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Open house to celebrate centennial with workshops and time capsule

Tania Moran
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UTEP will have a full itinerary of events scheduled to take place April 10-12 at it’s first-ever comprehensive Open House.

In honor of the centennial celebration, each college at UTEP will present a unique aspect of their specialization, promoting recognition of the accomplishments achieved by UTEP in the past 100 years.

Krystal Ceniceros, junior organizational and corporate communication major, said she is excited about the upcoming Open House.

“We are asking colleges for items that we can put in a time capsule. We are going to have students, alums and upcoming students be able to put in their part in the capsule,” Ceniceros said. “The time capsule will also be an online museum so we are going try to put a camera so you can see inside.”

The capsule is a class project for the Department of Communication and will be buried at the end of the celebration of the centennial, when the new Centennial Plaza is completed.

Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Patricia Witherspoon, who is one of the organizers for the Open House, said students, alumni and visitors will be able to take part in each college in an interactive way.

“It will be just a wonderful three days to see and experience UTEP,” Witherspoon said. “There will be tours of labs, departments will show videos and talk about their history as well as demonstrations by students in engineering.”

She said that she is especially excited about the hands-on aspect of the demonstrations. The public will get to actually be able to delve into the college and experience a taste of what students in each discipline learn. The simulation lab in the College of Health Sciences Building, Witherspoon said, will offer demonstrations about how they teach their students in the health care fields. The public may also stroll down to the College of Engineering and look at the accomplishments and advancements that the metallurgy department’s students have made over the years and see them perform on their steel drums.

Lawrence Murr, chair of the metallurgical and materials engineering department, said they will have a big display in the lobby of the College of Engineering Building.

“It will be called UTEP Steel Drum Legacy Gallery, where we will feature all the things that we have done with the Caribbean steel drums,” Murr said.

UTEP’s Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering has been collaborating with the Department of Music since 1996 in their research regarding the making of steel drums and performance. Along with performing arts, there is a visual aspect through posters that have been designed throughout the last 18 years.

“We will display all the posters as a representation of the collaboration between the visual and performing arts along with the science and engineering,” Murr said.

According to Murr, the steel drum is the only instrument developed in the 20th century. He said the instrument has extremely unique characteristics because it’s chromatic and carries harmonics—something very unique for an instrument made out of steel.

“We have done a lot of research on the metallurgy and the physics of what makes it work,” Murr said.

The music and engineering students will be preforming at the Open House as the steel drum group called Pandemonium.

Witherspoon said the Open House is an effort to unify students, alumni and anyone who wants to participate in the event. It is also great opportunity for incoming students from
local high schools to visit the campus that weekend.

The highlight for this weekend’s event is a tour of the campus transformation, including a chance for people to get a peek at the construction progress of the new Centennial Plaza.

Madeline Carnera, freshmen creative writing major, says she hadns not heard about the Open House.

“I think it’s a good way to promote the school,” Carnera said. “It’s a great idea, I just think it needs to be promoted more.”

A feature offered to attendees is an interactive app that was developed by Academic Technologies. It will provide a map of the campus. Witherspoon said the app will allow people to click on a building and see the times and activities from that college along with directions to that building.

Witherspoon said this kind of campus-wide participation has never been done in one weekend at UTEP before.

All events are free and open to the public, and parking will be free in the Sun Bowl and Schuster parking garages. For more information and the times for each event, go to You may also download the free app from the site.

Helen Yip may be reached at [email protected]

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Open house to celebrate centennial with workshops and time capsule