students

New TU podcast sets up first-year students for success

The University of Tulsa is releasing a new podcast, TU Starter Pack, on Jan. 13, 2020.

Starter Pack will be the second podcast from The University of Tulsa podcasting, following the launch of TUniverse in fall 2019.

Unlike TUniverse, which aims to share TU-based research to all parts of the galaxy, Starter Pack has a different audience: current and prospective TU students.

Currently, the podcast has two focuses: health issues and insider tips. 

For the health-related issues, the podcast will focus on mental and physical wellbeing. Episodes will feature experts and personalities from the Collins Fitness Center, Alexander Health Center, Counseling & Psychological Services Center and other on-campus entities.

The student success tips will come from standout TU students along with advice from different groups around campus, like the Center for Student Academic Success.

Senior Rizka Aprilia, who will be featured on the podcast, said these episodes will aid the transition into college life for many students. 

“When I was a freshman, I didn’t know my way around TU,” she recalled. “It’s not until I met and talked to other students that I finally found my way throughout campus. Knowing that this podcast will have students talk about their experience around campus will be very helpful, especially to first-year students. Hearing wisdom from someone else who was once in the same shoes as you is a great tool for surviving college.”

The podcast will alternate the student health and student success episodes, with a new episode releasing every Monday. The episodes are short and full of information; none of them will have a longer runtime than the length of time it takes for a stroll across campus.

Starter Pack is designed to answer all sorts of questions students may have: How can I get personal fitness training? How do I pay my tuition bill? What are the best ways to get to know my professors?

Michael McClendon, a contributor to Starter Pack and director of Counseling & Psychological Services Center, believes the new show could be useful for a number of reasons. 

“I think that podcasts are the perfect medium for students to access information when and where they need it,” McClendon said. “Not all of the structures in life align with the busy schedules of students, but anyone with internet access has podcasts at hand throughout the day. And with a podcast regularly stocked full of useful information about how to successfully navigate the gauntlet of university life, TU students can get some helpful insight whenever they need it. Of course, none of the information will be a silver bullet that will fix everything at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday, but it could help streamline the search or pursuit of the resources that will help change the course come the break of day.”

Be sure to tune in to Starter Pack by adding it on your favorite podcast app using our RSS feed or downloading it directly here. The podcast is available on these major podcast apps.

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/tu-starter-pack/id1494738219?mt=2&app=podcast

Google Podcasts: https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly90dXN0YXJ0ZXJwYWNrLmxpYnN5bi5jb20vcnNz

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-university-of-tulsa/tu-starter-pack

TuneIn: http://tun.in/pjHvu

Chapman Professorships allow faculty to innovate for student engagement 

The University of Tulsa has announced recipients for its new Chapman Professorship award, established to promote student learning and faculty enrichment across campus.

A total of 38 full-time resident faculty members from all five of TU’s colleges received the $5,000 grants made possible by the Chapman Trust Funds. They will be recognized as Chapman Professors for the 2019-20 academic year and have the potential to renew their awards for up to three years.

The initiatives, activities and programs proposed by this inaugural group of applicants reflect faculty who are eager to provide students with creative avenues of instruction and research. Most universities, especially larger state schools, lack the financial means to support faculty on such a personal level. At TU, administrators and the Board of Trustees agreed professors deserve additional resources to further enhance the college experience. The $5,000 awards encourage professors to think outside the box and engage with students in ways that inspire academic ambition.

“These grants represent the university’s commitment to funding novel ideas that promote learning and research,” said President Gerard P. Clancy. “Providing resources to professors who are seeking to further empower their students inside and outside the classroom is money well spent. I’m thrilled we could offer an award to every eligible applicant, and I look forward to seeing their projects develop throughout the academic year.”

Studio visits in the art industry

Teresa Valero, director of the TU School of Art, Design and Art History, plans to use her Chapman Professorship Award to expand curriculum content and help students embrace emerging practices they will encounter in the design industry. Specifically, the funds will support travel to the Dallas Society of Visual Communications conference in April 2020 where students can compete in graphic design events, participate in portfolio reviews, represent TU in an exhibition and network with industry professionals. While in Dallas, students also can visit a design studio and marketing firm to experience the day-to-day operations of agency life.

“These visits give them a sense of where they’d like to go, it gives them a goal,” Valero explained. “They can imagine themselves beyond TU and say, ‘I know what I want to do, and this is how I’m going to get there.’”

Chemical engineering in the kitchen

Tyler Johannes, Wellspring associate professor of chemical engineering, intends to use his award to pique the interest of current and prospective students in science and engineering and incorporate hands-on demonstrations that involve modern cuisine techniques into the curriculum. The funds will help develop cuisine modules for TU’s ChE 1011 course and teach students about the field in a fun and interactive way while increasing enrollment and improving retention in his department.

“The complex field of chemical engineering is often difficult to explain to high school and first-year students,” Johannes said. “Food production processes are a safe and easy way to introduce them to chemical engineering. Demonstrations will focus on films, foams, coffee and spheres to help students understand the concepts of material balances, dehydration, fluid flow and reaction kinetics.”

Expanding Project Commutation

Law Professor Stephen Galoob is a founder of the Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform’s Project Commutation, which helps lessen the sentences of prisoners whose crimes were reduced from felonies to misdemeanors by Oklahoma State Question 780 in 2016. He helped supervise 30 TU Law student interns who have staffed Project Commutation since it launched in 2018. These students have benefited greatly from participation in Project Commutation, refining their skills in legal analysis and advocacy while developing new tools critical for criminal law practice. Galoob’s Chapman Professorship award will fund a formalization of this experiential learning opportunity that ultimately convinced Gov. Kevin Stitt to overhaul the Pardon and Parole Board in support of the TU students’ work.

“Some of the funds will be used to compensate a student who is working on a project to secure the commutation of sentences for approximately 65 people who are serving 10 years or more for low-level property crimes, many of which are no longer even felonies under Oklahoma law,” Galoob said. “Other portions of the funds will be used to reimburse our students as they travel across the state to meet with applicants in nearly every correctional institution in Oklahoma.”

Data mining in health care

Chapman funding will also prove useful for faculty in the Collins College of Business such as  Kazim Topuz, assistant professor of operations management and business analytics. His vision for the grant is to partner with a group of students to develop an online course, analytics programming, that will connect students to the R and Python data analytics community. Topuz plans to invite those same students to work on a couple of his health analytics projects, one of which includes predicting graft survival after liver transplantation.

“In existing organ transportation literature, only a handful of studies utilized data mining approaches in predicting graft survival,” he said. “The overall goal of this study is to contribute to the advance of matching algorithms for liver transplantation. Students will have hands-on experience in data science and will have published conference proceedings and recognition very early in their careers.”

A campaign for student health

chapman professorshipsProposals from the Oxley College of Health Sciences include a plan from Eric Wickel, associate professor and chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Rehabilitative Sciences, to develop a university leadership team to implement Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC). “Despite reported benefits of physical activity on chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease, about half (54%) of college students do not meet current physical activity guidelines,” he said.

The EIM-OC campaign will promote physical activity as a vital sign of health and conduct surveillance studies among students to assess daily physical activity and unique sedentary behavior. “Implementing EIM-OC through TU’s Department of Kinesiology and Rehabilitative Sciences will facilitate student engagement projects across campus, such as 5K runs and daily health and fitness tips, to promote health and wellness and provide valuable mentorship opportunities,” Wickel said.

The university congratulates all of the 2019-20 Chapman Professorship award recipients:

Kendall College of Arts and Sciences 
Miriam Belmaker – Anthropology
Mark Brewin – Media Studies
Emily Contois – Media Studies
M. Teresa Valero – Art, Design & Art History

Collins College of Business 
Meagan Baskin and Timothy Hart (joint) – Management & Marketing
Meagan McCollum – Finance, Operations Management & International Business
Rob Moore – Energy Economics, Policy & Commerce
Eric Olson – Finance, Operations Management & International Business
Kazim Topuz – Finance, Operations Management & International Business

College of Engineering and Natural Sciences 
Kimberly Adams and Amy Schachle (joint) – Mathematics
Mark Alan Buchheim – Biological Science
Dustin Donnell – Mechanical Engineering
Laura Ford – Chemical Engineering
Tyler Johannes – Chemical Engineering
Gabriel LeBlanc – Chemistry & Biochemistry
Peter LoPresti – Electrical & Computer Engineering
Tom Rendon – Mechanical Engineering
Dale Schoenfeld – Computer Science
Robert Sheaff – Chemistry & Biochemistry
Akram Taghavi-Burris – Computer Science

Oxley College of Health Sciences 
Samantha Beams – Kinesiology & Rehabilitative Sciences
Tedi Courtney – Nursing
Lori Davis – Communication Sciences & Disorders
Cassy Abbott Eng – Nursing
Greg Gardner – Kinesiology & Rehabilitative Sciences
Rachel Hildebrand – Kinesiology & Rehabilitative Sciences
Brandon King – Nursing
Angela Martindale – Nursing
Sheryl Stansifer – Nursing
Suzanne Stanton – Communication Sciences & Disorders
Eric Wickel – Kinesiology & Rehabilitative Sciences
Nicole Wilkins – Kinesiology & Rehabilitative Sciences
Laura Wilson – Communication Sciences & Disorders

College of Law 
Chuck Adams
Stephen Galoob
Gina Nerger