2019 SFE Award Winners

Congratulations to the outstanding recipients of the major UNT Faculty Awards for 2019 listed below, all of whom were honored at the Salute to Faculty Excellence Dinner and Award Ceremony in April 2019.

UNT Foundation Awards


UNT Foundation Eminent Faculty Award

Janice Miner Holden

Counseling and Higher Education

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UNT Foundation Eminent Faculty Award Winner, Jan Holden



UNT Foundation Faculty Leadership Award

Karen Weiller Abels

Kinesiology, Health Promotion, and Recreation​

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2019 UNT Foundation Faculty Leadership Award Winner, Karen Weiller



UNT Foundation Community Engagement Award

Bradford Charles Leali

Jazz Studies

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2019 UNT Foundation Community Engagement Award Winner, Brad Leali



UNT Foundation Outstanding Lecturer Award

S. Michael Sexton


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2019 UNT Foundation Outstanding Lecturer Award Winner, S. Michael Sexton


Research Awards 


University Distinguished Research Professor

Richard Croft

Vocal Studies

American tenor Richard Croft is internationally renowned for his performances with leading opera companies and orchestras around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala, Opera National de Paris, Berlin Staatsoper, the Salzburg Festival, and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, as well as the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and Boston Symphony Orchestra. His clarion voice, superlative musicianship, and commanding stage presence allow him to pursue a wide breadth of repertoire from Handel and Mozart, to the music of today’s composers.

Recent engagements have included Tito in the critically acclaimed Glyndebourne production of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito at Glyndebourne. Mr Croft also performed the role of Captain Vere in Billy Budd for Deutsche Opera Berlin; Handel’s Jeptha at Dutch National Opera and sang Vivaldi’s Catone in Utica. Operatic highlights of Mr. Croft’s past seasons include the title role of Mozart’s Idomeneo at the Teatro alla Scala, Theater an der Wien, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Ravinia Festival, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and Mozarteum’s Mozartwoche in Salzburg; Hyllus in Handel’s Hercules at the Canadian Opera Company and Lyric Opera of Chicago; Jupiter in Handel’s Semele at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées; Captain Vere in Britten’s Billy Budd at Los Angeles Opera; the title role in La Clemenza di Tito with the Wiener Staatsoper; Lurcanio in Handel’s Ariodante with the San Francisco Opera; Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Seattle Opera and the MET ; Ubaldo in Haydn’s Armida and the title role of Mozart’s Mitridate at the Salzburg Festival; Mamud in Vivaldi’s La Verità in Cimento with Opernhaus Zürich; and M. K. Gandhi in a new production of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha at the Metropolitan Opera, which was broadcast on the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Live in HD series to movie theaters around the world.

University Distinguished Research Professor, Richard Croft, Vocal Studies




Presidential Early Career Professorship

Alicia Eggert

Studio Art

Alicia Eggert is an Assistant Professor of Studio Art and the Sculpture Program Coordinator in the College of Visual Arts & Design. She is an interdisciplinary artist whose work focuses on the relationship between language, image and time. The motivation behind her artwork is a sincere desire to understand the linear, finite and fleeting nature of human life within a cyclical and seemingly infinite universe. Alicia's work has been exhibited at notable institutions nationally and internationally, including the CAFA Art Museum in Beijing, the Triennale Design Museum in Milan, the Amsterdam Light Festival in the Netherlands, Sculpture By the Sea in Sydney, Australia, and many more. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at Galeria Fernando Santos in Portugal, The MAC in Dallas, T+H Gallery in Boston, and Artisphere in Arlington, Virginia. Alicia is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including a TED Fellowship, a Washington Award from the S&R Foundation, a Direct Artist Grant from the Harpo Foundation, an Artist Microgrant from the Nasher Sculpture Center, an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Maine Arts Commission, and a 2018-2019 IAA Fellowship from the Institute for the Advancement for the Arts at UNT.  

2019 Presidential Early Career Professorship Winner, Alicia Eggert



Creative Impact Award

Miroslav Penkov


Miroslav Penkov was born and raised in Bulgaria. He moved to America in 2001 and eventually completed an MFA in creative writing at the University of Arkansas. He is the author of the story collection East of the West (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011), and the novel Stork Mountain (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016) which have been published in over twenty countries. His stories have won the BBC International Short Story Award 2012 and have appeared in The Best American Short Stories 2008, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013. In 2014-15, he was mentored by Michael Ondaatje (author of The English Patient) as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. His story “A Picture With Yuki” was made into a feature film, for which he co-wrote the screenplay. A Bulgarian-Japanese co-production, funded also by the European Union’s MEDIA program, the film premiered at the Sofia International Film Festival in March 2019 where it received the Audience Award for films from the International and the Balkan competitions.

2019 Creative Impact Award Winner, Miroslav Penkov



UNT Teacher-Scholar

Brian McFarlin

Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation

Dr. Brian McFarlin personifies the spirit of the Teacher-Scholar by constantly pursuing excellence in both his research and his teaching. An international expert in the field of exercise physiology and nutrition, he is skilled at assessing student needs and designing interactive course experiences that teach to today’s students. The knowledge and experiences learned in Dr. McFarlin’s courses have the potential to change the health and lives of the entire UNT community. He has also found a way to turn teaching into scholarship by regularly published best-practice manuscripts and giving presentations at teaching conferences. As a scholar, he has published more than 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts, given over 75 presentations, and obtained in excess of 3 million in research funding. The words of his colleague Dr. Jakob Vingren say it best “Brian strives daily to be the very best researcher, teacher, and scholar at UNT and in his field of study. He will also be the first to tell you that he likes his work to speak for itself and he does not like to brag. He is truly special and, in my career, I have come across very few faculty that truly embody all the attributes that we value in a Teacher-Scholar.”

2019 UNT Teacher-Scholar, Brian McFarlin



Early Career Award for Research and Creativity

Gerardo Andres Cisneros


Dr. Cisneros joined UNT in 2016 and was promoted to a Full Professor in 2019.  Dr. Cisneros has received numerous honors and awards for research and teaching including the Dell-Intel Young Investigator Award, the OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, and Excellence in Teaching with special commendation for encouraging undergraduate research from Wayne State, among others. He was invited to participate in the National Strategic Computing Initiative at the White House in 2016 and as a Distinguished Visiting Professor by the Mexican Academy of Sciences in 2018.  He is funded by NIH with a single PI R01, co-PI on another R01, and single Pl on an award from the NVDIA Foundation. Dr. Cisneros is a charter member of the MSFD review panel at NIH/CSR. The Cisneros research group develops and applies computational methods to investigate a broad range of chemical and biochemical systems.

2019 Early Career Award for Research and Creativity, Gerardo Andres Cisneros




Early Career Award for Research and Creativity

 Hassan Takabi

Computer Science & Engineering

Dr. Takabi joined the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in Fall 2013. Since joining UNT, he has founded and currently directs the Information Security and Privacy: Interdisciplinary Research and Education (INSPIRE) Lab.  His research endeavors focus on cybersecurity and privacy including privacy enhancing technologies, computation over encrypted data, cyber deception, policy management, insider threats, and usable security and privacy and his research has resulted in 100+ publications in highly competitive venues. His work has been cited over 2000 times and he has received several Best paper awards and recently been nominated for Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship. He has also co-authored a book on security and privacy issues in cloud computing.

His advisees have received several national, university and college awards including the prestigious Scholarship for Women Studying Information Security, and Scholarship for Service (SFS) provided by National Science Foundation. During his time at UNT, Dr. Takabi has secured more than $1.5M in external funding from National Science Foundation (NSF), National Security Agency (NSA), Army Research Office (ARO), and Department of Defense (DoD) and received gifts from corporation including NVIDIA and Microsoft.

2019 Early Career Award for Research and Creativity, Hassan Takabi



Toulouse Scholar Award

Francis D’souza


Dr. Francis D’Souza is a University Distinguished Research Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering. He is part of UNT’s Applied Materials and Manufacturing Processing Institute (AMMPI).  Dr. D’Souza’s research covers wide areas of chemistry, nanophotonics and materials science. Principal research interests include supra and nanomolecular chemistry of photosensitizer-carbon nanomaterials, advanced functional materials for light energy harvesting and photovoltaics, electrochemical and photochemical sensors and catalysts, nanocomposite hybrid materials for energy storage. He has over 400 publications and edited 10 handbooks on Carbon Nanomaterials resulting in over 15,700 citations with an h-index of 67.  He is an Associate Editor of Journal of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines and the Journal of Electrochemical Society, and editorial board member of few other journals. Honors and Award include Doherty Research Award for the ACS-DFW Section; Fulbright Specialist Scholar; GIAN Fellow, India; Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, London; Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellow; Fellow of the Electrochemistry Society; among others.

2019 Toulouse Scholar Award Winner, Francis D'souza



Decker Scholar Award

Yan Huang

Computer Science & Engineering

Dr. Huang joined the College of Engineering at UNT in 2003.  Her research forms the core technologies for modern spatial databases and spatial data mining. She developed theoretical foundations as well as novel and fast query processing algorithms for large geospatial computations. She pioneered research in spatial data mining through new patterns. Applications of her research can be found in Earth Science, ecological studies, mobile commerce, smart transportation, and epidemiology. She has established a strong interdisciplinary research agenda, collaborating with faculty in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Material Sciences, Mechanical and Energy Engineering, Criminal Justice, Social Informatics, Emergency Management, Public Affairs, and Communication Studies. She has served in leadership roles as a Board of Director, Executive Committee Member, General Chair, Program Chair for flagship organizations such as ACM SIGSPATIAL and SSTD Endowment. Her projects have been funded by National Science Foundation, Texas Department of Transportation, Office of Naval Research, National Geo-spatial Intelligence Agency, Texas Advanced Research Program, and Oakridge National Lab. She has published ~ 100 papers with 4,300+ citations and an H-index of 28.

She has been the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies at the College of Engineering since 2016 and served as Interim Dean for the college in Fall 2018.

2019 Decker Scholar Award Winner, Yan Huang



Regents Professor Award

 Narendra B. Dahotre

Materials Science & Engineering

Dr. Dahotre is interim vice president of research and innovation, Distinguished Research Professor, former chairman of Department of Materials Science and Engineering and associate vice president of research and innovation. He is internationally recognized for contributions to fundamental understanding and engineering of laser-material interactions in advanced processing and manufacturing. His research has generated external funding over $10M from government and industrial organizations. His contributions are recognized with 2018 the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Eli Whitney Productivity Award for lifetime achievement, 2013 TMS–Distinguished Engineer/Scientist Award and 2006 R&D 100. Dr. Dahotre is an inventor with 18 issued and 2 pending U.S. patents, 275 articles in professional journals, edited of 13 books and author of four. He has guided/advised/mentored 17 MS and 18 PhD students, and 15 post-doctoral fellows. He is Fellow of nine international societies, including the National Academy of Inventors, American Society of Materials, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Association of Advancement of Science, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. He also is a founding editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Additive and Subtractive Manufacturing and editor of the Journal of Lasers and Optics.

2019 Regents Professor Award Winner, Narendra B. Dahotre



Regents Professor Award

Susan Dubois

Instrumental Studies

Considered one of the leading artist-teachers of viola today, Susan Dubois was presented in her solo New York Recital Debut at Carnegie Recital Hall as the sole viola winner of Artist International’s 23rd Annual Auditions, and also was selected as a prizewinner and recitalist at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition in the United Kingdom. Dr. Dubois holds bachelor and master of music degrees from the University of Southern California, and a doctoral degree from The Juilliard School.  She has extensive experience as a recitalist and chamber musician, performing and coaching throughout the United States, South America, Australia, Italy, Portugal, China, Taiwan, Croatia, South Korea, South Africa, and Vietnam. A recipient of UNT’s China Venture Fund, Dubois and colleagues from the College of Music presented numerous master classes and concertized throughout China last May. This August, Dr. Dubois looks forward to returning to Vietnam to concertize and to serve as a member of the jury for the Vietnam International Competition for Violin and Chamber Music.

2019 Regents Professor Award Winner, Susan Dubois



Regents Professor Award

Krishna Kavi

Computer Science & Engineering

Krishna Kavi is the Director of NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center for Net-centric and Cloud Systems with more than 20 industrial members. He served as the Chair of CSE department between 2001-2009, established Computer Engineering programs and spearheaded the department’s growth during that period. He previously served as a Program Manager at the National Science Foundation and on the editorial boards of several IEEE journals. Dr. Kavi supervised 5 post-doctoral researchers, 20 doctoral and 40 MS thesis students. Several of his former students have achieved leadership positions in academics and/or industry. He received more than $9M in research funding and published more than 200 papers. His research discoveries have been used at Oak Ridge National Laboratories, AMD, and in a major EU research project called TeraFlux. Software tools developed in his laboratory are used by many universities.

2019 Regents Professor Award Winner, Krishna Kavi


Teaching Awards 


University Distinguished Teaching Professor

Kyle Jensen


Kyle Jensen is an associate professor in the department of English. He is the author of Reimagining Process: Online Writing Archives and the Future of Writing Instruction and co-editor of Abducting Writing Studies, both published by Southern Illinois University Press. His most recent co-edited book, The War of Words by Kenneth Burke was published by The University of California Press in November 2018. He has published a number of essays in scholarly journals such as the Quarterly Journal of Speech, RhetoriseDc Society Quarterly, JAC, and Rhetoric Review. His co-authored public essay, "How the Media Encourages and Sustains Political Warfare," which appeared in the online magazine The Conversation, was viewed by over 16,000 readers and republished in Harvard's Nieman Lab, Slate, and The Daily Beast. He has been invited to lecture at a number of universities across the US and has been invited twice to teach at the Rhetoric Society of America's summer institute. The best part of his job is getting to work with students. 

2019 University Distinguished Teaching Professor Award Winner, Kyle Jensen



University Distinguished Teaching Professor

 Eric M. Nestler

Instrumental Studies

Eric M. Nestler joined the faculty of the College of Music in 1992. Since that time, Dr. Nestler conducted master classes and performed solo recitals in Asia, Africa, Canada, Europe, and the United States, culminating in a 2003 debut recital in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. He published numerous, scholarly articles in the peer reviewed Saxophone Symposium focusing on literature for saxophone including a critical edition of the Concerto by Henri Tomasi. Nestler’s students earned teaching positions and professorships at universities in the United States and China as well as professional positions with instrument companies such as Music and Arts and Conn-Selmer. Recently, several of Nestler’s students won national and international competitions, notably, the Music Teacher’s National Association, American Protégé International competition and the Golden Classical Music Awards International competition. Former students have earned positions with the United States’ Marine Band, Navy Band, and Coast Guard Band. In 2009, Nestler was diagnosed with musician’s dystonia. After battling this crippling, neurological disease for many years, Nestler relearned to play the saxophone and in March 2019, he presented lecture-recital performances of the Sequenza IXB by Luciano Berio, in Mandarin Chinese, at the Sichuan Conservatory, Chengdu, and Sias International University, Zhengzhou, China. 

2019 University Distinguished Teaching Professor Award Winner, Eric M. Nestler



University Distinguished Teaching Professor

Miroslav Penkov


Miroslav Penkov was born and raised in Bulgaria. He moved to America in 2001 and eventually completed an MFA in creative writing at the University of Arkansas. He is the author of the story collection East of the West (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011), and the novel Stork Mountain (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016) which have been published in over twenty countries. His stories have won the BBC International Short Story Award 2012 and have appeared in The Best American Short Stories 2008, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013. In 2014-15, he was mentored by Michael Ondaatje (author of The English Patient) as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. His story “A Picture With Yuki” was made into a feature film, for which he co-wrote the screenplay. A Bulgarian-Japanese co-production, funded also by the European Union’s MEDIA program, the film premiered at the Sofia International Film Festival in March 2019 where it received the Audience Award for films from the International and the Balkan competitions.

2019 University Distinguished Teaching Professor Award Winner, Miroslav Penkov



University Distinguished Teaching Professor

 Andrew J. Torget 


Andrew J. Torget is a historian of nineteenth-century North America, a nationally recognized pioneer in digital humanities scholarship, and a highly-sought-after public speaker.He is an award-winning author of several works.  His most recent book, Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, won twelve book prizes (including the Weber Prize for best book on Southwestern America) and was hailed by Texas Monthly as “the most nuanced and authoritative rewriting of Texas's origin myth to date.”  Deeply devoted to teaching, Andrew has won several awards for his innovations in the classroom, including the J. H. Shelton Excellence in Teaching Award in 2016 and the Teaching Excellence Award from the College of Arts and Sciences in 2014. An avid runner, he likes to compete in endurance events and in 2018 he set a Guinness World Record for the “world’s longest history class” when he lectured for 26.5 hours straight.  The event raised $30,000 for UNT’s library system and news coverage of the record reached more than 26 million people.

2019 University Distinguished Teaching Professor Award Winner, Andrew J. Torget



J.H. Shelton Excellence in Teaching Award

Raina Joines


Raina Joines is a creative writer who has been awarded residencies from Blue Mountain Center, the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences, and the Lillian E. Smith Center. She has received two Pushcart Prize nominations for her work. Her poetry may be found in Crab Orchard Review, Chattahoochee Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Measure, St. Katharine Review, and Grist: A Journal of the Literary Arts. Her flash fiction is forthcoming from I-70 Review. Raina is also the faculty advisor for the North Texas Review, UNT’s undergraduate journal of literature and art.

2019 J.H. Shelton Excellence in Teaching Award Winner, Raina Joines




President's Council Teaching Award

Elizabeth A. Oldmixon

Political Science

Elizabeth Oldmixon is a professor of political science with research and teaching interests in religion, politics and legislative behavior. She teaches across the curriculum, regularly covering the introductory courses that introduce thousands of students to the field of political science and the research methods courses that are the cornerstones of the curricula for undergraduate and graduate students in political science at UNT. She is a creative, thoughtful, and engaging instructor with a knack for designing assignments that provide unique ways for students to engage with course material while developing critical thinking and writing skills. While Professor Oldmixon’s students are the primary beneficiaries of her excellent instruction, her influence is evident beyond her own classes. She enhances instruction at UNT by mentoring faculty on issues related to teaching and throughout the discipline of political science by publishing research on teaching and learning.  She is formerly a Fulbright Scholar at University College Cork, Ireland, and an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow. She currently serves as the editor-in-chief of the journal Politics and Religion

2019 President's Council Teaching Award Winner, Elizabeth A. Oldmixon




President's Council Teaching Award

 Shelley A. Riggs


Dr. Riggs is a licensed psychologist and a professor and Director of the Family Attachment Lab, which conducts research on family mechanisms and risk factors that contribute to mental health and illness, including family interaction patterns, the disruption or loss of attachment relationships, and personal trauma or abuse. Her professional journey as an educator began over 35 years ago when she began teaching high school and she has since taught at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral levels. Dr. Riggs supervises the clinical training of doctoral students and developed an innovative curriculum for couple/family psychology, which meets APA criteria for a family psychology emphasis. She is an active research mentor, having chaired 52 theses or dissertations with 7 more in progress. Her former students are now scattered across the globe, working in academic settings, counseling centers, community agencies, hospitals, private practice, Veteran Affairs Medical Centers and the U.S. military forces.  Dr. Riggs is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association’s Society for Couple & Family Psychology and a past recipient of the Texas Psychological Association’s Outstanding Contribution to Education Award.

2019 President's Council Teaching Award Winner, Shelley A. Riggs



'Fessor Graham Award

Jeannette L. Ginther

Teacher Education and Administration

Dr. Jeannette L. Ginther is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration.  After a decade of successful classroom teaching in both New York and Texas, she served as a reading instructional specialist, student achievement specialist, professional learning coordinator, educational consultant,  and field supervisor before joining the College of Education faculty at UNT. In addition to teaching, Dr. Ginther is a frequent presenter at local, state, and national conferences where she enjoys sparking discussions about unconventional topics such as the impact of humor on student achievement. Preparing preservice educators is Dr. Ginther's calling and her truest passion. She has a unique talent for creating authentic, meaningful learning experiences for her undergraduate students, and her personal philosophy is to teach with love, and to lead with grace, empathy, and compassion. 

2019 'Fessor Graham Award Winner, Jeannette L. Ginther




Outstanding Online Teacher & Course Award

Brian Lain

Communication Studies

Dr. Brian Lain is an Associate Professor and Director of Debate at the University of North Texas (UNT).  Dr. Lain has served as the Director of Debate since 2002 and he received the ‘Fessor Graham Award, the highest honor given by the UNT student body. Under his direction, UNT Debate has excelled in national and international competition and has consistently been ranked in the top 30 programs by points rankings. In 2018, Dr. Lain was recognized with the President’s Service Award recognizing his efforts on the UNT Curriculum and the Career Connect Quality Enhancement Plan.  Dr. Lain teaches in Rhetorical Studies in the Department of Communication Studies at UNT.  This award recognizes his course “The Zombie as a Rhetorical Figure” in which he leads students on virtual zombie hunt encourages them to role play their own survival of a zombie outbreak in order to better understand the influence zombie films, serials, and graphic novels have on our culture’s own structures of race, colonialism, gender relations, and even familial structures.

2019 Outstanding Online Teacher & Course Award Winner, Brian Lain



2019 Piper Professor Nominee

Andrew J. Torget


Dr. Torget teaches a wide variety of highly popular classes on the histories of the United States, Mexico, and Texas, He pioneered a series of problem-based classes that challenge undergraduates do original research and publish their findings.  For example, a team of students recovered the history of an abandoned African American cemetery from the 1870s that was recently uncovered in North Texas.  The class built an online museum from their research -- featuring more than 1,100 historical artifacts -- and their findings prompted stories in the Dallas Morning News and a featured spot on NBC 5’s evening news.  He also uses his teaching to build bridges between UNT and surrounding communities.  He founded, for example, the “Day at UNT” program, providing Denton County 7th graders the opportunity to see and engage college first-hand by spending a day at UNT and he regularly works with K-12 teachers to improve the teaching of Texas and U.S. history in public schools across the state. He also won the Guinness Book of World Records for teaching the longest history lesson – 24 hours!

2019 Piper Professor Nominee, Andrew J. Torget


 Service Awards 


Ulys & Vera Knight Faculty Mentor Award

 Kimi Lynn King

Political Science

Dr. Kimi King is a University Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Political Science. In 2000, she founded the UNT Moot Court team, which has had over 325 student members.  This year alone they won 3 championships, advanced to semi-finals 3 times, and were ranked 9th seed in the country for the AMCA National Competition, bringing the total number of medal awards to over 125 for the last 10 years. Professor King sees mentoring as part of stewardship that all of us are called to do. She also serves as an advocate and mentor for faculty, co-founding the UNT Women’s Faculty Network (WFN) which works to advance gender equity for faculty through mentoring and the development of equitable and inclusive practices. One of her former students said it best, I can confidently say that Dr. King is the best mentor I have ever had…. Through all of these experiences, Dr. King remains my mentor today and I attribute almost every positive accomplishment in my life since meeting her in part to the footprints she left in my life that will, thankfully, never be undone.

2019 Ulys & Vera Knight Faculty Mentor Award Winner, Kimi Lynn King




Citation for Distinguished International Service Award

Nancy Nelson

Teacher Education & Administration

 Dr. Nancy Nelson is Professor of Education and Meadows Chair for Excellence in Education at UNT. Her scholarship focuses on literacy processes and practices, and she addresses issues of linguistic and cultural diversity in academic discourse. For six years Nelson has filled a leading role in the UNT partnership with the Secretariat of Education of the State of Jalisco, Mexico. Her international contributions also include keynote addresses at conferences held in Italy, Norway, and Mexico and seminars that she has led in Costa Rica, New Zealand, Norway, and Spain. She has hosted visiting scholars from China, Turkey, and India as well as guest lecturers from Australia, Kazakhstan, and Mexico and has directed or is directing dissertations by doctoral students from Korea, Vietnam, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and China. She has also been actively involved in activities and publications of the European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction. 

2019 Citation for Distinguished International Service Award Winner, Nancy Nelson



President's Council University Service Award

Tracy Everbach

Mayborn School of Journalism

Dr. Tracy Everbach is a founder of and the current head of the UNT Women’s Faculty Network, a group that offers support, mentoring, professional development and advocacy. A professor in the Mayborn School of Journalism, her research focuses on representations of race and gender in the media as well as women’s leadership in media. She is a former newspaper reporter, including 12 years on the Metro news desk of The Dallas Morning News, where she covered crime, courts, county government, and social services. She is co-author of the book Mediating Misogyny: Gender, Technology and Harassment (2018, Palgrave MacMillan). Everbach has worked at UNT for 15 years and is former faculty advisor to the North Texas Daily newspaper. She teaches undergraduate and graduate classes, including skills classes and theory and research methods classes. Her signature class is Race, Gender and the Media.

2019 President's Council University Service Award Winner, Tracy Everbach




Bob Rogers Service & Community Engagement Award

Brenda Sweeten

Social Work

Brenda Sweeten is a Clinical Associate Professor and the Director of Field Education in the Department of Social Work.  She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with twenty-four years of experience, practicing primarily as an advocate in the child welfare system and assisting children and families involved in the judicial system. Brenda founded Persevere UNTil Success Happens, or PUSH, a program specifically geared toward improving the successful educational outcomes of foster care alumni attending the University of North Texas. Partnering with the Division of Student Affairs, she developed the PUSH Summer Bridge Program to support foster youth transitioning to college. Brenda serves on numerous boards and advisory councils and has been appointed to serve as the UNT Foster Care Liaison Officer


2019 Bob Rogers Service & Community Engagement Award Winner, Brenda Sweeten