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Critical Business, Education, & Grant News presented by UTSA
Scott Kabrich

April, 2010

Business News - San Antonio/Surrounding Area

Weak West Coast demand spells $155M Tesoro loss - - Tesoro Corp lost $155 million in the first quarter as weak fuel demand cut into its margins.  The San Antonio-based firm also said yesterday in conjunction with its earnings release that it is temporarily shutting down all processing units at its Washington state refinery following an April 2 fire that killed seven employees.  A year ago, Tesoro posted a profit of $51 million in the first quarter. The company had a loss per share of $1.11 last quarter versus a net of 37 cents a share a year earlier. Tesoro's first-quarter loss included an after-tax write-off of $12 million associated with the deferral of a capital project at its Los Angeles refinery, as well as a $7 million tax charge due to the passage of this year's federal health care reform.

GlobalSCAPE Wins "Best Places to Work" Award from the San Antonio Business Journal - GlobalSCAPE, Inc. /quotes/comstock/14*!gsb/quotes/nls/gsb, a leading developer of secure information exchange solutions, today announced that it was chosen as one of the 2010 "Best Places to Work" by the San Antonio Business Journal. The award honors companies with the best workplaces in the greater San Antonio area. There were 47 winners selected from more than 200 nominations. The winners were chosen based on the results of confidential online surveys completed by the companies' employees on a variety of attributes such as confidence in management, trust in co-workers, feeling valued, and overall job satisfaction This award follows GlobalSCAPE's recent recognition in March when Network Products Guide, the industry's leading information technology research and advisory guide, named Enhanced File Transfer (EFT) Server(TM) a winner of the 2010 Product Innovation Awards for Managed File Transfer (MFT). In addition, GlobalSCAPE was named among the top 50 workplaces in San Antonio for 2009 by the San Antonio Express-News.

Tin Star Restaurant Franchise Returns to San Antonio - In response to popular demand, Tin Star restaurant franchise is returning to San Antonio with a brand-new location at Callaghan and Horizon Hill, west of Interstate 10 near San Antonio Medical Center. Scheduled opening is May 2010.  "We feel like we're coming home," commented Mike Rangel, president of M.D. Rangel Enterprises, which owns the Tin Star brand. "We're especially thrilled to return to San Antonio with the support and expertise of franchisee Jay Battle--a veteran in the franchise-restaurant industry who shares our passion for everything that makes Tin Star unique."  A native Texan and resident of San Antonio, Battle joined the Tin Star family after nearly 30 years of senior management and franchise-operations experience with industry giants Whataburger, CiCi's Pizza, Tricon Global Restaurants (now Yum! Brands, owner of the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands) and McDonald's.  Two additional San Antonio locations--also under Battle's management--are already on the drawing board. While their specific locations have not yet been determined, all will be chosen carefully.  Tin Star is owned and operated by M.D. Rangel Enterprises, Ltd. Founded in 1999, Tin Star is known for fresh, healthy, handcrafted food that features the flavors and spices of the Texas Hill Country, served in a friendly, fast-and-casual atmosphere.

 Rackspace inks agreement with Spiceworks - San Antonio-based Rackspace and Austin-based Spiceworks have agreed to combine their services to allow IT professionals to monitor and administrate their Rackspace cloud e-mail services within the Spiceworks IT management interface without having to launch a separate portal. Cloud e-mail services allow customers to have their e-mail and related storage hosted remotely at data centers.  “Both Rackspace and Spiceworks are committed to creating the best experience for our customers and making IT simple and affordable for businesses,” says Jim Curry, vice president of corporate development at Rackspace. “Through our relationship with Spiceworks, we’ll provide a new avenue for nearly 1 million Spiceworks customers to integrate and manage the Rackspace cloud e-mail platform within their IT.”

 BJ's Restaurants opens new location in San Antonio, Texas - BJ's Restaurants, a US-based restaurant chain, has opened a new restaurant in San Antonio, Texas. According to the company, the new restaurant is approximately 8,500sqft and contains seating for approximately 280 guests. The restaurant features BJ's extensive menu, including BJ's signature deep-dish pizza, handcrafted beer and Pizookie dessert.   Jerry Deitchle, chairman and CEO of the company, said: "Our opening day sales at Alamo Ranch were stronger than we initially expected. Our first BJ's restaurant in San Antonio, located at the Village at Stone Oak, has performed very well since its opening approximately two years ago.   "We also plan to open another new BJ's restaurant in San Antonio at The Rim retail project at Interstate 10 and La Cantera Parkway before the end of this quarter."

New hotel opens in downtown San Antonio after an $8 million upgrade - Hospitality industry veteran Ed McClure has re-opened the former Radisson Downtown Market Square hotel. This time around, the 250-room hotel is being rebranded as the DoubleTree Hotel San Antonio Downtown — the official grand opening will be held in about two weeks. The DoubleTree brand is one of several lines under the umbrella of Beverly Hills-based Hilton Hotels Corp.  The hotel’s debut marks the culmination of an $8 million investment to turn a site — which dates back to the mid-1980s — into a property that, as McClure puts it, “is relevant in 2010.” The investment capital was provided in part by McClure and business partner Chris Hagee.  The $8 million price tag may seem modest in the scheme of hotel makeovers, but the timing of the investment could not have been much better. The tough financial times that have wrecked havoc on the construction industry — driving down the costs of labor and materials — also made it possible for McClure to do quite a bit with that $8 million.

Investment group purchases Union Square buildings - A San Antonio investment group has acquired the Union Square I and II office buildings.  Neither the asking or purchase price for Union Square I and II were disclosed The new owner is an entity known as Union Square Office Ltd.  The North San Antonio office complex, which spans more than 320,000 square feet, is located at 10101 and 1000 Reunion Place — on the east side of U.S. Highway 281, north of Loop 410, between Jones Maltsberger and Isom roads. The complex is presently 94 percent occupied. Local real estate firm R.L. Worth & Associates has been tapped to head up leasing and property management of the complex

 Clear Channel Radio hires VP for research - Clear Channel Radio has hired industry veteran Bob Michaels to fill the newly created position of executive vice president of research. Michaels will be responsible for supervising Clear Channel research projects.  Michaels has more than 30 years of experience in the radio and television industry. Most recently, he had been consulting clients through his company Bob Michaels’ MediaSense Inc.

Valero posts net loss for first quarter 2010  - Valero (NYSE: VLO) reported a net loss from continuing operations of $101 million, or 18 cents per share, on revenues of $19.6 billion for the first quarter of 2010.  This compares to net income from continuing operations of $364 million, or 70 cents per share, on revenues of $13.3 billion for the first quarter of 2009.  Discontinued operations include Valero’s Delaware City refinery, which the company shut down during the fourth quarter of 2009.  Valero officials are “cautiously optimistic” about the U.S. and global economies during the rest of the year. As the overall economy improves, demand for refined products should increase as well. However, refining margins are likely to be constrained due to ongoing spare refining capacity in the United States, Western Europe and Japan.  In the company’s retail business, Valero posted the best first quarter in the company’s history with $71 million in operating income.

Texas Business Hall of Fame to induct Gambrinus, Sirius leaders - - Two prominent San Antonio businessmen will be inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame later this year.  Carlos Alvarez, president of The Gambrinus Co., and Harvey E. Najim, chairman and CEO of Sirius Computer Solutions, are the two local honorees. Both men will be recognized at the foundation’s 28th annual induction dinner, which will be held Nov. 8, 2010, at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio. The foundation will hold a luncheon earlier that day to present $10,000 scholarships to deserving college students. In all, the Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation will honor five individuals in November. Besides Alvarez and Najim, Robert D. Duncan, W.A. “Tex” Moncrief Jr. and W.A. “Monty” Moncrief will also join the 2010 Hall of Fame. Duncan is chairman of Houston real estate firm Transwestern. “Tex” Moncrief leads Moncrief Oil/Montex Drilling Co. in Fort Worth. Monty Moncrief, who died in 1986, will receive his award posthumously.

Council approves $300,000 for S.A. promo videos - Without discussion, the City Council on Thursday agreed to spend $300,000 on a promotional video.  The $300,000 will go into the making of an economic development video to present San Antonio as an international destination for business and tourism. Bromley Communications, which has a contract with the city's Convention and Visitors Bureau, is shooting hours of high-definition footage for a nimble series of videos to help promote San Antonio. Several versions will be on display at the upcoming Shanghai World Expo.

NuStar’s net income falls by half - Seasonal weakness led to sharply lower net income for asphalt refiner and pipeline company NuStar Energy LP during the first quarter, the firm reported Thursday. San Antonio-based NuStar’s net income fell by half in the quarter ended March 31, to $19.7 million, or 19 cents a unit, compared with net income of $39.4 million, or 58 cents a unit, for the same period a year ago.  “Earnings were at the lower end of the range,” NuStar CEO Curt Anastasio said. He noted that sales of asphalt and volumes in the company’s pipelines taper off in the first quarter.

Business News - Texas 

Texas Golf Hall of Fame names Reid Meyers executive director - - Reid Meyers has been named the executive director of the Texas Golf Hall of Fame and Museum at Brackenridge Park GC in San Antonio. Meyers was president of the San Antonio Golf Association from 1996-98, and serves on the Valero Texas Open's executive committee.  The Hall of Fame, formerly at The Woodlands, closed in 2001. It was reconstituted last year with a new board of directors that includes officials from the Texas Golf Association, and the Northern and Southern Texas PGA sections. The facility will induct new members on Oct. 25. Organizers said the Hall of Fame will open later this year.

Quebec's Industrial Alliance signs deal to acquire Texas-based insurance company - Canada's Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. expects to grow in the United States by serving more middle-class families with its $145 million acquisition of a Texas-based insurance company.  The cash deal to buy American-Amicable Holding Inc. continues to expand the Quebec City-based insurer's footprint in the United States, Industrial said  Wednesday "American-Amicable life insurance products target the middle-income market, which is undeserved, and offers significant growth opportunities," Industrial spokesman Jacques Carriere said Wednesday.  Industrial Alliance administers over $58 billion in assets.  It is Canada's fourth-biggest life insurer American-Amicable has 115 employees and is based in Waco. Tex American-Amicable has a strong presence Texas, Puerto Rico, California, Illinois, Alabama and North Carolina.

Apple Buys Chip Company  -  Apple Inc. has acquired Intrinsity Inc., a semiconductor company in Texas, according to reports Tuesday.  The New York Times first reported the deal, and while terms were not disclosed analysts have pegged the price at about $121 million.  Intrinsity. It's a company you have probably never, ever heard of in your entire life. And if it weren't for a little company from California called "Apple," you may perish without ever hearing of them, either. But that's not exactly the case anymore, as Apple has just decided to plunk down the necessary funds in order to acquire Intrinsity The tiny Texas-based company was greatly responsible for the lightning fast 1GHz A4 design that's within the iPad, and in what feels like an attempt to gain an edge over other tablet makers who might just decide to consult Intrinsity for their own designs, Apple has taken the company right off of the market.

 CompCare Wins Multi-Year Contract in Texas - Comprehensive Care Corporation (CompCare) announced the launching of its behavioral health services for a health plan in Texas. The multi-year contract began April 1, 2010 and is designed to ensure accessible, high-quality behavioral health services for approximately 84,000 of the health plan's Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) members.  Established in 1969, CompCare provides behavioral health, substance abuse, and employee assistance programs for governmental agencies, managed care companies and employer groups throughout the United States. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, CompCare focuses on personalized attention, flexibility, a commitment to high-quality services, and innovative approaches to behavioral health that address both the specific needs of clients and changing healthcare industry demands.

Texas Instruments slips despite profit jump - Shares of Texas Instruments slipped Tuesday, a day after the company posted a nearly 40-fold jump in profit, amid lingering worries about the sustainability of the chip market's momentum.  But Chief Financial Officer Kevin March affirmed the tech giant's view of a steadily improving market, particularly in the United States.  TI's results offered a strong indicator, particularly the 70% year-on-year revenue jump in its analog business.   The company makes analog chips, which perform tasks such as converting sounds and temperature into digital signals for computers to understand. The processors are used in a broad range of products and industries, including home security systems, car airbags and factory control and test equipment.  The Dallas-based company reported a first-quarter profit of $658 million, or 52 cents a share, compared with a profit of $17 million, or 1 cent a share, for the year-earlier period.   Revenue rose to $3.2 billion, from $2.09 billion in the same quarter in the year-earlier period.

NEC Corporation of America Appoints Matt Pierce Senior Vice President  - NEC Corporation of America (NEC), a leading provider and integrator of advanced communications, networking and IT solutions, announced the appointment of Matt Pierce to the position of senior vice president, sales and marketing of the company's Enterprise Solutions Unit, effective April 1.  Pierce will be based at NEC Corporation of America headquarters in Irving, Texas. Matt received a Bachelor of Arts degree in commerce, graduating magnum cum laude from the University of Toronto, and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Duke University where he graduated a Fuqua Scholar.   Headquartered in Irving, Texas, NEC Corporation of America is a leading provider of innovative IT, network and communications products and solutions for service carriers, Fortune 1000 and SMB businesses across multiple vertical industries, including Healthcare, Government, Education and Hospitality.  NEC Corporation of America is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NEC Corporation, a global technology leader with operations in 30 countries and more than $42 billion in revenues.

Tuesday Morning CEO named Texas Business Woman of the Year - Kathleen Mason, president and CEO of Tuesday Morning Corp., has been named Texas Business Woman of the Year by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Texas.   Mason has been at the helm of Dallas-based Tuesday Morning for 10 years. The closeout retail company sells famous maker and brand name home furnishing products and accessories at significant discounts. Tuesday Morning (Nasdaq: TUES) opened its first store in Dallas in 1974 and operates more than 850 stores in 43 states.  Mason began her career as one of the youngest vice president/divisional managers in the May Co.’s history. She is a recognized leader in the retail industry, with honors that include the Luminary Award for Corporate Innovation by the Committee of 200, Texas Woman’s University Leadership Award for 2010, recipient of the Corporate Growth Award for 2004/2005 and E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year of the Southwest in 2003.

D.R. Horton reports $11M profit - In what may be a sign that the local housing market is finally coming back to life, builder D.R. Horton Inc. reported profit and revenue growth for its second quarter, reversing a loss during the same time period last year.  The Fort Worth-based builder reported net income of $11.4 million, or 4 cents per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $108.6 million, or 34 cents diluted share, for the same quarter of 2009. It marked the second consecutive quarter of profits for D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI).

Dallas-Fort Worth ranks 13th most polluted metro by ozone levels - Dallas-Fort Worth ranks as the 13th most polluted metropolitan area in the nation in terms of ozone levels, according to a report from the American Lung Association.  The most polluted city in terms of ozone is Los Angeles. Most polluted in terms of year-round particle pollution is Phoenix, and most polluted by short-term particle pollution is Bakersfield, Calif.  The report gave D-FW a good grade in terms of 24-hour particle pollution, however, and a passing rating for annual particle pollution.

Southwest Airlines fined $200,000 - Southwest Airlines Co. was hit with a $200,000 fine Tuesday for violating federal rules concerning bumped passengers on oversold flights.  The U.S. Department of Transportation requires airlines to seek volunteers willing to give up their seats for compensation when a flight is oversold. If there aren’t enough volunteers and the carrier must bump passengers involuntarily, the carrier must give those passengers a written statement describing their rights and the process for selecting who gets bumped from an oversold flight.

Big verdicts for McKool Smith - Dallas law firm McKool Smith PC is riding high after a series of multimillion-dollar verdicts, against defendants such as Microsoft and the National Football League. A string of high-dollar verdicts — against big defendants such as Microsoft Corp. and the National Football League — is fueling growth for his firm, McKool Smith PC. So much so, the company is mulling its real estate options more than four years before its lease runs out.  Mike McKool and Phil Smith founded the firm that bears their names in 1991 with 11 lawyers in Dallas. Today, it has more than 125 lawyers nationwide, with offices in Dallas, Austin, Houston, New York, Washington, D.C., and Marshall, where the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas is known for quickly resolving high-stakes commercial disputes.  The firm, which is best known for its patent litigation work, won four Top 100 courtroom verdicts in 2008 and another four in 2009 — more than any other firm in the country, according to research compiled by VerdictSearch, which tracks U.S. verdicts.  The 2008 verdicts ranged from $21 million to $250 million and added up to $358 million. The 2009 verdicts ranged from $19 million to $290 million and totaled $467 million  Two recent big-ticket wins — a $290 million verdict last year and a $106 million verdict in March — were patent infringement cases against Redmond, Wash.-based software giant Microsoft Corp.^3273611

China: Diplomat Beaten, Injured by Houston Cops - China said Friday that a Chinese diplomat in the U.S. was beaten and injured by Houston police and urged an investigation to ensure diplomatic practices are not violated.   The U.S. State Department was taking the matter very seriously and findings of the investigation would be shared with China "as soon as appropriate," said Susan Stevenson, spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.   She referred further questions to Houston police, which did not immediately return calls seeking comment Friday morning.  The statement from China's Foreign Ministry said police harassed and beat a deputy consul-general while he was driving to the Chinese Consulate in Houston. The statement said a family member also was involved, but did not say if that person was injured.   According to a CBS News report, Houston police last Saturday tried to stop a car which was missing a license plate. When the car didn't stop, they pursued it into a garage without realizing the garage belonged to the Chinese Consulate. Police handcuffed and arrested the driver, injuring him, the CBS report said.;contentBody

Chevron 1Q Profit More Than Doubles, Matching Peers - HOUSTON (Dow Jones)--Chevron Corp.'s (CVX) first-quarter earnings more than doubled on higher oil and gas prices, increased production and better-than-expected refining results. Chevron's global output rose 5% to 2.78 million barrels of oil equivalent per day from a year ago mainly due to higher production from new projects in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Nigeria and Angola and expanded capacity at its Tengiz project in Kazakhstan. Chevron's earnings also benefited from the company's increase in production of oil, which has been trading at higher levels than natural gas.   Chevron, the third-largest U.S. oil company by market value, reported a profit of $4.55 billion, or $2.27 a share, up from $1.84 billion, or 92 cents, a year earlier. The latest period included 9 cents related to workforce reduction in the company's downstream business. Currency fluctuations reduced earnings by $198 million, compared with $54 million a year earlier. Revenue jumped 33% to $48.2 billion. Chevron topped analysts' expectations of $1.94 earnings per share.

 Business News - National

Lockheed Martin received innovation award   Lockheed Martin, in conjunction with Magestic Systems Inc. and Nikon Metrology, is among 11 winners of JEC Innovation Awards for leading innovations in the manufacture of composite materials. The three companies won in the automation division for technology that tests and corrects the thickness of cured composite wing skins for the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters. A news release said it results in significant cost savings for Lockheed Martin and its F-35 supply network.  JEC, an international organization representing the composites industry, handed out the awards earlier this month at the opening of its annual show in Paris, France.

GM Under Fire for 'Misleading' Bailout Ad - The Obama administration is concerned about a new General Motors commercial in which the bailed-out automaker touts last week's repayment of the remaining $4.7 billion that it owed to the government from funds it received under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.   In the commercial, the automaker's CEO, Ed Whitacre, boasts that it has repaid its "government loan in full, with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule."   That sounds great, but that's not exactly true, warned Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Thursday.   At a Senate subcommittee hearing, Collins told Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithnerthat the ad seems "very misleading," citing bailout watchdog Neil Barofsky's comments that GM had simply used one pot of bailout money to repay another.

Feds Open Criminal Probe of Goldman Sachs - Sources tell CBS News that a criminal investigation into Goldman Sachs has been opened by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office.   The probe is in the preliminary stages and there is no determination at this point whether criminal charges will be brought against the firm or any employee of the investment firm, sources told CBS News investigative reporter Pat Milton.   The criminal inquiry follows civil fraud charges filed by the government against Goldman two weeks ago and as Congress pushes toward enacting sweeping legislation aimed at preventing another near-meltdown of the financial system.   The SEC earlier this month filed civil fraud charges against Goldman and a trader in connection with the transactions, alleging it misled investors by failing to tell them the subprime mortgage securities had been chosen with help from a Goldman hedge fund client that was betting the investments would fail.;cbsnewsLeadStoriesSecondary

Obama to Name Janet Yellen as Fed's No. 2 - Putting a bigger stamp on the Federal Reserve, President Barack Obama is set to name Janet Yellen as vice chairwoman of the central bank and fill two other vacancies on the board, which has enormous power over Americans' pocketbooks.   The nominations are subject to Senate approval. If the Senate confirms all three nominees, Mr. Obama will have appointed five of the seven members of the Federal Reserve Board.   Yellen is president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. As vice chair, the second-highest ranking Fed official, her duties would include helping build support for policy positions staked out by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who has begun a second term.;contentBody

Morgan Stanley, UBS fined by U.S. - The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission says it has levied a multimillion-dollar fine against a division of Morgan Stanley and a smaller fine against UBS for violating trading rules on the New York Mercantile Exchange.  "The CFTC orders require that Morgan Stanley pay a $14 million civil monetary penalty and UBS pay a $200,000 civil monetary penalty," a CFTC statement said. "The orders also require Morgan Stanley and UBS to cease and desist from further violations of the Commodity Exchange ..."

Economy grows at 3.2% rate in first quarter - The US economy grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, evidence that the economic recovery continues to plug along but that growth is not accelerating in a way that would bring down joblessness rapidly.

Education News - San Antonio/Surrounding Area

Early college high school offered to students - A partnership between the Comal Independent School District and St. Philip’s College in San Antonio will bring a new college credit opportunity to students in Comal ISD.   Memorial High School, currently operating as an alternative high school for students whose needs require them to finish high school quickly, will move its alternative, independent-study-based initiative back to the district’s other high school campuses, and will change its name to the Comal Academy program. Memorial’s alternative high school program currently serves between 30 to 60 students at a time.  Unlike dual credit courses that many high school students use to sink their scholastic teeth into college work before stepping on a university campus, what’s unique about the early college high school is the focus and ability to accomplish more.   The Texas Education Agency currently limits high school students to 24-28 college credit hours in dual credit courses, but the TEA granted Memorial a waiver that allows students in the early college program to earn up to 60 college credit hours.

Sirius CEO joins St. Mary’s board - Harvey Najim, CEO of Sirius Computer Solutions, has joined the St. Mary’s University board of trustees, along with other philanthropic business leaders, alumni and members of the Marianist community. Najim has donated $75 million of his personal fortune to the Najim Family Foundation, which helps children’s organizations in the San Antonio area advance education, medical treatment and medical research. He was named among the top 50 American givers in 2007 by the Chronicle of Philanthropy and has been inducted into the San Antonio Business Hall of Fame.   Other new trustees are San Antonio lawyers Michael Casseb and Jeffrey Davis, and alumni association president James Forkenbrock. Joining the board ex officio from the Marianist community are Father Martin A. Solma and Brother Joseph Kamis.

Plans for SAISD closings approved - Trustees of the San Antonio Independent School District voted unanimously Monday night to move forward with the first phase of a district restructuring plan that could close as many as 13 schools. Six schools would shut in the first round: Austin Academy, Brewer Elementary, Nelson Elementary, Smith Elementary, Steele Elementary and W.W. White Elementary.  No schools will close before the 2013-14 school year because 10 schools designated as “receiving” schools must be renovated first. The administration estimates the renovations will take three years.   Both the closures and the renovations are contingent on the passage of a bond issue in November. The board approved the creation of a community-based committee to provide a response on the feasibility of a bond election and what its priorities would be.

KIPP University Prep changing lives in first year - This is the first year for KIPP University Prep High School, and like many new adventures, it's been bumpy and exhausting but, ultimately, rewarding…University Prep is the second KIPP school in San Antonio. Mark Larson, head of KIPP San Antonio, plans to open a second middle school, Camino Academy, this summer. KIPP Aspire, serving fifth through eighth grades, is the original KIPP school here. Long-range plans call for opening two elementary schools by 2014.  The KIPP model has become the stuff of education lore. KIPP, which stands for the Knowledge is Power Program, began in 1994 when two Teach for America teachers in inner-city Houston started a fifth-grade public school program. When their Teach for America commitments were over, Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin started KIPP schools in Houston and the South Bronx.  The program now serves 21,000 students nationwide. Its biggest hallmarks are longer school days — usually 10 hours — and extra time in class in the summer and on Saturdays. Teachers are committed to be on call, available by cell phone or e-mail, on evenings and weekends.

Bill Greehey to present commencement address - William E. (Bill) Greehey, chairman of the board of NuStar Energy and NuStar GP Holdings, will be the commencement speaker during OLLU’s graduation ceremonies on May 8. As part of the ceremonies, Mr. Greehey will receive an honorary doctorate. Harvey E. Najim, chairman and CEO of Sirius Computer Solutions, Inc., will share remarks before the honorary doctorate is presented.

  Education News - Texas

University of Texas at Austin Physicist to National Academy of Sciences - AUSTIN, Texas — Dr. Allan MacDonald, the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair in the Department of Physics at The University of Texas at Austin, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). MacDonald was one of 72 new members chosen on April 26 at the annual meeting of the Academy in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.   The NAS is the country's most prestigious scientific organization, and election to membership in the academy is one of the highest honors that can be accorded a scientist or engineer in the United States.

Baylor Programs Ranked in U.S. News Grad School Survey - Baylor University graduate programs in business, law, the sciences, education and health disciplines were among those nationally ranked in the 2011 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools," which are available in the May 2010 edition of U.S.News & World Report magazine.  Each year, U.S. News ranks professional-school programs in business, education, engineering, law and medicine. These rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinions about program quality and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school's faculty, research and students. These data come from surveys of more than 1,200 programs and some 12,400 academics and professionals that were conducted in fall 2009.

Political science professor named Educator of the Year by ASPA - Vicki Brittain, professor of political science at Texas State University-San Marcos, has been named Public Administration Educator of the Year by the Centex Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA). She will receive the honor in a ceremony May 7.   The award is given annually to an educator who has made contributions to the field of Public Administration through teaching, research, and service.

Texas A&M, System Had $3.5 Billion ’09 Economic Impact - The economic impact of Texas A&M University and other members of The Texas A&M University System based locally expanded by almost $250 million in 2009 and is now estimated to surpass $3.5 billion annually, an all-time high. That’s the finding of an in-house study conducted by Texas A&M’s Division of Finance.  The study shows that Texas A&M and other locally headquartered members of the A&M System had at least a direct $1.4 billion impact on College Station, Bryan and the surrounding area during 2009 – an increase of almost $100 million compared to the previous year. With the addition of the multiplier effect – reflecting the number of times a dollar is spent and re-spent as it passes through the local economy-the total impact reaches the estimated $3.5 billion level.

TWU becomes first university in Texas to offer a Ph.D. in Womens Studies - DENTON The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board gave approval today for Texas Womans University the nations largest university primarily for women to offer a Ph.D. in womens studies starting this fall.  TWU is the now the first university in Texas, the only university in the south central region and one of only 12 institutions in the country to offer this doctoral degree.

Engineering Programs Achieve National Ranking - UT Dallas undergraduate programs in engineering have emerged in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings for the first time, placing 60th among the nation’s public schools of engineering.  The school’s graduate program has continued rising through the U.S. News rankings as well, moving up one place in the past year to 46th among public graduate schools of engineering – and maintaining its position as third among publicly funded schools in Texas. The school’s electrical engineering graduate program rose three places to 38th among comparable programs at other public universities, and the graduate program in computer science maintained its position among the top 50 such programs at public universities.

UTEP’s Doctoral of Physical Therapy Program Receives Final Approval - The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board voted Thursday, April 29, to approve a new doctoral degree program in physical therapy (DPT) for The University of Texas at El Paso. This completes the final step in the approval process. The first class of DPT students will begin coursework on May 24.

Texas Tech Receives Emerging Technology Fund Award  - Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst today announced the approval of an Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) award, up to $1.5 million for MicroZAP, a bio-technology company specializing in food safety.  MicroZAP was spun off from patented technology developed through cutting-edge food sterilization research at the International Center for Food Industry Excellence. Sen. Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock) joined Lt. Gov. Dewhurst for the announcement.

Education News - National 

Leave Internships to Us, College Leaders Tell Feds - Thirteen college presidents urged the federal government this week not to set educational standards for students' internships.   "We are troubled by the Department of Labor's apparent recent shift toward the regulation of internships," the presidents wrote on Wednesday in a letter to Hilda L. Solis, the labor secretary. "We urge great caution in changing an approach to learning that is viewed as a huge success by educators, employers, and students alike," said the group, led by the president of Northeastern University, Joseph E. Aoun.  Mr. Aoun, whose institution is known for cooperative education, which combines classroom learning and applied work, has two main concerns: that the Labor Department may try to regulate the educational value of internships, and, in the process, scare off employers from collaborating with colleges on unpaid internship programs for academic credit or notation on transcripts.

Academic Leaders Debate Whether U.S. Higher Education Is Broken   In a televised debate on Tuesday, two public university leaders, arguing that the current business model for higher education financing is broken, disagreed sharply with two leaders of private institutions who contended that market forces have done their part to ensure viable educational options for American students and their families.    The four higher education leaders, including University of Maryland System Chancellor William E. Kirwan, participated in the second debate of a higher education series sponsored by the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs, PBS, and the Lumina Foundation. The debate was held live before a studio audience at the National Press Club in Washington.

Analysis: Congressional earmarks to colleges $2 billion - Colleges, universities and other academic organizations received just shy of $2 billion in grants directed to them by individual members of Congress in the 2010 fiscal year, an Inside Higher Ed analysis shows. A review of appropriations bills, Congressionally mandated disclosure forms and lawmakers' news releases revealed grants to 875 institutions, totaling $1,982,532,150. (That total may be incomplete; while required disclosure of earmarks has been strengthened under federal law, and many lawmakers like to boast about the money they bring home to their local colleges and other constituents, it is still difficult to follow the flow of money with perfect precision.) That's roughly one-eighth of the overall amount of $16.5 billion earmarked by Congress in 2010, according to an estimate by Citizens Against Government Waste.

Student loans continue to pile up for college graduates, new study shows  - Student loans continue to pile up for college graduates, new study shows About 17 percent of students graduating from college in 2007-2008 owed at least $30,500, according to a College Board survey.  The debt falls more heavily on black bachelor's degree recipients. About 27 percent of those graduates owed at least $30,500, compared to 16 percent of whites, 14 percent of Hispanics/Latinos and 9 percent of Asians, the College Board said.

College 'Embassies' Advance Their Interests Abroad - American colleges have long had a physical presence overseas, ranging from study-abroad centers to branch campuses. But while those facilities tend to serve a single purpose, Ohio State is among a handful of institutions, both American and foreign, opening so-called liaison offices abroad, distinguished by their multiple missions to support international teaching, research, student exchange, and alumni engagement. Ohio State even plans to offer specialized executive-training programs through its gateway locations.

Governing Boards Should Look Beyond Alumni for Trustees - Alumni are common fixtures on college governing boards. They are better prepared to be trustees, the conventional wisdom holds, because they understand their alma mater's culture. But a new study contradicts that notion, finding that alumni are no more prepared to serve on boards than are their colleagues who attended college elsewhere.  The paper, scheduled to be discussed this weekend at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, analyzed data from a 2006 survey of trustees conducted by The Chronicle. It found that, among the sample of 1,500 trustees at 1,000 colleges, the 58 percent who were alumni reported feeling no better prepared to handle important board issues such as dealing with the president, tackling budgets, and working on strategic planning.

Grant/Grantmaker News - San Antonio/Surrounding Area

Trinity honors Calgaard with namesake professorship - Trinity University has established a new endowed professorship should help recruit internationally recognized scholars to San Antonio.  The faculty position is being named in honor of former President Ronald K. Calgaard.  Thanks to a $3 million gift from the J.A. Chapman and Leta M. Chapman Charitable Trust, the Ronald K. Calgaard University Professorship has been created. This brings the number of endowed professorships at Trinity to 24.  The Calgaard University Professorship will not be tied to any specific academic department or discipline. This will allow administrators to pursue world-class scholars from a variety of fields.


Grant/Grantmaker News - Texas 

 Local Bottling Company Gives $10,000 To A Local Non-Profit CORPUS CHRISTI- Communities In Schools is the proud recipient of a $10,000 Pepsi Refresh Grant. The grant has been offered nationally and CIS-Coastal bend is the only local non-profit agency to have been chosen so far.  Local Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company representatives presented a check to CIS on Thursday [Apr 29].  The money will be used for a summer children's reading camp at the CIS Gonzalez Educational Center. The Pepsi Discovery Summer Program will begin June 7, 2010 and end July 2, 2010. It will provide 175 students with a fun, safe summer reading experience. In addition to reading, arts and crafts, the program participants will take one field trip a week. The field trips or "Discovery Trips" may include tours of Peter Piper Pizza, The Island Queen with a dolphin viewing expedition and the San Antonio Zoo.

Texas Bar Association Awards Grant to CASA - The Texas Bar Association approved a grant this month toward Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, with the hopes of recruiting and training more volunteers.  CASA of Central Texas advocates for abused and neglected children in the court system by recruiting, training, and supporting community volunteers.  Advocating for children in this area for 25 years, CASA acts as the eyes and ears of the Child Protection Court Judge.  Since its inception in 1965, The Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $9 million in grants to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, The Texas Bar Foundation is the nation’s largest charitably-funded bar foundation.

Texas State's Mathworks gains 3M Foundation grant - Texas State’s award-winning Mathworks program was recently given a grant by the 3M Foundation supporting the creation of video podcast lessons by Austin middle school students piloting Mathworks curriculum.  The students will explain fundamental math concepts to other students through the podcasts, making an online network of peer-to-peer learning.

UTA professor studies transit-oriented development - Auto-happy, auto-dependent Texans aren’t accustomed to fretting about how other modes of transportation – for example transit-oriented development – might impact the world around them.   But University of Texas at Arlington School of Urban Affairs Professor Jianling Li does like to look at such issues in both a scholarly (and it-matters-because?) way. That’s why the Texas Department of Transportation has awarded her a $176,000 grant to study the TOD issue in collaboration with the University of North Texas and the Texas Transportation Institute.

Grant to provide scholarships to teachers Sam Houston State University College of Education is helping Head Start and childcare teachers to continue their educations towards a bachelor’s degree thanks to a Texas Education Agency and Children’s Learning Institute grant received by two early childhood and special education professors.   Diana Nabors, associate professor of early childhood education, and Cindy Simpson, associate professor of special education, recently received the Texas Higher Education and Early Care Grant (IHE), a more than $279,000 grant that will subsidize the college educations of approximately 20 professionals beginning this summer and 40 this fall.  The grant will provide recipients with $100 per course hour taken to assist students with tuition for one full year (summer or fall 2010 through summer 2011).

Embrey Family Foundation Establishes $1 Million Four-Year Women's Leadership Program - The Dallas, Texas-based Embrey Family Foundation has awarded the American Indian College Fund a $1 million grant over a four-year period for a Native women's leadership program. The program will include funds to provide 20 scholarships and leadership training for American Indian women pursuing their bachelor's degrees.  As part of the leadership training, participants will attend annual leadership retreats to develop leadership skills and provide networking opportunities; and culturally relevant programs to allow participants to formulate their own leadership development plans to set and meet their personal goals which will take root in their Native communities, mainstream employment, or as they enroll in advanced degree programs.   The Embrey Family Foundation was established by J. Lindsay Embrey, who focused strongly on the importance of education. Embrey's belief was that education helps people increase their ability to be economically self-sufficient and prosperous, said Gayle Embrey, the Vice President of the Embrey Family Foundation.  "My father instilled the importance of education into both myself and my sister, Lauren Embrey, and we continue to make this a major funding area of the Embrey Family Foundation. Education was obviously important in our professional and personal lives, as it is to all women. Our board chose unanimously to support the American Indian College Fund because the average tribal college student is a woman with two dependent family members who is often a first-generation student. We believe that educated women in positions of leadership are more likely to emphasize education for their children, and serve as role models to other young women in their communities. This grant will help create a new generation of Native women who will strengthen their communities and enhance the opportunities for all of their people for a more prosperous future," she said.

KVPAC Awarded Challenge Grant from Houston Endowment - Katy Visual & Performing Arts Center (KVPAC) has been awarded a $30,000 Challenge Grant from Houston Endowment, a philanthropic foundation established by Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones in 1937. It is one of the region's largest and most respected funders and is a private foundation that exists to improve the lives of people in the Greater Houston Area.  KVPAC must raise $30,000 in order to receive the matching challenge grant from Houston Endowment.  The Challenge Grant was awarded to assist in the funding of KVPAC's building expansion including renovation to new space for  established programs as well as specific build-outs for much needed improvements.

Texas A&M Foundation received a $1M check from the ExxonMobil Foundation The Texas A&M Foundation received a check from the ExxonMobil Foundation today [Apr 26] for $1 million for Operation Spirit and Mind, which provides students with endowed scholarships and graduate fellowships. The donation was made through ExxonMobil Foundation’s 2009 Educational Matching Gift program. For every donation a director, employee, retiree or surviving spouse gives, ExxonMobil matches that amount 3-1. The 3-1 match requires that Exxon give $3 for ever $1 donated up to $7,500 a year. One of the main reasons ExxonMobil is so generous to A&M is because of large amount of recruiting that they do at the University. Keller said Exxon employs a large number of A&M graduates.

Grant/Grantmaker News - National

Blackstone Charitable Foundation Invests $50 Million to Support Entrepreneurship Globally The Blackstone Charitable Foundation announced today a five-year, $50 million commitment to foster entrepreneurship and economic recovery in communities hardest hit by the global economic crisis. The Blackstone Entrepreneurship Initiative will support innovative programs and ideas with potential for fostering entrepreneurship and, in turn, the high-growth businesses and industries that are most known to spark economic growth. In partnership with the New Economy Initiative (NEI) for Southeast Michigan, the University of Miami, Wayne State University and Walsh College, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is making its first major grant to establish "Blackstone LaunchPad," a program it hopes will become a national model for fostering entrepreneurship through higher education. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation's $2 million grant will bring Blackstone LaunchPad to the campuses of Wayne State University and Walsh College in Southeast Michigan. Blackstone LaunchPad advances the mission and successful methodology designed by the University of Miami. 

MI Student Awarded Gates Scholarship - -A Ypsilanti High School student is one of 1,000 that was chosen this year to receive the Gates Millennium Scholarship. The scholarship is funded through a $1.6 billion grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and pays for degrees through a doctorate at any college or university for low-income minority students. The 2010 Gates Millennium scholars represent 45 states, the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories: American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.    Gates Millenium Scholarship Info:

Tiny research gets big $2.3M grant - A project at the Medical University of South Carolina just won a $2.3 million federal grant to develop its microbial fuel cell project, one of 37 projects nationwide to divide $107 million in electro-fuel renewable energy grants.  The project's approach to using bacterial microbes as a catalyst to make fuel is so new that only a half-dozen or so projects are under way in the world, said Hal May, a microbiologist at MUSC who's taking part in the research. 

OSU, Battelle to share $4 million grant to develop alternative fuel - Ohio State University and Battelle will share a nearly $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to create a bioreactor to produce butanol, an alternative fuel, the government announced today.  In all, the Energy Department announced $106 million in stimulus fund grants to 37 projects to fundamentally change the way the country uses and produces energy.  The funds will come through the departments Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. The projects will include new car batteries, methods to remove carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants and advanced biofuels.$4_million_stimulus_grant_to_make_alternative_fuel.html?sid=101

University of Arizona Poetry Grant - The University of Arizona Poetry Center announced today that it received a $49000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to further develop its extensive audio/video collection.  The audio and video holdings are among the rarest materials in the Poetry Center’s collection of contemporary poetry. The center provides on-site access to its archive through a proprietary database and storage system, but the NEH will radically expand the collection's accessibility.

UI Superfund Research Program Receives $16M Grant To Study Pollutants The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has awarded the University of Iowa Superfund Research Program (isrp) a five-year, $16M grant to study the health effects of environmental pollutants, especially polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) found in water, former industrial sites and the atmosphere. The isrp investigators -- 22 scientists representing the UI Colleges of Public Health, Medicine, Engineering and Pharmacy -- measure sources, transport and environmental exposure of PCBs, their impact on animals and humans, and novel methods of clean-up, including the use of plants to remove PCBs from soil, groundwater and air.

Scott Kabrich

Researcher, Advancement Services

The University of Texas at San Antonio

Phone: 210-458-4790



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