Athletic Season s Tickets Page 37
A UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS P U B L I C AT I O N F O R A LU M N I A N D F R I E N DS V O L . 6 7, N O . 1 | S p r i n g 2 0 1 7
BRAINS BEHIND BRANDS [ page
James O. Guillory Jr. [ page 1 6] Power of Research [ page 30] Study of Language [ page 32] | Mean Green [ page 36] Spring 2017
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2 0 1 6 I N N O VAT O R AWA R D S
ew ideas. New devices. New processes. New methods. Innovation is all of these. Different from invention, innovation is not focused on creating a new n product. tion is cen More often, innovation centered in es taking a creative creativity. It involves approach to something known, something ething kno done, and giving it ne new life — thus, a new ew marke audience or a new market. ﬃcee off Research Rese The UNT Oﬃce and Innovation is pleased to introduce the inaugural UNT Innovator Awards, which include cash w eat ideas ccan come from anyone, prizes. Great s ple to bring anywhere.. It takes special people innovation n to ligh light.
AND T H E W I N N E R S ARE :
S TA F F
G R A D UAT E
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Guido Verbeck, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, is working on numerous market-centric technologies. A key development is his work to condense the size of mass spectrometry equipment and customize it to numerous industry applications. He and his team have reduced the weight of the equipment to about 15 pounds, a practical weight for environmental researchers, law enforcement officials and other professionals.
UNT’s Oﬃce of Research and Innovation also is pleased to recognize innovation from the UNT staﬀ. Peter Palacios, a geographic information systems (GIS) manager for UNT Facilities, has led the development of software to map facilities and utilities. The application is ﬂexible enough to also report maintenance data about interior space. The data could be useful for facilities, risk management, emergency responders, space management leaders and others.
Derek Nelson, now in his fourth semester as a biology doctoral student, performs open-heart surgery on ﬁsh in the Gulf of Mexico. His work measures the health of aquatic life, while monitoring crude oil impacts. Working with faculty mentor Dane Crossley, professor of biology, Nelson implants sensors on the ﬁshes’ hearts to monitor cardiac function such as heart rate, stroke volume, contractility and other aspects of the heart.
Christopher Kennedy, senior biology major, has worked to reproduce a naturally occurring mutant gene in cotton that produces more oil. The oil has a variety of potential industrial uses. Now Kennedy hopes to help cross-breed the plants with a goal of increasing the oil production of cotton, which will increase its value. He is considering enrolling in graduate school or seeking a “crop innovation” job in the agricultural industry.
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S P R I N G
2 0 1 7
James O. Guillory Jr. Perseverance bode well for College of Business alumnus and Houston’s ﬁrst African
American hotel developer. By Meredith Moriak Wright
Power of Research
UNT is at the forefront of collaboration, driving new projects and solutions.
Study of Language
Linguistics alumni work to preserve history and improve communication. By Meredith Moriak Wright
Good things are happening following a successful year for UNT athletics.
DEPARTMENTS FROM OUR PRESIDENT • 3
Tier One momentum DEAR NORTH TEXAN • 4
Winning the lottery ... UNT love stories UNT TODAY • 6
New buildings and renovations ... Green Pride ... Global Connection ... Ask an Expert
Brains Behind Brands WORK I NG B E H I N D T H E S C E NES F OR M A JOR
UNT MUSE • 19
Dripping beauty ... Tattoo heart ... Winning job ... Fashionable career ... Upcoming Events
CORP ORAT I O N S S U C H AS T H E DA LLA S COWB O YS , DART AND D I ET D R P EPPER , A LUM NI
GIVING IMPACT • 39
USE CR E AT I V E TAL E NTS TO G ET CONSUM ER S TO
Bright future for student thanks to donors
TR A N S F OR M T H EI R H AB I TS AND S P ENDI NG POWER A ND B ECO M E LO YA L B RA ND F OLLOWER S.
EAGLES’ NEST • 40
Dallas city manager ... Connecting with Friends ... Servant leader ... Friends We’ll Miss
By Jessica DeLeón Cover: Tim Burkhart (’87), merchandising chief operating oﬃcer for the Dallas Cowboys, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Photo by Michael Clements.
LAST WORD • 48
Alumna recalls life on campus with her dad
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E X C L U S I V E S
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ONLINE FEATURES LEADERS OF INFLUENCE See which alumni and UNT leaders were recognized by D CEO magazine as the area’s top business executives in The Dallas 500. COWBOYS JOURNEY Watch a video to learn how UNT Hall of Famer Lance Dunbar’s resiliency and determination took him from Hurricane Katrina evacuee to UNT student-athlete to the Dallas Cowboys. GRAMMY PLAYLIST Listen to the winning tunes spanning contemporary, classical, instrumental, jazz and vocal categories from this year’s talented Grammy-winning alumni.
GET CONNECTED Gary Payne
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Driving Economic Growth B OOSTIN G ECO NO M I C AC T I V I T Y I N TH E DA LLA S-F ORT WORTH A R EA BY $ 1 .6 5 B I L L I O N A NNUA LLY, UNT H A S BEEN A
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D R IVIN G F ORC E I N T H E NORT H T EXA S R EGI ON’S GROWT H S IN CE T H E U N I V E RS I T Y’S FOU ND I NG I N 189 0. R EA D UNT’S IMPACT R E P ORT AT IM PAC T. UNT. E DU TO LEA R N MOR E.
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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
F RO M OU R
Tier One momentum UNT PROGRESS CONTINUES WITH NEW INITIATIVES AND BUILDINGS
I JOINED THE UNT family three years ago and my love for this university grows each day. We care about each other and the communities in which we live. And we’re dedicated to making the world a better place. It’s the people who make UNT strong and who make us stand out. It’s great to see our alumni, such as President Neal Smatresk speaking at the groundbreaking for the College of Visual Arts the brains behind brands featured in and Design’s new addition. this issue (page 24), rising to the top of their professions. You also can learn more in this issue about our partnership with the Dallas Cowboys (page 26) and get a preview of UNT Research magazine (page 30). We’re making important investments in our people, programs and university to build on our momentum as a Carnegie-ranked top-tier research university and to ensure that we’re Tier One across the board. This spring, we will split the College of Arts and Sciences into the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the College of Science. Our College of Public Aﬀairs and Community Service will become the College of Health and Public Service with two schools: the School of Community and Behavioral Health and the School of Public Aﬀairs and Applied Social Science. These changes will provide more opportunities as we launch new programs that keep pace with today’s career needs. We’re also transforming our campus with several new buildings and renovations (page 6). Our renovated Science Research Building opened this spring, and the creation of a new home for our College of Visual Arts and Design is underway. We’re building a new residence hall, dining hall and tour center, all three to be co-located. And we plan to expand at Discovery Park to create a facility for biomedical engineering, one of our fastest-growing programs. These changes will be a big boost for academics, research and recruitment. Growth is progress, and — at UNT — progress never ends. UNT proud,
Neal Smatresk President email@example.com
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T h e Nor t h Texan The North Texan (ISSN 0468-6659) is published four times a year (in March, June, September and December) by the University of North Texas, 1155 Union Circle #311070, Denton, Texas 76203-5017, for distribution to alumni and friends of the university. Periodicals postage paid at Denton, Texas, and at additional mailing offices. The diverse views on matters of public interest presented in The North Texan do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the university. Publications staff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 940-565-2108. Postmaster: Please send requests for changes of address, accompanied if possible by old address labels, to the University of North Texas, University Relations, Communications and Marketing, 1155 Union Circle #311070, Denton, Texas 76203-5017. The UNT System and the University of North Texas are the owners of all of their trademarks, service marks, trade names, slogans, graphic images and photography and they may not be used without permission. The University of North Texas is firmly committed to equal opportunity and does not permit – and takes actions to prevent – discrimination, harassment (including sexual violence) and retaliation on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, family status, genetic information, citizenship or veteran status in its application and admission processes, educational programs and activities, facilities and employment practices. The University of North Texas System immediately investigates and takes remedial action when appropriate. The University of North Texas System also takes actions to prevent retaliation against individuals who oppose a discriminatory practice, file a charge, or testify, assist or participate in an investigative proceeding or hearing. Direct questions or concerns to the equal opportunity office, 940-565-2759, or the dean of students, 940-565-2648. TTY access is available at 940-369-8652. AA/EOE/ADA Created by the Division of University Relations, Communications and Marketing
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A UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS P U B L I C AT I O N F O R A LU M N I A N D F R I E N DS VOL.66, NO.4 | Winter 2016
ADVANCING AUTISM AWARENESS [ page
Let us know what you think about news and topics covered in The North Texan. Letters may be edited for length and publication style. Online: northtexan.unt.edu (follow the “Contact Us” link) Phone: 940-565-2108
Joseph L. Lengyel [ p ag e 14] Mean Green [ p ag e 16 ] Alumni Awards [ p ag e 30] Materials Science [ p ag e 32|] Winter 2016
Fax: 940-369-8763 |
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articles on autism (a silent social crippler) and peace making by political science professor David Mason. The inclusion of this particular Faculty Focus was more than timely for our times, country and world. Thank you so much.
Always for UNT
I watched the Heart of Dallas Bowl at Farmer’s Market in Dallas. Great game, UNT! I usually don’t watch football, but I always do if it is UNT. Cynthia HawkinsBowland (’69) Dallas Editor’s note: We were proud of our Mean Green too as they fought back to take the game to overtime (ﬁnal score: UNT 31, Army 38). See page 36 for news about our April 8 spring game and next season.
Timely issue I read with interest the winter issue, especially the
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Mail: The North Texan University of North Texas Division of University Relations, Communications and Marketing 1155 Union Circle #311070 Denton, Texas 76203-5017
Union and the wonderful town that I hope Denton resembles today. Thank you for everything. Dean Curry (’66) Union City, California
Ruth Egan Richmond, Indiana
Winning the lottery Fifty years ago, I won the lottery when I received my degree from North Texas. Over the years many good things have happened to me and they were all made possible by or were connected to receiving my degree. I have many fond memories of my time in Denton and cherish the many friends and acquaintances I made during that time. I remember the lab bands, the beginning of the Mean Green, the coﬀeecake at the
For most people it’s not until you have passed your youth that you begin to have recollections of the past. For me, it was the Student Union Building. I began my studies as a freshman in 1966, when that building was brand new. The third ﬂoor was a variety of formal settings, mostly where students could meet with their parents, rather than at a dorm room, where freshmen were required to live.
All the women wore skirts and dresses. To wear jeans meant that you were part of the hoi polloi, and not college material. Only male students were allowed to wear shorts. For all female students there was “bed check,” meaning the women’s dorms doors were locked at midnight, and one must present a handwritten note from one’s parents in order to go home on weekends. Yes, Dean Dickey and General Lindley truly were in control of campus activities. “Meet me at the SUB” still brings to mind those golden days of meeting and making friends in the simple booths on the second ﬂoor. There was a cafeteria line for low priced food, certainly no $5 hamburgers and $2 soft drinks! Many students brought their own “brown bags” containing their luncheon goodies. On the street level, the ﬁrst ﬂoor, was the “NTSU Book Store” and the U.S. Post Oﬃce with four-digit mail boxes. And the basement was storage for books inventory. Most people walked everywhere. There were few marked parking spaces on the streets, and no charge for parking. Only parking for employees beside the Administration Building was restricted. Otherwise one parked on the street that ran in front. It often took three days of walking from one building to another, and another and
another to register for classes each semester. Oh, those long lines and the waiting! I left and then returned in 1980 in order to ﬁnally graduate Dec. 19, 1981. Enough of my reminiscing. May you have rich memories of your days at UNT. John E. “Jack” Nicholson (’81) Richardson
Hospice guide I recently submitted a letter along with information on a book I wrote, Hospice: The Last Responder. It is a guide for patients and families to know
their rights regarding hospice care — an easy read and funny in some aspects. As life would have it, not long after the book was published, I was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease, pulmonary ﬁbrosis, and have not very long to live. I choose to be an advocate for those who cannot ﬁght for themselves who I witnessed for so long as a hospice nurse, and for our veterans, of which I am both. I’ve written an epilogue for the book, sharing some of what I’ve learned now as a hospice patient and including a few tips for dealing with the mental eﬀects of being diagnosed with
a terminal illness. For instance, forgive yourself and others for what has happened in the past — you cannot change it. And have fun and enjoy every second you have left with your family. Don’t forget to tell them you love them every day. Thank you for helping me get the word out. I was able to accomplish the many things in life because of the outstanding education I received at UNT. Ellen Muckenhirn Windham (’11) Bacliﬀ
@northtexan EAGLE EMOJI FINALLY #GMG KAW #UNT — @spawtacus What’s weird about UNT is that it’s not a small campus by any means yet I see someone I know everywhere I go. — @joryy_nicolee Every time I go to a UNT ensemble concert, I fall in love with music all over again. — @Diana_Darce Saw a guy with a Star Wars yamaka today. Talk about pop culture. #UNT — @escooter13
Oh #UNT you have some characters!!!!! — @Southrn_redhead
UNT love stories: My wife, Elizabeth (’09, ’14 M.A.), and I (pictured) spent our undergraduate and graduate years at UNT, which included our proposal! We’ve now been married 6.5 years and have been together for more than 10. As a band nerd, it was only fitting that the proposal
UNT preview tomorrow ... I’ve never been this excited for anything. — @brooklynbaker08
incorporated the Green Brigade. — Andrew David Morris (’09, ’14 M.A., ’15 M.A.) In 1970, I was attending North Texas on the GI Bill, studying for an M.B.A. My future wife, Valeria Iglehart (’71), was an undergraduate student working to get a degree in education and her teaching certificate. We met on a blind date the spring of 1970. In March of 1971, we went back to her hometown of Westbrook, Texas, for the weekend and got married. We both had to be back in class the following Monday so we didn’t have the time or the money for a honeymoon. — William Cocke (’71 M.B.A.)
Coach @SethLittrell and @wrenbaker I wanted to say Thank You for the box of #MeanGreen swag! The helmet brought back some great memories. — @steveaustinBSR
10:50 a.m. We have been together for eight years now! — Rosanna Thai (’11)
Follow us on Twitter. We look forward to staying connected!
Go to northtexan.unt.edu/online for a link to Andrew and Elizabeth’s proposal video featuring the Green Brigade and to read UNT love stories that were submitted to our Facebook page in honor of Valentine’s Day.
When my boyfriend and I first met, we instantly knew we had chemistry together ... on MWF from 10 to
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NASA rocket competition page 11
NEW AND IMPROVED Building the best academic and research programs is top priority at UNT, and 2017 includes numerous building and renovation projects that will strengthen the university’s efforts.
Learn about UNT labs, equipment and spaces that foster university-industry partnerships at research.unt.edu/facilities.
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THIS YEAR’S BUILDING AND RENOVATION projects — including a new residence hall and tour center, an addition to the Art Building, a new track and soccer facility, a new Child Development Lab, renovations to make Sage Hall a stronger one-stop academic success center, a new Genomics Center, a renovated Science Research Building and Discovery Park expansion for biomedical engineering — reinforce the university’s recruiting, academic and research eﬀorts. “It’s important that we make investments in our people, programs and infrastructure,” President Neal Smatresk says. “These new spaces will continue our commitment to improving our infrastructure and creating the best education for our students.”
The new Genomics Center, located in the Life Sciences Complex, opened last fall. It provides in-house DNA sequencing and computational and statistical analysis of genetic data that will advance next-generation research in genomics, one of the fastest-growing ﬁelds in modern science. Funding for the center, about $1 million in total, came from both private and government sources. Sequencing also will be available to outside groups for a fee. Michael Clements
Science Research Building
The redesigned Science Research Building includes 7,224 square feet of open concept lab space on the ﬁrst ﬂoor, consisting of four large lab areas that can be divided into as many as eight smaller labs, depending on researchers’ needs. The $15.5 million project also includes 4,356 square feet of support space surrounding the labs, ﬂexible enough to be converted into more lab space later, if needed. “These ﬂex labs will facilitate multidisciplinary, collaborative work,” says Richard Dixon, BioDiversity Institute director and Distinguished Research Professor of biology. “This is the type of space we need to attract new faculty researchers.”
College of Visual Arts and Design
Corgan Associates Inc.
Construction is underway on a four-story, 128,500-square-foot addition to the Art Building that will allow many of UNT’s College of Visual Arts and Design programs to be housed together in the same space, rather than spread across campus. “This project will unite innovation with tradition and further establish that UNT has one of the best art schools in the nation,” Dean Greg Watts says. The $70 million project, slated for completion in fall 2018, will feature a 19,000-square-foot multipurpose courtyard, a 2,300-square-foot rooftop dye garden that will supply plant dyes to the ﬁbers department, and a new gallery with extensive back-ofthe-house research and study space. Residence hall and tour center
Once open in fall 2018, UNT’s newest residence hall will provide students with a living-learning environment that promotes interaction and community. The 120,000-square-foot, ﬁve-ﬂoor building with 500 beds — to be located next to Kerr Hall — will provide pod-style living, which incorporates a clustered bathroom facility for a community of 20 beds per pod. A 20,000-square-foot tour center will be co-located with the residence hall.
Left: UNT leaders break ground in February on a new residence hall and tour center. Above from top: Genomics Laboratory director Tracy Kim sequences DNA in the Genomics Center. Children play at UNT’s recently updated Child Development Laboratory. A rendering shows the planned addition for the College of Visual Arts and Design.
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Today BRILLIANTLY GREEN
Pass it on: Great things are happening at UNT. Learn about them here and share our successes with your family and friends.
• Standout nurse. Higher education doctoral student Gary Huey was named one of Dallas-Fort Worth’s Great 100 Nurses for 2017 — an honor recognizing nurses who are role models, community servants, compassionate caregivers and contributors to the profession. Huey, the learning institute coordinator at Medical City of McKinney, will be honored April 17 during an awards ceremony at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. • Constructing for the community. As part of their Hungry for Change initiative, students from UNT’s College of Public Affairs and Community Service partnered with Serve Denton to build nine Little Free Pantries. The pantries are housed in Denton neighborhoods or at local small businesses to help those who need a little support. Built by students, the pantries are small cedar cabinets containing non-perishable food, toiletries and other necessities available to and stocked by the community.
Business computer information systems senior Brian Powers won ﬁrst place in the most diﬃcult portion of IBM’s Master the Mainframe contest for the North American region.
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Students in nine regions worldwide competed to come up with solutions to unique challenges simulating real-life scenarios faced by skilled computer programmers. In total, 4,174 students from more than 400 high schools and universities participated in the three-part challenge. For winning Part 3, Powers received an all-expenses-paid trip to the SHARE conference in San Jose, California, to learn and network with some of IBM’s biggest executives, business partners and clients.
• Take a seat (and selfie!) with Scrappy. Scrappy’s made a new mark on campus with the November addition of a Scrappy Bench on the University Union’s south lawn. The bench, the result of collaborative planning by the Union board of directors and Division of Student Affairs, brings Mean Green pride to all who sit there. Communication studies graduate student Rachel Jackson (’12) poses for a photo with Scrappy. Follow the bench on Twitter @UNTscrappybench and tag your photos with #scrappyselfie.
ated Valley Carriers, a family company experiencing division Senior Dylan Lischau between the second and third helped his team win ﬁrst place generations. in its division at the Global “Family businesses are vital to Family Enterprise Case the economy,” says Lischau, an Competition in January at the integrative studies major University of Vermont. specializing in entrepreneurThe competition, meant for ship, music and German. those who plan to own family “More than 70 percent of businesses, puts together businesses in the world are students from diﬀerent family owned, but only about universities and allows them a 30 percent are successful few hours to solve a challenge. beyond the ﬁrst generation. We Lischau and his team — oﬀered alternatives to continue made up of students from the Netherlands, Vermont, Canada, growth that could be beneﬁcial Florida and Michigan — evalu- to the company.” Family business focus
NEW UNT MOBILE APP
Released this winter, UNT’s mobile application helps students receive grade notiﬁcations, access maps, contact professors, view the ﬁnal exam schedule and read UNT headlines. Future students can view admissions information, access the course catalog and register for on-campus tours. And coming updates to the app will include registering for classes, paying tuition and viewing admission status. The app is available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play.
UNT ACCREDITED UNT received reafﬁrmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
GEOGRAPHY LAUREL UNT’s Department of Geography and the Environment received the Award for Masters Program Excellence from the American Association of Geographers.
UNT RESEARCH LABS AND NON-CLASSROOM CREATIVE SPACES ON CAMPUS
UNT has placed more alumni into the Disneyland All-College Band than any other university since the band was formed in 1971.
UNT has been named one of America’s 100 Best College Buys® for 21 consecutive years.
RANKS AND RECOGNITION
NO. 1 TOWN
Music School Central ranked Denton the No.1 Best College Town for Music Majors.
The College of Education’s online graduate education program was ranked 16th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
UNT was named a Tree Campus USA for the 9th consecutive year by the Arbor Day Foundation.
RESEARCH DAY Robert Presley Smith, a senior studying mechanical and energy engineering, and Prateek Kalakuntla, a student at UNT’s Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, participated in Texas Undergraduate Research Day at the Texas Capitol in Austin. Spring 2017
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Paula Abreu Pita
Nuclear waste disposal
Students Lindsey Lotze and Asia Montague traveled to New York City in January and were awarded $5,000 scholarships from the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund. The nonproﬁt awards more than 200 scholarships.
Lotze, left, a senior double majoring in digital retailing and merchandising, and Montague, center, a junior majoring in fashion design, are mentored by Laura Storm, right, a lecturer in UNT’s College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism.
Jincheng Du, associate professor of materials science and engineering, is part of a new Energy Frontier Research Center supported by the U.S. Department of Energy that will work to make nuclear waste disposal safer for a longer period of time. The team of researchers from ﬁve universities, two national laboratories and one company will receive at least $8 million from the U.S. Department of Energy during the next four years to establish the Center for Performance and Design of Nuclear Waste
Forms and Containers. The team will research the degradation of materials that store nuclear waste, including glass, ceramics and metals. Du and his research assistants will focus on the fundamental mechanisms of glass degradation, especially the long-term corrosion behaviors. “It is very exciting,” Du says. “It will be a great opportunity for UNT and our students working on this project. They will work with researchers and peers from other institutions and it will be a great learning experience for them.”
Deck your ride with Mean Green pride
Alumni and members of the UNT community living in Texas can ride with Mean Green pride every day by sporting a “Mean Green” license plate — and help support student scholarships. UNT partners with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to carry UNT-themed plates as part of its specialty plate program. The cost of plates varies depending on how they’re customized. Learn how to order your plate and more at unt.edu/plates or follow these steps when you visit txdmv.gov: 1.) Under Motorists at the top of the page, select Specialty License Plates. 2.) Scroll down and select the University of North Texas (on page 2). 3.) Click Order and you are taken to myplates.com to create and customize your plate. When you buy a UNT license plate, a portion of the proceeds from the cost of the plate benefits student scholarships at UNT. Share your own photo with your personalized Mean Green license plate to win UNT prizes at email@example.com.
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Amie Lund, assistant professor of biology, has found that exposure to traﬃc-generated pollution has negative eﬀects on cardiovascular health. She hopes her research will lead to the design of drugs to help treat or prevent stroke and cardiovascular problems.
Polluting h ealth
Amie Lund, assistant professor of biology, is researching the cardiovascular health eﬀects of exposure to traﬃc-generated pollution. She found it is associated with higher levels of oxidized “bad” cholesterol in your body, which can contribute to the progression of cardiovascular disease. “We know heart attacks and strokes typically start with fatty plaque buildup,” says Lund, who is hopeful her research will lead to improved therapeutic options to help treat or prevent stroke and cardiovascular problems, especially in regions that experience high levels of air pollution. “Now we want to understand how exposure to
air pollution is making that plaque grow bigger in our blood vessels, which can lead to the onset of a heart attack, or if the plaque ruptures, it can result in a stroke.” Lund is experimenting to see how diﬀerent types of air pollutants can change cell signaling patterns in the cardiovascular system on a molecular level, to better understand how they may contribute to diseases. Undergraduate researcher
Biology junior Isabel Delwel, of Round Rock, is one of 67 scholars in the United States selected to participate in the 2017 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Exceptional Research
Opportunities Program. A member of UNT’s Honors College and the McNair Scholars Program, Delwel will spend 10 weeks this summer doing extensive research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. She researches bacteriophage — viruses that infect bacteria — with Lee Hughes, associate professor of biology. “I’m so excited and so honored, and I know that I wouldn’t have this opportunity without being part of UNT’s McNair program and the research experience it’s helped me gain,” Delwel says. “It helped me gain conﬁdence and allowed me to do serious research.”
L i fe l o ng l earning
UNT will oﬀer more than 100 courses each year to adults age 50 and older through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNT, formerly UNT’s Emeritus College. Established in 2009, UNT’s Emeritus College has oﬀered lifelong learning initiatives. The college was recognized by The Bernard Osher Foundation and was recently renamed to become one of the 120 schools in the institute’s network. Educational trips are planned as well as course oﬀerings at the main campus in Denton, at Robson Ranch and at UNT’s New College at Frisco. Learn more at lifelong.unt.edu/olli.
N A SA R O CK E T CO M P E T I T I O N For the first time ever, five College of Engineering students will compete in NASA’s Student Launch rocket competition. UNT Team Rocket — made up of seniors Karen Lyndsey Smith, Jessica Hampton, Joel Thompson and Luis Gonzalez and freshman Mitchell Buehler — was one of 42 university teams accepted into the highly competitive challenge. The NASA Student Launch competition will take place April 5-9 in Huntsville, Alabama. “This means so much to me,” Hampton says. “I’ve watched all the NASA rocket launches, and someday I would love to get into work in the field with SpaceX or NASA. This is my dream, and this competition is giving me the chance to live it out.” Spring 2017
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Autism activist to speak
Prominent autism activist Temple Grandin will discuss her journey as a person living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at an April 13 event in Dallas hosted by UNT and ACES (Comprehensive Educational Services Inc.).
Grandin is considered one of the most important voices in the ASD community. She was diagnosed with autism as a young child and went on to earn a doctoral degree in animal science. “Dr. Grandin is one of the most iconic and important voices in the autism ﬁeld,” says Kristin Farmer (’95 M.Ed.), ACES founder and CEO and benefactor of the UNT Kristin Farmer Autism Center. “It is my honor and privilege for ACES to support UNT by bringing her inspiring message to the Dallas-Fort Worth community.”
“+Autism: A Lecture and Discussion with Dr. Temple Grandin” will begin at 9 a.m. at Temple Emanu-El, 8500 Hillcrest Ave. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at coe.unt.edu/grandin. New full-time M.B.A.
UNT has added a full-time Master of Business Administration in business management program that can be completed in 11 months. The program, which begins this summer with its ﬁrst cohort of students, includes courses in leadership and strategic management, ﬁnance,
accounting, ethics and customer behavior. “The full-time M.B.A. is especially advantageous for the student who wants to quickly learn business skills and understand the corporate market,” says Marilyn Wiley, College of Business dean. “It’s a way for students from any discipline to build a business framework in less than a year and graduate with a strong understanding of entrepreneurial ideas and marketing concepts.” For information, visit cob.unt. edu/programs/masters/mba_ in_business_management.php.
Jean Keller helps the underserved
Working to provide underrepresented students with guidance and opportunities has been a top priority for Jean Keller, professor of kinesiology and health promotion. Since joining the UNT faculty in 1989, Keller has served in many leadership roles — as UNT’s interim vice president for community engagement, UNT Dallas provost and deputy vice chancellor for transition and for 15 years as College of Education dean. In 2016, she was honored with the UNT Foundation Community Engagement Award. But it’s one of her most recent projects of which she is proudest.
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Through the Allied Health Pathways E3: Exposure, Experience and Excellence (AHPE3) program, funded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Keller and the program team are supporting more than 300 African American and Latino students who are pursuing allied health careers. The students are particularly focused on audiology, occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech-language pathology. “In these professions, overall, less than 1 to 3 percent of the therapists practicing mirror the actual population,” Keller says. “The field is heavily dominated by Caucasian women, and by introducing more diversity, there is less margin for health disparities among the individuals seeking treatment.” Through the program, students majoring in kinesiology with a focus in allied health, receive academic advising support and assistance applying to graduate programs. To date, 18 Hispanic and African American males are advancing to earn their Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees, to become licensed therapists and work to address health disparity issues in the North Texas region. Keller also serves as a leader with the North Texas Regional P-16 Council, which drives student success from early childhood to careers in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties.
Conservation center funding
promotes sustainable development in the area. It will feature a sector dedicated to scientiﬁc research that aims to attract specialists from across the globe and an interpretive visitor’s center that promotes the biodiversity of Cape Horn. “We look forward to successfully completing this new international phase with UNT,” Rozzi says. The funding was approved shortly after Chilean President Michelle Bachelet visited Omora Ethnobotanical Park,
where Rozzi guided her through an innovative activity. The park is a nature reserve used as a natural laboratory and classroom. The Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program, coordinated by UNT, the University of Magallanes and the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity in Chile, works to link biological and cultural conservation with social well-being from the southernmost end of the Americas.
Courtesy of Universidad de Magallanes
The Chilean government recently awarded $15 million to a conservation program at the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve near Puerto Williams, Chile, where UNT researchers apply a multi-faceted approach to conservation and sustainable development. “This will strengthen the social mission and research excellence in a privileged place for the monitoring of climate change and testing of a sustainable development,” says Ricardo Rozzi, program director and UNT professor of philosophy and religion. The reserve is part of the Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program, a consortium led by UNT in the U.S., and Chilean universities and institutions. The monies will fund construction of a new 2,500-square-meter Cape Horn Sub-Antarctic Center that provides world-class facilities to the Chilean Antarctic Province and
CANCER BREAKTHROUGH Biostatistics professor Xuexia “Helen” Wang is using statistics to determine the best treatment for pediatric cancer patients and prevent future health problems. After gaining access to medical records of pediatric cancer patients and several hospitals, Wang identified a gene that can determine whether a child treated with chemotherapy might later develop cardiomyopathy, or if a child treated with radiation could be at risk for secondary tumor formation. She says it could lead to new medication or pre-screening so doctors may use different therapies or drugs for those at risk.
Ricardo Rozzi, UNT professor of philosophy and religion and program director of the Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program, takes Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on a tour of the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve. Spring 2017
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Today New education dean
Randy Bomer, chair of the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Texas at Austin, was named dean of UNT’s College of Education and will begin the new position Aug. 1. At UT Austin, Bomer helped facilitate new graduate programs, cultivated academic outreach, developed external research opportunities and enhanced graduate student funding opportunities.
Bomer has 28 peer-reviewed articles, three books, 16 book chapters and has been a guest at numerous invited presentations. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Trinity University in San Antonio and master’s and doctoral degrees from Columbia University. “I am thrilled to be joining a university that is really on the move,” Bomer says. “The College of Education is a force for positive change in the region, state and the nation.”
UNT researchers are working to create walls that stand up to natural disasters, in hopes of saving homes and lives. College of Engineering graduate student Xing Lan is working under Cheng Yu, professor of engineering technology, to determine whether new shear walls made of cold-formed steel withstand extreme winds and movement caused by earthquakes.
“In my last year as an undergraduate, I developed an interest in cold-formed steel,” says Lan, an international student from China. “I started researching and quickly found out about Dr. Yu. I speciﬁcally applied to this program because of his impressive work. He is a great mentor and I am really lucky that I get to do this research.”
Ask an Expert
How can you plan a trip for your multi-generational family?
amily trips can be the highlight of any year, but they sometimes get more diﬃcult to plan when including diﬀerent age groups — from great-grandparents to young children. Young Hoon Kim, associate professor of hospitality and tourism management, is an expert world traveler and says while there is no pre-set perfect vacation, planning and forethought can make any vacation more cost-eﬃcient and enjoyable for all. “If everyone communicates from the start, the trip will be ﬁlled with special memories,” he says.
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Maximum enjoyment • These vacations are about family, so be sure to engage. Limit use on phones. If work is a must, set aside a speciﬁc time to check in and then check out. • Plan for health emergencies by bringing a well-stocked ﬁrst-aid kit. Know where the major hospitals in the area are. Coming together • Ensure accessibility for all attendees. Those with limited mobility or medical conditions might prefer a resort to camping or amusement parks. Daycare or day camp could be great for young children uninterested in sightseeing. • Spend quality time together such as meals, game nights and group activities. Teamwork will create the most rewarding experience. — Jennifer Pache
Planning • Before making any decisions, discuss the trip’s purpose with all attendees. Will the group be together every hour or meet up in the evenings? • Knowing how much each person can spend will determine the destination, housing, daily events and meals. Camping or staying in a place with kitchen facilities are great ways to keep costs down. • Poll friends for favorite destinations. Tourism bureaus can provide recommendations, discounts and free travel materials. And websites like TripAdvisor.com also can provide insight on restaurants, accommodations and activities.
• So each person has an opportunity to be involved in the planning, give everyone an assignment, such as arranging a meal or activity.
Peace Corps prep
A UNT team made up of three logistics students and one engineering student placed second at Operation Stimulus: A Student Case Competition, one of the most challenging logistics contests in the U.S. The team, competing against 18 others from the U.S. and Canada, was composed of biomedical engineering junior Ashleigh Allison, aviation logistics senior David Looney, logistics and supply chain and marketing senior Sergio Garcia, and senior aviation logistics and music major Hong Yun Yong.
S U P E R CO N D U C T I V E WIRE RESEARCH Materials science and engineering faculty Marcus Young, assistant professor, and Rick Reidy, professor, are leading a team of College of Engineering student researchers to identify variations in superconductive wire processing. The team is collaborating with Superconductor Technologies Inc., T ECO -We s t i n g h o u s e Motor Co. and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center on a $4.5 million Department of Energy-funded project. The goal is to improve the manufacturing process of superconductive wires — therefore improving performance and reducing costs.
Undergraduate students interested in global careers and volunteering with the U.S. Peace Corps can gain beneﬁcial insight and training by earning an 18-credit-hour Peace Corps Prep Certiﬁcate at UNT. This new certiﬁcate oﬀers degree specialization, professional development, global training and experience, intercultural competence, global knowledge and leadership skills. “UNT’s Peace Corps Prep Certiﬁcate provides UNT students with a portfolio of global skills to help them excel in today’s workforce,” says Amy Shenberger, interim vice provost for international aﬀairs and director of UNT’s study abroad program. Learn more at pcprep.unt.edu.
UNT Alumni Association Members of the UNT Alumni Association invest in the education of current students by funding annual scholarships. Shahaf Bareni (’15), above, an international student from Israel pursuing her master’s, joined the association after earning her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and is one of this year’s scholarship recipients. “The UNT Alumni Association Scholarship provided me with the ﬁnancial help I needed to ﬁnish the last year of my master’s degree in recreation, event and sport management,” Bareni says. “Thanks to the support of the alumni association, I can focus on my academic achievements and remain conﬁdent of graduating on time.” This year’s other scholarship recipients are Stephanie Barbee, a doctoral learning technologies student; Kacie Cheairs, a master’s clinical mental health psychology student; and Stephanie Fields-Hawkins (’12), a master’s sustainability studies student. “Growing the scholarship program is one of our main priorities,” says Rob McInturf, UNT Alumni Association executive director. “We believe it is an impactful and tangible way to support future alumni while adding to the legacy of the university.” In alignment with this goal, the Oﬃce of Alumni Relations hired Taryn Houghton (’15) as director of development for the Alumni Scholarship Program, which is supported by a combination of annual funding from association members and donors as well as endowments. To make a donation to the scholarship program, visit UNTalumni.com/donate. To join the association or learn more, visit untalumni.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 940-565-2834.
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James O. Guillory Jr. by Meredith Moriak Wright
utting in hard work to transform a “no” into a “yes” is a familiar task for James O. Guillory Jr. (’13). When the athletics-over-academics-minded Houston high schooler was denied admission to UNT in 1992, Guillory had his mother drive him the four hours to Denton to meet face-to-face with an admissions counselor. He professed his commitment to put school ﬁrst and left that day with conditional acceptance. Shortly after completing his business studies at UNT, when 21 banks turned down the $5 million loan application needed to fund his ﬁrst hotel development, Guillory kept asking. Later, bank 22 didn’t say “no” — it said it couldn’t fund a hotel project for a 25-year-old with no experience in the hotel industry. That week, he secured a job as a hotel sales manager. “After a month I called the lender and said I’d like to meet with him,” Guillory says. “We met and he said that he liked me, but that they couldn’t do business with someone who didn’t have hotel experience. I pulled out my business card and said, ‘I’ve been at this hotel for a month and I’ll stay there as long as it takes. I need that loan.’” The loan was approved 48 hours later and Guillory continued his job as a sales manager while becoming the ﬁrst African American to own and develop a Hampton by Hilton-branded hotel. The 65-room hotel, near the Houston Ship Channel in Deer Park, opened in 2003. “I gambled everything, including everything my parents owned, to get that
Inspired to follow in his parents’ entrepreneurial footsteps, Houston’s ﬁrst African American hotel developer had his ﬁrst property on the ground at age 28 and isn’t slowing down.
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ﬁrst hotel completed,” says Guillory, president of HarDam Hotels. “I was so focused on getting it done and had the attitude that there was no space to fail, but I recognize it could’ve gone badly.” Guillory learned to run a lean and mean business from his parents, gas station and convenience store entrepreneurs. By implementing their business acumen and pouring his own sweat equity into his ﬁrst hotel, he was able to keep costs low and quickly turn a proﬁt. By the end of 2007, he had proven himself a viable business partner for investors and sold the property to pursue more hotel opportunities. “The company went from ground-up new construction to hotel acquisitions development, redevelopment and repositioning,” Guillory says. “I’d already shown the lending and investor communities that we were capable of new construction. Now I needed to show we also could acquire a hotel and turn it around.” He expanded beyond hotels, into retail centers and luxury townhomes, but when the downturn came in 2008, he sold all non-hotel-focused properties. Achieving steady success in the industry for 17 years, HarDam Hotels today is the owner, developer, investor and asset manager for seven hotels in the Hilton Worldwide, Marriott International and Hyatt Hotels Corp. brands. They are located in urban markets and business districts, including Houston’s Medical Center area as well as the ship channel area, and Guillory has plans to expand throughout the state. He says achieving success comes with building a great team and vision. “It’s important to realize your own strengths in your organization,” he says, “but also to seek out the expertise of others in areas you need a company to be great at — and together bring results.”
James O. Guillory Jr. (’13)
to serve today on the UNT Alumni
never returned to school. I filed
Kayla and Kourtney Lien, who are
Association Board of Directors.
for and received my degree in
UNT seniors studying finance. I
2013. It was important to me that
make it to Denton as often as I
Filing for the degree:
my parents know I completed
can to spend time with them. I
When I finished all the work for
what I started, what they paid for
credit my parents, Lou Anna and
my bachelor’s degree in 1997, I
and sacrificed. I also wanted my
James O. Guillory Sr., for much of
had ambitions of going to gradu-
children to see that achieving a
ate school. I didn’t file for my
degree can and should be done.
Choosing UNT: Location, location, location. Denton was near a major market but had the separation to still be a college town with a studentfocused environment. I’m proud
degree because I thought I wanted to retake some courses
and increase my GPA. I started
I have four daughters, Madison
my company two years later and
and Morgan Guillory, and twins
to read more Q&A.
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Check out upcoming events page 21
DRIPPING BEAUTY Art alumna’s sculptures have received internet attention and celebrity fans.
DALLAS ARTIST DAN LAM (’10) started playing with diﬀerent textures and materials as a drawing and painting major. That led her to working with polyurethane foam, acrylic paint and epoxy resin — and creating a series of sculptures that has attracted more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, including Miley Cyrus, who bought a piece of her art for her home. The sculptures look like colorful blobs pierced with spikes, with those that hang on shelves called Drips, those on walls called Blobs and freestanding sculptures called Squishes. “My work is driven by my interest and experimentation in non-traditional materials,” she says. “The work is about the space between beauty and repulsion.” Lam is pleased that so many people have taken to her work, including those who haven’t been exposed to many artforms. “When someone who doesn’t normally connect with a lot of art is suddenly interested, it means I’ve touched on something visually that transcends diﬀerent groups of people,” she says. “It’s pretty powerful.” Ahna Hubnik
Read about how UNT painting professor Vincent Falsetta encouraged Lam as a student at northtexan.unt.edu/dripping-beauty. SS pp rr ii nn gg 22 00 11 67
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Muse Books Education rhetoric In Assigning Blame: The Rhetoric of Education Reform (Harvard Education Press), Mark Hlavacik, assistant professor of communication studies, explores the public discussion of K-12 education in the U.S. since the 1980s. “Everyone seems to agree that education reforms should be justiﬁed using blame,” he says. Who does he say gets blamed the most? “Bureaucrats,” though that can mean
diﬀerent things to diﬀerent people — from politicians and government agency employees, to principals and district administrators, and even teachers. “The book cautions that the over-application of blaming undermines the publicness of public education.”
Juvenile justice Chad Trulson, professor and associate chair of criminal justice, is the co-author of Lost Causes: Blended Sentencing, Second Chances and the Texas Youth Commission (University of Texas Press). The book examines the recidivism outcomes of delin-
quent oﬀenders who were part of a unique sentencing law in which they were released early from the Texas Youth Commission if they demonstrated some measure of rehabilitation — as opposed to being transferred to the Texas prison system. Trulson worked with juvenile delinquents as a student and served as a parole oﬃcer before going into academics. “This research agenda has been the major foundation for my career,” he says.
Writing the goodlife Environmentalists often lament the lack of diversity in their movement. Priscilla Ybarra (’97)
notes that Mexican Americans have been active in environmentalism since the late 19th century, but it looks diﬀerent from the mainstream. So she created a name for their unique sets of values and practices — the goodlife — and wrote Writing the Goodlife: Mexican American Literature and the Environment (University of Arizona Press). The associate professor of Latina/o literature says her parents taught her to conserve energy, be kind to fellow creatures, and stand in awe of the sun and wind, land and rain. “Mexican Americans help to shape and protect the land in our daily practices and in our labor,” she says.
Tattoo heart It takes super thick skin to work on other people’s skin. When Liz Cook (’09) first started working as a tattoo artist, she had to handle her intense social anxiety — along with learning procedures such as the preparation and cleaning of the work. “It’s not easy,” Cook says of her job. “It is hard. It will make you cry.” But she’s developed her talents into a highly successful career. Cook is the co-owner, along with her husband, Cookie, and business partners Dave and Ellen Mushaney, of Lewisville-based tattoo shop Rebel Muse. She recently appeared on the TLC series Tattoo Girls. And she boasts 1 million followers on her Facebook page, which features pictures of her elaborate designs. TLC
Cook majored in studio painting and drawing at UNT and intended to pursue a career as a traditional painter. After graduation, she met her soon-to-be husband and they moved to Australia. She landed an apprenticeship at a tattoo shop, where she learned about the tenacity the job requires. “Every tattooer is a little bit crazy,” she says. “You have to mentally turn off the voice that says, ‘I’m creating this on somebody’s body and it’s permanent.’” With her large social media following and TV appearances, the job is a way to share her art with her customers. “The coolest part is being able to have a platform to put good stuff in the world,” she says. “Like inspiring continued education for tattooers and artists, inspiring art as something that is necessary in a world for free thinkers, showing how working hard can bring you happiness, and putting good energy, knowledge and awareness into the world for causes that need it.”
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Dance and Theatre
A girl’s best friend
Stephanie Stuart (’09) ﬁrst felt like Marilyn Monroe in high school when, for a play, she wore a white dress similar to the one Monroe wore in The Seven Year Itch. Now Stuart performs as the star for birthdays, parties and other events across the country and in Los Angeles, her current residence.
Stuart, a theatre major, also appears in plays and in the digital series Marbles, about a day in the lives of ordinary friends being awesome, and Buﬀering, about people making a web series after life falls apart. Her love for Monroe began with admiring her glamour and charm. “However, learning more about her through the years has opened up her truth as a person and who she was and what she endured,” she says. “I try to keep her as honest as possible and honor her memory and legacy in my performance.”
Upcoming Events Students from UNT’s College of Visual Arts and Design will display their works as part of the Voertman Art Competition April 1-15 in the Lightwell Gallery of the Art Building. The opening reception and award ceremony runs from 5 to 7 p.m. April 5. UNT Opera will present Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, the true story of the Carmelite nuns of Compiègne martyred during the French Revolution and subsequent Reign of Terror. The performances run at 8 p.m. April 6-8 and 3 p.m. April 9. The Symphony Orchestra and Grand Chorus will perform a concert version of Puccini’s masterpiece Turandot at 8 p.m. April 26. Puccini’s final opera is set in ancient China where Princess Turandot reigns with an iron fist and an ice-cold heart. The concerts are in the Murchison Performing Arts Center and tickets can be purchased at thempac.com. Photographs from Four Generations of a Texas Family will feature the works of four generations of the Williams family, from landscapes to studio portraits, including a 1948 photo of ballet school girls by Byrd Williams III, pictured left. Their works, which are archived in UNT Libraries’ special collections, will be on display from April 15 to May 13 at UNT on the Square. Learn more at untonthesquare.unt.edu. Byrd Williams III
Rachael Knight (’13), a radioTV-ﬁlm major, applied for an internship with the Emmys Television Academy thanks to encouragement from principal lecturer Phyllis Slocum (’05 M.A.). That led to Knight’s career as a post production supervisor for various awards shows, including the Teen Choice, TV Land Icon and Critics’ Choice Awards. She also has coordinated the Oscars and Emmys. Her duties are to deliver every non-live show element, such as video packages, to production by show day. “I’ve sat in Sidney Poitier’s house, shared a laugh with Jennifer Lawrence and Jason Sudeikis, been recognized with a ‘Hey, you!’ by Anne Hathaway outside the Oscars, watched the rehearsals of dozens of artists like George Strait, had the pleasure of taking my mom to the unforgettable 50th ACM Awards held at AT&T Stadium, ordered a drink at the bar next to Charlize Theron and Michael Keaton and shaken hands with actors from Daniel Day Lewis and Viola Davis to Kristen Bell and Will Smith,” she says. “You never know what’s going to happen or who you’ll meet or what will be required of you today, tomorrow or the next day. That’s the hardest part and the most fun.”
Diane Guerrero, star of Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, will speak about her life experiences at 8 p.m. April 26 in the UNT Coliseum as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series. She is the author of the book In the Country We Love: My Family Divided, a memoir in which she describes how her parents were deported when she was a teenager. Purchase tickets at studentaffairs.unt.edu/ distinguished-lecture-series. The classic musical Hair will be performed by students from the theatre program at 7:30 p.m. April 27-29 and 2 p.m. April 30 in the University Theater of the Radio, Television, Film and Performing Arts Building. Purchase tickets at danceandtheatre.unt.edu. Visit calendar.unt.edu for more upcoming events.
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Muse Devianna Surjana
Fashionable career Chantel Terrell (’03) says her job as director of production at Fabletics is like being “a little fairy operating in the shadows.” After all, it can take up to 25 steps to produce one pair of leggings for the popular athleisure fashion line headed by actress Kate Hudson. Terrell collaborates with design, product development, merchandising and other aspects for the brand, which produces a new collection each month. She has been working at Fabletics since its inception three years ago after stints for a Dallas denim line and William Rast, a clothing line started by Justin Timberlake. She began as a one-woman show and now heads a team of ﬁve who produce more than six million units a year. “If you work in production, you are in the trenches,” Terrell says. “One day you may be in meetings with the CEO, and the next you may be removing threads from a garment. Every task has the potential to inﬂuence the business in a signiﬁcant way.” She also plays a part in the creative process. “You may even see my derrière in an advertisement on social media,” she says. “I’m a part of the Fabletics squad.”
On stage and off
Jeﬀrey Schmidt (’96) has been an actor, set designer and director for theaters across Dallas-Fort Worth. Now he’s
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tackling his biggest role — artistic director for Theatre 3 in Dallas. He will set the company’s future, which he hopes will include high-quality work and equitable pay for artists. “What keeps me going are those rare ‘singular moments’ where you feel the room charged with energy and excitement,” he says. “When all the design elements seamlessly merge with an exquisitely
acted scene and the audience’s Hall of Famer reaction is palpable, getting you as close to artistic perfection as possible. Those kinds of singular moments are rare, but they should be. Like standing ovations should be rare. It keeps you hungry.”
Ed Soph (’68) began perMusic forming music as a child when his father, a pianist, gave him a Sax man wooden block and set of sticks so they could play together in the evenings. Last November, the drum professor was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame, which recognizes the industry’s top leaders in At age 12, Howard Dietz performance, education and began playing the saxophone. composition. In high school, he saw a video He played as a jazz drumof the One O’Clock Lab Band mer in bands for Clark Terry, and decided he wanted to Marvin Stamm, Stan Kenton study jazz. and Woody Herman, and he’s Now a senior at UNT, taught Steely Dan drummer he’s won two international Keith Carlock. saxophone competitions — “It is a very humbling the Buﬀet Crampon and Julius experience,” says Soph, who Keilwerth Saxophone Idol has worked at UNT since competition and the Yamaha 1987. “When you are in the Young Performing Artists company of these great, Program award for jazz great players and teachers, saxophone. it is a real honor.” Dietz, at right with Brad Leali (’90), associate professor Television and Film of music, says he was amazed at the talent and abilities of Making the news his competitors. “It felt really euphoric when I actually won,” he says. “Even though this was a competition, there was a friendly environment. It’s all about the music, and the people I competed against had the same The work of UNT Librarsentiment.” ies has made appearances on
head of special collections, says few universities have the archival or technological expertise to maintain a historical ﬁlm collection. “The fact that national broadcasters now regularly license footage from this collection is just another indication of the importance of the work that we are doing,” she says. Learn more about the Television News Archive project and view “Oklahoma City” at northtexan.unt.edu/online.
Visual Arts Untraditional work
several national TV programs, including PBS’ American Experience. UNT Libraries provided several minutes of news footage from the NBC5/KXAS news archive that appeared in a February American Experience episode “Oklahoma City,” about the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Clips from the archive also have been used in upcoming documentaries by the NFL and the television show Vanity Fair Conﬁdential, which airs on the Investigation Discovery channel. The online archive includes more than 1,000 news clips that aired between 1951 and 2005. Morgan Gieringer (’01),
Naomi S. Adams (’12 M.F.A.) uses an unusual material for her quilts — dyed batting, which is usually white and hidden inside the seams of traditional quilts. Adams, who is an assistant professor of art at Idaho State University, has won several
awards for her work, including the “Most Innovative Use of the Medium Award” in the Quilt National 2011. And there’s a deeper meaning to using the batting as part of her artform. “I am intrigued by the way we constantly adapt to change and are continually reconﬁgured by our experiences and inﬂuences from the world around us,” she says. “We may want to cover up experiences or parts of our lives, but remnants of those parts of ourselves are always there, in some manifestation, often peeking out from behind a front we have created.”
Movie music During the 2017 Academy Awards ceremony in February, Dan Higgins (’77) sat in the orchestra pit with his fellow saxophone and winds players, secretly hoping that some of the scores he played on would win the Oscar. His wish came true. He watched as La La Land picked up six Oscars. Higgins has amassed an incredible résumé as a Hollywood musician, appearing on tons of music scores, most notably playing solo in the 2003 Tom Hanks movie Catch Me If You Can. He also performs regularly at the Grammy Awards, on Dancing With the Stars and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. But he gets some of his biggest fan responses as sax-playing Bleeding Gums Murphy on The Simpsons. “It’s interesting that so many people know me for that alone,” he says. Higgins grew up playing the flute, clarinet and sax and was attracted to North Texas because of its stimulating jazz environment. He made the Six O’Clock Lab Band and advanced to the One O’Clock during his junior and senior years. He then moved to Los Angeles, where his movie career began. Higgins remembers when he first heard himself play on the 1980s TV show Jake and the Fatman. “It made me feel like I was now a part of the TV and motion picture process, albeit a very small part,” he says. “Years ago, when TV commercials involved more live players, I would hear myself most every night when I watched TV. That was certainly one way to get me to sit Dustin Higgins
through the commercials!” Last year, he worked with comedian Seth McFarlane and recorded three Sinatra-style records with him at Abbey Road Studios in London. They worked together on the animated movie Sing!, in which he played the sax for McFarlane’s mouse character. When Higgins sees a movie, he doesn’t focus on his part but on the composer’s music and his fellow musicians. “It always conjures up memories,” he says. “And perhaps a few laughs remembering the ‘lighter’ moments.” Spring 2017
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Story by Jessica DeLeón Photography by Michael Clements
Meet the creative and savvy executives and designers who mastermind some of the biggest corporate brands to influence what you buy On NFL draft night in 2016, Tim Burkhart (’87) and members of his print production and e-commerce teams were in their oﬃce, eagerly awaiting the ﬁrst-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys. Running back Ezekiel Elliott was chosen, and then the work began. Burkhart, the Cowboys’ merchandising chief operating oﬃcer, led his team of employees to create and print the jersey with Elliott’s name to sell online and at Dallas Cowboys Pro Shops the next morning. Burkhart oversees accounting, IT, e-commerce, the screen print production facility, and warehouse, retail and customer service operations for the merchandise of the Dallas Cowboys. It is the only National Football League team that designs and manufactures its own apparel, giving it an advantage to quickly create items — such as Elliott’s jersey on draft day. When the team chose to develop its own merchandising business, it was another decision — along with playing every Thanksgiving and building AT&T Stadium in Arlington — that made it one of the sporting world’s most popular brands. “The Dallas Cowboys brand is one that has evolved over many years,” Burkhart says. “Winning certainly helps. But along the way the organization has remained true to some basic principles regarding innovation, tradition, entertainment, passion, competition, business, excellence, integrity, community and teamwork. All of these actions have contributed to creating a unique relationship with the true owners of our brand, the Dallas Cowboys fans.” Many UNT graduates are working behind the scenes for major
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corporations, tasked with getting consumers to transform their habits and spending power to become loyal brand followers. Scott White (’77) has landed appearances on Fox Business News and Undercover Boss for his clients. Telea Staﬀord (’03 M.B.A.) has helped develop campaigns for match.com, DART and Dr Pepper. Shelby Tamura (’15) contributed ideas for an H-E-B commercial during the recent Super Bowl. And Remy Smit (’13 M.B.A.) developed ads for Miller Lite beer based on an idea from his native country — the Netherlands. The work of these alumni is to build emotional connections with brands so consumers become loyal and engaged, says Francisco Guzmán, UNT associate professor of marketing and logistics. He points out that the role of brands has changed drastically in the last 25 years, as technology is demanding product excellence in order to survive in the marketplace among consumers who can instantly oﬀer feedback. Also similar products compete among one another — such as the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, Walmart and Target, and Lowe’s and The Home Depot. The challenge for businesses is to sell an image consumers can look up to. “In this advanced technological world, we are looking for experiences,” Guzmán says. “We’re not satisﬁed with just a good product. We want a product that helps tell who we are.”
Branding the team Burkhart has been interested in the creative arts since he was a young boy. While at UNT, he realized he could make a career in
the ﬁeld, leading him to major in advertising art. When he took a printmaking course from Don Scaggs, the professor encouraged the class to be open to feedback and said that the ideas of the team could make the ﬁnal product better. “It can be diﬃcult for a 19- or 20-yearold to put their heart and soul into a piece of work, then place it on the wall for all to see and for all to critique,” Burkhart says. “Professor Scaggs helped me gain the courage to do so. This has helped me to be a more collaborative leader throughout my career.” Burkhart went on to earn his M.B.A. at Tulane University and worked in a variety of positions at an electrical utility ﬁrm in New Orleans. He then moved to Capital One and Fossil before accepting his position with the Cowboys four years ago. “I always wanted to be a Dallas Cowboy and didn’t know this was how it was going to happen,” Burkhart quips. The merchandising process begins with sourcing what items are needed, such as the cut and ﬁt. The team reviews historic data to determine the percent of sales by
category, y, graphic aterials style, materials err facto t rs. and other factors. inf nformed f They keep informed reakingg trends about breaking on, and d theyy use in fashion, roups and d immerse focus groups ves in environments themselves such as tailgatingg events and in-gamee experiences to seee what nt.. Then thee graphicc design fans want. oduces samples, which the team produces ys takee to retaill partners to Cowboys nee whatt fans in thee market determine y. will buy. The design teams aree already workingg on products forr 2018.. This d energetic season’s 13-3 recordd and rookies Elliottt and d quarterbackk Dak Prescottt madee itt a busyy year. hee Cowboys’ Cowboys’’ merchandisee is But the always in n demand, even in tougher seasons.. “We’re re reallyy fortunate tee ttoo have a brand d as strongg aass oours,” ur urs,” ur rtt says. Burkhart
Tim Burkhart (’87)
“In this advanced technological world, we are looking for experiences. We’re not satisfied with just a good product. We want a product that helps tell who we are.”
— Francisco Guzmán, associate professor of marketing and logistics at UNT
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Selling the story
Scott White (’77)
Scott White understands the value of a strong brand. He persuades entrepreneurs to invest in businesses ranging from plumbing to edible fruit arrangements. As co-founder and CEO of Dallas-based BizCom Associates, his job is to convince prospective business owners to buy franchises. The job shares similar qualities with his ﬁrst career — journalism. As a student, he was editor of The North Texas Daily. Then, he worked as a sportswriter, magazine editor and TV show producer before moving into the public relations business with his friend David Hadeler (’77 M.A.) in the 1990s. White founded BizCom in 1999. “It’s about helping companies tell their stories,” he says. “I did this as a journalist. Now I’m able to tell narratives in a variety of ways.” For Edible Arrangements, he gets CEO Tariq Farid — an immigrant from Pakistan who started as a ﬂower shop owner — on talk shows and stations such as Fox and Friends, Fox Business, MSNBC, Bloomberg and CNBC to tell his story. Another client is the Dwyer Group, a $1.6 billion Waco-
based business that owns brands such as Mr. Rooter Plumbing, Mr. Electric and Molly Maid. White’s agency landed its co-chairwoman, Dina Dwyer-Owens, an appearance on Undercover Boss, the reality show in which CEOs take on various jobs at their businesses, unknown to their employees. The TV spot not only blew up the company’s website, but research showed that it attracted more women into trades. White says his education at UNT, particularly from journalism professor Keith Shelton (’72 M.J.), gave him the discipline to write and the background to understand news. And he has mentored his share of alumni. His ﬁrst intern, Tina Young (’91), became founder and president of MarketWave, a Dallas marketing agency. The biggest selling point is still the story, White says, because consumers will relate to it. “There’s an old saying that ‘facts get recorded but stories get remembered,’ and that has been my philosophy since I enrolled at the university,” he says. “This is especially true today with consumers increasingly skeptical when it comes to advertising. A brand or a business with a truly authentic and inspiring story to tell has a much better chance of connecting with an audience and gaining trust than a brand or business without one.”
Making a mark Telea Staﬀord has helped people meet their spouses thanks to her marketing skills. Sixteen years ago, she was on the team that crafted ad campaigns for match.com, when the internet was in its infancy. “The launch of that campaign was a big deal,” she says. “We were trying to change the behaviors of people who had never dated online.” Now Staﬀord is running her own ﬁrm,
UNT and Dallas Cowboys Partnership AMERICA’S TEAM. YOUR UNIVERSITY.
PROUD PARTNER OF THE DALLAS COWBOYS
When fans enter AT&T Stadium or The Star in Frisco, they see UNT signage thanks to a partnership between UNT and the Dallas Cowboys. The partnership, which began last summer, offers academic and internship opportunities for students, but it also gives UNT the opportunity to associate itself with the sports world’s most valuable brand. “We believe our new partnership with the Dallas Cowboys will increase awareness of UNT, and we’re excited about the educational opportunities our students will have interacting
Phenixx Marketing and Media, bringing in the knowledge she learned from years of experience working for brands such as Dr Pepper and Miller Brewing Co. and her courses at UNT. As a college student, Staﬀord worked as an intern for Dallas Area Rapid Transit. Twenty years later, armed with an M.B.A. from UNT and serving as president of her own marketing ﬁrm, she headed DART’s campaign to promote its new line to DFW Airport. “To go from intern to agency of record is huge,” she says. “We made a mark on the city to be a part of connecting DART to the airport after 20 years in the making.” Staﬀord had always been a creative person — she designed her lunch bags for school — and after earning her undergraduate degree in advertising, she created campaigns for Dairy Queen and Taco Bell while working for DallasFort Worth area advertising agencies. “Then I said to myself, ‘What’s next? Do you want to go to New York and walk into an agency with brass logos on the wall like you see on TV?’” she says, adding that the internet was taking on its own life and creating new possibilities that appealed to her. She landed at match.com, where she helped make online dating commonplace. She then moved on to Dr Pepper and launched its licensing division so fans could wear “I’m a Pepper” T-shirts and eat Dr Pepper-ﬂavored jelly beans. During that time, Staﬀord studied for her M.B.A. at UNT, where her classes in ﬁnance, operations and law taught her the complexities of business. “I learned about all of the strategy and thinking that goes into a creative decision,” she says. “What my UNT degree did was lay a
plan for me, instead of me n pure instinct. relying on This is important mportant because when you’’re meeting with clients, ts, you don’ doon’ nt just show them the end end ve to show product. You hav have them the thought process egy behind it to and strategy gain their trust.” In her case, that means ision — selling a vision evaluatingg clients’ goals, gathering a snapshot onsumers in of what consumers etplace are the marketplace bracing risk, doing, embracing ng clients compelling ﬁdent to be conﬁdent untable and accountable tcome, for the outcome, erting and converting eality. She ideas to reality. nted those implemented concepts at Nokia and, tarted her in 2012, started ency. Dallas agency. ggest reward “My biggest is that myy legacy is in my work, a mental story board of how I inﬂuenced brands to become signiﬁcant, relevant pelling in some way that and compelling st before me,” she says. didn’t exist
Creating ng effective messages ges Two cows ws type on a giant smartphone, spelling out ut “Eat Mor Chikin” with
with one of the top sports franchises in the world,” says UNT President Neal Smatresk. As UNT has gained the highest recognition in the Carnegie Classification as a Tier One research university and its alumni reap numerous Grammy Awards and other honors, the Cowboys partnership adds more national recognition to UNT — and school pride and loyalty. The partnership can bring positive emotional connections such as other companies achieve with their brands.
Telea Staﬀord (’03 M.B.A.)
“The Dallas Cowboys are honored to partner with UNT to provide unique opportunities to students to best prepare them for the post-graduation world,” says Eric Sudol, Dallas Cowboys vice president of corporate partnerships sales and service. “We value the importance of education and are excited to provide invaluable resources by combining two strong brands in UNT and the Dallas Cowboys for the betterment of our future professionals.”
emojis on a billboard in Atlanta. The H-E-B grocery store chain invites customers to submit videos about their favorite H-E-B products in an ad that appeared during the recent Super Bowl. Lil’ Sweet, a pint-sized rock star, celebrates life’s little victories in 15-second commercials for Diet Dr Pepper. This is the work of Shelby Tamura, art director at The Richards Group in Dallas. She is part of a team whose creations also are seen in ads for Pier 1 Imports and others. “Seeing my work in commercials on TV is such a surreal feeling,” she says. “It’s very rewarding to see the end results on air.” Tamura majored in communication design with a focus on art direction in the College of Visual Ats and Design. She was attracted to UNT for two reasons — her parents, Bob (’84) and Kathy (’85), both attended, and the college is famous for its rigorous program requiring students to produce creative and industry-competitive portfolios. “UNT faculty teach you about the work and time it takes to create something good and be proud of it,” she says. “They move you to think through every angle, every possible route to convey a meaningful and eﬀective message.”
Shelby Tamura (’15)
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Tamura, who also played on the Mean Green volleyball team, had the opportunity to tour New York City and its advertising agencies through the college. She won a student National Addy for her Carfax campaign and had her work accepted into The One Show Student exhibit in New York. She then landed an internship at The Richards Group, which led to a permanent job there after graduation. The Richards Group is a full-spectrum agency, including print, digital and broadcast work. The staﬀ often meets with clients numerous times, presenting them with ideas and scripts for potential ads before landing on the right one. Tamura says she loves to travel for commercial shoots and other projects. But she enjoys being creative most of all. “I am hands-on throughout the entire process from concepting to script writing to casting and production,” she says. “Always having new problems to solve and messages to deliver to consumers in a new and interesting way keeps me motivated.”
Connecting the audience Miller Lite wanted a campaign to appeal to grassroots soccer players — such as those who played on weekends — and Remy Smit instantly knew what could work. In the Netherlands, soccer players have a “third half ” in which they often reﬂect on the ﬁnished game while drinking with friends. Smit pitched the idea at the advertising agency he worked at, and Miller Lite launched the El Tercer Tiempo program that appeared on posters, commercials and other advertising. The poster features items recognizable to weekend sports warriors — such as illustrations of their amigos and partidazo, or passion for soccer — and commercials showed players discussing the highlights of the game. “We wanted to convey that after leaving your heart on the ﬁeld you deserve to have that special moment with your friends while enjoying an ice cold Miller Lite,” Smit says. “This is not about packed stadiums and top-notch preparations, but about those muddy ﬁelds on a Sunday morning while battling a hangover.” Now Smit is a senior strategic planner for The Marketing Arm, a Dallas-based marketing agency, and has helped bring ideas to advertising campaigns for such companies as AT&T and State Farm. He ﬁrst worked on the AT&T
“People don’t buy products iff they don’t recognize themselves in the faces shown in marketing efforts, because e they feel em.” the brand is not made for them.” — Remy Smit (’13 M.B.A.), senior or strategic planner for The Marketing Arm
brand as a student in Michael Gade’s marketing management class at UNT. Gade, a principal lecturer with vast corporate and boardroom experience, set up group projects in which students solved problems for real-life companies. “It’s cool to work for such a large company while you’re still in college,” Smit says. After graduation, he worked for Cultur8, a multicultural advertising agency that served Heineken, Tecate, Tecate Light, the American Heart Association and FritoLay. He then moved to its parent agency, Dieste, where he worked on the Miller Lite account. He says companies can’t ignore an important characteristic of the audience. “People don’t buy products if they don’t recognize themselves in the faces shown in marketing eﬀorts, because they feel the brand is not made for them,” he says. “To me, the rewarding part is learning a lot about diﬀerent cultures and how various groups can perceive the same product or occasion in a very diﬀerent way.”
Smit says the love he has for his job goes backk to marketing professor Nancy ancyy Spears’ consumer behavior ehaviorr class,, when he studied why hyy humanss make the choices they heyy do. “Finding outt whatt exactly it is that triggers ggers people is fascinatingg to me.. For example, why hyy do peoplee cheer for a speciﬁcc sports team? Is it geographically llyy decided? Does it have to do with a team’s success? Is it because theirr mom m orr dad d is a fan? Or something methingg diﬀerent? “Someonee mightt nott realize why they doo it, butt theree is always a reason son forr it.. I justt enjoy digging for thatt deeperr reason and ultimately building uildingg a strategyy to connect the stories with the brand and product roductt wee are trying to sell.” l.”
Remy Smit (’13 M.B.A.)
Online Extra Visit northtexan.unt.edu/online to read about Coralee Trigger (’13), a converged broadcast media graduate who has helped build brands as a social media strategist for the Conan O’Brien and Ellen DeGeneres shows. And watch the Lil’ Sweet and El Tercer Tiempo campaigns created by Shelby Tamura and Remy Smit.
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P OW E R O F
Design Thinking UNT is at the forefront of collaboration — looking at the world in new ways and pushing progress beyond invention to innovation.
Today’s successful innovators must examine problems from multiple angles. They must be practical, rational, creative and empathetic. They must employ expertise from ﬁelds outside their own. They must be “design thinkers.” Design thinking is a form of solutions-based, or solutionsfocused, thinking with the broad goal of creating a better future, instead of solving one speciﬁc problem. UNT is embracing discovery and innovation through interdisciplinary collaboration and by design, driving new projects, programs and solutions. “Design thinking does not operate according to any pre-set formulas, and its outcomes are not predictable,” says Michael Read UNT Research magazine at Gibson, professor of communication design at UNT. “Design research.unt.edu. research begins by examining situations as they might evolve in the future rather than situations that have already transpired. It’s a future-focused way to connect creativity and innovation.”
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THINK INNOVATION In the 2017 edition of UNT Research magazine, learn about how UNT’s researchers are working together across disciplines with other universities and partners to make new discoveries. From improving global security physically and digitally to creating more durable materials for many types of manufacturing and discovering biobased solutions from plant DNA, they’re creating solutions to improve our world and sustain the future.
VOL. 26 | 2017 KNOWLEDGE. DISCOVERY. INNOVATION.
DESIGN THINKING: THE KEY IS COLLABORATION page 24 Securing Our Future page 12 $WKNFKPI'HƂEKGPE[page 36 'XQNXKPIVJG$KQGEQPQO[page 40
RESTORING PRAIRIES Before the pioneer movement, healthy prairies dominated the North Texas region. The grass species and many of the wildflowers that grow alongside them have become extremely rare in North Central Texas. And today, most of the original 12 million acres of the rich Blackland Prairie is largely gone. Learn how UNT researchers and their dedicated students are working year-round at the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA) — an incredible field lab — to research and restore these sensitive ecosystems.
ALUMNI INNOVATORS @ WORK
CUTTING-EDGE IMPROVING WORK, PIONEERING CANCER CAREERS PREVENTION
INNOVATION HAS BEEN PART OF UNT’S CULTURE SINCE 1890, AND GRADUATES HAVE CARRIED THAT SPIRIT THROUGHOUT THE WORLD AS RESEARCHERS, THINKERS AND LEADERS.
As an epidemiologist for the National Cancer Institute near Washington, D.C., Heather Bowles is developing methods to better characterize dynamic lifestyle exposures and the role of physical activity in cancer prevention and survival. Bowles majored in kinesiology in UNT’s College of Education, where she was part of the Developing Scholars Mentor Program. She earned her Ph.D. in epidemiology at the University of South Carolina and interned for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. After completing postdoctorate work in Australia, she joined the National Cancer Institute in 2008.
USING LIGHT TO CONTROL BRAIN CELLS
ENSURING SAFETY FOR MILITARY
IMPROVING HEARING FOR PATIENTS
DELIVERING AUTISM SERVICES
Edward Boyden, associate professor of media arts and sciences at MIT, coinvented optogenetics, which uses light to control brain cells. The goal is to allow scientists to turn oﬀ cells that trigger epileptic seizures or turn on cells that lessen the eﬀects of Alzheimer’s disease. His research earned him a 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award and the Carnegie Prize in Mind and Brain Sciences. After attending UNT’s Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, Boyden earned degrees in electrical engineering, computer science, and physics from MIT, a master’s in engineering from MIT and a Ph.D. in neurosciences from Stanford University.
Fascinated by the potential to help create new discoveries from materials, Nonso Chetuya knew he wanted to be a materials scientist at 15. Now as a quality assurance engineer at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Grand Prairie, Chetuya is a working on making high-precision, high-altitude missiles safer for the military. His team looks to see if any parts of a missile could jeopardize a mission, makes a failure analysis and then ﬁgures out how to make it work better. Chetuya credits his UNT experience for giving him skills that set him apart as an expert less than one year on the job. As an undergraduate student in the material science and engineering program, he worked with Witold Brostow, Regents Professor, on senior-level lab work as a freshman.
Since opening Doss Audiology and Hearing Center, the ﬁrst and only audiology clinic in Schertz, outside of San Antonio in 2013, Phallon Doss has served more than 3,000 patients. And as the educational audiologist for the local school district, she provides students with hearing tests and maintains hearing aids for those who are hearing impaired. As a student in UNT’s Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, she worked as a hearing aid technician at the Speech and Hearing Center and conducted research with Amyn Amlani, an associate professor in the department, investigating links between people’s perception of loudness and the shape of their ear canals.
As director of the Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center in Nashville, Tennessee, behavior analyst Pablo Juárez has partnered with state agencies to deliver diagnostic and early intervention services to children with autism and families in rural and lowincome areas. Juárez is principal investigator of institute-funded programs totaling $13.3 million and helps lead projects that include diagnostic and clinical evaluations, early childhood intervention, applied behavioral analysis, school-based consultation and community training. He says his UNT degree in applied behavior analysis and experiences in student organizations helped to develop his leadership skills.
LEGACY OF INNOVATION Learn about UNT’s alumni innovators who are shaping the future of some of the world’s leading industries and companies. They are helping to prevent cancer, treating epileptic seizures, improving hearing, serving people with autism and building better protection for soldiers. Also meet 10 current students who are innovators to watch.
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Julie Underdahl (’98, ’00, ’02 M.A.)
UNT linguistics alumni help to bring meaning to human language, preserve history and improve
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by Meredith Moriak Wright
When you pick up the phone to call a customer service representative at the bank, you’re often greeted by an automated system rather than a human. If you move quickly through the prompts and receive the information you need before getting the urge to hang up, it may be thanks to a linguist. Julie Underdahl (’98, ’00, ’02 M.A.), who earned her master’s degree in linguistics from UNT, designs such automated systems for corporations and government agencies as a voice user interface designer for Genesys, a California-based telecommunications company. By phrasing questions in a speciﬁc manner, she can prompt the caller to answer in a way the computer can quickly process. “Speaking is innate and we’re all wired for speech,” she says. “I anticipate the nuances of each question and tailor each system to the speciﬁc industry, dialect and typical caller population.” Students in UNT’s Department of Linguistics in the College of Information investigate how languages are structured, used and related and how they vary and change over time. In addition to syntax and semantics, which Underdahl examines in her work, areas of study include language acquisition, phonetics, sociolinguistics, language documentation, poetics and computational linguistics. Fields that beneﬁt from linguistics expertise are just as varied. Kristan Taylor (’92, ’01 M.A.) teaches bilingual math and science in Dallas ISD, while Peter Schuelke (’10, ’13 M.A.) studies and documents endangered languages. And Marc Feickert (’93 TAMS, ’00) works in United Healthcare’s data management group, building language models for computer programs. “Linguistics is the ultimate interdisciplinary ﬁeld. Everything involves language — knowing the structure and how it is used beneﬁts many areas,” says Patricia Cukor-Avila, interim chair of UNT’s linguistics department. “The application of linguistics is broad and evolving. Computational linguists play a role in making inventions such as Siri a reality. There are job opportunities with the CIA, in human resources and corporate training, in overseas teaching and speech-language pathology.”
Crafting the perfect call To elicit a customer response the computer can understand, Underdahl uses widely known ideas, like mimicking, in the phrasing of automated questions. The 13-year veteran in the speech technology ﬁeld also coaches voice actors who record the messages, because something as simple as a change of pace or rewriting a prompt to begin with the word “which” can aﬀect the responses from callers. “Just by changing language and intonation,” she says, “you can change from a ‘yes/no’ connotation to an ‘and/or,’ which changes the entire meaning of the question.” Underdahl, who also received two bachelor’s degrees from UNT in biology and Spanish, decided to pursue a master’s in linguistics after meeting numerous individuals who spoke multiple languages Spring 2017
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Peter Schuelke (’10, ’13 M.A.)
Kristan Taylor (’92, ’01 M.A.)
on a European backpacking trip. “I had never traveled or encountered people who were multilingual before and I became fascinated with languages — especially how people learn them,” she says. Underdahl spent ﬁve months teaching at the American Language Center in Casablanca, Morocco, through a UNT exchange and one year as an English as a Second Language instructor for UNT’s Intensive English Language Institute — experiences that later fostered her linguistics career. Her role as a voice user interface designer is complex, but the challenge of designing a perfect system for each business and its customers is something she loves. “My job is a great blend of art and science,” Underdahl says.
think modifying lessons here and there was all that needed to be done in the ﬁeld of ESL. That is not the case,” says Taylor, a second-grade bilingual educator. “Eﬀective instruction requires advanced awareness of the structure and function of English. You have to break words and phrases down to make them comprehensible.” Taylor says her linguistics professors, especially Cukor-Avila, encouraged her to take advantage of study abroad opportunities as a graduate student. “I completed a teaching practicum in Morocco that opened so many doors for me. I learned some French and a little bit of Arabic, and how to immerse myself into a new culture,” Taylor says. “That was the stepping stone for my career.” She also worked one year as an English language fellow for the U.S. Department of State in Albania and spent four years in Toluca, Mexico, as program coordinator of a UNT-Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México exchange program. “After living in Mexico and collaborating with their education system, I was inspired to work with kids in my own community who are learning English,” she says. “The linguistics department brought together my love of travel, poetry, literature, language and diﬀerent cultures.”
Building connections Soon after Kristan Taylor was hired to teach elementary school science in 1997, a principal informed her she’d also be responsible for teaching ESL. Unfamiliar with the course, Taylor asked for information and was told, “It’s the same as standard classes, you just have to talk slower.” Certain that talking slowly wasn’t the one-size-ﬁts-all answer for helping non-native English speakers, Taylor returned to UNT to pursue a master’s in ESL, one of four graduate degrees and certiﬁcations oﬀered by UNT’s linguistics department. She wanted to oﬀer her students tailored and eﬀective instruction. “In the ’90s, it was common for people to
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Documenting dialogue As a master’s linguistics student at UNT, Peter Schuelke found his life’s calling when he learned that 60 to 90 percent of the world’s 7,000 languages are |
anticipated to be extinct within 100 years. “It’s an extreme situation. I want to spend my lifetime collecting data on undocumented and endangered languages,” says Schuelke, one of eight from his master’s cohort to advance to a Ph.D. program. He began his research on Roviana, a nearly undocumented language in the Solomon Islands, as part of the Endangered Language Documentation Theory and Application research group at the University of Newcastle in Australia. He spent a year as a visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Polinsky Language Sciences Lab while also completing graduate coursework at MIT, including a seminar taught by Noam Chomsky. He currently studies alongside UNT classmate Alex Smith (’11, ’12 M.A.) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Schuelke’s work on Roviana syntax focuses on grammatical relations and voice alternations. The patterns displayed in Roviana have not been found in other languages. His passion for language documentation was sparked by UNT Distinguished Professor Tim Montler, who has received National Science Foundation funding to preserve American Indian languages and extensively documented those languages. “Studying phonology and sound systems with Dr. Montler, solving a language system puzzle and reporting on others’ research inspired me for the challenge of documenting an undescribed language,” Schuelke says.
R E S E A RC H I N G E N DA N G E R E D LANGUAGES
Marc Feickert (’93 TAMS, ’00)
Working on never-done-before language documentation research is a reality for UNT linguistics students, thanks to faculty who receive funding from the National Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities. “Because we have funding, we’re able to bring students Gil Bolibol
Designing search systems Marc Feickert has made a career applying his linguistics knowledge to a company’s mission to yield positive results. Though UNT hadn’t introduced a bachelor’s degree in linguistics during his undergraduate years, he took numerous classes with Distinguished Research Professor Haj Ross and other linguistics faculty while completing a degree in English composition and language. “Haj encouraged me to focus on studying what I love,” says Feickert. “He connected with us and taught great classes.” Feickert entered the technical communication ﬁeld as a proofreader and editor for a genealogical software company. He soon was responsible for setting up the database in a way that would work for multiple languages. “Working in mainstream businesses, I’ve applied my linguistics skills to show that there is a specialized way to use software that could put them ahead of their competition,” he says. He uses syntax — how words combine to form phrases, phrases to form clauses, and clauses to form sentences — to build search architecture in software that can be replicated in diﬀerent languages. “Regardless of what make a car is, a mechanic can determine how to troubleshoot a problem because cars are the same model, globally,” Feickert says. “Languages are built the same way, too. They all have the same components like phonology, syntax and semantics.”
into a lab setting where they can work together to pull apart the data and try to understand how each piece fits,” says Shobhana Chelliah, a professor who receives NSF funding for the creation of a lexical database and online dictionary for Lamkang, one of about 30 Tibeto-Burman minority languages spoken in Manipur State, India. This summer, she and six UNT students will travel to the University of Hyderabad in India to present the dictionary and writing system they have formulated for Lamkang speakers. Chelliah has taken multiple trips to collect data, as well as to receive submitted data from native speakers. The research of Sadaf Munshi, associate professor, is focused on Burushaski, a language isolate spoken in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan and in Srinagar. She has received NSF funding for field trips to Srinagar, in the Indian administered state of Jammu & Kashmir. And linguistics affiliated faculty member Tim Montler has worked on documentation for languages including Alabama, Klallam and Coeur d’Alene. He received NEH funding in 2012 for an online dictionary of Saanich, the only dialect of Northern Straits Salish in Vancouver Island, British Columbia. “Sometimes research is seen as something faculty do on the side, but that’s not true of our program,” says Chelliah, director of the NSF’s Documenting Endangered Languages program from 2012 to 2015. “All of our coursework incorporates our specific research material and almost every class has a way for students to be involved in this research.”
Learn more about UNT’s linguistics program at linguistics.unt.edu. Spring 2017
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Former Mean Green player Jamize Olawale, now a fullback for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, is working out with the football team this spring.
Good Things Happening With a successful ﬁrst year under coach Seth Littrell and inspiration from fellow student-athletes, the Mean Green football team understands the meaning of success from bowl game to graduation.
Read more about why Jamize and Brittany Olawale made the and commitment Get bowl gamehave information purchase to complete their UNT degrees tickets at meangreenbowlgame.com. at northtexan.unt.edu/jamize-olawale.
Following a successful ﬁrst season at the helm of the Mean Green that included a Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl appearance, head coach Seth Littrell, who recently signed a ﬁve-year contract, continues to build positive energy for the future. In addition to signing his ﬁrst full class of recruits in February, he’s had help from former Mean Green player Jamize Olawale, now a fullback for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders. The pro player and his wife, Brittany, are back in town ﬁnishing their UNT degrees and remembering what’s special about Mean Green pride. In addition to studying, Olawale is paying forward his work ethic and dedication as he works out with the Mean Green football team twice a week. “It’s been good to be back and see all the changes, especially in the athletics department,” says Olawale, whose senior season coincided with the opening of Apogee Stadium. “The program is on the way up and I can see — especially through the players and coaches — that a lot of good things are happening here.”
Coaches Caravan stops scheduled May 8-15 Members of the Mean Green coaching staff will travel throughout Dallas-Fort Worth May 8-15 during the Mean Green Club’s annual Coaches Caravan event. The tour enables coaches to discuss past successes and expectations for the upcoming season while meeting with alumni, fans and donors. The tour will make stops and feature family-friendly activities, including appearances by Scrappy and the UNT cheer and dance teams. The events are free and open to the public. Food and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided and a cash bar will be available. Visit meangreensports.com for information about specific stops. Rick Yeatts
Spring game and season tickets
Come cheer on the Mean Green during a preview of the football team in action at the annual Green and White Game beginning at 2 p.m. after the Hall of Fame ceremony April 8 at UNT’s Apogee Stadium. Admission is free. And get your season tickets. Fans who purchase Mean Green football season tickets before April 8 are eligible for weekly prizes, including seats in the Hub Club for a game, premium parking passes and personalized autographed memorabilia. Ticket prices for 2017’s six-game home slate, which begins Sept. 2 against Lamar and includes a Nov. 11 Homecoming game against UTEP and a Nov. 18 date against Army, are unchanged from 2016.
A new Family Pack option oﬀers seating on the west-side sidelines for $60 per seat when a minimum purchase of four season tickets is made. To purchase tickets and for more information, visit meangreensports.com/tickets.
place prizes in three ﬂights, Don January Golf Classic memorabilia, raﬄe items, a silent auction, the chance to win a car for a hole-in-one, and on-course contests for team putting, closest to the pin, and straight drive competition. Visit meangreensports.com/donjanuary.
Don January Golf Classic
The 27th annual Don January Golf Classic, beneﬁting the North Texas Athletics Scholarship Fund, will take place April 17 at Trophy Club Country Club. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the deli buﬀet opens at 11 a.m. prior to the event’s 1 p.m. shotgun start. The day will end with a 6 p.m. Prairie House dinner, presentation of awards and silent auction. Event beneﬁts include ﬁrst and second
Mean Green and the Rangers
Fans who love UNT and baseball should plan to head to Globe Life Park June 2 for Mean Green Night at the Texas Rangers’ game. Mean Green Night is one of the Texas Rangers’ University Days, a partnership between the Rangers and FOX Sports Southwest. To purchase tickets, visit texasrangers.com/meangreen.
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Join UNT in Celebrating the 10th Annual Thin Line Festival Thin Line Fest, founded by UNT alumni, provides a place for artists to showcase their work, inspire others and gain recognition. Come enjoy five days of film, live music and photography at Dentonâ€™s historic square.
Free general admission
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BRIGHT LIGHTS, BRIGHT FUTURE
Marlayna Muckensturm, a junior interdisciplinary studies major, discovered her passion for teaching early on — it came natural to her as the eldest of four children. But to achieve her dreams of becoming a kindergarten teacher, the ﬁrst-generation college student needed to apply for scholarships, since her parents could not aﬀord her costs of college. This year, Muckensturm was awarded the Mark John Merki and Deborah Davis Merki Scholarship in Education. The Merkis, dedicated alumni, established the scholarship in 2010 for students aspiring to be teachers with certiﬁcation in bilingual education. “This scholarship helped lessen the burden of paying for college on my own,” Muckensturm says. “I am very thankful to the Merkis for their support.” As a high school student in Keller, Muckensturm participated in the Ready, Set, Teach! program, which allowed her to intern and gain hands-on experience in an elementary school classroom. “Something just clicked. I knew I wanted to work with kids who are struggling,” she says, adding that her course work at UNT has inspired her interest to one day help English as a Second Language students. The quality of UNT’s education program — regionally and nationally recognized for excellence in preparing
Marlayna Muckensturm, a junior interdisciplinary studies major and recipient of the Mark John Merki and Deborah Davis Merki Scholarship in Education teachers and one of Texas’ top producers of students taking the state teaching certiﬁcation exam — heavily inﬂuenced Muckensturm’s choice of college. In addition to excelling in her studies, she is a resident assistant at Victory Hall and active in student life. “Not only have I pushed myself academically,” Muckensturm says, “but I also have been very blessed to have been a part of the North Texas Dancers.” She says one of her most memorable experiences at UNT was her very ﬁrst home football game during her freshman year when she performed with the group. “There is nothing like dancing under the bright lights at Apogee Stadium,” she says. “My experience at UNT has been very fulﬁlling all the way around.” The late Debbie Merki (’83, ’86 M.Ed.), an alumna of the UNT College of Education, was involved in the Denton
ISD and passionate about supporting bilingual education, early childhood education and autism research. She and her husband, Mark (’91, ’91 M.S.), established two endowments to beneﬁt students in the College of Education and the College of Business, representing the colleges from which they graduated. Over 20 years of giving to UNT, the Merki family also has supported the Professional Leadership Program, UNT Kuehne Speaker Series, Career Center, UNT Alumni Association and more. “As a leader in preparing scholars to teach, UNT creates opportunities for tomorrow’s educators,” says David Wolf, UNT vice president for advancement. “We are so grateful to donors like Mark and Debbie Merki, whose generosity helps deserving students like Muckensturm pursue their passion at UNT.” — Teresa Love
Your support of the Inspire UNT Fund can help students like Marlayna as they pursue their dreams at UNT. Invest in the next generation at unt.edu/inspire.
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Check out alumni gatherings and spring events page 43
NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE With 23 years of city and county management experience, alum T.C. Broadnax returns to Texas as Dallas’ city manager, serving 1.3 million residents and responsible for a $3.1 billion annual budget.
Read more about how UNT professors helped pave Broadnax’s way to a career in public service at northtexan.unt.edu/needs-of-the-people.
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FROM HIS FIRST DAY AS A UNT STUDENT, T.C. Broadnax (’93 M.P.A.) knew he wanted to work in the DFW area. Landing his ﬁrst job in Florida after graduating from the public administration program, he set a clear goal: Return to Texas to become city manager of Dallas — the third largest U.S. city with a city manager/council system. That goal came true in December when he was selected from ﬁve ﬁnalists. He was honored at a reception in January at the UNT System in Dallas. “The best part of city administration is seeing the things you had a hand in come to fruition,” Broadnax says. “From helping get a public facility oﬀ the ground to helping a citizen who doesn’t know where to turn, it is all very rewarding. It was the foundation I got at UNT that helped me get where I am today.”
C O N N E C T I N G
W I T H
Keep up with the latest developments in the UNT family and tell your peers what you’ve been up to since leaving the nest. Send your news to The North Texan (see contact information on page 4). Members of the UNT Alumni Association are designated with a . Read more, share comments and connect with friends at northtexan.unt.edu.
Consulting Services. He was the principal of L.D. Bell High School for 26 years before embarking on his career training principals. He married Ann Dodson Brown (’62) after graduation and began working in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD. Ann was an elementary school teacher. Both retired in 2001. His favorite memory was when the Kappa Sigma fraternity staged a pinning ceremony for the couple. “I still love her as I did on the evening of the pinning,” he says.
Peggie Holder, Littleton, Colo.
1957 Pat Mattingly (’61 M.Ed.), Dallas :: received the Award for Excellence in the education category from the Dallas Historical Society last fall. She has been an elementary teacher; a college professor at the University of Texas Lab School, Austin College and Texas Christian University; and headmistress of the Lamplighter School in Dallas.
:: was honored by Denver Public
Clockwise from top left, UNT alumni in the U.S. Navy Band, U.S. Air Force Band and U.S. Army Field Band were among those taking part in January’s inauguration parade. Thanks to Master Sgt. James Wood (’07 D.M.A.), Army Field Band, for the photos. Visit northtexan.unt.edu/online for more.
1955 Howard Kennedy (’76 Ph.D.), Dallas :: at age 83, heads First Richardson Helpers, a group of volunteer handymen that does minor household repairs for senior citizens. He also plays the trumpet in three musical groups. While at North Texas, he met his wife, Pat Adams Kennedy (’55, ’75 M.A.), a music major, on campus. “One day, I saw this
cute redhead in a practice room in the music building when we were both freshmen. I introduced myself, and the rest is history.” Howard worked for Texas Instruments for nearly 38 years, while Pat worked as a child development specialist at Eastﬁeld College. Pat died in 2005. Howard would love to hear from friends he went to school with. “Life is good, and I am trying to live it to the fullest,” he says.
Schools with the lifetime achievement award in July 2016, before beginning her 57th year as an educator. After serving as a physical education teacher, she is now an intervention advisor at Henry World Legacy Middle School in Denver. She visits UNT every year when she sees her family.
Elmer Don Brown, Lakeway
is a partner and principal emeritus of Lead Your School Spring 2017
Wayne (’68 M.S.) and Sherry Hopkins (’65, ’80 M.S.), Dallas :: toured the Super Pit and Apogee Stadium last April when they visited Spiriki, the bronze eagle Wayne’s fraternity, the Geezles, commissioned. When Spiriki was dedicated in 2011, Wayne was unable to go due to knee surgery. He played for the basketball team from 1960 to 1964. He and Sherry met in 1962 and were married after graduation. Wayne also saw his name on the dedication plaque and his late brother Fred
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Nest Hopkins’ (’56) name on the UNT Athletics Hall of Fame plaque. Fred, who played basketball in the mid-1950s, is among UNT’s all-time leading scorers.
1977 Lane Cardwell (M.B.A.),
Servant leader Business alumna Emily Allegretto (’16) was 15 years old when she found her passion helping others. She was volunteering with Keeps Boutique, then a Dallas-area nonprofit
Richardson :: was named interim president and CEO of Ruby Tuesday Inc. restaurants. Prior to this appointment, he served on its board for nearly four years and as president of many nationally recognized restaurant chains. He is a former member of the UNT hospitality management program’s Board of Governors.
that gave teenage girls in foster care free clothes during a mini-shopping spree. Inspired, Allegretto founded an independent version of the faith-
based venue in her hometown of Lindale the next year. “Everyone needs clothes,” she says, “but we also use the experience to build a relationship.” At Keeps, Allegretto solicits designers and merchandisers for high-end
Katy Massingill Manck (M.L.S.), Gilmer :: former adjunct professor of library and
information sciences at UNT, was elected president of the International Association of School Librarianship last fall in Tokyo. She also is a project coordinator with the IASL’s GiggleIT Project for global student writing and a past treasurer. She has worked in academic, corporate, public and school libraries and is now a “librarian-at-large.”
1988 Georgia Caraway (M.S., ’95 Ph.D.), Denton :: has written her ﬁfth book of Denton history, Images of America: North Texas State Fair and Rodeo — her fourth title for Arcadia Publishing. She co-wrote the book with Nanci Monroe Kimmey, executive assistant of the North Texas Fair and Rodeo, who attended North Texas from 1975 to 1977.
donated clothing and accessories, and girls receive appointments with personal stylists who help them shop. And the girls are welcome to come back as many times as they wish. “Some of our girls are scared to grow up,” she says, “because they age
CDs celebrate 70 years of jazz
out of the foster care system at 18, and many will be on their own.” From the beginning, Allegretto wanted to make a career out of Keeps, so she pursued a marketing degree at UNT. Her mom and sister kept the shop afloat, running the small venue and its events in her absence. Allegretto returned each summer with fresh ideas from the College of Business
The UNT Division of Jazz Studies will release several commemorative CDs this spring to celebrate the program’s
Professional Leadership Program. One talk on socially conscious consumerism from Andre Angel — the CEO of TangoTab, a smartphone app helping consumers fight hunger — was
70th anniversary. Proceeds support student scholarships, recording
especially inspiring. “It’s a business with a mission — that’s exactly what I wanted to do with Keeps,” says Allegretto, who in the future wants to expand Keeps to include a clothing line for retail outlets that would generate sales for the boutique. Since graduating, she works as a marketing coordinator for Advanced Business Graphics in Coppell. She continues her work as the director of Keeps along with her full-time job, with hopes to grow the business.
and touring activities. Special projects include Perseverance — The Music of Rich DeRosa at North Texas; Legacy — Neil Slater at North Texas, a four-CD box set; Airstream Artistry — Jim Riggs Best of the Two O’Clock; Hey Now! — Jay Saunders Best of the Two O’Clock; and Groovin’ Hard by the UNT Jazz Singers.
“I want girls to know that you don’t have to wait until you’re older to live the life you want,” Allegretto says, “and to pursue your dreams.” — Monique Bird
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Visit music.unt.edu/store to purchase these special compilations and view other pieces of music available.
1992 Christina Toups, Fort Worth :: was named manager of the year by the Texas Lone Star chapter of the Club Managers Association of America for her work as the general manager of Ridglea Country Club in Fort Worth. She also has been a general manager of country clubs in Austin, Houston, Victoria and the Balcones neighborhood in Austin. She is director for the Club Managers Association of America and past president of its Texas chapter.
noncombat ships for the Canadian government, restarting the shipbuilding industry. He also was named runner-up for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the infrastructure category. He is married to Julie Pierce Whitworth (’92, ’94 M.A.).
David Windrow (’96 M.P.A.), Brentwood, Tenn. :: assistant ﬁre chief in Brentwood, was appointed to a six-year term on the Tennessee Fireﬁghting Personnel Standards and Education Commission. He began working in Brentwood in 1996 as a training and safety oﬃcer. He previously worked as a battalion chief at DFW Airport and served as a chief master sergeant in the Air Force Reserve.
Martha Werner, Austin :: was named director of elementary staﬃng and employee relations for the Leander ISD. Over her 24-year career she has worked in Richardson, Frisco, the Leon County Schools in Florida, Little Elm, Bastrop and Round Rock. She is active in the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association, serving as president for Region 13 for the past two years and named TEPSAN of the Year in 2014.
1993 Jonathan Peter Whitworth (M.B.A.), Vancouver, B.C. :: CEO of Seaspan ULC, was named CEO of the Year by Business in Vancouver magazine in 2016. In 2011, he and his team won an $8 billion bid to build
2000 Robert Harmison (Ph.D.), Harrisonburg, Va. :: was named the incoming professional standards head of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, an international professional organization that promotes the ﬁeld of sport and exercise psychology. He was named an AASP fellow in 2015 for his contributions to academic and professional practice knowledge in the ﬁeld. He is the Kibler Professor of Sport Psychology at James Madison University.
2003 Dan Edmonson, Hudson, Mass. :: launched Dronegenuity, a new startup in the unmanned aerial system industry. He previously created a business process outsourcing ﬁrm and Express Play, which is a children’s play franchise
Upcoming Alumni Gatherings The spring semester is full of opportunities for alumni to reunite, network and celebrate UNT. Here are a few events on tap: Spring Alumni Mixers: The UNT Alumni Association will host spring mixers for chapters in Dallas, Tarrant, Denton and Collin counties. Events will take place from 5:30 to 8 p.m., an RSVP is requested and admission is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. The Dallas County mixer will take place March 28 at The Social House of Addison, and a Tarrant County event will take place March 30 at Acre Distillery. The Denton County mixer is April 4 at Harvest House, and the Collin County event is April 6 at CRU Food and Wine Bar. Visit untalumni.com/springmixers. Eagle Business Breakfasts: The UNT College of Business hosts monthly breakfasts and provides an opportunity for alums to partner, network, share resources and hear dynamic speakers with insight into the university community. Upcoming events are April 6 and May 4 at Lawry’s The Prime Rib, 14655 Dallas Parkway. Cost is $18. Registration and networking begins at 7 a.m., followed by the buffet breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and program at 8 a.m. Visit cob.unt. edu/eaglebusiness. Computer Science 45th Anniversary: The UNT College of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering will celebrate its 45th anniversary April 28 at Apogee Stadium. The event also will highlight the 25th anniversary of the Laboratory for Recreational Computing. The celebration begins at 6 p.m. with a social hour and features an award ceremony at 7 p.m. honoring past alumni and current students, talks from respected speakers, and dinner. RSVP and registration is required. For more information, contact Angus McColl at email@example.com or visit computerscience.engineering.unt.edu/celebrate45years. Official Ring Presentation Ceremony: The official class ring presentation for the spring is set for May 2. Call the UNT Alumni Association at 940-565-2834 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. UNT Kuehne Speaker Series featuring Charles Gasparino: FOX Business Network senior correspondent Charles Gasparino will speak May 9 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas. Visit kuehneseries.unt.edu. Graduation Block Party: UNT will host a Graduation Block Party for Class of 2017 graduates from 5 to 9 p.m. May 12 in the Willis Library Mall and the University Union’s south lawn. The event, featuring live music, photo opportunities, food, fireworks and ice cream, is open to UNT community members and alumni. Visit commencement.unt.edu. Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference: The 13th annual conference, hosted by the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism, will take place July 21-23 at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine. The theme is “The Power of WORDS.” Visit themayborn.com. Homecoming 2017: Mark the calendar now and plan to return to campus Nov. 11 for Homecoming 2017. Join us for the legendary parade and tailgating before the Mean Green faces off against UTEP. Visit homecoming.unt.edu. For more information or to join the UNT Alumni Association, contact email@example.com or 940-565-2834.
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in Massachusetts. He also has worked at DARTdrones Flight School. At UNT, he was a member of Sigma Nu, GAMMA and North Texas Leadership Training. His favorite memory is “waiting for my turn at the West Hall computer lab for an opportunity to browse the World Wide Web.”
2004 Lyndsay Levingston Christian, New York City :: is a television personality and host who freelances as a reporter and anchor for NY1 News. She previously worked as a reporter and anchor for Verizon Fios 1 News in the New York City area and as a
reporter for NBC Houston and FOX Tulsa. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
Ryan Douglas, Sachse :: co-founded CampReward, an online travel company that helps people plan vacations in RV parks and campgrounds. He also created Openkey, which allows hotels to give guests room access through a phone app. At UNT, he went on several camping trips as part of the Recreation and Leisure Studies Society. “We had the opportunity to shape the future of new students and build bonds with friends I still have today,” he says.
2005 Reuben Miller, McKinney ::
tancy, after working as a brand and product designer for several DFW agencies. Along with Shane Hernandez, he’s created Circ-It, ecofriendly and travel-friendly workout equipment that can be used and understood by people of any experience level. They’ve begun a KickStarter campaign to fund the project. Reuben drew on his experience as a former U.S. Army member and certiﬁed personal trainer to create Circ-It.
music environment, which Sean experienced as an M.B.A. student in the 2000s living in Bruce Hall. Other collections were inspired by UNT’s eco-friendly focus and include a new green lipstick that turns pink and is eco-friendly. Sassy Lips started as an engagement present from Sean to Sabrina, to “celebrate her bold, uniquely sassy style.”
2008 Sean and Sabrina Pelton (’10 M.B.A.), Dallas :: started their own makeup line called Sassy Lips. The name of one of their just-released collections, Make the Moment, was inspired by UNT’s
started PullPin, a design consul-
Evette Allen (M.A.), Price, Utah :: was recognized as one of Utah’s 30 most dynamic women in a special edition of Utah Business magazine. As Utah State University Eastern’s director of
Educating for success Family comes first for Taylor Toynes (’12), but not only his own. Toynes is fiercely committed to improving early education and the lives of people in his hometown community of Oak Cliff. In 2014 he started For Oak Cliff, a volunteer group focused on getting education resources to students in the area. He also works with the nonprofit organization Commit! Partnership as the community impact associate for South Oak Cliff. The coalition of 160 Dallas County organizations helps address education challenges facing Dallas students. Toynes listens to community members’ needs and works to implement activities such as education fairs, summer camps and pre-K programs. One of his favorite projects is the 2G “Two Generations” program. While the children are in early childcare, the parents earn their GEDs and receive career guidance. “Oak Cliff is the heartbeat of Dallas,” says Toynes. “It has the best culture, food, people and the most pride. I wouldn’t choose anywhere else to live.” Toynes and his efforts with Commit! Partnership recently went viral when Facebook co-founder Mark Ahna Hubnik
Zuckerberg spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day working with Toyne’s latest project, a community garden. “We started this garden in the 10th Street Historic District to give students more opportunities during the summer,” Toynes says, “and to provide healthy food to the community in whatever capacity we can.” Toynes earned a political science degree from UNT with aspirations to become an attorney. On graduation day, he gathered his Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity brothers into a circle to sing a hymn, drew his girlfriend, Ariel Joyner (’11), into the center and asked her to be his wife. They married a year later and have a daughter, Wednesday. Toynes has worked as a victims advocate in family violence for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, as a fourth-grade teacher at Bushman Elementary School through Teach for America and as the urban specialist at Zumwalt Middle School in Oak Cliff. “Education is the foundation of our children,” he says. “We need to continue to build out this culture of education in our community.” — Jennifer Pache
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student life, leadership and involvement, she advises the student government association, heads leadership and multicultural initiatives, and plans events for students.
Ryan Barrera, Fort Worth
:: was recognized by the Fort
L. Diane Estes, Denton :: published her ﬁrst novel, Loneliness Within: The Jamie Moore Story, about a woman going through a critical time in her life. Diane worked in business operations for JP Morgan Chase before earning a master’s degree in higher education at Dallas Baptist University in 2016. She is working as a writer and manuscript editor.
Jonathan Abel (M.A., ’14 Ph.D.), Lewisville :: an instructor at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, wrote the book Guibert: Father of Napoleon’s Grande Armée (University of Oklahoma Press). It is a biography of the man who helped determine the course of the Napoleonic Wars as the foremost military theorist in France, from 1770 to his death in 1790.
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to turn heads. Interior Design included the Union on its list of “8 Ahna Hubnik
Worth mayor’s oﬃce for completing the SteerFW Keyholders Program, which trains participants to take action in their communities. He is an annual giving specialist with Texas Health Resources Foundation. His favorite UNT memory is rushing the football ﬁeld after a 2003 Mean Green conference- clinching win over Arkansas State.
Simply Amazing University Buildings,” citing
the colored LEDs at entryways, university song lyrics in the terrazzo flooring, and hanging sculpture made of words taken from the university’s values statement. A collabora-
tion among Perkins + Will offices in Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago, the Union also was the magazine’s 2016 Best of
Nicholas Beck (M.S., ’14 Ph.D.), Pensacola, Fla. :: earned certiﬁed consultant status from the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, which requires extensive educational work and applied experience before testing. He is a licensed psychologist with Psychological Associates PA and specializes in psychotherapy and sport/ performance-focused services.
Year Winner for Mixed Branding/Graphics, and in February won a B.O.B. (Best of the Best) award in the education/ research category from the International Interior Design Association’s Georgia chapter.
As one of five judges selected for the screening jury of the 2017 Cliburn Competition, Pamela Mia Paul, Regents Professor of piano, traveled around the world this year to audition prospective contestants. In a story about the auditions in Moscow, where American pianist Van Cliburn is still revered for his 1958 win at the International Tchaikovsky Competition, Paul told NPR’s All Things Considered that a special performer sometimes will rise above the rest: “There are certain people who are just going to jump out at you — and we may all have different people who jump out at us, but people that you just remember.”
(’88), who earned his UNT degree in jazz
piano performance, was featured on Bloomberg.com for his success in selling a trading software startup he co-founded to a Wall Street hedge fund. Richards is now chief technology officer of Gammon Capital, which bought Iota Technologies Pte. for the software he developed. It uses predictive modeling to help options traders test various positions before risking their money. Richards, who lives in Fukushima, Japan, and still plays jazz every few months, says,
Blaine the Standard Poodle was proud to show oﬀ his school spirit when one of his people, Emily Olkkola, began her studies at UNT last fall. This shot was taken at Lake Grapevine by photographer and proud mom Sandi Hooban Olkkola.
“They say one in 10 startups succeeds. To be among the 10 percent is such a relief.”
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F R I E N D S
W E ’ L L
M I S S 1950s
UNT’s alumni, faculty, staﬀ and students are the university’s greatest legacy. When members of the Eagle family pass, they are remembered and their spirit lives on. Send information about deaths to The North Texan (see contact information on page 4). Read more, write memorials and connect with friends at northtexan.unt.edu.
1940s Robert Benjamin Harris (’49), Kerrville :: As a child, Robert and his sister Nancy were the models for the Bob and Nancy characters in the Real Life Reader series. He was an ensign and “Hellcat” pilot in the U.S. Navy in the 1940s. He then earned his biology degree at
University Community Barbara Colegrove, 87, of Dallas, died Feb. 5. She was a
from 1961 to 1972 and 1985 to 1986 and was the sponsor for Theta Sigma Phi, the women’s professional journalism organization. She was known as a creative teacher who staged events like sit-ins in her classes and had students write about them. She was named an Honorary Alumnus of UNT in 2003. She previously worked as
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Benjamin Bee ‘B.B.’ Harris, head of the biology department and later dean at North Texas. He was preceded in death by his sister Nancy Bell (’41).
medical technologist in Austin and attained 50 years of continuous certiﬁcation from the American Society for Clinical Pathology. She belonged to Beta Beta Beta while at North Texas. She was married to William David Compton (’48) in 1950.
Royce Culler Womble (’52, ’66), Mansﬁeld :: He attended North Texas as a football player and was inducted into the UNT Athletic Hall of Fame. He served in the U.S. Navy for four years and assisted in World War II recovery eﬀorts at the Dallas Naval Air Station. After leaving the military, he
James Crouch (’55), San Antonio :: He served in the U.S. Air Force for 32 years, reaching the rank of brigadier general. He received the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit and Bronze Star. At North Texas, he was a member of the ROTC and commissioned as a second lieutenant at age 19. He also was a member of Delta Sigma Phi. He served as executive director of the Texas PTA and Public Utility Commission. He is survived by his wife, Barbara
Strossi Crouch (’54).
a researcher for Time magazine
As a longtime journalist, she named
and at Educational Television and
her dog, a Pekingese mix, Nellie
Radio Center station, which later
Bly, and edited her newspaper
86, of Denton,
became PBS. After retirement, she
obituary before her death.
worked as an editor and restaurant
Emeritus of education, died Jan. 4. He joined the
numerous honors for her teaching,
Virgie Mae Meeker Burrows, of
as well as the Women in Communi-
25th Artillery Headquarters Battery
cations Matrix award. She and her
Dec. 21. She
in Korea, where he became a ser-
critic. She also taught at Southern
journalism lecturer at North Texas
North Texas and graduated from the University of Texas School of Dentistry in Houston. He practiced dentistry in Corpus Christi and Kenedy, retiring in 1997. He was the son of
Jane Walker Compton (’50), Canyon :: She worked as a
played for the Baltimore Colts and the Los Angeles Chargers. He ran Arlington Sporting Goods for 40 years before moving to a farm in Nocona for his retirement.
Methodist University. She received
U.S. Army in 1951 and was assigned to the Intelligence Division of the
late husband, Don, were members
retired from the research and grants
geant. He then taught elementary
of the Chilton Society at UNT, and
office at UNT in 1998 after 28 years
school in Aurora, Ill., before becom-
they established the Barbara Cole-
and previously worked for the KDNT
ing a principal and administrator
grove Journalism Scholarship in
radio station. She lived in and
there and then in Denver. He began
honor of her former students. She
around Denton all of her life and en-
teaching at North Texas in 1966,
earned her master’s degree from
joyed making friends and shopping
serving as chair of educational ad-
the Columbia School of Journalism.
at thrift stores.
ministration and teacher education
James Walter Stoneham (’55), San Antonio :: He was known in San Antonio during the 1970s for his Research & Planning Council studies exposing inequity in residential property taxation — which were used to reform the Texas property tax system. He was chief appraiser at Bexar Appraisal District from 1988 to 1997. He completed 33 marathons and one triathlon.
Vess J. Taylor (’56), Denver
:: He was a colonel in the U.S. Air Force, serving that branch for 25 years, including tours in the Vietnam War. He worked for Lockheed Martin in Denver for ﬁve years. He is survived by his wife, Mary Lou Taylor (’55).
during his time at North Texas. He married Marilyn Blassingame (’58) in Denton in 1957. He taught biology at Henrietta High School from 1960 to 1967 before becoming a biology professor at South Plains College, where he worked from 1967 to 1995.
Bob Welch (’62), Dallas
Preston Smith and Dolph Briscoe before going into city management in Grand Prairie, Longview, Pharr and Richardson. He served as executive director of the Texas Municipal League and as president and CEO of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce — where he worked to develop the ballpark.
As a reporter and cameraman for WBAP-TV (now KXAS), he captured two historic moments of the 1960s — the aftermath of the shootings of Army Maj. Gen. Edwin Walker and President John F. Kennedy, both by Lee Harvey Oswald. He worked for NBC News from 1967 to 1969, then headed the WBAP bureau until his retirement in 1995. He served in the Korean War with the U.S. Marines.
Jimmie Lee Blassingame (’60), Levelland :: He
Theo Creighton ‘Ted’ Willis (’69, ’74 M.P.A.), Lubbock
lettered in track for four years
:: He worked for Texas Govs.
Wildlife Department in Palacios and a research ﬁsh biologist for the Department of the Interior in Kearneysville. He also led the development of the genetics program at the U.S. Geological Survey. He was appointed as the North American expert on the Atlantic salmon.
Gary Ellison (’88), Plano
1980s Greg Mack (’80), Denison
:: He worked at an advertising company in Denison, then moved to Fayetteville, Ark., where he established Taylor Mack Advertising. Upon retirement, he moved back to Denison and opened Gyst Art Gallery to help local artists display their talent.
Timothy Lee King (’82, ’92 Ph.D.), Martinsburg, W.V. :: He was a conservation biologist with the Texas Parks and
He was a ﬁnancial analyst who enjoyed golf and ﬁshing. He earned his bachelor’s degree in ﬁnance from UNT and was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. He earned an M.B.A. from Texas Christian University in 1994.
2010s Jennifer Fischer, Grand Prairie :: She was a junior studying biological sciences at UNT. She was a certiﬁed phlebotomist, an artist and a musician.
and administration before retiring
teaching in the program as it was
North Texas, he was a member and
in 1996. During retirement, he was
renamed industrial technology and
faculty alumni advisor of the Kappa
chair of the retired faculty and staff
later engineering technology. He
Alpha Order. He was known for his
association. Memorials may be
retired as an assistant professor
dry sense of humor and quick wit.
Send memorials to honor UNT
made to the Frank Halstead Educa-
in 1993. His teaching specialties
A former student remembers his
alumni and friends, made payable
tional Leadership Scholarship. He
included architectural technology
famous quote: “The answer is no.
is survived by his wife, Nadine
to the UNT Foundation, to Univer-
and technical illustration. After
Now what’s the question?”
sity of North Texas, Division of
serving in the U.S. Navy during
Advancement, 1155 Union Circle
the Korean War, he completed
Jean S. Yoas (’46), 91, of Fort
#311250, Denton, Texas 76203-
his degrees in industrial arts
Worth, who had worked at UNT as
5017. Indicate on your check the
education at North Texas. He also
a librarian, died Nov. 28 in Fort
fund or area you wish to support.
did graduate work at Texas A&M
Worth. She also was a member
Or make secure gifts online at
University. Between degrees he
of the Audubon Society and was
began his career at Shell Pipeline
an avid birdwatcher. She enjoyed
more information, email giving@
died Aug. 23, 2015. He joined
Corp. as an engineering design
knitting and reading and was active
unt.edu or call 940-565-2900.
North Texas in 1966 as an instructor
draftsman and moved to Mobil Oil
in her church.
in industrial arts and continued
Co. before focusing on teaching. At
Roy Glenn Trapp (’54, ’64 M.Ed.), 85, of Denton,
No r t h Texa n
T H E L AS T
MUSIC IN OUR BLOOD By Carol McClendon (’70, ’89 M.S.)
No r t h Texa n
My mother says on the night I was born, she picked up my dad after one of his shows at Casa Mañana, where he played in the orchestra, and drove straight to the hospital to have me. Music was deﬁnitely in our blood! My dad — David Singletary — had been raised at the Masonic Home in Fort Worth. His nickname was “Doc” because he started his college studies to be a doctor, but music was his life and he spent many years as a professional clarinet and saxophone player in the area. Our history at North Texas began in 1950 when he left San Antonio Music Co. to accept a position in the music school. Even though I was entering the seventh grade at the campus Demonstration School and far from college age, I spent many hours in his room on the second ﬂoor of the Music Hall. Dad was in charge of the musical instruments that were available to the music students on a loan basis. He not only kept tabs on the instrument inventory, but he repaired any and all instruments when necessary. Many students came to Dad for help with their own musical instruments, especially in the woodwind department. Loaning out his tuxedo also helped a few aspiring musicians along the way. He kept up his musical expertise by rehearsing with the North Texas orchestra and playing various concerts in Fort Worth whenever possible. Many of the music professors and teachers were friends of mine and our
Carol McClendon with a photo of her father, David Singletary family. ’Fessor Floyd Graham was one of my favorites. The Saturday Night Stage Shows he conducted in the Main Auditorium would start with a short pit orchestra program and then a stage show featuring the Aces of Collegeland stage band. A popular movie followed the live show. All this cost students less than $1! ’Fessor included me and my dancing partner, Jerry Knight, on many shows. Our favorite number (and ’Fessor’s) was a Charleston routine. Pat Boone performed a few times while he was a student. When I was ready for college in 1956, of course I chose North Texas and majored in music. I vividly remember waiting and pacing the Music Hall each semester for my turn in the “jury” room. Everyone was signing up for a few minutes in one of the tiny practice rooms on the hall to get that last minute of practice time before the dreaded appearance in front of the jury of faculty members who would grade us. I also worked at the Trading Post bookstore in the basement of the Union Building for Andrew “Swede” Swenson. His wife, Helen, was the librarian at Denton High School. She was my
inspiration to become a librarian later on. I stopped work on my music degree after a couple of years to get married. Dad worked another decade, retiring just about ﬁve months before his death in January 1968. I decided to return to school that year, while my three children were still young, and become a teacher. I dreaded the long registration lines, but I was happy to see ’Fessor, who signed me up for his music class for elementary school teachers. In 1970 I received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in music. I returned for a master’s in library science and was a teacher and librarian in the Fort Worth ISD for 32 years. I continue to take tap lessons and plan to dance as long as I can move my feet! I believe our move to Denton was a catalyst for my future education. My lifelong love for music, dance and theater is due to the wonderful experiences I had with my dad and so many talented teachers at North Texas. McClendon was one of the ﬁrst Montessori teachers in the Fort Worth public schools. Her husband, the late Richard McClendon, also attended North Texas.
CORY CHURCHMAN FINANCE MAJOR
Cory Churchman knows how to win under pressure. As a sophomore, he sealed a Mean Green victory at the 2015 Conference USA Championship, sinking a clinching putt and earning his place on the All-Tournament team. Last season, he finished ninth at the C-USA championship and was named second team All-Conference. Now in his final year, Cory brings the experience of a seasoned veteran to help the Mean Green dominate the leaderboards. FOLLOW THE MENâ€™S GOLF TEAM ON SOCIAL MEDIA @MEANGREENGOLF AND KEEP UP WITH ALL YOUR FAVORITE MEAN GREEN TEAMS. 800-UNT-2366 / 940-565-2527
MEANGREENSPORTS.COM Spring 2017
No r t h Texa n
The North Texan
Scott Suchman/Washington National Opera
Courtesy of Snarky Puppy
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS Division of University Relations, Communications and Marketing 1155 Union Circle #311070 Denton, Texas 76203-5017
PA RT I N G S H O T UNT alumni won big at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in February — eight awards in eight categories. Winners of music’s most prestigious award, from top left, include composer Michael Daugherty (’76), country singer Maren Morris, opera singer Patricia Racette (’88) and jazz band Snarky Puppy. Read about all the talented alumni and others in the UNT family who won or were nominated for Grammys at northtexan.unt.edu/grammys-2017. 1 T h e N o r t h T e x a n | northtexan.unt.edu | S p r i n g 2 0 1 7