Author: East Texas Review

UTT Professor receives National Science Foundation Grant

Dr. Jon Seal has received a prestigious Faculty Development Early Career Award from the National Science Foundation, Dr. Michael Odell, The University of Texas at Tyler vice president for research and technology transfer, announced. An assistant professor of biology, Seal studies fungus-growing Leaf-Cutter ants. He joined The University of Texas at Tyler in 2013. CAREER grants support early-career faculty who have shown potential to serve as academic role models in research and education. “The Department of Biology is very proud of Dr. Seal’s accomplishment. As the department moves to emphasize fundamental and applied research in all areas of biology, awards such as the one received by Dr. Seal are encouraging and signal that the department is moving in a positive direction,” said Dr. Srini Kambhampati, Sam A. Lindsey Professor and department chair. “Because the CAREER award includes research and education components, both undergraduate and graduate students, in and out of the classroom, will benefit immensely from this award.” With the five-year $643,077 award, Seal will integrate his research on ant-fungal interactions on campus with the development of biology major and non-major coursework in ecology, animal behavior and symbiotic interactions at the university. In addition, he will train up to eight undergraduate and four graduate biology students in ecological biology and laboratory research methods. Scientific outreach also will be supported by increased signage at The University of Texas at Tyler...

Read More

Commemorating 75 Years Since the Texas Lost Battalion Went Missing

by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas Texas is the proud home of more than 170,000 servicemembers and roughly 1.5 million veterans.  Within our state’s borders lies Military City, USA – also known as San Antonio – and many military installations, large and small.   But among all our servicemembers and veterans, Texas’ most decorated unit remains the group of 532 brave men we now call the “Texas Lost Battalion,” who were captured by the Japanese 75 years ago, in March 1942.   The story starts earlier, in the fall of 1940, when the 36th Division of the Texas National Guard arrived just outside of Brownswood at one of Texas’ largest training centers, Camp Bowie.  World War II had engulfed both Europe and Asia, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt had issued orders in late August to mobilize the National Guard.   After a brief period of training, the unit traveled to a port in San Francisco, embarked on The Republic as the 2nd Battalion, 131st Field Artillery, 36th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army, and set sail for the Pacific Theater.   Two weeks into the journey, on December 7, 1941, The Republic and its convoy were just west of Hawaii when troops heard the news of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.  The United States officially joined the war, and The Republic shifted course from its original destination, the Philippines,...

Read More

Energy efficiency can help rural families save money

By Lu Nelsen Families below the poverty line spend 8 percent of their income on electricity, a much larger proportion than higher income families, according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.  And in rural areas, 17.7 percent of families live below the poverty line, as noted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Energy efficiency provides an affordable way to decrease power consumption and electric bills. Developing local renewable energy generation also keeps hard-earned dollars in the state and brings new economic development to rural communities.  Policymakers should seize these opportunities by implementing measures that assist businesses...

Read More

New Toolkit Empowers Texans to Defend Property Confiscated by Law Enforcement Key questions about asset forfeiture answered

Texans who have had money or property taken by law enforcement now have a new tool to help them get their belongings back.   Texas Appleseed, a public interest justice center, recently launched a new online toolkit, Defending Against a Civil Asset Forfeiture Case. The toolkit features answers to top leading questions about asset forfeiture; illustrative videos in English and subtitled in Spanish; sample pleadings and forms that Texans can customize; and a checklist for appearing in court, among other information. It is available at www.EndForfeitureAbuseTx.org.   “Civil asset forfeiture creates an environment where you have individuals who have not been charged with a crime – and who may never be found guilty of any crime – losing cash and property to law enforcement,” said Gabriella McDonald, an attorney with Texas Appleseed and director of Pro Bono and New Projects. “We know the original intent of the law was to deter criminal activity, but the law remains ripe for abuse, and innocent property owners pay the price.”   According to the Institute for Justice, Texas agencies reported nearly $541 million in forfeiture funds between 2001 and 2013, a fiscal-year average of nearly $41.6 million.   Dykema, a leading national law firm, created the foundation for the toolkit and led research efforts. “People in civil asset forfeiture cases do not have the right to court-appointed counsel, so this toolkit is...

Read More