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In the Know

The April 13 weekly roundup of campus kudos and press mentions.

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Campus Kudos

Ransom Center receives $1 million gift for conservation and preservation
The Harry Ransom Center has received a $1 million gift from the Booth Heritage Foundation to support and enrich its conservation and preservation programs. The gift to Campaign for Texas, the university’s capital campaign, will support a five-year initiative to enhance the Ransom Center’s conservation and preservation programs for physical materials and to transform the Center’s digital preservation program.

Pew Research Center director wins DeWitt Reddick Award
Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, is the recipient of the 2010 DeWitt Carter Reddick Award, recognizing outstanding people in the field of communication. It is one of the highest honors given by the College of Communication. Rosenstiel designed and directs the Project for Excellence in Journalism, which uses empirical research to evaluate and study the performance of the press.

Imaging Research Center receives $3.8 million in Recovery Act Funds
The Imaging Research Center (IRC) will be able to move into the Norman Hackerman Building with $3.8 million in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health. The IRC is several miles away at the Pickle Research campus. The new central location will support the installation of new imaging machines, such as a high-powered MRI scanner scientists will use to study the human brain.

Alumni donate $100,000 to College of Education
University of Texas at Austin supporters and alumni Suzan and Julius Glickman have donated $100,000 to the College of Education to establish the Suzan Clark Glickman Endowed Fellowship in Learning Disabilities and the Suzan Clark Glickman Endowed Fellowship in Early Childhood Special Education. Each fellowship is receiving $50,000. Funds from the endowments will be used to support graduate students studying in the Department of Special Education’s Learning Disabilities Program and in Early Childhood Special Education.

Press Mentions

The New York Times: Austin seeks a new blueprint for power utilities
April 7

When they loaded solar panels on their roofs in a new planned community here, Joe Zabreznik, Ashley Fisher and Leila Melhem were not trying to overturn a century-plus of electric utility practices and policies in the United States.

No less may be at stake, however, as the Pecan Street Project unfolds in Austin’s Mueller neighborhood.

“This isn’t a smart grid project. This is going way beyond that,” said Roger Duncan, former general manager of Austin Energy and now board president of the Pecan Street Project, an eclectic nonprofit consortium that includes the utility, the University of Texas, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Austin Chamber of Commerce. The project draws its name from a landmark downtown neighborhood.

TIME: Giant lizard discovered in the Philippines
April 7

Researchers have concluded that a giant, golden-spotted monitor lizard discovered in the forested mountains of the Philippines six years ago is a new species, according to a study released Wednesday.

Eric R. Pianka, a lizard expert at The University of Texas at Austin, said in an e-mail interview that it was an “incredible find.”

“This is truly a spectacular discovery,” Pianka said. “Worldwide, there are about 60-plus species of monitor lizards. In all probability, some as yet undescribed species will be found on various islands in Indonesia,” he said.

The New York Times: Is Texas Writing the Book on Wind Power?
April 8

Feb. 28, 2010, was a banner day for Texas wind to set the clouds — and electrons — flying.

In the Panhandle, gusts reached 47 miles per hour and wind generators delivered a record 6,242 megawatts of power to Dallas, Austin and other population centers. At 1 p.m., 22 percent of all the electricity consumed in the Texas grid was coming from wind.

It clearly is center stage displaying the engineering, industry and political challenges of a large-scale build-out of wind, as called for by President Obama and his party’s leaders in Congress. “It is a laboratory, if you like, a pilot, a test case,” says Gürcan Gülen, senior energy economist at The University of Texas at Austin.

Read last week’s In the Know.