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University of North Texas Resource Magazine online

Research, Scholarship & the Arts at the University of North Texas




Research and service

The following research and service centers and institutes are among more than 60 at the University of North Texas. For a complete list, follow the "Centers & Institutes" link at www.unt.edu/vpaa.

Center for Information and Computer Security

With the number of Internet security violations increasing worldwide, UNT established the new Center for Information and Computer Security to address a need for specially trained cybersecurity experts.

The interdisciplinary center taps the knowledge, research and expertise of UNT faculty in programs and organizations focused on information and computer security, information assurance and cybercrime.

Participants come from UNT's Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Department of Criminal Justice and Department of Information Technology and Decision Sciences. Their mission is to increase security-related research and train new experts in the field. The center coordinates courses in computer security and information assurance offered through these departments, granting graduates federally certified, nationally recognized credentials.

The center offers two certifications from the U.S. National Security Agency: the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) 4011 National Training Standard for Information Systems Security Professionals and the CNSS 4013 National Training Standard for System Administrators in Information Systems Security. UNT is the only Texas university to offer both certifications and one of only 12 in the nation to offer the CNSS 4013.

For more information about the center, visit www.cics.unt.edu or contact director Steve Tate, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science and engineering, at (940) 565-4864 or srt@cs.unt.edu.

Center for International Economic Studies and Research

Located in UNT's Department of Economics, the Center for International Economic Studies and Research acquires external funding for research into the socioeconomic problems of North, Central and South America; Asia; Africa; and Central and Eastern Europe.

The center also coordinates undergraduate and graduate programs within existing departments for students interested in problems of these regions. Beyond the campus, the center develops relationships with other institutions, both public and private, for the exchange of scholars and students as well as joint research and conferences.

The center regularly shares research with officials from around the world. This fall, it will host a major conference on NAFTA-related migration issues. A diverse panel of nationally known experts from academia, government and the private sector will address various aspects of migration and answer questions from participants.

For more information about the center, contact directors, David J. Molina, Ph.D., associate professor of economics, at (940) 565-4543 or dmolina@unt.edu, or Michael McPherson, Ph.D., associate professor of economics, at (940) 565-2270 or mcpherson@unt.edu.

 

Center for Plant Lipid Research

A discovery by researchers at the Center for Plant Lipid Research led to a supplement that preserves the freshness of cut flowers and may delay the ripening of fruit.

Through the new Center for Plant Lipid Research, UNT scientists are using biochemical and molecular genetic approaches to understand plant metabolic processes. The center also provides training opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students in biology, biochemistry and molecular biology.

In studying basic cellular functions of plants, scientists at the center are uncovering the secrets of plant lipids — a diverse group of molecules that do not dissolve in water. A better understanding of how plants make and modify lipids can lead to improved agricultural products, enhanced human health, bio-based substitutes for petroleum products and materials for industry.

One discovery made by the center's researchers led to a patent for a plant lipid supplement that preserves the freshness of cut flowers and may delay the ripening of fruit. (See the story in the 2000 Resource online.)

A publication by center scientists describes how lipids from the oilseed refining industry could impact the nervous system. Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Program, this research may someday lead to development of new painkillers from agricultural resources.

For more information about the center, visit www.biol.unt.edu/~chapman or contact director Kent Chapman, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, at (940) 565-2301 or chapman@unt.edu.

 

Center for Play Therapy

UNT's Center for Play Therapy, which helps children express difficult feelings through their natural medium of communication, is the largest play therapy training program in the world.

UNT's Center for Play Therapy is the largest play therapy training program in the world.

Part of the university's College of Education, the center encourages the development and emotional growth of children through the process of play therapy — therapy that provides children with selected materials designed to allow the safe expression of difficult feelings through play, their natural medium of communication.

The center offers training, research, publications, counseling services and scholarships and acts as a clearinghouse for literature in the field. In addition to offering exceptional training opportunities, it offers summer institutes, conferences and other forums for professional development of play therapists who practice worldwide.

For more information, visit the center's web site at www.coe.unt.edu/cpt or contact director Sue Bratton, Ph.D., associate professor of counseling, development and higher education, at (940) 565-3864 or cpt@unt.edu.

 

Center for Sport Psychology and Performance Excellence

An athlete's or team's performance can be influenced not only by specific skills and physical factors, such as strength and speed, but also by mental factors, such as concentration, confidence, team cohesion and control of emotions. External factors, including academic pressures, relationships and fan expectations, can also affect
how well an athlete or a team performs.

Staff at the Center for Sport Psychology and Performance Excellence offer team and individual consultations, counseling and other services to athletes at all levels.

UNT's Center for Sport Psychology and Performance Excellence helps players and teams in developing mental skills and strategies and in learning how to handle external stressors.

Established in 1997, the center provides individual and team consultations, individual counseling, coach education and organizational services to athletes from the youth sport level to the college and Olympic levels.

Staff at the center teach communication skills and mental skills such as relaxation and imagery to help their clients achieve performance excellence. They also work with local high schools to develop sport psychology programs that teach goal setting, stress management, ethical decision making and other life skills.

The center's staff includes faculty members and graduate students from the Department of Psychology and the Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation with years of professional and personal experience in sport and exercise psychology. Most are former collegiate athletes and coaches. Also on staff are licensed psychologists.

For more information about the center, visit its web site at www.sportpsych.unt.edu, or contact center director Trent Petrie, Ph.D., professor of psychology, at (940) 369-7767 or sportpsych@unt.edu.

Center for the Study of Military History

The Center for the Study of Military History coordinates activities and events related to the study of the evolution of warfare and other military topics.

The center sponsors an annual Military History Seminar Series, which began in 1983. Topics for the series have included terrorism, Japanese combat tradition, the German offensive of 1940, Gen. George Patton and Gen. Douglas MacArthur. The center also houses the editorial office of Military History of the West, a journal established in 1961 as Texas Military History.

In addition, the center and the UNT Department of History are working together to hire a distinguished military historian to hold the endowed Barsanti Chair in Military History in 2004. The center also cooperates with the College of Arts and Sciences to secure funds for graduate scholarships and arranges for visiting speakers to address faculty and graduate students on various topics in military history.

For more information, visit the center's web site at www.hist.unt.edu/military.htm, or contact the center's director, Richard Lowe, Ph.D., Regents Professor of history, at (940) 565-2288 or lowe@unt.edu.

 

Center for Watershed and Reservoir Assessment and Management

Surface reservoirs in Texas currently provide 55 percent of drinking water for Texas citizens and serve as significant sources of water for agriculture, industry and recreation. However, maintaining these services is becoming increasingly more difficult and complex.

Under the umbrella of the Center for Watershed and Reservoir Assessment and Management, researchers at the Lake Lewisville Environmental Learning Area are conducting a prairie restoration project using prescribed burns, buffalo and planting.

Rural watersheds — lands draining water down slope — are rapidly urbanizing, creating significant changes in both the quantity and quality of the water entering reservoirs. Increased recreational use of reservoirs also causes a variety of problems, ranging from personal safety issues to shoreline erosion problems.

UNT's Center for Watershed and Reservoir Assessment and Management offers scientific knowledge and expertise to address current and emerging water issues of Texas. The center's expertise is based on 60 years of problem-solving research and state-of-the-art capabilities.

A clearinghouse of information about water quality and quantity issues, the center provides newsletters, publications, web pages, workshops and seminars for organizations, businesses and individuals. It also plans to offer educational material for classroom study.

For more information about the center, contact director Tom LaPoint, Ph.D., professor of biological sciences and director of the Institute of Applied Sciences, at (940) 369-7776 or lapoint@unt.edu or Bruce Hunter, M.S., manager of the center, at (940) 565-2991 or hunter@unt.edu.

 

Texas Logistics Education Foundation Center for Logistics Education and Research

The field of logistics is best described as the coordination of a global manufacturing plant — obtaining materials from one country and arranging for labor from another, all in order to build and sell a product in yet another country.

As the economies of the world become more interdependent, the need for individuals to coordinate scattered resources around the globe becomes more prevalent. Logisticians are the managers of these processes, and the field is one of the fastest growing in 21 st-century business.

Established in 2000, the Texas Logistics Education Foundation Center for Logistics Education and Research is housed in UNT's Department of Marketing and Logistics. The center supports the university's logistics undergraduate degree, business outreach and research. It provides internships, jobs and scholarships for students; workshops, courses and conferences for professionals; and funding research for faculty and graduate students.

For more information about the center, visit its web site at www.logistics.unt.edu or contact executive director Garland Chow, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing and logistics, at (940) 565-4059 or chowg@unt.edu.