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UNT Insider | August 2007 Issue

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President's Note

President Gretchen M. Bataille

President Gretchen M. Bataille visited with students and helped them move into their residence halls Aug. 19 during UNT's 10th annual Sunday Fun Day.

Dear Alum,

This month marked the end of my first year as UNT president. During this past year, I have discovered the power of ideas at every turn at our student-centered public research university. And I truly have been impressed by the number of outstanding programs with national and international prominence, as well as numerous others on the verge of such distinction.

UNT continues to be a university on the move that just keeps getting better. This week, we proudly welcomed our newest students to campus. Our freshman class totals about 3,900 students, including our first group of about 370 Emerald Eagle Scholars, academically talented freshmen who have high financial needs.

In addition, about 100 new faculty members representing 43 disciplines joined UNT from a variety of prestigious institutions and corporations across the globe. These new faculty join us in many different departments, and some of them are here to teach UNT students enrolled in the nation's first bachelor's and master's degree programs in mechanical and energy engineering.

We also opened Honors Hall and Legends Hall, two new residence halls designed to encourage student learning communities - students with similar interests and major areas of study. Honors Hall is for students enrolled in Honors College, a program that offers a rigorous academic program for students in all majors. And although Legends Hall is open to all students, it is located near classroom buildings for chemistry, environmental science and other sciences and is expected to attract students with a scientific bent.

I always enjoy the beginning of the academic year as this is an especially exciting time on our campus. My UNT pride grows deeper every day.

With green pride,
Gretchen M. Bataille


UNT Wallpaper

Show your green pride, get UNT desktop wallpaper
In case you missed the summer edition of The North Texan, you can now show your green pride by downloading wallpaper for your computer desktop. Seven images show the diversity of our campus community, including photos of the Administration Building, the Library Mall area and Scrappy. So, select your favorite and start showing off your green pride.

Wendy K. Wilkins

Moving Forward: New UNT leadership comes on board
Earlier this month, two outstanding educators joined our university. Wendy K. Wilkins is our new provost and vice president for academic affairs. Dr. Wilkins, former professor of linguistics and dean of the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University, brings an enormous amount of higher education experience and expertise. She has been engaged in all aspects of higher education - humanities, arts, research, international education, administration and fundraising - at a very high level. Successfully recruiting Dr. Wilkins for this critical position is an important step for UNT and will ensure that our university moves to the next level of academic excellence and leadership while strengthening our existing centers of excellence. In addition, Earl F. Gibbons Jr., our first vice provost and associate vice president for international education, joined UNT and will lead the effort to implement the globalization initiatives outlined in our Strategic Plan.

Chemistry building

Two chemistry professors earn share of $15 million grant
Thanks to the hard work of Wes Borden, professor and Welch Chair of Chemistry, and Tom Cundari, professor of chemistry, computational chemistry research at UNT could lead to a new, more environmentally friendly way to produce a key chemical used in polyurethane foam. Dr. Borden and Dr. Cundari are among 50 researchers nationwide sharing a $15 million National Science Foundation grant to research chemical catalysis.

history learning module

Grant supports training for American history teachers in Irving
The Center for Teaching, Learning and Assessment has received a $984,400 federal grant to create training workshops for American history teachers. Kelly McMichael, associate director of the center and grant director, is helping UNT emerge as a leader in course redesign. The grant, part of the Project Building Excellence in History Teachers program, will be used in the Irving Independent School District. This is one of several grants UNT has received in our efforts to lead the nation in course redesign and ensure that today's classes focus on student learning. You may remember from the June Insider that another of Dr. McMichael's courses, a U.S. history course, was selected to be redesigned as part of a Texas pilot program and will serve as a model for the state.

Collee of Business Administration building

MBA classes expand to Frisco
Beginning this fall, the College of Business Administration will offer some MBA classes at Frisco's Justin Wakeland High School in the Frisco Independent School District. The new offerings are a result of research that indicated many of our business administration students live in the Collin County and Frisco area. I know this will be a real boon to our alumni living in Collin County and surrounding areas who've been eager to pursue an MBA and advance their careers.

Barbara Stein Martin

Faculty Focus: Barbara Stein Martin
Barbara Stein Martin, a faculty member since 1984, is UNT's first Hazel Harvey Peace Professor in Children's Library Services. The professorship is named for Fort Worth resident Hazel Harvey Peace, a longtime educator and advocate of children's literacy, and is the first professorship named for an African American woman at a Texas four-year public university. Earning this prestigious professorship is an honor for Dr. Martin, who directs the School of Library and Information Sciences' school library certification program, the first in the nation to be available completely online. Dr. Martin does an outstanding job promoting children's librarianship and working to build an educational foundation that is responsive to the needs of professionals in her field.

Robert Milnes

UNT Traditions: UNT's legacy in visual arts, design
This month, the School of Visual Arts officially became the College of Visual Arts and Design. 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 change also recognizes the diversity of the college's offerings and its role in the professional and cultural communities across the state and the nation. More than 2,300 students are enrolled in the college. Art classes began at UNT in 1894, four years after its founding. Master's degrees were initiated in the 1930s.

Mean Green football team gets new uniforms

Featured Link: UNT Athletics
No doubt many of you have seen our Mean Green spotlighted in the national news - including appearances in Sports Illustrated and USA Today - in the recent months. Our teams are practicing hard and getting the attention they deserve, and I hope you will be on the sidelines when the Mean Green take to the football field Sept. 1 in Norman, Okla., sporting their stylish new uniforms. I also hope to see many of you Sept. 8, when we continue our friendly rivalry against SMU in Dallas. I know I will see many of you at Homecoming Oct. 27. For a complete schedule of football games and to learn how to purchase season tickets, visit www.meangreensports.com.

North Texas Exes

Exes welcome new executive director
Please join the North Texas Exes in welcoming Derrick Morgan, the alumni association's new executive director. Derrick, who formerly served as executive director of the San Jose State University Alumni Association, will work to expand the program and grow its membership. The association, which has about 6,000 members and awards numerous scholarships each year, is open to all former students, graduates and friends of UNT. To learn about activities for alumni, visit www.ntexes.org.

August 2007

At a Glance

Show your green pride, get UNT desktop wallpaper

Moving Forward: New UNT leadership comes on board

Two chemistry professors earn share of $15 million grant

Grant supports training for American history teachers in Irving

MBA classes expand to Frisco

Faculty Focus:
Barbara Stein Martin

UNT Traditions:
UNT's legacy in visual arts, design

Featured Link:
UNT Athletics

Exes welcome new executive director


Countertenor Augustine (Gus) Mercante, a master's student in vocal programs, recently performed at the Preisträgerkonzert 2007 (2007 Prize Winners Concert), co-sponsored by the Salzburg Festival.

Shilah Phillips, Miss Texas 2006 and first runner-up in the 2007 Miss America pageant, began vocal jazz studies at UNT this fall.

About UNT Insider

The UNT Insider, a monthly e-newsletter, connects UNT alumni and others to the university by letting you hear directly from President Gretchen M. Bataille.

The UNT Insider is brought to you by the Office of the President in conjunction with the Division of University Relations, Communications and Marketing. Please send any comments or suggestions to president@unt.edu.