UT Tyler

UT Tyler Magazine, Spring 2012

Around Campus

Professor Awarded Funds to Study Spine Fracture Risks

Dr. Neil Dong, UT Tyler assistant professor of health and kinesiology, was awarded nearly $385,000 from the National Institute of Health to examine fracture risks of the human spine. Dong will collaborate with the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases on the three-year grant. He plans to incorporate UT Tyler student research within the biomechanics laboratory for the project's duration. "This project is about using stochastically treated DXA or Dual-energy X-ray images to improve the prediction of fracture risks of the human spine,'' Dong said. "This technique uses a simple, routinely acquired DXA scan to identify people at high risk of spine fractures based on the measurement of both bone mineral density and its distribution.'' Dong holds a master of science in engineering mechanics from Tsinghua University in China and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Columbia University." His areas of specialization include biomechanics and anatomical kinesiology.

Concrete Canoe Team Takes Top Awards

The UT Tyler American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter won the 2012 ASCE Texas-Mexico Regional Concrete Canoe Competition. UT Tyler's entry, "Aced in the Hull,'' placed first overall out of 12 teams, besting the University of Houston, Texas Tech University, Texas A&M University, UT Austin, Rice University and UT El Paso. Participants build canoes with concrete and are judged in four categories: technical design report, oral design presentation, canoe final product and racing. UT Tyler placed first in oral presentation and overall canoe quality and second in technical design report. The team also accumulated the most points in racing events by finishing first in the co-ed sprint race, third in both women's and men's sprint races and second in women's and men's endurance races. This is UT Tyler's second overall first-place finish in five years. The Patriots advanced to the ASCE National Canoe Competition, where they placed 15th, topping Clemson, Oregon State and Louisiana Tech universities, among others.

White Named Provost, Senior VP for Academic Affairs

UT Tyler has appointed Dr. Alisa White as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. White returns to UT Tyler after serving two years as provost of Midwestern State University. She was dean of the UT Tyler College of Arts and Sciences for several years, after serving as chair of UT Tyler's communication department. As MSU provost, White helped revise the university's assessment methods, resulting in a positive response from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. She also was instrumental in forming a strategic enrollment management team under the vice president for student affairs. Her reorganization of units reporting to the provost's office resulted in efficiencies and about $100,000 in annual cost savings for that institution. White has served on the faculty at UT Arlington, University of West Georgia, Louisiana State University-Shreveport and University of Alaska-Fairbanks. She holds a master of science in library and information science and a doctorate in mass communication, both from the University of Tennessee. Her professional experience includes part ownership of a medium-market radio station in Tennessee and conducting market research for public relations and advertising firms in Louisiana and Georgia. She also has authored and co-authored many refereed publications.

Harvell Recognized for Best Graduate Paper

Elle Harvell, a UT Tyler graduate student in history, was honored at the 2012 Texas A&M History Graduate Conference for her outstanding research. The Whitehouse resident received the "Best Graduate Paper" award for her work titled "Between Fires: Pro-Southern Cooperationists in Saline County, Missouri, During the Civil War.'' Based on a chapter of Harvell's thesis, the paper explores the struggles encountered by Confederate sympathizing citizens in central Missouri in the face of overt Union control. The conference was sponsored by Phi Alpha Theta and the Texas A&M History Graduate Student Association. More than 50 papers were presented by graduate and doctoral students from across the state and region including UT Austin, Baylor University, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, University of North Texas and Oklahoma State University. Harvell will graduate in December and plans to pursue a doctorate in history at the University of Missouri, continuing her research on irregular warfare during the Civil War. She is a member of the UT Tyler Phi Alpha Theta and Alpha Chi honor societies, and held several positions in Gamma Phi Beta as an undergraduate.

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