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    School becomes college

Robert Milnes is dean of UNT's College of Visual Arts and Design, formerly known as the School of Visual Arts. The name change reflects the growth of the college and its prominence as one of the largest and most comprehensive visual arts programs in the nation. The piece behind Milnes, "Rainmaker Workshop," was created in front of the Art Building by environmental artist Daniel Bozhkov last spring. The installation features a water tank and dump truck surrounded by a garden of Texas native plants and a rain water irrigation system created for the project.

UNT's School of Visual Arts has become the College of Visual Arts and Design, reflecting the growth of the college and its prominence as one of the largest and most comprehensive visual arts programs in the nation. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which approved the name change this summer, also approved the reinstatement of the bachelor of arts in art degree as a bachelor of arts in interdisciplinary art and design studies.

More than 2,300 students are enrolled in the college, which offers 13 undergraduate and graduate degree programs that lead to B.A., B.F.A., M.A., M.F.A. and Ph.D. degrees and a graduate certificate in art museum education. The college, headed by Dean Robert Milnes, operates programs and exhibition facilities at three UNT campuses, including the main campus in Denton, the UNT artspace FW at the UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth, and Fashion on Main at the Universities Center at Dallas.

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Provost appointed

Provost Wilkins talks with UNT student Selorm Boateng.

Wendy Wilkins, professor of linguistics and former dean of the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University, joined UNT in August as provost and vice president for academic affairs. Her appointment comes after a nationwide search, which started in April after Howard Johnson began working in a UNT System-level position and Gary Krahenbuhl began serving as interim provost.

Wilkins served for six years as the dean of the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State. She was also a professor in MSU's Cognitive Science Program and Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages. She previously held academic and administrative positions at Arizona State University and academic appointments at the University of Washington and at two Mexico City institutions: Centro de Estudios Linguisticos y Literarios, El Colegio de Mexico, and Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Unidad Iztapalapa. She is fluent in Spanish.

Wilkins' research interests include the evolutionary biology of language, cognitive science and language acquisition. She received her bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles.

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Emerald Ball

The second annual Emerald Ball is scheduled for March 1. The ball will support the Emerald Eagle Scholars program, which offers need-based scholarships for UNT undergraduate students. The academically talented students from families earning less than $40,000 a year have their tuition and fees paid and are active in campus activities and mentoring and student support programs.

To learn more about the Emerald Eagle Scholars program and some of its scholars, visit

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New SLIS professorship

The School of Library and Information Sciences named Professor Barbara Stein Martin ('82 Ph.D.) the first Hazel Harvey Peace Professor in Children's Library Services in August. The announcement was made during a luncheon to honor Peace, a longtime Fort Worth educator and advocate of children's literacy, on her 100th birthday. The professorship is the first at a four-year public university in Texas to be named for an African American woman.

Martin directs the SLIS school library certification program, which was the first in the nation to be available entirely online. More than half of the teachers currently applying for certification as school librarians in Texas are enrolled in the program. Peace was a teacher, debate team coach, counselor, dean of girls and vice principal of I.M. Terrell High School and later worked at Paul Quinn College. She was named an Honorary Alumna of UNT in 2005.

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