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A UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS P U B L I C AT I O N F O R A LU M N I A N D F R I E N DS V O L . 6 7, N O . 4 | W i n t e r 2 0 1 7


Melissa Huffman [ page 1 4] Mean Green [ page 20] Alumni Awards [ page 22 ] | Computer Science [ page 30] Winter 2017



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Learn more about our graduate programs at 3


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Melissa Huffman

Alumna’s work as a meteorologist helped keep Texas residents safe during Hurricane Harvey. By Nancy Kolsti


Mean Green

Time to celebrate multiple conference championships and a bowl game bid.


Soaring Eagles

UNT recognizes dedicated graduates for their notable careers and service to their communities at this year’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards.


Computer Science

Tech-savvy alumni solve problems and create technologies for ever-changing field. By Meredith Moriak Wright


Next-generation research university



Best days ... Remarkable fortune ... Indelible marks ... Fondest memories of UNT UNT TODAY • 6

On track for success ... Global Connection ... Ask an Expert ... UNT Alumni Association

Impact of Giving



Comic book hero ... Learning from the best ... Weaving history ... Winning artists




Mapping history ... Composing solutions ... Legacy Family ... Golden Eagles ... In the News

FU ND RA I SI NG YEA R . By Jessica DeLeón


Amy Friedrich-Toulouse (’97) remembers her grandparents Cover: Gustavo Barcenas (’17 Ph.D.) volunteers at UNT’s Center for Play Therapy. Photography by Ahna Hubnik Above: Mean Green men’s basketball team deliver supplies to Houston residents after Hurricane Harvey. Winter 2017




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

ONLINE FEATURES HOLIDAY VIDEOS Watch our 2017 holiday video to see how LEGO versions of Scrappy, Lucky and the Smatresks celebrate the season on the Library Mall. IN MEMORY OF PAUL VOERTMAN Learn more about one of UNT’s most generous benefactors in the video shown at the celebration of his life this fall on campus. ALUMNI AWARDS Watch videos of each of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award winners to learn about their careers, service and why UNT is dear to their hearts.

Michael Clements

GET CONNECTED Connect with us at Follow us at

Homecoming Highlights

Watch us on universitynorthtexas.


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Winter 2017

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













Ahna Hubnik

UNT proud,

N Neall S Smatreskk President

( ’ 9 6 M . E D.)


UNT IS COMMITTED TO providing our students with the best education in Texas and beyond. A university defined by our creativity and caring culture, we’ve made remarkable advances over the last few years. We’re a Tier One research university with 68 programs ranked in the Top 100, and we just completed the winningest fall season in President Neal Smatresk visits with students during the Homecoming Picnic. Mean Green athletics history. I look forward to building on the strengths of our 227 academic programs to become a next-generation research university and a leader in education innovation. Many of our most significant strides forward have been because of the generosity of our alumni and friends. You can read in the cover story, “Impact of Giving,” about some who have invested their time, heart and resources to help UNT advance (page 24) and help us connect students to their dreams. Our culture of giving starts with our students and continues as a top priority for our alumni, who go on to make big impacts in their communities through their work. In this issue, you can read about Melissa Huffman, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in League City, who tracked Hurricane Harvey and helped keep those in its path safe (page 14). I couldn’t be happier about our athletics successes. The football team secured a spot to play in the Conference USA championship game and are headed to another bowl game this year (back cover). The women’s soccer team won the Conference USA Tournament championship and returned to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in program history. The women’s volleyball team won its first-ever regular-season conference championship. And we broke ground on a soccer and track and field stadium and launched plans for a new indoor practice facility that will be tremendous assets for our student-athletes and Mean Green fans (page 20). Have a joyous, safe holiday season. Be sure to watch our holiday video at northtexan. I hope the beauty of the season brings you happiness in the year ahead.

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(’16 )






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( ’ 8 8 , ’ 07 M . J . )








( ’ 9 3 M . S . , ’ 0 0 M . A .)

(’10 M.J.)








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T h e Nor t h Texan The North Texan (ISSN 0468-6659) is published four times a year (in March, June, September and December) by the University of North Texas, 1155 Union Circle #311070, Denton, Texas 76203-5017, for distribution to alumni and friends of the university. Periodicals postage paid at Denton, Texas, and at additional mailing offices. The diverse views on matters of public interest presented in The North Texan do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the university. Publications staff can be reached at 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


©2017 UNT URCM 12/17 (18-150)

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North Texan Let us know what you think about news and topics covered in The North Texan. Letters may be edited for length and publication style. Online: (follow the “Contact Us” link) Phone: 940-565-2108 Fax: 940-369-8763 Email:

Best days

Remarkable fortune

My days in Denton from 1967 to 1971 were some of the best of all my life. I was a cheerleader, Homecoming Queen, member of Alpha Delta Pi, a Sig Ep Sweetheart and founder of Golden Hearts of Sig Ep. Joe Greene was a dedicated player and friend who did so much to make my beloved UNT true to her name. More than ever, this is a part of history to be remembered. (Pictured from left are 1970-71 cheerleaders Nancy Walker, Charlie Hanes, Cindi Lewis, Terry Smith, Sherry Taylor, Gary Dusek, Lizzy Greene and Trent Saxton.)

Some of my favorite memories of North Texas are of attending the Demonstration School from kindergarten through graduation, when I (pictured second from right) was kicked upstairs into the music school a year early by our wonderful principal, Dr. Word, who basically told me: “You’re over there all the time anyway, you might as well skip your senior year and just go.” The seven of us — mother, father, grandmother and four children (all of the latter enrolled at North Texas) — lived just around the corner on West Prairie. I could hang a right out my front door, go down the hill past the tennis courts and on to many

Lizzy Greene Hargrove (’71) Houston



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

wonders: college swimming pool, outdoor movie and my exceptional school. Coming home on winter days with new books under my arm, I was met by my beloved grandmother with hot chocolate and a peanut butter sandwich. Our small house was transformed into a lovely home by my mother. There was always music in our house. My two sisters were music majors, and my mother a coloratura soprano. What a remarkable fortune for a musical child of the Depression! I’ll always be grateful to North Texas for great teaching and performance opportunities, and the fun of touring with fellow students. Let me not forget the world’s best fifth-grade teacher, Phoebe Mizell, who instilled a lifelong passion for literature and beauty into all her students! After serving as principal harpist in the New Haven and Yale University Symphonies, the Boston Ballet, the Hartford Opera and the Atlanta

Choral Guild, I am now reverting to my first loves: the piano and writing. (See more in class notes, page 36.) Anita Harvey Briggs (’51, ’52 M.M.) Cherry Valley, N.Y.

Indelible marks Two articles in your fall issue caught my eye and brought back a lot of great memories. I was saddened to read of Paul Voertman’s death, at 88. As a new active member of Theta Chi fraternity, I moved into the top floor of the threestory Theta Chi house in the fall of 1955. The house, at 1400 W. Hickory, sat immediately west of Voertman’s bookstore. So, I was wellacquainted with Paul for the next three years. He was a friendly, supportive neighbor of the fraternity and an unflagging booster of the university then and ever-after. But, I was heartened to read about the ongoing success of John Turner, a truly unique leader on campus in his day. He and his guide dog were an inspiration to all, and it was no surprise when he was elected to serve as student body president in 1956-57. It was a significant honor, as well as a serious challenge, for me to succeed John in that position in 1957-58. Paul Voertman and John Turner and many, many others

at North Texas made indelible marks on my life. Don R. Edmonds (’58) Tyler

Refreshing approach Over the years, many of my UNT colleagues have shared their stories of Bob Toulouse (Provost Emeritus and longtime graduate dean who died in April). A common thread was usually that they would go see Dr. Toulouse with an idea while asking for

money to move it forward. Rather than say no because there was no money, Bob usually would say that it was a great idea and offer ways to fine-tune and improve it. He would then add: “Let’s find the money to make your proposal possible.” That was such a refreshing approach for those seeking help at UNT. And it speaks volumes about what kind of person and administrator Bob Toulouse was. He was very helpful to me as my mentor and I was honored in return to be there to assist

him and Virginia in their declining years. Richard L. Simms (’64, ’67 M.Ed.), Professor Emeritus of teacher education and administration Denton

@northtexan When it’s college shirt day at @AES_Aviators, we show our @UNTSystem pride! Maybe we’ll make it into the @NorthTexan. #meangreen. — @georgedeines

Editor’s note: You’ll find more tributes to Robert Toulouse and Paul Voertman at, news about Voertman’s generous bequest to the university on page 24, and an essay from Toulouse’s granddaughter on page 48.

UNT Facebook What’s your fondest UNT memory? Walking to class with the bells singing on the way. It’s so peaceful, you can hear them all the way across campus. — Mae Joles (’16) The relationships I made in college are ones I’ve carried with me the rest of my life. In 1981 my roommate and I used to walk around the entire campus in the middle of the night when we couldn’t sleep and just talk about life. — Beth West Shaver (’84) I was there from 1966 to 1970, having amazing fun. ... There were crazy parties, great music, the old campus that you could drive through, sorority rush, my pledge sister getting Miss Texas and then Miss America! Wonderful friendships with all kinds of people that I still enjoy today. I wouldn’t trade my time there at all! — Patty Allen Pond (’70) I always liked walking to class in the rain, seeing all the pretty umbrellas, and then going back to the dorm and gorging on “second breakfast” or “pre-lunch.” — Aimee Erickson Karr (’99) Nearly every time I was walking around campus, there was music playing somewhere. Loved that. — Justin Lee Shields (’12)

The #campus at #UNT is beautiful! Love sitting in front of Willis Library and listening to the water fountains … — @maestrodarius The best part of my day today is when I thought UNT closed the pasta place but actually it moved over and I can continue my pasta loving. — @UrubaAli Happy Monday #UNT! Make today a great day! “Be so happy that when others look at you, they become happy too.” — @PresidentialMen Glory to the green always. #GMG #LightTheTower — @MeanGreenSports Follow us on Twitter. We look forward to staying connected!

Definitely the very personable UNT squirrels. — Cameron Stewart (’15)

@northtexan Winter 2017




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National board appointment page 11

Courtesy of Getty Images/Texas Motor Speedway

ON TRACK FOR SUCCESS UNT inks higher education partnership with Texas Motor Speedway, providing fresh opportunities for students.



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UNT IS A PROUD EDUCATION PARTNER OF Texas Motor Speedway. President Neal Smatresk introduced the new partnership at a Science of Speed panel discussion for students on campus in November. He joined NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series champion Austin Dillon, USA Luge legend Gordy Sheer and Dow Chemical Co. Lead Research and Development Manager Sam Crabtree for the event, which marked the first collaborative project to benefit students. “We’ll be able to offer our students educational opportunities such as internships, class projects and in-class lectures from the experienced Texas Motor Speedway staff,” Smatresk says.



Michael Clements

1 1 Legendary Mean Green head coach Hayden Fry (waving) and some of his former Mean Green players were honored at halftime of the UNT game against UTSA in October. Fry led the football team from 1973 to 1978, during which time the Mean Green had four straight winning seasons, including a 10-win season and a national ranking in 1977. 2 UNT students painted sugar skulls as part of the Dia de los Muertos celebration on campus Oct. 31. The festival in the University Union featured altars with ofrendas made by different student organizations.

Kara Dry


3 American flags were installed around the Eagle statue near the Hurley Administration Building Sept. 11 as a memorial to those who lost their lives in 2001.

Ahna Hubnik

3 Winter 2017




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

• Best-ever finish. UNT’s Mean Green Racing, the university’s SAE Formula racing team, is hard at work on next year’s car after this year’s model placed 13th at the Formula SAE Lincoln this summer — the highest-ever ranking the team has received. The four-day competition tests the cars on factors such as acceleration, endurance and efficiency. • bicycle friendly university. UNT was named a Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists. UNT encourages bicycling as an easy transportation option that creates positive effects for individuals and the community, from saving money and creating healthy lifestyles to reducing carbon emissions and traffic levels. Through the “I Bike UNT” initiative, members of the UNT community can access cycling resources such as free bike locks, lights and social bike riding events.



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Michael Clements

Ahna Hubnik

David Yue was part of a team with a student from St. Mark’s School of Texas, Abhishek Mohan worked in the laboratory of UNT physics professor Mohammad Omary, and Sahil Patel and Steven Sun both worked in the laboratory of UNT physics professor Carlos Siemens finalists Ordonez. Four of UNT’s Texas Fifteen TAMS students Academy of Mathematics and were named regional semiScience students were named finalists in this year’s competiregional finalists in the 2017 Siemens Competition in Math, tion, the second largest number of semifinalists. Science and Technology.

Sedation alternative

Manish Vaidya, associate professor of behavior analysis, is investigating alternatives to anesthesia — using motion monitoring and behavioral methods in a game to teach young patients to stay mostly

Courtesy of Thorne Anderson

• Winning storyteller. Associate professor Thorne Anderson served as videographer for the team that received the Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Video for “One Crisis Away: Rebuilding a Life.” The digital news project for Dallas TV station KERA told the story of a single mother whose home was destroyed by a tornado. Anderson (right) is a specialist in photojournalism, multimedia and visual storytelling in the Mayborn School of Journalism. He received the award with (from left) KERA’s Rick Holter, vice president/news; Courtney Collins, reporter; and Jeff Whittington, executive producer.

motionless while awake for radiation therapy. The project — PROMISE, or Pediatric Radiation Oncology with Movie-Induced Sedation Effect — is funded by a $900,000 grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas to UT-Southwestern and UNT. Vaidya and first-year graduate student Maria Otero are part of an interdisciplinary team of radiation oncologists, computer scientists and a pediatric psychologist working on the problem.

Ranjani Groth


UNT’s Mean Greens Café, the first all-vegan dining hall in the nation, has installed a hydroponic garden — the first of more to come — built into a specially designed refurbished freight trailer behind the dining hall. Five to 11 different varieties of lettuce grow at any given time in the container, allowing the university to source up to 800 heads a week for Mean Greens and other dining halls on campus. Peta2 has named UNT to its Dean’s List for “making exceptional strides in vegan dining on campus.”

TOP ONLINE M.B.A. UNT’s online graduate business program (M.B.A.) ranked 22nd in the nation by The Princeton Review.

HONORARY MEMBER Robert L. Bland, endowed professor of local government in UNT’s Department of Public Administration, has been named an honorary member of the International City/County Management Association.



GREEN COLLEGE UNT has been named a Green College by The Princeton Review for seven years in a row.

UNT has been named one of America’s 100 Best College Buys® for 22 consecutive years.


8,600 20,100

square feet was seeded at Discovery Park’s Pollinative Prairie during Homecoming week to help UNT’s Bee Campus USA designation.

meals were packaged for Rise Against Hunger during Homecoming week. They will be delivered to school children in El Salvador.



UNT has been named a Best University for Latinos by the Latino Leaders magazine. One of the most diverse universities in the country, with 8,800 Hispanic students, UNT is ranked as a top school in the nation by Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education magazine. Winter 2017




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Aggie Brooks


Kuehne Speaker Series

The UNT Kuehne Speaker Series, which explores globally relevant topics with nationally and internationally known leaders, featured keynote speaker Donald Trump Jr. in October at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. His speech was followed by a Q&A with

G. Brint Ryan (’88, ’88 M.S.), chair of the UNT System Board of Regents. The event raised $332,000 to help support student scholarships for high-achieving students such as National Merit Scholars. Trump is executive vice president of the Trump

Organization, working to expand the company’s real estate, retail, commercial, hotel and golf businesses. He is the oldest son of President Donald Trump. Melissa Francis, anchor and host for FOX Business Network and FOX News Channel, will be the spring series speaker March 29 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Visit New peer mentoring program

UNT earned a $1.6 million grant from Greater Texas Foundation in support of High School Career Connect

— a new peer mentoring program created by UNT to ensure that Denton County middle school and high school students have access to quality career education. The grant will provide career development tools, skills inventory, resume creation programs, computers and program management. UNT student mentors will provide career education information to participants following extensive training from UNT Career Center employees.

Ahna Hubnik

Standout chemist

Thomas R. Cundari, Regents professor of chemistry, received the 2017 Eminent Faculty Award this fall for his dedication to excellence through research and education. As co-founder and director of UNT’s Center for Advanced Scientific Computing and Modeling, he has helped the university earn recognition as an international leader in the field of computational modeling and simulation. Most of Cundari’s work focuses on organometallics and computational chemistry to transform petroleum hydrocarbons



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Winter 2017

into useful everyday products. His former students have worked with PPG Industries to develop glasses that quickly adjust to light. They also continue to work with polyesters, styrene and other petroleum-based products to take them to the next level where they are made biodegradable or “green.” “We take hydrocarbons (gas and petroleum) and produce products to make sustainable, green, ecologically and economically sound plastics and gasoline,” Cundari says. “A large part of what we do uses crude oil and natural gas. Another big challenge is creating useful products with plant-derived material, also known as bio-mass.” His team has managed 69 grants and contracts for federal, private and industrial donors, totaling more than $10 million. Cundari, who has sponsored more than 30 Ph.D. candidates and worked with many postdoctoral and undergraduate scientists, says a big part of his satisfaction comes from watching the students transform into independent scientists. “My goal is not to come up with new science, it’s to come up with new scientists,” he says. Watch a video about Cundari at

N AT I O N A L B O A R D A P P O I N T M E N T For her dedication, leadership and advocacy of women in engineering, Nandika D’Souza, associate dean for undergraduate studies in UNT’s College of Engineering, was recently named to the Women in Engineering ProActive Network board of directors. The organization’s mission is to propel higher education to increase the number of and advance the prominence of diverse communities of women in engineering. D’Souza aims to help develop processes to retain female faculty in academia.

IELI 40th anniversary



UNT. Thousands of students continued on to graduate with UNT degrees. Ahmad Ramin was a student at IELI one year after the institute’s launch in 1978. His daughter, Lilly Ramin, currently the instructional technologies librarian at UNT, says, “He loved the program. The style of teaching really impressed him.” Lilly’s family emigrated from Iran two years after her father studied at IELI. She joined UNT Libraries shortly after

attaining her master’s degree. Now, she engages with the same vibrant community her father experienced four decades ago. “International students add value to the educational experience of American students,” says Carol Ogden, interim director of IELI. “We are proud to play a small role in promoting global understanding and fostering personal and professional relationships at UNT.”

Ahna Hubnik

UNT’s Intensive English Language Institute, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the longest-standing program of its kind in the North Texas region and one of the most prestigious for learning academic English in the U.S. In addition to teaching academic English at UNT, IELI has partnered with an on-campus program at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan and regularly welcomes high school and college students to UNT during the summer months for an American culture and communications program. IELI also is responsible for testing and training UNT’s international teaching assistants. The institute hosted IELI Day with current students and IELI alumni during International Week in November. Since IELI’s inception, more than 15,000 students have completed the intensive English language program at

Lilly Ramin, instructional technologies librarian at UNT, is the daughter of Ahmad Ramin, an early student of UNT’s Intensive English Language Institute. The program is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

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Gary Payne


NSF emerging frontiers grant

Can innovative engineering design modify the basic laws of acoustics? Arup Neogi (right), physics professor, is the princi-

pal investigator for a National Science Foundation grant of almost $2 million to explore such questions. Zeke Walker (’12 M.S., ’14 Ph.D., ’16 M.B.A.), founder of Echonovus; Arkadii Krokhin, physics professor; and Tae-Youl Choi, mechanical and energy engineering associate professor (from left), are co-principal investigators. The four-year grant is funded through NSF’s Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation program,

designed to pursue research in new wave propagation and nonreciprocal devices. The team will create a prototype of a device that changes the characteristics of ultrasound as its position is changed. It has potential uses in ultrasound technology, biomedical devices and imaging, and communications. Helping transfer students

UNT and Collin College will team up to seek a seamless


pathway for students transitioning from a community college to a four-year university, making it easier for them to receive their bachelor’s degrees, as part of Education Design Lab’s Seamless Transfer Pathways Design Challenge. UNT and Collin County were among four institutional pairs selected from across the country to participate in the 15-month design process, which is funded by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation.

Ask an Expert

How can you best pair wines with your holiday meals?


hether you’re serving a traditional turkey dinner or hosting a wine and cheese party, you don’t have to be a sommelier to know which wines you should serve. Han Wen, assistant professor in UNT’s College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, says there are simple guidelines to help, but the idea is to have fun and enjoy entertaining your friends and family. “Don’t be intimidated,” she says. “The best pairings should make both the food and wine taste better than when they are consumed separately and enhance the dining experience.”



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Experiment • Websites such as are a great resource to learn about wines. And apps such as Delectable or Vivino let you scan wine labels for instant ratings. • Don’t break the bank. The best wines are the ones that appeal to you as the wine drinker, not necessarily the most expensive. Learn more • Get more in-depth knowledge through certification programs, take a university course like UNT’s Beverage Survey class, or enjoy a winery tour with friends to learn more about wines and pairings. — Jennifer Pache

Ahna Hubnik

Start with the basics • Pair white wine such as Chardonnay with white meat, red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon with red meat. Savory foods go well with unoaked white wines, acidic or fatty foods with acidic wines, and salty foods with tannic wines. •Wines that have evolved along with the local cuisine are always a great match. So French food with French wine, Spanish food with Spanish wine. • Vegetables such as asparagus and green beans often have a high concentration of umami, which can over-balance all but the lightest unoaked white wines.

• Sweet wines, fortified wines (for example port, sherry), and sparkling wines (for example Champagne), pair well with desserts. • Store in cool basements and cellars. Refrigerate white and sparkling wines for at least three hours and take out 15-30 minutes before serving. Refrigerate reds 15-30 minutes before serving.

CULTURAL COMPETENCY Angie Wilson, assistant professor of counseling and higher education, and Chandra Carey, associate professor and interim chair of rehabilitation and health services, along with Peggy Ceballos, associate professor of counseling and higher education, have been awarded a four-year $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They will address health disparities by enhancing the delivery of culturally competent mental health services to underserved communities. They will focus on providing counseling services in integrated care settings and on increasing the number of mental health counselors who work with underserved communities.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute has named Stephanie Reinke, formerly with UNT’s College of Education, as its new director. UNT established the Emeritus College, now known as OLLI at UNT, in 2009 to formalize its lifelong learning initiatives. OLLI at UNT offers courses to the 50 and better population on the UNT campus, at Robson Ranch near Denton and at the UNT New College at Frisco. To join or give the gift of learning to a loved one, visit or call 940-369-7293. Teaching teachers

A new $2.7 million U.S. Department of Education grant for the Title III National Professional Development Project SUCCESS will help UNT students who want to work as bilingual and English as a second language teachers. The five-year grant allows 15 future teachers in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD each year to participate in professional development sessions on how to develop family literacy and culturally responsive instruction for English language learners. The principal investigator is Rossana Boyd, director and principal lecturer of the Bilingual/ESL Teacher Education Programs, and co-principal investigator is Ricardo Gonzalez-Carriedo, assistant professor of teacher education and administration.

Gary Payne

New OLLI director

UNT Alumni Association The UNT Alumni Association is proud to announce two new scholarship funds available to UNT students for the 2018-19 academic year. The Denton County Alumni Chapter Endowed Scholarship will be awarded this spring to a high school graduate within Denton County. The Jerome M. “Bruzzy” Westheimer Jr. Endowed Alumni Scholarship will be awarded to a business student, with preference to a graduate of Ardmore High School in Oklahoma. These new scholarship funds add to the UNT Alumni Association’s existing scholarship portfolio of seven scholarships, including the UNT Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship, and highlight the association’s commitment to supporting excellence in scholarship at UNT. “Not only did this scholarship aid me financially for funding my master’s degree,” says Kacie Cheairs, a recipient of last year’s UNT Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship, “but it also conveyed to my grandparents, Kenneth (’59) and Dorothy (’58, ’87 M.S.) Cheairs, that their attendance at UNT was a huge part in my ability to receive this scholarship.” UNT Alumni Association members can help provide transformative experiences for future alumni by giving to the UNT Legacy Scholarship Fund at To contribute to other scholarship funds, email taryn.houghton@ or call 940-369-8337. Scholarship application information is at Applications for 2018-19 will be accepted through March 9, 2018. To join the association or learn more, visit, email or call 940-565-2834.

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Melissa Huffman by Nancy Kolsti


A devastating hurricane season cements this alumna’s passion for work as a meteorologist with the National Weather Service to help keep people safe.



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elissa Huffman (’12 M.P.A.) had planned a relaxing trip to her hometown of Coppell for the last weekend in August to celebrate her mother’s birthday. But as a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in League City, near Houston, Huffman canceled her trip when forecast models showed a tropical depression in the Caribbean — named Harvey — likely to hit the Texas coast after it strengthened into a hurricane. The first major Atlantic hurricane of 2017, Harvey came ashore with Category 4 intensity near Rockport, then caused widespread flooding in the Houston metropolitan area with 30 to 64 inches of rain. Huffman stayed at her office for six days to track the storm, working 12-hour shifts. She was the lead radar operator, evaluating radar data and deciding when to issue warnings. She also issued and updated river and bayou flood warnings and provided forecast information to Harris County regarding the explosion at the Arkema Chemical Plant in Crosby. “Hurricane Harvey was a career-defining storm,” Huffman says. “It was all hands on deck. We issued 157 tornado warnings, and we had parts of Southeast Texas that were under tornado watches 70 hours straight.” She says she was lucky that her own home escaped flooding, noting that several of her co-workers’ homes were damaged. “We had to communicate through warnings and social media that Harvey would bring record-breaking rainfall that would cause dangerous flooding,” she says.

Winter 2017

As grueling as it was for Huffman to respond to Harvey and its destruction, she says the challenge of helping people to prepare is the best thing about her work. Huffman’s interest in meteorology was spurred by an event that occurred before she was even born. Her father, Rick Huffman (’84), survived the April 10, 1979, Wichita Falls “Terrible Tuesday” tornado, which killed 45 people and left more than $400 million in damage. “Knowing about my dad made me want to keep people safe from disaster, which starts with predicting severe weather,” she says. “I’ve always been fascinated by it.” While earning her bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she completed an internship with the Fort Worth National Weather Service office. She researched requirements that emergency managers have for short-fuse weather warnings, such as those issued for thunderstorms, and realized she wanted to learn more. After graduating, she entered UNT’s Master of Public Administration program for a specialization in emergency management. “Building relationships with cities and other agencies in Southeast Texas before Harvey was key to helping as many people as we could, and the drive to build those relationships was something UNT’s program instilled in me,” she says. During her five years with the National Weather Service, she’s been part of its Integrated Warning Team in Texas, holding workshops on disaster communication for city employees and elected officials. She also visits schools to educate students about weather safety. “I love sharing what I know with others,” she says. “Weather isn’t always at the forefront of everyone’s mind, but when it’s destructive, it’s all we think about.”

Ahna Hubnik

Melissa Huffman (’12 M.P.A.)

importantly, Harvey taught me a

winter weather events. And a new

and physics is very important. It’s

lot about messaging catastrophic

weather satellite, GOES-16, pro-

critical to seek out internships or

events — how important it is to

vides more high-resolution data.

ways to gain experience in the

League City, Texas

explain the impacts.

It’s like going from a black-and-

field. There are many different

white TV to an HD color TV. It helps

types of meteorologists, including

Changes in technology:

us issue warnings and improves

researchers, broadcasters and

Lessons from Harvey:

Two big advances are helping

tropical storm forecasts.

forecasters. Get exposure to the

The work that has been done to

meteorologists. Dual-polarization

improve forecasts is paying off.

radar provides improved rainfall

Models talked about the potential

different areas to determine which is right for you.

estimates, which is important for

Advice for students interested in becoming meteorologists:

for unprecedented rainfall for days

flood events, and knowledge of

A passion for the weather as well


in advance of the storm. More

different types of precipitation in

as a strong background in math

to read more Q&A.

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Gift of Learning

Membership in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNT provides adults age 50 and better with access to more than 100 classes, exclusive events and activities. Classes are taught by active and retired UNT professors as well as area professionals on a wide variety of topics at convenient locations on the UNT campus in Denton, at Denton’s Robson Ranch community and at UNT’s New College at Frisco.

For more information and to purchase a membership for yourself or someone you love, contact OLLI at UNT at 940-369-7293 or



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Winter 2017


Artist- and composer-inresidence

Ranjani Groth

page 18

COMIC BOOK HERO Alum uses his comic book series to bring attention to important issues and help bridge the gap of representation of Latinos in the media.

Learn more about how Rodriguez uses his comic books to help his students in the classroom at

HECTOR RODRIGUEZ (’14 M.Ed.) IS A TEACHER BY day and a superhero by night. He teaches fifth-grade bilingual reading at McKinney ISD and writes the comic book El Peso Hero, about a Mexican man with super strength who gives voice to those who are disenfranchised on the border. El Peso Hero has been featured on Telemundo and Univision, as well as media outlets in Mexico, Italy and Spain. El Peso Hero: La Patrona is in production, and Rodriguez is raising funds for El Peso Hero Amazing Border Stories. He also is co-founder of Texas Latino Comic Con, the first comic book convention for Latino artists, which took place in Dallas last summer. “Comic books are a universal medium that can cross borders and languages,” he says.

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Linda M. Lee

Creating community

When Julie Althaus Crawford (’73) began working as the first full-time executive director of the American Association of Community Theatre, she was its only worker leading 700 members. Now, 23 years later, the organization has seven staffers and nearly 2,000 members. Crawford, who retired this fall, received the association’s Art Cole Lifetime of Lead-

Music Global music

G.H. Rashel

Dance and Theatre

ership Award for her years of leadership in community theatre at the national level. She worked behind the scenes, guiding the volunteer board leaders and increasing programming, services and funding for the Fort Worthbased organization. “I have always found theatre exciting,” says Crawford, who was a theatre major at UNT. “The art form creates community through the shared experience of audience members and the ‘family’ that results as theatre people bond through the creative process.”

An overwhelming international response to a Facebook post by London-based singer and UNT alum Michael Solomon Williams inspired him to write a song that brought musicians together from around the world. After several divisive events, including Brexit and the assassination of British politician Jo Cox in 2016, Solomon Williams — who

was an exchange student at UNT from Leeds in 2003 and 2004 — wrote “Human Kind.” The song was recorded at the end of a collaborative concert in London by hundreds, and later completed with contributions from nearly a thousand solo artists worldwide. The video single features guitarist Brad Allen Williams (’03), saxophonist Brian Donohoe (’00, ’07 M.M.) and members of jazz band Snarky Puppy, including Solomon Williams’ former bandmate and roommate Michael League and alums Jay Jennings, Mike Maher (’04), Chris Bullock, Justin Stanton (’10 M.M.) and Bob Lanzetti (’04).

Learning from the best UNT students will have the opportunity to learn from a National Medal of Arts-winning playwright and a 10-time Emmy-winning composer this year. Moisés Kaufman (top left), who Tectonic Theater Project

wrote The Laramie Project, will serve as the 2017-18 artist-in-residence for UNT’s Institute for the Advancement of the Arts. Bruce Broughton (bottom) is the 2017-18 composer-in-residence for the College of Music. Kaufman will work with students in the Department of Dance and Theatre to create a new work for the stage inspired by author Jorge Luis Borges, known for his surreal short stories. “The best work happens collaboratively,” says Kaufman, who will use techniques encouraging participants to engage with one another that he’s used as co-founder of the Tectonic Theater Project. Kaufman also wrote Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and has directed plays with Jane Fonda and Robin Williams. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2016.

Michael Clements

Growing up in Venezuela, he found the theatre to be a solace to him as a young gay man. “I still believe theatre has a power of communicating in a very visceral and humanistic way that I find potent,” he says. Broughton is best known for his many memorable and award-winning scores for films, including Silverado, Tombstone, The Rescuers Down Under, Miracle on 34th Street and Harry and the Hendersons, among others. JAG, Tiny Toon Adventures and The Orville all grace his television theme credits. He is working with music and film students and conducting research as part of four one-week residencies throughout the school year. “I am very impressed with the quality of instruction at UNT, the openness to fresh and contemporary ideas, and the passion that the faculty, dean and varied division and department heads demonstrate in working together to achieve the highest quality education,” Broughton says. “I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this already substantial and highly successful arts program.”



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Nicky Ovitt

As a child in the Chimayo region of New Mexico, Helen Lucero (’74) played on her grandparents’ large treadle loom. She prepared the rags and filled the spindles with yarn so they could weave blankets and runners. She didn’t weave again until she was an art student at UNT, where she also pursued her studies in art museums and the Spanish language. The result was a groundbreaking career as a curator of Hispanic arts and an expert in Chimayo weaving. She received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts as a Major Contributor in the Arts from the state of New Mexico earlier this year. “This award was a true validation of the significance of my career,” Lucero, an Albuquerque, New Mexico, resident, says. She was one of the first female Hispanic curators in the country, working in several positions at major museums, including the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum. She also co-wrote the book Chimayo Weaving: The Transformation of a Tradition. And it all began on that loom many years ago. “I loved seeing a pattern emerge, the combination of colors and how they could be made to mimic nature,” she says. “The medium fit my sensibilities: intricate, methodical and rhythmic.” “This song seems to have a lot of life in it!” Solomon Williams says.

Stella + G Photography

Winning artist

Saxophonist Jessica Rose Dodge (’17) was one of the winners of the VSA Young Soloists Award for outstanding young musicians with disabilities. As part of the award, she performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., in May.

Dodge was born with amblyopia in her right eye and is blind in that eye. She is currently studying for her master’s degree at Gnesin’s Russian Academy of Music in Moscow. She always had a fascination with Russia and minored in Russian while a music performance major at UNT. Her goal is to perform as a solo and chamber musician and maintain a studio of students. “My only true career goal is to become the best artist I can be,” she says,“whatever form that may take.”

Visual Arts

TV and Film

Insightful views

Nerding out

In the photograph “Insight,” the eye of graduate student Trinity Kai peers from a bundle of fabric, looking straight at the viewer. That photo won her the $20,000 grand prize from the VSA Emerging Young Artists Competition devoted to people with disabilities. “Insight” will travel for a year across the country as part of the exhibition “Electrify!” sponsored by the nonprofit organization VSA. Kai also participated in an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., filled with educational seminars and events. Kai, who was born with oculocutaneous albinism and is legally blind, shoots on a 4x5 Sinar monorail camera that she likes for its craftsmanship. “My work is not about my vision,” says Kai, who is studying photography in the College of Visual Arts and Design. “My vision informs my art.”

Whitney Lovett-Shin (’14) says her favorite part about her job is getting to “nerd out” about magic, space travel and sharknados. Lovett-Shin is a producer for the SYFY channel, where she writes and oversees the network’s online content and on-air bumpers and promos, including the DVD release of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and the New Year’s Eve Twilight Zone marathon. The media arts major moved to New York City after graduation, without any connections, but began networking and freelancing — hard work that she learned was necessary to find success in the industry from media arts professor James Martin. “The main thing is to keep learning,” Lovett-Shin says. “Being a producer has allowed me not only to meet and work with many talented media professionals, but also to grow as a person.”

Trinity Kai

Weaving history

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JC Ridley

The Mean Green women’s soccer team won the 2017 Conference USA Tournament on penalty kicks, 3-1, against the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Champion Seasons The Mean Green celebrate academic success, conference championships and a bowl game this fall.

Get bowl game information at



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The Mean Green have much to celebrate. The women’s soccer team won the Conference USA Tournament to capture the 13th league title in program history and earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time. The volleyball team won its first regular-season conference championship and second trip to a postseason tournament. And the football team, led by head coach Seth Littrell, has made for a stunning season. They secured the top spot in Conference USA’s West Division to play in the conference championship game against Florida Atlantic University, and are preparing to play Troy in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Dec. 16. (See back cover for details.) A victory would mark the program’s first 10-win season since 1977. “Having an opportunity for all our teams to play for a championship, that’s the standard we want to set,” says Vice President and Director of Athletics Wren Baker. “We’re creating champions and leaders.”

New soccer, track stadium and indoor practice facility UNT athletics began construction in October on a new soccer and track and field stadium that will be located near the Waranch Tennis Complex in the Mean Green Village. The new facility, expected to be completed in August 2018, will have a 14,000-square-foot field house to go along with a sand-based soccer field and eight-lane track. There will be seating for 1,500 fans, new coaches’ offices, locker rooms, a team meeting area and a student-athlete lounge. A new indoor practice facility also was approved to be built near the Mean Green Athletic Center. The 94,000-square-foot facility will include a full-length football field, a three-lane track and support spaces. It is slated for completion in July 2019. “These new facilities will be some of the best in the region and our conference,” Baker says. “They will vastly improve the experience for our fans and our student-athletes.” The facilities will be the first two projects of a 20-year master plan released this fall, which will include several capital campaign initiatives.

Top: Groundbreaking of the new soccer and track and field stadium Bottom: Rendering of the new indoor practice facility Hall of Fame inductees

The 2017 UNT Athletic Hall of Fame class was announced this fall: men’s basketball player Josh White (’11), football player Paul Draper (’67), women’s soccer player Kendall Juett (’10), women’s basketball player Ramona Black (’91) and former football coach Darrell Dickey, who was at UNT from 1998 to 2006. This year’s Fred McCain honorees are Don and Patty Lovelace.

UNT partners to host C-USA

the two next-best scores. Six of 12 UNT sports were at or above the Division I average for their respective programs: football, men’s basketball, men’s track and field, and women’s soccer, tennis and volleyball. The GSR, which helps to measure the academic success of Division I studentathletes, allows a six-year window in which they can go on to earn their degrees. The most recent data is based on the four freshman classes that entered from 2007 to 2010.

UNT will partner with Conference USA, the Dallas Cowboys and Visit Frisco to bring the conference’s 2018 and 2019 men’s and women’s basketball championships to the Cowboys’ Ford Center at The Star in Frisco. The 2018 championships are scheduled March 7-10, with all 22 games — 11 men’s and 11 women’s — hosted at The Star. The conference champions receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. “This is an amazing opportunity for our fans and all those in the North Texas region to see some great basketball,” says Grant McCasland, head men’s basketball coach. For more information and tickets, visit

Academic success record

Mean Green student-athletes have a record-high cumulative score of 83 on the NCAA’s latest Graduation Success Rate data, surpassing last year’s score of 82. The tennis team led the way with a perfect score of 100 for the second consecutive year. Soccer at 96 and volleyball at 92 had

Basketball tickets

Season and single-game tickets for the 2017-18 Mean Green men’s and women’s basketball seasons are on sale now. Visit for more information.

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Kasey Kamenicky (‘04)/FW Creations


Pictured at the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards Dinner are, from left, President Neal Smatresk, Don Millican (’74), Emily Mauzy (’06, ’06 M.S.), Elliotte Dunlap (’97), Sarah Mickelson (’05), Mary Lu Waddell, Stephen ‘Steve’ F. Waddell (’75, ’96 Ed.D.), Jim Fincher (’69) and Gayle W. Strange (’67).

Alumni Awards 2017 UNT alumni were honored during Homecoming Week at this year’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards for their professional and philanthropic accomplishments, as well as service to their communities and the university. This year marks the 52nd anniversary of the alumni awards program, which showcases the caliber of the university’s alumni and celebrates the depth and breadth of their professional accomplishments and service to the community. Among the honors presented is the Distinguished Alumni Award, the most prestigious award given by the UNT Alumni Association. “This year’s winners come from different backgrounds and life experiences, with their love for UNT as the common denominator,” President Neal Smatresk says. “We are so proud of who they are as Watch videos about the award recipients leaders and all they do to help sustain excellence for UNT and for their at communities and workplaces.”

UNT honors outstanding alumni for their notable careers and service



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

Don Millican (’74)

Millican is a CPA and CFO for George B. Kaiser in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is a retired partner with Ernst & Young. He spends as much time as he can championing UNT’s accounting program. Millican and his wife established the Don and Donna Millican Endowed Chair in Accounting, which attracts nationally recognized scholars to UNT’s accounting department, and he is a founding member of the Diamond Eagles Excellence Fund. Gayle W. Strange (’67)

Strange is general partner of Strange Holdings, a commercial property management company, and owner of Tremont Construction Corp. Former chair of the UNT System Board of Regents, she is a life member of the UNT Alumni Association, a board member of the UNT Foundation, a founding member of the Diamond Eagles Excellence Fund and a strong supporter of the Mean Green Club.

Distinguished Young Alumni Award Presented to young alumni under the age of 40 for distinguished professional achievement that has merited the honor and praise of peers and colleagues. These individuals have made significant contributions to society, supported the university and served others. Emily Mauzy (’06, ’06 M.S.)

Mauzy is a CPA and assistant vice president of corporate taxes for General Motors Financial in Fort Worth. She established the Emily Mauzy Accounting Scholarship in 2010, hoping to help students like herself succeed at UNT. She also volunteers as a mentor for Fort Worth

ISD students and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in foster care. Mauzy received the Outstanding Tax Student Award in 2006 and was selected as the keynote speaker for her College of Business graduation ceremony that year.

Outstanding Alumni Service Award Presented to honor individuals who have provided exceptional volunteer service to UNT or the community. Elliotte Dunlap (’97)

Dunlap spent 12 years in sales at IBM and is currently a senior enterprise partner solution sales executive at Microsoft. As a student, he was involved in various organizations from student leadership to Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. He also led the charge in developing UNT’s Multicultural Center to teach diversity through engagement and promote student success. Dunlap was the keynote speaker at the Multicultural Center’s 20th anniversary celebration in 2014 and received the Founders Award. Dunlap is involved in various mentorship organizations for college students and professionals. One of his proudest accomplishments is the development of A Few Good Men, an alumni group that mentors minority men at UNT and promotes graduation and success.

Ulys Knight Spirit Award Presented to an individual or group that has made noteworthy efforts to sustain spirit among the UNT family. Jim Fincher (’69)

Fincher is a licensed CPA in Texas and Louisiana. He retired in 2013 as vice president and chair of the board of directors at Burch, Fincher and Co., a Texas Professional Corporation of Certified Public Accountants, after 38 years at that position. Fincher serves as the treasurer and chair of the budget committee for the UNT Foundation board of directors. He has Winter 2017

been active in the UNT Alumni Association, serving on the board for many years, including a term as president. A devoted fan of UNT athletics, he is a club seat football season ticket holder, a member of the Mean Green Club and contributes annually to help fund a student-athlete’s scholarship. He encourages others to support UNT athletics.

Generations of Excellence Award Presented to honor a family that has exhibited an extraordinary dedication to higher education, that has supported the university through its service by many family members who have attended or graduated, and has demonstrated the value and support of family. The Waddell Family

The Waddell Family is composed of three generations of UNT alumni — the late Freddy J. Waddell (’72 Ed.D.), his son, Stephen “Steve” F. Waddell (’75, ’96 Ed.D.), and Steve’s daughter, Sarah Mickelson (’05). Freddy was a principal and superintendent in California, and executive director of Region V Education Service Center. Steve’s career as a principal and superintendent has taken him all over Texas, most recently as superintendent of Lewisville ISD, where he retired in 2015. Steve serves on the College of Education Development Board. Sarah is developing her own career in education. In addition to their enthusiastic engagement and advocacy, the family has showed its appreciation for UNT by endowing a scholarship for future school superintendents. (Read more about this Legacy Family on page 39.)

Deadline to nominate alumni for the 2018 awards is April 15. Get a nomination form at |



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Kara Dry

Impact of Giving

Members of the UNT student organization Faith Filled Women of Christ helped to price items at Twice as Nice thrift store in Denton during Make a Difference Day this fall.



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Winter 2017

UNT’s culture of helping others — which begins with students who learn about the power of giving as they work alongside alumni, friends and the community — helped achieve a record-breaking fundraising year for the university.



n his counseling offices at Jewish Family Services, Gustavo Barcenas (’17) helps solve the problems of East Dallas residents. Advocating for a domestic violence survivor, using his play therapy skills for a child with behavioral problems or conducting evaluations for patients are all often part of a day’s work. One reason Barcenas (front cover) is able to do his job so well is because, as a graduate student, he received the Marcy Golden Memorial Scholarship, named after a woman who spent 25 years as a counselor and 40 years as a special education teacher. The scholarship, which ensured he could complete his degree, was established by Jason Simon (’11 Ph.D.), UNT’s associate vice provost for institutional research and effectiveness, and his wife and children. Now, Barcenas is grateful to be able to help others. “I experienced firsthand how support really makes a difference in students’ ability to focus fully on what they’re doing so that they can find success,” he says. “It’s inspiring to now help improve people’s lives.” Barcenas and the Simons are part of a chain of giving at UNT. In addition to providing students with a world-class education to pursue their careers, the university has established an expanding culture of service and philanthropy. This year, the Division of Advancement, under the leadership of alumnus and vice president David Wolf (’04 Ph.D.), achieved its highest annual fundraising in university history with more than $30.1 million — $19.6 million in cash contributions, as well as multi-year pledges and estate gift commitments. Most recently, the division helped the university bring in additional grant funding, such as a $1.6 million grant from the Greater Texas Foundation

to support high school peer mentoring. “Our alumni and friends made a real difference this past year in supporting UNT’s vision and making an impact on the university,” Wolf says. “We are working to re-engage — and energize — alumni and donors with the university and focus dollars on helping students and UNT as a whole be more successful.” This year, the division hosted more than 100 events to engage alumni and friends, helping the UNT Alumni Association hit an all-time high of 14,035 members. This increased engagement also helps support a culture of giving at UNT that begins with students, ensuring they have opportunities to work alongside alumni and other UNT community members to give back through service projects such as The Big Event and Make a Difference Day. This sense of service extends beyond UNT. When Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas coast, the UNT community jumped into action — from alum Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, who opened his Gallery Furniture doors in Houston to those whose homes flooded, to members of the Mean Green basketball team who distributed supplies to residents. Being able to interact with those they helped allowed them to see the impact of their giving firsthand. And the same was true for the Simons when they met Barcenas, who was able to tell them how the scholarship they provided had helped him. “Gustavo’s story is why we give,” Simon says. “The return is an invaluable investment into our society. I hope more donors see the opportunity.”

Honoring family As an international student, Barcenas wasn’t able to work off campus and didn’t have access to loans, so he

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Ranjani Groth

Jason (’11 Ph.D.), Rachel, Ethan and Abigail Simon

often worried about how to pay for rent or food. When he was awarded the Marcy Golden Memorial Scholarship, he felt a sense of relief. “Each time I received the scholarship I thought, ‘At least I have this money to survive until the end of the semester,’” he remembers. That scholarship came thanks to Simon; his wife, Rachel, an executive at AT&T; and their two children, Abigail, 15, and Ethan, 13. “We want to instill in our kids that giving to others is important,” Simon says. “We’re putting our money where our priorities are.” They have set up three endowed scholarships each at a level of $25,000 and above — gifts they’re able to pay toward over time — to honor family members. The Susan Simon Higher Education Doctoral Scholarship, named after Jason’s mother, supports students in the College of Education’s higher education department. The Marcy Golden Memorial Scholarship goes to counseling students in recognition of Rachel’s mother’s work as a therapist. And the Harry and Anna Bernstein Memorial Scholarship, named for Rachel’s grandparents, helps fashion students in the College of Visual Arts and Design as a nod to Harry and Anna’s work in the textile industry. Simon, who has worked at UNT since 2008, notes that the scholarships create ripple effects. The recipients go on to careers in which they will educate other students, counsel patients, create clothing and inspire others in their fields. “Supporting scholarships is a chance to reconnect with the optimism, energy and excitement that students have at this point in their lives,” Simon says. “By connecting with them, we are investing in others.”

Paying it forward

Ranjani Groth

Jordan Case (’81)

Barcenas wanted to pursue a career in therapy and, specifically, work with Spanish-speaking families. His hometown of Toluca, Mexico, lacked mental health services. “I had the fortune to grow up in a functioning family, but most of my friends were not in the same situation,” he says. “That touched me and helped me realize what I wanted to do in the future.” Barcenas is grateful for the opportunities his scholarship afforded him.

“Now, it will be my turn to give back,” he says. Jordan Case (’81) also knows the benefits of scholarships. His father drove a beer truck and his mother worked as a waitress. Case knew he would need some help to achieve his college education. He also was a great football player. He first attended Sul Ross State University, but after the school dropped its athletic scholarships, he came to UNT with hopes of making the team as a walk on. Case more than succeeded. He played quarterback for three winning seasons under coach Hayden Fry in the late 1970s and was later inducted into the UNT Athletic Hall of Fame. After playing for three years with the Ottawa Rough Riders in the Canadian Football League, he went into the car business. Now, he is president and managing partner of car dealerships in three DFW area locations: Park Place Lexus/Plano, Park Place Lexus/Grapevine and Jaguar/Land Rover DFW in Grapevine. He gives back to ensure that students have the same opportunities he did as a student-athlete. Like the Simons, he has donated toward endowed scholarships at the $25,000 and above gift level. Case supports the Jordan L. Case Athletic Senior Awards Endowment and the Jordan L. Case Family Athletic Endowed Scholarship. “Everybody deserves an opportunity,” Case says. He also pledged to help support the future $16 million indoor stadium, featuring a full football practice field, expected to break ground in 2018 south of Apogee Stadium. “The new facility will give the coaches the tools they need to recruit and be competitive,” he says. Case says all the things he learned in athletics — competition, teamwork, self-motivation, diversity and adversity — have transitioned into how he runs businesses. His strategy won him the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which recognizes U.S. organizations for excellence in business management, in 2005. It was the first time a car dealership won the award. Case has good memories of his time at UNT. When he wasn’t playing football, he was studying for his radio, TV and film degree. He had his own radio talk show, “Huddle Talk,” where he interviewed players and coaches. Now he watches every home game from his suite at Apogee Stadium, another facility he helped

support as a member of the stadium committee. For Homecoming, he invited about a dozen former teammates to join him. “These bonds and friendships you build last forever,” says Case, adding that he owes a lot to UNT. “Someone gave back to the university,” he says, “which allowed me the opportunity to afford an education and play football. And for that, I’ve always been thankful.”

Contributing to community Ernest (’11) and Monica (’06) Martinez also attend most every football and basketball game in addition to numerous UNT Alumni Association events, including regional alumni receptions and tailgates. They’ve also packed up meals for the hungry and put together bone marrow swab kits during The Big Event and Make a Difference Day on campus. As life members of the Alumni Association and members of the Mean Green Club, the Martinezes say their loyalty for UNT runs deep. They started college careers later in their lives and now feel a sense of gratitude for their educations. “We achieved something that we had wanted to accomplish for years,” Ernest says. “And now we’re forever thankful and loyal to UNT.” As a senior project manager for a wireless company, Monica found herself topped out for her job. Her son, Nicholas, then in middle school, told her, “You can do so much better.” Monica immediately drove to Denton and applied to UNT. Ernest followed her a few years later after working 30 years as a general manager in the retail industry. He started off with online courses, and then Monica encouraged him to take classes on campus. Monica, a general studies major, now works in bookkeeping and substitute teacher coordination at the Lewisville ISD, and Ernest, who earned a bachelor’s degree in applied arts and sciences, is vice president of human resources at Securadyne Systems. Upon Ernest’s graduation, they were hooked as die-hard Mean Green fans and bought season tickets. Each year, they now purchase four seats, so they can invite friends and fellow alumni like Nathan (’94) and Becky (’07) Forshage. The Forshages had such a good time at this season’s game against UTSA — one of the nail-biters that UNT won in

“Supporting scholarships is a chance to reconnect with the optimism, energy and excitement that students have at this point in their lives. By connecting with them, we are investing in others.” — Jason Simon (’11 Ph.D.)

“The philanthrophy and gifts of time from our alumni and university friends leave an enduring legacy that spans our entire university community. You can see — and feel— it in our labs, classrooms and creative spaces, and that chain of caring and giving clearly expands from our campus into the world to truly make a difference.” — David Wolf (’04 Ph.D.)

the last few seconds — that they later bought their own tickets for the remaining home games. The Martinezes also travel to away games. During the Army game last year at West Point, they made friends with Carl Hess (’66), a New Jersey resident, and still keep up with him. And they made the trip to Boca Raton, Florida, to support the team at the Conference USA championship game this season. After Monica suffered a heart attack in January, many of the Mean Green and alumni family offered their support with notes of encouragement and flowers. “We are so proud that UNT is our school,” Monica says. “The community is special, and we are honored to be part of the Mean Green family.” Ernest adds, “Our engagement with the university gives us a great opportunity to build relationships.”

Leaving a legacy Paul Voertman understood the importance of supporting community throughout his life. As a philanthropist, patron of art and music, and former owner of Denton’s iconic Voertman’s Bookstore, he helped students earn their degrees and become world-class performers, artists and scholars, and he helped UNT make strides in the arts and academics. UNT announced this fall that it will receive the largest bequest in its history from his estate. Voertman, a graduate of the Demonstration School and a UNT student in the 1940s, died in June at the age of 88. The gift, projected to be at least $10 million, is designated to the colleges of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Music, and Visual Arts and Design. The funds will primarily support scholarships and fellowships, as well as research and creative activities such as the Opera Production Fund. More than 40 percent of the bequest will be eligible to receive matching funds from the Texas Research Incentive Program. That potentially leverages an additional $4 million to benefit research initiatives, including graduate student support. “This gift will have a tremendous impact on UNT, our students and their opportunities for

research and creative exploration today and for future generations,” President Neal Smatresk says. “Denton was Paul’s home, and he was a communityminded business owner who gave back in so many meaningful ways.” Voertman and Richard Ardoin, his partner of 48 years, were extremely generous to UNT during their lifetimes. Ardoin, who died in 2002, made a significant estate gift to UNT that includes a charitable trust. With Voertman’s bequest, the couple’s combined giving to UNT totals more than $15 million, making them UNT’s top donors. Voertman was known on campus not only for his longtime sponsorship of the annual student art competition, his gift of the Richard Ardoin-Paul Voertman Concert Organ, annual poetry prizes and many scholarships, but also for his individual support of students and his willingness to help wherever there was a need. “Mr. Voertman’s generosity and philanthropy were undeniably descriptive of the man he was,” says music alumnus Isaiah Chapman (’17), who is now a graduate student in viola and music theory at Eastman School of Music. “It is not often that those who give are also generous with their time. Just when you thought he could not be any more incredible, he comes to your recital, despite his declining health. His spirit will forever be remembered and admired.” The generosity of Voertman’s and Ardoin’s gifts, along with the giving efforts of others, create significant impacts for UNT and will be felt by generations of students to come on campus. That generosity ripples into our communities as alumni leave the university to make their mark throughout the world in their chosen fields and their volunteer efforts, says Wolf, who is continually amazed by the kindness he sees within the Mean Green Nation. “The philanthropy and gifts of time from our alumni and university friends leave an enduring legacy that spans our entire university community,” Wolf says. “You can see — and feel — it in our labs, classrooms and creative spaces, and that chain of caring and giving clearly expands from our campus into the world to truly make a difference.”

Your gift — no matter its size or form — plays a critical role in the current and future success of UNT. Learn more about how your year-end gift can make an impact at

Giving Highlights for 2017 fiscal year • UNT increased major gifts (contributions of $25,000 or more) by 49.6 percent over last year. • UNT Annual Giving (contributions under $25,000) grew commitments more than 17.8 percent. A fundraising effort, the Diamond Eagles Giving Society, was created to make an immediate impact on UNT priorities. • UNT Advancement events, including the Wingspan Gala and the Kuehne Speaker Series, generated $1.49 million in revenue.

Ranjani Groth

Monica (’06) and Ernest (’11) Martinez

• Planned gifts rose 33 percent to $7.5 million. Donors to UNT created 39 new endowments with the UNT Foundation. Those gifts include a $1.5 million endowment from alumnus Don Millican (‘74) and his wife, Donna, to establish the Don and Donna Millican Endowed Chair in Accounting at the UNT College of Business. • UNT Advancement produced more than 100 events to engage alumni and friends, while the UNT Alumni Association hit an all-time high of 14,035 members.

Ways to Give When you give to UNT, your gift will be transformative. Every gift makes a difference for our students, campus and programs. These options allow you to make the impact you want. To learn more, visit Honorary and Memorial Gifts: Recognize others through your gifts to pay tribute to them and create a legacy. Planned Giving: Leave your legacy by creating long-lasting gifts to UNT. Matching Gifts: Allows your organization or company to multiply your impact.

Paul Voertman and Richard Ardoin

Get Involved: Contribute your time and talent. Join the UNT Alumni Association, attend university events and stay connected. Learn more at

Learn more about Paul Voertman’s life in a video at

As lifelong learners and conceptual thinkers, computer science alumni use their expertise and innovation to solve problems and create new technologies.

Ahna Hubnik

Kathy Foster (’79 M.S.)



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for the Future


by Meredith Moriak Wright

Kathy Foster (’79 M.S.) has never struggled to find a job. As a computer scientist, she’s embraced the ever-changing technology revolution to make computers useful for people. Working at UNT’s Computing Services Center in 1974, she began taking classes for a master’s degree in computer science. Her office was in the science library and her duties included helping doctoral students create research questionnaires and run statistical analyses of the results, which would ultimately be published in dissertations. “My entire career has been like that, a really cool blend of helping people and using technology to do it,” says Foster, who today as a data analyst at Texas Instruments teaches colleagues about various database management systems. “I have the heart of a teacher, and computer science has been the perfect career for that and my interest in technology.” UNT’s computer science and engineering program — housed in one of the fastest growing colleges, the College of Engineering — is one of the oldest computer science programs in Texas. Celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, the department has a long history of preparing graduates like Foster for careers in the computer science field. Many students go on to successful careers in computer programming and app development, digital information processing, game programming, hardware and software design, and information systems management. In addition to offering undergraduate and graduate classes at UNT’s 300-acre Discovery Park, the North Texas region’s largest research park, the department offers a certificate in game programming and an executive master’s in computer science with concentrations in data science and cybersecurity at UNT’s New College at Frisco.

Database management Foster credits her professors at UNT, especially Denis Conrady, for exposing her to databases. “They broadened my perspective on what computers were capable of doing,” she says. In 1980, Foster took a position in administrative computing at Texas A&M University, where she learned IMS, a mainframe database management system that she still uses today. “The experience at UNT gave me a firm foundation, a love of computers and the basis to apply whatever new technology came next,” Foster says. “It’s been easy to assimilate changes as they came along. As a computer scientist, you are constantly learning and adding to your skill sets if you want to survive and excel.” Foster, a member of UNT’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering Industry Advisory Board, credits her IMS knowledge for getting her foot in the door at Texas Instruments in

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Tyseanah Spell (’16)

Gary Payne

Adriana Salazar

Greg Thurman (’98)

1986. There she subsequently learned newer database management systems including DB2 and Oracle. Now, her work has come full-circle. She has spent the last three years focusing on IMS and DB2, the legacy mainframe systems many of her younger counterparts never learned. Foster’s deep knowledge of multiple systems has helped her climb Texas Instruments’ technical ladder. “To be successful in this changing business, you have to have a solid understanding of the basis of the technology,” Foster says, “then know how to use your resources, both human and technical.”

“Dr. Haddad told me that if I wanted to be a software developer, I needed to make a commitment to earn that degree,” Thurman says. “Sometimes in life when people are blunt with you, it’s best.” Thurman buckled down, spent many late nights in the computer and math labs, skipped some important events like his cousin’s wedding, and ultimately earned his bachelor’s degree while simultaneously working two or three jobs each semester to pay for college. After graduation, he began working as a developer to create software for county governments, including Denton County’s jail. Six years later, Thurman transitioned into the health care industry. He now oversees software development for Sonic Healthcare, a global company, as director of clinical information systems in the U.S. “I am now focused on people — developing high-performing teams that deliver world-class customer service and highquality software development. I started my career working technically to solve problems programmatically and now I’m able to help shape the vision and the strategy of solutions,” he says. “My technical background helps me pull the right resources together to solve the problem.” He says the industry today has a greater focus on user experience and data mining. “We do more business intelligence now, to figure out how to let computers help us do things in more effective and efficient ways,” he says.

Health care solutions Like Foster, Greg Thurman (’98) says his UNT education provided a solid foundation for the rapidly changing profession. After two years at UNT dabbling in psychology, electrical engineering and pre-law courses, Thurman took a computer programming class and found his niche. He enjoyed programming’s technical challenges and the problem solving required to find the unique answer. “The things I learned in college were in a lot of ways theoretical,” he says. He also learned about how hard work pays off. Although he had a passion for computer science, as a student he worried he may not have the aptitude for the math and physics the degree required. He sought counsel from Albert Haddad, a visiting professor of computer science.



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Coding to advance Computers have always been a part of Tyseanah Spell’s (’16) life as a millennial. As a high school senior in Houston, she realized that she wanted to make computing her career and she chose to attend UNT to study computer engineering. “I wanted to know why the computer was showing me what it was showing me and how everything worked,” Spell says. While she has always been a good student, she says one particular professor challenged her like no one ever had. “Dr. Robin Pottathuparambil was the only person in my entire life to give me a C,” Spell says. “He pushed me to work harder.” She also joined organizations at UNT — the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers and the NAACP — that helped her learn about leadership and building relationships. Her hard work paid off. While attending a College of Engineering career fair, she received two job offers before she had graduated. She accepted a position with L3 Technologies in Greenville as a software engineer, modernizing planes by updating them with the latest surveillance technology for U.S. government and military. “I work a lot with coding, always trying to keep advancing current technologies,” Spell says. “UNT gave me the background I needed to be successful in my job.”


Kyle Taylor (’12)

UNT’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering, which celebrated its 45th anniversary this year, has grown to include 33 faculty, more than 1,100 undergraduate students, nearly 200 master’s students and more than 100 doctoral Ahna Hubnik

students. Undergraduate programs include information technology, computer science and computer engineering, and graduate programs are offered in computer science and

Web development Kyle Taylor (’12) says his student experiences also were invaluable. During an internship the summer before his senior year, the information technology major realized he wanted to become a developer. Then working on his senior design project to create a smartphone application for real-time tracking of public transportation, Taylor honed his web development skills. “I approached my project as an opportunity to learn something new, not just as another test or a quiz. It provided me with skills that helped me advance professionally,” says Taylor, who now is a senior web developer at LevelTen Interactive in Dallas. “Because of my IT background, I understand the plumbing behind what I’m doing,” Taylor says. “I know how things are set up, specifically with network infrastructure, and that makes it easier when it comes to debugging an issue at work.” He was encouraged by UNT faculty to take his project to a Startup Weekend in Plano in 2012. Taylor fell in love with the event, which pulls together entrepreneurs who create and build a product or business in 54 hours. He then co-founded TechMill, a Denton-based nonprofit providing training and support for the tech and startup communities. “It’s been a weird chain of opportunities that have made me think like an entrepreneur and got me involved in my community, and it all began at UNT,” he says. Tanya O’Neil contributed to this story.

engineering. Today, the department is home to 15 research labs such as the Computer Systems Research Laboratory, Network Security Laboratory, the Smart Electronic System Laboratory and the Laboratory for Recreational Computing, which offers classes in game programming. The department also includes three interdisciplinary research centers where faculty and students work to find solutions to some of society’s pressing issues. The Center for Computational Epidemiology and Response Analysis applies computational science paradigms to the domain of public health, providing tools for epidemiologists and public health researchers. The Center for Information and Cyber Security, which earned the designation of “Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education” and “Center of Academic Excellence in Research” from the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security, places UNT among the top institutions in the nation in the field for computer security. And the Net-Centric Software and Systems Center, an NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center, focuses on the development of net-centric and cloud computing systems. To learn more, visit

Read about computer science graduate Willie Barber (ʼ77 M.S.), who came out of retirement at 73 to operate mainframe computer systems for the IRS, at Winter 2017




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Join us for a star-filled evening


Saturday, March ,   p.m. University Union Black tie formal event including dinner, presentation of Presidential Awards and entertainment. Reserve your table online now.

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| n oorr tth nor no tht thte hte ht h ttee xxa xan an an. a n.. un n unt. unt u nt. n t. t . edu ed


Winter 2017

Photo by Larry Lavante

AC Celebration elebration of UN UNT’s NT ’s Excellence

page 37

Library of Congress



Get connected at upcoming alumni gatherings

MAPPING HISTORY Alumna makes mark as first woman to lead the Geography and Map Division at the Library of Congress.

Read more about how Willis Library impacted Hasier’s life and watch a video about the people behind the scenes at the Library of Congress at

FOR PAULETTE MARIE HASIER (’96 M.S.), WILLIS Library holds special significance. This year, Hasier was appointed the first woman to be chief of the Geography and Map Division at the Library of Congress — the largest library in the world, with over 160 million items, including original maps from Lewis and Clark and George Washington. But her first foray into the profession was a job at Willis as a graduate student. It also was there that she met her husband, Christopher Koontz (’95 M.A., ’03 Ph.D.). Earning degrees in applied history and library science, she learned to inventory a collection and process archival materials, skills she uses today. “My favorite part of this job is the outreach,” she says. “I love talking about our collection and supporting lifelong learners.” Winter 2017




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Keep up with the latest developments in the UNT family and tell your peers what you’ve been up to since leaving the nest. Send your news to The North Texan (see contact information on page 4). Members of the UNT Alumni Association are designated with a . Read more, share comments and connect with friends at


1951 Anita Harvey Briggs (’52 M.M.), Cherry Valley, N.Y. ::

wrote the children’s book Hobart (Simon and Schuster), which was given a starred review by Publishers Weekly, and its newly released sequel, Violet. Her new novel, Merchant of Dreams, received a Kirkus starred review and was selected as one of Kirkus’ 100 Best Indie Books of 2017. (Read her memories of the North Texas Demonstration School on page 4.)

1960 Edward V. Smith III, Dallas ::

The winning photo in our Homecoming contest — “Light the Tower baby!!!” — was taken in front of the Hurley Administration Building after the football team’s Homecoming win and submitted by Ian Overtoom (’10). “I loved my time at UNT and have always supported our athletics through the not so good times and now some really great times!” says Overtoom, who earned an RTVF degree and now works at KPMG in Dallas.



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was recognized for five decades of service with the Outstanding 50 Year Lawyer Award by the Texas Bar Foundation. He has been a lawyer since 1963 and works as a probate attorney. He is senior counsel for the Stephens-Guthrie law firm in Dallas. Named a Distinguished Alumnus in 1992, he has served as president of the UNT Alumni Association, as a member of the Board of Regents and as chair of the UNT Foundation. He also has written two suspense novels under the pen name Hawthorne Vance.

1962 Patricia ‘Patti’ Kennelly Boeckman, Corpus Christi :: is a professional writer who says she

flourished under the tutelage of her professional writer husband, Charles Boeckman. At the age of 76, she is still writing and has a publisher who is reissuing her previous works and current novels. She also wrote a light-hearted weekly column for her local newspaper for several years.

1970 Frank Hoy (M.B.A.), Worcester, Mass. :: received the Lifetime

Influence and Impact Award at the Family Enterprise Research Conference in Asheville, N.C. The award is given for sustained and distinguished leadership toward the growth and development of family businesses or family business research and scholars. He is the Beswick Professor at the Foisie Business School and director of the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

David Schweig and his son, Brad Schweig (’03), Dallas :: won 2017 Retailer of the Year from The Home Furnishings Association for their company, Sunnyland Patio Furniture. The award honors retailers for exceptional philanthropy, technology, customer experience, mentoring, sustainability and store design/ merchandising. David is the president of Sunnyland, and Brad is the vice president of operations.


1974 John L. Larson,

Debra Lewis Panduru, Dallas

Midland ::

years as a public safety communications specialist with the city of Plano. She began her career there as Plano first installed 911 in 1987 and received many awards during her career. For her retirement, she was featured by a news report on WFAA-TV Dallas and recognized by the North Texas Crime Commission. Her favorite UNT memory is spending time at the Baptist Student Union.

co-founded LarMar Industries Inc., a leading provider of power generation solutions and services. He started his career at International Harvester before working at Warren Caterpillar in Odessa for 23 years, reaching vice president of engine sales. He also manages, acquires and sells companies and is active in the United Way of Midland and Midland Chamber of Commerce. He is a supporter of UNT athletics.

:: retired in January 2017 after 30

Mass. :: wrote C. Wright Mills

Chuck Lobb, Dallas :: illustrated the children’s book Annabell’s Talent Search. The story follows Annabell, a little girl finding her talent for acting.

William V. ‘Will’ May (M.M.), McGregor ::

retired after 48 years as a Baylor University professor of music education, having served as dean of the Baylor School of Music. He previously served for 20 years as a professor and administrator in UNT’s College of Music, where he was interim dean, associate dean and chair of the division of music education. His daughter, Karen Spalding (’96, ’07 M.Ed.), is an administrator in Denton ISD; his son, Jeffrey May, is a residential construction manager in Austin.

Douglas Peterson, Port Orange, Fla. :: was awarded the

2017 Presidential Sterling Award for Teaching Excellence at Daytona State College, where he is chair of cultural programs at the Mike Curb College of Music, Entertainment and Art. At UNT, he was a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Larry Weseman, Plano :: welcomed his grandson, Jack Thomas Moore, into the world on March 1. Jack Thomas is named after his great-grandfather, Jack Wilson Weseman (’49) who met his wife, Grace, in June 1949 in the outdoor swimming pool on campus. They married two months

1978 A. Javier Treviño, Norton,


lished the poetry chapbook, Finding Direction. She says J. Don Vann, Regents Professor and Professor Emeritus of English, provided supportive comments on her manuscript.

and the Cuban Revolution: An Exercise in the Art of Sociological Imagination (University of North Carolina Press). He is the author and editor of several books and has served as president of the Justice Studies Association and the Society for the Study of Social Problems. He has been a visiting research fellow at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, a Fulbright Scholar to the Republic of Moldova and, since 2014, a visiting professor at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. He also has taught at Wheaton College.

1981 Beth Honeycutt, Denton :: released her first book, Echoes from the Stars, in which a female interpreter speaks to a council of gods, telling of the growth of the earth as changes ripple across the skin of the planet. She previously pub-

Upcoming Alumni Gatherings Many exciting events are planned for alumni to reunite and celebrate UNT this spring: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNT event featuring Neil Sperry: Don’t miss the featured speaker Neil Sperry, Texas gardening and horticulture expert, 2:30 p.m. Feb. 3 at UNT’s New College at Frisco. The event is offered to members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNT, a vibrant learning community with classes and events for adults 50 or better, at UNT in Denton, New College in Frisco and Robson Ranch community. Memberships start at $55. For information, call 940-369-7293 or visit Wingspan Gala: Themed “The Bright Lights of UNT,” this black tie formal event will feature dinner, the presentation of Presidential Awards and entertainment by UNT alumna Carmen Cusack. The event begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 17 in the University Union. To reserve a table, visit Space is limited. 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 24. 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 UNT Kuehne Speaker Series featuring Melissa Francis: Anchor and host for FOX Business Network and FOX News Channel will speak March 29 at the Hilton Anatole Dallas. Now in its fifth season, the series was established by Ernie Kuehne (’66) to provide a forum to engage in conversation about topics of national and global relevance. Visit UNT Career Fairs/Mentoring: Get help with your job search by using the UNT Career Center’s free services for alumni, or give back by volunteering to serve as a mentor for an aspiring student pursuing a career similar to yours. Learn more at careercenter.unt. edu/alumni-career-services.

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Nest later. Jack Thomas, the child of Lisa Moore, a former UNT graduate student in library science and a sixth-grade language arts teacher at Plano ISD, was born in the same Plano hospital where Jack Wilson died. “Life goes on and, perhaps, the UNT torch has been passed along to a future Eagle,” Larry says. “Soar on!”


Ranjani Groth

1982 Bruce Walker, Denton :: and 10 John Holloway, San Diego ::

Helping after Harvey Hurricane Harvey had just hit LaBelle, the Gulf Coast town where

Hannah Olowokere’s (’17) father lives. He was safe and his house, on stilts, was OK. But while she was visiting him, she talked to his next-door neighbor, Miss Debbie, whose home was completely destroyed. Miss Debbie didn’t have any insurance or money. “I saw her in the street and she was just crying,” Olowokere says. “I told her I would help.” Olowokere, who works as a wedding photographer in Dallas, already had been organizing a supply drive for the 2,200-population community of nearby Fannett, her hometown about 15 miles southwest of Beaumont. She set up an Amazon wish list that included rebuilding and home supplies, eventually raising nearly $7,000. Service had been ingrained in her as a journalism student at UNT. She participated in The Big Event and Make A Difference Day all four years. She also was a member of UNICEF, UNT Serves and Communities In Schools North Texas. And she participated in Alternative Spring Break for three years — once to work with the homeless in San Antonio and twice to learn about the civil rights movement and human rights in Selma, Ala. “Both places changed my life,” she says, noting she visits Selma once a year. “I have a community there now. They are my family.” After collecting the supplies, which were sent to a Dallas business, Olowokere and her husband delivered them in a donated van to Grace Community, the church in Fannett where her brother is a member, for distribution. As a result, Miss Debbie received a queen-sized mattress, new bedding, a power drill and a Shop-Vac. “She cried on the phone and told me it was a huge help to her,” Olowokere says, adding how special it was to help the communities that she spent so much of her life in. “I just did what we are called to do as human beings. It meant more to me seeing how many people pulled together to help.” — Jessica DeLeón



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was promoted to principal of KTUA, a San Diego-based planning and landscape architecture firm. John, who joined KTUA in 1990, will lead the active transportation team and handle day-to-day management. He loves the outdoors and focuses on pedestrian, bicycle and trail planning and design. He volunteers on trail projects, especially those aimed at children and their parents.


others rode dirt bikes on a more than 3,000-mile mission trip from Pilot Point to Nicaragua and donated them upon arrival. He helped to raise $335,000 for Familia Avance Ministry for building youth sport complexes and providing better transportation for pastors. He says the trip represents the message of giving back, leaving a legacy and making a difference in other countries. “I learned many of these values at UNT through my friend and mentor Steve Pogue, who was the Campus Crusade for Christ director,” he says.

Victor Sower (Ph.D.), Huntsville :: published We Move Our

Own Cheese! (ASQ Quality Press), designed to help people find ways to effect real change in business. Many of the characters in the fable are loosely based on composites from his business, academic and consulting experience. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of operations management at Sam Houston State University, where he established the Sower Business Technology Laboratory. He was named a Piper Professor in 2005.

1993 Jehanzaib Iqbal Khan, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan :: is the country manager for Fauji Cereals, which is the biggest cereal manufacturer in Pakistan. He heads a sales team of 115 workers, including sales managers, sales officers and bookers, for the brand that maintains 70 percent of the market share in Pakistan.

Seth Morgan, Shady Shores :: has opened Denton County Brewing Co. in downtown Denton. He gave up his almost 25-year career in financial services to fulfill his



LIFE-CHANGING CHOICE Kasey Kamenicky (’04)/FW Creations

When Freddy J. Waddell (’72 Ed.D.) walked onto campus to earn his doctorate in higher education, he brought something unique with him — his son, Stephen “Steve” F. Waddell (’75, ’96 Ed.D.). The family had moved from Hobbs, Texas, to California when Steve was a year old and later to Idaho. When his father — a principal, a superintendent and a dean at a small private college during his career — decided to continue his education, UNT was a natural fit. “It was like coming home,” Steve says. He says his undergraduate experience as a history major was everything he had hoped for and more. “It was challenging because the expectations were high, and at the same time it was really intoxicating,” he says. “I immersed myself in the experience and got to know a lot of people.” Steve says he has witnessed much progress over the years at his alma mater. “I have seen two student unions go up, the complete turnaround of athletics and the construction of the coliseum,” he says. “The one thing that has never changed is the amazing culture of the campus.” Steve followed his father into the field of education and returned to UNT to earn his Ed.D. in educational administration while serving as a principal and raising a family. His career took him all over Texas, most recently as superintendent of Lewisville ISD, where he retired in 2015. He now serves on UNT’s College of Education Development

Stephen ‘Steve’ F. Waddell (’75, ’96 Ed.D.), center, with from left, his brother Rick Waddell and niece Lindsay Cowen; his wife, Cheryl Waddell; his daughter, Sarah Mickelson (’05), with her husband, Glen Weiman, and son, Soren Mickelson; and Steve’s mother, Mary Lu Waddell. in or were in that field,” she says. “There might have been a little resistance on my part, a desire to do something totally different, but I just had a longing to work with kids and run a classroom.” She went back to school to become a teacher and now works her passion for art and creativity into her classroom. Steve says the long-ago choice of his father, who passed away in 2014, was life changing for their family. “None of us would be where we are today without that choice,” he says. “Dad was the first to go to college and I was the second to get a graduate degree. It changed our lives, our families’ lives and hopefully the lives of kids we served in education.” The Waddells, who have endowed a scholarship for future school superintendents, were honored for 45 years of UNT pride with a Generations of Excellence Award at the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards Dinner this fall.

Board, helping to move educationcentered thinking and teaching forward. So when it came time for Steve’s daughter, Sarah Mickelson (’05), to go to college, the choice was clear — the University of Texas at Austin. “Ever since she was little that girl was determined to go to UT,” Steve remembers with a laugh. “In fact, until her senior year, that is where she was going.” Sarah says it was a campus visit to UNT that changed her mind. “I visited several colleges with my dad and he convinced me to at least look at UNT,” she says. “It was our last stop and I fell in love. I loved the smaller collegetown feel, the artistic vibe of the school and Denton, and the people.” She took a different path to her career in education. After graduating with a fashion merchandising degree, she earned a coveted internship with Nordstrom’s in Seattle, but while she fell in love with the city, her job left her feeling unfulfilled. “I feel I have a bit of education in my blood since so many family members are

— Amy Armstrong

Read about other UNT legacy families at legacy-families and share the story of your own UNT legacy. Winter 2017




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dream of opening a craft brewery in Denton. He also has been active in missionary work in Africa, Asia and South America since the 1990s and, in 2006, started the nonprofit organization Orant Charities, which does work on those continents.


1998 Chris Kiklas, Cypress :: published Rich on Fifty: How to Start an Investment Club and Build Wealth with Friends for as Little as $50 a Month, a guide to starting an investment group for those who know little about investing. Chris attended UNT from 1994 to 1998.

Ed O’Casey (TAMS, ’99, ’09 M.A.), Rhinelander, Wis. :: pub-

lished his first full-length collection of poetry, Proximidad: A Mexican/ American Memoir (Broadstone Books), exploring his life on the international border between El Paso and Juarez and what it was like to return to El Paso after a 20-year absence. After earning an M.F.A. in poetry at New Mexico State University, he is teaching English at Nicolet College.

Michael Wolverton, Allen :: who majored in business administration, has a career in software development and is senior development manager at Tyler Technologies. His sons Chandler, who made Eagle Scout at 16, and Tristan hope to follow in their dad’s footsteps and join the Mean Green family.


Jason Lim (M.M.), Denton :: won first prize in the American Conducting Competition focusing on orchestra. He is the artistic director and conductor of the Odysseus Chamber Orchestra, which he founded in 2002. In 2013, Jason made his European conducting debut with the Academic State Concert Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine in Kiev, and in 2014 appeared as guest conductor with the Zabrze Philharmonic Orchestra and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

Cheri Bohn, Elkins, Ark. :: had her glass art — including a flamingo lamp that stands 5 feet tall — featured at the Fayetteville Underground art gallery this summer. She also hosted a table at Terra Studios, where she helped customers design their own glass necklaces.

2005 Bradley Folsom (’08 M.A., ’14 Ph.D.), Lewisville :: published Arredondo: Last Spanish Ruler of Texas and Northeastern New Spain (University of Oklahoma Press), a

UNT Battle Flag Travelers on I-35 near Denton can’t help but notice they’re in Mean Green country — now that the largest-ever version of the UNT Battle Flag is flying outside Apogee Stadium. A university tradition for more than three decades, the 30- by 60-foot flag was raised in September on a 120-foot pole north of the stadium. It beat out three other flag designs, with 61 percent of the first-place votes cast by fans online. The UNT Battle Flag was created by Jim Hobdy (’69) while he was an employee of the UNT athletics department in 1986. As director of marketing, fundraising and promotions for athletics, he was looking for a design he could put on a podium for Brad Holt

an alumni event at which Chancellor Alfred F. Hurley would be speaking. “This was at one of the big hotels in Fort Worth, and Dr. Hurley had a portable podium with no university marks on it,” says Hobdy, who earned his UNT degree in advertising design. “My first thought was to put the Texas flag on it, but then I thought, ‘Well, he’s not the governor. What about using the Texas flag in greens?’” In place of the blue field on the Texas flag, Hobdy chose the shade of green used for the athletics teams. For the red field, he chose the “Hayden Fry-era green” of the 1970s, famously lime in color. The design immediately began to catch on. “We started getting calls from people who were at that event saying, ‘Do you know where I can get one of those flags?’” Hobdy recalls. “None existed, so they had them custom-made to fly on flag poles at their homes.” Within a few years, the Talons spirit group began waving the flag at football games, and later it started showing up on Facebook. “That’s when you started seeing it travel,” Hobdy says. “It went to Australia. Soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan took the flag with them. It went everywhere.” Hobdy has been a big UNT fan since his Lambda Chi Alpha days, and he and his wife, Sylvia Klein Hobdy (’86 M.B.A.), still attend football and basketball games as season ticket holders. Did he ever think a spur-of-the-moment podium decoration would one day be flying proudly, 60 feet long, in the skies of Denton? “I had no earthly idea,” he says.



No r t h Texa n



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— Jill King

biography of Joaquín de Arredondo, an influential Spanish leader in U.S. history. Bradley is an adjunct professor of history at the University of Texas at Arlington.

interviews with authors and other book talk from TAMU Press and the Texas Book Consortium. At UNT, she was a member of Sigma Tau Delta.



Fouad Fakhouri (D.M.A.), New

Marcedes M. Fuller, San Anto-

York City :: was named music director and conductor of the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra. He also is music director of the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra in Michigan. In North Carolina, he was music director and conductor of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra; principal guest conductor of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra; and music director and conductor of the Greensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra.

nio :: published his first indepen-

Toni M. Schuster (M.F.A.),

Jason Sharp (Ph.D.), Stephen-

Dallas :: completed the rebrand-

ville :: received the 2016-17 Jack

ing, redesign and marketing of the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority, the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers Airport and the Hawkins Field Airport in conjunction with two other women-owned businesses. Toni is president of the Schuster Design Group, teaches design at local colleges and has works and papers published in industry journals.


& Louise Arthur Excellence in Teaching Award at Tarleton State University, the highest teaching award given at the university. He also received the 2016-17 O.A. Grant Excellence in Teaching Award, recognizing outstanding teaching in the College of Business Administration. He is an associate professor of computer information systems and a previous recipient of the university’s Faculty Excellence in Scholarship Award.

Christine Brown, Bryan ::


launched a new interview program, The Bookmark, as part of her role as publicity and advertising manager at Texas A&M University Press. The half-hour, biweekly program is a collaboration between the local PBS channel, KAMU, and the TAMU Press. It features

dent book, While You Were Out from ‘Work,’ focusing on helping readers become successful by re-directing their efforts to their true goals while away from work. He is the chief innovation officer of Imagepreneurs Public Image Relations and travels nationally to inspire businesses, schools and individuals to more successful paths. He attended UNT from 2004 to 2008.

and teaching fellow in the UNT Department of Teacher Education and Administration, he is scheduled to complete his doctorate in 2018. He first used the state bar’s law-related education program as a high school teacher and has used it in college to help prepare students to teach law-related concepts and civic responsibility.

2010 Ashley Sears, Irving

:: was promoted to senior account executive at Cooksey Communications, a strategic communications firm based in the North Texas region. She joined the firm as an account executive in 2016 and has worked for such clients as Bell Helicopter and the city of Richardson. She previously was a communications specialist and spokeswoman for Greyhound Lines Inc.

2011 Scott Armstrong, Houston :: was recognized on the 2017 Texas Rising Stars list, which honors 2.5 percent of attorneys age 40 and younger, in Texas Super Lawyers and Texas Monthly magazines. He has worked at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz since 2015 and specializes in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases. He previously was recognized in the Houstonia Top Lawyers List for general practice and the H-Texas Houston’s Top Lawyers list for personal injury.

Adrian Gabriel Cadar, Nashville :: received his Ph.D. in

Mark Felts (M.Ed.), Bowie :: received the Honorary Leon Jaworski Award for Teaching Excellence from the State Bar of Texas Law-Related Education Department. A graduate assistant

Cottonwood Creek Elementary School principal and UNT adjunct professor Andra Penny (’73, ’76 M.Ed., ’96 Ph.D) (second from right, back row), along with UNT alumni teachers and student teachers, celebrated the Coppell school’s College Shirt Day in October with a “shout out” to UNT, which had the largest representation that month.



GOLDEN EAGLES Members of the Golden Eagles Class of 1967 celebrated their 50th anniversary at Homecoming and shared a few memories. Like so many other folks, I will never forget where I was on Nov. 22, 1963. After getting some tutoring in an algebra lab, I was walking down the hall when I heard a radio in one of the offices, and Walter Cronkite announcing that the president had been shot and had just been pronounced dead. The next day, two friends from West Dorm and I drove to Dallas to stay at my parents’ home. What an emotional weekend. My second year I moved into the Lambda Chi Alpha frat house. Our fraternity cook knew how to feed young college men. It was there I discovered “Frito pie,” and I still enjoy it today. It was my business law class that made me decide to go to law school and it was the business school that gave me the foundation that allowed me to enjoy a successful business career once I moved from corporate law. — Keith Galitz (’67), junior and senior class president

From left, Gayle Strange (’67), Bob McMath (’67), Larry Tobias (’67), Keith Galitz (’67) to know Mary Burns, a fellow freshman from Houston. That friendship gave me a better understanding of the social changes taking place than any textbook could have. Not long after noon on Nov. 22, 1963, I saw a knot of people at the library talking seriously. That was my first inkling that President Kennedy had been shot. I quickly walked over to the UB to find a TV, just in time to see Walter Cronkite announce the president was dead. I saw Professor Hagan (who was tough as nails) crying. When I think of the assassination, that’s what I think of. — Bob McMath (’67), former student government president I was from Kansas, so when it came time for North Texas to play Wichita State in Wichita, I volunteered to haul the Talons’ Victory Bell up there on its trailer, to have it available to ring when the Eagles scored and to see my family. But it was so heavy it nearly damaged my 1966 Mustang. We tried to send it back to Denton on a train car but couldn’t maneuver it in. So I ended up borrowing my grandfather’s big new Buick Electra 225 to pull it back. My twin brother, Jerry, who was a jazz drummer, and I lived in West Dorm our freshman year. I studied radio and TV, which was in the speech and drama department then. Dr. Ted Colson helped me win an internship at WFAA-TV in Dallas, where I later ran a TV camera.

For 50 years I’ve been teaching and writing about history, and North Texas got me started. I enrolled as a history major, but with no intention of making that my career. Two of my professors, William T. Hagan and J.B. Smallwood, encouraged me to pursue original historical research and got me hooked. My school and my community were still largely segregated in 1963, so my first experience of getting to know African American students came as a freshman at North Texas. In particular, I quickly got



No r t h Texa n



Winter 2017

When I left to serve in the Navy during the Vietnam War, they told me a job would be waiting for me when I got back, and it was — more than three years later. I enjoyed working there very much, but the Dallas traffic soon motivated me to head back to Kansas, where I returned to my wheat farming roots before moving into the health care field. — Larry Tobias (’67), former Talons president I came to North Texas to pursue a degree in interior design and a minor in industrial arts, which both served me well in the construction and design business. Dr. Ray Gough and Professor Fritz Roberson made a difference in my life. Eventually, I switched my major to English and loved that program, too. I pledged Alpha Delta Pi, practiced and marched with Angel Flight, and sang in the Chapel Choir, all while taking 20 hours one crazy semester. Only women had a curfew: 10:50 p.m. on weeknights, and it was not to be violated. I tried it once and Dean Imogene Dickey informed me that I was to be confined to campus for the next several weekends. The dress codes and curfews are relics of the past, but the ’60s were a time of deep change and transition. We were a part of that new world dawning. — Gayle Strange (’67), first woman to serve as chair of the UNT System Board of Regents

Norma Jones (M.S.), Bridgeport :: is editor of The Popular

Culture Studies Journal, an award-winning open-source academic journal from the Midwest Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association. She was previously an associate, managing and productions editor for the publication. Maja

Bajac-Carter (’06, ’10 M.A.) and Garret Castleberry (’10 M.A.) are assistant editors.

William Stuart Nance (M.A., ’14 Ph.D.), El Paso :: wrote

Sabers Through the Reich: World War II Corps Cavalry from Normandy to the Elbe (University Press of Kentucky), which offers the first comprehensive operational history of American corps cavalry in the European Theater in World War II. He is an active duty officer who graduated from the U.S. Military Academy and taught military history there from 2011 to 2014.

Trayton Oakes, Denver :: was appointed to the Denver Urban Debate League board of directors. He will spearhead fundraising and

oversee league activities for the organization, which provides opportunities for students to learn through competitive debate activities. He is an associate attorney at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.

2012 Travis Huehlefeld, Houston ::

joined the Wilson Cribbs and Goren real estate law firm. He is part of the land use and development practice. He previously worked in corporate law at Duane Morris LLP.

Ahna Hubnik

molecular physiology and biophysics from Vanderbilt University and started medical school there this fall. At UNT, he conducted research with Ed Dzialowski, associate professor of biology, and was a member of the McNair Scholars program, the HHMI Undergrad Researchers and G-Force. At Vanderbilt, he continued heart research, recruited Ph.D. students and received the 2015 Levi Watkins Jr. M.D. Award for commitment to diversity.

Composing solutions John Colaruotolo (’99, ’04 M.A.) earned two degrees in music, but he is playing to a different crowd as a solution designer and workshop facilitator


for the Boston-based firm Collective Next. He leads collaborative discussions — while drawing on whiteboards — with leaders from dozens of Fortune 500

Daniel Esquer, Dallas :: the

companies and other organizations, such as UNT, to help with areas such as

education coordinator for the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas, was featured in a threepage spread in Texas Apartments. The Texas Apartment Association also featured him in its Room to Grow video campaign and he has been recognized as one of five rising stars across the nation by the National Apartment Association. Before studying at UNT, he served in the Navy/Marine Corps as a fleet Marine force hospital corpsman, practicing field medicine from 2004 to 2008.

strategic planning, product development or any challenge to be addressed. “It is a listening game,” says Colaruotolo, who lives in Prosper. “When I’m scribing, or graphic facilitating, it’s exercising the same set of muscles as real-time music improvisation. Listening for big themes, finding connections, synthesizing information, reacting in real-time and ultimately ‘performing’ the output onto a whiteboard.” His task is to capture the discussion and its ideas through his drawings. He says the goal is for the members of the organization to work together to create a strategy and address issues through interactive brainstorming sessions, instead of hiring an outside consultant to tell them what to do. “Solutions to complex problems typically live within the collective intelligence of an organization,” he says. Colaruotolo, a pianist and percussionist who majored in composition, was in graduate school when he went to dinner with his future wife, Lauren, and her friends. One of those friends described his work facilitating workshops at Ernst & Young in Dallas, and Colaruotolo was hooked.


When he facilitated at UNT’s Planning Implementation Workshop in August, he helped UNT administrators, faculty and staff lay out a roadmap

Christopher Butler, Frisco

for the university to become a global leader in education innovation. He

:: has pub-

desires to design their own degrees by accessing courses outside their major

lished his memoir, I Am For the Better, detailing his tenacity

drew vibrant illustrations — for example, a web showing how students’

are interconnected with their interests and career aspirations. “Because the process is real-time, it has an element of risk to it. You’re often exposed like a soloist,” he says. “But at the end of the workshop, you have an artifact that becomes useful for years to come.” — Jessica DeLeón



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

È Roy Orbison


Legendary UNT alum was

inducted into the 2017 Austin City Limits Hall of Fame this fall in a ceremony and concert scheduled to air on PBS stations

in overcoming learning disabilities, depression and anger. He works as a teacher’s aide for Frisco ISD and is getting his teacher certification. He also is a professional photographer, works in the customer service department for FC Dallas and was a sales representative for the Dallas Cowboys. At UNT, he was a student trainer for the swimming, diving and tennis teams.

New Year’s Eve. He’s known for hits like

Melissa Hatheway and Cody Lewis (’14), Plano :: were mar-

“Oh, Pretty Woman,” “Crying” and “Only the Lonely,” and especially at UNT for his first hit, “Ooby Dooby,” penned by fellow students Dick Penner and Wade Moore. Singing the late great musician’s songs at the ACL concert were Chris Isaak, Brandi Carlile and the Mavericks’ Raul Malo. Roy’s three sons and two grandchildren accepted the award.


Also making Austin City Limits news this fall was another famous UNT musical artist, Norah Jones, who returned

ried Sept. 1 at Milestone Mansion in Denton – the exact date of their first date. They met at Eagle Camp in 2010. Melissa says she thought he was cute but didn’t get his phone number. “By some twist of fate, when we got back to campus to drive home, he was right next to me out of the hundreds of cars parked at Fouts Field. I guess it was meant to be!” She is a high

school band director, and Cody is a board game designer.

2015 Kimbra Young, Dallas :: partici-

pated in the blkART214 exhibit, an annual juried exhibition that showcases the recent work of professional and emerging artists of African descent in the Dallas area. Her exhibit is from her “Brothers ya’ll alright?” series of photographs focusing on the lives of black males. She uses her art to spark conversation and critical thinking about the issues facing the local black community. She also is working to increase the visibility and extent of black women’s studies in higher education.

for her fourth appearance on the PBS series. The nine-time Grammy winner, who has sold 50 million albums worldwide, performed songs from Day Breaks, which features jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter, organist Lonnie Smith and drummer Brian Blade. The album’s deluxe edition, including nine bonus songs recorded live, was released in October.

È Ryan Garlick,

UNT faculty are lending their expertise to two new TV shows. a principal lecturer in computer science

and engineering, is featured in a five-part History Channel series, The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer, which premiered Nov. 14. Part of a code team working to decipher messages the serial killer sent to California newspapers, he originally used the Zodiac’s 340 character cipher in a UNT class, providing students with the opportunity to research software techniques to find patterns in the ciphered message. And

Geoffrey Wawro — professor and director of the Military History Center at UNT who has been a frequent host on the History Channel — appears on Wartime Crime, a new series on the American Heroes Channel. You can catch him on episode 3, “The Nazi Jewel Heist,” and other episodes.



No r t h Texa n



Winter 2017

Alumni and employers gave back their time and advice to UNT students Oct. 2 at a UNT Department of Accounting mock interview session. Among those attending were, from left, Mark Atkins (’07, ’07 M.S.) from Grant Thornton; Lauren Stene (’13) and Kirby Lloyd from FedEx; Kelly Keyser (’15, ’15 M.S.) from Deloitte; Gracie Tijerina from Crowe Horwath; Jordan Switzer (’16) from Grant Thornton; Di Tang (’16), Erica Tyler and Lauren Allan (’14) from Ryan LLC; and Christine Ellis (’10 M.Ed.), accounting adjunct and graduate advisor.


W E ’ L L


UNT’s alumni, faculty, staff and students are the university’s greatest legacy. When members of the Eagle family pass, they are remembered and their spirit lives on. Send information about deaths to The North Texan (see contact information on page 4). Read more, write memorials and connect with friends at

1940s Anna Lee Foster Blount (’46), Athens :: She was a home economics major at North Texas and spent her entire 36-year career serving as a registered dietitian for Dallas ISD. She also was active in her church.

Texaco’s Houston office for more than 38 years, retiring as a planning and budgeting analyst on the staff of the U.S. vice president for producing.

Eastern Campaign Medal with Four Bronze Stars, Good Conduct Medal and World War II Victory Medal. After his tour of duty, he graduated from the University of Texas in Austin in 1947 and North Texas in 1949. He taught in the Commerce, Paris and Wichita Falls ISDs. He enjoyed talking about the trips he took with his mother by train when he was a little boy, including one in which she would have to buy him a jelly roll to keep him in line.

James W. Thomas (’49), Dallas :: He worked in the

1950s Helen Flowers Pigg (’50, ’52 M.Ed.), Richardson :: She was one of four siblings to graduate from UNT, where their parents met in 1920, receiving her degrees in education. She taught for 31 years in Vernon, Wichita Falls and Richardson ISDs and implemented a special education curriculum at Richardson. Survivors include her son-in-law Keith Warren (’85 Ph.D.) and her granddaughter Elaine Hathaway (’15).

Edward Askild Lonvick (’54), Charlottesville, Va. :: He

insurance business, forming the Weatherford, Smith, Thomas and Fred S. James firm. He was an avid athlete, mainly enjoying golf and fishing. He was a member of the golf team that won the NCAA National Championship.

served in the U.S. Army in the Korean War before attending North Texas, where he met his wife, Ray Nell (’54). He worked most of his career as a regional

subjects that hadn’t been covered

southern U.S. She received the

university. She loved to cook and

Vivian Castleberry, 95, who

before — such as breast cancer,

Mayborn School of Journalism’s

play piano, but her favorite way

domestic abuse and disabilities

most prestigious honor, the C.E.

to spend her spare time was with

— leading to numerous awards

Shuford Hall of Honor Award.

her grandchildren.

broke barriers

and honors. In 1984, she retired

for women

from the Times Herald and was

Harold Northcutt (’47), Houston :: He worked for

University Community

William Henry Ogden Jr. (’49 M.A.), Wichita Falls :: He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and earned the American Theater Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle

in journalism and supported

inducted into the Texas Women’s

Glenda Mae Cole, 71,

UNT by founding the Castleberry

Hall of Fame. Three years later,

died Aug. 3 in

John William Kensinger,

Peace Institute, died Oct. 4 in

she founded the nonprofit orga-

Denton. She

69, professor

Dallas. A graduate of Southern

nization Peacemakers Inc. Her

had worked

of finance

Methodist University, she got a job offer in 1956 from the Dallas

activism led to the 2010 founding

as an administrative coordina-

who had taught at UNT since

of the Castleberry Peace Institute,

tor in the Institute of Applied

1991, died July 26 in Denton. He

Times Herald, where she worked

a collaboration between Peace-

Science, retiring after 28 years

previously taught at Ohio State

for 28 years. As home furnishings

makers and UNT’s peace studies

with UNT. She was honored with

University, Southern Methodist

editor, women’s news editor

program and the only peace

a staff contribution award for her

University and the University of

and section editor, she tackled

science research institute in the

outstanding contributions to the

Texas at Austin. He joined the U.S.

Winter 2017




No r t h Texa n




sales/service manager for Thomas J. Lipton Inc., a food services company. Edward was active in his church and enjoyed playing golf and bridge, as well as staying connected with a broad network of neighbors and friends.

Alois Frank Kubica (’56), Kerrville :: He worked as a CPA and retired as the CFO of Pioneer Resources in Midland. He was a member of UNT’s Kendall Society and donated to the accounting department in the College of Business. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

Methodist Dallas Medical Center. Between his studies at North Texas, Moore served as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and also served in the 2nd Marine Division.

Billy Mike Dunklin (’59), Dallas :: While at North Texas, he was named “Ugliest Man on Campus” — and was thrilled. He also participated in panty raids. He was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity and earned a bachelor’s degree of business administration. At his request, he was cremated and his ashes were strewn into White Rock Lake in Dallas, where he used to swim and fish.

Rodney Moore (’56), Dallas


:: He was an OB-GYN who delivered thousands of babies at Parkland Memorial Hospital and his private practice. He was director of OB-GYN training, department chairman, president of the medical staff and a member of the board of trustees at the

Barbara Hastings (’66, ’68 M.B.A., ’78 Ph.D.), Saluda, N.C. :: She worked as a business professor at James Madison University and the University of South Carolina Upstate. She was a

world traveler, a watercolor artist, an avid reader and a volunteer. She served as president of the Saluda Women’s Club.

Jim Marrs (’66), Springtown :: He was well known for his work on conspiracy theories surrounding President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, publishing the best-selling book Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy, which became the basis for the movie JFK. He also had been a reporter for the Denton RecordChronicle, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. He served in the Army during the Vietnam War, which inspired him to write about the military and aerospace technology. He wrote 15 books and was a regular guest on various talk shows. He is survived by his wife, Carol Marrs (’67), whom he met at North Texas, and his daughters, Jayme Castle (’06) and Cathryn Nova Ayn Lafitte (’00). He donated his

research papers that focused on the JFK assassination to UNT Libraries.

Victor Bruce Glazer (’68), Delray Beach, Fla. :: Considered a music prodigy, he was a three time winner on the Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts Show by the age of 11. At North Texas, he played piano for the One O’Clock Lab Band. He also attended the Juilliard School of Music. He was an accomplished arranger, composer, pianist and music director for many well-known entertainers, including Frankie Avalon and Debbie Reynolds. He traveled the world for his music, making television appearances and visits to the White House while teaching and coaching young talent.

Bill O’Dowd (’68), Godley :: He was a self-employed dairyman for more than 40 years. At North Texas, he was a member of the

Edgar Ray McAlister

on matters related to consumer

thews Society and she started the

active duty from 1969 to 1975 as

credit, and he shared his research

Friends of the Symphony program

an imagery intelligence officer in

Air Force in 1968 and served on

(’60 M.B.A.),

and analyses of proposed con-

at UNT to raise money for the sym-

Thailand and Germany during the

81, Professor

sumer credit regulations at state

phony. She has endowed several

Vietnam War. He served in the

Emeritus of

and federal legislative hearings

scholarships in the UNT College of

across the country.

Music, including The Patsy C. and

Air Force reserves, with special

marketing, of Coppell, died Aug.

tours during Operations Desert

10 in Lewisville. After graduating

Fred W. Patterson String and Voice

sity and a master’s in marketing

Patsy Patterson,

colonel. He earned his bachelor’s

from North Texas, he earned a

88, a longtime

Scholarship, and The Patsy C.

degree from Miami University, an

Shield and Desert Storm, until his

with a B.B.A. from Harding Univer-

retirement in 1999 at the rank of

Scholarship, The Fred and Patsy Patterson Orchestra Endowed

Ph.D. in marketing and credit


and Fred W. Patterson College of

M.B.A. from the University of Utah

management from Ohio State

of UNT, died

Music Scholarship Enrichment

and his doctorate from Ohio State

University. He worked at UNT from

Aug. 29 in Denton. She was a

Fund. She also pledged to support

University and published exten-

1963 to 2005 and was named a

past co-owner of the Denton

UNT’s National Merit finalists and

sively in the field of finance.

Regents Professor in 1994. He had

Record-Chronicle and served in

helped to raise $500,000 for the

consulted for numerous compa-

various high-level positions there.

Chi Omega Sorority house. She

nies and retail trade associations

She was a member of the Mat-

was active in the Denton com-



No r t h Texa n



Winter 2017

Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. He enjoyed hunting and playing pool. He is survived by Toni Dianne

Martin O’Dowd (’70).

General’s Corps of the U.S. Navy before working at TWU. He collected butterflies and moths and helped developed The Bettye Myers Butterfly Garden at TWU.

and established the Dr. Jon Young Endowed Fund to support graduate students in educational psychology at the College of Education.

Robert Patrick ‘Pat’ Clay (’78), San Antonio :: He made


a successful career in radio sales in San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley. After starting a family, Pat relocated to San Antonio, where he launched Pat Clay Realtors. He was preceded in death by his mother, Elena Fayne White (’42), and survived by brothers Mike (’79) and Joe (’83).

Margaret King (’10 M.S., ’13 M.S.), Haltom City :: She


Lakes Community College in Irving and was the president of the Student Veterans Association there.

Christian Scherff, Colleyville

James R. Sorenson (’73), Fort Worth :: He worked for General Dynamics and Lockheed-Martin for more than 35 years, procuring parts for the F-16 project during that time. His hobbies included rock collecting in New Mexico and Colorado. At North Texas, he was a member of the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity and served on its Alumni Control Board during the time when a new chapter house was built on Greek Row in 1992.

Jeffrey Robb (’75, ’93 M.A.), Denton :: He was a government professor, director of legal studies and pre-law advisor at Texas Woman’s University. He practiced law for 15 years in the private sector and in the Judge Advocate

:: He was enrolled as a freshman

worked as a custodian at UNT, had earned master’s degrees in information science and computer education and cognitive systems, and was a graduate student in interdisciplinary studies.


Alexis Jewette Sanchez, Corpus Christi :: She studied

Melvin Howard Moffitt Jr. (’92 M.S.), Double Oak :: He

audiology and was last enrolled at UNT in the summer of 2015. She enjoyed traveling and cooking.

served in the U.S. Army, where he received the Army Commendation Medal, the Purple Heart for wounds received in action and the Bronze Star. He was a member of the President’s Council at UNT

biology major with dreams of becoming a doctor. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, playing baseball and working on sports cars, even building an award-winning diesel truck for his father.

Holden Gassaway Stucky, Denton :: He was a junior studying philosophy and had graduated from the Selwyn School, where he was an AP Scholar. He enjoyed cooking, was a craft beer connoisseur, loved cats and was known for traveling the campus on his longboard.

Winston Clay Coffey, Oglesby :: He was a junior

Nicholas Sheahen, Keller ::

studying kinesiology. He served in the U.S. Army in Iraq from 2009 to 2010. He had attended North

He was an incoming freshman who had dreamed of attending UNT since he was 8 years old.


munity, serving as president for

Association for Health, Physi-

of Arizona and his master’s and

several organizations.

cal Education, Recreation and

doctorate from Teachers College

Dance; served as its president;

at Columbia University.

Jack Watson,

received its Honor Award; and

94, Professor

butions with the David K. Brace

Edmond G. Williams,

Emeritus of

Award. He also was involved

59, of Krum,


in the community, serving as

died May 9 in

health promotion and recreation,

president of the Cross Timbers

Denton. He

died July 13 in Denton. He joined

Girl Scouts Council, as a coach

worked in the facilities depart-

the faculty in 1956 and taught

for Little League Baseball and

ment at UNT for 28 years. He will

for 33 years in the department,

as a member of the Denton city

be remembered as an outgoing

also serving as chair. After his

recreation board. After serving in

man who gave nicknames to his

retirement, he continued to work

the Army Air Corps during World

close friends.

as an adjunct and student teacher

War II as a navigator bombardier

supervisor for 12 years. He was

in Europe, he earned his bache-

a founding member of the Texas

lor’s degree from the University

Send memorials to honor UNT

was recognized for his contri-

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

Winter 2017




No r t h Texa n




LEGACY OF LOVE By Amy Friedrich-Toulouse (’97) I can’t remember a time when UNT was not a part of my life. As a small child, I wandered the campus with my maternal grandfather, Roscoe Adkins, a professor of political science who taught at UNT for 35 years. Precarious stacks of books filled his office in Wooten Hall, and a seemingly endless hot sidewalk led to the campus swimming pool. From the lawn of the Super Pit, my brother Sam and I would watch the booming Fouts Field fireworks that seemed to cover the whole sky. As an older child, I attended university events at the invitation of my paternal grandparents, Virginia and Robert Toulouse. Grandfather was then dean of the graduate school and later provost. My favorite gatherings were the dinner parties they would host at their home. The guests were a mix of international students, faculty, university women and neighbors. I would often sneak a peek at my grandparents in their kitchen. They didn’t even need words to communicate. After dinner, they would treat us to a delicious dessert, coffee and a slideshow of the photos from their latest travel adventures. The memory of these hours spent in their company is precious to me. I share their passion for cooking. I use their silver, their recipes and many of the lovely serving pieces I inherited from their eclectic collection. It gives me a chance to feel close to my grandparents again. I was very happy at UNT during my college days. I was a French major, lived in Kerr Hall for a short time and was a job



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counselor in the student employment office as a work-study student. I completed my teaching certification with the Professional Development School within the College of Education. While I wasn’t entirely convinced I wanted to continue the legacy of my family in the world of education, I nevertheless completed my student teaching experience, immediately discovering that teaching came quite naturally to me and was a good fit. Drs. Alexandra Leavell and MarieChristine Koop were key in supporting me. Dr. Leavell helped me prepare for the ins and outs of actual teaching. Dr. Koop helped facilitate my overseas semester study in Normandy, France, at the international school at the Université de Caen. It was like someone turned on a lightbulb, and all the French I had been studying fell into place. It was an incredible feeling. I have been teaching high school French for 21 years, thanks to their exemplary guidance and mentorship. I was a student at UNT for part of my grandfather’s second stint as provost — after he had already retired once! On days when I felt overwhelmed and stressed, I would visit his office in the Hurley Administration Building and he would encourage me. I was only just beginning


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to understand the impact of the manifold things he had done for UNT during his tenure, including building the graduate school into one of the largest in Texas and finding ways to give back to students. People loved and respected him. The love and profound dedication he had in return for the institution, even up to the very end, became apparent to me over time. The legacy my grandparents have left me is one of love: from the lovely meals they shared, to the long visits in their home; to the lessons they taught me about the value of travel and the how-to’s of financial investment; to their example as steadfast, active members of their church; to their attitude of humility and service to others throughout their lives. These are all invaluable teachings that I have tried to pass along to my own child and, as much as possible, to my students. Editor’s note: Amy’s grandfather Robert B. Toulouse, Provost Emeritus of UNT and longtime dean of the graduate school, which was named in his honor, died April 11. He helped UNT transform into a university firmly focused on becoming a top-tier public research university. Read more tributes at


Women’s basketball guard Terriell Bradley has dedicated herself to o a strict regimen of on-court practices, strength training and studying while still finding time to help out ut in the community — including visits to Cumberland and Presbyterian Children’s Home of Denton. Her hard work has paid off. Terriell excels as a finance ade 121 free throws last season — the fifth major, made most in program history — and is shooting to reach her milestone this season by scoring her yet another 1,000th game point.


800-UNT-2366 -2366 / 940-565-2527

Winter 2017




No r t h Texa n


The North Texan

Michael Clements

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

PA RT I N G S H O T The Mean Green clinched the Conference USA West Division championship with a 45-10 victory over UTEP at Homecoming Nov. 11. They ďŹ nished their remarkable season undefeated at home and accepted an invitation to play Troy in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Dec. 16 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The game airs at noon CST on ESPN. Visit for bowl information and read more about our 1 T h e successes N o r t h T e x a n | | W i n t e r 2 0 1 7 Mean Green on page 20.

The North Texan - UNT Alumni Magazine - Winter 2017  

The North Texan - UNT Alumni Magazine - Winter 2017

The North Texan - UNT Alumni Magazine - Winter 2017  

The North Texan - UNT Alumni Magazine - Winter 2017