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UNT Insider | July 2008 Issue

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President's Note

President Gretchen M. Bataille

President Gretchen M. Bataille and a delegation of UNT leaders and faculty members meet with East China Normal University President Yu Lizhong, left of Bataille, and his university leadership team. The UNT delegation visited the Shanghai university as part of a two-week trip to China to discuss possible collaborations.

Dear Alum,

Building and strengthening our international ties is an integral part of our university's mission. And our reach is broadening and deepening as we explore new international relationships, enhance existing partnerships and create additional opportunities for our students to study abroad.

Last month, I had the opportunity to visit China with a delegation of my UNT colleagues to plant seeds for future collaborations. During our two weeks there, we visited several universities, including Hohai University in Nanjing and East China Normal and Fudan universities in Shanghai, to meet with our Chinese counterparts and explore research and faculty exchange opportunities. Already, we have heard from a number of our hosts who are eager to partner with us. During our visit, we also met an alumnus, Gavin Anderson, who studied at UNT as an exchange student from England and is now the Director of the British Council in Shanghai.

Collaborating with universities in China will help us increase our presence in Asia, where we already have established a strong partnership with the Royal Thai Rajabhat universities in Thailand to help further educate their faculty. And for the first time, 26 students from the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México in Toluca, which officially has been a key academic partner since 2002, studied English on our campus this summer in a two-week intensive course taught by UNT faculty. The response from students at UAEM has been so overwhelming that we plan to make it an annual program. I also recently hosted José Martínez Vilchis, the rector (or president) of UAEM, and some of his staff members at our campus to discuss possibilities for forming major joint research collaborations.

In addition, many of our students are immersing themselves in other cultures this summer as they study abroad. UNT has 25 faculty-led study abroad programs going all over the world this summer. For example, 15 of our Emerald Eagle Scholars are in Thailand right now on a three-week trip as part of our first Emerald Eagle Study Abroad Scholarship Program. The students are learning about sustainable development, environmental ethics and emergency and disaster management through research and hands-on experience. Through this program, UNT is providing opportunities for this first class of young scholars with limited financial resources but strong academic backgrounds to see and experience the world. You can read about their experience online at www.unt.edu/thailandscholars/. And our highly acclaimed One O'Clock Lab Band performed at jazz festivals throughout Europe this month. I encourage you to see highlights of their tour at www.unt.edu/jazzeurope/.

Last month, 15 of our radio, television and film students participated in a study abroad program in the United Kingdom that included tours of media outlets such as the BBC and meetings with British journalists. And Vish Prasad, UNT's vice president for research and economic development, joined a group of UNT students and faculty returning to the Cape Horn Biosphere in Chile for the third year in a row to continue our collaborative research efforts and to participate in an international workshop that inaugurated a partnership network.

Cultural exchanges allow our students to become engaged global citizens, while our collaborations help us stay competitive in a global market. I am proud to see UNT expanding its international scope, and I look forward to forging new partnerships.

With green pride,
Gretchen M. Bataille


UNT football player

Support the Mean Green
I encourage you to support our Mean Green football team by attending a home football game this fall. The athletic department's ticket office now is selling season tickets. To spread a little green and get you in the spirit, I'm giving away two pairs of tickets to any upcoming home game (except against Tulsa), two pairs of tickets to Family Weekend on Oct. 11, and a few UNT T-shirts and decals. To participate in our random drawing, e-mail me at president@unt.edu with "Go Mean Green" in the subject line. I also encourage you to visit www.meangreensports.com/ or call the ticket office at 800-UNT-2366 to get your tickets.

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education Magazine

Moving Forward: UNT recognized again for number of degrees awarded to minorities
UNT is proud to be an institution that values diversity, and we strive to ensure that our ethnic minority students, who make up nearly a third of our student body, have the tools they need to succeed and graduate on time. And the hard work of our university and students hasn't gone unnoticed. We were named among the top 50 colleges and universities in the United States for the number of bachelor's degrees awarded to minority students by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education Magazine. We now rank 46th on the annual list, after the number of minority students earning degrees at UNT increased by 19 percent in 2006-07 from the previous year. We are proud of our curriculum that prepares students for life and work that demands a broad understanding of the multiple human experiences. Our progress means our commitment and actions related to the diversity initiative truly support student success.

graduate catalog

Take a course this fall
Our university encourages lifelong learning for all of its alumni, students and employees. Perhaps fall 2008 is the perfect time for you to once again take advantage of all that UNT has to offer. As the largest provider of online credit courses among public universities in Texas, we offer numerous opportunities even if you can't make the commute to Denton. To learn more or to register for online courses, visit www.UNTeCampus.com. I also encourage you to explore our online graduate catalog for more information about graduate programs.

Elaine Wittenberg-Lyles

UNT professor's research to enhance communication between elderly and caregivers
Every day, many of our faculty members have a hand in research that can improve people's lives. Elaine Wittenberg-Lyles, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies, is part of a national research team that is exploring whether videophones help nursing home residents better communicate with their distant caregivers, which can help stave off depression stemming from isolation. The Keck Futures Initiative of the National Academies is funding the formation of the research team with a $50,000 grant. Using videophones may be an optimal solution because many nursing homes don't have Internet access and older residents may feel more comfortable seeing their caregivers and family members.

TAMS student

Reaching out to young students
At UNT, we don't just begin fostering academic success when students arrive on our campus as freshmen. We start earlier than that with our youth outreach programs, such as the Summer Math Institute and the Texas Governor's School. These sorts of programs give young students opportunities to shine in math, science and technology while allowing them to live on and explore our campus. This month, 58 students from 11 to 16 years old attended algebra, geometry or pre-calculus classes at the Summer Math Institute, which is sponsored by our Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science. The Texas Governor's School, which was on our campus for the second year this summer, focuses on enriching and developing a student's abilities in science and technology in a three-week intensive summer program. This year, 97 soon-to-be high school juniors attended the program.

Karen Cogan

Faculty Focus: Karen Cogan
Karen Cogan, a sport psychologist and an assistant professor of psychology, has become a vital part of the Olympics because of her outstanding abilities in counseling athletes under intense pressure. She is headed to the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, next month, which will mark her third working trip to the Olympics. She will work with the U.S. Olympic Taekwondo Team, helping members mentally prepare for competition with imaging and focusing strategies. She was recommended to work with the Taekwondo team after counseling the U.S. Freestyle Mogul Team in the Winter Olympics in 2002 and 2006. I am proud of the work Dr. Cogan does to prepare America's Olympic athletes for competition.

Environmental Education, Science and Technology Building

UNT Traditions: UNT's green standards
Green is more than a state of mind at UNT. It's become our standard of excellence as we lead the way in environmentally friendly practices. Our Environmental Education, Science and Technology Building, which opened in 1998, featured environmentally friendly building practices like soy-based flooring and sunlight-filtering windows that adhere to what are now the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED standards. I have committed UNT to following LEED standards on every new building that is constructed for our campus. Next month, we plan to break ground on what will become our first LEED-certified facility, the Life Sciences Complex, which will house such programs as biochemistry and molecular biology. If you missed our "Being Green" story in The North Texan's summer issue, I invite you to learn more about our commitment at www.unt.edu/northtexan and take a video tour of the EESAT Building while you're there.

MAYBORN Magazine

Featured Link: Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Writers Conference of the Southwest
Our journalism program turns out some of the best journalists in the nation, and our alumni include eight Pulitzer Prize winners. It's also known for the signature event, the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Writers Conference of the Southwest, which brings together standouts in the literary nonfiction genre, aspiring writers and fans every summer. I was proud to announce at this year's conference the creation of the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism, which is pending approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. This year, we also started a new tradition, one in which our student writers get a chance to shine by having their stories featured in the university's MAYBORN magazine. Led by a former bureau chief of Time magazine, MAYBORN features student-written narrative nonfiction articles along with work from respected literary figures.

North Texas Exes

Join the North Texas Exes
The start of the fall semester is just around the corner. And the North Texas Exes Alumni Association is planning many exciting programs and events, such as pregame parties before each home football game, the UNT class ring presentation ceremony, networking events and so much more. Are you an alumni association member? If not, become one today and join us at an event. For more information, contact the association at alumni@unt.edu or 940-565-2834. I also encourage you to join the association's online social network, UNT Alumni Network, at www.untalumni.net.

July 2008

At a Glance

Support the Mean Green

Moving Forward:
UNT recognized again for number of degrees awarded to minorities

Take a course
this fall

UNT professor's research to enhance communication between elderly and caregivers

Reaching out to young students

Faculty Focus:
Karen Cogan

UNT Traditions:
UNT's green standards

Featured Link:
Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Writers Conference of the Southwest

Join the North Texas Exes

Don't Forget!

Please join us for Sunday Fun Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 17 to help our new freshmen move into our residence halls. I encourage you to volunteer by e-mailing Eugene Frier, coordinator for the REAL Communities Program, at eugenef@unt.edu.


Jack Sprague, a professor of communication design in the College of Visual Arts and Design, was honored with the Golden Orchard, a lifetime achievement award from the Dallas Society of Visual Communications.

Suzanne Sears, head of the Government Documents Department in Willis Library, is one of five new members appointed to the Depository Library Council.

Jeffrey Hetherly, a doctoral student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering who is exploring how radiation causes materials to deform, was the only student from a Texas university to receive one of nine two-year graduate fellowships from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative.

Alumna Melody Kelly, associate dean of libraries at UNT since 2001, will serve as president of the Texas Library Association for 2008-09.

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.