UNT will recognize more than 400 employees who reached a milestone anniversary between five and 50 years of service with the university in calendar year 2017. Join us to celebrate this year’s honorees, followed by a reception featuring light hors d’oeuvres at 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, in the Union Ballroom.
Professor of Dance
Students have told Shelley Cushman that she is shoulder to cry on, a mentor and a voice of reason.
Cushman, professor of dance, is celebrating 40 years of service at UNT. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Fresno, in English and dance and her master’s from University of California, Los Angeles, in dance with studies in choreography, dance/movement therapy and kinesiology. She was attracted to UNT for its facilities and the potential to develop curriculum.
During her tenure, she collaborated with numerous dancers and choreographers and won many awards and grants. Once, composer John Cage ran into her after a concert and told her, “It was good!” That same piece, at the 1981 International Computer Music Conference, won a one-minute standing ovation.
But, she says, “The most amazing comment is when students tell me that I changed their lives.”
Professor Emeritus of the College of Visual Arts and Design
Vincent Falsetta became a UNT faculty member in 1977.
He has served as artist-in-residence for prestigious art institutions around the world and his work has been featured in more than 50 solo and 350 curated or juried exhibitions, including nine shows at the Conduit Gallery in Dallas.
Falsetta’s work is included in permanent collections around the country, including the Houston Museum of Fine Art, Art Museum of Southeast Texas and Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia.
He transitioned into a life as a full-time artist in June 2017 and currently lives and works in Denton.
Professor of Management
Don Powell may have started his UNT career in 1977, but his love for the university actually started when he first enrolled as a student in 1958 at what was then North Texas State College.
After graduating in 1962, Powell was armed with a love for jazz – thanks to his Aces of College and drummer roommate – and a degree in personnel management. He returned to UNT as a faculty member in 1977 following the completion of his master’s and doctoral degrees and nearly a decade in the Air Force and the corporate world.
Since then, he’s taught everything from strategic management to organizational behavior in the College of Business, and has led a number of study abroad courses, including trips to Costa Rica, Panama, London, Paris and the Czech Republic.
Retired Professor of Chemistry
James Marshall, who served 45 years at UNT, is an author who researches the history of the discovery of elements. Marshall has written numerous articles published in prestigious journals, including a dedicated series titled “Rediscovery of the Elements.”
He shared his passion for elements with his late wife, Jenny, and they traveled to more than 20 countries to photograph and document locations of their discoveries. Together, they collected all of the elements and minerals listed in the periodic table, which he now displays in his home in Denton.
He is currently writing an autobiography of their journeys in her honor.
Professor of Physics
James Roberts looks at his 50-year teaching career at UNT as a calling. “I have really enjoyed being around young people,” he says. “It keeps me young.” Roberts began his time at UNT in July 1967 after earning his Ph.D. at the University of Oklahoma. He remarked that while his half-century at UNT has brought amazing advances and changes, one thing has remained the same.
“I enjoy the students and sharing what I have learned from my own experiences,” Roberts says. “I have had a very good life here at UNT and it has been an overall positive experience.”
At 85, Roberts feels he is probably close to retiring. “I really hate to give it up because I enjoy it very much,” he says. However, Roberts feels that no matter what the future holds he will always be grateful for his time at UNT.
Associate Professor of History
Gustav Seligmann has taught for 50 years at UNT, but he didn’t always want to be a historian. Seligmann was recruited from high school for a special program at New Mexico A&M University (now New Mexico State University) for students with high achievement in math and physics.
Seligmann struggled in his courses for his physics degree, and jokes that his favorite class for two years was calculus — “because I had to take it three times to pass it.” Taking a course on the history of the Southwest convinced him to change his major.
“I loved that course and made a B, and it dawned on me that the kind of books I was reading outside of class were history,” he says.
Seligmann primarily teaches courses on the U.S. Constitution and the presidents and political parties, but he also regularly teaches U.S. History to 1865 – a survey class for freshmen taught in a large lecture hall.
“In the survey course, I present enough factual material so students will have a view of the U.S. that’s defensible. I want them to understand how the nation developed so that it became one of the few nations that people will risk their lives to enter,” he says.