2019 Emeritus Recognition

Congratulations to the outstanding recipients of the honorary title, Emeritus for their many years of distinguished services to the University of North Texas.



Dr. Beverly Bower - Professor Emerita

Counseling and Higher Education

Dr. Beverly Bower served as a professor in the Department of Counseling and Higher Education and Director of the Bill J. Priest Center for 11 years and served as an Assistant Department Chair for 8 years. She has made national impact for her scholarly work related to leadership and community college research and practice. Consistent with this expertise, she was invited to speak at the national Academic Leadership Academy, a week-long professional renewal event sponsored by Penn State. Dr. Bower served as the PI for a $50,000 external grant that made UNT the host institution for the Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC), providing UNT and the Priest Center national visibility with community college policy makers, researchers, and organizational leaders. Dr. Bower has also served as the Community College Journal of Research & Practice Book Review Editor, presented both invited and peer-reviewed presentations at prestigious meetings in her field of study, and provided leadership as an editor, editorial review board member and peer reviewer for several respected journals. Dr. Bower has been an effective leader, mentor, and advocate for student centered learning and community engagement. In many ways, she has been a role model for her colleagues as she engaged in activities that provide good name recognition for UNT among higher education researchers.  



Dr. Randolph Campbell - Professor Emeritus


Dr. Randolph "Mike" Campbell, has been enthusiastically nominated by our Department of History. Professor Campbell has spent over 50 years at UNT and is the leading historian of Texas of his generation. Dr Campbell has published 5 single-authored books, 3 co-authored books, 3 edited books, 38 articles, and 11 book chapters. He has been recognized with the Summerfield G. Roberts Award from the Sons of the Republic of Texas for the best historical writing on the Republic of Texas, the Texas Institute of Letters "Friends of the Dallas Public Library Award" for the most important contribution to knowledge by a Texas author in 1989, and the Outstanding Academic Book in 1998 by Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. He is an elected member of the Philosophical Society of Texas, the Texas Institute of Letters, and served as the Chief Historian of the Texas State Historical Association from 2008-2017. He has been honored on campus with Regents' Professor Status and was the University of North Texas Eminent Faculty Award winner in 2013. Professor Campbell's contributions to Texas history and to our campus are substantial and l am proud to support his nomination for Emeritus faculty status.



Professor Shelly Cushman - Professor Emerita

Dance and Theater

Professor Shelly Cushman formally retired from UNT this summer after a distinguished 42 year career as a member of our faculty. She is known for her work in movement and choreography and was honored three times with awards from the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. Professor Cushman is a nationally-recognized choreographer and her dance pieces have been performed at the Southern Region of the American College Dance Association (ACDA) Festival with a number being selected for the honor of being slated as part of "Gala Night." In 2008, one of her dance pieces was performed at the ACDA's National College Dance Festival in New York City. Professor Cushman used her extensive knowledge of movement and choreography to excel in the classroom in a number of different courses. She was active in the department serving on a wide variety of committees, recruiting excellent students and serving as the Advisor for the BFA in Dance program for many years. Professor Cushman was still an active in choreography working with students through this last spring's final dance recitals and I am thrilled to recommend her for Emeritus faculty status.



Dr. Lisbeth Dixon-Krauss - Professor Emerita

Teacher Education and Administration

Dr. Lisbeth Dixon-Krauss served as professor of Higher Education and Administration at UNT for 10 years, serving as Associate Dean for Teacher Education for 8 of those years. She led the college in the successful reaccreditation of NCATE, as well as CAEP accreditation.  She chaired the Teacher Education Council and served on the Teacher Education Assessment Committee.  She also established an International Student Teaching Exchange Program in Spain and directed UNT’s employee GED and English Language Tutoring Program.   Dr. Dixon-Krauss built a distinguished record of research and publication in reading/literacy education, authoring 3 books, 4 book chapters, and 18 referred journal articles as well as numerous monographs and reports and presented at numerous national and international meetings.



Dr. C. Reid Ferring - Professor Emeritus

Geography and the Environment

Dr. Reid Ferring is an internationally recognized archeologist that has brought international attention to our program with his digs and articles in top journals. His reputation began with his methodological approach to the study of stone tools but he is best known for his archeological discoveries. While working in the North Texas regions, he discovered the oldest campsite in North America now known as the Aubrey Clovis Site. He compiled a team of the best experts in the United States to work with him on this important discovery and the resulting report is an exceptionally important contribution to New World archeology. His discoveries were not limited to north Texas. After working in sites around the world, Dr. Ferring made the most important stop in his career at Dmanisi in the Republic of Georgia. His discovery in Dmanisi represents the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors outside of Africa. His work there has resulted in almost two decades of external funding for his work and publications in Nature, Science, and a feature in National Geographic. He has taught a wide variety of courses in geology and archeology and has served on almost every committee in the department. Reid has served as department chair at two different times and was involved in the hiring of every current member of the department. Dr. Ferring has been a major factor in raising the stature of the Department of Geography and the Environment and UNT during his 40 years at our institution. I am pleased to support his nomination for Emeritus faculty status.



Professor Dennis Fisher - Professor Emeritus

Conducting and Ensembles

Professor Dennis Fisher has had a particularly distinguished 36-year career at the College of Music and UNT. As Associate Director of Bands, he’s conducted virtually every wind group at UNT during his tenure and supervised countless graduate students (MM and DMA) in Wind Conducting. He’s twice been named “Top Prof” by the Mortarboard Society at UNT and is a recipient of the UNT Community Award. He has had an outstanding national and international career: he’s been invited to do sessions at the most distinguished conferences in the United States, Japan, China, Thailand, Great Britain, Scandinavia, Canada, Greece, Brazil, Cuba, and Russia. He’s published regularly in GIA’s Making Music Through Band series as well as co-authored several other books published by GIA. He’s served as the Principal Guest Conductor for the Volga Professional Wind Orchestra in Saratov, Russia since 2006, receiving the Gargarin Medal of Honor from the Russian government for his service to music in Russia; He served on the Legacy Committee for the American Bandmasters Association and has been extraordinarily active as an editor of recordings for several professional publishers (ensembles from The US Air Force Band in Washington D.C., University of Texas El Paso, University of Ohio, among others) and was nominated more than six times for Classical Producer Awards (Grammys), where he is a voting member. And he has also made a number of recordings with the Symphonic Band at UNT, notable one featuring the music of Julie Giroux, an important and prolific composer in Hollywood and beyond, which has played on WRR, KERA, and other NPR Stations.



Dr. Oscar Garcia - Founding Dean Emeritus

Electrical Engineering

Dr. Oscar Garcia joined UNT on July 1, 2003, as a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Founding Dean of the College of Engineering. During his leadership, two new departments: Electrical Engineering and Mechanical and Energy Engineering, were established. A new Computer Engineering program was also created within the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Through collaborations with local industry, the new College also launched the PACCAR Technology Institute and the PACCAR Professorship of Engineering. These new units not only testified of Dr. Garcia’s strong leadership, but also served a solid foundation for the fast growth of the new College of Engineering. After stepping down in 2008, Dr. Garcia continued his support as an enthusiastic educator. He taught both entry level undergraduate courses such as EENG 1910 Learning to Learn and graduate courses such as EENG 5940 Advanced Topics in Quantum Computing. He supervised two master students with thesis research. As a life Fellow of IEEE, Dr. Garcia is very active to support IEEE UNT student branches and local IEEE societies. His voluntary work and seasoned experience brought significant visibility for the new College of Engineering.



Ms. Jean Harden - Librarian Emerita


Ms. Jean Harden joined the UNT Music Library in 1994 as Music Catalog Librarian and in 2014 assumed the position of Coordinator of Music Technical Services. She retired May 31, 2019. During her tenure at the University of North Texas. she has written a number of articles, including many in such standard reference sources as the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, the New Harvard Dictionary of Music, and the Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music, as well as innumerable abstracts for the publication/online resource RILM. Her recent book, Music Description and Access: Solving the Puzzle of Cataloging (Middleton, WI: A-R Editions; Music Library Association, 2018) has become widely recognized as an indispensable resource for music cataloging across the country. In 2006, MOUG (Music OCLC Users Group) gave her its Distinguished Service Award, a recognition of lifetime achievement. She served as lead instructor for a team-taught course in music cataloging through the College of Information and led the Music Library-sponsored Music Cataloging Institute, a week-long class held every summer that drew participants from around the U.S. and abroad.



Dr. Robert Hayes - Principle Lecturer Emeritus

Engineering Technology

Dr. Robert Hayes served for 23 years in the Department of Engineering Technology. Dr. Hayes begin his career in 1995 as a Lecturer and was promoted to the rank of Principal Lecturer in 2015. He proved himself an excellent instructor as shown by his student evaluations that were continuously among the top within the department. He served as the Undergraduate Advisor for the department for over 12 years. His kind-hearted, detailed driven, compassionate demeanor was an inspiration to our students, and all who worked with him. He literally advised thousands of students to meet their graduation goals during his service. At alumni activities, ETEC alum are always asking about Dr. Hayes, and reminiscing about his teaching, student projects, and his personal contribution to their success. Dr. Hayes has undoubtedly touched the lives of thousands of UNT students during his career at UNT.



Dr. Jan Holden

Counseling and Higher Education

Dr. Jan Holden served as a Professor in the Department of Counseling and Higher Education since 1988, serving as Department Chair for 12 years. Her research has focused on counseling implications of near­ death experiences, after-death communication and transpersonal experiences. She served as lead editor of the 2009 Handbook of Near-Death Experiences: Thirty Years of Investigation, and for the past 10 years as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Near-Death Studies. Dr. Holden co-authored the textbook, Theoretical Models of Counseling Psychotherapy, which has served as a foundational text in the counseling field. Dr. Holden received the 2013 Association for Spiritual, Ethical and Religious Values in Counseling's Research Award, and the 2015 American Counseling Association's Gilbe1t and Kathleen Wrenn Award for a Humanitarian and Caring Person. Most recently, Dr. Holden earned UNT's Eminent Faculty Award, which recognizes a faculty member who has made significant contributions to scholarship, teaching and service. Dr. Holden has been a strong leader, scholar, teacher, advocate and mentor, and has inspired both students and faculty during her 30- year tenure.



Dr. Linda Holloway - Professor Emerita

Rehabilitation and Health Services

Dr. Linda Holloway’s professional career began at UNT in 1988. Since that time, Dr. Linda Holloway’s work on meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities and to the training of competent professionals to deliver those services yielded a robust academic department and hundreds of proud and dedicated UNT alumni throughout the DFW and the nation. Dr. Holloway’s extensive portfolio of contracts and sponsored projects helped to develop and maintain various systems of supports for professionals. More recently, Linda initiated a Collegiate Recovery Program at UNT, an online professional learning community collective of over 1000 addiction professionals and has supported students in recovery as they matriculate at UNT. She has also been at the forefront of UNT’s initiatives to support students, faculty and staff who are Neurodivergent and has championed equity and inclusion for individuals on the Autism Spectrum across UNT, the Denton community and the State of Texas. Her legacy will be the impact that each of these entities continue to have on students, faculty, and staff at UNT.



Dr. Imre Karafiath - Professor Emeritus

Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate

Dr. Imre Karafiath joined the faculty at UNT in 1984 as an assistant professor. Over the course of his career, he would distinguish himself as a teacher, scholar, and university citizen. He retired as a full professor of finance in December 2018, having produced 25 peer-reviewed articles in finance, including several articles in highly prestigious journals. Dr. Karafiath mentored finance students at all levels­ undergraduate, master's, and doctoral. As a fitting capstone to his career, during his final semester on the faculty two of his papers coauthored with doctoral students {and other committee members) went to press at the Journal of Financial Research and the Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management. In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Karafiath is widely regarded as an excellent colleague who contributed to the department, the college and the university through his distinguished service. He was a mentor to legions of junior faculty members and doctoral students. He served as the departmental doctoral advisor and department chair from 1994 to 2000. His many contributions were recognized by the department for outstanding teaching in 2010 and 2014, outstanding research in 2008 and 2009, and outstanding service in 2012, 2013, and 2014.



Dr. James Laney - Professor Emeritus

Teacher Education and Administration

Dr. James Laney served as a faculty member in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration for 34 years, serving the last 5 as Department Chair.  He was member of the core leadership group that established the Professional Development School Model for teacher education at UNT. He led the department’s professional development initiatives in equity-diversity and culturally responsive instruction, leading to the department receiving the Inclusion Excellence Award from UNT's Diversity-Equity Office in 2017.  Under his leadership, the department was recognized by U.S. News and World Report, College Choice, College Values Online, BachelorsDegreeCenter.org, and Best-Education-Schools. Com as the top 10 "best buy programs," "outstanding programs," and "outstanding online programs" in early childhood/elementary education, secondary education, and educational leadership; He built a distinguished record of research and publication in economic education for young children; authored 32 national/international journal articles, 3 regional journal articles, 8 state journal articles, 2 books, and 11 book chapters, and presented at numerous national and international meetings.



Dr. Mark McKnight - Librarian Emeritus


Dr. Mark McKnight joined the UNT Music Library in 1990 as Associate Head, Music Library and in 2013 assumed the position of Head, Music Library. He is retiring effective August 31, 2019. Under his leadership, the Music Library continues to be recognized for the breadth and depth of their collections and services and is known for being one of the top music libraries in the country. In addition to his responsibilities in the Music Library, Dr. McKnight is an Adjunct Professor in the UNT College of Music Division of Theory, History, and Ethnomusicology, as well as in the College of Information. He is well-liked and highly respected among faculty and students teaching courses in music research, American music, and music in the United States. Dr. McKnight is active in the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, and the Music Library Association, where he has held a number of offices and is currently serving the final year of a three-year term as MLA President. Dr. McKnight has made a significant impact on the field of music librarianship and music history. He has an international reputation for being a leader and scholar and is well known for his outstanding performance and collegial manner. I highly recommend that he be conferred as UNT Librarian Emeritus.



Dr. Nancy Nelson - Professor Emerita 

Teacher Education and Administration

Dr. Nancy Nelson served as Professor at UNT for 10 years in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration, serving as Department Chair from 2009-2014 and as Meadows Chair for Excellence in Education from 2013-2019.  She has a record of distinguished service, establishing the AOP in Educational Leadership, leading a successful Academic Program Review. In 2019, she received UNT's Citation for Distinguished Service to International Education for her international efforts - established a Visiting Professor Program on issues of linguistic and cultural diversity and leading UNT's partnership with Secretariat of Education, State of Jalisco, Mexico.  She built a distinguished record of research and publication in literacy processes and practices, especially academic discourse and discourse synthesis, authoring 2 books and 1edited book, publishing numerous journal articles, chapters, and technical reports, and presenting at numerous national and international conferences.



Dr. James D. Powell - Professor Emeritus


Dr. James Don Powell graduated from UNT in 1962 with a BBA degree in Personnel Management. He became an officer in the United States Air Force and received an MBA in Industrial Management from the Ohio State University in 1967. He served in the USAF until 1969 when he went to work as a Systems Engineer for EDS. Then Dr. Powell earned his PhD in Management from Louisiana State University in 19n and joined UNT that same year after serving as Assistant Professor of Management at the University of Nevada from 1974-1977. He was promoted to full Professor in 1984 and has served in that capacity to the present day. Dr. Powell's expertise is in strategic management, entrepreneurship, Organizational Theory, General Management, and Organizational Behavior and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in those areas for the past 45 years. His professional activities are exemplary in both research and service including over 40 research publications making him a well-read academic with a national reputation. His service to our profession is noteworthy including serving on most of the department and college committees as a member or chair. Most of all he is a superb colleague sought out by all of us for advice and counsel to help us solve problems and become better academics. In this regard Dr. Powell is a standard bearer for us to emulate in the coming years.



Dr. Richard Smith - Associate Professor Emeritus

Behavior Analysis

Dr. Richard Smith joined the faculty of the Department of Behavior Analysis in 1994 and led the Department as chairperson for 13 of those 25 years. During his time at UNT, Dr. Smith has produced a distinguished record of research, teaching and service to the Department, the University, and the discipline. He has helped train hundreds of students in the treatment and care of adults with developmental disabilities. He and his students have developed a state‐of‐the‐art program for the assessment and treatment of severe behavior problems and his work has informed the development of practices and procedures across state‐supported living centers throughout the state. This work has been funded by contracts from the state exceeding $10,000,000.00 over the course of his career and has been used to support a large number of students who have gone to hold leadership positions in a variety of public and private institutions. Dr. Smith has also produced a stellar record of service on important committees within the University, on editorial boards for academic journals and in leadership roles for disciplinary institutions such as regional associations.



Dr. Richard Sparks - Professor Emeritus

Conducting and Ensembles 

Dr. Richard Sparks has led a distinguished career as a choral conductor in higher education and has conducted professional choirs around the world.  He retired from UNT in May, 2019 after eleven years as a tenured Full Professor in the Division of Conducting and Ensembles.  He also served as the Chair of Conducting and Ensembles for nine years, which required the oversight of the choral, orchestral, wind, opera, and early music programs in the College of Music. Throughout his tenure at UNT, Dr. Sparks was an exemplary educator and colleague.  His teaching and mentorship were revered by his students, and he led countless numbers of choral concerts that brought significant visibility to UNT and the College of Music.  Because of his international reputation, Dr. Sparks was often asked to serve as the guest conductor/adjudicator for highly respected professional choirs and festivals.  Examples include invitations from the Alberta (Canada) Choral Festival, the Swedish Radio Choir, the Boston Early Music Festival, and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. Dr. Sparks has made a significant impact as a choral conductor and has represented UNT with great distinction.



Dr. Marsha J. Staff - Professor Emerita 

Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate

Dr. Marcia Staff devoted her entire academic career to teaching, research, and service at the University of North Texas. In 1979 Professor Staff joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Business Law and retired 40 years later as a Professor of Business Law and Chair of the Department of Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Law in the College of Business at the University of North Texas. She is past president of the Southern Academy of Legal Studies in Business and former editor in chief of the Southern Law Journal. She authored numerous publications and scholarly publications.  She was elected by the faculty of the University of North Texas to deliver the summer 2000 commencement speech entitled "Success is a Means, Not an End." During her time at UNT, Professor Staff served as assistant/associate dean for 12 years and as chair of the FIREL department for 11years.  Her extensive teaching portfolio includes specialized courses at the bachelor's and master's level, as well at the Legal and Ethical Environment of Business. Dr. Staff has been recognized with awards both within and external to the University.  In 2009 she won the Hewitt Memorial Master Teacher Award, presented by the Academy of Legal Studies in Business, and in 2000 was awarded the President's Council Service Award by UNT.



Professor Mike Steinel - Professor Emeritus

Jazz Studies

From 1987 to 2019, Professor Mike Steinel taught all levels of jazz improvisation, jazz fundamentals, pedagogy of jazz at the master’s and doctoral levels, applied jazz trumpet. He served as coordinator of the fundamentals and improvisation area. In that capacity, he developed and supervised our rigorous system of assessment, which provides students with benchmarks for their study of jazz improvisation and regular feedback. He established an international reputation as a jazz educator, performer, composer, and Author. He authored widely-used textbooks that include Building a Jazz Vocabulary and Essential Elements for Jazz Ensemble, which achieve worldwide distribution by Hal Leonard Corporation, the largest music education publisher. He was active as a clinician and presenter at 25 state music education conferences and many national conferences. He devoted special attention to enabling music educators without a jazz background to teach jazz performance more effectively. Prof. Steinel’s teaching was distinguished by a continual process of reflection and improvement, informed by comprehensive knowledge of the jazz pedagogy literature. He authored a large number of compositions and arrangements for jazz small group and big band. He performed extensively at jazz clubs, festivals, and universities, and released several CDs of his original music. He founded and directed our summer Jazz Combo Workshop, now in its 28th year. This workshop has served an important recruiting role for our degree programs.



Dr. Lew Taylor - Professor Emeritus


Throughout his 40 plus years as a professor and 27 years at UNT, Dr. Lew Taylor has consistently served in a leadership role, either as a department chair, a director, or as a key faculty member. Dr. Taylor's career has been one of a lifetime of service.  He has served on the faculty senate, the UNT graduate council, University ROTC committee, and the University review committee. Dr. Taylor accepted the challenge of building the Murphy Enterprise Center and directed i its operations for several years. In 2014, Dr. Taylor agreed to serve again as department chair and has continued in this role until his upcoming retirement in August. His professional service reflects a similar level of involvement with multiple editorial review board memberships, numerous journal reviewer positions, several advisory board positions, and many academic association chairperson positions. His public service includes service with the Girl Scouts, Parent Teacher Associations, and the Wounded Warrior Project. Dr. Taylor also served as a fighter pilot in the US Marine Corps and the US Air National Guard, retiring from the military.



Professor Peggy Tobolowsky - Professor Emerita

Criminal Justice

 Professor Peggy Tobolowsky has provided 30 years of exemplary service to UNT and its students. Her most significant contributions to UNT and the profession include being the author of a leading textbook on crime victim rights and leading book on intellectually disabled offenders facing capital punishment. She is the author of more than 25 journal articles, law reviews, and book chapters on topics ranging from crime victimization to capital punishment. Professor Tobolowsky is considered a leading legal authority on capital punishment involving intellectually disabled offenders. Her courses are widely recognized by students as the most challenging, and rewarding, in the Department of Criminal Justice. Here service to the university is exemplary as the former Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, recognized seven times at UNT Honors Day, as well as additional awards for teaching and service to UNT and the profession (e.g., Soaring Eagle Award, 2009). For the last 25 years, she organized and hosted the annual Criminal Justice Career Day, the largest discipline-specific career day on the UNT campus.



Dr. Jeanne Tunks - Associate Professor Emerita

Teacher Education and Administration

Dr. Jeanne Tunks served in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration for 19 years. She directed the UNT Core (2014-2017), served as the lead Advisor/Program Coordinator for Elementary Education, (2008-2012), and the Program Facilitator, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction (2017-2019). She served as Faculty Advisor for Kappa Delta Pi (2012-2019) and for Alpha Chi Honor Society (2003 -2019). She received numerous awards including received the Shelton Excellence in Teaching Award (2004), the ACE Award, Kappa Delta Pi (2013, 2015, and 2017), the Alpha Chi Honor Society National Service award (2013), the Claudia Balach Action Research Award, AERA PDS Research SIG (2009, 2012, and 2013). She built a distinguished record of research and publication in mathematics education and the Professional Development School Model; authoring 27 national/international journal articles, one regional journal article, 1state journal article, and one book.