Pine Bluff, AR, United States
Pine Bluff, AR, United States

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is a historically black university located in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, United States. Founded in 1873, the second oldest public institution in the state of Arkansas. UAPB is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. It is known popularly by its moniker the "Flagship of the Delta." Wikipedia.


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News Article | April 28, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

VARNER, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas executed its fourth inmate in eight days Thursday night, wrapping up an accelerated schedule with a lethal injection that left the prisoner lurching and convulsing 20 times before he died. Kenneth Williams, 38, was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m., 13 minutes after the execution began at the Cummins Unit prison at Varner. An Associated Press reporter who witnessed the lethal injection said Williams' body jerked 15 times in quick succession, then the rate slowed for a final five movements. J.R. Davis, a spokesman for Gov. Asa Hutchinson who did not witness the execution, called it "an involuntary muscular reaction" that he said was a widely known effect of the sedative midazolam, the first of three drugs administered. Williams' attorneys are calling for an investigation into the execution. Arkansas had scheduled eight executions over an 11-day period before one of its lethal injection drugs expires on Sunday. That would have been the most in such a compressed period since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, but courts issued stays for four of the inmates. The four lethal injections that were carried out included Monday's first double execution in the United States since 2000. "I extend my sincerest of apologies to the families I have senselessly wronged and deprived of their loved ones," Williams said in a final statement he read from the death chamber. "... I was more than wrong. The crimes I perpetrated against you all was senseless, extremely hurtful and inexcusable." Williams also spoke in tongues, the unintelligible but language-like speech used in some religions. But his prayer faded off as the sedative midazolam took effect. His final words were, "The words that I speak will forever be, will forever ..." before he fell silent. The inmate breathed heavily through his nose until just after three minutes into his execution, when his chest leaped forward in a series of what seemed like involuntary movements. His right hand never clenched and his face remained what one media witness called "serene." After the jerking, Williams breathed through his mouth and moaned or groaned once — during a consciousness check — until falling still seven minutes into the lethal injection. Williams was sentenced to death for killing a former deputy warden, Cecil Boren, after he escaped from prison in 1999. At the time of his escape in a 500-gallon barrel of hog slop, Williams was less than three weeks into a life term for the death of a college cheerleader. "Any amount of movement he might have had was far less than any of his victims," said Jodie Efird, one of Boren's daughters, who witnessed the execution. State officials have declared the string of executions a success, using terms like "closure" for the victims' families. The inmates have died within 20 minutes of their executions beginning, a contrast from midazolam-related executions in other states that took anywhere from 43 minutes to two hours. The inmates' lawyers have said there are still flaws and that there is no certainty that the inmates aren't suffering while they die. "The long path of justice ended tonight and Arkansans can reflect on the last two weeks with confidence that our system of laws in this state has worked," Hutchinson said in a statement issued after the execution. "Carrying out the penalty of the jury in the Kenneth Williams case was necessary. There has never been a question of guilt." Arkansas scheduled the executions for the final two weeks of April because its supply of midazolam, normally a surgical sedative, expires on Sunday. The Arkansas Department of Correction has said it has no new source for the drug — though it has made similar remarks previously yet still found a new stash. Williams' lawyers said he had sickle cell trait, lupus and brain damage, and argued the combined maladies could subject him to an exceptionally painful execution in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Arkansas' "one size fits all" execution protocol could leave him in pain after a paralytic agent renders him unable to move, they'd argued to state and federal courts, which all rejected his claims. One of Williams' attorneys, Shawn Nolan, described the accounts of Williams' execution as "horrifying." "We tried over and over again to get the state to comport with their own protocol to avoid torturing our client to death, and yet reports from the execution witnesses indicate that Mr. Williams suffered during this execution," Nolan said. Williams was sentenced to death for killing Boren after escaping from the Cummins Unit prison in a barrel holding a mishmash of kitchen scraps. He left the prison — where the execution chamber is located in another part of the facility — less than three weeks into a life prison term for killing University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff cheerleader Dominique Hurd in 1998. At the conclusion of that trial, he had taunted the young woman's family by turning to them after the sentence was announced and saying "You thought I was going to die, didn't you?" After jumping from the barrel, he sneaked along a tree line until reaching Boren's house. He killed Boren, stole guns and Boren's truck and then drove away to Missouri. There, he crashed into a water-delivery truck, killing the driver. While in prison, he confessed to killing another person in 1998. At the time of Boren's death, investigators said it did not appear Boren was targeted because of his former employment by the Arkansas Department of Correction. Follow Andrew DeMillo on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ademillo and Kelly P. Kissel at www.twitter.com/kisselAP


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

LearnHowToBecome.org, a leading resource provider for higher education and career information, has announced its list of the best colleges and universities in Arkansas for 2017. 20 four-year schools made the list, with John Brown University, Hendrix College, Ouachita Baptist University, Harding University and University of Arkansas taking the lead as the top five. Of the 26 two-year schools that were also included, North Arkansas College, Arkansas State University Mountain Home, Black River Technical College, Pulaski Technical College and Arkansas Northeastern College were the top five. A full list of winning schools is included below. “Arkansas is seeing a record low for unemployment in 2017, which is great news for college grads entering the job market,” said Wes Ricketts, senior vice president of LearnHowToBecome.org. “The schools on our list have demonstrated value for not only providing a strong education, but also helping students fulfill career goals after they graduate.” To be included on Arkansas “Best Colleges” list, schools must be regionally accredited, not-for-profit institutions. Each college is also scored on additional data that includes annual alumni earnings 10 years after entering college, career services offered, availability of financial aid and base metrics such as student/teacher ratios and graduation rates. Complete details on each college, their individual scores and the data and methodology used to determine the LearnHowToBecome.org “Best Colleges in Arkansas” list, visit: The Best Four-Year Colleges in Arkansas for 2017 include: Arkansas State University-Main Campus Arkansas Tech University Central Baptist College Harding University Henderson State University Hendrix College John Brown University Lyon College Ouachita Baptist University Philander Smith College Southern Arkansas University Main Campus University of Arkansas University of Arkansas at Little Rock University of Arkansas at Monticello University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences University of Arkansas-Fort Smith University of Central Arkansas University of the Ozarks Williams Baptist College The Best Two-Year Colleges in Arkansas for 2017 include: Arkansas Northeastern College Arkansas State University - Beebe Arkansas State University - Mountain Home Arkansas State University - Newport Baptist Health Schools-Little Rock Black River Technical College College of the Ouachitas Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas Crowley's Ridge Technical Institute East Arkansas Community College Mid-South Community College National Park College North Arkansas College NorthWest Arkansas Community College Northwest Technical Institute Ozarka College Phillips Community College Pulaski Technical College Remington College-Little Rock Campus Rich Mountain Community College South Arkansas Community College Southeast Arkansas College Southern Arkansas University Tech University of Arkansas Community College - Batesville University of Arkansas Community College - Morrilton University of Arkansas Hope - Texarkana Arkansas Northeastern College About Us: LearnHowtoBecome.org was founded in 2013 to provide data and expert driven information about employment opportunities and the education needed to land the perfect career. Our materials cover a wide range of professions, industries and degree programs, and are designed for people who want to choose, change or advance their careers. We also provide helpful resources and guides that address social issues, financial aid and other special interest in higher education. Information from LearnHowtoBecome.org has proudly been featured by more than 700 educational institutions.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Latest on Arkansas' plan to execute several inmates before the end of April (all times local): A senior European Union official is urging Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson to cancel Thursday's planned execution of inmate Kenneth Williams. The letter from EU Ambassador to the U.S. David O'Sullivan was delivered Wednesday to the governor's office. It says Williams' attorneys should have the chance to prove whether he was intellectually disabled and thus, ineligible for the death penalty. The EU opposes capital punishment, and many European drugmakers have blocked states from using their products in lethal injections. Williams would be the fourth inmate put to death in eight days, a schedule that Hutchinson set because one of Arkansas' lethal injection drugs is about to expire. The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected an inmate's requests to block his execution, scheduled for Thursday night. The state's high court rejected the requests Wednesday for Kenneth Williams. Williams had asked for a stay of execution over claims about what evidence jurors considered when he was sentenced to death. Williams still has legal challenges pending in other courts. If executed, Williams would be the fourth inmate to die over an 8-day span that Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson set because one of the state's lethal injection drugs expires at the end of the month. Williams, who was serving a life sentence for the killing of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff cheerleader, was sentenced to death after he escaped prison in 1999 and killed a farmer. A court transcript shows a federal judge ruled that witnesses describing a condemned killer opening and closing his mouth during his lethal injection wasn't enough evidence to find that his execution amounted to inhumane torture. U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker allowed Monday night's execution of Marcel Williams to proceed after hearing from four witnesses who described seeing Jack Jones' mouth move during his execution earlier that night. The transcript of the hearing was released Tuesday. Baker heard testimony from attorneys for the inmates, Jones' spiritual adviser and an official with the attorney general's office. Baker had temporarily halted Jones' execution after Williams' attorneys said Jones could be seen gulping for air five minutes into his execution.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: SPECIAL PROJECTS - CISE | Award Amount: 324.07K | Year: 2014

The notion of the cloud is really the integration of applications delivered as a service over existing cyberinfrastructure. A key component of most cloud ecosystems, a hypervisor, is a unique entity that manages virtual machines with cloud systems. This project develops protocols and algorithms to provide security services in the form of enhanced intrusion detection and prevent services (IDPS) capable of detecting multistage intrusion attacks within cloud resources. The project focuses on one particular type of cloud ecosystem, that of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), because of its unique dominance within the cloud community. Another unique contribution of this project is the development of an hypervisor-based intrusion detection and prevention architecture that can be implemented in most cloud ecosystems.

This project is a collaborative effort with an undergraduate majority-minority university leading the project efforts, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB); North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCAT), HBCUs; Louisiana State University; and IBMs Center for Advanced Studies (CAS) as an industry partner. This effort will ensure the curriculum of undergraduate-oriented majority minority institution is greatly enhanced by developing models for the introduction of curriculum topics in cloud computing and cloud computing security, as well as enhancing faculty exposure at HBCUs to big data and cloud computing resources and research/educational opportunities.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Campus Cyberinfrastrc (CC-NIE) | Award Amount: 281.49K | Year: 2015

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) over the last several years has developed innovative and productive research groups exploring topics in bioinformatics, nanosciences, security analytics and biotechnology. One challenge that continues to confront all research groups and projects at UAPB is that of the limited ability of the campus network to support large science data movement between research laboratories, national and global research partners.

This project is designed to enhance the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluffs campus network infrastructure to enabled dynamic network services for research activities in two interwoven ways, first it will enhance existing large-scale research activities to take advantage of new network capabilities. In particular by separating research network traffic on the campus, and among partners onto a specialized local dedicated research network (DRN), this will enable faculty, postdoctoral researchers, students who have appropriate knowledge to make great and immediate strides in their research activities. Secondly, the dedicated research network will serve to provide an education and training ground for a new generation of researchers and majority minority student population from a Historically Black/College University (HBCU), in cutting-edge research disciplines within Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 265.50K | Year: 2016

Today, flexible electronic circuits and printable nanomaterials based chemical/biological (CB) sensors require versatile board printing systems to support current and future initiatives in additive manufacturing and material development. In addition to low cost, flexible electronics offers light-weighted, thin-film electronics circuits capable of adhering on flexible and conformal surfaces. Such technology is expected to bring revolutionary changes to the current landscape of electronics, including thin-film cell phones, window-stickable thin-film TV, and functional clothes or removal skin stackers with various sensing, memory and communication capabilities.

This project is acquiring a versatile Optomec Aerosol Jet 300 (AJ 300) printing system for flexible electronic circuits and printable nanomaterials based chemical/biological (CB) sensors. The requested state-of-the-art system is expected to provide new capabilities to promote interdisciplinary research and education. The instrumentation, an additive, high-resolution multi-layer printing system capable of uniformly delivering fluid and nano-materials on almost any planar substrate or 3D surface with precise multi-layer alignment accuracy, enables the researchers to perform systematic research on fundamental issues of flexible electronics, such as carrier (electrons and holes) transport on flexible surfaces, and circuit performance variation under bending and strain due to changes in the band structure, Fermi-level, carrier mobility, and threshold voltage. The instrument acquired also provides a research platform for various flexible electronics and optoelectronics devices such as conformal antenna, highly ordered self-assembling polymer/clay nanocomposite, Terahertz radiation and detection, and additive manufacturing. Furthermore, the instrumentation supports research in scaling and integration of direct printing and investigate the couplings between the deposition of the droplets, formation of the composite structure, and device performance. The instrument can also serve in K-12 outreach programs in forms of lab tours with live printed flexible electronics and printing system demonstrations.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 199.43K | Year: 2014

Research Initiation Awards (RIAs) provide support for junior faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) who are starting to build a research program, as well as for mid-career faculty who need to re-direct and re-build a research program. It is expected that the award helps to further the faculty members research capability and effectiveness, improves research and teaching at the researchers home institution, and involves undergraduate students in research experiences.

The University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff (UAPB)s HBCU-UP RIA project updates scientific knowledge on the biosynthesis of the 20 genetically encoded amino acids of the standard genetic code. The projects major objectives are to: (1) explore the current assertion that the 20 standard amino acids of the genetic code comprise a mixture of early versus late amino acids, (2) analyze the metabolic pathways at work in living organisms so as to provide clear information into ancient molecular evolution and (3) to mentor undergraduate students in biological research and support retention in the biological sciences.

The hypothesis of this project entitled The Genetic Code of Protein Molecules is that, the network of metabolic pathways for amino acid biosynthesis contains plausible molecular fossils. The research investigates and determines whether any evidence exists that connects pathways of amino acid metabolism to claims for early versus late amino acids and also whether metabolic pathways found in living organisms are an accurate guide to ancient evolutionary events. The investigation uses the following procedures:

-identification of the enzymes associated with each step of amino acid biosynthesis,
-identification of which of these enzymes occur within all three domains of life;
-verification of which enzymes are missing from one or more domains of life;
-reduction/simplification sequence data sets for each step of a metabolic pathway and building phylogenies for the enzymes of each step of an amino acid biosynthetic pathway;
-identification and elimination of examples of lateral gene transfer.

Contemporary data from databases such as KEGG, MetaCyc, EcoCyc, REACTOME, Molecular Ancestry Network (MANET), and Pathway Localization (PathLoc) databases will be used.

The project contributes to disease-related research in plants and pests. UAPB is an Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) institution. Thus, the project will build research capacity and capability at this institution (a minority-serving institution) and within the state in computational biological sciences. In addition, the project contributes to increasing a diverse scientific workforce for the nation.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: ALLIANCES-MINORITY PARTICIPAT. | Award Amount: 3.47M | Year: 2013

The Arkansas Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (ARK-LSAMP) is a collaborative alliance of nine institutions, including two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and three two-year institutions. The overarching goal of ARK-LSAMP is to increase the pool of baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degree graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) disciplines entering Arkansas? workforce. The Alliance maintains its commitment to the overarching goal of this transformative initiative through objectives that will continue to increase the number of STEM graduates, as well as implement best practices learned from initial NSF funding. A summer Bridge program prepares first semester freshmen to successfully navigate the transition to college level coursework. Mentoring programs provide peer mentoring (upper-level student to lower-level student) as well as faculty mentoring. Summer and academic year research in faculty laboratories provide extracurricular involvement in research at the forefront of STEM. In addition to undergraduate STEM programs, the Alliance continues to focus on increasing graduate STEM scholars with a STEM seminar series providing training in research ethics, information on STEM careers, STEM in society, and preparation for graduate school. In response to NSF priorities, a veteran student focus will be added to the program. An existing and well-established veterans program at a member institution will serve as the best practice model. Alliance-wide and inter-institutional conferences and activities will foster greater collaborative research among faculty across institutions.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 1.05M | Year: 2015

Implementation Projects in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Undergraduate program provide support to design, implement, study and assess comprehensive institutional efforts to increase the numbers of students and the quality of their preparation by strengthening science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and research. This implementation project at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) seeks to build on a model that has proven successful in recruiting, retaining and graduating African-American undergraduates in STEM, to include a focus on veteran and Hispanic STEM students. Key activities are based on the existing UAPB STEM Academy Model with new evidence-based interventions to be researched and disseminated. The project is guided and informed by an on-going evaluation.

Specific objectives of the project are to: increase the enrollment, retention, and graduation rate of underrepresented minority students, including veterans in STEM disciplines; increase the number of veteran STEM scholars; increase the number of STEM students who pass Calculus I and II; increase the number of STEM scholars participating in internships; increase the number of UAPB STEM faculty participating in research and mentoring STEM scholars; and increase the number of STEM graduates who enter graduate school and receive graduate fellowships from NSF, other governmental agencies, and private foundations. The program will create support for strong student engagement through collaborative learning and research, enrichment of the mathematics curriculum and pedagogy, and campus research mentorship supplemented by summer internships. The project will assess the key components, while implementing interventions and modifications necessary to prepare the STEM scholars for the workforce and graduate school. This project can serve as a model for providing support to veteran STEM students and for purposefully recruiting and supporting Hispanic STEM students at a Historically Black University.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 187.27K | Year: 2015

Research Initiation Awards provide support for junior and mid-career faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities who are building new research programs or redirecting and rebuilding existing research programs. It is expected that the award helps to further the faculty members research capability and effectiveness, improves research and teaching at her home institution, and involves undergraduate students in research experiences. The award to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has potential broader impact in a number of areas. The project will focus on constructing a mathematical model on superconvergence of the nonconforming finite element method (NCFEM) for second-order elliptic problems by L-squared projection methods. This project will enhance the research experience and training of undergraduate students in mathematics at the institution. Additionally, a course in Finite Element Methods will be developed and offered as a topics course.

The project will use L-squared projection methods to improve the convergence rate of an existing finite element solution so that the new approximation is closer to the exact solution than the existing finite element solution. The objectives are: to obtain mathematical theories for the superconvergence of NCFEM using various element spaces for the second order elliptic problems with the homogeneous essential Dirichlet and natural Neumann boundary conditions; to write computer programs to perform numerical approximations to support the theoretical results; and to investigate existing theoretical results for the superconvergence of the conforming finite element method for second-order elliptic problems by the L-squared projection method. Finally, mathematical theories will be tested with real world data for the Laplace and Poisson equations, which are used in modeling heat conduction, seepage through porous media, irrotational flow of ideal fluids, and other applications.

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