Team Grants: Mentoring Exemplars 2021-22

Kathryne Beebe, Department of History; John Martin, UNT Library; Todd Moye, History; Chetan Tiwari, Geography and The Environment; and Andrew Torget, History

Learning from Mentors to Create a Center for Digital Huminites at UNT

Our project grant supports the development of a Digital Humanities Center at UNT. Digital Humanities (DH) is a growing field, with opportunities for funding, publishing, and student enrollment at both the national and international levels. Our team of faculty members from three different areas of the university have found one another, discussed our research in DH, and agreed to work together to achieve the goal of forming a DH center at UNT in order to take advantage of these opportunities. Our plan is to visit established, successful DH centers and ‘shadow’ their directors for a day, so that we might learn directly how our mentors have met challenges in creating, sustaining, and managing their programs. These visits will be preceded and followed by ‘retreats’ at UNT, in which we will prepare for our visits, discuss what we have learned, and formulate a strategy for creating our own DH center. UNT administrators will be invited to join in these discussions so that we can fit what we learn into the institutional context of our own university. Our final intended outcome is to achieve tangible progress in the process of making our vision of a UNT DH center a reality.

For more information, please contact Kathryne Beebe at 

Molly Fillmore, Chair

Divisions of Vocal Studies and Professor of the Voice

In May 2022, a combination of faculty and students will be performing a concert version of Richard Wagner’s epic masterpiece, Tristan und Isolde, in the College of Music Building. Tristan und Isolde is arguably the most groundbreaking opera ever written, credited in music circles as having, by its creation, moved music history ahead at least 150 years.  Given that the opera is rarely performed because of the demands of the roles, it is extremely noteworthy and exciting that UNT has the faculty and students to perform the piece well.  This presents a unique learning and enrichment opportunity for both the musicians involved, as well as the students and community members who will hear it. Mr. Joshua Greene, coach and prompter for The Metropolitan Opera and faculty member at the Mannes School of Music in New York City will come to campus for a 5-day residency.  This residency, though primarily to serve as an opportunity for expert coaching* and preparation work for the multiple faculty members who are part of the Tristan und Isolde project, will also include coaching/mentoring opportunities for our wider student population in the form of audition practice sessions and coaching sessions with Mr. Greene. *A coaching in opera refers to a work session with a singer and coach (usually a collaborative pianist with special training in vocal music and the major operatic languages) during which the coach, as a mentor, advises the singer on issues of diction, stylistic choices, and historical/standard practices.

The goals of this mentorship residency are:

 1. To greatly enhance the quality of the product to be performed and broadcast
 2. To, in the process of the coaching, increase the faculty’s expertise about German operatic diction, musical style, historical practices, and traditional performance nuances of Tristan und Isolde, Wagnerian opera, German opera, and operas of the romantic period
 3.  Provide our students the opportunity for input from Mr. Greene in extra audition practice sessions or coaching’s

For more information, please contact Molly Fillmore at

Tyson Lewis, Art Education; Ruth West, Professor; Chris Moffet, Lecturer; and Aleshia Hayes, Assistant Professor

Visualizing the Choreography of Teaching

This mentoring grant will be used to convene a small working group to discuss how to design, develop, and implement a system to visually render subtle gestures characteristic of individual educators within the larger arches of behavior made during everyday teaching. Our goal is to use motion-capture technologies to help understand the gestural nature of teaching as a special kind of performance art. The project will be informed by a practice-based research or research-creation framework, which views artistic practice itself as a form of research and accepts creative outcomes as legitimate sources of knowledge production. To help with the development process, we will use the grant to consult with experts, including artists and computer scientists, who have experience with motion capture and arts-based research. We hope that the resulting gestural maps will demonstrate how arts-based research initiatives can act as a model for interdisciplinary collaborations into the aesthetics of professional occupations such as teaching.

For more information, please contact Tyson Lewis at

Lauren Matthews, Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology; Kara Fulton, Arts and Sciences

The Non-Tenure Track Faculty Mentoring Network (NTFMN)

The Non-Tenure Track Faculty Mentoring Network (NTFMN) formed in fall 2019 to support non-tenure track faculty, including clinical faculty, lecturers, and librarians (NTF). The NTFMN is a mentoring community of like-minded, career-focused, and personally involved professionals. The NTFMN focusses on three mentoring components: 1. Networking and Resource Meetings 2. Teaching and Technology Meetings 3. Peer-to-Peer Mentoring.  The NTFMN works closely with the Faculty Senate Ad-Hoc Committee for Non-Tenure Track Faculty.  The NTFMN remains in a faculty support/development role and the Ad Hoc group serves as an advisory group to the Faculty Senate on policies/procedures that are expressed as concerns to NTFMN. To learn more about the NTFMN monthly events, please contact:

For more information, please contact Lauren Matthews at

Lisa Nagaoka, Geography & Chetan Tiwari, Geography

Geography and the Environment

The field of data analytics is a rapidly growing area in both academia and the broader job market. However, geospatial data analytics, which is a cornerstone of Geography as a discipline, is often perceived to be something that can be done by anyone.  Most data analytics programs now have the capacity to “make maps” and organizations are more likely to purchase business analytic than GIS programs.  Thus, Geography students need to learn how to translate their GIS and geographic knowledge to these more readily available programs to not just make maps, but to make meaningful maps.  The challenge for professors is keeping up with the changing technological landscape.  The number of programs and tools for analytics has increased.  Even Excel has expanded its functionality into data analytics.  Students would greatly benefit by having these analytical tools incorporated into the entire curriculum rather than a few specialized classes.  There is a wealth of free online training courses available and geographers, with their use of geographic information systems (GIS), would appear to be one group that would readily adopt these new technologies.  However, most of the training and the application examples do not adequately demonstrate how to incorporate geospatial data.

The goals for the mentoring grant are the following:

  • Expose faculty to different areas of data analytics.
  • Demonstrate the complexities of integrating spatial and non-spatial datasets.
  • Teach faculty about relevant data analytics tools and programs.
  • Assist faculty in developing ways to incorporate data analytics into their courses.

Discuss opportunities to use data analytic tools in their research program.
To meet these goals, we will develop a series of workshops for Geography faculty to demonstrate how to use data analytics programs for geospatial and non-spatial datasets, and develop exercises that faculty can incorporate into their classes. 

For more information, please contact Dr. Lisa Nagaoka at

Gloria Olness, Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

Website Design and Implementation as a Co-Mentored Process to Strengthen the National Research Impact of a Multi-Institutional Scientific Collaboration

A UNT inter-institutional team mentoring grant was awarded in support of development of a nascent problem-focused research collaboration that includes research faculty from the University of North Texas and seven other institutions nationally (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Kansas, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Western Michigan University, Lamar University, Bowling Green State University, and Southeastern Louisiana University).  Specifically, this funding supports sustainable design and development of a scientific collaboration website with the support and guidance of the IT team in the College of Health and Public Service.  The first purpose of this website is to coordinate co-mentored research activities among the members of a scientific network (Scientific Collaboration on Interactional Discourse and Communicative Diversity) representing researchers who are members of our multi-institutional research team, whose inaugural research roundtable meeting was hosted by UNT in January 2020.  Our collaborative lines of research and the trans disciplinary theoretical constructs on which they are grounded provide an evidence base for the design of an innovative, ecologically valid, interaction-based approach to rehabilitation and clinical practice for people who have communication disorders (Innovating and Situating Practice in Rich Environments: InSPIRE).   The second purpose of this website, and in particular the public-facing portions of the website, is to disseminate InSPIRE approaches and to expand our co-mentorship network nationally and internationally across the larger field of trans disciplinary research colleagues and clinical colleagues.   The long-range vision of our collaboration is to act as a strong and united force effecting paradigm shift in the science of interactional discourse and its clinical application in ultimate service to populations with communication disorders.  The website will serve in perpetuity as the nexus for multiple intersecting networks of co-mentorship nationwide and globally. 

For more information, please contact Gloria Olness at

Amy Petros, Chemistry; Sophia Kinyanjui, Chemistry; Nirmala Naresha, Math; Purnima Neogi, Biology; and Brian Fortney

FIRSTS: Faculty-Initiated Redesign of STEM Teaching for all Students

Faculty members from the College of Science (Nirmala Naresh-Math, Sophia Kinyanjui-Chemistry, Purnima Neogi-Biology, Brian Fortney-TNT, Amy Petros-Chemistry) invite CoS faculty to participate in a mutual mentoring model with a goal to redesign our STEM courses to be inclusive and support learning gains for all students.  With a focus on Open Educational Resources (OER) during the first semester, FIRSTS supports faculty interested in learning how to create, adapt, or implement OER in their courses and locate funding sources for that purpose.  The second semester of the Team Mentoring Grant will target inclusive classroom tools and techniques, that we may learn from the literature and each other how best to support UNT student learning. 

For more information, please contact Amy Petros at

Jennifer Porst, Media Arts and Courtney Brannon Donoghue, Media Arts

Department of Media Arts 

Our objective for the Team Grant Mentoring Program is to foster connections with faculty at other R1/HSI institutions in Texas and Southern California and to research the development of a summer program in Los Angeles for UNT students. The Department of Media Arts has developed Media Industry Studies as a core area of concentration for undergraduate studies, graduate studies, and faculty expertise. As junior faculty actively teaching and conducting research in the area, this grant offers an unparalleled opportunity to strengthen our professional mentoring networks, to enhance our research connections in Texas and Hollywood, and to further develop UNT’s strengths in media industry studies. 

We will develop our mutual mentoring network by traveling to Austin, Texas, to meet with colleagues in the Department of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas who lead their Media and Entertainment Industries Program and Latino Media Arts & Studies Program. The target goals for this trip are to gather information about how the CEMI and Latino Media Arts & Studies Program operate; identify opportunities for funding and collaboration; and study their curriculum and advising for media industry studies, particularly in light of UT’s new HSI designation. We will also travel to Los Angeles where we will meet with faculty, administrators, librarians, and archivists at institutions including other HSIs with strong media industry programs. Los Angeles is not only home to major film and TV production studios and corporate media headquarters but also to many of the top-ranked university media industry studies scholars and programs in the U.S. These meetings will allow us to discuss with them how they undertake grounded industry interviews, find and utilize archival materials, and find financial support through fellowships and grants. z

For more information, please contact Jennifer Porst at

Karthigeyan Subramaniam, Teacher Education; Christopher Sean Long, Teacher Education; and Nazia Khan, Teacher Education

Mutual Mentoring for K-12 Science Teacher Educators to Master English Language Learning Strategies: Building Effective Teacher Education Knowledge  

The proposed mentoring program aims to develop effective science teacher educators who can deliver current English language learning strategies to pre-service teacher candidates in the STEM specializations like science teaching methods in the teacher education program at UNT. By doing so, the proposed mentoring program aims to develop pre-service teacher candidates who are professionally prepared to support the language and content learning needs of their future K-12 English learners in Texas schools. To build effective pre-service teacher education knowledge for English language learning strategies we propose to use five modules from the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) to provide professional development for three science teacher education faculty and two teaching fellows. CAL Institutes provide research-based strategies and practical, hands-on tools, and help teachers meet the language and literacy demands of content instruction for all language learners ( 

Target Goals: (1) identify the characteristics of sheltered instruction and recognize the eight components of the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP), (2) gain a background on how K-12 students learn language in the content area classroom, (3) identify principles of second language learning in the classroom, (4) analyze the forms and functions of academic language in sheltered lessons, (5) gain information on developing and implementing content and language objectives in sheltered instruction, (6) distinguish between content and language objectives, (7) determine criteria for creating effective language objectives and (9) practice developing objectives for lessons. Mentoring team includes: Dr. Karthigeyan Subramaniam, Dr. Christopher Long, and Dr. Nazia Khan. 

For more information, please contact Dr. Karthigeyan Subramaniam at 

Lisa Welch, PhD., Hyunju Kim, PhD, Purnima Neogi, PhD, Ana Hoeinghaus, PhD, Jim Bednarz, PhD, and Jessica Moore, PhD.

Biology Advisors-Transfer Mentoring

With the introduction of President Biden’s American Families Plan to fund free tuition for CC, it can be expected that the number of students enrolling in CC prior to transferring to a 4-year institution will increase. The number of College of Science (COS) transfer students has risen over the past three years from 267 in 2017 to 301 in 2019. Seventy percent of these were transfer students from the CC. For the past three years the average retention rate of transfer students across the University (74%), COS (78%) and Biology (72%) are approximately the same. However, only 44% of the CC students that enter UNT as Biology majors returned as Biology majors the next fall.

As advisors, the most prevalent problem we see for transfer students is the lack of completion or significant progress in the foundation courses towards a degree in Biology. Instead, these students are coming in core complete with relatively few science courses. Additionally, transfer students wait to enroll or attend a later transfer orientation session then have problems obtaining financial aid and getting seats in the courses that they need. The purpose of the Community College Transfer Student Success Initiative (CCTSSI) is to 1) Address the identified issues to improve retention of Biology majors, decrease the number of DFWI rates, improve science GPA, and reduce the time for completion for our CC transfer students. 2) Increase the rate of engagement of transfer students both before and after transfer with the Biology Advisor team. 3) Improve the communication, cohesiveness, and processes for the biology advisory team. 4) Establish communication with CC advisors and faculty. 5) Provide mentoring opportunities for CC biology faculty.

For more information, please contact Lisa Welch at

Haley Zettler, Criminal Justice

UNT Inside-Out Prison Exchange Network

The team mentoring grant will be used to support a network of faculty members at UNT to create an Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program at UNT. Funds from the grant will be used to support faculty in the network to become certified to teach Inside-Out courses as well as supporting the infrastructure of the program.

For more information, please contact Haley Zettler at 

Yang Zhou, Michael Carroll, Myungsup Kim, Jeffrey Rous, Hanchen Jiang, Xi Yang, and Yang Zhou. All in Department of Economics 

IRS Migration Data Project by UNT Department of Economics 

This mentoring program centers on a comprehensive dataset-- the U.S. Population Migration Data from the IRS and brings in both junior and senior faculties in the Department of Economics, who share overlapped research interests of urban and regional economics. The team includes Drs. Michael Carroll, Hanchen Jiang, Myungsup Kim, Jeffrey Rous, Xi Yang, and Yang Zhou. More specifically, this migration dataset is based on year-to-year address changes reported on individual income tax returns filed with the IRS. Based on the IRS migration data, we aim at answering several research questions: what is the U.S. county-level migration patterns in terms of income in the last couple of decades? Is there any regional phenomenon: For example, do specific areas, e.g. DFW area, have more income inflows or outflows and why? What are the migration patterns across racial groups, and do these differences reinforce racial and income inequality? We also analyze how people’s migration pattern is affected by merging the weather data on natural disasters like hurricane to the IRS migration data.

For more information, please contact Yang Zhou at