SMU professor sworn in as EPA administrator

Al Armendariz

SMU professor sworn in as EPA administrator

Al Armendariz sworn in as EPA administratorAl Armendariz, SMU associate professor of environmental and civil engineering, was sworn in Feb. 2, 2010, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‘s Region 6 Administrator.

The region includes Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, 66 Indian tribes and Texas – the nation’s largest producer of industrial air pollution. Armendariz is taking over Region 6 as the EPA moves to toughen Texas pollution enforcement standards to meet federal Clean Air Act requirements followed by other states.

While on leave, Armendariz will retain his appointment with SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering.

News: Al Armendariz named to Environmental Protection Agency

February 9, 2010|News|

Faculty in the News: Winter 2009-10

Chee-Yun, Music, Meadows School of the Arts, was profiled in The Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune Jan. 11, 2010, the day before her recent performance with the Sarasota Concert Association.

Edward Countryman, Clements Department of History, Dedman College, discussed the implications of the Texas State Board of Education’s possible revisions to the state’s social studies curriculum with The Austin American-Statesman Jan. 10, 2010.

Paul Phillips, Music, Meadows School of the Arts, displayed “exquisite mastery” in his conducting debut with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, as written in a concert review in The Dallas Morning News Jan. 8, 2010.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about the political fallout of efforts to protect an endangered bird and their impact on oil, natural gas and wind energy development with CNN Money Jan. 6, 2010. He also discussed the stakes in the recent Republican gubernatorial debate with KERA Radio News Jan. 11, 2010. Read the full story and listen to the broadcast. audio

bernard-weinstein-kxas-200.jpgBernard Weinstein, Maguire Energy Institute, Cox School of Business, wrote about the Barnett Shale and the potential economic and national security benefits of its natural gas deposits for The Houston Chronicle Dec. 16, 2009. In addition, he talked with with KXAS Channel 5 News about growth expectations for the North Texas area in a segment broadcast Jan. 3, 2010. Read the full report and watch the video. video

Al Armendariz, Environmental and Civil Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, was profiled as the new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief for Region 6 in The Houston Chronicle Jan. 3, 2010.

Robin Lovin, Cary Maguire University Professor of Ethics, discussed President Obama and Christian realism with The Dallas Morning News Dec. 31, 2009. Lovin has written a book on the subject, Christian Realism and the New Realities, published by Cambridge University Press.

Scott MacDonald, Southwestern Graduate School of Banking, Cox School of Business, talked about how small businesses have felt the pinch as banks cut back on lending in the wake of the financial crisis with The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Dec. 27, 2009.

Christine Buchanan on Fox 4 NewsChristine Buchanan (left), Biological Sciences, Dedman College, discussed the dangers of catching salmonella from illegally sold baby turtles with Fox 4 News Nov. 11, 2009. Watch the video. video

January 19, 2010|Faculty in the News|

Faculty in the News: Nov. 17, 2009

Al Armendariz, Environmental and Civil Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, was profiled as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 6 in The Austin American-Statesman Nov. 16, 2009. In addition, musician Don Henley talked about Armendariz’s EPA appointment for an article that appeared in The Boston Herald Nov. 9, 2009.

Matt Wilson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about how the abortion issue could split Democrats in the struggle for votes on health care reform in an article for Reuters that appeared in Vision.org Nov. 14, 2009.

R. Gerald Turner, SMU President, and University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. Kirwan wrote as co-chairs of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics about the need for reform in college athletics funding in a letter published by USA Today Nov. 13, 2009.

Bernard Weinstein, Maguire Energy Institute, Cox School of Business, wrote about the potential for natural gas to transform the global energy market in a letter published by The Wall Street Journal Nov. 9, 2009.

Gary Keith Brubaker, The Guildhall at SMU, talked about how video games based in history spur interest in learning more about the past for a Reuters article published Nov. 13, 2009.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about why the Obama Administration must be careful about calling the Ft. Hood shootings an act of terrorism in an article that appeared in The San Francisco Examiner Nov. 10, 2009.

November 17, 2009|Faculty in the News|

Al Armendariz named to Environmental Protection Agency

Al ArmendarizAl Armendariz, SMU associate professor of environmental and civil engineering, is President Barack Obama‘s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency‘s Region 6, which includes Texas – the nation’s largest producer of industrial air pollution – and four other southwestern states.

“I look forward to working closely with Al Armendariz on the range of urgent environmental issues we face, in region 6 and across the nation,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, who announced the appointment. “At this moment of great challenge and even greater opportunity, I’m thrilled that Al will be part of our leadership team at EPA. He will certainly play an instrumental role in our Agency’s mission to protect our health and the environment.”

Regional EPA administrators promote state and local environmental protection efforts and serve as a liaison between Jackson and state and local government officials. Armendariz takes the helm at Region 6 at a time when the EPA has made it clear that Texas pollution enforcement standards are not high enough and must meet federal Clean Air Act requirements followed by other states.

“I think it’s fair to say that the new administration, the President and Lisa Jackson have put EPA on a new course to better protect the environment and I’m happy to be part of the team,” Armendariz said. “I think it’s pretty obvious to the regulated industries and the environmental groups and the politicians that what EPA is doing now is a big departure from what EPA has been doing for a number of years. It’s an exciting time.”

Region 6 includes the states of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, as well as 66 Indian tribes. While on leave, Armendariz will retain his appointment with SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering.

“We are thrilled that Al Armendariz’ work in improving our living and working environments has been recognized by the President and EPA Administrator,” said Geoffrey Orsak, dean of the Lyle School. “Al is an extraordinarily talented, insightful and balanced engineer who will make a significant contribution to our nation and region.”

“I am very excited and I’m looking forward to joining the administration,” Armendariz said. “I’ve greatly enjoyed being at SMU. It’s been a fantastic place to work and I’ve had the support of Dean Orsak and Dr. (R. Gerald) Turner for all my activities. It’s been a great place to teach and do research, and I look forward to continuing my association with SMU for years to come.”

Armendariz joined SMU in 2002 after receiving his Ph.D in environmental engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health. He worked as a research assistant at the MIT Center for Global Change Science at their Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratory in Massachusetts, and at the Radian Corporation in North Carolina as a chemical engineer, before joining the SMU faculty. He also spent a summer on special assignment to EPA’s Dallas office as an environmental scientist.

Learn more from SMU News

November 10, 2009|News|

Faculty in the News: Nov. 10, 2009

Brian Bruce, ENCAP Investments & LCM Group Alternative Asset Management Center, Cox School of Business, talked about rebuilding a retirement portfolio in a tumultuous economic climate with The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Nov. 8, 2009.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, discussed the confusing language of Texas’ constitutional amendment propositions and its impact on voters with The Wall Street Journal Nov. 4, 2009.

Al Armendariz, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, discussed pollution and health concerns raised by natural gas drilling in Texas’ Barnett Shale as part of a segment for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” Nov. 3, 2009. audio

November 10, 2009|Faculty in the News|
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