noted that the success rate of S10 grant proposals nationwide in 2017 was only 16.4 percent.) "We would not have been able to receive this award without the help and the support of our colleagues at TTUHSC," Mechref acknowledged. "The S10 proposal requires the inclusion of at least three collaborators with funded NIH R01s. Dr. Afzal Siddiqui (Professor, Vice Chair Department of Internal Medicine, Vice President Institutional Collaboration, TTUHSC) was instrumental in galvanizing the collaborative nature of this grant. We were able to include six scientists from TTUHSC, including Doctors Afzal Siddiqui, Vadivel Ganapathy, George Henderson, Maciej Markiewski, Hemachandra Reddy, and Tetyana Vasylyeva. Additionally, Dr. Siddiqui committed funds to facilitate the acquisition of the instrument." The success of this application is a true testament to the partnership across institutions and the CH Foundation that is always supportive of the TTU System, Mechref concluded.
Asquith Named Distinguished Alumnus
George Asquith, Professor in the Department of Geosciences and Pevehouse Chair Emeritus, has been recognized with a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Geoscience Department. The award is in recognition of Asquith's distinguished lifetime achievement: "For advances in applying petrophysical data to depositional models and reservoir characterization, and for educating a generation of geoscientists through AAPG short courses and his best-selling book, "Basic Well Log Analysis'." Asquith earned his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1966. The award was presented at the department's spring banquet April 6 in Madison, Wis. The citationist was Dr. Chuck DeMets, Chair and Alfred Wegener Professor of Geophysics.
Sagarzazu Speaks on Venezuelan Crisis
Inaki Sagarzazu De Achurra, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, was a featured speaker at the Keys to Our Common Future initiative at the University of Kentucky on March 30. He spoke on "The Slow Demise of Venezuelan Democracy". Earlier, on March 22, He discussed the current situation in Venezuela via a webinar organized by a Latin American think tank. Sagarzazu De Achurra is an expert on Venezuelan politics and has been much in demand for insightful interviews with media outlets in Latin America, Europe, and the US about the unfolding situation in Venezuela.
Hayhoe Receives YWCA Award for Science
Katharine Hayhoe, Professor in the Department of Political Science and co-Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, was one of 11 women honored March 8 by Lubbock's Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) by receiving the 2018 Women of Excellence Award for Science. The award is presented each year to recognize and honor local women who have achieved career excellence and contributed to business, industry, organizations and the community. Hayhoe is considered one of the world's leading experts on climate science. Her research focuses on evaluating future impacts of climate change on human society and the natural environment by developing and applying high-resolution climate projections. She also presents the realities of climate change by connecting the issue to values people hold dear instead of being confrontational with scientific facts. In 2017, she was named one of the 50 World's Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine, which honors men and women across the globe who are helping to change the world and inspire others to do the same. She was named, in 2016, to the annual Politico 50 list, which recognizes those in society who help shape policy and thinking in the U.S. "It is truly an honor to be recognized by an organization that has such a long and rich history of performing great works in support of women around the world," Hayhoe said. "It is also an honor to be included with so many other great women in the Lubbock community who selflessly give of their time and talents for the betterment of society." Among other recipients were Aliza Wong, Associate Professor in the Department of History, Director of European Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences and Associate Dean of the Honors College, who who the award for Social Justice; and Linda Donahue, Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor in the School of Theatre and Dance in the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual and Performing Arts, who won the award for Education.
Wong Receives YWCA Award for Social Justice
Aliza Wong, Associate Professor in the Department of History, Director of European Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences and Associate Dean of the Honors College, was one of 11 women honored March 8 by Lubbock's Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) by receiving the 2018 Women of Excellence Award for Social Justice. The award is presented each year to recognize and honor local women who have achieved career excellence and contributed to business, industry, organizations and the community. Among other recipients were Katharine Hayhoe, Professor in the Department of Political Science and co-Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, who won the award for Science; and Linda Donahue, Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor in the School of Theatre and Dance in the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual and Performing Arts, who won the award for Education.
Mechref Named Horn Professor, Nominated to NIH Term
Yehia Mechref, Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, has been appointed by the TTU Board of Regents as a Paul Whitfield Horn Professor effective March 2. Mechref also has been invited by the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to serve as a permanent member of the Enabling Bioanalytical and Imaging Technologies (EBIT) Study Section, Center for Scientific Review, beginning July 1 this year. The NIH nomination reflects Mechref's "demonstrated competence and achievement in his scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of his research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements, and honors." Mechref is Director of the TTU Center for Biotechnology & Genomics and leads a research group.
Hayhoe Quoted in Colombian Post
Katharine Hayhoe, Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of TTU's Climate Science Center, gave a talk entitled "Fact or Take News? Climate Change" as part of the Double-T College speaker series. In the Feb. 27 session, held in the Tech Library's TLPDC Room 151, Hayhoe explained the science behind global warming and highlighted the key role that people's values play in shaping their attitudes and actions. In other news this month, Hayhoe was one of several quoted in a Feb. 26 Colombian Post article headlined "Hopes and Fears About Climate Change." The article served as a roundup of comments by world notables, from the Dalai Lama of Tibet and former New Your Mayer Michael Bloomberg, to feminist icon Gloria Steinem and novelist Margaret Atwood. Hayhoe was quoted as saying: "What troubles me as a scientist is the potential for vicious feedbacks within the climate system. The warming that we cause through all the carbon we produce could cause a series of cascading impacts that could lead to a much greater warming. The more carbon we produce, the higher the likelihood of these unpredictable risks. What makes me hopeful are people. I've been working with cities, states and regional transportation councils, and none of them have to be convinced of the reality of this problem. I was sitting next to an assistant city manager for Dallas, a town not known for being green, and she blew me away with her list of amazing things Dallas has done to save energy. People are preparing for change."
Van Gestel Studies Soil Carbon Response to Heat
Natasja van Gestel, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and the TTU Climate Science Center, is lead author of, "Predicting Soil Carbon Loss With Warming", a study published Feb. 22 in the scientific journal Nature that shows a more complicated relationship between soil carbon and global warming than previously thought. Previous research suggested that, under increasingly warm conditions, soils richer in carbon would be more easily triggered to release that carbon into the atmosphere than soils poorer in carbon. Van Gestel's more exhaustive study shows the answer is not that simple. "We had access to a larger data set than was used in the original paper, and we were concerned the original paper's conclusions relied heavily on just a few experiments that had carbon-rich soils," van Gestel said. "We had access to more data points from a wide range of soils, so we could do a more powerful and balanced analysis. For a global analysis like this, having more data is always better." With the larger data set, she and her research group concluded that soil carbon responses were not easily predicted, either from soil carbon stocks or from other variables that were examined. Other members of the research group were: Zheng Shi, University of Oklahoma; Kees Jan van Groenigen, University of Exeter, U.K.; Craig W. Osenberg, University of Georgia; Louise C. Andresen, University of Gothenburg, Sweden; Jeffrey S. Dukes, Purdue University; Mark J. Hovenden, University of Tasmania, Australia; Yiqi Luo, Northern Arizona University; Anders Michelsen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Elise Pendall, Western Sydney University, Australia; Peter B. Reich, Western Sydney University and University of Minnesota; Edward A. G. Schuur, Northern Arizona University; and Bruce A. Hungate, Northern Arizona University. "Our study doesn't change the fact that some soils lose carbon in warmer conditions," van Gestel said. "However, our larger data set showed that the relationship between soil carbon and warming is complicated—it varies from place to place and is likely dependent on not one, but several variables."
Ardon-Dryer Speaks at Biology Seminar
Karin Ardon-Dryer, Assistant Professor and member of the Atmospheric Science Group in the Department of Geosciences, gave a talk entitled, "Aerosol, tiny particles with a large impact on clouds, precipitation, and our health," on Feb. 21 as part of the Spring 2018 Seminar Series. The talk was hosted by Matt Olson, Associate Professor of Plant Population Genomics & Bioinformatics in the Department of Biological Sciences. Ardon-Dryer leads the Ardin-Dryer Aerosol Research Group and also is a member of TTU's STEM Program.
Ramkumar Awarded Top Recognitions in India, U.K.
Seshadri Ramkumar, Professor of Nonwovens & Advanced Materials in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, has won an endowed oration from India's University of Mumbai—Institute of Chemical Technology. As 2017-18 recipient of the "Professor W. B. Achwal Endowed Oration Award," Ramkumar traveled to the Institute in Mumbai to give the invited lecture at the gala event on Feb. 20. He spoke about his 20-years of research in the advanced textiles field in a talk he titled "An Odyssey with Technical Textiles." The Institute's President, The Honorable G.D. Yadav, a Chemical Engineer, presided over the event, which was attended by alumni that counted top Indian statesmen and industrialists among their ranks. Ramkumar said that, apart from his research contributions, the selection committee supported his award because some of the Institute's alumni have worked toward their PhDs in TTU laboratories and are now employed in key research positions across the United States. "In the fiber science field, this oration is deemed most coveted..." Ramkumar said in a written statement. "[It is] a great achievement for TTU and Mumbai Institute." Earlier in the month, on Feb. 6, Ramkumar was awarded Fellowship in the Textile Institute, based in Manchester, England. The Textile Institute is the oldest such in the field of textiles/fiber science and, Ramkumar says, its Fellowship is one of the highest professional recognitions for scientists/technologists.
Bradley Receives Award from Texas Society of Mammalogists
Robert D. Bradley, Professor and Assistant Chair in the Department of Biological Sciences and Director of the Natural Science Research Laboratory at the Museum of Texas Tech University, was elected to Honorary Member status by the membership of the Texas Society of Mammalogists (TSM) during their 36th Annual Meeting Feb. 16‒18. Honorary membership in the Society is granted in recognition of distinguished service to the Society and to the science of mammalogy. Bradley has attended every meeting of the Society since his first—as a student in 1984—and he has been an active, supporting member since. Bradley's graduate and undergraduate students represent the greatest number of student presenters of any faculty member over the history of TSM, having presented more than 100 papers at TSM meetings since 1997. He served the Society as President in 2002-2003, and is a permanent member of the Executive Committee. It was Bradley's suggestion while President in 2002 that TSM hold a fund-raising auction during the annual meeting to support the funding of student presentation awards. He has served ever after as enthusiastic auctioneer. The auction has allowed the Society to expand both the number of awards presented and their monetary value. Bradley has directed 21 master's and 11 PhD students to completion, all in mammalogical research; has published more than 160 peer-reviewed articles; and has co-authored one book, "The Mammals of Texas" (2016).
More Faculty Achievements
2017 FACULTY NEWS
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2016 FACULTY NEWS
"Moments of Joy and Heartbreak: 66 Significant Episodes in the History of the Pittsburgh Pirates"
Jorge 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)
"True Sex: the Lives of Trans Men at the Turn of the Twentieth Century"
Emily 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)
"The Restless Indian Plate and Its Epic Voyage from Gondwana to Asia"
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)
"Modern Sport Ethics: A Reference Handbook, 2nd Edition"
Angela 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)
"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)
William 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)
"Before the Gregorian Reform: The Latin Church at the Turn of the First Millennium"
John 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)
"New Developments in Biological and Chemical Terrorism Countermeasures"
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)
"Psychoanalytic Treatment in Adults: A Longitudinal Study of Change"
Rosemary 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)