Texas Tech University

A&S Student News

Fall 2016

Scholarship in the College of Arts & Sciences includes the advancements, accomplishments, appointments and the progress of our graduate and undergraduate students.

To submit news items for consideration, contact Toni Salama, Senior Editor, Office of the Dean.

Spanish Grad Students Give Readings

Grad students in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures continued the tradition of Live Poetry on Dec. 9. Organized by Genaro Pérez, Professor of Spanish, and Rodrigo Pereyra, Instructor of Spanish, the event brought faculty and graduate students together for readings of their personal creative writing: fiction, poetry, short story, and essay.
CMLL Presenters:

  • Rolando Díaz: Más Pretty Que Las Rucas (short story), R&R (short story)
  • Isabel Ojeda: Lujuria, Desnudo, Nostalgia (poems)
  • David Arocho-Pérez: Tipos de amantes (creative essay)
  • Rocío Vargas: Una parodia del borracho enamorado (essay)
  • Cecilia Palacio-Ribón: ¿Un espacio en blanco o un hoyo negro? (essay)
  • Genaro Pérez: Three poems from his latest poetry book, "Estelas en la mar." 

Herrera Quoted in Story about Goodfellows

Jasmin Herrera, an undergraduate pursuing a dual major in psychology and business, was featured in the Dec. 7 Lubbock Avalanche Journal article, "Goodfellows: Buckner Program Helps Mom Reach Life Goals." Buckner International's Family Pathways program helps single parents become self-sufficient by providing affordable housing and reduced rates for child care, along with a support system. Herrera told the A-J that she had been looking for a fresh start when she heard about Family Pathways and has been using the program's services for about a year and a half. The story detailed the challenges that single mothers face and how Family Pathways helps clients by pushing them to get an education, teaching them to set goals, and providing opportunities for spiritual guidance. "It's hard juggling things sometimes but in the end you have to," Herrera told the A-J. "When I first moved here, I was like, I'd rather it be hard right now than it be hard the rest of my life."

4 Undergrads Publish Case Study Research

Collin Quinn, Ryan Neumann, and Sean Woyton, all majors in the Department of Kinesiology & Sport Management, along with Brittany Whittaker, an undergraduate on the Pre-Professional Health track, published their case study, "All or Nothing: A Case Study in Muscle Contraction," in the Sept. 2016 National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. Breanna Harris, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, taught the course, Peer Mentoring in Human Physiology, in which the four were undergraduate teaching assistants. The course required the students to write an original case study. But these undergraduate researchers and their professor did the extra work of submitting their research and ultimately saw it published.

Hayes, Thompson Win Grad School Award

Kia Hayes and Kelsey Thompson TTU

Kia Hayes and Kelsey Thompson, both graduate students in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, received the Fall 2016 Grant-in-Aid Award from the Texas Tech University Graduate School. The award funds the research of graduate students.

Geosciences Field Camp at Manzano

Manzano Mountains State Park

Hannah Cunningham (BS Geology, TTU 2016), reported in the Fall 2016 Caprock Connections newsletter the following about the Department of Geosciences 2016 Field Camp that the trip to the Manzano Mountains State Park, New Mexico, was more helpful in preparing the students to become scientists and professional geologists than a trip one to a more familiar location would have been. The participants, led by Aaron Yoshinobu, Professor of Structural Geology & Tectonics, were forced to think for themselves about what they saw and were able to contribute to the first definitive geologic interpretation of the area, Cunningham determined.

Biochemistry Society Designs Winning T-shirt


The TTU Biochemistry Society, a student chapter of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), has won the International ASBMB Student Chapter's T-shirt Contest, and the winning design is pictured at right. The T-shirts were chosen this fall and will be available for sale at the ASBMB 2017 meeting in Chicago April 22-26.

Hayes Receives $1,000 Research Grant

Kia Hayes with whale

Kia Hayes, a Graduate Student in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, was awarded a $1,000 research grant from the San Francisco Bay American Cetacean Society Chapter for her research on "Contaminant concentrations in Eastern North Pacific gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) – spatial and temporal patterns and influence of life-history parameters."

Anderson Wins Undergrad Award for Paper

Seamus Anderson, an undergraduate researcher in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work, won the undergraduate student paper competition at the 74th Plains Anthropological Conference held in Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 12-15, by the Plains Anthropological Society (PAS). Anderson's paper, titled, "Death, Divination, and Obligation: Owls in Nineteenth Century Kiowa Culture," will be published in an upcoming issue of the PAS journal Plains Anthropologist. Mike Jordan, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Anderson's research mentor, said that Anderson's ethnobiological research focuses on the relationship between humans and other species. "In his paper, Seamus examined the symbolism that nineteenth century Kiowa people ascribed to owls and contrasts this with contemporary Kiowa understandings of owls," Jordan said. "As far as I can tell, this is the first time that a representative from Texas Tech has won a PAS student paper award. He is an exceptionally bright and hardworking student, and I am extremely proud of him."

HFES Student Chapter Lands 9th Gold Award

TTU Psychology Student Chapter of HFES wins 9th Gold Award

The Human Factors and Ergonomic Society Student Chapter in the Department of Psychological Sciences, will receive its 9th consecutive gold level award from the HFES awards committee at the 2016 HFES National Meeting Sept. 19-23 in Washington, D.C. The HFES Student Chapter works to develop professional skills and opportunities of students interested in Human Factors and Ergonomics. The gold level award recognizes the many activities conducted annually by the chapter and the dedication of its student members.

Quintero Presents at English Speaker Series

Iracema Quintero, a Master's Student in the Department of English, gave a presentation, "Empowering Others By Empowering One's Self: Mestizo Feminism in Real Women Have Curves," during the Department's Sept. 7 LSJE Lunchtime Speaker Series. (LSJE stands for Literature, Social Justice, and the Environment.) The event also featured Scott Baugh, Associate Professor of Film/Media Studies in the Department of English, who presented on "Sustainable 'Developments' in Contemporary Latin American Political Cinema."

Chemistry Students Present Posters

The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry held its first Departmental Research Poster Presentation and Competition on Aug. 26. The event created a place and time for students, postdocs and faculty from different research groups to discuss one another's work and for the Department to award the best among them. Competition winners were:

First Place Undergraduate Research Poster

  • Amanda C. Miller (Casadonte Group), The Reductive Sonochemical Synthesis of Superparamagnetic Nanoparticles

First Place Graduate Research Poster

  • Suresh Mummadi (Krempner Group), Inverse FLP Approaches for Metal-Free Catalytic Hydrogenation of Imines and Carbonyl Compounds

Second Place Graduate Research Poster

  • Olga Estrada (D'Auria Group), Type III Polyketide Synthases Participate in Secondary Ring Formation of Tropane Alkaloids in Erythrocylum coca

Third Place Graduate Research Poster

  • Wenjie Li (Pappas Group), Microfluidic Separation of Lymphoblasts in Diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

ENTX Student Chapter Featured in Newsletter

The Llano Estacado Student Chapter of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry was featured in the Back to School Edition of TTU's Student Organizations Weekly e-newsletter. The feature recognized the chapter for winning TTU's 2015-2016 Overall Student Organization of the Year, and described the chapter's membership--mostly grad students in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, though all majors are welcome—and activities in education outreach with local schools. 

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