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Dave Copps [ page 1 8] Business of Music [ page 20] Class of Their Own [ page 40] National Merit Finalists [ page 46]


Raj Banerjee, a University Distinguished Research Professor in materials science and engineering, is creating stronger alloys that will revolutionize how airplanes are built. He and his team, who were awarded a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, use state-of-the-art processing, characterization and computational tools in UNT’s Materials Research Facility. They are working to combine the multi-phase architecture of traditional alloys with the complex chemistry of high-entropy materials to develop the next generation of alloys that are expected to withstand varying levels of heat, stresses and aggressive environments. The overall goal is to significantly improve the performance of aircraft components and extend their lifetime.



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Dave Copps

A startup superstar, anthropology alum builds positive corporate culture — and super-powered ‘brains.’

20 Business of Music

College of Music graduates are hitting all the right career notes as entrepreneurs.

36 Mean Green

Football opens season strong with victory over SMU and several watch list picks.

40 Class of Their Own

College of Education alums master the lesson of finding success.

44 Soaring Eagles

UNT to honor outstanding alums at 2018 Distinguished Alumni Awards.

46 Best and Brightest

UNT’s academics, scholarships, caring campus attract National Merit Finalists. Ahna Hubnik



Providing skills students need to evolve as future creative leaders D E A R N O R T H T E X A N • 4

Next Generation Education

Winning photo ... RTVF pre-1968 ... Excellent issue UNT TODAY • 6


Creating connections ... Brilliantly Green ... Ask an Expert ... UNT Alumni Association


U N T M U S E • 2 5

King of creativity ... Photography pioneer ... Novel idea ... Upcoming events ... Movie music



Administering recognition ... Legacy Families ... In the News ... Friends We’ll Miss

By Meredith Moriak Wright Cover: Photography by Ranjani Groth From left, UNT students Max Parola, Bri Delgado, J.P. Abah

L A S T W O R D • 6 0

Alumna Helen V. Schlueter remembers life in Fertile Valley, a.k.a. Vet Village Fall 2018





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n o r t ht exan .u nt.edu /o n li n e

ONLINE FEATURES HOME AWAY FROM HOME Following her recent adoption, incoming freshman joins the UNT family, too. SOAR HIGHER Watch UNT’s fall ad, which showcases the university’s research, creativity, pride and passion, as well as its commitment to ensuring that students soar to great heights. A FULL PLATE Watch a video about the unique food options in UNT dining halls, including the all-vegan Mean Greens, with dishes that feature veggies from the university’s hydroponic garden.


Connect with us at facebook.com/northtexas. Follow us at twitter.com/northtexan.

Eagle Expertise


When you see this arrow, join our North Texan community online at northtexan.unt.edu.



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Fall 2018

Watch us on youtube.com/ universitynorthtexas. Follow us at instagram.com/unt. 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

















Michael Clements

STUDENTS STEP FOOT on the University of North Texas campus with big hopes and dreams. They want college to be a time for personal transformation when they develop skills, confidence and a network of friends. They are seeking a place where creativity is nurtured and where people care President Neal Smatresk greeted students on the first day of school, giving away UNT gear on a Trivia Tram. about their overall well-being and success. At UNT, we go the extra mile to help our students soar higher. As you’ll read in our cover story, UNT is embracing the students of Generation Z, those age 23 and younger, and we’re evolving in the ways we serve and teach our students (page 30). As we work to become one of the most exciting and innovative institutions in the country, it is important we adapt to meet students’ changing needs. We’re using data to inform academic changes meant to improve retention (page 6) and are focusing on better connecting students to our resources and programs to ensure their success. UNT has an opportunity to become central to the growth of the creative economy — to be a place where creativity and technology unite to drive innovation in a digital age. UNT alumni continue to thrive through such disruption. They’re adapting and leveraging their skills for new career paths and opportunities, like the educators featured on page 40, and serial entrepreneur Dave Copps (’91), who plays a major role in the world of artificial intelligence (page 18). By introducing valuable new programs such as data analytics and music entrepreneurship (page 20), and building dynamic corporate partnerships that lead to internships and job offers for our students, we will continue to deliver the best education in Texas. At UNT, we’re focused on helping our students become the creative leaders of tomorrow.

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E D I TO R S E R I N CR I STA L ES ( ’11


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T h e Nor t h Texan 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 presented in The North Texan do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the university. Publications staff can be reached at northtexan@unt.edu or 940-565-2108. 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 76203-5017. 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. The University of North Texas does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, political affiliation, disability, marital status, genetic information, citizenship, or veteran status in its application and admission processes, educational programs and activities, university facilities, or employment policies, procedures, and processes. The university takes active measures to prevent such conduct and immediately investigates and takes remedial action when appropriate. The university also prohibits and takes actions to prevent retaliation against individuals who report or file a charge of discrimination or harassment; participate in an investigation, or oppose any form of discrimination or harassment. Direct questions or concerns to the equal opportunity office, 940-5652759, or the dean of students, 940-565-2648. TTY access is available at 940-369-8652.

UNT proud,

Neal Smatresk President president@unt.edu @UNTPrez

Created by the Division of University Relations, Communications and Marketing ©2018 UNT URCM 9/18 (19-022)

Fall 2018





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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. Online: northtexan.unt.edu (follow the “Contact Us” link) Phone: 940-565-2108 Fax: 940-369-8763 Email: northtexan@unt.edu

Winning photo

The UNT game against Arkansas this fall marked 50 years since I drove to a Mean Green game in Little Rock as a Yucca photographer with Si Dunn (’70), who was the Campus Chat photographer. The staff wanted to make sure we had “Mean” Joe Greene’s senior season covered. It was a night game, which was very difficult to shoot back then with no auto focus or motor drives for multiple frames per second. Our film speeds were slow, so I couldn’t shoot much side-to-side action. I had to focus on the hash mark and hope the play came my way. I shot my very best sports



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photo that night while I was being pelted with ice (and other things) from those hog-hat-wearing crazies. The photo won the national student journalism spot news award, and I went on to win several sports photography awards during my time at North Texas, shooting for the Yucca, the Campus Chat and then the North Texas Daily. I met my wife, Linda, at the beginning of our junior year, we married in June 1971 and are still married 47 years later. I never missed a home football game my entire four years at North Texas. My photo sponsor, Smith Kiker, and I went with the team to Wichita, Kansas, to see the Mean Green play the Wichita State Wheatshockers my junior year. It was one of the very few day games we were able to shoot so it was a real treat to crank out the 400mm fixed-focus lens.



Fall 2018

Mail: The North Texan University of North Texas Division of University Relations, Communications and Marketing 1155 Union Circle #311070 Denton, Texas 76203-5017

I worked as an intern at The Dallas Morning News between my junior and senior years and was runner-up for the W.R. Beaumar award. They called me aside and said that they would have given me first place but it was supposed to be for writers only. I decided after that I would not pursue a photography career. Sports is still my forte. I have upgraded my equipment to a Nikon D3 (the professional version) with several lenses. Now, I mostly shoot my granddaughters’ lacrosse games. Just thought you might enjoy a blast from the past. I still remember that hostile night like it was yesterday. Cody Curry (’71) Euless

RTVF pre-1968

A tribute in the summer issue implies that Bill Mercer started the broadcast program in 1968. I like Bill and believe he moved the program to a new level when he took it over, but he did not start it. Ted Colson was in charge of the program for many years prior to 1968. Bill got the new facilities, real studios, and he came with much more experience in the field, but there were many of us who worked away in a small corner of the Historical Building getting our degrees in radio, TV and film before 1968 and went on to work in various areas of the business. Jim Turney (’69, ’75 M.A.) Waxahachie Editor’s note: Our university archivists found a radio course offered as early as 1939-40. It included microphone technique, diction, announcing, script writing and analysis of programs, “with particular attention to educational and commercial programs.” The Radio Players from 1942 are pictured.

Excellent issue The summer issue was the most professional I have ever read. The content, layout and interest level were all excellent. Pat Cheek (’65) Denton

Giving impact The winter issue of The North Texan noted several individuals giving back to UNT (“Impact of Giving”). One of those was Jordan Case (’81). While in graduate school, I took an RTVF

production class that included Jordan. He was one of the most humble and unassuming athletes I ever met. He was drafted by the CFL Ottawa Rough Riders that semester and signed for a very modest bonus, even by the standards of 1980. He told me one day in class that the bonus, though, was more money than he had ever had in his life. In his own way he has given back to UNT many times more. UNT certainly was a highlight for my wife and myself as graduate students. I have wonderful memories of working one fall semester with

Bill Mercer and the sports information office. I was involved in videotaping the football games and traveling with the team to all of the away games, later helping edit the footage for the Mean Green football program. I’m now a professor of radio and television at Del Mar College, serving as secretary/ treasurer of the Texas Association of Broadcast Educators. Mac Aipperspach (’83 M.S.) Corpus Christi

@northtexan We flew. We soared. We won!! Eagle nation!! #GoMeanGreen #LetItFly — @jumpkingaj What a homecoming for the Von Erichs, so many friends and family. ... Wren Baker is a champion, and the Mean Green looked awesome. Great game, Mason! — @KevinVonErich 2hrs away from new life. UNT let these 4 years breeze by!! #UNT22 — @99wvnted Starting to wonder if I overpacked ... #UNT22 — @btwimgabbie

UNT Facebook Out of all of the residence halls on campus, I’m the oldest with the most character-rich history. I don’t want to brag, but can some of the other halls claim famous ex-residents like Don Henley and Norah Jones? #WhereAmI Loved living in Bruce Hall! Best dorm on campus. Forever in my heart ... Bruceling always. — Kim Lusk (’96) Yes, the early ’90s were golden! The era when the Punk Rock Weenie Roast started. — David Lusk (’95) I’d walk through Bruce Hall just to hear all the practicing. — Ernie Murray (’77) Norah Jones lived two doors down from me! ... Always saw her practicing on her keyboard with her headphones on. — Sheila Zerby (’02) I spent one summer session back in the day in Bruce Hall before it had air conditioning. Yes. Before AC in all the rooms. — Faye L. King (’62) I lived there in 1963-65. My granddaughter moves in (this fall). Fourth generation at UNT! — Joyce McClearin Curry (’68) So glad I lived there! I loved every bit of it. Glad the walls can’t talk! — Bonnie Bownes McCabe (’91)

IM IN DENTON!!! home sweet home :^) #UNT22 — @wowadora My first day @UNTsocial is here! It’s both scary and exciting, so I took the time to meditate over music. — @MairsMike @UNTsocial best places on #UNT campus to nap? I don’t have class until 3:30. #naplife — @PaunchyPanda Roaming raccoon interrupts first day of classes at UNT. — @NBCDFW Follow us on Twitter. We look forward to staying connected!

@northtexan Fall 2018





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Professor sets record with history lesson page 8

Kara Dry

CREATING CONNECTIONS Countless resources, initiatives and dedicated faculty and staff are part of UNT’s commitment to ensuring student success and retention.

View a full list of available resources at northtexan.unt.edu/creating-connections.



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Fall 2018

WHEN DANNY ARMITAGE’S DAUGHTER TOLD him about her experience at last year’s First Flight Week — a unique program in which resident advisors walk freshmen to sessions that discuss how to be successful at the university while also allowing them to become better acquainted with students and staff — he had one question for her. “You’ve been here for four days,” said Armitage, who serves as UNT’s associate vice president of student affairs. “How many students on your floor would you feel comfortable hanging out with?” “Oh, “ she responded, “15 or 16.” Armitage was delighted — but not surprised.

“Those connections are incredibly important,” he says. “Because as soon as people know where they fit in, that they have friends and they’re connected, they’re going to work harder to be successful academically so they can stay in those communities.” First Flight Week is just one in a long list of ways UNT faculty and staff are working to ensure all students feel ready for university life. With retention a nationwide concern — as many as one in three freshmen don’t return to college for their sophomore year, according to U.S. News & World Report — the entire UNT community is making sure students feel supported in their educational journey. “Every student who walks on to our campus comes with hopes, dreams and aspirations,” President Neal Smatresk says. “We must provide the human touch, help them overcome hurdles and connect them to resources so that they do not leave UNT before they are prepared to achieve their dreams.” Succeed at UNT

One initiative focused on achievement is Succeed at UNT, a campaign that outlines how to leverage available resources to excel at the university level. Relaunched this year, the initiative provides six main tips for student success: show up, find support, get advised, be prepared, get involved and stay focused. The website for Succeed at UNT, succeed.unt.edu, provides links to academic, financial, legal and health services, among others. “When students don’t do as well as they expect, I’m going to reach out and remind them of all of the resources that are available,” says Rebecca Weber, a lecturer and undergraduate advisor in the Department of Chemistry. Strategic Retention Initiatives

Helping students confidently transition to university life is the primary focus of the Office of the Provost’s Strategic Retention Initiatives. These include Early Start — a summer bridge program for first-year science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors — as well as the Male Alliance for a Rigorous, Transformative and Interdisciplinary Approach to Learning (MARTIAL Eagles), a living/learning program designed to improve retention and graduation rates for African American men. The office also offers consultations with faculty to help them develop strategies to improve retention among their students. “At UNT, our goal is to prepare our students for a productive future and launch them into the world,” says Brenda McCoy, associate vice president for strategic initiatives and administration. “Everyone in the UNT family plays a role in contributing to student success.”


•Advising Services: vpaa.unt.edu/advising •Career Center: studentaffairs.unt.edu/career-center •Dean of Students Office: deanofstudents.unt.edu •Dining Services: dining.unt.edu •Emerald Eagle Scholars: emeraldeagles.unt.edu •Food Pantry: deanofstudents.unt.edu/resources/food-pantry •Greek Life: studentaffairs.unt.edu/greek-life •Housing and Residence Life: housing.unt.edu •International Student Programs: international.unt.edu •Learning Center: learningcenter.unt.edu •Multicultural Center: edo.unt.edu/multicultural-center •UNT Campus at Frisco: frisco.unt.edu •Off-Campus Student Services: offcampus.unt.edu •Office of Disability Access: disability.unt.edu •Pride Alliance: edo.unt.edu/pride-alliance •Psychology Clinic: psychology.unt.edu/clinics-and-centers/ psychology-clinic •Recreational Sports: recsports.unt.edu •Student Activities: studentactivities.unt.edu •Student Affairs: studentaffairs.unt.edu (includes links to the Center for Leadership and Service, the Center for Student Affairs at Discovery Park, Counseling and Testing Services, Office of Spiritual Life, Orientation and Transition Programs, Student Health and Wellness Center, Student Legal Services, Student Money Management Center, Student Sustainability, Student Veteran Services, and the Substance Abuse Resource Center) •Survivor Advocacy: deanofstudents.unt.edu/sexual-misconduct/ reporting-sexual-misconduct •TRIO Programs: trio.unt.edu •University Union: studentaffairs.unt.edu/university-union •Writing Center: writingcenter.unt.edu

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Pass it on: Great things are happening at UNT. Learn about them here and share our successes with your family and friends.

• Zany visit. Dude Perfect, a sports entertainment group known for creating YouTube videos filled with trick shots, stunts and unbelievable feats, filmed a video at the Super Pit. Viewed more than 13 million times, the video features Dude Perfect members — dressed as their old-man alter egos — completing trick shots, including a few from the rafters. • Impressive advocates. Rodrick Robinson (’02) and Crystal H. George (’09, ’12 M.S.) were appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott to the Rehabilitation Council of Texas, which advocates for people with disabilities in the vocational rehabilitation process. Robinson is founder and CEO of New Life Medical Equipment, and George is a job accommodation specialist for Sedgwick and a past president of the North Texas Rehabilitation Association. • Record-setting lecture. UNT history professor Andrew Torget recently made history himself by becoming eligible for the Guinness Book of World Records. Torget taught the world’s longest history lesson — at 26 hours, 34 minutes — beginning on Aug. 24. He covered nearly the entire breadth of Texas history in a single nonstop lesson. The event is expected to raise more than $30,000 for The Portal to Texas History (texashistory.unt.edu), which digitizes historical documents and other materials from and about Texas. Torget’s lecture will be available to view through the portal. Michael Clements

Business fellowship

Brandi Renton, associate vice president for administrative services, was selected as a 2018 fellow by the National Association of Col­lege and University Business Officers. She will be involved in an



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intensive year of development for higher education professionals who aspire to be chief business officers. Fellows work together and with higher education presidents, provosts and chief business officers to deepen their knowledge of business management, institutional communications and the expanding role of chief business officers on campus. They also evaluate and enhance their leadership skills as they learn the core competencies needed to succeed.



Fall 2018

Political science award

The American Political Science Association presented the Frank J. Goodnow Award to John Ishiyama, University Distinguished Research Professor of political science. The highest career award for

service to the discipline, it honors service to the community of teachers, researchers and public servants who work in the political science field. During his career, Ishiyama has published eight books and more than 150 journal articles and book chapters. He also has served on the APSA board and various committees. He is passionate about promoting undergraduate research, particularly for students from under-represented groups and first-generation college and low-income students.

NEW HEIGHTS UNT’s climbing gym in the Pohl Recreation Center was ranked the 5th best in the nation by collegeoutside.com. Featuring a 45-foot standalone tower and arch, the gym allows students to climb under a glass-ceilinged dome as natural light pours in. Climbers of all ability levels can challenge themselves at one of 13 climbing stations with more than 4,300 square feet of vertical terrain.

SUPPORT Students, staff and alums receive access to resources such as the Career Center.


UNT ranked 1st in Texas and 10th in the nation among higher education institutions as one of the Best Employers for Women by Forbes.




UNT Police Chief Ed Reynolds was named Campus Safety magazine’s Campus Safety Director of the Year, and UNT is recognized as one of the safest campuses in the U.S. by Alarms.org.

UNT is home to 76 National Merit Finalists — 32 new this year.




Undergraduate logistics and supply chain management program ranked 3rd in the nation by Software Advice.

Master’s in history program ranked 8th in the nation by GraduatePrograms.com.

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Undergraduate entrepreneurship program ranked 1st in Texas by Best-Business-Colleges.com.

UNT has 72 academic programs ranked among the nation’s Top 100.

Fall 2018





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Today Benjamin Sirota, a Ph.D. student in materials science and engineering, works on a new method for protecting nanoelectronics at UNT’s Discovery Park.

Ahna Hubnik

Cutting-edge research

Two UNT researchers saw their work published in Nature’s Scientific Reports this summer. In his paper, Benjamin Sirota — a Ph.D. student in materials science and engineering — explains a new method for protecting nanoelectronics that will result in longer-lasting components with better electronic stability. Sirota, advised by professor Andrey Voevodin, worked with a team of collaborators from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. After two years of research, they developed a metal film for nanoelectronics

that can be sandwiched with an ultra-thin protective layer. UNT postdoctoral researcher Saurabh Nene, a research associate with the Center for Friction Stir Processing, published his findings about designing a new steel-like alloy that is five times stronger than conventional steel. Under the guidance of Rajiv Mishra, University Distinguished Research Professor, Nene works with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering to give the metal its unique yield strength. He created the alloy by combining iron, manganese, cobalt, chromium and silicon through induction melting, casting and friction stir processing.

Seeing invisible problems

Chemistry professor Oliver Chyan has developed a way for microchip manufacturers to view flaws in their chips that were previously unobservable. “Currently, if one part of a chip doesn’t work, chip makers will try various fixes without really understanding the underlying chemistry problem,” Chyan says. But through highly sensitive infrared spectroscopy, it is possible to see which chemical bonds succeed and which fail in the nanometer-size domain. This gives chip makers the ability to focus their designs using reliable hard data. Chyan adds that the new technology will revolutionize

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Narendra Dahotre, interim vice president of research and innovation and a Distinguished Professor in the College of Engineering, received the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Eli Whitney Productivity Award for lifetime achievement in the area of manufacturing engineering. A member of the National Academy of Inventors, Dahotre is internationally recognized in his field for his pioneering contributions to the understanding and engineering of laser materials in processing and manufacturing. A former chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, he has generated funding for his research in excess of $9 million from government and industrial organizations.



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Fall 2018

how chips are manufactured and lead to smaller chips and faster computing times. Powe award winner

College of Engineering assistant professor Tao Yang earned the prestigious 2018 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from the Oak Ridge Associated Universities for his research into the future of electrical distribution microgrids. UNT has had 11 Powe award recipients since 1991. Yang’s research led to his designing a microgrid that has its own generator and draws power from renewable energy sources currently in use on campus.

FULBRIGHT SCHOLAR GRANT Dan J. Kim, professor of information technology and decision sciences, has earned a Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant to research how the creation of new online technologies is affected by different cultural norms and if that’s changed in today’s technology-driven environment. The award will allow Kim to travel to Korea University Business School, the top private university in South Korea, in February. Once there, he’ll begin a six-month stint teaching and researching along with other worldclass scholars. The project will help researchers understand how cultural values can affect innovation, whether online or in traditional spaces.

Autism outreach in Uganda



in educational psychology; Molly Callahan, former training coordinator for the center; and Sembatya were presenters. The workshop was a success, Sembatya says, but “time was not on our side” due to the breadth of content that needed to be covered. According to Callahan, the center is committed to returning to Uganda next year to host a more specific and longer training. “We conducted a needs assessment to help determine the priority needs in Uganda,” he says. “Ultimately, we hope to establish an autism center similar to UNT’s in Uganda.”

Kevin Callahan

When Fredrick Sembatya returned to his native Uganda in June, he was there for far more than a social visit. Sembatya — a behavior technician at UNT’s Kristin Farmer Autism Center — spent a week in the capital city of Kampala training parents, teachers, health care professionals and social workers in how to best help children with autism. It was part of a workshop titled “EvidenceBased Practices in Autism Diagnosis, Assessment and Treatment.” “This was a way to change children’s lives through other people,” says Sembatya, who received his master’s in autism from the University of South Wales. “As we showed the attendees these evidence-based practices to help children with autism, you could see that it was an eye-opening experience for them.” The workshop, hosted at the prestigious GEMS Cambridge International School, was sponsored by the Kristin

Farmer Autism Center with additional funding provided by UNT International’s Global Engagement Grant and the College of Education Dean’s Office. It was of crucial importance, Sembatya says, because many in Uganda fail to understand the nuances of working with autistic children, instead simply labeling them as “cursed” or “bewitched.” Using social media as a recruitment tool, the UNT team ultimately enrolled 149 attendees. Kevin Callahan, executive director of the Kristin Farmer Autism Center; Chelsi Anderson, a doctoral student

Fredrick Sembatya, pictured back row, 10th from left, conducted autism training in Uganda this summer that taught parents, teachers, health care professionals and social workers how to best help children with autism using evidence-based methods. Fall 2018





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Mayborn conference

Three journalists with a gift for narrative nonfiction and news storytelling headlined UNT’s Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference in July, themed “Are You Not Entertained? Real Stories, Real People, Real Storytelling.” This

year’s event, held in Grapevine, addressed the art of storytelling in an era where journalists must not only inform but also entertain. Sharing their expertise reporting on news in unique ways were Diana B. Henriques, a Pulitzer Prize finalist

who has covered federal compensation after 9/11, financial exploitation of soldiers and post-Enron scandals; Lindy West (pictured), hailed by actress Lena Dunham for her efforts tackling topics in pop culture, body image and social justice; and L.A. Times reporter Christopher Goffard, the voice behind the popular “Dirty John” investigative podcast, which told the story of an Internet dating pursuit gone horribly wrong. New UNT System regents

UNT alumni Mary Denny (’73) and Carlos Munguia

Michael Clements


His work has been called “erudite,” “insightful,” “indispensable.” The New Yorker labeled him “the leading American Conradian.” Now, UNT Distinguished Research Professor John Peters can add another designation to that already impressive list: winner of the UNT Foundation Eminent Faculty Award. “I have this job where there’s a great balance between research and teaching literature,” says Peters, a faculty member in the Department of English since 2001. “I read something, and it strikes me, and I get to think about it more and write about it.”



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Fall 2018

(’79) were appointed to the UNT System Board of Regents by Gov. Greg Abbott. Regent Milton B. Lee II was reappointed to a second term and Amanda Pajares, a UNT Dallas College of Law student, was appointed to a one-year student regent term. Denny is a graduate of the College of Education, a former state representative of House District 63, and currently owns and operates a ranching and rental property. Munguia is president of the Dallas region of Amegy Bank and a member and former chair of the College of Business advisory board.

Conrad expert

Peters — who earned a Ph.D. in English from Pennsylvania State University — ­ has devoted much of his scholarship to the British novelist Joseph Conrad and is widely considered one of the world’s leading Conrad experts. He has written three books, 19 articles, and eight notes on the author, and edited three essay collections about him. He also serves as general editor for Conradiana, the longest-running journal in Conrad studies. “Conrad is one of the most important figures among 20th century fiction writers,” Peters says. “His novels deal with moral and psychological dilemmas and how individuals encounter them, which I find interesting.” In addition to his unparalleled expertise on Conrad, Peters’ Eminent Faculty Award win recognizes his service to UNT. His numerous roles have included serving as interim and acting chair for the Department of English; serving as chair of the University Library Committee, chair of the Academic Affairs Committee and secretary of the University Promotion and Tenure Committee; and serving as a mentor to junior faculty members and as a job placement officer.

Early career professor

Angie D. Cartwright, assistant professor of counseling and higher education, has been selected by the College of Education as its inaugural

Presidential Early Career Professor. Cartwright, who joined the UNT faculty in 2015, will receive $50,000 in research support as part of her new designation, which recognizes her potential as a role model in academics and research. She says she will use the funds to continue her work of promoting mental health and multicultural competencies among underserved communities including people of color and offender populations.

Insurance program honored

UNT was awarded the prestigious Global Centers of Insurance Excellence designation by the International Insurance Society for its outstanding risk management and insurance program. Only 29 institutions from around the world have received the designation. The designation honors the world’s top collegiate risk management and insurance programs that play an integral role in promoting insurance


knowledge and research and advance the interests of the global insurance industry. In addition to the designation, which is conferred for a five-year period, UNT will receive a complimentary one-year school membership to the International Insurance Society. The society provides UNT students, faculty and staff with networking opportunities and access to C-suite insurance executives, policymakers and scholars from around the world.

Ask an Expert

How are libraries continuing to change in the digital age?


t used to be, when students headed to their university library to write a paper, they tried to scrounge together as much authoritative information as possible from the materials on hand. Now, it’s more of a needle-in-a-haystack situation: Of the limitless information available, which pieces are the most authoritative? That’s one of the major ways Diane Bruxvoort, dean of libraries, has seen libraries change in the 35 years since she began her career — and she doesn’t anticipate the transformation will slow any time soon. “The world I went to library school for doesn’t exist anymore,” she says. Are we headed toward bookless libraries? • The global library cooperative OCLC did a study that found libraries are walking away from books at their peril. Books are our brand — we have one of the strongest brands in the world, and we need to be very careful about completely walking away from it.

What are some major changes you expect to see in the next decade? • I expect even fewer desktops and laptops, and more phones. All of our services must be phone-compatible. • Print collections will likely become more consolidated, perhaps in a huge collection within every region we can all pull from. • Faculty will create their own eTextbooks. We already have a pilot project we’re rolling out to help our faculty create and publish open-access eTextbooks through our resources, the UNT Press and our library imprint. — Erin Cristales

Fall 2018



Kara Dry

How can libraries meet the needs of Gen Z? • This generation is not going to come in to take classes on how to do searches. They’ve been searching all their lives — they absolutely believe

they know what they need to do. So we need to make sure our services are where they’re going to find them when they need them. If students are doing searches and not getting what they want, where on the website can we have a link that tells them, “You’re not getting what you want because you didn’t limit your search terms”? Or where can we add a button that helps them cite the article properly?



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Dissertation fellowship

Jingran Sun, a doctoral candidate in public administration, has earned a coveted C. Lowell Harriss Dissertation Fellowship from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. The fellowship assists Ph.D. students whose research

“complements the institute’s interests in land and tax policy.” Sun will use the funds to research property tax exemptions, an area that tends to be under-investigated. He says some of the funding will support travel to conferences where he will present his research. The remainder will be used to complete his dissertation on the effects of property tax exemptions on municipal budgets. He is specifically examining revenue volatility, dependence on property taxes and expenditure choices.

Green Pride

Nonprofit leadership

The College of Health and Public Service is now offering a bachelor’s degree in nonprofit leadership studies as a way to address a strong outlook for jobs in the nonprofit sector. The program, steered by a committee of top-tier nonprofit leaders, expands on courses offered through a minor in leadership of community and nonprofit organizations and an academic certificate in volunteer and community resource management. The degree includes a mix of online and face-to-face classes offered on the UNT campus,

and students will receive practical nonprofit management experience through a required internship. In addition, students will be well positioned to pursue graduate work in management or public administration, including in UNT’s Master of Public Administration degree program, which offers a specialization in nonprofit management. For more information, visit hps.unt.edu/PADM/nonprofitleadership-studies or contact Laura Keyes at laura.keyes@ unt.edu.

Ride with UNT pride

Ride with pride on the Texas roadways with a UNT license plate. The university’s Mean Green plate design is a great way for members of the UNT community to display their green pride on the road. But it’s more than just supporting school spirit — purchasing a Mean Green plate can make a real difference in the life of a current or future UNT student. A portion of the proceeds from every plate sale and renewal goes to fund student scholarships at UNT — and it’s tax deductible. So far, the program has raised more than $127,000 for student scholarships, and with the support of the Mean Green family, that number can continue to grow. Ready to order? Visit unt.edu/plates to order your Mean Green plates, find your local TxDMV office and download registration and application forms.

Are you riding in ultimate Mean Green style? Is your spirit soaring high on the highways? Does your plate practically scream UNT4EVR? Then we want to replace the Scrappy photo above with yours! Email us a photo of you and your Mean Green license plate at northtexan@unt.edu. We can’t wait to see how you’re driving UNT spirit in the North Texas region — and beyond.



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Fall 2018



Michael Clements

1 1 The Class of 2022 isn’t just winging this spirited pose — spelling out “UNT” on the football field has become a carefully crafted tradition during First Flight Week, when freshmen are introduced to campus resources, staff and faculty, and each other. 2 Staff from UNT Housing and Residence Life direct students as they move into various residence halls on campus, including Bruce, Rawlins, Kerr, Clark and Maple.

Kara Dry


3 President Neal Smatresk takes photos of students as they unpack and decorate their dorm rooms during Mean Green move-in weekend. Faculty and staff pitched in to assist students as they settled into their new campus digs.

Ahna Hubnik

3 Fall 2018





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Michael Clements

Kuehne Speaker Series

UNT Alumni Association The UNT Alumni Association unveiled the Alumni Pavilion’s new Diamond Eagles Family Patio on Sept. 1 at the UNT vs. SMU Alumni GameDay Grille. Hundreds of UNT alumni and friends gathered at the celebratory open house to enjoy the new patio, which was made possible by the UNT Diamond Eagles Giving Society. UNT President Neal Smatresk and Diamond Eagles co-founders Debbie Smatresk and Cathy Bryce (’91 Ph.D.) led a ribbon-cutting ceremony to reveal the patio and honor Diamond Eagles members in attendance. The new Diamond Eagles Family Patio provides additional space for UNT Alumni Association members and guests to enjoy complimentary food, live music and Mean Green celebration before home football games. The patio nearly doubles the square footage of the Alumni Pavilion and includes additional seating, a permanent stage and a floodpreventing drainage system. “This expansion allows us to welcome more of the Mean Green Family to participate in game day and connect with the university,” says UNT Alumni Association Executive Director Rob McInturf. “We are grateful to the Diamond Eagles Giving Society, as well as Virgil Strange (’68) and Axiom Commercial Co., for making the expansion possible.” The Diamond Eagles Giving Society is an organization that uses a venture capital model to select and support on-campus projects that positively impact the UNT community. For more information or to join UNT’s Diamond Eagles, visit one.unt.edu/diamondeagles. To join the association or learn more, visit untalumni.com, email alumni@unt.edu or call 940-565-2834.



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Fall 2018

BLOCKCHAIN COURSE UNT has brought blockchain to the classroom. This fall, business professionals and College of Business students began learning from three experts about the financial, technological, legal and governance aspects of blockchain for organizations. The goal? To help professionals and newcomers understand how blockchain is altering the world around us, as well as how it can be used to improve processes, lower costs, increase security and speed transactions for organizations. UNT students can enroll in the course through the Department of Information Technology and Decision Sciences in the College of Business, while business professionals have the option of enrolling in a certification program through the Professional Development Institute at UNT.

Defense attorney and legal scholar Alan Dershowitz will speak Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas as part of UNT’s Fall Kuehne Speaker Series. Dershowitz has been called the “winningest” criminal lawyer in modern history and has argued hundreds of appeals in courts throughout the nation. Sponsorship packages for the series range from $5,000 to $20,000 and include benefits for both fall and spring events. For more information, or to sponsor, visit kuehneseries.unt.edu. OLLI at UNT new locations

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNT has expanded from three locations to five, now offering classes for adults ages 50 and better at the UNT Denton campus, Robson Ranch Clubhouse, the UNT campus at Frisco, Flower Mound Senior Center and Good Samaritan Society at the Lake Forest Village Activity Center in Denton. Additionally, OLLI at UNT is planning a trip to Cuba, set for March 24-31, 2019. Participants will explore the island and tour Ernest Hemingway’s former home, among other activities. For more information on membership, classes and events, visit olli.unt.edu.

STAY CONNECTED. JOIN NOW. UNT graduates are one of a kind. As innovative teachers, artists, CEOs, engineers and everything in between, our alumni inspire communities and share their Mean Green pride wherever they go. Share in the lifelong bond of the UNT alumni family.

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Fall 2018





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Dave Copps E

by Erin Cristales Photography by Ranjani Groth

ach morning, when Dave Copps (’91) steps into his closet to get ready for the coming day, he stares at his brain. It’s hard to miss, hanging there on the wall. And like all brains, there’s an inherent complexity to its function. Some might view it as a stark reminder, others an oddball adornment. The literal types will just see an MRI scan. But that black-and-white picture of Copps’ brain — taken before doctors asked him to sign papers detailing the percentage likelihood of his death, before they separated his front and left lobes to remove the tumor that caused his seizures, before he flatlined for 18 seconds — is more than all of those things. It’s a promise. “I remember looking in the mirror one day after the surgery and making the decision that I would live my life as a possibility of the greatness in all people,” says Copps, the founder of DFW-based startup Brainspace, acquired by Cyxtera in 2017 as part of a $2.8 billion deal. “If we all live that philosophy, we can create better companies and a better world.” When Copps returned to UNT after the surgery, the aspiring entrepreneur and anthropology major explored how to create inspiring work environments through corporate culture classes taught by now Professor Emerita Ann Jordan. “Sometimes you don’t realize how the pieces are going to fit together until later,” says Copps, who served as the first president of the UNT Entrepreneurs Club under the tutelage of business professor

When it comes to building corporate culture, Brainspace founder and former CEO uses his head — and his heart.



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Louis Ponthieu. “As I build companies, I focus on the culture of the company. I have a Swahili word I use, ‘ubuntu.’ Loosely translated, it means, ‘I am who I am because of who we are together.’ So that’s the culture I like to build; if you lift everyone up around you, you will lift up.” As a trailblazer in artificial intelligence, Copps builds positive startup culture along with developing what he calls “AI-powered brains.” In 1998, he founded Engenium Corp., which produced a semantic search engine that could pore through, and make connections among, millions of documents simultaneously. At the time, Engenium’s work was groundbreaking — before, stored search filters were manual builds, meaning once they were no longer up-to-date, they had to be completely reconstructed. But in 2007, Copps sold Engenium and launched PureDiscovery — renamed Brainspace in 2013 — and developed technology that could read hundreds of millions of documents simultaneously. Brainspace’s eDiscovery software is so powerful, it’s currently in use by hundreds of clients, including Fortune 1000 companies and intelligence agencies for internal investigations and counterterrorism efforts. After stepping down as CEO in late March, Copps is no longer a daily presence in the Brainspace headquarters. But his influence, which includes a 94-foot worktable his COO commissioned specifically for his staff, remains. The table — a physical manifestation of Copps’ people-first philosophy — is where they’ve come together to conceptualize and iterate. It’s where bonds have developed and boundaries have been broken. “I think not everyone realizes what’s possible in their life,” says Copps, who is currently contemplating his next gig. “All there is in life is what happens and what you choose to do next.”

Dave Copps (’91) Dallas Music man: I love guitar. I had a band up at UNT. We called ourselves The Fish Boys. We were going to put out an album called Just for the Halibut or Get Hooked. If we were only as good as we thought we were!

Don’t believe the hype:

No such thing as failure:

ask, ‘That was a really cool try —

Everyone is talking about AI like

I recast failure as iteration. If some-

whose idea was it?’

Elon Musk, about how artificial

thing doesn’t work, look at it, and

intelligence is going to take over

ask what needs to change. So the

the world. My favorite AI movie is

phrase I use around here is, ‘There

Her, because it just seems like the

is no failure — just iterate, iterate,

movie got it right: If AIs really be-

iterate until you reach awesome.’

came superintelligence, the more

I think some companies glorify

plausible thing is they would just

failure. The first thing someone

leave because we’re boring.

asks if something doesn’t work is,

Read more about Copps’ take on the future of artificial intelligence, view a timeline of other DFWbased startup founders, read Copps’ advice to aspiring entrepreneurs at Techstars Startup Week, and test your knowledge of AI movies by taking our quiz at northtexan.unt. edu/online.

‘Whose fault was it?’ I don’t care about that. Matter of fact, I might

Fall 2018





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Michael Clements

Jen Guzmán (’13 M.M.) and Tony Barrette (’13 M.M.)

Business of



by J essica D e L eón

College of Music graduates are honing their craft with an entrepreneurial spirit. Jen Guzmán (’13 M.M.) and Tony Barrette (’13 M.M.) are musicians. But they also are wind and brass instrument repair technicians, instrument appraisers, bookkeepers and social media gurus. The entrepreneurial husband-and-wife team runs TB Winds, an instrument repair shop in downtown Denton. Additionally, Guzmán, a doctoral candidate in clarinet performance, organizes concerts for the nonprofit Texas Winds Musical Outreach. She and Barrette have found creative ways to earn a living from the calling they love with help from one of UNT’s newest programs. Other alumni, too, have built successful businesses — providing online music lessons, organizing jazz band master classes for amateur musicians, creating new media experiences for 18th century music — to share their craft in a profitable way. The College of Music, already one of the most prestigious institutions in the nation and the world for producing high-caliber musicians from classical to jazz, recognized the need for its students to know how to promote themselves as musicians. Two years ago, the college — recently named as one of the top 15 music business schools in the nation by Billboard magazine — established the Career Development and Entrepreneurship in Music program. It offers classes geared toward running a business, competitions to encourage entrepreneurial ideas and other resources to help music students market themselves. “You can think all day about a great idea for a business, but at some point you have to start doing,” Guzmán says. “The music entrepreneurship program has given me real-life skills to put into practice and taught me that you just have to go for it.”

Taking a chance The workday for Barrette is filled with opportunities to help musicians with their prized possessions, from repairing a 150-year-old saxophone to appraising a family heirloom. Clients range from local public school students to professional musicians who travel from as far away as Lubbock, San Antonio and Oklahoma to visit the shop. Barrette took instrument repair classes and worked in repair shops while he was studying for his master’s in saxophone performance at UNT and then in Michigan and in his own shop in Boston after he graduated. He always wished Denton had a place for wind musicians to try out mouthpieces and

Disney ABC Television Group

Amy Raab

Jeff Antoniuk (’90, ’92 M.M.)

by teaching an undergraduate class in career development at UNT. And she and Barrette seek advice and feedback from their community to ensure their shop is serving its needs. They belong to the Denton Main Street Association and Stoke, a coworking group in downtown Denton, and often survey private lesson and public school teachers. “Just do it and ask for help along the way,” Barrette says. “You’re never going to be successful if you don’t try.”

ligatures. He and Guzmán dreamed up the concept for TB Winds as students, and in 2017 the opportunity came for a shop in a loft space on the downtown square. They signed the lease in about two weeks and opened two months later. “We’ve learned so much in our first year,” Barrette says, adding that UNT courses Guzmán took, with lessons such as how to write a business plan and pitch ideas, helped get TB Winds off the ground. Guzmán also proposed an idea for an organization — in which musicians perform in Denton nursing homes — at the College of Business’ Westheimer New Venture Competition and at the inaugural Music Entrepreneurship Competition in 2017. That’s when she was hired by Texas Winds Musical Outreach, which brings musicians to play at nursing homes, hospitals and preschools, and she helped expand the organization’s outreach as Denton County program director. In her first year, she booked 41 concerts that reached more than 1,000 seniors. “This industry is ever-changing,” says Fabiana Claure, the music entrepreneurship program’s director, who says the best time to start a music business is as a student. “The program helps students develop an entrepreneurial mindset to build financially sustainable and professionally satisfying arts careers that positively impact their communities.” Guzmán, the program’s first teaching fellow, dispenses the lessons she’s learned



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Taylor Robinson (’05)

Making dreams a reality Even before the music entrepreneurship program launched, alumni have been drawing on lessons from their days in the classroom to create their own businesses that fill specific needs. Jeff Antoniuk (’90, ’92 M.M.) found such a niche when he was teaching music lessons to his adult students, who ranged from knowledgeable musicians to semi-pros, almost all with day jobs. He noticed they didn’t have anyone to perform with. “The reality is, there’s nothing set up for these adult students,” he says. So the Annapolis, Maryland-based saxophonist put them together in small group jazz ensembles and taught group lessons, similar to the combo lessons he took from Dan Haerle (’66), Professor Emeritus of music, as a jazz studies student. Antoniuk calls the company Jazz Band Masterclass, and it now boasts 120 students in 16 bands that play everything |

Fall 2018

from Brazilian jazz to Duke Ellingtoninspired music. He also founded the Maryland Summer Jazz camp 14 years ago when he saw no such programs for adults. And recently he launched Jazzwire.net, a subscription-based website that connects musicians from around the world through curated content, Facebook-like group board discussions and personalized feedback on their playing. Antoniuk, who spoke at the College of Music’s entrepreneurship classes in 2016, also is coaching other musicians to set up similar businesses, with the goal of training 40 jazz pros in 40 cities. One of those is former classmate Russ Nolan (’91), who established JazzLabNY in the New York Tri-State area. “The fun part of teaching adults,” Antoniuk says, “is knowing that I’m bringing music back into people’s lives.”

A creative high As a member of the alternative rock band Fallen From the Nest, Taylor Robinson (’05) thought he hit it big when the group signed with a major label. “We were convinced we were going to be rich and famous,” Robinson, a philosophy major who took music classes, says. “We never got to the rich and famous part.” In between tour stops in 2006, he taught guitar, piano and voice to earn more money. Now his company, Taylor Robinson Music Lessons, has grown to one of the largest providers of music lessons in the


Read how John Leadbetter (’08), who played saxophone with the One O’Clock Lab Band as a student, launched a saxophone shop in New York City that now attracts members of the Saturday Night Live band, the Vanguard Big Band and smooth jazz artist Najee. And learn more

Julianna Emanski (’11 M.M.)

about UNT’s music entrepreneurship program at career.music.unt.edu. Elle Logan

U.S., with more than 2,500 studio locations nationwide. “I was surprised to find a lot of creative fulfillment in building a business,” he says. Robinson’s company takes care of the scheduling and finances while the musicians conduct the lessons. His philosophy for the lessons — and the company’s motto, “Learn to Play From the Heart” — stems from a modern music history class he took at UNT. In the class that covered music from the last 100 years, he realized music didn’t have to be classical or jazz to be worthy of respect, and he began incorporating modern music instead of classic drills or “Three Blind Mice.” “The students couldn’t get enough,” he says. “It helped them stick with their instruments longer, pleasing parents, who then recommended us to friends and family.” As Robinson, who lives in Dallas and Charlottesville, Virginia, was expanding his business to 350 instructors in 2010, he enrolled in UNT’s M.B.A. program to learn more about accounting, metrics and advertising. His business now boasts 20 employees, 14,000 teachers and 50,000 students and was featured on the reality TV show Shark Tank. He’s also making innovations, such as the One Click WebCam, a browser similar to Skype that allows online music lessons and incorporates tools such as tuners and metronomes. The WebCam was nominated for an award in 2017 by the National

culture so people would better understand the music,” she says. Lumedia Musicworks’ past concerts include “Wonder Women,” a tribute to women performers and composers who lived from 1200 to 1700. The group’s first collaboration featured eight musicians playing in the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the German Reformation sponsored by The Anglican Oratory Culture Series in Rockwall. And for a video, Lumedia Musicworks created a vision of Purcell’s Symphony V from the opera King Arthur. Emanski eventually hopes to create educational content for arts nonprofits and start a summer Baroque music festival and music performance institute in Dallas. She says running the business presents its challenges — such as last-minute scheduling of performances requiring a quick rehearsal time — but the entrepreneurship classes helped her acquire a skill set needed for success. She’s also been able to connect with others. Two of her classmates, Drew Sutherland, a doctoral student in trombone performance, and Kyle McKay (’18 M.M.), are now part of Lumedia. “My classes led to not just talking about creating something, but actually making it happen.” Emanski says. “When you see your peers creating their own businesses and organizations in the community, it causes you to start thinking outside the box. You suddenly have this desire to create new things, too. It’s a domino effect.”

Association of Music Merchandisers. “I’ve realized just how much business there is in being a musician — knowing how to market, brand, get financing and investors,” he says. “Not only is being a musician more of a business than I thought it would be, running a business turned out to be more creative than I thought it would be too.”

New perspective When doctoral music student Julianna Emanski (’11 M.M.) arrived in Texas from Seattle, she knew she wanted to create something that served the community. When the College of Music added a new music entrepreneurship program, she took full advantage. After her first year in the program, the Frisco-based vocalist launched Lumedia Musicworks with violinist Stephanie Raby (’11) and cellist Christopher Phillpott. The nonprofit presents 18th century music through concerts, videos and collaborations with other music groups and is the only nonprofit Baroque ensemble in the world specializing in cinematic music video season releases alongside creative live concert experiences. “The music entrepreneurship program gave me the confidence to launch,” Emanski says, adding that classical music can be designed more like pop music by breaking up movements into two- to three-minute pieces, about the length of a pop song. “We created something that fits with the digital Fall 2018





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Jim McIngvale ‘Mattress Mack’

7:30 p.m. Oct. 4-6; 2 p.m. Oct. 6-7 | Radio, TV, Film and Performing Arts Building, Studio Theater

11 a.m. Oct. 25 | UNT Gateway Center, Room 35

Eric Bogosian’s SubUrbia chronicles the nighttime activities of a group of aimless 20-somethings and their reunion with a former classmate turned successful musician. Presented by the Department of Dance and Theatre.

McIngvale, owner and operator of the Houston-based Gallery Furniture chain, attended UNT from 1972 to 1974. He is well known for his vast philanthropic work, including Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Presented by the College of Business Distinguished Speaker Series.


Tickets: 940-565-2428, danceandtheatre.unt.edu

Register at cob.unt.edu/dss


UNT Opera: Janácek ­— The Cunning Little Vixen


7:30 p.m. Nov. 9-10; 3 p.m. Nov. 11 | Murchison Performing Arts Center, Lyric Theater

7 p.m. Nov. 6 | University Union Lyceum

7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 | UNT International Festival of Czech Music A Czech opera performed in English with the UNT Symphony Orchestra, Janácek recounts the life and small adventures of a clever fox and accompanying wildlife, as well as a few humans. Presented by the College of Music. Tickets: 940-369-8417, thempac.music.unt.edu



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Fall 2018

JunNk is an award-winning performance group that uses common junkyard items to create an exciting and original music experience. Presented by the Mary Jo and V. Lane Rawlins Fine Arts Series. Tickets: untuniontickets.com


Upcoming Events

Ryan Chisesi

page 27

KING OF CREATIVITY Designer’s innovative projects range from cyberspace to outer space.

Learn more about King’s journey from living on Fry Street as a student to creating out-of-the-box projects at northtexan.unt.edu/king-creativity.

AS A KID, DUANE KING DREW PICTURES OF spacecraft and 18-wheelers. Now his designs have been used by Apple, Facebook and Neiman Marcus. He co-created the Nike Better World website that introduced parallax scrolling, landing him a spot on Fast Company’s Top 50 Most Influential Designers in America in 2011. For his most recent project, he oversaw the reproduction of a plaque that was aboard the Pioneer 10 spacecraft launched by NASA in 1972. It was funded within 30 hours on Kickstarter. “This magical project overlapped what I’m good at, what I love and what the world needs — design, space and hope,” says King, who attended UNT’s graphic design program from 1988 to 1992. “I feel very lucky because it’s an alignment of my passions and my abilities with the zeitgeist.” Fall 2018





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Muse credit for their astonishing courage and sacrifice,” says Wawro, who also is director of the Military History Center.

Books War history The Germans would have won World War I if the U.S. military had not intervened, argues history professor Geoffrey Wawro in Sons of Freedom: The Forgotten American Soldiers Who Defeated Germany in World War I (Basic Books). He depicts battles and deliberations during the war that the French and British were on the verge of losing in 1918. “The million or so Americans who fought in World War I haven’t received nearly enough

Shakespeare’s politics In Shakespeare, Popularity and the Public Sphere (Cambridge University Press), English assistant professor Jeffrey S. Doty (’02 M.A.) examines the playwright’s ideas about where political power originates. The British monarchy wanted its subjects to imagine that it received its authority directly from God. But Shakespeare depicted how politicians maintained their power by manag-

ing public opinion. Doty says he began thinking about these ideas during the 2000 presidential election. “We want to be inspired by charismatic leaders who inflame our emotions,” he says. “Shakespeare was a serious political thinker, and his plays anticipate the role of charisma and popularity from Bush to Obama to Trump.”

Game creation Scott Warren, professor of learning technologies, shows readers how the video games Anytown, Chalk House and The Door were made in Learning Games: The Science and Art of

Development (Springer International Publishing). The book was written with the games’ co-creator, the late Greg Jones (’87, ’91 M.S.), who was a professor of learning technologies and an associate dean in the College of Information. They explain the process of creating the games, made using pre-Oculus Rift 3D systems, and how to design, develop and conduct research on complex educational games. Warren, who will receive his second Ph.D. this fall in business administration and logistics at UNT, says, “We wanted to explain how our lives as gamers and geeks, as well as everyday experiences at home and in academia, foster and lead to valuable design thinking.”

Photography pioneer After earning a degree in radio-TV-film, Nic Nicosia (’74) opened a camera shop near the Art Building. Four years later he sold the store, returned to school to pursue an M.F.A. and quickly followed that path to an extraordinary career as a photographer. Today, Nicosia is heralded as one of the leaders in the staged photography movement, in which the photographers create the sets and scenes to be photographed. His works have been featured in two Whitney Biennials and are in permanent collections of the New York Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum, among several others in the U.S. and abroad. As a common exercise for beginning and student photographers, Nicosia also started with “street photographs,” walking around the streets of Dallas, Denton and Fort Worth, taking pictures in pursuit Daniel Driensky

of the perfect moment. In class, instructor Al Souza introduced him to photographers such as John Phahl and Robert Cummings, who were altering the landscape or making set-ups to photograph. “I wanted to take this kind of photography even further,” Nicosia says, “to combine the fantasy with the reality of what was already there.” He started making photographs as art, fabricating images. Linda Carthcart, then-director of the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston who discovered Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince, selected one of his images as the Purchase Award for the Voertman Student Art Competition on campus in 1980. In 1983, his work landed him in the prestigious art exhibition, the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and appeared in an issue of Life magazine. The two pictures published were from his “Domestic Drama” series, which featured a couple arguing in a highly stylized restaurant and a father (Nicosia) picking up his kids after they made a mess. “I drove to a downtown night-time magazine stand to buy the issue,” he says. “I just remember thinking, ‘Wow, I think I’m a mainstream artist.’” And Nicosia, who lives in Dallas, still keeps pushing his limits. In 2008, he started to stretch his artistic talents by drawing and sculpting. “I now have more confidence and freedom than I feel I ever had,” he says.



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Fall 2018

Novel idea

Ellen Wright

Michelle Schusterman (’03) began writing her first book in bed. She was sick with pneumonia and had lost her job. She had nothing to do. So she began writing. Her first book didn’t get published, but she’s since written 11 novels for middle school students. Her I Heart Band series (Grosset & Dunlap) and her most recent book, The Pros of Cons (Scholastic), draw from her background as a percussionist and steel drummer. I Heart Band follows the adventures of band geeks, while Pros depicts a snare drummer competing at a convention. The New York-based author’s other books range from mysteries to fantasy, including the recently released Spell and Spindle. While at UNT, Schusterman performed in six different music groups, boosting her confidence since she was such a shy person. She also took conducting classes that forced her to hold the attention of her peers — lessons she uses today when she speaks at book festivals or conferences. “Instead of being nerve-wracking, it’s just plain fun,” she says. “After all, it’s a lot easier to talk to people about books than it is to get them to hold a concert B flat in tune!”


YongHyun Lee

Spreading music

Vocalist Amanda Ekery (’16) wants more women to join the jazz world. The jazz studies major founded El Paso Jazz Girls in her hometown to help bring gender equality to the field, which has seen only seven girls make the Texas All-State Jazz Band in the last decade.

She wrote the curriculum and raised funds for the free summer clinic. She hopes to set up similar programs in Austin and Dallas. Ekery also is involved in other projects, from writing songs with Girl Scouts to re-creating classic folk songs with audiences. She wants to build communities through music, so she regularly performs in libraries, basements and other nontraditional places. “I want to work, collaborate and share what I do with the people who I share space with,” she says.

Upcoming Events

Artist Wayne White, the Emmy-winning designer behind Pee Wee’s Playhouse and Peter Gabriel’s video “Big Time,” will work with students Oct. 22-27 to create a giant puppet. He also will speak at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 in the University Union Lyceum. The event is sponsored by The Mary Jo & V. Lane Rawlins Fine Arts Series. Learn more at fine-arts-series.unt.edu. Conducted by Dennis W. Fisher, the Symphonic Band will present Symphony No. 4 Bookmarks from Japan by visiting composer Julie Giroux at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23. Giroux is an Emmy Award winner who has orchestrated for such shows as Dynasty and the movies Broadcast News and White Men Can’t Jump and arranged music for Celine Dion, Madonna and Michael Jackson. The Baroque Orchestra & Collegium Singers, conducted by Paul Leenhouts and Richard Sparks, will perform Musica Bohemia as part of the Third UNT International Festival of Czech Music at 7:30 p.m Nov. 30. Both concerts are at the Winspear Performance Hall at the Murchison Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available at thempac.com. Texas Fashion Collection director Annette Becker will speak just in time for Halloween, sharing costume history as she discusses The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Fashion History in Costumes at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Emily Fowler Public Library in Denton. She will explore how designers interpret popular styles from history. The Department of Dance and Theatre will present I, Gelosi, which depicts the story of Italy’s first theater troupe through the world of commedia dell’arte. It runs at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8-10 and 2 p.m. Nov. 10-11. The New Choreographers Concert, which features works created by senior dance majors, begins at 8 p.m. Nov. 30Dec. 1 and 2 p.m. Dec. 2. Both events take place in the University Theater in the RTFP Building. Find out more at danceandtheatre. unt.edu/upcoming-season-productions.

Visit calendar.unt.edu for more upcoming events.

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Kris Mueller

Top flutist

Doctoral musical arts student Martin Godoy earned top honors at one of the highest-level international flute competitions — and he did it as a first-generation college student. Godoy won first prize in the Texas Flute Society’s 32nd annual Myrna Brown Artist



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Competition in May. The Dallas native took up the flute in middle school, and he has supported himself to pay for three degrees. He is director of the Color Guard at Colleyville Heritage High School. “For me, going to college meant making a name for my family and showing that anything is possible,” Godoy says. “‘I’m so proud of you, Mijo,’ and ‘That’s my boy,’ are expressions I often hear from my proud parents. I like to think that I take a bit of each of them with me as I achieve my dreams in music.”



Fall 2018

Television and Film Working with a legend

Caleb Spaw (’18), right, was in the Peruvian rainforest, assigned to make a five-minute film about “fever dreams in the jungle.” And he was mentored by one of cinema’s most acclaimed directors — Werner Herzog, left, known for his eccentric films. Spaw, a media arts major, made three films with that theme at the workshop sponsored by Black Factory Cinema this summer. He was one of 48 people from around the world chosen for the workshop, which required a questionnaire, work reel, curriculum vitae and two-page paper. “Herzog had lots of wisdom to give, but sometimes you had to decipher his cryptic expressions, such as ‘You’re allowed to do anything that doesn’t scare the cows,’” Spaw says. “For me, that lesson was that sometimes you have to go out and start the filming without even the slightest idea of what you want or are trying to accomplish. Be open to whatever happens, don’t impose yourself upon what you’re filming, and often something special will find you.” Spaw also completed an internship with the ABC TV

news show 20/20 in New York City. His work included a feature on the young Thai soccer team members who were trapped in a cave. “We started that episode on a Thursday and aired it the next Tuesday, a ridiculous turnaround time. But it really felt meaningful and like I was in the big leagues,” he says.

Fun ride

Will Mihe

Sarah Ching Photography

“Lion Eyes” was the second song that Jordan Burchill (’13) and Mikaela Kahn (’12) wrote together. Filmmaker Spike Lee liked it so much that he used it for his movie BlacKkKlansman. Burchill and Kahn perform alternative indie/folk music as the duo Beth // James, a combination of their middle names. The jazz studies majors started playing together as freshmen and moved to Austin after graduation. Kahn saw an open call for independent music submissions on Lee’s Instagram account for his Netflix show She’s Gotta Have It. They submitted “Lion Eyes,” but Lee had been holding onto it for BlacKkKlansman, which depicts an African American detective going undercover in the Ku Klux Klan. “We had completely forgotten about the submission and were shocked,” Burchill says. “We are so excited to have a small part in an amazing and important movie.” The duo also released the single “Wasted on Sundays,” and an EP is due out this fall. They say UNT’s jazz program helped them get to this position. “It definitely taught us to work extremely hard, and always be prepared,” Burchill says.

Meli Ramirez

Movie music

Sarah Adams (’05) was summoned for jury duty, expecting to handle a “who-done-it” trial. She was disappointed. “It was as if I’d taken a sip of sweet tea — imagining murder and mystery — only to realize for some ungodly reason it was just regular tea, and I was sitting in a small courthouse with a loud AC unit and no chance to put on my detective hat,” she says. The experience inspired Adams to co-write and direct Civic Duty, about a newspaper reporter covering a local trial. The film, shot at Denton’s Courthouse-on-the-Square, was featured at the Women Texas Film Festival and will be streamed online later this year. Adams, who was a theatre major before turning to journalism and public relations, also appears in national commercials and award-winning independent films.

Nathan Guerra

Facing fears

Cierra Caballero (’15) doesn’t scare easily. Not only is she an avid horror fan, she also tackles many artistic projects from a variety of fields. The media arts major is a writer

and vlogger for PopNerdTV and the YouTube horror show Jump Scare. “Horror isn’t just gore, it can be psychological, suspenseful, shadows around the corner,” she says. “Horror is about facing your fears, the things that make you uncomfortable.” But horror is just one of Caballero’s interests. She also was lead singer for the metal band Unveiled and started a new band called Ocean’s Forgive. And she is writing a fantasy and mystery novel. “My goal is to share my art with others, to make people laugh or relate in some way,” she says. “I just genuinely love

being an artist in every medium, and I can’t imagine not being creative.”

Visual Arts Creature artist

Jacob Dominguez

“I thoroughly enjoy the process of creating a film, from ideation to bringing it to life on set and all the steps in between,” she says. “It’s a fun ride.”

Kate Sorrells’ (’14) job is to oversee dinosaurs, bears and other creatures, as they change from foam blocks to big, painted, beautiful sculptures. Sorrells uses her metalsmith-

ing and jewelry degree as mechanical operator for Worlds of Wow, a Denton-based company that designs and manufactures playground equipment for children. She takes a design — such as a 6-foot bear — and uses 3D software to cut it into slices so it will fit into the computer numerical control machine, which carves out the pieces to be assembled into the bear. She says the staff, which includes sculpture major Jacob Dominguez (’15), reminds her of her classmates in the metals lab. “We’re nerds, we’re goofy, we’re bright and we’re friendly,” she says. “I didn’t imagine that I would ever find a place like this.”

Transcendent artist For years, Vanessa (’95) has been working Five25 illustrious alumniDionne from the College of Visual Arts the and“hustle Designand had grind” of Hollywood. their artwork highlighted during the grand opening of UNT ArtSpace Dallas. Now she’s angallery Emmy is Award winner, toprenovated prize in the OutstandCVAD’s newest located in thetaking lobbyTV’s of the UNT Systems ing Makeup for aMain Drama Series Building at 1901 Street in category Dallas. for The Bold and the Beautiful at the Daytime Creative Emmywith Awards in April. “We are excitedArts to share residents of Dallas and surrounding areas felt as if I could exhale and be satisfied all the yearsand of my work the“Iopportunity to view artworks from UNT’s with talented faculty alumni,” coming together,” she says. “The irony is that I originally camebrings out to the L.A. to says Director of UNT Galleries Tracee Robertson. “This gallery be an actress, and theand dream rolecloser I wanted was toand be on soap opera!” College of Visual Arts Design to Dallas thea outlying commuIn fact, hair and makeup was her technical studies backup at UNT. As she nities.” ranThe thegallery hair and makeup department during campus productions, loved officially opened in December but welcomed visitorsshe from Cassie Russek

seeing finaland design in place. Denton,the Dallas surrounding “Makeup a transformative art,”featured she says. “Itworks can transcend imagiareas for theisgrand opening, which the of Shirin the Askari nation sendalumna the audience on a journey that is a window for the eye and (ʼ08), aand fashion and former food forRunway the soul.” Project participant; Brian Fridge (ʼ94), She videos especially period work. other One ofplaces, her first was Titanic,“which was insane very York; memorable.” year, (ʼ06 she morphed performers to are whose are loves exhibited, among atfilms the Whitney Museum of American Artand in New Howard Last Sherman M.F.A.), whose paintings appear as internationally; Richard Nixon and Mao Tse-Tung for the opera Nixon in China thepolyurethane Los Angeles Philharmonic. ForofAnnie, which thisTanamachi summer at(ʼ07), the Hollywood exhibited Erick Swenson (ʼ99), a sculptor best known forathis resin sculptures animals; andran Dana known Bowl, was all classicand 1933work makeup hair. She wonA two Makeup Artist excellent and Hair Stylist Guild Awards in 2016 for Alicestudent in Wonderland Opfor heritchalk lettering with and Target and Nike. trio Hollywood of the College of Music’s jazz musicians headed by graduate Gabriel the Evans era, for make whichthe sheevening worked special. for six months to build the designs. And she’s since won three more Guild Awards, one for A Chorus Line and two for Mamma Mia. helped Dionne constantly busy, having to look for jobs since The Bold and the Beautiful only shoots 12 days a month. But an average day can run 10 hours For moreisinformation, visit gallery.unt.edu/exhibitions/artspace-dallas. or more. She credits Barbara Cox, associate professor of costume design, as her biggest influence, saying her tough-love style drove her to produce her best work. “I never knew my journey would become what it is today, but I have no regrets,” Dionne says. “I love educating newcomers in the industry. Knowledge should not be a secret but passed on.”

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GENERATION EDUCATION When J.P. Abah applied for an on-campus student worker position in The Factory at Willis Library, he thought he’d be sitting at a desk providing patron services. It wasn’t until after he arrived in the UNT makerspace and interviewed with manager Judy Hunter (’00, ’07 M.P.A.) that he realized he’d be getting interdisciplinary experiences and skills in addition to a paycheck. In one year on the job, Abah, an international student from Nigeria studying mechanical and energy engineering, has learned to 3D print computer-generated models, use computer numerical control technology to laser cut and mill different materials, view micropixels with the Amoeba dual purpose microscope, generate 3D models with Solidworks software, preserve artifacts and objects using the Ein-Scan Pro 3D scanner, facilitate robotics workshops using LEGO Mindstorms, and use Blender and Unity software to create 3D and 2D video game environments. Much of the software Abah’s learned to use in his engineering courses is available to the entire UNT student body at The Fac­ tory, which opened a second makerspace this fall at the Discovery Park library. “Everything you need for your career doesn’t come from one experience or one day, but from collective experiences,” Abah says. The Factory is just one way UNT is facilitating crossdisciplinary learning experiences for students. With 60 percent of post-millennials expecting to have multiple careers before age 30, as well as an understanding of rapidly emerging career fields and professions, UNT is providing opportunities for students to grow with the creative economy ­— in a place where creativity and technology unite to drive innovation in a digital age. “Our students come in wanting to uniquely mold themselves and further develop the skills they naturally possess,” says Jennifer Cowley (’97 M.P.A.), provost and vice president for academic



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affairs.“They won’t be satisfied with a traditional degree plan, and we need to help them identify the areas where they have deficits and provide an individualized path to help them find success.” Fostering these tech-savvy students’ interests and skills isn’t limited to the classroom. UNT is committed to becoming a leader in next generation education, stressing the importance of cross-disciplinary experiences through a mixture of academic, recreational, technological, research-focused and collaborative partnership opportunities.

FOSTERING OPPORTUNITIES Gaming has long been a hobby for marketing senior Bri Delgado. But her experience establishing and managing a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team for UNT’s esports student organization provided the first taste of what it would be like to work professionally in the esports field, a rapidly growing industry that grossed $696 million last year and is predicted to grow to $1.5 billion by 2020. Following two years as a gaming director and advisory board member for the student organization, Delgado got a job as an online tournament administrator with Tespa, the world’s largest operator of collegiate esports leagues. During her second year with Tespa, Delgado led a team of four other Angilee Wilkerson

by M eredith M oriak W right

Top: This spring, UNT Esports hosted an Overwatch competition for gaming students in the Lyceum in the University Union. Ahna Hubnik

Bottom: Design and new media students work in UNT’s xREZ Art + Science Lab directed by Associate Professor Ruth West.

WHO ARE GENERATION Z? The generation after Millennials, Generation Z — people born from 1995 onward — makes up 25 percent of the U.S. population, a larger cohort than the Baby Boomers or Millennials. Today’s students, most of whom are Gen Z, are characterized as a mobile, boundary-less and video-centric generation who: • Place a premium on entrepreneurship, innovation and DIY • Expect and prefer to approach work differently due to technology

• Expect a short work tenure and strive to gain transferable skills • Consider the Internet the authority, thus think and approach problems differently • Desire feedback and difference making • Respond to honest and authentic messaging • Prefer real-time, transparent and collaborative communication • Are self-starters, self-learners and self-motivators Source: Ryan Jenkins

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DEGREES BY DESIGN While cross-disciplinary academic experiences occur in each of UNT’s 14 colleges and schools, they are the key focus for more than 1,400 integrative studies undergraduates in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. They design their own degrees by selecting three academic areas of study. A unique version of this degree also is being offered to the first cohort of freshmen next fall at the UNT campus at Frisco, which will create hands-on experiences for students through corporate partnerships. “Employers tell us that they aren’t hiring graduates with a specific major but those who can think critically and work well with others,” says Susan McCutcheon, assistant dean for advising in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and director of integrative studies.“This degree provides students with a firm foundation to support their unique career goals.”



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Integrative studies has grown in popularity the last five years. Alison Chapman (’14) credits the degree for providing her with a diversified background that helped her to become a commissioned officer with the U.S. Air Force. “The program was an opportunity to explore a broad array of interests — history, women’s studies and human development,” Chapman says. “It perfectly prepared me for military service, an honor I am proud of every day.”

RESEARCH BREAKTHROUGHS Research at UNT also takes an interdisciplinary approach, especially in the xREZ Art + Science Lab directed by Ruth West, an associate professor of design and new media. Through Max Parola’s (’16) work in the lab — a creative studio and research lab with a focus on new discoveries at the intersection of arts, sciences and humanities — he became interested in human computer interaction research and saw how it translated into the growing industry of interaction design. Parola joined the lab in 2014 as an undergraduate studying psychology, and he developed research skills working on projects focused on virtual reality, human computer interaction and 3D segmentation. He says his lab time inspired him to enroll in UNT’s new master’s in design program, with a concentration in interaction design, which involves designing interactive digital products, environments, systems and services. “I’ve always been interested in technology, psychology and design, and interaction design requires elements of each. As an interaction designer, I have to be able to pivot, adapt and re-evaluate things on a continual basis,” says Parola, on track to become the first graduate of the program in December.“Working in a research setting complements what I’ve learned through coursework and enables me to draw from both.” Ahna Hubnik

college-age students to coordinate and host online Overwatch tournaments in the U.S. Players in tournaments facilitated by Delgado were awarded more than $100,000 in scholarship funds last year. Delgado, a Terry Scholar, credits her academic experiences and work with Tespa for helping her land an internship this past summer in Irvine, California, within the esports division at Blizzard Entertainment, one of the world’s premier game developers and publishers. “I wanted a major that could be applicable to all my passions — gaming, music or anything else I might find myself doing. I chose marketing and added a concentration in professional selling because esports is a new field and I knew it was important that I be able to explain and promote the industry,” she says. This fall, Delgado is focusing on esports commercialization as a patent intern with UNT Libraries. Following graduation in December, she plans to return to California to continue working in esports before pursuing a graduate business degree. Studies show that, like Delgado — who is known online by the gamer tag ‘bee’ — 60 to 70 percent of college students play video games. UNT has taken note. In August 2017, UNT Libraries opened esports and game design spaces known as The Nest in the Media Library, where students can compete in games on computers built specifically for that purpose. And, in January, UNT Esports was established within UNT Recreational Sports to support four varsity teams — Hearthstone, League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch — competing this fall. “It’s wonderful to see UNT’s support,” Delgado says,“because this not only provides an opportunity to compete for significant scholarships but also will draw students to the university.”

Michael Clements

Left: In collaboration with the Student Government Association, students in The Factory this summer used a 3D printer to make a Braille map for the University Union. Top: After completing an internship with the Dallas Cowboys, Alex Shaw (’18 M.S.) was hired on as a personal trainer for Cowboys Fit, located at The Star in Frisco. Bottom: This spring, art students in Justin Archer’s (’12, ’16 M.F.A.) Beginning Sculpture class created scans for 3D sculptures using a sensor attached to an iPad Pro as part of a class project.

Ranjani Groth

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RESPONDING TO INDUSTRY Innovative partnerships continue at UNT’s campus in Frisco — the second-fastest-growing city in the nation — where the needs of industry help inform the programs offered. Degrees in advanced data analytics and consumer experience management are among those recently established to prepare students for the changing workforce. Sport management degrees also will be offered at the campus in Frisco, known as “Sports City, USA.” It’s directly across the street from The Star, the Dallas Cowboys world headquarters, and within five miles of Toyota Stadium, home of FC Dallas soccer; Dr Pepper Arena, home of Texas Legends basketball; Dr Pepper Ballpark, home of Frisco Roughriders baseball; and the Dallas Stars hockey headquarters.



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“The location of our programs in Frisco will give us a strong advantage in offering students a network that is not available elsewhere,” says Bob Heere, UNT’s director of sport management.“We can build one of the premier sport and entertainment management programs in the nation.” To best prepare students for careers in the future job market, UNT continues to cultivate partnerships with industry leaders that provide internship opportunities. In addition to Texas Motor Speedway, UNT has partnered with the Dallas Cowboys to facilitate student internships. As an intern at Cowboys Fit, a luxury gym located at The Star, Alex Shaw (’18 M.S.) gained the valuable business and sales knowledge he needed to launch his career as a personal trainer. “I knew how to help clients get the results they wanted, but first, I had to get clients. Selling was something I had to learn — quickly,” says Shaw, a May graduate who earned a master’s degree in kinesiology. He hit his stride as a personal trainer and, following graduation, was offered a full-time position with the Cowboys. “Because of UNT’s partnership with the Dallas Cowboys, I’ve been able to enter the fitness industry at the top,” he says.“I was in the right place at the right time and empowered to enter the exact career path I wanted without speedbumps.” Knowing that more students than ever before — 63 percent according to recent surveys — will seek entrepreneurial paths after graduation, Smatresk has charged faculty to explore out-ofthe-box thinking and take risks in the classroom so they can best model those skills for students and provide personal insight. Over the last two years, UNT leaders also have worked with the Toyota Production System Support Center to diagnose specific issues within existing UNT processes and reimagine them to best fulfill university needs by implementing Toyota’s award-winning lean process framework. The faculty hiring and onboarding process and graduate school admissions have been reimagined as a result. UNT’s willingness to execute new ideas, re-evaluate them when they don’t go as planned, tweak them and try again, is a positive thing for students to observe, says Ryan Girardot (’18), winner of the 2017 UNT Innovator Award. The recognition is given each year to faculty and students for finding creative solutions to today’s most pressing issues. “Universities more and more need to be hubs of innovation,” says Girardot, co-founder of EPLAY by Players Revolution, a digital player profile for basketball players.“You do have to have this environment where it is OK to throw what might even sound like a crazy idea out there and it is taken seriously.”

Gary Payne

As the nation’s 29th largest public research university and ranked Tier One by the Carnegie Classification, UNT continues to encourage and support cross-discipline research opportunities. This spring, the NetDragon Digital Research Centre was launched. Sponsored by Chinese gaming giant NetDragon, it will provide unique opportunities for research, student internships, faculty training and deployment of online courses to further enrich studentlearning experiences. UNT also is working with NetDragon to “We’re focused develop a smartphone on building new application for campus products, developing communication and new technologies numerous other projects. and moving into an “Working with advanced world of NetDragon will online education that fundamentally is next generation — change how we do not your grandmother’s business and change the character of our online classes.” institution,” President Neal Smatresk says. — “We’re focused on building new products, developing new technologies and moving into an advanced world of online education that is next generation — not your grandmother’s online classes.”

New media arts assistant professor Liss LaFleur, right, is fitted with an electroencephalogram device by student Brittany Armstrong. The EEG device and software use the brain activity of the wearer to manipulate digitally or physically created objects.

TECHNOLOGY FOR SUCCESS UNT has long thought of the future needs of its students. In the 1990s, the university emerged as a leader in online education, becoming one of the largest providers of online credit courses among Texas public universities. Now looking ahead, in addition to developing the communication app with NetDragon to help students be more successful, UNT is seeking to overhaul its online courses to be even more responsive to their education needs and learning habits. This begins with the introduction of a new learning management system, Canvas, which will replace all Blackboard classes by this spring. Jacqueline Ryan Vickery, associate professor of media arts, conducts research on young people’s digital media practices and how they intersect with issues of equity, identity, privacy, literacy and policy. She says that students crave instantaneous access and expect technology to be available at all times, and that, therefore, educators need to adapt. “With the constant introduction of new digital platforms for networking, co-working and social interactions, it’s important that universities teach students the framework to acquire technical skills that will be needed as new products are created, rather than teach existing programs,” Vickery says.

Existing courses also are being reimagined to flourish amid new technologies. With countless resources available for students online, UNT jazz history professor John Murphy eliminated the textbook, which he believes limits learning, and created a 100-percent online course that requires students to seek and evaluate information themselves, starting with UNT’s abundant library resources. He compares the textbook to the safe and predictable experience of swimming laps in a pool. “My job is to coach students to have an authentic learning experience amidst the sea of information available,” Murphy says.“I’ve developed my course in a manner that enables students to learn in the open water of information.” Every step UNT takes toward becoming a next generation university involves making sure students are set up for success. Regardless of whether they are taking courses online or on campus, UNT is focused on ensuring every student has access to the same services and educational experiences. “Everything we do is to prepare our students to become the creative leaders of tomorrow,” Smatresk says.“When they leave UNT, they will be well-rounded, confident individuals prepared to excel in the rapidly evolving workforce.”

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Michael Clements

Successful kickoff With a season-opening win and several players named to watch lists, football commences new season on the right foot.

Learn more about Mean Green teams and purchase tickets at meangreensports.com.



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With a record-setting 29,519 fans watching, the Mean Green started off the 2018 football season by trampling SMU 46-23. “The defense set the tone,” head coach Seth Littrell says. “They came out blazing and really dominated. We knew this was a big game. I can’t say enough about the great crowd we had.” Several Mean Green players also have been named to preseason watch lists. Kelvin Smith was named to the Mackey Watch List and Hornung Award Watch List, while Sosaia Mose was named to the Rimington Trophy Fall Watch List. Quinn Shanbour was named to the Wuerffel Trophy Watch List, and Jalen Guyton and Michael Lawrence were named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List. Quarterback Mason Fine, who completed 40 of 50 passes for a career-high 444 yards and three touchdowns against SMU, was named to the Walter Camp, Maxwell and Davey O’Brien watch lists. His performance against SMU earned him Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award National Player of the Week, Davey O’Brien “Great 8” and Conference USA Player of the Week honors.

Men’s basketball wins big in Italy The Mean Green basketball team concluded its nine-day tour of Italy in August with a clean sweep. Over three games, the team outscored opponents 279-157, shot 47 percent from the field and had 55 steals. The first game was in Rome against Stella Azzurra, a member of Italy’s Basketball Federation Serie B, where the Mean Green won 94-51. In their second game against the Italian all-star team in Florence, they won 83-59, and they capped off their winning streak with a decisive 102-47 win against the Italian Gold Team in Venice. “To see them fighting for each other and helping each other to try and win is such a good start to our season,” head coach Grant McCasland says. The team also engaged in some unforgettable cultural experiences overseas, including a scavenger hunt and tour of the Colosseum in Rome; a visit to the Florence Cathedral and a 10-mile bike tour through the city; and a glimpse of the Venice canals. “Italian culture is all about sitting down and enjoying your meal,” says guard David Draper Jr. “In our culture, we’re all about go, go, go.”

Greene statue unveiled

coached softball at Cameron University and at high schools in Oklahoma. UNT placed 186 student-athletes on DeLong has brought on Dillon Bryant Conference USA’s annual academic honor roll this year. Student-athletes named to the and Jamie Allred as assistant coaches. They Commissioner’s Honor Roll maintain a cu- both served as assistant coaches under mulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. DeLong at Austin Peay. There also were 43 Mean Green studentSoccer continues home streak athletes who received the Commissioner’s With a 3-0-1 home record in the early Academic Medal, which requires a cumulapart of the 2018 season, the Mean Green tive GPA of 3.75 or better. soccer team extended its home unbeaten streak to 14 games. The defending ConNew head softball coach named ference USA champions are chasing a fifth Rodney DeLong has been hired as the consecutive year of C-USA regular season head coach for the Mean Green softball or tournament championships and their program. An 11-year coaching veteran, 14th overall conference title in 24 years. DeLong comes to UNT after leading Head coach John Hedlund has never had a Austin Peay to a program-record 39 wins in 2018, snapping a 24-year streak of losing losing record at UNT. He will coach in his seasons. Prior to Austin Peay, DeLong was 500th game Oct. 21 vs. FIU at the Mean an assistant coach at Georgia Tech. He also Green Soccer Complex. Athletes honored for academics

Fall 2018

A 12-foot statue of Hall of Fame football player “Mean” Joe Greene was unveiled next to Apogee Stadium’s Gate 2 on Sept. 29, prior to the Mean Green game against Louisiana Tech. The statue unveiling was part of UNT’s “Champions Weekend,” which included the groundbreaking ceremony for the new indoor practice facility. Greene was drafted fourth overall in the 1969 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, the highest drafted player in Mean Green history. With the Steelers, he won four Super Bowl titles.





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Homecoming 2018

Calling all alumni and friends home to UNT to celebrate during Homecoming 2018 A variety of events and activities, themed "Mean Green Game Show," will take place throughout the week of Oct. 22 and will culminate Oct. 27 at Apogee Stadium when the Mean Green football team faces off against Rice. 38


Join in on Friday night's bonfire, one of UNT's oldest traditions. And Saturday, plan for a full day of events that include watching the Homecoming parade and tailgating with your fellow Eagles at Mean Green Village prior to the game.

For more information , visit homecoming.unt.edu.

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Fall 2018

Mean Green Village Tailgate Tent Info

Share your photos from Homecoming on Twitter and Instagram — hashtag #UNTHC18 — to win prizes.

Tailgate tent package options include game tickets, parking passes, tents, tables and chairs for alumni groups, departments, schools and colleges that plan to host tailgate functions near the stadium before the Homecoming game. For tailgate tent package reservations, contact ticketoffice@unt.edu, 940-565-2527 or visit meangreensports.com. Deadline: Oct. 19 T H U R S D AY

7 p.m.

Noon-2:30 p.m.

Oct. 25, 11 a.m.

Yell Like Hell

Mean Green Village

Hosted by Student Activities and the Progressive Black Student Organization, the event features a night full of dancing, stepping and skits at the UNT Coliseum.

Tailgating around campus starts early and ends 30 minutes before kickoff. The event will include student organization tents; live music from High Definition; free food and giveaways; inflatables, a giant TV and yard games; and the Mean Green March featuring the Mean Green football team and the Green Brigade.

Distinguished Speaker Series The College of Business’ fall Distinguished Speaker Series will feature well-known Houston alumnus and businessman Jim McIngvale, better known as ”Mattress Mack.” To register, visit cob.unt.edu/distinguished-speakerseries-2018-10-25. 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

“Go Green” Homecoming celebration The UNT community is invited to Champs cafeteria to chow down on green foods like pesto pasta and green ice cream. Free with meal plan or $7.95 plus tax at the door.

F R I D AY Oct. 26, 8 p.m.

Bonfire The annual tradition will take place at Apogee Stadium. Alumni are invited to watch from the Alumni Pavilion, beginning at 7 p.m., where food and drinks will be provided. Free for members, $10 for nonmembers. For more information, call 940-565-2834 or email alumni@unt.edu.

1 p.m.

Alumni GameDay Grille Join fellow alums at the Alumni Pavilion where there will be live music, Mean Green face painting, a full-catered buffet and lawn games. For more information, call 940-5652834 or email alumni@unt.edu.

S AT U R D AY 6 p.m.

Oct. 27, 8 a.m.

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards

Golden Eagles Class of '68 Breakfast/Reunion

3 p.m.

A long-standing university tradition, the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards is an annual event that recognizes outstanding achievement, service and support of UNT alumni and friends. For more information, visit untalumni.com/ alumni-awards.

Make new friends, renew old acquaintances and reminisce about your time at North Texas State University. Union Ballroom 333. Reservations, $20. RSVP: 940-5652834 or alumni@unt.edu.

Ticket options start at $20. Speak with a ticket sales consultant about individual, family or group seating options at 940-565-2527 or visit meangreensports.com/ sports/2018/7/19/tickets.aspx.

7 p.m.

Mean Green vs. Rice

10 a.m.

Homecoming Parade Watch the parade, which starts at UNT and winds its way around the Denton square. See the route at Fall 2018 homecoming.unt.edu.





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Class of

Their Own by Erin Cristales Photography by Ranjani Groth


Nearly 25 years after the conclusion of his undergraduate career at Stephen F. Austin, Mike Goddard (’99 M.S., ’04 Ed.D.) still looks like a college football player. Tall and broad, he’s an imposing figure, the kind of guy you picture bellowing at players from the sidelines or enforcing strict order in the hallways. But then you see the grin. And the socks. And the lapel pin. “Every day, there’s a theme with the socks and pins,” says Goddard, who just last year brought his jovial, outsized presence to the role of Red Oak ISD superintendent. “It’s some serious pressure.” At first glance, today’s motif isn’t obvious — he’s wearing a Kermit the Frog pin and socks emblazoned with a grassy soccer field. But upon closer inspection, the connection is clear: Goddard means green. He may have played football at SFA, but he says it was at UNT where he tackled his toughest, most rewarding experiences. He first enrolled in the College of Education to pursue a master’s degree in counseling before earning a doctorate in educational leadership and administration. “I never believed I would be able to finish,” Goddard says. “But I had professors, like Jack Baier, who believed in me, encouraged me. I had this built-in mentoring all the way through the program.” That’s a hallmark of the College of Education: providing the kind of rigorous instruction, real-world experiences and one-on-one support that allow its graduates to seamlessly transition into the classroom — or out of it. The college’s alums achieve not only flexibility but success as they carve their own career paths, moving between roles such as teacher, administrator, department coordinator or policy influencer — and making measurable differences in students’ lives. It’s no surprise when you consider the college is the cornerstone on which UNT was built, tracing its roots to the 1890 founding of the Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute. Since then, the College of Education — whose online graduate education programs are ranked first in Texas and fourth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report — has firmly established itself as a leader in educating educators. “Every job I’ve had in education,” Goddard says, “I’ve used what I learned at UNT.”

Building experience and character Goddard’s first K-12 position was as a communications applications instructor at McKinney North High School. He signed on as Lovejoy High School’s first principal in 2005 and then moved on to Prosper ISD, where he spent seven years as assistant superintendent. Now he is Red Oak’s head honcho — or, as he prefers to view it, a teacher whose classroom includes 900 adults and 6,000 kids. “I learned a lot about myself at UNT,” Goddard says. “I learned to have patience, to stick with the vision I’m trying to instill and to connect with others. It’s all about locking arms and walking together.” It’s also about lending a helping hand — and in Goddard’s case, that often means oversized Mickey Mouse hands,



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Fall 2018

Mike Goddard (’99 M.S., ’04 Ed.D.)

From teacher to administrator to department coordinator to policy influencer, College of Education alums use the experiences and lessons learned at UNT to carve varied, flexible career paths.

Fall 2018





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Patty Donaldson (’87 ) which he wears to elementary campuses to offer high fives and open car doors in the drop-off lanes. His visits are not only for fun, but also to model his 4 Talons initiative, which helps students realize the importance of life skills like exhibiting academic readiness; staying open to the challenges of learning; being fair, respectful and well rounded; and leaving a legacy through service. The idea for 4 Talons developed during Goddard’s doctoral work, where he created a program evaluation for Champs, which helped UNT student-athletes build life skills beyond athleticism. He identified a problem — graduation rates were low for college athletes — and then Baier asked: “What are you going to do about it?” “He always pushed you in a way that made you feel he had students’ best interests at heart,” Goddard says. “I’ve tried to model that. That’s what North Texas did for me — it planted seeds that helped me cultivate these ideas and experiences into tangible things that can help our kids.”

Making movements After three-and-a-half years at Baylor — where she cycled through five different majors and a self-described “horrible” GPA — Patty Donaldson (’87) decided it was time for a break. For a year, she took a breather, re-evaluating her goals and pursuing interests like physical fitness. During that time, she enrolled in an aerobics class, where she found a great way to stay in shape — and her true calling. “Aerobics is very rhythmic, and bless her heart, one of the girls in there had not a rhythmic bone in her body,” says Donaldson. “I thought, ‘Surely there is something else she can do that is physically active.’ And then I knew that’s what I wanted to do — help people find activities that are appropriate for them and encourage them.” Fueled by renewed purpose, she enrolled at UNT where she excelled, earning her B.S. in biology and physical education. Her

Mark Valerin (’11 Ph.D.)

Gina Rodriguez (’09 Ph.D.)

advisor, Jack Watson, ensured she was placed in classes that helped her achieve her goal of developing students’ physical fitness abilities, such as a motor behavior class taught by Peggy Richardson, as well as adapted physical activity for individuals with physical disabilities. Following graduation, Donaldson taught physics, biology and adapted physical education at Irving High School and then moved on to become an adapted physical education specialist for Katy ISD. In 2007, Donaldson became an instructor and coordinator of Angelina College’s health and physical education department in Lufkin, and also now serves as the college’s instructor and coordinator of physical, health and safety education. “I’m teaching future PE teachers and coaches,” Donaldson says. “I want my students to get a variety of experiences like I did at UNT so they can be well-rounded educators.”

Entering a new frontier It took Marc Valerin (’11 Ph.D.) the better part of 11 years to earn his doctorate in higher education from UNT. The journey wasn’t due to a lack of academic motivation — the consummate learner counts one bachelor’s, three master’s, one Ph.D. and three graduate certificates among his educational accomplishments. Instead, Valerin’s momentum was slowed by health issues that included a mini stroke and heart complications, concerns that led him to seek care from doctors at UT Southwestern. Though he’s long since conquered his health problems, Valerin still sees many of those same doctors almost daily. Despite no formal training in health care, he says that his higher education degree — which he previously used as director of graduate and executive admissions at SMU — helped him land the role of manager of educational programs at UT Southwestern. He leads the medical education office

of the medical school’s largest department, internal medicine. “Health care is completely new to me, but I always look at it in terms of institutions,” Valerin says. “I put my knowledge of higher education into the world of an academic medical center. It helps me bridge the gap.” As a student at UNT, Valerin soaked in the knowledge of his professors, including Beverly Bower, Ron Newsom and Barbara Bush. He learned the importance of combining academic scholarship with business acumen from his major professor Baier, a former vice president of student affairs at the University of Alabama Birmingham, and about fundraising and advancement from Pete Lane. “The leadership piece of being an educator comes from taking business strategies and overlaying them on an education foundation,” Valerin says. “You have to understand the operational side of academic institutions and organizations. That’s the value I received along the way at UNT.”

internships. Two years after earning her Ph.D., Rodriguez was invited to serve as program manager for the George W. Bush Institute’s Middle School Matters initiative. The former president was looking for someone with a research background and real-life experience to help lead the program, which promotes research-based strategies to drive national policy development that will lead to better academic outcomes for middle school students. “There were 10 to 15 researchers who focused on different subjects in junior high,” she says. “But a seventh-grade English teacher doesn’t have time to read a 150-page dissertation about how to write a sentence. So that’s where I came in — I managed the transformation of research to resources more applicable to the classroom.” Being part of Middle School Matters was “one of the coolest things I’ve done so far,” Rodriguez says. But in 2015, she realized she missed working directly in schools. So she transitioned back into a role as behavior and program specialist at Richardson ISD. “I had some awesome professors who really wanted to help me,” she says. “My whole career has been about giving back.”

Landing opportunities As a child growing up in Brownsville, Gina Rodriguez (’09 Ph.D.) often visited the elementary school where her mom was principal, making a beeline to the special education classroom. “I always knew I wanted to work with special kids,” says Rodriguez, who as a student struggled with dyslexia and ADHD. After graduating from what was then the University of Texas at Brownsville, Rodriguez entered the classroom as a special education teacher in her hometown. In 2005, she received her master’s in special education and teaching administration from UTBrownsville, then worked as a behavior resource specialist for Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD before beginning a Ph.D. in special education at UNT. She says the journey to a doctorate was tough, but she gained important experiences along the way, such as mentoring from professor Lyndal Bullock and summer Fall 2018


Like the College of Education, which oversees it, UNT’s Child Development Lab promotes individualized instruction. View a slideshow of its history, dating back to the 1920s. Also watch videos about Goddard’s first year as superintendent of Red Oak ISD, and the year one finale of his “Minute with Mike” series at northtexan.unt.edu/online. |




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Kasey Kamenicky (‘04)/FW Creations


Alumni Awards 2018 UNT honors outstanding alumni for their notable careers and service

Deadline to nominate alumni for the 2019 awards is April 15. Get nomination forms at untalumni.com/alumni-awards.



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UNT alumni will be honored during Homecoming Week at this year’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards for their professional and philanthropic accomplishments, as well as service to their communities and the university. This year marks the 53rd anniversary of the alumni awards program, which showcases the caliber of the university’s alumni and celebrates the depth and breadth of their professional accomplishments and service to the community. Among the honors presented is the Distinguished Alumni Award, the most prestigious award given by the UNT Alumni Association. “We are so proud of, and grateful for, our accomplished, generous alumni and everything they do to encourage and maintain excellence for the UNT community, as well as for their larger communities,” says David Wolf, vice president for advancement. “It is an honor to celebrate them and the excellence they represent.”

Distinguished Alumni Award

The most prestigious award given by the UNT Alumni Association, presented to alumni for distinguished professional achievement that has merited the honor and praise of peers and colleagues. These individuals have made significant contributions to society, supported the university and served others. Jim McIngvale

Also known as “Mattress Mack,” McIngvale owns and operates the Gallery Furniture retail chain in Houston. During Hurricane Harvey, he opened two of his Gallery Furniture locations to provide shelter to displaced Houstonians. McIngvale, a prolific philanthropist who contributes to numerous causes in Houston and beyond, attended UNT from 1972 to 1974, is a former UNT football letterman and was instrumental in the construction of the UNT Athletic Center and adjacent football practice facility. He is a member of the McConnell Society and was a recipient of UNT’s Gulf Coast Alumni Award in 2005. Laura Wright (’82, ’82 M.S.)

In 2012, Wright retired as chief financial officer and senior vice president of finance for Southwest Airlines Co. after 25 years of service. She is now the owner and founder of GSB Advisory LLC, a strategic and financial consultancy. For her professional accomplishments, Wright was inducted into the UNT College of Business Hall of Fame. Wright has served the university in many capacities. She is a standing vice chair of the UNT System Board of Regents. She served on the UNT 2013 Presidential Search Committee and was a member of the UNT Foundation board and the College of Business Accounting and Murphy center advisory boards. Wright and her husband Randy are members of the President’s Council and Mean Green Scholarship Fund. They are lifetime members of the UNT Alumni Association.

Distinguished Young Alumni Award

Corp., where he served mostly in international operations. Presented to young alumni under the age of 40 The Roys became UNT honorary for distinguished professional achievement that alumni in 2005. They created the Joseph has merited the honor and praise of peers and and Betty Roy Music Scholarship at UNT colleagues. These individuals have made significant contributions to society, supported the and support the College of Music through university and served others. service on the Advisory Board and the Community Advisory Council. Joe also is a John Williams (’05) Williams is the principal owner of two guest lecturer for the UNT College of popular bars near the Denton Square: East Business, where he created the College of Side Denton and Oak St. Drafthouse and Business Administration Department of Management Advisory Board Scholarship. Cocktail Parlor. He also co-owns Dot’s The Roys both volunteer as community Hop House and Cocktail Courtyard in liaison coordinators for UNT InternationDallas’ Deep Ellum neighborhood. Williams is UNT’s biggest football season al Studies and Programs and are life members of the Dean’s Camerata, the ticket holder and partners with UNT Athletics to sponsor football ticket, tailgate UNT President’s Council and the UNT and transportation packages for hundreds Alumni Association. Joe is a member of the Mean Green Scholarship Fund, and Betty of UNT alumni each season. He is a is a founding member of the Diamond member of the Mean Green Scholarship Eagles Giving Society. Fund and serves on the UNT Alumni Association’s Denton County Alumni Ulys Knight Spirit Award Chapter Steering Committee. Presented to an individual or group that has made noteworthy efforts to sustain spirit among the UNT family.

Outstanding Alumni Service Award

Presented to honor individuals who have provided exceptional volunteer service to UNT or the community. Gregory Matthews (’95)

Matthews is president of Matthews Financial Services, a registered representative of TCM Securities and an investment advisor representative with Triumph Wealth Advisors. A starter for Mean Green football from 1990 to 1994, he now serves on the board of directors for the North Texas Lettermen’s Association. He is a past president and treasurer of the UNT Alumni Association and was instrumental in formalizing a secure relationship between the association and the university.

Lou Ann Bradley

Bradley retired from UNT as assistant dean for facilities and head of access preservation in 2010. During her tenure at UNT, she was active in the areas of preservation and disaster preparedness. She was a member of the UNT League of Professional Women and the Amigos Bibliographic Council. Upon retirement, Bradley was honored with the title of Emeritus Librarian. She has served on the UNT Athletics Council, the Women’s Basketball Advisory Committee and the NCAA Certification Steering Committee and is a long-time member of the Mean Green Scholarship Fund.

Joseph O. and Betty A. Roy

Watch videos about the award recipients at untalumni.com/alumni-awards.

Joe is president of Denton Consultants, specializing in Japanese business interactions. He is retired from Exxon Mobil Fall 2018





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Best and

Brightest by Meredith Moriak Wright Photography by Ahna Hubnik

Seventy-six National Merit Finalists choose UNT for outstanding academic programs, caring culture and Texas-sized scholarship package


oral James dreams of becoming a pediatrician and working in the African mission field, providing medical care to children who would otherwise go without. When it was time for the San Diego native to choose a university, she toured many small, private universities in her home state, but something didn’t feel quite right. Interested in learning about other schools, James turned to Google to find out about those that provide scholarships to National Merit Finalists, a distinction she earned based on high SAT scores, top class ranking and overall academic excellence. The honor is given annually to 7,500 high school seniors across the nation. One of the top search results led James to UNT and her interest was piqued. She reached out to Tiffany Lipscomb, UNT’s



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associate director of freshman admissions, to learn more about the university and schedule a campus visit during spring break. “The prospect of going to a college that was large and far from home was nerve-wracking. But, the minute my dad and I arrived at UNT for the tour and experienced the helpfulness of the staff and faculty, I knew that I was going to be OK and thrive at UNT,” James says. “Every person I met with was really interested in my personalized success and that was huge.”

Personal care and attention All National Merit Finalists considering UNT are invited to a private, customized campus visit where they meet with VIPs from the university administration, the Honors College and their academic college of interest. During James’ campus visit, she met

with health professions advisor Mardreana Reed and Jill Dewey, senior undergraduate advisor in the Department of Biological Sciences. After meeting with both women, James understood how she could major in biology, earn minors in chemistry and Spanish, and complete the prerequisites for medical school admission, while simultaneously gaining the college experience she desired. “After those meetings, it wasn’t a question of ‘Am I going to be taken care of?’ You can tell people enjoy working at UNT and care about the students,” says James, a sophomore. “There is a lot of stress being a premedical student, and having a support system is so important.” The one-to-one personalized care and attention given to every National Merit Finalist considering UNT has helped the program grow from four finalists in 2014 to 76 this fall. The driving force behind the program’s growth — UNT President Neal Smatresk. “These students enlighten our classes and push dis­cussions to a higher, more valuable level,” Smatresk says. “They challenge their peers to think harder and their instructors to take the lesson one step further. National Merit Finalists help make our university a better place.”

Making dreams come true UNT’s National Merit Finalists come from near and far — representing 20 states — and study more than 40 different majors. About one-third are studying in the award-winning College of Music. UNT’s Texas-sized scholarship package, valued at $118,000 for in-state and $170,000 for non-resident students, covers everything — tuition and fees, housing, a seven-day meal plan, books and parking — and includes a $5,000 annual stipend. Many other schools offer a full ride but don’t actually cover books and fees or provide a stipend. Without the designation of National Merit Finalist and UNT’s large benefits package, Sharilyn Amaya, a senior from Lewisville studying home furnishings merchandising, likely would have started at a community college before transferring to a four-year university. “The scholarship package was important, but I also wanted to go to a school with a good culture that would make me proud,” Amaya says. “I love how artistic and creative UNT is, how kind the people are and how much diversity exists.” Other public and private Texas universities were on the college consideration list for David Gonzalez-Corson, a freshman studying economics from Carrollton. But following his campus visit and a conversation with David

From top: David Gonzalez-Corson, Coral James and Sharilyn Amaya

Molina, associate professor and chair of the Department of Eco­ nomics, he made his decision. “I love economics and its potential as a field to effect real change in the world, so when I got to meet with Dr. Molina and see that he was a real person who cared about his students and the subjects he was teaching, I knew UNT was the school for me,” GonzalezCorson says. “UNT is a top-notch university.” Lunch with President Smatresk didn’t hurt either. When possible, Smatresk meets with all National Merit Finalists during their campus visits to learn more about their interests and share insight about UNT’s culture, academic programs and student experience. “Dr. Smatresk was able to tell me about alumni in my field who were accomplishing great things. He wasn’t generically speaking but listening specifically to my dreams and responding. It showed me how UNT has helped others achieve their goals and how the same would be done for me,” says Amaya, a second-generation Eagle following in the footsteps of her mother, Drewann Amaya (’94).

Opportunities to grow To apply what she was learning in her home furnishings merchandising classes, Amaya landed a part-time position on the commercial merchandising team at IKEA’s Frisco store the summer preceding her junior year. She assisted with one of the store’s recent renovations. “Because I have my scholarship, I was able to think of my job as a learning experience where getting paid was a bonus. It was nice not to have the stressor of needing to make a certain amount of money each month, and I could instead give my time and energy to the position,” she says. Amaya, who is involved on campus as vice president of the Professional Leadership Program, credits UNT for providing her with leadership opportunities. She also has gained another set of

grandparents after developing a strong friendship with Le’Nore and C. Dan Smith (’62), two of the 22 donors who directly fund stipends for National Merit Finalists at UNT. “I was seated with the Smiths at a 2016 event where we realized we all graduated from Lewisville High School. We continued to talk that evening and they invited me to attend football games at Apogee with them the next year. They are so kind, giving and humble with their time and guidance. Having a friendship with the very people who have provided me with scholarship funding is a true bonus I never anticipated,” Amaya says. For Gonzalez-Corson, the scholarship alleviates a burden on his family and provides numerous perks, including automatic admission to the Honors College, early access to course registration, invitations to networking and VIP dinners, on-field recognition at a UNT football game, preferred parking, and fee waivers for the admissions application, freshman orientation and parent orientation. “My parents have given up so much ­— leaving their careers and family behind in Colombia when I was only 4 months old, all so my sister and I could have a better chance of success,” he says. “UNT is enabling me to attend a major university without putting financial stress on my family. I am so grateful.” At UNT, National Merit Finalists are able to soar higher and pursue opportunities early on in their studies. Inspired by biology professor Ed Dzialowski’s lectures on animal physiology during her freshman year, James expressed interest in working as a lab assistant and this fall began researching blood vessels in chicken embryos to learn more about the cardiovascular and respiratory systems in humans. “Universities help people transform by providing them with the right environment to grow,” Smatresk says. “When we give students the right foundation and plant the seeds of knowledge, they will flourish, grow and do amazing things after they graduate.”

In addition to meeting students during personalized campus tours, UNT President Neal Smatresk regularly hosts events that will allow UNT’s 76 National Merit Finalists to spend time together and meet the donors who fund their scholarships. Learn more about UNT opportunities for National Merit Finalists at unt.edu/nationalmerit.



Check out alumni gatherings and fall events page 51

Ranjani Groth

ADMINISTERING RECOGNITION Alumna trumpets businesses’ unsung heroes with annual awards, which take place in seven cities across the U.S.

Read the full version of Nunan’s road to entrepreneurship and learn more about this year’s Oct. 25 Dallas award ceremony at northtexan.unt.edu/administering-recognition.

SUNNY NUNAN (’95) SAYS COLLEGE WASN’T A given for her as a poor kid growing up in New Jersey, and entrepreneurship seemed like a pipe dream. But in 2012, inspired by her mother, who spent her career as an administrative assistant, Nunan founded The Admin Awards, the first and only company in the U.S. that pays public tribute to administrative professionals — or as Nunan more accurately calls them, the “heart and backbone” of companies. Currently, the awards take place in seven markets: Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Denver, Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Chicago. “Everything in my life has prepared me for this, especially seeing the incredible pride my mom had for her work her whole life,” Nunan says. “This is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.”

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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 4). Members of the UNT Alumni Association are designated with a . Read more, share comments and connect with friends at northtexan.unt.edu.


1966 Prabhakar G. Joshi (M.A.),

Libertyville, Ill.. :: received the 2017 BMM (Brihan Maharashtra Mandal) award for community service during the BMM annual convention. He also received the Hind Rattan award, given to Indians living abroad by the Indian government and the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Welfare Society.

1968 Marilyn Gibson Calhoun

the University of Alabama Hospital and Clinics. She has practiced hematology and oncology in Fort Worth for 39 years.

1971 David Martin (’75 M.S.), Denton :: retired from Lewisville ISD,

where he was assessment specialist and special education counselor. He worked with special populations in Galveston ISD, the Central Texas MHMR Center and the Denton State School for 41 years. He has officiated 13 National Softball tournaments and volunteers with Special Olympics.

(’73 M.Ed.),

Larry Tagg,

Dallas ::


received the Sojourner Truth Award from the North Texas Business & Professional Women’s League Inc. in March. She has served as a teacher, principal and adviser for 40 years in Dallas ISD and is the founder and CEO of Learning Exposures Foundation. Her favorite campus memory is student teaching at the lab school on campus.

Kirk Plum and Mary Schwabenland, recipients of the Agnes Lucille Craft Greene Memorial Scholarship, attended the Nibble and Mingle event in June with football legend Joe Greene. The event raised funds for the scholarship, which is awarded to students who survived breast cancer or have a parent or guardian who survived breast cancer.

1959 Abilene :: was named a Lifetime

Lakeway :: was awarded the

E. Don Brown (’65 M.Ed.),


Achiever by Marquis Who’s Who. She worked as a physical education teacher for 45 years at Abilene Christian University and earned her doctorate from Indiana University in 1970. She was named Outstanding Educator of America in 1975 and inducted into ACU’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.

Distinguished Service to National Association of Secondary Principals Award at the National Principals Convention in Philadelphia in July. He and his wife, Ann Dodson Brown (’62), worked for 39 years in Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD. At UNT, he was a member of Kappa Sigma.

Mary Milam (’71 M.S.), Fort

Joyce M. Curtis (’60 M.S.),



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Fall 2018

Worth :: received the Gold-

Headed Cane Award from the Tarrant County Medical Society for her pursuit of the highest standards of scientific excellence and integrity. She completed medical school at UT Southwestern and fulfilled her residency at


Calif. :: published The Generals of Shiloh: Character in Leadership, April 6-7, 1862 (Savas Beatie), a study of high-ranking combat officers whose conduct helped determine the fate of their armies during the Civil War battle. He played bass and sang for the 1980s band Bourgeois Tagg, as well as Todd Rundgren, Heart, and Hall and Oates. He teaches high school English and drama.

1974 Alex Mills, Wichita Falls :: retired as president and chief of staff of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, the largest statewide oil and gas association that represents independents

solely. He previously worked for several other oil and gas associations, newspapers, and TV and radio stations. He is a past president of the UNT Alumni Association board.

Martha ‘Marty’ Scarbrough Musselwhite, Monrovia, Calif.

:: retired from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory ( JPL) after 31 years as a contract negotiator specialist. She was awarded the NASA Medal for Excellence for both the MRO spacecraft and the GRAIL spacecraft for outstanding technical achievements.

1976 Don Tomlinson, Houston :: co-wrote Irlene Mandrell’s book, God Rains Miracles, about the Mandrell family. Don was a journalist before becoming a lawyer 40 years ago. He earned an L.L.M. in intellectual property law from the University of Houston Law Center and was a journalism and law professor for 25 years. He also is a performing musician and songwriter.

1978 Howard Page, Cincinnati :: recently retired from Cincinnati Public Schools and has published a book about Christian-Muslim relations titled One God (A Case for Tolerance).

198o Don Hardy (’85 M.A.), Reno,

Nev. :: published Because I’d Hate

to Just Disappear: My Cancer, My Self, Our Story (University of Nevada Press), a semi-biographical

story of his two-year struggle with leukemia that he wrote with his wife, Heather Hardy, who was a professor of English at UNT from 1981 to 1993. Don taught linguistics at UNT as well as at Northern Illinois University and the University of Nevada at Reno. Both are now retired.

1988 Cheryl Gierkey (’92 M.Ed.), Fort Worth :: was one of three

winners of the Cigna Quarterly Champion Award given last fall by her company, Cigna, for an act of kindness she performed on the job. She helped a client, who has bipolar disorder, get shots and a carrier for a kitten he had adopted as his comfort cat. While at UNT, she was president and vice president of the Residence Hall Association.

1989 Kathryn Helgaas Burgum (M.B.A.), Ayr, N.D. :: was

appointed to the board of directors of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides resources for addiction treatment and recovery. She is first lady of North Dakota, married to Gov. Doug Burgum, and she made fighting addiction one of her top priorities.

1993 Anthony J. Berdis (Ph.D.),

Chesterland, Ohio :: has worked

at Cleveland State University since 2012. He leads a team that has improved the effectiveness of temozolomide, a drug used to fight brain tumors. They developed a DNA polymerase inhibitor that

Upcoming Alumni Gatherings Many exciting events are planned this fall for alumni to reunite and celebrate UNT: Networking receptions: The UNT Alumni Association’s Tarrant County fall networking reception will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth. Registration closes Oct. 15. The Dallas County reception will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Perot Museum of Science and Nature in Dallas. Registration closes Oct. 28. Register at untalumni.com/fallregionalreceptions. Cost is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards: The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards recognize outstanding achievement, service and support of UNT alumni and friends. The 2018 ceremony will take place Oct. 25 at UNT’s Apogee Stadium HUB Club. The reception begins at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Find more information at untalumni.com/alumni-awards. Bonfire and Pep Rally: All alumni are invited to watch the Homecoming bonfire on Oct. 26 at the Alumni Pavilion. Food and drinks will be provided. Visit untalumni.com/bonfire to reserve the best seat in the house. GameDay Grille: The Homecoming GameDay Grille Open House is set for Oct. 27 at the UNT Alumni Pavilion at Apogee Stadium. Admission is free to all alumni and friends on Homecoming only. For all other GameDay Grille events, admission is free to current UNT Alumni Association members and one guest per member. Day passes are available on site for $10 per person. Kids 12 and under are free. The pavilion opens two hours prior to kick off. Golden Eagles 50th Reunion: The Class of 1968 is celebrating its 50th reunion. In their honor, all Golden Eagles (graduates from ’68 and before) are invited to attend a celebratory breakfast beginning at 8 a.m. Oct. 27 with entertainment and reserved seating for the Homecoming parade. Register at untalumni.com/goldeneagles. Austin mixer: The UNT Alumni Association will host its Austin mixer from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 8 at Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden in Austin. Registration closes Nov. 7. Register at untalumni.com/southtxmixer. Cost is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Jumpstart your career: UNT’s Career Center is offering individual career advising appointments to students and alumni throughout the year. The Career Center can help with career exploration, resume and cover letter writing, interviewing and job search strategies. The center’s online job posting system, Eagle Careers, provides students and alumni with access to part-time and full-time employment opportunities, as well as access to information on upcoming events. For more information, visit studentaffairs.unt.edu/career-center.

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Courtesy of Emily Graf

When Benjamin Graf (’10 M.M., ’16 Ph.D.) landed at DFW Airport in the spring of 2008, he didn’t know a single soul in Texas. “I just hopped in a taxi and said, ‘Take me to UNT,’” says Graf, a Baltimore native who was set to pursue a master’s in trumpet. “I didn’t even know where I was going.” After settling in at Victory Hall, he began to look for ways to get involved on campus that weren’t directly connected to music. A former high school tennis player, he decided to join UNT’s club tennis team. That’s how he met Emily Carlson (’11, ’13 M.S.) — now Emily Graf — who invited him to Clark Hall to celebrate a mutual friend’s birthday. The rest, as they say, is history. Actually — scratch that. “Legacy” is a better word, as Graf became the first of three love connections the Carlson sisters — whose blood already ran Green — made in club tennis. Emily, of course, married Benjamin, in a 2013 ceremony that included instrumentals by UNT music students. Her twin sister, Elizabeth (’12), an education major, married teammate Seth Duban (’13, ’15 M.Ed.), a kinesiology major, a couple of years later. Youngest sister Mary Claire (’15), a biology major, married teammate Jerod Bond (’16), an engineering major, a year after that. And though they didn’t meet at UNT, Emily’s brother John (’14) also is married to alum Kyrsten Burroughs Carlson (’13). “Ben was the president of the club, and

Back row, left to right: Gregory Carlson (’86), Leslie Manning Carlson (’87), Jerod Bond (’16), Benjamin Graf (’10 M.M., ’16 Ph.D.), Seth Duban (’13, ’15 M.Ed.), John Carlson (’14). Front row: Marilyn Manning, Mary Claire Carlson Bond (’15), Emily Carlson Graf (’11, ’13 M.S.), Elizabeth Carlson Duban (’12), Kyrsten Burroughs Carlson (’13). I was the vice president,” says Emily, an education major who now works as a seventh-grade science teacher at Lake­view Middle School in The Colony. “I can’t recommend rec sports enough. It’s nice when you can go off to college and create this little family of your own.” The Carlson family was already a great example of the bonds forged among UNT alums long before the sisters met their husbands on the court. Emily wasn’t the first Carlson to meet her spouse on campus — her father, Gregory (’86), met her mother, Leslie Manning (’87), when they were both science undergrads. “Mom and Dad met in a biology lab — it’s so fun that they met here as well,” Emily says. “I remember visiting one of the lecture halls as a kid, and my dad talking about being an 18-year-old student here. It’s reassuring to go to school somewhere that feels personal and like home.” Emily’s great-grandparents on her mother’s side also attended UNT, which at the time was called North Texas State

Teachers College. Her great-grandfather Arlos Gilbreth (’29) worked as a teacher, then principal, while her great-grandmother Thelma Orr (’28) was a home economics teacher. “Great-Grandpa was on the track team and was editor of the yearbook,” Emily says. “And we still have my great-grandmother’s class ring from 1928.” Emily and Benjamin hope the UNT legacy will continue with their son, Lucas, who will soon turn 2. He’s already attended alumni events with his parents, and now that Benjamin also works as a music theory professor on campus, the Grafs hope their son develops the same lifelong attachment to UNT that they have. “When I look back on it, from when I first got off the plane to when I met my wife-to-be, that’s really what made me feel at home in Denton,” Benjamin says. “Being part of a family that is so connected to UNT definitely contributed to making me want to stay here.” — Erin Cristales

Read about other UNT legacy families at northtexan.unt.edu/ legacy-families and share the story of your own UNT legacy. 52


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reduces resistance to the drug and can lead to higher survival rates.


Ken Bridges (TAMS, ’98 M.S., published two new books based on his newspaper columns — Arkansas Memories and In an Arkansas Minute. He has been a professor of history and geography at South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado, Ark., for 15 years and has published seven books.

Doug Anderson, Fort Worth, and Ladarrin McLane (’01),

Courtesy of Katie Woodard

’03 Ph.D.), El Dorado, Ark. ::

Lt. Col. Michael W. Parkhill

Lewisville :: started their 13th

(’99 M.Ed., ’05 M.S.), Lindsay

year broadcasting the TXA 21 High School Football Game of the Week. Doug was a radio, television and film major who has 25 years of professional sports broadcasting experience. Ladarrin was a Mean Green football letterman who earned a bachelor’s in applied arts and sciences. He joined the TXA 21 broadcast team in 2006.

Mercy and HOPE

Tamara Wootton Forsyth,

led me to serve with Mercy Ships,” says Woodard, who earned her B.B.A.

:: completed the Scientist-Astronaut Training Program at EmbryRiddle Aeronautical University in Florida. He was selected for training as part of Project PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere). He has been an aerospace officer with the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary and NASA for 13 years, is a member of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and Suborbital Applications Research Group, and is enrolled in Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB.

Dallas :: was named deputy

director of the Dallas Museum of Art. She has worked at the DMA for 17 years, most recently serving as associate director of

Katie Woodard (’05 TAMS) didn’t just get college credit through UNT’s Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science. She also found a sense of community and volunteerism that inspired her to dedicate the past two years of her life to the HOPE (Hospital Out-Patient Extension) centers of Mercy Ships. The international organization provides hospital services to people in impoverished countries. “I grew a lot as a person while at TAMS, which made me who I am and from Texas Tech. “I was involved with TAMS’ coincidentally named volunteering club HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere). I remember going to a nursing home to play games and to schools to tutor kids.” Woodard continued volunteering through disaster relief and religious organizations before joining Mercy Ships, which screens people for health issues and provides surgeries aboard its ships. When a ship makes anchor, volunteers like Woodard set up a HOPE center on land to register patients and provide a place for non-local patients to stay. Woodard was first stationed at the center in Benin, Africa, and then was a lead facilitator in Cameroon, where she did everything from ordering supplies to coordinating patient travel and working with nutritionists. “My absolute favorite part of the job was working with babies to get them big enough for cleft-lip or cleft-palate surgery,” Woodard says. “We became very close to them and their amazing mamas, who have to do a lot of work to get their babies healthy.” This year, the center housed anywhere from 70 to 260 patients on a given day. “It’s always sad to say goodbye to patients and know you will probably

At just 5 months old, Walter James Adams was prepared for the Sept. 1 Mean Green football game and post-game wrest­ ling. He is the son of Sarah Adams (’06) and James Adams, associate athletic director of marketing at UNT.

never see them again,” says Woodard, who completed her service in August. “But it was so wonderful. People transformed before our eyes. We gave them hope.” — Jim Rogers



collections, exhibitions and facilities management.

Peacola J. Johnson, Washington, D.C. :: was

promoted to senior vice president for W.P. Carey Inc., a real estate investment trust she has worked for since June 2007. While at UNT, she was a member of the North Texas 40 and the Epsilon Mu chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha.

1998 Cary Dacy (M.S.), Petaluma,

Calif. :: was named president and

CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley. She began working at the organization in 2008,

won its National Service to Youth Award in 2013 and was nominated for its Professional of the Year award in 2014.

Roxanne Phillips, St. Louis :: is now master printer at Pele Prints in St. Louis. She teaches printmaking at Washington University in St. Louis as an adjunct instructor.

Tara Tate (M.S.), Chicago :: received the Citation Award from the National Federation of State High School Associations. She is a forensics teacher at Glenbrook South High School, instructing one of the nation’s largest debate programs.

Stacie Weever (’07 M.Ed.),

Allen :: launched her own pho-

2000 Grant Sisk (Ph.D.), Dallas :: traveled to Russia on a Fulbright Scholarship in April 2017 to explore its educational system and develop joint projects and partnerships. He is a project manager at the Office of Global Economic Development at the Dallas County Community College District.

tography company, Optical Poetry. She also won the grand prize in the ACI National Adorable Children’s Portrait Contest. Before her career as a photographer, she taught web design and English at McKinney and Lovejoy high schools. At UNT, she was the president of Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies.

2001 Courtland Jindra, Los Angeles

:: is a volunteer with the U.S.

World War One Centennial Commission. He tracked down and helped restore forgotten World War I memorials and helped coordinate several commemorations. He has worked in various roles in the entertainment industry. At UNT, he was in the Talons.

Marissa Ann Moses, Kyle :: earned her master’s degree in college student development from St. Edward’s University. She is St. Edwards’ assistant director of prospect development and research. Her favorite UNT memory is hanging out in the round water fountain outside Willis Library.

College fund yields business As a high school student, Matt Davis (’02) mowed lawns to earn money. He called his business College Fund Lawn Mowing — and the moniker was no exaggeration. “It was literally my college fund,” he says. Twenty years later, Davis still operates the business, now called College Fund Landscaping, which in turn supports UNT College of Business students with The College Landscaping Fund Scholarship, requiring recipients to have a part-time job. Pink Fly Photography by Misti Davis

“I love running my own business,” Davis says. “At the end of the day, you can look to yourself for your success and failures. I like that responsibility.” He learned hard work from his parents. His mother, Cheryl, was a nurse who woke up at 3 a.m. to make her kids’ lunches and get to work by 4 a.m. And his father, Ron Davis, was a Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War. When Matt wanted a stereo system at age 11, his father suggested he get a job. So Matt got up at 4:45 a.m. to throw newspapers. When his father was switching careers to become an IT professional, he started a small lawn business to fill the gap. After landing a job, Ron gave Matt the lawn mowers and the 25 accounts he had established. When Davis expanded the Plano-based business in 1996, he mowed about 100 lawns a week. Davis transferred to UNT from Collin County Community College, scheduling his classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays so he could work the rest of the week. After graduating cum laude with a degree in business administration with a specialty in entrepreneurship, he focused on expanding College Fund Landscaping. It now has 19 employees who work with 2,000 clients on services that range from mowing to landscape design. “I know how difficult it can be for students to pay for tuition,” Davis says, remembering having to charge his tuition on his credit card and then pay it off every summer. “We simply want to help ease this burden with the scholarship.” What advice does Davis give students about how to succeed? “Just work hard,” he says. “It’s not a magic potion. Just put your nose to the grindstone and work.” 54 T h e N o r t h T e x a n | northtexan.unt.edu | F a l l 2 0 1 8

— Jessica DeLeón

ton, D.C. He says his favorite UNT memory was “every day I was in the College of Music.”

2005 Lisa Bethea,

Dallas :: the Visit Frisco tourism sales and convention services manager, was named the 2017 Convention Services Manager of the Year in the convention and visitors bureau category by the Event Service Professionals Association and Successful Meetings magazine in January. At UNT, she was vice president of the Student Government Association.

2009 Lindsay Brittain, Flower

Mound :: is co-creator of Go

Baby Go! Frisco ISD, a nonprofit organization that modifies toy cars for children with mobility issues. Last year, Go Baby Go! FISD was able to loan 12 cars to students. She is an active learning teacher in the preschool program for children with disabilities at the Frisco ISD Early Childhood School.

Nathan Chaney, Lewisville ::

Jeff Sodoma (M.P.A.), Virginia

Beach, Va. :: and his wife, Melanie,

welcomed their second daughter in September 2017. Charlotte Jade Sodoma weighed in at 8 pounds and 14.7 ounces, and was 20.87 inches long. Jeff is a 2017 graduate of Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach.

2007 Peter Folliard, Sioux Falls, S.D.

:: completed his D.M.A. at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., in 2017 and was hired as the director of orchestras at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D. He previously served as an officer and conductor of the U.S. Air Force Band in Washing-

received the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ annual Young Professionals Emerging Leader Award. While at UNT, he worked with CEVA Logistics and PepsiCo. Soon after, he started his career as a sales support specialist with Crane Worldwide Logistics. He has been an operations specialist for Mainfreight for three years.

Katherine Sedgewick (’09

M.S.), McKinney :: was pro-

moted to assistant vice president of Dallas Federal Bank. She started there as an accountant in 2011 and served as director of the strategic risk management team. She previously worked as an external auditor for Grant Thornton.

2010 Kris Kittle (Ph.D.), Fort Worth :: co-wrote a book with Kelly Reed (’09 Ph.D.) called Wisdom from Adoptive Families: Joys and Challenges in Older Child Adoption

(Marcinson Press). An adjunct professor and former administrator at several universities, Kris has adopted an older child and worked with other adoptive families. Kelly was a research coordinator at TCU’s Institute of Child Development and a child and family therapist in private practice.

juried exhibition-in-print. His former classmates, Ben Terry (’10, ’13 M.F.A.) and Giovanni Valderas (’07, ’12 M.F.A.), also were featured. Michael and Ben are adjunct professors in the College of Visual Arts and Design.

Thomas John, Frisco

:: joined

Mervyn Roberts (’16 Ph.D.),

Dallas :: published The Psychologi-

cal War for Vietnam, 1960-1968 (University Press of Kansas), a comprehensive study of the psychological operations used to influence U.S. objectives during the Vietnam War. He is a history professor at Central Texas College and a reserve instructor for the Joint Special Operations University at MacDill Air Force Base.

2012 Michael Blair, Dallas :: had his work featured in New American Paintings Volume 132, a prestigious

Rightpoint, a Dallas-based independent customer experience agency, as senior director and commerce practice lead. He previously worked at the experiential commerce agency SMITH.

Sarah List (M.S.), Elberton,

Georgia :: is a full-time reference

librarian with Athens-Clarke County Library. She previously worked in the Elbert County Library System and the Athens Regional Library System in Madison County.

Donate caps and gowns for students UNT’s Division of Student Affairs launched a new program this fall to help alleviate some of the graduation expenses that prevent undergraduate students from participating in graduation. Alumni can donate their green UNT undergraduate regalia (cap and gown) or money to help a student participate in the Mean Green Gowns for Grads program. UNT regalia or checks can be mailed to: Dean of Students Office, Mean Green Gowns for Grads,1155 Union Circle #305008, Denton TX 76203-5017, or dropped off in the UNT Union, Suite 409. For more information, contact Maureen McGuinness at moe@unt.edu or 940-565-2648.

Fall 2018





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

News Chemistry professor Guido

Verbeck has found a way to detect drugs such as meth, opioids and marijuana on a person’s breath, and his invention is making headlines. He is licensed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to make the substances needed to test the device, which was created with the help of graduate student Tom Kiselak. The story in The Dallas

2013 Brian Meggers, Plano :: a licensed master social worker, has joined the Curis Functional Health clinic in Dallas. He previously worked at the Child and Family Guidance Center of Dallas. He also is a volunteer for TangoTab, an app devoted to ending hunger worldwide. While at UNT, he served as vice president of Zeta Eta chapter of Phi Alpha, the social work honor society.


Morning News was picked up by outlets across the country, including the Chicago Tribune, Denver Post

Neethu Kuriakose Arun Das

and phys.org. The breathalyzer, which includes a

(M.S.), Garland :: is an adjunct

portable mass spectrometer, could increase public

professor of computer science at Eastfield College in the STEM Division of the Dallas County Community College District. She also works at the immunization division of the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services.

safety or be used in the medical field to diagnose and determine treatment in cases of overdose.


This year’s Tech Titan of the Future award at the university level — presented by Tech Titans, the largest technology trade organization in Texas — went to UNT’s Bug Wars program. Founded by computer science and engineering professor Renee

2016 Jessica Sabedra, Fort Worth

:: received the inaugural 2017

Emerging HR Professional of the Year Award from Fort Worth HR, a local chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. She has worked in public accounting for seven years and also participates in the UNT human resources mentoring program.

2017 Jared Sachs, Redondo Beach,

Calif. :: is bandleader for Jamsara,

which released its debut album this year. The group is made up of One O’Clock Lab Band alumni Jared on guitar, Henry Beal (’17) on bass, Mich Polan (’15) on drums and Jeremy Langthorn (’18) on saxophone. Jared combined concepts from his favorite rock albums with skills learned from the jazz studies program.

Bryce, the National Science Foundation-funded program engages undergraduates in research using emerging technologies. She also founded the Bug Catcher software-testing competition for middle school, high school and undergraduate students. As she tells bizjournal.com, the programs “expose more students to the field of computer science and ultimately increase the pipeline of tech workers.”

An app created by Clint Lee (’09) for senior living communities is preserving family stories for future generations. The OneDay app, featured in The Dallas Morning News, records branded movies of residents answering questions on topics such as childhood, wartime or parenting. The videos are then shared with family. “The senior citizen population is growing every day,” Clint says, “and their stories are disappearing at an alarming rate.”



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Fall 2018

That was some freshman orientation! Agnieszka Beavers (’02), right, now advisor for the TRIO program, posted this 2001 picture on Twitter of herself with (from left) Elizabeth With (’02 Ed.D.), now vice president of student affairs; Dustee Tucker Jenkins (’01), now Spotify’s head of communications and global relations; and Mike Eli Diaz (’04), now with the Eli


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 4). Read more, write memorials and connect with friends at northtexan.unt.edu.

1940s Frank C. Spencer (’44), New York City :: He came to North Texas at the age of 15 and finished college in two and a half years — then went on to create the basis for cardiac surgery. He graduated from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn., trained at Johns Hopkins

University Community

University and the University of California at Los Angeles medical centers, and then joined the U.S. Navy. While serving in the Korean War, he repaired 100 arterial injuries with techniques he learned at medical school that were not sanctioned by the military. Instead of facing a court martial, he received the Navy’s Legion of Merit Award. After the war, he finished medical school at

Johns Hopkins, where he launched open heart surgery with a colleague and established the University of Kentucky medical school. From 1966 to 1998, he served as chair of the Department of Surgery at the NYU School of Medicine, where he continued to innovate surgical techniques, such as the introduction of coronary bypass. He founded The Frank C. Spencer Rural Student Scholarship Program. He was a Distinguished Alumnus in 1978 and a member of the Kendall Society.

1950s Charles Nelson (’50, ’51 M.M.Ed.), Denton :: He taught music at the high school and college levels. He also sang choral works with college and symphony orchestras from around

the world, including in Russia, Lithuania, Carnegie Hall in New York City and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Thomas ‘Jess’ Insall Jr. (’52), Tulsa, Okla. :: He served in the Air Force from 1952 to 1956. He then worked as assistant traffic manager for Anderson Clayton and as a dispatcher for Trinity-Portland before serving as supervisor of checks operations at the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas from 1978 to 1998. At UNT, he was a founding member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

Norma Ruth Shepherd (’55), Pasadena :: She dedicated her time to her family before becoming a substitute teacher in Pasadena ISD. She was active in

sity of Illinois. During World War

1972 to 1975. She also taught

Distinguished Alumna Award in

II, he commanded 44 missions in

English in the 1950s, when she

2002 and the Green Glory Award

a B-26 bomber as a member of

met her husband, Horace, who

in 1998. In recognition of decades

the Army Air Forces. After the war,

taught accounting. She served

of outstanding support, she

maker and a

he began making jewelry while

on the Denton City Council from

and Horace received the Wings

member of

teaching, which led to the found-

1992 to 1998 and was mayor

of Eagles Lifetime Achievement

ing of James Avery Artisan Jewelry.

from 2000 to 2006. The Euline

Award in 2008. They established

and Horace Brock Grand Lobby

three scholarships. Euline earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees

Center bears their names for their

from the University of Texas at

hospital fundraiser in 2009. That

Euline W. Brock (’74 Ph.D.), 86,

in the Murchison Performing Arts contributions. She was a board

Austin and her Ph.D. in history

same year he established The Jazz

former Den-

member and Emeritus Director of

from UNT. She also taught at Tar-

ton mayor

the UNT Foundation, a life member

rant County College; the University

and one of UNT’s most active

of the Alumni Association and

of Maryland in Istanbul, Turkey;

student recording and touring.

supporters, died July 1 in Denton.

the President’s Council, and a

Ohio State University; and Texas

He earned a bachelor’s degree in

She was a lecturer in history at

member of the McConnell and

Woman’s University.

UNT from 1966 to 1967 and from

1890 Societies. She received the

James Avery, 96, the jewelry

the Chilton Society, died April 30. A lifelong jazz enthusiast, he arranged for the One O’Clock Lab Band to perform at a Kerrville

Leadership Fund, which provides scholarships and supports

industrial design from the Univer-

Fall 2018





No r t h Texa n




her church. She met her husband, Billy Shepherd (’56), at North Texas.

Billy Shepherd (’56), Pasadena :: He joined the U.S. Navy in 1956 and served as an active duty and reserve member. After the Navy, he worked in the pump and rotating equipment industry. He met his wife,

Norma Ruth Shepherd (’55), at North Texas and had been married to her for 62 years.

Sidney Sue Smith Graham (’57), Denton :: She and her husband, the late Fred Graham (’57), met as journalism majors on campus. He credited her with creating UNT’s Mean Green nickname at a home football game in the 1960s, when he was working as sports information director. He adopted the words for a press release, and the nickname soon caught on. The Grahams worked at the San

Angelo Standard-Times and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and Sidney had worked as the lifestyle editor at the Denton RecordChronicle and as the public information director for Denton’s Flow Memorial Hospital.

Homer Dear (’58), Fort Worth :: He was a member of the football team and the Geezles fraternity at North Texas, where he met his wife, Sandra Richards (’61, ’78 M.Ed.). He earned a master’s from Tarleton State University and spent more than 25 years in education before retiring to serve in the Texas House of Representatives. He then worked for the UNT Health Science Center as special assistant to the chancellor of government affairs. He was co-owner of Dear’s BBQ and Taco Tex in Fort Worth, a life member of the UNT Alumni Association, and a member of the Mean Green Club and President’s Council.

Janice Hester Collvins,

Tom Wallace (’55), Gatesville :: At North Texas, he was a member of the ROTC. He then served in the Air Force and worked for U.S. Senator Lyndon B. Johnson’s staff and the Senate Armed Services Committee. He later served as executive director of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raiser’s Association.

Dale Houston (’55, ’57 M.Ed., ’66 Ed.D.), Willis :: He was a founding member of the Denton Boys Choir, later the Texas Boys Choir. He served as choir director for schools in Andrews and Sam Houston State College and later ran a cemetery and worked in real estate. At North Texas, he was a member of Sigma Epsilon and sang in La Bohème.

1960s Sally Starr (’60), North Richland Hills :: She taught

years before raising her family. At North Texas, she was a member of the Gamma Phi chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. She was a life member of the UNT Alumni Association, a member of the President’s Council and a donor to the College of Education Dean’s Excellence Fund and the UNT Loyalty Fund. She and her husband, Jim Starr (’60, ’62 M.P.A.), also were supporters of Mean Green athletics.

Suanne Davis Roueche (’64, ’67 M.Ed.), Austin :: She was a Yucca Beauty and president of Delta Gamma from 1963 to 1964. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas, where she served as senior lecturer. She was director of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development at UNT prior to her retirement in 2012. She was a member of the President’s Council.

first grade at Dallas ISD for eight

The Rev.

Nazarene in Denton. He loved to

War II. In 1956, he began working

spend time with his family, play

at North Texas, where he taught

72, of Kruger-

Donald L. Dakin, 55,

golf and talk about God. He also

courses in industrial arts, includ-

ville, a lab

of Krum, a cat-

was a dedicated FC Dallas fan.

ing woodworking and drawing. He

aloging and


retired in 1981 as director of the

in the UNT Medical Clinic, died

metadata associate since 2009

April 28 in Corinth. She worked

for UNT Libraries, died May 2 in

James H. Mahoney,

part-time at the Student Health

Denton. Don graduated in 2008

100, Profes-

and Wellness Center from 1990

with a degree in Christian edu-

sor Emeritus

to 2005. She attended North

cation at Nazarene Bible College

of industrial

Texas and graduated from Texas

and was an ordained elder. He

arts, died April 29 in Denton. He

Christian University in 1967 with a

served as an associate pastor in

taught public school in Missouri

degree in medical technology.

Woodlawn, Tenn., then pastored

and earned his bachelor’s degree

John Franklin Ridings (’10), 37, of

Janice worked as a medical

Dyersburg First Church of the Naz-

from Truman State University and

Denton, died

technologist at Irving Community

arene before serving as associate

his master’s and Ph.D. degrees

March 10. A groundskeeper since

Hospital and Flow and Westgate

pastor of student ministries at

from the University of Missouri. He

2016, he loved nature and plants.

Hospitals in Denton.

Hope Community Church of the

served in the Navy during World

He attended military school,



No r t h Texa n




Fall 2018

industrial technology division. studying his Irish heritage.

Post retirement, he enjoyed

James Eliot (’66), Boerne :: He served as a first lieutenant in the Army Reserves and operated the Eagle & Wheeler printing business in Denton for nearly 20 years. He was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity, the Chilton Society and a lifetime member of the UNT Alumni Association. He also served on the Athletic Advisory Board and the College of Business Marketing and Logistics Board.

Roy Lee Ford, Spring :: He

Lynda Jo Alford-Culbertson (’68), Anna :: She taught at Dallas ISD and then moved to Plano ISD, where she taught and worked as the elementary curriculum coordinator and later the art curriculum coordinator. She also was an adjunct professor at UNT. She taught art to youth and adults in the Art Barn Studio, an old horse barn she converted. She was an avid horse rider.

Bob Huffaker (’69 M.A., ’74 Ph.D.), Fort Worth :: He was a

Southwest Texas State University until 1980 and wrote and edited for various magazines.

1970s Deborah Watkins (’74, ’77 M.P.A.), Dallas :: She worked for the city of Dallas for 37 years, climbing through the ranks to become city secretary in 2006. After retiring in 2011, she worked as the interim city secretary in Ferris and served as vice chair of Dallas’ Ethics Advisory Commission. She earned a Ph.D. in education from Texas A&MCommerce and taught at Dallas County Community College. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ted Watkins (’76), whom she met on her first day of class at North Texas.

was a business major and basketball player when he attended North Texas from 1966 to 1968. He earned his M.Ed. from the University of Houston in 1973. He served as an elementary school principal in Spring Branch ISD. He is survived by his wife, Delores Conley Ford (’70), whom he met at North Texas.

reporter for CBS’ Dallas affiliate who relayed the events of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination to the national television audience. He also interviewed Jack Ruby. He wrote about the experiences, with co-authors including Bill Mercer (’66 M.A.), in the 2007 book When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963. He left broadcasting in 1967 to earn his graduate degrees at North Texas, then taught at

worked as a pipefitter and a long-

since 2003. He wrote more than

master’s and doctoral degrees

haul trucker, and was a Master

35 refereed publications and

from Colorado State University. He

Gardener in Denton County. While

earned $4.5 million in grants for

taught computer science at Mich-

studying psychology at UNT, he

his research in “compiler optimi-

igan Tech University and worked

was a McNair Scholar. His family

zation for architectures with

on a compiler for DSP processors

is especially appreciative of UNT

instruction-level parallelism

at Texas Instruments before com-

employees who donated sick time

(ILP).” He also developed cours-

ing to UNT. He had a wry sense

during his illness.

es that helped students learn,

of humor, a fondness for quirky

introducing innovative teach-

T-shirts and Converse sneakers,

Phil Sweany, 68,

ing strategies and curriculum

and a genuine love of teaching.

of The Colony,

He earned his bachelor’s degree

Glenn Williams, 60, died

died March

in zoology at Washington State

Jan. 14 in Denton. She was a food

29. He was

University and researched air

service worker in Bruce Hall who

an associate professor who had

pollution for 10 years. He then

had worked at UNT for more than

taught in the Department of Com-

earned his computer science

10 years.

puter Science and Engineering

degree at WSU before receiving

designed to meet industry needs.

Fall 2018


2010s Mikala Davis, Anna :: She was a freshman majoring in history. In high school, she won awards for her art at the North Visual Art Scholastic Event. Rachel Lynn Okon, McKinney :: She was a senior majoring in English with a minor in technical communication and a member of the UNT Talons. She loved dogs and helped four who found their way to her in just one semester.

Kevin Scott Pugh, Fort Worth

:: He was a doctoral student of special education in the College of Education and assistant director of special needs in DeSoto ISD. He was known for his advocacy for children with learning disabilities and had planned to open a diagnostic clinic in the Wichita Falls area with his sister.

Memorials Send memorials to honor UNT alumni and friends, made payable to the UNT Foundation, to University of North Texas, Division of Advancement, 1155 Union Circle #311250, Denton, Texas 762035017. Indicate on your check the fund or area you wish to support. Or make secure gifts online at one.unt.edu/giving. For more information, email giving@ unt.edu or call 940-565-2900.




No r t h Texa n




FERTILE VALLEY By Helen V. Schlueter (’54, ’69 M.A.) When my husband, William J. Schlueter (’53 M.B.Ed.), and I arrived on campus with our 2-year-old son in 1952, we definitely were in the minority. Most of the students were Texans or from Arkansas, Oklahoma or Louisiana. We came from DePaul University in Chicago. We had left in search of a nicer climate and a state we would be proud to be a part of. Bill, who served in the Pacific in World War II before graduating from DePaul, began work on a master’s degree in business education. I entered as a junior, majoring in secondary education. We lived at 215 Sheridan Road in Vet Village, an area that had been rather hastily constructed to accommodate married students studying on the G.I. Bill. The residents also called it Fertile Valley, due to the fact that there were so many couples with children living there. Three unpaved streets in the area were named after movie stars associated with North Texas, including former student Ann Sheridan. There also was a small playground for the children. My husband and I arranged our classes so that one of us was usually at home with our son, and a lady who took care of other children occasionally helped with babysitting. Although we had moved south in part to escape the cold, we lived through two bitter winters while we were in Vet Village. The buildings were “Dallas Huts” left over from the war, and it was so cold that a thin layer of ice would form inside the thin walls of what were loosely called bedrooms. The hut had a free-standing heater, which we were warned had to be shut off at night because it was a fire



No r t h Texa n



hazard. Happily, neither my husband nor I nor our little boy ever got sick. As in many communities with a preponderance of young people of approximately the same age group, we all helped each other. I have a memory of needing typing paper around midnight to finish a history report for the following day. I just walked up and down our street until I found a house with a light on, and a fellow student working late loaned me the paper. There were times when community members helped each other with car repairs and occasionally helped someone dig out of the mud after a torrential rain. Most of our time was spent studying. We did enjoy once-a-week dollar movies at the drive in. We would drive around and around until our son would fall asleep and then we would go to the movie. The only problem, the minute the car stopped he would wake up and chatter. In spite of the modest surroundings and lack of money in our years at Vet Village, it was a rather pleasant experience — perhaps with the exception of tuna fish. Very few students in the area could afford meat or chicken. It was years after graduation before our family would voluntarily buy canned tuna.


Fall 2018

After finishing our degrees, we settled in Dallas where Bill was employed by an insurance company and I began teaching school. It was in 1967 that I returned to campus to work on a master’s degree in English. I wanted to upgrade my skills ­— and salary — as methods of teaching were evolving. UNT was the only school in the area recognized for its dedication to teacher preparation, and I had several notable professors who also were excellent scholars. These included Elizabeth Lomax, who cultivated my love of poetry, and William Vaughn, an outstanding teacher of history. I continued to teach Spanish and English for many years. Today, I am a 90-year-old widow, amazed at the faculty and student accomplishments I read about in The North Texan and proud to have graduated from UNT. Editor’s note: Helen taught at Rusk Junior High, Stockard Junior High and Sunset High School in Dallas, where her teaching included a class in Ballet Folklorico. Bill, who worked in insurance for 35 years, passed away in 2015.


LAST SEASON, THE MEAN GREEN women’s soccer team claimed its fifth conference championship in four years and 13th championship since the program began in 1995. Unleash your battle flag and cheer on the Mean Green this year as they defend their title.


MEANGREENSPORTS.COM 800-UNT-2366 / 940-565-2527

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 Current and past Eagles hoofed it to UNT Day at the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo on Aug. 24 to celebrate their Mean Green pride. Even four-legged fans got in on the spirited action as they circled the rodeo ring, a presentation that was followed by President Neal Smatresk’s discussion of the university’s future. So what should the UNT community expect this year? Saddle up for more top-tier research, academics and athletics, Smatresk says.

Profile for University of North Texas

The North Texan - UNT Alumni Magazine - Fall 2018  

The North Texan - UNT Alumni Magazine - Fall 2018

The North Texan - UNT Alumni Magazine - Fall 2018  

The North Texan - UNT Alumni Magazine - Fall 2018