University of North Texas
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UNT Insider | April 2013

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President's Note


UNT President V. Lane Rawlins

UNT unveiled its fundraising campaign at Emerald Eagle Honors, a fundraiser for the Emerald Eagle Scholars program.

Dear Alum,

I'm proud to announce that tonight we unveiled the public phase of our comprehensive fundraising campaign. We chose to celebrate the milestone at the Emerald Eagle Honors event, which benefits our Emerald Eagle Scholars program, because both the campaign and the program are about the transformative power of education.

But even as we celebrated our milestone tonight, it was with a heavy heart because of the attacks in Boston. Our hearts go out to those who have been impacted by this tragedy.

The campaign, called The light is green. The time is now. The Campaign for UNT, represents a great moment in our institution's history. When I became president of UNT in 2010, I discovered a university that was good in so many ways and capable of achieving great things. We were only limited by our imagination and our level of support.

Three years later, I'm proud to say we have a clear vision and a plan for attaining excellence -- defined by our four bold goals -- and through the campaign we have made great progress in building more support for UNT.

The campaign has raised 85 percent of its $200 million goal. We have doubled membership in the UNT Alumni Association. We've attracted new generations of donors like Bryan Milner, who along with his great aunt, Anne Milner Fields, recently pledged $1 million to the College of Business to endow study abroad scholarships in honor of the late professor of finance, Peyton Foster Roden. And we've built more foundation support, such as the recently announced $1 million matching grant from the National Math and Science Initiative to support our Teach North Texas program, which trains math and science teachers.

The Campaign for UNT is about much more than fundraising. It's about:

  • Creating the best opportunities for our students to excel and succeed
  • Building our margin of excellence as a public research university focused on reaching the top tier
  • Developing far-reaching, long-lasting support for UNT by engaging more alumni and supporters in the life and progress of the university
  • Expanding UNT's reputation and sphere of influence

In so many ways, this campaign has helped to change the face of UNT and to spark a new culture of engagement and philanthropy. I want to help keep that momentum going, which is part of the reason I will stay engaged with UNT as President Emeritus once I retire.

The campaign has inspired us to think big, be bold and seize new opportunities because UNT is in the right place at the right time to become a top university. We're in the heart of one of the fastest-growing, most economically vibrant regions in the nation and there are so many students who need and deserve a superior college education.

This campaign is about fulfilling that promise for both the institution and for our students. Our success is not dictated by how many dollars we raise or who leads the university, but by how many lives we change.

Sincerely,
V. Lane Rawlins
President

 


Features


Students from the lab of James Kennedy, Regents professor of biological sciences

Students from the lab of James Kennedy, Regents Professor of biological sciences

Moving Forward: UNT gets greener with new bachelor's degree in ecology

Starting with water research in the 1930s, UNT has a strong legacy of programs and research focusing on ecology, conservation and environmental science. Our impact will expand this fall when UNT becomes the first university in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to offer a bachelor's degree in ecology for environmental science. With the degree, through the Department of Biological Sciences, we're giving students a head start to "green careers." Students can work as biological technicians for conservation groups or government agencies, or as outdoor educators. The new degree builds on the expertise and success of our master's program in environmental science and our Institute of Applied Science. You can read about how UNT alumni are making careers out of protecting the environment in the spring issue of The North Texan.



Richard Dixon

Richard Dixon

Can grapes provide the juice to slow Alzheimer's disease?

How can grape seed extract slow Alzheimer's disease? It's a question that Richard Dixon, Distinguished Research Professor of biological sciences and a National Academy of Sciences member, is hoping to answer with a team of researchers from Mount Sinai's Ichan School of Medicine (MSSM) and Purdue University. The team is continuing a first-of-its-kind study showing how the extract prevents the development or delays the progression of Alzheimer's disease in mice. The research could aid humans affected by the disease. Dr. Dixon's lab is developing synthesized versions of the grape seed-derived compounds and developing the standardized procedure other researchers will use to create and test these compounds. His research is supported by a National Institutes of Health grant through MSSM.



Claudia Howard Queen

Claudia Howard Queen

Bonnie Friedman

Bonnie Friedman
 

Robert Jessup

Robert Jessup
 

Creativity flows through IAA faculty fellows

UNT's Institute for the Advancement of the Arts advances excellence in the visual, performing and literary arts, and helps make faculty better educators by supporting their creative projects each year. The IAA's 2013-14 faculty fellows are Robert Jessup, professor of studio arts, Bonnie Friedman, assistant professor of English, and Claudia Howard Queen, assistant professor of music for dance. Faculty fellows spend a semester off from teaching to enhance and showcase their creative work. Professor Jessup plans to continue his development of a new pictorial language for his painting style. Professor Friedman will continue her work on nine essays in her Kingdoms of the Bronx collection. Professor Queen, who has earned two Fulbright specialist awards, plans to visit sacred Celtic sites in Ireland and compose a 20-minute music score on Celtic mysticism.



Paula Gaetano-Adi

Paula Gaetano-Adi

Faculty Focus: Paula Gaetano-Adi

Paula Gaetano-Adi, assistant professor of new media art, brings expertise in art robots, performance and aesthetic applications for artificial life systems to UNT's Department of Studio Art. She is leading the way in her field, recently earning the prestigious VIDA Art and Artificial Life Awards' Artistic Production Incentives grant to pursue her artificial life system project TZ'IJK, the Mayan word for mud. The project involves the installation of seven giant spherical robots with an external shell of dried mud fabricated using "Quincha," a pre-colonial South American construction technique. Professor Gaetano-Adi is one of the newest members of UNT's Initiative for Advanced Research in Technology and the Arts research cluster.



Skip Hollandsworth

Skip Hollandsworth

Rick Atkinson

Rick Atkinson

Susan Orlean

Susan Orlean

Traditions: Mayborn -- Where craft and words come together

UNT's Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism is a showcase of excellence, with highly regarded programs and a new distinguished dean, Dorothy Bland. Its signature event, the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference to be held July 19-21, explores the narrative prose of award-winning journalists, authors and writers. This year's Mayborn conference is "Unearthing the Past" through the works of best-selling author Susan Orlean, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Rick Atkinson and Texas Monthly executive editor Skip Hollandsworth. I'm giving away a pair of tickets to Friday's Orlean lecture and a pair of tickets to Saturday's Atkinson keynote address. I'm also giving away 10 Mayborn magazines and 10 issues of Ten Spurs, the conference's literary journal. To enter, email your name and address to president@unt.edu by 5 p.m. April 23 with "Mayborn" in the subject line.



North Texan, Spring 2013

Featured Link: The North Texan

UNT alum Clay Cavender has used the knowledge he gained at UNT as a merchandising major to grow his family's western wear business into the multi-state retail chain Cavender's Boot City. Political science alumni working in peace studies research include Madhav Joshi and Jason Quinn, who are creating real solutions for world conflicts. Read about them and other accomplished UNT alumni, students and faculty in the latest issue of The North Texan, the university's quarterly magazine for alumni and friends.



UNT Alumni Association

UNT Alumni Association

The UNT Alumni Association's Tassel program was launched in 2012 as an innovative way to reward UNT seniors who become association members. Tassel, which was recently recognized as a "Best New Alumni Program," allows seniors who join the association to buy the official Alumni Recognition tassel to wear at commencement. The tassel's price corresponds with the class year, and a portion of the cost goes back to the Student Alumni Association's scholarship fund. Learn more about the alumni association by visiting www.UNTalumni.com or contact the association at alumni@unt.edu or 940-565-2834.


 
 
 

April 2013

At a Glance

Moving Forward: UNT gets greener with new bachelor's degree in ecology

Can grapes provide the juice to slow Alzheimer's disease?

Creativity flows through IAA faculty fellows

Faculty Focus: Paula Gaetano-Adi

Traditions: Mayborn -- Where craft and words come together

Featured Link: The North Texan

UNT Alumni Association


Congrats!

TAMS students Helen Xiong and Kevin Chen are 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars.

Seniors Katherine Lester, a geography major, and Daniel Munro, an Honors College student and biology major, earned National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

Irán Román, a senior majoring in biology, music theory and German, earned a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Exceptional Research Opportunities Program grant to conduct research at Stanford University this summer.

Alyssa Narum, a senior vocal performance major, earned the 2013-14 Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award.

Alumna Mary Amanda Stewart earned the Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award from Phi Delta Kappa International.


Don't Forget

Celebrate the arts at the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival April 26-28. See students, faculty and alumni perform on the UNT Showcase Stage.


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