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    Ransom named finalist
Scott Ransom

Scott Ransom

The UNT System Board of Regents voted June 23 to name Scott Ransom the sole finalist for the position of president of the UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth. His selection completes a nationwide search for a successor to Ronald Blanck.

Ransom, who holds a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from the University of Health Sciences in Kansas City, is currently the director of the program for healthcare improvement and leadership development and professor of obstetrics, gynecology, health management and policy at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He also serves as the director of women's health and gynecology at the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center.

Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Ransom was vice president for medical affairs and then senior vice president at a large seven-hospital health system. He is past president of the American College of Physician Executives.

In addition to his D.O., Ransom received a master of public health degree from Harvard University and a master of business administration degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, Mich. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Marine Corps Officer Candidate School.

The June 23 announcement of his finalist status began a minimum 21-day interim period required by law before the regents vote to officially appoint him president.

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Angelou to return
Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou, author, actress, educator, playwright and poet, will speak at the UNT Coliseum at 7 p.m. Sept. 14. “An Evening with Dr. Maya Angelou” is presented by UNT’s Division of Equity and Diversity, which also brought her to campus in 2004.

Angelou is the author of several best-selling books, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and A Song Flung Up to Heaven. In January 1993 at the inaugural ceremony for President Bill Clinton, she became only the second poet in U.S. history to recite an original work at a presidential inauguration. She has been nominated for Emmy and Tony awards, and is also a lifetime Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Tickets are $50 for floor seating; $25 for the general public; or $12.50 for UNT faculty and staff, children 12 and under, senior citizens and non-UNT students with identification. For ticket information, call (940) 565-3805.

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Regents named

Two new members join the UNT System Board of Regents and one current regent begins a new term as a result of Gov. Rick Perry’s appointments in March. Al Silva of San Antonio and Charles D. Mitchell (’61) of Dallas are UNT’s newest regents, and C. Dan Smith (’62) of Plano was reappointed. All three will serve until May 2011.

Al Silva

Al Silva

Silva, who replaces Tom Lazo Sr. on the board, has served as general manager and chief operating officer of Labatt Food Service since 1981. He currently serves as chair of the Alamo Heights ISD Board of Trustees and of Good Samaritan Community Services. He is a member of the board of directors of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio and a member of the Texas Cavaliers.

As the first member of his family to graduate from college, he credits his education as the most important factor in his success. He earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Texas Lutheran College.

Charles D. Mitchell

Charles D. Mitchell

Mitchell, who takes the place of Charles “Chuck” Beatty (’76) on the board, is a private practice orthopedic surgeon. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the National Medical Association, the Texas Orthopedic Association and the Dallas County Medical Society. He also serves on the admission committee and is a clinical instructor for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.

Mitchell grew up in Denton and graduated from Fred Moore High School. After receiving his North Texas degree in biology and doing a year of graduate work in physiology, he earned his medical degree from Howard University Medical School in Washington, D.C., and completed his residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

C. Dan Smith

C. Dan Smith

Smith, initially appointed to the board in 2002, is president and owner of Smith Exploration, an oil, gas and real estate investment company. He is a member of the North Texas Exes and the North Texas Independent Bankers Association of Texas. He serves on the boards of the Legacy Bank of Texas, Plano Bancshares Holding Co. and Dreamer Ministries.

He attended North Texas on a football scholarship, graduating with a bachelor of business administration degree. UNT honored him in 2001 with the Distinguished Alumnus Award and in 1995 with the Green Glory Award.

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Topping out

Beaming signing

Signing the last beam of the first building for the future UNT at Dallas were, from left, UNT System Chancellor Lee Jackson, Mark LaVoy with the Hunt Construction Group, Dallas Mayor Laura Miller and Sen. Royce West.

UNT System Chancellor Lee Jackson hosted a “topping out” ceremony in March on the campus of the future UNT at Dallas. The ceremony celebrated the completion of the framing stage in the construction of the campus’ first building.

Dallas Mayor Laura Miller, state Sen. Royce West, UNT regents, area business leaders and other city, regional and state officials joined Jackson in commemorating the event on the 264-acre campus site at Camp Wisdom and Houston School roads. After brief remarks, the ceremony participants signed the last beam before it was hoisted into place on the three-story structure.

The $25 million, 75,000-square-foot academic and administrative building, with panoramic views of the downtown Dallas skyline, will provide classrooms, meeting rooms and office space and will serve as a gathering place for students until the next phases of campus development are completed. High-tech equipment planned for the new building (and eventually for the entire campus) includes electronic signs at classroom doors, video conference rooms and a wireless data network.

The building will open in January for classes of the UNT Dallas Campus, which operates as an extension of UNT at Denton. The new university, UNT at Dallas, is expected to open in 2009.

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‘Top 25 Best Buy’

The College of Business Administration is being praised for its online master of business administration degree program. has recognized UNT’s program as a “Top 25 Best Buy” among 130 programs surveyed nationwide. UNT is one of four Texas universities to receive the designation.

In 1989, LLC designed and directed America’s first online counseling center for adult learners seeking accredited online college degrees. Today it operates a clearinghouse dedicated exclusively to showcasing accredited online degrees.

UNT is the largest provider of online credit courses among Texas public universities, with more than 8,000 students enrolled in online classes. The College of Business Administration has been offering distance-delivered courses since 1985 and web-based courses since 1998.

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Cold-formed steel

Albert Grubbs and Cheng Yu

A 12- by 16-foot reaction frame allows students to test light-gauge steel at the new Nuconsteel Structural Testing Lab. Pictured are, from left, Albert Grubbs and Cheng Yu of the Department of Engineering Technology. (Photo by Scott Bauer)

Light-gauge, cold-formed steel — a noncombustible and much stronger material than wood — is the cornerstone of UNT’s new construction engineering technology bachelor’s degree program.

Students in the program have the opportunity to work in designing and testing light-gauge steel at a new laboratory, the Nuconsteel Structural Testing Lab, in the College of Engineering at the UNT Research Park. Funding for the lab was provided by Nuconsteel, a Denton-based company owned by Nucor, America’s largest steel producer and a Fortune 500 company.

“Our goal is to grow this lab into a major research center for cold-formed, light-gauge steel structures as well as environmentally friendly ‘green’ building systems,” says Cheng Yu, assistant professor of engineering technology and coordinator of the construction engineering technology program.

The testing lab has a reaction frame 12 feet high and 16 feet wide for structural testing of steel, and a 22-foot, two-ton bridge crane is being installed.

Albert Grubbs Jr., professor and chair of the Department of Engineering Technology, says UNT is located in a prime area for this program.

“North Texas is one of the most active regions in the country as far as private and commercial construction with light-gauge steel,” he says. “There will be a lot of opportunities for graduates of a program like this because there is such a need for it.”

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Recent deaths

Dan Emenheiser

Dan Emenheiser

Dan Emenheiser

Dan Emenheiser, 52, of Highland Village, director of diversity education and a former assistant professor and associate dean in the School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management, died June 10.

Working the last eight of his 15 years at UNT in the Division of Equity and Diversity, Emenheiser helped welcome many high-profile visitors to campus for division-sponsored programs. Among the speakers commending him for his graciousness were the late Coretta Scott King, Maya Angelou, Patti LaBelle, B.D. Wong, Dolores Huerta and Lisa Ling. UNT presented an Outstanding Staff Award to Emenheiser in 2004.

In addition to his responsibilities at UNT, Emenheiser worked part-time for the Resource Center of Dallas where he devoted his efforts to helping members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

Emenheiser earned his bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University, his master’s degree from Purdue University and his doctorate in education from Oklahoma State University.

UNT is planning to add Emenheiser’s name to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Ally Scholarship in Honor of Mary Finley. Memorials may also be sent to the Division of Equity and Diversity in support of the UNT Ally Program, a group he helped establish. The organization’s goal is to ensure that UNT is a campus where every person can study or work in an environment free from discrimination and harassment. Gifts may be sent to the UNT Division of Equity and Diversity, P.O. Box 310937, Denton, Texas 76203-0937.


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