2021 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. Mary Lynn Babcock, Professor
Department of Dance and Theater
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Retiring with 35+ years of experience. Dr. Mary Lynn Babcock was widely regarded as an excellent collaborator and colleague who contributed immensely to the Department of Dance and Theater. She built a distinguished record of creative research and publication, including 20+ choreographed dance pieces; 25 peer-reviewed, invited, and/or commissioned paper presentations and co-presentations on practice-based research with undergraduate students; 10 chapter and article publications, and 50+ workshops/master classes at universities and in Egypt, Brazil, Jamaica, Portugal, and the Netherlands, as well as at top professional organizations such as the National Dance Education Organization, dance and the Child international, and the Conference on Research in Dance. Embracing student-centered learning and community engagement through dance as well as emphasizing the significance of the subjective body and the study of the self in dance, she taught a wide range of courses from modern dance techniques to choreography, Laban Studies, and dance and technology. Always looking for ways to infuse invention and innovation in the undergraduate dance curriculum, she created and served as coordinator for a unique media/dance lab for students, affectionately called "the MacLab," to investigate dance performance and choreography with direct application of digital media. Dr. Babcock also sustained an outstanding record of service on important standing and ad hoc committees within the Department that even extended to serving for several years as the Dance Advisor and as Building representative. Her passion for dance and dance education was and will continue to be an inspiration to students and to all who had the opportunity to work alongside her.

Dr. Bill P. Buckles, Professor
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
College of Engineering

During Dr. Buckles served as an Associate Dean for the Research and Graduate Studies for three years. He also served as an Associate Department Chair (a.k.a. Graduate Coordinator) for another two years.  His leadership roles included four years as Chair of the College of Engineering PAC committee, a one year as the Chair for the department’s Promotion and Tenure committee, and Chair several ad hoc committees charged with the search and hiring of qualified tenure-track faculty.  Dr. Buckles was also contributing member of several important Departmental committees including the Executive Committee (several times) and the Undergraduate Studies Committee (two years 2018-2020). Of approximately 230 peer reviewed papers published over career, the most recent 70 (approximate) appear with a UNT affiliation. Seven of the 22 Ph.D. students whom he has guided to success (mostly in academia) were graduated under the aegis of UNT (Two more will soon follow.) Grants administered at UNT were supported with funds from NSF (2 plus one as Senior Personnel), State of Texas (2), and TxDOT (1).  In addition, Dr. Buckles transferred $400K of a Ballistic Missile Defense grant to UNT. While Chair of the 2015 IEEE Int. Conf. on Communication and Network Technologies, he used his influence to bring the conference to Denton packaged with a tour of the DP campus by attendees.  

Dr. Richard A. Dixon, Distinguished Research Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
College of Science

Dr. Richard A. Dixon served as University Distinguished Research Professor (2012-2021) and was founding Director of UNT’s BioDiscovery Institute, one of the University’s four Institutes of Research Excellence, from 2015 until 2017, and Associate Director until 2021. He is one of the world’s pre-eminent Plant Biologists whose work has featured in interviews with major outlets including the BBC, NYT, and Canadian Broadcasting Service. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Inventors, and the American Society of Plant Physiologists. With over 84,000 citations of his more than 500 papers, Dr. Dixon is the third most highly cited author in the field of Plant Biology. He has trained a large cohort of scientists who now hold faculty positions across the world, and mentored a 2021 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar. Dr. Dixon has received numerous prestigious awards including being elected Faculty Fellow of the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study at Texas A&M University. He serves on the board of a number of international science advisory boards, and is active in the US National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of London. He currently sits on the Editorial Boards of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Professor Dixon was recipient of UNT’s Presidential Excellence Award (2016) and has received Governor’s commendations from the States of Oklahoma (2013) and Texas (2018).

Dr. Richard M. Golden, Professor
Department of History
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Dr. Richard M. Golden earned his Ph.D. in History at The Johns Hopkins University in 1975. He taught at Clemson University from 1974 until 1994 when he joined the UNT Department of History as a full professor. Dr. Golden served as department chair from 1994 until 2001, created UNT’s African American and Mexican American studies minors, received the “Professing Women Award” from the UNT Women’s Studies Roundtable, and was selected as a Regents Faculty Lecturer. A scholar of early modern France, Dr. Golden has been the recipient of numerous grants, including from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Newberry Library. He has written or edited six books, numerous articles, and more than one hundred book reviews or book notes. The four volume Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Western Tradition received the Roland H. Bainton prize for best reference book in 2007. From 1985 until 2010, he served as a book review editor for the Religious Studies Review. A committed educator, Dr. Golden taught seventeen different undergraduate and eight different graduate classes and chaired the CLEP Social Studies Test Development Committee for the Educational Testing Service between 1998 and 2006. In 2001, Dr. Golden founded the UNT Jewish Studies program (renamed the Jewish and Israel Studies program in 2014) which he directed and raised $1.5 million dollars to support. He served as the elected co-director of the Association for Jewish Studies Program Directors’ Network in 2015 to 2016, and he was named the “Jewish Professional of the Year” by the Regional Hillels of North Texas in 2006.

Dr. Stephen Guynes, Regents Professor
Department of Information Technology and Decision Sciences
G. Brint Ryan College of Business

Regents Professor Dr. Steve Guynes’ leadership and accomplishments for 52 years support that he is eminently deserving of recognition as Professor Emeritus. Steve co-founded the department in the mid-1980s and has been the driving force behind our undergraduate information systems curriculum. Through his leadership and direction, the department created and operated the Information Systems Research Center, one of the few centers in the university at that time. Although the department has expanded the curriculum over the past decade, the BS-BCIS has always been the cornerstone of the department. Thanks to Steve’s guidance of its curriculum and his role in the hiring and development of our faculty over the past 35 years, it is one of the most technically solid undergraduate degrees in any AACSB college of business world-wide. Steve could have retired years ago, but he stayed these past several years, including the current one, to make sure our curriculum and faculty were fully prepared to carry on the high standards he established for us. Dr. Guynes has even trained and helped fund, through a cash gift to the department, the salary of the instructor who will replace him in the classroom next September.

Dr. Andrew Harris, Professor
Department of Dance and Theater
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Since arriving at UNT in 2003, Dr. Andy Harris has been a professor of theatre with a meritorious reputation as a scholar, teacher, advocate, and mentor. For his publication of The Performing Set, the Broadway Designs of William and Jean Eckart, he received the Golden Pen Award from the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) for the outstanding book in theatre design and was invited to present the Golden Pen Lecture at the organization's national conference. He recently published World Theatre after 1700, a 700-+-page text examining the nature of theatre across various cultures and historical periods. At the time Dr. Harris announced his retirement in Spring 2021, he was in the midst of researching for and writing the text World Theatre before 1700, as well as had a contract with Routledge for a revision of his earlier prize-winning Broadway Theatre, Then and Now. Dr. Harris taught a range of courses from theatre history (a university academic core class) and play analysis to playwriting. His keen interest in theatre history and US musicals led to the development of “The Broadway Theatre," a popular course among students that always filled to enrollment capacity within the first days of registration. The two courses in theatre history required Herculean efforts by Dr. Harris that resulted in both being approved by CLEAR to be taught fully online. Dr. Harris also accumulated a lengthy list of directing credits at UNT, from Sophocles' Antigone, Anton Chekhov's The Three Sisters and Moliere's The Misanthrope, to the musical Once Upon A Mattress, to Lillian' Helman's The Little Foxes, to Arthur Miller's the Crucible, David Auburn's Proof, and Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett's The Diary of Anne Frank, which was recently produced on Zoom, reaching audiences in 30 states. Dr. Harris always went the extra mile to seek out innovative ways to enrich UNT theatre programming as well as students' experiences with and in theatre. Dr. Harris' commitment to the Department, as both a teacher, scholar, and a colleague, was unwavering. Dr. Harris will be greatly missed by faculty, students, and staff.

Dr. Marie-Christine Koop, Professor
Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

I recommend Dr. Marie-Christine Koop, Professor of French Culture and Civilization in the Department of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures, be granted Professor Emerita status. She meets the eligibility requirements (UNT Policy 06.013), retiring from a tenured appointment she held for 25 years with a record of distinguished service in all three areas of teaching, scholarship and service which, most recently, was honored with awards from the French government (2017) and the Quebec government (2014). Dr. Koop obtained many external grants totaling over $400,000, a record for our department in a field where grants are not typical. She acquired international recognition as a scholar, publishing eight (co-)edited books, a French textbook, thirty-one peer-reviewed articles, and sixteen book chapters. Dr. Koop created and taught many undergraduate and graduate courses that were among our most popular, directed ten Master’s theses, and created and directed several (semester-long) study abroad programs as well as our graduate Summer Institute and several international exchange programs. She was also department chair for eight years (2004-2012) and served on many important departmental, college, and university committees. Nationally, she served as President of the American Association of Teachers of French in 2007-2009, a 9,000-member professional organization. She was also Vice-President of the North America Commission of the International Federation of Teachers of French and Member of its Executive Council. Dr. Koop was an integral part of our department and UNT for many years and leaves a significant legacy.

Dr. T. David Mason, Regents Professor
Department of Political Sciences
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

In his 17 years of service at UNT, Dr. Dave Mason solidified himself as one of the leading peace science scholars in the nation. He accomplished this through a range of scholarship that is extensive and enduring. Two of his most important articles— “How Civil Wards End” and “The Political Economy of Death Squads”—are two examples among many and have both generated over 500 citations each. Dr. Mason’s overall record of publication and impact puts him among the top scholars in the fields of comparative politics and peace science. While amassing this impressive scholarly record, Dave helped to create the Castleberry Peace Institute at UNT. He has directed the Peace Studies program through his time at UNT. He is Regents Professor and one of two endowed professors in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. He won both the UNT Foundation Leadership Award and the Eminent Faculty Award. Dave Mason’s appointment as an Emeritus Professor would be a more than appropriate finishing touch to his career.

Dr. Margaret Notley, Professor
Division of Music History, Theory, & Ethnomusicology
College of Music

Dr. Notley’s most significant professional accomplishments are to be found in her published scholarship and graduate mentoring. During her eighteen years at UNT, she published nine articles in prominent peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Musicology and in books produced by major academic presses such as Cambridge University Press. She is the only author to publish two books in the American Musicological Society’s premier series, AMS Studies in Music (Oxford University Press). Dr. Notley also supervised seven doctoral dissertations and eight master’s theses. Her advisees won national or international awards from the American Musicological Society, the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), and the OeAD (Austria’s Agency for Education and Internationalization). They hold permanent teaching positions at University of the Incarnate Word, University of Northern Colorado, and Butler University. In recognition of her graduate mentoring, Dr. Notley was awarded the Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring from the UNT Graduate Student Council in 2006.

Dr. John Robert (Haj) Ross, Professor
Department of Linguistics
College of Information

Dr. John Robert (Haj) Ross is one of the most cited linguists in comparison to many other colleagues in the field. Besides being a world class linguist, he is also a prolific poet of both national and international repute. His continued popularity among the students across disciplines spanning over several decades is unparalleled and his dedication towards his students is unmatched. Haj’s contributions to the field of Linguistics over more than fifty years have made him a household name in every Linguistics department around the world. Haj’s vision of an interdisciplinary educational environment is something he has dedicated himself to throughout his career – teaching and working with people across disciplines in its true sense, making linguistics accessible to all students. His groundbreaking work in syntactic theory in the early days of Generative Syntax and the work he continued to do over several decades searching for answers to grammatical “misfits” is truly exceptional and has made a mark in the field. His continuing research on the phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic and poetic structure of English and other languages has intellectual, philosophical and artistic merit. His work is a great contribution to the fields of linguistic inquiry and creative arts. These are just some of the many additional reasons that Haj should be awarded an Emeritus status.

Mr. James Ryon, Professor
Division of Instrumental Studies
College of Music

Dr. Ryon has had a distinguished career as a music educator. His students occupy positions in the United States Navy Band, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Hartford Symphony Orchestra and others. Several students have had far reaching careers in different musical venues, including a staff member for actor Dustin Hoffman. Dr. Ryon’s students have been successful in competitions at UNT and at LSU where he was a faulty member for several years prior to his appointment at UNT. Professor Ryon performed as Principal Oboe with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. He has performed as a soloist with InterHarmony Festival Orchestra in Illinois, the Southern Illinois Festival, Louisiana Sinfonietta and Sinfonica Brasileira in Rio de Janeiro. He also recorded several CDs, which expanded the oboe literature and introduced new Brazilian styles to the oboe literature. Professor Ryon was the Coordinator for Woodwind Chamber Music at the time of his retirement. This was an important position that had an impact on the overall Chamber Music Program. He was a member of the Instrumental Studies Review, Promotion and Tenure Committee, and the UNT Concerto Ad Hoc Faculty Advisory Committee. Dr. Ryon served UNT and the College of Music with distinction and is deserving of Emeritus Faculty Status.

Dr. Mazhar Siddiqi, Professor
Department of Finance Insurance and Real Estate Law
G. Brint Ryan College of Business

Throughout his 30 years as a professor at UNT, Dr. Mazhar Siddiqi has consistently distinguished himself through numerous awards, excellence in research and teaching with an outstanding service and commitment to the students, department, and college. Dr. Siddiqi’s research includes seventeen refereed journal articles of which twelve were sole-authored. His research focused on finance topics such as dividend policy, spinoffs, capital structure and option pricing, and appeared in top-rated journals such as the Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, Financial Review, Journal of Financial Research, and Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting. An area where Dr. Siddiqi truly excelled and probably made his greatest contribution was in his roles as a professor and mentor to the students in the finance doctoral program. He co-authored five publications with his doctoral students which greatly assisted in the launching of their careers and research. Dr. Siddiqi always stepped forward to support the department when needed and taught courses at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels. He served on nineteen dissertation committees and chaired five. As a charter holder of the Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA), he assisted many students in obtaining their CFA certification, critical for a career in the investment management profession. He played a key role with the student investment group (SIG) serving as its faculty advisor and assisting with the management of a significant investment portfolio valued in excess of $700,000. The faculty and I recognize Dr. Siddiqi as one of our very best and most dedicated professors. His significant contributions will have a long-lasting impact on the department and college. A career of exceptional service, teaching, and research clearly set him apart as an outstanding professor and colleague. Together with the faculty of the G. Brint Ryan College of Business, I strongly recommend Dr. Siddiqi for the award of professor emeritus.

Dr. Thomas Sovik, Professor
Division of Music History, Theory and Ethnomusicology
College of Music

Dr. Sovik’ s most significant professional accomplishments are to be found in his innovative teaching and academic leadership. During his three decades at UNT, he led the charge in integrating popular music into the College of Music’s curriculum, designing and launching MUET 3020 (Popular Music in American Culture) for both in-person and asynchronous, online formats. In 2014, he published the first (of three) volumes of a textbook and accompanying workbook, Popular Music in our American Culture: Rethinking History through the Ears of Music, with McGraw-Hill. Dr. Sovik served seven years as division (i.e. department) chair and thirty years as the Director of Central European Studies and Exchanges. In the latter capacity, he organized fourteen study-abroad programs for UNT students and three international festivals featuring Czech music and opera. He is the recipient of many awards, including UNT’s ‘Fesser Graham Award and the Jan Amos Comenius Lifetime Achievement Award for Contributions to Education

Dr. Abbas Tashakkori, Professor
Department of Educational Psychology
College of Education

Dr. Abbas Tashakkori has taught psychology, statistics, and research methodology for four decades in undergraduate and graduate programs. He has been a Professor of Research and Evaluation Methodology at the University of North Texas for 12 years and also served as the department chair for 8 ½ of these years. His academic record includes appointments as Distinguished Frost Professor of Research and Evaluation Methodology at Florida International University, Associate Dean of the College of Education and Chair of the Educational Psychology Department at FIU, Associate Professor and Professor of Research Methodology at Louisiana State University, and Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stetson and Shiraz Universities. He has been a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Carolina Population Center and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and visiting scholar at Texas A&M University. He has extensive experience as a program evaluator, having a Level-A evaluator Certificate from the Louisiana Department of Education. His leadership includes serving as Founding Chair of the Mixed Methods Special Interest Group (SIG) at the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and the founding co-editor (with John Creswell) of the prestigious Journal of Mixed Methods Research (Sage). In addition to numerous journal articles, chapters, and invited keynote speeches, his scholarly contributions include multiple books, including Education of Hispanics in the U.S., Mixed Methodology (Sage), Foundations of Mixed Methods for Social and Behavioral Sciences (Sage, 2 editions), and the Handbook of Mixed Methods (2 editions). His work has been translated to multiple languages across the globe.

Ms. Carmen Terry, Professor
Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

I recommend Ms. Carmen Terry, Principal Lecturer of German in the Department of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures, be granted Principal Lecturer Emerita status. She meets the eligibility requirements (UNT Policy 06.013), retiring from a continuing multi-year appointment she held for 20 years with a record of distinguished service in the areas of teaching and service. Teaching made up 80% of Ms. Terry's workload and she excelled at it. Her average student evaluation score since 1998 is 4. 79 on a scale of Oto 5 with 5 being the highest, placing her among the very best teachers in our entire department. Her work was honored with the UNT CAS Teaching Excellence Award in 2014 and at the national level with the 2013 American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Achievement in furthering the teaching of German in US schools. On her retirement, several students from more than a decade ago shared how her teaching and study abroad had impacted them and their lives. Indeed, her biggest legacy may lie in study abroad as Ms. Terry developed, organized, and led the first faculty-led study abroad program to Germany from 2007 through 2012 and then developed, organized, and led the second faculty-led study abroad program to Freiburg, Germany, 2013-2018. Her work in this area led to her receiving the UNT-international Citation for Distinguished Service in 2016. In the area of service, Ms. Terry's contributions were numerous and made at all levels including as a UNT faculty senator, German coordinator, and chair of promotion committees. Ms. Terry was an integral part of our department and UNT for many years and leaves a significant legacy.

Dr. Rex Wright, Professor
Department of Psychology
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Dr. Rex Wright was an invited visiting scholar at the University of Geneva, Jagiellonian University, and the University of Texas in Austin as well as a member of numerous professional societies. Professor Wright applied for and was awarded internal and external grants, maintaining involvement in three large scale funded projects. He presently is involved in two active funded projects with one NSF grant proposal being revised for re-submission. Editorial activity has included not only service as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Motivation Science, but also, service on several editorial boards and service as Co-Editor of special issues of the journals Motivation and Emotion and Polish Psychological Bulletin. Review of the vita shows 54 chapters and articles, 1 book, and co-organization of 3 international conferences. Professor Wright authored and co-authored thirty international conference presentations, organized symposia, and co-presented scientific posters at a range of meetings. In 2019 alone, Professor Wright gave nine invited colloquia, including ones at universities in Canada, Germany, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates. Professor Wright’s scientific articles have consistently appeared in high profile journals. Recent examples include publications in Perspectives on Psychological Science (impact factor = 9.87), Behavioral and Brain Sciences (impact factor = 17.33), and Psychophysiology (impact factor = 4.02). Professor Wright served on fifteen graduate committees, not only in the psychology department, but also in the UNT school of business and at other universities in the US and Europe. He functioned as chair for five committees, including one that extended from his previous faculty appointment at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Professor Wright has supervised a regular flow of undergraduate research assistants and honors students and been steadily involved in university and other professional service.