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Colleges and Schools Highlights

February 15th, 2012 Posted in Highlights

College of Arts and Sciences

UNT researcher developing advanced forensic tool for military labs

A forensic tool being developed by University of North Texas professor Dr. Guido Verbeck could soon make the analysis of evidence faster and more accurate, giving military investigators the upper hand in the wars against drugs and terror.

Using a grant from the Department of Defense Battlefield Forensic Program, Verbeck, an assistant professor of chemistry at UNT, is developing a small-scale forensic workstation for use in military field labs. The station combines the ability to manipulate samples on the nano-scale with mass spectrometry to allow scientists to collect and analyze chemical samples from within the ridges of a fingerprint using a single device.

Verbeck says that integrating these abilities into one, portable tool will save military investigators both time and money, and also contribute to more accurate findings.

Particle accelerator settled in new Physics Building home

The scene: a 15,000 pound cylindrically-shaped, tan-colored can being lowered into the building’s basement by a 50 foot high crane.

The scene was the realization of the Ion Beam Modification and Analysis Laboratory’s (IBMAL) long-standing desire to relocate a National Electrostatic Corporation 9SH Linear particle accelerator. The IBMAL is one of the most sophisticated ion beam facilities in the country, and the recent installation of the 3 million volt particle accelerator will further expand laboratory capabilities.

College of Business

Mardy Navalta joins PLP Board of Directors

Mardy Navalta, Senior Agency Development & Recruiting Director at Farmers Insurance, has been elected to the University of North Texas Professional Leadership Program Board of Directors.

Mardy has been a supporter of the PLP for the past 4 years serving as an advocate for the program and mentor for its student members.  PLP Director, Renée Hebert stated, “Mardy will be an asset to our team.  He supports PLP in every aspect and is constantly thinking of ways to assist us.  Anyone who works with volunteers wants someone like Mardy in their corner.”

Mardy’s term begins February 2012.  He recently stated that he is ready to hit the ground running and commented, “UNT PLP is one of the most exciting leadership programs in Texas. I look forward working with all the Board members in building the best and finest program in the country.”

College of Music

Armando Núñez Portillo, a 2004 master’s graduate of UNT, who published a book last year, is playing an important leadership role in jazz education in Mexico. He was appointed on Jan. 3, 2012 as Academic Director at Chihuahua’s Music Conservatory. He also serves on the faculty at the Universidad de Chihuahua. Last week he succeeded in getting the administration to approve a jazz program at the bachelor’s level. The program will include jazz improvisation, jazz theory, jazz composing and arranging, jazz history and jazz combos, in addition to the private instrument lessons.

Alumnus composer Yo Goto (MM 2004) has been awarded the American Bandmasters Association 2011 Sousa/Ostwald Award for his work Songs for wind ensemble. Previous winners of this prestigious award include North Texas alumni Michael Daugherty (2007) and Fisher Tull (1970), and former faculty composer Martin Mailman (1983, 1989).

There Are Ghosts, a video work by alumnus composer Brian Hernandez (MA 2011), has been selected for performance at the international film and video festival, CINESONIKA, which takes place February 18-19, 2012 in British Columbia, Canada. In addition to the performance, all accepted works will be eligible for international distribution on DVD, public exhibition, museum curatorial, video on demand, and touring festival.

Mayborn School of Journalism

Graduate accepts position at Southern Living

Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism alumnus Noah Bunn is packing his bags for destinations across the South. As Assistant Travel Editor at Southern Living, he joins recent Mayborn grads Sarah Perry (Our State), Michael Mooney (D Magazine) and Paul Knight (Texas Monthly) in sharing the school’s rich tradition of storytelling with readers nationwide.

Toulouse Graduate School

Toulouse Graduate School Hosts Open House

The Toulouse Graduate School hosted its first open house last fall to approximately 165 prospective graduate students.  The attendees were able to meet with department program faculty and representatives from 11 colleges to learn about opportunities for graduate school.  The open house also gave the attendees an opportunity to learn about UNT’s community of scholars, researchers and artists.   They also attended information sessions on applying to grad school, financial aid and scholarships and preparing for the GRE.


2012 Sun Belt Conference Tournament

The 2012 Sun Belt Conference Basketball Tournament takes place in historic Hot Springs Arkansas March 3rd – 6th. Both North Texas Basketball programs are in contention for regular season titles and are poised to make a run for an NCAA Tournament bid by winning the Sun Belt Conference Championship. Head Coaches Johnny Jones and Karen Aston encourage you to make your plans now to join us in Hot Springs for all the Sun Belt Tournament action. Below please find additional information and links to assist in making your plans to join us in Hot Springs.

Tickets – $90 all-tournament packages include tickets to every tournament game and seating located behind the team bench during North Texas games. For the best pricing and reserved seating, purchase your tickets through the North Texas Athletic Ticket Office. Purchase online or call 940-565-2527 or 1-800-UNT-2366.

Accommodations – To reserve a room for the Sun Belt Tournament please visit or by calling David Fast at 817-907-4229.

Events – Don’t miss all the extra events taking place in conjunction with the tournament including the Pep Band Spectacular, Dribble Drive to Summit Arena, Alumni and Friends Champagne Reception, North Texas Hot Spring Headquarters and Radio Show at Lucky’s Bar and Grill, team send-offs and so much more. Visit for details and additional information.

Official Conference Tournament Site – Visit the following link for additional information provided by the Sun Belt Conference regarding the 2012 SBC Tournament March 3rd – 6th in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Can’t Make It To Hot Springs – Stay up to date with including live chat(s), daily video content, learn about local watching parties, and much more. Follow us on Twitter @MeanGreenSports, Like MeanGreenSports on Facebook.

For additional information visit or call the North Texas Ticket Office at 940-565-2527.

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