Professor Joins Holocaust Commission; Researcher Earns Fellowship

Accolades is an occasional News Center feature that highlights recent accomplishments of The University of Texas at Dallas faculty and students. To submit items for consideration, contact your school’s communication manager. 

Patterson Appointed to Texas Holocaust Group

Dr. David Patterson

Dr. David Patterson, professor of literature and history and Hillel A. Feinberg Chair in Holocaust Studies, has been appointed to the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission.

The commission was established 10 years ago to ensure that resources about the Holocaust and other genocides are available to students, educators and the public.

“The sense of urgency about awareness of what happened in the Holocaust and why it matters is growing,” Patterson said. “It’s in the interest of citizens and the culture to examine the ethical question of what makes another human being matter. That’s something we are prone to forget or ignore.”

The Texas Legislature created the commission in 2009. Since then, its staff and volunteers have worked on projects to meet the commission’s mission, including educating hundreds of Texas teachers through regional live workshops, developing an online digital library for educators, and recording the audio and visual oral histories of 19 Texans who helped liberate concentration camps.

Patterson, who previously served on the Tennessee State Holocaust Commission, is filling an incomplete term on the Texas commission, which ends in February 2021.

Postdoctoral Researcher Named a Grass Fellow

Dr. Maria Alejandra González

Dr. Maria Alejandra González, a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Dr. Mario Romero-Ortega, associate professor of bioengineering, is one of 10 early career investigators to be selected for the 2019 Grass Fellowship Program.

She will spend the summer at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, investigating circuits that connect the autonomic nervous system with the brain and that are involved in hypertension.

González earned her master’s degree and PhD from the Institute of Neurobiology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. At UT Dallas, she said she found a “vibrant multidisciplinary environment” where she could participate in collaborative projects and expand her previous research in neurobiology to the fields of neural engineering, electrochemistry and materials science.

“For me, the fellowship represents a unique opportunity to work independently on my own project as principal investigator. It will give me the opportunity to gain experience in conducting research not only in the experimental aspect in a cutting-edge environment, but also in the management of a budget, selecting and setting up laboratory equipment, and discussing my research with an international audience,” González said.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].