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Newsletter of the College of Arts and Sciences Volume 1, Issue 1PREVIEWSpring 2004

Bridging the Gap at PVAMUFrom The Dean’s DeskThe College of Arts and Sciencesis the largest academic subdivisionat Prairie View A&M University.The CAS is comprised of about150 staff and faculty from manydifferent departments, offeringdegrees in diverse fields, includingApplied Music, Biology, Chemistry,Communications, Drama, English,History, Mathematics, MedicalTechnology, Music, Physics, PoliticalScience, Social Work, Sociology,and Spanish. Opportunities arealso available to all students forcommissioning as officers in the U.S.Army, Navy, and Marines throughthe Army and Naval scienceprograms. The Arts and Sciencesstaff and faculty are committed toserving all students through academicprograms aimed at developingcreative thinking, critical analysis,problem solving, and communicationskills that are fundamental tointellectual development andprofessional success.Equally important is the College’scommitment to developing students’ethical and civic standards. TheCollege strives to integrate teachingBiologyand research in the context ofinterdisciplinary learning throughindividual attention to students,innovative strategies of teaching,effective use of technology, andthe promotion of economicdevelopment, partnerships, andcultural pursuits. An innovativeand responsive spirit guides theCollege, balancing access andquality with efficiency, diversity,and a commitment to partnershipswith local and global communities.Interim Dean, Dr. Edward W.Martin, welcomes you to this firstedition of our newsletter, PreView.We hope you find the newsletterboth informative and inspirationalconcerning the achievements wehave made, and the exciting futurethat stands before us here at PVAMU.We invite your comments andinquiries concerning our programsand research.The PreView Staff:Interim Dean of Arts & SciencesEdward W. MartinPhotographyAssistant DeanMatthew HudsonOnimi WilcoxShannan ButlerEditor-in-ChiefHarambee TaymullahSteven WilsonAfif ArabiGraphic Design & LayoutShannan ButlerCopy EditorsAllison CottonSarah WakefieldDepartmental RepresentativesGloria RegisfordA. Jan TaylorNatali HritonenkoAnanda AmarasekaraOrion CiftjaSarah WakefieldSteven WilsonAllison CottonMatthew HudsonShannan ButlerThe PVAMU Department of Biology wasrecently awarded an NIH grant in the amountof 213, 000 annually for three years. Under thedirection of the PrincipalInvestigator, Dr. GloriaRegisford, this grant willfund the establishmentof a Bridge programbetween PVAMU andthe Houston CommunityCollege System (HCCS).The goals of the“Bridging the Gap to theBaccalaureate Degree(BGBD) at PVAMU”are to significantlyincrease the number of undergraduate minoritystudents pursuing a baccalaureate degree inbiomedical science and biomedical engineeringand to motivate them to then attend graduateschool at research intensive universities(RIUs) to obtain a Ph.D. degree. The long-termgoal is to significantly increase the numberof underrepresented minorities pursuing aresearch career in the biomedical sciences. Thiscollaboration formed between Dr. Regisford, Dr.Laura Carson (program coordinator at PVAMU),and Dr. Eddie McNack (program coordinatorat HCCS) will serve to facilitate transitions ofunderrepresented minority students from HCCSto the science and engineering departments atPVAMU.This program also hopes to build on thepreviously established research programsat PVAMU and to increase the number ofcollaborative efforts between the faculty atHCCS, PVAMU, and RIUs. The BGBD programwill address the following issues: (1) the lack ofresearch activities atHCCS; (2) the specialchallenges relative tominority involvementin research; and (3)the need for moreminority researchers inbiomedical science.The special challengesrelative to minorityinvolvement in researchand the need for moreminority researchers in biomedical science willalso be addressed by another grant, “Bridging theGap: Addressing Environmental Justice ThroughScience,” in collaboration with Dr. Lovell Jonesat the Center for Research on Minority Health(CRMH), University of Texas, M.D. AndersonCancer Center. This grant was awarded at the endof September, 2003, and Dr. Regisford is also thePrincipal Investigator for PVAMU’s subcontractof approximately 100,000 annually for fouryears.Dr. Harriette Howard Lee-Block and Dr. Gloria Regisford accompanied four students—Stacy Lloyd,Latasha Rabsatt, Nana Wilmot, and Theresa Okeyo-Owuor—to the Annual Biomedical ResearchConference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in San Diego, California. Wilmot and Okeyo-Owuor,both students in Dr. Regisford’s lab, presented their work during the poster session. Otherstudents presented their research at the local undergraduate research symposium.2

Mathematics Researcha contract of 20,000 from Boeing Companynature. Dr. Lian continues writing proposals forMathof St. Louis in 2001. As an active member offurther outside funding opportunities, attendingthe Center of Excellence for Communicationprofessional meetings, and producing andDr. Jian-ao Lian, Professor of Mathematics atSystems Technology Research (CECSTR), Dr.publishing quality research results.PVAMU, has a 3-year on-going research projectof 177,222 funded by the U.S. Departmentof Defense to study multiwavelets andmultiresolution analysis of NURBS curves andsurfaces. Two research papers will appear inIEEE journals and one in a mathematical journalsoon. Dr. Lian has written or has been directlyinvolved in writing over twenty research andeducational proposals. He was awarded atwo-year 77,020 grant from the Texas HigherEducation Coordinating Board in 1995 andLian collaborates with faculty members in theDepartment of Electrical Engineering oncampus as well as researchers outsideof campus. A 133,254 grant frompartnerships with Los Alamos NationalLaboratory and Litton Advanced Systemswas awarded in September 2001 todevelop hardware and software fora satellite based instrument intendedto detect, identify, locate, characterizeand report threats of a radio frequencyWelcome & OrientationStrong Collaborative Researchwith the U.S. NavyDr. Nelson Butuk has established astrong collaborative research programin Computational Fluid Dynamics atthe Navy Applied Research Laboratoryat Penn State University. Two PVAMUstudents majoring in math—RosemaryBerry in 2002 and Oharan Eyuhaghanin 2003—have already benefited fromthe collaboration by spending twomonths of the summer semester at thelaboratory. The students were involved indeveloping an advanced math module tobe incorporated into the software designtool used at the laboratory.Division of Social Work, Behavioral & Political Sciencesnew and returningstudents present that the pursuit of a “life of thefaculty and alsomind” via a liberal arts education was one ofreviewed Divisionthe most admirable and worthwhile pursuits apolicies, procedures,college student could undertake. President Wrightand personnel foralso challenged the DSWMP faculty to dispenseThe Division of Social Work, Behavioral andthose students interested in pursuing degreeswith artificial disciplinary boundaries that havePolitical Sciences (DSWBP) inaugurated an annualin History, Political Science, Social Work, andunfortunately become prevalent within theStudent Orientation program in SeptemberSociology. Students had the opportunity toacademy. Most important was the admonishment2003. The planning committee--consisting ofsocialize with DSWMP faculty, and PVAMU’sthat the PVAMU legacy was not something thatDrs. Robert Baker, Allison Cotton, James Jones,new President, Dr. George C. Wright, alsothe present generation of professors, staff, andElizabeth Martin, Lee McGriggs, Sarah Williams,addressed the students. Dr. Wright, a notedstudents has the right to relinquish or betray.Andrew Ewoh, Bakama Bakamanume, and Juanelhistorian, set the tenor for the program with hisSippio--executed a program that introducedprogressive goals and optimism, reassuring theThe SWBPS division’sSocial Work Programwas awarded a 58,688grant from the federalgovernment, under theTitle III developmentprogram for HBCUs.Communication Program Receives Grant forState-of-the-Art Digital Production FacilitiesCommunicationsThe Department of Languages andThe current PC computer lab in Hilliard HallCommunications at PVAMU is entering thehas been upgraded with Adobe Photoshop,digital age with two state-of-InDesign, and Macromediathe-art digital production labs,Dreamweaver softwarenew digital newsgatheringfor graphic design, layout,equipment, and a qualifiedand Web page creation.staff of media professionals.These Dell computersThe Communications programhave also been updatedhas received 300,000 forwith high-speed Firewireequipment over the past twodigital equipmentyears from Title III grants.interfaces to support digitalThe television studio hasaudio and video input.received three new IkegamiOld Studio B has beenHC390 cameras with Vinten pedestals for studioconverted into a digital media production labproduction classes. Twenty new Canon mini DVwith twenty Macintosh G4 computers and 20”cameras and Sony Hi-8 field cameras are available flat screen displays. The computers are outfittedfor field production. The photojournalism coursewith industry standard digital editing softwarehas switched to digital format with the additionincluding Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premier. Theof ten Fujifilmlab is also set for future growth in digital mediaFinepix 3-megapixelcourses with graphic layout and Web page designdigital still camerassoftware including the Adobe Digital Videoand tripodsCollection and Dreamweaver MX. Mr. Harambeecoupled withTaymullah, the department’s media specialist,industry standardand Dr. Afif Arabi, media production instructor,Photoshop 7 imageled the writing of the successful grant proposals.manipulationsoftware.4

New FacultyChemistryDr. AnandaAmarasekara receivedhis Ph.D in organicchemistry from the CityUniversity of New York,and thereafter he did twoyears of postdoctoralresearch at Bar-IlanUniversity, Israel. He has taught chemistry at theUniversity of Colombo in Sri Lanka and at theUniversity of Texas at Arlington. With researchinterests in the area of development of novelsynthetic methodology in organic chemistry, hehas published 40 papers in refereed journals.chemiluminescence detectors for both GC/SFCand HPLC and the development of a newtotal fluorine analyzer. He holds two patentsin methods and apparatus of simultaneouschemiluminescent sulfur and nitrogen detection.Languages & CommunicationDr. Elizabeth Kesslercomes to the facultyfrom California StateUniversity-Northridge. Dr.Kessler, whose local tiesinclude doctoral study atUniversity of Houston,adjunct teaching atUH, and five years as resident faculty at HCC,focuses on Chicano/a studies. She has editedHands Across Borders: A Multicultural Reader forWriters (2002), and currently she is working onseveral new manuscripts.Dr. Remi Oki joins thefaculty as a professorMusic and Dramaand head of thedepartment of chemistry.Bonnie R. Cherrie willHis research interestsbe serving as Costumeare in organometallic,Designer and Historianinorganic chemistry andfor Drama. Ms. Cherrie,biomaterials. Dr. Oki’swho has twenty years ofresearch on bioglass for bone repair was recentlyexperience in professionalfunded by the National Institute of Arthritis andfashion and costumeMuscular-Skeletal Research. He has grantdesign in California,support from the American Chemical Society. Dr. Nevada and Utah, recently completed a MastersOki has published over 40 articles in refereedof Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in and textiles. Her expertise earned heran invitation to the 2003 International AncientDr. Xinwei Yan earnedTextiles conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.his M.A. and Ph.D.degrees from WashingtonJeff Freeman, LowUniversity, St Louis,Brass Instructor, recentlyMO. Before joiningreceived a Master ofthe department heMusic degree from theworked at the LawrenceUniversity of Texas andBerkely Laboratory atis currently enrolled inthe University of California, Louisiana Statethe Doctorate of MusicalUniversity and Amtek Instruments, Houston. Dr.Arts program. FreemanYan’s major contributions are the developmentis an active freelance trombonist in Austin andof the world’s only simultaneous nitrogen/sulfurhas performed with the Mid-Texas Symphony,Longview Symphony, Abilene Symphony and theAustin Lyric Opera Orchestra. He is a foundingmember of the Austinbones trombone quartet.Dr. James Lee has aninterdisciplinary Fine Arts from TexasTech University and aMaster of Arts degreein Theatre Arts from theUniversity of Californiaat Riverside. Over morethan 35 years, he has performed as directorand actor with many community, university andprofessional theatres, including the Oregon, OldGlobe, and New Jersey Shakespeare Festivals.He has taught at the University of California, theUniversity of Central Florida, and Texas TechUniversity.PhysicsDr. Orion Ciftja’sresearch considers thebehavior of correlatedelectronic systemssubject to strongmagnetic fields. Dr. Ciftjabrings expertise andexperience in condensedmatter physics, including areas such as materialsscience, superconductivity and superfluidity, andnovel phenomena in solids, liquids and a peculiarphase in between solid and liquid, termed liquidcrystals. Dr. Ciftja recently published threeresearch papers on the topic in Physical Review.Dr. Premkumar Sagantihas joined the departmentand the NASA-sponsoredCenter for AppliedRadiation Research(CARR). Dr. Saganti,a research scientistfrom NASA-JohnsonSpace Center, is an expert on space physics,computational physics, and medical imaging.Social Work, Behavioral& Political ScienceDr. Allison Cottoncomes to the sociologyfaculty with a Ph.D.from the University ofColorado. Dr. Cotton’sresearch interests includeCriminology, Devianceand Gender studies.Dr. P. See Lim hasjoined the political sciencefaculty. Dr. Lim earnedher Ph.D. at the Universityof Houston. She studiesAmerican Politics,International Relations,and Comparative Politics.Dr. James Jonesreceived his Ph.D. fromOhio State Universityand joined the historyfaculty. His researchinterests include the CivilRights Movement, BlackPower Era, Black PopularCulture, and Black NationalismDr. Steven Wilson whoreceived his Ph.D. fromRice University in 2000,has joined the historyfaculty. Dr. Wilson studiesU.S. Legal History, CivilRights, and BorderStudies.NROTCResearch & AccomplishmentsMidshipmen Celebrate U.S. Navy’s 228th BirthdayLaToya Guinn, James Johnson and V.M. Doctorof the Biology department published “IonicModulation of the effects of heparin and 6aminohexanoic acid on plasminogen activation byStreptokinase: The role of ionic strength, divalentcations and chloride,” in The European Journal ofDrug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Vol. 28,161-66 (2003).On October 18, 2003, eightMidshipmen from the PVAMUNaval Reserve Officer TrainingCorps Program (NROTC)attended the celebration of the228th birthday of the UnitedStates Navy. The celebrationtook place at the WestinGalleria Hotel Ballroom, andwas sponsored by the HoustonCouncil of the U.S. NavyLeague. These Midshipmen,all seniors, were afforded theopportunity to interact with service personnel from various communities within the seaservice, including the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. The keynote address was bythe Honorable Gordon R. England, 73rd Secretary of the Navy.Navy ROTC Leads Homecoming Parade 2003On October 25, 2003, the PVAMU Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC)participated in the 2003 Homecoming parade through the campus. This event bringstogether alumni, students, organizations, area high schools, and community leaders tocelebrate the illustrious tradition of PVAMU. The NROTC unit, carrying the national flag,led the parade from the campus entrance, down University Drive, to the reviewing standslocated in front of the W.R. Banks building.Captain Larry Watson,USN, has been appointedCommanding Officer ofPVAMU’s Naval ReserveOfficer Training Corps(NROTC) HoustonConsortium, whichincludes Midshipmenfrom PVAMU, Rice University, Houston BaptistUniversity and the University of Houston. CaptainWatson, a graduate of the United States NavalAcademy (BS, 1975), the Naval Post GraduateSchool (MS, 1987), and the National DefenseUniversity (MS, 1997), and former CommandingOfficer of the ships USS Flatley and USS Peleliu,will serve as a Professor of Naval Science.Also in Biology, Jason Bell, Shalisha Duhon andV.M. Doctor, “The effect of fucoidan, heparin andcyanogen bromide fibrinogen on the activationof human glutamic-plasminogen by tissueplasminogen activator,” Blood Coagulation andFibrinolysis, Vol. 14, 229-234 (2003).Mehl Penrose, Assistant Professor of Spanish,published “Invisible ‘Tipos’: ‘LLamados Atras’Serafin Estebanez Calderon’s Escenasandaluzas,” forthcoming in Bulletin of HispanicStudies, and “Forging a Bourgeois Reader’sRole: Luis Canuelo and Mariano Jose de Larraas Protagonists of Spain’s Polemic Press,”Journal of Hispanic Higher Education 2.3 (2003).The Charles GilpinPlayers won sixawards in the RegionSix Kennedy Center/American CollegeTheatre Festival, heldNovember 4-7, 2003in El Paso. Under thedirection of C. LeeTurner, the productionof Romulus Linney’s ALesson Before Dying garnered three Excellence in Acting honors for RoeniaThompson, Kendrick Brown, and Angela Johnson and three Excellence inTechnical Theatre/Management prizes for Fernie Corrales, Jenelle Edmund,and Ronald Smith. Helping to continue the Gilpin Players’ 17-year winningstreak at the Festival were Ricjuane Jenkins (technical directions), Mrs.Bonnie Cherrie (costume and make-up design), Dr. James Lee (voice/diction/management advisement), and Arthur Thomas (art designs).Steven Wilson, Assistant Professor of History,published the book The Rise of JudicialManagement in the U.S. District Court,Southern District of Texas, 1955–2000, thearticle “Brown Over ‘Other White’: MexicanAmericans’ Legal Arguments and LitigationStrategy in Desegregation Litigation” in Law &History Review (March 2003), and the chapter“Malefactors of Great Wealth: A Short History of‘Aggressive’ Accounting,” forthcoming in Enron:Corporate Fiascos and Legal ImplicationsOrion Ciftja, Assistant Professor of Physics, wasinvited to Arlington, Virginia May 8-9, 2003 as aPanel Reviewer for the Electronics, Photonics,and Device Technologies (EPDT) program of theElectrical and Communications Systems (ECS)Division of the National Science Foundation(NSF).Lucius R. Wyatt, Professor of Music and Directorof the University Symphonic Band, was recentlyelected to Who’s Who in America for 2004.He was previously elected to Who’s Who inAmerican Music, and received two New AchieverAwards from PVAMU. The University SymphonicBand has recorded its second compact discrecording, Festival of Concert Classics, under thedirection of Dr. Wyatt.A. Jan Taylor, Instructor of Music and Director ofChoral Activities, has been appointed AssistantConductor of the Houston Symphony OrchestraChorus for the 2003-2004 season.Wendy Bergin, Flute Instructor, conducted theFlute Ensemble in a concert in November 2003.Dr. Bergin has been principal flutist in the Operain the Heights Orchestra since 2001.Richard G. Thomas, Professor of Physics,retired after the 2002-2003 academic year. Dr.Thomas has spent more than fifty years of hislife at PVAMU, during which he made substantialcontributions. He has graciously agreed todevelop a history of Physics at PVAMU.6

PREVIEWCollege of Arts and SciencesPrairie View A&M UniversityP. O. Box 277Prairie View, Texas 77446-0277Telephone: 936.857.4710Fax: 936.857.2118

the Houston Community College System (HCCS). The goals of the “Bridging the Gap to the Baccalaureate Degree (BGBD) at PVAMU” are to significantly increase the number of undergraduate minority students pursuing a baccalaureate degree in biomedical science and biomedical engineering and to motivate them to then attend graduate

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