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News from CLASS

Doctoral student lands prestigious national fellowship after 165-year-old Walt Whitman discovery

Abracadabra! As a young child, Zachary Turpin dreamed of being a magician, because they could pull a rabbit out of a hat and make objects disappear and reappear; so he thought. Well today, literary scholars are still reeling with amazement from the magical moment when Turpin pulled from the bowels of the Library of Congress, a Walt Whitman novel, lost for 165 years. Because of this discovery, along with his previous Walt Whitman findings, Turpin has been awarded the Kluge Fellowship to live in Washington D.C. for several months this summer and see what additional Walt Whitman lost works he can find in the Library of Congress. read more

Personality Factors Are Best Defense Against Losing Your Job to a Robot

Worried robots will take your job? Researchers say people who are more intelligent and who showed an interest in the arts and sciences during high school are less likely to fall victim to automation.Later educational attainment mattered, but researchers said the findings highlight the importance of personality traits, intelligence and vocational interests in determining how well people fare in a changing labor market. The work was published this week in the European Journal of Personality. read more

CLASS’s oldest graduate this semester earns degree alongside his son

Kenneth Levin jokes that every 30 years, he decides to go back to college. At 86-years-old, this time around he is earning a bachelor’s degree in political science, and is graduating as CLASS’s oldest graduate this semester. But, Kenneth isn’t the only Levin graduating this spring – his son, 23-year-old Herschel, is also graduating with a degree in political science. read more

History doctoral student awarded Fulbright Fellowship

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Ph.D. student, Daniel Mendiola, was recently awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to spend the 2017-2018 school year in San José, Costa Rica, to conduct dissertation research in the country’s national archives. Mendiola’s current plan is to finish his dissertation during his Fulbright year in Costa Rica, and then find a job as a professor of history where he can follow his passion and teach the next generation of students. read more

CLASS hosts Massive Open Online Course conducted in American Sign Language

In 2015, Professor Sharon Hill, undergraduate program coordinator with CLASS’ American Sign Language Interpreting (ASLI) program, had a vision. After attending a workshop led by the CLASS Office of Educational Technology (OET) and strategizing a plan with an instructional designer, her vision became clearer. The goal was simple and yet complex – design an ASLI online course open to the public, also known as an MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), that was accessible to the hearing impaired. read more

Meet CLASS’ Spring 2017 graduates with 4.0 GPAs

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences commends its 4.0 graduates on their perseverance and dedication to excellence. Congratulations to them and to all our graduates. read more

Sawan Dalal selected for summer internship at NASA's Ames Research Center

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences student Sawan Dalal has been selected for NASA’s Space Life Sciences Training Program. Dalal works in health and human performance faculty member, Dr. Christopher Arellano’s, lab. He will spend the summer at NASA’s Ames Research Center in San Francisco working on the BioSentinel research project to develop space radiation biosensors through a yeast model. As part of the internship he will receive a $6500 stipend, free housing on-site, and will tour several aerospace facilities (SpaceX, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, etc). read more

Ph.D. graduate examined how exercise affects cancer survivorship

For Nathan Parker, researching how to help individuals diagnosed with pancreatic cancer is, in part, a personal quest. After losing his grandmother to the disease, he wanted to learn all he could about pancreatic cancer. This month, he graduates with a Ph.D. after successfully defending his research dissertation that examined the relationship between physical activity as it relates to cancer survivorship and healthy aging. read more

Dr. Jack M. Fletcher named 2017 Esther Farfel Award recipient

Dr. Jack M. Fletcher, Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor of Psychology, was named the 2017 Esther Farfel Award recipient during an April 20 ceremony. The award is given in recognition of excellent teaching, research, scholarship, and service. Dr. Fletcher has directed or collaborated on over $125 million in funded research, receiving funding from the National Institute of Health, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Science Foundation. His scholarly output includes over 400 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 100 chapters in edited volumes, and three books. He has been a board certified neuropsychologist for the past 30 years, and has been at the University of Houston since 1979. read more

CLASS faculty member named Moores Professor, other CLASS faculty earn teaching, research and scholarship awards

The Office of the Provost celebrated the recipients of numerous awards during a special ceremony and dinner held on April 20. Several CLASS faculty members earned recognitions. Clayton Neighbors , professor of psychology, was one of two recipients of the Moores professorship. In addition, Dr. Neighbors was also presented with an award for Excellence in Research Scholarship or Creative Activity at the same event. Other award recipients were Dr. James Schafer , History; Dr. Elizabeth Simas , Political Science; Dr. Sharon Wen , Modern and Classical Languages; Dr. Richard Armstrong , Modern and Classical Languages; and Dr. Richard Simpson , Health and Human Performance. In addition, graduate teaching assistants Elizabeth Blomstedt and Erika Jo Brown, both of English, were also recognized. read more

Study finds confusion about voter ID kept some Texas voters home

Researchers considering the impact of the Texas voter ID legislation on the 2016 presidential election report that confusion over the law kept some people from voting, although most registered voters could have complied. Latino voters were affected most significantly. The study by the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs, offers an in-depth look at registered voters who sat out the 2016 election in the state’s highest-profile battlegrounds. read more

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