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NEWS FROM CLASS | CLASS EVENT CALENDAR | CLASS IN THE MEDIA

News from CLASS

CLASS Event Calendar

March 15: Last day to see Anton Ginzburg: Terra Corpus and Tears and Politics: Works by Phil Collins and Christian Jankowski exhibits at the Blaffer Art Museum.

March 27 — 30: "Nineteenth-Century Energies" — The Interdisciplinary 19th Century Studies Conference at Hotel Zaza. Go to incs2014.org for more information.

March 28 — 30: UH Ensemble Dance Works 7:30 p.m.performances at Wortham Theatre on campus. School of Theatre & Dance ticket office: 713-743-2929.

March 31: Center for Public History Lecture: “Garbage, the Civilized Dark Side” by Song Tian, Ph.D., a Fulbright Visiting Scholar in the Department of History of Science at Harvard University and Professor in the College of Philosophy and Sociology at Beijing Normal Unviersity. 10 a.m. in Room 317 of McElhinney Hall. For more information, call 713-743-3039.

For more events, check the CLASS calendar.

CLASS Students in the Media

Andrew Joseph Pegoda is currently completing his Ph.D. in history. His article, Teaching Writing Intensive Courses, was recently featured in Inside Higher Ed.

Creative Writing PhD candidate David Tomas Martinez was featured in the article, Saving lives with words: Celebrity poet preaches the power of prose at Houston's Writers Ball, which appeared in CultureMap Houston.

The research of doctoral candidate Markie McBrayer and Political Science Assistant Professor Ling Zhu was cited in two recent news articles. They found that that Texas and California, two large, racially and ethnically diverse states with high rates of uninsured residents, are headed in opposite directions in health insurance enrollments because of politics. Their findings appeared in the Houston Chronicle article, Politics affects California, Texas health insurance enrollments, research finds and The Daily Beast's article, Texas: Where Crazy Gets Elected.

A series of paintings by undergraduate painting majors were recently installed in the frozen food section of a local Fiesta grocery store. The collection was highlighted in two Glasstire articles: Menil/Fiesta: Paintings by University of Houston Painting Majors and UH Art Students Hit the Big Time: The Frozen Food Aisle!

Gulf Coast, the literary journal published by CLASS creative writing graduate students, was mentioned in .Behold, someone has written poetry about Tim Riggins. which appeared in the The Philadelphia Inquirer. The publication was also mentioned in. Give In to Tim Riggins–Inspired Poetry. which appeared in Vulture.

“UH Goes to the Barn”, a dance recital choreographed, produced, and performed by School of Theatre & Dance students, was recently held at The Barn Theatre. Students Lauren Burke, Bryan Peck, and Katrina Woods were participants in the event according to the article, University Dance Theatre presents UH Goes to the Barn., in the Guidry News Service.

The Paper article, Hermann Park Celebrates 100 with Art in the Park., includes information about ReFRAME x FRAME, a collaboration between the UH Graduate Design/Build Studio in the College of Architecture, the Graphic Communications Program in the School of Art and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts. The semi-permanent, open-air micro pavilion demonstrates the principles of sustainable design and construction using Allsteel System frames and incorporates lighting and a motion-activated sound installation by Houston-based artist Abinadi Meza.

The Houston Press featured the School of Theatre & Dance’s production of “Our Country’s Good” in the article, Actors Play Convicts Playing Actors in Our Country's Good at UH.

CLASS Faculty in the Media

History professors Robert Palmer and Catherine Patterson offer 10 things to know about Magna Carta and its Houston appearance in the Houston Chronicle article, 10 things to know about Magna Carta. See it in Houston!

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education recently ran an article about the racial and ethnic makeup of UH faculty. James Conyers, director of African American Studies, is quoted in the article, An Examination of Faculty Diversity at the University of Houston.

Professor of English, Mat Johnson, was recently part of a Twitter exchange which was featured in the article #yonoveljokes: The Texas tie to the funniest literary hashtag on Twitter in The Dallas Morning News.

NewsFix recently ran a story about the way people move in and out of Houston titled, Census data on people that leave Harris county. Luis Salinas, professor of sociology, commented in the piece.

Garth Jowett, professor of communications, was interviewed on KHOU-CBS Channel 11’s Great Day Houston in a segment titled, Origin of Valentine’s Day.

Assistant Professor of Health and Human Performance, Daphne Hernandez was quoted in the NewsFix article, Big Drop in obesity among preschoolers.

The Santeria faith is featured in the Houston Chronicle article, An often misunderstood faith, Santeria community thrives here. Keith McNeal, assistant professor of Comparative Cultural Studies, is quoted in the piece.

A bilingual mystery series that features a kid detective is published by Arte Público Press. The series was featured in Dromgoole: Bilingual mystery series features kid detective by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

Christine Leveaux, assistant professor of political science, commented about the issues discussed during the President’s recent State of the Union address that affect Texas and Houston during the Houston Matters program, What Are the Implications for Houston & Texas in State of the Union Address?

According to the Houston Chronicle, the Mayor recently released audit letters detailing weaknesses in the city’s financial accounting. Steven Craig, Associate Dean of Faculty and Research, commented on the letters in the article, Mayor releases audit letters that controller kept secret.

Craig also commented in the NEWSFix article, Should the dollar be replaced by a global currency?

Shayne Lee, associate professor of sociology, appeared on KTRK’s Crossroads, to discuss his recent book which is about Bishop T.D. Jakes and the role of the church in a post-civil rights era.

Arturo Hernandez, associate professor of psychology, appeared in a number of media outlets recently:

He is featured in the Texas Medical Center News article, Study May Change the Way Foreign Languages are Taught.

He was also interviewed for KUHF’s story, How A UH Professor Maps Brain Activity While A Bilingual And Monolinguals Process Words.

Hernandez also authored an article for the OUPblog titled, Why nobody dreams of being a professor.

WNYU also featured Hernandez in the program, The Doppler Effect.

Offcite, recently ran an article titled, Holding Ground: A Look at University of Houston’s “Environmental Past” Exhibit. Teresa Tomkins-Walsh, Director of Houston History Archives, was mentioned in the piece.

Political Science professor, Richard Murray, was quoted in a story about political campaign’s advertising during the Olympic games in the Houston Chronicle article, Candidates hope to capture some Olympic glory.

Ed Hirs, a lecturer in Economics, appeared in the Texas Monthly article, The Generation Gap. The article discusses whether Texas is producing sufficient electricity to meet our needs.

Political Science professor, Richard Murray, appeared in several media outlets recently:
In the Houston Chronicle’s article, Dem primary: Ogg on campaign trail, Oliver on the couch, Murray commented on the Democratic nomination for Harris County District Attorney.

He was quoted in the Austin American Statesman about the rapidly changing demographics of Houston – and the United States – in the article, The face of Houston is changing.

Murray commented in the Guns & Patriots article, Texas GOP poll: Cornyn 43% leads Stockman 28%; Failure to garner 50% triggers run off.

The Texas Tribune quoted Murray in the article, A Small Subset of Voters Holds a Lot of Sway.

Friends of Women’s Studies recently hosted the 17th Table Talk luncheon. The event was announced in the Houston Business Journal article, Meet the speakers: 17th UH Table Talk luncheon to honor 50 women.

Associate professor of political science, Brandon Rottinghaus, was quoted in the article, Feeling pressure from the left, Obama backs off of Social Security cuts, for now, in the Washington Times.

Rottinghaus also commented in the Politico article, The Clinton library's secret files.

The Master of Public Administration program recently hosted their annual Public Official of the Year event. The Pasadena Citizen announced the honorees in the article, UH MPA program announces honorees for public service.

Demetrius Pearson, Professor of Health & Human Performance, was the featured guest on KTRK’s Crossroad’s program. The topic was African American cowboys.

The Houston Press announced a photography competition in the article, Are You Houston's Best Music Photographer? Richard Carson, lecturer in the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, will be a screener for the contest.

Robert Zaretsky, professor of history, appeared in several media outlets recently:
He wrote a piece for The Jewish Daily Forward titled, Martin Heidegger's Black Notebooks Reignite Charges of Anti-Semitism.

Zaretsky authored The Great French Gender-Bending Panic of 2014 in Real Clear World.

Times Higher Education featured his article, Turbocharge teaching with a team of rivals.
Franz Anton Krager, director of the Orchestra of the Moores School of Music, was quoted in the Bellaire-River Oaks-West University Examiner article, Treble Choir preparing for trip to Carnegie Hall.

The Guidry News recently announced that Jeronimo Cortina, assistant professor of political science, will be the keynote speaker at the College of the Mainland Symposium. The article, Call for papers at second COM symposium, details the event.

Nicolás Kanellos, professor of Hispanic studies, was quoted in the San Antonio Express News article, Telling Latino stories 'way too long untold'. The article details the need for the history of Latinos in the U.S. to be better documented and preserved.

A recent study from the Hobby Center for Public Policy examines the factors that contribute to foreclosures in Houston. Jim Granato, Chair of the Center, recently appeared on Houston Matters in the show titled, Despite a Strong Housing Market, Foreclosures Are Still a Problem in Houston, to discuss the issue.

Professor and Director of the Center for Forensic Psychology, John Vincent, was recently quoted in the Time Warner Cable News story, Understanding the legal definition of 'bullying'.

The Alley theatre will be moving to UH’s Wortham Theatre for the 2014-2015 season while their buildings are being renovated.
KTRK-TV detailed the move in the story, Alley Theatre plans major building renovation, forcing relocation for season.

The Houston Business Journal also announced the move in the article, Alley Theatre relocates 2014-15 performances to begin renovation work.

The move was featured in KHOU’s story, Alley Theatre moving shows to UH during renovation.

The Houston Chronicle mentioned the move in This week's ups and downs.

Broadway World also mentioned the move in the article, Alley Theatre Announces Renovation Plans.

The Daily Cougar covered the move in Prestigious theatre shines spotlight on UH.

CLASS Alums in the Media

Christine Ha
Christine Ha, who earned a master’s degree in creative writing last May, was featured in the Houston Chronicle article, Blind chef Christine Ha guest of Lunar New Year event. Ha, who won the third season of the television reality series MasterChef, recently teamed with Boheme Cafe and Wine Bar chef Rishi Singh on a tasting menu for the Asia Society Texas Center Young Professionals' Lunar New Year celebration.
Photo by: Marie D. De Jesus / Houston Chronicle
   
David Stuart MacLean
In 2002, David Stuart MacLean woke up on a train platform in India with no idea of who or where he was. The CLASS writing program graduate was suffering from amnesia. His journey of figuring out where he belonged is detailed in his book, The Answer to the Riddle is Me, according to the Houston Press article, David Stuart MacLean and The Answer to the Riddle Is Me, A Memoir of Amnesia.
Photo by: Heather Eidson Photography
   
Bao-Long Chu
Bao-Long Chu, a Houston poet and author, wrote the text for "Bound," an opera that premiered by Houston Grand Opera. Chu graduated from CLASS’s creative writing program. According to the Houston Chronicle article, Family is at the heart of 'Bound', the production is based on the story of Diane Tran, a straight-A student at Willis High School who was working two jobs to help support her family. Tran missed so many days of classes a judge jailed her for truancy.
Photo by: Karen Warren / Houston Chronicle
   
Jim Parsons
Former theatre student, and current star of The Big Bang Theory, Jim Parsons recently hosted Saturday Night Live. His appearance was featured in the The Loop article, ‘Big Bang Theory’ star headed to ‘SNL’. A story about his SNL appearance also ran in CultureMap Houston in the article, Houston humble: Jim Parsons insists he doesn't deserve to host Saturday Night Live.
SNL Promo/YouTube

College of Liberal Arts
and Social Sciences

The University of Houston
402 Agnes Arnold Hall
Houston, TX 77204-3000
Phone: 713-743-4002
Fax: 713-743-2990

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News & Events

2014


Prior to August 2010, stories about CLASS were archived in the college's former newsletter, Graffit-e.
2013
2012

 

2011
2010
   

College of Liberal Arts
and Social Sciences

The University of Houston
402 Agnes Arnold Hall
Houston, TX 77204-3000
Phone: 713-743-4002
Fax: 713-743-2990

CLASS Announcements

May 21, 2013: Moores Concert Chorale takes top prize in German competition

May 7, 2013: M.A. in Arts Leadership Program Director Appointed

April 18, 2013: Center for Arts Leadership Director Appointed

March 15, 2012: Movie about Creative Writing Professor Nick Flynn opens Friday

More CLASS Announcements

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Prior to August 2010, stories about CLASS were archived in the college's former newsletter, Graffit-e.

College of Liberal Arts
and Social Sciences

The University of Houston
402 Agnes Arnold Hall
Houston, TX 77204-3000
Phone: 713-743-4002
Fax: 713-743-2990

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Earn up to two years of college credit while in high school

Greater Texas Foundation grant helps some students get a jumpstart on UH degree

From Above

The prospect of earning a college degree can be daunting. The opportunity to earn up to 60 hours of college credit while still in high school provides a significant jump-start.

A $605,000 grant from the Greater Texas Foundation (GTF) will assist graduates of schools designated as Early College High Schools make the transition to the University of Houston on their way to completion of their college degrees.

Early College High Schools (ECHS) offer dual-credit college courses to their students and allow them to enter a university with up to half of their degree course load completed.

“Greater Texas Foundation shares our belief that student success benefits everyone and that degree completion is the ultimate measure of that priority,” said Marshal Schott, UH assistant vice president of instructional support and outreach. “Thanks to their generosity, more students will be closer to their dream of becoming college graduates.”

The Foundation works to close the gaps in post-secondary degree completion by helping students transition successfully from high school to post-secondary education and providing resources that support them as they work to earn a credential or baccalaureate degree once in post-secondary education.

“By succeeding in rigorous high school and community college courses, students in begin to see the value of earning college hours,” said Wynn Rosser, executive director of GTF. “At the same time, they gain the knowledge, skills, confidence and motivation to succeed at a four-year institution. As college tuition rates rise, providing a seamless transition between high school and college is more important than ever.”

Currently, UH partners with one ECHS—Challenge Early College High School.  The grant will allow the university to formally create partnerships with other ECHSs and provide scholarships to a cohort of 25 students each year beginning in 2012 through 2018.  Students who have earned significant college credit prior to entering a university typically do not receive a lot of financial assistance.  Funding from the Foundation will allow these students to complete their bachelor's degree without assuming large loan obligations or other forms of debt.

“This grant will make the process more expeditious for all ECHS students because we will have liaisons working with the student, their parents and counselors to complete the steps accurately and early,” said Schott.

Prospective and enrolled students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the program, maintain a satisfactory grade point average and complete 30 course credits each academic year.

Graduation completion is a cornerstone of UH President Renu Khator's vision for the university.

“Our highest priority is ensuring the success of our students and ensuring they complete their degrees,” Khator said.

The University of Houston was one of five Texas colleges to receive the grant.  Other colleges are The University of Texas at Brownsville, The University of Texas at El Paso, University of North Texas and Texas A&M University.

- Marisa Ramirez

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Moores Opera Center’s new season mixes classics and contemporary works

the four new operas

Highlights include second-ever production of Amelia and rarely-performed Der Rosenkavalier

Houston opera audiences can look forward to another Moores Opera Center season filled with laughs, tears, romance and, of course, beautiful voices.

For its 2011 – 2012 performance season, the acclaimed opera center will deliver a blend of comedies and dramas. Likewise, it will continue providing Houston audiences with regional premieres, contemporary favorites and rarely-performed classics.

Among the season’s highlights is the second production of Daron Hagen’s Amelia, which will be performed Jan. 27 – 30. The opera made its debut in 2010 at the Seattle Opera and was greeted by rave reviews. The Moores Opera Center is the only other company to produce this opera. Hagen will attend its performances.

“It always is gratifying to receive support from a noted composer such as Daron Hagen,” said Buck Ross, director of the Moores Opera Center. “I am pleased that we can introduce many Houstonians to this wonderful opera and that the Moores Opera Center is fast becoming the place for contemporary composers to go when they want second productions of their operas.”

In April, the Moores Opera Center hosted the second American production of Daniel Catan’s Il Postino, which premiered at the Los Angeles Opera in September 2010.

Another highly-anticipated performance of the Moores’ 2011-2012 season is Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier, which will run March 30 – April 2. This popular comedy has long been a showcase for female singers, as well as lavish period costumes and sets. The Moores production will offer audiences a unique opportunity to witness a grand classic within an intimate space. It’s also a rare performance of this work by a university opera center.

Der Rosenkavalier will feature conductor Franz Krager, director of Moores orchestras; graduate student and professional singer David Ward; and Moores School of Music professor Cynthia Clayton-Vasquez.

“It’s a very unusual piece for a university to produce. I only know of one other university that has performed Der Rosenkavalier,” Ross said. “It is a very challenging piece, but all of our singers and orchestra musicians are up to the task.”

All operas are performed in the Moores Opera House in the Arts Quadrangle on campus at Entrance 16. Tickets are $20 and $10 for students and seniors. A season pass covering four season operas is available for $45. For additional details on tickets, call the Moores box office at 713-743-3313.

The Moores Opera Center 2010 – 2011 season:

Falstaff by Giuseppe Verdi (Sung in Italian with English surtitles)
Shakespeare’s lovable rogue Falstaff confidently barrels through Elizabethan England leaving comic destruction in his wake. A quicksilver tribute to the joys of self-indulgence and self-delusion, Verdi’s final masterpiece heartily embraces all that life has to offer.
    7:30 p.m., Oct. 21, 24
    8 p.m., Oct. 22
    2 p.m., Oct. 23

Amelia by Daron Hagen (sung in English with English surtitles)
Haunted by her father’s death when he was a pilot in the Vietnam War, a woman comes to terms with the ghosts of her past, the dream of flight and the hope of being reborn.
    7:30 p.m., January 27, 30
    2 p.m., Jan. 29

Tartuffe by Kirk Mechem (sung in English with English surtitles)
Based on the play by Molière, this opera is a lively and hilarious look at hypocrisy and greed hiding behind a mask of piety. The title character is a “holy man,” who is promised the hand of a friend’s daughter. The problem is, he is robbing his friend blind and trying to seduce his wife.
    7:30 p.m., January 26, 28, 29

Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss (sung in German with English surtitles)
According to Viennese custom, the Knight of the Rose delivers a silver rose to a woman as a sign of a formal wedding engagement. What happens when the bride-to-be falls for the person delivering the rose…instead of her fiancé? Nostalgic waltzes permeate this sublime score, conjuring up old Vienna in all its glory, while lavish costumes and scenery form a backdrop to a story that is one part autumnal romance and one part romp.
    7:30 p.m., March 30, April 3
    2 p.m., April 1

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Art crimes specialist visits campus

Blaffer Art Museum collaborates with others on lectures by former FBI agent

Robert Wittman

During his 20-year FBI career, Robert Wittman went deep undercover to infiltrate the dark world of international art thieves and black market traders. As founder of the agency’s Art Crime Team, he recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in stolen art and cultural property.

Wittman documented his exploits in his book Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures. Soon, he’ll share more insights from his storied career with Houston audiences.

Wittman will present the lecture "Pursuing the Priceless: Stolen Art, Investigation and the Law" at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston's Brown Auditorium (1001 Bissonnet. St.) at 7 p.m., September 8.

The event is presented as a collaboration between the Blaffer Art Museum, the College of Liberal Arts, the Honors College and the Law Center. The university's Student Program Board, Alumni Association and Office of Human Resources also contributed support. The event has been underwritten by Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.

Tickets for the public lecture are $10 and can be purchased at www.blafferartmuseum.org or by calling 1-800-504-4849. Seating is limited.

Wittman also will deliver a free lecture to students and other members of the UH community at 9 a.m., September 8 in the university’s Rockwell Pavilion (second floor of the M.D. Anderson Library). Seating is limited, and free tickets can be reserved at www.blafferartmuseum.org. Reserved seats will be released five minutes before the lecture for visitors without a ticket.

The son of antique dealers, Wittman was well acquainted with the business of rare, high-priced artworks long before his law enforcement career. In 1988, he brought his knowledge of the art world to the FBI. Assigned to the Philadelphia Field Division, Wittman went into action tracking down stolen art.

In 2005, he helped create the FBI's Art Crime Team, the first group of agents devoted solely to recovering stolen works of arts. He now oversees Robert Wittman Inc., a security and recovery firm that protects the cultural assets of institutions, auction houses, private collectors and insurance companies.

Priceless - book cover

As documented in Priceless, Wittman has recovered numerous major works of cultural and historical significance. Some of his career highlights include:

  • Recovering $50 million worth of Goya and Brueghel paintings from a Spanish mobster
  • Catching an appraiser turned con man who used PBS’ Antiques Roadshow to steal countless heirlooms from war heroes’ descendants
  • Rescuing the Rodin sculpture that launched the Impressionist movement
  • Recovering the golden armor of an ancient Peruvian warrior king
  • Saving an original copy of the Bill of Rights that had been believed lost for 100 years

In-kind support for Wittman’s lecture has been provided by Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, KUHF 88.7 FM, the UH School of Theatre and Dance and Brazos Bookstore, which is selling copies of Wittman’s book Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures.

- Mike Emery

 

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Entire Houston area asked to read One Amazing Thing

One Amazing Thing book cover

Professor Chitra Divakaruni’s 2010 novel inaugural selection of regional reading initiative

A citywide book club just wasn’t big enough for the greater Houston area.

The Houston Public Library has combined its Books on the Bayou “one city, one book” reading initiative with similar efforts by the public library systems in Harris, Brazoria, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties to launch a regional version called Gulf Coast Reads: On the Same Page. Other partners include the Houston Independent School District, Inprint, Houston Read Commission, and independent booksellers.

As with other such projects across the nation, Gulf Coast Reads picks one book for communities to read and discuss at libraries throughout the region.

The novel selected to inaugurate the new initiative and bridge diversity divides within the nation’s fourth largest city and her suburban sisters – Bellaire, Sugar Land, The Woodlands – is One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni, the Betty and Gene McDavid Professor of Writing in the Department of English.

Her 16th published work, One Amazing Thing is set in an unnamed American city in the moments before and the time after an earthquake that leaves nine people stranded in a basement passport office. As they experience post-quake disasters and face the possibility of death, the strangers ease the rising panic by each sharing a secret “one amazing thing” that’s happened in his or her life.

The cultural diversity of the characters, the theme of preparation and providence, the respect for storytelling and oral history gives the novel modern Texan sensibilities.

In interviews, Divakaruni has said the novel was inspired by her own family’s experiences stuck in a car on Interstate-10 while trying – with hundreds of thousands of other Houstonians – to get out of the path of Hurricane Rita in 2005.

“I love the thought of my community reading the book together,” Divakaruni told Culture Map Houston. “Really, because the book is about so many people from different backgrounds, different cultural, racial, religious backgrounds that just seems to be so like Houston. That’s what Houston is for me.  It’s such a diverse city, and it’s nice for the communities to come together and I hope my book will do a little bit for that.”

An award-winning poet and novelist, Divakaruni earned her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.  Two of her books, The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart, have been made into movies.

Divakaruni teaches in the College’s nationally-recognized Creative Writing Program and is assisting in the development of the new India Studies minor in the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies.

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The College welcomes new faculty members

This year’s class of new faculty bring a broad spectrum of research, teaching and credentials

The new faculty members joining the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences this academic year bring with them a broad spectrum of research interests, teaching expertise and professional credentials. They are an integral addition to the College’s efforts to showcase its Tier One academic offerings and to expand on them.

One such notable addition is Emran El-Badawi, assistant professor of Arabic and the new director of the Arabic program in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. His tenure-track appointment allows the department to strengthen its courses in Arabic as a language and culture.

This class of new faculty also includes Shayne Lee, who returns to UH as an associate professor in the Department of Sociology after leaving the university to teach at Tulane University, and Kristen Yon, associate professor in the Moores School of Music, who arrived on campus with more than a dozen of her violin performance students from Texas Tech University.

Another incoming faculty member arrives as a Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished University Professor. Michael Zvolensky in the Department of Psychology has published over 200 scientific articles and received a variety of early contribution to the field awards from professional organizations.

Read more about all of the new faculty members below.

African American Studies Program

Kameelah Martin Samuel, visiting scholar

Kameelah Martin Samuel

Dr. Samuel earned her undergraduate English degree from Georgia Southern University and her MA in African American Studies from the University of California Los Angeles. She received her Ph.D. in English from Florida State University in 2006. Her area of focus is twentieth century African-American literature with an emphasis on folklore and the African-American conjuring tradition. Dr. Samuel recently completed a manuscript, currently under review for publication, on the conjure woman as a folk hero in literature. She is busy researching and writing a second monograph, tentatively titled "Envisioning Voodoo: African Diasporic Religion in the Popular Imagination" which questions the representation of women and spirit work in film, graphic novels, and the art work of Romare Bearden and Kara Walker. She is a member of the American Studies Association, National Council for Black Studies, College Language Association, and the African American Historical and Genealogical Society. She is a Visiting Scholar in African American Studies at the University of Houston.

School of Art

Katrina Moorhead, assistant professor  

katrina

Katrina Moorhead was born in Northern Ireland and educated in Scotland, but has found an artistic home in the galleries and museums of Houston. Katrina has already received a solo exhibition at UH’s Blaffer Art Museum in 2007, as well as several shows in the Inman and other important Houston art galleries. She was awarded the prestigious Arthouse Texas prize in that same 2007. Katrina has also exhibited in Seattle, South Korea, and New York, to name only a few of the most important venues in what is already an impressive exhibition record. Katrina’s control of different media - her installations often mix sculpture and drawing, among other media - will be a important and fecund new aesthetic voice on our sculpture faculty.

Jenni Sorkin, assistant professor

Jennifer Sorkin

Jenni Sorkin joins the art history and critical studies faculty from the Getty Research Institute’s Post-Doctoral Fellow program, where she was pursuing research on gender and the craft/art divide. Although much of her work treats the American art world of the last 50 years, Jenni has international standing. Last year she was named co-director of the International Symposium on Contemporary Art Theory in Mexico City, entitled “Blind Spots: Feminisms, Cinema and Performance.” Dr. Sorkin received her Ph.D from Yale in 2010, and already has a significant number of published articles in journals such as Art Journal and Third Text. We look forward to Jenni’s contributions to critical discourse, the history feminist art, and the construction of the art world in her teaching and research.


Jack J. Valenti School of Communication

Lindita Camaj, assistant professor

Lindita Camaj

Lindita Camaj got her PhD and MA at the Indiana University School of Journalism, concentrating on political and international communication. Her dissertation investigates media effects on citizens’ political trust and participation in South-Eastern Europe. Her broad research and teaching interests include media role in democratization, agenda-setting and priming effects, the interaction between journalism and culture, and freedom of information (FIOa) legislation. Her scholarly work has been awarded by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and published at the International Communication Gazette, Global Media Journal, and Central European Journal of Communication. Prior to entering the academia, she has worked as a professional journalist in the Balkans, covering public affairs and elections for local and international media.

Temple Northrup, assistant professor

Temple Northrup

Dr. Northup teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in media writing, media effects, and research. He received his B.A. in anthropology from Wake Forest University, his M.A. in media studies from Syracuse University, and his Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His research focuses on the effects of mediated messages on audience members, paying particular attention to the unconscious mechanisms that drive attitudes and behaviors and how the media may help to influence those mechanisms. He has presented research at the annual meetings of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the International Communication Association, and the National Communication Association. His work has also been published in the Journal of Children and Media, the Journal of Media Law and Ethics, and the Southwestern Mass Communication Journal. Dr. Northup brings many years of professional experience to his teaching based on his time working in the television industry in Los Angeles. Over the course of seven years, he worked on more than 180 episodes of prime time television, mostly as a writer. The experience of working in L.A. helps to inform his current research questions.

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Terrell Brittain, instructional assistant professor

Terrell Brittain

Terrell Brittain is a graduate of the Master’s degree program in Deaf Studies & Deaf Education at Lamar University. He is an accomplished teacher at both the secondary and higher education levels. His expertise is in American Sign Language and Deaf Culture. Terrell has been teaching as an adjunct for us for the past two years. His students describe him as a “master teacher.” They find him demanding but also engaging, and they appreciate the way he incorporates humor in his teaching and puts them at ease as they learn the complicated task of communicating in a visual modality. Terrell’s major focus will be to develop the language mastery component of the American Sign Language Interpreting program, by developing an advanced level of ASL not previously offered, and enhance the skills of the American Sign Language Interpreting majors.

Stephanie K. Daniels, associate professor

Stephanie Daniels

Dr. Stephanie K. Daniels received her PhD from Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge, after which she held joint appointments at Tulane University Health Science Center, Tulane University and Southeast Louisiana Veterans Healthcare System Research Service. She came to Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to continue her research, with joint appointments at Baylor College of Medicine and the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. Dr. Daniels has been a Visiting Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (ComD) for the past two years, sharing her expertise in Dysphagia, which refers to the study of swallowing and swallowing disorders. She is a licensed, certified speech-language pathologist, and a Board Recognized Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders. Her particular area of expertise is in the area of stroke as it relates to dysphagia, and her recent text, Dysphagia Following Stroke has been a major contribution to the field. Her research has been funded by the VA for the past eight years, and she has just received funding to develop and validate a screening tool for swallowing post stroke. This coming November Dr. Daniels will be named as a Fellow by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Stephanie will continue to conduct her research at Texas Medical Center and teach in her areas of expertise in both the Graduate and Undergraduate programs in ComD.

Sharon Grigsby Hill, instructional assistant professor

Sharon Grigsby Hill

Sharon Grigsby Hill has been a freelance sign language interpreter for over 15 years and taught as an adjunct instructor last semester in the American Sign Language Interpreting program. She graduated from Houston Community College’s Interpreter Training Program, after which she obtained a Bachelor's degree from UH-Victoria and an MBA from Texas Women’s University. Her specialty is interpreting in high-level settings such as platform/lecture events, post-secondary education, mental health facilities, and drug & alcohol rehabilitation. Sharon has earned the Master Level of interpreting, which is the highest level of interpreting certification awarded by Texas Board of Evaluators of Interpreters (BEI); Very few interpreters are certified at this level. Sharon also serves on the State BEI Advisory Board which advises the State regarding the application of rules, policies and procedures as they relate to certified sign language interpreters, and evaluates and certifies interpreters to work in the State of Texas. Her focus will be to further develop and refine the relatively new American Sign Language Interpreting program, which is the first (and only) four year program in the state.

Byron Ross, clinical assistant professor

Ross Byron

Dr. Byron Ross is originally from Texarkana, AR, and comes to us from the University of Central Arkansas. He received his doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Dr. Ross is a licensed, certified speech-language pathologist, and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Black American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Dr. Ross’ interests include school aged children, adolescents, and young adults with autism spectrum disorders. He also has an interest in assessment and intervention using augmentative/alternative communication with individuals with severe disabilities. Byron’s focus will be to develop those specialty areas in the graduate program in Speech-Language Pathology and in the University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic.

Department of Economics

Jee-Yeon Lehmann, assistant professor

Jee Yeon Lehmann

Jee-Yeon Lehmann received her B.A. in economics from Yale University and her Ph.D. in economics from Boston University. She is a labor economist whose research primarily focuses on studying the sources and the consequences of racial and gender discrimination in the labor market. She is currently working on developing empirically relevant theoretical models that can account for unequal market outcomes across various demographic groups.

 

Vikram Maheshri, assistant professor  

vikram

Vikram Maheshri received his BS in economics and math from MIT, his Ph.D. in economics from University of California-Berkeley, and has completed a post-doc at the University of Rochester. His fields of interest include political economy and public economics. He is currently working on projects about school segregation, judicial elections and regulatory complexity.

 

 

C. Andrew Zuppann, assistant professor

C Andrew Zuppann

Andrew Zuppann received his BA in economics and computer science from Swarthmore College and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. He studies the economics of families, health, and labor markets. His current research answers questions such as how contraception changes sexual behavior and relationships; how parents divide their time among children; and how demographic changes affect wages and productivity.

 

Department of English

Katherine Anderson, assistant professor

Katherine Anderson

Dr. Anderson is a specialist in Linguistics and took her Ph.D. in Sociolinguistics at the University of Georgia, where she also earned a Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Qualitative Studies. She was a postdoctoral researcher in the distinguished Center for Research on Learning and Technology at Indiana University. For four years before being lured to the University of Houston, Dr. Anderson was an Assistant Professor in the Learning Sciences Lab and the Learning Sciences and Technologies Academic Group at the National Institute of Education in Singapore. Kate has a wide-ranging research agenda that reaches into areas of interest for departments in the Humanities and the Social Sciences, and her publication record is impressive, with over a dozen single-authored articles and about the same number of co-authored articles, all in top-tier journals. Her work in sociolinguistics, student learning assessment, language, race, and identity, includes such titles as ‘Constructing “otherness”: Ideologies and differentiating speech style’; ‘Discourses of difference: Applied methodologies for evaluating race and speech style’; her research even extends into the field of digital story-telling. Her expertise complements the English Department’s interests in language, cultural diversity, pedagogy, and assessment. She will help situate the importance of Linguistics not only in the English Department but in many other units on campus.

Kate Megear, instructional assistant professor and post-doctoral fellow

Katherine Megear, who joins our postdoctoral program as a Houston Writing Fellow; she teaches within the framework of our concentration in Rhetoric, Composition, and Pedagogy. Katherine completed her M.F.A. in fiction at the University of Florida; she has taught at the University of New Hampshire and the University of Virginia. Her fiction has earned her a number of awards and distinctions, including the Thomas Williams Memorial Award for Excellence in Fiction Writing, and nomination for Best New American Voices. She has also interned at The Paris Review, in New York, and was a writer and researcher for The History Channel, based in New York. We are fortunate to have her talent as a teacher and writer as part of our Houston Writing Fellows initiative.

Department of Health and Human Performance

Stacy Gorniak, assistant professor 

Stacy Gorniak

Stacey Gorniak joined the Department of Health and Human Performance after completion of a post-doctoral fellowship in the Biomedical Engineering Department at the Cleveland Clinic. She received her PhD in Kinesiology with a focus on motor control from Penn State University in 2009. Her recent work has included collaboration with the Center for Neurological Restoration at the Cleveland Clinic Main Campus and the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. Other recent collaborative research efforts have included work with the University of Florida and Columbia University. Her most recent studies have focused on the effects of aging and neurological disorders on bimanual hand function. Building on her experiences in clinical populations, she is interested in investigating how neural disorders such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, and diabetic neuropathies affect functional hand use, particularly in actions of daily living. At UH Stacey will teach motor control courses and conduct research in the Center for Neuromotor and Biomechanics Research located in the Texas Medical Center

Department of Hispanic Studies

Mabel Cuesta, assistant professor

mabel

Mabel Cuesta is a Cuban born critic and writer. She is a graduate of the University of Havana (Cuba), University Complutense of Madrid (Spain) and The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Mabel has published several peer reviewed articles and she is also an author of short stories. Hercurrent research focuses on Spanish Caribbean female authors, both in their homeland and abroad. Her field of expertise is Latin American and US Hispanic Literatures, Caribbean Studies and Literary Theory.

 

Teresa Nunes, instructional assistant professor 

thesea

Teresa Nunes is Brazilian-American, born in Libya, and she has lived in different places (including Texas where she attended Texas A&M).Teresa earned her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Purdue University in 2006. She has master’s degrees in Sociology and Latin American Culture, also from Purdue. Teresa has taught courses in Women’s Studies,Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature and Bilingual Education methodology. She has served on the National Women’s Studies board and was director of Service Learning for the Modern Languages department at Purdue University. She relocated to Houston from New York two years ago. Her research interests include Latino and U.S. popular culture, grassroots’ sociopolitical movements, language acquisition, immigrant’s rights, and world literature, especially in the areas of postcolonial and Diaspora studies.

Jose Ramon Ruisanchez, assistant professor

jose

José Ramón Ruisánchez was born and raised in Mexico City. He studied a BA in Spanish at the UNAM –the largest and most prestigious university in Mexico-. He earned a MA in Comparative Literature and a PhD in Spanish at the University of Maryland. For the last five years he taught full time at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, where he was also the undergraduate director for the Latin American Literature Program. Besides his academic duties, José Ramón is the host of a TV show “Letrero” in a public television network, and has published five novels and one children's book. His areas of expertise include Mexican Literature and Cultural Studies as well as Critical Theory and Creative Writing.

Department of History

Matthew Clavin, associate professor

matthew

Dr. Matthew J. Clavin received his Ph.D. in American history from American University in Washington, DC, in 2005. An historian of early America and the Atlantic World, he is the recipient of numerous teaching and scholarly awards. Dr. Clavin is the author of Toussaint Louverture and the American Civil War: The Promise and Peril of a Second Haitian Revolution (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010), and his current research project, which is based on a 2009 NEH Landmarks in American History and Culture Workshops grant, explores the history of slavery and the Underground Railroad in the Deep South.

Mark Goldberg, assistant professor

mark

Mark Allan Goldberg received his B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Professor Goldberg specializes in Latina/o history, the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, and the history of health and healing. His research explores the role that health played in cross-cultural relations and in processes of empire building and race formation in the 18th- and 19th-century Texas borderlands. He has published articles in the _American Indian Culture and Research Journal_ and in an anthology entitled, _Recovering the Hispanic History of Texas_. He is a member of the Western History Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the Latin American Studies Association. Mark is a Houston native, and he is excited to be joining the University of Houston community.

Center for Mexican American Studies

George Diaz, visiting scholar

george

In addition to being a CMAS Visiting Scholar, George Diaz is an adjunct associate professor in the Department of History. Díaz earned his Ph.D. in History from Southern Methodist University in May 2010. Most recently, he served as full-time faculty in the History and Mexican American Studies Department at South Texas College. In 2009-10 he was awarded the Dissertation Fellowship at the Clements Center for Southwest Studies. His book, Contrabandista Communities: A History of Smugglers and Smuggling along the Lower Rio Grande Border, 1848-1945, is under contract with University of Texas Press. Díaz’s research interests include transnational border formation/border subversion, ethno history, ethnomusicology, violence, and identity in the U.S./Mexico Borderlands.

Department of Modern and Classical Languages

Emran El-Badawi, assistant professor

Emran

Emran El-Badawi completed his PhD with distinction in 2011 from the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. Emran took an MA in Religion from Temple University in 2005 and a BA in Religion as well as Computer Science from Rutgers University in 2003. He has also lived in the Middle East and South East Asia. Emran has published articles on the relationship of the Qur'an to the Syriac Gospel of Matthew, as well as Early Syrian Christian history. He is currently revising his dissertation for publication with Routledge Press. In addition to Qur'anic Studies and its relationship to late antique Christianity, Emran is also interested in Arab intellectual history. His next project is concerned with Enlightenment and Islamic Modernism in the Arab world, which is a study of different trends in religious, social and political reform in Arabic speaking countries. Emran is a member of the Middle East Studies Association, the American Oriental Society and the American Academy of Religion.

Julie-Francoise Kruidenier Tolliver, instructional assistant professor

julie

Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, Julie Tolliver has followed a career path that has gradually led her further and further south. Her previous appointment was a two-year visiting position at Hamilton College, in upstate New York; while at Hamilton, she spent one year in the French department and another year in the Comparative Literature department. Julie received her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. Her Comparative Literature dissertation was titled Tongue Ties: Manifestations of Solidarity in Francophone Literature 1932-2009. She also earned her MA from Penn in CompLit, and she received her BA in CompLit and Russian from Hamilton College. Julie has published articles in The International Journal of Francophone Studies and Women in French Studies. As she revises her dissertation into a manuscript, Julie is narrowing her study of francophone literary solidarity to focus on the particularly fruitful period from 1950 to 1970, when so many francophone regions of the world were struggling for independence. In addition, Julie is working on a co-authored book project titled Alternative Solidarities: Black Diasporas and Cultural Alliances During the Cold War. With Julie Tolliver’s appointment, Modern and Classical Languages is strengthening the Francophone culture and literature component of our French program. Julie will also contribute to the World Cultures and Literatures undergraduate and graduate programs.

Moores School of Music

Troy Bennefield, assistant professor

troy

Troy, a native of Alabama, has degrees from the University of Alabama (music education) and the University of Oklahoma (percussion performance). He is currently completing a DMA in wind conducting at OU. He served as band director at Alpharetta High School in Georgia for five years before beginning graduate work. During his time in Georgia, he was also principal timpanist in the Rome Symphony Orchestra. Troy has been published in The Instrumentalist, a national journal devoted to band, and has presented clinics at various music conferences.

 

Kirsten Yon, associate professor 

kristen

Kirsten, who grew up in Michigan, came to us from Texas Tech, where she taught on the string faculty since 2003. Her degrees in violin performance are from the University of Michigan, Cleveland Institute, and Rice University Shepherd School, where she earned her Doctor of Musical Arts. She enjoys an active performing career that includes recitals and concerts throughout Texas, the United States, and abroad. In October of this year, she will travel to Brazil to participate in the annual Nathan Schwartzman String Festival. We are also impressed that she brought with her a full class of students this fall.

Department of Philosophy

Christopher Mag Uidhir, assistant professor

christoper

Dr. Christy Mag Uidhur specializes in Philosophy of Art & Aesthetics. His Ph.D. is from Rutgers. From there, he went on to a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at Cornell and to a tenure-track position at City College in New York. He has a very active research program. An edited collection, Art and Abstract Objects, is under contract with Oxford University Press. He is also at work on a monograph, The Attempt Theory of Art, in which his goal is “to show what follows from taking intention dependence seriously as a substantive necessary condition for something’s being art.” And he has published a healthy number of articles and book chapters, among them: “Photographic Art: An Ontology Fit to Print,” “The Paradox of Suspense Realism,” and “Comics and Collective Authorship”. He is broadening our curriculum this semester with a new upper-level undergraduate course in Philosophy of Film.

Department of Political Science

Elizabeth Simas, assistant professor 

elizabeth

Dr. Simas earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in 2011and a bachelor degree in Political Science from Santa Clara University in 2005. She will be teaching graduate and undergraduate courses on American politics. Her research focus is on US legislative elections and voting behavior with future research to look especially at partisan bias and the impact of candidate's religion. She has several publications to her credit, including articles in the American Journal of Political Science and the Journal of Politics.

Ling Zhu, assistant professor

Ling

Dr. Zhu began her studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, China where she earned a bachelor degree in Law in 2002 and a master’s degree with honors in International Relations and Public Affairs in 2005. She received a master’s degree in Political Science from Purdue University in 2007 and a Ph.D. in the same field from Texas A&M University in 2011. Dr. Zhu will be teaching in the Master of Public Administration Program as well as in the Political Science Department. Her research focuses on health disparities, comparative social policies and how democracies incorporate marginal groups, as well as public management theory. She writes for journals in political science, public administration/management, and public health. Her future research will explore how local service delivery organizations deal with their external environment and how institutional characteristics of service networks affect socially/economically marginalized groups in democracies.

Department of Psychology

Candice Alfano, associate professor  

candice

Dr. Alfano earned her master’s degree in developmental psychology from Florida International University and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Maryland College Park. She was a post-doctoral research fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her previous appointment was an assistant professor of psychology and pediatrics at George Washington University. She has also served as the director of the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Program at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Jennifer L. Tackett, associate professor

jennifer t

Prof. Tackett completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology with minors in statistics, behavior genetics, and personality at the University of Minnesota. Originally from east Texas, she is also a graduate of the Texas Academy of Math and Science and of Texas A&M University. She completed her clinical internship at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center and has clinical experience with both child and adult populations. Her previous appointment was as an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, where she had previously held an affiliate scientist position at the university’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Her research is grounded in an interest of the many personality characteristics that exist early in life and their influence on later behavioral development.

Michael Zvolensky, professor  

michael

Michael J. Zvolensky joins the University of Houston as the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished University Professor in the department of psychology and as director of the Anxiety and Health Research Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from West Virginia University in 2001 and previously held a distinguished professorship at the University of Vermont. An expert on anxiety disorders, Zvolensky has focused much of his research on the relationship between anxiety and addiction. His research cuts across basic and applied work in the area of anxiety and substance use disorders. He utilizes two interrelated and convergent research approaches: one is basic research on emotional vulnerability and the second is clinical extensions of that basic research in the form of theoretically driven psychosocial intervention strategies. He has been especially involved in better understanding the role of cigarette smoking in terms of the etiology and maintenance of panic psychopathology, and at the same time, the role panic vulnerability factors may play in smoking cessation.  He has published over 300 scientific articles and received a variety of early contribution to the field awards from professional organizations. His research has been continuously funded by the National Institute of Health since receiving his doctoral degree.

Department of Sociology

Shayne Lee, associate professor

shaynee

Shayne has quickly emerged as a leading interpreter of contemporary American religion and culture and has been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, The Atlantic, and various other periodicals. He received his PhD in sociology from Northwestern University in 2002. Shayne's first book T.D. Jakes: America's New Preacher (NYU Press, 2005), analyzes the rise of a prominent African American spiritual leader as a metaphor for changes in the black church and contemporary American religion. His second book Holy Mavericks: Evangelical Innovators and the Spiritual Marketplace (NYU Press 2009) uses theory of religious economy to study the appeal of celebrity preachers. Shayne's most recent book Erotic Revolutionaries: Black Women, Sexuality, and Popular Culture (in press) navigates the uncharted spaces where social constructionism, third-wave feminism, and black popular culture collide to locate a new site for sexuality studies that is theoretically innovative, politically subversive, and stylistically chic. Shayne's next book project is a study on black clergywomen.

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NIH grant awarded to sociologist Jarron Saint Onge

Two-year federal grant sets him on “strong career trajectory” in health-related research

Jarron Saint Onge

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Jarron Saint Onge, assistant professor of sociology, a R03 Small Grant through its National Institute on Aging.

“Receiving an R03 is a significant foundational step to a strong career trajectory focused on conducting important large-scale, federally-funded, health-related research,” said Xavia Karner, associate professor and chair of the Department of Sociology.

Saint Onge’s project, Race/Ethnic and Sex Differences in Health Behavior Patterns in the United States, provides information on underserved populations and uses nationally-representative data to explore the relationship between health patterns and physical and mental health.

The large sample size in this study will allow for the examination Hispanics, Native Americans and other groups often overlooked at a population level due to methodological issues.

The primary goal of the investigation is to identify and examine how health behaviors (i.e. smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, sleep duration) form distinct patterns across sub-populations among U.S. adults. The focus will be on health behaviors that have established relationships with health outcomes, and use them to predict self-rated health, psychological distress, cardiovascular conditions, and body mass.

Saint Onge's research applies advanced quantitative techniques to social epidemiologic phenomena. His principle research focus is on the social determinants of population health, with an emphasis on the role of health behavior patterns and biomarkers on physical and mental health,  as well as mortality disparities by race/ethnic and socioeconomic status.

In June, Saint Onge and co-author Patrick M. Krueger, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Colorado-Denver, published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior the results of a study that found Black and Mexican American doctors and lawyers are not more likely to play so-called “high-status” sports, such as golf and tennis, then less-educated people within their racial-ethnic group.

The American Sociological Association in a press release about the article also noted the finding that “more educated black people may actually be less inclined” to play these sports than black people with less education.

Saint Onge said there are several possible reasons why racial-ethnic differences in exercise persist and, in some cases, expand with more education.

“One possibility is that high-status minorities may seek to differentiate themselves from whites in an effort to maintain their racial and ethnic solidarity and to increase their political power,” Saint Onge said. “Exercise and sports provide social contexts that allow groups to create social identities and resist—or sometimes reinforce—cultural stereotypes.”

- Shannon Buggs

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Eye on digital humanities

National Endowment for the Humanities grant awarded to visual analysis database project

Art history associate professor Rex Koontz remembers distinctly how one of his mentors researched artifacts and ancient artworks – by going through tall stacks of hardcover books, identifying images and photos, then placing them on the floor of his office to compare them.

The Internet made this cumbersome research method a thing of the past, but did not exactly replicate it. Instead of relying on what the eye sees, Internet searches focus on word “tags” and verbal descriptions.

Koontz and a UH research team, including Dan Price, a research assistant professor in The Honors College, has developed the Visual Web Interface for Researchers (Vwire), a new online tool that allows visual sorting, comparing and categorizing rather than word-based organization.

“Vwire is a tool that allows researchers to save visual knowledge,” said Koontz, director of UH’s School of Art. “It also can be used to begin a conversation about visual analysis. Because it’s online, it can promote discussions among researchers across disciplines from all areas of the world.”

The team recently received a $50,000 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Digital Start-Up Grant for the project, “Vwire: Digital Content Management through Spatial Arrangement – A Tool for Visual Argumentation in the Humanities.”

Assisting with this project are Jerome Crowder, assistant professor at the University of Texas, Medical Branch at Galveston and Ioannis Konstantinidis, who holds a doctorate in mathematics and is a research development officer with UH’s Texas Learning and Computation Center (TLC2.)

Vwire allows images to be uploaded into a visual database, grouped together for side-by-side analysis, saved as collections and shared among students and researchers. Students and researchers also can participate in the online Vwire community that facilitates academic dialogue about shared images.

Vwire is a prototype and will not be available for public use until 2012. The NEH-funded phase of Vwire’s development is focused on a collection of ancient stone masks from the Teotihuacan archaeological site in the central Mexico region known as the Valley of Mexico. Ten to 12 art historians and archaeologists will use Vwire to analyze the collection over an 18-month period.

Masks

At the conclusion of their analysis, the scholars will be interviewed about the decisions they made as they categorized these masks. Each participant also will have the opportunity to see how the rest of the group organized these masks and engage in cross-disciplinary discussion.

Student Lauren Lovings recently provided support to the project through UH’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program. She prepared textual information about the Teotihuacan masks for the project’s participating scholars. Lovings also used Vwire to develop an exhibition focused on eight Teotihuacan masks. She will showcase this work this fall at UH’s School of Art.

“This tool can be helpful to students who are involved in visual fields of study,” said Lovings, a senior art history and French major. “When I'm writing an essay for an art history course, I'll have the images that I'm using and the arguments that I want to make spread out on a table to visualize the order in which I want to make my arguments. Vwire allows students to do this in a digital space. One of the greatest features about Vwire is that students can organize the images in a specific way, save that organization and try out different organizations. Vwire allows researchers to make as many visual arguments as they want to have.”

Lovings wasn’t the first student to use Vwire. It recently was tested in one of Koontz’ art history courses that focused on Mesoamerican culture. He used the tool to illustrate how Mesoamerican tripods were mislabeled in previously published research. Vwire’s capability to compare similar objects visually allowed students to see how these tripods were created by different cultures, while previous research indicated they were only from one source.

“Visual analysis is very important for students in critical social sciences. Making sense of our visual world is absolutely crucial,” Koontz said. “A tool such as Vwire can help students and seasoned researchers develop a fine eye. Most importantly, it can be used across disciplines including design, sociology, anthropology, art history and others.”

- Mike Emery

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NEWS FROM CLASS | CLASS EVENT CALENDAR | CLASS IN THE NEWS

News from CLASS

CLASS Event Calendar

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Aristotle and the Higher Good Aristotle and the Higher Good
A review of  “Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics” co-translated by Susan Collins, associate professor of political science
New York Times Sunday Book Review: July 3, 2011
(illustration credit: Vivienne Flesher – New York Times)
Indo American News Youth Leadership Development Program Session on Art and Culture
On-campus youth program features Creative Writing professor Chitra Divakaruni
Indo American News: June 24, 2011

Metro - study Study: Metro board not in need of new members
Story on political science professor and Survey Research Institute director Richard Murray’s research
Houston Chronicle: June 23, 2011

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What is CLASS? The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences is a dynamic place full of intellectual curiosity and creative energy. Encompassing creative and performing arts, humanities, and social sciences, the College truly is the intellectual and artistic heart of the university.

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Texas Music Festival

TMF annually hosts students from various musical disciplines and helps them develop their talents under the watchful eyes of master musicians. The festival also spotlights both student and professional musicians during concerts at UH and throughout the Houston area. This year the festival will take place from May 30 to June 28, 2014.

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For its 40th anniversary, the festival will present “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” and “Henry IV, 1” Aug. 1 – 10 at Miller Outdoor Theatre. In the tradition of past festivals, noted guest artists will contribute their talents to this year’s performances:  Mirron Willis  and  Brendon Fox.

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//class/_images/spiff-images/140311-aas.pngsite://CLASS/class/_images/spiff-images/140311-aas.pngCLASS140311-aas.pngNewsDean Roberts appoints African American Studies Task Force

Dean John W. Roberts has appointed a task force to enhance the academic offerings of the African American Studies Program and strengthen the program’s interdisciplinary ties to other CLASS departments

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Mario Diaz, director of the City of Houston Department of Aviation and a leading authority on the future of commercial aviation, was named the 2014 Public Official of the Year by the UH Master of Public Administration Program.

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slideYes/UH - Web Site/suite-test/classbanner1.jpgclassbanner1.jpgTeaching Excellence2013 Ross M. Lence Awards for Teaching Excellence RecipientsCLASS recognizes Professors Church, Kennedy and Valls at spring faculty meetingEST/http://www.uh.edu/class/faculty-distinctions/Distinctions/faculty-honors/class-awards.php/UH - Web Site/suite-test/classbanner2.jpgclassbanner2.jpgTotal DonationClassical composers write tunes fit for cowboy crowdMoores students create Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show soundtrack/http://www.uh.edu/class/news/archive/2013/march/cowboy-tunes/index.php/UH - Web Site/suite-test/classbanner3.jpgclassbanner3.jpgnew programNew Minor in Energy and SustainabilityThe University of Houston has created an interdisciplinary minor in energy and sustainability/ http://www.uh.edu/news-events/stories/2013/march/0320EnergyMinor.php/UH - Web Site/suite-test/class-home-featuresclass-home-featuresFeaturesFeatures///Contact Us

College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
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What is CLASS? The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences is a dynamic place full of intellectual curiosity and creative energy. Encompassing creative and performing arts, humanities, and social sciences, the College truly is the intellectual and artistic heart of the university.

WYSIWYGMore CLASS News and Events

Table Talk 2013: Dining with women shaping Houston

Dr. Robert Carp’s gift that came from a very good career decision

Student Spotlight: Conner Clifton, political philosophy major and radio journalist

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UH Ensemble Dance Works | April 5-7

Annual show featuring contemporary works by faculty and guest artists with our pre-professional dance company, the UH Dance Ensemble.

Eventshttps://www.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?e=e7a13f9df6cecd943c720c67dc20ce9d&t=tix
//UH - Web Site/suite-test/class-spiff2.jpgclass-spiff2.jpgEventsKemper Crabb concert benefitting Religious Studies Program

7 p.m. on Sunday, April 14 at Heights Church of Christ, 16th Street and Heights Blvd. Kemper Crabb brings to life music that blends medieval and Celtic traditions using the mountain dulcimer, recorder, tin whistle, bells, mandolin, and bazouki.

Eventshttp://www.uh.edu/class/news/archive/2013/march/rels-concert/
//UH - Web Site/suite-test/class-spiff3.jpgclass-spiff3.jpgEventsPoetry & Prose Reading

5:30 – 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 17 at Honors College Commons, M.D. Anderson Library. Featuring undergraduate Creative Writing students with work appearing in Glass Mountain literary magazine.

Eventshttp://info.lib.uh.edu/about/news-events/annual-events/poetry-prose
//UH - Web Site/suite-test/class-spiff4.jpgclass-spiff4.jpgEventsCynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts presents "En Masse"

4 – 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 20 in Discovery Green Park in downtown Houston. A participatory outdoor performance event with newly commissioned music by Artist in Residence Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR.) Directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph in collaboration with Troy Bennefield (UH Cougar Marching Band.)

Eventshttp://vimeo.com/62371066
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Quick LinksLeft///Office of Communicationhttp://www.uh.edu/class////Office of Educational Technologyhttp://www.uh.edu/class/Upcoming DeadlinesLeft///Scholarship Applicationhttp://www.uh.edu/finance////Student Art Exhibithttp://www.uh.edu/class/arts/Wide//
class-fb-block/class/class-fb-blockCLASShome-spiffsSpiffs - UH Homepagehome-spiffs-html5/class/home-spiffsCLASSsite://CLASS/class/home-spiffs//class/_images/spiff-images/140601-tmf-festival.pngsite://CLASS/class/_images/spiff-images/140601-tmf-festival.pngCLASS140601-tmf-festival.png140601-tmf-festival.pngEvents

Texas Music Festival

TMF annually hosts students from various musical disciplines and helps them develop their talents under the watchful eyes of master musicians. The festival also spotlights both student and professional musicians during concerts at UH and throughout the Houston area. This year the festival will take place from May 30 to June 28, 2014.

Eventshttp://uh.edu/class/music/tmf/index.php
//class/_images/spiff-images/140601-shakespeare-festival.pngsite://CLASS/class/_images/spiff-images/140601-shakespeare-festival.pngCLASS140601-shakespeare-festival.png140601-shakespeare-festival.pngEvents40th Annual Shakespeare Hoston Festival

For its 40th anniversary, the festival will present “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” and “Henry IV, 1” Aug. 1 – 10 at Miller Outdoor Theatre. In the tradition of past festivals, noted guest artists will contribute their talents to this year’s performances:  Mirron Willis  and  Brendon Fox.

Eventshttp://uh.edu/news-events/stories/2014/May/0526HSF.php
//class/_images/spiff-images/140311-aas.pngsite://CLASS/class/_images/spiff-images/140311-aas.pngCLASS140311-aas.pngNewsDean Roberts appoints African American Studies Task Force

Dean John W. Roberts has appointed a task force to enhance the academic offerings of the African American Studies Program and strengthen the program’s interdisciplinary ties to other CLASS departments

Newshttp://www.uh.edu/class/news/archive/2014/march/aas-task-force/index2.php
//class/_images/spiff-images/140407-public-official-spiff.jpgsite://CLASS/class/_images/spiff-images/140407-public-official-spiff.jpgCLASS140407-public-official-spiff.jpgEvents2014 Public Official of the Year Award Winner: Mario Diaz, Head of the Houston Ariport System

Mario Diaz, director of the City of Houston Department of Aviation and a leading authority on the future of commercial aviation, was named the 2014 Public Official of the Year by the UH Master of Public Administration Program.

Newshttp://www.uh.edu/class/news/archive/2014/april/public-official-award-winner/
wysiwyg widget blockMore CLASS News and EventsMore CLASS News and Events/class/wysiwyg widget blockCLASStwitter widget block/class/twitter widget blockCLASSclass contact block/class/class contact blockCLASSTop Bar and Primary/class/Top Bar and PrimaryCLASSmaalmaal/class/maalCLASSsite://CLASS/class/maaldisplayInMenudisplayAsHeaderdisplayHeaderTextcustom-header-enablecustom-header-pathctr-arts-leadershipCenter for Arts Leadership/class/ctr-arts-leadershipCLASSsite://CLASS/class/ctr-arts-leadershipdisplayInMenuYesdisplayAsHeaderYesCustom Headeranthropologyanthropology/class/anthropologyCLASSsite://CLASS/class/anthropologydisplayInMenudisplayAsHeaderdisplayHeaderTextcustom-header-enablecustom-header-pathwsWomen's, Gender & Sexuality Studies/class/wsCLASSsite://CLASS/class/wsdisplayInMenuYesdisplayAsHeaderCustom HeaderYesclass-home-featuresFeaturesFeatures/class/class-home-featuresCLASSsite://CLASS/class/class-home-featuresslideYes/class/_images/feature/140714-smallgrants.jpgsite://CLASS/class/_images/feature/140714-smallgrants.jpgCLASS140714-smallgrants.jpgSmall GrantsUH Small Grants Program funds scholarly researchCLASS professors received more than a third of UH total Small Grants funding in fiscal year 2014/http://www.uh.edu/class/news/archive/2014/july/small-grants/index.php/class/_images/feature/140714-scarrow-nsf-grant.jpgsite://CLASS/class/_images/feature/140714-scarrow-nsf-grant.jpgCLASS140714-scarrow-nsf-grant.jpgPolitical Science Chair Susan Scarrow awarded $264,000 NSF grantPolitical Science Chair Susan Scarrow awarded $264,000 NSF grantAward funds creation of international database on political parties over 3 years/http://www.uh.edu/class/news/archive/2014/july/pol-sci-scarrow//class/_images/feature/140714-backus.jpgsite://CLASS/class/_images/feature/140714-backus.jpgCLASS140714-backus.jpgMargot BackusEnglish Professor Margot Backus Named Fulbright ScholarDr. Backus will teach and conduct research at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland/http://www.uh.edu/class/news/archive/2014/july/backus-fulbright-scholar//class/_images/feature/140714-hsf-40-anniversary.jpgsite://CLASS/class/_images/feature/140714-hsf-40-anniversary.jpgCLASS140714-hsf-40-anniversary.jpg40th anniversary production of Houston Shakespeare Festival August 1 – 1040th anniversary production of Houston Shakespeare Festival August 1 – 10The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Henry IV Part I starring Mirron Willis at Miller Outdoor Theater/http://www.uh.edu/class/news/archive/2014/july/hsf-40-anniversary//class/_images/feature/140714-lang-fellowship-harvard.jpgsite://CLASS/class/_images/feature/140714-lang-fellowship-harvard.jpgCLASS140714-lang-fellowship-harvard.jpgPolitical Science Ph.D. candidate awarded 2-year big data fellowship by HarvardPolitical Science Ph.D. candidate awarded 2-year big data fellowship by HarvardMatthew Lang’s proposal to remain in Houston and continue working for Houston ISD as an agency fellow accepted/http://www.uh.edu/class/news/archive/2014/july/lang-fellowship/header-localHeaderHeader/class/header-localCLASSsite://CLASS/class/header-local/class/_images/header-logo.pngsite://CLASS/class/_images/header-logo.pngCLASSheader-logo.png/class/indexsite://CLASS/class/indexCLASSindexCollege of Liberal Arts and Social SciencesCollege of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of HoustonUniversity of Houston: College of Liberal Arts and Social SciencesYes/class/about-us/deans-office/indexsite://CLASS/class/about-us/deans-office/indexCLASSindexDean's OfficeDean's OfficeCLASS, Dean, Associate Dean//class/about-us/clinical-services/indexsite://CLASS/class/about-us/clinical-services/indexCLASSindexClinical ServicesClinical Services//class/about-us/community-partnerships/indexsite://CLASS/class/about-us/community-partnerships/indexCLASSindexCommunity PartnershipsCommunity Partnerships//class/about-us/outreach/indexsite://CLASS/class/about-us/outreach/indexCLASSindexCommunity OutreachCommunity Outreach//class/about-us/youth-camps/indexsite://CLASS/class/about-us/youth-camps/indexCLASSindexYouth CampsYouth Camps//class/about-us/contact-us/indexsite://CLASS/class/about-us/contact-us/indexCLASSindexContact Us Contact Us//class/art/indexsite://CLASS/class/art/indexCLASSindexArtArt//class/communication/indexsite://CLASS/class/communication/indexCLASSindexCommunicationSchool of CommunicationUniversity of Houston, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Communication, Apple Authorized Training, Final Cut Pro Training, Apple TrainingJack J. Valenti School of Communication//class/comd/indexsite://CLASS/class/comd/indexCLASSindexCommunication Sciences and DisordersDepartment of Communication Sciences and Disorders//class/ccs/indexsite://CLASS/class/ccs/indexCLASSindexComparative Cultural Studies Comparative Cultural Studies Comparative Cultural Studies //class/economics/indexsite://CLASS/class/economics/indexCLASSindexEconomicsDepartment of EconomicsCollege of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences//class/english/indexsite://CLASS/class/english/indexCLASSindexEnglishDepartment of EnglishUniversity of Houston, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, EnglishCollege of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences//class/hhp/indexsite://CLASS/class/hhp/indexCLASSindexHealth and Human PerformanceHealth and Human PerformanceKinesiology, Nutrition, Sports Admin, Exercise science, Physical education, Ph.D. in Kinesiology, HHP department,UHThe Department of Health and Human Performance at UH offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in 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Content/class/psychology/clinical-psych/research/forensic/indexsite://CLASS/class/psychology/clinical-psych/research/forensic/indexCLASSindexCenter for Forensic PsychologyCenter for Forensic Psychology/class/hcpp/indexsite://CLASS/class/hcpp/indexCLASSindexThe Hobby Center for Public PolicyThe Hobby Center for Public Policy/class/sociology/ctr-immigration-research/indexsite://CLASS/class/sociology/ctr-immigration-research/indexCLASSindexThe Center for Immigration ResearchThe Center for Immigration Research/class/ctr-cics/indexsite://CLASS/class/ctr-cics/indexCLASSindexCenter for International and Comparative StudiesRedirect - Physical Page/class/lac/indexsite://CLASS/class/lac/indexCLASSindexLanguage Acquisition CenterLanguage Acquisition Center/class/lcc/indexdisplay-mobile-navigationNosite://CLASS/class/lcc/indexCLASSindexLanguage and Culture CenterRedirect - Physical Page/class/cmas/indexsite://CLASS/class/cmas/indexCLASSindexCenter for Mexican American StudiesCenter for Mexican American StudiesCenter for Mexican American StudiesCollege of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences/class/ctr-public-history/indexsite://CLASS/class/ctr-public-history/indexCLASSindexCenter for Public HistoryCenter for Public HistoryCPH, cph, public history, center for public history, oral, archives, WIMSThe Center for Public History was stablished in 1984./class/departments/centers/women-resource-ctr/indexsite://CLASS/class/departments/centers/women-resource-ctr/indexCLASSindexWomen's Resource CenterStandard Content/class/writing-center/indexsite://CLASS/class/writing-center/indexCLASSindexWriting CenterWriting CenterCollege of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences/class/students/undergraduate/indexsite://CLASS/class/students/undergraduate/indexCLASSindexUndergraduate StudiesUndergraduateundergraduate, prospective students, admissions//class/students/post-bachelors/indexsite://CLASS/class/students/post-bachelors/indexCLASSindexPost-BaccalaureatePost-BaccalaureatePost-Baccalaureate, post 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