UH Today

Of Note 2010

July 2010

The department of communication sciences and disorders' graduate program in speech language pathology received full reaccreditation from the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) for eight years, which is the longest accreditation interval granted by CAA.

FACULTY/STAFF                                                                                                                                         Driss Benhaddou, Manikanden Balakrishnan, Xiaojing Yuan, Ji Chen, Mukesh Jungta, Rick Barton and Heng Yang wrote the article "Wireless Sensor Networks for Space Applications: Network Architecture and Protocol Enhancements." The article was chosen by the Sensors & Transducers editorial board as one of the 10 best articles published in the journal in 2009. Benhaddou and Yuan are faculty members in the engineering technology department in the College of Technology. Balakrishnan is a postdoctoral fellow in the engineering technology department. Chen is a faculty member, Jungta is a graduate student and Yang is a postdoctoral fellow in the electrical and computer engineering department. Barton is senior staff scientist at ERC Inc.

Ira Colby, dean of the Graduate College of Social Work, received an honorary degree from Springfield College at the institution’s commencement ceremonies. Colby also delivered a recent commencement address at the college.

Thomas Kubiszyn, chair and professor of educational psychology, has been selected as a Distinguished Practitioner to the National Academies Practice in Psychology. The organization is composed of 10 academies in dentistry, medicine, nursing, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, podiatric medicine, psychology, social work and veterinary medicine.

Yashashree Kulkarni, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, received a 2010 Young Faculty Award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The award, given annually to junior faculty, recognizes talented researchers whose work will help develop solutions that could enhance security.

Cullen Professor of Engineering Dan Luss was presented with the Neal R. Amundson Award for Excellence in Chemical Reaction Engineering at the. International Symposium for Chemical Reaction Engineering. One of the highest honors in the field, the award is bestowed every three years to recognize a pioneer in the field.

Gordon L. Paul, Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor of Psychology, presented an invited B.F. Skinner Lecture at the 2010 convention of the Association of Behavior Analysis International. The topic of the lecture was "Behavioral Monitoring to Support Evidence-Based Practices in Residential Settings."

Football head coach Kevin Sumlin was named the Fritz Pollard BCA Male Coach of the Year by the
Black Coaches and Administrators.

History professor Eric H. Walther made a presentation at the "Secession and War Come to Washington" symposium organized by the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. His presentation was part of the series The National Capital in a Nation Divided: Congress and the District of Columbia Confront Sectionalism and Slavery.

STUDENTS                                                                                                                                                                    Computer science student Araly Barrera won the prestigious National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship for his proposal on automatic text summarization. The fellowship is for three years.

Business student Justin Boyar was one of 19 students across the state to receive a $10,000 scholarship from the Texas Business Hall of Fame. The award recognizes students who may become future entrepreneurs and leaders of Texas’s business community.

Charlissa Foster, a thrower on the track and field team, is one of 12 recipients of the Conference USA (C-USA) Spirit of Service Award. The award recognizes the community service efforts of the league's student-athletes.

Business students Andrew Jobe and James Wilson won first place in the University of Nebraska’s 23rd Annual New Ventures World Competition and second place in the University of Evansville's Second Annual Evansville New Venture Creation Competition for their business, Satellite Connect.

At the annual Texas Young Lawyers Association Moot Court Competition, law students Randy Macchi, Erin Stanley and Emily Ziemba were recognized for the best brief. Maachi claimed the top speaker award.

Emmanuel Osadebey was named to the 2010 C-USA Men’s and Women’s Track and Field All-Academic Team for the second consecutive year.

Former swimmer Sasha Schwendenwein received a $4,000 Jim Castañeda Postgraduate Scholarship. Schwendenwein is one of 12 recipients in 2009-2010. The scholarship is awarded annually to graduates selected by the C-USA faculty athletics representatives and approved by the board of directors.

February 2010

The Center for Public History received a $75,000 grant from the Ron Stone Foundation to establish the Ron Stone Academy for the Teaching of Texas History. The program is scheduled to hold its first classes in this summer.

Nizar Aouni (’09) received a Humboldt Research Fellowship for mechanical engineering to conduct research at the Leibniz University Institute of Continuum Mechanics, in Hanover, Germany.

Cristina Rivera-Garza (’95), professor of creative writing at the University of California, San Diego, is the recipient of the Sor Juan Inés de la Cruz (Sister Juan Ines de la Cruz) National Book Award for her novel "La muerte me da" ("Death Gives Me"). This is the second time she has won the prize, which is given to the woman writer of the year in Mexico.

Ernesto Calvo, associate professor of political science, co-presented the paper "Trade and Coalitions Revisited: Political Networks under Changing Trade Policy Environments" at the 2009 American Political Science Association conference.

Seth J. Chandler, professor of law, presented "Modeling Long-Term Care Insurance" to the International Mathematical User conference.

Yuhua Chen, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, received two National Science Foundation grants totaling more than $890,000 to develop a multimode switching platform to make possible the transfer of all types of data over the Internet using one piece of technology.

Jeronimo Cortina, assistant professor of political science, delivered a paper on the impact of the economic crisis on remittances and social assistance on families left behind at the UNICEF-Overseas Development Institute conference in London.

Vincent Donnelly and Demetre Economou, professors of chemical and biomolecular engi-neering, received $1 million as part of the five-year, $10 million Department of Energy grant to support the Center on Plasma Science, led by researchers at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Economou and Donnelly will join scientists from universities and national laboratories across the country to research the science behind plasmas in an effort to make them more efficient.

Meredith J. Duncan’s article "Personal Torts" was published by the Southern Methodist University Law Review. Duncan is the George Butler Research Professor of Law.

Geoffrey Hoffman’s article "Immigration Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support) and Efforts to Collect Damages as Support Obligations Against Divorced Spouses: What Practitioners Need to Know" was published by the Florida Bar Journal.

Thomas T.C. Hsu, John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Civil Engineering, was honored jointly by the American Concrete Institute and the American Association of Civil Engineers for his contributions to the field of structural engineering with a symposium in New Orleans.

Robert Nelson, music professor, co-authored the recently published book "Leo Zeitlin: Chamber Music."

Carlos Ordonez, associate professor of physics, has been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society for contributions to the effective chiral langrangian theory of the nucleon-nucleon interaction and to conformal quantum mechanics for its applications. The organization also recognized Ordonez for extensive efforts toward developing science in Latin America.

Monica Perales, assistant professor of history, has been elected to the board of directors of Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She will serve a three-year term.

Venkat Selvamanickam, M.D.Anderson Professor of Mechanical Engineering, received a 2009 Wire & Cable Technology International Technical Achievement Award for contributions to the development and commercialization of second-generation, high-temperature superconducting wire.

Head football coach Kevin Sumlin was named the Conference USA Coach of the Year. Sumlin led the Cougars to West Division title and a national ranking for nearly the entire season. It was the first time UH has been ranked in a poll since the 1991 season.

Greg Vetter, associate professor of law, presented "Patent Law’s Unpredictability Doctrine & the Software Arts" at the DePaul University College of Law Center for Intellectual Property Law and Information Technology ninth annual symposium.

Numerous creative writing students have received recognition. Samuel Amadon won the Iowa Poetry Prize for "Like a Sea." Lauren Berry received the Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Eric Ekstrand won a 2009 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship awarded by the Poetry Foundation. Farnoosh Fathi received a U.S.Student Fulbright Fellowship in creative writing in Brazil to complete a book of poems. Matthew Siegel received Stanford University’s Wallace Stegner Fellowship.

Lana Flores, a graphic communication major, won first place in the Associated Collegiate Press 2009 Advertising Award competition for her display ad designed for UH Dining Services. The ad was published in the spring 2009 edition of The Daily Cougar’s Green Guide special section.

Case Keenum, football quarterback, was the winner of the 2009 Sammy Baugh Award given by The Touchdown Club of Columbus. The accolade is presented to the top passer in collegiate football.

Music student Geraldine Ong placed first in the Young Artist Piano division of the Texas Music Teacher’s National Association competition. Stephanie Chan received an honorable mention in the competition.

Joseph Stromberg, research assistant in the Center of Public History, was awarded a $12,500 grant from the Environmental Institute of Houston to assist him in researching and writing his dissertation, "Atomic Cowboys: Regulation and Resistance to Nuclear Power in Texas."

UH’s student chapter of AITP (Association of IT Professionals) received numerous honors at the ATIP regional student conference. First-place awards were given to Chris McGuire and David Norelid for systems analysis and design, and William Zolandz for PC troubleshooting. McGuire also placed first for Microsoft Office Solutions. Second-place awards were presented to Monica Haaksma for systems analysis and design, Ronny Brehm for PC troubleshooting, and to the team of Norelid and Alan Walters for database design.