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Colleges and Schools Highlights

September 12th, 2012 Posted in Highlights

College of Business

The College of Business Graduate Student Alumni Association will host a happy hour on Sept 20 at the Porch from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. RSVP at

The College of Business Distinguished Speaker Series featuring Joe DePinto, President and CEO of 7-Eleven, Inc. is September 28 at 10:00a.m. in BLB 180. Details at

College of Education

Mark your calendar for Homecoming!
Saturday, Nov. 3
9 -11 a.m.

UNT’s Kristin Farmer Autism Center Open House

Stop by UNT’s new Kristin Farmer Autism Center to meet our staff and get a closer look at our newly renovated 20,000 square-foot facility. 490 S. I-35E Frontage Road. For information: or 940-369-7426 and or 940-891-6849.

COE experts offer back-to-school tips

As school gets underway, College of Education experts offer advice to get through the new academic year — whether you’re a student transitioning to a new school or a teacher turning your classroom into an enriching environment for students.

Dr. Wendy Middlemiss, associate professor of educational psychology at UNT, says children face the four biggest milestones of their school years when they enter kindergarten, first grade, middle school and high school.

“What makes a transition so difficult or challenging are the unknowns, so I think the parent has to convey the sense that this is an exciting change, rather than to be nervous,” Middlemiss says. “It’s important for the parent to help the child understand.”

Middlemiss has the following tips:

  • Explain the changes students may face. Kindergartners should be reminded that there may be new rules. “Rules may be different, so they have to listen and be respectful,” she says. First graders frequently spend more time on tasks than kindergartners. “Tell them they may be sitting more — and show them that they are already doing some of those things, like we sit when we do this or that,” Middlemiss says. “In middle school, they’re transitioning to new people and a new school, and parents need to prepare them for how they can organize their time.”
  • Convey a sense of calm.
  • Go to the orientation, and if you can’t make the scheduled orientation, visit the school. Introduce students to teachers ahead of time. “Just like us as adults, students are most frightened by something they haven’t done,” she says.
  • Regardless of the children’s ages, talk to them to find out how they feel about the transition.
  • Keep asking questions and listen, Middlemiss says.
  • Parents need to remember to take the same advice they give their children, she says. “Although it may be a frightening time for the parents as well, they can follow some of the same suggestions – be aware of what’s going on and become part of that transition. The more unknown it is for us, the harder it will be.”

Dr. Lisa L. Schulz, clinical assistant professor in the counseling program at UNT, says teachers can use the following tips to create an emotionally safe and culturally responsive classroom environment.

  • Look around your classroom – how inviting is it? Are there pictures of people and places that are familiar to all the students who will be in your class? Would you feel comfortable as a student? As a parent?
  • Communicate high expectations for all students.
  • Maintain positive perspectives of parents and families.
  • Create student-centered curriculum. Allow students to participate in the creation of their own learning objectives and process. Support their desire to learn the material through an exploration of their culture of origin.
  • Teach about and talk openly about similarities and differences.
  • Explore personal experiences concerning power and oppression in education.

Dr. Micheal Sayler, senior associate dean of the UNT College of Education and associate professor of educational psychology, is available to talk about gifted education and standardized testing.

Autism center celebrates ribbon cutting

The ribbon cutting ceremony for UNT’s Kristin Farmer Autism Center was August 25. Check out the Denton Record Chronicle’s coverage of the event.

College of Public Affairs & Community Service

PACS Fall Forum

PACS invites the community to their “Fall Forum” on September 27 in the Union from 11-12 with a picnic following. Speakers from New Friends, New Life will be discussing sex trafficking.

PACS celebrates Homecoming

Join the College of Public Affairs & Community Service at the Homecoming tailgate for BBQ, games, and fun!

Alumni News

Sage Garber, Rehabilitation Graduate, was awarded Volunteer of the Year by the Texas Advocates.  Texas Advocates is a self advocacy group with 20 local chapters across the state. Sage is currently the president of the ARC of Denton County and works closely with the Texas Advocates local chapter in Denton.

Bachelor of Applied Arts & Sciences Alum, Robbie Hazelbaker, assistant director of parks and recreation for the City of Richardson, was recently honored as an Outstanding Community Leader by Special Olympics Texas Area 10 and the local Richardson Roadrunners Delegation.

Congratulations to Sarah Kirkle (MPA ’05) and Skylar Wilk (MPA ’11) and their team at the Sunset Advisory Commission on winning the National Conference of State Legislatures 2012 Excellence in evaluation Award.

Geoff Gabrina, Anthropology graduate, recently accepted a position as a Research Coordinator for a 20 month government sponsored study being conducted by Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International based out of Durham, North Carolina.

UNT Black Alumni Network

Join our newest affinity network, the UNT – Black Alumni Network

We are proud to announce the formation of our newest affinity network, the UNT – Black Alumni Network (BAN). The UNT – BAN was formed in an effort to promote the interests and support the relationships of the African-American constituency of UNT while showing support for our University and it’s policies. The Group is open to all former students of UNT and undergraduates through our mentoring program. Join us in our efforts.

For more information, contact:
Nathaniel Hickman –
Yolanda Knight –
Lena Hatcher –
Steven Bradley –

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