The University of Houston Magazine

Quick Takes

Patricia B. OliverPatricia Belton Oliver, has been named dean of the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture. Oliver previously served as the senior vice president of educational planning and architecture at the Art Center College of Design, where she created an environmental design department to bridge architecture and product design. She also established the Institute for Community Development to collaborate on projects with low-cost housing organizations. Oliver chaired the 2009 American Institute of Architects National Convention and National Education Committee. She also is a director on the National Architectural Accrediting Board.

Paul ChuPaul C.W. Chu, founding director of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston, has returned to campus full time. The T.L.L. Temple Chair of Science, professor of physics and executive director of TCSUH, concluded an eight-year term as president of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, where he continued to lead his productive research group in Houston. Chu has received a $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research for his ongoing efforts to search for novel materials that become superconducting at higher temperatures, preferably close to or above room temperature, and with higher current carrying capacity.



Amanda Baumle, assistant professor of sociology, has written "Sex Discrimination and Law Firm Culture on the Internet: Lawyers at the ‘Information Age Water Cooler.’”

Paul Butler, assistant professor of English, has written “Style in Rhetoric and Composition: A Critical Sourcebook.”

Alice Cepeda, assistant professor of sociology, has written a chapter, “The Relationship of Ecological Containment and Heroin Practices,” in “Geography and Drug Addiction.”

Helen Rose Ebaugh, professor of sociology, has written “The Gulen Movement: A Sociological Analysis of a Civic Movement Rooted in Moderate Islam.”

Joseph L. McCauley, professor of physics, has written “Dynamics of Markets: The New Financial Economics, 2nd ed.”

Michael Leroy Oberg, professor of history, has written “Native America: A History.”

Guadalupe San Miguel Jr., professor of history, has co-written a chapter, “Latino Education in 20th Century America: A Brief History,” in “Handbook of Latino Education.”

Spencer Simons, director of the O’Quinn Law Library and assistant professor of law, has written “Texas Legal Research.”

Tamler Sommers, assistant professor of philosophy, has written “A Very Bad Wizard: Morality Behind the Curtain.”

Steve Werner, professor of management and doctoral coordinator, has co-written “Managing Human Resources, 10th ed.”

Ira Wolinsky, professor emeritus of health and human performance, has co-edited “Nutritional Concerns in Recreation, Education, and Sport.”


Lisa Alastuey, clinical assistant professor of health and human performance, has been honored with the 2009–2010 Southern District University/College Educator Award for her research on the physical and emotional health of women and young people. Alastuey also received the organization’s 2009 Texas Health Educator of the Year Award.

Kimberly Birtcher, clinical associate professor of pharmacy, has been elected Fellow of the American Heart Association’s Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

Seth Chandler, Law Foundation Professor, developed the spatial and dynamic model of jury behavior featured on the Numb3rs TV series on CBS. The model illustrates how jurors may vote to convict or acquit based on a random variable affected by factors such as actual guilt. The show’s plot used the concept to illustrate jury tampering.

Yuhua Chen, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, has received two National Science Foundation grants, totaling more than $890,000, to develop a multimode switching platform that will allow the transfer of all types of data using one piece of technology.

Diana Chow, professor of pharmacy, with alumnus Harshal Bhagwatwar (’95) and U.T. M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s Borje S. Andersson, received the 2009 Inventor of the Year Award from the Houston Intellectual Property Law Association for developing intravenous formulations of a pre-transplant drug for leukemia patients prior to stem cell transplantation.

Mark Clarke, associate professor of health and human performance, is the principal investigator in research that has resulted in a process that grows real human bone in tissue culture, which can be used to investigate how bones form and grow. The technology will examine ways the breakthrough research can be used in a clinical setting for applications such as spinal fusions, facial reconstructions following bomb blasts or the re-growing of an individual bone outside of the patient.

Gavin Clarkson, associate professor of law, had a paper titled “The Social Efficiency of Fairness,” which was co-authored with an MIT economist, listed on the Social Science Research Network’s Top Ten download list for Property, Citizenship, & Social Entrepreneurism.

Seamus Curran, associate professor of physics and head of UH’s Institute for NanoEnergy, and his research team have found a rare element in the waste excreted by tiny bacteria that is effective in limiting high-energy light. Its applications could range from use in eye glasses to aircraft defense. The findings on tellurium, a scarce metalloid typically used as a semiconductor, have been published in the journal, Chemical Physical Letters. The project was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Steven Deyle, associate professor of history, has received the American Antiquarian Society’s Joyce A. Tracy Fellowship for 2009–2010.

Jan-Åke Gustafsson, Robert A. Welch Professor and head of the Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling, has received the Fernström Foundation’s Nordic Prize, one of Scandinavia’s most prestigious medical prizes, for his discoveries of nuclear receptors and his groundbreaking research on their significance in several common diseases. One of his most important findings is a previously unknown receptor for estrogen (ER-beta), which his research group discovered in the mid-1990s.

Thomas T.C. Hsu, John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been honored for his contributions to structural engineering. His Universal Element Tester is one of only two machines like it in the world. The American Concrete Institute and the American Association of Civil Engineers sponsored a four-part symposium in his honor with presentations from researchers from around the world who shared their own research that has been heavily influenced by Hsu’s accomplishments.

Tahir Hussain, associate professor of pharmacology, and Ming Hu, professor of pharmaceutics, have received $2.65 million in renewal awards from the National Institutes of Health for their respective research projects into obesity and flavonoids.

Alex Ignatiev, director of the Center for Advanced Materials, received a five-year appointment as World Class University Professor by the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea. Distinguished University Professor of Physics, Chemistry and Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ignatiev’s research in resistive memory gained international recognition as a possible major paradigm-shifting technology for computer memory.

Craig Joyce, Andrews Kurth Professor of Law and co-director of the Institute for Intellectual Property & Information Law, has been reappointed chair of the American Society for Legal History’s Committee on Conferences and the Annual Meeting.

Noah Lim, assistant professor of marketing, has received the 2009 Management Science Meritorious Service Award for his notable service as a reviewer for Management Science.

Brian K. McFarlin, associate professor, and Thomas W. Lowder and Richard J. Simpson, assistant professors of health and human performance, have been appointed section editors for the International Journal of Exercise Science.

Antonya Nelson, Cullen Foundation Chair in Creative Writing and award-winning author, has been named the United States Artists Fellow for 2009. The prestigious $50,000 fellowship recognizes the best and brightest artist.

Ray Nimmer, UH Law Center dean, has made the list of The Best Lawyers in America in his dual specialties of Information Technology Law and Intellectual Property Law.

Carlos Ordonez, associate professor of physics, has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society for his contributions to the “effective langrangian theory of the nucleon-nucleon interaction and to conformal quantum mechanics and its applications, particularly to black-hole thermodynamics, and for extensive efforts toward developing science in Latin America.”

Monica Perales, assistant professor of history, has been elected to a three-year term on the board of directors of Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.