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Colleges and Schools Highlights

September 17th, 2014 Posted in Highlights

College of Education

Denton students, community gather thousands of books to help children in Uganda in project started by faculty member

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Students at E.P. Rayzor Elementary School in the Denton Independent School District helped gather thousands of books to be sent to children in Uganda as part of a project started by College of Education Associate Professor Marc Cutright.     Read the full story…

Distinguished Alumni
Superintendents of Lewisville, Denton ISDs honored as distinguished alumni

The College of Education honors Stephen F. Waddell (’75, ’96 Ed.D.) and Jamie Wilson (’91, ’99 M.Ed., ’12 Ed.D.) as distinguished alumni for their inspiring careers and commitment to education. Their diplomas, awards and accomplishments can be viewed in a special display case located on the first floor of Matthews Hall, the main building of the College of Education. Read more…

Alumni Spotlight: Ross Acker from Counseling and Higher Education

Ross Acker ('05 M.S.)Ross Acker (’05 M.S.), alumnus of the College of Education’s Counseling Program, began his counseling career in 2005 and has professional experience in addictions, private practice, corrections and community mental health.  He has served on the Brief Therapy Crisis Team of the Coos County Mental Health Department in North Bend, Oregon for four years where he performs crisis intervention and brief therapy, acts as a liaison to the hospital psychiatric unit and conducts pre-commitment investigations for the State of Oregon.

We recently caught up with Acker to discuss how his experience at UNT influenced his work today. Read on…

College of Information

Roosevelt Weeks, Summer 2014 Graduate

Roosevelt Weeks“The road to becoming a librarian was non-conventional for me”, says Mr. Weeks. He had visited a public library only once or twice while growing up in his Mississippi home town. It was not a place where he saw opportunity for employment or a glamorous place for an African- American male. Roosevelt was a star athlete in high school and earned an athletic scholarship to college. “I was a “jock” that loved computers and working in a library was not part of my plans. I got my degree in Computer Science and worked in corporate America for 20 years and liked what I did,” said Roosevelt.  He found his love and passion for libraries when he volunteered for the Pasadena (TX) Public Library (PPL). A good family friend was the director, Shelia Ross Henderson and she allowed him to teach computer classes in the computer lab. “Teaching those classes and helping people get better jobs was an awesome experience. I was hooked,” says Roosevelt.

He left his job in corporate America and was hired by Henderson for a third of what he was making at his previous job. It was a struggle financially, but he loved what he was doing…helping people and making a difference in the community. After working for two years at PPL, he joined the Houston Public Library (HPL) as the Chief Technology Officer. Weeks progressed in his career in HPL to become the Deputy Director for the library. He was happy in his role and accomplishments in the library industry, but something was missing. “I found out what that was when two young ladies came to HPL to talk about the library program at the University of North Texas (UNT). Dr. Ana Cleveland and Dr. Yvonne Chandler talked about UNT online Master’s program and the importance of having library credentials,” said Roosevelt. On August 8, 2014, he got that “something” that was missing…his degree in library science! “The Master program at UNT was delightful and I learned a lot from the faculty, staff, and students at UNT. With my degree in hand, I am on my way to serving more people in a bigger and better way,” says Roosevelt.

Tammy Westergard – Summer 2014 Graduate

Tammy WestergardTammy Westergard is the Deputy Director of the Carson City Library. She graduated Summer 2014 with a Master of Science in Library Science in Denton and was initiated into Beta Phi Mu, the International Honor Society of Library and Information Professionals. Tammy started online at the University of North Texas College of Information about a year after a transfer from a position as the Deputy Manager of the Carson City (Nevada) Office of Business Development, to the Deputy Director position at the Carson City Library. Before starting at UNT it had been 24 years since she had been responsible for an academic syllabus, and a blackboard required chalk. The only thing “on line” at that time in her life was a load of towels when they needed to smell especially breezy. 

As the Deputy Manager of Carson City’s Office of Business Development, she gained tremendous insight from local employers about workforce training and the need to align learning partnerships to keep the community’s few high-tech manufacturers, who provide good paying jobs, and to have any hope to attract more and build the community’s primary job base. But to attract this sector the workforce must have the right stuff. Folks need marketable skills, particularly those skills relating to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S.T.E.M). How to make that happen is no easy task. Fortunately at that time UNT doctoral student and then Carson City Library Director, Sara Jones, was blazing a trail to leverage technology and “anytime, anywhere” learning with public library services, as a radical solution to workforce development. Sara could see the obvious value of the public library as the ultimate learning center. Hers was the first voice that encouraged Tammy to consider the UNT College of Information Library Science program. Sara knew distance learning would provide a robust immersion into the virtual world, sharpening her own S.T.E.M. skills. “I could not have imagined the ways I would be personally “re-developed” by joining Sara’s team and through the UNT program, its faculty, staff and my stellar and unwavering advisor, Dr. Yvonne Chandler,” says Tammy.
She took to heart lessons from the degree program, which included a Graduate Academic Certificate in Advanced Management.

From July through December of 2013 Tammy led the development of the Carson City Library’s current strategic plan titled “Level UP: a strategic plan for learning 2014-2019.” The focus of the plan emphasizes the public library as the community’s premier resource for free workforce training and it sharply focuses K-12 technology partnerships to improve digital competences throughout the student community, especially with the teens. The Library is working directly with the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development wherein the public library is the first point of entry in a S.T.E.M skills learning continuum that includes the school district and community college. More about the library’s strategic plan is available at www.carsoncitylibrary.org. “My future is bright, for sure. Libraries matter and I’m well prepared to do this good work. I chalk it up to life-long learning and UNT Department of Library and Information Sciences,” says Tammy.

Mayborn School of Journalism

UNT Mayborn Alumni Updates

UNT Mayborn alumnus Michael Felder is a production artist at Ziosk, which makes interactive tablets for the restaurant industry. “I use the skills I was taught over at the Mayborn every day, through the Adobe Creative Suite,” Felder says. “I’m responsible for maintaining menu updates and changes for multiple franchise restaurants, including Olive Garden, Chili’s and more.”

Congratulations to UNT Mayborn alumna Rebecca Hoeffner Smith (MJ ’10), who has joined Tyler, Texas-based Next Step Community Solutions as its coalition coordinator.

College of Engineering

UNT College of Engineering
 Supports Alums in Rotary

Rotary

Following alumni met in Frisco to hear UNT Athletic Director address the Noon Rotary club;
Todd Samuels, 1993 BS Computer Science
Cheryl and Mark Miller, 1963 BBA Finance
Donna Chandler, Development Officer-College of Arts & Sciences
Chris P. Xeros, 1949 BA Music

UNT Community Engagement

UNT Travel Learn Trip: Christmas Lights in London & Paris

Join UNT Professor Peter Johnstone as he leads a Travel Learn trip to London and Paris.  The theme of this tour is Christmas past and Christmas present. With London native and UNT  professor of criminal justice Peter Johnstone and his Parisian wife, Christine Pincemin, you will have the opportunity to explore these great cities with the special insight of two locals. Start your journey back in time and visit London in the time of Dickens. His famous novel A Christmas Carol draws upon the author’s extensive personal knowledge of the people and places of Victorian London to describe a world in which miser Ebenezer Scrooge meets the ghosts of the past, present and future. Together we will retrace some of the steps of Dickens’ famous characters and see for ourselves the places that inspired his wonderful novels.

Charles Dickens had more influence on Christmas than perhaps any other person; the only other possible contender was another Victorian, Prince Albert, who introduced the Christmas tree and the singing of carols.  During the writing of A Christmas Carol, Dickens would walk the streets of London at night, sometimes walking as much as 20 miles, searching for characters, situations, scenes and inspiration. His masterpiece was published the week before Christmas 1843.

“It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child himself.” – A Christmas Carol

See the beautiful sights of London and Paris decorated for the holidays.  Shop at Harrods and take the fast train between London and Paris.  Experience these two famous cities as only a native can show you!

UNT’s Travel Learn trips offer a unique educational opportunity to broaden your horizons as you travel the world alongside a member of the UNT faculty.  All Travel Learn trips are small group experiences that combine leisure and sightseeing along with lifelong learning.  For more information: http://call.unt.edu/travellearn.

Planned Giving

Planned giving allows you to establish your legacy now, while leaving you in control of your assets throughout your lifetime. In addition to bequests, planned giving includes gifts made with appreciated assets such as stocks, insurance, income producing asset or real estate.  Planned giving may also utilize techniques that create a source of income for life. UNT offers complimentary consultation with planned giving professionals to its alumni and friends. To learn more, please visit www.unt.edu/giftplanning or call 940-565-3683.

Athletics

Beyond the Green – North Texas Football 2014
Tailored after HBO’s Hard Knocks and ESPN’s All-Access, the award-winning series Beyond The Green gives viewers an unprecedented look inside North Texas football.

The goal of Beyond The Green is to humanize the Mean Green’s players and coaches, and present the story lines that develop throughout the season. The executive producer of the show is Ashton Campbell, an NT graduate who has produced shows for CBS College Football Confidential, the Big Ten Network and Yahoo Sports.

Beyond The Green won the Outstanding Special Feature Award at the 2014 College Sports Media Award show in May over entries from Colorado, Duke, Florida State, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Portland and San Francisco.

WHERE TO WATCH

Beyond The Green is seen in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico on Fox Sports Southwest, nationwide on Fox College Sports, and online at MeanGreenSports.com All-Access and the Conference USA Digital Network.

Beyond The Green airs on Thursdays on Fox Sports Southwest at 4 p.m., on CSN-Houston on Friday at 4 p.m., and repeats Friday afternoons on Fox Sports Southwest.

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