News & Honors

UNT'S Kristin Farmer Autism Center (KFAC) and the Texas Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) are offering families who have a child with autism spectrum disorder help. The collaboration, which is currently serving 66 families around the state, is aimed at children 3 to 5 years old and their parents and can serve up to 100 families. The Kristin Farmer Autism Center is providing training to Texas HIPPY staff, who then conduct weekly home visiting services. “The A+HIPPY program is significant because it impacts families throughout all regions of the state, and many of...
Two University of North Texas students will be part of an exciting day at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. Robert Presley Smith, a senior who is studying mechanical and energy engineering, and Prateek Kalakunta, a student at UNT’s Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, have been selected to take part in the Texas Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol.  Smith, right, grew up in Somerville, Texas, near College Station. He is currently part of UNT’s Honors College and McNair Scholars Program. He credits the McNair program with giving him the ability to dig into deep research earlier...
A University of North Texas conservation program has gotten a major financial boost. The Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve near Puerto Williams, Chile is part of the Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program, a consortium led by UNT in the US, and other Chilean universities and institutions. The Chilean government awarded the program $15 million to build a new Sub-Antarctic Cape Horn Center. “This means an opportunity to strengthen the social mission and research excellence in a privileged place for the monitoring of climate change and testing of a sustainable development,” says Ricardo Rozzi...
A new partnership with NASA has the University of North Texas aimed at getting students excited about space science. UNT’s Institute for the Integration of Technology into Teaching and Learning, IITTL, established a five- year partnership with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the Heliophysics Education Consortium. “The goal is to take the passion the NASA scientists have and figure out a way to share it with kids in a fun, inspiring way,” said Troy Cline, NASA’s education technology coordinator. “Getting those kids excited about space and science really is our life’s work.” They hope to...
UNT student Matt Morton has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship program. The fellowship offers grants to published creative writers that enable recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel and general career advancement. Morton, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English, began working on a new book last year. “Starting a new book is exciting and intimidating,” said Morton. “It’s an opportunity to take new risks and to write without any notion of what the end product should be. Receiving the NEA Fellowship in the midst...
UNT junior Isabel Delwel has received a major honor. The biology major is just one of 67 students in the U.S. to be selected to participate in the 2017 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Exceptional Research Opportunities Program. Delwel, who was born in the Netherlands, raised in Round Rock, Texas and graduated in 2014 from Cedar Ridge High School, is a member of UNT’s Honors College and the McNair Scholars Program. She just learned this month that she will spend 10 weeks this summer at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington doing extensive research. “I’m so excited and...
The Regional Hispanic Contractor Association presented its 2016 Women’s Luna Lifetime Achievement Award to Leticia Anaya, a senior lecturer in the UNT College of Engineering. She was chosen for her more than 19 years of teaching engineering technology courses at UNT, as well as her experience working in the industry.  “I didn’t expect this award,” said Anaya. “The other nominees were very high achievers. I really had to take off a day to just really think about it. It’s amazing to suddenly realize that industry really does appreciate what I do.” Along with engineering experience, the award...
FAVORITE QUOTE: “Get over it,” from the Eagles’ song. There is no future in dwelling on a failure or blaming someone else. Learn from it and move on. FUN FACT: I started my career as a management trainee at NASA and was a test subject in the zero-gravity airplane. I have been weightless for more than an hour, in 30-second increments. PROUDEST MOMENT FOR THE COLLEGE: Raising our freshman retention rate by 13 percentage points. BIGGEST BUSINESS GAME CHANGER: The rise of the on-demand service economy. The nature of work has changed, and employees are rethinking both job security and commitment....
UNT’s Jim McNatt Institute for Logistics Research (JMI) is helping Trinity Logistics executives determine how to distribute domestically manufactured ASME propane tanks from sister company Trinity Containers in the most time- and cost-saving way possible. Undergraduate student and former Trinity Logistics intern Megan Vassh used large-scale data analysis to optimize the company’s distribution plan. Jim Corrigan, president of Trinity Logistics and a member of the JMI advisory board, says Vassh’s work has “tangible value that can contribute to the bottom line. It has given us direction to move...
For his research in helping to improve student learning through technology, UNT’s College of Information Dean Kinshuk earned the 2016 Distinguished Development Award by the Association for Education Communications and Technology (AECT). The international honor was awarded based on his accomplishments in studying adaptive learning and dynamic student profiling. “The research in adaptive learning and dynamic student profiling will hopefully attract many more researchers to contribute toward the success of students’ learning,” Kinshuk says. The AECT is a professional association of thousands of...
MUSICAL COMPOSITION INNOVATOR: Ermir Bejo, doctoral student FIELD: Music ADMIRES: Too many people to name one. INNOVATION: Musical composition. Bejo composed Opus 4 for solo piano, earning the prestigious ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer award. WHAT’S NEXT: Apply for a postdoctoral program and teach. MOTORCYCLE PARTS INNOVATOR: Erica Doty, senior FIELD: Mechanical engineering ADMIRES: Mom, who taught her a great work ethic. INNOVATION: Motorcycle parts. As an intern at the Harley-Davidson headquarters, Doty helped design parts with an eye for function and style. WHAT’S NEXT: Work in the...
Some researchers in UNT’s BioDiscovery Institute moved to new space in the recently renovated Science Research Building, right, in January 2017, allowing researchers to work together more collaboratively. Designers planned the 7,224-square-foot space on the first floor with an open concept, including four large labs that can be divided into as many as eight smaller labs depending on researchers’ needs. Richard Dixon, director of the BioDiscovery Institute and Distinguished Research Professor of biology at UNT, says the new space will foster the exchange of ideas. These flex labs will allow...
University of North Texas researchers are discovering how to dispose nuclear waste safer for a longer time period. Jincheng Du, associate professor of materials science and engineering, is part of a new energy frontier research center, or EFRC, funded by Department of Energy. The team of researchers from five universities, two national laboratories and one company will receive at least $8 million from the U.S. Department of Energy over the next four years to establish the Center for Performance and Design of Nuclear Waste Forms and Containers, one of the only four centers funded by Department...
In a report released in 2016, the World Health Organization revealed that more than 90 percent of the world’s population lives in areas with high levels of air pollution, and that every year, close to three million deaths are linked to outdoor air pollution. Many of those deaths are due to cardiovascular disease or stroke, and now a University of North Texas assistant professor of Biological Sciences, Amie Lund, is researching that connection. “We know on days of higher levels of pollution, there are higher admissions of heart attacks and strokes,” says Lund. “There are also higher death...
Tannins in plants have health benefits and impact the taste of fruits and drinks like tea and wine. While tannins themselves are well known, no one has ever known how plants actually put them together — until now. A team of researchers from the University of North Texas Department of Biological Sciences just made this major discovery. Now, the research by Chenggang Liu, Xiaoqiang Wang, Vladimir Shulaev and Richard Dixon, recently was featured in the journal, Nature Plants. “This is one of the most exciting discoveries of my career,” says Dixon, Distinguished Research Professor of biology. “I’...