UT Tyler

UT Tyler Magazine - Spring 2013

The University of Texas at Tyler

University Exceeds 'Inspiring Excellence' Goal

UT Tyler is celebrating the successful completion of the Inspiring Excellence fundraising campaign, the first comprehensive campaign in the university's history. The five-year campaign generated $30.6 million, surpassing the goal of $30 million. "This is the first campaign of its size for UT Tyler, and the primary interest was to raise funds to increase our endowed student scholarships, increase the number of faculty chairs and professorships and support the Honors Program with full endowed scholarships," President Rodney H. Mabry said. Scholarships help the university attract high-ability undergraduate and graduate students who are more inclined to become fully engaged in the university experience. Endowed faculty chairs and professorships attract top scholars by providing research funds, salary supplements and travel funds. "The university is extremely pleased with the campaign success, especially considering the state of the economy in recent years,'' said Jerre Iversen, vice president for university advancement. "When the economy turned, donors were cautious. Many donors gave smaller gifts or consistent one-time gifts, and the university is grateful for all gifts, large and small. Everyone who gave is responsible for the success of the campaign.'' Gifts to UT Tyler included $13.7 million for student scholarships, $3.8 million for faculty chairs and professorships, $5.1 million for capital gifts, $1.9 million for the R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center, $795,000 from President's Associates and $612,000 for athletics. "The people that have gone before us did a great job of building buildings, facilities and infrastructure, so we had a great 'house' here,'' said Dr. Larry Anderson, campaign committee chairman. "What this campaign did was provide endowed scholarships, bring in faculty and bring in a better student experience, which made it more of a 'home.'"

Industrial Technology Merits National Recognition

Dr. Mark R. Miller and UT Tyler students were honored during the 2012 Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering Annual Conference. UT Tyler's student chapter of ATMAE was named Outstanding Student Chapter for the second consecutive year. The award is given based on a chapter's number of members and quality of activities. UT Tyler competed nationally with more than 50 other student chapters for the honor. "I am proud of my students for working so hard throughout the year and sacrificing their free time to coordinate or assist with numerous community service projects, industrial plant tours, fundraising activities and social events," said Dr. Heshium Lawrence, assistant professor and chapter faculty adviser. Dr. Miller, professor and coordinator of UT Tyler industrial technology/industrial management, received the Outstanding Faculty Excellence Award. Miller is responsible for growing UT Tyler industrial technology and industrial management programs and establishing a new Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification for the department. Under his leadership, the department has doubled the number of ATMAE certifications with the introduction of three new exams that he developed and/or coordinated. Miller also prepared the UT Tyler industrial technology program's re-accreditation self-study report that had all 63 standards in full compliance.

Students Recognized for Service to Literacy Council

The Literacy Council of Tyler honored UT Tyler students for outstanding service as fall semester volunteer interns. UT Tyler undergraduate and graduate students provide tutoring and other services to LCOT clientele in a partnership formed last year between the university and organization. UT Tyler interns allocated more than 9,000 student contact hours in the fall, said DeAnn Sutton, LCOT coordinator of volunteers. Fall interns were Traci Willingham, Miles Nye, Kimbria Burton, Alexis Poole, Mason Berry, Huma Maqsood, Madiha Maqsood and Megan White. UT Tyler students serve LCOT through the America Reads & Counts Program, which is supported by federal work-study funds. "The UT Tyler internship program is invaluable to the Literacy Council of Tyler," Sutton said. "It is a stunning success and a win-win situation. We greatly appreciate the partnership."

HRD Program Ranks Among Nation's Best

UT Tyler's online graduate program in human resource development was ranked 12th nationally by The Best Schools, an independent, national organization. Online master of human resources degree programs were evaluated based on quality, types of courses offered, faculty, awards, rankings and reputation. "Our faculty, programs and students are among the best, and our reputation is growing,'' said Dr. Harold Doty, dean of the UT Tyler Soules College of Business. "It is exciting to see others around the country recognize this program and the college in this way." Dr. Jerry Gilley, UT Tyler human resource development and technology chair, noted: "Our master of science and Ph.D. HRD programs are the only degree-granting programs housed in a college of business in the United States, which is a crowning achievement. In my opinion, we have the best faculty and staff in the nation because of their outstanding reputation for research and teaching.''

Criminal Justice Seniors Excel on Major Field Exam

UT Tyler ranked in the top 10 percent of all institutions taking the Education Testing Service Major Field Test for Criminal Justice during the fall semester. The nationally normed exam covers theories of criminal behavior, the law, law enforcement, corrections, the court system, critical thinking, research methodology and statistics. "The importance of using this type of an exam is to provide a national scope of comparison for assessment of our program," said Dr. Barbara Hart, UT Tyler criminal justice program coordinator and associate professor. "Our students have always done extremely well, and this achievement adds to our program's previous successes.''

Student Researchers Honored for Space Contribution

UT Tyler engineering students received recognition from NASA for their contributions to the space program. As a participating school in NASA's Students Shaping America's Next Spacecraft program, UT Tyler students are involved in assorted research and building aspects of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, which will replace the space shuttle program. NASA recognized the UT Tyler team as a nominee for the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation's Stellar Award. "These projects have been very exciting," said Dr. Sara McCaslin, UT Tyler assistant professor of mechanical engineering and project coordinator. "The students have had an unprecedented opportunity to impact America's future in space, and I am very proud to have been a part of their experience. Our students have gained real-world engineering experience that encompasses design, analysis, testing, assembly and manufacturing of products that must meet very strict regulations."

UT Tyler Opens Veterans Resource Center

Amanda Bayatpoor has been named coordinator of UT Tyler's new Veterans Resource Center, which provides tools and information to student veterans for a successful educational experience. Services are available for active and reserve military members and their spouses and dependents. "With this center, we will help veterans make the transition from their past military lifestyle to a university lifestyle at UT Tyler," said Bayatpoor, who served in the United States Army from 1999 to 2003. Before joining UT Tyler, she served as veterans services generalist for St. Petersburg College, St. Petersburg, Fla., where she earned associate of arts and bachelor of science degrees. For information about the center, contact Bayatpoor at 903.565.5972 or abayatpoor@uttyler.edu, or visit www.uttyler.edu/veteransaffairs.

UT Tyler