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Power of Research [ page 30] Honors College [ page 32] Rich Emberlin [ page 36] n o r t h texa n . un t . edu



— Jincheng Du,

assistant professor of materials science and engineering

Today, multiple measurements are required to generate a single 3-D image. Through a collaborative effort of UNT and UCLA, we’re developing the use of ankylography, an imaging process that captures a 3-D image from a single exposure using a monochromatic beam. We can use it for 3-D image reconstructions of an individual poliovirus or to uncover the complex structures of bioactive glasses to help restore and repair bones. This is powerful research with the potential to help us save lives. 2


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of an ation single n i m r a ete from ure d truct poliovirus e s D 3 s L pul idual indiv ated X-FE l simu

BUSTER SAVED YOUR LIFE? The UNT Materials Modeling research cluster is just one of 21 collaborative, cross-disciplinary research clusters and strategic research areas dedicated to innovative problem-solving that can lead to breakthrough discoveries.

UNT research is powerful.

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President Four bold steps forward NEW STRATEGIC PLAN WILL HELP UNT RISE TO THE TOP

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The North Texan (ISSN 0468-6659) is published four times a year (in March, June, September and December) by the University of North Texas, 1155 Union Circle #311070, Denton, Texas 76203-5017, for distribution to alumni and friends of the university. Periodicals postage paid at Denton, Texas, and at additional mailing offices. The diverse views on matters of public interest that are presented in The North Texan do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the university. Publications staff can be reached at or 940-565-2108. It is the policy of the University of North Texas not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability (where reasonable accommodations can be made), disabled veteran status or veteran of the Vietnam era status in its educational programs, activities, admission or employment policies. In addition to complying with federal and state equal opportunity laws and regulations, the university through its diversity policy declares harassment based on individual differences (including sexual orientation) inconsistent with its mission and educational goals. Direct questions or concerns to the equal opportunity office, 940565-2737, or the dean of students, 940-565-2648. TTY access is available at 940-369-8652. Postmaster: Please send requests for changes of address, accompanied if possible by old address labels, to the University of North Texas, University Relations, Communications and Marketing, 1155 Union Circle #311070, Denton, Texas 762035017. The UNT System and the University of North Texas are the owners of all of their trademarks, service marks, trade names, slogans, graphic images and photography and they may not be used without permission.


V. Lane Rawlins President

URCM 3/12 (12-181)



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Michael Clements


Since 1890, UNT has been a place where students can change their lives through knowledge and opportunity because our mission is to provide an excellent educational experience. This makes UNT a Green Giant. Green, because we take the light of knowledge and transform it into the energy of problem solving as an innovative public research university. Giant, because we serve tens of thousands of students and millions of people as the nation’s 26th largest public university. To become a giant among major public research universities, we must imagine all that we can be tomorrow and build on all that we are today. So we created a new five-year President V. Lane Rawlins speaks to strategic plan that builds on our excellence and a crowd of about 1,200 attendees at the unveiling of the new strategic motivates us to stretch in new ways. plan and theme line Feb. 13 at the At the heart of the plan are four bold goals Murchison Performing Arts Center. that will help us to become a leader in and out of the classroom and at the top of people’s minds. In a momentous event Feb. 13, we unveiled these goals along with a new iconic theme line, “A green light to greatness.” (Learn more on page 16.) These are expressions of who we are and our ultimate aim of being a university that helps our students achieve greatness because of the education, support and opportunities we offer. We strive to provide our students with an educational experience that will enable them to reach their full potential and to compete with anyone, anywhere. And we are a resource that helps keep our region, state and nation strong and competitive. The new strategic plan and theme line are about moving forward and reaching the pinnacle. And as we become the superior university we are meant to be, we will help transform our students and our communities.



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Four Bold Goals

UNT unveils new strategic plan and theme line, “A green light to greatness.” By Ernestine Bousquet

30 Power of Research

With world-class facilities and renowned faculty, UNT is the preeminent public research university in the region.

32 Honors College

 community of high-achieving A scholars goes above and beyond. By Nancy Kolsti

Gary Payne

36 Rich Emberlin

A life-saving Dallas police detective and reality TV celebrity remembers his UNT roots. By Megan Beck DEPARTMENTS F R O M O U R P R E S I D E N T • 2

Angilee Wilkerson


Four bold steps forward D E A R N O R T H T E X A N • 5

Pep Band days ... Memorable professors UNT TODAY • 8

New perspectives ... NSF research ... Mean Green ... Ask an Expert ... Intensive English Language Institute

Alumni Working Together A LU M N I B U S I N E S S PA RT N E R S H I P S — B U I LT A S

U N T M U S E • 1 9

S T U D E N T S D I S C O V E R T H E I R TA L E N T S A N D F O R G E F R I E N D S H I P S O N CA M P U S — U S E U N T E X P E R I E N C E S T O F U E L C R E AT I V I T Y A N D E N T R E P R E N E U R I A L S P I R I T. By Adrienne Nettles

Poet Laureate … Winning photographer ... Dream Defender ... Grammy/Oscar nominees EAGLES’ NEST • 38

Magic Maker ... Connecting With Friends ... Texas Sports Hall of Fame ... Tait Cruse ... Emerald Ball ... Friends We’ll Miss

Cover: The Eli Young Band: Jon Jones (’04), James Young (’02), Mike Eli (’04) and Chris Thompson (’04). Photography by Jeremy Cowart

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L A S T W O R D • 4 8

Gene Pflug (’51) reflects on ’Fessor Graham’s influence on his early tap dancing career. |



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


Watch the “Four Bold Goals, One Great University” event where

UNT’s plan for excellence and new iconic theme line were revealed. JEOPARDY!

Carol Kaelson

WINNER Monica Thieu, UNT TAMS student, won the Jeopardy! College

Championship on Valentine’s Day, beating 14 other students from across the country and winning the $100,000 grand prize.



‘A Day in the Life’ at UNT

Follow us at northtexan.


Don’t forget to check in on Foursquare when you visit campus.


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


Connect with us on Facebook at northtexas.


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Spring 2012

Visit The North Texan online to: • Keep up with what’s happening between issues of The North Texan. • Tell us what you think about our stories • Learn more about your fellow alumni • Write memorials about friends we’ll miss • Enjoy an array of additional stories, photos, videos and recordings


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

Keeping in touch I have enjoyed reading the magazine over the years to keep up with everybody and everything at UNT. I have been to the campus to visit a few times and it is amazing how it has changed and grown over the last few years. With all of these changes, expansions and improvements, it is a win-win situation for everybody, including increasing the value of UNT degrees for alumni. I enjoyed my time as a student while there and ended up graduating with two bachelor’s degrees (in political science and sociology). I am grateful to have earned them. Paul K. Naylor (’93, ’94) Irving

Condolences My condolence to the modern languages faculty on the passing of Professor

Ishmael “Ish” Bustinza (Friends We’ll Miss, fall 2011), who attended high school in Brownsville with me back during the 1950s and also served in the U.S. Navy the same time I did. His younger brother attended our recent class reunion, and I ran into Ish when the modern languages department at UNT honored me with its distinguished student award years ago. While at UNT, I studied under the late Robert Gionet of French — a wonderful professor and friend to students — and the late Professor Gerding of Spanish, my major professor. Phillip Smyth was then chair of the department and had his Ph.D. from Universidad de Madrid. Lino García Jr. (’66 M.A.) Professor Emeritus of Spanish literature, University of Texas Pan American, Edinburg

Antonio because I wanted to attend the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. It grew into the Health Science Center and charted its own course, but I believe UNT needs to recognize it in the alumni publications. I am a proud graduate of both! Charles Grayson (’80 B.A.), ’84 D.O. , TCOM Tampa, Fla.

HSC recognition

I was initially thrilled to see you reporting on medical issues of UNT alumni (winter 2011) until I read the article. You barely mentioned that one of the UNT alumni featured in the story also graduated from the UNT Health Science Center/Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. When I get publications from the Health Science Center, they occasionally mention UNT professors or programs. But there’s nothing on the Health Science Center from The North Texan. I transferred to North Texas in 1978 from the University of Texas at San

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Editor’s note: Although the University of North Texas is our primary focus in The North Texan, we are proud of the accomplishments of UNT Health Science Center graduates, too, and of our shared history. Thank you for the reminder. The websites of UNT System institutions also are good sources for the latest news. Visit for the Health Science Center and for UNT Dallas.

Memories of desegregation Regarding Dianne Yarbrough Murphy’s (’57) letter in your fall issue about North Texas integration, I was editor of the student newspaper, the Campus Chat, in the spring of 1956. President Matthews called me to his office and asked me how the Chat was going to cover the enrollment of the first black undergraduate.



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North Texan

Pep Band I have attached some 1951 photos of the North Texas Pep Band when I was a grad student in the Concert Band under Director Maurice McAdow. I was in charge of the Pep Band when we played for bonfires and pep rallies. The Marching Band played only for home games; women band members wore skirts as part of the regular uniform. Here are just a few names of those dedicated musicians: James Knighten, Manuel De La Rosa, Harold Gore, Jack Rumbley, N.A. Lee, Floyd Nicholson, James O’Neal, Mary Standley, Joe Dabney, Phil Slavick, Jervis Underwood, Paul Riordan, Floyd Woodward and Ivan Goodwin. Go Mean Green! The Pep Band has some fun in 1951.

N.A. Lee (’50, ’51 M.M.) Houston

I asked him “How do you want me to handle it?” He said, “Treat that student just like you would treat any other student.” I said, “I’m any other student, and nobody put my name in the Chat when I enrolled. So there won’t be any coverage at all.” I remember distinctly that Dr. Matthews peered over the top rim of his spectacles and said, “Good thought.” End of conversation. He seemed relieved that it was my decision and not his. Yes, he drew as little attention as possible to desegregation.

first thing the teacher did in class was to ask each student how many children we had. When it came to my turn, I replied that I was not married. The 6 foot, 2 inch, rather husky classmate behind me said out loud, “White boy, that was not the question.” I have laughed about this comment for more than 50 years. James Rice (’60 M.Ed.) Columbia, S.C.

Memorable teachers

Willie Jacobs (’56) Sherman I read with interest the letter on integration by Ms. Murphy. I was in a childhood psychology class in 1958. The



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In the 1950s, I was fortunate to play under Dr. George Morey (winter 2010) in the North Texas Sym­


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phony and sing under Frank McKinley (spring 2011), both consummate musicians and educators. I also remember my theory teacher Frank Mainous, quiet perfectionist. In 1969, I returned to North Texas and met my hero, Dr. Dika Newlin. She was the star of the musicology department — ever creative, ever inventive, and ever thorough. She was a simultaneous translator in both French and German. Once while I was working on my master’s thesis, she suddenly asked for a score while pursuing my analysis of Liszt’s Faust Symphony, at that time no more than an obscure work. “Yes, I thought so,” she said. “You have transposed some measure numbers. It is 256, not 265.” Dr. Newlin’s concerts and recitals were always packed

with students from all over the university. At one piano recital, an original piece of hers called “A Serial Composition” featured her eating a bowl of cereal. Dr. Newlin always made me feel smarter than I had previously thought I was, and I prized her respect. She left to work for Bell Laboratories in Virginia, and we kept in touch for years — she sending me messages from her cat. I followed her developing career as a punk rock musician, not really understanding but always full of admiration for her great mind. She was the smartest human I have ever known. When she died in 2006, I mourned. Metche Franke (’71 M.M., ’78 Ph.D.) Laguna Woods, Calif.

Miss Babb Miss Babb taught Latin for many years in the language department. She was my favorite teacher and lived just a few blocks from the campus. She’d always have us over and have refreshments, and we’d talk for hours. Do you know whatever happened to her? Shirley Giles Pettingill (’73, ’79 M.Ed.) Manitou Springs, Colo. Editor’s note: After teaching at North Texas for almost 50 years, Dorothy Babb (’26) was granted Professor Emeritus status in 1974. She passed away in 1981 after a lengthy illness. Her obituary mentions her nationwide fame as the

founder in 1950 of “Old Maid’s Day” in Denton. The festivities, which included a tea sponsored by the Denton Record-Chronicle, lunch at the country club and free movies, hit the news wires in 1954. She said letters addressed to “The Old Maids’ Friend in Denton” found their way to her and she stopped counting the number of marriage proposals she had received since the first celebration.

A suggestion This is not a complaint, just a suggestion! I was interested in reading about the Thin Line Film Fest (winter 2011) because I was a speech and drama major back in the mid ’50s, and it’s still in my blood.

But the font is too small for me to read. I’m just an old guy whose eyes have gone bad, but would it be skin off anyone’s nose to make the font bigger?

From the Editors

We discovered that Robert Linder (’09) also was on the all-UNT cast and crew for the Sundown Collaborative John King (’56) Theatre production of Dallas Happily Ever After at New York’s International Fringe Editor’s note: Thank you Festival (Muse, winter 2011). for the suggestion. Some of He played the role of Rumpel. us also have noticed the print At UNT, he earned his “shrink” over the years and bachelor’s degree in theatre reach for our glasses more and and creative writing and more often. Space and design appeared in productions of considerations play a part in Baby With the Bathwater, determining the font size, but Three Sisters and The Rocky we will keep this in mind for Horror Show. He officially the future. Our content also is joined Sundown in 2009 and available online at northtexan. says he is grateful for the, where the text can be unique outlet it gives young enlarged for viewing. artists for their talents.

Tell us about ... visitors to campus If you would like to comment on a story, share your North Texas memories or photos, submit news or obituaries, or otherwise get in touch with us, we would love to hear from you. Email: Online: (follow the “Contact Us” link) Phone: 940-565-2108

UNT brings world-renowned guest speakers and artists to campus, providing students

Fax: 940-369-8763

with new ideas and new experiences (see page 8). Over the years, the university has

Mail: The North Texan;

welcomed such interesting guests as Coretta Scott King in 2005, Lyndon B. Johnson in

University of North Texas;

1959 and John Denver in 1971-72 (pictured from left). What visiting speakers, authors, artists, entrepreneurs, musicians, politicians or other guests do you remember from your time on campus? Did someone make a lasting impression? We’d like to know. Send us an email or write us a letter — contact information is at the right.

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

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p / 10

Mean Green

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Global Connection

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Ask an Expert

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UNT Alumni Association

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Michael Clements


IN THIS SECTION Brilliantly Green

NEW PERSPECTIVES Through visiting artists and lecturers, UNT brings cultural and intellectual opportunities to students and community members in the North Texas region. Watch a video about Cave’s “Heard” at



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WITH UNT FOCUSED ON OFFERING THE BEST educational experience for its students, the greater community benefits. Each semester, departments, schools and colleges — along with programs such as the Distinguished Lecture Series and the more than 100-year-old Fine Arts Series — bring world-renowned and socially relevant guest speakers and artists to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Featuring national and world leaders, authors, artists and entrepreneurs, UNT lectures and performances engage audiences with new ideas and experiences. In the case of former UNT student and acclaimed visual and performance artist Nick Cave, students were engaged months before the performance ever began.

Jonathan Reynolds

At far left: Nick Cave is pictured with one of his Soundsuits, which were on display at UNT on the Square, in March. Left: John Legend discussed social activism and performed at the UNT Coliseum in February.


As artist-in-residence for UNT’s Institute for the Advancement of the Arts, Cave brought the community together in preparing for the performance piece “Heard.” His Soundsuits — wearable sculptures that make sounds when the materials brush together — have been lauded internationally, and selected Soundsuits from past performances were on display at UNT on the Square in downtown Denton. For “Heard,” newly created horse-like Soundsuits were made with the help of UNT art students and community members. Dance students — two for each of the horses — practiced performing in the suits while percussion students provided the score. The piece was scheduled to be performed in March on campus and April 1 in the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. Lectures and readings

UNT’s thought-provoking presentations this spring also included engaging lectures. In February, philanthropist and Grammy Award-winning R&B singer John Legend spoke as part of UNT’s Distinguished Lecture Series, sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs. Legend, the recipient of three humanitarian awards, discussed social activism and performed a few songs. Time magazine named Legend one of its 100 Most Influential People in 2009. Also visiting campus was syndicated advice columnist and activist Dan Savage, who discussed the It Gets Better Project. As the keynote speaker of UNT’s 12th Equity and Diversity Conference, he emphasized the importance of relaying positive messages aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teenagers in an attempt to prevent youth suicide.

Former punk musician Henry Rollins spoke in March as part of his worldwide spoken word tour, “The Long March.” The author, actor and former Black Flag frontman discussed his views on social and political observations and shared stories from more than 30 years touring the world. He has published a book of photos from his more recent trips to Bhutan, Cuba, Haiti, India, Sudan, Vietnam and Uganda. His lecture was part of UNT’s Fine Arts Series, which has provided intellectual and cultural opportunities to students since it originated as the Lyceum Series in 1903. Author Wells Tower was the semester’s first speaker in the Visiting Writers Series, sponsored by the English department. After a question and answer session, he read from his short story collection Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, GQ, Best American Short Stories, and elsewhere. He also has received two Pushcart Prizes. The Visiting Writers Series brings published authors to campus each semester to read from their work.

Upcoming Events

Distinguished Lecture Series keynote address: Robert Huizenga will speak at 7 p.m. April 5 in the Union, Silver Eagle Suite A & B. He is an associate professor of clinical medicine at UCLA and author of a book on a weight-loss approach he has championed on The Biggest Loser TV show. Visit The Executive Lecturer in Logistics Series: Rob Weiss, executive vice president and general manager of aeronautics operations at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, will speak April 6. Matt Buckley, vice president of cargo and charters for Southwest Airlines, will speak April 13. Lectures begin at noon in the Business Leadership Building, Room 155. Visit executivelectureseries.php. Core Talk Guest Artist lecture: Award-winning metal sculptor Albert Paley, visiting artist and scholar in the College of Visual Arts and Design, will speak at 4 p.m. April 18 in the Eagle Student Services Center, Room 255. Visit Visiting Writers Series: Laura Kasischke will read from her recognized collection of poetry, Space, in Chains, at 8 p.m. April 19 in the Eagle Student Services Center, Room 255. She won the first UNT Rilke Award from the English department. Visit english.unt. edu/creative-writing/visiting-writers. Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference: The nationally acclaimed annual event, which brings together journalists, writers, readers, students and educators, will take place July 20-22 in Grapevine. Visit

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Today Pass it on: Great things are happening at UNT. Learn about them here and share our successes with your family and friends. • Super Bowl connection. Alumnus Brian Waters, a six-time Pro Bowl guard and former Mean Green standout, got the opportunity of a lifetime when he played in Super Bowl XLVI for the New England Patriots. Read more about him and the work of the Brian Waters 54 Foundation, which earned him the 2009 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award, at • Green on wheels. Keeping with UNT’s commitment to sustainability, now even the food deliveries on campus have gone eco-friendly. Thanks to UNT Dining Services’ partnership with Ben E. Keith Foods, the number of weekly food runs have decreased to save an estimated 186 gallons of fuel a week for a whopping 8,928 gallons a year. • What is Afghanistan? That was the answer, and Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science student Monica Thieu (below left) knew it — and many others. Now, at 18, she’s the youngest Jeopardy! College Championship winner ever. She captured the $100,000 prize and won a trip to the quiz program’s annual Tournament of Champions at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, Calif. UNT also was represented in the Jeopardy! Teachers Championship, where Plano teacher Catherine Whitten (’04 M.Ed.) advanced to the semifinals.

Gary Payne

School administration grant

UNT doctoral student Robert Bostic and alumna Lisa Young (’99 M.Ed.) are among seven students nationwide to receive $2,500 Educational Administration Scholarships



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Jonathan Reynolds


from the American Association of School Administrators. The scholarships are awarded to outstanding graduate students in school administration who intend to pursue careers as school superintendents. Bostic and Young completed UNT’s Southwest Securities Superintendent Certification Scholarship Program. Bostic, director of school leadership and instructional technology for the Denton ISD, was named the program’s outstand-


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ing student in 2010. Young serves as coordinator for 21st Century Learning and Professional Development in the Carroll ISD. In fall 2012, she plans to pursue her doctorate in educational administration at UNT. Champion of Change

Timothy Solano (’04, ’07 M.J.) overcame being a homeless father of three to become a community activist and national service specialist

for Habitat for Humanity in McKinney, earning him recognition as a “Champion of Change” by President Barack Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. The initiative recognizes community activists’ work to better their communities. Solano, at 36, began attending UNT to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He helped build Habitat homes for others before becoming a Habitat homeowner himself in 2004.

Students learn first-hand about following the stock market in the Business Leadership Building’s innovative securities trading room, which includes a stock ticker and Bloomberg terminals. Jonathan Reynolds

The School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management has become the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, reflecting the program’s growth in educating students for the globalization of the hospitality, retail and tourism industries and experience-based economics.

LEED certification

This spring, the Business Leadership Building became the third LEED certified building on campus, joining UNT’s Gold-level certified Life Sciences Complex and Platinum-level certified Apogee Stadium. Home to the College of Business, the new building’s cutting-edge features include a securities trading room with a dozen Bloomberg terminals and a stock ticker, an executive board room, 24 classrooms, a café, computer labs, a rooftop garden and courtyard, and an entire floor for faculty offices and meeting spaces. The Business Leadership Building earned its new Gold

designation from the U.S. Green Building Council, which awards LEED certification to facilities designed with green materials and practices. The building, which opened in fall 2011, also features environmentally friendly components such as recycling stations, water-efficient plumbing, electricity generated in part by wind power and a sustainable water management and irrigation system. To see a video and learn more about the building, visit businessleadershipbuilding. Education grant

The Department of Educational Psychology received a $1.2 million grant

from the U.S. Department of Education for Project TELL — Training Effective Leaders for High-Needs Schools Through Local Partnerships. With the grant, UNT and three local school districts — Birdville, DeSoto and Lewisville — have teamed up to help train and educate future leaders of special education programs. Beginning this summer, the grant will provide scholarships and stipends to 12 doctoral students to develop interventions for challenges facing the three school districts. The students will gain leadership experience in making systematic changes to improve special education.

Spring 2012

Gary Payne

NSF RESEARCH Francis D’Souza, professor of chemistry and materials science and engineering, will explore innovative applications in solar energy harvesting, thanks to a $390,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. With an international team of researchers, he will study the interrelationship between the supramolecular structures of nanocarbons and their electron transfer properties. D’Souza’s project could provide critical insights for light energy conversion as well as the field of optoelectronics. Through the grant, graduate and undergraduate students are getting hands-on experience in researching photoelectrochemistry and photovoltaics.




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Angilee Wilkerson


Intel competition

Kurtis Carsch, a student in UNT’s Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, was named one of 40 finalists in the 2012 Intel Science Talent

Search for his work on developing a way to more efficiently convert methane gas into methanol. In March, he traveled to Washington, D.C., to present his project to a panel of judges. Carsch worked on the project in UNT’s Center for Advanced Scientific Computing and Modeling under the direction of Thomas Cundari, Regents Professor of computational chemistry. Carsch’s work is part of a larger project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Center for

Catalytic Hydrocarbon Functionalization. After he graduates in May, Carsch hopes to study nuclear chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was one of nine TAMS students who qualified as an Intel semi-finalist, making UNT fourth among all schools in the nation for the most semifinalists from a single school. Department of Defense grant

Guido Verbeck, assistant professor of chemistry, received a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense Battlefield

Forensic Program to develop a forensic tool that could soon make the analysis of evidence faster and more accurate in the wars against drugs and terror. The tool, known as the nanomanipulator, is a smallscale forensic workstation for use in military field labs that combines the ability to manipulate samples on the nano-scale with mass spectrometry, allowing scientists to collect and analyze chemical samples from within the ridges of a fingerprint using a single device.

Sun Belt Conference tournament The Mean Green Nation has come to expect great things from basketball at UNT, and the 2011-12 season was no different. At the Sun Belt Conference tournament in Hot Springs, Ark., the men’s team made it to its third straight conference title game and fourth in the last six seasons. But Western Kentucky pulled ahead in the final seconds of the nationally televised contest to advance to the NCAA tournament. Two Mean Green players — Conference Freshman of the Year Tony Mitchell and junior Jacob Holmen — were named to the all-tournament team. Head coach Johnny Jones and the Mean Green finished 18-14. The women’s team, under first-year head coach Karen Aston, ended its season in the tournament’s second round, gaining national attention as one of the nation’s most improved teams with its 15-16 record. Junior Jasmine Godbolt was named to the Michael Clements

all-conference team. With basketball season behind, Mean Green fans can get a preview of the upcoming football season by attending the 2012 Green and White scrimmage. Spring practice, led by head coach Dan McCarney, begins March 28. The scrimmage begins at 2 p.m. April 21, and will be the first spring game in the Platinum LEED-certified Apogee Stadium.

For more information on Mean Green athletics, visit



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Intensive English Language Institute



ally, having to meet English proficiency requirements before full admission. That makes the program crucial, Fleurquin says. “And when these students see someone like themselves who has already succeeded in the program,” he says, “it’s more effective.” For more information about the programs, contact Amber Hallberg at amber. or 940565-4127.

Hamza Aljawi

Faculty, staff and alumni change lives through UNT’s Intensive English Language Institute. The IELI program, celebrating its 35th year, helps first-year international students from more than 30 countries improve their proficiency in English through eight-week programs each year. “We help students with more than just learning the English language,” says Fernando Fleurquin, the program’s director. “We help them develop new crosscultural communication skills and improve their academic and professional skills so that they can either return to their countries and get a job or continue studying at UNT.” UNT’s program is one of the 10 largest accredited intensive English language programs in the nation. Two IELI programs that depend on volunteers are Conversation Partners, providing a relaxed environ-

ment for IELI students to practice speaking English, and Peer Assistance and Leadership, pairing experienced IELI students with new students. “PAL volunteers help our students transition to campus life and American culture,” says Amber Hallberg, student services coordinator for IELI. “They are some of the first friends students make.” About 70 percent of international students are first admitted to UNT condition-

Gary Payne

N AT I O N A L E D U C AT I O N F E L LOW Arminta Jacobson, Elaine Millikan Mathes Endowed Professor of Educational Psychology, recently was named a fellow by the National Council on Family Relations, the nation’s premier professional association for multidisciplinary family research. She will mentor new professionals who study and work with families. Jacobson is the founding director of UNT’s Center for Parent Education and helped make it a leader in parent education and a model for other states. For 19 years, she also has directed the International Conference on Parent Education and Parenting, a forum for exchanging knowledge among researchers and educators.

Intensive English Language Institute volunteers help first-year international students improve their English and transition to campus life and American culture.

Spring 2012




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Myron Jacobson

Royal Furgeson Jr.

UNT System appointments

This spring, UNT System Chancellor Lee Jackson

appointed two new deans for the system’s future pharmacy and law colleges.

Myron Jacobson, was named dean of the UNT System College of Pharmacy, which will open in 2013 at the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth. Most recently he served as a professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Arizona at Tucson. From 1984 to 1992, he held positions at the UNT Health Science Center, included acting chair of the Department of


Anatomy and Cell Biology. U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson Jr. was named dean of the UNT Dallas College of Law, which will open in 2014. Furgeson’s appointment is effective in April 2013, after he retires from the bench. He has 17 years of experience in federal circuit courts and has spent 24 years as a shareholder in an El Paso law firm.

Ask an Expert

How can you prepare for an emergency?


mergency situations and adverse weather can happen anytime and anywhere, so homeowners and drivers should be prepared for the worst, says David McEntire, professor of public administration. “It often takes the involvement of local governments, nonprofits, and state and federal agencies to deal with the many functions of emergency management response,” says McEntire, who teaches students in UNT’s emergency administration and planning program how to prepare communities for disasters. “But individuals play a big role.” To develop your plan, talk to a local emergency manager or Red Cross representative about emergency preparedness, or visit or www.beready. gov. McEntire recommends taking the following measures:

Develop a plan • Determine ahead of time what you will do if a disaster occurs. Decide where you will take shelter or evacuate and how you will contact friends and family.



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Be aware • Pay attention to the news and check the weather forecast frequently. • Listen for sirens and warning notifications. • Watch for environmental clues. Loud noises, smoke, dark clouds and strong winds may indicate the need for a decisive action. • Check on neighbors, friends, the elderly and those with disabilities. — Adrienne Nettles

Gary Payne

Recognize dangers • Do not be apathetic. Disasters do occur. • Recognize the hazards. You could be affected by ice storms, wild fires, tornadoes, flooding, hazardous materials spills, disease outbreaks, terrorist attacks or mass shootings, among other disasters.

• Be prepared to be self-sufficient for three days or even longer. In major disasters, emergency response programs may be disabled or overwhelmed for weeks. • Ensure you have sufficient resources such as a fire extinguisher, smoke detector, weather radio, first-aid kit, flashlight and batteries, matches and candles, extra clothing or blankets, prescriptions, diapers and baby formula, and food and water. Prepare emergency kits for your home and your vehicle.

Winnovation winners

INFRARED T ECH N O LO GY Two UNT researchers earned more than $1 million in grants to study infrared technology, with $300,000 coming from the Army Research Office and $710,000 from L-3 Communications. Chris Littler, professor of physics, and A.J. Syllaios, research professor of physics and a senior engineering fellow at L-3 Communications, are investigating how temperature changes and other properties affect the electrical conductivity of thin wafers of amorphous silicon, used in thermal cameras. Their research could allow soldiers to locate enemy forces with infrared-equipped smartphones or allow drivers to navigate evening commutes with the assistance of thermal video screens.

Graduate students Joseph Koruth and Carlos PeñaSanchez demonstrated the strength of UNT’s mechanical and energy engineering program at Vestas’ Winnovation Case Challenge 2012 held February in Denmark. PeñaSanchez was part of the winning team and Koruth was a member of the runner-up team in the global competition, in which students prepare solutions to challenges in the wind energy industry. UNT was one of only two universities with two students making it to the final round. Koruth and Peña-Sanchez expect to complete their master’s degrees in May and then are considering joining Vestas’ Graduate Programme. HHMI program

Amy Schade, a biology student in UNT’s Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Researchers Program, was selected to participate in the national Howard Hughes Medical Institute Exceptional Research Opportunities Program this summer. Lee Hughes, assistant professor of biological sciences and UNT’s HHMI Undergraduate Researchers Program director, nominated Schade. The program seeks to cultivate the next generation of advanced research scientists, including those from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.

UNT Alumni Association The UNT Alumni Association helps graduating seniors transition from college to the real world — a tradition that will continue April 12 when the association, in collaboration with the Division of Student Affairs, hosts its second annual Senior Barbecue Picnic at the Alumni Center. The event highlights the seniors’ accomplishments and hard work as undergraduates and introduces them to the alumni association. “The senior barbecue is an opportunity to stress the importance to students of staying connected once they graduate and the networking benefits as active alumni,” says Derrick P. Morgan, executive director of the UNT Alumni Association. The barbecue also is a time for seniors to mingle and hear from other alumni, such as Robert McKinney (’03), director of events for the alumni association, who encourages them to give back to their alma mater by attending events and becoming mentors to other students. Senior Sarah Fox attended last year’s barbecue and realizes the importance of making connections between students and alumni. “The barbecue promotes the bond between students, alumni and the university,” says Fox, who plans to graduate this December. “Current students like me get the chance to see other alum’s dedication and follow in their footsteps.” To join the association or learn more, visit, email or call 940-565-2834.

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UNT unveils its four bold goals in new strategic plan by ERneSTIne BOUSQUeT

UNT took four bold steps forward on Feb. 13, when it unveiled its new five-year strategic plan and a new iconic theme line, “A green light to greatness.” Together, they signal that UNT is intent on rising to the top and serving as the catalyst for the greatness of its students and communities. Building on UNT’s strong foundation as a major public research university, Four Bold Goals for the Future of One Great University: University of North Texas Strategic Plan 2012-17 calls for the university to emerge as a leader in education, research and scholarship, student support, operational effectiveness and community engagement — the pillars of a great public research university. “At its core, the strategic plan is a promise that UNT will be a place where students can become the best because of all that the university provides,” President V. Lane Rawlins says.



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The theme line captures the essence of that promise in words and visuals. “Imagine a place bold enough to seek to be the very best by trying new things and ridding itself of that which is obsolete or inefficient,” Rawlins said at the event, which drew about 1,200 students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and local and state leaders. Jayleen Watson, a junior studying journalism, sees the goals as a public declaration of what UNT stands for because it already offers a high-quality education. “The quality of my professors has made a difference in my education because they have so much real-world experience,” says Watson, a student leader for UNT’s Center for Leadership and Service. “With these goals, UNT is saying, ‘When you come here, this is the excellence we provide.’ It shows accountability for

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both students and the university.” The goals express UNT’s commitment to excel at everything it does, Rawlins says. They also provide the framework for progress. As the plan is phased in, the university will develop strategies and metrics to track its progress against clear and accepted standards. And the plan will guide UNT’s budgeting and fundraising priorities to align everything in support of the goals. UNT Provost Warren Burggren says the strategic plan must be bold in all the ways that matter — from ambition to accountability — if UNT is to make good on its promise and rise to the top. “We’re raising the stakes and embracing the challenge because we know that to continue attracting and cultivating ever-better students, we must be an ever-better institution,” Burggren said. “UNT is focused on becoming a national

Gary Payne

research university that excels at teaching and research. You can’t have one without the other to be truly great.” The event also sounded the drum that UNT is staking its claim as the leading university of the North Texas region. And it was the launching point for the university’s new ad campaign, built around its new theme line, “A green light to greatness.” The campaign features new billboards, television spots and other advertisements. The new theme line reflects the university’s transformation during recent years, Rawlins says. Although the new theme line is represented in new graphics, the UNT graphic identity and logo remain largely the same. UNT’s color also remains the same shade of vibrant green. The new strategic plan is as much about image building as it is about institution building, which is why it made sense to roll out the new theme

line at the same time, Rawlins says. The strategic plan also spells out how UNT will work toward becoming a national research, or tier-one, university. Being high quality — whether in the classroom or the financial aid office — will be the driving force, he says. “UNT will reach the top on its own terms, with its core intact,” Rawlins says. “You can achieve national research university status without a music school. But you cannot be the University of North Texas without a music school. We want to be good at everything we do, and we want to be recognized for our excellence in all areas.” To watch a video of the event, or to learn more, visit Email by April 20 with “Green Light” in the subject line for a chance to win items with the new theme line and visuals.

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Strategic Plan Four Bold Goals Goal 1 Provide the best undergraduate educational experience in Texas

Goal 2 Provide superior graduate education, scholarship and artistic endeavors and achieve status among the nation’s tier-one research institutions

Goal 3 Become a national leader among universities in student support, employee relations, operational effectiveness and service to constituencies

Goal 4 Establish UNT as a nationally recognized, engaged university and regional leader by building and expanding mutually beneficial partnerships and resources




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UNT sets the tempo at the

Denton Arts & Jazz Festival Experience a musical journey at the UNT Showcase Stage during the 2012 Denton Arts & Jazz Festival. Enjoy three days of world-class performances from UNT’s talented student musicians, including a special appearance by the internationally acclaimed One O’Clock Lab Band during Saturday’s Lab Band Madness. Hear for yourself why UNT’s College of Music is recognized as one of the nation’s best music programs. For more information and performance schedules, visit

Denton Arts & Jazz Festival Quakertown Park

5-11 p.m. April 27 10 a.m.-11 p.m. April 28 11 a.m.-9 p.m. April 29



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in this section p / 20

Dance and Theatre

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Upcoming Events

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Television and Film

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Erren Seale


TEXAS LAUREATE As 2012 Poet Laureate, Jan Seale (ʼ69 M.A.) shares her lifelong love of poetry and literary arts with others.

Read more about Jan Seale and her work at

JAN SEALE ’69 M.A. SAYS SHE’S BEEN writing poetry ever since she could read and write. She’s the author of more than 20 books of poems, short stories, essays and children’s stories — many works that have been published in anthologies and read on National Public Radio. Now, she’s promoting poetry and other literary arts in schools, libraries and organizations around the state as the 2012 Poet Laureate of Texas. It’s a title that fits Seale, the third UNT graduate named to the post since 2004. “I just enjoy both writing poetry and sharing the art of poetry with others,” she says. “If I can do it for the rest of my life, then I’ll be very happy.”

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Muse Books Water and culture Irene Klaver, associate professor of philosophy and religion studies and founding director of the Philosophy of Water Project at UNT, is one of the co-editors of a new book examining the complex role of water in sustaining cultural diversity and diverse environments. Water, Cultural Diversity and Global Environmental Change: Emerging Trends, Sustainable Futures? (Springer) was produced as part of a water and cultural

diversity project of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Klaver, who has organized international conferences bringing together water researchers in the sciences, arts and humanities, is a member of UNESCO’s Water and Cultural Diversity expert advisory group and teaches courses for UNESCO, most recently in Iran. She presented the book at the World Water Forum in France in March.

Cambridge edition Alexander Pettit, professor of English, is editor of The Cambridge Edition of the

Works of Samuel Richardson: Early Works, ‘Aesop’s Fables,’ Letters Written to and for Particular Friends’ and Other Works (Cambridge University Press) — the first scholarly edition of the earliest known writings of influential English author Samuel Richardson (1689-1761). Richardson’s early work in religious controversialism, occasional verse and literary criticism, and his popular edition of “Aesop’s Fables” informs his later novels. Pettit’s introduction places the writings in the context of the author’s career and times, and he provides extensive explanatory notes on the texts and their treatment. Pettit also is the general editor for The Works

of Tobias Smollett series (University of Georgia Press), which produced two volumes in 2011.

Predestination The impact of Calvinism is examined in The Destiny of Modern Societies: The Calvinist Predestination of a New Society (Haymarket Books) by Milan Zafirovski, professor of sociology. Part of the Studies in Critical Social Sciences series, the work goes beyond previous analyses to explore how Calvinism has determined most contemporary social institutions in America. Zafirovski, whose research

Winning photographer Spike Johnson’s (’11 M.J.) pictures of a Texas militia survivalist group earned him first prize in the International Picture Story category in the 2011 College Photographer of the Year competition. The category honors a series of photographs taken by a student in a country that is not his native country. Johnson, who is from England, studied at the Mayborn School of Journalism on the recommendation of a friend. He says the Mayborn’s financial support allowed him to concentrate on the project, and Thorne Anderson, assistant professor of journalism, helped him wrestle the issue into a coherent visual story. “He pushed me to look for emotional and intimate details beneath the James Kirk

surface of this masculine world,” Johnson says. Johnson is working on projects — including a story in Foreign Policy magazine — in London and in France related to religious and racial integration. He plans to move to Asia or another area of the world in the fall to explore more stories. “The award has been so important for my career,” Johnson says. “It’s acted as a huge icebreaker when approaching editors within the industry, and has added some validity to my portfolio and practice. Since this award, editors have taken notice of my current work and future pitches and are taking me a little more seriously.” Anderson notes that Johnson worked on the project by embedding himself in the group, even going through some of the defense training.



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“For a long project like this, there is a risk that you can get burned out by pouring your heart into the photography and reporting, leaving yourself little energy for all the hard work it takes to ultimately get the work seen,” Anderson says. “Spike followed through, and continues to follow through.” Visit to see Johnson’s award-winning series of photos.

Dream Defender Daniel Garcia (’08) gets to act like a 12-year-old. Garcia is the voice of the main character in the 3-D DirectTV cartoon Dream Defenders. He plays Zane, a highly energetic boy who fights monsters in the dream world with the help of his sister, Zoe. The theatre arts graduate works full time at a children’s theater company in Hong Kong — a job he landed after college through a web cam audition. A friend suggested he should try voice acting for Chinese movies and cartoons that need to be dubbed into English. The work landed him several roles and led to Dream Defenders. Even though he’s not seen on screen, Garcia says the work can be physically and emotionally draining because he uses his body as though he is acting and he talks for four hours straight. Also, he doesn’t get the script ahead of time, so he is looking at the screen, reading his lines and trying to act — all at the same time. “I love a challenge and knowing I can overcome anything thrown at me,” he says. “I really do love going into the studio, putting on those headphones, and delivering the script in my own way. I am bringing a character to life for millions of people to see.”

interests include economic sociology, comparative political sociology/economy, social stratification and sociological theory, also is the author of Liberal Modernity and Its Adversaries and The Enlightenment and its Effects on Modern Society. His next book, Conservatism’s Secret Long Journey: From Medievalism to Fascism (Nova Science Publishers), is due out this summer.

Dance and Theatre One-man play Andrew Harris, professor of theatre history, play analysis and playwriting, has worked with senior theatre major Brian Hill on various projects for the last three years. When Harris wanted to develop a play from scratch,

Hill seemed like the perfect fit. In The Lady Revealed, Hill will portray Shakespearean scholar A.L. Rowse, who discovered the best candidate for the woman who inspired the Dark Lady of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Harris traveled to England to receive permission to use Rowse’s works in the play. He and Hill plan to read the play this year — the 15th anniversary of Rowse’s death — and mount a production next year. Both received UNT funding for the project from the Office of Research and Economic Devel­opment. Hill won an Undergraduate Research Fellowship and Harris earned a Research and Creativity Enhancement award.

Upcoming Events

Art and design students will participate in the 52nd annual Voertman Student Art Competition April 10-28, with the exhibit taking place at the UNT Art Gallery. Winners in the contest are eligible for cash awards. The awards ceremony is at 11 a.m. April 10. Visit for more information. April events at the Murchison Performing Arts Center include a Wind Symphony concert featuring the world premiere of a piano concerto by Steven Bryant at 7:30 p.m. April 12; Opera Without Elephants: The Operas of Jake Heggie at 8 p.m. April 21; and a Symphony Orchestra and Grand Chorus performance with Richard Croft, tenor, and Mark Houghton, horn, at 8 p.m. April 25. For tickets, visit or call 940-369-7802. Check for the full spring schedule. Guitarist Arthur Barrow (’75) and keyboardist Tommy Mars — who both played with Frank Zappa — and an 18-piece band made up of students in the Music of Frank Zappa class, will perform the works of the legendary guitar player at Zappa Unlocked: The Mars/Barrow Connection at 8 p.m. April 16 at the Music Building, Voertman Hall. Admission is free. UNT dance faculty will perform at the annual Faculty Dance Concert at 8 p.m. April 26-28 and at 2 p.m. April 29 in the University Theatre. Members will talk at a free symposium at 2:15 p.m. April 20 in the Business Leadership Building, Room 155. For tickets, visit or call 940-565-2428. Fashion design seniors will show off their designs during the ArtWear 2012 fashion show at 6 p.m. May 5 at the University Union, Silver Eagle Suite (pictured are Jessica Mitchell’s (’11) ArtWear 2010 designs). Call 940-565-3805 for ticket information.

Visit for more upcoming events.

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Muse Alumni collaboration

Oscar and Grammy news Two alumni had a role in Oscar- and Grammy-winning projects this year. John Norris served as executive producer for the movie The Help, which was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Picture category and whose cast member, Octavia Spencer, won Best Supporting Actress. Norris, who studied jazz while at UNT, served as executive producer of several horror movies and was in charge of visual effects for movies such as Clash of the Titans and I Am Legend. He currently spearheads producing projects with Tate Taylor, The Help’s director. Amy Otey (’89), who goes by the name Miss Amy, won a Grammy Award for her part in the All About Bullies … Big And Small CD, which took the top prize in the Best Children’s Album category. Her track was called “Keep Your Chin Up.” Her own CD, Fitness Rock & Roll, was nominated in the same category. Otey (pictured above with her band) earned her degree in business administration, which she says helps her career as an independent artist who must know how to package, market, brand, sell, book, read contracts and negotiate. Her next goals are to pursue television work and complete a DVD.

Opera cover

Richard Croft, professor of music and renowned tenor, received many accolades — including the cover of the Febru-



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ary issue of Opera magazine — for his work as Gandhi last fall in the New York Metropolitan Opera’s production of Satyagraha. Croft shaved his head and lost weight to take on the role of the Nobel Peace Prize winner, which he also performed in the Met’s 2008 production. “Richard Croft had deepened his already profound Gandhi, singing with a beauty befitting Monteverdi: this was surely some of the most gorgeous male vocalism in recent Met decades,” reviewer David Shengold wrote in the magazine.


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Jeremy Wilson (’11 M.M.) took time out from his job as a trombonist with the Vienna Philharmonic — considered one of the most prestigious orchestras in the world — to perform at a concert at UNT and share his expertise in master classes in February. Wilson began playing with the Vienna Philharmonic in 2007, just as he was studying for his master’s degree at UNT. He finished the degree in December after traveling to and from Vienna for the past five years. At the concert, he performed the works of James Kazik (’00 M.M.), who composes and arranges for the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own.”

First-place production The opera program’s production of Marc Blitzstein’s Regina won first place in the National Opera Association’s Opera Production Competition. The award was presented at the association’s convention in January. Regina, based on playwright Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes, uses a variety of styles including jazz, Dixieland and blues, in addition to opera. Stephen Dubberly, the opera program’s music director, conducted the production, and Paula Homer, opera stage director, directed it.

Schoenberg collection

Television and Film Gary Payne


The collection gives insight into one of the 20th century’s most innovative composers. It includes such items as errata sheets from Arnold Schoenberg’s famously difficult violin concerto.

The College of Music received a collection of original manuscripts, letters and photographs of famed composer Arnold Schoenberg, who created the revolutionary 12-tone technique of composition. His oldest living grandson, Arnold Greissle-Schoenberg, and his wife, Nancy Bogen (pictured above), donated the works and, in December, attended a performance of Mein Lebenslauf, composed by Arnold Schoenberg’s son Georg, and performed by UNT students, alumni and faculty members.

The Male Face of BU

Kedrick Brown (’08) is the Male Face of BU, actor Blair Under­wood’s suit collection at K&G Fashion Superstore — a job for which he was selected by Underwood and his team through a submission process (pictured are Brown, left, and Underwood). The honor comes as the theatre arts alumnus has appeared in ads for American Express, Heineken and others

and prepares for a lead role in the movie 4th and Goal — a career his teachers helped keep on track. “My professors at UNT really gave me a strong dose of reality and just what it takes to survive in the real performance world,” he says. “They instilled in me a dedication to my art, and through God I have been blessed with such opportunities.”

Visual Arts International show

Sterling Steves

right) was chosen to represent the U.S. in the International Fur REMIX Competition in March in Milan, Italy. In the competition, sponsored by the International Fur Trade Federation, she designed a coat that was later manufactured by the Dennis Basso design team, accompanied by a matching handbag that she made herself. Pham, an Emerald Eagle Scholar who came to the U.S. from Vietnam, hopes to launch her own clothing line someday. “This whole experience has been so surreal to me, especially for someone my age and with my background,” she says. “I still can’t believe that I made it as far as I did.”

Junior fashion design major Kim Pham (pictured above at

Vienna exhibit

“Obviously, I’m deeply honored to be in such company,” Burnley-Schol says. “It feels very ‘Cinderella’ to me right now.”

Art in Public Places A painting by Pamela Burnley-Schol, adjunct professor in studio arts, is on display in the “GOLD” exhibition at the Belvedere Palace Museum in Vienna, Austria, until mid-June. The exhibit explores the historic role of gold in art from the 14th to the 21st centuries. Burnley-Schol’s painting, Transfiguration: Cabbage and Steel, is painted in oil on 23-karat gold leaf. She was one of 140 artists, along with Gustave Klimt, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol, selected for the exhibit.

The UNT Art in Public Places Committee, which developed a self-guided walking tour of the artworks on campus in 2010, is looking for artists to create works at Sage Hall, Willis Library, Discovery Park and the Business Leadership Building. Artists and design professionals can be considered for the projects by going to the online Artist Registry, where they can upload images of their work, resume, artist statement and references. Find out more at

Dust and Distance

St. Louis-based artist Jill Downen turned the UNT Art Gallery into a place for people to reflect and think this spring. She put 1,500 pounds of plaster on the ground, covering most of the floor. She placed one solid piece across the middle of the plaster, reflecting a section of the ceiling. Blue strings — called plumb lines, which measure the true angle of the walls — ran across the room, providing visual signs and metaphors regarding distance and intersection. She planned her work, called Dust and Distance, for more than a year and installed it in eight days with the help of six students and volunteers. Downen, a 2010 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellow who is represented the viewer and the art. “I hope they experienced an alteration in their perception — a slowing of time, quietness and stillness,” she says. “The installation uses my visual-spatial language. The art has power to speak without words.” UNT Art Gallery Director Tracee Robertson says the gallery selected Downen for an exhibition after she spoke to 2-D design students last year. “Downen has a clarity of vision, and her work contains a conceptual, visual and physical

Jonathan Reynolds

by the Bruno David Gallery, says she wanted to create an open-ended conversation between

Artist Jill Downen planned her work for more than a year and installed it at the UNT Art Gallery in eight days with the help of students and volunteers.

depth that is important in sculpture,” Robertson says. To watch a time-lapse video of the installation of Downen’s Dust and Distance, visit Spring 2012




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Jeremy Cowart



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ACM-nominated Eli Young Band members, from left, James Young (’02), Chris Thompson (’04), Mike Eli (’04) and Jon Jones (’04), formed their country quartet as UNT students.

UNT’s academic and creative opportunities breed friendships and innovative partnerships that are fueling the North Texas region, state and nation

efore fame and success, they were roommates, fraternity brothers and classmates learning how to navigate through life as college students. More than a decade after arriving at UNT, that’s still how members of the Eli Young Band see themselves. Chris Thompson (’04), Jon Jones (’04), James Young (’02) and Mike Eli (’04) make up the successful country music band whose roots began on UNT’s campus. Today, their career achievements include nominations for five Academy of Country Music awards. This year, the single “Crazy Girl” off the 2011 album Life at Best earned nominations for Single of the Year and Song of the Year, and the band was nominated for Vocal Group of the Year (the awards show airs April 1). The four bandmates catapulted from playing for friends and family in Denton venues to playing before sold-out crowds drawn to their unique sound of heartland rock and Texas country music. That sound came from years of playing together in their dorm rooms and even a summer outside Kerr Hall for Freshman Orientation. “We were encouraged to think outside the box at UNT,” Eli says. “And we’ve applied that thinking to real life.” The camaraderie among members of the Eli Young Band is shared by other UNT alumni who credit their alma mater with helping them to think critically, solve problems and use their degrees in innovative ways to go into business for themselves. Amidst the knowledge and opportunity they received at UNT, these entrepreneurs drew inspiration and built lasting friendships that fuel their creativity and are making an impact not only in the region and state, but across the nation. Jeffrey (’92, ’92 M.S.) and Jamie Benson (’96, ’96 M.S.), founders of the first Movie Taverns in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, are creating new entertainment and movie concepts throughout the state. David Lee (’91 M.Ed., ’02 Ph.D.) and Alan Wimberley (’10 Ph.D.) are bringing a fresh approach to education through their innovative chain of charter schools. And Tim Sommers (’98) and Eric Baumgart are cleaning up communities one tire dump at a time with their environmental cleanup company, Trident Environmental Resource Consulting LLC. “UNT is a place that provides students with a transformative education that enables them to reach their full potential,” UNT President V. Lane Rawlins says. “We want to be a resource for our students and alumni by giving them the options, the opportunities and most of all the support and the skills they need to pursue their dreams.”

by ADRIenne NeTTLeS Spring 2012




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Angilee Wilkerson

Jamie (’96, ’96 M.S.) and Jeffrey Benson (’92, ’92 M.S.) developed Cinergy Cinemas, a theater concept that combines family entertainment with movie going.

Entrepreneurial spirit Honing their musical sound, the four found success in 2003, when they headlined for country music artist Miranda Lambert, catching the attention of a Carnival Recording music executive. “In college, we were trying to get by and finish school, hoping this music thing would take off,” says Young, the band’s guitarist, who earned his degree in applied arts and sciences. “And the songs we wrote dealt with those issues.” A business administration and marketing major, Eli says his degree and involvement in the NT40 student leadership organization gave him the leadership skills and business sense he needed to work in the music industry. “While being creative and making music, you also must have a practical sense,” he says. “Because at the end of the day, this is a business.”

Creative culture Members of the Eli Young Band say they found that supportive environment at UNT after meeting on campus their first year as students. Involved in Greek life, they learned about self-governance and leadership skills, as well as social opportunities and the chance to make lasting friendships. “We became pledge brothers,” says Thompson, who majored in philosophy and religion studies. Despite earning their degrees in disciplines other than music, all four of the bandmates were keenly aware of the music culture and stellar reputation of UNT’s College of Music, says Jones, who started out as a music major but earned his degree in philosophy. “The music program brought me to UNT,” he says. “UNT does a good job of balancing being a big university with a great music culture.”



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In 1998, Jeffrey and Jamie Benson were on their honeymoon when they secured their first business loan to open a movie theater in Granbury. The two had connected during a Beta Alpha Psi Business Honor Society meeting at UNT three years earlier. Jamie was attending the meeting as a student and Jeffrey as an alumni recruiter for his employer. It was during their courtship that Jeffrey was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. Jamie maintained her day job as an accountant until getting the theater up and running. Their first venture proved to be a success and the Bensons say their accounting degrees from UNT helped them along the way. “We included on our resumes in the first loan application that we had passed the CPA exam on our first try,” Jamie says. “The banker was so impressed that he approved the loan.” Taking the movie concept to a new level, the Bensons brainstormed the first

for Entrepreneurship supports the entrepreneurial dreams of students and alumni through academic programs and its New Venture Creation Contest. “Our students are the reason we exist and these programs and centers ensure they are provided with the knowledge and opportunities needed to be entrepreneurs,” says Finley Graves, dean of the College of Business. “Our partnerships with businesses and community groups are created not only to assist students, but also to build meaningful relationships that make our region stronger.”

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Rewarding work UNT isn’t just about infusing students with an innovative entrepreneurial spirit. The university’s institutional reputation as a leader in environmental stewardship encourages students and alumni to practice sustainable living. Alumni Tim Sommers and Eric Baumgart are meeting this challenge

Tim Sommers (’98) and Eric Baumgart work to clean up scrap tire materials from illegal tire dumps through their environmental cleanup company TERC LLC.




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Angilee Wilkerson

Movie Tavern, a chain of movie eateries mixing movies with food and cocktails. They opened their first location in Fort Worth in 2001, followed with more across the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Their success in the movie theater business and networking through UNT led them to former Cinemark executive and UNT alumnus Steve Holmes (’80), who in 2005 helped to put together a partnership between Cinemark’s CEO and the Bensons to open Movie Taverns nationwide. “We were opening theaters like crazy,” Jeffrey says, adding that they took the opportunity to sell their interest at the company’s peak. “The Movie Tavern was a 98-screen operation in 12 complexes in five states.” Today, the Bensons are developing a new brand of theaters, Cinergy Cinemas. Jamie is the company’s vice president and Jeffrey serves as president and chief executive officer. Their new theater concept takes their original movie business to new heights, offering family entertainment, including laser tag, putt-putt golf, go carts and arcades. They have locations in Copperas Cove and Corsicana and another planned for Midland, which will have a 69-foot movie screen, one of the largest in Texas. “We try and set ourselves apart from the competition,” Jeffrey says. The Bensons and Holmes, who is now chief financial officer for Dallas-based Starplex Cinemas, stay connected to UNT through the College of Business advisory board, which is dedicated to helping future entrepreneurs with resources and support. UNT’s Professional Leadership Program also brings together the business college and corporate sponsors throughout the DallasFort Worth area to expose students to the corporate world. And UNT’s Murphy Center

Angilee Wilkerson

David Lee (’91 M.Ed., ’02 Ph.D.) and Alan Wimberley (’10 Ph.D.), administrators of Responsive Education Solutions, a chain of public charter schools, oversee more than 10,000 students and 50 campuses across Texas.

Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers met as juniors in 1997. Sommers first got the idea to start the business while serving as a naval officer in Djibouti, Africa. He pitched the idea to Baumgart thousands of miles away and it “quickly became a reality.” With more than 12 years of experience as small business owners, the two have learned to draw from each other’s talents to keep TERC thriving.

head-on through Trident Environmental Resource Consulting LLC, or TERC, the environmental cleanup company they founded in 2007. The “full-service, zero-landfill” company works directly for state and local environmental agencies and property owners, processing and removing scrap tire material from illegal tire dumps — eliminating sources of environmental threats such as fire and mosquitoes in the process. Unlike most other companies, Sommers says, TERC then sells the materials as an alternative fuel source rather than sending them to a landfill. “We’re not just tire guys. We look at the big picture,” he says. “We believe our efforts not only prevent potential environmental catastrophes, but also help reduce dependence on fossil fuels.” Their company is the result of their friendship, which began when the two



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While being creative and making music, you also must have a practical sense. Because at the end of the day, this is a business.

— Mike Eli (’04)


Spring 2012

“Tim’s the creative one and he knows how to sell the company in terms of marketing,” says Baumgart, TERC’s vice president of finance. “My background is business and my family has owned businesses for years, so it was natural for me to handle the finances.” Sommers, president and head of operations at TERC, says his passion for cleaning up the environment began when he was a student at UNT, where he majored in kinesiology. He worked with “Keep Denton Beautiful” as his fraternity’s community service chair. “We organized a tree planting and set up recycling boxes at the Sigma Phi Epsilon house,” he says. Today, TERC cleans up sites across the state. Sommers and Baumgart estimate that since its founding, the company has removed 4 million tires from the waste stream at an average of 2,000 tires a day They are proud of their growing business, which contracts with local unemployment offices for the labor needed at new sites. “It’s great being able to give people an opportunity to provide for their families,” Sommers says. “It’s rewarding work for all of us.”

Innovative education Alan Wimberley and David Lee also understand meaningful work. They oversee more than 10,000 students and 50 campuses as administrators for Responsive Education Solutions, a chain of public charter schools creating innovative approaches to educating students across Texas. “Our company gives students the type of environments they need to succeed later in life,” says Wimberley, chief learning officer for Responsive Education Solutions. Responsive Education Solutions first came onto the charter school scene when the Texas Legislature formed charter schools in 1995. Today, Wimberley and Lee are helping to run Texas’ largest charter school district and playing a major role in overseeing efforts to move into surrounding states. Both say UNT and professors in the College of Education helped shape them into the education professionals and leaders they are today. “UNT did an excellent job of teaching me that it’s really the child that matters in education,” says Wimberley, who has remained close with many of his professors, including his mentor John Brooks, senior lecturer in educational administration. Wimberley, who teaches as an adjunct professor at UNT, has been with the charter school district for 10 years. It was the friendships he’s maintained with UNT professors that connected him with Lee, who joined Responsive Education Solutions a year after Wimberley. “Dr. Wimberley’s character, the UNT connection and the vision of the company sold me on joining,” says Lee, regional superintendent for Responsive Education Solutions who oversees eight schools in the district.

Fueling Innovative Entrepreneurs

Responsive Education Solutions charter schools focus on the specific interests of students wanting to pursue college degrees in the arts, politics, science and other fields. They include elementary schools, middle schools, high schools for at-risk youth and iSchools, individualized high schools. Wimberley points to the district’s Media Arts Academy, an iSchool in Lewisville, as a shining example of how students study their core subjects in personalized settings. “Instead of a lecture setting, kids in the cohort use our curriculum designed for children to control their own learning,” he says. Wimberley and Lee continue to solve problems in new ways. Reminded of their UNT educations, they hope to expand their business model to develop early college high schools on college campuses, giving high school students a step up. “We want to help students see past high school,” Lee says, “toward their future and the next generation of entrepreneurs.” For the members of the Eli Young Band, taking their music to the next level includes returning to where they got their start. In March, the band’s 23-city “Keep on Dreamin’ Tour” made stops in Houston, Nacogdoches and Austin, Thompson’s current hometown. “We love coming back to Texas,” Jones says. “This is the region that made us who we are.”

Spring 2012

Since 2002, the Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship has been helping budding capitalists pursue their entrepreneurial dreams through its New Venture Creation Contest, which rewards students and alumni who create innovative business plans with seed money for their startups. Among the standout winners are Yianni Arestis (’08, ’11 M.B.A.) and Bobby Mullins (’07), who have come a long way from brewing beer in their kitchens as college students, thanks to the competition. In 2010, the two won third place and $10,000 to put toward opening Denton’s first brewery, Armadillo Ale Works. “My classes at UNT prepared me, and I learned a lot from my professors who own businesses,” says Arestis, who earned a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and a master’s degree in management. “Being at UNT was a good, healthy environment.” The business, which will start off offering unique ales and soda pop, is expected to open later this year, says Mullins, a radio/television/film major. The two UNT alumni join other alumni and students who have used the center’s business plan competition to jumpstart their business ideas. The center also offers academic programs and annually brings high-profile entrepreneurs to speak at a leadership luncheon, where outstanding entrepreneurs are recognized with the Murphy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Entrepreneurship. Past award recipients include H. Ross Perot and Herb Kelleher, co-founder of Southwest Airlines.




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Jonathan Reynolds


Science, scholarship, arts The university continues to push the boundaries of innovative research, scholarship and creativity.


As the most comprehensive public research university in one of the nation’s largest, most dynamic regions, UNT offers its students knowledge and opportunity — drawing dedicated faculty researchers and mentors, building industry partnerships and providing world-class facilities, including one of the largest university aquatics labs in the nation (above). The 2012 UNT Research magazine, out in March, features the latest in UNT science, scholarship and the arts as the university works toward its goal of achieving status among the nation’s tier-one research universities. “We’ve made significant progress,” UNT President V. Lane Rawlins says. “We’re focused on doing everything at the highest level to provide an education and to conduct research and scholarship on par with the nation’s elite research institutions.” Read the latest issue of UNT Research magazine at


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Spring 2012


UNT’s expertise in environmental science began with the water quality studies of biologist J.K.G. Silvey in the 1930s. Faculty and students who continue to build on that water research legacy today include researchers in the Institute of Applied Science and in disciplines as diverse as English, philosophy and film. Whether studying the effects of chemicals on the aquatic food chain or documenting the ways in which different cultures impact the world’s rivers, UNT researchers are working to understand and protect this valuable resource.


Jonathan Reynolds

Many students have benefited from UNT’s research-driven environment at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Under the direction of faculty mentors in biology and chemistry, biochemistry doctoral student Patrick Horn became one of the first researchers to create a chemical map of plant cell components that will enable other scientists to analyze the lipid composition of plants in greater detail. His work, which could help improve human health as well as agricultural productivity, is drawing attention from biologists across the nation interested in applying the research in their own studies.

Jonathan Reynolds


Since 2007, UNT has been home to the Net-Centric Software and Systems Center, a National Science Foundation Industry/ University Cooperative Research Center in computer science. Now, UNT’s strengths in materials science have brought two new I/UCRC sites to campus, providing industry partners and opportunities for student research.

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Michael Clements

Aïda Wondwessen (’07)



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Spring 2012

Honors College


by Nancy Kolsti

Rigorous coursework and a supportive learning environment give talented students a strong intellectual foundation

Aïda Wondwessen (’07) enrolled at UNT to pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer. She knew that being part of the Honors College would make her a stronger candidate for law school, but she discovered more. “I became part of a community of students who were working toward the common goal of going to graduate school,” she says. “And I got to know my professors.” Wondwessen’s Honors classes were discussion-based, which she says are very similar to the Socratic method-based courses in law school. She also gained experience in research, writing about the Patriot Act and Guantanamo Bay detainees for her Honors thesis while working with mentor Wendy Watson, then an assistant professor of political science and now an instructor in undergraduate studies. “The Honors research class walked me through the process of developing a topic, finding research materials and organizing a paper over an academic year,” Wondwessen says. “As a result, I was familiar with databases and other sources used in law school when I was still an undergraduate.” After earning her UNT degree in political science, Wondwessen earned her law degree from SMU in 2010. She now specializes in bankruptcy law as an associate at corporate law firm Winstead PC. “Honors classes challenge students’ intellect by encouraging them to think critically, assess issues, make and defend arguments and synthesize ideas,” she says.

Learning a ‘way of life’ Promoting academic excellence and encouraging talented undergraduates to achieve and prepare for graduate school, careers and lifelong learning has been the goal of the Honors College since it began as the University Honors Program in fall 1994. The program became a full college in 2005. Today, with more than 1,300 students, the Honors College is the largest in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and offers nearly 50 specially designed courses per semester for Honors students in all majors to satisfy the core curriculum requirements for their bachelor’s degrees. Honors students also may participate in the Honors Research Track, taking courses to learn research techniques, conduct research projects and write Honors

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Michael Clements

Michael Clements

theses under the guidance of faculty mentors. The college also offers sessions about graduate and professional schools and discussions with deans and faculty. Some of the activities take place in UNT’s Honors Hall, a residence hall designated exclusively for Honors students, with the hall’s faculty scholar-in-residence. “An Honors education is more than just a progression of courses toward a degree,” says Gloria Cox, dean of the Honors College. “We want to develop our students both intellectually and culturally. A college education, but especially an Honors education, is a transformative experience for our students.”

Likewise, David Lown (’02, ’03 M.M.), a serious music student who came to UNT from Harrisonburg, Va., with a goal to play in the One O’Clock Lab Band, at first didn’t think he would enjoy his non-music classes. But he says his core curriculum Honors classes became fascinating because of his fellow classmates and professors. “The instructors are such great examples of high-quality teachers,” says Lown, now director of the jazz program at Southlake’s Carroll High School. “They have a knack for making the subject engaging and trusting students enough to allow them to decide the direction of discussions.”

Instant community

Research opportunities

The Honors College is a community of like-minded, high-achieving students who have similar academic and intellectual goals. Priscilla Ybarra (’97) says discussions in her Honors classes often continued during breaks or after class. She enjoyed having the same students in many of her Honors classes, which was similar to what she experienced at her small high school in Keene. “The Honors classes were an instant community for me,” says Ybarra, now an assistant professor of English at UNT. “All of my classmates were hardworking, interested in the subjects and materials presented in class and just excited to be learning — like me.”

While the heart of the Honors College is the classroom, Cox says, the college’s Research Track sets it apart from honors programs at other universities. “UNT’s Honors College provides funds for students to present their original research at professional meetings and for publication in the college’s journal, The Eagle Feather,” Cox says, adding that the publication, which showcases interdisciplinary undergraduate research, has attracted attention from scholars across the U.S. Ryan Bosca (’07, ’08 M.S.) says the thesis class motivated him to pursue a career in physics research.



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Spring 2012

“It gave me a better understanding of what research is and kicked off my curiosity,” he says. For his Honors thesis, Bosca researched the process of pulsing an ion beam using a simulation program in the laboratory of Duncan Weathers, associate professor of physics. The research was published in The Eagle Feather and presented at University Scholars Day, an event that celebrates the work of undergraduate researchers, including many Honors students. Bosca presented the results at the International Conference on the Application of Accelerators in Research and Industry in 2006. He is now in the medical physics doctoral program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and hopes to teach and conduct research in a large academic hospital one day. “Going to a major conference and giving an oral presentation when I was still an undergraduate was an enlightening experience and helped me see what I could actually do with a physics degree,” he says. Blake Pankonien (’07) says conducting research on neuronal networks with Gunter Gross, UNT Regents Professor of biological sciences, set her apart from other students applying to Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She received her veterinary degree in May 2011 and is part of a practice in Frisco. “Dr. Gross taught my anatomy and physiology class, and was a crucial help with my thesis project,” she says.

From left: David Lown (’02, ’03 M.M.), Ryan Bosca (’07, ’08 M.S.) and Matthew Alexander (’11).


When UNT’s first university-wide Honors program Michael Clements

was established in 1994, its mission was clear: Talented and motivated students who chose to become members would be given opportunities to build a strong

High achievers While many students are recruited for the Honors College in high school and enter as freshmen, the college accepts current UNT undergraduates until the middle of their junior year and has recruited current students who became high achievers early in their college careers. Bosca says his academic record at Mansfield High School “wasn’t stellar.” The first in his family to attend college, he says he didn’t understand how to prepare for college in high school. But he received a letter about the Honors program after doing well academically his first semester at UNT. Matthew Alexander (’11) originally entered UNT in 1993 but dropped out a year later. He returned in 2007 as a history major after working as a master electrician. He learned about the Honors College while pursuing information about scholarships. Today, Alexander is preparing for a career as a tenure-track university faculty member. He received a five-year fellowship from SMU’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies last fall to pursue his doctoral degree. “You have to seize opportunities when they’re offered to you,” says Alexander, who credits the Honors College for inspiring him to reach his academic potential. “That’s what took me from being a nontraditional student to a Ph.D. fellow.”

intellectual foundation, prepare well for graduate and professional school, and gain the knowledge and skills needed to launch their careers while engaging as responsible citizens in service to others. That commitment to excellence was reinforced when the program became the Honors College in 2005, open to all qualified undergraduate students. With an average SAT score of more than 1300 and a retention rate of more than 93 percent, Honors students are “both extraordinarily well-prepared for, and deeply committed to, excellence,” says Gloria Cox, dean of the college. For example, the recipient of UNT’s first Distinguished Young Alumna Award in 2011 was Rosalyn Reades (ʼ02) — accomplished Honors graduate, emergency room physician, basketball great and Rhodes Scholar finalist. “We judge greatness in universities in many ways, but few are as revealing and important as what an institution’s graduates accomplish as they pursue their dreams,” Cox says. “The Honors College is committed to helping talented and motivated students achieve greatness within themselves so they can change the world.”

Read more about Honors College alumni at

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Rich Emberlin by Megan Beck


Rich Emberlin (’86) dreamed of being a U.S. Air Force flyer, just like his dad. But an eye injury changed his vision and his plans. First he found a home at UNT. Then he joined the Dallas Police Department.



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etective Rich Emberlin (’86), a military kid with ties spread around the country and the world, has great memories of UNT. Here, he studied business, met his first girlfriend, overindulged during dime beer night at the Flying Tomato and discovered Brave Combo and Phyllis George. A year after graduation, he joined the Dallas Police Department, working as a patrol officer, in field training and in undercover narcotics. He was on the SWAT team for more than 15 years, transferring last fall to work in criminal intelligence with the police department’s dignitary protection unit. “I had wanted to serve in the Air Force,” says Emberlin, whose less-thanperfect vision after he took a BB to the eye kept him from flight training. “So when my cousin with the Houston PD suggested police work, I decided to serve that way.” Emberlin has arrested barricaded subjects, executed hazardous warrants, rescued hostages and protected heads of state, with typical SWAT calls requiring a large amount of protective gear and specialized training and weapons. Throughout his career, he has received two lifesaving awards for rescuing people from burning buildings. In his “spare time,” he teaches instructor-level classes in fire­arms and other munitions around the country.

Spring 2012

From 2005 to 2007, television network A&E filmed Dallas SWAT, a reality TV series featuring the lives of members on and off the clock — with the crew even sleeping in their homes to garner better footage. The show was an instant hit. “The first night it aired, during the first commercial, I got calls nonstop,” says Emberlin, who also received Denton and Mean Green pride letters after he sported a UNT shirt in one of the episodes. He has mixed feelings about how the show portrayed the work. “The planning and execution of warrants was fairly accurate. People have no idea we spend an average of two days planning for the 15-second delivery of a warrant,” he says. “But I probably wouldn’t put my personal life out there again.” Emberlin jokes that his UNT job as a resident assistant at West Hall helped prepare him for police work. He was in charge of students like Craig Miller (’88) and George Dunham (’88), now popular sports radio hosts, with Dunham also calling games for the Mean Green. “Those guys were always loud. I tell them they are one of the reasons I went into law enforcement,” Emberlin laughs. He stays involved around campus as a member of the UNT Alumni Association board, solidifying his roots here. “This was the first time I came to a place I knew I wasn’t going to have to move away from,” he says. “When I was asked to join the board, it was like they want a part of me to belong here, too.” He encouraged his brother, Joe Emberlin (’89), and his cousin, Stayton Pettyjohn (’87, ’87 M.S.), to study here. And his 13-year-old daughter, Elise, wants to attend when she is older. A Dallas resident, Emberlin hasn’t ventured too far from Denton, and that’s how he likes it. “North Texas has been my home since 1981. It’s the one place that’s constant.”

Gary Payne

Rich Emberlin (’86) Dallas

Favorite part of being an alum:

College jobs: I worked as a lifeguard at Denton State School, worked the evening shift at Dillard’s and waited tables at Chili’s when it first opened.

he was my attending physician.

Watching UNT football games

I still have the bottle from the

against Army with my military

prescription he wrote for me.


Weirdest reunion story: My Clark Hall roommate was Steven Luke (’85). Years ago, I was hurt at work and taken to Parkland Hospital, and when

Craziest excuse from a suspect:

they brought me into the ER,

A drug suspect I arrested in downtown Dallas said, “You have no jurisdiction here. You’re a

Strange fans of Dallas SWAT:

Dallas police officer, and we’re in

Even the suspects enjoyed it. In

London, England!”

the first season, their faces were blurred, but as the show gained


popularity, they signed releases

for more answers and a

and smiled for the cameras while

behind-the-scenes photo.

they were still in handcuffs.

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p / 39


Upcoming Alumni Gatherings

p / 39


Photo Essay

p / 43


In the News

p / 44

| Friends We’ll Miss

p / 45

Jonathan Reynolds



IN THIS SECTION | Connecting With Friends

MAGIC MAKER Paul Osborne (ʼ70) worked his way through college doing magic shows and became one of the most celebrated names in the industry.

Read more about Paul Osborne’s career making magic at



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Spring 2012

ILLUSIONIST PAUL OSBORNE (’70) WORKS from a Dallas warehouse crammed with decades-old tricks and glittering marionettes. It looks like a museum of magic, but that’s just an illusion. Behind a secret door, Osborne designs tricks for everything from corporate unveilings to theme park shows and rock concerts. He created the giant glass marionettes for David Bowie’s Glass Spider tour and worked with long-time friend David Copperfield to build the Death Saw. The author of dozens of books of magic advice and blueprints, he says he got an early start on his career. “Magician Mark Wilson gave me a magic kit on my eighth birthday,” he says, “and I vanished with it.”





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

1953 C. Dean Davis, Austin :: founder and senior shareholder at Davis Fuller Jackson Keene PC, was honored with the Fifty Year Award by the Texas Healthcare Trustees, commemorating the association’s 50th anniversary and his years of service as its legal counsel. The award recognized his dedication to excellence in governance for healthcare trustees throughout the state. A former UNT regent, he is a board member of the UNT Foundation.

1965 E. Douglas McLeod, Galves-

ton :: and his wife, Joan, received

the inaugural George P. Mitchell Mardi Gras Award. A lawyer and former state legislator, Doug co-wrote the original financing plan for Galveston’s 1986 Mardi Gras and chaired the coalition that revised the plan in 2004. He was a founding member and twice president of the Knights of

Momus. Joan has been K.O.M. royalty trustee for 27 years.



2011 Distinguished Former Faculty Member for East Central University in Ada, Okla. He was director of choral activities and taught voice, conducting and music theatre at ECU for 32 years. He also performed in opera, music theatre and concerts and for 18 years was minister of music for the First Presbyterian Church in Ada. He studied voice with Edward Baird at North Texas and would enjoy hearing from former classmates from the 1960s.

1968 James L. Greenstone (M.S., ’74

Don Campbell, Boulder, Colo.

:: bestselling author of The

Mozart Effect, has released his 23rd book, Healing at the Speed of Sound (Penguin/Hudson Street Press). He and his co-author use recent research to explore how sound can affect mood, productivity and health. He was a guest on “The Diane Rehm Show” on National Public Radio last fall.

Shirley Grubbs Latham

(’71 M.M.), Richardson :: was

named one of three Distinguished Alumni of Henderson High School in September. Her husband, Bill (’69), also a graduate of the high school, accompanied her to the day-long Homecoming celebration. Shirley has had a full

Ed.D.), Fort

Worth :: has

recently published work in the areas of crisis intervention, disaster psychology and negotiation, including work in the International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and The Negotiator Magazine. The third edition of a book he co-wrote, Elements of Crisis Intervention: Crises and How to Respond to Them (Brooks/Cole Publishing-Thomson Learning), was released last spring.

Upcoming Alumni Gatherings UNT alumni gather to learn more about each other and celebrate their green pride. Here’s a sampling of what’s going on:

Green and White Game: The 2012 Green and White scrimmage will take place at 2 p.m. April 21 at UNT’s Apogee Stadium. Admission is free. The Mean Green football team will begin spring practice the week of March 26.

1967 Jeff Frederick (M.M.), Ardmore,

Okla. :: was

named the

 lumni Awards: A university tradition, the UNT A Alumni Awards Dinner is an annual event that recognizes the outstanding achievement, service and support of UNT’s alumni and friends. This year’s event begins at 7 p.m. April 20 in the Gateway Center Ballroom. For more information, contact Rob McKinney at or 940-565-3162 or Karen Selby at or 940-656-3480.

Official Ring Presentation Ceremony: Part of UNT tradition, the official class ring and presentation ceremony reminds students of their college success. The spring ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. April 24 in the Gateway Center Ballroom. For more information or to join the UNT Alumni Association, call 940-565-2834 or go to

Spring 2012




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career as a church organist and professional accompanist. Since 1975, she has served as organist of First Presbyterian Church in Richardson, where she plays a 59rank Reuter organ.

1969 Jerald E. ‘Jerry’ Smith,

Houston :: was named one of

the “75 Heroes for Spring ISD” in recognition of the impact of his 22 years of leadership of the Houston-area district’s board and community services program. He is executive secretary of the Gulf Coast Area Association of School Boards.

1970 Patrick Williams, Grand

Lake, Colo. :: a physician board-

certified in internal medicine and geriatrics, has written the book Hope for the Caveman: Becoming New Men for Today’s World (iUniverse). Using historical anthropology and modern brain research, he explains gender differences in the human brain as a basis for differences in the way men and women communicate.

1974 Marc Perlstein,

Richardson ::

assistant vice president for Concentra, was elected international president of Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity. He and his wife, Debbie (’74), have a daughter, Beka, and a son, Max, who attends UNT.

Hall of Famer G.A. Moore Jr. (’62, ’67 M.Ed.), Texas’ winningest high school football coach, was officially enshrined in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame at a ceremony Feb. 29 in Waco. Other members of the 2012 Hall of Fame class include golfing great Fred Couples, former NFL players Andre Ware and the late Bubba Smith, NFL coach Lovie Smith and University of Texas coach Mack Brown. Moore, who played football at North Texas from 1957 to 1960, has coached for 43 years — including 20 years at Pilot Point and 19 years at Celina. He came out of retirement to become the head coach at Aubrey in 2009. His teams won two state championships at Pilot Point and six at Celina, including four straight from 1998 to 2001. He was inducted into the UNT Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002. Moore also has been named to the 2012 class of the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame, where he will be honored May 19 at a banquet at the Ferrell Center in Waco. Visit for more information.



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Spring 2012



Rebecca Guy, Allen :: won the sixth annual Catholic Foundation Plaza Artists Competition. Her work, Dallas in Wonderland, is displayed for a year on a wall 28 feet long and almost 10 feet high at The Catholic Foundation Plaza. The plaza is on the grounds of the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the Dallas Arts District. The piece includes Big Tex as a painter and prominent Dallas buildings and art.

Mechele Ayers Gould Hesbrook (’79 M.S.), Santa Fe,

N.M. :: is the new dean of the

School of Arts and Design at Santa Fe Community College. A professor of fashion design, she began teaching at the school in 1997 and created the interior design program there. She also taught at UNT for 11 years.

1979 Selisse Berry,

Victoria L. Harris (Ed.D.),

Nashville, Tenn. :: was recog-

nized as a local HIV/AIDS Hero at the Nashville World AIDS Day Event in December. Victoria (pictured with Spanky) is an associate in medicine at Vanderbilt University and director of education for the Comprehensive Care Center.

1984 Steve Grossman, Smyrna,

Tenn. :: published Why I Failed

in the Music Business and How Not to Follow in My Footsteps (Word­ crafts Press). After 20 years as a professional drummer, he says he left the music business for the “real world” and learned business principles musicians and artists need to build successful careers.

Berkeley, Calif. :: founding

executive director for Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, was the keynote speaker at the Out & Equal Workplace Summit in Dallas, which welcomed more than 2,600 participants from 26 countries.

Paul Whitaker, Brookfield, Wisc. ::

was named consumer products divisional leader of Wixon, a manufacturer of seasonings, flavors, ingredients and consumer products for the food and beverage industry. He previously

served as vice president of sales for Imperial Sugar Co.

Drew E. Lawton


(M.B.A.), Boston,

:: joined Alo-

Star Business Credit as a director. He previously was senior vice president of business development for First Capital.


Mass. ::

was named to the national board of directors of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. He is the senior managing director and CEO of retirement plan services at New York Life Insurance Co.

1992 Luan A. Cox,

Glenda Martin-Shirley,

Austin :: was appointed adjunct

associate professor at Austin Community College in fall 2011. She also teaches painting and art history at Austin’s Lifetime Learning Institute. Her artwork has been in three exhibitions in Greece since 2010.

Whitney Shelley, Frisco :: vice president of human resources at Denbury Resources, was selected the 2011 Ogletree Deakins Human Resources Professional of the Year by the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce.

A family affair

Brooklyn, N.Y. :: is

co-founder and CEO of GoodWorldCreations LLC. In September, the company launched, a site that ties charitable giving to artistic and business projects. She says it has been described as “Kickstarter meets Crowdrise” and is searching for new projects to add to the site.

For the Hill family, graduation proved to be a family affair. Kenneth Hill (’10, ʼ11), who works in the recycling services department at UNT, earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology in December. At the same ceremony, his son, Joshua

Hill (ʼ11), picked up his bachelor’s

degree in computer science.

Donna Hill (ʼ11), Kenneth’s wife and Joshua’s mother, received her bachelor’s degree in applied technology and performance improvement at a different ceremony the same weekend. Donna works as a fifth-grade English language arts and social studies teacher for the Birdville ISD. That the family members all graduated at the same time was coincidence, Kenneth says. But they all knew the importance of getting their college degrees. “For my wife and son, it is imperative for their future growth in their chosen fields to have obtained their degrees,” he says. Donna is completing an alternative certification program that has allowed her to obtain her teaching position. Joshua is a computer programmer. The Hill family expects to have another UNT graduate in their family in


a few years. Their daughter, Danielle, is a sophomore psychology major and plans to pursue a master’s degree in play therapy. They also have two

Scott deMasi, Humble :: is the director for Wreaths Across America-Houston, which honors veterans by placing live wreaths on their graves at the Houston National Cemetery. In 2011, they placed more than 31,000 wreaths. Scott owns Sensa Dynamics, a project-based sales group for the food manufacturing sector.

Michael Clements

Scott Simmons, Aledo

younger children at home.

Don Myers, Richardson :: completed his first Ironman Aug. 28 in Kentucky. He completed the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run in 14 hours, 47 minutes.

Kenneth, who says he was encouraged by his co-workers to finish his degree, earned his first bachelor’s from UNT in applied arts and sciences in 2010. “Originally, completing my degree was a matter of completing something I had started many years ago and had to walk away from because of responsibilities,” he says. “However, once I began, I saw the possibilities.” — Jessica DeLeón

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Joseph Shepard (M.B.A.),

Silver City, N.M. :: is the new

president of Western New Mexico University. He previously was vice president for administrative services and finance at Florida Gulf Coast University.

the U.S. Army’s 1st Air Cavalry Brigade — his fourth combat tour in nine years — and was promoted to lieutenant colonel.

1994 Linda Homeyer (Ph.D.),


Canyon Lake :: was named chair

of the Department of Counseling Leadership, Adult Education and School Psychology at Texas State University. She has taught counseling there for 16 years.

1995 Linda Bailey (M.M.), Mercer

Paul Berg (’95 M.B.A.), Fort

Hood :: returned from deploy-

ment in Eastern Afghanistan with

Greg Council, Denver, Colo. :: joined Parascript LLC, an image analysis and pattern recognition technology provider, as director of product management.

than 10 years, helping build the site from the ground up.


Deanna Sims (M.Ed., ’98

Ph.D.), Dallas :: published the

book What Happens After Shattered? Finding Hope and Healing After Infidelity. She is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Dallas and leads a free support group in Plano to help navigate grief from infidelity.


Island, Wash. :: earned a Doctor

Shane Henderson, Dallas ::

of Musical Arts in flute performance from the University of Washington.

was promoted to vice president of technology at and has worked for the company for more

Michael Wright, Frisco :: was promoted to vice president of business development at PFSweb. He also was a speaker for the UNT chapter of the Institute of Supply Chain Management. His wife, Shannon (’01), is a fifthgrade math and science teacher with the Frisco ISD.

Tait Cruse (’89) talks with students in the College of Business capstone course he is supporting, now named the Northwestern Mutual Integrated Business Case Competition.

Returning the favor



No r t h Texa n



Spring 2012

Michael Clements

Tait Cruse (’89) credits UNT with giving him the opportunity to reach his potential and build a successful career in personal finance. Today, he’s giving back by supporting College of Business students and the Career Center. “UNT gave me a shot and I’m so grateful for that,” says Cruse, who graduated from high school with little financial or academic support for college and worked his way through. “I want to create opportunities for students today.” Cruse, a native of Rockwall, is the managing partner of Northwestern Mutual’s The Texas Financial Group–Dallas. He began his career after earning a bachelor’s degree in finance and then began giving back. With matching funds from Northwestern Mutual, gifts include $85,000 to the Career Center in 2007 and $100,000 last year to support the College of Business capstone course, now named the Northwestern Mutual Integrated Business Case Competition. The course helps seniors apply the knowledge and skills they learn throughout their undergraduate career to solve a complex business problem by working in groups. They then present their solutions to a panel of judges, who are experts in various business fields, at the end of the semester. The course is designed to reward creative thinking that cuts across traditional business function boundaries. “Not only do our students gain valuable real-world experience, but we also keep adding new tools and techniques to help enhance the learning experience,” says Derrick D’Souza, professor of management who teaches a section of the capstone course each semester. Cruse’s gift supports the course by providing prize incentives for

student participation, learning tools, marketing opportunities and a reception and lunch celebrating the final day of the competition. “I’m extremely appreciative of UNT and the chance I was given to live up to my potential,” Cruse says. “UNT made a commitment to me as a student and professors believed in me. I’m happy to put my money where my mouth is and return that favor.” — Leslie Wimmer

For information about how you can help support UNT, call 940-565-2900 or email



Gary Payne

1 1 Guests at the 2012 Emerald Ball Feb. 25 filled the Club Level of UNT’s Apogee Stadium, where journalist Bob Ray Sanders (’69) served as emcee. The ball attracted about 400 guests, the largest crowd in its six-year history, and raised about $400,000, which includes donations, sponsorships and matching funds, for the Emerald Eagle Scholars program. The program helps academically talented students with high financial need attend college.

Gary Payne


2 Fashion design major and Emerald Eagle Scholar Kim Pham, visiting with guest Anna Ricco, displayed her work at the ball. (Read more about Pham on page 23.)

3 Emerald Eagle Scholars pose with President V. Lane Rawlins.

Gary Payne

3 Spring 2012




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


(’84), known for creating art that turns pop

culture on its head, became a character himself in the March 4 episode of The Simpsons titled “Exit Through The Kwik-E Mart.” English and fellow artists Shepard Fairey, Kenny Scharf and Robbie Conal, voicing themselves, catch budding street artist Bart painting up Springfield and suggest he exhibit his work. The real English previously made an appearance on The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special, painting a Jackson Pollock-style Homer Simpson portrait (pictured, Homer Pollock, oil on canvas, 2010).

Ashley Womble, New York,

Sarah M. Broom, New York,

tions manager for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. She was previously a magazine editor at Hearst Publications, Harris Publications and Time Inc.

N.Y. :: was named a finalist for

C0urtesy of Ron English (’84)

➺ Ron English


Two alumni who met at UNT got engaged live on the Valentine’s Day 10 p.m. newscast of Dallas-Fort Worth’s NBC 5.

the New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship. She has signed with Grove/Atlantic publishers for her first nonfiction book.

Kate Park, Benbrook :: was appointed executive director of Friends of the Dallas Public Library. She previously was director of membership and development operations at the Fort Worth Museum of Science History.

Amanda Matvey Tecklenburg, Mesquite :: was inducted into the Mesquite ISD’s Apple Corps. A sixth-grade math teacher at Range Elementary School, she is pursuing a master’s in counseling.


As UNT students, Tara Smith (’06) worked in the study abroad office and Ryan Schuette (’07) planned to study abroad. Tara volunteered for the Peace Corps in Cameroon and Ryan won a Rotary Scholarship to Uganda. They

M.A.), Dallas :: are on the team

founded nonprofits, Peace Tree Africa and the Kroo Bay

that created the animated sitcom Don’t Tell My Wife I’m a Cult Leader. The 25-minute pilot premiered at the Kessler Theater in North Oak Cliff in September.

Initiative, and are working on a new initiative involving fair trade products from Africa.

In the December issue of Modern Drummer, noted Latinjazz drummer Victor Rendón (’77) wrote about one of his North Texas teachers, the late Paul Guerrero (’57). He writes that Guerrero helped shape the careers of drumming greats such as Peter Erskine, Steve Houghton and John

Riley (’75) and was a world-renowned drummer with the Woody Herman band, a list that includes UNT’s Ed Soph (’68). Paul’s wife, Celeste Roberts Guerrero (’59), recalls Herman’s advice to Paul: “Surround yourself with talented young jazz players, and you’ll never grow old.” Also mentioned in the article is the Paul Guerrero Jr. Scholarship Endowment Fund at UNT.



Andy Hogue, Austin, and Todd Steinberg (’98, ’00

No r t h Texa n



Spring 2012

2004 Mariana Luna Anderson,

Schertz :: and her husband, Phil-

lip, welcomed their first child in August. Azlin Anderson weighed 7 pounds, 8 ounces, and was 21 inches long.

N.Y. :: is the online communica-

2005 Jaclyn Barrientes, Washing-

ton, D.C. :: is the assistant editor

and graphics designer at Arms Control Today. Previously, she worked as a designer at the Sporting News, the Charlotte Observer, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and, at UNT, the North Texas Daily.

2008 Cody Gober and Jennifer Warren (’08, ’11 M.B.A.), Fort Worth :: were married in

September. The wedding party included UNT graduates Derek

Johnson (’08), Brandon Franklin (’10), Jordan Taub (’10) and Bronson Aspen (’11 M.Ed.); current UNT students

Marilyn Angel and Kerry Warren; and former students Jordan Cummins and Zach Nason.

2010 Christopher Hillis, Fort Worth

:: is executive director of the

Information Technology Disaster Resource Center. The nonprofit public charity, made up of information technology professionals, assists communities and small businesses with voice and data systems affected by disaster.


W E ’ L L


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

1940s Walta Nelle Carroll Brookshire (’40), Waco :: She earned her degree in home economics and taught for 27 years in Granger. At North Texas, she was a member of the Mary Ardens, the W.N. Masters Chemical Society and Kappa Delta Pi.

Guard and then the U.S. Navy during World War II, serving in the Pacific. He returned to North Texas to earn his master’s degree and later received his doctorate from the University of Texas. He taught business statistics at Lamar University from 1946 until his retirement in 1986, serving as head of the business department for several years.

Charley Darwin Kirksey (’40, ’47 M.S.), Pickerington, Ohio :: He joined the U.S. Coast

Eloise Moore Bennett (’44), Henderson :: She was a member

University Community

College of Music faculty and

of the Junior Mary Ardens at North Texas. After graduating with a business degree, she went to work for the government overseas, then married and devoted her time to her family. She continued to support UNT through the years.

Selma M. Sorenson Burandt (’47), Pharr :: She taught for 32 years, including 30 years in the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo school district. She was a 48-year member of Delta Kappa Gamma and was involved with many organizations. She volunteered with the Friends of Pharr Memorial Library, an organization she helped found.

Ruby Lee Linehan Fuller (’47), Denton :: She earned her degree in home economics and worked as a dietician and teacher at UNT from 1959 to 1993. As a student, she was a member of the House Presidents’ Club.

William Franklin Lee III (’49, ’50 M.S.), Miami, Fla.

:: He was dean of the University

of Miami’s School of Music from 1964 to 1982, introducing jazz as a major course of study. He was an accomplished jazz pianist, composer, arranger and educator as well as an authority on the work of Stan Kenton. He retired from UM as composer in residence and Distinguished Professor of Music Theory and Composition Emeritus.

1950s George B. Armentrout (’51), Granbury :: He was a World War II veteran, serving in the U.S. Army Air Force in the ChinaBurma-India Theater. His manufacturing business, Multi-Plate Co. Inc., was primarily engaged in military defense projects and the space effort. Printed circuit boards

Jean Mainous, Denton,

and at Juilliard and was a faculty

remembered serving as the

Gladys Lundgren Madsen (’56

advisor for Alpha Phi sorority and

who served on

stitute in Taiwan. She appeared as

giving the 1961 Honors Day

the College of

featured soloist with orchestras,

address as highlights of her time

Music faculty

in chamber music ensembles and

M.S.), Plano,

here. She moved to Philadelphia

from 1949 to 1952, 1955 to 1957

as a duo-pianist with her longtime


after her marriage in 1965. She

and 1975 to 1997, died Jan. 23.

friend and fellow faculty member

professor of music from 1958 to

collected musical instruments

She earned a bachelor’s degree

Mary Nan Mailman. She was

1965, died Jan. 23. She earned a

while traveling around the world

from Louisiana State University,

preceded in death by her husband,

bachelor’s degree from Northwest-

and gave them to the university. A

bachelor’s and master’s degrees

Frank Mainous, Professor

ern University and taught in her

member of the American Guild of

from Yale and a diploma from the

Emeritus of music. Memorials may

hometown of Geneva, Ill., before

Organists, she served as a church

Juilliard Graduate School of Music,

be made to the Dean’s Camerata —

moving to Dallas to teach. After

organist for more than 30 years.

where she studied piano with Olga

Jean Mainous Piano Scholarship in

earning her master’s degree from

Samaroff Stokowski. She taught

the College of Music.

North Texas, she joined the

at the Manhattan School of Music

Spring 2012


member at the Summer Music In-



No r t h Texa n




were manufactured for every space project, starting with Project Mercury. He began a legacy at UNT, which includes his daughter Vicki Morrissey (’75) and grandsons Stephen Clough (’05) and

service as a captain. He worked at family-owned car dealerships in Andrews and Stanton for 52 years.

Bradley Clough (’08).

Fort Worth, Houston and Fort Smith, Ark. She was an elder in the Presbyterian church and served on the boards of the West Texas Museum at Texas Tech University and the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, among others. She was married to Clayton Daniel (’54) for 57 years.

Horace Andrew DeFord Sr. (’51, ’51 M.S.), Dallas :: He played football in college and went on to earn his M.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He served his residency in psychiatry at Parkland Memorial Hospital and worked at the Veterans Medical Center for more than 50 years. He also served in the U.S. Naval Reserve and in the U.S. Air Force.

William ‘Bill’ Wheeler (’53), Midland :: He was a member of the Trojans at North Texas and married his college sweetheart, Marilyn McNatt, in 1953. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps, including active duty in Korea and Japan, and ended his reserve

Martha Miller Daniel (’54), Lubbock :: She taught briefly in

Alice Ann Hutson Muckleroy (’55), Nacogdoches :: She married Morris B. Muckleroy (’55) in 1953 and was involved in her community and church. She worked with the Pink Ladies at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital and was a board member for the Nacogdoches Treatment Center. She also was an active member of the Nacogdoches Literati Study Club and Rotary Anns Service Organization.

1960s Wilbur A. Hull (’60), Lago Vista :: He spent more than 30 years in public education and served as a teacher, administrator, Texas Education Agency executive and leader of youth organizations. He was recognized on state and national levels and received several awards for his dedication. He earned a master’s degree from Texas State University.

Terry Jack Hadley (’64), Plano :: He graduated from Plainview High School and was a member of the Roger M. Ramey Club and the Arnold Air Society at North Texas. After completing pilot training, he served in the U.S. Air Force as an F-4 fighter pilot and pilot instructor. He retired in 1984.

the Year for Donna Park Elementary School. After her retirement, she traveled extensively with her husband, Gaston Walker (’58 M.Ed., ’73 Ed.D.). They visited 49 of the 50 states and all but one of the Canadian provinces.

Moveta J. McLaughlin (’69 M.Ed.), Garland :: She was a teacher and counselor with the Dallas ISD for 30 years. She and her husband worked together for many years leading marriage enrichment programs.

1970s Lee Winfield (’71), St. Louis, Mo. :: After attending North

Plano for one year and HurstEuless-Bedford for 25 years. In 1986, she was selected Teacher of

Texas on a basketball scholarship, where he was named an NCAA Division II All-American in 1969, he went on to success as an NBA player and college coach. He spent seven years in the NBA with the Seattle Supersonics and Buffalo Braves. He was an assistant coach for 10 seasons at St. Louis University and coached at Missouri and

Lila Haney Walker (’65 M.Ed.), Hurst :: She taught in

James R. Miller,

Information. While dean of educa-

Bowling Green State University

sity as professor and chair of the

tion, he established the Quality

and his doctorate from Kent State.

Department of Communication Sci-

Denton, Dean

Assurance Program and helped

Memorials may be made to UNT’s

ences and Disorders, later Speech

Emeritus of

establish one of the first academic

E. LaMar Hoke Memorial Scholar-

and Hearing Sciences, and was

education and

programs in computer education

ship, Dean Emeritus James R. Mill-

the first director of admissions for

founding dean of the Emeritus

and cognitive systems in the coun-

er Scholarship or James R. Miller

the Texas Academy of Mathemat-

College, died Dec. 5. Miller retired

try. He also developed the concept

Emeritus College Scholarship.

ics and Science. He served as a

from full-time teaching in 1991

and wrote the proposal for the

after spending 14 years as an

Texas Academy of Mathematics

administrator in the College of

and Science at UNT. In 2009, he

Education, including serving as

community advisor to the College of Music. He also taught at the

was named founding dean of the

Richard William Stream,

dean from 1985 to 1991. He con-

Emeritus College. He served in the

Denton, who

Texas Medical Branch in Galves-

tinued on modified service until

U.S. Army during World War II and

worked at UNT

ton. He earned a bachelor’s degree

1996, serving in 1995 as interim

earned a bachelor’s degree from

from 1980 through 2000, died

from the University of Illinois,

dean of what is now the College of

Purdue University, a master’s from

March 2. He joined the univer-

a master’s from Vanderbilt and



No r t h Texa n



Spring 2012

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the University of

Forest Park Community College. He was inducted into the UNT Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994.

Laura Cantrell Bartone, Garland :: She attended North Texas from 1974 to 1978. She managed the Plano Antique Mall and prior to that owned an interior design firm and a store at the Galleria in Dallas. At North Texas, she was a member of the Delta Zeta sorority.

had finished backpacking a quarter of the Appalachian Trail.

ics teacher at Denton High School and a wildlife artist.


Remarcus Larry West, Dallas

Susan Annette Lovell (’91 M.S.), Overland Park, Kan.

High School in 1997 and attended UNT and Prairie View A&M University. He worked at Southwest Airlines as an appearance technician. Survivors include his father, State Sen. Royce West Sr., who has been an advocate for UNT and the UNT System.

:: She had worked as a librarian

in the North Kansas City School in Missouri and recently was employed by the Overland Park Church of Christ.

Ronald Cary Eddins (’94), South­lake :: As a USTA junior

1980s Mary Harrison Lansing (’87), Naperville, Ill. :: She was a long-time educator who specialized in teaching reading and language skills to children in preschool through second grade. She served as a second-grade teacher for many years at Stevens Park Elementary School in Dallas and taught at other schools around the country. She earned her master’s degree from Texas Woman’s University. She enjoyed exercising and

tennis player, he was ranked first in Texas and 10th nationally. He played tennis on a scholarship at UNT and also was an outstanding golfer, playing in the National USGA and British mid-amateur championships. He became a successful trial attorney and formed the Eddins Law Firm with offices in Southlake and San Pedro, Calif.

Kyle Anthony Thomas (’96), Denton :: He received his

:: He graduated from Duncanville

2000s Oussama El-Bjeirami (’06 Ph.D.), Dhahran, Saudi Arabia :: An assistant professor of chemistry at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, he received chemistry graduate student awards at UNT and an American Chemical Society Inorganic Division Young Investigator Award. He also worked at UNT as a postdoctoral fellow and senior research scientist.

bachelor’s degree in education from UNT. He was a mathemat-

Jason Stansberry (’09), Willits, Calif. :: After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, he found his niche as a horse trainer. He worked in Texas and Nevada, training horses, doing leatherwork and restoring antiques. In 2006, he returned to school to become a math teacher.

2010s Natalie Ashton Kjar (’10), Houston :: She was accepted to the University of Texas Medical School in Houston in 2010, where she was pursuing dermatology. At UNT, she majored in orchestral studies before changing to premed. She served in and was president of the Alpha Epsilon Delta Medical Professional Honor Society and was a tutor in music theory.

Adam Russell Main, Argyle

:: He was a senior social work

major, serving an internship as a social worker and anticipating his graduation.

a doctorate from Northwestern

from Illinois Wesleyan University

Prix de Rome and Fulbright and


University. He received a National

and a master’s from San Francisco

National Endowment for the Arts

Send memorials to honor UNT

Institutes of Health postdoctoral

State. He completed postgraduate

fellowships. Memorials may be

alumni and friends, made payable

fellowship at UCLA.

work at the University of California

made to the Phil Winsor Scholar-

to the UNT Foundation, to the

at Berkeley, Milan Conservatory

ship Fund in the College of Music.

University of North Texas, Division

Philip G. Winsor,

of Music and the University of Illinois. Winsor also taught at DePaul

Rebecca Sue Reding Wright,

#311250, Denton, Texas 76203-


University and National Chiao

Aubrey, an administrative assistant

5017. Indicate on your check the

professor of

Tung University in Taiwan. His

at UNT for almost 28 years, died

name of the fund or area you wish

music and

compositions were performed in

Nov. 7. She retired in 2007 as ad-

to support. Make secure gifts

co-founder and director of the

Carnegie Hall, Radio Cologne, Ra-

ministrative coordinator for the De-

online at www.development.unt.

Center for Experimental Music and

dio Tel Aviv, Poland and Korea, and

partment of Engineering Technol-

edu/givenow. For more informa-

Intermedia, who worked at UNT

other works were commissioned

ogy in the College of Engineering.

tion, email or call

from 1982 to 2010, died Jan. 24.

by cinematographers and dance

He earned a bachelor’s degree

companies. Honors included the

of Advancement, 1155 Union Circle


Spring 2012




No r t h Texa n





WHEN I RECEIVED THE Texas Tap Legend Award from the Dance Council of North Texas in October, I could not reflect on the importance of the award without thinking of ’Fessor Floyd Graham. So let us begin this tale of those wild college days I so enjoyed. My tap dancing career and work as a professional entertainer in the DallasFort Worth area began several years before ’Fessor introduced me to campus as the “Boy With the Flying Feet.” I had been performing in nightclubs and working with vaudevillians since the age of 14. By age 17, I had performed in 33 Dallas Summer Musicals. ’Fessor Graham influenced many young entertainers to attend North Texas. He would bring his traveling shows to area events and high schools and always asked to have students perform. He spotted me when my high school principal suggested I dance. ’Fessor liked what he saw and invited me to perform on the Saturday Night Stage Show on campus. I accepted and the audience approved. ’Fessor told me that if I attended North Texas, he would arrange a scholarship. I performed in the Saturday night shows about every three weeks. I also directed dancers and chorus numbers and staged various productions. I taught tap dancing to the advanced physical education class and staged dances for the



No r t h Texa n


Gene Pflug (’51), dubbed by ’Fessor Graham as the “Boy With the Flying Feet,” performs on tour with an all-student variety troupe, 1948-49. opera program. I often went to Dallas to work nightclubs and television shows. I had no car, so the late-late bus was the only way back to campus. North Texas provided a multitude of fun activities for its students. Sometimes I wonder how I graduated. One of the activity highlights was when ’Fessor and the Aces of Collegeland played for the Wednesday night dances for the student body, free of charge. I lived in Chilton Hall (ramp 6) and quarterbacked the intramural champion flag football team. I joined a new fraternity, Phi Alpha Tau, which later became the national fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon. These young men included writers, future doctors, artists, musicians, and some very successful military and businessmen. All were top students, and then there was the strange dancer. I graduated in August 1951 and was the first in my fraternity drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War. While in the Army, I accidentally met my fraternity brother, drummer Jack Rumbley (’51, ’52 M.M.Ed.), and we performed together in a number of military shows. At ’Fessor’s request, my


Spring 2012

last campus performance as the “Boy With the Flying Feet” was at a Saturday night show while I was on leave. While attached to special services in the Army as an entertainer, I performed in 190 shows. After the military, it was off to new adventures in Hollywood and New York. My education degree and teacher’s and superintendent’s/principal’s certificates proved helpful when I taught dance — with a career-high 110 gold medal winners — and in staging numbers for the 2000 Australian Olympics. Had it not been for ’Fessor Graham’s love, patience, laughter and foresight, I might never have had so many opportunities or received this award. He had a fantastic influence on my future. Thank you again, ’Fessor. After his Army days, Gene Pflug became a regular on the Eddie Cantor Comedy Theatre TV show and appeared in other productions. As the era of studio musicals ended, he stopped dancing professionally at age 28. In addition to a long career in insurance, he taught dance as a hobby at Gingham Girl Studios and later at Calico Kids in Garland.

"Be extraordinary. " — SUJAY LAMA,



Sujay Lama’s message to student-athletes is simple — be extraordinary. With a 3.5 team average GPA and one of the best fall tournament seasons in Mean Green history, these high-performance athletes are exceeding his expectations. Lama believes his team can repeat its 2010 performance as the Sun Belt Conference champion and make a second appearance in the NCAA tournament. Understanding that greatness is defined by what we do for others, Lama encourages his team to make a difference in the world and sets the bar high. He established and funds Project Nepal to educate and support Nepalese orphans. Support Mean Green tennis at the Sun Belt Conference Championships April 19-22 at the Waranch Tennis Complex located by UNT’s Apogee Stadium.

800-UNT-2366 | 940-565-2527 Spring 2012




No r t h Texa n


The North Texan UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS Division of University Relations, Communications and Marketing 1155 Union Circle #311070 Denton, Texas 76203-5017


Michael Clements

UNT unveiled its four bold goals Feb. 13 with its new five-year strategic plan and a new iconic theme line, “A green light to greatness.” Read more about the event (page 16), which drew about 1,200 students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and local and state leaders to the Murchison Performing Arts Center. For a chance to win items with the new theme line and visuals, email by April 20 with “Green Light” in the subject line.

The North Texan - UNT Alumni Magazine - Spring 2012  

The North Texan - UNT Alumni Magazine - Spring 2012