Acclaimed Prof to Deliver First Excellence in Teaching Lecture

Mike Wesch was named U.S. Professor of the Year in 2008 by the Carnegie Foundation.

Dr. Mike Wesch of Kansas State University will speak on "Teaching as Soul-Making: The End of Wonder in the Digital Age" on Friday, Feb. 27, as part of the University's first Excellence in Teaching Lecture and Panel Discussion.

The event, sponsored by the Office of the Provost, is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room (SU 2.905). Seating is limited to the first 180 respondents.

Wesch is an associate professor of cultural anthropology and the University Distinguished Teaching Scholar at Kansas State. He was named U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation in 2008. Videos of his research and presentations have attracted more than 20 million views on YouTube.

RSVP online. For more information, see the Faculty Forum & Resources section in eLearning or email Dr. Karen Huxtable-Jester.

Committee Promotes Versatile eLearning Tools for Faculty

The Distance Learning Committee is encouraging members of the faculty to get to know tools in eLearning that can help them enhance work in significant ways. The tools can help instructors:

  • Collaborate with others via Web Conferencing. You can give a class lecture, conduct virtual office hours, or meet with a colleague using voice, video and screen sharing.
  • Ensure course continuity. Should UT Dallas close due to inclement weather or a communicable disease, eLearning can help keep you and your students from falling behind on your course schedule. See Faculty Tutorials for more information.
  • Use Inline Grading tools to make comments and give students feedback in assignments submitted online.
  • Be FERPA-compliant when grading, and communicating with students. The eLearning suite is a secure system that can help prevent unnecessary and unlawful exposure of student information.
Email [email protected] for more information.

'50 Shades of Acceptance' Lecture to Examine Taboos

Dr. Joanna Gentsch, a psychology professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, will discuss social learning theory and recent research into whether relationships like those depicted in 50 Shades of Grey influence women in their romantic choices in a free talk on Tuesday, Feb. 24. The event, which is set for 7 p.m. at the Glass Half Full Taproom of the Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson, is part of the Office of Research "Tech on Tap" series. Gentsch will examine the science behind how mainstream depictions of aggressive behavior may be changing the social narrative on gender roles, identity, empowerment and sexual choice. Read more

Nominations Sought for Awards Celebrating UT Dallas Diversity

The Office of Diversity and Community Engagement is seeking nominations through Friday, Feb. 20, for the University's annual Diversity Awards. The awards honor students, student organizations, staff, faculty and community members who have helped advance the University's commitment to embrace and enhance diversity.

Nominees will be evaluated for outstanding accomplishments in achieving and sustaining diversity at UT Dallas and the broader community. See the nomination guidelines for details.

International Center Reorganizes to Provide Expanded Services

The International Center has combined and expanded several departments to provide an array of services. Now under the International Center umbrella are the International Student Services Office, Education Abroad, Intercultural Programs, International Risk and Safety, and International Partnership Development.

With the expansion, the International Center offers immigration advising for international students, coordinates study abroad opportunities and facilitates the international travel process for faculty, staff and students. It also monitors the safety of Comets traveling worldwide, creates partnerships with universities from across the globe, and organizes intercultural events and programs.

Learn more on the International Center website and plan to attend an open house on Friday, Feb. 27. Guests are invited to learn about the new center, meet staff members and enjoy refreshments from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Student Services Building (SSB 3.400).

Valentine Blooms to Raise Money for Staff Scholarships

The Staff Council's Valentine's gift sale has returned. The Fundraising Committee is accepting orders for Valentine roses and teddy bears through 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11. The proceeds help pay for staff scholarships. Prices are $3 for each red long-stem rose, $20 for six and $30 for a dozen. The bears are $7. Purchase online at Orders will be delivered on Friday, Feb. 13.

UT Southwestern Mobile Unit Taking Mammogram Appointments

The UT Southwestern Mobile Mammography Unit will visit campus Friday, Feb. 20, to provide mammograms for UT Dallas faculty and staff members and their spouses. Call 214-645-2560 or 866-277-0710 to schedule an appointment.

The mobile clinic will be stationed on the north side of the Activity Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. A total of 37 appointment slots are available. Have your health insurance information available when you call.

Annual screenings are recommended for women age 35 or older. Medicare and most insurance plans will be accepted, but check with your health care provider to be sure. Sponsored mammograms are available for patients who do not have health care coverage.

The UTSW Mobile Mammography Unit is designed for routine screenings. Consult your physician about a specific problem. Bring a photo ID and your health insurance card to your appointment. The mammogram report will be sent to your home in a pink envelope.

Security Enhancements to Complement Library's Later Hours

As part of the recent extension of hours at Eugene McDermott Library, card readers are being added to the building's entrances to provide added security for evening patrons. Students and faculty and staff members will need to use their Comet Cards to enter the library between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. UT Dallas police will also assign a uniformed guard to the library during these hours. These safety enhancements are expected to be in place within the next two weeks.

Stretch Your Way to Less Stress at Free Wellness Yoga Class

Faculty, staff and students are invited to participate in a free yoga class from noon to 1 p.m. on Feb. 13 in the MP Green room (AB 1.506) of the Activity Center. The class is part of the Live Healthy North Texas 10-Week Wellness Challenge activity series sponsored by the UT Dallas Wellness Committee. Space is limited. RSVP by Thursday, Feb. 12, to [email protected].

Office of Research Schedules Training Seminars

The Office of Research opened a new Certificate Series on Feb. 10. Learn more on the office’s Upcoming Training Classes page.

  • Finding Funding, Feb. 24, 2 p.m. (AD 3.104)
    The Office of Research Development will lead a presentation on making the task of searching for funding more manageable. The emphasis will be on comprehensive databases for finding federal/state/corporate funding, the internal system for finding foundation funding and resources for personalized assistance. Read more
  • Proposal Budgets, March 10, 2 p.m. (AD 3.104)
    The Office of Sponsored Projects will outline important considerations and common pitfalls in the process of drafting a budget. Read more
Coffee Break Sessions are as follows. Email Beth Keithly for more information.

  • Balancing Details, Feb. 17, 3 p.m. (CN 1.112)
    If the research development solicitation doesn't tell you, how many pages should you devote to each section? Learn about the importance of balancing your research and logistical information so that neither looks vague when compared to the other.
  • Contacting Program Managers, Tuesday, March 3, 3 p.m. (CN 1.112)
    When should researchers contact program managers, and what should they say in emails? Participants will learn the answers and get a “cheat sheet” on email structuring.

Save the Date

American Heart Month Lunch and Learn
The UT Dallas Wellness Committee invites faculty, staff and students to attend a free heart health lunch-and-learn from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12, in the Student Union Galaxy Rooms A and B (SU 2.602). Laura Morlando of the American Heart Association will serve as the guest speaker.


  • Student Employee of the Year
    Nominations for Student Employee of the Year will be accepted through the end of the day Wednesday, Feb. 11. See the Career Center's Student Employment Week page for more information. Nomination materials are also available online
  • Free Self-Defense Class for Women
    The UT Dallas Police Department teaches women how to protect themselves with a system of realistic self-defense tactics and techniques called the Rape Aggression Defense program. The courses are taught on-campus by nationally certified instructors. The class is open to all female students, faculty and staff members. Participants must attend all three days of the class, which is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 16-19, and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. March 30-April 1. For more information or to register, email Sgt. Kendra Penny at [email protected].