July 5, 2022

President Neal Smatresk and James Garrison with the Brand Ambassador award
Though much of the work James Garrison does is behind the scenes, its impact is felt throughout the university. 

Garrison — named the UNT Brand Ambassador of the Month for June — is the Division of Enrollment's associate vice president for enrollment systems. He directs the team that creates and implements administrative software applications to improve the student experience. Along the way they have improved workflow, enhanced self-service and automated formerly manual processes.

Outside of the division, he and his team also quickly built a COVID-19 contact tracing platform from scratch and have helped other areas with projects such as SmartDollar, Coursera and EAB Navigate, a platform that keeps students aware of what they need to know and do each semester to stay on track academically. 

Garrison has even taken the UNT brand beyond campus to help with statewide endeavors, like working to address issues with the ApplyTexas application process that adversely impacted all Texas state universities and the students who were trying to apply to those institutions.

“Since arriving at UNT, James has worked to enhance and create services that improve our students' experience and our staff's effectiveness,” Shannon Goodman, vice president for enrollment, says. “He's dedicated to finding creative solutions and does so with a caring attitude, never forgetting the human side of technology. His tenacity in finding a solution is unmatched.” 

Garrison says the award presentation Thursday was completely unexpected.

“I'm really surprised and I really appreciate it,” he said. “This is very, very nice.”

In presenting the award, President Smatresk praised Garrison's dedication.

“It's really good to recognize someone who works tirelessly on behalf of the university, who has been key to the technologies that we've been implementing, someone who is the glue that holds things together,” he said. “I'm really proud to give you our Brand Ambassador award.”

If you have a faculty or staff colleague you'd like to nominate for the UNT Brand Ambassador of the Month award, email brandambassador@unt.edu with a description and examples of why you're nominating the individual. The award recipient must exhibit at least four of the 12 UNT brand attributes.