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UNT Welcomes New Experts

As a major public research university dedicated to providing students with an excellent educational experience, the University of North Texas continues to attract faculty members committed to innovative research, scholarship and creativity.

Award-winning faculty with national and international reputations in their fields -- spanning science, technology and the arts -- ensure that the university continues to create new knowledge, discovering what will be taught in the classrooms of tomorrow. Members of UNT's collaborative, cross-disciplinary research clusters carry out high-impact research addressing scientific, environmental and societal problems.

UNT's faculty members also are dedicated mentors, translating their research and creativity into excellent teaching and learning experiences for students. The following provides a snapshot of new faculty throughout the university.

Jim Williams

Distinguished Research Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Jim Williams

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Williams is one of the world's leading authorities on titanium alloys, and he also studies nickel alloys and stainless steel. Most recently, he served on the faculty and previously as the dean of engineering at Ohio State University. He also served on the faculty and as dean at Carnegie Mellon University. His career in the aerospace industry included work for Boeing and Rockwell, and he was the general manager of the materials and process department for GE's aircraft engine business. His team introduced several new materials and worked to decrease titanium defects in aircraft turbine engines. He has played a significant role in attracting, managing or conducting research projects from numerous federal agencies, including NASA and the National Science Foundation, totaling $50 million. He has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on projects totaling $20 million, and he holds two patents on titanium-based alloys.

Laila Amine

Assistant Professor of English

Laila Amine

Amine specializes in 20th century African American and African Diaspora literatures. She recently co-edited a special issue on memory and globalization for the journal Culture, Theory and Critique. Her work also has appeared in Black Camera and Postcolonial Text. Amine's book project, The Making of Algerian Paris: Colonial Legacies and Transnationalism, uncovers how the Algerian war and its legacies shaped representations of Paris in African American, French and Maghrebi cultural texts. Before joining UNT, she was a chancellor's postdoctoral research associate in the Department of African American studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She taught African American and African Diaspora studies, comparative literature, American studies and French at Indiana University and at the University of California in Santa Barbara.

Cornelia Caragea

Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and Library and Information Sciences, Member of the Knowledge Discovery from Digital Information Research Cluster

Cornelia Caragea

Caragea is a computer scientist with expertise in machine learning and data mining. She has developed and applied an abstraction-based approach to learning compact classifiers from text and protein sequence data and researched the identification of important sites in proteins using sequence information. She also has designed scalable algorithms for document and citation recommendation in large digital libraries and studied subjectivity and sentiment analysis in online forums. She was previously a postdoctoral scholar at Pennsylvania State University and a doctoral assistant at Iowa State University. Her work has been published in leading data mining journals and conference proceedings such as the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the International Conference on Data Mining and BMC Bioinformatics.

Wonbong Choi

Professor of Materials Science and Mechanical and Energy Engineering, Member of the Bio/Nano Photonics Research Cluster

Wonbong Choi

Choi invented the carbon nanotube field emission display, which was featured in Science magazine. He also helped develop the single molecular DNA-sensor, high efficiency lithium-ion battery based on carbon nanotubes, graphene based flexible field emission display, vertical CNT-field effect transistor and CNT-based non-volatile memory devices. Choi was a project manager and senior research scientist at Samsung and a leading scientist in the Carbon Nanotubes for Tera-level Device project and has earned more than $1 million per year in funding. He previously worked at Florida International University. He was awarded the Materials Research Society Medal and is a fellow of the society. He holds more than 80 patents and is the author of the book Graphene and 180 articles and proceedings.

Carol Anne Costabile-Heming

Professor and Chair of the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Carol Anne Costabile-Heming

Costabile-Heming studies 20th and 21st century German literature and culture, focusing on East German literature and its legacy, literature of the post-unification period and Berlin literature. She has written Intertextual Exile: Volker Braun's Dramatic Re-Vision of GDR and been published in The German Quarterly, Monatshefte and Colloquia Germanica, among others. She was the founding chair of the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Northern Kentucky University, an associate dean at Missouri State University and on the faculty at Penn State University and Southeast Missouri State University. She also served as president of the American Association of Teachers of German and was named its 2012 Post-Secondary Outstanding German Educator. She has received grants from the International Research and Exchanges Board, American Council of Learned Societies and the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar.

Vladimir P. Drachev

Associate Professor of Physics

Vladimir P. Drachev

Drachev is widely recognized for his works in nanophotonics and nanotechnology and in particular for his experiments on optics, nonlinear optics, spectroscopy of plasmonic nanostructures and their applications in biosensing and metamaterials. He was a junior and senior scientist at the Institute for Semiconductor Physics in Novosibirsk, Russia; a visiting scientist at New Mexico State University; and a senior research scientist at Birck Nanotechnology Center and School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University. Drachev is an associate editor for Optical Materials Express and a senior member of the Optical Society of America. He has had more than 80 papers published in refereed journals and holds four patents. His current project, "Spectroscopic Ellipsometry of Optical Metamaterials," is funded by the Air Force Research Lab.

Paula Gaetano-Adi

Assistant Professor of Studio Arts

Paula Gaetano-Adi

Gaetano-Adi is an artist and researcher working in sculptures, performances, interactive installations and robotic agents. She coordinates the new media area in the College of Visual Arts and Design and is part of UNT's Initiative for Advanced Research in Technology and the Arts research cluster. Using the human and non-human body as a point of departure, her work deals with different cultural studies of technoscience, its relation to human subjectivity and how that can be reflected through art. Her works have been presented internationally in Europe, Asia and South America, and she has received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Ministry of Culture in Argentina and the Telefonica Foundation in Spain, among other organizations. She has worked at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., the University of California at Los Angeles and two universities in Buenos Aires.

Panayiotis Kokoras

Assistant Professor of Composition Studies

Panayiotis Kokoras

Kokoras studied composition with Yannis Ioannides and Henri Kergomard, and classical guitar in Athens. He earned his Ph.D. in composition at the University of York. His works have been commissioned by institutes and festivals in France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States and have been performed in 150 cities around the world. His sound compositions -- ranging from acoustic to mixed media, improvisation and tape -- employ what he calls holophonic musical texture and explore influences of the electroacoustic studio on acoustic instrumental compositions and vice-versa. His works have received more than 50 distinctions and prizes in international competitions, been selected by juries in more than 130 international calls for scores and appeared in 34 CD compilations. He taught at the Technological and Educational Institute of Crete, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the University of Wales' Thessaloniki campus.

Brian McFarlin

Assistant Professor of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation

Brian McFarlin

McFarlin has received more than $2.5 million in research -- including funding from industry sources and the National Institutes of Health -- to improve health and reduce disease risk. He is studying the role the immune system plays in chronic disease and how to use nutritional countermeasures and exercise to prevent this effect. He also is working to understand and prevent immune-suppression following a strenuous bout of exercise in an extreme environment. He was an associate professor at the University of Houston and is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and The Obesity Society. He is president of the Texas chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine, serves as associate editor for the International Journal of Exercise Science and has been published in Pediatrics, Comparative Medicine, the British Journal of Nutrition and The Journal of Immunology.

Gwendelyn Nisbett

Assistant Professor of Strategic Communications

Gwendelyn Nisbett

Nisbett is researching mediated social influence in a political context. Specifically, she is investigating how voters and the democratic electoral process are being influenced by micro strategies -- such as data mining, social media and direct marketing -- and macro-message strategies that use the media to create and maintain a campaign narrative. Before starting an academic career, Nisbett worked for 10 years in campaign politics. She took part in political strategic communication at the national, statewide, coordinated campaign and local levels. She also managed six state house and senate races in Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Virginia. Her work has been published in Communication Monographs, Mass Communication & Society and the Journal of Political Marketing.

Brian Sauser

Associate Professor of Marketing and Logistics, Member of the Complex Logistics Systems Research Cluster

Brian Sauser

Sauser brings extensive expertise in the analysis of system maturity assessment, and his work has been nationally recognized and adopted by groups with NASA, the U.S. Army, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. He taught at the Stevens Institute of Technology and directed the Systems Development and Maturity Laboratory there. He served as project specialist with ASRC Aerospace at NASA Kennedy Space Center and managed a NASA-sponsored center at Rutgers University conducting collaborative research for human space exploration. At the Johnson Space Center, he worked on technology solutions for human exploration of the moon and Mars. He is a NASA Faculty Fellow, a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, editor-in-chief of the Systems Research Forum and an associate editor of the IEEE Systems Journal. His grants and contracts total more than $6 million.

Marianna Strzelecka

Assistant Professor of Sustainable Tourism

Marianna Strzelecka

Strzelecka, whose background is in sustainable tourism development, is interested in community participation in tourism decision-making and ways to empower community stakeholders, using methodologies such as participatory geographic information technologies. Her research has covered rural tourism development in transitioning economies and the role of non-governmental organizations in sustainable rural development. Her previous work focused on community development through sustainable tourism in a post-Communist setting in Wielkopolski Park Narodowy in Poland and rural community empowerment in the context of the European Union. She plans to incorporate tourism and community studies and natural management in research on the socio-ecological system of communities in Costa Rica, where UNT has a joint international degree program in sustainable tourism with CATIE.

Karen Toussaint

Assistant Professor of Behavior Analysis

Karen Toussaint

Toussaint studies how to improve treatment outcomes of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. She conducts research related to the treatment of inhibiting behaviors that may interfere with social interaction and learning -- such as echolalia (repeated vocalizations) and stereotypy (repetitive movement). She recently completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute in which she evaluated the effectiveness of video modeling technology to decrease echolalia during a language acquisition program. Her work published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Behavior Analysis in Practice includes ways to reduce self-injurious behavior and to identify when response interruption will reduce problem behavior. She also has been published in Research in Developmental Disabilities.

Departments

President's Note

At the forefront of new ideas

Initiatives

Excellence in plant science, decade-long partnership

News Briefs

Autism research, Fulbright winners, new NSF funding

Faculty Books

Police in Rome, endangered languages, zooarchaeology

Student Researchers

Computer algorithms, postpartum depression, sustainable tourism, novel solar cells

Faculty Researchers

Titanium alloys, machine learning, new media, immune suppression, systems maturity assessment

End Note

Collaborative research and new facilities