The innovative work of a forensic anthropologist, an economist and the jazz studies program at UNT will be featured in three episodes of a 13-episode documentary series about the groundbreaking accomplishments at public universities.
The "State of Tomorrow" series, directed by former UNT student Mat Hames, explores how academic leaders at public universities are seeking solutions to the challenges facing Texans today.
"People understand a university's private benefit - that it can help you, or your children, earn more money by having a degree," says Hames, an award-winning independent filmmaker. "But they don't see how higher education affects their lives in a larger sense - how vast its reach is, how it touches every aspect of our lives. So many things we take for granted are created in an academic environment. The hope is that this show will open people's eyes about how public higher education is solving problems that affect everyone."
The series of half-hour episodes will air at 11 p.m. Mondays starting April 2 on KERA. Three episodes featuring UNT will air in May and June on the following dates:
-- 11 p.m. May 14 - Episode 7: "Skeletons in the Closet" featuring Harrell Gill-King, director of the UNT Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology and Human Identification, and Art Eisenberg of the UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth. With one of the most advanced forensic labs in the state, UNT has the tools to identify human remains to help solve crimes. Gill-King, who has worked closely with Eisenberg to solve murder cases through the use of forensic evidence, will talk about specific murder cases that have been solved and how universities will make an impact in the future of forensic science.
-- 11 p.m. May 28 - Episode 9: "The Economist" featuring Bernard Weinstein, professor of applied economics and director of the Institute of Applied Economics and director of the University Center for Economic Development and Research. Weinstein, an expert on economic development and public policy, will offer his perspectives on the future course of the Texas economy and the challenges of upgrading the education and skills of the Texas workforce.
-- 11 p.m. June 4 - Episode 10: "Passion for Jazz" featuring the UNT Jazz Studies Division. Considered controversial at the time of its founding in 1947, the jazz studies program has grown into one of the most renowned in the nation. Former students include singer Norah Jones and musicians who have gone on to play for the Tonight Show band, the Saturday Night Live band, the CBS Orchestra and Stan Kenton's band. The episode follows Evan Weiss, one of the youngest trumpet players in the university's Grammy-nominated One O'Clock Lab Band, directed by Neil Slater, as Weiss prepares to perform at a concert with guest artist Wayne Bergeron, an acclaimed trumpeter.
In addition to the work at UNT, the series features faculty members from the Texas A&M University System, Texas State University System, Texas Tech University System, University of Houston System and the University of Texas System.
Hames, director of the series, is co-founder and president of Alpheus Media Inc., a documentary production company. Alpheus Media co-produced the series with the University of Texas Foundation, in a partnership with KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, and private sponsors, including AT&T Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp. and IBC Bank.
For more information, visit www.stateoftomorrow.com.
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UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108
Contact: Ellen Rossetti (940) 369-7912