ENGINEERING PROGRAM 17 PERCENT FEMALE, AND GROWING

by Karen Snelling

Daily Cougar Staff

The UH College of Engineering disputes the idea that woman aren't designed for engineering.

Studies have shown that women face a bias from kindergarten to high school that discourages them from studying math and science.

"Traditionally, engineering has been thought of as a male domain because women didn't think in the proper way to work in engineering," said Dave Shattuck, associate dean for undergraduate engineering students.

"It's inappropriate to think this way because women and men should be allowed to pursue whatever they're interested in," Shattuck said.

In 1991, women received 17.6 percent of the UH engineering degrees.

Shattuck said the UH College of Engineering has strongly encouraged women to pursue engineering. Recently, the college increased the number of scholarships it offers women, he said.

The UH Society of Women Engineers (SWE), an organization that encourages women to pursue engineering, offers members scholarships and helps them find jobs after graduation, said Siddika Demir, SWE president.

SWE members volunteer to go out to young children and introduce them to what engineering is about, said Demir.

Earlier this year, SWE showed off the College of Engineering to 384 girl scouts from the San Jacinto area. This activity, which presented six engineering experiments and six lab tours to the scouts, was wildly successful, Demir said.

SWE also runs the Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS), in which volunteer SWE members travel to the Jane Long Middle School and do experiments for the students, said Linda Salinas, JETS coordinator.

Besides scholarships and SWE, the College of Engineering has tried to provide more role models for women by increasing its female faculty, Shattuck said. Approximately half of the faculty hired over the past five years have been women, he said.

The College of Engineering's efforts are seeing positive results because many women at UH say they haven't experienced traditional engineering stereotypes.

"I haven't had any problems because I am a woman," said Vickie Davis, a graduate student in Electrical Magnetics.

Davis credited her parents for her success in school because they never discouraged her from studying engineering.

"The only bad thing for me is trying to find another female to talk to," Davis said. Davis is the only woman out of the 10 students in her graduate program.

Although the number of females in engineering is small, women receive equal treatment, said Jennifer Livingston, vice president of SWE.

Livingston said when she worked at a materials-testing construction job, she was intimidated because she was the only female. "Once men see you're serious, they stop thinking you can't do a job."

Women engineers can overcome any barriers to their career if they don't let themselves feel intimidated by other engineers, said Iris Woo, a sophomore mechanical engineering major.

The increasing number of female engineers proves obstacles are being removed, said Debbie Roberts, an assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering. "Ten to 15 years ago, most women didn't even consider a career in engineering."

From 1974 to 1990, female engineering undergraduates increased to 17.7 percent from 6.7 percent nationwide. Graduate students increased to 14.1 percent from 3.2 percent nationwide.

 

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FIREHOUSE FUELS FIRE OF FRENZIED FANS

by Sally Pouncy

Daily Cougar Staff

Firehose returns to Houston this weekend, but this time they will not be playing to a rain-soaked crowd in a tiny club. Instead, they will be blowing the doors off the Vatican Saturday night.

Last year's Perpetual Park Party left many people out in the rain, and without the opportunity to see this Californian trio. Mike Watt and company could have taken the money and run once the show on campus was canceled. Instead, the band moved their show to Locals, a club that was too small for the crowd. "I couldn't just take the money and not play. We were paid to do a show, so we did," said Watt.

Firehose always puts on a good show, mainly because they have put on so many of them. This will be Watt's 21st tour for his 20th record. He has so many albums behind him largely because of the years he spent with the band The Minute Men.

The Minute Men's career was cut short due to the death of band leader D. Boone, who was Watt's best friend. Boone died in an auto accident eight years ago. The two had grown up together and learned how to play guitar and bass together. "D. Boone's mom got me to play the bass," he said.

"We didn't know what a bass was, and we sure didn't know it was meant to be the back-up instrument," he said.

His lack of knowledge about bass ended up being a plus for the band, and for Watt's career. "I don't play the bass, I wrestle it." Learning to play bass was not the only gift Watt received from Boone's family.

Recently Watt was presented with sentimental present from D. Boone's father -- Boone's guitar.

"The strings were off the guitar -- it was in the wreck with him. His smell was still in the case when I opened it," said Watt.

Watt misses his friend, but knows he has to deal with today. "I owe him everything, and miss him being here for me."

Even though Boone is gone, Watt has not let it stop him from doing what he loves, playing punk rock. "It keeps me young," he said.

He feels young, but he does not do the things young kids do. "I don't watch MTV. It's not that I don't like it, I think it is a great way to advertise. Sort of like a specialized magazine, with no stories."

His dislike of MTV has never been a secret to any of his fans. Watt feels kids shouldn't get all their music from television. MTV is homogenizing music, and they are creating fads, he said.

The flannel shirt fad that is sweeping the country almost made Watt give up his signature shirts. "I was going to stop wearing them. I got it from John Fogerty a long time ago."

Another aspect of his signature look might not be with him when the band hits the stage Saturday. He doesn't shave while on tour, and since Houston is one of the beginning dates on the tour, he might not look like his usual self.

 

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ITCHY, DRIPPY, SNEEZY NOT THE SEVEN DWARFS

by Kaycee Osuji

News Reporter

If you suffer from red, itchy eyes, drippy, clogged nasal passages, a headache, itching in the roof of your mouth and deep in the ears, accompanied by a generalized tired achy feeling, you have an allergy.

UH Health Center Chief of Medicine John Joe defines allergy as "an over-reaction the body has to a foreign substance."

He said this over-reaction occurs when the body mistakenly identifies a particular substance as something dangerous a person is allergic to and reacts to the substance as if it were a germ or virus.

Your allergy begins when your body becomes sensitive to a particular substance, called an antigen or an allergen. These substances cause many of the allergic symptoms.

Allergy symptoms depend on the individual, Joe said. In some people, allergic symptoms may be triggered by many non-allergic factors, including emotional and weather changes. This explains why you may react severely to allergens one day and not at all the next.

Joe said the substances themselves are not the problem; the over-reaction to the substances is caused by a particular person's immune system.

Joe said the most life-threatening allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. This causes severe itching, hives, swelling of the eyes, lips, face, neck and may cause breathing problems.

The most effective treatment for anaphylaxis is an injection of epinephrine, which can only be given by a doctor.

Many types of over-the-counter medications combat allergies, and Joe said it is best to try those before seeing a doctor. Two of the most common are Benadryl and Drixoral.

"No one knows why some people are allergic and others are not. It is suspected that there are some heredity tendencies, but (this) has not been clearly proven," he said.

There are no real precautions against allergies, but there are ways to determine what you are allergic to.

Skin tests and blood tests can determine whether allergies are actually present, and the tests can identify them and, if possible, measure their severity.

The McGovern Allergy Clinic recommends these steps to reduce your symptoms:

Do some detective work. Be on the lookout for things that seem to set off your allergy symptoms. Stay clear of things and places that seem to be associated with your symptoms, even if you are not 100 percent sure. Use a vacuum cleaner instead of a broom because house dust often contains particles of allergens that are too small to see, and sweeping just spreads the particles around.

 

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CAR WASH TO HELP TAAS TESTERS

by Katherine Bui

News Reporter

The Pan-Hellenic Council has pledged to wash out the percentage of failure on several Yates High School students' Texas Academic Assessment Skills test scores.

The organization will be sponsoring a car wash Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Burger King on Cullen Boulevard. The proceeds will fund an April picnic designed to boost the morale of high school students re-taking their TAAS exam.

In 1991, the Texas Board of Education mandated that every school give their third-, fifth-, seventh-, ninth- and 11th-graders the TAAS to evaluate academic level. Students failing the test are scheduled for re-examination the following year.

For these students, the state recently funded a pilot program in the Texas Center for University Partnership to prepare them for the test.

The Assuring Student Success Through University Partnership Program, an organization that includes four universities and four high schools, matches college students with examinees for private tutorial sessions. This year, UH was paired with Yates.

Ronique Gordon, president of the Pan-Hellenic Council, said, "Although the tutorials provide these kids with a second chance, they still need some incentive and motivation to pass the exam. That is the reason for the car wash and picnic."

Council members and American General Insurance employees have donated their time, hoses, buckets and soap for the car wash. Burger King will supply the parking spaces and water.

"We once raised $250 in two hours and thirty minutes," Gordon said. "Hopefully, we will be able to raise a little more for the kids."

The Pan-Hellenic Council consists of eight traditionally black fraternities and sororities. The non-profit organization was formed in 1992 when UH's Black Greek Council joined an international organization of approximately 1 million members. The local chapter contains more than 200 members.

"Most people don't understand the link between secondary education and higher learning," Gordon said.

 

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HERE COMES PETER COTTONTAIL, HOPPIN' DOWN THE UH TRAIL

by Sally Pouncy

News Reporter

Peter Cottontail will be hopping around campus Saturday, hiding eggs for the second annual UH Easter-egg hunt.

Twelve thousand plastic eggs will be hidden on campus, and the eggs will be stuffed with more than just candy. Sixty lucky children will get grab-bag prizes inside their eggs and six extremely lucky children who find the grand prize eggs will go home with great gifts.

Sponsored by the UH Staff Council, children up to 10 years old will be able to enjoy the thrill of an egg hunt. The council has decided to host the hunt this year because of the success of last year's jaunt. "Last year 600 eggs disappeared in 15 minutes," said Harold Wixon, vice president of UH Staff Council.

The Staff Council is the "eyes and ears for the president," explained Wixon. They started this hunt last year as sort of a fun thing to do and as a way of reviving an old tradition, he said.

Since last year's hunt was such a success, the number of eggs and prizes have been doubled, and a life-sized Easter Bunny will be there.

"We are trying real hard to make this a good hunt. It's a real fun thing," said Wixon

Primarily for the children of UH faculty and staff, the young egg-hunters will assemble at 9:30 a.m. At 10 a.m. the children will be let loose to gather as many eggs as they can carry.

 

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GOURMET NIGHT GIVES HRM A CHANCE TO SHINE

by Karla S. Mishak Lee

News Reporter

Several UH Hotel and Restaurant Management students will showcase their talents in the 20th annual Gourmet Night dinner.

The students will be able to demonstrate their culinary abilities to prominent Houston hospitality leaders, faculty, donors to the college and local media.

"Celebrating Great Traditions" is the theme of this year's dinner, which will be held Saturday, April 3 in the Conrad Hilton Grand Ballroom.

Hors d'oeuvres and a jazz band will kick off the festivities at 6 p.m. on the second floor of the Hilton. A six-course dinner begins at 7 p.m.

The guests will dine until 10 p.m., when a roaring '20s band will play in the Shamrock Ballroom until 2 a.m. The guests will be treated to a variety of French pastries.

According to attendance estimates, the event will pay for itself through the sale of 320-350 tickets at $100 per person. Any profits will be put into a scholarship fund.

The entire evening is coordinated by HRM volunteers. The planning for the following year begins immediately after the dinner, with the selection of the general manager at the end of April. The general manager is a junior or senior HRM student who has worked on a Gourmet Night before, has a G.P.A. of at least 3.0, and has submitted a letter expressing why he or she wants the position.

The General Manager of Gourmet Night 1993 is Nati D'Haiti, a senior HRM major.

The rest of the executive staff is selected in September.

Todd Teaff, the assistant general manager, is a veteran of Gourmet Night. He has worked on the dinner the last five years in positions varying from dining-room server to marketing director.

"It's practice for the real world," D'Haiti said. There are about 175 student volunteers who will work with the executive staff to produce the dinner.

Not only do the students learn from the classroom, but they learn a great deal from the experience of coordinating a large project. "I cannot tell you how much I learned. I used to think everybody is nice until I got to be the GM for Gourmet Night. It's getting me prepared for the real world," D'Haiti said. "You have to respect the people you work with, but you have to be firm. It's worse than a full-time job."

Chris Webster, an hors d'oeuvre chef, said he is planning to work about 40 hours in the three days before the dinner.

David Campbell, the executive chef, said the actual food preparation will begin Thursday at 4 p.m. and will continue until the dinner is ready to be served.

"I'm trying to spread out the work so we aren't stressed out by Saturday evening. I want all the stress to come out Thursday and Friday, so Saturday we can just walk in and do it," Campbell said. "I'm trying to keep Saturday stress-free so we can enjoy it."

A test dinner was prepared and served to 32 people on Feb. 12. Several problems were noted that will be corrected before the big event, such as the sorbet presentation. The sorbet was going to be served in the base of an inverted wine glass with a red rose in the cup of the glass. But the sorbet rolled off the base, which wasn't deep enough to hold the sorbet

"The test dinner lets the waiters get acquainted with the menu," said D'Haiti. "It also boosts our confidence for the big dinner."

 

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<B>Medic Alert<P>

Cougar position players are dropping like flies. The newest addition to the disabled list is catcher David Galvin. A stress fracture of the leg will keep the junior out two or three weeks.

Senior ace Wade Williams re-aggrevated an arm injury that had required surgery last summer. Williams was pulled out of his start in Austin and has yet to make another appearance.

Shortstop Jason McDonald (deep thigh bruise), third baseman Ricky Freeman (bruised thumb) and first baseman Kirk Taylor (strained back) played against Lamar Tuesday.

<B>Hot Stuff<P>

The Cougars will have their hands full this weekend trying to stop streaking Texas Tech. Tech has vaulted to the SWC lead, and it's 12th in the national polls.

Pitcher Travis Driskill leads the SWC with 68 strikeouts and five complete games. His six wins and 1.83 ERA rank him fourth.

 

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RED HOT RAIDERS TAKE ON COLD COUGARS

by Patti Warner

Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston Cougars will get the unfortunate task of trying to stop the league's hottest team this weekend when the No. 14 Texas Tech Red Raiders come to town.

The Cougars, 21-15 (1-8), and the Red Raiders, 27-7 (5-1), hook up for a three-game series at Cougar Field. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. today and noon for Saturday's doubleheader.

Houston heads into the series nursing wounds to key players including ace pitcher Wade Williams and starting catcher David Galvin.

Left to fill Williams' void are senior Jeff Wright (3-3) and junior Matt Beech (3-3). Beech's 48 strikeouts lead the depleted Cougar staff.

Other candidates for starting spots are freshman Jeremy Tyson and junior Brett Jones.

The Red Raiders bring a completely revamped squad, as well as an 11-game winning streak, into Cougar Field. The pitching staff has been the pride of the Panhandle this year with junior Travis Driskill leading the way.

Driskill boasts a 6-2 record and a league leading 68 strikeouts to pace the Tech staff. Veterans J.J. Varney (4-1) and John Macatee (4-2) round out the Red Raider staff.

Offensively, Tech coach Larry Hays has Saul Bustos at first base and Mike Kinney in the outfield. Bustos appears in the SWC top 10 in batting average (.385), runs (31), doubles (nine), home runs (five), runs batted in (31) and total bases (66).

Kinney picked up where former Tech speedster Kent Blasingame left off with 20 thefts on the season as well as a .343 batting average.

Bright spots in the otherwise dismal 1-8 SWC start for the Cougars have been third baseman Ricky Freeman and left fielder Brian Blair.

Freeman is the SWC's third best hitter with a .402 average and a team leading four home runs. Slowed recently by a Brooks Kieschnick fastball, Freeman made an appearance in left field for an inning against Lamar Tuesday and should be ready for action against Tech.

Blair is fifth in the conference with 33 RBIs and leads the conference in hits against SWC opponents with 11. Blair also ranks in the top 10 in all games with a .368 batting average and 11 stolen bases.

 

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CLINTON'S NEW PROGRAM NOT AVAILABLE TO ALL ELIGIBLE STUDENTS

by Robert L. Arnold

News Reporter

President Bill Clinton's National Service program is aimed at giving aid to young people trying to pay off their student loans, but only a small percentage will be allowed to enroll in it.

In a speech to Rutgers University last month, Clinton challenged America's youth to join him in a "great American adventure" in national service. Students, he said, will be able to pay off their student loans by performing community service for one or two years.

However, there will only be 1,000 spots available for Clinton's Summer of Service program, 25,0000 spots available for the National Service program in fiscal year 1994 and 100,000 spots available for national service in 1997.

Clinton had originally promised an all-encompassing program, but because of budgeting problems, the program will only be able to accept this limited number of students.

In addition to the 14.4 million college students able to participate in the program, high school students and college graduates are vying for the allocated number of places.

Clinton's Summer of Service program will take 1,000 young people, put them through a leadership seminar and place them in troubled communities to help with crime, health care, problem children and pollution.

The summer will end with debriefing, training and a youth-service summit.

Clinton is asking for $7.4 billion over the next four years for his national service program. The funding level will rise each year to $3.4 billion in 1997. Funding for the first year of the program is estimated to be $400 million.

Clinton's proposed budget is designed to eliminate the current loan system, which costs taxpayers $4 billion a year to finance loan defaults and to administer the system itself.

The final details of the program will be worked out and presented to Congress this spring.

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