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UNT Insider | November 2007 Issue

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President's Note

TAMS students

TAMS student Samuel Thompson presents his research project at the Region Two competition earlier this month at the University of Texas - Austin. Thompson, along with three other TAMS students, were named regional finalists in the competition. UNT had the third highest number of regional finalists in the nation.

Dear Alum,

Preparing our graduates to thrive in a global market is a top priority at UNT. And our student-centered focus ensures that our students are engaged in learning and research with our faculty so they get the hands-on training necessary to become lifelong learners and thinkers.

Many of our students already are making their mark as they demonstrate their academic prowess. Here are some recent examples of what our students have accomplished:

  • Earlier this month, four students from UNT's Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science were named regional finalists in the 2007 Siemens Westinghouse Competition for Math, Science and Technology. TAMS boasted more finalists than any other Texas school and the third highest number of finalists in the country. TAMS also had 14 semifinalists in the competition, the most semifinalists of any school nationwide. The Siemens Westinghouse Competition's national finals will be held next month.
  • A two-student team on the UNT Debate Squad earned second place at the Baylor University Glenn R. Capp Debates and placed among the top 16 teams in the nation at the invitation-only Harvard University Debate Tournament.
  • Houston sophomore Crystal Ejizu was selected to participate in the Future Diversity Leaders Program, a three- to four-year scholarship program that focuses on leadership and includes internships at KPMG LLP, an international audit, tax and advisory firm.
  • A group of student computer programmers - the Knapsackers@UNT - qualified to compete in an international computer programming contest in Canada. The team placed first in the Nov. 3 regional competition at Texas A&M University and is the first team from UNT to qualify for the contest's world finals.

I am committed to ensuring that our students have every opportunity to succeed at UNT and in the world once they graduate. We truly have bright, talented students, and I applaud all of their efforts, which help gain further national and international recognition for our student-centered public research university.

With green pride,
Gretchen M. Bataille


Green Pride T-Shirt

Tell me what you think about Insider, win a free T-shirt
It's been a little more than a year since the first time I wrote to you through the UNT Insider, and I'd like to have your feedback about the newsletter. To encourage you to take the time to participate in our online survey, I'm giving away UNT decals and 100 T-shirts (75 to the first to take the survey and 25 in a random drawing of those who participate before Dec. 14). You could be among the first to sport this year's new Green Pride T-shirt design. While your survey answers will remain anonymous, you will be asked to give your name and e-mail address to enter the contest.

Bataille meets with Thai leaders

Moving Forward: Continuing commitment to globalization, collaboration and diversity
One of the things I am most proud of is our university's commitment to globalization, collaboration and diversity. During last month's Homecoming celebration, I had the opportunity to host a group of representatives from six Texas universities who met with officials from Thailand to discuss a partnership that will provide advanced academic training for Thai faculty. UNT's longstanding relationship with the Thai Embassy and Royal Thai Scholars led to the initial agreement between UNT and 35 presidents of the Rajabhat Universities, which will help Thailand meet its goal to have more than 30 percent of its faculty members earn doctoral degrees by 2014. In addition, our university established a dual master's degree program that allows students to simultaneously earn master's degrees in English as a second language from UNT and the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México in Toluca, which officially opened an office on our campus in 2005. It's the first dual degree program offered in partnership by the two universities.

Belinda K. Newman Steven A. Hill

Ombuds, compliance director join UNT
Belinda K. Newman, who currently serves as provost of the Collin County Community College District's Preston Ridge campus, will serve as UNT's ombuds beginning Dec. 10. Belinda will bring more than 25 years of higher education experience to the position, which will expand its service to include staff as well as faculty. The ombuds will provide information, advice, intervention and referrals to ensure employees receive fair and equitable treatment. In addition, Steven A. Hill will begin serving as the new director of institutional compliance for UNT and the UNT System Dec. 3. Steven, who currently serves as the institutional compliance coordinator for the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, will create and implement a university and system compliance program by developing compliance assessment tools, monitoring procedures and educational programs.

Guido Verbeck

Liquid crystals research could help screens become thinner, more flexible
Guido Verbeck, assistant professor of chemistry, is one of 29 scientists and engineers from across the United States to receive a three-year $300,000 grant through the U.S. Air Force's Young Investigator Research Program. More than 145 researchers who earned their Ph.D.s or equivalent degrees in the last five years applied for the award. Dr. Verbeck will use the grant to develop new ways to use preparative mass spectrometry instrumentation for nanofabrication and the development of new materials. This research can be used to develop what is known as smectic material or a type of liquid crystals, which can then be used to make lighter, thinner and more flexible video monitors.

Robocamp 2007

Grant will let Robocamp hit the road
A $30,000 one-year Innovation Generation grant from the Motorola Foundation will establish a Robocamp Mobile Unit and give UNT a new way to attract young women into the engineering field. The unit will work with the Southwest Girls Collaborative Project, the Society for Women Engineers and several local Girl Scout Councils to visit school districts in Denton, Dallas and Tarrant counties. The camps will specifically target those districts with a large percentage of Hispanic and African American female junior high and high school students to encourage those students to pursue careers in engineering. In addition, 2008 will mark the fourth summer that UNT's Robocamp, a series of summer day camps for young women entering the eighth through 11th grades, will be offered. I applaud the efforts to ensure our young women remain excited about sciences.

Cathy Hartman

Faculty Focus: Cathy Hartman
Cathy Hartman, assistant dean for digital technology, led the way for the UNT Libraries to earn a $448,548 National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This two-year grant will help support the information needs of genealogists as they interact with the Portal to Texas History. The site provides users with a digital gateway to Texas libraries, museums, archives, historical societies and private collections. Educators, history buffs and researchers can use the site to view historical documents, maps, newspaper clippings and nearly 14,000 photographs. But what I have found most interesting are the historical photos from the UNT campus – it's amazing to see how much has changed through the years. Dr. Hartman and her staff have done a wonderful job, and I encourage you to visit the web site.

Lab 2007

UNT Traditions: Jazz studies
The College of Music's jazz studies program was established in 1947 as the nation's first, and 60 years later, it continues to be ranked as the nation's best. In 1967, the tradition of releasing an annual recording of the One O'Clock Lab Band began, and after 40 years and becoming a Grammy-nominated band, it remains a unique tradition. This year, the Division of Jazz Studies celebrates its anniversary by releasing Lab 2007, the first CD release to include a bonus DVD. Lab 2007 is available for purchase by calling (940) 565-3743 or visiting www.jazz.unt.edu.

Bataille at the 2007 UNT Homecoming parade

Featured Link: Upload your Homecoming memories
I have enjoyed watching videos, browsing photos and reading memories from our alumni and students who attended last month's Homecoming festivities. Seeing all of your green pride has given me a few ideas for my own tailgating plans next year. I hope that you all will visit our site and upload your videos, photos and memories as we continue celebrating our great university.

North Texas Exes

Exes welcome new director of marketing, membership
The North Texas Exes welcomed Susan Williamson, who has 12 years of higher education experience, as the alumni association's new director of marketing and membership. Susan came to UNT after advancing through the ranks at Texas A&M University, where she has most recently served as the founding director of the TAMU-Qatar Support Office. Susan's experience will help our university further serve and connect our alumni across the globe. As we welcome her to our campus, let it be a nice reminder to renew your membership with the Exes. For more information about Exes events, visit www.ntexes.org.

November 2007

At a Glance

Tell me what you think about Insider, win a free T-shirt

Moving Forward:
Continuing commitment to globalization, collaboration and diversity

Ombuds, compliance director join UNT

Liquid crystals research could help screens become thinner, more flexible

Grant will let Robocamp hit the road

Faculty Focus:
Cathy Hartman

UNT Traditions:
Jazz studies

Featured Link:
Upload your Homecoming memories

Exes welcome new director of marketing, membership

Don't Forget!

Join the Trammell Group at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 2 in the University Union as they perform "Sounds Like Christmas…
Smells Like Home."
Members of the Trammell Group are seasoned performers and UNT alumni. This musical parody is part of the Fine Arts Series.


With their first studio album in 28 years, the Eagles and UNT alum Don Henley earned Billboard's top spot for Long Road Out of Eden after it sold 711,000 copies in its first week of release.

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.