News & Honors

Cornelia Caragea, an assistant professor at the University of North Texas College of Engineering, has received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award for her work in machine learning, data mining and information retrieval.  UNT now has 13 researchers who have been awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER award – the most prestigious recognition offered by the NSF for young researchers. “This award highlights the exemplary research Cornelia has been doing here at the college and the strides she is making in the computer science and engineering field,” said Costas Tsatsoulis, dean of...
During a visit to Washington, D.C., last year, University of North Texas faculty member John Ishiyama unexpectedly met a former student, who was chief of staff for a Congressional representative from Missouri. “He was my student more than 15 years ago, but he still remembered me,” said Ishiyama, University Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Political Science. “I also recently learned that a kid I knew when he was 18 is now a distinguished professor at Penn State.” Ishiyama said seeing former students become successful in their careers, and knowing that he had some impact in...
Andrea Recek, a University of North TexasCollege of Music doctoral student in musicology, has been awarded the Mellon-CES Dissertation Completion Fellowships in European Studies. “I am honored to have been awarded this fellowship,” Recek said. “Having my project selected shows that other scholars recognize the value of my research and my methodological approach.” Graduate students studying the humanities can apply for The Council of European Studies fellowships, which are funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Those selected for the fellowships receive a $25,000 stipend and participate in...
Michael Thomas, a doctoral student studying in the Department of Chemistry, has been selected to receive a 2017 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Thomas said his eight years serving in the U.S. Marines, including a tour in Afghanistan, helped lead him to his research and even helped him win this fellowship. “In my statement to the NSF, I tied in my military service to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,” said Thomas. “When I was in Afghanistan, I found many people didn’t have basic electricity. With my research now, I want to make electricity converters...
Amber Lu, right, a student from the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science at the University of North Texas has been named a 2017 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Winner. “It’s a really humbling experience,” said Lu. “It could have easily been any of the other nominees. Being surrounded by these peers is amazing, they are all doing such amazing research and they just make me want to do better.” Lu, a 16-year-old from Sugar Land, has been working on research at UNT with chemistry professor William Acree to find the best way to purify fossil fuels. She was named a Siemens Semifinalist in 2016...
Arabidopsis thaliana is a seed so tiny that it can fit into Abraham Lincoln’s eye on a penny. Its small size, rapid life cycle and ability to produce thousands of seeds make this plant perfect for research. Now scientists who use it for studies have a new advantage. UNT doctoral student Drew Sturtevant completed 3D imaging of the inside of this tiny seed that reveals its chemical mapping for the first time. His breakthrough was recently published in the journal BBA Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids. “It’s exciting to have access to this technology at UNT and to be at the forefront of plant...
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 will spend 10 weeks this summer at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington doing extensive research. “I’m so excited and so honored and I know that I...
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...