University of North Texas

UNT Insider | January 2012

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President's Note

V. Lane Rawlins

V. Lane Rawlins

Dear Alum,

Happy New Year! I want to wish each of you a productive and prosperous new year.

I am excited about the promise of 2012. UNT is set to have another amazing year, with many of the seeds we have planted bearing fruit. Already, we are off to a great start, moving up to become the nation's 26th largest university.

We are committed to maintaining our distinction as a leader, and we're determined to give our students the best undergraduate educational experience in Texas -- one that unlocks their potential and allows them to compete with anyone, anywhere.

UNT has a legacy of excellence in our programs and services. But we know we can always do better. UNT's new strategic plan outlines how we can and will do better. The plan calls for UNT to become a national leader in education, research and scholarship, student support and community engagement -- the pillars of a great public research university. This plan is all about pushing ourselves harder, having more rigorous standards, and becoming more disciplined and accountable. It reaffirms our commitment to our students and our communities and their commitment to UNT.

We will unveil our new strategic plan, along with a fresh look for UNT, in a seminal event -- Four Bold Goals, One Great University: UNT in a Whole New Light.

  • Monday, Feb. 13, at the Murchison Performing Arts Center
  • Doors open at 3:30 p.m.
  • The event will be simulcast in the Lyric Theater for overflow audiences and streamed live online for those who can't attend.

This event will signal the greatness that lies ahead for UNT and remind us of the excellence that has long existed here. We want our UNT family here with us to celebrate because, just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to make a university truly great. I hope you will join us for this special event as we take the next bold steps in our journey of excellence.

V. Lane Rawlins



Eagle statue on UNT campus

Win tickets to a Mean Green basketball home game

We want to see you in the Super Pit cheering on the Mean Green men's basketball team and the women's basketball team, which currently leads the West Division of the Sun Belt Conference. I'm giving away two sets of four tickets to any men's basketball home game and two sets of four tickets to any women's basketball home game. Email me at by 5 p.m. Jan. 23 with the words "Men's Basketball" or "Women's Basketball" in the subject line to be entered into the random drawing. Learn more below about how you can join alumni and fans at the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Basketball Tournament.


Moving Forward: Research funding on the rise

UNT is making great progress as a research university thanks to the innovation and productivity of our faculty and students. Our external awards and federally reported research expenditures increased 11 percent and 28 percent, respectively, from last year -- increases achieved despite cuts in federal appropriations. This progress comes as UNT is investing in faculty research and state-of-the-art facilities while allocating more dollars to student research through fellowships, scholarships, and training and conference travel opportunities. These latest achievements show how UNT is on pace to grow as a major public research university that will reach the top tier.

2012 Emerald Ball Goes Green invitation

Annual Emerald Ball Goes Green

Join us Feb. 25 for the Emerald Ball Goes Green in UNT's Apogee Stadium and support our standout Emerald Eagle Scholars program. The program provides high-achieving but financially challenged students with financial, academic and campus support to help them succeed. Since its inception, the award-winning program has helped more than 2,400 students -- most of whom are first-generation college students -- attend UNT. You will meet scholars and hear how the program has changed their lives while getting an intimate look at the nation's first newly constructed LEED Platinum-certified college football stadium. We've made the sixth annual Emerald Ball all about sustainability. Individual tickets are $200, with proceeds supporting the program. Sponsorship opportunities also are available. For more information, contact or at 940-565-4851.

University of North Texas ROTC students

UNT implementing new veterans programs this spring

Student veterans are part of UNT's unique, diverse, student body and UNT ranks among the top veteran-friendly universities for our responsiveness to their needs and our first-rate Veterans Center. We have two new programs to help student veterans realize their college dreams. To better serve the 2,500 members of the military community and their families on our campus, UNT is offering the following new programs and services:

  • Boots-to-Books Textbook Loan program, which enables student veterans to purchase or rent books and course materials before they receive military benefits
  • Training to increase faculty and staff members' sensitivity to student veterans and to enhance student veterans' professional and academic development

Students participate in phonation

Aaron Roberts

Faculty Focus: Aaron Roberts

Aaron Roberts, assistant professor of biological sciences, is part of a team of researchers studying the implications of mercury contamination on fish and other organisms in an area in eastern Texas with high concentrations of toxic mercury. Dr. Roberts is working with Ray Drenner and Matt Chumchal, ecologists at Texas Christian University who initially discovered the area of contamination by sampling fish in the region and analyzing collected data. The research team's findings will have important implications for humans and animals that consume fish and for important fishery resources. Dr. Roberts' research also focuses on how changes in biochemistry can impact ecosystems at a variety of sites including Texas, Rocky Mountain National Park, the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes and Canada.

David Stout

Former faculty and artist Mabel Vandiver's artwork.

Traditions: The roots of UNT's venerable arts program

The creative efforts of generations of faculty and students have been the catalyst for the growth of UNT's arts program, which began with a drawing class in 1893. Through the years, the program has matured into UNT's nationally respected College of Visual Arts and Design. A new exhibition, Laying the Foundation: UNT Art Faculty, 1890-1970, explores the roots of UNT's visual arts program and focuses on works from faculty members who provided the foundation for the award-winning program. The earliest featured works date back to the early 1900s.

North Texan Winter 2011

Featured Link: The North Texan

Read about how your fellow alumni are impacting the medical field and how a UNT Hall of Famer is giving back to young athletes in the latest issue of The North Texan, the university's quarterly magazine for alumni and friends. In an online exclusive, you can watch a video of alumni from the class of 1961 recollecting how North Texas became a university. You also can read alumni essays.

UNT Alumni Association

UNT Alumni Association

Alumni and Mean Green basketball fans will be cheering on the men's and women's basketball teams at the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Basketball Tournament in Hot Springs, Ark. The UNT Alumni Association and Mean Green Athletics have scheduled a special lineup of activities. The tournament and special events will take place March 2-6, with pre- and post-game gatherings at our Hot Springs Headquarters, Lucky's Bar & Grill. For basketball tournament bracket information, visit Buy tickets online or by calling 800-UNT-2366. To learn more about the UNT Alumni Association, visit or contact the alumni association at or at 940-565-2834 or 800-UNT-1153.


January 2012

At a Glance

Win tickets to a Mean Green basketball home game

Moving Forward: Research funding on the rise

Annual Emerald Ball Goes Green

UNT implementing new veterans programs this spring

Faculty Focus: Aaron Roberts

Traditions: The roots of UNT's venerable arts program

Featured Link: The North Texan

UNT Alumni Association


College Web Editor selected UNT's Holiday 2011 video as one of 2011's best college holiday cards.

Jan Martin, professor of chemistry, was elected to the Class of Natural Sciences for the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts.

Beverly Davenport, assistant professor of anthropology, was awarded the Ruth Benedict Global Citizenship Award.

Kevin Chang, a TAMS student, was part of a team that earned fifth place in the national Siemens Competition.

Junior Kim Pham designed a fur coat that is one of the top three U.S. designs in the International Fur REMIX Competition. Pham created the artwork for UNT's 2011 holiday card.

UNT Opera earned first place for its production of Regina in the highest university/
conservatory division of the National Opera Association's Opera Production Competition.

Don't Forget

Join UNT faculty this spring on Travel-Learn trips to Peru, Holland and Belgium.

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