December 10, 2013

Dear UH Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As we head into finals week, I want to wish students good luck with their exams and thank faculty and staff for all their hard work. Congratulations to all fall graduates and best wishes and success in all your future endeavors.

Paula Myrick Short

Chemistry Graduate Student Lead Author of Published Review

Arati Kolhatkar

Chemistry Graduate Student Arati Kolhatkar

A research team at the University of Houston has published its insights into the factors that can be used to engineer magnetic properties at the nanoscale. Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) exhibit unique properties that have tremendous potential for use in biomedical applications such as highly sensitive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents, as sensors, and drug carriers for targeted drug delivery. The review titled "Tuning the Magnetic Properties of Nanoparticles," was published recently in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences and acknowledged by and Lead author Arati Kolhatkar has been pursuing her Ph.D. degree in Chemistry/Chemical Biology under the guidance of Dr. T. Randall Lee, Cullen distinguished university chair and associate dean for research; and Dr. Richard Willson, Huffington-Woestemeyer professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. "Arati is a truly exceptional young scientist. She asks the right questions and finds the correct answers to them. Her defining work on cubic magnetic nanocubes will be highly cited for years to come," Dr. Lee said. The review article was a collaborative effort that included the insights of Dr. Dmitri Litvinov, interim vice provost and dean of the Graduate School.

Kolhatkar notes that the motivation for assembling the report was to provide a matrix of parameters to tune the properties of magnetic nanoparticles for a particular end-use. The proposed usefulness of cubic nanoparticles reflects ongoing research by Kolhatkar on how flat-sided magnetic nanoparticles designed for biosensors allow for improved surface contact over a spherically shaped particle. Additionally, Kolhatkar has been further exploring the effect of shape on magnetic properties and hopes to better understand how to optimize the unique magnetic properties of nanoscale particles and effectively tailor them to specific scientific applications.


Dan Johnson Selected as a Mosaic Program Fellow

Dan Johnson, senior library specialist at the University of Houston Libraries, has been selected as a 2013-2015 Mosaic Program Fellow. The program, jointly sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Society of American Archivists (SAA), is part of the ARL Diversity Initiatives to identify and recruit individuals from underrepresented groups to careers in academic research libraries. Mosaic Program Fellows are awarded a tuition stipend, a paid internship in an ARL library or archives organization, mentorship, and professional development. The fellowship will allow Johnson to complete a Master of Science in Library Science in archival studies and digital image management from the University of North Texas. As part of the fellowship, Johnson will begin an internship in UH Libraries Special Collections in fall 2014.

Dan Johnson

Senior Library Specialist Dan Johnson

An important objective of the ARL/SAA Mosaic Program is to attract and retain individuals who demonstrate excellent potential for scholastic and personal achievement and who manifest a commitment both to the archives and special collections profession and to advancing diversity concerns within it. UH Libraries have been a leader in sponsoring these programs, recruiting candidates, and hosting events for the various program cohorts. Read the full article on Dan Johnson

Pizza with the Provost

Starting in the spring semester, Provost Short will host “Pizza with the Provost,” a monthly informal event where students can meet the Provost, eat pizza, and provide their suggestions for making their experiences at the University of Houston simply the best!

Provost Short and Cedric Bandoh

Provost Paula Myrick Short and Student Body President Cedric Bandoh

Provost Short and Cedric Bandoh, president of the Student Government Association, came up with the idea after discussions on how to better connect students with the Provost and encourage students to voice their opinion on improving academic programs and student success. “I thought to myself, free food will get a college student to almost any event. Pizza is something that most folks enjoy, and a spark went off in my mind: ‘Pizza with the Provost,’” said Bandoh. Not only will students have the opportunity to share and discuss their ideas with the Provost and fellow Cougars, but Provost Short will update students on the various student success initiatives currently under way in the Division of Academic Affairs. Pizza with the Provost will be hosted at student hubs across campus such as the University Center and the M.D. Anderson Library.

Pizza with the Provost Logo

Paula Myrick Short