A UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS P U B L I C AT I O N F O R A LU M N I A N D F R I E N DS VOL.66, NO.4 | Winter 2016
ADVANCING AUTISM AWARENESS [ page
Joseph L. Lengyel [ page 1 4] Mean Green [ page 1 6] Alumni Awards [ page 30] Materials Science [ page 32]| Winter 2016
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GREEN IS THE COLOR OF SUCCESS $1.65 BILLION UNT’S ECONOMIC IMPACT
UNT generates an economic impact of $1.65 billion in the Dallas-Fort Worth area annually, thanks to spending from UNT students, visitors and employees, as well as state and local tax revenue generated from UNT economic activity.
UNT generates an economic impact of $1.65 billion in DFW annually.
UNT DEGREES WORK We create leaders and doers as a result of the world-class education we offer. UNT is ranked a Tier One research university by the Carnegie Classiﬁcation — a recognition that speaks to our quality. UNT’s Institutes of Research Excellence strengthen the region and state through innovative research and scholarship leading to new solutions, perspectives and technologies.
8,700 degrees awarded in 2015-16
CREATING A STRONG WORKFORCE UNT is one of the nation’s largest public universities, with nearly 38,000 students. We also are one of the state’s Top 5 universities for the number of degrees awarded annually, with 8,700 degrees awarded in 2015-16. UNT helps power the region’s workforce and economy with 263,000 alumni in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
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W I N T E R
2 0 1 6
Joseph L. Lengyel
Newly appointed chief of the National Guard Bureau and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staﬀ got his start as a UNT student. By Meredith Moriak Wright
New leadership and vision for a winning athletics program brings a bright future.
UNT honors alumni at Distinguished Alumni Awards event.
Alumni make discoveries for aerospace, defense and technology industries. By Tanya O’Neil DEPARTMENTS
FROM OUR PRESIDENT • 3
A new year of opportunity DEAR NORTH TEXAN • 4
Advancing Autism Awareness F RO M D I A G N O ST I C T E ST I N G A N D I N T E RV E N T I O N S E RV I C E S T O B E H AV I O R A L T H E R A P Y A N D CO U N S E L I N G ,
Good memories ... Oak Street Hall UNT TODAY • 6
Pulitzer winners ... Homecoming photo essay ... Faculty Focus ... Wardrobe tips
A LU M N I A R E P RO V I D I N G E F F E C T I V E T R E AT M E N T F O R
UNT MUSE • 19
P E O P L E W I T H AU T I S M A N D T R A I N I N G A N D H O P E F O R
Hero of her own story ... Uncommon objects ... Roomful of Teeth ... Upcoming Events
T H E I R FA M I L I E S .
EAGLES’ NEST • 37
By Meredith Moriak Wright
Energizing business ... Connecting with Friends ... Alumni gatherings ... Friends We’ll Miss Cover: Lori Sekhon (’83, ’85 M.S.), a speech-language pathologist in Dallas, helps children with autism learn to communicate. Photo by Ahna Hubnik (’03) Above: A child receives therapy at UNT’s Kristin Farmer Autism Center.
LAST WORD • 48
Golden Eagles share memories as students from the class of 1966. Winter 2016
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E X C L U S I V E S
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ONLINE FEATURES WELCOME HOME Watch a video from “Mean” Joe Greene shared during Homecoming week about what makes UNT a special place to call home. ALL IN THE FAMILY It’s year three for the Diaz quintuplets as UNT students. Learn how they’re staying busy on campus with our follow-up report. SANTA SCRAPPY See how our beloved mascot shares the joy and wonder of the season on campus in UNT’s 2016 holiday video.
GET CONNECTED Angilee Wilkerson
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AT T H E OA KTO P I A M U S I C FE ST I VAL . LEA R N WH AT A DVI C E T H E UN T A LU M A ND G RAM M Y- AWARD WI NNER SH A R ED WI T H STUD E N TS O N CAM P U S W H EN S H E REC EI VED T H E UNT P R E S ID E N TIAL M EDAL O F H O NOR .
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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
A new year of opportunity FOCUSED ON ACADEMICS, RESEARCH AND ATHLETICS
U N I V E R SI TY R E L AT I O N S ,
A DV E RT I SI N G
CO M M U N I C AT I O N S A N D
J A CK F R A SE R
M A R K E T I N G L E A D E R SH I P
(’11) ( ’ 0 8 , ’ 1 2 M . A .)
V I CE P R E SI D E N T D E B O R A H L E L I A E RT
( ’ 9 6 M . E D.)
D ESI G N E R S CL I F FTO N C A ST E R
A SSI STA N T V I CE P R ESI D E N T
UNT’S MOMENTUM is better than ever, fueled by a legacy of excellence and our focus on oﬀering the best education in Texas and beyond. We’re committed to helping our students graduate and build successful careers like alumnus Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, whom you can President Neal Smatresk and Debbie Smatresk ride in read about on page 14. President the UNT Homecoming Parade with their granddaughter. Barack Obama appointed him chief of the National Guard Bureau and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staﬀ. Helping our students achieve their dreams is our ultimate mission and our best measure of success. As a Carnegie-ranked Tier One research university, our future has never looked brighter. We’re determined to keep it that way by having world-class academics, research and athletics. We’re strengthening our research enterprise by growing in areas like autism and materials science — two ﬁelds in which we’re conducting research at the leading edge. You can read about our impact in both in this issue (pages 24 and 32). We’ve also renamed our research division the Oﬃce of Research and Innovation, which includes the new Oﬃce of Innovation and Commercialization and a renewed emphasis on patents and technology transfer. And we’re building a winning athletics program with investments that are paying oﬀ. Our football team is going to a bowl game in its ﬁrst season with new coach Seth Littrell (see back cover) and our women’s soccer team captured its third-straight Conference USA regular-season championship. We’re excited about a new year of opportunity in 2017. Have a happy, safe holiday season and a great new year. Be sure to check out our holiday video at northtexan.unt. edu/online or on the University of North Texas YouTube channel. I hope the joy and wonder of the season stays with you throughout the new year. UNT proud,
Neal Smatresk President firstname.lastname@example.org @UNTPrez
K E L L E Y R E ESE
P H OTO G R A P H E R S
M I CH A E L CL E M E N TS M AG A Z I N E STA F F
E X ECU T I V E E D I TO R J U L I E E L L I OTT PAY N E
V I D EO G R A P H E R S
CH R I STO P H E R B R YA N M A N A G I N G E D I TO R R A N D E N A H U L ST R A N D
B R A D H O LT
( ’ 8 8 , ’ 07 M . J . )
WRITERS E D I TO R S
J E SSI C A D E L EÓ N
E R N E ST I N E B O U S Q U E T
N A N C Y KO L ST I
( ’ 9 3 M . S . , ’ 0 0 M . A .)
MEREDITH MORIAK WRIGHT
T E R ESA LOV E TA N YA O ’ N E I L
A RT D I R EC TO R
CO U RT N E Y TAY LO R
M A R G A R I TA V E N EG A S
(’02) (’96 )
M ATT H E W Z A B E L D ESI G N E D I TO R NOLA KEMP
O N L I N E CO M M U N I C AT I O N S
J A CO B K I N G P H OTO E D I TO R G A R Y PAY N E
E R I C VA N D E R G R I F F
ST U D E N T CO N T R I B U TO R S O N L I N E E D I TO R
M A D I S O N G O S T KO W S K I
M I CH E L L E H A L E
SA R A H G U E N T H E R J E N N I F E R PACH E
P R O J EC T M A N A G E M E N T
A D R I A N A SA L A Z A R
SP R I N G AT WAT E R
PA R K E R T H O R N TO N
E R I C A B LO U N T
J OSH UA W I L L I A MS
D E R E K B OY D
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 email@example.com 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 ©2016 UNT URCM 12/16 (17-233)
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Such good memories
As I read comments regarding North Texas memories, I ﬁnd myself nodding yes, as I, too, have those same memories. I feel as if my education began and ended in Denton. As a young child, I was fortunate to get to attend the kindergarten lab school, once during the long term when I was 4 and again in the summer when I was 5. In Denton then, it was safe enough for a 5-year-old to walk unattended the short distance from home to the school. It felt like coming home when I entered North Texas as a freshman. I remember so much from then — the UB
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and coﬀeecake, the One O’Clock Lab Band playing at the Union, choir tours with Mr. Mac, opera tours with Mary McCormic (yes, I go back a long way). I lived in Kendall Hall but spent most of my time in the Music Building. Such good memories … such a good school. Janette Kavanaugh (’56, ’69 M.M., ’82 Ph.D.) Longview
Besides my many lifelong friends and other teachers at North Texas, I most remember my piano professor, Silvio Scionti (pictured on the right). I was privileged to study with him from 1952 to 1956. Being accepted by Dr. Scionti was a
Mail: The North Texan University of North Texas Division of University Relations, Communications and Marketing 1155 Union Circle #311070 Denton, Texas 76203-5017
distinct privilege and honor. We who studied with him were indeed a family, and our camaraderie was something to behold. To this day, many of us are in touch with one another. Dr. Scionti was a world-class pianist and teacher, serving some summers on the international juries of piano competitions in Europe. As well, he took several of his students to compete, and two of them, Monte Hill Davis (’52, ’57 M.M.) and Jack Guerry (’52, ’55 M.M.), were prizewinners in several of the competitions. I should describe Dr. Scionti as giving his life blood to teach all of us, and his example was set for those of us who became teachers in later years. Also, during that same time, several of us studied with his wife, Isabel Scionti. She, too, formed many wonderful pianists and teachers. What a most happy, productive time, that. Cecil Lotief (’56) Dallas
Regarding the “Living Healthy” story in the summer issue: In the late ’70s and after recovering from a broken back, six months in the hospital and six months in a full body cast, I met Bob Patton who convinced me to enter the master’s-level exercise science program he was starting up at North Texas. After ﬁnishing my M.S., I started my doctorate with Peter Raven, but I realized teaching and research was keeping me away from my family, so I decided it was time to go to work. My ﬁrst job out of UNT was at Tenneco where I took what I had been taught and the passion from Bob Patton and built a worksite program that won awards for excellence and became world renowned. After 16 years, I left Tenneco and wrote several books and then went to work for M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. I have been there for 18 years and now serve as wellness oﬃcer. UNT, Bob Patton and the kinesiology faculty gave me so much I could never thank them for, but seeing their legacy continue at UNT doesn’t surprise me and warms my heart. William B. Baun (’80 M.S.) Houston
Oak Street Hall
My college roommate, Dorothy Morris Hunter (’69), came down from Michigan for a visit. Along with Linda McGee Tokoly, another girl from the old days (1964-69) in Oak Street Hall, we drove up to Denton to take a look at our old dorm and visit the square. As we had not been back since
1969, it was a special treat and we were so glad to see that Oak Street Hall has been repurposed to provide studios for graduate art students. The ﬁrst couple of years we lived on the “old side,” which abutted the beautiful Colonial-style house that faced Oak Street. We had hardwood ﬂoors, ceiling fans, a porcelain sink in each room and a gorgeous staircase with curving banister that went up to the second ﬂoor. That made up for the communal bathroom. We ended up on the “new side” (current building) after demolition of our little sanctuary. As there was no air
conditioning, some nights we went out the window of my room to the roof of the cafeteria to sleep. We always sunbathed out on the roof. The breezeway was the meet-and-greet spot (pictured from left, Dorothy, Cynthia and Linda). We were terriﬁed of Imogene Bentley Dickey, dean of women, as rumor had it she drove by at night to see if couples were making out there. It was a new era for females, though there was a curfew and no men in the dorm, and we had a hell of a good time. Cynthia HawkinsBowland (’69) Dallas
UNT Facebook Favorite Mean Green football memories: The Stand! Oct. 31, 2013. We played Rice at home and
@northtexan UNT has the most amazing jazz band I’ve ever heard in my entire life. — @hannhaha Been so stressed for my exams this week & a girl gave me a balloon on campus & it honestly brought tears to my eyes. Thx gf @unt_greeklife. — @SarahHovis1 Only at #UNT could you hear from @humansofny, @PJ ORourke & @carlbernstein in one week. Thank you @UNT FineArts & @UNTDLS for the opportunity! — @barrettcole22 There’s a giant laser tag arena on campus. And I just saw UNT Spider-Man running to the scene. — @kgland83
with a win would become bowl eligible. The defense led by Zach Orr, Derek Akunne and Lairamie Lee stopped Rice on eight consecutive plays near the goal line! We won 28-16! One of the best series of plays I have ever seen out of a defense. — Scott Long (’10)
That awesome moment when one of your childhood heroes @KevinVonErich calls to talk huge @MeanGreenFB win. — @wrenbaker
I will never forget when my 12-year-old son, against my wishes, jumped the wall and stormed the field to help tear down the goal posts after UNT clinched a New Orleans Bowl berth in the early 2000s. When I finally caught up to him, the posts were being carried out of the stadium. I saw my kiddo hanging on, feet dangling, and grinning from ear to ear. We still talk about that day. — Bill Flanigin (’86) My favorite memory was the first game after we became a university and I went with my boyfriend and
Great win Coach. Army fought hard, and on their home ﬁeld, but not enough. Great teamwork, I’m so proud out here. — @KevinVonErich
sat with the Theta Chis. We were so proud. — Jackie Agers (’64)
Joe Greene play while I was an undergrad. Let’s also not forget driving up from Dallas to watch Abner
Follow us on Twitter. We look forward to staying connected!
Haynes play!! — Mark Miller (’70, ’80 M.B.A.)
Watching UNT play Florida State on the snow-covered Fouts Field. And, of course, watching the great
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Cancer research page 13
PULITZER WINNERS Alumni who have won or been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in journalism were welcomed back to campus this fall for a panel discussion in honor of the prestigious award’s 100th anniversary.
Read more about alumni Pulitzer Prize winners and nominees at northtexan.unt.edu/pulitzer-winners.
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UNT’S MAYBORN SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM hosted “A Century of Excellence: The Pulitzer Prizes and Journalism’s Impact on UNT.” Five of UNT’s Pulitzer-winning alumni shared experiences with students. From left, Dan Malone (’06 M.A.) won for investigative reporting in 1992 at The Dallas Morning News; David Klement (’62), spot news reporting in 1968 at the Detroit Free Press; Gayle Reaves (’15 M.A.) and Kerry Gunnels (’73), international reporting in 1994 at The Dallas Morning News; and Leona Allen (’86), public service journalism in 1994 at the Akron Beacon Journal. “UNT really gave me a good foundation of what the real journalism world was going to be like,” Allen says.
1 Following the morningâ€™s Homecoming parade and tailgating Nov. 5, UNT fans and students cheered on the Mean Green football team at Apogee Stadium.
2 UNT students Myles Brenton Alexander, a senior majoring in human development from Memphis, Tenn., and Caitlin Broadus, a junior majoring in English from Orlando, Fla., were named 2016 Homecoming royalty.
3 Scrappy and members of the Talons spirit organization drove the Mean Green Machine, a 1929 Model A Tudor Sedan, in the 2016 Fort Worth Parade of Lights in Sundance Square in November.
3 Winter 2016
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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.
• Media Arts students score big. Students involved with NTTV, the student-run cable television station, received six Student Production Awards from the Lone Star Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Top awards were earned in the categories of newscast, general assignment serious news, nonfiction, community/public service, commercial and talent. • Rocker helps launch UNT Collab Lab. Grammy Award-winning guitarist Jeffrey Baxter from Steely Dan spoke about the power of collaborative thinking at a kick-off event for the UNT Collab Lab. Opening in fall 2017, the lab will feature a pop-up restaurant, program space for the College of Visual Arts and Design, and co-working spaces for students, faculty and the community to collaborate and innovate. • Motivational mantra lands UNT acceptance. A video of Jordin Phipps, a third-grader at the Watson Technology Center in Garland, calling to “start the day in a positive way” prompted UNT to award her with the President’s Award for Excellence in Leadership, a $10,000 scholarship and admission in the class of 2030. “I am smart. I am a leader. Failure is not an option for me. Success is only moments away. I have the attitude of a North Texas Eagle,” Phipps says in the video that went viral on social media. Phipps’ love for UNT stems from her mother — Nichole Smith (ʼ06).
Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science student Prateek Kalakuntla was named a national ﬁnalist in the 2016 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. His project
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investigated the use of phosphorescent materials and methods for sensing and removing mercury and other toxic heavy metals from water. He combined gold with a ligand, a molecular ion that binds metals, to synthesize a substance that exhibits bright phosphorescence in water, but has a reduced emission in the presence of mercury. He worked on research under the supervision of Mohammad Omary, UNT professor of chemistry and aﬃliated professor of physics.
NIH award for student
Renee Cloutier, a doctoral student in experimental psychology, received a $71,674 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one of the 25 centers
and institutes that are part of the National Institutes of Health. Cloutier is the ﬁrst UNT student to receive this award, which will provide her with tuition and other ﬁnancial support for the next two years while she completes her doctoral dissertation. Her research focuses on how social anxiety experienced by adolescents inﬂuences their willingness to engage in risky health-related behaviors, including substance abuse.
UNT has been named an America’s Top College by Forbes for eight consecutive years.
STATE DEBATE CHAMPS Through their rhetorical prowess and thoughtful arguments, seniors Abron Hester and Garrett Hammonds, members of the UNT Debate Team, won the 2016 Fall Texas Intercollegiate Forensic Association Championship Tournament. Hammonds, a communication studies and political science major, and Hester, a political science major, won by arguing the opposition for the topic “The United States should make Election Day a national holiday.”
SAFE CAMPUS UNT is ranked among the 50 safest large universities in the nation by Collegechoice.net.
WOMAN IN TECH Mary Jones, chair of UNT’s Department of Information Technology and Decision Sciences, was named a top DFW Woman in Technology by the Dallas Business Journal.
FASHION DESIGN PROGRAM RANKED 18TH IN THE NATION AND 43RD IN THE WORLD BY CEOWORLD MAGAZINE.
MILITARY FRIENDLY UNT has been named a Military Friendly School by MilitaryFriendly.com seven years in a row.
19,000 20,000 pounds of food were collected during UNT’s Homecoming celebrations and donated to the Denton Community Food Center.
meals were packaged for Stop Hunger Now during Homecoming week. The meals will be delivered to Haiti for those in need.
donors participated in the Homecoming blood drive.
More than 1,200 articles of clothing were given to 817 UNT students during the Career Center’s fall Suit Up event. Students were able to choose one professional outﬁt to kickstart their future careers. Email email@example.com to donate clothing for future events. Winter 2016
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UNT continues to emerge as a leader in cybersecurity research and is the only university in the U.S. to receive National Science Foundation funding of more than $1 million through the Scholarship for Service program for
doctoral students studying cybersecurity. In exchange for their doctoral degree costs being funded, students must agree to work for a federal organization where their cybersecurity expertise can beneﬁt the United States, such as the FBI,
CIA or Department of Homeland Security. UNT’s six scholarship recipients — Quentin Mayo, Yassir Hashem, Logan Widick, Obi Ogbanufe, Josh Talkington and Michael Jaynes — are mentored by information technology and decision sciences professors Suliman Hawamdeh, Dan Kim and Victor Prybutok, and computer science and engineering professor Ram Dantu, director of UNT’s Center for Information and Computer Security. Dantu was named Outstanding Technology Advocate by D CEO magazine in September.
Kent Chapman, Regents Professor of biological sciences, was awarded a U.S. Department of Energy Oﬃce of Science grant for ongoing research on the cellular storage of lipids in plants. The project aims to identify the cellular machinery that regulates how lipids are packed inside cells. Chapman is researching ways to produce oil in plant tissues other than seeds and fruits, such as leaves. The end goal is to produce this type of oil for sustainable real-life application for fuels, chemicals and other products.
Peace studies expert David Mason
David Mason doesn’t claim to be an economist or a Wall Street expert, but he’s found an investment with a 6,000 percent return — peace studies. Mason, a UNT Regents Professor of political science, says that’s largely because peace scientists have learned how to write peace agreements that “bring conflicts to earlier and less destructive conclusions.” “The World Bank estimates that civil wars cause on average $60 billion worth of destruction,” says Mason, winner of the UNT Foundation’s 2016 Eminent Faculty Award, presented
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annually to faculty for outstanding and sustained contributions to scholarly-creative activity, teaching and service. “On the other hand, a peace keeping force costs about $1 billion. So a $1 billion investment in peace reduces by 50 to 70 percent the odds of a nation experiencing another $60 billion worth of destruction.” Peace science has flourished since the end of the Cold War, Mason says. Before 1990, many of the civil wars around the world continued largely because the U.S. and the Soviet Union funded them. If the U.S. supported the rebel group, then the USSR supported the government. If the USSR supported the rebel group, then the U.S. supported the government. “After the Cold War ended and those two countries stopped funding those conflicts,” he says, “the two sides didn’t have any interest in continuing to fight.” Mason joined the UNT faculty in 2002 and was heavily involved with bringing the Castleberry Peace Institute to UNT in 2010. The institute sponsors cutting-edge research and educational programs on the causes of war and peace. Watch a video about Mason at northtexan.unt.edu/online.
True crimes and trials
criminal procedure has changed,” says Lenette Rubio (’16), who earned a criminal justice degree in December and aspires to become a criminal defense attorney. Judah Mangrum, a senior criminal justice major, says the Rennes trip was an opportunity to travel overseas for the ﬁrst time and compare the U.S. law enforcement system with the system in France. “While the U.S. system is inﬂuenced by the French system, French juries function
with either one or multiple judges,” he says. The trip is part of Johnstone’s Criminal Justice 4860 special topics course, and students attended lectures at the University of Rennes 2. “Travel is the very best way for people to understand each other, even if they already speak the same language,” says Johnstone. He will take another group of students to Rennes and to London March 11-20.
Courtesy of Peter Johnstone
Guided by criminal justice professor Peter Johnstone, seven UNT students spent a week in November visiting Rennes, France, on a study abroad trip to experience ﬁrsthand the city’s history of crime and punishment. Rennes, the third largest city in France and seat of government for the Brittany province, has been home to sites of crime and punishment since the 13th century. Trip highlights included site tours of pillories, executions and crime scenes and a visit to the Tournelle criminal court, created in 1575 and currently located with the Parliament of Brittany buildings. Students also toured former courts, medieval churches and former monasteries, where accused criminals were housed before the Tournelle was created. “I wanted to experience how those in a diﬀerent country approach a murder and to learn how much forensic science has advanced and how much
NUCLEAR ENGINEERING RESEARCH Haifeng Zhang, associate professor of mechanical engineering technology, is a major part of a collaboration that was awarded a $1 million grant from the Department of Energy to help create technology to monitor conditions inside spent nuclear fuel canisters in real time. He will work to use ultrasound through-wall data transmission to get sensor data from within the thick metal shells that hold spent fuel rods. Zhang is collaborating with Lei Zuo, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Westinghouse Electric Co.
UNT students and University of Rennes 2 students studied together during a study abroad course in November in Rennes, France.
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UNT teams up with NASA
To get students interested in STEM careers and bring interactive learning opportunities to North Texas, UNT’s Institute for the Integration of Technology into Teaching and
Learning established a ﬁve-year partnership with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the Heliophysics Education Consortium. UNT researchers will test programs used at the Goddard Innovation Lab to determine whether they impact student interest in STEM and space science careers. A February learning camp for Sanger ISD students and summer camps at the Dallas Arboretum will be held.
Digital retailing director
Linda Mihalick (’16 M.S.) was named senior director of UNT’s Global Digital Retailing Research Center in the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism this fall. It is the ﬁrst interdisciplinary center in the U.S. with a complete focus on digital retailing as a research hub and resource for industry. Mihalick has worked more than 20 years in retail leadership roles, primarily focused on
e-commerce and the changing digital landscape. She most recently served as vice president for e-commerce and marketing for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. She is a lecturer and program coordinator for the bachelor’s in digital retailing in the Department of Merchandising and Digital Retailing and serves as advisor to UNT’s National Retail Federation Student Association.
Ask an Expert
What’s best — a capsule wardrobe or a colossal closet?
pring cleaning is coming soon, but before you purge your closet of all but a few items, consider the advice of Janie Stidham, professor of fashion design in UNT’s College of Visual Arts and Design. Though a capsule wardrobe of 20 to 30 garments may be popular, Stidham says there’s no ideal number. The key is identifying your needs and maintaining your clothing. “A wardrobe depends on your stage of life,” Stidham says. “It’s diﬀerent for everyone; there is no set ‘perfect’ wardrobe size.”
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Mix it up • Incorporate fun accessories. A wardrobe doesn’t need to be 100 percent functional. A seasonal scarf, hat or bowtie can brighten up an outﬁt. • Dress by season. One way to make your wardrobe feel larger is to switch the clothes each season. Use the opportunity to check for quality and ﬁt. Maintain the wardrobe • Store properly. Sweaters often need to be folded and kept in a drawer to maintain condition. Invest in good hangers to minimize wear on garment shoulders. • Don’t wash too often. Excessive washing wears out clothes and dulls colors. Wash only when necessary so clothes last longer and look nicer. — Jennifer Pache
Start with the basics • Know your closet. Don’t let items get pushed to the back or be forgotten. If you know what you have, you won’t purchase duplicate items. • Decide on your needs. Your wardrobe will diﬀer depending on the job. Those who work in construction need sturdy pants and shirts, oﬃce workers need business attire and students need mostly comfortable clothes with a few versatile pieces. • Eliminate. Take clothes out of the closet that you no longer wear, that don’t ﬁt or are worn out. This frees up space for clothes that look good, are comfortable and will last longer.
• Replace. Essential items will wear out, so check a few times a year to make sure they are in good condition. Investing in pieces that can be used for more than one season is worthwhile and will save money over time.
Math seniors TJ Gebreyohannes and Lindsey Whiting were each awarded $4,000 Actuarial Diversity Scholarships from The Actuarial Foundation. The scholarships were awarded to four highly qualiﬁed ethnic minority students from Texas who are on the path to becoming actuaries, professionals who compile and analyze statistics and use them to calculate insurance risks and premiums. Gebreyohannes, of Ethiopia, aspires to work in a property and casualty insurance ﬁrm after graduation. Whiting, a four-year scholarship recipient, hopes to work for an insurance company.
Kasey Kamenicky (‘04)/FW Creations
CANCER BREAKTHROUGH A research team including UNT biology professor Ron Mittler and adjunct professor Rachel Nechushtai made a major discovery that could help fight many deadly forms of cancer. The team determined a way to suppress a protein found frequently in five lethal cancers, therefore halting tumor growth. They discovered that Pioglitazone, a drug approved for the treatment of diabetes, can mimic a lab mutation that stalls future development of tumors. Clinical trials are the next step in the research. The team also hopes this new knowledge will be used to design a drug that exclusively fights cancers involving this protein, with few side effects.
A $1.5 million commitment from Don Millican (’74) and his wife, Donna, established an endowed chair in accounting in the UNT College of Business. Ananth Seetharaman, the inaugural holder of the Don and Donna Millican Endowed Chair in Accounting, joined UNT in August after serving as the Ernst & Young Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Accounting at Saint Louis University. Under his leadership there, the undergraduate and graduate accounting programs gained national prominence, with rankings in the top 25 nationally by U.S. News & World Report.
Joining the UNT Alumni Association as life members keeps Kasey (’04) and Emery Kamenicky (’04) connected to UNT.
UNT Alumni Association Joining the UNT Alumni Association became a priority for Emery (’04) and Kasey Kamenicky (’04) shortly after the birth of their son Lukas. “Money was tight, but we wanted to be a part of the association and be able to stay connected to UNT,” says Kasey, who teaches commercial photography in Keller ISD. “Fortunately, the association oﬀered payment options for life memberships and we were able to budget for that.” Hearing from UNT President Neal Smatresk at regional Alumni Association receptions, gaining professional contacts at networking events, and reading monthly e-newsletters that highlight distinguished alumni and association events are some of the beneﬁts the Kamenickys appreciate. The UNT Alumni Association oﬀers individual and joint memberships available as annual or lifetime commitments. You can stay connected by joining, or if you are already an annual member, consider upgrading to a life membership before rates increase Sept. 1, 2017. UNT is an important part of Kasey and Emery’s life. The couple met during a political science class in Wooten Hall, worked together at the North Texas Daily and are raising their children — Lukas, age 6, and Piper, age 2 — to bleed green. “Since joining, we’ve watched our university grow and the momentum is building,” Kasey says. “This is the easiest way to get involved and give back. UNT gave us so much.” To join the association or learn more, visit untalumni.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 940-565-2834.
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Joseph L. Lengyel E by Meredith Moriak Wright
mbracing opportunities that weren’t originally on the master plan provided Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel (’81) with experiences greater than he ever imagined. In June, Lengyel was appointed by President Barack Obama as the 28th chief of the National Guard Bureau and became the seventh member of the Joint Chiefs of Staﬀ, the U.S. Department of Defense’s senior advisory body. As chief, Lengyel serves as a military advisor to the president, secretary of defense and the National Security Council. He works directly with the 54 adjutant generals in the states, territories and the District of Columbia to fulﬁll the needs of those areas. And he’s responsible for ensuring that more than 453,000 National Guard members are ready to secure the homeland and provide combat resources to the Army and Air Force if necessary. “It’s very meaningful to be selected as the chief of the National Guard Bureau. I never, in all my career, aspired to this or thought it would be possible,” says the four-star general. “I’m pretty proud.” In the late 1970s, Lengyel came to the university as a chemistry major thanks to a scholarship from the Air Force ROTC program, an aﬃnity for Denton and buddies from San Antonio who also had applied. “As a college town, Denton had all the things college kids liked,” says Lengyel, who spent his free time playing tennis and listening to music, often at The Crossroads, a rock ’n’ roll club. After completing the ROTC program,
Staying open to new opportunities and experiences propelled the ROTC cadet from Air Force pilot to the National Guard’s highest rank — and the Joint Chiefs of Staﬀ.
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he joined the U.S. Air Force as a commissioned oﬃcer in 1981. He spent 10 years piloting the F-16 aircraft and serving the Air Force in Nevada, South Korea, Arizona and Germany as a weapons oﬃcer and ﬂight instructor. He served in Operations Desert Storm, Provide Comfort, Southern Watch and Enduring Freedom. “As the son of a pilot, I knew the lifestyle of the Air Force, often moving around and living in other countries, and that appealed to me,” Lengyel says. “I have always admired my dad and wanted to follow in his footsteps.” His father, Lt. Col. Lauren “Laurie” Lengyel, was an F-4 pilot who was held in Vietnam as a prisoner of war for six years before resuming combat missions. The younger Lengyel left active duty in 1991 to join the Air National Guard as a reserve oﬃcer and begin his career as a commercial pilot with Delta Air Lines. Although he wasn’t looking to return to active duty, he felt compelled to apply in 2004 for the job of the Air National Guard advisor to the commander in Germany. He had met his wife, Sally, a logistics oﬃcer, when they were both stationed there. “The opportunity was one I felt qualiﬁed for, and my wife and I liked the idea of returning to Germany,” he says. It was saying “yes” to opportunities in the last dozen years that elevated Lengyel to the guard’s highest post. “It just seemed like every job after that one led to someone asking me to do another job,” Lengyel says. He credits his civilian career and time as a reserve oﬃcer for providing a unique perspective that empowers him to be an eﬀective leader for the National Guard. “I learned ﬁrsthand how to manage and train part-time soldiers and airmen, people who have another full-time career,” Lengyel says. “I know what’s important when leading those with other commitments.”
Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel (’81)
working throughout your life in
learned that we were at UNT at
various situations and being able
the same time.
I encourage people to find some
up in an Air Force family.
Lessons learned: One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is how to address complex issues and problem solve. I’m told that I’m good with people. I think that comes from
to adapt, which I learned growing
way to give back. It might be
taking care of people in your
There’s a diversity of opportunity
community, in the Peace Corps
Interactions with alums:
in the military. You can be a
or in the military. It’s a wonderful
A few years ago I was invited to
doctor, pilot, scientist or person
thing to do something that
the Saudi Embassy for a function.
involved with financial matters.
I read the biography of the Saudi
Any job you can imagine in the
ambassador, Adel Al-Jubeir (’82),
public sector, we pretty much
and discovered he also is a UNT
have in the military. It’s a great
to read more Q&A.
grad. I met him that night and
way to get trained.
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Head coach Seth Littrell and the Mean Green get ready to take the ﬁeld for the Homecoming game against Louisiana Tech.
Future so bright With new leadership and success this season, the Mean Green chart a course for the future.
Get bowl game information and purchase tickets at meangreenbowlgame.com.
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The resurrection of the Mean Green football team engineered by new head coach Seth Littrell has made for a stunning season. After just one win a year ago, the Mean Green ﬁnished the regular season with a 5-7 record, which is the second-best turnaround in college football this year. And due to an NCAA Academic Progress Rate that ranks in the top 10 nationally, the football team will play at the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl on Dec. 27. Littrell is the second ﬁrst-year head coach in the history of the university to lead his team to a postseason bowl game. (See the back cover for details.) And this year Littrell and his staﬀ, who arrived in Denton a year ago deep into the recruiting season, will have the chance to assemble their ﬁrst full class of recruits. “We’ve had an incredible season with an opportunity to accomplish our mission of winning our bowl game,” Littrell says. “We’re on track for more success ahead.”
More than a homecoming Jalie Mitchell (’02), hired as the Mean Green women’s basketball coach in 2015, is one of UNT’s greatest players. A member of the UNT Athletics Hall of Fame, she remains the alltime leading scorer in Mean Green women’s basketball history. And her coaching efforts are creating big impacts for the Mean Green. Her team posted 11 victories a year ago, more than doubling the total from the previous season, and earned the program’s ﬁrst win over a ranked opponent. This year’s squad combines Mitchell’s ﬁrst full recruiting class — which includes transfers from Power-Five programs and a talented group of freshmen — with the team’s returning veterans. Fellow Conference USA coaches picked the Mean Green to ﬁnish seven places higher in 2016-17 than it did last season. “The sky is the limit for our team,” Mitchell Rick Yeatts
says. “And obviously there are people who share the same sentiment.”
Hall of Fame inductees
The 2016 UNT Athletics Hall of Fame class was announced at Homecoming. The six-person class includes NFL pro football players Lance Dunbar and Craig Robertson. Dunbar, the all-time leading rusher in UNT’s history, is a running back with the Dallas Cowboys, and Robertson, the No. 2 all-time tackler at UNT, is a linebacker with the New Orleans Saints. The class also boasts Susan Waters (’07), one of the best hitters in Mean Green softball history; Calvin Watson (’07), one of the stars of the Mean Green men’s basketball run to the 2007 Sun Belt championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament; Andrew Smith, the quarterback who led UNT to a New Orleans Bowl victory in 2002; and Ron Miller (’68), former point
guard on the men’s basketball team from 1965 to 1967.
Basketball scoring milestone
Junior forward Jeremy Combs is on pace to become the 22nd member of the Mean Soccer coach’s 300th victory Green men’s basketball team’s 1,000-point Mean Green soccer coach John Hedlund club. Combs entered the 2016-17 season opened the 2016 season with the 300th with 771 points. He scored 461 points victory of his career, then capped the last season, and another such perforyear with his program’s third consecutive mance would vault him not only into the regular-season championship and 12th 1,000-point club for his career but into the conference title. top 15 among the Mean Green’s all-time In his 23 seasons as coach of the Mean leading scorers. Green women’s soccer team, Hedlund’s teams have never had a losing record. Basketball tickets This year, UNT set a school record with Season and single-game tickets for the its 17th-straight win at home and extended 2016-17 Mean Green men’s and women’s its unbeaten streak at home against league basketball seasons are on sale now. Visit foes to 39 games, which is tied for the meangreensports.com/tickets for more longest such streak in the nation. information.
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A C E L E B R AT I O N O F U N T ’ S E XC E L L E N C E
featuring unt alumni
5 : 30 P.M. 5: .M M . SAT ATUR URDA UR DAY, DAY, DA Y M AR ARCH R CH H 2 5, 5 2 01 017 7 B ALL BA LL L RO ROOM O , UN OM NII VE V E RS VERS RSIT IT ITY T Y U NI NION ON N
BLACK TIE AND BOOTS FORMAL EVENT INCLUDING DINNER, PRESENTATION OF THE PRESIDENTIAL AWARDS, ENTERTAINMENT AND DANCING. Reserve your table now as seating is limited.
Individual tickets (space permitting) will be available Jan. 9.
Learn more at wingspan.unt.edu. 18
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Check out upcoming events
HERO OF HER OWN STORY Singer and songwriter Maren Morris, who has won praise for her eclectic blend of country, classic rock and hip-hop-influenced pop, is CMA’s New Artist of the Year.
Read about other UNT notable alumni at northtexan.unt.edu/notable-famous-alumni.
AS A STUDENT AT UNT IN 2010, MAREN MORRIS sang at clubs and bars, released two solo albums and performed in the band called They Were Stars. A year later, she left Texas for Nashville and got her foot in the door writing tunes for Tim McGraw and Kelly Clarkson. Now she is the Country Music Association’s New Artist of the Year, an honor won on the strength of her CD Hero, which was nominated for Album of the Year, and her song “My Church,” which was nominated for Single and Song of the Year. Her speech at the 50th annual CMA Awards ceremony was ﬁlled with emotion. “Y’all, I can’t win this award right after performing, I’m gonna fall apart,” she says. “This is so crazy.” Winter 2016
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Muse Books Globalization’s impact Ipsita Chatterjee, associate professor of geography, explores the eﬀects of globalization in Spectacular Cities (Oxford University Press) by focusing on the gigantic temple complexes of the Akshardham sect in the U.S. and India. While American temples feature meticulous landscaping and reﬂecting pools, the Indian temples borrow heavily from theme parks with laser shows and spiritual dioramas.
The community, nestled on the Brazos near the town of Washington near College Station, went on to become a river port in the 1850s, but declined in population. The area is now a state park. The president of the Texas State Historical Association asked McCaslin to take on Texas’ beginnings the project. In Washington “I was hooked by the beauty on the Brazos: and history of the place,” says Cradle of the McCaslin, Texas State HisTexas Republic torical Association endowed (TSHA professor of Texas history. Press), Murder mystery Richard B. Two literary McCaslin recounts the history legends inﬂuof the community where the enced a new Republic of Texas began in novel by Ian 1836 with the signing of the McGuire, assodeclaration of independence ciate professor and constitution. of English.
“I wanted to develop a methodology to understand the culture and economy of globalization in a more nuanced and material way that explored how ordinary people were materially transforming their urban lives,” Chatterjee says.
The North Water (Henry Holt and Co.) was inspired by both Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. The book made the long list for the prestigious Man Booker Prize and was named to The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2016. “I was working on another very diﬀerent novel about Herman Melville’s life, when I came across a diary written by Arthur Conan Doyle when he was a young medical student and worked for a while as a surgeon on an Arctic whaling ship,” McGuire says. “The diary gave me the idea of writing a murder story set on a whaling ship, and that became the seed of The North Water.”
Uncommon objects When Steve Wiman (’81) was an art student, he walked all over Denton collecting bits of faded plastic, rusty metal scraps and natural specimens that he used for temporary installations mounted in the halls of the Art Building. Now he’s made a career out of such found objects — using them both as an artist and as the owner of Uncommon Objects, an antiques store in Austin. His home has even been featured on the Weird Homes Tour in Austin. “Finding value in the discarded and seeing beauty in the worn and decayed have informed both my art making and my antique Mathew Whalen
business,” Wiman says. He notes that North Texas’ art program was vital and challenging, with faculty members Henry Whiddon, Vernon Fisher, Judy Youngblood and Teel Sale helping him to develop his focus. He also met his wife, Emily Cowart (ʼ82), in a drawing class. Wiman’s artwork can incorporate such objects as poker chips on a wire grid, pantyhose on a metal grid and a series of paint brushes lined up on a shelf to look like a forest. He opened Uncommon Objects in 1991, a few years after receiving his Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Texas at Austin in 1986. “The challenges of owning a small business are, for me, balanced by the pleasure of doing what I love,” he says. “I get to drive around the state treasure hunting, stopping at every flea market, estate sale and antique mall I spy. I spend creative energies at the shop, building interesting displays and vignettes with the objects I acquire. I enjoy the quirky bunch of people that inhabit the Uncommon Objects universe, including my staff, the group of vendors who sell there and the remarkable group of folks who are our customers. I love my work!”
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Award-winning novel When doctoral student Sanderia Faye read Harper Lee’s novel To Kill A Mockingbird, she asked herself, “What if Scout Finch was African American?” That led her to write The Mourner’s Bench, the story of a woman who gets caught up in the 1960s civil rights movement, as told by her 8-year-old daughter. The novel won the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation Legacy Award for Debut Fiction this fall. “As I researched the civil rights movement in the Arkansas Delta, I realized that there was more to the history than the information I had received,” she says. “Women did lead in some cities. Children played an important role, and not every African American protested.” After graduating in 2017 with her Ph.D. in English, Faye hopes to teach creative writing. She’s also working on two books. “This award validates all of the work, the doubt, the criticism, the days sitting in classrooms with all white students and professors,” she says. “And the times I wondered if it would ever happen for a black woman from a small town in rural Arkansas trying to tell the truth about our history.” Vanessa Segans
Doc List Photography
Danielle Artis (’13) loves ﬂying in the air. The alum who majored in dance has performed with Cirque La Vie, a Houston-based contemporary circus, for about two years. She works on the trapeze, silks, Lyra, aerial cube and ground acrobatics.
She also won ﬁrst place in the professional trapeze division in the Capital of Texas Aerial Championships in August. She hopes to compete in the Texas Aerial Festival in December in Austin and VivaFest Pro Series in February in Las Vegas. “Being a circus performer is a dream I never thought possible, but now I could never imagine not being in the circus!” she says. “There is never a dull moment, on and oﬀ the stage. I am able to express myself more than I ever thought I could.”
College of Visual Arts and Design faculty and guest artist March 10-April 8. Learn more at untonthesquare.unt.edu. Highlights of the College of Music will include the Symphony Orchestra performing The Rite of Spring at 8 p.m. Feb. 1; a concert featuring student concerto competition winners at 8 p.m. Feb. 8; and the One O’Clock Lab Band with jazz vibraphonist Stefon Harris playing at 8 p.m. Feb. 23, all at Winspear Hall in the Murchison Performing Arts Center. UNT Opera will perform Sondheim’s A Little Night Music at 8 p.m. March 2-4 at the Lyric Theater in the Murchison. Learn more at calendar.music.unt.edu.
Dance and Theatre
UNT on the Square will present the paintings and drawings of Christopher Blay Jan. 23-Feb. 3 in conjunction with the Denton Black Film Festival; the ceramics of Jerry Austin, who will retire after 31 years as an associate professor at UNT, Feb. 8-March 3; and metalworks by
Guest choreographer Bill Evans presents his work, For Nana, performed by dance majors at the Faculty Dance Concert. Music for the piece was composed by Claudia Howard Queen, associate professor of music for dance. New dances will be premiered by faculty members Mary Lynn Babcock, Teresa Cooper and Shelley Cushman. The Department of Dance and Theatre production is at 8 p.m. Feb. 9-11 and 2 p.m. Feb. 12 at the University Theater in the Radio, Television, Film and Performing Arts Building. Learn more at danceandtheatre.unt.edu. Watbanaland, written by former artist-in-residence and Pulitzer Prize winner Doug Wright, shows how two families are transformed when a businessman has an affair with his assistant, who becomes pregnant. The Department of Dance and Theatre will present the play at 7:30 p.m. March 2-4, 9-10 and at 2 p.m. March 5 and 11 at the Studio Theatre in the Radio, Television, Film and Performing Arts Building. Learn more at danceandtheatre.unt.edu.
Visit calendar.unt.edu for more upcoming events.
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Muse the people you work with,” she says. “Blowing stuﬀ up every night for thousands of guests on a show that moves people to tears is pretty cool too.”
Music Jazz man
Roomful of ideas
Michelle Gillaspie (’04) had to work 20 hours on New Year’s Eve — “but I loved every second of it!” Gillaspie, who majored
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in theatre, helps handle the pyrotechnics as an entertainment tech at Epcot Center at Disney World — a job she landed after participating in the Disney Professional Internship program. She works mostly on the show “IllumiNations: Reﬂections of Earth.” “I love the same thing that I’ve always enjoyed about working in theatre — the sense of family that you form with
Jazz students and members of the One O’Clock Lab Band got a lesson in November from a master — saxophonist Tim Ries (’81), who has played for the Rolling Stones, Maynard Ferguson and Stevie Wonder. Ries, based in New York, also has released nine CDs as part of the Tim Ries Quintet. “Throughout his interaction with students,Tim referred often to his years at North Texas and how they helped prepare him for the challenges of being a working musician in New York City,” says Mike Steinel (’81 M.M.Ed.), associate professor of jazz studies. “His story is inspiring to our students.”
When the San Diego Opera presented Cinderella last fall,
Roomful of Teeth, a Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble that includes two alumni, is serving as UNT’s 2016-17 artist-in-residence. The eight-member ensemble won a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance in 2014 for its debut album, Roomful of Teeth. Member Caroline Shaw won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2013 for her composition, Partita for 8 Voices that was included on that album. The group released its second album, the Grammy-nominated Render, in 2015. Roomful of Teeth visited campus in October and will again work with students from the College of Music’s choral, composition and vocal areas in March. The ensemble will perform at 8 p.m. March 9 at the Murchison Performing Arts Center. Members include alumni Thann Scoggin (’04, ’07 M.S.) and Cameron Beauchamp, who is excited about making new relationships with UNT students and faculty. “With such an incredibly vast and diverse music school, we have endless possibilities of collaboration,” Beauchamp says.
it included three performers with UNT ties, from left, doctoral student Lauren McNeese, David Portillo (’05 M.M.) and Alissa Anderson (’03). McNeese portrayed Cinderella, Portillo was the prince and Anderson performed as one of the wicked stepsisters. The three knew each other before the show but hadn’t performed together. Anderson says her education made it possible to perform in such operas all across the country. “UNT is where I got the ﬁrst bearings on my voice and how to use it,” she says. “It put me on the path to the success I am having now.”
The Green Brigade Marching Band knows how to host a reunion. About 90 former members of the band met in November to play during the last Mean Green home football game with the current Green Brigade. The musicians also met for various functions during the weekend. The reunion brought in members from seven decades, from as early as 1957 to as recently as 2016. One alum, Reed David (’11 M.S.), traveled all the way from Alaska.
“It was a wonderful weekend of reuniting and making new friendships,” says the band’s director, Nicholas Williams (’97, ’04 M.M., ’09 D.M.A.).
Television and Film
Sara Ivey’s (’07 M.J.) heart often breaks while working as a producer for the REELZ Network docu-series Murder Made Me Famous. The show uses
Visual Arts Creative jewelry
archive video and re-creations to tell the stories of murders. One of the actors was UNT senior business major Hunter Hart Lightner, who appeared as “Preppy Killer” Robert Chambers. But, for Ivey, the toughest part of the job is interviewing the victims’ families. Ivey began her career in broadcast news, but she started freelancing for AMS Pictures, which produces the show. She uses storytelling skills she learned at UNT. “UNT is especially strong in teaching the style of nonﬁction narrative,” she says, “which ﬁts well with the true crime genre of my current project.”
Jewelry designer Tamar Navama (’15 M.F.A.) had one of her most interesting career experiences this fall — creating pieces for Naadam Cashmere clothes that appeared on the runway for New York Fashion Week.
“My best moments as a designer are seeing how people wear and style my designs,” Navama says. “To see it done professionally on a stage in New York was an especially satisfying moment.” Navama also has experimented with creating leather goods from exotic skins, which she treats as precious materials — innovation she honed in her years at UNT. “My professors created a challenging environment that developed my conﬁdence as a maker,” she says. “And raised my own expectations for my work.”
Working with a legend Pianist and composer Henry Hey (’92) has worked with artists such as Rod Stewart and played on the soundtracks for Oceans Thirteen and other movies. His latest project allowed him to work with one of music’s biggest legends, the late David Bowie, and fellow UNT alumni. Hey served as the arranger, orchestrator and musical director for Lazarus, a play co-written by and featuring the music of Bowie. The play ran off-Broadway in New York last winter and is currently running in London. Hey was featured in articles in The New Yorker and Rolling Stone. This project proved to be unique because of Bowie. “He was an incredibly humble and generous individual,” Hey says. “He was so interested in creating art and was truly selflessly excited about what others would bring to the table.” When he needed a drummer, Hey instantly thought of Brian Delaney (ʼ92), whom he met at UNT and moved with to New York City after graduation. “Brian was the first player I presented to David as I knew that we had to have him if at all possible,” he says. “He has amazing authority and authenticity in playing this music, yet has Drew Widemann
such a wide musical scope.” Hey also brought in guitarist Chris McQueen (ʼ06), a member of Snarky Puppy. Hey and McQueen also are in the band Forq with Snarky Puppy bassist Michael League, who attended UNT from 2002 to 2006. Bowie vetted and approved Delaney and McQueen. Hey always knew from his time at UNT that he had a number of talented and adventurous classmates. “I was very lucky to be playing and studying amongst some great musicians,” Hey says, “many of whom have gone on to do pretty big things in the music world.”
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by Meredith Moriak Wright
Alumni are using clinical and behavioral techniques as a piece of the puzzle in understanding those with autism — helping them fit in and achieve their greatest potential. do that is to require that they ask for what they want, at the appropriate level,” Sekhon says. “For some, that means speaking a full sentence, but for others it might be saying one word, signing or pointing to a picture.” Autism spectrum disorder, a developmental disability that causes social, communication and behavioral challenges, varies in severity and there is no known cause. As the prevalence of American children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder has increased drastically, from 1 in 150 in 2000 to 1 in 68 today, so has UNT’s presence as a leader in autism-related education, training and research. UNT’s Department of Behavior Analysis in the College of Public Aﬀairs and Community Service began studying autism in the 1970s, and the College of Education has
ori Sekhon (’83, ’85 M.S.) spends her days showing children the power of communication. Whether she’s encouraging a nonverbal 3-year-old to use sign language or helping a 6-year-old with speech diﬃculties put words together in an intelligible way, she empowers them to ask for what they need. A speech-language pathologist, Sekhon works with clients who have autism and have challenges communicating. Using individually tailored activities and evidence-based therapy techniques, she helps them improve communication so they can develop relationships and participate in society. “With every child, I work to help them expand their expressive language. One way to
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oﬀered special education graduate students an autism intervention focus for more than 20 years. Other programs in educational psychology and speech-language pathology also have focused on autism studies. And in 2012 — with the help of Kristin Farmer (’95 M.Ed.), founder and CEO of ACES (Comprehensive Educational Services Inc.) — UNT founded the Kristin Farmer Autism Center. It serves as a multidisciplinary resource in the North Texas region for families caring for a child with autism. “It’s a true lab school,” Farmer says. “Children and families are positively impacted by the services and students at UNT, and future teachers, therapists and practitioners from all disciplines are beneﬁting greatly from what they learn.”
Developing language Shortly after graduating from UNT and beginning work as a pediatric speechlanguage pathologist, p g ncountered Sekhon encountered patients with autism. ed d how w to “I learned conduct speech peech and herapyy at language therapy UNT, and d then through working with somee very experienced ed d behaviorr analysts, I ow w to applyy itt with kids learned how with autism,” m,”” Sekhon says.. “Forr me, the blending off speech-languagee pathology and behavior viorr principles is a winning on.” combination.” Sekhon’’s privatee practicee in Dallas, Lori peech and d Languagee Services, has Sekhon Speech
viduals served individuals m sincee 1994. with autism “Our kids with autism are the hardest-working kids around, hands down. It takes so much cognitive energy to do what we ask them to do,” Sekhon says. “Learning a new communication skill is diﬃcult, but I ﬁnd fun ways to motivate every child to achieve what we’re working toward.” Sekhon and her husband, Punjab Sekhon (’90), are thrilled that their daughter, Anna, enrolled at UNT this fall and is pursuing a master’s in speech-language pathology. “It makes me really proud to know that UNT places an emphasis on autism research and education, and that my daughter is studying there,” Sekhon says. “It’s going to take diﬀerent disciplines and approaches to continue making progress in the ﬁeld.”
“ “For me, the blending of speech-language o pathology and behavior principles is a winning combination.” — Lori Sekhon (’83, ’85 M.S.)
Empowering educators Michael Tucker (’01, ’05 M.Ed.) didn’t know much about autism when he came to UNT from Garland. After working at a day care during his freshman year and meeting a child with Down syndrome, Tucker turned to UNT job boards as a sophomore in search of something that would align with his interest in special education. He secured a part-time job
Lori Sekhon ekhon (’83, ’85 M.S.) is a speechge pathologistt with herr own practice, language ekhon Speech andd Language g Services, Lori Sekhon as, which serves in Dallas, individuals uals with autism.
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working with students with autism, such as prompting and self-management. With this new knowledge, Tucker felt empowered to make the greatest impact. “To see how much the kids grow and for every day to be diﬀerent, it is so rewarding,” he says. He credits the master’s program with increasing his self-conﬁdence and validating that the work he does is meaningful. “One of my favorite things was meeting with professors and colleagues who experienced similar situations in their schools, and learning from them,” Tucker says. “In special education, you’re often the only person on your campus, or sometimes in the district, who does what you do. To be in an environmentt thatt aﬃrms whatt you’re implementing is veryy helpful.” In Tucker’s currentt rolee as an autism consultantt forr Education Servicee Center Region 11 in Texas, hee equips teachers daily in implementingg thee moree than 25 d practices that evidence-based d for havee been identiﬁed aidingg children with autism. “Iff I wentt out and d polled d teachers who workk with kids with autism, and d asked d them m to namee 10 off the evidence-based practices, most off them
helping a young boy with autism in Plano with social skills, reading and other therapies. “Within a week, I knew this was the path for my life,” says Tucker, who initially was studying astronomy. He landed as an interdisciplinary studies student and minored in special education, meeting his wife, Kathryn McCoy (’01), in special education classes. Although he had passion and drive as a ﬁrst-year teacher after graduating, Tucker says that he still wanted to learn more about how to teach kids with autism. It was after returning to UNT to work on his master’s degree in special education that he learned about evidence-based practices proven by researchers as eﬀective for
wouldn’t know,” Tucker says, as the practices have only been identiﬁed within the last 10 years. “Teachers know what to do in principle but still need more information on how to teach it.”
Advocating for all Behavior analyst Malika Pritchett (’10 M.S.) regularly hears from teachers about how more training is needed to work with children with autism. As owner of Positive Enlightenment, an Austin-based behavioral consulting service, Pritchett spends each day with her clients, their families and other members of their support systems, like teachers, doctors and other therapists. “I’ll go from visiting clients’ homes for therapy and providing guidance to their families, to participating in school-based families support meetings, and collaborating and d sup with all other professionals that serve them,” who earned a master’s in says Pritchett, Pri behavior analysis. behavio While awareness of autism is increasing Whil amongg tthe general public, Pritchett acknowlthere’s still a lack of understanding edges th the autism spectrum. aboutt th “People with autism mainly have diﬃcul“Peop communicating. They can learn and grow ties com extremely rapid paces as long as they have att extrem signiﬁcant therapeutic intervention and signiﬁca collaborative support from everybody that collabor serves them th to learn and grow,” Pritchett says. “Mostt ddon’t have an intellectual disability.” Pritchett says instilling hope in families Pritch providing parents with the tools they and d pro need d to help their child is the most meaningful part of her job. meanin
M Michael Tucker (’01, ’05 M.Ed.)) is an autism consultant for Education Service Center Region Ed 11 in Texas.
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“When parents reach out for support, they are typically pretty lost and exhausted. Parenting children who are in a lot of respects delayed or not where you envisioned them to be can be sad,” Pritchett says. “When I come in and get to be part of the family, for even brief amounts of time, and provide the support, it is fulﬁlling. To see the child progress and watch as the parents see therapy work and their child move in the right direction is incredible.” For Pritchett, it is monumental each time she teaches a child to communicate. She says she ﬁrst experienced the supreme joy of witnessing a child’s ﬁrst words while working at the Easter Seals Autism Treatment Program in Carrollton, a partnership with UNT’s Department of Behavioral Analysis, during graduate school. “When you teach children with autism to communicate, their worlds are instantly improved,” she says. “And their worlds become much happier places.” She credits the department for empowering her to become a high-caliber professional. “They teach graduate students to be professional, dedicated, assertive and compassionate scientists,” Pritchett says. “These core values were modeled by the faculty and infused throughout the classroom, research opportunities, practicums and clinics.”
Need for services It was the hope instilled in Regina Crone’s (’06 M.Ed., ’10 Ph.D.) family by therapists that paved p the Carrollton business owner’s careerr trajectory.
“My youngest brother was adopted from Russia at 18 months old and was nonverbal. He had a diﬃcult time communicating and would often bang his head in frustration,” Crone says. “My parents, desperate for help, found a therapist who understood motivation and how to use sign language to teach communication. This facilitated expressive language and from there he went on to attend typical school and today is an active college student with a part-time job.” Observing how working with therapists improved her brother’s skills led Crone to begin working with children with disabilities in high school as a behavioral technician. After earning her bachelor’s degree in North Carolina, she selected UNT for her master’s and doctoral degrees in special education. “Once I learned that UNT’s special education program was applied behavior analysis-friendly,” Crone says, “I knew it was where I needed to be.” Applied behavior analysis uses proven techniques and principles, like positive reinforcement, to generate positive changes g p g in behavior. ior. One off thee ﬁrstt individuals Cronee mett when arrivingg in Denton on was Kevin Callahan, n, executivee director of UNT’’s Kristin Farmer Autism Center, who d herr student proctored teaching.. Shee counts him hee mostt inﬂuential among the als in herr life. individuals “Dr. Callahan is a d inspiring brilliant and
“When you teach children with autism to communicate, their worlds are instantly improved. And their worlds become much happier places.” — Malika Pritchett (’10 M.S.)
Malika Pritchettt (’ (’10 M.S.) is a behaviorr analyst analys and Enlightenownerr off Positive E Austin-based ment, an Austin-ba behaviorall consulting consultin service.
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practice, Therapy and Beyond, to provide clients with applied behavior analysis services focusing on the entire family as part of the therapy plan. The practice has since grown to include seven clinics across three states. “Knowing that I could only help so many families alone, I began to build a team of dedicated professionals focused on eﬀective treatment, which now includes other UNT alumni,” Crone says. Therapy and Beyond celebrated its 10th anniversary this year and employs more than 180 individuals at locations in Denver, Tulsa, The Woodlands, southwest Houston, Carrollton, Colleyville and Fort Worth. Therapeutic services have grown to include speech therapy, counseling support, applied behavior analysis, and inclusion opportunities in private schools. Crone earned her Ph.D. in special education from UNT and credits Smita Shukla Meta, associate professor of educational psychology, for mentoring her into the professional she is.
“To make therapy most impactful and to ensure individual progress, we are family-focused and take the time to make learning meaningful and fun to maximize every teachable moment.” — Regina Crone (’06 M.Ed., ’10 Ph.D.)
person who brings out the best in people,” she says. For three years, Crone taught special education in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD by day and worked as a board-certiﬁed behavior analyst at night and on weekends. Then she launched her own therapeutic
“She challenged me to become the best student I could be,” Crone says. “The rigor that she requires prepared me to always seek excellence.” One of Crone’s greatest priorities in leading her team is making sure that families are supported and providers work together to create highly individualized plans. “To make therapy most impactful and to ensure individual progress,” Crone says, “we are family-focused and take the time to make learning meaningful and fun to maximize every teachable moment.”
Coordinating care By coordinating care and determining a way to deliver services through existing avenues, Pablo Juárez (’00) has enabled Tennesseans with autism to receive the intervention and resources they need. A trained board-certiﬁed behavior analyst, Juárez serves as director at the Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center in Nashville. The institute is dedicated to improving assessment and treatment services for individuals with autism, while advancing knowledge and training for their families, educators, other service providers and community partners. “Everything we do here is focused on providing more access for people and developing high-quality services, which can be embedded in existing state programs,” Juárez says. “Often, the only way people can get service is through the state.” As the principal investigator of institute-funded programs totaling $13.3 million, Juárez is helping to lead projects that include Regina Crone (’06 M.Ed., ’10 Ph.D.) is a behavior analyst and owner of Therapy and Beyond, with locations in Denver, Tulsa, The Woodlands, Houston, Carrollton, Colleyville and Fort Worth.
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UNT’s Kristin Farmer Autism Center
diagnosticc and d clinicall evaluations, early childhood intervention, school-based consultation, school-age services and parent training. He says his UNT degree in applied behavior analysis and student experiences have contributed to his success. “I was given a number of opportunities to develop collaborative and leadership skills — through the yearbook, Theta Chi, the Behavior Analysis Student Organization and North Texas Forty — that matched the knowledge I gained there,” Juárez says. “My time at UNT gave me a lot of conﬁdence.” In Tennessee, Juárez and institute colleagues helped to address a shortage of autism services in the western third of the state by developing a telemedicine-based diagnostic service, such as the use of Skype
Pablo Juárez (’00) is director at the Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center in Nashville. with a doctor for an evaluation, and implementing early intervention services. Providing services to those living in rural and low-income areas is a challenge the institute is undertaking, and it also is examining how technology, such as telemedicine, can be used to reach people. “We need to provide access for people for testing and services and determine a way we can deliver what they need in an eﬃcient and eﬀective manner,” Juárez says. “We want to make sure they’re getting whatever they need to have the best possible quality of life.”
— Photography by Ahna Hubnik
Opened in 2012, UNT’s Kristin Farmer Autism Center works to change the lives of those on the autism spectrum through comprehensive, collaborative and individualized programming. The center conducts evidence-based research, training, diagnostic testing and evaluation, intervention services, behavioral therapy, and counseling for individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorders. The center was established through a gift by alumna Kristin Farmer (’95 M.Ed.), founder and CEO of ACES (Comprehensive Educational Services Inc.). With more than 3.5 million individuals in the U.S. identiﬁed on the autism spectrum, she considers autism an epidemic and is partnering with UNT to increase education and research efforts, working toward a solution. “It’s important for all of us to keep an awareness about autism in our minds and use the science to ﬁgure out the cause of the increase, and to reverse that,” Farmer says. “It is possible.” UNT is working together on projects like Art + Autism, an ACES-sponsored event last spring that focused on the power of art in the autism community. UNT and ACES will collaborate again this spring to feature Temple Grandin, a well-known member of the autism community and professor of animal science at Colorado State University, April 13 at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas. For tickets and more information, email claudia.taylor@ unt.edu. Learn more about services offered at UNT’s Kristin Farmer Autism Center at autism.unt.edu.
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE Learn how alumna Susan Richardson (’99 M.S.) is helping adults with autism ﬁnd employment opportunities and producing farm-to-table food through the Old School Farm, a nonproﬁt she cofounded, at northtexan.unt.edu/online.
Kasey Kamenicky (’04)/FW Creations
Pictured with President Neal Smatresk, fourth from left, at the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards Dinner are, from left, Jim McNatt (’66), Laura Dominguez (’05), Beau LaMothe (’07), Ben Joyner (’74, ’76 M.B.A.), Peggy Rouh (’95 M.S., ’01 Ph.D.), Jerome “Bruzzy” Westheimer Jr. (’65) and Bryan Milner (’00).
Alumni Awards 2016 Seven outstanding UNT alumni were honored for their professional and philanthropic accomplishments, as well as service to their communities and university, at this year’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards. The awards program, which took place during Homecoming Week, has existed for 51 years to celebrate alumni achievements. Honors included the Distinguished Alumni Award, one of UNT’s most prestigious, presented since 1965 to individuals who have earned prominence and accolades for their professional accomplishments as well as service to the university. The Distinguished Young Alumni Award honors alumni under 40 with the same criteria. “This year’s alumni award winners are an exceptional group of entrepreneurs and philanthropists who make their communities a better Watch a video about the award recipients place,” President Neal Smatresk says. “We are so proud of all they have at northtexan.unt.edu/online. accomplished as leaders and the impact they make in the world.”
UNT honors extraordinary alumni for their notable careers and service
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Distinguished Alumni Award Jim McNatt (’66)
Jim McNatt began his career in the automobile industry at age 12, washing cars at his father’s dealership in Greenville. After earning a business degree at UNT, he went on to build the successful Jim McNatt Auto Group, which he sold in 2014. He continues in the industry as a partner in Luttrull-McNatt dealerships in Sanger and Gainesville, and is vice president of McNatt Properties LC, a real estate construction and apartment management business. He was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity while at UNT. He is a member of the UNT Alumni Association, a lifetime member of the UNT Kuehne Speaker Series, a member of the UNT Foundation board of directors and a member of the President’s Leadership Board. He and his wife, Linda, support the Denton Animal Support Foundation, North Texas Fair and Rodeo, United Way of Denton County, and Court Appointed Special Advocates of Denton County Inc. Bryan Milner (’00)
Bryan Milner is senior vice president of loan originations at Wells Fargo Capital Finance. He is responsible for originating corporate loans from $30 million to $5 billion or more in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. As a member of the board of directors for UNT’s Professional Leadership Program, he was instrumental in helping the program grow from 40 students to more than 100 annually. He is a member of the College of Business FIREL Advisory Board, and a lifetime member of the UNT Kuehne Speaker Series. He has worked with UNT’s Career Center to increase opportunities for students and serves as a mentor.
Jerome ‘Bruzzy’ Westheimer Jr. (’65)
Bruzzy Westheimer Jr. is president of Valbel West, an oil and gas producer and geology business in Ardmore, Okla., and president and CEO of the Jerome Westheimer Family Foundation. The foundation primarily supports scholarships and programs in science, education, culture and the arts. He is a life member of the UNT Alumni Association, a lifetime member of the UNT Kuehne Speaker Series and a member of the President’s Leadership Board.
O U TSTA N D I N G SERVICE AWARD Presented to honor individuals who have provided exceptional volunteer service to UNT.
Peggy Rouh (’95 M.S., ’01 Ph.D.) retired from IBM as a senior manager responsible for corporate training and development, consulting, sales, marketing and customer service. She has been a supporter of UNT’s College of Information since its inception in 2008 and served as the college’s recent Capital Campaign co-chair. She also created an endowed scholarship for students in UNT’s Department of Learning Technologies and has worked as an adjunct professor and lecturer in the department since 2004. She serves on the college’s Academic Affairs Committee and is chairwoman of the Learning Technologies Awards Committee.
Distinguished Young Alumni Award Laura Dominguez (’05)
Laura Dominguez works on humanitarian projects in the U.S., Central America and Africa. She is a program oﬃcer for FHI 360, an international human development nonproﬁt focused on health, education, economic development, gender, civil society and youth. Until recently, she provided operational and administrative support to the U.S. Agency for International Development-funded Haiti Ann ALE project as well as serving as the Gender Focal Point for FHI 360’s Global Education Unit. She recently joined FHI 360’s Gender Department, managing a U.K.-funded Girls’ Education Challenge Program.
U LY S K N I G H T SPIRIT AWARD Presented to an individual or group that has made noteworthy efforts to sustain spirit among the UNT family.
Ben Joyner (’74, ’76 M.B.A.) has worked in the finance industry in the North Texas region for more than 30 years. Currently, he serves as senior vice president of commercial banking with UMB Bank. He has held similar roles at BBVA Compass Bank, Texas Bank and First State Bank. Joyner is an avid sports fan, attending games in Denton, often traveling to road football and basketball games, attending coaches radio shows and the annual Coaches Caravan. He serves on the UNT Foundation board, is past-president and life member of the UNT Alumni Association and a longtime member of the Mean Green Club.
Beau LaMothe (’07)
Beau LaMothe is the chief commercial oﬃcer for PGL, a third-party logistics provider headquartered in Irving. He is responsible for PGL’s long-term strategic direction, marketing, sales and service oﬀerings. He has worked with the Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship, provided continued support to the logistics and supply chain program and is the youngest person to serve on the College of Business’ Advisory Board. Winter 2016
Nomination forms for 2017 awards will be available after Jan. 1 at awards.unt.edu.
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Nonso Chetuya (â€™16)
Alumni are making a big diďŹ€erence at the smallest level by engineering and improving the use
of materials in industry for the next generation.
by Tanya O’Neil
Fascinated by the potential to help create new discoveries from materials, Nonso Chetuya (’16) knew he wanted to be a materials scientist at 15. “The ability to change materials using science is a wonder to me,” says Chetuya, a quality assurance engineer at Lockheed Martin in Grand Prairie. “Modern-day materials science is like real alchemy, changing materials to better the world.” Alumni like Chetuya — from UNT’s materials science department in the College of Engineering, one of the university’s fastest growing areas — are working at leading aerospace, defense and technology industries to create the future innovations of the 21st century. They are not only investigating new sustainable materials, but also helping to gain a better understanding of the limitations and possibilities of current materials used in manufacturing. Many of them got their start as students working side by side with experts in UNT’s program, ranked a Top 100 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. One of those experts is Rajiv Mishra, a Distinguished Research Professor of materials science and engineering who has led the Center for Friction Stir Processing, an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center site at UNT, for 10 years. The center, in collaboration with three other universities, garners funding from the National Science Foundation, Oﬃce of Naval Research and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. And UNT’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Processes Institute (AMMPI), also led by Mishra, is one of UNT’s four Institutes of Research Excellence. It brings together faculty working to design high-performance materials for industry. “AMMPI is the perfect example of what UNT is doing to take our research to the next level,” says Costas Tsatsoulis, dean of the College of Engineering. “This institute is made up of researchers from a wide variety of ﬁelds and they are all collaborating to develop new materials that can make our everyday lives better.”
State-of-the-art defense Chetuya says that he chose UNT for the opportunity to take part in the materials science research he always dreamed of doing.
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Jon-Erik Mogonye (’10, ’12 M.S., ’16 Ph.D.)
Hari Mallela Adrian Hood
Courtesy of IBM
“UNT was publishing a lot of articles. I saw the research the faculty was doing,” he says. “It seemed like the best place to be to help change the world.” As soon as Chetuya arrived on campus, he roamed the halls of Discovery Park checking out labs. He also asked a lot of questions that led to Witold Brostow, professor of materials science, asking him to help with research. Soon he was participating in senior-level lab work as a freshman, which caught the attention of recruiters and resulted in ﬁve job oﬀers his senior year. He accepted a position with Lockheed Martin, working on making high-precision, high-altitude missiles for the military. “We are looking to see if there are any parts of the missile that could jeopardize the mission, and we make a failure analysis,” he says. “And then we ﬁgure out how to make it work better. “UNT helped me to learn to ask the right questions. I’ve only been here ﬁve months and they already call me the subject materials expert.”
He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, but a research opportunity as an undergraduate working as a microscopist focused his interest on materials science. The student position gave him the chance to use state-of-the-art electron and ion microscopes in UNT’s Center for Advanced Research and Technology (CART). After Mogonye graduated, Thomas Scharf, professor of materials science, encouraged him to work on his master’s degree and oﬀered him a chance to work in his lab. He then helped him land an internship with Sandia National Laboratory while he worked on his Ph.D. At Sandia, Mogonye was part of a group of researchers awarded a patent in 2015 titled “Ion Beam Modiﬁcation of Noble Metals for Electrical Contacts.” “In this ﬁeld you have the opportunity to be creative and design as an engineer on a microscopic level,” he says. Now, Mogonye is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Md., designing and testing new materials to make helicopters safer for servicemen and women. “Success always comes down to the people who help you. And the engineering faculty at UNT are very strong,” Mogonye says. “It’s their ability to teach, but also the help they give outside of the classroom. They lead you to connections and help you ﬁgure out the next step after university.”
Saving lives Unlike Chetuya, Jon-Erik Mogonye (’10, ’12 M.S., ’16 Ph.D.) didn’t know as a student in 2005 that he wanted to study materials science. He came to UNT intending to major in sculpture, but he couldn’t deny his love for science. “Realizing that I was meant for engineering was a revelation, not a designed choice,” he says.
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Secure computers Hari Mallela came to UNT in 1989 to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in materials science after earning a Ph.D. in physics from Delhi University. He was looking for a teaching assignment in the U.S. when he met William Deering, a former physics professor at UNT, who told him about the opening at UNT. “My time at UNT is when I really discovered my passion,” Mallela says. “It’s when I went from theory to hands on. I realized I could help make companies work better by creating better materials.” After his time at UNT, Mallela worked for Teccor Electronics and Texas Instruments and as a consultant. He then took a job as a senior scientist at IBM in New York, where he is now making the next generation of computers safer and smarter. “There is a potential for security breaches with existing computers,” he says.“We are working to build a next-generation computer that is secure and will be able to address complicated computations.” He’s also hoping to advance artiﬁcial intelligence in computers to do everything from helping businesses realize when they need to restock shelves to making smarter toys and solving medical problems. “This work will help to take everything we know about diseases and have computers digest all the information to provide summaries and hopefully answers,” he says. Knowing how to work on a team of researchers is one of the best lessons Mallela says he learned at UNT.
A DVA N C E D M AT E R I A L S A N D M A N U FA C T U R I N G P R O C E S S E S I N S T I T U T E In recognition of the university’s strong and growing materials science program, UNT established the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Processes Institute Spencer Sloan/Pratt & Whitney
Haritha Namduri (’03 M.S., ’07 Ph.D.)
last year as one of its four Institutes of Research Excellence. Part of UNT’s College of Engineering, AMMPI touts a multidisciplinary team of researchers committed to collaborating on large research projects with an emphasis on the application of findings and solutions to meet mar-
“In research and in industry, you have to work with people,” he says. “You can’t do it all by yourself.”
Safer airplanes Haritha Namduri (’03 M.S., ’07 Ph.D.) also understands the importance of working on a team. As a failure analysis engineer at Pratt & Whitney, an aerospace company in East Hartford, Conn., she works with a group to make sure commercial and military aircraft engines are safe. “If there is an airplane incident that is P&W engine-related, we investigate,” she says. “We also work to ﬁnd the cause of any problems with any new materials before those materials ever go into the ﬁeld.” Namduri says one of her favorite parts of working as a materials engineer is the opportunity to problem solve and adapt. “No matter how good your design is, you are limited by the quality and capability of materials,” Namduri says, adding that this motivates her. “So, by creating better materials we can help make better designs.” Namduri ﬁrst came to UNT to get her master’s degree in mechanical engineering technology and fell in love with the research process, so she continued on to earn a doctoral degree in materials science. “I loved my research and the faculty, especially Seifollah Nasrazadani and Leticia Anaya,” she says, adding that they encouraged her to do research in their labs. “I would just hang out and work on experiments,” she says. “When it comes to UNT, it’s really all about the professors.”
ket issues and needs. The institute’s diverse faculty are focused on structural and functional materials, computational tools and advanced manufacturing processes to help design high-performance materials for industries in the aerospace, automotive and energy sectors. A recent grant from the Army Research Laboratory for $20 million will have AMMPI, in collaboration with three other universities, working to understand why body and vehicle armors fail so that they can create stronger, better armor to keep soldiers safe. It is one of the ways the institute is able to invest in equipment and lab space to provide state-of-the-art research opportunities and experiences for faculty and students. “AMMPI recognizes the evolving science associated with materials of all types, and we strongly believe that an integrated design approach to manufacturing — our specialty — will create much-needed, high-throughput techniques in materials genomics and computational materials discovery and design,” says Rajiv Mishra, Distinguished Research Professor of materials science and engineering and director of AMMPI. “This is what will produce more efficient and more competitive products.”
Learn more about UNT’s Institutes of Research Excellence at research.unt.edu/institutes.
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INSPIRE DREAMS “As a storyteller, I’ve always had a high regard for UNT and the journalism program. But my enrollment would not be possible without this scholarship. I’m so grateful to be able to pursue my dreams of a career in public relations or magazine writing. It’s an incredible gift — a chance to do what I love.” — Tyler Hicks Journalism graduate student, recipient of the Mayborn School of Journalism Graduate Scholarship
By making a gift to the Inspire UNT Fund, you ensure that students have the support they need to pursue their dreams without limitations. Please use the attached envelope to make your gift to UNT and help inspire dreams. Learn more at giving.unt.edu.
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Get connected at upcoming alumni gatherings page 41
ENERGIZING BUSINESS College of Business alumna helps small companies grow and navigate downturns in the energy industry.
Read more about Waggoner-Aguilar’s career success and her dedication to mentor other women in the industry at northtexan.unt.edu/energizing-business.
FEARLESSNESS AND A PENCHANT FOR THE Spanish language quick-started Paula Waggoner-Aguilar’s (’95 M.S.) ﬁnance career in the energy industry. After earning her master’s in taxation from UNT, the CPA worked on pipelines and power in Brazil and served as the Mexican controller for the world’s largest independent power producer. In 2013, she founded her own ﬁrm, The Energy CFO, with oﬃces in San Antonio and Houston to oﬀer small private companies the same ﬁnancial leadership that beneﬁts major corporations. That work earned her the 2014 Best CFO for Private Medium-Sized Companies award from the San Antonio Business Journal. “My accomplishments as a business owner mean so much more to me than any promotion I’ve received,” she says. Winter 2016
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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 are designated with a . Read more, share comments and connect with friends at northtexan.unt.edu.
Homecoming photo contest winner
Anita Pace Quinn, Longview
:: was recognized last year by the National Marrow Donor Council for recruiting 24,000 volunteers and establishing the organization Because I Care. This organization, founded in 1990, encourages people to be placed on the bone marrow registry. The motivation to recruit donors came when her son, Bryan, died from leukemia. Her grandchild Lainey is now attending UNT.
1970 Janie M. Grimes (M.Ed., ’93 M.Ed.), Denton. :: retired from
counseling at North Central Texas College in March. She is now sole proprietor of Janie Grimes, Counselor, in downtown Denton. Her counseling experience includes serving as director of family violence services at Denton County Friends of the Family and as a counselor for TRIO, a program for ﬁrst generation college students.
1972 This year’s winning photo for our Homecoming photo contest was taken on the Denton downtown square and submitted by the Larriviere family — from left, Elaine Larriviere, with her three daughters: UNT senior Jaime and her daughter, Rylee; Jessica Taylor (’09) with husband Lance and son Landon; and UNT sophomore Jennifer. The photo caption for their submission read: “A family that cheers for UNT together, stays together! Mean Green fans for life!”
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Maury Forman, Seattle :: published Startup Wisdom: 27 Strategies for Raising Business Capital, an addition to his list of books covering economic development. As senior manager at Startup 365 Washington, he
helps to create business opportunities in urban downtowns and rural communities. He is founder and director of the award-winning Northwest Economic Development course at Central Washington University and board member of the Bollinger Foundation. He was also voted into the Inland Northwest Partners Hall of Fame.
1975 William Rainbolt (M.A.), Loundonville, N.Y. :: a retired
professor of journalism, wrote the 1996 historical novel Moses Rose (Dan River Press), which has been reissued by First Edition Design Publishing/Goose River Press as an e-book. When the novel, set in Texas in 1836, was ﬁrst released 20 years ago, The Dallas Morning News called it an “intriguing . . . and imaginative tale” in which the legendary Alamo deserter learns diﬀerent meanings of “heroism, survival, loneliness and love.”
1976 Peggy Brandt Brown (M.Ed., ’05 Ph.D.), Arlington :: won the 2015-16
North Lake College Excellence in Teaching (Adjunct) Award. She has taught at North Lake’s
1977 Barry Davis, Houston :: was recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for 2017. He practices corporate governance law for Thompson & Knight LLP in Houston.
Jeﬀerson Parish, La., public library system. His hobbies are genealogy and photography. His favorite campus memory is “all of the friendly people I knew.”
1979 Herb Weiss, Pawtucket, R.I.
:: published a book, Taking Charge: Collected Stories on Aging Boldly. A collection of columns from The Pawtucket Times and The Woonsocket Call, the book explores a variety of aging issues from pop culture to retirement planning to caregiving. In 1997, he won the Distinguished Alumni Award from UNT’s Center for Studies in Aging.
Irving campus since 2005. When she returned to work on her Ph.D. in 2000, she was a graduate fellow and teaching assistant. She is married to Pat Brown, the “resident spouse” of Kerr and Bruce when she was working there. Her most outstanding North Texas memory is from her days as the newly hired assistant director of Bruce Hall in March 1974 — the ﬁrst weekend of “the streaker riots.”
World of work Recent graduate Adam Hasley (’15) always wanted to travel the world, and with encouragement at UNT, he turned globetrotting dreams into a budding career as an executive for NexGen Language and Business Center, a
consulting startup in China. Hasley met the company’s CEO, Julie Zhang, at a Richardson conference
Paula Nichols McDonald,
promoting international investment between the U.S. and China. He joined
Magnolia :: published Beloved
NexGen a year ago as an investor but then began providing consulting
Not Broken, an 8-week women’s Bible study that interweaves current-life issues with biblical teachings. She is a public speaker, business owner and life coach who has incorporated the challenges she’s faced in her life — including the pressures of adoption and divorce, two life-threatening tumors, the loss of a lung and a near-death experience — into her writing.
services to Asian firms entering the U.S. marketplace. He also helped bring
rejoined Cooksey Communications as vice president and account manager after working at Pierpont and various software companies in his 30-year career. He also published the book A Dream As Big as Texas, which proﬁled the winners of the Miss Texas pageant. He also currently serves on the board of directors for the Miss Texas Scholarship Organization and the public relations committee for the Dallas Arboretum.
1978 Thomas ‘T’ Diemer (M.L.S.), Kenner, La. :: retired in August
after working 28 years for the
cultural performances and activities from China to the U.S. Zhang was impressed and hired Hasley in July as chief operating officer. Hasley, who majored in integrative studies and personalized his degree toward goals in international business, says UNT gave him an edge. “There isn’t a cookie-cutter model for UNT students,” he says. “When you take courses ranging from accounting to philosophy, you need to learn how to adapt your way of thinking. This was crucial in preparing me to work with different cultures, customs and expectations.” At UNT, he served on committees for the Distinguished Lecture Series and the Student Government Association, chairing the SGA committee that presented the initial proposal for the new University Union. Hasley says many faculty and staff became mentors who shared their own experiences
abroad and invested in his personal development.
Charlie Turano, Sunny Isles
to represent the U.S. internationally for the Asia-Pacific Economic Coopera-
Beach, Fla. :: was knighted into
tion’s China CEO Forum in Beijing, and its CEO Summit in Bali, Indonesia.
the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George. He is a partner at Heritage Werks, an archival agency for sports teams. He also is executive vice presi-
Later, he found consulting work through contacts in Beijing, and through the
As a junior, Hasley was chosen as one of only four students in the nation
encouragement of Lou Pelton, associate professor of marketing, he earned course credit for undergraduate research to complete his degree while in China — all of which gave him the skills to become a successful COO. “At UNT, if you are willing to work hard, and put yourself out there,” Hasley says, “you can achieve great things.” — Monique Bird
PLACE TO LEARN AND GROW
Courtesy of Liz Grant
UNT has always been a part of Liz Millender Grant’s (’78, ’81 M.M.) life, ever since her father, Charles Millender (’57, ’75 M.M.), a public school band director, would take her to the Music Building for concerts and private clarinet lessons as a child. “All those years of lessons, of walking down the halls, of hearing beautiful singing and amazing pianists practicing ... it really inspired me. Early on, the seeds were planted making me want to attend UNT, too,” she says. UNT has been a tradition for three generations of her family. Liz earned her music degree that led to her career as a band director — and she met her husband, Ross Grant (’78, ’78 M.M.Ed., ’89 Ph.D.), who also is a band director. One of their two children, Gina Grant Scheer (’10), also graduated from UNT, married a fellow classmate, Zach Scheer (’10), and worked as a band director. UNT means so much to the family. “Our lives were set on new courses from superb training, experiences and people there,” Liz says. “We all have a very soft spot for UNT as graduates.” Millender, who passed away in 2005, came to UNT in 1955, training with legendary professors John Haynie (trumpet) and Maurice McAdow (band director). Millender then went on to work as a band director in high schools in Texas and Oklahoma. In 1988, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Bandmaster
From left, Zach Scheer (’10), Gina Grant Scheer (’10), Liz Millender Grant (’78, ’81 M.M.) and Ross Grant (’78, ’78 M.M.Ed., ’89 Ph.D.). Gina is holding a photograph of her grandfather, Charles Millender (’57, ’75 M.M.). Hall of Fame. He created the Lawton Superior Marching Contest in 1970, an annual event for high school bands that hosted its 47th contest this fall. His three daughters all played in his school band. As early as the eighth grade, Liz knew she wanted to follow in her dad’s footsteps and teach band. While she was in high school, he drove her three hours each way from their home in Lawton, Okla., to UNT for her weekly clarinet lesson with professor Lee Gibson. Then as a UNT student, Liz played in the University Wind Ensemble, where she met Ross, a graduate student and trumpeter. They married one week after her graduation in December 1978. Their son, Gary, works in marketing, and daughter Gina became a clarinetist like her mother. Gina’s husband, Zach, is percussion director at Coppell ISD. Together as UNT students, they performed in the Symphonic Band and worked with conducting professor Dennis Fisher.
“It was Mr. Fisher who prepared us most for the real world,” Gina says. “He taught us how to program a well-balanced concert that will connect with the audience, how to understand a score, why you should know it inside and out before ever teaching a single note of music, and how to be a professional.” Gina taught band at Killian Middle School in Lewisville before becoming a stay-at-home mom in 2014. She and Zach are the parents of 2-year-old Jordan and 2-month-old Adam. And Jordan is already a student at UNT — taking early childhood music classes oﬀered by the College of Music. “UNT is like a second home for us,” Gina says. “My grandfather had the same experience I did, but with diﬀerent teachers who were equally outstanding. UNT will always be a great place to learn and grow.” — Jessica DeLeón
Read about other UNT legacy families at northtexan.unt.edu/ legacy-families and share the story of your own UNT legacy. 40
No r t h Texa n
dent for the Florida Panthers NHL team. He co-founded Genesco Sports Enterprises in 1994 and sold his interest in 2011. He is an investor in eight Jimmy John’s franchises and a partnership with Jay Lombardo (’86) at Lombardo Custom Apparel. As a student, Charlie was news director for KNTU and a reporter for the North Texas Daily.
Bar Foundation for his achievements and commitment to the justice system. Only one-third of 1 percent of Texas attorneys are invited to become fellows. He is a family law attorney with Richardson Brown in Allen. At UNT, he was a member of Kappa Sigma.
Kristin Farmer, (M.Ed.), Dallas ::
1993 Cathryn Bowie (M.S), Salem, Ore. :: received the 2016 Fastcase 50 award, given to innovators in the legal industry by Fastcase, a legal research service company. Since 2003, she has worked as state law librarian for the Oregon judicial department. Last year, working with the State Law Library, Fastcase and Hein-Online, she led a project that allowed all Oregon residents to have access to state law and law review articles.
received the 2016 Distinguished Service Award from Heart of Autism, a Dallas-area nonproﬁt. The organization raises funds for families who cannot aﬀord autism services as well as research into autism spectrum disorder. She founded ACES (Comprehensive Educational Services Inc.), providing multidisciplinary services to people with autism across the United States, and is the benefactor of UNT’s Kristin Farmer Autism Center (see page 24).
2000 1994 Chandler Ferguson, Dallas Craig Hamilton (Ph.D.),
:: was promoted to partner at
Arkadelphia, Ark.:: received
Quest Capital Management Inc. He is a wealth advisor at Quest and has more than 10 years’ experience helping clients achieve their ﬁnancial goals. His client base includes small business owners and doctors. He is a member of the DFW chapter of the Financial Planning Association and the Estate Planning Council of North Texas.
the Association of Concert Bands’ Herbert L. and Jean Schultz Mentor Ideal Award. The award recognizes excellent instructors who have served as inspirational ﬁgures to their students. He is the Lena Goodwin Trimble professor of music at Ouachita Baptist University.
Alumni and active members of the Gamma Xi chapter of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity gathered for a photo in front of the chapter house at UNT during Homecoming. The chapter is celebrating its 64th anniversary this year.
Upcoming Alumni Gatherings Alumni and friends celebrate UNT. Here’s a sampling of events: Alumni Cruises: The UNT Alumni Association invites you to explore South Pacific islands Jan. 25-Feb. 4 with your fellow alumni aboard Oceania Cruises’ Sirena, with stops throughout French Polynesia. Another cruise is set July 21-28 throughout Alaska aboard Oceania Cruises’ Regatta. Learn about these upcoming alumni cruises at untalumni.com. The Big Event: Join thousands at UNT to volunteer for The Big Event, a nationally recognized day of service that will be celebrated by the UNT community on March 25. Each spring, volunteers contribute more than 10,000 hours of service in Denton County. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and student organizations are welcome to participate. Visit studentaffairs.unt.edu/center-for-leadershipand-service/big-event-the-big-event. Wingspan Gala: Themed “Mean Green Country,” this black tie and boots formal event will feature dinner, dancing and a performance by Eli Young Band, made up of UNT alumni. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. March 25 in the University Union. To reserve tables or purchase tickets, visit wingspan.unt.edu. UNT Kuehne Speaker Series featuring Charles Gasparino: FOX Business Network Senior Correspondent Charles Gasparino will speak May 9 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas. The series was established by Ernie Kuehne (’66) to provide a forum to engage in conversation about topics of national and global relevance. Visit kuehneseries.unt.edu. Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference: The 13th annual conference, hosted by the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism, will take place July 21-23 at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine. The theme is “The Power of WORDS.” Visit themayborn.com. For more information or to join the UNT Alumni Association, call 940-565-2834 or go to untalumni.com.
Stuart Brown, Allen :: was named as a fellow of the Texas Winter 2016
No r t h Texa n
Nest Mark Tonelli (M.M.),
:: earned a doctorate in music education from Columbia University-Teachers College. After 10 years as guitarist with the West Point Band, he accepted a position as assistant professor of music at Millikin University, where he coordinates the guitar studies program. He is an author for FJH Music, which publishes his two jazz guitar instructional books.
Dedicated fans Two dedicated fans at the Mean Green football game Oct. 1 came from around the world to cheer on the team. Threekwan Bunnag (ʼ81 M.B.A.)
Bruce F. Howell (M.S.), Portland, Ore. :: was promoted to
health care industry group leader for Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, one of the Paciﬁc Northwest’s largest law ﬁrms. He has more than 30 years of experience helping clients navigate healthcare regulation. He was among the founders of the Dallas Bar Association’s health law section and was one of the ﬁrst board certiﬁed health lawyers in Texas.
and his wife, Arthivon, made the trip to Apogee Stadium from their home in Thailand. Bunnag is chair of the housing developer Threevantra Co. Ltd. and an independent director for several other businesses in Thailand. He remembers watching games at Fouts Field as an international graduate student. “I was a big Dallas Cowboys fan,” he says of his interest in American football. “Maybe that’s why I chose UNT.” Bunnag began his graduate degree in 1979 and says in addition to going to football games, he spent time in the University Union. “I liked to listen to the music in the Rock Bottom Lounge and went to $1 movie nights on Wednesdays,” he remembers. But his most memorable moment came soon after he signed up for a UNT
Jeremy Fykes (’03 M.B.A.), Denton :: was hired as president
of the Denton market for Guaranty Bank & Trust NA to help lead its entry and open two locations in the area. He started his banking career in 1997 while attending UNT. He has held several positions in banking since that time and has concentrated on lending since 2007.
Tiﬀany Nicole Ridgeway, Laurel, Miss. :: graduated from
Mississippi State University with
program that matched international students with local hosts. He was assigned Robert Toulouse, then dean and later namesake of the graduate school. That pairing led to a friendship that is still very strong. Hosts in the program helped students practice English and learn about American culture. “Whenever Dr. Toulouse had a party or a gathering, I would go — maybe because I was hungry,” Bunnag jokes. “I would also visit him at his office. He was a busy man, but he would always ask about how I was doing.” Even after Bunnag graduated, the two kept in touch. Toulouse, who retired as Provost Emeritus, visited the Bunnags in Thailand, where there is a strong UNT alumni network, and the Bunnags now visit him each time they travel to the U.S. This year’s visit coincided with the Mean Green game. Even with the loss to Middle Tennessee, Bunnag enjoyed seeing the team, hearing the band — and remembering his student days and the host who meant so much to him. “Without UNT, I wouldn’t have come this far,” Bunnag says, “and without Dr. Toulouse, I’d be nothing. He’s like a dad to me.” — Jill King
No r t h Texa n
Graham Douglas (’05) organized 14 alumni from New York City and Dallas to attend the Army game against the Mean Green, who won 35-18. Douglas, center, is pictured with Dan Dougherty (’06) and Ashlea Ramirez (’16).
a Ph.D. in community college leadership. Her dissertation was titled “The Eﬀects of Dual Enrollment on Community College Achievement and Persistence.” She is a school counselor in the Laurel School District. One of her favorite UNT memories is hanging out with classmates in the University Union.
2003 Cheri Bohn, Elkins, Ark. :: had her art featured at the Fayetteville Underground art gallery and the Bank of Fayetteville in October. Her work, combining stained glass and tree roots, also has appeared in the Fayetteville Visual Arts Guide.
Chia-En ‘Paul’ Lin (M.S., ’14 Ph.D.), Westminster, Md.
:: has been named an assistant professor of computer science at McDaniel College. His bachelor’s degree is from Fu-Jen Catholic University in Taiwan. He is an active researcher in performance accountability in developing and maintaining software and distributed systems.
2005 Deborah Beams (’05 M.S.), Dallas :: completed a presti-
gious fellowship at the Governmental Accounting Standards Board in Norwalk, Conn. She
worked for three years to help set accounting standards for state and local governments. She now works as accounting and auditing assistant director for the Dallas oﬃce of BKD CPAs and Advisors. In her free time, she volunteers as a violinist with the New Life Symphony Orchestra.
Pamela Thompson (M.S.), El Paso :: has been selected to
write reviews for School Library Journal, the most notable magazine for school librarians. She works as a young adult librarian at Col. John O. Ensor Middle School in El Paso. Her reviews also can be found on her blog, Young Adult Books — What We’re Reading Now.
2007 Jay Lester (M.Ed.), Abilene :: was promoted to executive director of ﬁne arts for Abilene ISD after serving as director of ﬁne arts for the past four years. He previously held a similar position at Victoria ISD for four years. He also was elected secretary for the Texas Music Administrators Conference. His favorite UNT memory is watching movies on campus, including his favorite, Dr. Strangelove.
2014 Allie Nicole Schmaltz, Frisco
:: was awarded Teacher of the Year at Flower Mound High School for her dedication and
Hall of Fame educators Inductees into the African American Education Archives and History Program Hall of Fame for 2016 included several UNT alumni. The program recognizes black educators who made significant contributions to Dallas County education for African Americans. Honorees included, from left, Leon King (’62, ’72 M.Ed.), with four decades of service in the Dallas ISD; Pat Means Mays (’63), who worked in the district for
23 years; Mary Margaret Smith Bradley (’61, ’67 M.Ed.), who retired after 49 years; and Marilyn Gibson Calhoun (’68, ’73 M.Ed.), who had a 32-year career there. This year’s ceremony was in memory of Joe Louis Atkins (’66 M.Ed.), the prospective freshman whose lawsuit opened UNT to all African American students. King was in the first class of African American freshmen in fall 1956 and became one of the first African American athletes at North Texas and in the state when he joined the football team. He earned a doctorate from Nova University and was a coach and science teacher before serving as assistant principal and principal at five Dallas ISD campuses. He still works as an interim principal for the district. Bradley, who arrived on campus in fall 1957, was the first African American to earn a bachelor’s in health, physical education and recreation from North Texas. She taught math, science and P.E.; wrote curriculum; and was an advisor and evaluator of interns in the district’s alternative certification program. Mays came to campus in 1960, graduating in three years. She was a teacher and principal before becoming owner of Pat Mays Realtors in Dallas and has served as president of the Metrotex Association of Realtors. Calhoun transferred to North Texas in 1964 to finish her degree, then served as a science teacher, curriculum writer, instructional facilitator and principal. She also has worked with the Texas Education Agency and the Learning Exposures Foundation in Dallas. Bradley says her time as a barrier-breaking student prepared her for the real world. “I was able to pass along that even though there are different races, we can work together,” she says, adding that her children and grandchildren are alumni. King says his experiences aided him in overcoming obstacles later in life: “It was at North Texas that I realized the importance of an education.” Winter 2016
No r t h Texa n
...... I N T H E //
support of her students. She was recognized for writing each of her 150 students an inspirational letter at the end of the year, as well as writing individual notes at Thanksgiving and remembering birthdays. She also is in graduate school at TWU.
The identification of a rare photo on UNT’s Portal to Texas History made news in Texas Monthly and other
album in January with tenor saxophonist Rich Perry thanks to a Kickstarter campaign. In 2012, the band recorded Thought and Memory. He has won the 2014 ASCAP and Jazz Education Network Young Composer’s Awards and several Downbeat Awards.
Marco Fernandes, Garland ::
media this fall.
is a security solutions architect at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. While at UNT, he worked for Eva Lozano for UNT Upward Bound and, after graduation, has made several campus visits to create partnerships between UNT and his company, as well as to speak to classes and share his professional experience and advice with students.
The story began when Dreanna
Belden (ʼ03 M.S.), assistant dean for external relations at UNT’s libraries, got a call from Carol Campbell, the greatgreat-great-granddaughter of legendary frontiersman Davy Crockett. Campbell said that a photo of a painting of an unidentified man on the portal was actually a family portrait of Crockett, which she didn’t realize anyone
else had. Fort Worth’s Log Cabin Village found the image in a box of donated photos, which are among the nearly
Victoria Lin, Frisco :: had her designs featured in Against the Grain Productions’ eighth annual Fashion for a Passion charity event in October in Dallas. The show is one of Dallas’ most prominent fashion and charity events and a launch pad for up-and-coming designers in the fashion world. Victoria won second place at the 2016 FGI Fashion Group International of Dallas competition in the bridal and evening wear category.
Keith Karns (D.M.A.), Dallas
800,000 items digitally reproduced on the portal (at tex-
:: and his big band will release an
ashistory.unt.edu) to preserve Texas history. Andrew
Torget, assistant professor of history, believes the photo to be authentic. If verified, it would be only the seventh known image of Crockett. The story also was featured on KERA.
UNT music students now have access to the oldest playable organ in Texas. The Raisin
Organ — discovered
built around 1780 in Switzerland and brought to Texas in the mid-1800s for use by a Lutheran parish. The organ was discovered stored in a stagecoach station, restored and later sold to UNT alumna Susan
Ferré (ʼ79 D.M.A.),
who has donated it to the university. It was showcased at a special inauguration concert this fall. “It’s a window on time,” Jesse
Eschbach, professor and coordinator
of UNT’s organ program, told CBS 11. “To have that available for faculty and students and the greater community is absolutely sensational. It’s a veritable coup.”
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Sgt. 1st Class William Calohan
in Raisin, Texas, near Victoria — is believed to have been
Music alumni in the West Point Band at the UNT-Army game were, from left, Staﬀ Sgt. Katrina Elsnick (’09 M.M.); Sgt. 1st Class Jeﬀ Prosperie (’95 M.M.); Sgt. 1st Class Bryan Uhl (’97 M.M.); Staﬀ Sgt. Sam Ross (’09 M.M.); Sgt. 1st Class Rone Sparrow (’00 M.M.); Staﬀ Sgt. Eric Ordway, 2000-2002; Staﬀ Sgt. Ashley Mendeke (’11); Staﬀ Sgt. David Bergman (’05); Master Sgt. John Manning (’98 M.M.); and Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Nelson (’05).
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.
1930s Anna Laverne McReynolds Guﬃn (’36), Paciﬁc Grove, Calif. :: She had a great passion for music, studying at the Fort Worth Conservatory as a concert violinist. She taught for more than 40 years in Texas and California before her retirement in 1980. She enjoyed crafting, travel, camping and spending time with her many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was 101 years old.
during World War II and the Korean conﬂict as a Captain in the Army Air Corps.
Anna Lois Taylor Steele (’46), Marlin :: She taught
English in middle school and high school for 26 years and was a leader in her church, where she sang in the choir for 60 years. At North Texas, she was a member of Phi Sigma Alpha sorority. She met her husband, the late W.J. “Billy” Steele, at her North Texas graduation ceremony. Memorials in her name may be made to the UNT Foundation.
Doyle Chrisman (’41, ’46 M.S.), Denton :: He came to
Edward R. Parish (’49, ’51 M.A.), Dallas :: He was a
North Texas on a track scholarship and ran in a relay team that won the Lone Star Conference in 1940 and 1941. He was inducted into the UNT Athletics Hall of Fame in 1988. He also was a member of the Geezles. He taught in several school districts before coming to Denton ISD in 1948 and worked as a principal and personnel director until his retirement in 1981. He served
petro physicist at Mobil Oil Company for 33 years. In 1953, he joined the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQSA), later called the Barbershop Harmony Society. In the late 50’s and 60’s, he was the bass singer in the Knights of Harmony, a show and contest barbershop quartet. He was a volunteer driver for the Red
Cross, the Grand Prairie Community Service, and the Community Crossroads Center in Dallas. He is survived by his wife,
Mary Parish (’63). Allen Ray Young (’49), Decatur :: He was a member of the Geezles fraternity. He taught at Decatur Junior High after graduation, but left brieﬂy to become a corporal in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1952 in Germany during the Korean War. He returned to teaching for 38 years before retiring as principal of Decatur Elementary School. After retirement, he worked on his farm and served on the Slidell School Board. He is survived by his wife,
and played trumpet around Denton. His studies were interrupted by World War II, when he served in the Army’s 361st infantry as a medical technician in Africa, France and Italy. He later worked in the railroad and oil industries and in vegetable sales. He operated the family-owned Palestine CocaCola/Dr Pepper Bottling Co.
Sue Jackson Marr (’52), Arlington :: She was a retired Fort Worth ISD kindergarten teacher. At North Texas, she was a charter member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority chapter, formerly Delta Xi Delta. Survivors include her husband, Jack Marr (’52).
Nelda Ramey Young (’68). Charles E. Huston (’55), Atlanta, Ga. :: He served in the
1950s Betty Sue Sharp Matthews (’50), Dallas :: She was involved in many organizations, including A.W.A.R.E., The Dallas Woman’s Club, Mes Ami and Highland Park Presbyterian Church Circle. She was an active contributor to UNT, speciﬁcally the College of Arts and Sciences, and was a member of the Chilton Society and 1890 Society. She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, James Lester Matthews (’49), whom she met at North Texas. Her father-in-law was President J.C.
Matthews (’25). Clint Surles (’50), Palestine
:: He earned a business degree Winter 2016
Korean War aboard the USS Midway from 1948 to 1952. At North Texas, he was chapter president of the Geezles fraternity in 1955. After graduation, he worked in the insurance industry for 50 years. He was president of the Georgia Amateur Athletic Union, and served on the DeKalb County Citizen’s Review Panel to advocate for children in foster care. He also fostered dogs for Releashed Rescue until his death. Survivors include his nephew
Terry Huston (’93). Betty Joyce Sikora (’55), Wharton :: She taught in Fort Worth, Germany and Spring Branch and traveled worldwide before becoming oﬃce manager of
No r t h Texa n
Wharton Turf Grass Inc. While at North Texas, she was a Yucca yearbook beauty along with her sister Ellen Mae Sikora Hays (’55) in 1952, was president of Zeta Tau Alpha and was named to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.
He left to join the Air Force and later graduated from Temple University and from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, for which he traveled as a recruiter. He was a criminal defense attorney, practicing law in the Philadelphia area for 30 years.
Marion Lamar Simmons (’56), Brentwood, Tenn. ::
Originally from Yazoo City, Miss., he had a 36-year career with Diamond Shamrock Oil and Gas Corp. in Amarillo and San Antonio. After retiring in 2012, he moved to Brentwood to be near his family. Before enrolling at North Texas, he attended Hines Junior College and Mississippi State and served in the U.S. Air Force for four years.
Sam W. Braly (’61), Casa Grande, Arizona :: He was a
Buford W. ‘Butch’ Tatum II, Yeardon, Pa. :: He was among some of the earliest African American students to attend North Texas, from 1958 to 1962.
University Community Etta Mae Landers,
Tioga, died July 15 in Denton. She worked as a clerk in the Physical Plant at UNT from 1974 to 1999. She also was an elder at Pilgrims Way Baptist Church, which she helped establish, in Sanger. She attended school in Wichita Falls.
James Nicklas (’71, ’82 M.S.), 72, of Denton, former director of activities and the University Union, died Sept.
No r t h Texa n
member of the Geezles. After graduating he entered the U.S. Navy and served three tours in Vietnam. He was on board the USS Maddox when it was ﬁred upon in the Gulf of Tonkin incident. After serving, he spent many years traveling. He also served as a consultant to several engineering ﬁrms.
consultant. He was best known for brokering the purchase of the Dallas Cowboys by “Bum” Bright in 1984 to keep them in Dallas. He helped establish the Paden Neeley Professorship for Teaching Excellence in accounting and the Paden Neeley Endowment for Excellence in the College of Business at UNT. In addition to serving as a board member of the UNT Foundation, he was a member of the President’s Council and 1890 Society.
Sherry Kelley (’65), Houston
:: She owned Sherry Kelley’s Melange Antiques in Houston.
National Cutting Horse Association Western Nationals 35K Non Pro Competition. John and his wife, Dimitra, were members of the Chilton Society and the 1890 Society. They established The John R. Carmichael III Professorship in Real Estate in the College of Business.
1980s Bobbye Jean Cotton (’82), Austin :: She spent 25 years working as an engineer at Peterbilt in Denton, where she was proud of her 100 percent continuous accuracy rating. She is survived by her partner, Nova
John R. Carmichael III (’76 M.B.A.), Dallas :: He spent his
Sean Copeland, Lakeway
a professional bowler, certiﬁed public accountant, banker and
career involved in the development of multifamily real estate and was the cofounder of Westwood Residential. This summer, he won ﬁrst prize in the
He worked as an executive for the software company Lexmark Corp., serving as vice president of North and South America for Lexmark’s Kapow Software Division. He coached a youth
4. He worked as a resident assis-
cella ‘Marcy’ Shelton Nicklas (’72),
Courtyard Café in Denton for
tant in Kerr Hall as a student, and
with whom he established the
many years. She was a member
in 1970 he began his career with
James and Marcella Nicklas UNT
of the Denton Bible Church.
the University Union as building
General Scholarship, and gifts
operations supervisor, retiring as
may be made to that fund.
C. Barry Brown (’65), Horseshoe Bay :: He worked as
director in 2005. He served in the
Barbikay B. Pohl, 74,
from 1966 to 1968 and on reserve
Rama Pfaﬄy, 68,
duty from 1968 to 1972. He
received his associate’s degree
Vegas, Nev., widow of past UNT
died Oct. 7 in
President Norval F. Pohl, died
U.S. Marine Corps on active duty
from Weatherford Junior College.
of Paradise Valley, Ariz., and Las
At UNT, he earned his bachelor’s
Gainesville. She worked at UNT
Aug. 27. She excelled as a student
in industrial technology and
from 2001 to 2014, serving as
both in academics and music and
education and his master’s in in-
assistant director in University
went on to become a professor.
dustrial technology and business
Union administration and man-
She taught computer science at
computer information systems.
aging Verde Food Services. She
Texas Woman’s University when
He is survived by his wife, Mar-
also owned and operated Ramas
the Pohls were in Denton from
baseball team in his spare time and was a dedicated father to his three children. He attended UNT from 1983 to 1984. He and his 11-year-old son, Brodie, died in the terrorist attacks in Nice, France, in July.
Debbie Merki (’83, ’86 M.Ed.), Austin :: She was involved in the Denton ISD and passionate about supporting bilingual education, early childhood education and autism research. She and her husband, Mark Merki (’91), were members of the Chilton Society and the 1890 Society. They established The Mark John Merki and Deborah Davis Merki Scholarship in Education and The Mark John Merki and Deborah Davis Merki Scholarship in Accounting.
Leslie Stanley-Stevens (’94 Ph.D.), Stephenville :: She was
Kiran Lamichhane (’13 Ph.D.), Columbia, Mo. :: He
a professor of sociology at Tarleton State University, where she was awarded a Texas A&M University System Regents Professorship in 2015. She had taught at Tarleton since 1995 and wrote the book What They Didn’t Know When They Were Expecting: And How They Became Better Parents (2012).
worked for ABC Laboratories as a toxicologist and staﬀ scientist for nearly three years. He was a teaching assistant for UNT’s environmental science program for ﬁve years. He studied and taught environmental science at Tribhuvan University in his home country of Nepal. At UNT, he was president of the Nepalese Student Association and began a program to teach American-born Nepalese children the language and culture of Nepal.
2000s Randy Roland (’09 M.S.), Lubbock :: He worked as an
College of Business majoring in entrepreneurship and marketing. He served as treasurer of Pi Kappa Phi.
Colin Meyer, Harker Heights
:: He was a biology major who served as a Red Cross volunteer and EMT cadet. He loved to perform magic tricks, go ﬁshing and mountain biking, and play disk golf. Most of his life was spent traveling with his parents throughout the U.S., Germany and other parts of Europe for various military assignments. Memorials may be made to The Colin Meyer Memorial Study Abroad Scholarship, which will help fund student trips abroad.
Kelsey Baber (’15), Denton ::
estimator at WW Steel in Lubbock. He was previously a counselor at UT Southwestern and Denton County MHMR. His goal was to use his education and life experiences to help others. He loved baseball, travel and spending time with his family.
Daniel McClendon, Grapevine :: He was a junior in the
1999 to 2006 and also taught in
earned her bachelor’s degree in
students will remember him as a
Arizona and Nevada. She was
business from the University of
model in figure drawing classes.
involved in education at many
Arizona and a master’s in finance
He enjoyed politics and aviation.
levels, teaching at high schools
and Ph.D. in education from
He also worked at Southern
Send memorials to honor UNT
and community colleges as well
Arizona State University, where
Methodist University. Memorials
alumni and friends, made payable
as universities, and later earned
she met fellow doctoral student
may be made to the College of
to the UNT Foundation, to Univer-
certification as a Montessori
Norval. He died in 2009.
Visual Arts and Design.
sity of North Texas, Division of
She was a graduate student in library science and also a recent graduate of UNT in art history with a minor in Italian.
instructor. She spent a great deal of time with her children and
Leland Burke Morris, Oak Point :: He was a junior majoring in engineering. He played football in high school and enjoyed sailing. His family says he knew the words to every song and was good at building and ﬁxing things.
Advancement, 1155 Union Circle
Bruce Calvin Stover,
#311250, Denton, Texas 76203-
as a devoted, no-nonsense and
63, of Dallas,
fund or area you wish to support.
selfless person. After receiv-
Or make secure gifts online at
ing both a kidney and a liver
for the Col-
grandchildren and is remembered
5017. Indicate on your check the
transplant, she was grateful
lege of Visual Arts and Design for
more information, email giving@
for the care she received at the
more than 20 years, died July 13.
unt.edu or call 940-565-2900.
Mayo Clinic and spent much of
He was a graduate of San Marcos
her time volunteering there. She
Academy. Generations of art
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T H E L AS T
GOLDEN MEMORIES Members of the Golden Eagles class of 1966 celebrated their 50th anniversary at Homecoming, catching up and sharing memories of their campus days. Enrollment was 13,973, exactly 24,000 fewer students than today. My brother Al (’68) and I were both in Kappa Sigma. You know, I don’t think Kappa Sigs can dance. During the day, we’d go over to the Union Building and those Lambda Chi Alpha and Theta Chi guys could dance, but you never saw any Kappa Sigs out there. We’d watch and with any luck at all we might pick up three steps. I was going to school while working 40 to 50 hours a week at my family’s automobile business and still trying to have some degree of college life. I’d spend Sundays ordering all the new cars. But I wasn’t the only person having to work. If I remember right, there were very few of us at that time who had any money. We were not a well-ﬁnanced group! — Jim McNatt (’66)
From left, Jim McNatt (’66), Kathy Hufstedler (’66), Ken Newman (’66) and Ernie Kuehne (’66) were among the Golden Eagles returning for their 50th reunion this fall.
When I decided to go to North Texas in the fall of 1962, it wasn’t because I did a lot of research. It was because my sister, Nancy Newman (’59, ’71 M.S., ’84 Ph.D.), went there. I became a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. There was a pledge class of maybe 13 or 14, and Ernie Kuehne and I were two of them. Of course, it was during the Vietnam War and everyone was worried about getting drafted. In my sophomore year, I was able to get into the Naval Air Reserve. We ended up ﬂying cargo to Vietnam, but only a week at a time.
No r t h Texa n
I remember having an event in the fraternity house one afternoon, watching a black-and-white television. They interrupted the program and Walter Cronkite came on to tell us the president had been shot. We all got in cars and drove down to Parkland Hospital where he had been taken. It was a somber time. The campus was much smaller then. The One O’Clock Lab Band sticks out in everyone’s mind — not just playing in the Union but playing outside, playing everywhere. My aunt lived across the street from Leon Breeden, the lab band director. He told me I should take a jazz class, and to this day I love jazz. — Ken Newman (’66)
I also took a music appreciation class with Floyd Graham, and he introduced me to every kind of music — jazz, opera, all kinds of styles. He was entertaining and it was fun to go to his class. I spent 19 years in education and went on to get my J.D. I know how much harder it is to learn if you don’t enjoy the professor. I was a child of segregation, so to go to one of the earliest colleges to integrate in the South — it was a time of enlightenment for me personally. There were racial problems in the country, an unpopular war, a draft, and a president killed just down the road. There were tremendous challenges. But there were also tremendous opportunities. — Ernie Kuehne (’66)
Ken Newman and I pledged Pi Kappa Alpha and were pledge brothers. He has been a great leader at UNT and we’ve remained friends for over 53 years. My favorite professor ever was Roscoe Adkins in political science, a brilliant, brilliant teacher. I remember Richard Kottman in history. I called him “Mad Dog” Kottman. He would stand outside the classroom door and tell us, “All you sheep, come in here.” But then he’d say, “Not you, Mr. Kuehne. You’re smart!”
Our time as students at North Texas prepared us for the future. Even in our old age we use the skills we learned while students. In my case it was to be a teacher. Students at North Texas today are quite diﬀerent from when we were there, but they share the same goals and objectives we had — preparing for the future. May the graduates of 2016 in 50 years be able to say that North Texas prepared them well. — Kathy Hufstedler (’66)
JEREMY COMBS, JUNIOR FORWARD INTEGRATIVE STUDIES
From his signature hairdo to his unique approach to the power forward position, Jeremy Combs has a style all his own. Named to the All C-USA second team last year as a sophomore, he ranked in the Top 25 nationally in ﬁve different categories. He ﬁnished with 325 rebounds, the sixth-best single season mark in school history, and led the Mean Green in points per game.
BUY YOUR TICKETS TODAY AND COME SEE THE MEAN GREEN LIGHT IT UP THIS SEASON! 800-UNT-2366 / 940-565-2527
MEANGREENSPORTS.COM Winter 2016
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The North Texan
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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 Bowl game bound! From left, junior Turner Smiley and senior Kenny Buyers celebrate a Mean Green win against Southern Miss Nov. 19. After making one of the biggest turnarounds in the nation, from 1-11 last year to 5-7 this year, the Mean Green accepted an invitation to play at the Zaxbyâ€™s Heart of Dallas Bowl on Dec. 27. Come cheer them on against Army at 11 a.m. at the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park. Purchase tickets and get tailgating 1 T h e at N o r t h T e x a n | northtexan.unt.edu | W i n t e r 2 0 1 6 information meangreenbowlgame.com. Read more about the Mean Green on page 16.