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President Making a difference high-quality education supports student success

The No r t h Texan U n i v e r si ty R e l at i o n s ,

D esi g n e r s

Co m m u n i c at i o n s a n d


M a r k e t i n g L e a d e r sh i p

k i t yo u n g

(’ 0 6)

V i ce P r esi d e n t D e b o r a h L e l i a e rt

( ’ 9 6 M . E d.)

P h oto g r a p h e r s Jana Birchum

A ss o ci at e V i ce P r esi d e n t

M i c h a e l Cl e m e n ts

M a rty N e w m a n

B r a d H o lt

( ’ 02 M . J .)

(’ 0 9)

G a r y Pay n e A ss i sta n t V i ce P r esi d e n t K e l l e y R e ese

(’ 99)

J o n at h a n R e y n o l ds


Writers D i r ec to r s

c a r o ly n b o b o

J i m my F r i e n d

E r n est i n e B o u s q u e t

K e n n M o ff i tt

J essi c a D e L eó n

Dena Moore

N a n c y Ko l st i

R o l a n d o N . R i va s

A d r i e n n e N e tt l es Bu d dy P r i ce E l l e n R osse tt i

(’ 0 0 , ’ 0 8 M . J . )

M a n ag i n g E d i t o r

L esl i e W i m m e r

(’ 07 )

A lyssa ya n ce y

(’ 1 1 M . J . )

J u l i e E l l i ot t Pay n e

( ’ 97)

E d i to r s

O n l i n e Co m m u n i c at i o n s

R a n d e n a Hu l st r a n d Jill King

Jonathan Reynolds

M ag a z i n e S ta ff

( ’ 88, ’ 07 M . J . )

E r i c Va n d e r g r i ff

( ’ 9 3 M . S ., ’ 00 M . A .)

P r o j ec t T r a ff i c O n l i n e E d i to r

L au r a R o b i n s o n

M i ch e l l e H a l e St u d e n t Co n t r i b u to r s A rt D i r ec to r Se a n Z e i g l e r

L e i g h da n i e l s ( ’ 00)

AMY HILLBERRY c r ysta l h o l l i s

P h oto E d i t o r

Mollie jamison

Angilee Wilkerson


I n t eg r at e d B r a n d i n g J oy H o u se r

The North Texan (ISSN 0468-6659) is published four times a year (in March, June, September and December) by the University of North Texas, 1155 Union Circle #311070, Denton, Texas 76203-5017, for distribution to alumni and friends of the university. Periodicals postage paid at Denton, Texas, and at additional mailing offices. The diverse views on matters of public interest that are presented in The North Texan do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the university. Publications staff can be reached at or 940-565-2108. It is the policy of the University of North Texas not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability (where reasonable accommodations can be made), disabled veteran status or veteran of the Vietnam era status in its educational programs, activities, admission or employment policies. In addition to complying with federal and state equal opportunity laws and regulations, the university through its diversity policy declares harassment based on individual differences (including sexual orientation) inconsistent with its mission and educational goals. Direct questions or concerns to the equal opportunity office, 940565-2759, or the dean of students, 940-565-2648. TTY access is available at 940-369-8652. Postmaster: Please send requests for changes of address, accompanied if possible by old address labels, to the University of North Texas, University Relations, Communications and Marketing, 1155 Union Circle #311070, Denton, Texas 762035017. The UNT System and the University of North Texas are the owners of all of their trademarks, service marks, trade names, slogans, graphic images and photography and they may not be used without permission.


V. Lane Rawlins President

URCM 9/12 (13-001)



No r t h Texa n

Energized by our four bold goals, UNT has great momentum going into this academic year. We’ve welcomed another talented, large freshman class this fall after graduating more than 8,700 students in 2011-12 — our largest class to date. Both are signs that UNT’s focus on providing a high-quality comprehensive education is attracting strong, degree-focused students. And we President V. Lane Rawlins visits with students and have committed faculty and staff welcomes them back for the fall semester. members to help our students succeed. I’m proud to announce that UNT’s distinguished faculty body now includes two National Academy members, with a third joining us in February (see page 32). This gives our students more opportunities to learn from leading innovators. Our staff members are standouts, too. They go above and beyond to give our students support and resources, and many are being recognized nationally for their service. Every faculty and staff member here is dedicated to our promise to provide students with a high-quality education and great support for a fulfilling college experience. We’re also extending our presence in the North Texas region, from remaining a pacesetter in teacher education as one of the nation’s top colleges of education (see page 24) to opening UNT’s Kristin Farmer Autism Center to provide help and research for individuals and families struggling with autism (see pages 16 and 30). I hope you will join me in cheering on the Mean Green during our last year in the Sun Belt Conference before we move to Conference USA. The conference will raise the stakes for us in competition, national media exposure and name recognition. These advances are about giving our students the ultimate educational experience, with the knowledge and skills they need to get ahead. UNT students are the backbone of the Texas workforce and economy, and it’s because of them that we do such a good job of supporting Texas communities and businesses.



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2 0 1 2



Kristin Farmer

Alumna shares passion for children with autism and their families as benefactor of new UNT center. By Leslie Wimmer

30 Power of Place

 UNT’s new Kristin Farmer Autism Center offers treatment, education and research. By Leslie Wimmer

32 Plant Signaling Matthew Lester

Plant researchers impact our food, health and environment. By Alyssa Yancey

36 Mean Green

Season two in UNT’s Apogee Stadium. DEPARTMENTS F R O M O U R P R E S I D E N T • 2 Jonathan Reynolds


Supporting student success D E A R N O R T H T E X A N • 5

Bill Mercer ... Track great ... A courtin’ spot and other favorites UNT TODAY • 8

Shaping the Future

Enriching summer ... Energy grant ... Green Pride ... Cultural learning ... Ask an Expert

a lu mni co ntin u e u nt ’ s r i c h l e g a c y in e d u c ati o n — a s t e a c h e r s , co u ns e lo r s , s u p e r int e n d e nts a n d p o l i c y m a k e r s — s h a r ing t h e i r kn ow l e d g e

U N T M U S E • 1 9

Mean Green Blue Man … Tandy Cronyn visit ... Symphony meets jazz ... Jack Sprague honor

a n d inspi r ati o n w it h st u d e nts a n d p e e r s . EAGLES’ NEST • 39

By Jessica DeLeón

Outstanding journalist ... Connecting With Friends ... Luxury travel by design ... Talons fraternity reunion ... Friends We’ll Miss L A S T W O R D • 4 8

Cover: High school math teacher Danielli Costa (’11). Above: Principal Andra Penny

Interim dean of the Mayborn School, Roy Busby (’59, ’66 M.B.A.), celebrates 50 years at UNT.

(’73, ’76 M.Ed., ’96 Ph.D.). Photography by Jonathan Reynolds Fall 2012




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n o r t ht exan .u /on li n e

ONLINE FEATURES Welcome back video See how UNT rolled out the Brad Holt

green carpet to welcome students back

to campus for the fall semester. Behind the scenes Check out a behind-theGary Payne

scenes slide show featuring UNT basketball star

Tony Mitchell being photographed for The North Texan (page 38).

MORE ONLINE FEATURES • Video: plant signaling • student publication: online fashion magazine • video: UNT wind turbines • download: unt alma mater and fight song Jonathan Reynolds

Most Fun Town

T h is s u mm e r , d e nto n wa s na m e d a fina l ist f o r t h e “ m o st f u n sm a l l tow n in a m e r i ca” in r a n d m c n a lly a n d us a to day ’ s “ b e st o f t h e Roa d” co nt e st. wat c h a v i d e o to h e a r d e nto nit e s ta l k a b o u t w h y o u r c it y is s u c h a f u n p l ac e to l i v e .

When you see this arrow, join our North Texan community online at



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Fall 2012

GET CONNECTED Connect with us on Facebook at northtexas. Follow us at northtexan. Don’t forget to check in on Foursquare when you visit campus. Visit The North Texan online to: • Keep up with what’s happening between issues of The North Texan • Tell us what you think about our stories • Learn more about your fellow alumni • Write memorials about friends we’ll miss • Enjoy an array of additional stories, photos, videos and recordings


North Texan Let us know what you think about news and topics covered in The North Texan. Letters may be edited for length and publication style. Read more letters and share your comments at

Bill Mercer

from the rest and this honor is overdue and incredibly well deserved. Alan Gordon (’75) Peoria, Ill.

Track great Bill Mercer (namesake of the new Apogee Stadium press club, “The Voice of North Texas,” summer 2012) came from a generation of broadcasters who realized that they weren’t the game. Their job was to describe it to us so we could feel as if we were there, feeling the passions of each gain or loss, run or basket scored, or even the dreaded sleeper hold. In Dallas alone, we had Bill, Frank Glieber and Verne Lundquist. Nationally, it was Vin Scully and Jack Buck, men who wanted their words to make whatever action they were describing real. Bill’s diversity, his unique abilities, as a broadcaster, teacher and human being, set him apart

Olympic track and field events make me think of my friend Max Goldsmith (’47), who was an official at the 1992 Olympic trials in New Orleans. He never became one of the great world athletes, but if you ever attend a gathering of track and field coaches, athletes or just plain enthusiasts, his name always surfaces. When he coached at Andrews High School in the ’50s and ’60s, his track teams won five state championships and set national records. He was named Texas Coach of the

production of Noel Coward’s Private Lives he directed during the summer. He was a wonderful man and a great professor. He made my time at UNT go quickly and he even “hooded” me at graduation. He will be remembered by this alum! Karen Nichols (’88 M.S.) Beaumont

Year three times. He also coached and served as athletics director at Lewisville, where the football stadium bears his name. Max refereed high school and college track and field for almost 30 years and has been inducted into four halls of fame, including UNT’s. He is often called a quiet man, but I always say he is quite a man. Victor Rodriguez (’55, ’62 M.S.), North Texas track, 1952-1955, retired superintendent San Antonio

A great professor I was sad to see the obituary for Dr. Ralph Culp (“Friends We’ll Miss,” summer 2012). I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Culp and the dance and drama department while I was getting my master’s degree in library science from 1987 to 1988. I worked in the costume shop and the departmental office and assisted with a

Fall 2012


Meticulous scholar The winter issue of The North Texan reported the death of former history professor W.T. Hagan. I had the privilege to be one of Dr. Hagan’s students, to be his assistant as we collected information for and he wrote his first book on American Indians (I think the department paid 65 cents an hour), and to know him and his family as friends in later years. He was a tough-minded man who was a meticulous scholar and a magnetic classroom lecturer. He expected honest effort from his students and he tolerated no cheating. For years after undergraduate work, I would hear comments from other graduates, some of whom were not even in Dr. Hagan’s classes, that he influenced their lives more than any other professor. Al Murdock (’58) Denton



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North Texan

The pond

The fish pond (“Places on campus,” summer 2012) certainly has special memories for me. I grew up across the street on Avenue B. My parents owned a large rooming house and a grocery and school supply store, later with a cafe. The campus was my playground as a child. We caught tadpoles at the pond in a fruit jar and watched them grow into frogs. We attended the Demonstration School on campus, and the pond was a part of our science studies. It was a splendid place to grow up. As a college student, I spent time on the park benches with boyfriends. We discussed the future and our dreams. This shady area was my own “secret” place. Mary D. Balthrop Lankford (’52) Lakeway The pond was a wonderful little oasis on the way to the old English building! Once in 1964, I carelessly dropped a beautiful and rather old Bulova wrist watch in the water there. I was so devastated, I didn’t even bother to “fish” it out.



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The same year, I ran into a young lady there who had gone to elementary school with me 10 years before. She had come up from San Antonio to attend North Texas — memories that have not crossed my mind in 48 years, until the summer North Texan arrived! John T. Brown (’68) Haltom City

I remember the campus fish pond very well. It was the “courtin’” spot of choice back in 1943-1947 during my years as a student. There weren’t many men around to court in those war years — but that all changed by fall 1946 when the guys returned in large numbers. My future husband Harold Davis and I had our photo taken on a bench near the pond in 1947. Mary Janell Wood Davis (’47) Big Spring

Kendall Hall I arrived at Kendall Hall as a freshman in the fall of 1962. My roommate and I shared a third-floor room, and of course, shared a bathroom with many other


Fall 2012

girls. She married after our freshman year, but I remained at Kendall, eventually securing one of the coveted rooms with a private bath. That was luxury! It was at Kendall Hall that I learned of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. We girls clustered in the living room and listened in disbelief as Walter Cronkite announced the president’s death. When the pipes froze one winter, many of us walked across the street to shower in the girls’ physical education building. Our dorm mother, Mrs. Pipkin, made blue garters for those of us who became engaged while at North Texas. Mine was handed down to my daughter, and my granddaughter hopes to wear it one day. Diana Bodenheimer Hodde (’66) Brenham

Other favorite spots The pond was such a peaceful spot to pause — if one had a few minutes — to watch the fish or students (girls) passing by or maybe linger over a book or with a friend. One of my favorite places, though, was off campus, a block or so south. I seem to recall it had once been a Boy Scout meeting hall — a long, two-room stone building where overflow art classes were held. Ronald

Williams’ illustration class was conducted in the front room. In the back room, Carl Compton had his painting classes and a personal workspace in a back corner. It was a neat, compact and very special little world then, back when we celebrated reaching 5,000 students. Paul Hudgins (’50), retired graphic designer and illustrator Shady Shores I don’t remember a pond on the campus grounds, but I do remember the pond on the old golf course where we threw our fraternity brothers (Chi Sigma Phi and, later, Sigma Nu) when they “pinned” their sweethearts. Mine was Bettie Johnson, class of ’54. We were married in 1953 and are still going strong after 58-plus years. We had some great times over coffee at Dyches’ Corner Drug store and dancing at the jam sessions at the UB to the music of ’Fessor Graham’s Aces with Pat Boone singing. F.L. “Lee” Johns (’55) Bullard I have such special memories of campus that have lasted a lifetime. Some of my fondest memories are of my senior year, spent in the Chilton Hall sorority ramp. Delta Zeta was the first sorority to be allowed to

come on campus in 40 years and we appreciated so much the responsibility that we had. Our sponsor was Bess Townsend, a professor on campus. Chilton Hall had a lot of character for an old building and witnessed many “short sheetings” and other pranks. Many afternoons during the 1969 fall season also found our P.E. Play and Playgrounds class on the side yard of the campus elementary Demonstration School. Joe Hamilton, “Mean” Joe Greene, Cedric Hardman and the rest of us in the class were a comical sight playing those children’s games in that yard.

I will always treasure those special times with special people and be forever grateful that I was given the opportunity to experience them all. Jeri Hall Kirby (’69) Venus

lighting for plays in the very small basement theater. The old Student Union Building was where we did dinner theater and I learned to serve tables and do lighting in a theater in the round. I also recall the theater shop on Maple Street where we constructed and painted sets. The facilities were not impressive then, but the training has lasted me a lifetime and has been useful in every career I’ve had.

The speech and drama department was housed in the Historical Building in 1959-1962 while I was a student. I remember doing

Bob Johnston (’62, ’65 M.Ed.) Dallas

Editor’s note: Thank you for all the responses to our request for memories of the fish pond, Kendall Hall and other favorite campus spots. Go to letters to read more. Several readers asked about the fate of the pond. The General Academic Building sits in that area now, but students do have new water features to enjoy such as Jody’s Fountain in Onstead Plaza. We think they also may have found other courtin’ spots.

Tell us about ... a Homecoming memory If you would like to comment on a story, share your North Texas memories or photos, submit news or obituaries, or otherwise get in touch with us, we would love to hear from you. Email: Online: (follow the “Contact Us” link)

As we look forward to our “Once Upon a Time” Homecoming Nov. 3 (see the poster at the back for a schedule of activities), we’d like to know about some of your favorite Homecoming memories. One of ours was last year’s first Homecoming game in Apogee Stadium

Fax: 940-369-8763 Mail: The North Texan; University of North Texas;

(above). It was a great day from start to finish, topped off by a win. Send us an email or write us a letter — contact information is at the right. Enter a random drawing for prizes, including Family Fun Packs to the game with tickets and food for four. Send us your name, T-shirt size and mailing address by Oct. 5.

Phone: 940-565-2108

Division of University Relations, Communications and Marketing; 1155 Union Circle #311070; Denton, Texas 76203-5017

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p / 10

Green Pride

p / 12

Global Connection

p / 13

Ask an Expert

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UNT Alumni Association

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Jonathan Reynolds


in this section Brilliantly Green

Enriching summer UNT is building meaningful relationships in the North Texas region and around the world through summer research and language programs.



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each summer, innovative research programs at UNT help students and teachers from across the North Texas region take an interest in science, and a unique language program gives students from Mexico the skills they need to learn English. These are just a few of the programs UNT has created through partnerships with communities and other institutions of higher education. “Inspiring students from all over and at any age to expand their knowledge and take on new challenges is part of UNT’s bold goal to build relationships that help make our region and world stronger,” says Warren Burggren, provost and vice president of academic affairs.

Gary Payne

their classrooms and share with students. In its second year, the program partners the teachers with UNT faculty mentors. This summer, 11 secondary teachers from six school districts in the North Texas region participated in the program. They used electrical engineering concepts and tools to investigate air and water quality and looked into the impact of emissions on the area’s carbon footprint. They also learned about equipping robots with depth-capable vision. “This program is crucial in promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines among high school students,” says Miguel Acevedo, Regents Professor of electrical engineering and program coordinator. “And engaging teachers in research goes a long way in accomplishing this goal.”

At left: Community college students work in a UNT biology lab as part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Summer Transitions program. Above: Autonomous University of the State of Mexico students use group performance to learn English during UNT’s Linguistics and Technical Communication Department’s Summer Institute.

English as a second language

For 10 years, UNT has partnered with the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico at Toluca to offer UAEM students the opportunity to attend UNT’s Linguistics and Technical Communication Department’s Summer Institute. This summer, a group of 74 students, faculty and staff from UAEM participated in the program at UNT. The students spend time in ESL classes with other students at their proficiency level to increase their fluency in English through cultural immersion and unique social interaction activities. Students have attended workshops on a variety of subjects, including performing arts, oral presentation skills and business English, and take field trips for recreational activities. “We tailor these activities and classroom curriculum so that UAEM students can easily learn English from their experiences here,” says Kristin Baer, director of the LTC Summer Institute. “We also require UAEM students to only speak English most hours of the day, which is instrumental to them learning English during their time at the institute.”

Transfer student engagement

Teacher research experiences

UNT’s Research Experiences for Teachers in Sensor Networks program is supported by a $500,000 National Science Foundation grant and provides the opportunity for middle and high school teachers to spend six weeks learning engineering-based research projects and lessons to take back to

Jennifer Williams

Through a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, UNT offered two summer experiences to engage community college students in science and research at the university level. Since 2010, UNT has partnered with community colleges in the North Texas region to offer its HHMI Summer Transitions Program for Community College Students. The two-tier program includes a Transitions Summer Workshop to introduce community college students to research in a university setting and a Transitions Summer Research Experience, giving them research experience in UNT’s cutting-edge laboratories with research faculty as mentors. In July, community college student Kadi McNew transferred to UNT after participating in the programs for two summers. Now planning a career in medicine, she was inspired by working with Michael Hedrick, professor of biological sciences, and his team of researchers to study how well baroreceptors function under stress in three different varieties of frogs. Humans also have baroreceptors and this research could contribute to the medical field in the future, McNew says. “The experience helped me decide to transfer to UNT and become a biology major,” she says. “The UNT-HHMI program also made me realize I want to further my own research.”

Above: UNT Research Experiences for Teachers in Sensor Networks teacher participant Karl Gscheidle discusses turning methods of the Garcia robot with UNT student Philip Sterling. Fall 2012




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Today Pass it on: Great things are happening at UNT. Learn about them here and share our successes with your family and friends. • Olympic tryouts. Three Mean Green track and field athletes qualified for Olympic trials, competing to represent the United States, Israel and the United Kingdom. Hurdler Steven White was fresh off a 14th-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. White is a second team All American. Former Israel youth champion Shahaf Bareni placed first in high jump in the Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Championships. And Jo Adams, ranked 49th in England, recorded UNT’s second-fastest time in the 1,500-meter run. • Meet me at the Union. Students will have a new union in 2015, thanks to their approval of a fee to fund construction. The $130 million union — like all of UNT’s new construction — will be designed to meet LEED standards. The current University Union, built in 1964, was planned for 17,000 students. Enrollment has grown to 36,000, and more than 2.5 million people visit the building every year. • Zoom, zoom. The Mean Green Machine, the 1931 Model A seen at football games and spirit events, will zip around UNT’s Apogee Stadium with new vigor this season. A student team in the College of Engineering, funded by the Division of Student Affairs, gave the vintage car an engine transplant, converting its power source from gasoline to electricity. Read more at

B R I L L I A N T LY GREEN Jonathan Reynolds

LGBT archives

The UNT Libraries recently received a collection of materials from Resource Center Dallas tracing more than 60 years of the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender social movements in the North Texas region. The Resource Center Dallas LGBT Collection of the UNT Libraries, includes approximately 400 boxes of newspapers, periodicals, press clippings, audio files, video-



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tapes of gay pride parades and other events, music CDs, and movies focusing on LGBT and HIV/AIDS topics. The archive will be a strong foundation for the libraries’ goals of collecting LGBT archival material from the South and Southwest and an important resource for the study of LGBT history. Resource Center Dallas, one of the largest LGBT community centers in the U.S., has had a long connection to


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UNT through a partnership with UNT’s Center for Psychosocial Health Research, in which researchers study social support and coping strategies for people living with chronic disease and medical conditions, including HIV infection and AIDS. P.E.O. scholarships

Graduate students Hagar Abdo and Monica Gastelumendi were each awarded a $10,000 Philanthropic

Educational Organization International Peace Scholarship. Abdo is pursuing her master’s degree in women’s studies and is researching postpartum depression in indigent communities. She plans to return to Egypt to continue her work in this area. Gastelumendi is pursuing a master’s degree in jazz studies and plans to return to Peru to train music teachers and to provide better music education for children.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes was a featured keynote speaker at the eighth annual Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference in July.

Jonathan Reynolds

UNT is ranked as one of the nation’s top 10 universities with the most degree-seeking transfer students by U.S. News & World Report.

Mayborn conference

The eighth annual Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference featured Pulitzer Prizewinning journalists and storytellers. Keynote speakers for this year’s conference were Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes, who also is editor of 26 works of fiction, history, biography and memoir; The New York Times bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning storyteller Isabel Wilkerson, the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize; and nonfiction author and poet Luis Alberto Urrea, a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist. The July conference also featured other

nationally known writers and authors whose nonfiction work has achieved national acclaim. In total, the 2012 conference showcased the work of more than 30 of the nation’s preeminent journalists, authors and visual storytellers. As part of the conference, $15,000 in cash was awarded for winning essays, narrative writing and book manuscripts. Each year, the conference is hosted by UNT’s Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism and publishes Mayborn magazine and Ten Spurs literary journal, a collection of the 10 best essays submitted to the Mayborn’s national writing contest.

Logistics program

UNT’s logistics program in the College of Business has been ranked the world’s fifth best program for supply chain and logistics productivity by the International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, a leading publication for research bridging business-to-business management, logistics, marketing channels and supply chain management. UNT’s ranking was based on faculty efforts in the Department of Marketing and Logistics to become the top program in North America and their research that was published in premier academic journals from 2008 to 2010.

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Jonathan Reynolds

energy grant Rajiv Mishra, professor of materials science and engineering, is studying next generation materials that will help coal-fired energy plants to operate at higher temperatures, making coal combustion more efficient and, in turn, resulting in lower emissions. Mishra has earned a two-year, $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop the materials for clean coal technologies. He will work with a team of researchers from the University of Idaho to study these high-performance materials for use in hightemperature applications at the plants.




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national title

UNT Debate Team director Brian Lain, associate professor of communication studies, was named coach of the 2012 American National Debate Team. This summer, Lain traveled to Japan to coach the American team in competitive and non-competitive exhibition debates against students at

colleges, universities and high schools in Japan. The event — hosted by the National Communication Association’s Committee on International Discussion and Debate — promotes international understanding and communication through discussion and debates between students from the U.S. and other nations. Under Lain’s leadership, the UNT Debate Team has qualified eight out of 10 years for the National Debate Tournament. And UNT debate students have qualified each year since 2002 for the Cross Examination Debate Association National Tournament.

new appointments

Five new administrators were appointed this summer. Michael Monticino, dean of UNT’s College of Arts and Sciences, has been named interim vice president for advancement and director of development of the UNT Foundation. He is overseeing the university’s donor relations and fundraising campaigns. Arthur Goven, professor and chair of UNT’s Department of Biological Sciences, was named acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, filling in for Monticino. Yolanda Flores Niemann, a former psychology professor and administrator at Utah

State University, is serving as UNT’s new senior vice provost. She has a wide range of strategic planning and oversight duties. UNT’s former interim senior vice provost Geoff Gamble was named interim vice president for research and economic development. He is heading a national search to find a long-term appointment for the position. Mark Wardell joined UNT as dean of the Toulouse Graduate School. Wardell is a former graduate school dean and professor of sociology at Wayne State University and has extensive experience in graduate school operations.

Get your green, help support students Be mean, green and proud this year while supporting two good UNT student causes — volunteer efforts for the community and scholarships! To multiply student volunteer efforts in Denton and beyond each spring through The Big Event, UNT developed “Mean Green Pride — We’re All In,” a program to establish a lasting university tradition that encourages solidarity among the university community, alumni and the communities they serve. When you purchase “Mean Green Pride — We’re All In” UNT gear at the UNT Bookstore and Mean Green Gear stadium store, a portion of the sales will support The Big Event. You also can help students and show your pride by ordering a UNT-branded license plate — a new design is available to order now. A portion of your cost goes toward UNT student scholarships. For more details on “Mean Green Pride — We’re All In,” visit meangreenpride. For a list of retailers that carry UNT products, visit retail/resources-for-consumers or get your gear from the UNT Bookstore at and at the Mean Green Gear stadium store at And to order your UNT-branded license plate, go to, and click on the UNT design.



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advisor award Throughout her 34-year career at UNT, Donna Ledgerwood, associate professor of management, has earned numerous honors for her outstanding work as a teacher and mentor, including the Minnie Stevens Piper Award for being one of the Top 10 professors in Texas. Additionally, her service and leadership recently earned her the 2012 National Advisor of the Year award from the Society for Human Resource Management Foundation. The award recognizes advisors who provide exemplary leadership and service to the society’s student chapters. Ledgerwood was honored with the award at the group’s annual conference this summer. Awardees were chosen based on factors including length of service to their student chapter and help in developing student leaders and innovative programs or projects.

Cultural learning



Center also is a great way for students to learn about different cultures, says Cara Walker, assistant director of the center. The Buddy System, the center’s peer mentor program, is one way it connects students with others on campus from different backgrounds, she says. “The center offers resources, educational opportunities and events that build inclusion,” Walker says. “We teach diversity through student engagement.”

Jonathan Reynolds

Multicultural and cultural student organizations at UNT embrace the university’s diverse student body and provide a platform for students to learn about other cultures and traditions. The multicultural student organization, World Echoes, is one of more than 30 international and cultural groups at UNT whose sole purpose is to promote friendship, leadership and the understanding of other cultures. The group, founded at UNT in 2001, helps increase awareness of global issues, strengthen friendships among different cultures and serve the community, says Mallory Schier, World Echoes interim president. The organization’s 540 members attend game nights, workshops, international festivals and movie screenings. Members also participate in volunteer work, camping trips and dancing events, Schier says. “We organize events as

diverse as we are,” she says. “We want to help people of international backgrounds come together and foster new friendships.” Chloé Halley, historian for World Echoes, says the organization often hosts events based on a particular culture’s interests or holidays, such as the Chinese New Year and American Thanksgiving. “We bring everyone together while learning something new,” she says. The UNT Multicultural

Students in World Echoes multicultural student organization celebrate during the University Day flag parade last spring.

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Michael Clements


Biology Olympiad

David Hao, a senior in UNT’s Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, was named one of 20 national finalists for the USA Biology Olympiad Team.

bases of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease.

Hao works in UNT’s Fundamental Neuroscience Laboratory headed by Jannon Fuchs, professor of biological sciences, investigating the role of the somatostatin-3 receptor, a protein found on cell organelles called primary cilia. He is finding evidence that this cilia receptor helps neurons survive after a brain injury. After graduating from TAMS, he plans to major in molecular biology and conduct research on the molecular

Cybersecurity leader

UNT was one of seven institutions in the nation in 2012 recognized as a leader in cybersecurity education and research and designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of


Homeland Security. UNT data security programs are based in the Center for Information and Computer Security, a multidisciplinary center bringing together individuals and organizations with an interest in the areas of information security, computer security, information assurance and cybercrime. The center is in UNT’s College of Engineering.

ask an expert

how can you make a political difference?


atthew Eshbaugh-Soha, associate professor of political science, teaches courses on the U.S. government, the American presidency, public policy, and media and politics. With 2012 being an election year, he says there is no better time to stay informed and get involved with civic organizations and local, state and national politics. “Some people don’t participate in politics and government because they think they can’t make a difference,” Eshbaugh-Soha says. “One may not be able to change the world in one election, letter or city council meeting, but active involvement can lead to gradual change.” Participating in politics has some inherent value, he says, offering these tips to citizens:

vote • Whether in presidential, state or local elections, your vote counts! • When you vote in elections, you’re ensuring your voice is heard when government makes policy decisions. • With voter participation rates in local elections rarely broaching 10 percent, your impact on these elections will be greater than at any other level. — Adrienne Nettles



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Gary Payne

Stay informed • Read a national newspaper, watch the news on television or visit political party and candidate websites to learn about presidential, state and local elections. • Although it is much easier to receive news about national politics than local politics, a local newspaper, even just the front page, can provide you with information about important issues facing your community. • Watch your city webpages for the time and topics of city council and school board meetings.

advocate for change • Write your member of Congress or state legislator, or join an interest group. • Attend a city council meeting to inform council members about what is needed in the community, such as a speed bump on a neighborhood street or repair of potholes. Request agenda space for your concern at a meeting that is not overly busy. • Answer calls from city council members, state legislators and members of Congress when they request feedback on policy ideas.

Korean textile scholars

m a ppi n g te x t s p r o j ect Andrew Torget, assistant professor of history, and Rada Mihalcea, associate professor of computer science and engineering, have made it easier for users of the Portal to Texas History — part of the UNT Libraries’ digital collections — to browse the pages of historical Texas newspapers online. With support from a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, they partnered with researchers from Stanford University’s Bill Lane Center for the American West to develop their Mapping Texts Project, a new tool giving users access to interactive visualizations that will offer new ways to explore the content of historical Texas newspapers rather than typing words into a search engine.

The Korean Society of Clothing and Textiles has recognized UNT merchandising faculty members HaeJung Maria Kim, JiYoung Kim and Kiseol Yang as distinguished scholars for their research in the global clothing and textile industries. They were among 20 scholars of Korean origin from universities in China, Japan and the U.S. acknowledged by the society for their contributions to the Korean and global clothing and textiles industries and educational societies. UNT had more faculty members selected than any other university. Kinesiology award

Katie Wendling (’12), a kinesiology major, was named a 2012 Undergraduate Scholar by the American Kinesiology Association. The association’s annual awards recognize undergraduate students on a national level for distinctive academic and leadership accomplishments. Wendling earned a 4.0 GPA throughout her four years at UNT and was a member and officer of UNT’s Pre-Physical Therapy Club. She is working on her doctoral degree in physical therapy at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and hopes to work in pediatrics and eventually open her own practice.

UNT Alumni Association The 2012 Mean Green football season is here, and there are plenty of social activities for alumni to enjoy. Three hours before every home game, the UNT Alumni Association’s pavilion, which features a 3,200-square-foot patio, will open for fans to mingle with other alumni and enjoy games on high-definition TVs. Entry to the pavilion for home games requires membership in the UNT Alumni Association. Members are allowed to bring one guest free. One-day memberships at the pavilion can be purchased for $10. This fall, the association is again extending the opportunity for alumni to purchase brick pavers on the adjoining exterior patio of the pavilion. With as little as $100, alumni can have their names engraved on a brick paver, leaving a lasting legacy for future UNT students and alumni to enjoy. Contributions are tax-deductible. To order a paver, contact the alumni association at 940-565-2834 or visit “The pavilion has become the place for alumni to gather for food, fun and fellowship,” says Derrick Morgan, executive director of the UNT Alumni Association. “And it’s a great reason for alumni to return to UNT to support their alma mater, whether it’s enjoying the excitement of game days in the pavilion or having their names permanently etched at the facility.” To join the association or learn more, visit, email or call 940-565-2834.

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Kristin Farmer


by Leslie Wimmer

n the early ’90s, while working on her master’s degree in special education at UNT, Kristin Farmer (’95 M.Ed.) was a student teacher in Lewisville. She worked with a small class of elementary children with autism spectrum disorders, and one young student, Johnny, changed her life. When Farmer first met the 7-year-old, he had severe speech limitations and could only imitate a few sounds. She began working with him on forming sounds into words and soon, for the first time, he was able to say “Mommy, I love you.” “When his mom heard this, she cried,” Farmer says. “She was just beside herself because her son learned those words and how to communicate. I’ve been hooked ever since. I realized this is how I can make a difference.” Today, Farmer is making a difference for families across the United States. She serves as the CEO of her successful California-based company Comprehensive Educational Services Inc., known as ACES, which she founded in 1996. She also is making an impact as the benefactor of UNT’s Kristin Farmer Autism Center, which opened this fall. Farmer says in addition to the training she received from UNT’s Department of Behavior Analysis, Bertina Combes, associate professor of educational psychology, was instrumental in helping

Inspired by her experiences as a UNT student, Kristin Farmer (’95 M.Ed.) founded a company to assist children with autism and their families. Now as benefactor of UNT’s Kristin Farmer Autism Center, she’s come full-circle in changing lives — one person at a time. 16


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to shape her passion in the field of special education and autism. Combes remembers Farmer as a strong student at UNT. “When I see the successes of my students like Kristin, it rekindles my own passion and commitment to teaching,” Combes says. Through her donation to UNT, Farmer is working to improve the lives of children and families in the North Texas region. The programs in the center will provide comprehensive educational, diagnostic, treatment and training services for children with autism and their families, and will support fieldchanging research. “Kristin is not only a gifted scholar, but a highly motivated and committed person,” says Kevin Callahan, director of the center and adjunct associate professor of educational psychology in the College of Education. He also taught Farmer when she was a student at UNT. “Her amazing success is a product of her experience and leadership skills, as well as her warm heart and focus on providing the highest quality services for children,” he says. Beyond helping children with autism and their families, the center will provide new opportunities for UNT students across several departments and colleges. They will gain valuable experience working directly with children, families and researchers in fields including special education, behavior analysis and speech and hearing therapy. “I would not be successful and have what I have today if it weren’t for UNT,” Farmer says. “The university works hard to keep strong programs going for future students, and when a student graduates and goes into teaching, that’s another teacher with excellent training who can make a difference in hundreds of lives.”

Frank Rogozienski

Kristin Farmer

him about working with chal-

which help thousands of children

a storm. A young boy was picking

lenging behaviors and that really

and individuals with special

them up and flinging them back

it’s all about attitude. Everything

needs and their families. I’m so

into the ocean. “Why do you

is 90 percent attitude and 10

eternally grateful for the support

bother?” the old man scoffed.

Originally from:

percent situation. You can do

I received as a student, and I

“You’re not saving enough to

Richardson — ­ I attended J.J.

anything in life if you come at it

want to give back.

make a difference.” The young

Pierce High School.

from that perspective.

San Diego, Calif.

boy picked up another starfish

Finding inspiration:

and sent it spinning into the

Lessons learned at UNT:

Philosophy of giving:

I am always inspired by the

water. “I made a difference for

Kevin Callahan was my supervis-

When I think about UNT, I think

starfish story. An old man walked

that one,” he says.

ing professor for my student

about the impact of the univer-

along a shore littered with

teaching. I learned so much from

sity’s teaching and programs,

starfish, beached and dying after

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Creative expression shines at UNT. This fall, greatness is spotlighted through imaginative art retrospectives, fresh interpretations of dance and theatre classics, creative musical collaborations and global culture exhibitions.

Cloth Talks

Collection of West African Adinkra and Kente cloths, a visual embodiment of proverbs, events and cultural values from one of the only remaining traditional Adinkra villages in Ghana Presented by UNT Institute for the Advancement of the Arts

Through Sept. 29 UNT on the Square, 109 N. Elm St. in Denton

Welcome to My World, 1979-2012 Regents Professor Elmer Taylor: A Retrospective

Oct. 9 – Nov. 10 5 p.m. Oct. 11 — Opening Reception 5 p.m. Oct. 13 — Artist’s Reception UNT Art Gallery — Art Building

UNT College of Music Gala

An afternoon of symphonic music, jazz and American standards featuring the UNT Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Singers and A Cappella Choir

4 p.m. Oct. 14 Winspear Performance Hall — Murchison Performing Arts Center

A Jazz Dream A modern jazz take on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Presented by UNT Dance and Theatre

7:30 p.m. Nov. 1-3, 8-10 2 p.m. Nov. 4, 11 University Theatre — RTVF Building



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in this section p / 20

dance and Theatre

p / 21

upcoming events

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p / 22

Television and Film

p / 22

visual arts

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© Paul Kolnik


MEAN GREEN BLUE MAN UNT’s Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science grad Bhurin Sead was determined to get the part.

Read more about Sead and his path to blueness at

BHURIN SEAD CAN TRACE THE SEEDS OF his career as a Blue Man back to his days as a TAMS student at UNT in the late 1990s. He says he saw lots of students carrying instruments, which inspired him to pick up the guitar and perform in local bands. A few years later, he auditioned for the Blue Man Group — the part-multimedia, part-science experiment performance group whose members wear blue paint. He got the gig on his second try and now performs up to seven shows a week with the national traveling tour. “It’s definitely physically demanding,” he says. “But I’ve never had a mentally draining day at work. It’s so much fun.”

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Muse books German military Robert M. Citino, professor of history, has written his ninth book, The Wehrmacht Retreats: Fighting a Lost War, 1943 (University of Kansas Press), about the German army’s campaigns near the end of World War II. Citino is considered one of the foremost experts on German military history and has been featured on the History Channel and in other publications. In this book, he describes how the Germans’ major campaigns put them on the defensive against the

Allies and were just as much the fault of the officer corps as they were of Adolf Hitler. The book follows Death of the Wehrmacht: The German Campaigns of 1942, which was published in 2007.

Mid-South barbecue Diverse barbecue traditions from West Tennessee and Memphis to South Arkansas and North Louisiana are explored in The Slaw and the Slow Cooked: Culture and Barbecue in the Mid-South (Vanderbilt University Press). Co-edited by James R. Veteto, assistant professor of anthropology and director of the Southern Seed Legacy project at UNT,

and Edward M. Maclin, the book covers such topics as Mid-South barbecue sauce diversity, a competition barbecue team, barbecue in the digital age, and race and barbecue. Veteto knows the subject well, having grown up on the barbecue of his mother’s family in Hot Springs, Ark., and his father’s family in Lexington, Tenn. He is an environmental anthropologist whose areas of expertise include food and culture.

Technology and life Adam Briggle, professor of philosophy, co-edited The Good Life in a Technological Age (Routledge) with Phil-

lip Brey and Edward Spence, examining how new media influences the quality of life and how technology relates to human well-being. Contributing essays from UNT’s Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies are faculty J. Britt Holbrook, David Kaplan and Robert Frodeman and master’s student and teaching fellow Kelli Barr. “To me, the question of whether we — or only some of us — are living better or worse lives than our grandparents lived is of utmost practical and theoretical importance,” Briggle says. “We seem so convinced we are progressing, but what, really, does it mean to live well?”

changing the world — and herself About a year after graduation, Christena Dowsett (’10) was facing severe depression. Although she enjoyed the adrenaline rush of being a newspaper photographer, she wanted to pursue something bigger with her life. Dowsett now works as a photojournalist, writer and social media manager for the non-governmental humanitarian organization, Action Africa Help International, taking pictures of life in Kenya, Sudan and other parts of East Africa. The job can be challenging. “I am constantly comparing my life to those I photograph,” she says. “A hot shower, warm bed and a full meal can be really hard to stomach when you’ve spent the day surrounded by people who live in a shack on a trash dump and have nothing except the clothes on their back. I just spent a month in South Sudan and I’m truly not the same person I was before I left. It changes you and your perspective on the world.” But she loves using her training and skills from the Mayborn School of Journalism to help others. “To be honest, I often find myself catching moments of awe when it hits me that I’m actually in Africa, working and living my dream. If I never become famous or rich, I know I’ll be able to look back on this time in my life and say I did something to make the world a better Christena Dowsett (’10)

place. And that means more to me than any physical or monetary reward can bring.” Check out Dowsett’s photography at



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Jack of all trades Jeffrey Schmidt (’96) has done voice-over work and acted in commercials and television shows such as Prison Break and Friday Night Lights. But he’s also a set designer whose work will be seen this fall Off-Broadway and in the UNT production of Cinderella Sept. 27-30. “When it comes to design for the theatre, essentially, there are no rules. Of course, it has to be safe and conform to some sort of budget, but really and truly the sky is the limit,” Schmidt says. “If you can dream it, then the challenge of creating it on a bare stage is thrilling.” Dance and theatre faculty Marjorie Hayes and Barbara Cox were impressed with the 2009 production of The Old Woman in the Wood that Schmidt wrote, directed and designed for the Dallas-based theatre group, The Drama Club, and thought his design aesthetic would be a great fit for Cinderella. Schmidt says the set will have lots of texture and color, but the stage will be spare. “I believe in coaxing the audience into participating in the set design and using imagination to fill in the gaps. After all, Cinderella is a play for kids and they have the best imaginations!”

Upcoming Events

Pick up a few helpful tips for warding off the undead at Max Brooks: How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse, presented by the UNT Fine Arts Series at 8 p.m. Oct. 9 in the University Union, Silver Eagle Suite. A signing follows the presentation by Brooks, the author of The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. The event is free for students, $20 for the public, and $10 for UNT faculty, staff, alumni association members and seniors. Call 940-565-3805 for tickets. Arrangements for the appearance were made through Greater Talent Network Inc., New York, N.Y. Sixty-five years since its first show at UNT, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra performs at 8 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Murchison Performing

Dance and Theatre World premiere

Trix Rosen

Dance and theatre students worked with actress Tandy Cronyn, British playwright Simon Bent and director David Hammond on the world premiere of Bent’s play, The Tall Boy, in August. During their two-week residency, the three internationally renowned artists helped polish

the production on the play they have been developing since 2010. “The precision, rigor and creativity these professionals bring to the script development, acting and staging is something that I think can really inspire young theatre artists,” says Marjorie Hayes, managing director of theatre production. “This will make them more aware of the standards they need to meet if indeed they want to become professional actors, playwrights and directors.” Cronyn performed the solo role in the play, which is based on the Kay Boyle short story, “The Lost,” about a Bavarian displaced persons camp for children after World War II.

Arts Center’s Winspear Performance Hall. The concert features DSO principal cellist Christopher Adkins (’80) performing the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1. Visit for tickets, or for the full schedule, check UNT on the Square presents an exhibition from Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México Oct. 10-Nov. 7, commemorating the university’s 10-year partnership with UNT. David Blow — Retrospective, Nov. 30-Feb. 6, features work from the retired associate professor of design. Visit The annual Faculty and Staff Exhibition showcases works from faculty and staff in the College of Visual Arts and Design. The exhibit runs Nov. 27-Dec. 15 in the UNT Art Gallery, with an opening reception 5-7 p.m. Nov. 29. Visit The Department of Dance and Theatre presents the New Choreographers Concert Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in the University Theatre. Call 940-565-2428 or visit Visit for more upcoming events.

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Muse On My Own Time Sam Ivie (’97), an art alum and UNT library specialist, created a series of dots that turned into an award-winning portrait. His piece, Girl (detail pictured), won Best in Show, People’s Choice and the Works on Paper (Professional) category at the On My Own Time exhibition, an annual competition in which artists in the North Texas region can show off the work they create away from their jobs. Thirty-four UNT faculty and staff members created 58 pieces ­— including paintings, photography, sculpture, textiles, ceramics and jewelry — that were displayed in August at UNT on the Square in Denton. Winners in 11 categories at each exhibition around the region are being displayed at NorthPark Center in Dallas through Sept. 30. The Business Council for the Arts has sponsored the event for 20 years. Ivie’s portrait of a girl is a progression of smaller drawings he created in ink through stippling, which uses dots to form imagery. He says from a distance the piece may look like any other graphite or charcoal drawing, but on closer inspection, “the illusion fades.” “A stippled surface is meant to be examined,” he says, “and, hopefully, arouses a certain level of curiosity about how the image was made.”

Music Collegium performance

The Collegium Singers — a group of UNT student vocalists specially trained in singing music of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries — performed at the Early Music America’s Young Performers Festival, part of the Berkeley Early Music Festival in June in Berkeley, Calif.



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The group was one of only four college early music ensembles from across the nation selected to perform, by a blind audition, and received a $1,000 grant toward travel costs. The group performed Tomas Luis de Victoria’s Officium defunctorum. “This gave us the opportunity to let people in the early music world know that an extraordinarily high quality of work is done at UNT,” says Richard Sparks, professor of music and chair of conducting and ensembles. Go to online for links to the performance on YouTube.


Fall 2012

College of Music gala The College of Music will present the gala Symphony Meets Jazz: An afternoon of symphonic music, jazz and American standards, at 4 p.m. Oct. 14 in the Winspear Performance Hall at the Murchison Performing Arts Center. The afternoon will include original arrangements of Gershwin and Bernstein works by Richard DeRosa, associate professor of jazz studies, performed by the UNT Symphony Orchestra. The Jazz Singers and A Cappella Choir will join in the grand finale, followed by a dinner. Tickets are $25 for the concert or $100 for the concert and dinner. Proceeds go toward scholarships. For information, call 940-369-8417 or visit www.

Television and Film New mixing app

Kirk Wheeler (’93) has used his radio/television/film degree in diverse ways. Wheeler works as an audio engineer who mixes the foreign music and effects for TV shows such as Castle and Once Upon a Time so they can be dubbed internationally. He also has created an app, Mixeroo, that allows children to mix, too. He wanted a music app for his then 2-year-old daughter

who was enthralled with the iPad, but he couldn’t find one. So, he taught himself code, had a friend arrange music and, six months later, Mixeroo was born. “It combines all of the skills I learned at UNT as well as many others I have picked up along the way,” he says.

Visual Arts Jack Sprague honor

A $2.5 million anonymous estate gift will support students, faculty and programs in the College of Visual Arts and Design and lead to a name change for the communication design program. When the gift is in place, the program will bear the name Jack Sprague Communication Design Program. Sprague, Professor Emeritus of communication design, taught at UNT for 20 years before retiring in 2009. He now works as the education director at the Smart Center Santa Fe. “Jack’s expectations for excellence fueled his students’ academic achievements,” says Eric Ligon, associate dean for academic and student affairs in the college. “He is a man worth honoring for his contributions to the lives and livelihoods of all his students and to the greater good of the program.”

Artistic expression

Pedrameh Manoochehri (’08 M.A.), an art teacher at Marcus High School in Flower Mound, and Cala Coats, a doctoral student in art education (pictured from left), will hand cameras to high school students next spring in the Flower Mound and Lewisville area so they can explore their communities. The duo, who met at a College

of Visual Arts and Design function, received funding for the project from the Mary McMullan Grant Fund through the National Art Education Foundation. Their project, “Situated Meaning: Exploring a Changing Suburban Community Through Artistic Inquiry,” asks students to examine growing income disparity in their community, to question their values and assumptions, and to reflect on their results and spur dialog. The six-week project will end with an exhibition at a local high school or public venue.

Student magazine

The M7M online magazine produced by UNT students features the latest fashions from local designers, UNT design students and Denton retailers. Adriana Solis, a junior merchandising student, founded the Method

Seven Magazine organization, and a team of 105 students from various fields helped put together the first issue last spring. “The word ‘method’ refers to the way we do things at M7M,” Solis says. “We give students an opportunity to discover their inner strength, enhance their skills and learn from others in order to reach their dreams.” The “seven” refers to the words the students want reflected in each issue — individualistic, creative, real, unique, genuine, contagious and bold. Read the magazine at www.

New faculty fellows

UNT’s Institute for the Advancement of the Arts gave two faculty members a rare commodity — time. The institute’s faculty fellows program gives honorees a semester off from teaching to work on their own creative projects. This year, Vincent Falsetta, professor of studio arts, will work on his paintings, and Miroslav Penkov, assistant professor of English, will write a novel. Falsetta plans to work on his abstract paintings, with wave-like strokes intricately planned and recorded on index cards and in color studies. His work has appeared in more than 50 solo and two-person shows and in public collections across the country. “The most important benefit of being a fellow is having the time to work,” Falsetta says. “The commitment necessary to research, create and evaluate requires the ability to A faculty member at UNT since 1977, Falsetta served as artist-in-residence at the Bluecoat in Liverpool in 2011 and two residencies at Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia. Penkov, the author of a short story collection, will conduct research in the Standja Mountains in his native Bulgaria for his second book, Nominalia of the Imaginary Khans. “Writing a novel is often compared to running a marathon, and for good reason. Like a runner who must first train for months, a writer must first do research and consider his characters, setting and story carefully before putting pen to paper,” Penkov says. “On some level, this fellowship also serves as a validation — a sign that perhaps there

Gary Payne

work day after day with a project.”

From left, Miroslav Penkov, assistant professor of English, and Vincent Falsetta, professor of studio arts, are working on creative projects as 2012 faculty fellows of the Institute for the Advancement of the Arts. Penkov will conduct research in Bulgaria for his next book, and Falsetta plans to work on his abstract paintings.

is promise in the pages I’ve already written.” Penkov’s first book, East of the West: A Country in Stories, received national attention, including a feature on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, when it was published in 2011. One of the stories was selected for The PEN/O Henry Prize Stories 2012, a collection of 20 of the best short stories from the previous year.

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Graduates of UNT’s College of Education are transforming their students’ lives through learning and development that includes creative curriculums, specialized programs and research

by JessiCA DeLeÓN Danielli Costa (’11) knew she was taking on a tough job when she was hired to teach math at Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas last spring. Her students had already had five teachers that school year and were about to take Texas’ important standardized tests, which would determine if they could pass to the next grade. Thomas Jefferson, a school on the rise, has had some tough circumstances. Nearly 85 percent of its students are economically disadvantaged, 78 percent are considered “at risk” and 36 percent have limited English proficiency. But Costa had graduated from UNT’s Teach North Texas program, which helps students earn a bachelor’s degree in math, science or computer science while also earning teacher certifications. “I was very prepared,” she says. “By being exposed to new styles of teaching at UNT, I’ve been able to help my students be successful both in my classroom and in life.” Teach North Texas is just one of many ways UNT has been a leader in excellence and innovation in the world of education, starting in 1890 when it began as a teacher’s college and continuing today as it trains administrators and researchers, and creates specialized programs for educators. UNT graduates become certified as teachers at high rates. In 2010-11, UNT had the second highest number of teachers from a Texas university — 1,147. But more importantly, more than 72 percent of UNT’s teaching graduates remain as teachers in Texas after five years on the job, the highest percentage in the state. That’s critical when nearly 50 percent of teachers leave the job after five years, according to the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. The education world has noticed UNT’s College of Education successes. Teach for America, the prestigious national program that takes teachers into low-income communities across the country, tapped eight recent UNT graduates for the 2012-13 school year. U.S. News & World Report ranked UNT’s counseling program 12th nationwide and the first in Texas in 2012. And national organizations have bestowed awards and high-ranking positions on UNT education alumni, including principals, superintendents and college presidents. UNT graduates conduct research that is used by the Texas Legislature to set state education policy and best practices. The Center


Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute founded by Joshua Chilton


Training (Demonstration) School begins

Jonathan Reynolds


Danielli Costa (’11), math teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas, graduated from UNT’s Teach North Texas program.

Summer school becomes state-funded, contributing to huge enrollment growth (becoming the largest teachers’ college in the Southwest by the 1920s)


Education Building built to house the Demonstration School

for Play Therapy provides the largest play therapy training program in the world, with graduates duplicating the program at other universities around the globe. And innovative bilingual programs are being created to meet changing demographics. Even with all of these achievements and special programs, educating the educators comes down to the basics, says Kathryn Everest (’80, ’90 M.Ed.), a former teacher and counselor who also earned her mid-management/administration certification from UNT in 2000. She serves as director of guidance and counseling for the Fort Worth ISD and sits on the State Board of Educator Certification, which monitors the teacher preparation program. “UNT teaches the importance of relationships and rigor,” she says. “You have to develop the relationships with your kids and your colleagues. The more there’s that trust and communication, the more there’s that connection to learning.” ONE CLASSROOM TO ANOTHER When Costa entered her classroom, she knew what to expect. As a student teacher, she learned about curriculum and planning lessons, with opportunities to teach those lessons at different schools. But the Teach North Texas faculty provided her with subtler teaching techniques that would serve her well, too. John Quintanilla, professor of mathematics and co-director of Teach North Texas, often asked offbeat, sometimes difficult questions that students pose and then would have the future teachers answer them as practice, Costa says. “One of my students asked me a question about statistics,” she says. “So, to get him to think it through, I asked him,


‘What do you think?’ And he answered his own question.” UNT’s Teach North Texas program was initiated with $2.4 million in grants from the Greater Texas Foundation and the National Mathematics and Science Initiative and further supported by the Texas Instruments Foundation. The program began in fall 2008 as a partnership between the College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences and prepares students to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics. UNT has been a leader in developing innovative education programs, going back to 1914, when it became one of the first colleges in the nation to offer a professional development model by establishing the training, or demonstration school. As a student in the 1970s, Stella Cook Bell (’73) says her professors emphasized that kindergarten would be an important and growing field, as early childhood education was proving to help increase the learning of disadvantaged students prior to entering elementary school. UNT’s training also was holistic and interdisciplinary, with instruction in the social, emotional, intellectual and physical aspects of students’ lives. “I learned the importance of educating the whole child,” says Bell, who went on to earn a doctorate and worked 29 years as a teacher and principal in the Austin ISD. During that same decade, Elva Concha LeBlanc (’75, ’78 M.Ed., ’86 Ph.D.) earned her bachelor’s degree, then went to work as a kindergarten teacher in the Fort Worth ISD. In the evenings, she pursued her master’s in early childhood education and Spanish literature. LeBlanc — now president of Tarrant County College’s Northwest Campus

First doctoral degrees offered in education and music (first doctoral graduate in 1953)

— tested theories she was learning in class at her job, creating an environment for active learning by arranging the classroom into centers for art, math, books and pretend play. She also understood the importance of assessing student progress and preparing portfolios to identify areas in which students needed additional support. “It made quantum sense,” she says. PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE AND BEYOND Teachers who want to advance to higher levels — whether as counselors or administrators — often are taught at UNT by working professionals who give them a first-hand look at the world they’re pursuing. Adjunct professor Andra Penny (’73, ’76 M.Ed., ’96 Ph.D.) says one of the first questions she asks the graduate students who take her educational administration, communication and finance courses is, “Are you sure?” Penny definitely knows the field. She taught elementary school for 20 years and has been principal for Cottonwood Elementary School in Coppell for 16 years. She also teaches courses on teaching, learning and assessment at the Summer Principals Academy at Columbia Teachers College in New York City and Tulane University in New Orleans. She has served as president of the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association. “I’m going to tell you like it is,” she says. “It’s beyond the book.” Most of Penny’s students are professionals, so she says she can relate to them. “I can identify and understand what they’re going through.” And UNT’s graduate school provides financial resources for aspiring superintendents, such as the Southwest Securities Superintendent Certification


Education Building (now named Matthews Hall) built

Michael Clements

Jonathan Reynolds

Elva Concha LeBlanc (’75, ’78 M.Ed., ’86 Ph.D.) is president of Tarrant County College’s Northwest Campus in Fort Worth.

Mark Henry (’89 M.Ed., ’92 Ed.D.) is superintendent of the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD in Houston, the third largest school district in Texas and the 25th largest in the nation.


UNT’s counseling program among the first accredited in the U.S.


Endowed chair established: Velma E. Schmidt Endowed Chair for Critical Early Childhood Studies

Gary Payne

Gabriela Borcoman (’04 Ph.D.) works as a senior program director for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in Austin.

Scholarship Program funded by UNT System Regent Don Buchholz (’52), chairman emeritus of Dallas-based Southwest Securities. UNT graduates serve as superintendents in various districts in Texas. Mark Henry (’89 M.Ed., ’92 Ed.D.), a superintendent for 20 years, in 2009 was a finalist for Texas Superintendent of the Year and was named Association of Texas Professional Educators Texas Administrator of the Year. He was a 27-year-old teacher and coach when he was observed by Watt Black, founding director of the Meadows Excellence in Teaching Program at UNT, and Black suggested Henry go into educational leadership. Henry heads Cypress-Fairbanks ISD in the Houston area — the third largest school district in Texas and the 25th largest in the nation.


“I went through North Texas at the best time ever,” he says. “It was a good mix of career and adjunct professors giving me exposure to everything I would need coming from a superintendent’s perspective.” RESEARCH TO REAL LIFE UNT also prepares researchers and educators in higher education. Soko Starobin (’96, ’98 M.Ed., ’04 Ph.D.) saw how research could be a powerful tool as a research associate at UNT’s Bill J. Priest Center for Community College Education, which prepares leaders and teachers for specific careers in community colleges. She studied higher education policy under Stephen G. Katsinas, the inaugural director of the center, and learned about students’ access to college and success, including how the maximum amount of

UNT’s Teach North Texas program established


federal Pell grants given to students was not enough to pay for all college expenses. Starobin also learned how colleges develop targets for student retention and graduation rates as part of the Closing the Gaps Higher Education Plan. “Eventually, those policies informed by the research are going to affect individuals in higher education,” she says. “That excited me.” Starobin, now assistant professor of higher education and director in the Office of Community College Research and Policy at Iowa State University, focuses on the impact of community colleges. Her work was recognized with the 2010 Barbara K. Townsend Emerging Scholar Award from the Council for the Study of Community Colleges. She says her education at UNT was helpful because she got to work with many

First endowed superintendent certification program in Texas created

Jonathan Reynolds

administrators at Dallas-Fort Worth community colleges. “It was quite an experience to see their roles in executing their institutional policies,” she says. “That’s the learning I couldn’t get in the textbook.” Gabriela Borcoman (’04 Ph.D.) works as a senior program director for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in Austin, where her research is read and used by some of the most influential leaders in the state and in education. “Legislators want to know a lot of information,” she says. “When they work on a bill, they need research.” Bell, the former teacher and principal in Austin, now works at the Texas Comprehensive Center, where she disseminates research so teachers can use effective strategies — such as collaborating with their colleagues to align curriculum,


instruction and assessment to state standards. “These efforts need to be mutually supportive for student achievement,” she says. INTO THE FUTURE While UNT has a long and rich history in successfully educating educators, it continues to set new goals, says Jerry Thomas, dean of the College of Education. In the past decade, the college has produced 548 doctorates. It also has increased its grant funding so it now brings in as many grant dollars as faculty salary dollars to support research and innovative educational programs that have worldwide impact. And UNT is keeping up with the nation’s rapidly changing demographics through its bilingual/ESL program. The

U.S. News & World Report ranks the counseling program 12th nationwide, the 10th time rated first in Texas and in the top 20 nationally


Soko Starobin (’96, ’98 M.Ed., ’04 Ph.D.) is an assistant professor of higher education and director in the Office of Community College Research and Policy at Iowa State University.

Future Bilingual Teachers Academy hosts a summer camp for Hispanic high school students interested in pursuing a career in bilingual education. In the last decade, UNT has increased its bilingual/ESL teaching graduates tenfold. From 2004 to 2007, UNT had a total of 22 bilingual/ESL teaching graduates. From 2008 to 2012, it grew to 239 graduates with that specialty. With her math and bilingual background, Costa fits the attributes of the teacher of the future. Just as UNT prepared Costa for teaching, her students were ready for their standardized tests. More than 95 percent of her freshmen passed the state tests. “That feeling,” she says, “is more rewarding than anything.”

UNT’s Kristin Farmer Autism Center (see page 30), the first endowed autism center in Texas focused on intervention, research and education, opens


Michael Clements


Kristin Farmer Autism Center UNT’s new 20,000-square-foot Many families caring for a child with an autism spectrum center on I-35E will serve the disorder need testing and more effective treatments, and face long community with cutting-edge commutes from school to diagnostic facility, to therapy center, to autism interventions and treat- doctor’s office. UNT’s Kristin Farmer Autism Center, opening in ments, combining innovative Denton in September, will serve as a comprehensive resource for research with student training. families across the North Texas region. The center is a one-stop

facility for education, diagnosis, treatment, training and research. Founded with the help of Kristin Farmer (’95 M.Ed.), CEO of Comprehensive Educational Services Inc., known as ACES, the center will provide high-quality services designed and implemented by top researchers, professors and professionals at UNT. “The opening of the center is the realization of a dream of mine for many years,” Farmer says. “Together with UNT, I proudly share in this commitment to develop a cutting-edge, world-renowned center for individuals with autism and their families.”



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E d uc a tio n

Michael Clements

Four classrooms will support fulltime individualized instructional activities for students with autism spectrum disorders. The center also features classroom space for UNT students taking special education, applied behavior analysis, and speech and hearing therapy courses.

Di a g n o s tic s a n d T r e a tme n t

Two large rooms will be used for comprehensive diagnostic testing and evaluation in autism determination, early childhood development, global educational assessments and assessments of academic, developmental, vocational, adaptive behavior and social skills. Nine therapy rooms offer space for applied behavior analysis; speech and language therapy; play, music, art and recreational therapy; nutritional services; and psychological counseling for individuals, families, parents and siblings. The building also features a large occupational and physical therapy room.

Re s e a r ch a n d s e r v ice

Experts from several areas will collaborate at the center, continuing UNT’s history of expanding autism research and programs. UNT is home to the first graduate training program accredited by the Association of Behavior Analysis International, and graduates help thousands of children each year. Graduate-level concentrations in autism intervention and research are offered within the special education program. And the speech and hearing program provides undergraduate education and clinical services that help people with autism spectrum disorders.

T ech n olog y

Michael Clements

Video capture technology will give students, researchers, families and professionals an advantage by allowing remote viewing of activities throughout the center. Cameras will replace antiquated two-way mirrors and allow for fine-tuned data collection and analysis. And video teleconference systems that provide research resources will allow for collaboration with partners around the world.

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I Alumni and faculty work to increase crop yields, protect the environment and create sustainable energy solutions



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by Alyssa Yancey

In the 1880s, Charles Darwin discovered that a blade of grass would no longer grow toward sunlight if the tip was covered with tin foil. This discovery suggested that the tip of the plant was somehow communicating with the rest of the plant to ensure optimal exposure to the sun. Darwin’s discovery created the field of plant signaling, or the study of how plants use chemical signals to control their responses to the environment. More than a century later, Heidi Szemenyei (’97 TAMS, ’99, ’01), as a graduate student researching plant science at the University of California-San Diego, published a paper in Science magazine about another role of genes responsive to auxin, the same chemical studied by Darwin. She explained how they signal genes to facilitate root initiation in the bottom but not the top of the developing plant. Szemenyei, who attended UNT’s prestigious Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science and later earned bachelor’s degrees in biology and anthropology from UNT before her graduate studies, is one of many UNT alumni who are part of a new generation of researchers pushing the boundaries of plant science. In 2008, UNT formed the Signaling Mechanisms in Plants research cluster, a multi-disciplinary team of researchers studying plant signaling to improve energy, agriculture, nutrition and medicine. “We are trying to help plants do what they do, better, especially in our changing environment. It’s getting hotter and dryer, so to produce the same yield in those conditions is challenging,” says Kent Chapman, Regents Professor of biology. “What we really need is to get more yield under even worse conditions.”

Triple impact Catalina Pislariu (’06 Ph.D.), a postdoctoral research fellow at the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in Ardmore, Okla., is looking for ways to reduce the amount of outside nitrogenous fertilizer that needs to be introduced to crops. Sustainable agriculture is an area she researched while completing her doctorate with Rebecca Dickstein, professor of biology. Pislariu originally came to Texas from Romania to study with Camelia Maier (’92 M.S., ’96 Ph.D.), an assistant professor of biology at Texas Woman’s University and a fellow Romanian, but she earned her degrees at UNT after becoming interested in Dickstein’s work. Nitrogenous fertilizers supply large amounts of “fixed” nitrogen, reduced forms that plants can use and that are required for productive agriculture, but

Renée Vernon

Heidi Szemenyei (’97 TAMS, ’99, ’01)

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Matthew Lester

Gary Payne

Defense against insects

plants typically absorb only about 30 percent of the fertilizer applied on the soil. The other 70 percent is released into the atmosphere, leaches into the groundwater or runs off into ponds and streams, causing air pollution and water quality issues. With Dickstein, Pislariu studied the beneficial association between legumes and nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the soil, to better understand how the legumes could obtain fixed nitrogen more efficiently. “By characterizing legume genes that regulate this environmentally friendly biological process, we might be able to control some of them and make natural nitrogen fixation more efficient,” Pislariu says. “This research has a triple impact: on our environment, our food and our health.” Pislariu’s work on symbiotic mutants was published in Plant Physiology and is expected to be a valuable resource for legume researchers. Pislariu is now focused on characterizing more of the thousands of genes involved in this process at the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and continues to collaborate with Dickstein. UNT has a decade-long relationship with the foundation, including joint grant programs, and this fall recruited Richard A. Dixon, who is credited with building the foundation’s plant biology program. A world-renowned specialist in metabolic engineering of plants and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Dixon will bring new levels of bio-based products expertise to UNT when he begins work in February.



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UNT biology graduate Joe Louis (’11 Ph.D.) is trying to improve the environment through his research on the relationship between plants and insects. Louis earned a master’s degree in entomology at Kansas State University and stayed to work on his doctoral degree in molecular biology. When his major professor, Jyoti Shah, came to UNT, so did Louis. “UNT gave us the opportunity to establish new labs in the new Life Sciences Complex and to collaborate with really great faculty members,” Louis says. Under Shah’s direction, Louis studied the mechanisms that allow plants to defend themselves against insect attack. Specifically, Louis used green peach aphids and the Arabidopsis plant as a model system to study what kinds of mechanisms and genes mobilize plant defenses. “One way to control these infestations is to apply more insecticides. We want to identify the plant’s indigenous defenses so we can enhance them, allowing the plants to better resist the insects by themselves,” Louis says. “This method would reduce our dependence on costly insecticides, make our environment cleaner and promote better health for humans and animals.” In Shah’s lab, Louis was part of a team that identified the role of MPL1, a gene that helps provide defense against aphids. The findings, published in Plant Journal, were significant as they illustrated for the first time how lipids or their products help provide defense against sap-sucking insects. |

Fall 2012

While at UNT, Louis won many awards, including the International Congress on Insect Neurochemistry and Neurophysiology Student Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, Toxicology and Molecular Biology from the Entomological Foundation. He also won the John Henry Comstock Graduate Student Award from the Entomological Society of America. Currently, he works as a postdoctoral fellow at Pennsylvania State University, where he focuses on how insect salivary proteins alter plant defenses.

Bio-based economy Researchers in UNT’s Signaling Mechanisms in Plants cluster have formed strong connections with engineers in UNT’s Renewable Bioproducts cluster, which is focused on green solutions for products using plants, bacteria and other bio-agent materials. Researchers from both areas hope to establish a group focused on metabolic engineering to bridge the two clusters. “There is a whole research area focused on what is called the bio-based economy, a significant field for the future,” Chapman says. “We are looking for replacements for all the things that we draw from fossil fuels, including energy and materials. We can significantly lower our carbon footprint by using renewable materials.” Szemenyei, now a project scientist at the Energy Biosciences Institute at the University of California-Berkeley, is

From left: Catalina Pislariu (’06 Ph.D.) with Rebecca Dickstein, professor of biology; and Joe Louis (’11 Ph.D.)


Groundbreaking research is earning UNT a national reputation in plant science, enabling the university to attract top scientists, secure millions in funding and build cuttingedge labs. UNT recently hired internationally renowned plant signaling expert Richard A. Dixon, director of plant

working on the cutting edge of the renewable energy movement with projects aimed at converting plants into biofuels more efficiently. She says that although she didn’t begin studying plants until later in her graduate career, she developed a passion for research and lab work while attending TAMS. Currently, she is working with tobacco plants to find a way to produce more of the enzymes necessary for creating ethanol naturally. “One of the most expensive parts of creating cellulosic ethanol is the cost of the enzymes used to break down plant cell walls,” Szemenyei says. “We hope to modify the plants to produce those enzymes at very high levels.” Chapman believes the future for plant science is bright at UNT. All of the research cluster members have external funding, including grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Cotton Inc. Earlier this year, UNT researchers published papers in three consecutive issues of Plant Cell, the journal with the highest impact in the field. “It really has been the perfect combination. We had the opening of the new Life Sciences Complex, UNT’s support and investment in the cluster program and a big recruiting effort for faculty experts, so it all just came together,” Chapman says. “With our growing expertise, we’re emerging as one of the leading programs in plant sciences in the country.”

biology and senior vice president at the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, to join the collaborative Signaling Mechanisms in Plants research cluster. A member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Dixon was aware of UNT’s impressive investment in research and world-class facilities in the new Life Sciences Complex as a member of the cluster’s advisory board. “UNT had a very clear vision of what it wanted, and that was excellence,” he says. “I felt this would be a great opportunity to build something new at UNT.” Researchers in the cluster, which was formed in 2008, study how plants use a complex network of molecular signals in growth, development and defense responses to stress. Understanding these signaling processes has far-reaching effects, including advancing new technologies in agriculture, nutrition, energy and the environment. Dixon’s research and expertise will build on the bridged work between the Signaling Mechanisms in Plants research cluster and the Renewable Bioproducts research cluster, solidifying UNT’s commitment to finding sustainable solutions for reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

Watch a video about UNT’s innovative plant research at

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Jonathan Reynolds

UNT’s Apogee Stadium, the nation’s first newly constructed collegiate football stadium to achieve the highest level of LEED certification recognizing its sustainable building features, hosted record crowds in last year’s inaugural season.

Building excitement Season two in UNT’s Apogee Stadium brings national audience and media exposure as the Mean Green’s days in the Sun Belt Conference wind down.

The celebration is under way with a high-profile second season for the Mean Green in UNT’s world-class Apogee Stadium. The first-of-its-kind green stadium hosted record crowds last year, breaking the all-time single-season attendance record with more than 113,000 fans. Enjoying the final Sun Belt Conference campaign before moving to Conference USA in 2013, the Mean Green is primed for success with many televised games, including a national broadcast on ESPN2. Come out and celebrate each home game day with tailgating activities around campus. A new pedestrian bridge over I-35E To order tickets and to keep up to will provide easier access for fans heading to the stadium. Arrive date on Mean Green scores and early for fan-friendly, family-oriented festivities including the highlights, visit Mean Green March. And follow Scrappy through his kingdom for this year’s “Once Upon a Homecoming” Nov. 3 against Arkansas State (see inside back cover for details).



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Diplomacy specialist The U.S. Embassy in Paris had the perfect job for Kelsey Perlman (’12), an international studies and French major and captain of the Mean Green soccer team her junior and senior years. The embassy was looking for a French-speaking female athlete to serve as a sports diplomacy specialist. The job has Perlman touring France to promote gender equality and the benefits of sports for professional success. Besides playing soccer with various clubs, she talks to kids about the benefits of Title IX and other topics. She says that Laetitia Knight, lecturer in the way to her job, allowing her to take unpaid internships and study for a semester abroad at the University of Caen in France. “I think this job was made for me,” she says. “I’d never be in the position I am now if I hadn’t gone to UNT.” Read more at

Courtesy of U.S. Department of State

French, and her UNT athletic scholarship paved

Kelsey Perlman (’12) talks to youth in France as a sports diplomacy specialist. Academic excellence

Mean Green student-athletes continue to perform well in the classroom, according to the latest Academic Progress Report released by the NCAA. The men’s cross country team had its second consecutive perfect multi-year score of 1,000. Three other teams — men’s golf, women’s tennis and women’s swimming and diving — all recorded a 992. And for the second year in a row, the Mean Green football program posted its best-ever multi-year score with a 938. Since the inception of the APR in 2004, the football program has raised its score from 907 to the current 938, making improvement in each of the last four years. The combined GPA of all studentathletes improves each year and in

2011-12 was at its highest since 2001. In other good academic news, Ty Spinella, a senior on the men’s golf team, was named an All-America Scholar by the Golf Coaches Association of America.

Mean Green Football home games ahead Sept. 22: Troy University, Family Weekend, ESPN3 regionally televised

Sun Belt TV games

Several Mean Green football games are slated to be broadcast this fall, focusing the eyes of the college football world on UNT. In addition to five ESPN family network games, including the nationally televised home game on ESPN2 — 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, against Louisiana-Lafayette — the Oct. 6 game at the University of Houston will be shown on Comcast Sports Southeast. For a complete season schedule and to order tickets, visit

Fall 2012

Oct. 16: University of Louisiana-Lafayette, ESPN2 nationally televised

Nov. 3: Arkansas State University, Homecoming

Nov. 10: University of South Alabama, Sun Belt Conference home finale, TXA21 regionally televised




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Tony Mitchell may be the next NBA superhero. Here’s why: •

One of only 21 invitees to LeBron James Skills Academy

One of only 14 players invited to Amar’e Stoudemire Skills Academy

U19 Team USA leader in rebounding and blocked shots

Lou Henson Award finalist for Mid-Major Player of the Year

Nation’s only freshman to average a double-double

Catch the fever as the Mean Green make a run for the NCAA tournament before moving to Conference USA.

— Tony MiTchell,

Mean Green forward, Sun BelT conference freShMan of The year

Buy your season tickets online or by phone today.

800-UNT-2366 | 940-565-2527



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| Upcoming Alumni Gatherings

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Down the Corridor

| In the News

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| Friends We’ll Miss

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Michael Clements



in this section | Connecting With Friends

outstanding Journalist Former North Texas Daily editor Andrew McLemore (’10) earns prestigious prize for article series. Read the full story at

ANDREW MCLEMORE (’10) MADE HIS MARK on journalism at just 25 years old. McLemore won the Livingston Award, given to journalists younger than 35 for outstanding work. He was recognized in the local reporting category for his stories in The Williamson County Sun about Michael Morton, a man who had been wrongly convicted and imprisoned for his wife’s murder in 1986. McLemore, who now works for the Fort Worth Weekly, says he was honored to win the prestigious prize. “To have it happen this early in my career is more gratifying than words,” he says.

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Keep up with the latest developments in the UNT family and tell your peers what you’ve been up to since leaving the nest. Send your news to The North Texan (see contact information on page 7). Members of the UNT Alumni Association are designated with a . Read more, share comments and connect with friends at


Fame last fall by the American Advertising Federation 10th District for outstanding contributions to the advertising industry and community. He was president and CEO of Point Communications, and at TracyLocke he was art director, vice president, manager of the creative department and member of the board.


Siloam Springs, Ark.

Jonathan Reynolds

:: published a collection of short stories and essays, The Grape-Toned Stude­


her mother and sister moved to Denton so she could attend college. Her mother eventually ran a boarding house for girls. Jewell studied education, served on the Fine Arts Committee and was a member of the Mary Ardens. She is still active in her church and community.

1948 Jewell Bruner Hutson, Kerens

:: celebrated her 101st birthday this year. After she graduated from high school in 1929, she and 40


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Bill R. Neale (’53 M.A.),

Dallas :: was inducted into the

Southwest Advertising Hall of


Fall 2012

1955 Helen Lucas Reed, Grapevine ::

Louis B. Houston,

Nergis Soylemez-Sayed (’06), quality assurance engineer for Thermadyne, is named to “40 New Voices of Quality.” Read more at

baker (Dog Ear Publishing). Many feature colorful characters in his life, including his father’s 1936 Studebaker President in the title role and a young king of rock in “Elvis Ate My Hamburger.”

was named Woman of the Year by the Grapevine Chamber of Commerce. Since retiring from Mobil Oil Corp. in 1994 as a tax accountant, she has served as board member and president of the Grapevine Historical Society,

Upcoming Alumni Gatherings Alumni and friends are cheering on the Mean Green and the university this fall. Here’s a sampling of events: Family Weekend: Join us Sept. 21-23 for a fun-filled weekend of activities, including cheering on the Mean Green football team against Troy University. Learn how to get involved at transition.unt. edu/family_weekend, or 940-565-4198. Homecoming 2012: Check out the poster on the inside back cover for information about Homecoming Nov. 2-3. Visit for a full listing of events. Enter to win tickets to the game and prizes by emailing by Oct. 5 with “Homecoming” in the subject line. Include T-shirt size and mailing address. UNT Fall Preview: Prospective students and their families are invited to campus Nov. 10 to learn more about what UNT has to offer. Free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, contact Michelle Bradley at or 940-565-2681. Mean Green Merit Day: High-achieving high school seniors and their families are invited to visit the UNT campus Nov. 30 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to learn about UNT’s Honors College, academics and scholarship opportunities. For more information, contact Michelle Bradley at or 940-565-2681.

worked as a museum docent and tour guide, and donated many hours to the chamber’s Women’s Division. At North Texas, she was a member of Delta Gamma.

accommodations and gourmet meals along with spectacular scenery and challenging rides.


Terry Hunt, Waco :: is back

Camano Island, Wash.

:: was promoted by FedEx

in Texas after 10 years in radio in Pittsburgh, Pa. He is the cohost of a morning show on new Waco radio station KRMX, 92.9 Shooter FM.


Services from account executive in Fort Worth to business development in Bellevue, Wash. She and her husband, Charles, now live north of Seattle.

Ken Simpson, Palm Springs, Calif. :: is

Karla Burkholder (’90 M.S.), Lake Kiowa

:: director

of instructional technology at the Northwest ISD, was elected 2012-13 president of TCEA, the largest state organization devoted to the use of technology in education. She also worked in instructional technology in Lewisville and Callisburg.

Brad Flowers (’95)

Jillien Garrison Anthony,


Luxury travel by design It’s not where you are going, it’s how you get there. That’s the philosophy of Viaggio Lux, the luxury travel design company

Julie Mandrell (’97) started in 2009. It keeps her busy designing the interiors of private aircraft and buses for clients ranging from royalty to NASCAR. Mandrell says her mother, Lahna Wood Wheeler, who attended the university in 1965-66, recommended UNT as the right university for her

founder and CEO of Skin 2 Skin Care, an award-winning line of non-toxic skin care products certified cruelty-free and vegan. He drew on his experience in product development for luxury resort spas to develop this line when radiation treatments left his skin damaged. As a fashion design student, he was inspired by Betty Marzan Mattil, with whom he worked on what is now the Texas Fashion Collection.

M. Katherine Turpin Gravatt, Nacogdoches :: retired

bun, a Vietnamese dish.

after 22 years with the U.S. Department of Defense as a graphic manager. She recently married Dennis Gravatt, chair of the Department of Biology at Stephen F. Austin State University.

never experienced before. I took in everything,” Mandrell says.



Jeanne Twehous, North Con-

Dennis Bull (Ph.D.), Richard-

and her interest in interior design. “When I was growing up, my grandmother and mom were constantly painting rooms, putting up wallpaper or space planning,” she says. Mandrell remembers UNT offered many creative influences, beginning with a roommate who introduced her to one of her now-favorite foods, “There were new friends, music, art, a variety of cultures, things I had After earning her interior design degree, she landed a job in Dallas with a fabric company, which opened the door to designing the interiors of customized buses for manufacturer Country Coach. And through an invitation from a vendor, Mandrell experienced her first NASCAR race. “I became fascinated with the sport and its culture,” she says. In 2005, Mandrell expanded to airplanes as a designer for Gulfstream Aerospace. She traveled to exotic places with clients that included the royal family of Abu Dhabi. When the luxury travel business put the brakes on in 2008, she didn’t slow down. She opened Viaggio Lux, designing for

way, N.H. :: started Vesta Velo, a bicycle touring company for women only, based in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. She says the tours feature deluxe

son :: was made a full-time fac-

ulty member at the North Dallas campus of Strayer University, teaching psychology, humanities, sociology and religion.

NASCAR clients through Amadas/Featherlite Coaches in Suffolk, Va. and Piaggio Aero in Denton retained her to design private planes. “I’ve always wanted to design and knew I could do it,” Mandrell says. “I’m completely passionate about interior design.” — Rebecca Poynter

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1984 Doug Renfro, Keller :: is president of Renfro Foods, one of seven finalists across the nation for the 2012 Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award, presented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The family business makes salsas, sauces and relishes.

1986 John Bennett (M.A.), Amarillo

:: earned his seventh degree, a

Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham in the U.K. His doctoral thesis was on the his-

tory of renting pews in Anglican churches. He practices law in Amarillo, representing indigent appellants in criminal cases. He says, on the basis of one of his appeals, the Texas statute permitting cross-examination of children by written interrogatories was declared unconstitutional.

Lisa Doty Oliphant, Spartanburg, S.C. :: was promoted to

marketing specialist at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. She earned her RTVF degree at UNT.

Zachary Smith, Fredericks-

burg, Va. :: won the grand prize

in the 2012 Composition Contest at the Humboldt Brass Chamber Music Workshop for his trio “French Quarter Snapshots.” The contest focuses on original 8-10 minute works for college-level brass trio or quartet. The submissions were performed during the workshop this summer at Humboldt State University.

1987 Tracy Bolt (’87 M.S.), Fort

Worth :: is a tax partner at Hartman Leito & Bolt and has been with the accounting firm for more than 16 of its 25 years. He focuses on leadership develop-

ment, family succession, and transactional and business advisory, along with federal tax consultation.

Pamela Rainville,

Grapevine ::

began her own counseling private practice, PRainville Counseling, this year. She offers general counseling for adults and adolescents and helps those who have experienced trauma.

Down the Corridor Talons swap stories at the Egyptian



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Fall 2012

Michael Clements

Future doctors, lawyers, educators, businessmen and some well-known names were Talons at North Texas. Founded in the 1920s as the earliest men’s social club on campus, the Talons became the Kappa Alpha Order in 1953-54. (Later, the Talons name was used for the spirit group on campus.) Talons from the 1940s and ’50s got together in July to share stories at Campisi’s Egyptian Lounge in Dallas. “We used to take our dates to the Egyptian,” says Sid Holliday (’53), who hosted a Talons get-together about a decade ago that kicked off the reunions. “That was the place to go. Of course, they only had one road coming from Denton at the time.” Holliday passed the organization of the reunions along to George Ferrell (’54), who recently passed that duty to longtime doctor Jim Nicholson (’55). Nicholson says the Talons were just “good blue-collar guys from blue-collar families” who made something of themselves. They were a popular group, and administrators were familiar with them, too. “We did some good things, and we did some college-boy mischief,” he recalls. “Let’s just say President Matthews knew us all by first name.” The organization was “a magnet for golfers,” including Billy Maxwell, Don January (’53), Marion Hiskey (’54) and A.J. Triggs (’55). Soon after the Talons became the KAs, an already well-known singer by the name of Pat Boone pledged the group. The story goes that it took several rounds of voting before he was admitted, thanks to a few members who jokingly blackballed the highly sought-after pledge. College days were put on hold as the men joined the military during the Korean War. Talons were represented in all branches, and Nicholson was awarded the Silver Star just last year for his actions as a Marine there.

From left, standing, Darrell Arnold (’55), Kenneth Fuller (’54), Sid Holliday (’53), A.J. Triggs (’55), Bobby Mote (’54), George Ferrell (’54), Don January (’53), John Roberts (’53, ’73 Ed.D.), Winston Hudson (’54), Gene Bond; seated, Harold Secker (’54), Kenneth Casaday (’53), Jim Nicholson (’55), Bob Donohue (’53). Also attending: Bill Lawhorn (’50, ’51 M.S.) and John Wright (’51). The group has stayed in touch with UNT over the years. Bill Lawhorn (’50, ’51 M.S.), a football player who became a dentist, returns for Homecoming. As an athlete, Lawhorn had access to laundry facilities and washed clothes for fellow Talons. He says they mostly paid their bill — with some exceptions. “Be sure and say that Billy Maxwell still owes me for two shirts and a pair of pants,” he jokes. For more information about the group’s activities, email sid168@att. net. To read more, visit

Holiday ornament sales to fund scholarships Celebrate your holidays with UNT and help students at the same time. The UNT Alumni Association’s 2012 holiday ornament features the “In High Places” Eagle statue in front of the Hurley Administration Building and McConnell Clock Tower. Finished in 24-carat gold, the ornament includes a custom gift box. A portion of the proceeds benefits the association’s scholarship fund. “The ornament is a unique way to remember special moments on campus while helping raise money for a good cause,” says Derrick P. Morgan, executive director of the association. The cost is $20 plus $2.50 shipping and tax for Texas residents. Supplies are limited. To order, email or call 940-565-2834.

1991 Lori Emerson Conrad, Dallas

:: was named Dallas-Fort Worth market communications director for CBS Local Media in April, with properties including television stations CBS 11 and TXA 21 and radio stations KLUV, KRLD and others.

1992 Nick Norwood (M.A.),

Columbus, Ga. :: who teaches

at Columbus State University, wrote Gravel and Hawk (Ohio University Press), the winner of the annual Hollis Summers Poetry Prize. The poems, set in the Texarkana area, focus on a single extended family and its encounters with violent death.

1994 Kimberly Priest-Johnson, Dallas :: opened her own

boutique law firm, Priest Johnson PLLC, representing clients in complex commercial litigation and defending companies and corporate officers in white-collar criminal investigations and prosecutions.

1996 Mary Burke (M.A.), Fort Worth ::

is the new director of the Sid Richardson Museum in Sundance Square. She previously was the museum’s director of education and was a Marcus Fellow at UNT.

Phil Godwin, Richardson :: is global vice president of sales and marketing at Clear Technologies. His story is highlighted in the book What Great Salespeople Do: The Science of Selling Through Emotional Connection and the

Power of Story (McGraw-Hill), by Mike Bosworth and Ben Zoldan.

1999 Gretchen Schermerhorn,

1997 Ken Prouty (M.M.), Lansing, Mich. :: assistant professor of

musicology and jazz studies at Michigan State University, has written a new book, Knowing Jazz: Community, Pedagogy and Canon in the Information Age (University Press of Mississippi).


Silver Spring, Md. :: received a 2012 Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award. A printmaker and papermaker, she is artistic director at Pyramid Atlantic art center in the Washington, D.C., area. She took her first printmaking class with Judy Youngblood at UNT in 1997 and says it changed her life — and her major.


Mandy Hamilton-O’Neill,

Dallas :: was appointed CEO of Leukemia Texas this spring. She previously led small and large nonprofits, such as the American Heart Association and MADD, focusing on education, health, equality and victim’s rights.

Fall 2012


Heather Ancheta (’02 M.A.),

McKinney :: was named Leader

of the Year at Highland Springs, a retirement community in North Dallas. As health services manager, she oversees the Highland Springs Medical Center and programs related to wellness, rehabilitation and home support services for more than 500 residents.



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...... I N T H E //


News ➺

Plains Theatre Conference, a nationally renowned competition.

Chris Correa, Chicago, Ill. ::

It’s been 10 years since

the release of Norah


Frank W. Ockenfels 3/C0urtesy of EMI

Come Away With Me, the Grammy-winning album that would become one of the best-selling of the decade. This year, the former UNT music student is in the

Denton :: and her husband,

Little Broken Hearts (Blue Note/

Ryan, welcomed their first child, Garrett Cade McCullough, in January. He weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces and was 21 inches long.

EMI), featuring original songs

she co-wrote with producer Danger Mouse (Brian Burton).

NPR says Jones is “making her sound cooler and more

unflappably sophisticated than ever.” She’s touring the U.S.,

Europe, Japan and South America, with shows in Austin,

Houston and Dallas Oct. 19-22.

➺ Sudhish Srikanth, 

Amanda Dawn McCullough,

news with her fifth solo effort,

2012 graduate of the Texas Acad-

emy of Mathematics and Science at UNT, was the lead author on research featured in more than 100 media outlets, including WebMD and ScienceDaily. The research, conducted in the UNT Center for Sport Psychology and Performance Excellence, indicates that middle school students who have good cardiovascular fitness — strong hearts and lungs — are more likely to score higher on state-required tests in mathematics and reading than those who aren’t as physically fit. Srikanth

Dave Ragan, Denton :: was promoted to senior financial planning specialist at Grunden Financial Advisory Inc. He previously was a financial planning specialist with the firm for nine years after earning his degree in finance. He also teaches a personal finance course at UNT.


worked with center director Trent

Yo Goto

results at the American Psychological Association annual

(M.M., ’05

meeting in August.

M.Ed.), Tokyo,

Haxton (’80) led to a production

consultant credit on the Sam Raimi-produced horror film The Possession — and a multitude of interviews. In the movie, released by Lionsgate in August, a mysterious cabinet said to be haunted by an ancient spirit wreaks havoc on

Japan :: was awarded the American Bandmasters Association 2011 Sousa/Ostwald Award for his composition Songs for Wind Ensemble.

its victims. Haxton is the current owner of the cabinet and details its history in his book The Dibbuk Box (Truman State University Press). The director of the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine at A.T. Still University in Kirksville, Mo., he exhibits the museum’s artifacts around the world. Haxton credits UNT’s English faculty and rigorous writing program for his success as an author. He attended the movie’s red carpet premiere at the ArcLight theater in Hollywood.



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Fall 2012

2009 Jasmine Stewart (M.B.A.), Atlanta, Ga.

:: student relations coordinator for the Georgia State Alumni Association, received the Outstanding Advisor award from CASE Affiliated Student Advancement Programs. She also was accepted into the Colonial Academic Alliance Visiting Professionals Program.


Petrie and faculty Christy Greenleaf and Scott Martin and presented

The research of Jason

received his Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine from Scholl College at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science this summer. He is a resident at West Houston Medical Center in podiatric medicine and surgery.

2007 Robin Buckallew (Ph.D.),

Hastings, Neb. :: wrote the play There is no Woman, which was chosen to be presented at the spring workshop of the Great

Chelsie Springer Witt (M.S.), Roanoke :: is the new adminis-

trator of Good Samaritan Society Lake Forest Village in Denton. She moved from Bozeman, Mont., to earn her master’s in long-term care, senior housing and aging services from UNT and completed an internship at Good Samaritan. She worked there as director of resource development for a year while studying for her license.


W E ’ L L


UNT’s alumni, faculty, staff and students are the university’s greatest legacy. When members of the Eagle family pass, they are remembered and their spirit lives on. Send information about deaths to The North Texan (see contact information on page 7). Read more, write memorials and connect with friends at

1930s Gladys Lewallen Longoria (’36, ’48 M.S.), Austin :: She was a teacher and then worked for the American Red Cross for 33 years, first as a caseworker and later as director of service to military families and veterans. She continued as a volunteer after retiring in 1978, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the American Red Cross national headquarters in

University Community Jim Albright,

1996. She said she was able to attend college due to the generosity of her uncles and was proud to stay involved with UNT.

Tommie Phillips Harris (’37), San Angelo :: She

Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Knox Rowe Wupperman (’38), Cedar Park :: Her grandfather, J. A. Withers, was one of the early leaders of Denton. As a student, she was a member of the Current Literature Club. She taught in the Austin area and later enjoyed traveling with friends and family and visiting her children.

Elma Frances Roberts Miller, Athens :: She attended North Texas from 1938 to 1940. Her daughter Carol Hudson (’66) says that although Frances left to get married before graduation, her college years continued to be a highlight of her life. She was a florist by trade and loved music.

Putnam, Grand Prairie, Seagoville and Sherman high schools, retiring in 1983. She was a member of Grayson County Retired Teachers Association and enjoyed cooking, sewing and being with her daughters and their families.

Eva Lucille Rumsey Coleman (’44), San Angelo :: She taught in West Texas towns including Eola, Eldorado, Menard, Miles and San Angelo for more than 40 years. She earned a master’s in elementary education in 1965 and, after retiring in 1985, remained an active education advocate and community volunteer. She encouraged her granddaughter Lara (’07) to attend UNT.

earned a bachelor’s degree in history and taught in rural schools in Burkburnett and Pecos until she retired in 1980. She and her husband moved to Kermit in 1946 to raise a family and work in the oil fields of West Texas.

She taught home economics at

Corps during World War II in the South Pacific and returned to

Albright Advertising and Albright

Co. commercial he created with

member of the Mathematical Asso-

Council during the 1970s. As a

JDK Communications in Dallas. The

ciation of America and the Ameri-

1940s Mary Lynn Hicks McCulloch (’42), Sherman ::

Dave Spencer (’47), Pittsburg :: He served in the Marine

creative group head at TracyLocke

author of the textbook Creation of

can Mathematical Society.Prior


in Dallas during the late 1960s and

the Advertising Message, he wrote

to joining UNT, he was a National

professor of

early 1970s, he helped to create

numerous articles for AdWeek and

Science Foundation Fellow and

advertising in

a Doritos ad campaign that ran

other publications.

was employed by Chance Vought

the Mayborn School of Journalism,

for 12 years and made Doritos the

died June 30 in Denton. Albright

best seller for Frito-Lay. He also is

joined the faculty in 1989 and served as chair of the Department

Aircraft. Bilyeu earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in math from

credited with creating the name

Russell Gene Bilyeu

“Funyuns” for the company’s

(’52, ’57 M.S.),

from the University of Kansas.

of Journalism from 2000 to 2003.

onion-flavored snack. While teach-


After retiring, he moved to the

He was previously a copywriter,

ing, Albright continued to work

Emeritus of

country with his son where he

broadcast producer and creative

as an advertising consultant and

mathematics, died March 12 in

attended high school basket-

chief for several advertising agen-

producer. In 1998, he received two

Chico. He served on the math fac-

ball games, learned guitar and

cies and was the president of Jim

national awards for a Sally Beauty

ulty from 1960 to 2000. He was a

became a Texas Master Naturalist,

Fall 2012


North Texas and a doctoral degree



No r t h Texa n




complete his degree. He was an independent dealer for the 3M Company before retiring to his farm in Pittsburg. He and his brothers — Ralph (’50), Richard (’52) and the late John Spencer (’47) — were all members of the Geezles.

Barbara M. Getts (’49, ’52 M.B.Ed.), Fort Worth :: She served as associate professor in the business education department at the Tarrant County Junior College South Campus until her retirement in 1983. She also was a member of BOHN Citizens on Patrol.

1950s Gilbert Gorman (’50), Houston :: He graduated with a degree in journalism after serving in the Navy during World War II. He was a writer for the Houston Chronicle whose career included public relations and advertising. As a student, he was editor of the Campus

Chat and was named Who’s Who.

Janet Hoyl Burch (’55), Italy

:: She earned a bachelor’s degree in education at North Texas and was a member of Kappa Delta. She taught school for 10 years in Avelon prior to joining Ellis County Coop as an educational diagnostician. She also earned a master’s degree. She married her college sweetheart, the late

Robert “Bob” Burch (’58). Gail Wesley York (’55), Brownwood :: He was registrar and director of admissions at North Texas in the 1960s and early ’70s. He served in the U.S. Air Force and was a teacher and principal. He also worked at Midwestern State University and Tarleton State University. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

James Richard Griffin, Brady :: He was a retired CPA

Commerce and the boards of the Brady School District, Memorial Hospital and Historical Museum. At North Texas from 1954 to 1957, he was a member of Phi Kappa Sigma and FBLA. Survivors include his wife, Glee

Crawford Griffin (’57). Winford Craig Boyd (’58), Tool :: He was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and was named Who’s Who. He earned his medical degree from Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and served in the U.S. Air Force before starting his medical practice. He retired in 1999. He had completed seven marathons, was an avid bridge player and traveled with North Belize Medical Missions. He passed away while on a world cruise.

Helen Wilson Gardner (’58), Arlington :: She followed her brothers Howard Wilson (’52) and Marlin Wilson (’54) to North Texas,

tist Student Union. She met her husband, David (’64 M.S.), while teaching in California. After they moved to Arlington, she taught third grade for 25 years before joining him in retirement in 1987. They traveled extensively in the U.S. and Canada and spent the last several summers on the Oregon coast.

Nancy L. Nance Myers (’58), Peachtree City, Ga.

:: She taught home economics in the Duncanville, Dallas and Longview school districts for 24 years. After retirement, she enjoyed sewing, Bible study and volunteer work at Elmira Chapel in Longview.

Joyce Lee Thomas Hawthorne (’59, ’68 M.M.Ed.), Arlington, Va., and Boyce ‘Sonny’ Lee Thomas, Hayward, Calif.

:: The twins studied music

and a past member of the McCulloch County Chamber of

where she was active in the Bap-

at North Texas and taught in Fort Worth before relocating to California in 1969. Joyce was

protecting native grasslands and

Xi, Psi Chi and the Society for Re-

he was a research associate and

Columbia was published in the

developing his skills as an avid

search in Child Development. He

completed postdoctoral research.

journal Nature and could lead to

bird watcher.

previously taught at the University

better design and manufacturing

Harold D. Holloway,

Colorado. Holloway served in the

Zhibing Hu, Regents

U.S. Army Air Corps before earning

Professor of

Review Letters and the Journal of

(’49, ’50 M.S.),

his psychology degrees at North

physics who

Chemical Physics, among many


Texas, where he served as a teach-

had worked

others. His work was funded by

Emeritus of

of Tennessee and the University of

of glass. His papers also were published in Science, Physical

ing fellow and taught history and

at UNT since 1990, died July 16

the American Chemical Society

psychology, died Aug. 11. He was a

systems of psychology, general

in Houston. Hu was an expert on

Petroleum Research Fund, the

member of the psychology faculty

experimental psychology and the

hydrogels, water-based polymers

Army Research Office, Kimberly-

from 1961 to 1995 and had served

psychology of personality, primar-

with applications in medicine and

Clark Corp. and Alcon Laboratories.

as department chair. Holloway

ily to undergraduates. He earned

other areas, and he had numerous

He mentored students in UNT’s

was a member of the American

a doctorate in child psychology

patents. Research he conducted

Texas Academy of Mathematics

Psychological Association, Sigma

from the University of Iowa, where

with a team from Harvard and

and Science who earned Goldwa-



No r t h Texa n



Fall 2012

a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Jack and Jill. Sonny had served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and played saxophone in the 6th Army Band. He also performed with the Warlocks, a San Mateo, Calif.-based band. Joyce retired from the San Francisco Unified School District, and Sonny retired from East Palo Alto ISD. They died eight months apart.

1970s Marcia Mae Dickson Kinsey (’70 M.A.), Austin :: She worked at St. Edward’s University in Austin for 35 years in a variety of roles, including dean of the School of Humanities and associate professor of English. Her family says she had a passion for teaching and for music, dance, theatre and literature.

Linda Jean Kamp Gary (’74), Lake Dallas :: She earned her degree in political science and had a long career with

several technology companies. She was last employed by Citi Group in Las Colinas.

Linda Louise Fredrichsen Griffith (’74), North Richland Hills :: She taught at Everman High School and returned to teaching after her children were grown, spending several years at Carroll High School and St. John’s School. She also earned a master’s degree in fine arts. She played the alto saxophone and was a member of the Fort Worth Greater Fairmount Marching Band. Survivors include her husband of more than 40 years,

Peggy Hendricks Whisler (’80), San Antonio :: A former North Texas Daily editor, she worked as a copy editor at the San Antonio Express-News and before that had worked at the San Antonio Light, Temple Daily Telegram and The Orange Leader.

1990s Amy K. Frazier (’91), Dallas :: She was employed as an accountant at Philip Vogel & Co. She earned her UNT degree in psychology.


Clark Griffith (’74).

1980s Carmen Lopez Weldon (’80), Dallas :: She worked for Xerox and Southwestern Bell, and in her later years taught in the Dallas ISD, Grand Prairie ISD, Pantego Christian Academy and Mansfield ISD. She was twice named a Teacher of the Year.

Josephine Onita (’09), Houston :: She and her sister, Jennifer, were killed in a plane crash in Lagos, Nigeria, where they were attending a wedding. Josephine earned her degree in accounting control systems and was manager of all five locations of the Houston-area accounting business founded by her father, who immigrated to the U.S. more

than 20 years ago. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha.

2010s David Patrick Spencer (’11), Denton :: He served in the U.S. Army with the 173rd Airborne Division and with the Infantry Division in Fort Riley, Kan. He earned his degree in Englishlinguistics.

Ryan Joseph Schindler, Denton :: He was a native of Fort Worth and a 2009 graduate of Western Hills High School. He was majoring in psychology at UNT.

Melissa Michele Whittemore, Forney :: She was a senior pursuing an applied arts and sciences degree in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service.

ter Scholarships and recognition

tor of violin and was coordinator

Teachers National Association,


in the Intel and Siemens science

of the strings area for 20 years.

Pi Kappa Lambda and Phi Mu

Send memorials to honor UNT

competitions based on their

He previously was concertmaster

Alpha Sinfonia of America. He was

alumni and friends, made payable

research in his lab. His son, Peter,

and associate conductor of the

a recitalist and chamber music

to the UNT Foundation, to the

also attended TAMS and placed

Akron Symphony and founder

performer in Texas, Maine, New

University of North Texas, Division

sixth in the national Siemens

and conductor of the Winston-

York, North Carolina, Ohio and

of Advancement, 1155 Union Circle


Salem Symphony. He taught at

Virginia. Lerch earned bachelor’s

#311250, Denton, Texas 76203-

Salem College, Baldwin-Wallace

and master’s degrees from the

5017. Indicate on your check the

James R. Lerch, Profes-

Conservatory, the University of

Juilliard School of Music, where he

name of the fund or area you wish

Maine, the University of Akron and

received a Juilliard Foundation Fel-

to support. Make secure gifts

sor Emeritus

Tunghai University in Taiwan. He

lowship, and earned a doctorate

online at

of music,

was a violinist with the Carnegie

from the Eastman School of Music.

givenow. For more information,

died Aug. 9.

Trio and a member of the Eastman

He was a U.S. Army veteran.

email or call 940-

He served on the faculty at UNT

String Quartet, the American

from 1966 to 1992 as an instruc-

String Teachers Association, Music


Fall 2012




No r t h Texa n




why i never left by Roy Busby(’59, ’66 M.B.A.)



No r t h Texa n


Michael Clements

IN the 1950s as a high school student in Lancaster, I “heard” from college students in my hometown that North Texas had a good journalism program. Once a small department founded in 1945 by one of my mentors — C.E. “Pop” Shuford — today, the “little engine that could,” the nationally accredited Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism has 1,000-plus undergraduates. The Mayborn Graduate Institute has more than 75 master’s students and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program. The institute is home to the preeminent annual narrative nonfiction conference in the country. People often ask me why I never left North Texas. After all, I had worked in a large corporation, my last two degrees (M.B.A. and Ph.D.) are in business administration, and I never intended to be at a university. Let’s start by blaming “Pop” Shuford, whose large presence and dominance in the classroom, and in the hallways of the old Journalism Building, captivated every student he touched. He demanded excellence and proved it in every setting with a constant sea of red ink on what we all thought was good enough at the time. My three no-hitters in one year while in high school and as a semi-pro pitcher meant nothing to Pop. Every classmate I had and others who follow me in the journalism program excelled in school and later in life. People like Bill Moyers, Ray Moseley, Joe

Murray, Keith Shelton, Reg Westmoreland, Charldean Newell, Wendi Strong, Mike Cochran, Cragg Hines, Bob St. John and hundreds of others. One of those, Burle Pettit, longtime journalist in Lubbock, later became vice-chair of the UNT System Board of Regents. At his regent retirement party, Pettit said he had thought about becoming a tenured professor in journalism upon retirement but feared if he did I would become a regent. Few people in life experience the variety of positions I’ve had, enjoying what they do and who they’ve worked with for as long as I have. That’s how Shuford, Jim Rogers (who wrote The Story of North Texas), and the 12 university presidents with whom I worked spoiled me. Rogers often matched Shuford’s red ink critiques of my work, yet hired me first as a student assistant, then for my first administrative job here. Someone asked me recently how many serious chances I had to leave during all these years. Six in all, three administrative and three academic.


Fall 2012

Maybe it was all those 50 clients I had during three decades of consulting while teaching that made me better in the classroom. Maybe it was the chance to give the only C in journalism to a future threetime Pulitzer Prize winner who later wrote a letter of support for an honor I received and said of his C, “I earned it.” Or maybe it was the incredible hunger for learning I saw in the hundreds of students who filled my classes and went on to do great things. Or maybe it was just me — after that former minor leaguer tagged me for a long home run in a summer league — choosing college over a professional baseball career. Or maybe it was just what I heard from people about the good things in journalism happening at UNT. Roy Busby is interim dean of the Mayborn School of Journalism and a Regents Professor. He celebrated 50 years at UNT this spring. Read more about his career in a Q&A at

Friday, Nov. 2 11:30 a.m.

Golden Eagles Luncheon/Reunion — Class of ’62

University Union, Silver Eagle Suite. Reservations, $20. RSVP: or 940-565-4851. 3-5 p.m.

International Students Reception

Come visit advisors and friends. International Welcome Center in Sycamore Hall. For information: or 940-369-5264. 7 p.m.

Spirit March

Begins at Fraternity Row on Maple Street and proceeds to the bonfire site on the northwest side of UNT’s Apogee Stadium. 7:30-10 p.m.

Black Alumni Network Reception UNT Alumni Center, Gateway Center.

For information: or 940-369-8234.

8 p.m.

10 a.m.-noon

Lighting of the bonfire will be on the northwest side of UNT’s Apogee Stadium.

Refreshments served. 930 S. Welch St.

Chi Omega Open House


For information: or 817-275-2940.

Saturday, Nov. 3 7:15 a.m.

10 a.m.

Fun Run

Black Alumni Network Brunch

Free and open to everyone, the 2.5 mile race starts in front of the Pohl Recreation Center. Preregistration not required. Registration until 7 a.m.

University Union, Golden Eagle Suite.

For information: or 940-369-8234.

For information:, 940-565-2275 or visit

11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Floyd Graham Society

9-11 a.m.

40th anniversary celebration featuring Jack Petersen, guitar, with UNT jazz alumni and faculty. 115 S. Elm St. Petersen attended UNT, and later was the Resident Artist in Jazz from 1976 to 1988. Reservations, including lunch, $30 pre-paid by 5 p.m. Oct. 31.

UNT’s Kristin Farmer Autism Center Open House

Stop by UNT’s new Kristin Farmer Autism Center to meet our staff and get a closer look at our newly renovated 20,000-square-foot facility. 490 S. I-35E frontage road. For information:, 940-369-7426 or, 940-891-6849.

RSVP: 940-565-0804, or fax 940-891-0690, VISA/MC, Paypal to or mail checks to Floyd Graham Society, 815 Ector St., Denton, Texas 76201.

Fall 2012




No r t h Texa n


College of

11 a.m.

Homecoming Parade Begins at Welch and Hickory

Streets, travels around the Denton town square and up Oak Street. From Oak to Welch, right on Hickory (going the wrong way on Hickory through campus), left on North Texas Boulevard to Highland Street.

1-3:30 p.m.

Business* Refreshments served.

For information: or 940-565-4333. RSVP:

College of Education Alumni/Reunion/ Teacher of the Year Recognition* Special honors for alumni

Mean Green

Village Tailgating around campus starts

early and ends 30 minutes before kick-off. Organizations, depart- ment and college tents at UNT’s Apogee Stadium add to the Homecoming spirit along with live music, the Junior Mean Green Fun zone, and the Mean Green March featuring the cheerleaders, dancers, marching band, Head Coach Dan McCarney and the Mean Green football team.

For tent reservations:

who were named 2012 Teachers of the Year by area school districts.

College of Public Affairs and Community Service* BBQ and games. For information: or 940-369-7349.

Alumni Pavilion Party* Join UNT Alumni Association

members and friends three hours prior to kickoff at the alumni pavilion near UNT’s Apogee Stadium.

Department of Political Science & Legal Eagles*

RSVP: or 940-565-2339.

Speech and Hearing Sciences* Refreshments served. For information:

Black Alumni Network*

For information: or 940-369-8234. or 940-565-2481.


No r t h Texa n



Reception* Featuring the Class of 2007’s

5th anniversary, Class of 2002’s 10th annniversary, Class of 1997’s 15th anniversary and Class of 1992’s 20th anniversary. Photos and cake at 3 p.m.

For information: or 940-565-3726.

UNT Career Center*

Second annual cake decorating contest, theme: Dream Jobs.

For information: or 940-565-2706.

4 p.m.

Mean Green vs. Arkansas State

Ticket options start at $15.

For information:, 800-868-2366 or visit

RSVP: or 940-565-2276.

Department of Psychology*

For information: or 940-565-2834.


RSVP: or 940-369-7805.

TAMS Alumni

Fall 2012

*Events are part of Mean Green Village at UNT’s Apogee Stadium

Enter a drawing to win prizes, includ ing Homecoming Family Fun Packs

(tickets to the game and food for four) by emailing by Oct. 5 with “Homecoming” in the subject line. Include T-shirt size and mailing address.

Fall 2012




No r t h Texa n


The North Texan

Michael Clements

UniveRsity OF nORth teXas division of University Relations, communications and Marketing 1155 Union circle #311070 denton, texas 76203-5017

pa Rt i n g s h O t This fall, a new pedestrian bridge — 354 feet long, 20 feet wide and 17 feet tall — will open over Interstate 35e. The joint uNT and Texas department of Transportation project will connect the main campus to the athletics complex and give fans direct access from the Fouts Field parking lot to apogee Stadium on game days. See a slide show of the installation progress at F a l l 2 0 1 2 | | T h e

No r t h Texa n


The North Texan - UNT Alumni Magazine - Fall 2012  

The North Texan - UNT Alumni Magazine - Fall 2012

The North Texan - UNT Alumni Magazine - Fall 2012  

The North Texan - UNT Alumni Magazine - Fall 2012