SPAIN, UH UNVEIL JOINT PROJECT

by Yonca Poyraz-Dogan

Daily Cougar Staff

Teaching or learning Spanish can be more exciting with supplies available from the university’s new Spanish Resource Center.

The center, which was inaugurated Monday, will provide about 4,000 books including contemporary literature for children and adults, classics, methodology, textbooks to teach Spanish, pedagogical materials and encyclopedias.

Harold Raley, chairman of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, said UH and the government of Spain sponsored the center to provide quality education in Houston where a large Hispanic population exists.

Dean of Humanities, Fine Arts and Communication, James Pipkin said the resource center will serve as a bridge to connect the Hispanic culture and language in the United States with the Hispanic cultures in the rest of the world.

"Through the increased awareness, a better understanding and appreciation of the Hispanic people will develop," said Gonzalo de Benito, Council General of Spain. Benito also voiced his desire for the university to create a Ph.D. program in Spanish.

Pedro Gutiérrez-Revuelta, an associate professor of Spanish and one of the principal liaisons between the university and the center, said Spanish resource centers will have an important role in developing an understanding of the Hispanic cultures at the time when the North American Free Trade Agreement was approved between the United States and Mexico.

The director of the center Montserrat Santos came to the United States one and a half months ago to work for the project. Santos, a Spanish teacher herself, said she has also trained Spanish teachers in Spain.

Santos said workshops, seminars and teaching skills sessions will be organized through the center. Cultural activities such as exhibitions, film series and round table discussions will also be arranged, she added.

The center, located on the fourth floor of Agnes Arnold Hall, will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

UH is one of four universities in the United States with a Spanish Resource Center. The centers have been established at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Miami’s Florida International University and the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

 

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PROF CONFRONT MODERN RACISM

by Tiffany Vaughner

News Reporter

Author Derrick Bell said the rise in racial hostility is a direct result of the declining economic situation and the use of African Americans as "scapegoats."

Bell, a visiting professor of Law at New York University, came to UH recently as part of the African American Studies Program's 25th Anniversary celebrations.

Bell headed a panel on the successes and failures of the civil rights movement and plans for it's future.

The panel, moderated by UH law Professor Anthony Chase, included UH history professors Linda Reed and Tyrone Tillery and UH political science Professor Christian Davenport.

"In prior economic hard times racial hostility grew as whites took out their frustrations on the traditional scapegoats: blacks. Those patterns are repeating with a vengeance with little government effort to halt the rapid increase in joblessness or to stem the growing belief that policies, like affirmative action, are somehow the cause of the nation's economic malaise," Bell said.

In his speech, Bell talked about white America's refusal to except the current existence of racism. He said African Americans and other minorities don't have "overactive racial paranoia."

He urged African Americans to continue the fight for equality. "It is no more hopeless for us than it was for our slave ancestors and yet they persevered."

Tillery said even though some minorities have "made it" they should not forget the reason behind the civil rights movement.

"They (should) know that pretending that race no longer matters is not the same as making it not matter," Tillery said.

Reed said the civil rights movement can not be measured along a linear plane.

"As the 19th century gave way to the 20th, Anglo-Americans found new ways to restrict the social, political and economic aspects of black life. Black resistance and the struggle for equality, therefore, has been an ongoing effort for blacks in this century," Reed said.

 

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CHANNEL 8 WANTS TO PARTY

by Jenalia Moreno

Daily Cougar Staff

On May 25, 1953, the nation's first experiment in educational television, KUHT, came on the air at UH.

After two weeks of sports and university-related programming, the station literally kicked off a special dedication ceremony. Two hours before air time, a black stripe developed across the screen. The stripe lasted until just before the dedication program came on the air. Then, chief engineer Bill Davis finally lost his temper and booted a transmitter. The black stripe disappeared and the FCC was able to welcome Channel 8 to Houston with a clear picture.

Ever since, the station has been providing educational programming to over 920,000 viewers in Southeast Texas.

Channel 8 remained unchallenged for an entire year before other cities began to model educational television programs after their lead.

This year's 40th anniversary celebrations have included sports tournaments, banquets, and a family day in Hermann Park with such popular characters such as Barney and Cookie Monster in attendance.

In March, the minimum Channel 8 membership fee was raised from $35 to $40 to commemorate the 40th anniversary theme.

The celebration has also included planning for expansion.

"In February, we began a capital endowment campaign for Houston Public Broadcasting that will allow us to combine radio and television into a (new) singular facility here on campus," said Jeff Clarke, general manager of Channel 8.

Although the project is expected to cost $8 million, KUHT hopes to raise $12 million, Clarke said. He said the station has collected $7 million so far.

Construction for the 80,000 square foot facility, located on Elgin near the Communication and Fine Arts Buildings, is expected to begin within the next year and be completed by 1996, Clarke said.

"We will be preparing our new facility to be a distance learning facility where we will be able to send classroom credit course work out to the community through a wide means of technology," Clarke said.

The university will be able to offer credit and noncredit courses sent over fiber optics, telephone lines, cable outlets, high definition channels and electronic pipelines.

When KUHT first began broadcasting, nine different courses were offered through the station. From the fall of 1953 through spring of 1955, KUHT offered fifteen hours of UH courses each week.

"They saw this medium of television as an opportunity to bring classes to people in their homes," Clarke, said.

These courses were filmed at the former KUHT studio, which was located on the fifth floor of the Ezekiel Cullen Building. In 1965, KUHT moved to its current location at 4513 Cullen, which has served as headquarters for Channel 39, Channel 13, and a as computer operations site for NASA

Dr. Walter William Kemmerer, former UH president, was one of the people responsible for bringing KUHT to UH. He went to Washington and persuaded the FCC that Houston should have the first education television station.

About 10 percent of the KUHT staff are students. Some students are involved in KUHT's two-year internship program. KUHT and the UH Communications Department are also considering giving credit to students who work at the station for a semester.

"As we grow into a new facility, there may be expanded opportunities," Clarke said. "The facilities we have now were not built for the number of people we have working here now."

 

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FROM KING TO PAUPER, SMITH THRILLED TO PLAY

by Jason Paul Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

It doesn't seem to bother Sherman Smith.

In 1992, Smith was the main focal point in Houston's deadly Run-and-Shoot offense. He led the nation in receiving with 103 catches marking the sixth consecutive year a Cougar had led the country in that department.

But this year, Smith's production has tailed off considerably.

Through Houston's nine games, Smith has played in eight, catching a mere 22 balls for only 171 yards.

But, as Smith says, he's just happy to be here.

"All I care about is getting the chance to play," he said. "So I can't say that I have any regrets about this season."

Will Smith's lack of production have any effect on his pro football chances after securing All-American credentials last season?

"I can't worry about that," he said. "I won't pay attention to (any NFL possibility) until after the season is over."

Smith was a high school teammate of Cougar quarterback Jimmy Klingler at Houston's Stratford High.

During his junior and senior seasons, Smith was an all-district choice even though he says that he wasn't part of a pass-oriented team in high school.

For that reason, he elected to make Houston his college choice.

"I wanted to be part of a team that threw the ball to you every other play," Smith said. "And UH has given me that chance to play."

Aside from the 1992 season, Smith has caught only 32 passes. Of that total, quite a few have gone a long way.

As a freshman in 1990, Smith caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from former quarterback David Klingler in a nationally televised game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Smith started that game in place of the injured All-American Manny Hazard.

In 1991, Smith continued his downfield success as one of his eight receptions was a 50-yard bomb.

"I don't pay attention to stats," Smith said. "I don't go running to the stat sheet at the end of every game to see how many balls I caught. All I want to do is play."

As he nears the end of his UH career, Smith encourages other new receivers to hope to do the same.

"This (UH football program) is going to be one of the finest in the country in 2—3 years," Smith says. "I urge any new recruit to not pass it up because things are definitely going to turn around for this school and the (Southwest) conference."

And that wouldn't bother Smith at all.

 

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UH PROF GOES TO AUSTRIA

 

University of Houston Professor of Social Work Dr. Robert Fisher will spend the 1994 spring semester at the University of Graz in Austria. He'll teach courses on American social history and social policy, and will conduct research on social problems in different cities and how each chooses to address them.

Graz, Austria's second largest city, is 75 miles south of Vienna, which is a major urban area with a population of about 1.6 million. Fisher plans to examine both and compare them with Houston.

"Vienna has a more social democratic heritage than does Houston, which is the personification of a private city. However global economic pressure are causing modifications in each, with Vienna being pressured to privatize and Houston moving in a limited way toward problem solving in a more public arena," Fisher says.

This is a return visit to Austria by Fisher, who was a Fulbright Scholar in Innsbruck from 1986-1988.

"This is an interesting opportunity to evaluate various urban problems and policies. While Houston has a predominantly laissez faire approach to social problems, Vienna has adopted the more "cradle to grave" attitude accepted by most Western European nations. It is based on the concept of health care, adequate housing, and basic necessities are a right of all citizens, not a privilege of those who can pay for them," explains Fisher.

As part of his comparative urban studies research Fisher will examine the development of grass roots neighborhood organizations and how different government policies affect them. He'll look at why citizen's groups flourish in some environments and not in others. Fisher will study the importance a city's history and "political culture" plays in promoting or discouraging solutions to social problems and citizen action efforts to deal with them.

"There are stark contrasts in this area between Vienna and Houston, with the Viennese very proud of, and grounded in their past, and Houstonians generally tending to forget or downplay theirs as if history was a burdensome weight," he says.

Fisher's most recent book, co-edited with Joseph Kling, is <I>Mobilizing the Community: Local Politics in the Era of the Global City<P> (Sage Publishers, 1993). His second edition of <I>Let the People Decide: Neighborhood Organizing in America<P> is due out in February, 1994.

The distinguished J. William Fulbright Scholarship Program is designed to promote mutual understanding of people around the world through educational exchanges. About 200,000 scholarships have been awarded since 1946 when the program was founded.

 

 

 

 

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