College Kudos

Spring 2014

David Carren, Associate Professor, Department of Communication, and co-writer, Frank Cox won the Grand Prize in the 7th Annual StoryPros Awards Screenplay Contest. The screenplay is titled, ‘Lullabies for Lieutenants.’ Congratulations!

Elizabeth Garcia, Lecturer in the Department of Communication, had a story included in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s and other Dementias. The book was published and is now in bookstores.

Aje-Ori Agbese, Associate Professor, Department of Communication, was invited to speak on a panel titled Africa in the Media: The Danger of a Single Story at the Harvard African Development Conference in March.

Jose Veloz, undergraduate student in the Department of Communication, won first place in the 5th Annual TXU Energy Light up the Red Carpet Student Film Contest in April. As a result of the win, Jose won $2,500 along with $2,500 for the department, had the opportunity to submit his project at the Dallas International Film Festival, two tickets to the Film Festival Gala and video editing software. Congratulations to Jose.

Eric Wiley, Professor, Department of Communication, and sponsored by the Department of Theatre and Dance at UT-Austin, the Department of Communication (University Theatre) at UTPA, the Latino Theatre Initiatives, and by the parents of one student who donated $360 to help cover costs, organized a trip of students from the Theatre/TV/Film Area who traveled to Austin to attend the Latin@ Performance Symposium at UT-Austin in April. The students participated in workshops held by four Austin-based Latino theatre groups, roundtable discussions on issues in Latino theatre, and attended "talks" and readings by noted Latino theatre scholars from UC Riverside and Princeton. They also participated in the reading of a new Latino play and attended UT-Austin's production of In the Heights. Another article on the Latino Theatre Initiatives (making three this year so far) has posted in a Colombian literary magazine and covers the group and its production of La Piñata Mas Grande del Mundo for FESTIBA. The article can be found here:

Stephanie Brock, graduate student in the Modern Languages and Literature Department, delivered the talk “¿Cómo que no ha cambiao nada?: Un análisis variacionista de la /-d-/ en dos corpus” in the 2014 Hispanic Linguistics Symposium in Athens, Georgia. The Symposium has always been a key national and international showcase for outstanding research, both by faculty and graduate students in the field of Hispanic and Lusophone linguistics.

José Flores, graduate student in the Modern Languages and Literature Department, delivered the talk “Milagrosa te pido un explicación: Escritura y recepción en La Milagrosa” in the Tierra Tinta 7th Annual Conference on Latin American, Spanish, and Luso-Brazilian Literatures in Norman, Oklahoma. The Conference draws attendance at the regional and national level from graduate students in the field of Hispanic and Lusophone linguistics.

Paul Valadez, Lecturer, Department of Art, had a solo museum exhibition of his artwork at The Fort Wayne Museum of Art, in Fort Wayne IN. In addition to the solo show, in the past year his artwork has been accepted into the permanent collections of four museums and institutions including; 11 prints and 20 paintings in The Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, IN. The Faulconer Gallery at Grinnel College, Grinnell, IA acquired one print and four paintings. On the west coast in Eugene Oregon, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon added five paintings to their collection. On the east coast in Philadelphia the La Salle University Art Museum, admitted one painting into their permanent collection.

Lino Garcia, Jr., Professor Emeritus, Modern Languages and Literature Department, had his article titled, Temática Renacentista y Estuctura de los Sonetos de la Poesía Suelta de Cervantes, accepted for publication by Humanitas-Letras, a Journal of the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León- Monterrey.

Russell Skowronek, Professor, Department of History and Philosophy, and the Community Historic Archaeology Project with Schools (CHAPS) hosted a group of teachers at a Native American Peoples of South Texas K-12 Travelling Trunk workshop in June. In addition, he and his colleagues are working on establishing a Civil War Trail that would extend from Brownsville to Laredo. According to the CHAPS website, “The objective is to design a virtual “tour” in the form of a brochure containing a map and guide, with an associated website, podcasts and QR codes that can provide a conceptual “walk” through history. The project will feature key locations from Laredo to Brownsville that played significant roles in the Civil War history of the region.” To donate to the new project go to:

Francisco Loera, Director of Mariachi Aztlán, and his students in the mariachi group performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago this spring. The two groups performed ‘Canciones y Arias’ and will again collaborate in March 2015 in performing ‘El Pasado Nunca Se Termina (The Past is Never Finished). For more information about the unique working team go to:

Francisco Muñoz, Director of the Ballet Folklórico UTPA, travelled with his students to Washington, D.C. in June to perform at the 2014 National College Dance Festival held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Southwest Airlines provided flight accommodations for 15 members of the troupe to perform.

Olivia Cruz, undergraduate student in the Department of Communication, interned with Conan O’Brien at his late night talk show this spring in Burbank, California. She interned with 38 other students from all over the U.S. You can read more about her experiences at: