By Daniel Perez
UTEP News Service
The level and amount of research being conducted at The University of Texas at El Paso would boggle the minds of most people. It is interdisciplinary, transnational and is produced by every department throughout the institution.
While many people know about the headline-grabbing, cutting-edge activities of some faculty members, a lot of other interesting and impactful research is done in the shadows. Keith H. Pannell, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, decided to do something to bring recognition to these other researchers during the University’s Centennial Celebration.
Pannell, longtime host of “Science Studio” on KTEP-FM (88.5), proposed the idea of doing a show about UTEP’s eclectic and robust research agenda. The professor, a regular during the station’s pledge drives, is well-known as a gregarious conversationalist who knows a bit about a lot of things – music, sports, the arts, health care, politics, foreign affairs – and is eager to learn more.
He worked with Pat Piotrowski and Norma Martinez, KTEP’s general manager and traffic director, respectively, to create the right format to share the information. The trio decided on short – approximately four minutes – enlightening conversations with 100 faculty members who represent the broad spectrum of University research.
The “100 @ 100: Research for Our Next Century” segments are broadcast at 8:59 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays after the popular “Morning Edition.” Pannell said the series also serves as a way to introduce listeners to UTEP’s international cast of faculty researchers. For example, during one broadcast, he spoke to natives of Syria, India and Japan.
“There’s a lot of research and teaching being done at this University beyond what is visible in science and engineering,” he said recently after recording three interviews slated to be broadcast in May. “From what I hear, people seem to like it.”
Since inaugurating the series in January, Pannell has been careful to diversify the topics. His guests have spoken about music, theater, chemistry, history, languages and linguistics, engineering, public health and economics.
UTEP is recognized as an emerging national research university with annual research expenditures of more than $83 million. The institution is ranked fourth in federal research expenditures among Texas’ public universities.
“I am very appreciative of Dr. Keith Pannell and the KTEP team for taking the initiative of creating the 100 @ 100 series,” said Roberto Osegueda, Ph.D., vice president for research. “These radio segments provide a great idea of the research being done at UTEP.”
The series allows the University to flex its research muscles for listeners, said Piotrowski, who added it was a great way for the station to be involved in UTEP’s 100th birthday celebration.
“This highlights the research for the general public,” Piotrowski said. “Some people think that all we do (at UTEP) is teach classes. They don’t understand everything we do here.”
To listen to previous 100 @ 100 segments, click here.