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Derrick Morgan

New executive director named

Derrick Morgan is now the executive director of the North Texas Exes. He joined UNT in August, replacing Joe Stewart ('71 Ed.D.), who served as interim executive director since January. Stewart replaced David Layton ('94), who served as executive director for nearly five years.

Morgan was executive director of the San Jose State University Alumni Association and also has been marketing director and membership director of the alumni association at Texas Tech University. He received his bachelor's degree in marketing from Texas Tech.

Morgan was responsible for operations, personnel and financial aspects of the San Jose State organization. During his tenure, membership grew to 11,000. UNT's goal is to grow to 12,500 members by 2012. Join us today by visiting

The North Texas Exes strategic plan for 2006-11 calls for activities that build membership, position the association as a preferred organization (a "must join" organization that provides a lifelong connection between alumni and the university), increase independent financial support and promote UNT.

For information about becoming a member of the North Texas Exes, visit or call (940) 565-2834.



Working for Martha Stewart 

Emily SlaughterEmily Slaughter ('05) is living her dream, working in New York City for Martha Stewart Living.

Her future is bright — but it didn't always look that way.

In May 2005, an internship stood between her and her merchandising degree from UNT. She'd finished her course work but couldn't walk the stage until she had some real-world work experience on her resume.

After months of reading the classified ads in an e-subscription to Furnishing News and Furniture Today, she saw that a bedding company on the East Coast was looking for a design assistant. When Slaughter inquired, the man who responded said his company didn't hire interns but he had a few contacts at Martha Stewart and Ralph Lauren who might.

"I was knocked off my feet," Slaughter says. "I never expected someone I didn't know to be so nice."

Someone had helped him get started so he was "paying it forward," Slaughter notes.

She landed that summer internship at Martha Stewart, working in product development for Stewart's Everyday Kmart line.

"I loved it!" Slaughter recalls. "The people I worked with were so amazing and so nice.

"They didn't treat me like an intern and say ‘Go get coffee.' They treated me like one of their own and included me in everything."

In August 2005, Slaughter got her degree from UNT. On Labor Day weekend, she moved to New York City — without a job.

She did have a few leads and a tiny $2,500-a-month apartment she shared with three other people. She only paid $550 because she didn't have a bedroom.

She slept "upstairs" in a makeshift loft that was too small to stand in. She pounded the pavement in search of work and wound up taking a $10-an-hour retail job just to make ends meet.

But she continued looking for something better. Her persistence paid off when she was hired as an editorial assistant for Martha Stewart Living magazine in January 2006.

Slaughter routinely worked 10- to 11-hour days, initially assisting three different editors. She did everything from getting props together for photo shoots to handling expense reports and scheduling.

In May, one of her editors, decorating guru Kevin Sharkey, got a promotion and claimed Slaughter as his own.

"I have had many assistants and Emily is by far the best," says Sharkey, who is senior vice president/decorating editorial director.

Slaughter's advice to graduating UNT students: "If there's something you really want and feel like it's in you, don't give up. No matter what life throws at you, there's always a way."

— Linda Stewart Bal




Miss Amy's Music

Emily SlaughterAmy Skelton Otey ('89) of Trenton, N.J., also known as "Miss Amy," has always

counted music as one of her biggest influences. But she says its role in her life changed forever after the premature birth of her son in 1996.

"Music had been my avocation and passion. I sang in clubs and for weddings and private parties," she says. "But after my son was born 10 1/2 weeks premature, I turned my focus to kids."

During the baby's three-month stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, she says she could only visit and sing to him. That's where she started the songs that she later recorded for her Miss Amy CD collection.

Otey has created three children's music CDs, all of which have each been submitted for Grammys in the Best Musical Album for Children category.

She also has performed at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia and raised funds for causes such as the United Way, the March of Dimes and the Leukemia Foundation. Her CDs are played in the New York Children's Cancer Center.

"Being able to bring happiness to an ailing child is a wonderful feeling," she says.

Although music was her calling, she wanted to "round out her skills" with a business degree. She says the marketing, management and long-range planning skills she learned at UNT are coming in handy as she expands to more media outlets.

In addition to her CDs, she is developing music videos and a Miss Amy Internet TV show called Miss Amy's Magical Adventures.

As a certified group exercise instructor, she's coined the phrase "Fitness Rock and Roll for Families." Her latest CD highlights science and fitness with high-energy songs.

"I believe I can make a positive difference for kids by encouraging them to move and feel good about themselves," she says.

As for the son who started her in this direction, he's now 10 years old and last summer joined her on stage to play trumpet at a March of Dimes benefit concert.

"My goal is to inspire positive vibes of respect, cooperation, sharing, love and peace through the world and make fun music for kids along the way," Otey says.

"With all the challenges the next generation will face, I hope to do my part in fostering healthy, bright and caring children."

— Magan Hendon




North Texas Exes News

NT Exes logoA joint effort of the boards of the North Texas Exes and the UNT Foundation Inc. has freed up $278,000 of investment money to provide scholarships for UNT students. The foundation researched its archives and prioritized accounts according to which needed the least amount of funding to reach endowment levels. (The amount required to endow a scholarship has varied over the years — $10,000 is the level for current accounts). The two boards directed more than $72,000 — in addition to $10,221 provided by anonymous foundation board members — to boost 31 accounts to endowment levels. The investment income can be distributed as scholarships a year after endowment levels were reached.

For information about becoming a member of the North Texas Exes, visit or call (940) 565-2834.

Gulf Coast award

  Candace and Richard Faulk (photo by Shirley Griffey Barr ('55))

Houston attorney Richard O. Faulk ('77) received the 2007 Martha Turner Award of Distinction as outstanding Gulf Coast alumnus of UNT on April 15 in Houston.

The award was established in 2004 to recognize Houston and Gulf Coast residents who have received acclaim in their profession and have been unusually supportive of their alma mater. Recipients are chosen by the North Texas Exes Gulf Coast board of directors.

Faulk, who holds a bachelor of music degree in composition from North Texas and a law degree from SMU, is partner and head of the Environmental Practice Group of the law firm Gardere Wynne Sewell. As lead counsel for toxic tort, he has argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

He and his wife, Candace, are donating $50,000 over a five-year period to support the Faulk Scholar program in the composition division of the UNT College of Music.


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