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UNT Insider | September 2007 Issue

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President's Note

President Gretchen M. Bataille met with a U.S. Department of State delegation of educators from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In August, President Gretchen M. Bataille met with a U.S. Department of State delegation of educators from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. UNT was the only public, four-year university that the delegation visited in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Dear Alum,

One of UNT's many strengths is our commitment to be a responsive partner in improving our global society, seeking to solve global issues and working to expand understanding.

As this semester began, a U.S. Department of State delegation of educators from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia visited our campus to learn about the role of public education in the United States and how religion, culture and politics are taught at American public universities. UNT was the only public, four-year university that the delegation visited in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

And earlier this summer, I traveled to Thailand to sign an agreement with 35 presidents of the Rajabhat Universities, making UNT Thailand's partner and university of choice in improving the education of their faculty. The Thai government intends for more than 30 percent of the Rajabhat faculty members to earn doctoral degrees by 2014.

Many of those Thai university presidents - and two of them, by the way, are graduates of UNT - will visit our campus during Homecoming. During their visit, we will further develop and implement this partnership, which stands to make a tremendous difference in the quality of education and life for the people of Thailand, where we already have more than 1,000 UNT alumni.

In addition, we are actively engaged with the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico in Toluca, which opened an office on our campus in 2005. Together, we recently created a dual master's degree program in linguistics and teaching English as a second language. The two-year program will provide students at both UNT and UAEM the opportunity to study in each country and earn degrees from both universities upon completion.

In Hong Kong next spring, we plan to offer four master's degrees - in merchandising, hospitality management and MBA programs with concentrations in strategic management and marketing. And as the home of the Turkish Institute for Police Studies, UNT is Turkey's partner in providing master's and doctoral education for its national police force, which is committed to ensuring a secure world where democracy can thrive.

These important partnerships and the others that will be developed under the guidance of Earl F. Gibbons, our first vice provost and associate vice president for international education, move UNT to the forefront of institutions internationally that are working to improve global education and societal conditions around the world.

With green pride,
Gretchen M. Bataille



Get your Homecoming freebies
Join us for Homecoming 2007 (Oct. 27) and celebrate your Mean Green spirit. To kick-start your celebrations and boost your green pride, I'm giving away tickets to the football game, tailgating food packages, Exes gift packs and because green is a hot commodity around here I'll throw in some Homecoming T-shirts, UNT T-shirts and decals. The first 100 responders automatically win UNT T-shirts, and all responders will be entered into a random drawing to win the Homecoming prizes. Just e-mail me at president@unt.edu with "Homecoming" in the subject line by 5 p.m. Oct. 5 and you'll be entered in our drawing. For a full schedule of Homecoming events, visit www.unt.edu/homecoming.


Moving Forward: Two new vice presidents join UNT
I am proud to announce that Vishwanath "Vish" Prasad, executive dean and distinguished professor in the college of engineering and computing at Florida International University in Miami, will join UNT Oct. 22 as vice president for research. And Gilda Garcia, director of equity and access at Texas State University, will become our vice president for institutional equity and diversity on Oct. 1. Successfully recruiting Dr. Prasad and Dr. Garcia for these important positions helps ensure that our university fulfills its bold vision for the future.

Miguel Acevedo

Texas' first biological and environmental engineering program
UNT is taking the first steps toward establishing Texas' first program in biological and environmental engineering. Miguel Acevedo, Regents Professor of geography, on Sept. 1 became the coordinator of the new interdisciplinary program that will focus on issues such as engineering applications to deal with climate change and sustainability. Our perseverance in developing new, cutting-edge programs demonstrates UNT's commitment to strengthening our position as a student-centered public research university.

President Gretchen M. Bataille meets with Emerald Eagle Scholar Johnny Villarreal

Inaugural group of Emerald Eagle Scholars meet with mentors
Our first group of about 400 Emerald Eagle Scholars, academically talented students who have high financial needs, began meeting with their faculty, staff and peer mentors earlier this month. I enjoyed my first meeting with Johnny Villarreal, a freshman from El Paso who is one of two students I'll work with this year. This program, which is supported by an initial $350,000 endowment, not only helps ease the financial burden for our students, but also commits to the students' overall success. Mark your calendars now for March 1 and this year's Emerald Ball, which raises funds for the endowment.

2008 Alumni Awards Nominations

2008 Alumni Awards Nominations due
Nominate your fellow alumni or friends of the university for UNT's 2008 alumni awards through 5 p.m. Oct. 5 by completing an official nomination form and documenting why a particular individual deserves to be recognized by the university. The awards recognize alums and friends of the university for their outstanding contributions to society and our university. This year's recognition dinner is set for April 18.

Kathleen Swigger

Faculty Focus: Kathleen Swigger
In the modern global economy, employees increasingly find themselves working with colleagues in other places and other cultures. The National Science Foundation has awarded $499,252 to Kathleen Swigger, professor of computer science and engineering in the College of Engineering, to study the performance of global software development teams. Dr. Swigger's project will focus on issues related to supporting distributed programmers working on large software projects here at UNT and in Turkey, Panama and the United Kingdom. She certainly is doing her part to study these important issues and is helping elevate UNT's prominence around the globe.

UNT homecoming parade

UNT Traditions: Homecoming parade
The annual freshman parade became part of Homecoming in 1927, although Homecoming itself wasn't associated with football until the mid 1930s. Upperclassmen joined in on the parade tradition in later years. This year, UNT's parade starts at 1 p.m. Oct. 27 at Welch and Hickory streets, travels around the Denton town square and ends on Highland Street. For a map of this year's route and information about other fun Homecoming activities, visit www.unt.edu/homecoming.

UNT students

Featured Link: Share Your Advice
UNT's newest students need your help! I hope each of you will think back to your days in college and share your wisdom with our current students. What do you wish you had known when you began your university experience? Please share your advice about college life (studying, choosing professors or roommates, avoiding debt) with our newest Eagles and future alumni.

North Texas Exes

Join the Exes in Mean Green Village this fall
Please look for the North Texas Exes Alumni Association tent this fall in the Mean Green Village prior to all UNT home football games. Stop by and meet the staff, update your contact information, volunteer, renew your membership and share ideas about how we can better serve you. To learn about other alumni activities and chapters to join, visit www.ntexes.org or call (940) 565-2834.

September 2007

At a Glance

Get your Homecoming freebies

Moving Forward:
Two new vice presidents join UNT

Texas' first biological and environmental engineering program

Inaugural group of Emerald Eagle Scholars meet with mentors

2008 Alumni Awards Nominations due

Faculty Focus:
Kathleen Swigger

UNT Traditions:
Homecoming parade

Featured Link:
Share Your Advice

Join the Exes in Mean Green Village this fall

Don't Forget!

Event Canceled

Betty DeGeneres - advocate for GLBTA rights, author and mother of comedienne/talk show hostess Ellen DeGeneres - will share her thoughts on life Nov. 8 at the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas. The presentation is sponsored by UNT's Division of Equity and Diversity.

An exhibition of fashion designs by Michael Faircloth, a UNT Distinguished Alumnus whose clients include First Lady Laura Bush, will be on display through Dec. 21 at the Universities Center in Dallas. The exhibition is sponsored by the Texas Fashion Collection, part of the College of Visual Arts and Design.


Alumnus Thomas Haden Church won the Emmy Award for best supporting actor in a miniseries or movie for his role in Broken Trail, which will be shown Oct. 1 on AMC. Church, who recently starred in Spider-Man 3, also was an Academy Award nominee for Sideways.

Flutist and College of Music alumna Amy Taylor recently performed with cellist YoYo Ma, the Silk Road Ensemble and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

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.