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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Issue 35, Volume 79



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Students discredit bank charges

Nanotech company awarded

Olivia Shultze Staff writer

Nationwide complaints have mounted against Higher One, the banking institution that distributes financial aid to hundreds of universities, including UH. Many students rely on this aid to pay for rent, books, groceries and other expenses. “Debit card purchases, ATM fees and international transaction fees are just some of the extra fees that students have encountered. Other more drastically impactful fees, such as inactivity fees, have been dropped recently due to

complaints,” said Shoba Lemoine, a marketing respresentative for Higher One, in an interview with the Houston Chronicle. Still, PIN-based transaction fees are causing some students strife. “I think it’s really unfair. We should know what we’re getting into,” said psychology sophomore Christian Lancaster, who likes the idea of higher visibility for Higher One. “The workers should tell us the fees and everything so that we don’t just have a sudden charge on our account.” HIGHER ONE continues on page 3

Rebecca Heliot Contributing writer

you came to visit, but you also feel like you’ve failed. Everything you’ve worked for ... comes to an abrupt halt.” It was tough for head coach Tony Levine to watch Piland struggle with concussion symptoms while he was

Nanotechnology company C-Voltaics, which was launched in the Energy Research Park, was awarded the 2013 Goradia Innovation Grand Prize on Oct. 9 by the Houston Technology Center. Physics assistant professor Nigel Alley, a researcher for the Institute for NanoEnergy, was elated that his work received great recognition, helping to launch his customer base. “It’s always nice to see your work succeed and (to Curran have) people recognize it and the amount of work that went into it,” Alley said. “It’s been a long road developing it … and it helps to get the word out there that we are ready (to do) business and looking to sell to people.” The product’s success can impact University infrastructure by providing it more research credit and a higher rank and by attracting more prestigious faculty. Director of the Institute for NanoEnergy and physics associate professor Seamus Curran said that the project could be a long-lasting source of revenue. “Essentially, the University has taken an equity position, which means they own shares to the company. But they also have a royalty on the IP of the intellectual property,” Curran said. “Let’s say, for every dollar that we sell, the University gets a couple of cents … If this were to turn into a billiondollar project, the University would benefit from royalties every year for the next 15 to 20 years.” C-Voltaics began its efforts to prevent hurricane damages to houses after Hurricane Ike. This meant finding a product that would produce hydrophobic materials, such as glass and wood. The company recently extended the product to protect other materials, such as

PILAND continues on page 7

NANOTECH continues on page 3

Students are questioning Higher One on some of its fees associated with their student refund-cards. | Justin Tijerina/The Daily Cougar

Having to make this decision is letting go of everything you know — everything you’ve ever done in your life. All I’ve ever done is school and football since I can remember. Since I was 5.” David Piland, on his decision to quit football after at least seven concussions

Junior quarterback David Piland suffered two concussions when he was in seventh grade, causing him to sit out in eighth grade. | Justin Tijerina/The Daily Cougar


Forced to hang up his helmet Christopher Shelton Sports editor

David Piland couldn’t get comfortable while lying in his hospital bed. After sustaining a concussion on Sept. 7, he felt nauseous with any light and motion — just walking to the bathroom or too much

movement due to bedside guests made the junior quarterback feel sick. Piland couldn’t enjoy his favorite television shows, because he was suffering from blurry vision. He could hear but not see well. Worst of all for Piland, when thoughts that his football career

could be over crept into his mind, he felt like he had let his coaches and teammates down. “I thought in the hospital, ‘This is probably it.’ It’s one of those moments where, as much as you can’t get out of bed, you don’t want to,” Piland said. “It’s hard enough to see the people who care about

The Daily Cougar

2 \\ Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Join the


Program Includes;




Information & Application

Center for Student Involvement 278 & 280 University Center 832.842.6245

Apply Online by Sunday

November 3, 2013

Meeting: President and Chancellor Renu Khator will present at a community roundtable on new hire onboarding, staff engagement and professional development from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Rockwell Pavilion on the second floor of the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library. Discussion: The Women’s Resource Center will play an episode of the American comedy-drama series “Orange is the New Black” and then will talk about it in the context of sexual discourse from noon to 1 p.m. on the second floor of the University Center. Train: The Division of Research will sponsor the “InfoEd Training: Creating a Complete Proposal” to offer a comprehensive tutorial on creating a proposal, including abstracts, budgets, personnel details, biographical sketches and protocols from 1 to 3 p.m. in Room 407 of the Ezekiel W. Cullen Building.

Friday Give: Participate in Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the Houston Area Women’s Center Formula and Diaper Drive by donating items to provide for women and children in need of support to escape abusive homes from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Donation drive locations are at the Women’s Resource Center in Room 279A of the University Center and at Room 624 of Agnes Arnold Hall. Lecture: International entrepreneur and guest speaker Sam DaleyHarris will lecture on “Challenging World Poverty and Climate Change through Civic Action” from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Melcher Hall, Room 150. Acting: Student Video Network will host a student-run acting class by Student Video Network from 1 to 2 p.m. in the University Center’s Bayou City Room 202. Music: The little-known opera “The Italian Straw Hat” will have its opening night from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Moores Opera Center. Tickets are $12 for students and seniors and $20 for the general public. Theater : The play “Blood Wedding,” a whirlwind story of marriage and murder, will be presented from 8 to 10 p.m. at the School of Theater and Dance in the Quintero Theater.

Saturday Football: ESPNews will broadcast the Cougars’ away game at 11 a.m. against Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ.

If you would like to suggest an event for The Daily Cougar calendar, please submit a time, date, location and brief description to The Cougar calendar runs every Monday and Thursday.

CONTACT US Newsroom (713) 743-5360

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Copy chief

ABOUT THE COUGAR The Daily Cougar is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters, and Wednesdays during the summer and online at thedailycougar. com. The Daily Cougar is supported in part by Student Service Fees. The first copy is free. Additional copies cost 25 cents. SUBSCRIPTIONS Rates are $70 per year or $40 per semester. Mail subscription requests to: Mail Subscriptions, The Daily Cougar, University of Houston, Houston, TX, 77204-4015. NEWS TIPS Send tips and story ideas to the editors. Call (713) 743-5314, e-mail news@ A “Submit news” form is available at COPYRIGHT No part of the newspaper in print or online may be reproduced without the consent of the director of Student Publications.

David Bryant

Closing editors Natalie Harms, Channler K. Hill, Jenae Sitzes

The Daily Cougar is a member of the Associated Collegiate Press.

Thursday, October 24, 2013 // 3

The Daily Cougar


Laura Gillespie




Hilton hosts hospitality Think Tank Erika Forero Staff writer

Students at the Conrad N. Hilton College were given the chance to learn from industry professionals at the college’s Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor festivities on Tuesday and Wednesday. Each October, the college brings in hospitality professionals to talk to students about an assortment of industry topics. This year, more than 20 Think Tank sessions were provided. Students attended sessions specific to their professional interests and were able to meet and network with experienced professionals. Hilton College lecturer Alexis Hoey, this year’s Hall of Honor faculty adviser, said the event is huge for the entire Hilton community. “Nearly the entire college, from the faculty to the staff to the students, is involved in some way during the festivities,” Hoey said. “The faculty act as moderators for the Think Tank panels, the staff assist with logistics of each event and student volunteers execute the setup and food and beverage service for each event.” Hilton College students not only get to hear from experts’ first-hand experiences within the hospitality industry, but are also free to ask questions during each session and network with the panel speakers. Each Think Tank panel is assigned a room in the Hilton UH, and hundreds of students float from room to room looking for something that interests them. Hotel and restaurant management junior and first-time Think Tank attendee Joy Carlen said she was eager to take advantage of the event.

HIGHER ONE continued from page 1

Students’ financial aid is deposited directly into their Higher One accounts and available for use like a debit card on the same day that funds are released from the University, but this method comes with extra, and frequently unexpected, fees. Alternatively, financial aid can be deposited in a student’s personal bank account via Higher One, but this method requires a $25 transfer fee and a waiting period of three business days, according to the Higher One fee schedule. The traditional method of receiving a refund check has been discontinued since

At this year’s Hospitality Hall of Honor week, topics at the event’s Think Tank ranged from cake decorating to studying abroad. | Carolina Trevino/The Daily Cougar “I think it’s exciting because the people that are speaking are successful and a lot of them are alumni of the Hilton College,” Carlen said. “It’s interesting to hear how they got to where they are, from starting off as a student to going out into the real world. As a student myself, that’s what I really want to know.” This year’s topics consisted of studying and working abroad, cake decorating, opening up property, upscale bar management, night life operations, starting one’s own business, sports venue trends and maintaining balance between one’s personal and professional lives, among others. Hoey says the session topics adapt to fit changes in the industry itself, and this year’s event was tailored to provide topics that the students actually wanted to learn about.

2010, according to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. These fees particularly impact students studying abroad. International conversion rates are considerably higher through Higher One than through other banks, such as Ally Bank. An additional 3 percent international transaction fee is added on top of the international ATM fee of $5, plus any fee the ATM itself charged, according to the Higher One website. Study-abroad students from UH who studied in Angers, France this summer experienced these fees when they went to withdraw money or make purchases using the Higher One card. Like many students, French and English sophomore Brad Wheeler was

HRM junior Jeremy Williams made a point to attend the Think Tank sessions this year because of how much he got out of them last year. “Last year, the sessions were really informative. I attended one about sports management and another about club management. I got to ask personal questions about whom the speakers interned with, what it was like going out into the field and eventually how they landed a good job,” Williams said. “I expect to get more connected this year. Networking is important, and this is where students can easily get it. I can meet people who can tell me real experiences, and that helps me make my own decisions. It just makes it easier on me when it comes time to graduate.”

unaware of the conversion rates before going abroad. “I probably should have looked on their website first,” he said. A new campaign to promote students’ personal banking will be initiated at upcoming freshman student orientations, said Carl Carlucci, vice president for administration and finance. The contract with Higher One is due to expire, and UH is searching for a new vendor to disperse its financial aid to its students. Carlucci is working with student leaders to review bids from other vendors.. Additional reporting by Jessica Crawford.

The Daily Cougar

4 \\ Thursday, October 24, 2013




Young mothers overcome stereotypes


hows like “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” can lead many to believe that all teenage girls who give birth at a young age live a life full of turmoil and trash. However, contrary to Blake popular belief, Mudd many of these teenagers go on to lead successful lives — even if MTV likes to show otherwise. “People should realize that every situation is different,” said health junior Jessy Mai. “Not every person is the same, and painting with such a broad brush is sometimes not the best way to go through life.” For example, biology freshman Ferdonna Crossgrove became pregnant at 14 and gave birth to her son at 15. While some may look down upon her and her past, she overcame her struggle and the obstacles that were put in her way. She graduated in the top 10 percent of her high school class and is now a student at UH. Young women might find themselves in similar shoes as Crossgrove. When asked to give advice to someone who finds themselves in her position, Crossgrove said, “Do not use your baby as an excuse. Use it as motivation.” Crossgrove is one to take her own advice. Although some would beg

for sympathy, she does not. Every day, she is motivated to succeed to make a better life for her and her child. It is truly inspirational; and Crossgrove is a great role model for us to look up to because she is defying stereotypes every day as a hard-working 18-year-old with a 4-year-old son who has her life together. “In general, I don’t like to make assumptions on stereotypes,” said chemical engineering freshman Sydnee Landry. “I’ve never understood why there is an assumption that the only teen moms are girls that had a ton of sex with a bunch of different guys.” Landry brings up a valid point. Those who do have multiple sex partners at a young age are sometimes not looked at negatively. However, if a young, unknowing and sometimes unwilling girl gets pregnant, she is a menace to society and has no morals. There is something disturbing about our society in that we are so quick to judge, yet so slow to think. On the show “Teen Mom,” the majority of young mothers’ issues are magnified and sometimes embellished to make for good television. What is not shown is the amount of success and triumph these mothers accomplish. As a whole, most of the cast members of “Teen Mom” are actually good

mothers and are providing for their children in an appropriate manner. Although growing up in a mansion in Beverly Hills to two successful entrepreneurs may be the most desirable situation — overall, the only main requirement of a parent should be to love their child. There is no doubt that all the cast members of “Teen Mom” love their children and will do anything to make them happy. Although parenting a child at such a young age is not the easiest thing in the world, Crossgrove lives by the motto “where there is a will, there is a way.” She encourages others to find support from their family or friends. Support can go a long way, and the simplest of things can go a long way in a teen mother’s life. Pre-pharmacy freshman Shay Zakaria attended high school with a close friend who became pregnant at the age of 17. “One thing she said to me was that even though it is a lot of work, it can be very rewarding and a lot of fun,” Zakaria said. Zakaria recommends thinking before speaking because words can hurt and judging someone based on their past is not a rational reason to jump to conclusions. The majority of young mothers actually have their lives together by David Delgado/The Daily Cougar

MOMS continues on page 5


Christie crosses GOP line, legalizes gay marriage


arlier this week, same-sex marriage became legal in New Jersey with the support of nearly 60 percent of state voters. New Jersey is the 14th state to approve samesex marriage. These figures mean that in nearly a fifth of the territories Bryan constituting our Washington

country, citizens can legally tie knots with whomever they want. During the summer, legalization of same-sex marriage became a talking point in incumbent New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign for the then-upcoming primaries. Christie, a Republican, indicated that he was not particularly enamored with the progress. Any gestures suggesting otherwise would’ve been ill-advised, if

THE DAILY COUGAR EDITORIAL BOARD Channler K. Hill Natalie Harms WEB EDITOR Jenae Sitzes NEWS EDITOR Laura Gillespie SPORTS EDITOR Christopher Shelton LIFE & ARTS EDITOR Paulina Rojas PHOTO EDITOR Fernando Castaldi OPINION EDITOR James Wang ASSISTANT EDITORS Jessica Crawford, Nora Olabi, Justin Tijerina, Monica Tso, Andrew Valderas EDITOR IN CHIEF


not inconceivable, simply because his party wouldn’t have supported them. Thus, it was only natural for him to bring the state’s recent decision to the Supreme Court. But then he changed his mind. That is, he has withdrawn his legal challenge to marriage against the state. The Star-Ledger reports Colin Reed’s explanation of Christie’s stance: “Although the governor

STAFF EDITORIAL The Staff Editorial reflects the opinions of The Daily Cougar Editorial Board (the members of which are listed above the editorial). All other opinions, commentaries and cartoons reflect only the opinion of the author. Opinions expressed in The Daily Cougar do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Houston or the students as a whole. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Daily Cougar welcomes letters to the editor from any member of the UH community. Letters should be no more than 250

strongly disagrees with the court’s substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law ... The governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey

words and signed, including the author’s full name, phone number or e-mail address and affiliation with the University, including classification and major. Anonymous letters will not be published. Deliver letters to Room 7, University Center Satellite; e-mail them to; send them via campus mail to STP 4015; or fax to (713) 743-5384. Letters are subject to editing. GUEST COMMENTARY Submissions are accepted from any member of the UH community and must

Supreme Court.” Decisions seldom come down to right versus wrong, but Christie’s decision allows more couples to try their hand at legal partnership, which is a good thing. But his decision, regardless of the disruption it causes within the households surrounding him, will be felt in his political career for as SECURITY continues on page 5

be signed with the author’s name, phone number or e-mail address and affiliation with the University, including classification and major. Commentary should be limited to 500 words. Guest commentaries should not be written as replies, but rather should present independent points of view. Deliver submissions to Room 7, University Center Satellite; e-mail them to; or fax them to (713) 7435384. All submissions are subject to editing.

Thursday, October 24, 2013 // 5

The Daily Cougar


Human trafficking Houston’s most terrifying horror story Arielle Stephens Guest columnist

Imagine: One morning, you wake up. You are lying on the floor in a dark, damp room. You are scared and alone. When you finally get up, you pray today will be better than yesterday, but once you hear the sound of his voice, your prayers disappear. He walks toward you with anger in his eyes, yelling at the top of his lungs. He beats you. He starves you. For days, weeks and years on end, he uses you as though you are nothing more than a piece of his property — personal slave. No one is there to help you. There is no escape. This is the reality for the 12.3 million individuals around the world who have been forced into human trafficking, according to the federal CASE Act’s online factsheet. The United Nations defines human trafficking as “the recruitment,

SECURITY continued from page 4

long as he’s a Republican. While he may have recanted, the GOP will not. Rick Perry, for sure, will never support it. Even though marijuana isn’t legal in New Jersey, Republicans have questioned Christie’s disposition in this matter as well in light of his change in position on same-sex marriage. Iowan conservatives aren’t at all excited by the ruling, as Bob Vander Plaats, one of Iowa’s more visible spokesmen, shared with the press on Monday. “Gov. Christie has basically backed away from one of the most fundamental social institutions — marriage between one man and one woman,” Plaats said. “This is not going to play well for him if he chooses to enter the Republican primary for president of the United States. It will have

MOMS continued from page 4

the time their child is born, when the responsibility of parenthood hits and their maternal instinct kick in. Young mothers are just like any other mothers — they provide for their child in every way they can and will ensure their security. Judging others by their past will not help their situation — once a

transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons by improper means — such as force, abduction, fraud or coercion — for an improper purpose, including forced labor or sexual exploitation.” Human trafficking is the second-largest and fastest-growing organized criminal industry in the world, bringing in an estimated revenue of between $9 billion and $32 billion annually, according to the General Board of Global Ministries. As reported by the U.N., at any given time, there are approximately 2.5 million people being exploited for trafficking purposes. The U.N. also reports that at least 17,500 of them will be trafficked into, or are already in, the United States. These individuals are abused, scared and sold into a life of slavery. Children At Risk shows that 25 percent of all human trafficking in the U.S. is happening in Texas. Houston has been called by the

tentacles way beyond Iowa.” Iowa has been essential to any recent president’s political aspirations. Strong words of opposition from their “big names,” regardless of the catalysts, generally don’t bode well. But our conception of marriage, despite its “traditional roots in America’s foundation,” is changing rapidly throughout the country. Republicans in New Hampshire have assured Christie that he will pull through. There are patches in the Bible Belt where “no” will continue to mean “no,” but these aren’t the only pieces of the voting puzzle. Yes, Christie has lost fans, but he’s also won quite a few. They might even be the ones that push him over the hump. It’s one more step toward widespread equality. Senior staff columnist Bryan Washington is an English junior and may be reached at

child is born, nothing can change. That young girl will always be a mother, no matter what is said, and she will try her best to take care of the child. Teen moms can become great inspirations; they show that no matter what comes their way, they will fight stereotypes, pull through and fight to succeed. Opinion columnist Blake Mudd is a journalism freshman and may be reached at

Polaris Project as one of the major hubs because of its close proximity to major industrial ports and the Mexican border. Houston business policies open the door to human trafficking by keeping lenient regulations. As a result, there are over 250 small businesses in the Houston area that are known to profit from the exploitation of women, children and men through the commercial sex industry, forced labor and domestic servitude, according to Children at Risk. Houston Mayor Annise Parker and other local representatives have voiced their concerns by sending the message that trafficking will not be tolerated in our community. City officials have created a task force to tighten existing small-business regulations in order to end human trafficking. Local representatives have also partnered with nonprofit and faith-based

organizations in Houston to educate citizens about the warning signs typical of trafficking situations and to encourage and empower survivors to share their stories and give a face to modern slavery. However, political efforts alone will not be enough to end human trafficking. Many Houston restaurants and small businesses are still forcing individuals to work for free while loyal customers turn a blind eye to it, according to the Polaris Project. That is why it is our turn to step up and take responsibility as a community for the human trafficking in Houston. My challenge to you is to become a part of the fight against human trafficking. Educate yourself on the signs of trafficking and know the hotlines and organizations you can contact if you come across something suspicious in your community. Challenge yourself to take action

and be the voice for these victims. Be a part of the fight, and together our voices will ring out for justice and for the millions of people dreaming of an escape from the epidemic of present-day slavery. Begin your fight against human trafficking and learn more about how you can be involved by attending the event “Beyond the Shadows: Open Your Eyes to Human Trafficking,” which will be hosted from 6 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 6 at the Graduate College of Social Work in Auditorium 101. Arielle Stephens is a social work graduate student and may be reached at

MORE INFO For more, find “Beyond the Shadows: Open Your Eyes to Human Trafficking” on Facebook, or email

The Daily Cougar

6 \\ Thursday, October 24, 2013


Christopher Shelton




Stewart goes from small town to big time Kathleen Murrill Senior staff writer

Half of sophomore defensive back Trevon Stewart’s hometown population could fit inside Katy High School without breaking a single fire code. Even though Stewart is from a small town, a quick look at his film will show you that he doesn’t play small. Stewart led the nation’s freshmen in tackles last year and earned a spot on Conference USA’s All-Freshman team. Now, as the UH defense transforms, everyone is expecting Stewart to be a leader on the field. “It started in the spring. (Defensive coordinator David) Gibbs told me I was a leader. So every single time I was on the field, I had to just step up and get the people around me going,” Stewart said. “I’ve just been trying to keep everyone in good spirits with positive vibes.” With 38 tackles so far this season and 10 solo tackles against BYU, Stewart hasn’t let anyone down. He’s just focusing on what Gibbs says he does best — tackling. “Trevon is a dynamic player and a great tackler. In my opinion, that is the best thing he does,” Gibbs said. “He has a knack for making big tackles, whether they are open-field tackles or close-range tackles. He also plays with a lot of emotion, so I think that’s why fans really enjoy watching him play. He just plays really hard.” Part of Stewart’s on-field success can be attributed to a different kind of competition: one between him and teammate Adrian McDonald, who, like Stewart, is a sophomore defensive back. Although the prize is less about wins on the field and more about who pays for Chinese food that night, McDonald believes the competition could lead to more victories for the

Sophomore safety Trevon Stewart earned Freshman All-American honors after leading freshmen nationally with 126 tackles. | Esteban Portillo/The Daily Cougar Cougars. “Our competition between each other improves the team, I think,” McDonald said. “If we practice whoever gets the most turnovers, that will correlate to what happens during the game. So if we practice hard and try to get the most turnovers, that is what is going to happen in the game.” And if that friendly outside competition isn’t translating to success on the field, Stewart isn’t afraid to tell his teammates. Stewart likes to

be vocal, whether he is just getting everyone pumped up or trying to correct mistakes. “I’m definitely a vocal leader. I will be fussing at Adrian McDonald on the field like I’m his daddy or something,” Stewart said. “I just like to get everything how it is supposed to be. I want it all to be perfect out there.” Yelling on the field in large stadiums while surrounded by thousands of fans is a little different than yelling on the fields Stewart played on while

growing up. From the age of five in his hometown of Patterson, La., a town about an hour west of New Orleans with about 6,000 residents, Stewart played on dirt fields in flag football matches with family and friends, with his father serving as the coach. Stewart played both sides of the ball as a child and all through high school, where he was one of the country’s top corner prospects, earning Class 3A All-State honors as a running back after rushing for 550

yards on just 80 carries. When Stewart came to UH, he was so used to playing both offense and defense that he asked to do the same for the Cougars. The coaches said no. But all those years playing in the country did teach Stewart something else that he is bringing to the selfproclaimed “Third Ward Defense” every day. “Yeah, swag, and that’s about it.”


Depth, versatility at forward provides promise Jordan Lewis Contributing writer

Guards have speed and centers have size, but forwards typically have a blend of the two, and the Cougars have depth at the position. The benefits of being deep and versatile are that the Cougars can have varied lineups on the court, and even the second unit off the bench can provide a great spark. “We’re pretty deep at every position, and I think we have maybe two or three people that can start at

every position,” said junior forward Mikhail McLean. For the forwards, defending, rebounding and taking care of the ball has been the emphasis in practice, said head coach James Dickey. The Cougars are challenging each other to get better, fighting during every practice for spots and minutes. “This is bringing the team closer together,” said junior forward Tashawn Thomas. “We all

understand what everybody is going through, and we don’t have a lot of players that are only good at just one thing.” Whether the Cougars Thomas go with a lineup of more size by playing multiple forwards together, the rotation will depend on who’s playing well and

the defensive match-ups, Dickey said. The Cougars have a number of returning forwards who expect to contribute to the team, including Thomas, McLean sophomore forward Danuel House and senior forward J.J. Richardson. Sophomore forward Danrad Knowles will also be eligible to play this season, which could provide more depth. The Cougars are striving for consistency, and in terms of leadership,

there are several forwards who could step up. Team chemistry doesn’t develop overnight, but the Cougars are looking to improve on it. “Everybody likes each other and we all have history, even back from high school,” House said. “It’s going to take some time to get on the same track, but in the meantime we all know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”

Thursday, October 24, 2013 // 7

The Daily Cougar


Junior quarterback David Piland (left) set the NCAA record for most attempts in a game without an interception last season during a 56-49 loss against Louisiana Tech at Robertson Stadium. | Justin Tijerina/The Daily Cougar

PILAND continued from page 1

in the hospital and during the 10 days at home before Piland was allowed to return to class. “To see one of your student athletes going through that, it’s like dealing with your own child,” Levine said. Concussions aren’t uncommon for Piland. He estimated that he has suffered at least seven since he began playing football, but a higher number is more likely. During middle school, Piland had to sit out during his eighth-grade football season because he suffered two concussions in one week during seventh grade. During his tenure at UH, Piland has received at least two more concussions. The cumulative effects of head trauma and the threat of future effects finally forced him to end his college football career. Piland received three different doctors’ opinions and all advised him that ending his career was the right decision. Piland, who is set to graduate with a degree in business administration in December, said transitioning to the next phase of his life was a difficult decision. Football has been a part of Piland’s life since his prepubescent years. “It was probably the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to decide on. Having to make this decision is letting go of everything you know — everything you’ve ever done in your life,” Piland said. “All I’ve ever done is school and football, since I can remember.” The concussion symptoms were becoming more severe, and suffering

the next concussion was a matter of when, not if. Today, Piland said he is fully recovered. He is back to attending classes and team meetings. He said his brain scans are normal, but with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, chasing a return to football wasn’t worth it. “I really thought I was going to come back. But then, kind of taking a step back and looking at it, it definitely wasn’t the best thing for my health to come back, even though every athlete wants to play,” Piland said. Despite this decision, Piland’s knowledge of the playbook and experience on the field isn’t going to go to waste during his last few months as an undergraduate. He helps freshman quarterback John O’Korn prepare for games. “As hard as it is for him, still to

this day, to come up here today, he does a great job helping the quarterbacks out and being around the team that he has led over the past couple of years,” said assistant head coach Travis Bush. Though it was tough to let go, Levine, a former college athlete, said what Piland is going through is a lesson for the other players on the team. “It’s a reminder to our student athletes that at some point they will be done playing the game, whether it’s by injury, or by graduation or whether it’s the NFL ... playing this game that they all love is going to end at some point, and when they see a teammate go through what David has, I think it gives some guys a dose of reality,” Levine said.




On Twitter @thedailycougar

The Daily Cougar

8 \\ Thursday, October 24, 2013


Monica Tso




Parisian flair comes to stage Nora Olabi Assistant news editor

“The Italian Straw Hat,” a lesser known operatic work coming from the man who wrote the film score and gave life to Francis Coppola’s classic, “The Godfather,” will have its opening night at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Moores Opera Center. Nino Rota’s witty, comedic opera is filled with Parisian excesses and a wedding that spirals out of control. Director and producer of the Moores Opera Center Buck Ross has diligently worked with the budding musicians to create a memorable experience. He is a fan of Rota’s film scores and has been looking forward to putting on the opera. “This is a wonderfully entertaining opera that has everything a traditional opera lover would want. It’s tuneful, very fast, very funny, not too long and with lavish costumes,” Ross said. “It’s a piece that every opera company should be doing all the time.” For vocal performance sophomore and opera chorus member Jazmine Olwalia, the opening night of “Italian Straw Hat” is a night she has been looking forward to. Since the second week of school, every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, the cast has worked hard. “When a lot of people hear the

word opera, they think of long, boring shows in foreign languages sung by an older lady who sings high notes and breaks everyone’s glasses. But this is not the case,” Olwalia said. “This opera is fun and lively and features people our age dancing and singing and having a great time.” Putting together an opera takes more than just singers; orchestral musicians have a part to play, too. For three weeks, instrumentalists who are part of the opera’s orchestra have been sweating it out. They have to play from the dimly-lit pit with only their ears and a conductor’s baton as their guide. First-year graduate student Gisela Escobar said she was excited to have the opportunity to play as assistant principal second violinist in this light-hearted opera. “The opera is ... fun and ecstatic Italian music. The audience should expect to be very entertained and excited, not only by the theme of the opera, but also by the energy and talent that everyone is giving for this opera,” Escobar said. New and old opera enthusiasts will find much to love about Rota’s characters. “For those who have never been to an opera, it will feel just like going to a popular play with music,” Ross said.

The comedy opera, “The Italian Straw Hat,” composed by Nino Rota, who wrote the film score for “The Godfather,” will be open at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in the Moores Opera Center. | Courtesy of UH


Music school helps jazz pianist find rhythm Bryan Dupont-Gray Staff writer

Music arts doctorate student and jazz musician Henry Darragh anticipates the release of his second album on Nov. 17 at the Ovations Night Club. | Courtesy of Stephanie Leinhard

As a Moores School of Music graduate who is currently pursuing his doctorate in music arts, Henry Darragh and his relationship with jazz have come a long way since learning how to play piano in his youth alongside his mother, Jacque Darragh, a gospel singer who has four album releases under her belt. With the release of Darragh’s “Tell Her for Me” album and his live performance of an anticipated second album on Nov. 17 at the Ovations Night Club, the pianist, vocalist and trombonist pays much tribute to his mother. “I was just a couple of years old when I started playing. My mom would get up on the seat, because she plays, and I always wanted to play growing up,” Darragh said. “She would be the one who would tell you that I’m the better musician in the family. She taught me a lot, especially about handling CD packaging.”

Though he took a liking to listening to and studying the intricacies of classical music throughout middle school and high school, the appeal and compositions of jazz music lassoed Henry in the long run. The inspiration drawn from jazz artists like Miles Davis and Esperanza Spalding, combined with his constant exposure and devotion to the trombone since turning 12 years old, made jazz music something of a necessity for him. He couldn’t escape the charming attributes that jazz had to offer, and with the help of Moores and its variety of opportunities to perform, Darragh was perfectly comfortable. “Being at the music school, I have been able to play alongside many jazz journeymen. Names include Seamus Blake, Lew Soloff, Randy Brecker, Brian Lynch, Edsel Gomez and many others. I participated in Mr. Stuart Ostrow’s theater lab and wrote music for two new musicals while I was an undergrad,” Darragh said. “Honestly, I think jazz is better

than the other forms of music that I listen to. There’s just a certain element about jazz that I’m attracted to. It’s hard to put a name on it.” Henry also had it in his mind to release some of his own music as a solo artist while attending classes at Moores. His 11-track album “Tell Her for Me,” released in 2009, is filled with eclectic, smooth and swingy jazz music performances by him and the members of his sextet band, who have developed a huge personal and working relationship in the last 10 years. “I probably wanted to release that album for many years. I would write down in my head my dream band and who’s going to play on it. As I worked more as a musician, I played some small group gigs and played with certain people,” Darragh said. “When the time came to the point where I really felt like I had something to say and when it got to JAZZ continues on page 9

Thursday, October 24, 2013 // 9

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Making magic with words Spoken word and poetry artist Katie Wirsing made her UH debut during her performance on Tuesday at the UC. Asad Badat/The Daily Cougar

JAZZ continued from page 8

where I had enough music, I called on a lot of those people that I liked playing with.” One of these members of Henry’s entourage, trombonist Andre Hayward, has found that he and Darragh resonate well in any music they perform together. “Me and Henry actually share the same religious qualities in terms of just a church background,” Hayward said. “His spirituality is deeply embedded into the knowledge of music, so what you would often hear from Henry — whether he would sing, play trombone or piano — there’s a lot of experiences coming through his composition.” Bassist Glen Ackerman, another sextet member, also blended well with Darragh when it came to the band’s jazz chemistry. “(Darragh is) a musically sensitive individual. If you went to see a jazz performance, it would be like listening to a very gripping conversation, or a debate between two like-minded people. Of course, in a conversational state you have to listen to what the other person is saying, so Henry’s a sensitive listener in that regard,” Ackerman said. Darragh also has what he calls an “overbooked” schedule. In addition to taking classes for the completion of his doctorate, Darragh also teaches

private piano and voice lessons at a West University studio provided by the Writers on the Round. He also regularly plays at restaurants such as Eddie V’s, Perry’s Steakhouse and Ouisie’s Table, to name a few. Darragh enjoys appearing at these venues and providing music to compliment the food, but the real anchor for him, as he also expects for his Nov. 17 performance, is being able to play for audiences who are strictly appreciative of his craft. The subject matter of the listening session, which will also be recorded and released as a full album, is said to take a turn that is markedly different from the love-gone-wrong tale presented in “Tell Her For Me.” Instead, the next album will not only focus on love, but also on having physical, emotional and spiritual self-balance. For Darragh, being able to showcase his expressions through jazz to interested listeners helps keep his balance. “I’ve played at a lot of different situations, and it’s different every time. By and large, we’re ignored when we play at restaurants, and we’re really only playing for each other or for other musicians,” Darragh said. “This gig next month we’ll be playing for a listening room. People are going there to listen. They’re not going in there because it’s cocktail hour or because they got some steaks on the grill. That’s where it’s different.”

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ACROSS 1 Communion site 6 Circumference segment 9 Fruit derived from a single ovary 14 Positive thinker Norman Vincent 15 “___ Blas” 16 “It’s ___ time!” 17 Jockey wear 18 Night before a major holiday 19 So much, musically 20 Have a survivor story 23 “Open ___ midnight” 24 Frequent bagel topper 25 Farmer’s tipcart 27 Flier’s “classy” choice 32 Pacific food staple 33 “That turns my stomach!” 34 Bent an elbow, so to speak 36 Payments to cross a bridge 39 Went down a chute 41 Sound a


44 46

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DOWN 1 Chapel recess 2 Flowery necklaces 3 Soft mineral 4 Acid neutralizer 5 Give an answer 6 Like cheese or whiskey 7 Tear asunder 8 Athlete’s shoe part 9 It keeps water off the floor 10 “Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice” org. 11 Pantyhose type 12 Sweetie pie 13 Circular coral reef island 21 Put forth, as effort 22 Boy king of ancient Egypt 26 Frat boys, slangily 27 What Moses saw burning 28 Type of tangelo 29 With a look not to be trusted

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30 Carpenters’ tools 31 Buttons alternative 35 Felt in one’s bones 37 Folk knowledge 38 “___ Smile” (Hall and Oates hit) 40 Watch part 42 Ones in a gaggle 45 Extravagant pitcher 47 Tall cedars 50 Raggedy redhead 52 Aglow at dusk 53 Material that’s worsted for wear? 54 Small hill 55 Exercise by Chopin 59 “___ go bragh!” 60 Cantaloupe castoff 61 Baseball team minimum 62 Put through the paces 63 Singles 65 “Honest” presidential nickname

Thursday, October 24, 2013 // 11

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UH team works to find cancer cure Andrea Pizzolo Contributing writer

A research team at the University is working on finding new ways to treat triplenegative breast cancer, the only subtype of breast cancer that doesn’t have a targeted gene therapy. Triple-negative breast cancer is lack of the three receptors that fuel most breast cancers. Biology senior Marisa Simon, who received an undergraduate research fellowship this summer to work on the project, explained the added difficulties of this form of cancer. “Unlike the other breast cancer subtypes, TNBC does not over-express progesterone, estrogen or human epidermal growth factor receptors,” Simon said. “Therefore, the cancer can’t be targeted based on the receptors for these hormones.” The research team, led by assistant professor Cecilia Williams, is working with the maternal embryonic leucine-zipper kinase protein to find a different way of treating

TNBC. Williams discovered that MELK was found in stem-like mammary cells, but disappeared as those cells developed. Then, the team found that the mammary stem-like cells shared major gene expression with the TNBC subtype and that MELK expression correlates with poor prognosis in breast cancer. “We believe that targeting MELK, or the mechanism that MELK is involved in, can help improving the poor prognosis of this breast cancer subtype,” Williams said. “Now, our first aim (is) to understand the role of MELK for mammary stem cells and for TNBC and then to explore its use for better treatments.” Simon said Williams is a well-known cancer researcher who has authored many publications and her work has greatly contributed to the knowledge and understanding of various types breast cancer. Cell and molecular biology graduate student Jun Wang, who is also working with Williams, is researching other methods to treat

Assistant professor Cecilia Williams is doing double duty. She is finding ways to combat triplenegative breast cancer and helping students get experience with research. | Courtesy of TNBC. “I’m working on the microRNA therapy against triple-negative breast cancer. Different from the MELK or other tumor suppressor genes, microRNAs are not coded for protein translation,” Wang said. “Abnormal expression or de-regulation of these microRNAs is associated with tumorigenesis and metastasis in breast cancer. Therefore, understanding their function in cell proliferation, apoptosis and cell mobility could provide a new implement to treat breast cancer patients, especially (those with) TNBC, which lacks efficient therapy so far.” Research started in 2005, when Williams was a scientist at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. She became interested in the stem


Getting creamed

continued from page 1

paint and fabric. Since winning the Goradia Innovation Grand Prize, C-Voltaics has been contacted by even more businesses. In s t i t u t e f o r Na n o E n e rg y research scientist Kang-Shyang Liao is focusing on the importance of understanding the mechanism of the product to further its success. “You need to understand each material,” Liao said. “ T h e re’s n o simple answer Alley to solve every problem. You need a special solution. Essentially, you want to do better than other brands. You need to have a specific formula for specific types of materials.” Eventually, C-Voltaics intends to make products that are available to individual consumers in addition to larger businesses. It is meant to differ from its competitors by providing a product that won’t wash away very quickly. Fabric coatings usually wash away in every wash, but C-Voltaics’ material is said to last up to 15 washes. “Now, you can go out and wear white denim and drink red wine and not worry about spills,”Alley said.

cell characteristics of breast cancer and initiated a study to explore the genome-wide changes that stem cell-like cells go through when they are differentiated into functional cells. Along with Simon and Wang, other UH students that are participating in this research are working on understanding the role of MELK, ER-positive breast cancers and detailing the role of estrogen. “I hope we will uncover important roles of this protein in TNBC that can be used to design significantly better treatments than what are available today for this tumor type,” Williams said.

Members of the Lambda Phi Epsilon fraternity took “pies” of shaving cream to the face for charity on Wednesday. One dollar bought one pie, and students lined up to participate. All proceeds went to the Be The Match bone marrow donor registry drive. Fernando Castaldi/The Daily Cougar

-Visit the University Center -Guess the combined weight of all 3 pumpkins and be entered into a drawing to win a $100 Kroger gift card -First student to guess the weight will be declared the winner (within 5 lbs.) -To qualify you must be a UH student enrolled in at least 3 semester hours

12 \\ Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Daily Cougar

Volume 79, Issue 35  

Concussions force UH QB Piland to hang up his helmet, and UH-based nanotech company claims prize from Houston Technology Center

Volume 79, Issue 35  

Concussions force UH QB Piland to hang up his helmet, and UH-based nanotech company claims prize from Houston Technology Center