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In the Know

The Dec. 15 roundup of campus kudos and press mentions.

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Campus Kudos

UT announces Community Leadership Award winners
The University of Texas at Austin honored seven outstanding men and women and three organizations on Dec. 9 with the Community Leadership Awards. Huston-Tillotson University, ProArts Collective and the SANDE Youth Project received the university’s Community Partnership Award. Five of Austin’s unsung heroes, who have influenced civil rights and education in Austin and state-wide, were given Community Leadership Circle Awards: Dr. Charles Akins, Dr. Audrey L. Mackey, Dr. General Marshall, Dr. Bertha Means and Edward Roby. Beverly Kearney, head coach of the university’s women’s track and field team, was honored with the 2010 Dr. June Brewer Legacy Award. The Rev. Freddie B. Dixon, an officer in the Division for Diversity and Community Engagement, received special recognition for his contributions toward successfully building meaningful community partnerships between the university and Austin organizations.

Football player, McCombs student wins “Academic Heisman”
Senior defensive end Sam Acho, an honors business major, has been named winner of the 21st National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame (NFF) William V. Campbell Trophy, as college football’s top student-athlete. He was announced as the winner at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 7 in New York City.

Four alumni named Outstanding Young Texas Exes
Four alumni have been selected by the Texas Exes to receive the 2011 Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award. The award recognizes alumni who are 40 or under, distinguished in their fields, and have demonstrated a continuing interest in the university and the Texas Exes. This year’s recipients are Craig Allen, B.A. ’03 , B.S. ’03, an art director for Wieden+Kennedy; Daron Roberts, B.A. ’01, an assistant secondary coach for the Detroit Lions Inc.; Veronica Vargas Stidvent, B.A. ’96, a lecturer and program director for the McCombs School of Business and former director of the Center for Politics and Governance at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs; and Shaarik Zafar, B.A. ’97, J.D. ’00, the deputy chief of the Countering Violent Extremism Group at the National Counterterrorism Center.

Professor named associate director of Journalism School
Wanda Garner Cash, a clinical professor of journalism since 2006, has been named associate director of the university’s School of Journalism, effective Jan. 1, 2011. Garner is a Texas community newspaper veteran with more than 25 years of experience and is a long-time advocate of open records laws and press freedoms.

Company celebrates its award by giving to the McCombs School
In recognition of receiving the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence, the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award, local restaurant company KandN Management established a $10,000 endowment to the McCombs School of Business. KandN Management is the developer of the Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q Austin franchises as well as the creator of Mighty Fine Burgers, Fries and Shakes. The $10,000 endowment will be called the Mighty Fine Burgers, Fries and Shakes Performance Excellence Scholarship.

Outstanding Graduate Coordinator award announced
Chris Mazzucco was recently named Outstanding Graduate Coordinator for the 2010-11 academic year. Mazzucco has served as graduate coordinator for the Department of Psychology for five years. She will be honored with a $3,000 award at a brunch in the spring.

Press Mentions

The New York Times: Higher salaries on tap; beautiful women’s woes
Dec. 1
Daniel Hamermesh from the Psychology Department in the College of Liberal Arts commented on a new study about hiring and beauty.

NPR: Medical scans, without the weapons-grade uranium
Dec. 6
Alan Kuperman from the LBJ School of Public Affairs was interviewed about the security of uranium used in medical scans.

The Wall Street Journal: Hearing to delve into Texas executions
Dec. 6
School of Law Professor Maurie Levin discussed the use of capital punishment and its constitutionality.

Discovery News: How to use your brain in a crisis
Dec. 3
Psychology Professor Art Markman used a recent campus crisis as an example of the need to consider one’s reactions in a stressful situation.

The Wall Street Journal: Spalding Gray’s farewell performance
Dec. 8
A final film showcasing monologuist Spalding Gray’s work premiered. The Harry Ransom Center’s recent acquisition of Gray’s archives is noted.

NPR: Obama’s tax cut deal: so much for deficit reduction
Dec. 7
Calvin Johnson from the School of Law talked about how President Barack Obama’s negotiated tax deal will affect the budget deficit.

U.S. News and World Report: Gruesome cigarette pack images make smokers want to quit, study finds
Nov. 22
Michael Mackert from the Department of Advertising discussed reaction of youths to proposed new images printed on cigarette packages.

Houston Chronicle: More Texans are dying from pill abuse
Dec. 13
School of Social Work Professor Jane Maxwell called for a new prescription drug tracking system and a way to monitor overdose deaths in the state.

NPR: Rwandan genocide finds release in photos
Dec. 13
University of Texas Libraries’ T-Kay Sangwand was interviewed about her work on the Human Rights Documentation Initiative and the introduction of the Genocide Archive of Rwanda.

The Wall Street Journal: Wind battle blows over canyon
Dec. 8
Michael Webber from the Cockrell School of Engineering discussed the national debate on infrastructure and transmission of wind power.

USA Today: Geminid meteor shower expected to be heavenly show
Dec.  12
The editor of StarDate magazine, Rebecca Johnson, was interviewed about prime times to watch the Geminid meteor shower.

Read the last edition of In the Know.