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FALL 2018

Masoumzadeh Presents at TTUHSC Symposium

Elahe Masoumzadeh, a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, gave a presentation at the 10th annual Center for Membrane Protein Research Symposium, held Oct. 15-16 at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Masoumzadeh is a member of professor Michael Latham's research group and presented on her research topic, "Exploring the role of a single mutation of the RRM CstF-64 on the cleavage and polyadenylation process."

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Rahman Presents at TTUHSC Symposium

Samiur Rahman, a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, gave a presentation at the 10th annual Center for Membrane Protein Research Symposium, held Oct. 15-16 at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Rahman is a member of professor Michael Latham's research group and presented on his research topic, "Studies of an Mre11 cancer mutation give inside into the mechanism of double-stranded DNA damage repair."

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Sprouse Presents at LSJE Luncheon Series

Sarah Sprouse, PhD student in the Department of English, Texas Tech UniversitySarah Sprouse, a PhD candidate in the Department of English, discussed her current research at a recent TTU English Literature, Social Justice, and the Environment (LSJE) luncheon. Sprouse's work stems from her dissertation, "Fantasies of Wales: Some Paleographic Evidence for the Mediating Role of Gerald of Wales." Her research examines the medieval and early modern afterlives of the 30 manuscripts containing the 12th-century Itinerarium Kambriae and Descriptio Kambriae by Gerald of Wales. a departmental news brief posted Oct. 9. "The reader reception and interaction with these manuscripts demonstrates the ongoing instability of these texts despite their early appearance in print," Sprouse was quoted as saying in a departmental news brief dated Oct. 9. "My LSJE presentation [traces] the movement of marginal annotations from a 13th-century manuscript to a 16th-century printing and beyond."Sprouse is a winner of numerous grants and fellowships, the most recent of which include the 2018-2019 Tech University Dissertation Completion Fellowship, which frees Sprouse from teaching obligations to focus on dissertation research and writing; the 2018-2019 Huntington Library Exchange Fellowship to Trinity College-Dublin, which provides for research at Trinity College-Dublin; and the 2017 Robert and Janet Lumiansky Dissertation Grant from the Medieval Academy of America, for dissertation research. Also speaking at the LSJE luncheon was Julie Nelson Couch, associate professor in the Department of English, who said of her presentation: "In our project, Gaming the Medieval English Text: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Cotton Nero A.x. Manuscript, my collaborator, Kimberly Bell and I apply contemporary cultural game theory to a medieval manuscript. The unique visual layout of the late 14th-century poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, adds another interactive layer to the games that abound in the narrative."

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Skinner-Ramos Receives NSF Internship

Sueli Skinner-Ramos, Grad Student in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Texas Tech

Sueli Skinner-Ramos, a graduate student and research assistant for Condensed Matter Physics  in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, has received the National Science Foundation's Non-Academic Research Internship for Graduate Students. Her internship began Oct. 1 and provides for Skinner-Ramos to spend three months at Sandia National Laboratories, where she will conduct research toward her Ph.D. "This internship will allow me to test the skills I have learned, not only from my research in optics but throughout my physics career, in a high-level research environment," Skinner-Ramos said. "It is not easy as an international graduate student to obtain an opportunity like this. This internship will expose me to the rigors, expectations, and day to day demands in the research and development workforce. Also, this activity will give me the opportunity to meet and collaborate with scientific leaders of their fields, and will be a great way to expand my professional network." According to an Aug. 27 NSF announcement, the Non-Academic Research Internship is meant to foster the growth of a globally competitive and diverse STEM research workforce for the private sector, recognizing that graduate students have the potential to make important contributions in careers outside academia. In fact, NSF's 2018 Science and Engineering Indicators report show that 79 percent of master's level STEM graduates and 57 percent of doctoral degree holders work in industry or government.

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5 from Chemistry Present Posters at TACCSTER

Five students in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry attended TACCSTER 2018 (Texas Advanced Computing Consortium Symposium for Texas Researchers) Sep 20-21. The event was held at the University of Texas at Austin. All five are members of professor Bill Poirier's research group:

  • J. Jerke presented on "Exact 3-body quantum calculations: simulating any interaction in vacuum or solid state."
  • A. Pandey presented on "Using wavelets to compute the vibrational states of OCHCO+."
  • J. Sarka presented on "Rovibrational quantum dynamics of the Ne4 tetramer.
  • P. Kumar presented on "Rovibrational bound states of SO2 isotopologues: an application to sulfur mass-independent fractionation."

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Smith Gives Reading at Series Launch

Jessica Smith, PhD student in the Department of English at Texas Tech UniversityJessica Smith, a PhD student in English & Creative Writing, read from her recent works on Sept. 6, as the Department of English began its 2018-19 TTU Creative Writing Program Reading Series. Smith co-founded and curates the LHUCA Literary Series. Her poetry, essays, and criticism can be found in Prairie Schooner, Waxwing, 32 Poems, The Rumpus, and other journals. She received her MFA in poetry from The New School and is the recipient of scholarships from the Sewanee Writers' Conference and the Vermont Studio Center. Robby Taylor, a PhD student in Literature & Creative Writing, also gave a reading, as did Lubbock's first poet laureate, William Wenthe, professor in the Department of English and author of four books of poems: God's Foolishness (2016); Words Before Dawn (2012); Not Till We Are Lost (2003); and Birds of Hoboken (1995).

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Taylor Reads Recent Work at Series

Robby Taylor, PhD student in the Department of English at Texas Tech UniversityRobby Taylor, a PhD student in Literature & Creative Writing, read from his recent works on Sept. 6, as the Department of English began its 2018-19 TTU Creative Writing Program Reading Series. Taylor received his MFA in Fiction from Arizona State University in Tempe, where he was the Theresa A. Wilhoit Fellow. Jessica Smith, a PhD student in English & Creative Writing, also gave a reading, as did Lubbock's first poet laureate, William Wenthe, professor in the Department of English and author of four books of poems: God's Foolishness (2016); Words Before Dawn (2012); Not Till We Are Lost (2003); and Birds of Hoboken (1995).

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Miller Receives TrUE Fellowship

Lauren Miller, biology major at Texas Tech UniversityLauren Miller, a Biology major working in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, was awarded a fellowship to conduct research work in professor Kristin Hutchin's lab. The fellowship came from TrUE, the Center for Transformative Undergraduate Experiences (formerly know as CALUE, or the Center for Active Learning and Undergraduate Engagement). TrUE provides project funding—based on a competitive review process—to undergraduate students who are conducting original research, scholarship, or creative activity under the mentorship of a faculty member. In addition to providing support and funds for undergraduate research, TrUE works to develop innovative programs and activities that enhance undergraduate research. 

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Trubenstein Wins 2 Undergraduate Awards

Henry Trubenstein, undergraduate chemistry student at Texas Tech University

Henry Trubenstein, an undergraduate in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, received $1,000 to support his undergraduate research work in professor Anthony Cozzolino's group. The funds came from TrUE, the Center for Transformative Undergraduate Experiences (formerly know as CALUE, or the Center for Active Learning and Undergraduate Engagement). TrUE provides project funding—based on a competitive review process—to undergraduate students who are conducting original research, scholarship, or creative activity under the mentorship of a faculty member. Trubenstein also received the 2018 Undergraduate Award in Inorganic Chemistry from the Division of Inorganic Chemistry of the American Chemical Society.

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David Awarded Covenant Fellowship

Sarah Jo David, a grad student in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Texas TechSarah Jo David, a doctoral student in the Department of Psychological Sciences' Clinical program, has been awarded the Covenant Health and Social Services Graduate Fellowship, according to an Aug. 29 departmental news item. The Covenant Health and Social Services Graduate Fellowship is a competitive fellowship that was established in 1997 to assist graduate students pursuing fields including clinical psychology, counseling psychology, human development and family studies, sociology, health organization management, and marriage and family therapy. 

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Grad Students Start TTU Net Impact Chapter

Darin Williams, Luke Morgan, Shayla Corprew, English grad students at Texas TechDarin Williams, Luke Morgan, and Shayla Corprew, all graduate students in the Department of English, have created a Texas Tech chapter of Net Impact. Net Impact is an international program dedicated to creating effective communication among students, staff, and faculty across all disciplines. Williams appreciates Net Impact for its tangible tools for social and environmental involvement for young professionals, according to a departmental news item posted Aug. 23. "As a student, teacher, and professional, it's difficult to find the time to plan, develop, and execute impactful activities," says Williams. "Net Impact provides more 'off the shelf' activities than any organization I've ever been involved with." Plans for the Texas Tech chapter include hosting webinars, panel discussions, and workshops centered around interdisciplinary dialogue and environmental and social impact. "My work at TTU as a technical communication scholar is focused on implementing practical methods of effective communication," Corprew says. "Net Impact complements this work well and will be a great asset to the university community."

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SUMMER 2018

Montanez Graduates With Legacy of Character

Jonathon Montanez, TTU graduating senior in kinesiologyJonathon Montanez, a graduating senior in kinesiology, attributes the world of opportunities now ahead of him to the one he passed up back in high school: a spur-of-the-moment act of selflessness that grabbed the attention of Texas Tech's then-Chancellor Kent Hance, who was so impressed he offered Montanez a scholarship, according to an Aug. 8 feature in Texas Tech Today. It happened like this: It was February 2013, the last basketball game of the regular season, and El Paso's cross-town rivals Coronado and Franklin high schools were playing one another. It also was senior night for Coronado, an already emotional final game for team manager Mitchell Marcus, who has a developmental disability. And that was before his coach put him in the game with 90 seconds remaining. "I kind of knew him growing up because we'd go to basketball camps and he'd be there—he was one of those familiar faces," said Montanez, who played for Franklin. "He was just the heart of Coronado's basketball team." Thirteen seconds later, the Franklin coach put Montanez in, since it was also his last game. Coronado led, but not by so much that the game was out of reach. "Coronado was playing 4-on-5 defense, trying to give Mitchell the ball," Montanez recalled. "He missed, I think, four shots, and with seconds left it bounced off his shoulder and went out of bounds."Inbounding the ball, Montanez did something unexpected. Instead of passing it to one of his teammates to try to score, he yelled, "Mitchell!" and passed the ball to his rival. "It was like a movie," Montanez laughed. "I didn't think on it. It was just this feeling of, 'This is his moment—it's his time to shine.'" Marcus made a basket and Coronado won by 15, but Montanez didn't feel like a loser. "Back in El Paso, it's one of the biggest rivalries, so the local news stations were there for the sports report," he said. "I thought it was just going to be local news, and they came the next day for an interview. But from there, I got calls from CBS headquarters and things like that to schedule more interviews." After a video was posted on Facebook, the story spread like wildfire. "It was a great way to end senior year," Montanez said. When Hance saw the story on TV, he said to himself, "That's the type of young man we want at Texas Tech." Hance said. "He went out of his way to be nice to someone who was disadvantaged, and I was very impressed with his action. That's the kind of kid that I love—I wanted him to be a Red Raider, and he turned out to be a great one." As Montanez graduates with his bachelor's degree in kinesiology, he hopes the right doors will open in the future so he can attend physical therapy school. To read the complete story, follow this link.

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Bonorden and Calandrini Recognized by Grad School

Sara Calandrini, graduate student in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, Texas Tech UniversityAs it does every year, Texas Tech University's Graduate School recognized work displayed in students' theses and dissertations for its annual awards, according to an article published July 20 in Texas Tech Today. Students are nominated by their faculty representatives. Those winning from the College of Arts & Sciences for 2018 are:

The Graduate School recognizes theses and dissertations of mathematics, physical sciences, engineering and social sciences in even numbered years, and biological life sciences, humanities and fine arts in odd-numbered years. The awards are funded by the Helen Jones Foundation.

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Williams & Father Both Win Fulbrights

Gretchen Williams, TTU pre-doctoral student in the Department of History, wins a Fulbright

Gretchen Williams, a pre-doctoral researcher in the Department of History, has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship. The award takes Williams to Seville, Spain, for her studies. "My proposal has to do with the Roma people, sometimes referred to as 'Gypsies,' but that term is offensive in English," Williams said in a June 15 Texas Tech Today article. "I want to focus on the 16th and 17th centuries here in Spain, specifically the provinces of Seville and Cadiz. I want to contribute to my field by being able to explain exactly what this community looked like here, what they were doing and what their neighborhoods were like. So many books on the Roma in Spain are vast and cover almost four centuries and the entire Iberian Peninsula. My dissertation will be more of a micro-historical approach, and I hope it will help us to better understand the community at that time." Williams, who holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology and a master's degree in dance history from the University of New Mexico, also wanted to learn more about the Roma people because of her love of flamenco dancing. She also enjoys the distinction of congratulating her father, Jeffrey Williams, professor of ethnology and linguistics in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work, on being named, in the same year, a Fulbright specialist in anthropology. "Gretchen applied for a Fulbright and got it on the first try," Professor Williams said. "The funny thing was, she and I got a Fulbright in the same year in two different kinds of programs, and the odds of that happening are astronomical." Being named a Fulbright specialist puts Professor Williams on a list with others in his field, with the possibility of being chosen to work on projects overseas sometime in the next five years. To read the complete story, follow this link.

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