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UT News

In the Know

The July 13 roundup of campus kudos and press mentions.

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Campus Kudos

Texas Women’s Athletics Hall of Honor to induct six new members
Five distinguished former University of Texas student-athletes and a current administrator will be inducted this fall into the UT Women’s Athletics Hall of Honor, the Women’s Hall of Honor Committee announced July 7. The 12th Longhorn Women’s Hall of Honor class includes: Cat Osterman, three-time softball National Player of the Year and 2004 Olympic gold medalist; Sanya Richards-Ross, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time NCAA Champion in track; Kelly (Wilson) Schmedes, two-time soccer All-American; Heather Bowie Young, golf’s 1997 NCAA individual champion; Kim Basinger, a finalist for the first-ever Wade Trophy and the first basketball student-athlete to commit to legendary Texas coach Jody Conradt; and Chris Plonsky, current UT women’s Athletics Director. The Class of 2011 will be inducted at an 11:30 a.m. ceremony and luncheon on Friday, Nov. 18 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.

University selects first Staff Ombuds Officer
Jennifer Graf Sims, associate ombuds for Bridgepoint Education in San Diego, Calif., has been selected as the first staff ombuds officer for The University of Texas at Austin. The appointment will be effective July 20. William Powers Jr., president of the university, said Sims is “an excellent choice for UT’s first staff ombuds officer. She has extensive experience in dispute resolution and will serve as a strong independent advocate for our staff. The Staff Council has made an ombuds officer a priority, and I believe this position will benefit our staff and the university as a whole.”

UT graduate student awarded Hogg Foundation Awards Scholarship
Steven C. Smith is one of five outstanding Texas graduate students of social work  awarded the prestigious Ima Hogg Scholarship for Mental Health for the 2011-2012 academic year. The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health awards up to five $5,000 scholarships annually to students who plan to provide mental health services after graduation. Applicants must attend an accredited graduate social work program in Texas and be nominated by the head of their program. The scholarship program was created in 1956 by Houston philanthropist Ima Hogg to attract students to mental health careers.

Lee Chesney appointed as Interim Chair of the Department of Art and Art History
The College of Fine Arts has appointed Associate Professor Lee Chesney as interim chair of the Department of Art and Art History, effective Sept. 1, 2011. “Lee’s reliability and even-handedness as associate chair set him apart,” said Dean Douglas Dempster of the College of Fine Arts. “He has done a laudable job managing the thousand details in that role.”

Moutos-Lee named Interim Director for Regional Foundation Library
Ellen Moutos-Lee has been named interim director for the Regional Foundation Library, which is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. “Ellen’s knowledge of funding sources and of nonprofits, combined with her many years of experience at the library and her customer service orientation make her well qualified to assume the director’s role while we carry out a nationwide search for a new director of the library,” said Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement.

Press Mentions

Discovery News: Giant underwater volcanoes discovered
July 13
Ian Dalziel, Jackson School of Geosciences, says the Sandwich Islands near newly discovered undersea volcanoes are moving east very quickly.

Time magazine: Codex Caper: Medieval guidebook stolen from a Spanish church
July 11
The Codex Calixtinus, a priceless 12th century manuscript, was stolen earlier this month from a Spanish cathedral vault. The Harry Ransom Center’s Richard Oram, a member of the Rare Books and Manuscript Security Committee, says he suspects an inside job.

ABC News: Is Texas Gov. Rick Perry a jobs wizard?
July 8
In this story on job growth in Texas, Daniel Hamermesh, the Sue Killam Professor in the Foundations of Economics in the College of Liberal Arts, comments on the effect low taxes have on the state’s public services.

The New York Times: Texas Governor Perry likely to run in 2012
July 7
Bruce Buchanan, Department of Government, says the “big question” is whether Gov. Rick Perry could be a competitive presidential candidate in the general election.

USA Today: Prince William and Catherine to visit Skid Row
July 6
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to Skid Row and their emphasis on charity reflects the “fundamental role of the modern British monarchy,” says Philippa Levine, the Mary Helen Thompson Centennial Professor in the Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts.

The New York Times: Home birth on the rise by a dramatic 20 percent
July 5
Researcher Robbie Davis-Floyd, Department of Anthropology, comments on the increased number of well-informed women choosing to give birth outside of the hospital.

FOXNews.com: Texas fights to save the dinosaursthe footprints, that is
July 5
Ed Theriot, the Jane and Roland Blumberg Centennial Professor in Molecular Evolution and director of the Texas Natural Science Center, discusses the threat to the Glen Rose Dinosaur Tracks in their current location on campus and the campaign to relocate the tracks into a climate-controlled exhibit space.

The New York Times: An imperiled institution
July 3
Mark Regnerus, Department of Sociology, chimes in on this “Room for Debate” topic about the changing institution of marriage.

The New York Times: Perry flexed his muscles to influence the session
July 2
Jim Henson, Department of Government, speaks to Gov. Rick Perry’s influence adding, “Basically nobody has dominated the executive branch, that I’m aware of, like Rick Perry has.”

The New York Times: Crusading from outside to lower college costs
July 2
Vice Provost Gretchen Ritter has admired the degree-planning features of businessman Michael Crosno’s Web site, MyEdu. Crosno’s goal is to reduce the amount of time it takes college students to graduate.

CNN.com: Analysts blame faulty assumptions for prolonged Libya war
June 29
Alan J. Kuperman, LBJ School of Public Affairs, says officials’ failure to understand the makeup of the Libyan population is a reason why the air campaign has been unsuccessful in defeating Moammar Gadhafi.

CNN.com: How words have the power to heal
June 29
In this personal essay, writer Amanda Enayati describes the work of Dr. James Pennebaker, Department of Psychology.  Pennebaker has studied how people write about trauma and the benefits one may experience through expressive writing.

NPR: Closing the digital divide, expanding digital literacy
June 29
A “Tell Me More” guest host interviews S. Craig Watkins, Department of Radio-Television-Film, about Internet and technology use among young minorities.

The Economist: Collecting with a vengeance
June 28
This article highlights the range and scope of the collection the Harry Ransom Center has pursued and acquired as well as the acquisition strategy of Ransom Center Director Tom Staley.

Read the last edition of In the Know.