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UNT Insider | May 2009 Issue

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President's Note

President Bataille talks with CEO KERA's host Lee Cullum

Dear Alum,

Throughout our 119-year history, UNT has remained relevant to industry by adapting to changes in the marketplace and by preparing our students to succeed not only in their careers but also as lifelong learners. Because of this, the roughly 3,500 graduates who earned their degrees this month leave with an education that gives them an edge in work and life as they join our many successful alumni.

With the elevation of our journalism department to a now independent school, the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism that will officially open this fall, and our recently formed College of Information, UNT has 12 schools or colleges that encompass a full breadth of careers.

We offer roughly 250 programs, from education degrees of every level and specialty to the new graduate engineering systems degree that gives engineering students a strong business foundation.

Our journalism school will be better poised to compete for grants and funding while attracting even more top students and faculty. Already, we have turned out scores of successful writers and journalists and our alumni have earned eight Pulitzer Prizes.

The students enrolled in the new school will add to that rich storytelling legacy, best illustrated by our Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. I hope you will join us for the fifth annual conference July 24 - 26, which will feature NPR's Ira Glass, travel writer Paul Theroux and Latin American correspondent Alma Guillermoprieto among the many writing luminaries.

As we did with our journalism school, UNT will continue to evolve so that our graduates are armed with the know-how and experience to stand out.

With green pride,
Gretchen M. Bataille


Norval F. Pohl

UNT mourns passing of 13th president
The UNT family recently experienced a profound loss with the passing of Norval F. Pohl, our 13th president and my predecessor. Dr. Pohl left an indelible mark on UNT's legacy of excellence. During his six years as president, he fostered a vibrant campus life, best illustrated by the Pohl Recreation Center that bears his name, and ushered in initiatives that moved UNT forward as a public research university. He oversaw the creation of what is now known as Discovery Park, our nearly 290-acre research park, and helped establish the College of Engineering and state-of-the-art Chemistry Building. You can leave an online remembrance.

UNT grads

Moving Forward: UNT alumni ranks grow with new class of graduates
With an estimated 7,900 graduates between last fall and this spring, UNT is bolstering the work force with more college-educated graduates who are making a difference. Already, UNT saw a 43 percent increase in the number of degrees awarded from 2000-01 to 2007-08, going from 4,906 to 7,000. UNT awarded roughly 3,500 degrees this spring to a new class of graduates, including 2,900 undergraduates and more than 600 master's and doctoral graduates. They are now part of our alumni family, which includes more than 190,000 former students in the Dallas-Fort Worth area alone.

UNT grads

Mean Green athletes continue to progress in classroom
Our student-athletes have made great strides academically, according to the NCAA's latest Academic Progress Rate, or APR, which tracks academic performance over a four-year period. Seven UNT sports had perfect single-year 1,000 scores in 2007-08. Mean Green soccer ranked among the nation's top 10 percent with a multiyear score of 994. Thirteen of 16 sports had a 2007-08 single-year score equal to or better than the previous year. The football team earned a 968 score last fall but posted a multiyear rate of 911, below the 925 acceptable minimum, which means it will have four less scholarships than the NCAA limit. The men's basketball team had a multiyear rate of 923, but will not incur penalties because its 2007-08 single-year score of 964 exceeded the NCAA guidelines for improvement.

UNT grads

UNT to debut Grandparents University this summer as one of 50 camps offered
UNT is holding its first-ever Grandparents University, a two-day camp that allows grandparents and their grandchildren, ages 7-12, to attend classes together and earn a Grandparents University degree. Subjects range from art to Spanish. Grandparents University is one of about 50 camps UNT is offering this summer, including Xbox Game Development Camp, various levels of Robocamp, Debate Camp, Elm Fork Education camps and Camp Communicate. The College of Music also will hold workshops for people of all ages. And, entering high school juniors will have a chance to explore science and technology in the Texas Governor's School, a UNT-hosted three-week program for academically gifted high school students.

Sonya Vasquez

Alumna's wax figure of Barack Obama on display at Palace of Wax
Sonya Vasquez, a UNT alumna and the only full-time wax sculptor in Texas, created a wax figure of President Barack Obama that was recently unveiled at the Louis Tussaud's Palace of Wax in Grand Prairie. Vasquez, who studied sculpture and design at UNT, sculpted the life-like figure for the museum's Hall of Presidents. Vasquez also created wax figures of former President George W. Bush and Johnny Cash. Currently, she is working on a figure of Miley Cyrus.

Ricardo Rozzi

Faculty Focus: Ricardo Rozzi
Ricardo Rozzi is the director of UNT's Chile Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program and Field Station at the Omora Ethnobotanical Park in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve. An associate professor of philosophy and religion studies, he is helping to lead our efforts to integrate research disciplines and establish UNT as a global leader in biocultural conservation studies. The UNT-Chile program allows students and researchers to integrate ecological sciences, environmental philosophy and the arts into biocultural conservation. Dr. Rozzi, a native Chilean, is working with a team of scientists, philosophers, artists and other collaborators from UNT and beyond to understand and preserve one of the world's most pristine remaining wilderness areas. Dr. Rozzi and the research team earned the 2008 Science and Practice of Ecology and Society Award from the online journal Ecology and Society.

TAMS students

UNT Traditions: TAMS
UNT's Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science reached a milestone this year, graduating its 3,000th student and its most successful class in its 22-year history. This year's 144 TAMS graduates include:

Four Goldwater Scholars, the most any university can have and more than any Texas university
• The first-place $100,000 winner of the 2009 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology and 14 semifinalists
Eight semifinalists and one finalist in the 2009 Intel Science Talent Search
• A U.S. Presidential Scholar
• A Gates Millennium Scholar

TAMS was the nation's first accelerated residential program in which talented high school students complete their first two years of college while earning their high school diplomas. Graduates pursue degrees in science, engineering and math and end up with careers as researchers, doctors and physicists.

UNT research

Featured Link: Read about UNT's research strides
UNT has been pursuing an aggressive research agenda to become a top-tier, broad-based public university that promotes research, scholarship and creativity in a wide array of disciplines. Visit the new feature on my web site to read about the differences our faculty and student researchers are making and to see how UNT is helping to advance Texas.

North Texas Alumni

UNT Alumni Association
UNT has many outstanding alumni and I was honored to recognize those who have been ardent ambassadors and longstanding supporters of UNT at last month's Alumni Awards Dinner. We honored William H. "Bill" Lively, Charles W. Nelson and G. Brint Ryan as our Distinguished Alumni. Jordan Case earned our Green Glory Award while Paul Voertman received our Outstanding Service Award and Charles O'Neal received the President's Citation. William "Bill" Worrell and the Talons spirit group were honored with our Ulys Knight Spirit Award and Bill and Mickey McCarter were recognized as Honorary Alumnus/Alumna. For more information, visit www.untalumni.com or contact the alumni association at alumni@unt.edu or at 940-565-2834 or 800-868-1153.

May 2009

At a Glance

UNT mourns passing of 13th president

Moving Forward:
UNT alumni ranks grow with new class of graduates

Mean Green athletes continue to progress in classroom

UNT to debut Grandparents University this summer as one of 50 camps offered

Alumna's wax figure of Barack Obama on display at Palace of Wax

Faculty Focus:
Ricardo Rozzi

Featured Link:
Read about UNT's research strides

UNT Alumni Association

Don't Forget!

The UNT Career Center is holding three Career Connections seminars for students and alumni in which employers will share advice on job search strategies. The seminars will be June 19, July 17 and Aug. 8 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Room 120B at Chestnut Hall.


Jincheng Du, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, is studying the medical applications of bioactive glasses with a $220,000 National Science Foundation grant.

Sameer Deshpande, a Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science student, was selected as a 2009 Presidential Scholar and will meet President Barack Obama in June.

Brittney Stewart, a Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science student, was named a Gates Millennium Scholar.

Afshan Kamrudin a senior psychology major, received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Wiam Jasim, a math student, was named a P.E.O. International Peace Scholar.

Bernardo Illari, associate professor of music history, and Malena Kuss, professor emerita of musicology, were among Argentina's 100 most important personalities in the last decade of classical music honored by the Komex Foundation.

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.