McNair Scholar and Interdisciplinary Studies senior William Addington was one of sixteen students participating in UTA’s McNair Scholars Program Summer Research Presentations last week. His presentation, titled “Enabling Civic Discourse: Community Group Inclusion in Arlington, Texas,” examined public participation in city governance as well as facilitating factors and barriers to such participation.
Addington said the Interdisciplinary Studies program prepared him well for the task of turning in a research proposal, which was due in late May. He finalized his topic after brainstorming ideas from his interest area of urban planning and narrowing it down with his mentor Dr. Michan Connor.
The McNair Scholar Program, which prepares undergraduate students for graduate study, provides financial support over the summer to enable the students to work on their research. GRE-preparation classes and speaker sessions focused on the graduate school experience are additional components. Addington is working on finishing his research paper, which he will present at a McNair Scholars Conference at the University of North Texas in Spring 2015.
The McNair Scholars Program is “a lot of work but definitely a worthwhile learning experience,” Addington said. “It’s good to learn about research and grad school early on and get used to it.”
McNair Scholar William Addington, an Interdisciplinary Studies student, will present his research as part of the McNair Scholars Research Presentations. He will be among sixteen students from several disciplines presenting their summer research projects. Addington’s presentation is at 2:15 p.m., August 7th, in Room 101, College Hall, University of Texas at Arlington.
Fourteen high school students from the Fort Worth ISD participated in an Interdisciplinary Studies Mavs Summer Camp hosted by the School last week. The three-day camp included sessions with INTS Director Dr. Donna Akers and INTS faculty, a community involvement presentation led by Fort Worth Deputy Mayor MaryAnn Means, a Planning for Action session led by Institute for Urban Studies Director Brian Guenzel, and a visit to the campus Community Garden.
Campers also learned about financial aid and the study abroad program and took a campus tour. Rounding out the students’ simulated college experience were a stay in KC Hall, meals at the Connection Café in the University Center, and recreational sports at the Maverick Activities Center. INTS Academic Advisors LaKayla Cooper and Carolyn Gist kept the campers on track during all of the activities.
Director of Interdisciplinary Studies Dr. Donna Akers’ research focuses on Native American history, aiming to connect the legal and extra-legal historical actions of the U.S. government and its citizens with consequences for Native Americans. She is currently working on an article titled “Decolonizing the Master Narrative: Treaties and Other American Myths” to be published in the spring edition of the Wicazo Sa Review. She says the article discusses how U.S. college-level history text books tell a less-than-truthful version of westward movement without portraying the authenticity of the Native American experience of warfare, taking of land, conquest and exploitation.
Akers, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is also working on a book, Genocide in America: The Destruction of Native Americans by the U.S. Government, to be published in 2014. She has authored two previous books about Choctaw history and culture.
A mainstream narrative in elementary school that contrasted greatly with the history she had learned from family spurred her study of Native American history, Akers recalls. Her Choctaw grandmother’s comment that “we don’t interfere with the stories they tell themselves” also stayed with her and provided additional motivation to pursue graduate school. “I wanted to write about Native American history from an indigenous point of view. Native scholars call this field Decolonization History and it is considered a counter-narrative to mainstream U.S. history,” Akers says.
Akers, who is an Associate Professor in the School of Urban and Public Affairs (SUPA) at UT Arlington in addition to serving as the Director of School’s INTS program, spoke about her research to SUPA’s Ph.D. Colloquium earlier in the semester and presented a lecture titled ‘How to Discover Your Native Roots’ in November as part the University’s Native American Heritage Month.
Akers research interests include Native American history and studies; Native American Women; Race, Gender, and Ethnicity; Indigenous Peoples of the World; Comparative Colonialism; and Indigenous Decolonization.
She comes to SUPA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she held an Assistant Professor position. Her experience also includes an Assistant Professorship at Purdue University and Program Director, Native American Studies Program, at California State University-Northridge.
William Addington was awarded the Jeff Butler Award for Outstanding Student Congress Member for academic year 2012-2013. The award includes a $750 scholarship, a plaque, and a certificate that states the award is “in recognition of outstanding dedication to the students of The University of Texas at Arlington.”
Addington is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies and a minor in Urban and Public Affairs with an emphasis in Urban Planning and the Environment from the School of Urban and Public Affairs. Dean Barbara Becker, along with the School’s faculty and Staff, congratulate Addington for his accomplishments.
Dr. Robert Cluck, Mayor of Arlington, Texas, spoke to students at the University of Texas at Arlington at a forum hosted by The Interdisciplinary Studies National Leadership Organizations (INLO). Cluck’s presentation on leadership took place on April 17, 2013 as part of a Leadership Series hosted by INLO, which is the student organization associated with the Interdisciplinary Studies Program in the School of Urban and Public Affairs.
Read more about Cluck’s presentation in the article printed in the Shorthorn, the University’s student-run newspaper.
Photo courtesy of the City of Arlington, Texas website.
The School of Urban and Public Affairs is excited to have two new faculty members joining us this semester:
David Arditi, Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies
Before joining UT Arlington, David Arditi earned his Ph.D. from George Mason University in Cultural Studies. At GMU, Arditi taught classes on interdisciplinary studies, globalization and cultural studies. His dissertation explores the condition of the music industry during the transition to digital music production and demonstrates that contrary to the recording industry’s stated position that digital music has harmed the industry, major record labels are in a stronger position today as a result of this digital transformation. Furthermore, it shows that the music industry led this transformation rather than reacting to it. Broadly speaking, Arditi’s research lies at the intersection of cultural studies, media studies and political theory.
Dr. Arditi will teach INTS 4301 – Interdisciplinary Research Process this semester.
Yekang Ko, Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning
Before joining UT Arlington, Ye Kang Ko received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2012. At Cal, Ko worked at the Center for Metropolitan Studies and taught courses in GIS and environmental planning. Ko’s research focuses on quantitative assessment of urban sustainability using spatial analysis. Her research and teaching support the long-term resilience of built environments that minimize energy consumption and maximize on-site renewable energy utilization. She is also interested in international planning in the Asia-Pacific region. Her works are based on environmental planning, science, policy and active collaboration with local governments and NGOs.
Dr. Ko’s dissertation research on energy efficient solar cities classifies the energy performance of neighborhoods and as a spin off this research, she has recently submitted an revised article to the Journal of Planning Literature that reviews design principles and research findings related to urban form and energy use. She has also submitted to the Journal of the American Planning Association the article entitled “Solar Sprawl Versus Compact Neighborhoods: Assessing an Optimum Urban Density for Energy Sustainability,” coauthored with K. Jang, D.J. Radke, and R. Cervero.
Dr. Ko will teach CIRP 5327 – Introduction to Green Cities and Transportation this semester.
All new and returning Interdisciplinary Studies students are invited to our Fall Open House at on Aug. 17 at 4:30 p.m. in University Hall. Join us for refreshments and networking with SUPA Dean Barbara Becker, INTS faculty and advisors and your fellow INTS students.
David Subirats, men’s tennis, was named a 2011-12 Southland Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year at The University of Texas at Arlington. Subirats was selected by UTA administrators and met all criteria for the award, including being a letter winner, earning a minimum 3.20 cumulative grade-point average and having completed at least two years of intercollegiate competition.
In addtion, nine student-athletes majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies were recently named to the Southland Conference 2012 Spring Commissioner’s Honor Roll. To make the honor roll, the student-athlete must have earned a 3.0 grand point average during the spring semester and must have been eligible to compete. Colten Boothe and Hance Loyd were also recognized for earning 4.0 GPAs in the spring semester.
SUPA’s Interdisciplinary Studies program provides students with a unique approach to higher education with a focus on critical thinking, adaptive learning, collaboration, and research in multiple disciplines. INTS gives students the opportunity to combine several fields of study to meet their distinctive academic and professional goals.