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 . 2 | S u m m e r 2 0 1 7
Kelli Finglass [ page 1 6] 2017 Wingspan Gala [ page 30] Achieving Gridiron Goals [ page 32] | Mean Green [ page 36] Summer 2017
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Save it. From water quality to climate change, UNT’s Advanced Environmental Research Institute (AERI) explores and EQPFWEVUKPVGTFKUEKRNKPCT[TGUGCTEJVQƂPFUQNWVKQPUVQVJG most pressing environmental problems we face. One of UNT’s Institutes of Research Excellence, AERI is on the front lines of investigating the complex natural world and how people’s actions impact it. AERI –– Protecting natural resources for generations to come
S U M M E R
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Marketing principles learned at UNT help alumna propel the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders’ brand. By Meredith Moriak Wright
Alumni Eli Young Band entertained at UNT’s annual celebration of excellence.
Playing in the NFL
Former student-athletes reﬂect on going from the Mean Green to NFL teams. By Meredith Moriak Wright
Men’s basketball team gets new coach. DEPARTMENTS Ahna Hubnik
FROM OUR PRESIDENT • 3
Celebrating our progress DEAR NORTH TEXAN • 4
Block party thanks ... One O’Clock Lab Band live UNT TODAY • 6
Academic advancements ... Global Connection ... Ask an Expert ... UNT Alumni Association
Taste Makers A LU M N I U S E T H EI R U NT EDUCAT I ON A ND
UNT MUSE • 19
Haunting music ... Taking risks ... Honoring a mentor ... Heartfelt words ... Upcoming Events
P E R S O NAL L I FE E XP E RI ENC E S TO C R EAT E SOM E O F TE X AS’ MOST D I ST I NC T I V E A ND ACC LA I M ED R E STAUR A NTS , D E L I C I OU S LY P L EA SI NG F OODI ES
GIVING IMPACT • 38
Pathway to success
T H ROU G H OU T T H E LO NE STA R STAT E. By Jessica DeLeón
EAGLES’ NEST • 39
Doing good ... A ‘hole’ new experience ... Legacy Family ... Upcoming alumni gatherings Cover: Illustration by Clay Davis (’96)
LAST WORD • 48
Graduation thoughts from Marisa Nowicki (’17)
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E X C L U S I V E S
n o r t ht exan .u nt.edu /o n li n e
ONLINE FEATURES HARRISS GYM SIGN Read how Girl Scout Elise Clements helped secure a campus historical sign in honor of Beulah Harriss, UNT’s ﬁrst women’s coach and ﬁrst recognized Girl Scout in Texas. GREAT GRADS UNT graduates are going great places. Read about their accomplishments and what’s next for a few members of the Class of 2017. CHARACTER OVER CELEBRITY Watch a video of former Mean Green and Baltimore Ravens football player Zach Orr speaking about overcoming adversity at a Salvation Army fundraiser.
GET CONNECTED Ahna Hubnik
Connect with us at facebook.com/northtexas. Follow us at twitter.com/northtexan.
Engineering Excellence WATCH A VID EO TO L EA RN A B OU T U N T’S COLLEGE OF E N GIN E E R IN G, W H ERE ST U D ENTS H AV E T H E OPPORT UNI T Y
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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
Onward and upward UNT CELEBRATES THE CLASS OF 2017 AND ANOTHER YEAR OF PROGRESS
THERE IS NO BETTER reminder of the importance of what we do in higher education than seeing our students graduate. We celebrated the Class of 2017 in UNT style at commencement and at our ﬁrst-ever UNT Graduation Block Party in May. The estimated 8,900 graduates in 2016-17 join our 393,000 alumni President Neal Smatresk celebrates the Class of 2017 at the inaugural UNT Graduation Block Party. who are fueling the success of so many industries, whether in the oﬃce, lab, boardroom, studio or classroom. In this issue you can read about “taste makers” who are working as successful restaurant owners (page 24) and other alumni who are making a mark in the NFL (page 32). Our students and alumni are using their education and knowledge to change the world. We celebrated that impact at our second annual Wingspan Gala in March, honoring standout members of the UNT family — alumnus G. Brint Ryan (’88, ’88 M.S.), faculty member Richard DeRosa and May graduate Marisa Nowicki (’17), this issue’s essayist (page 48). The Mean Green Country celebration was made even more special thanks to sensational performances by our students and by the members of Eli Young Band, who returned to their alma mater to play at the gala and at an exclusive concert afterward. The gala and contributions to our National Merit Finalists program generated nearly $1 million to support academic excellence (page 30). The sky is the limit for our nearly 38,000 students, our alumni and our Carnegieranked Tier One research university. We’re expecting another enrollment increase this fall, fueled by more freshmen, National Merit Finalists and doctoral students. Our students also have earned top honors in national competitions. Our researchers have made important breakthroughs in areas such as the ﬁght against cancer. And our list of 62 academic programs in the nation’s Top 100 continues to grow. You can see progress all around. And you can feel the rising tide of greatness, fueled by more than 125 years of excellence in making dreams come true. Onward and upward! 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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North Texan Let us know what you think about news and topics covered in The North Texan. Letters may be edited for length and publication style. Online: northtexan.unt.edu (follow the “Contact Us” link) Phone: 940-565-2108 Fax: 940-369-8763 Email: email@example.com
Mail: The North Texan University of North Texas Division of University Relations, Communications and Marketing 1155 Union Circle #311070 Denton, Texas 76203-5017
and have to believe your staﬀ has made some major changes in layout, artwork, readability and content that I have never seen before in this publication. Keep it up.
Gerald Bennett (’64) Horseshoe Bay
My son and his family just returned to McAllen from attending the UNT graduation of Justin Dimas (’17), my granddaughter Lauren’s (’16) ﬁance. All I am hearing about is the “awesome block party” for the new graduates. Justin’s parents traveled from Georgia and his sister came from Lubbock. Both families enjoyed commencement and thought the party was fantastic and so well organized. Our hats are oﬀ to all those who did such a wonderful job for the graduates and their families.
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Thank you to President Neal J. Smatresk and the committee for having the party that was enjoyed by so many. It made me even more proud of UNT. Also, the kids thought President Smatresk was cool. Evelyn J. Labus Milligan (’50) McAllen
Keep it up Just ﬁnished reading the spring issue cover to cover
I enjoyed the article on new facilities in the spring issue. I would suggest, however, that a map of the locations would be helpful for those of us who haven’t been on campus for a while. Bob Johnston (’62, ’65 M.Ed.) Dallas Editor’s note: The campus deﬁnitely has grown over the years. Thank you for the suggestion. In the meantime, the latest construction locations are shown on our parking map. Go to maps.unt.edu and click on “Download PDF Map.”
I was saddened to learn of the passing of a wonderful colleague and friend, Dr. Robert Toulouse (see page 45). Bob and his wife Virginia were such kind and thoughtful people. I had the pleasure to work with Bob while he was graduate dean and when he served as provost. He was a real role model for all to see. Scurrying around the oﬃce and campus with white hair waving, he was aﬀectionately called “the white tornado” by his staﬀ. Still, Bob always had time to sit and discuss the situation of the day. And he was always thoughtful and considerate of the faculty and the university community in general. He also was well traveled and knowledgeable about world cultures. We all looked to Bob as the person we could trust to make thoughtful decisions about faculty and student matters. We knew his heart was in the right place and he would be fair and impartial. Our graduate programs were the envy of other higher education institutions. They were diverse and of high quality. Bob was
chieﬂy responsible for this growth and quality. I shall miss my friend, Bob. Richard Rafes (’90 Ph.D.), former UNT senior vice president, vice chancellor and general counsel Caldwell, West Virginia I met Bob and Virginia Toulouse at First United Methodist Church in Denton; they were some of the ﬁrst people to welcome my wife and me to Denton. Their warm and welcoming personalities made short work of establishing a friendly relationship. A number of years later,
Bob sought me out when I joined the development staﬀ at UNT because he had some very particular ideas about establishing several permanent endowment funds beneﬁting the university. Those who knew him will remember Bob as being very clear, very precise and very complete in any endeavor he undertook. Over the last 20 or so years of his life we worked together closely to ensure that his and Virginia’s wishes would be carried out in support of young men and women coming to UNT to study, learn and become well-educated citizens.
Bob and Virginia placed a high value on the permanent and positive impact of education on society and did all they could to ensure their legacy as lovers of students, lovers of teachers and lovers of education. Theirs were lives of travel, of learning and of giving; UNT, the city of Denton and the many lives they touched are better because of Bob and Virginia. Douglas Chadwick, former UNT director of planned giving and UNT Foundation executive director Aubrey
UNT Facebook Comments on the One O’Clock Lab Band performance at the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival — on UNT Facebook Live: Great memories of the lab bands from my days in the graduate gerontology program at North Texas, 1978.— Steven Fulks (’83 M.S.) Always great! Loved listening to them while slowly walking down Chestnut Street by the old Music Hall toward the School of Business. — Danny Linn (’71) I used to sit in while they practiced, back when it was NTSU. — Harriet Myrick (’66) Great memories of my time. I was there in 1967. They were incredible! Even watched them in Dallas at some bar when I could. Knew some of them then, but long lost the names. Can’t remember the name of the bar either! — Charlotte Anders Strange (’69)
I almost skipped my 1st class & went back to bed but I remembered it’s Waﬄe Wednesday at Bruce Cafeteria & I jumped out of bed real quick. — @Julian_Esparza8 Severely shook that the UNT music library has all of Shostakovich’s symphonies available for check out. I’m so grateful. — @christristan_ #untpremiere was amazing and I’m somehow 1000000% more in love with my school. Lowkey don’t wanna go back home. — @xkailllll Welcome to #UNT where the drum line rolls through the Union ... it’s casual. — @SWill_17 Attend a university where the president responds: “Of course, let’s do this!” when you ask for a selﬁe. #GMG — @beccastetson #WhatATimeToBeAlive #UNT17 — @Cannon_Quentin Turned my dreams into reality!!! #UNT21 — @kkkimber4 Follow us on Twitter. We look forward to staying connected!
Quite simply, they are the very best. — John Thornton, Professor Emeritus of business Go to northtexan.unt.edu/online for a link to the piece that was streamed on the UNT Facebook page.
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Alumna becomes provost page 10
ACADEMIC ADVANTAGE UNT reorganizes colleges to promote scholarship and research, launch more programs, and provide students with support and high-demand skills to succeed.
Learn more about UNT’s 13 colleges and schools that oﬀer 221 degree programs at unt.edu/colleges-schools.
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TO HELP UNT EXPAND AND STRENGTHEN ITS prominence as a Carnegie-ranked Tier One research university, this spring the College of Arts and Sciences split into two new colleges focused on natural sciences and liberal arts. This change was planned to accelerate eﬀorts to bolster research, program oﬀerings and rankings. The split will provide more support for each department and program, will assist in recruitment eﬀorts and is intended to yield additional grant funding and research dollars. Also, the College of Public Aﬀairs and Community Service, led by Dean Tom Evenson, was renamed the College of Health and Public Service. It houses seven academic departments, including the new Department of Social Work.
“By creating two separate colleges for the sciences and liberal arts, we’ll be able not only to better support our faculty and students, but also to provide them with more focused and concentrated research opportunities,” President Neal Smatresk says. “And the renaming of the College of Health and Public Service will provide more opportunities to grow programs related to allied health and put more prominence on preprofessional health track programs that will keep pace with today’s industry needs.” College of Science
More than 10 percent of UNT students are enrolled in the College of Science’s 12 undergraduate and 14 graduate degree programs in the departments of biological sciences, chemistry, mathematics and physics. It houses UNT’s BioDiscovery Institute and Advanced Environmental Research Institute. The college has 122 full-time faculty members and is led by interim dean Su Gao, former chair of the math department, while a search for a permanent dean is underway. The College of Science also is home to Teach North Texas, a program to prepare and support secondary math and science teachers. “Creating a college devoted solely to science is an eﬀort to better prepare our UNT science community for the future, by giving us new resources and stand-alone abilities to expand our strong research programs and earn additional research grants,” Gao says.
College of Health and Public Service (HPS) Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Department of Behavior Analysis Department of Criminal Justice Department of Emergency Management and Disaster Science Department of Public Administration Department of Rehabilitation and Health Services Department of Social Work
HPS Programs Public Affairs and Community Engagement
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) Department of Anthropology Department of Communication Studies Department of Dance and Theatre Department of Economics Department of English Department of Geography and the Environment Department of History Department of Media Arts Department of Philosophy and Religion Department of Political Science Department of Psychology Department of Sociology Department of Technical Communication Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences oﬀers 69 degree programs in its 21 departments and programs. The dean is David Holdeman, who served as dean of the former College of Arts and Sciences. The college is home to the Air Force ROTC and Army ROTC programs and custom-tailored undergraduate degrees in integrative studies and social science. With an integrative studies degree, students self-select three areas of interest and complete all coursework in those focus areas. The social science degree equips students to respond to cultural, economic, political and technological changes in the future. “Our goal in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences is to continue to prepare our students to achieve success and become the next generation of civic leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, performers and scholars,” says Holdeman. “We remain eclectic and provide students with numerous and interdisciplinary choices for their future careers.”
CLASS Programs Aerospace Studies International Studies Jewish and Israel Studies LGBT Studies Military Science Oral History Women’s and Gender Studies
College of Science (COS) Department of Biological Sciences Department of Chemistry Department of Mathematics Department of Physics
COS Programs Forensic Science Teach North Texas
Left: Richard Dixon, UNT’s BioDiversity Institute director and Distinguished Research Professor of biology
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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.
• Changing lives through music. College of Music performance and jazz studies doctoral student Daniel Pinilla (’15 M.A.) won the $10,000 top prize in UNT’s 2017 Sherman-Barsanti Inspiration Awards. Pinilla was awarded the honor for his project to develop a series of music workshops for children in rural Colombia who have been traumatized by armed conflict. • Out of this world. Joanna Feaster, a senior at UNT’s Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, had 21 hours to work with a team and create a plan for a human settlement on the planet Mercury during a regional Space Settlement Design Competition this spring at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Her team won and she is one of six students from her competing group who will attend this summer’s international competition at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. “I want to be an aerospace engineer, which is why I was super psyched about this competition,” Feaster says. “I hope to work for NASA someday.” • Social media scholarship. Ethan Waldrip, a 2017 high school graduate from Haltom City, received a $10,000 scholarship from UNT President Neal Smatresk for becoming the 10,000th follower of the @UNTPrez Twitter account during the fall UNT Preview event. Waldrip plans to major in a STEM field and attended Preview to learn more about UNT’s biomedical engineering program.
Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science student Amber Lu (’17 TAMS) was named a 2017 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship winner, and an honorable mention was awarded to Prateek Kalakuntla
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(’17 TAMS). Both graduated from TAMS in May. Lu, a 16-year-old from Sugar Land, worked on research with chemistry professor William Acree to ﬁnd the best way to purify fossil fuels and was named a Siemens semiﬁnalist in 2016. UNT has produced 60 Goldwater Scholars since 1996, leading all Texas universities. Goldwater awards are considered to be among the country’s most prestigious scholarships awarded to students planning careers in
mathematics, science and engineering. Counseling fellowship
Doctoral student Ana Guadalupe Reyes received a $20,000 fellowship from the National Board for Certiﬁed Counselors that will provide funding and training and will facilitate her service to underserved minority populations. Reyes is a doctoral student in the College of Education counseling program specializing in equine-assisted psycho-
therapy and LGBTQ+ issues. The fellowship will help her receive further training and complete her dissertation in equine-assisted psychotherapy with underrepresented populations. She is one of 22 students selected for the fellowship. “I’m the daughter of two immigrants,” Reyes says. “This fellowship recognizes the sacriﬁces my parents made to provide me with a better education.”
BEST MIDSIZE EMPLOYER Forbes named UNT one of America’s Best Midsize Employers for 2017. UNT is ranked fourth in the nation in the education category and No. 25 overall out of 301 employers. The designation highlights top employers that have between 1,000 and 5,000 workers whose employees feel “happy, inspired and well-compensated.”
5,000,000 page views for the Texas Digital Newspaper Program run by UNT Libraries
CREATIVE FIELDS CONTRIBUTE UNT’s performing and visual arts help add to the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s creative economies, which contribute $34 billion annually to the region.
GRADUATES IN 2016-17 JOINED OUR 393,000 ALUMNI AROUND THE WORLD, A RECORD-BREAKING YEAR.
Grant Thornton, one of the world’s largest professional accounting services networks, named UNT doctoral student Sonja Hightower its ﬁrst fellow.
Phi Theta Kappa has named UNT to its Excellence in Community College Transfer Honor Roll for the second year in a row.
RANKS AND RECOGNITION
TOP PUBLIC COLLEGE
Named a top public college by Buffalo Business First
Ranked No. 2 among the Top 50 College Financial Literacy Programs by LendEDU
Graduate programs ranked in the top 25 by U.S. News & World Report
179 MILLION MILES
UNT will offset carbon emissions equivalent to an average car driving 179 million miles by purchasing 107 megawatt hours of renewable energy credits through the We Mean Green Fund. The renewable energy credits from Denton Municipal Electric’s GreenSense Renewable Energy Program will power electricity usage for more than 174 buildings on campus.
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Disser tation award
Rachel U. Mun, College of Education assistant professor and program steward for the master’s concentration in gifted and talented education, has been awarded the 2017 National Association for Gifted Children Dissertation
Award. She won for a shortened version of her dissertation, “Parental expectations for Asian Americans who entered college early: Inﬂuences on their academic and career decision-making.” She will give a special session at the National Association for Gifted Children convention this fall. Mun describes her research as an intersection between gifted education, mental health and immigrant issues. For the last ﬁve years, her research has focused on social and emotional development, immigrants and culturally responsible practices, parental inﬂuences,
career decision-making and educational access for special populations of gifted learners, using primarily mixed and qualitative methods. “It is a great honor and privilege to receive this dissertation award,” she says. Hurricane recovery research
Laura Siebeneck, associate professor in the Department of Emergency Management and Disaster Science, along with collaborators from Purdue University, received a $2.5 million, four-year grant from the National Science Foundation to examine why
some communities recover from natural disasters more quickly than others. Siebeneck and UNT team members Ronald Schumann, assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Management and Disaster Science, and Britt-Janet Kuenanz, a ﬁrst-year student in the doctoral program in public administration and management, traveled to New Jersey in May to track the recovery of towns aﬀected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and conduct focus groups.
ALUMNA BECOMES NEW PROVOST Alumna Jennifer Evans-Cowley (’97 M.P.A.) begins her role as UNT’s new provost and vice president for academic affairs July 1. A native of Arlington, Texas, Evans-Cowley has served as vice provost for capital planning and regional campuses at Ohio State University since 2014. In that position, she led four regional campuses that serve 6,000 students. She worked with the deans at those campuses on plans for increasing student success, including grants focused on degree completion. She also helped develop the President’s and Provost’s Teaching Institute to aid faculty in improving teaching quality and
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advancing effectiveness, and her office conducted a comprehensive salary study for faculty to create equitable salaries. And she created a capital plan that will lead to more than $1 billion in development in the next five years. “I’m eager to come home to Texas and UNT, and look forward to supporting academic life at the university,” Evans-Cowley says. “I can’t wait to meet the students, faculty, staff and deans who make UNT the amazing place that it is. I look forward to working together to achieve UNT’s academic goals.” Prior to entering the higher education field, Evans-Cowley worked in city government in College Station and Amarillo and also has experience working with the Environmental Protection Agency. She taught at Texas A&M University and then at Ohio State. While at Ohio State, she chaired city and regional planning in the Knowlton School before being promoted to associate dean for academic affairs and administration in the College of Engineering. Evans-Cowley holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, a master’s degree in urban planning and a Ph.D. in urban and regional science from Texas A&M University, and a master’s in public administration from UNT.
U.S. Army veterans Jeremy Artman (’17) and Nathan Derrick (’16, ’17 M.S.) are among the UNT researchers working to design cold-formed steel shelters that will be more eﬃcient, durable and lightweight for soldiers.
Engineering for Army
Two UNT research teams from the materials science and engineering technology departments are collaborating with researchers at Northeastern University and the University of Southern Mississippi to redesign U.S. Army tactical shelters to be stronger, lighter, stackable and easier to transport. UNT’s materials science team is studying the feasibility of using a lighter-weight steel for the tactical shelters rather than the currently used aluminum. They also will look at improving methods of how the shelter components are assembled. UNT’s engineering technology team will test ideas
for making the change from aluminum to steel, examining structural performance. The project began in October and is expected to last two years. The researchers hope the Army will be able to create all new shelters for their soldiers based on their work. A second collaboration, between UNT’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Processes Institute and the Army Research Laboratory, focuses on examining body and vehicle armor and discovering new ways to keep soldiers safe. UNT researchers are focused speciﬁcally on improving protection against ballistics impacts and determining how to make stronger
and better armor materials. “We can do fundamental testing that shows what happens when the armor gets hit,” says Rajiv Mishra, director of the institute and UNT Distinguished Research Professor of materials science and engineering. “We have high-tech equipment that will show what the impact is like. The high-speed camera catches things so fast that it can show everything that happens at the smallest and fastest stage.” Hear t of Mexico
UNT received a 2017 Sen. Paul Simon Spotlight Award for its Heart of Mexico Literary and Visual Storytelling Project, which takes student journalists
out of familiar environments and provides them with the same challenges they could someday face as foreign correspondents, freelance writers and photojournalists. The project was launched in 2013 by Thorne Anderson, associate professor in UNT’s Mayborn School of Journalism. It puts students in teams to create multimedia stories, which are published annually in a bilingual online publication, heartofmexicostories.com. The award was presented by NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the world’s largest nonproﬁt association dedicated to international education and exchange.
N AT I O N A L S CI E N CE F O U N DAT I O N C A R E E R AWA R D Cornelia Caragea, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award for her work in machine learning, data mining and information retrieval. Caragea’s NSF CAREER project is designing solutions to make information more accessible and comprehensible to scholarly web users, helping them discover knowledge more effectively and efficiently. She plans to develop an integrated framework that focuses on the extraction and use of scholarly knowledge graphs in online scholarly environments. She is the 13th UNT faculty member to receive the NSF’s most prestigious recognition for young researchers. Summer 2017
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1 Students from 129 countries call UNT home and participated in the annual Flag Parade during 2017 University Day celebrations.
2 UNT and ACES (Comprehensive Educational Services Inc.) hosted Temple Grandin, one of the most important voices in the autism spectrum disorder community, for +Autism, a lecture and panel discussion about autism April 13 in Dallas.
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3 This spring UNTâ€™s Mary Jo & V. Lane Rawlins Fine Arts Series presented Luminarium on the south lawn of the University Union, a maze of winding paths and soaring domes from Islamic architecture, Archimedian solids and Gothic cathedrals that yield varying light patterns.
College of Information partners with Chinese
Research Association, the premier national educational research organization.” UNT and East China Normal University’s collaboration resulted in a joint research laboratory, which focuses on big data, little devices and lifelong learning. The two also have collaborated on the creation of the International Journal of Smart Technology and Learning, and UNT hosted ECNU graduate students. Additionally, UNT and Beijing Normal University
have signed an agreement continuing their multiple-year partnership, which will result in a joint lab focusing on smart learning technologies. Faculty and students at all three universities have co-presented at several international conferences and co-written articles in highly regarded journals. Kinshuk and a Beijing Normal University professor also established the journal Smart Learning Environments.
For its collaborations with professors at Beijing Normal University and East China Normal University, UNT’s College of Information received the 2017 Outstanding International Research Collaboration Award from the American Educational Research Association. Professors J. Michael Spector, Gerald Knezek and Lin Lin have established laboratories with colleagues at both universities focused on learning technologies. “We are very pleased and highly honored to receive this prestigious award,” says Kinshuk, UNT College of Information dean. “This not only highlights the signiﬁcance of the joint activities that have resulted from these collaborations, but also stresses the need for more such eﬀorts to advance the ﬁeld. We are grateful to be recognized by the American Educational
PIPER PROFESSOR John Ishiyama, University Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Political Science, was named a 2017 Minnie Stevens Piper Professor for his impact as a teacher. He is one of 10 faculty members from Texas colleges and universities recognized by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation. Since 2010, he has directed UNT’s summer Research Experience for Undergraduates Program in Civil Conflict Management and Peace Science, which is funded by a National Science Foundation grant and provides intensive research experience to students from other universities and from UNT.
College of Information Dean Kinshuk, left, and UNT President Neal Smatresk, second from right, attended the U.S.-China Smart Education Conference in Beijing, China, this spring. Summer 2017
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Leader in scientific research
Pamela Padilla, associate professor of biology and associate dean of research and graduate studies in the new College of Science, is one of 15 scientists chosen to attend a
leadership institute for scientiﬁc researchers this summer. The Advanced Leadership Institute — a partnership between the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and The Society for Advancement of Chicanos/ Hispanics and Native Americans in Science — is designed to prepare the next generation of top-level leaders in the STEM ﬁelds. “Science is collaborative and requires communication and
leadership skills, so it is good to develop these skill sets,” Padilla says, adding that she is excited to pass along what she learns to her students. Effects of conflict
Three UNT professors were awarded a National Science Foundation grant to study the eﬀects of political conﬂict on language and culture. The grant will allow Shobhana Chelliah, a professor in the Department of
Linguistics who initiated the idea, and her co-collaborators James Meernik and Kimi King from the Department of Political Science to host a conference in 2018 and research the issues more deeply. “This is a new partnership between linguistics and political science to see how our two disciplines improve understanding of the complex issues around language endangerment and political instability,” Chelliah says.
Ask an Expert
How can I help my loved ones receive the best care as they age?
ealth becomes a greater concern as you and your loved ones age. Stan Ingman, gerontology professor and an expert in senior health care, spends his time teaching and researching health care options and trends around the world. He says it is important for individuals to be proactive and do all they can to prepare for advanced care. “Instead of seniors being cared for,” Ingman says, “think of it as more of a joint eﬀort where they are empowered to care for themselves in conjunction with outside help.”
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Health decisions • Notice warning signs such as a chronic illness or frequent trips to the hospital, which indicate long-term care is likely ahead. Memory loss or decreased motor skills also signal the need for more health care to come. • Make coordinated care a priority and have someone responsible for ensuring your loved ones’ doctors work in concert. — Jennifer Pache
Proactive planning • Start the conversation early for a greater likelihood that a plan will be in place when it is needed. • Assess needs because giving your loved ones too much health care, such as an unneeded stay in a retirement facility, can be as detrimental as providing too little care. • Don’t take away their independence, if they are able to complete tasks. Provide support when needed, like with medication distribution or transportation, and encourage their use of tools like a grabber, right, to continue living independently.
Choosing care • Gain insight and advice from friends, educators and doctors taking care of your loved ones. Consider talking with someone who specializes in planning long-term coordinated health care. • Research and make sure that the choices regarding medical care, residence and end of life arrangements meet your personal quality standards.
Biological sciences doctoral student Drew Sturtevant completed 3-D chemical imaging of the inside of an Arabidopsis thaliana seed, which has never been mapped before. The seed’s small size, rapid life cycle and ability to produce thousands of other seeds make it perfect for plant research. His work puts UNT at the forefront in this ﬁeld and enables other research. His breakthrough was published in the journal BBA Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids.
E L I M I N AT I N G REFLECTIONS Through a research partnership with Argonne National Laboratory, materials science professor Diana Berman has created a simple ceramic coating that may completely eliminate light reflections of glass or other surfaces. The coating demonstrates excellent wear resistance and antifogging effects and could be deposited on solar panels, windshields, cell phone screens and eyeglasses. “Not all the sun’s light on solar panels is transmitted inside because of the glass reflection. We are working to dramatically increase the capability of the light transmission and efficiency of solar panels by reducing the reflection,” she says. “This starts with solar, but goes beyond that. It could work with windows, glasses — any surface that needs an anti-reflective coating.”
Rhonda Christensen, a research professor in the Department of Learning Technologies, was awarded a Fulbright Senior Specialist Scholarship. This fall, Christensen will travel to Windesheim University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands to assess the faculty’s existing levels of research on technology integration in education and provide supplemental training based on that assessment. She also will facilitate a joint Windesheim/UNT symposium in 2018 as a step toward a sustainable cooperation between the two universities.
Join the UNT Alumni Association for family-friendly events like this spring’s Coaches Caravan where Mean Green head football coach Seth Littrell met UNT fan Lukas Kamenicky.
UNT Alumni Association Round up the family and consider joining the UNT Alumni Association for fun-for-all-ages excursions this summer throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. UNT Night at the Frisco RoughRiders will take place July 1 at Dr Pepper Ballpark, 7300 Roughriders Trail in Frisco. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. and the evening will be fun for the whole family, with access to the Primrose Playground for children and a ﬁreworks show following the game. Tickets include ballpark food, domestic beer, wine and a RoughRiders program, and are $10 for Alumni Association members, $20 for non-members, $5 for ages 3-10 and free for children under age two. Other family-focused summer events include an exploration day at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Dallas Love Field on July 29 and an outing Aug. 12 at the Fort Worth Zoo. “We’re excited to coordinate these family-centric events and meet some of our future Mean Green,” says Rob McInturf, UNT Alumni Association executive director. “We hope these laid-back outings will encourage the whole family to join and will facilitate the opportunity for new connections and friendships.” The UNT Alumni Association oﬀers individual and joint memberships as annual or lifetime commitments. Stay connected by joining, or if you are already an annual member, consider upgrading to a life membership. Rates increase Sept. 1. To join the association or learn more about events, visit untalumni.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 940-565-2834.
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hen Kelli McGonagill Finglass (’89) isn’t leading dance rehearsals and business meetings, coordinating appearance calendars and travel, or reviewing rough cuts of a CMT reality TV show, she’s sharing wisdom with the 30-plus women who make up the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Each facet of the group, often lauded as “America’s sweethearts,” passes across Finglass’ desk. She took the job of director and business manager — which includes helping to choose each year’s members — in 1991 after ﬁve years of cheering on the squad. She knows the rigor of the process. Each May, more than 600 women audition for a coveted spot on the team and Finglass says that having to tell 95 percent of them that this won’t be the year their dream comes true is very diﬃcult. “My role is kind of like being room mom. But it’s not always cheer, cheer, cheer,” she says. “I’m also the one disappointing people and that is very heavy for me. I know how fragile young people can be.” A self-proclaimed perfectionist, Finglass has always worked hard. After her ﬁrst year as a Cowboys cheerleader in 1984, she enrolled in UNT’s College of Business to study marketing. Each day for four years, she drove to Denton from Valley Ranch for 8 a.m. classes, worked an afternoon job in Lewisville and then headed to the dance studio for a full evening of rehearsals. “Because I’ve traveled worldwide on 18 USO tours, this little girl from Lindale saw a much bigger world than East Texas,”
by Meredith Moriak Wright
A former member of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, this marketing alum stepped to the other side of the ﬁeld to expand the brand’s identity — which included creating a reality TV show now entering its 12th season.
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Finglass says. “A tour to South Korea and chance to learn about manufacturing got me interested in international marketing.” She credits former marketing professor Krishna Erramilli and Gopala Ganesh, current University Distinguished Teaching Professor of marketing, for stimulating her brain and her interest in the ﬁeld. “They taught me how a product goes from an idea to the store shelf, and how you reach the consumer,” she says. After graduating in December 1989, Finglass was set to work in the international sales department at UPS, but the opportunity to be the assistant director of the cheerleaders arose. “DCC is my heart and in my blood. Out of passion, I took the job,” says Finglass, whose challenge once she was promoted to director was to make the squad proﬁtable, rather than a public relations expense. Using her marketing knowhow, she found ways to monetize skills the cheerleaders already possessed. She introduced for-proﬁt dance and cheerleading camps and competitions, established a paid corporate appearance program and launched a swimsuit calendar followed by a TV special about its making. One of the brand’s biggest breaks came in 2005 when reality TV producers asked about chronicling the audition process. “At that time, it seemed like every reality show was catﬁghts and hot tub scenes, but I felt like the audition angle was something that might work,” Finglass says of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team. The 12th season premieres Aug. 3. “I want people to see how impressive the cheerleaders are in every dimension — how smart and talented they are, the strength of the team and the friendships. We have pre-med students, writers, lawyers,” she says. “These are women with careers, not just gameday entertainers.”
Kelli Finglass (’89) Coppell, TX Selection process: Recent experience helping my daughter navigate the college admissions, scholarship and sorority recruitment process has caused me to look at DCC applications in a different light.
When I read that someone has a
scholarship or is on the dean’s
My fear when we started filming
UNT System Chancellor Lee
list, it means more to me. When I
Making the Team was that people
Jackson was one of our original
see a girl who was selected into
would think we were too critical.
co-ed squad Dallas Cowboys
a sorority or leadership position,
I’ve been very pleased by the
Cheerleaders. Our squad started
I know she has team-like energy
number of moms who tell me they
in 1961 with a county-wide tryout
and has been through a rigorous
watch the show with their daugh-
for high school cheerleaders.
ters and use it to reinforce how a young woman should conduct
Visit northtexan.unt.edu/online to
herself. The positive feedback
read more Q&A and learn about a
from other women means more to
partnership between UNT and the
me than any paycheck could.
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SCENE Life is sweet on Hickory Street. As you know, UNT isn’t just any college, and Denton isn’t an average college town. Come back to campus and check out the vibrant spirit of your alma mater. See what’s new and attend one of our many fun events. Learn more at unt.edu/community. 18
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Check out upcoming events page 21
MANY TALENTS Producer and keyboardist infuses his love for gospel and jazz into his music and is racking up the Grammy Award wins.
AN APPLIED ARTS AND SCIENCES student at UNT, Shaun Martin (’01) ﬁt in his classes between performing keyboard for Kirk Franklin and Erykah Badu. “I didn’t graduate summa cum laude or magna cum laude. I graduated thank you Lord!” he quips. “That was a weird, fun, stressful time of my life.” But that hard work and tenacity paid oﬀ. This year, he won two Grammys — for producing Franklin’s CD Losing My Religion and for playing as a member of Snarky Puppy on the band’s CD Culcha Vulcha. In all, Martin boasts a total of seven Grammys. He also recorded his own album, Seven Summers, in 2015. “Being recognized at this year’s awards was a cool thing because it was two totally opposite ends of a spectrum. I never really set out to make music to win Grammys,” Martin says. “I set out to make music to have fun. I enjoy playing music and seeing that somebody’s face is smiling.”
Learn more about how a UNT professor helped Martin navigate school and his performance schedule at northtexan.unt.edu/many-talents. Summer 2017
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Muse Books Family project When Kent Chapman’s children Claire (’14) and Meredith (’17) were 3 and 5, they wrote a story together called Pat the Bat (MacLarenCochrane Publishing). The girls drew pictures of the bat’s adventures and he stapled the pages together. Chapman, Regents Professor of biology, found the book 20 years later in his closet. He turned it over to a friend who is an illustrator and it was published. Claire is now a junior high school science teacher for
Richardson ISD. Meredith majored in education at UNT and was a student teacher at Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, where she read the book to her second-grade class. “They thought it was so cool,” Meredith says. “Now, they all want to write a book!”
An artist’s life In Jeronimo Antonio Gil: The Idea of the Spanish Enlightenment (University of New Mexico Press), art history professor Kelly Donahue-Wallace examines the life of the Spanish engraver who became the founder of the ﬁrst royal academy in the Americas.
She read Gil’s will in which he described his possessions, including diamonds, three telescopes and more than 100 paintings that he purchased after starting his adult life with nothing. It also contained sad passages about his wife, whom he had not seen for two decades since she did not want to leave Madrid for Mexico City. “I wanted to get to know him better, which I did thanks to his abundant writings,” Donahue-Wallace says.
Looking for the moon In the 1960s, Ann McCutchan grew up in the space coast town of Titusville, Flori-
da, as Apollo 11 was preparing to land on the moon. Five years after the moon landing in 1969, her parents died in a car accident. “After that, I avoided the area,” says the retired associate professor of English. “But when I turned 60, I sought to go back, to examine and reﬂect on the times, the place, the community, and who I, and we, had been.” McCutchan, who also was a doctoral student in music at UNT, writes about that time in Where’s the Moon? A Memoir of the Space Coast and the Florida Dream (Texas A&M University Press). “That era not only aﬀected my family’s life,” she says, “it was interesting in its own right.”
Creative endeavors Three faculty members will get to further their creative pursuits — studying textiles in Greece, writing a musical about female composers and composing an opera — thanks to UNT’s Institute for the Advancement of the Arts fellowship. The 201718 faculty fellows will get a semester off and a stipend to work on their projects. Amie Adelman (left), associate professor and coordinator of the fibers program, will attend the Lakkos Artist Residency in Ahna Hubnik & Steve Riley
Greece to continue her exploration of textiles around the world. She chose Greece to immerse herself in the country’s historical textiles traditions such as basketry, embroidery and weaving. When Adelman returns, she will work on a permanent installation for the entryway of the Greater Denton Arts Council’s building. “This fellowship is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to focus on research that will lead to a new body of artwork,” Adelman says. Marjorie Hayes (right), associate professor of acting-directing, will use her fellowship to develop Songstress, a musical about female composers who have written for Broadway. Hayes will spend her fellowship in New York City rehearsing the project for a run at the Metropolitan Room Theatre in November. “I wanted to show how exceptional these women’s music is and how it’s not received the attention that these composers deserve,” Hayes says. Andrew May (middle), associate professor of composition, will use his time to work on a digitally mediated chamber opera inspired by the novel 62: A Model Kit by Julio Cortázar. The piece will incorporate four voices, a sextet and a live interactive computer system that can conjure places, characters and sound worlds on command. He hopes to present the opera in spring 2019 on campus. The idea has been in his head for years. “I’m delighted to discover new questions I can’t yet answer,” May says.
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Heartfelt words Claire Legrand (’08, ’10 M.S.) wants to connect with readers, whether it’s as a writer or a librarian. Legrand was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Book for the novel Some Kind of Happiness (Simon & Schuster). In the book, 11-year-old Finley Hart imagines a forest kingdom to escape the sadness she often feels. Then she discovers the kingdom is behind her grandparents’ home and she must save it. Legrand drew from her own experiences with depression and her love for her family. “It feels like I wove my heart into each and every page,” she says. “My hope is that the nomination helps the book ﬁnd its way into the hands of readers, especially young readers who need it.” She has written ﬁve books, including The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls and Foxheart, and is a librarian in Princeton, N.J. “As an author, I frequently visit schools and talk to students about writing, reading and pursuing dreams,” she says. “As a librarian, I help people in my community ﬁnd their next favorite book, learn new things, and connect with technology and resources that help them complete projects both personal and professional. Those moments of connection are unforgettable.” Ellen B. Wright
Dancing is her beat
As a dance major, Rachel Caldwell (’11) had to write weekly self-reﬂection essays and research papers that helped her develop her skills and conﬁdence as a writer. Now she gets to combine her love for dancing and writing as assistant editor
best contemporary hand-woven tapestry from around the world from Aug. 17 to Sept. 30. Learn more at untonthesquare.unt.edu.
Dance and Theatre
for the national magazine Dance Teacher, based in New York City. “Every time I interview a dance teacher, choreographer or performer, I learn a bit more about dance,” she says. “I love talking to people who are so passionate about their craft. It’s infectious!” She credits her UNT professors with setting her on the path to her career. “They taught me how to see and talk about dance in an intelligent way,” she says. “I don’t think I’d be where I am today had I not attended UNT.”
UNT on the Square will host a variety of exhibitions throughout the summer. The Visual Arts Society of Texas Membership Exhibition, running through June 29, will feature works from all media from the Denton-based organization. The Upshaws of County Line shows photography, taken by Richard Orton (’68), depicting life in the East Texas community formed in the 1870s that was used as a safe place during Reconstruction and Jim Crow Texas. The exhibition is based on the book with the same name published by UNT Press. The show will run from July 7 through Aug. 12, with a reception and talk from Orton from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 4. The Small Tapestry International will display the
Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm, will be a keynote speaker at the 2017 Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference July 21-23 at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine. With the theme of “The Power of Words,” the event also will feature Katherine Boo, a staff writer at The New Yorker and author of the best-seller Behind the Beautiful Forevers, and Charles Johnson, a MacArthur Fellowship recipient and author of Middle Passage. The 13th annual conference is hosted by the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism. Learn more at themayborn.com. The UNT Symphony Orchestra will perform with world-renowned pianist Misha Dichter at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Dallas City Performance Hall. The program will include Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety, a musical representation of W.H. Auden’s narrative poem about desperately seeking faith in a seemingly faithless world, and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, which Prokofiev himself described as “a symphony of the grandeur of the human spirit.” Tickets will be available at thempac.com in August.
Visit calendar.unt.edu for more upcoming events.
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Music Honoring a mentor
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When Rick Bogart (’74) ﬁrst came to North Texas, he was astounded that tenor
Eugene Conley was an artistin-residence. Bogart, a jazz clarinetist and vocalist, has compiled the CD Air Checks, which features Conley’s opera recordings. Conley had frequently performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in the 1950s, and he sang on The Voice of Firestone and Cavalcade of Stars programs. He served as artist-in-residence from
Rich Redmond’s (’95 M.M.) drumming has taken him from the One O’Clock Lab Scholarship winner Band to the Nashville music scene, where he’s worked for 20 years, most notably for multi-platinum country star Jason Aldean. Redmond is spreading his knowledge to others with the new educational system, Juana Monsalve, a native Drumming in The Modern of Colombia and a doctoral student in music performance, World. While at UNT, he played in the ensembles “all wants to build a strong voice day every day,” then performed program in her homeland. in Dallas at night. He also Now she’ll get to do that — and ﬁnish her doctorate — learned how to navigate the thanks to the $12,500 P.E.O., music business. “Drumming is one of the or Philanthropic Educational greatest ways I can express Organization, International myself, and it is truly my Peace Scholarship, which life’s purpose,” he says. “I have provides scholarships to traveled the world and seen women from other countries for graduate studies in the U.S. what an impact music has on the lives of everyone. It is such or Canada. a universal language.” Monsalve is a classically trained singer who also perTelevision and Film forms traditional Colombian music. Using his voice “I want to be part of a cultural transformation that is already happening there,” she says. “My country needs young, well-prepared professionals who are committed to social and cultural transformation to help their own people.” John Liddle (’05) has Meredith Buie
Doctoral student Matt Morton believes starting a new book is exciting and intimidating. “It’s an opportunity to take new risks and to write without any notion of what the end product should be,” he says. Morton, a Ph.D. candidate in English, has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship program, which gives grants so published writers can set aside time for writing. His poems have appeared in many journals, including Gulf Coast, Harvard Review and Tin House. Morton serves as editor for 32 Poems and is a UNT Robert B. Toulouse Doctoral Fellow in English. Several of his poems that he submitted with his application for the NEA fellowship were workshopped by UNT professors and peers. His ﬁrst book, Spring If Anything, is a collection of poems that are connected by a central inquiry — what does it mean to live a good life? It is being considered by several publishers. The grant will allow him to focus on his second book of poems. “Receiving the NEA fellowship in the midst of this has given me both ﬁnancial security — the importance of which for a graduate student cannot be overstated — and aﬃrmation that my writing has value for others,” he says.
1960 to 1978. Bogart kept up with him until Conley’s death in 1981 and spent 10 years putting the CD together. “I couldn’t believe that he would take me as a student, but I learned plenty from him,” Bogart says. “I was thrilled to be a student and his friend.”
used his radio, TV and ﬁlm degree as a radio broadcaster
Visual Arts Design journal
Two faculty from UNT’s College of Visual Arts and Design play a signiﬁcant role in Dialectic, the new scholarly journal from the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Michael Gibson, professor of communication design, is producer and co-editor, and Keith Owens, associate profes-
sor of communication design, is managing editor. The biannual journal critically examines issues that aﬀect design education and practice. “This is a broad acknowledgment of the breadth and depth of expertise of the collaborative UNT communication design faculty,” Gibson says.
— working for eight years for Southwestern Oklahoma State University and then serving as the voice for the Mean Green women’s basketball team beginning last year. He also works as a traﬃc reporter/producer at NewsRadio 1080 KRLD. Liddle, who was sports director at KNTU as a junior and senior, also has another gig — performing the National Anthem at sporting events, including Texas Rangers games. “I’ve always enjoyed singing. In fact, my ﬁrst major at UNT was musical theatre,” he says. “Since I’m always around sporting events, it seemed like a very natural ﬁt.”
lightbulb represented every country in the world — and the bulb could be turned on and oﬀ to show whether the country is at peace or in conﬂict. The Future, co-created with artist Safwat Saleem with assistance from Fine Acts, an organization that promotes contemporary art with purpose, was expanded to include other human rights issues. It was named a ﬁnalist of Fast Company’s premiere World Changing Ideas Awards in the photography/visualization category. The awards honor projects that oﬀer innovative solutions to the issues facing humanity.
Alicia Eggert, assistant professor of studio arts, wanted to create a sign in which a
Haunting music In 2003, Daniel Foose (’05, ’07 M.M.) went on a UNT ethnomusicology study abroad trip to Ghana that stayed in his mind for years. Steven Friedson, University Distinguished Research Professor of music and anthropology — whose research focuses on musical experience in African ritual — had arranged for a soothsayer to meet with the students. “The soothsayer sat me down and said that I needed to atone for my maternal grandfather’s role in the slave trade,” says Foose, who also was told of a ceremony to perform on his ancestor’s grave to help in the atonement process. That moment led the New York City bassist to compose the recently released CD Of Water and Ghosts on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records, which has been featured on NPR and Downbeat magazine. Foose had not known much specific about his family’s history but, after the trip, his mother confirmed that his great-great-great-grandfather had owned a plantation. While Foose was on tour in 2012 in Natchez, Miss., he visited his ancestor’s grave in the local cemetery on his day off. He played the drums and poured whiskey on his grave, as he had been instructed. Evan Felts
“It felt kind of cathartic,” Foose says. “It wasn’t the end of the process but the beginning of a longer process of reconciliation.” In 2015, he spent a month near the plantation in the Mississippi Delta writing a suite of music based on the arc of the story. Along with work on the CD, Foose has performed with several groups, including the funk soul band The Gold Magnolias. He also toured with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett for their jazz show, and has played with Stevie Wonder. Foose says he has been heartened with the reaction to the CD. “People who live out there in the Delta told me that I’ve captured something about the spirit of the place,” he says. “I hope that it opens the door to some conversations that are sorely lacking in the divisive environment we find ourselves in these days.” Summer 2017
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A LUMNI USE THEIR CREATIVITY AND
BUSINESS SKILLS TO GRAB A SLICE OF SUCCESS SERVING FOODIES ACROSS TEXAS
In the tiny Hill Country town of Utopia, visitors can go to a place that feels a bit like France. The Laurel Tree, run by Laurel Waters (’91), serves a fourcourse lunch and ﬁve-course dinner each Saturday, similar to “guest tables” in the French countryside. Waters uses fresh herbs, vegetables and edible ﬂowers she picks from her kitchen garden, or potager, in her menu items. The dining rooms are ﬁlled with French antiques that she’s brought home from her travels. Her dream of owning a French restaurant began with a scholarship she won as a fashion design student at UNT. The scholarship took her to Paris where she immediately fell in love with the city. Nearly 15 years later, she opened her Utopian eatery, which is surrounded by red poppies each spring. “I was scared that people wouldn’t come way out here to have dinner,” Waters says. “But it’s been 12 years now and they come from everywhere.” Waters is among many alumni who have used their education at UNT and their own life experiences and passions to create some of the state’s most distinctive and acclaimed restaurants. Some, such as Louis Lambert (’90) and Shadan Price (’08, ’13), learned about the industry through the hospitality program in UNT’s College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism. Others, like David Sartain (’73, ’79 M.B.A.), Elizabeth “Libby” Sartain (’77 M.B.A.)
THE LAUREL TREE FRENCH RESTAURANT 24
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Story by Jessica DeLeón Photography by Ahna Hubnik
and Stephen “Duﬀy” Oyster (’71), are using skills they learned from UNT’s College of Business as a main ingredient in their success. In doing so, they’re contributing to the latest food trends — from going locavore to artistically blending tradition and cuisine and making food that is more accessible to more people. Waters grows her own locally sourced food. Oyster is merging two cultures in his restaurant concept. And Price is taking her culturally infused food to the street and building community. But they love the restaurant industry for the same reason — to create special experiences in making meals and pleasing their diners. “You’re trying to satisfy your customer,” Lambert says, “in food, atmosphere, service level, music and uniform.” David Sartain says the importance of customer service was a big part of what he learned at UNT. “It starts and ends with your customers,” Sartain says. “They go away with the experience we intend them to have — the greetings and smiles, the friendliness they encounter.”
always enjoyed entertaining for her friends. In 1998, she returned to Paris to take a 10-week basic cuisine and pastry course at Le Cordon Bleu but eventually earned the entire Grande Diplôme. During her time oﬀ, Waters took the train to explore the countryside, watching how grapes are harvested in Bordeaux, touring vineyards in Burgundy and exploring the châteaux of the Loire Valley. “Provence really stole my heart with perched villages, the markets, the scenery, the architecture and the lifestyle,” she says. “I visited many times exploring new villages, trying new restaurants and frequenting many outdoor antique fairs.” Waters also met diﬀerent chefs and ended up working at three famous restaurants in Provence. She became particularly intrigued with table d’hôte, a French tradition in which travelers could visit someone’s home for supper that night, eating among strangers. “I just started dreaming up my own guest table,” she says. Her family has owned property in Utopia since 1972, and the Texas Hill Country reminded her of Provence, with similar mountains, spring-fed creeks and livestock grazing in the ﬁelds. “I thought about moving to Provence,” she says, “but decided I could bring everything I loved back home.” She opened The Laurel Tree in 2004. Her courses include a meat and seafood selection that change every week. Since it’s in a dry county, guests bring their own wine. And on the grounds is a treehouse built by Pete Nelson of the show Treehouse Masters, where a party of six can eat. Reservations must be made in advance for the restaurant. Despite the popularity, Waters says it will continue to be open only on Saturdays. “I love visiting with diners about where they are from and to hear their story,” she says. “We have the most interesting people come to dine and celebrate some of their most wonderful moments with us.”
“I thought about moving to Provence but decided I could bring everything I loved back home.” Laurel Waters
When Waters spent a semester studying at the Paris Fashion Institute in 1990, she fell in love with the city’s food, the art and the museums. “Paris is magnetic and magical,” she says. She couldn’t forget it, even in the midst of a successful career in computer-aided design for the apparel industry in Dallas. Her mother taught her to cook when she was young, and she Summer 2017
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(’73, ’79 M.B.A.)
MAXINE’ S CAFE
COMMUNITY MEETING SPOT
Like Waters, David and Libby Sartain found second careers as restaurateurs in the Texas Hill Country. But that wasn’t their plan. The Sartains, who met in graduate school at UNT and married in 1977, both had highpowered careers in the Silicon Valley when they retired in the mid-2000s. Libby wanted to restore the two-story Greek revival house, called Ancient Oaks Plantation, that her ancestor had built in 1857 south of Bastrop. While Libby was working on the home, David was looking for investments. He bought one of the downtown buildings, which came with Maxine’s Restaurant. They created new recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, building around the home cooking concept with large portions, and rebranded it as Maxine’s Cafe. And in 2008, Texas Monthly magazine named it one of the state’s top 40 small-town breakfast cafés. People were pouring in. Their specialty — pancakes that spill over the 12-inch plate — appeared on Texas Monthly’s cover in 2011. Families often put a platter of pancakes in the middle of the table for their young children to share. “We’ve seen it parceled out among four hungry boys and it disappears,” David says. The atmosphere is just as attractive as the food, with the café serving as a meeting spot for customers. The fellowship stems from the employees, whom the Sartains treat like family. Libby, who worked as vice president of human resources at Southwest Airlines and Yahoo, says, “The café is kind of an iconic small-town experience that people enjoy, like a Sunday drive. We want our employees to really deliver that kind of experience.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Chef Louis Lambert also works to make every meal an experience. While in the process of creating a new restaurant for a hotel in San Cristóbal, Mexico, he met with the architect about concept, design and the details. He sought out local cuisine in the village to get inspiration. He discussed plates and bowls with the china company in Guadalajara. And he worked with the woodworker who made the platters. Then Lambert hired a chef, put the system in place and oversaw the concept until the restaurant opened. “I love that challenge,” says Lambert, who oversees the concepts for restaurants for his sister’s Bunkhouse Group hotels, including the one in San Cristóbal. “As much as I love being in the kitchen, I think that’s what excites me now. It’s not just the food, but the plate it’s going on. It’s the table or chair, what paper the menu is printed on. It’s a bigger picture than being the food guy.” Lambert has made a name as an owner or investor in some of Texas’ favorite restaurants, including Fort Worth’s Dutch’s Hamburgers and, in Austin, Lambert’s BBQ, Jeﬀrey’s ﬁne dining, June’s café and Jo’s coﬀee shop. Lambert grew up around cooks — such as his grandmother and her Cajun cooking and the camp cooks on his grandfather’s ranch — which inspired him to co-write the Big Ranch, Big City Cookbook. After graduating from UNT, he attended the Culinary Institute of America, considered the
most prestigious culinary school in the world. Although he now focuses on the big picture of his restaurants, he enjoys the process of cooking. “Even when I’m not near a kitchen,” Lambert says, “I get inspired by a smell or sight that makes me want to ﬁnd a place to cook.”
“It’s not just the food, but the plate it’s going on. It’s the table or chair, what paper the menu is printed on. It’s a bigger picture than being the food guy.” Louis Lambert
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Stephen ‘Duffy’ Oyster
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TURNING THINGS AROUND
Stephen “Duﬀy” Oyster loves innovating. In fact, his popular Hula Hut restaurants, located in Austin and Little Elm, combine Mexican and Polynesian ﬂavors. Diners eat their meals — such as Hawaiian fajitas and mango-poblano chile quesadillas — while overlooking the lake. The fun, relaxing vibe of Hula Hut reﬂects Oyster’s view of his career in the restaurant and commercial real estate business. “This isn’t like having a job,” he says. “It’s fun to get up in the morning and roll up my sleeves to still do stuﬀ.” His business career began early. In high school and college, he would buy used cars and rent houses. “I like buying things that need to be ﬁxed up and turned around,” Oyster says. After earning his degree in management, he worked in marketing at Del Monte and Dunkin’ Donuts. He and other investors created Foodmakers, which bought out Jack-in-the-Box. In 2001, he bought out Pancho’s Mexican Buﬀet and revamped the menu. He also owned 14 franchises of Tony Roma’s. Oyster established Hula Hut in 1993, and its location on Lake Austin has made it one of Austin’s most popular hangouts. Oyster also owns Mozart’s Coﬀee Roasters and a marina in the same area. The town leaders of Little Elm lured him to open a second Hula Hut on Lake Lewisville in 2015. A dedicated UNT donor, Oyster also has hosted a mixer for the UNT Alumni Association at the Little Elm location. While he has downsized the number of restaurants he owns from 70 to three and has survived a bout of cancer, he says he’s not going to retire. “The restaurant business is for me very exciting because there are so many aspects,” he says. “It’s marketing. It’s good food. It’s managing employees. It’s ﬁnding the right people. You never do the same thing the same day.”
TAKING IT TO THE STREET
When Shadan Price pulls up her food truck for customers in Denton, she wants them to try something they’ve never tasted before. “It’s Middle Eastern ﬂavors and stuﬀ that comes out of my head,” she says of Leila’s Food Truck. Her most popular item is the falafel burger, not fried like it usually is, but grilled on a ﬂat top like a hamburger. Her potato poppers are a twist of potato cutlets, but smaller, fried and with added spices. Her grilled cheese sandwich boasts Muenster and feta cheeses with roasted grapes and a bit of honey. Customers are intrigued by the oﬀerings. “At ﬁrst, they’re a little hesitant,” says Price, who was born in Iran and grew up in Plano. “Then they try it and they love it. I like hearing, ‘I wasn’t expecting to like a vegetarian food truck.’” Price ﬁrst got a degree in art education and taught for two years. She then became a vegetarian and realized she loved cooking. She particularly liked replicating her mother’s Persian recipes and the creativity involved — from adjusting the recipes to making a pretty plate. She then thought she could open her own restaurant. Price returned to UNT to earn her degree in hospitality management, a program that emphasizes the industry’s business aspects, such as accounting. While she was saving money to buy a truck, she worked at Mean Greens, UNT’s nationally recognized all-vegan dining hall —
ﬁrst as a student and then working her way up to full-time sous chef and kitchen supervisor. She opened Leila’s last year, choosing a popular female name from the Middle East. The food truck cost less and creates a more ﬂexible schedule than a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Price conducts most of her business in Denton’s two food parks, Backyard on Bell and Austin Street Truck Stop. Her husband, Trey Price (’07), a geography graduate who works for Denton Municipal Electric, also helps her out behind the scenes and with social media. Price says she feels like she’s contributing to what makes Denton great by oﬀering options to vegetarians and vegans, participating in community events and representing her culture. “Denton is a community that includes many immigrants, myself included,” she says. “I’ve brought a bit of Iran, along with other Middle Eastern cuisines, here with me.”
“I like hearing, ‘I wasn’t expecting to like a vegetarian food truck.’” Shadan Price
Online Extra Are you hungry yet? Read about other alumni restaurant owners who are using their savvy business skills and culinary creations — from BBQ and Mexican to sushi and Vietnamese food — to contribute to the growing Denton food scene at northtexan.unt.edu/online.
Shadan (’08, ’13) & Trey Price
LEILA’ S FOOD TRUCK
W I N G S PA N
Mean Green Country Annual celebration of UNT’s legacy of excellence includes exclusive concert by alumni Eli Young Band
UNT celebrated excellence in teaching, student success, notable alumni and generous donors March 25 at the annual Wingspan Gala at the University Union. Performers at the “Mean Green Country” event included UNT’s Country Western Dance Club, the Ginny Mac Trio, Raised Right Men and College of Music students. Speakers included Eric Sudol, Dallas Cowboys vice president of corporate partnership sales and service. And Midland, alum Macy Maloy and alumni headliner Eli Young Band gave a concert at Apogee Stadium for the UNT community. This year’s Presidential Excellence Award honorees were Richard DeRosa, professor of jazz arranging and director of jazz composition and arranging studies, and Marisa Nowicki (’17), a Terry Scholar who earned degrees in See a slideshow from the gala and watch applied behavior analysis and psychology. The Wings of Eagles videos about the presidential awardees at Presidential Award, presented to an alum or friend who has made a northtexan.unt.edu/wingspan-gala2017. transformative impact on the university, was given to G. Brint Ryan (’88, ’88 M.S.), chair of the UNT System Board of Regents.
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Left: UNT President Neal Smatresk presents the Wings of Eagles Presidential Award to G. Brint Ryan (’88, ’88 M.S.). Top row: Eli Young Band, made up of alumni, performs during a concert exclusively for the UNT community. Middle row: Presidential Excellence Award honorees are Marisa Nowicki, left, and Professor Richard DeRosa, right. College of Music students Ada Brooks and Greg Tollotson perform “Dueling Banjos,” center. Bottom row: Led by Professor Julia Bushkova, ViolUNTi performs “Devil Went Down to Georgia” with Professor William Joyner, left. At right, UNT President Neal Smatresk presents Eli Young Band members (from left), Jon Jones (’04), Chris Thompson (’04), Mike Eli (’04) and James Young (’02), with a Presidential Citation. Photos by Gary Payne and Ahna Hubnik
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Craig Robertson (’10, ’14 M.S.)
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Achieving Gridiron Goals by Meredith Moriak Wright
Craig Robertson (’10, ’14 M.S.) is chasing a championship ring. The National Football League linebacker who played four seasons with the Cleveland Browns is now entering his second season with the New Orleans Saints. “I knew that in choosing the Saints we would have a chance to win games,” says Robertson, who remains the second all-time leading tackler in UNT history. UNT has produced more than 100 NFL players over the years, including Abner Haynes, “Mean” Joe Greene, Ron Shanklin and Charles “Chuck” Beatty (’76). More than 30 of those players were undrafted free agents like Robertson, Lance Dunbar, Jamize Olawale (’17) and Zach Orr (’13), who all worked hard to be recognized in the NFL. Each alum’s determined path was diﬀerent, but all agree the work truly begins once a player makes the 53-man roster, because then the goal is to remain on the team. “Playing in the NFL is so special and I treat it like gold,” says Robertson, a 2016 UNT Athletic Hall of Fame inductee. “Each day, I do everything I can to stay here.”
Grit, hard work and determination propelled four recent Mean Green student-athletes to the National
Service and excellence Robertson earned his bachelor’s degree in recreation and leisure studies. When he didn’t get drafted as hoped, he shifted his focus to his job as a health and wellness coach at Verizon’s corporate oﬃce and a master’s degree. “I’m big on athletics, but I’m even bigger on academics. You can do a lot in sports, but your brain is a beautiful thing if you use it for what it’s made for,” says Robertson, who earned a master’s in recreation, event and sport management. As a UNT undergraduate, he met his wife, Brittani Nichols Robertson (’11), who was a kinesiology student. And in addition to playing football, he was a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, where he says his brothers were like family.
Football League. Summer 2017
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“I became real close with Coach George and he helped me ﬂourish — in football and in becoming a man,” Dunbar says. “Coming to UNT felt right. It was close enough to my mom and sisters that I didn’t have to worry about leaving them alone, and I knew I could make it anywhere if I did well in college.” Dunbar left an unmistakable mark on UNT as the all-time leading rusher, the only running back in school history with back-to-back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, and the player with the most career touchdowns — 49. “UNT allowed me to do great things,” says Dunbar, a 2016 inductee to the UNT Athletic Hall of Fame. “Being able to come to UNT and break records means everything to me.” Dunbar’s dreams of playing in the NFL were realized in 2012 when the Dallas Cowboys signed him as a special teams player and running back. He earned a prominent role but had to ﬁght his way back from season-ending knee injuries in 2013 and 2015. This spring, Dunbar signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Rams. “It’s going to be a diﬀerent experience, since I’m a Southern boy,” he says. “I plan to
“The relationships I formed were something special,” he says. “They helped me stay humble.” In late 2011, Robertson received a phone call from a scout with the Cleveland Browns, interested in ﬂying him up for a few workouts. He thought it was a joke and hung up. “My agent called, told me the mistake I’d made and convinced the guy to call me back,” Robertson says. He was signed to Cleveland’s practice squad and made the active roster in 2012. “I had accepted it wasn’t in the cards for me and was preparing to move to Australia to play football when Cleveland called and changed my life,” says Robertson. In 2014, he was the Browns’ nominee for the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award, in recognition of his community service and playing excellence.
Positive attitude When Hurricane Katrina forced Lance Dunbar and his family out of New Orleans in August 2005, football remained the constant. His family settled in Haltom City, and his Haltom High School football coach, Clayton George (’94), returned to UNT in 2007 as wide receivers coach.
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go out there with a clear mind, clear head and positive attitude. I’ll take advantage of every opportunity.”
Hard work Playing in the NFL was Jamize Olawale’s dream when he transferred to UNT in 2010 from El Camino College in California. As a junior receiver, he hoped for two stellar seasons and a compelling highlight reel to draw the attention of NFL scouts. However, Olawale accumulated fewer than 100 receiving yards at UNT. “Even when I wasn’t playing or didn’t know my future in football, I had goals and I kept working. I tried not to be discouraged and to keep grinding and keep praying,” says Olawale, who participated in the 2012 Dallas Cowboys rookie mini-camp and spent that fall on the team’s practice squad as a fullback. In December 2012, the misfortune of injured Oakland Raiders fullbacks gave Olawale the big break he was looking for. Landing on an NFL roster taught him that every dream is achievable. “Growing up, you look at a professional athlete and think it’s unattainable, but if you’re willing to work hard for it, you can achieve anything,” Olawale says. “I’m now
Zach Orr (’13)
in the locker room and playing in the same league with those I watched growing up.” Since joining the Raiders, Olawale has grown with the team just as its record and reputation has — advancing from 4-12 in 2012 to the playoﬀs in 2016. “We work hard, believe we can beat anybody and compete every day at practice,” Olawale says. “The team understands that nothing is given to us and everything we want, we have to earn.” During the 2017 oﬀ-season, Olawale and his wife, Brittany (’17), returned to UNT to ﬁnish up degrees in sociology and emergency administration and planning. “It was a priority for us to complete our educations and lead by example,” says the father of three children. Olawale credits his strong faith for opening the doors and his hard work for landing and remaining in the NFL. “Nothing is guaranteed,” he says. “Every year I go with the mentality of having to work for what I have.”
Overcoming adversity Football quickly shifted to a full-time job for linebacker Zach Orr (’13) when he secured a spot on the Baltimore Ravens’ roster in 2014.
Jamize Olawale (’17)
instilling conﬁdence in them. “I know what an important role my parents, coaches and teachers played when I was a kid. It meant the world to me whenever someone took the time to encourage me,” Orr says. “Not every kid is fortunate to have an older brother, mother and father like I did, so I want to be that big brother or father ﬁgure to kids in need.” He aspires to return to the game of football, likely in a coaching role, and considers his years at UNT the best of his life — even better than the NFL. “I grew from a teenage boy into a young man. I learned to be independent and ﬁgure things out for myself,” Orr says. “Without UNT, I wouldn’t have had a chance to make it in the NFL.”
“I would get to practice at 7 a.m. for a full day studying ﬁlm and working out, before I left at 7 p.m.,” Orr says. “It was a lot more mental than I thought it would be. Going against the best football players in the world, you have to be locked in mentally.” Orr, UNT’s most eﬀective linebacker from 2010 to 2013, was a Ravens starter last season, tied for ninth-most tackles in the league and named second-team All-Pro. “Becoming a starter was the best thing to happen to me in my NFL career and I cherished each and every moment,” he says. Unfortunately, Orr’s time in the NFL came to an end in January at age 24, when a CT scan uncovered a congenital spine and neck condition that would put him at an increased risk for paralysis or death if he continued to play football. “When I ﬁrst found out the news, it was shocking,” Orr said when announcing his retirement. “I was sad, disappointed and upset because football is something I’ve done my whole life, but I am happy that I was able to walk away from the game in good health.” Orr is back in Texas establishing the Orr’s Family Kids and Youth Foundation, a nonproﬁt that is focused on inspiring youth to achieve their full potential and Summer 2017
ONLINE EXTRA Read about fans, favorite moments and what you’d be surprised to learn about life in the NFL at northtexan.unt.edu/online.
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New men’s basketball coach Grant McCasland joined UNT this spring.
Rising Star UNT welcomes Grant McCasland as the new men’s basketball coach
Get more information and season Get game information and tickets at bowl meangreensports.com/tickets. purchase tickets at meangreenbowlgame.
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Wren Baker, vice president and director of athletics, announced the hiring of Grant McCasland as UNT’s 18th men’s basketball coach this spring. McCasland, an 18-year coaching veteran, spent last year as head coach at Arkansas State, where he led his team to a 20-win season for only the fourth time in the school’s history. Prior to Arkansas State, McCasland was an assistant coach at Baylor for ﬁve seasons, helping lead the Bears to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016. His career winning percentage is 80 percent. “Coach McCasland is a rising superstar in college basketball and possesses all of the qualities we desire,” Baker says. “He has been successful at every step of his career. He’s a proven coach and recruiter, but most importantly, he has demonstrated the ability to help young men grow and develop as people.”
Preparing for another bowl run Coming off one of the best turnarounds in college football and a bowl appearance last season, the Mean Green are gearing up for their second year under head coach Seth Littrell. He says the season could be something special, with continued hard work. “This program is a lot closer to competing for championships than we were a year ago, but we will have to stay healthy and continue to improve,” Littrell says. “Our goal will be to win a bowl game, which we fell just short of last year.” Six of the Mean Green’s 12 opponents this fall played in bowl games last year. The season opener against Lamar will take place at Apogee Stadium Sept. 2, followed by a game at SMU Sept. David Minton
9. Purchase season tickets at meangreensports. com/tickets or call 800-868-2366.
Track and field and men’s golf top finishes
Three individual Mean Green men’s golfers — sophomores Ian Snyman and Thomas Rosenmueller and senior Cory Churchman — qualiﬁed for the NCAA regional tournament this spring, marking the sixth time in the last seven years UNT has been represented. Snyman was the top Mean Green ﬁnisher, placing 15th with a career-best 67 on the ﬁnal round. In track and ﬁeld, Kristyn Archuleta was named Conference USA Freshman of the Year and won gold at the C-USA outdoor championship in women’s javelin with a school record throw of 49.39 meters. Other top ﬁnishers were freshman Breanna Eckels, second in the women’s long jump, and senior James Coleman, third in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. The three
qualiﬁed for the NCAA West prelims along with sophomore Javier Lopez-Ibarra in the javelin, and sophomore James Cole and senior Collin Heard in the 200-meter dash.
2017 Mean Green football schedule Sept. 2 vs. Lamar Sept. 9 at SMU
New staff hires
UNT’s athletics department has made several hires in recent months. Chris Baretta joined the department as senior associate athletic director for ticket operations, and Matt Witty was hired as the senior associate athletic director for business operations. Jeﬀ Smith joined as senior associate athletic director for sports medicine, and Mike Villa began as assistant athletic director for equipment services. Alejandra Lopez was promoted to assistant director of development, and Brett Gemas joins the Mean Green as director of creative content. Summer 2017
Sept. 16 at Iowa Sept. 23 vs. UAB Sept. 30 at Southern Miss Oct. 14 vs. UTSA Oct. 21 at Florida Atlantic Oct. 28 vs. Old Dominion Nov. 4 at Louisiana Tech Nov. 11 vs. UTEP, HOMECOMING, 4 p.m. Nov. 18 vs. Army Nov. 25 at Rice
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PATHWAY TO SUCCESS
Joseph Sotelo, a biology major from Fort Worth, dreams of becoming a doctor — but how to pay for his education has always been a concern. With help from a Greater Texas Foundation Scholars Grant through UNT, Sotelo is receiving ﬁnancial support as well as academic support services to help ensure his success in earning his undergraduate degree. “I was inspired by my mom to go to college. She was a single mom when she raised my brother and me. She works really hard for us,” says Sotelo, who just ﬁnished his ﬁrst year at UNT but already is classiﬁed as a senior. He attended an Early College High School to get ahead and save money. Texas Early College High Schools serve students who are at risk of dropping out of school and provide an associate’s degree or up to 60 hours toward a baccalaureate degree, as well as ﬁnancial assistance. They partner with institutions of higher education to provide services to these students as they matriculate. The Greater Texas Foundation Scholars Program was created in 2012 to increase the number of Texas Early College High School graduates who successfully transition to a four-year institution and complete a bachelor’s. “Without this scholarship, I wouldn’t be here at all,” Sotelo says. “Being debtfree as an undergrad makes it possible for me to go to medical school.”
Joseph Sotelo, biology major and recipient of a Greater Texas Foundation scholarship This year UNT renewed its Greater Texas Foundation Scholars Grant for $890,000 as a result of a collaboration between the Division of Student Aﬀairs and the Division of Advancement’s Foundation Relations Oﬃce, which assists any campus department seeking funds from an external foundation. The grant duration is seven years. “It’s important that we work with departments to seek funds from a variety of sources to provide the best opportunities for our students,” says David Wolf, vice president for advancement. The Greater Texas Foundation Scholars 2.0 Grant includes a comprehensive program of support services. The ﬁnancial award from the grant is $2,000 per student, and UNT then commits to providing a total package of ﬁnancial support covering the full cost of attendance. Eligible students may receive
funding for three consecutive years. UNT provides a dedicated admissions counselor for Texas Early College High Schools and accepts up to 25 students to the Greater Texas Foundation Scholars Program each year. In addition to scholarship funds, UNT oﬀers academic enrichment activities that include preorientation meetings, semester kick-oﬀ events and academic reboot programs to help those who may be struggling academically. Students meet regularly with counselors and also receive ﬁnancial counseling and advising support. “This support is everything for me,” Sotelo says. “I have to succeed and it’s not just for me now. I’m doing this for the people who invested in me and trust that I will do big things in life. They care enough to donate their money for me and other students and are life changers for us.”
How can you make a difference in the life of a UNT student? Give to the UNT Inspire Fund at unt.edu/inspire.
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— Teresa Love
Check out alumni gatherings and UNT events page 40
Courtesy of Nick Mariino Jr.
DOING GOOD Marketing alum Nick Marino Jr., celebrated as a ‘twentysomething trailblazer,’ has provided meals to more than 2 million people in need through his work with TangoTab, and that’s just one way he’s giving back.
Read more about how Marino is using his degree to build a career full of purpose at northtexan.unt.edu/doing-good.
NICK MARINO JR. (’10) IS MAKING A NAME FOR himself doing good. CultureMap.com named him a Top Texan Under 30 for his work in marketing, social entrepreneurship and giving back. He’s director of social change for TangoTab, an app that works with restaurants so that diners can earn points to feed people in need through local food charities. He also founded MISSIOND, a platform that highlights people making a diﬀerence around the world. It includes a clothing line to inspire random acts of kindness. “Living with purpose is the way I want to live my life daily,” says Marino. “A lot of people are scared to follow their passion, but I say, ‘Fail faster. Fail harder. But get up quicker.’”
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C O N N E C T I N G
W I T H
1966 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
1973 William G. DeFoore (M.A., ’83 Ph.D.), Aubrey :: moved his
counseling oﬃce to Denton from Addison in February. He has been in private practice since 1973.
are designated with a .
Read more, share comments and connect with friends at northtexan.unt.edu.
Frank Fuller (M.Ed., ’90 Ernie Kuehne, Westlake ::
Upcoming Alumni Gatherings Many exciting events are planned for alumni to reunite and celebrate UNT: Summer Alumni Mixers: The UNT Alumni Association will host family-friendly summer mixers throughout the North Texas region this summer. Events will take place July 1 at the Frisco RoughRiders game, July 29 at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas and Aug. 12 at the Fort Worth Zoo. For additional information and to sign up, visit untalumni.com/chaptersummermixers. Football Season Opener: Head football coach Seth Littrell and the Mean Green will open the 2017 football season at Apogee Stadium against Lamar University Sept. 3. Buy tickets at meangreensports.com. Join fellow alumni two hours before kickoff for the Alumni GameDay Grille hosted by the UNT Alumni Association. Homecoming 2017: Mark your calendars for Homecoming Week 2017. Festivities will take place Nov. 6-11, culminating with the Nov. 11 Mean Green vs. UTEP game at Apogee Stadium. Make this year’s festivities special by visiting with friends, sharing your UNT memories and enjoying events throughout the week. Look for more details in the fall issue of The North Texan or visit homecoming.unt.edu. Alumni Cruises: The UNT Alumni Association invites you on a 16-day cruise traversing the Panama Canal and Mexico in May 2018 and on a 10-night autumn exploration through Canada from Montreal to New York. These trips are an opportunity for alumni to cruise to unique destinations, meet fellow graduates and participate in on-board educational activities. Learn about these upcoming trips at untalumni.com. For more information or to join the UNT Alumni Association, call 940-565-2834 or go to untalumni.com.
was honored for his contributions to the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry with an original portrait in the Scottish Rite House of the Temple Hall of Honor in Washington, D.C. Ernie received the 33rd degree in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in Washington, D.C., in 2015. He is the founder of the UNT Kuehne Speaker Series.
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Fuller (’73 M.S.).
1976 David Sanders (’81 M.Ed.),
1968 William ‘Bill’ K. Dwyer (’73 M.S.), Houston :: has retired
from the NASA Johnson Space Center after a 31-year career as an avionics engineer. He was system manager for the hardware and operating system software used to control systems, operations and payloads on the International Space Station. Prior to working at NASA, he served in the Vietnam War and was a math, physics and computer programming professor. His future plans are to “do nothing for a long, long time.” He is married to Sandra Sue Sunder-
man Dwyer (’68, ’73 M.Ed.).
Ph.D.), Natchitoches, La. :: has retired as professor of adult education at Northwestern State University. An Episcopal priest, he serves as vicar of Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winnﬁeld, La. He is married to Jane Newcomer
Overland Park, Kansas :: was awarded the Kansas School Counselor Association’s Principal Advocate Award for his dedication to meeting students’ social, emotional and academic needs. He has been principal of Sunrise Point Elementary since 2010.
1977 Carl Davis, Houston :: a gospel music advocate and chair of the Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation, led the eighth annual Evolution of Gospel celebration last fall at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., along with alumnus Chris Spellmon (’81).
The event commemorates September as Gospel Music Heritage Month and honors gospel music greats and supporters.
the Mean Green Club. He also was an early supporter of the Family Business Initiative.
1983 Baron Raymonde (’84 M.M.),
Inc.’s board of directors. She also is vice chairman of the board at AARP and holds seats at both the Manpower Group and the SHRM Foundation. She is a senior fellow of human capital at The Conference Board and a trustee at the National Academy of Human Resources Foundation.
New York, N.Y. :: was inducted
into the New York Blues Hall of Fame at B.B. King’s in New York City. He has played with Rod Stewart, the Levon Helm Band and The Original Blues Brothers Band. He wrote music for The Ricki Lake Show. “Studying music at UNT deﬁnitely helped my career,” he says.
Libby Sartain (M.B.A.), Bastrop :: was elected to Shutterﬂy
A Triple E
Alexis Scott (’95 M.S.) calls herself ‘A Triple E’ — an engineer, an entrepreneur and an educator. The National Society of Black Engineers
Suzanne Schafer, League City
:: received the 2016 Physician of
Andrew Birden, Fort Kent,
Dallas-Fort Worth chapter calls her one of the “Hidden Figures of Dallas: Top
the Year award from the Texas Rehabilitation Association. She is a family practice physician and works as a medical consultant for the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services.
Maine :: founded Fiddlehead
Women of Color in STEM.” Scott was formally honored by the organization in
Focus, an online newspaper covering the St. John Valley in Maine and parts of New Brunswick, Canada. He sold it to the Bangor Daily News and now works as general manager of Northeast Publishing. He is married to Soﬁa Birden (’87, ’97 M.S.) and is the son-in-law of Sharon M. Johnson (’60, ’87 M.S.). Soﬁa is associate director of Blake Library for the University of Maine at Fort Kent, where Sharon retired as dean of information services.
March during a scholarship event to raise money for students majoring in
1982 James G. McGiﬃn Jr., Dover, Del. :: was appointed to a
12-year term as a family court judge, serving in Kent County, Del. He previously worked as an attorney with the Community Legal Aid Society Inc. and served as a city councilman in Dover.
science, technology, engineering and math fields. The award, inspired by this year’s movie Hidden Figures, was aimed at making sure the stories of inspirational women like Scott don’t go untold. “When the movie first came out, I got a lot of calls and emails from friends saying it reminded them of me,” says Scott of the film about three African American women at NASA whose work helped the U.S. win the space race in the 1960s. “When I watched it, I actually cried because I did connect with them. When I started working in this field, I saw similar situations where I had to prove myself. I’m honored to be compared to those women.” Scott discovered as a young girl that she enjoyed numbers and excelled at using them to solve math problems. She says she knew there was a stereotype that girls weren’t supposed to like math, but she didn’t let that stop her and went on to earn her master’s degree in mathematics at UNT. Now as a manager and engineer at Raytheon in Dallas, she works in the
field of system security engineering, with expertise in cybersecurity. She says it’s been common in her career to be the only African American woman
Roy Metzler, Denton :: was inducted into the UNT Family Business Hall of Fame. His family has operated Metzler’s Food and Beverage since the 1980s, and he also owns a commercial beverage distribution company. He is a lifetime member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and a member of
Matthew Mailman (D.M.A.),
in the office or at the conference table. However, she also says receiving the
Oklahoma City, Okla. :: con-
“Hidden Figures” award with nine other African American women shows that
ducted the opera Dark Sisters by his cousin Nico Muhly at the Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University, with the composer in attendance during a weeklong residency. This was their ﬁrst collaboration.
these achievements are possible. Inspiring the next generation is a major part of her life. In 2011, she founded AMS Academic Solutions, a company providing math and science tutoring. She hopes to encourage more women of color to enter those fields. “In my lifetime, I would like to see many women in research and leadership positions,” she says. “I want to see women embrace their intelligence and their passion.” — Tanya O’Neil
the New York State School Music Association Manual. She is an elementary school orchestra teacher in the Spackenkill Union Free School District in Poughkeepsie.
biological sciences for her Ph.D. at Harvard University, where she was named a 2017 Harvard Horizons Scholar for her research in understanding the development of asthma.
Katie Womack, Winston-SaClint A. Oppie, Lacey, Wash. :: has been a counter-rocket, artillery and mortar operations lead in Afghanistan for the last six years, and operations lead for one year. He served in the U.S. Army for three and a half years, and he was promoted to sergeant during Operation Iraqi Freedom. While at UNT, he was a member of Phi Alpha Theta and became an extra for the ﬁlming of Necessary Roughness on campus.
lem, N.C. :: was named assistant
Greg Allbright (’00 M.P.A.), Frisco :: his wife, Emily, and son James welcomed Henry Martin Allbright in October. Greg is an independent marketing consultant.
director of collections management at the Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem.
Christalyn Sims Rhodes,
Kim Valentine, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. :: has been appointed double bass solo and ensemble editor for
:: is studying
Claudia Cooper, Krum :: and her husband, Michael, debuted future alum Olivia Yudit Cooper, sporting her Mean Green gear along with her big sister, Morgan,
A ‘hole’ new experience While learning the principles of acting, stagecraft and set design as a UNT theatre arts student, Ryan Martin (’09) also learned to go with the flow. “I learned to be reliant on myself and take an improvisational approach to life,” says Martin, who had a brief stage acting and set carpentry career in Los Angeles before taking an entrepreneurial path to the Blue Ridge Mountains. His new role as owner and baker at Hole Doughnuts, home of Bon Appetit’s best dessert of 2016, still yields opportunities to perform. Babe Denny
“Each doughnut is made-to-order, hand-stretched and looks Dr. Seuss-like with a bulbous appearance,” says Martin of the delicacies at his Asheville, North Carolina, coffee shop. “Our shop has an open kitchen and there’s a theatrical aspect to the creation of each order that scratches that ‘need to act’ itch.” The award-winning doughnuts are crispy on the outside, light and airy on the inside, not overly sweet and served piping hot. Customers often wait more than 30 minutes and have come from Denmark and Africa asking for the recipe, Martin says. It was the opportunity to homestead and grow their first business, Smoky Holler Sourdough Tortillas, that lured Martin and his wife to the mountains. “We wanted a place for my son to play outside with four seasons,” says Martin, who constructed the 712-square-foot yurt where he, wife Hallee Hirsh-Martin and son August live in Marshall, North Carolina. Eventually, they plan to build a cob house entirely from natural materials found on their land. “I’ve always liked the outdoors and wished I could be a primitive person, but I never tried working toward it until we left Los Angeles and went down this hole rather rapidly,” Martin says. He decided to become a full-time baker when, a few months after Hallee got a job at Hole, the owner decided to sell. “Some people would probably say we’re crazy,” Martin says. “But if the universe gives you a doughnut shop, you make doughnuts.” — Meredith Moriak Wright
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Wallace Newton Masters founded more than a chemistry department when he came to campus in 1910 — he founded a UNT dynasty. This May, when his great-great-grandson Nathan Dawson (’17) earned his degree, he represented the ﬁfth generation of the Masters family with ties to the university. In Masters’ 31 years as chemistry professor and chair, he also helped launch the Campus Chat newspaper and Avesta literary magazine, edited the Yucca yearbook, wrote poetry and served as president of Denton’s First State Bank. “When I ﬁrst heard the term ‘Renaissance man,’ I thought, ‘That’s my grandfather,’” says Catherine “Katy” McCarty Dawson (’48, ’49 M.A.), whose mother, Mildred (1913), was Masters’ daughter. Mildred studied Latin at what was then North Texas State Normal College, along with her sisters, Ethel (1911) and Hilda (1911). She taught at the University of Kansas before marrying W.A. McCarty. As a child, Katy would visit her grandparents each summer and go to the outdoor pool on campus or the Science Building, later replaced by Masters Hall. “There’s a certain smell of a chemistry lab. Granddad would come home every afternoon smelling like the lab and wrap me up in a huge hug,” she says. “Anytime I smell that now, I remember him so well.” Her choice of college was easy. “I would never have dreamed of going anywhere but North Texas,” she says. When Katy enrolled in 1945, she didn’t
From left, Don Dawson (’80), Catherine “Katy” McCarty Dawson (’48, ’49 M.A.) and Nathan Dawson (’17). Don and Katy hold photos of her mother, Mildred Masters McCarty (1913), and grandfather, W.N. Masters, founder of the chemistry program in 1910. Sharon (’80) in art, Don (’80) in computer science, John (’82) in geography and Catherine (’85) in drama. Don also remembers swimming in the outdoor pool as a kid and going to the Union with his dad for a plate of fries. When his turn came to attend North Texas, he wasn’t sure what to study. “But as soon as I took my ﬁrst computer science courses, I knew,” says Don, co-owner of Voice Ring, a phone company geared toward small businesses using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Nathan, Don’s son, says he was excited to carry on the family tradition at UNT. “I would sometimes be walking across campus and I could really picture my father here in the 1970s,” he says. Nathan majored in media arts with a minor in music. A dual U.S.-Mexico citizen, he’s now in Oaxaca planning his next documentaries and short ﬁlms. His grandmother could not be prouder. “North Texas has been the best gift any of us could have had,” Katy says.
want anyone to think she was getting special treatment, so she took classes only from professors she didn’t know. When Masters’ former colleague, L.P. Floyd, asked her grandmother to have Katy visit his oﬃce, she waited until no other faculty member was around — just a student with his back to the door, grading papers. “And that student turned out to be David Dawson, my future husband,” she says. “He told me later it was his ﬁrst impression of me, ‘toadying up’ to the person he assumed was my teacher.” Katy became engrossed in her Spanish classes, while David (’47, ’48 M.S.) studied math. Both were members of the W.N. Masters Chemical Society. In 1959 they returned to campus, where David served on the math faculty for 27 years. After their children were grown, Katy taught Spanish as an adjunct. All six children earned North Texas degrees — Dan (’77 M.A., ’92 Ph.D.) in math, David R. (’75, ’81 M.S.) in industrial arts and computer science,
Read about other UNT legacy families at northtexan.unt.edu/ legacy-families and share the story of your own UNT legacy. Summer 2017
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...... I N T H E //
4. Olivia is the newest addition to the Cooper casa, having arrived in June 2016.
When May graduate
(’17) used his
Chris Eidd (’10 M.S.), Frisco ::
was named one of Internal Auditor magazine’s Emerging Leaders in internal auditing in its December issue. He is a senior internal auditor at Dallas-based Builders FirstSource. He is a “professional in residence” for the UNT Student Investment Group Live Audit.
to re-create his favorite hip-hop album covers, his creativity made headlines. The integrative studies major worked on the project with his friend Affiong Harris as a way to pay tribute to artists who had inspired him — like Kendrick Lamar, Lauryn Hill and J. Cole (whose 2014 Forest Hills Drive album was the inspiration for
Phillips’ photo above). The photos were featured in Essence, the Huffington Post, the Houston Chronicle, Teen Vogue and even Metro.co.uk. The YouTube channel Phillips runs with Harris now has more than a million subscribers.
ÈTorgbui Midawo Gideon Foli Alorwoyie
An April 21 profile in The New York Times features
— professor of music, principal dancer/choreogra-
Jack Sutey, Chicago :: is
pher and director of the UNT African Percussion
involved in several musical projects, including the Maryland Wind Festival created by Tyler Austin
Ensemble — as the first and still the only tenured African drummer at an American university. He
(’14 M.M.) and Erin Lensing (’13). The festival, with 16 mem-
bers from the U.S. and Belgium, presents six concerts of French and American music. It also hosts a “call for scores” competition that awards young composers. From left, members include Matthew Hudgens (’15 M.M), Tyler, Erin, Jack, Kayla Howell (’15) and Dan-
ielle Fisher (’15 M.M.).
2015 Alexis Coats, New York, N.Y. :: competed in the Miss New York USA pageant in 2016. The fashion merchandising major is a freelance assistant stylist for Rainbow Shops E-commerce Studio and a freelance showroom and visual assistant for Nautica. She also models outside of work. Her favorite UNT memory is meeting her boyfriend her freshman year. “We’re still together here in New York,” she says. “He is a recording engineer and songwriter.”
joined the UNT faculty in 1996. A native of Ghana and a high priest of the Yewe cult, he is one of Ghana’s foremost virtuosos of traditional music and dance. “African music is not something you just listen to,” he says. “The answer is the dance.”
A report from UNT’s Economics Research Group — directed by Michael C. Carroll, professor of economics — found that creative industries in the Dallas-Fort Worth area make it the largest creative economy in Texas, adding $34 billion into the broader economy annually and almost $4 billion in taxes. For the study, which was covered by The Dallas Morning News and Dallas Business Journal this spring, creative industries included design, architecture, advertising and publishing, as well as radio, television, film, the visual and performing arts — and fine arts schools.
No r t h Texa n
Courtesy of Peter Johnstone
A connection with criminal justice professor Peter Johnstone led to students at Lycée Saint Joseph in Lambelle, Brittany, France, celebrating UNT Day May 16. Johnstone takes UNT students to Brittany for study abroad.
F R I E N D S
W E ’ L L
M I S S
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 Billy Mills Menefee (’43, ’48 M.S.), Waco :: He was a basketball player and the ﬁrst All-American athlete in basketball in North Texas’ history. He joined the Marine Corps and earned the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his 88day stretch of combat during World War II. He held various positions at Baylor University and ran the marina there. He was inducted into the UNT Athletic Hall of Fame as well as Baylor’s hall of fame. He met his wife, the late Dorothy Winford Menefee, at North Texas.
Ermintrude ‘Trudy’ Dickinson (’44, ’46 M.S.), Kankakee, Ill. :: She was a high school teacher, laboratory instructor for the U.S. Army Specialized Training Program, patent librarian at Standard Oil Co., research enzymologist at Armour and assistant director of
biochemistry at Cook County Hospital. She then co-founded and served as president of Pentex Inc., which produced specialized biochemicals. She also was president of Midwest Pentex Sales Co. After the two were sold to Miles Laboratories, she took on several top positions there. When the company was acquired by Bayer AF, she became director of operations.
an advocate for fair housing during the 1960s. He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy Ann Braly ‘Mimi’ Janes (’46).
John A. Cunningham (’49, ’50), Huntsville :: He was a member of the Geezles and a founder of the Alpha Lambda Pi honorary accounting society. He left to serve in the U.S. Army in a
signal intelligence unit during World War II before returning to college. He worked at Mobil Oil Corp. for 32 years, serving as a controller and in other roles. He also served on the Department of Accounting advisory board. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Jane Wolfe Cunningham (’49).
Robert B. Toulouse Robert B. Toulouse, Provost Emeritus of UNT and longtime dean of the graduate school — which was named in his honor — died April 11. He was 98. An educator and administrator who spent nearly 40 years at UNT, he was best known for building the graduate school into one of the largest in Texas by the 1980s and establishing many of its programs. Earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Missouri around service in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, he spent his higher education career at UNT. He began as an assistant pro-
William Davis ‘Bode’ Janes (’44), Brentwood, Tenn. :: While attending North Texas, he was elected as sophomore and junior class president. He then attended oﬃcers’ candidate school at Columbia University and served as a U.S. Navy lieutenant in Europe during World War II. He was awarded special commendation for his actions in the battle of Normandy, and North Texas’ 1945 yearbook was dedicated to him. He then taught in New Braunfels and Highland Park. He also was
fessor of education in 1948 and rose through the ranks to become provost, the second-highest leadership post. But many of his greatest contributions came while he was dean of the graduate school, from 1954 to 1982. During that time, the number of graduate programs grew from a handful to more than 100. Graduate enrollment increased from about 400 students to nearly 5,500. And the graduate school raised its standards and retained more students due to policies he established. “Dr. Toulouse was a cherished member of the UNT family,” President Neal Smatresk says. “As provost and our longest-serving graduate dean to date, he played an integral role in shaping our journey as a top-tier research university.” He and his wife, Virginia, who died in 2015, established a scholarship for undergraduate students in religious studies, the Toulouse Scholars Program Fund to provide money for faculty research programs, and a charitable trust to support graduate student scholarships. Read more at northtexan.unt.edu/robert-toulouse.
No r t h Texa n
Conley Jenkins (’49, ’51 M.S., ’71 Ed.D.), Stephenville :: He served in the U.S. Army during both World War II and the Korean War, where his work spurred a lifelong interest in radar, radios and other technology. He taught in Dallas public schools from 1951 to 1966 and served on the math faculty at Tarleton State University from 1966 to 1991. Survivors include daughter
Alumni by UNT in 1999. The John and Penny Farris Fine Arts Library was named in the Farrises honor for their service to Fairfax County Schools — more than 100 years between them.
Billye Y. Slaton (’51), Dallas
:: She was a home economics
Derone Jenkins-Todd (’93 Ph.D.).
teacher for 32 years, starting in the fall of 1951 and retiring in 1996, having taken oﬀ a number of years while her sons were young. She served her entire career at Marfa High School.
Penelope Ann Farris (’50), Springﬁeld, Va. :: She was an
Bob St. John (’60), Winnsboro :: He was a semi-pro
accomplished ﬂautist and music teacher. She founded the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, its Dorothy Feuer Strings Competition and the Northern Virginia Youth Symphony. She and her husband, John Farris (’50), were recognized as Distinguished
baseball player before becoming a police reporter for the San Angelo Standard Times. He then moved into sports writing, working for the Lubbock Avalanche Journal before becoming a columnist and sportswriter for The Dallas Morning News. He covered the
University Community Victoria Moya Corum, 67, died Jan. 13 in Denton. She was an administrative assistant at facilities for 23 years before retiring in 2015. She grew up in Raymondville and was a graduate of Texas Woman’s University. She will be remembered for her strength and independence — especially after working when she became a paraplegic in 1986 after a series of back surgeries.
No r t h Texa n
Dallas Cowboys for 12 years. He wrote numerous books about Texas sports icons — including co-writing Roger Staubach’s autobiography — and published several compilations of his columns. He retired in 2000. He received UNT’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1986.
Mary Calfee-Drye (’61), Frisco :: She was an accountant for ExxonMobil for 20 years. After her retirement, she spent most of her time volunteering and working for The Salvation Army, as well as serving in several other ministries.
Mark Anthony ‘Tony’ Altermann (’65, ’68 M.S.), Dallas :: He served in the Air Force before attending UNT. He worked as an advertising and publicity specialist with ABC Interstate Motion Picture Theaters before moving to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as
division manager for advertising and publicity. He opened Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers in several major cities. He was a member of UNT’s Chilton Society and established several scholarships. He also served as chair and member of the advisory board for the College of Arts and Sciences. He received the Green Glory Award in 1999 and the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002. Memorials may be made to the Tony and Linda Altermann Scholarship Endowment for Visual Arts.
Jean Annette Rutledge Slackney (’67), Dallas
She earned her North Texas degree in business and worked in the Department of Defense for more than 40 years, receiving many honors such as the Exceptional Civilian Service Award.
John Crawford, 80, of
South Wales and an M.B.A. from
including visualization systems,
Macquarie University, both in Aus-
learning analytics, distributed learn-
tralia. He earned his Ph.D. from Tex-
ing and virtual environments. He
as A&M University. His colleagues
was a dedicated mentor, advising
remember his ability to find humor
numerous students and chairing
in nearly every situation.
14 doctoral dissertations to com-
logistics who worked at UNT from
pletion. He also was a co-creator of
1981 to 2015, died Feb. 19 in Plano.
James Gregory Jones
the Electronic Emissary, one of the
courses for M.B.A. students and graduating seniors. He loved to
(’87, ’91 M.S.),
services in the U.S., and was a for-
travel and served as a visiting
mer president of TAPR, a nonprofit
research and development organi-
He taught capstone marketing
faculty member in places including
first K-12 student-mentor matching
Norway and Edinburgh, Scotland,
technologies and associate dean
zation focused on packet- and wire-
where he was born. He was one of
in the College of Information who
less-related technologies for radio
the first faculty members to lead a
had worked at UNT since 2002, died
amateurs. As a student at UNT he
study abroad trip for the College of
March 30 in Denton. His research
studied computer science, computer
Business. He earned his bachelor’s
focused on emerging technologies
education and research statistics.
degree from the University of New
for improving teaching and learning,
He earned his Ph.D. at the University
Robert ‘Terry’ Vaughn (’67), McKinney :: He served in the U.S. Army after spending time in the ROTC program . After the Army, he worked in various sales positions. He was a supporter of UNT athletics.
1970s Thomas L.G. Ross (’71), Fort Worth :: He was a retired attorney and former Tarrant County magistrate judge. He had served as president of the Tarrant County Black Bar Association, defended clients facing capital charges and worked as a court-appointed mediator.
1980s Michael Francis Wurst (’81), Dallas :: He worked in real estate and ﬁnancial services, and served as assistant general counsel at ORIX USA. He had a reputation as a creative business
leader and attorney who always found the solution to a problem. He donated to charities and nonproﬁts including the UNT College of Law. In honor of his commitment to the UNT community, the ORIX Foundation established the Mike Wurst Grant to be awarded to nonprofits that look for better ways to serve clients by working collaboratively and creating lasting impact.
associate vice chancellor of the North Harris Montgomery Community College District — now the Lone Star College System — in the Houston area.
1990s Harriett White (’92), Fort Worth :: She worked in the
Leroy Vaughn (’99), Lewisville :: He was deputy
Texas Department of Motor Vehicles in Austin before moving to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission in Dallas-Fort Worth.
mayor pro tem for the city of Lewisville, where he’d served on the city council since 2011. He previously worked in Davis, Calif., as a ﬁreﬁghter and also worked as a real estate investor. He served on numerous city committees, including the Department of Aging and Disability Services. He earned a
as a human resources director in Texas colleges included service as
2010s Reuben ‘Ben’ Allred, Denton
Bradley Lynn Dehart (’95), San Antonio :: He worked as a teacher at North Dallas High School and the International School of the Americas in San Antonio. An avid musician, he played and sang in the bands The Barnstormers and The National Standard.
Judy Dobbins (’93 M.P.A.), Surprise, Ariz. :: Her work
master’s degree from the University of Texas in Austin.
:: He was a talented pianist skilled in classical and jazz music and was working on his dissertation as a music doctoral student. He was in his second season as Dallas Opera assistant chorus master and was a teaching assistant for UNT ensemble NOVA. He earned a graduate artist certiﬁcate in music performance from UNT in 2013.
Zuzu Renee Verk, Keller
She was a student from 2013 to 2015, studying education and art, and was a member of Kappa Delta sorority.
Raynesha Laws, Houston She was a junior studying business who began attending UNT in 2015.
radio, and then became a writer and
be made to the Department of
David J. Tracy, 69,
of Denton, a
Diego and a general assignment
lecturer in the
television reporter in Peoria, Ill., and
Frank W. and
Dallas. After shifting to corporate
Send memorials to honor UNT
of Texas at Austin. Memorials may
producer at a CBS affiliate in San
Sue Mayborn School of Journalism
communications, he worked for
alumni and friends, made payable
64, died Jan.
since 2013, died April 12 in Dallas.
American Airlines, Westcott Com-
to the UNT Foundation, to Univer-
1 in Denton.
He worked with UNT students pri-
munications and VHA0 Inc. He also
sity of North Texas, Division of
She was a
marily in multimedia production and founded his own video production news writing and created NTDailyra- company. He earned a bachelor’s
Advancement, 1155 Union Circle
5017. Indicate on your check the
from 1995 to 2005. Her friends
dio.com in 2015, an online radio sta- in journalism from San Diego State University and a master’s in commution. He also directed the school’s
remember her as a thoughtful
annual Multimedia High School
nication and a teaching certificate
Or make secure gifts online at
person who was always there when
Journalism Summer Workshop from
from the University of Texas at Tyler.
its first year in 2013 to 2016. After
The Mayborn School of Journalism
more information, email giving@
serving in the U.S. Navy during the
has established a scholarship fund
unt.edu or call 940-565-2900.
Vietnam War, he got his start in
in his name.
native of Denton and worked in the printing department on campus
#311250, Denton, Texas 76203-
fund or area you wish to support.
No r t h Texa n
T H E L AS T
Word and Spain, I began considering a career in foreign aﬀairs. With the encouragement of Dr. James Duban, head of UNT’s Oﬃce for Nationally Competitive Scholarships, I applied for and won a Public Policy and International Aﬀairs Fellowship to attend a summer institute at Princeton, where I developed a greater interest in politics. Upon my return to UNT, I began interning for the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the Human Freedom Project, which promotes freedom abroad by giving scholarships to defectors from North Korea and teaching young leaders in Burma May graduate Marisa Nowicki in Washington, D.C. about our democracy. During my time there, I became increasingly spend the ﬁrst year of my program interested in diplomacy and the studying at its campus in Adelaide, inner workings of our government. Australia. My ﬁnal semester I had the absolute I’ve noticed that UNT has the unique pleasure of participating in the North Texas D.C. program, run by Dr. Elizabeth ability to ﬁnd students with promise and to cultivate them into leaders. It was the With and Dr. Melissa McGuire in the Division of Student Aﬀairs. This program gentle guidance from my support system at UNT that helped me focus my gave me the opportunity to move to Washington, D.C., to intern for a member interests while giving me room to thrive. of Congress. I attended brieﬁngs, hearings UNT was vital in the transformation of a tenacious young woman into a leader. I and receptions on Capitol Hill, which allowed me to network, learn about career am incredibly grateful to be a UNT Eagle, options within the government and reﬁne as I know this evolution could have occurred nowhere else but at the Universimy areas of interest. I discovered I am ty of North Texas. immensely interested in security and
TENACITY by Marisa Nowicki (’17)
No r t h Texa n
Although neither of my parents attended college, they fostered in me a deep love of learning from an early age. We would often play word games in the car, and it was during one of these car rides that my dad introduced the new word-of-the-week: “tenacity,” the quality of being determined or persistent. I’ve always liked the word, and as an adult it often reminds me how much my family has sacriﬁced to ensure I gained a quality education. It is with my family’s love and encouragement that I pursued college. Yet, for all my drive I was still lacking direction. I believe UNT saw this and did its part to transform a tenacious young woman into a strong leader. My collegiate experience would be incomplete without Terry Foundation, which not only oﬀered me the ﬁnancial support I needed to attend a university, but also provided me with a better support system than I could have dreamed of. I am fascinated with human behavior and the role our environment plays in shaping it. I entered UNT as a psychology major and quickly picked up a second major in applied behavior analysis. While I loved both ﬁelds, in the beginning I was unsure how to best use my academic background. On Dr. Victor Prybutok’s research team in decision sciences, I learned how to use my knowledge to ask questions. And I developed one important question: What problems do I want to spend my career solving? After studying abroad in Costa Rica
foreign aid, with a particular passion for preventing human traﬃcking, disarming child soldiers and empowering women. I will pursue my passion this fall, when I begin work toward a master’s in public policy and management with Carnegie Mellon University. I will concentrate in international trade and development and
Marisa Nowicki earned two bachelor’s degrees in May, one in applied behavior analysis and the other in psychology with a minor in Spanish. She was a UNT Honors Scholar, a Terry Scholar and a 2017 UNT Presidential Excellence Award winner (see page 30).
ANDY FLUSCHE (‘17) CRIMINAL JUSTICE MAJOR
MEAN GREEN GRIT Whether he’s putting in extra work after W football practice or volunteering at a foo local food bank or elementary school, loc Andy gives everything he’s got. It was his An determination and countless hours of hard de work that helped him switch from high wo school linebacker to defensive lineman at sc UNT. That same work ethic earned him a UN bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and he is ba pursuing studies in criminal justice. Come pu watch Andy and the rest of the Mean wa Green turn grit into greatness this season. Gr
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No r t h Texa n
The North Texan
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS Division of University Relations, Communications and Marketing 1155 Union Circle #311070 Denton, Texas 76203-5017
PA RT I N G S H O T This May, UNT celebrated commencement at the ﬁrst-ever Graduation Block Party. Festivities spread from the Library Mall across the Union’s south lawn, giving graduates, their families and the UNT community plenty of room for dancing, games, ice cream sundaes, a conga line with Scrappy and giveaways. The night ended with a toast to graduates and a spectacular ﬁreworks show as the new alumni sang the Alma Mater. An 1 T 8,900 h e N o r t h T e x a n | northtexan.unt.edu | S u m m e r 2 0 1 7 estimated graduates earned their degrees in 2016-17, a record-breaking year.