Former U.S. Congressman Vic Snyder during a steamboat symposium at UALR in November 2015

UALR’s Center for Arkansas History and Culture hosts congressman, other panelists

Former U.S. Congressman Vic Snyder was among several featured panelists exploring the steamboat’s influence on Arkansas in a day-long educational symposium at the Arkansas Studies Institute building.

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An EAC staff member demonstrates some of the center's virtual technology capabilities

EAC open house to introduce visitors to virtual worlds

Curious about the latest in virtual reality and ground-breaking technology?

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock Emerging Analytics Center (EAC) will host an Open House Friday and Saturday, Oct. 16-17. The free event welcomes visitors between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but pre-registration is required.

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Institute director receives SOAR award

Terre McLendon, director of community and industry studies for the UALR Institute for Economic Advancement, has received the 2015 Breakthrough Solutions SOAR Award.

SOAR award
Left to right, Martie North of Simmons First National Bank, Melinda Faubel, AT&T, Terre McLendon and Mark Peterson.

McLendon was among the award winners at the annual Breakthrough Solutions Conference held June 4 in North Little Rock.

Breakthrough Solutions is an award-winning, next-generation strategic planning and development program of the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service with partners in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

Twenty years ago, McLendon took the lead on the first comprehensive study of Internet use in the state. She also spearheaded the creation of the Development Information Network of Arkansas, one of the first statewide economic development web portals in the country.

More recently, she conducted an economic sector analysis for the Southeast Arkansas Cornerstone Coalition through work with the Delta Technology Education Center in Dumas.

Breakthrough Solutions Coordinator Mark Peterson, a professor of economic and community development with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said the SOAR Award is given to those who embody the Breakthrough Solutions principles and spirit in their community development work.

“Terre has represented UALR and the Institute for Economic Advancement well,” he said. “Individuals such as her are helping communities and regions become vibrant and sustainable in the 21st century economy.”

 

 

UALR faculty member honored as ‘professor of the year’

UALR is home to the professor of the year, at least according to the central Arkansas chapter of a national organization dedicated to improving chemistry knowledge and education.

The local section of the American Chemical Society — a leading authority on chemistry-related information — named Dr. Anindya Ghosh its 2015 professor of the year after students from UALR’s ACS Student Dr. Ghosh UALR Affiliate Group nominated him for his demonstrated excellence in teaching and interactions with students.

Members of the awards selection committee chose Ghosh after reviewing students’ nomination letters, and the American Chemical Society’s Central Arkansas chapter honored him during its recent annual meeting at UALR.

Ghosh said the award was particularly meaningful because student nominations initiated the process. He values the opportunity to instill a passion for chemistry.

“We are in a job where student success is an important aspect,” he said. “I want to see my students be successful in their future endeavors.”

Ghosh earned an international reputation for inorganic chemistry research work and is well known for his expertise in “green chemistry,” an effort to reduce toxic chemical use, lower energy requirements and meet needs with low-cost, safe materials. That reputation was instrumental in UALR honoring Ghosh with the 2014 Faculty Excellence Award for Research.

Ghosh, a valued member of UALR’s Department of Chemistry, has had dozens of articles published in peer-reviewed journals and secured millions of dollars in funding for his research.

Many former undergraduates mentored by Ghosh go on to pursue doctoral degrees at universities such as Yale, Georgia Tech, and Purdue, while others are in medical or pharmacy school in Arkansas. He has mentored graduate students who now have jobs in chemical industries and state and national laboratories.

“I am really proud of them,” Ghosh says. “Without the students’ hard work and help, I would not be able to do anything.”

Ph.D. student receives first-place at nanotech conference

A UALR graduate student has won a first-place award at the prestigious Gordon Research Conference, held June 7 to 12 at Bentley University in Waltham, Mass.

Gordon Research Conference 2015
UALR Ph.D. student Mohamed H. Lahiani, left, stands with his faculty advisor Dr. Mariya Khodakovskaya.

The Gordon Research Conferences promote discussions and the free exchange of ideas at the research frontiers of the biological, chemical and physical sciences.

Mohamed H. Lahiani, a Ph.D. student in UALR’s Applied Bioscience Program, presented his award-winning research poster at the conference. The conference encompassed wide discussion on nanotechnology research advances across the field of agricultural science.

His poster presentation, “Plant Uptake of Carbon Nanohorns Affect Growth and Gene Expression,” was a collaboration with Oak Ridge National laboratory and Texas A&M University.

It focused on understanding plant nanoparticle interactions and the possible applications of a newly synthesized nanomaterial, known as nanohorns, in areas of plant biology and agriculture.

Lahiani’s faculty advisor at UALR, Dr. Mariya Khodakovskaya, presented her research at the conference with a talk on “Carbon-Based Materials as Positive Regulators of Plant Development.”

She said the conference was particularly timely given major global advances regarding the use of nanotechnology in agriculture, food science, and bioengineering.

Khodakovskaya added that well-known experts from major U.S. universities exchanged new ideas and discussed new avenues of modern nanobiotechnology at the conference.

New vice chancellor for finance and administration starts July 27

UALR Chancellor Joel E. Anderson has announced that Charles Cansler, the university controller at North Carolina State University, has accepted the position of vice chancellor for finance and administration at UALR. He will start July 27.

Cansler will replace Bob Adams, who is retiring July 1.

“Mr. Cansler brings a unique variety of experiences in finance, technology, and process re-engineering that will be very valuable to us,” said Dr. Anderson. “As a former business owner, he brings an entrepreneurial ‘can do’ spirit and high energy level to higher education.”

During his four-year tenure at North Carolina State, Cansler was responsible for $1.4 billion in annual expenditures of the tier one research land grant university. NC State has 34,000 students and over $300 million of annual expenditures in sponsored research. The institution has offices in every county in North Carolina, including 34 research farms as well as international locations.

In addition to his controller responsibilities, he chaired numerous committees, including the Financials Steering Committee, the Administrative Processes Review Committee, and the Outreach and Engagement Strategic Steering Committee – Financial Subcommittee. He was instrumental in assisting NC State to more fully monetize its intellectual assets and intangible property.

Prior to joining NC State, he founded and ran The Cansler Group, a higher education information technology consulting firm specializing in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and business process re-engineering. The Cansler Group completed projects at more than 30 universities that geographically spanned the United States from Stanford University to Boston College to Florida International University. Regionally, Cansler consulted at Baylor University, Southeastern Louisiana University, the University of New Orleans, and the University of Southern Mississippi.

Cansler received a bachelor’s degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1988 and earned an MBA from Baylor University in 1999. He joined PeopleSoft in 2000 and began consulting in higher education. He was licensed as a CPA in Georgia where he practiced public accounting. Prior to practicing public accounting, Cansler was an Internal Revenue Service agent.

UALR history professor’s manuscript wins third award

A UALR history professor has won the prestigious 2014 Berkshire Conference of Women Historians’ first book prize.

RomneyDr. Susanah Shaw Romney’s book, “New Netherland Connected: Intimate Networks and Atlantic Ties in Seventeenth-Century America,” was recently recognized by the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians.

The honor comes with a $1,000 award and a year’s complimentary membership in the organization.

Through a highly competitive process each year, the organization selects the top books and articles across four categories. Romney’s award was for a first book that deals substantially with the history of women, gender, and/or sexuality.

The award notification letter described Romney’s work as both “penetrating” and “insightful,” noting her skillful handling of Dutch, Native, and African populations to reframe the audience’s understanding of the ways women “created the foundations of empire from the ground up.”

The book was published by University of North Carolina Press, which has earned national and international recognition for the quality of its publications. Romney’s work was published as part of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture series.

Romney also received the 2013 Hendricks Award for the book and the 2013 Jamestown Prize by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

Her research, which focuses on gender, race, and the fur trade in the 17th-century Dutch colony that later became New York, has taken her from the Huntington Library in California to the Gemeente Archief in Amsterdam and the New York State Archives in Albany.

She completed her undergraduate work in history at University of California-Santa Cruz and received her doctorate from Cornell University.

Romney offers courses in the UALR Department of History on the colonial period, slavery, the frontier, gender, and other topics.

Johnson and Evans

Nursing faculty honored at recent ceremonies

UALR Department of Nursing faculty recently received several distinctions for their contributions to the profession.

Dr. Jane Evans was honored as the 2015 Outstanding Nurse Educator of the Year, an annual award given to one nurse educator in Arkansas. She is program coordinator for the RN to BSN completion track and has been at UALR since 2011.

The award is sponsored by Publishing Concepts Inc., publisher of the Arkansas State Board of Nursing Update magazine.Talayia Johnson, nursing faculty member and Nursing Living Learning Community coordinator, was also a finalist for the award.

In addition, faculty members Jamie Jones and Dr. Temekis Hampton were honored at a recent ceremony recognizing “40 Influential Nurses under 40.”

Jones has been with the Department of Nursing since 2008 and is currently chairperson of the Associates of Applied Science Admissions Committee. This past academic year marked Dr. Hampton’s first year at UALR.