Texas Tech University

Faculty News

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Summer 2022

Hutchins Receives Margaret C. Etter Early Career Award

TTU chemist Kristin Hutchins

Kristin Hutchins, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, has been awarded the 2023 Margaret C. Etter Early Career Award from the American Crystallographic Association (ACA). This national recognition is awarded to only one researcher per year, based on outstanding achievement and exceptional potential in crystallographic research demonstrated by a scientist at an early stage of their independent career. In addition to a plaque and $1,000, the award includes the opportunity for Hutchins to present a one-hour lecture at the 2023 ACA meeting scheduled for July 7-11 in Baltimore.

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Kupfer Leads Grad Students to Astrophysics Conference in Belgium

TTU astrophysicist Thomas Kupfer (top) and TTU astrophysics grad students (bottom, left to right) Kunal Deshmukh, Eric Stringer and Corey Bradshaw

TTU astrophysics assistant professor Thomas Kupfer (top) took graduate students  Kunal Deshmukh, Eric Stringer and Corey Bradshaw (bottom, left to right) to the International Conference on Hot Subdwarfs and Related Objects in Liège, Belgium, where they presented their research.

Thomas Kupfer, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, took three graduate students to the International Conference on Hot Subdwarfs and Related Objects, held June 13-17 in Liège, Belgium. Each of the three graduate students—Corey Bradshaw, Kunal Deshmukh and Eric Stringer—gave presentations on their research, the results of which will be published in the conference's peer-reviewed and referenced Bulletin de la Société Royale des Sciences de Liège. “This news is once again another good example of the excellence of research conducted by our students and their success at the international level,” said Sung-Won Lee, professor and department chair. The students' travel expenses were funded, in part, by the department and by the TTU Graduate School. Read more at this link.

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Surliuga Reports the Passing of Italian Artist Who Exhibited Works in Lubbock

TTU professor Victoria Surliuga (left) and the late Ezio Gribaudo (right)

TTU's Victoria Surliuga, an associate professor of Italian (at left), with the late Ezio Gribaudo, an Italian artist (at right), and an e-book (center inset) Surliuga authored about the artist.

Victoria Surliuga, associate professor of Italian in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures (CMLL), reports the passing of Italian artist Ezio Gribaudo, who died July 18, 2022. The Lubbock and Texas Tech communities welcomed three art exhibitions of Gribaudo's works curated by Surliuga:

  • "Ezio Gribaudo: Life and Art" at the Department of CMLL, Texas Tech University. Oct. 3–30, 2019.
  • "Ezio Gribaudo: A Lifetime in Art" at the Texas Tech University Library. Sep. 13 – Oct. 31, 2018.
  • "Ezio Gribaudo's Theatres of Memory” at Lubbock's Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts. April 1–May 28, 2016.

A native of Turin, Italy, Gribaudo studied graphic arts at the Brera Academy and at the Faculty of Architecture of Turin Polytechnic. He had the opportunity to work with many stellar artists of his day, including Chagall, de Chirico, Fontana, Peggy Guggenheim, Miró, and Moore. As a curator of art exhibitions himself, Gribaudo organized an exhibition of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in 1976 at the Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna, and the exhibition-performance Coucou Bazar in 1978 for Jean Dubuffet at the Promotrice delle Belle Arti, organized for FIAT. Gribaudo was the subject of two e-books authored by Surliuga.

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Higgins Appointed Assistant Vice Provost for Faculty Success

TTU professor Raegan HigginsRaegan Higgins, an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, was appointed as one of two assistant vice provosts for faculty success. Announced by the Texas Tech University Provost Office July 11, Higgins' appointment recognizes the critical role that faculty members play in student success and programs. In this new position, Higgins will develop initiatives, programs and opportunities specific to inclusion and equity, mentorship, professional development, and help implement reviews of, and changes to, current policies and procedures that faculty have identified as barriers to advancement. Higgins currently is co-directing the EDGE 2022 Summer Program. Held this year at the University of Oxford July 10-Aug. 6, EDGE 2022 is a summer intensive program whose goal is to increase gender and racial diversity and equity in the mathematics community. More about Higgins at this link.

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TTU Among Top Universities Forming Hispanic Opportunity Alliance

TTU Holden Hall

Texas Tech University is one of 20 top research universities that have formed the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities (HSRU). The alliance was announced June 9, 2022, and represents the 20 United States universities that have achieved both Carnegie Tier One status (R1, very high research activity) and designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The HSRU Alliance aims to achieve two key goals by 2030:

    • double the number of Hispanic doctoral students enrolled at Alliance universities, and
    • increase by 20% the number of Hispanic professors in Alliance universities.

“At Texas Tech University, we work every day to produce exceptional research and scholarship while advancing intercultural relations and global competency,” said Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec. “The HSRU Alliance will allow us to make a more significant impact by providing better support for Hispanic students, ultimately benefitting all students. We are proud to be among this group of distinguished institutions.” For a detailed account, follow this link.

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Pal Featured in Carbon Program Newsletter

TTU professor Sandip PalSandip Pal, an assistant professor of atmospheric science in the Department of Geosciences, was featured in the June 2022 newsletter of the North American Carbon Program (NACP). The NACP is a multi-agency, multidisciplinary scientific research program focused on carbon sources and sinks in North America and its adjacent oceans. Each edition of the newsletter includes a member spotlight that recognizes the work of a member—in this case, Pal—currently involved in research that addresses observational, experimental and modeling efforts regarding terrestrial, oceanic, atmospheric and human components of the carbon cycle. Pal was nominated for the article by Elisabeth K. Larson, Ph.D., of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

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Hirth Expects Active Hurricane Season in 2022

Atlantic Hurricane chart 2022, courtesy NOAA

Brian Hirth, a research professor with Texas Tech University's National Wind Institute, expects 2022 to provide an active hurricane season. “Because no two storms are the same, active seasons—as we are expecting this year—grant us the opportunity to collect diverse datasets which provide insights into improving current building designs and codes to further mitigate the negative impacts of hurricane landfalls,” Hirth said. “Our research is very much focused on providing a detailed understanding of the hurricane wind field at landfall, and relating the details we can measure using our portable StickNet and research radar platforms to the atmospheric science and engineering communities.” Read the complete article at this link.

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Nittrouer Finds Dams May Enhance Flood Risk

TTU geoscientist Jeffrey Nittrouer

Jeffrey Nittrouer, an associate professor of geomorphology and sedimentology in the Department of Geosciences, has published new research in the journal Nature Communications showing that dams may not reduce the likelihood of flooding. He and lead author Hongbo Ma, a former postdoctoral research scientist in Nittrouer's lab, had discovered that the size of sediment influenced the size of river dunes and therefore water flow, especially during flood events. “We began to question if by damming of rivers, there could be the possibility of enhancing roughness and therefore increasing flooding,” Nittrouer said. “This is an entirely counterintuitive feedback, and led us to pursue a fundamental question: how do river dams, which change both sediment size and water flow conditions, impact river flooding?” Read the complete article at this link.

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News Briefs Archive.

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