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UNT Insider | November 2008 Issue

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President's Note

President Gretchen M. Bataille

Dear Alum,

UNT has long been committed to shining a light on excellence, and one of our bright spots is our Emerald Eagle Scholars program. We are committed to making college attainable for more students, and we recently launched a partnership with Education is Freedom, a nonprofit dedicated to helping Dallas-area students go to college.

In the next four years, we will help about 250 high school students continue their academic journey because of this partnership. If the students meet the eligibility requirements and complete the Education is Freedom curriculum, UNT will grant them automatic admission to our Emerald Eagle Scholars program. Like our current scholars, students accepted into the program will receive about $28,000 to cover tuition and fees during their college career, in addition to mentoring and a well-rounded campus experience.

Already, we have provided the opportunity to more than 700 scholars as we work to ensure that academically talented students earn their college education. And I am proud that 82 percent of our first scholars have continued on, a return rate that exceeds our already strong overall freshman retention rate.

The partnership with Education is Freedom is one of many we have established with nonprofits and area institutions to give students access to higher education. Programs like the Emerald Eagle Scholars and our partnerships put a college degree within reach, which is the essence of what we do as a student-centered university.

I hope you will join us February 28 at the Fort Worth Zoo when our Emerald Ball Goes Wild to celebrate the success of our Emerald Eagle Scholars program and to build support for our future. The funds we raise through the ball will ensure that even more students have a clear path to higher education.

With green pride,
Gretchen M. Bataille


UNT women's basketball

Basketball season begins
After winning their exhibition games, our men's and women's basketball teams are poised for winning seasons with strong players and great matchups. To get you in the Mean Green spirit, I'm giving away two pairs of tickets to the home game of your choice for either team. E-mail me by 5 p.m. Nov. 26 with "Mean Green" in the subject line to be entered into our random drawing. I'll even throw in some T-shirts so you can join the sea of green at the games. Visit www.meangreensports.com to view this season's basketball schedules.

Hispanic heratige Dancer

Moving Forward: Multicultural, Women's centers
Our campus community is a rich tapestry of people from different backgrounds who bring unique perspectives and viewpoints. Our Multicultural Center and Women's Center lead the way by giving our students a place to gather and celebrate their differences while learning from each other. With these areas aligned closely with our initiatives aimed at promoting an inclusive environment, we're better poised to ensure all of our students experience the depth of our diverse campus through cultural events. In this way, UNT continues to celebrate diversity and build an inclusive learning community.


UNT researchers earn $400,000 grant
UNT prides itself on conducting research that has direct societal impacts and makes our lives and our environment better — from looking for treatments for autism to creating more environmentally friendly plastic. Now, UNT researchers will use their expertise to examine how publicly funded research can be made more relevant to 21st-century society. With a nearly $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Robert Frodeman, professor, and J. Britt Holbrook, research assistant professor, who are both in the Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies, teamed up with Warren Burggren, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and William Moen, associate professor of library and information sciences, to examine how five science agencies use the peer review process to award research grants. Their work could lead to workshops and help UNT faculty members write better research proposals.

David Itkin

New orchestra director off to a strong start
Our new director of orchestras, David Itkin, is off to a strong start after making his debut last month in the symphony orchestra's first concert of the season. Mr. Itkin, who started this fall, replaced Anshel Brusilow, who retired after a 35-year career at UNT. Mr. Itkin's career has spanned the world, and he is in his second season as the music director and conductor of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, third season as conductor of the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra and 15th year as conductor of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. As director of orchestras at UNT, he oversees the orchestral studies program, conducts the UNT orchestras, teaches graduate conducting and continues developing internationally prominent master's and doctoral programs in orchestra conducting. We welcome him to our campus. And you can next hear him and our students perform Feb. 18 with the UNT Chamber Orchestra. To learn more about upcoming performances, visit www.music.unt.edu.

Herman Totten

Melinda Levin

Jeff Allen

Irene Klaver

Faculty Focus: Melinda Levin and Irene Klaver
A collaboration between Melinda Levin, the chair of our Department of Radio, Television and Film, and Irene Klaver, an associate professor in our Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies, sparked the Global Rivers Project, a sprawling documentary that explores people's relationships with rivers around the world. Ms. Levin was one of three executive producers of the documentary and shot footage of the Rio Grande, along with Liz Daggett, a former master's student in the documentary film program. Dr. Klaver, who also directs UNT's Philosophy of Water Project, served as a consultant and co-directed the Rio Grande portion of the project. A 30-minute version of the film premiered in Beijing Nov. 7, during the annual meeting of the Centre International de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinéma et de Télévision, which provided initial project funding. The full 60-minute documentary is expected to come out in fall 2009. Watch a sneak peak.

albino squirrel

UNT Traditions: Albino squirrels
I am proud of all of the traditions spawned at UNT, including our lineage of legendary albino squirrels. Our current resident albino squirrel, Baby's Baby, seems to have a new home on campus and a new companion. He and a second albino squirrel have been spotted in the trees at the corner of Avenue A and Eagle Drive. They are the third and fourth albino squirrels found living at UNT since 2000, following Thelonius, who was first spotted around 2000, and Baby, first spotted in 2004. Many of our campus community consider the albino squirrel an unofficial mascot and a symbol of good luck, especially if you see one before taking an exam or making a critical life decision. If you're not lucky enough to see Baby's Baby or his companion in person, you can order a special calendar or other souvenirs and help support the UNT Libraries' Staff Scholarship Fund by calling Cindy Oliver at 940-565-2697.

Steven Cobb

Steven Cobb

Featured Link: Center for Economic Education
Our Center for Economic Education is committed to integrating economics and personal finance into K-12 curriculum by providing materials and training to teachers. The critical need to improve economic and personal finance literacy has been demonstrated by the current economic crisis. Steven Cobb, the chair of our Department of Economics, directs the center and trains economics teachers around the world through the National Council on Economic Education. Dr. Cobb is working as part of a team training 56 economic educators from 11 countries to integrate economics and personal finance materials into their domestic curriculum. The center also is a one-stop guide for teachers or others interested in economics, providing links to curriculum materials, reports and organizations that track economic indicators. Its comprehensiveness in economics education earned the center the Albert Beekhuis Award, given by NCEE to centers that exhibit excellence.

North Texas Alumni

UNT Alumni Association online groups help you stay connected
Through your alumni association, you can stay connected to UNT, find out about events and keep in touch with your former classmates while making new social and business connections. The alumni association makes it easy to do that with three different online networks to choose from, the UNT InCircle, the UNT Facebook and LinkedIn group. There are more than 2,200 people in the InCircle Group, 1,200 people in the UNT Facebook group and more than 1,700 people in the UNT LinkedIn network. I encourage you to join one or more of the online groups, so you can keep up with all of the great things happening at UNT. For more information, visit www.untalumni.com or contact the alumni association at alumni@unt.edu or at 940-565-2834.

November 2008

At a Glance

Basketball season begins

Moving Forward:
Multicultural, Women's centers

UNT researchers earn $400,000 grant

New orchestra director off to a strong start

Faculty Focus:
Melinda Levin and Irene Klaver

UNT Traditions:
Albino squirrels

Featured Link:
Center for Economic Education

UNT Alumni Association online groups help you stay connected

Don't Forget!

Cheer on the Mean Green as we play Arkansas State University in our last home football game Nov. 29.


Michael Monticino, associate dean for administrative affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences, was appointed interim dean of the Robert B. Toulouse School of Graduate Studies. James Meernik, chair of the Department of Political Science, will fill in for Monticino as interim associate dean for the college.

Robert Milnes, dean of the College of Visual Arts and Design, was elected president of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the accrediting agency for the field of art and design in post-secondary education.

Robert "Bob" Maughan, a faculty member in the College of Education's Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation, and two former students, Mike McQueen and Larry Karl III, were given Lifetime Service to Wrestling awards by the Texas chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame located in Stillwater, Okla.

Shaneka Morris, who is earning a master's degree in library science, was named a diversity scholar as part of the Association of Research Libraries' Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce.

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.