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2017 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards Nominations

January 25th, 2017 | Posted in Alumni News

2017awards_1Engage in a long-standing university tradition by nominating an exceptional graduate for the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards. These awards recognize outstanding achievement, service and support of UNT alumni and friends and are presented annually during Homecoming.

The deadline to submit nominations is April 15, 2017. Download the 2017 Alumni Award Nomination Form.

“UNT alumni are leaders and change agents in their communities all over the world. With more than 234,000 graduates, the candidate pools for these awards are filled with industry leaders in business, education, art, science and engineering,” said Rob McInturf, executive director of the UNT Alumni Association. “It’s an honor to recognize the best and brightest of the UNT family.”

Award recipients are selected based on their significant contributions to their professions, communities and the advancement of the university while upholding the highest ethics and values.


All five categories of Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards are open for nominations. Specific criteria for each award is listed below:

Distinguished Alumni Award – the most prestigious award given, recognizes alumni for distinguished professional achievement as well as their contributions to society, support of the University, and service to their fellow man; thus reflecting extraordinary credit on UNT.

Distinguished Young Alumni Award – recognizes alumni under the age of 40 for distinguished professional achievement as well as their contributions to society, support of the University, and service to their fellow man; thus reflecting extraordinary credit on UNT.

Outstanding Alumni Service Award – honors individuals who have provided outstanding service to the community as well as the University.

ULYS Knight Spirit Award – is named for alumnus Ulys Knight, also known as “Mr. North Texas,” and is given to an individual or group who has shown spirit, enthusiasm, and motivation through the contributions to a UNT program or activity.

Generations of Excellence Award – celebrates a family legacy of having multiple members attend UNT and support the university through their giving, leadership, service, and advocacy.

Alumni Award nominees are your friends, classmates and fellow student leaders at UNT, and today they are the alumni who most embody the true spirit of the University of North Texas.

If you know of someone deserving recognition, please download and return the nomination form by April 15. You may nominate more than one person for each award. Supporting data (letter of nomination, letters of support, and suggested resume) on your nominee are required.

Membership Benefits and Fee Increase

January 25th, 2017 | Posted in Alumni News


As the UNT Alumni Association continues to grow, several changes have taken place to match the current interests and needs of its members. Some of these changes included the addition of more regional programming, increased student scholarships, and hiring new staff positions.

Membership fees have not changed in more than 20 years despite increasing needs of the association and its members. Beginning September 2017, membership fees will increase in order to provide more opportunities to alumni members and the UNT alumni family.

“The UNT Alumni Association is in the midst of exciting times. Over the past year we began the implementation of new programs and the response we received from our alumni was overwhelmingly positive,” said Rob McInturf, executive director of the UNT Alumni Association. “We are committed to meeting the needs of our alumni. In order to accomplish this goal, we needed more resources both in staff and revenue. One step we took was to modestly increase joint and Life membership level fees.”

With the increase in available resources, the alumni association will be introducing new member benefits, increased alumni programming, and updated fulfillment packages that offer higher quality membership materials.

In addition to an increase in membership fees, the format of the GRADitude program for graduating students is changing. Starting in December 2016, the alumni association will give all graduates a gift of their first year of membership for free.

These changes to membership are a testament to the growth of the UNT Alumni Association and the University as a whole. It is a demonstration of the commitment and dedication of the UNT alumni family to a lasting Mean Green legacy.

North Texas Football National Signing Day Feb 1

January 25th, 2017 | Posted in Athletics

North Texas Football National Signing Day Feb 1North Texas head coach Seth Littrell, fresh off his first season at the helm of the Mean Green, will ink his 2017 recruiting class on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Early Wednesday evening, all alumni are invited by the Mean Green Club to the Signing Day Celebration meet and greet in Apogee Stadium’s HUB Club. The event is free and open to all Mean Green fans. Coach Littrell and his staff are anticipated to be on hand and attendees can learn more about these future Mean Green student-athletes. Appetizers will be served and a cash bar will be available.  Fans will also be able to purchase their 2017 season tickets at this event.

This will be the first full recruiting class for Littrell and his staff, who arrived in Denton following the 2015 season and had only a few weeks to assemble their 2016 class. Nonetheless, that class provided key contributors to the 2016 squad that earned a trip to the Zaxby’s Heart Of Dallas Bowl.

Throughout the day, signings will be reported on with student-athlete bios and highlight videos.  Fans can also follow the day’s developments on Twitter @MeanGreenFB and @MeanGreenSports and on MeanGreenSports‘ Facebook page.

Did you know?

January 25th, 2017 | Posted in Did You Know?

Inspire UNT Fund

The Inspire UNT Fund supports the future of exceptional students at UNT by contributing toward the university’s greatest needs. From life-changing scholarships and innovative research, to co-curricular experiences and academic excellence — the Inspire UNT Fund contributes directly toward student success.

Become an inspiration today and strengthen UNT’s presence as the academic powerhouse of North Texas:

Partner Profile – Liberty Mutual

January 25th, 2017 | Posted in Partner Profiles


You could save hundreds on Liberty Mutual Auto and Home Insurance. We offer personalized coverage, Multi-Car and Multi-Policy Discounts, 24-Hour Claims Assistance and more. Liberty Mutual is trusted countrywide for quality coverage and exceptional service. Visit Liberty Mutual or call 1-855-323-2150 for a free quote!

*Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverages only. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify.

Calendar of Events

January 25th, 2017 | Posted in Events

2017 Highlights


February 1
National Signing Day


March 25
The Big Event

March 25
2017 Wingspan Gala

March 25
Eli Young Band Concert


April 13
+ Autism: A Lecture and Discussion with Dr. Temple Grandin

April 15
Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards Nomination Deadline


May 2
UNT Official Ring Presentation Ceremony

May 9
UNT Kuehne Speaker Series – Charles Gasparino

May 12-13
UNT Commencement

UNT News Briefs

January 25th, 2017 | Posted in UNT News Briefs
U.S. News and World Report lists UNT online education program among best in the nation

The University of North Texas College of Education online graduate education program was ranked No. 16 out of 275 schools listed by U.S. News and World Report. The program rose from a No. 124 ranking last year.

Click here to read the full story.

Denton coffee shop turns to UNT students to rebrand image

Local business owner of Aura Coffee, Kim McKibben, decided to collaborate with two marketing courses at UNT that give students hands-on experience helping to brand independent businesses in the North Texas region.

Click here to read the full story.

UNT researchers to study flu vaccine response and quality of sleep in hospital nurses

The research, which will involve nurses at Denton Regional Medical Center, will determine links between sleep deprivation and immune response to flu vaccines.

Click here to read the full story.

UNT engineer part of collaboration receiving $4.5 million for superconductive wire research

Marcus Young, a University of North Texas assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, is part of a new project aimed at improving superconductive wires.

Click here to read the full story.

Colleges and Schools Highlights

January 25th, 2017 | Posted in Highlights

College of Public Affairs and Community Service

Criminal JusticeCriminal Justice online master’s ranked most affordable in US

College Choice has ranked UNT the Most Affordable Online Master’s in Criminal Justice out of 50 US programs. The program was also ranked 24th in the nation overall. UNT’s 36-hour online degree is geared toward criminal justice practitioners interested in advancing their careers and working professionals interested in pursuing careers in criminal justice. Students can earn their degree in as little as two years.
Learn more…

Support from teachers, each other helps students from foster care succeed in college

José Whitten and Kiara Powell

Students José Whitten and Kiara Powell both lived in foster homes as children. They’ve found support from other students with similar backgrounds in PUSH, a UNT student organization in which former foster care students mentor children currently in the child welfare system. Read on…

Program for veterans gives student chance at first four-year degree in family

Program for veterans

“I was hesitant because I knew I’d be doing something that no one in my family had ever done,” said Igou, who will be the first in his family to graduate with a four-year degree when he is awarded a bachelor of applied arts and sciences degree with a specialization in logistical operations… Read on or watch video on NBC5.

College of Music

TMEACheck out these upcoming events from the College of Music:

This February, over 27,000 attendees will meet in San Antonio for four days at the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Clinic/Convention. Music educators of kindergarten through college levels, college student members, high school students planning careers in music education, performers, exhibitors, family members and other visitors will attend more than 300 workshops, listen to over 100 performances and visit 1,300 exhibit hall booths.

The UNT College of Music will host an alumni reception in the Hilton Palacio del Rio (La Vista Room). Join us on Friday, February 10 from 9:30-11:30pm.

UNT alumna Emily Pulley will return to campus this spring for a month to share her expertise with current vocal students. Pulley has sung with opera companies and symphonies across the country and around the world, including nearly 200 performances as a principal artist with the Metropolitan Opera. On February 19 at 3:30 PM, Pulley will collaborate with faculty pianist Elvia Puccinelli to present “For the Birds!,” a free concert in Voertman Hall featuring songs about birds in styles ranging from classical to musical theatre, jazz and gospel.

UNT's One O'Clock Lab Band led by new director, Alan BaylockThe Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band, led by Alan Baylock, will perform with world-renowned vibraphonist and composer, Stefon Harris, on February 23 at 8:00 PM in Winspear Hall as part of the Glenn E. Gomez International Artists Endowment for Jazz Studies. Harris has toured the world as both a sideman and a leader, and is one of the most in-demand performers and educators in the music industry today. The concert will feature music composed by Harris, highlights from past One O’Clock Lab Band recordings and new music written by current UNT students. Tickets are available at

Roomful of TeethRoomful of Teeth will continue their yearlong residency at UNT with a special concert in Winspear Hall on March 9 at 8:00 PM. By studying with masters of singing traditions around the world, this innovative, Grammy-winning, eight-voice ensemble continually expands its vocabulary of singing techniques and forges a new repertoire without borders. Come hear Inuit throat singing, yodeling, belting, Korean P’ansori, Georgian singing, Sardinian cantu a tenore, Hindustani music and Persian classical singing, all in one evening. Tickets are available at

College of Information

UNT College of Information announces 2016-2018 Alumni Society Board

Ann Blackman Ann Blackman, 2011
Alumni Society President

Ann Blackman is a MS 2011 Computer Education & Cognitive System graduate, College of Information Department of Learning Technologies. She has also completed UNT’s Graduate Academic Certificate of Community College Leadership. She is the Director of Instructional Technology for Collin College, McKinney TX. In addition, she is an adjunct for the Education department.

Alaina Doyle Alaina Doyle, 2008
Alumni Society Past President 

Alaina Doyle (LT BAAS ’08) serves as an Instructional Design Manager at Wells Fargo where her team develops leadership, manager skill, and professional development solutions for all Wells Fargo employees. In 2013, Alaina received an MSHRM and an MBA from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is currently enrolled in the PhD ATPI program at UNT. Alaina served on various alumni board committees since 2010 and served as the Alumni Society President from 2014-2016.

Dr. Michele A. L. Villagran Dr. Michele A. L. Villagran, 2004, 2008
Executive Board Advisor

Dr. Michele A. L. Villagran is based in the Los Angeles area. She is a Lecturer and LIS Coordinator for the University of North Texas Master of Library & Information Science programs. She serves as President and CEO for CulturalCo. She is a Certified Level 1 & 2 cultural intelligence facilitator through the Cultural Intelligence Center (CQC), and Conflicts Dynamic Profile (CDP) consultant. Dr. Villagran earned her undergraduate degree in Management and International Business from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, her M.L.S. degree in Legal Informatics from UNT, and her M.B.A. in Strategic Management from UNT. She completed a Certificate in Dispute Resolution, her Masters of Dispute Resolution, and her Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership at Pepperdine University.


Board of Directors

Representing the Department of Learning Technologies:
Beth Dolliver, 2003
Morgan Carter, 2014
Deanna Flanagan, 2015
Gloria Ofelia Natividad Beltrán del Río, 2016

Representing the Department of Information Sciences:
Matt Beckstrom,  2012
Joseph Lawson, 2012
Patsy Palacios, 2006
Emily Rushing, 2007
Christopher Shaffer, 1994
Edward Smith, 1997
Mary-Alexandra Smith, 2013
James Spence, 2007
Melinda Townsel, 2007
Michele Whitehead, 2011

Representing the Department of Linguistics:
Rachel Raidenkov, 2005

Mayborn School of Journalism

Journey of UNT’s Stylish Sista

Stylish SistaUNT alumna Taelor Pawnell, 23, is an Art Director with Cline Davis & Mann, an advertising agency based in New York City.

Before she came to UNT, she’d already been the editor-in-chief and graphic designer for her high school paper. Having a passion for art and design, she knew she wanted to work in one of those businesses.

UNT’s advertising program ended up being the right place for her to start. She became a resident advisor for the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) and joined organizations such as the Ad Club, SWOOP, and Orientation Leaders, all while juggling a full load of classes. In 2014, she flew to New York for the Mayborn’s Maymester advertising program with Dr. Sheri Broyles.

After graduating from UNT, Pawnell started working on her Stylish Sista blog, which has grown to become part of her brand. Within a month, she headed back to New York with a full-time job at Cline Davis & Mann, the company that she’d shadowed during her semester in New York.

“It started out as me thinking it might be a step into the door of me getting into New York, but it’s turned into something way bigger,” Pawnell said. “It’s helping me grow, and helping to inspire other people to take chances. That’s a large part of me and something I want to keep doing.”