May 2016

Archived Content

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Salute to Faculty Excellence Recipients

Congratulations to the recipients of the Foundation, Teaching, Research, and Service awards listed below who will be honored at the Salute to Faculty Excellence on September 22. Please join us at the fall event to celebrate these inspirational faculty members and their great accomplishments. The event will be held at the Hub Club at Apogee Stadium, with a reception at 6:30 and the awards ceremony beginning at 7:00 pm.

2016 UNT Foundation Award Recipients

UNT Foundation Eminent Faculty Award

T. David Mason, Regents Professor in the Department of Political Science


UNT Foundation Faculty Leadership Award

Narendra Dahotre, University Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering


UNT Foundation Community Engagement Award

M. Jean Keller, Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion, and Recreation

UNT Foundation Outstanding Lecturer Award

Wendy Watson, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science  


  2016 Teaching, Research, and Service Award Recipients
Distinguished Teaching Professorship


Robin Henson, Professor, Educational Psychology


Distinguished Teaching Professorship


Richard Reidy, Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Distinguished Teaching Professorship

Lee Hughes, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

Distinguished Research Professorship Valerie Martinez-Ebers, Professor, Political Science

Ulys & Vera Knight Faculty Mentor Award

Teresa Golden, Professor, Chemistry


J.H. Shelton Excellence in Teaching Award

Andrew Torget, Assistant Professor, Department of History

President's Council Teaching Award

Nancy Stockdale, Associate Professor, Department of History

Faculty Focus

Vijay Vaidyanathan is UNT's Founding Chair of Biomedical Engineering. Biomedical engineering is the application of mathematical, scientific, and medical principles to improve quality of life for people.  Graduates from a biomedical engineering program tend to be hired by hospitals, research institutions and companies.  With aging populations, veterans returning from wars and the advancements being made in hardware and software technology, there is a great need for this degree. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, biomedical engineering jobs will grow by 72% in the next 10 years.  Vaidyanathan created the undergraduate and graduate curriculum and 4-year plans and went through all levels of approval in 2014.  He then worked with the College of Engineering’s recruiter to recruit the first class of 45 students and now, a year and a half later, the program has 110 students and has accepted an additional 105 freshmen for the fall.  Initially, Vaidyanathan taught all of the degree classes, but has now recruited adjuncts - a cardiologist, a director of a biomedical engineering for a startup company, and a faculty member from UNT’s Health Science Center to teach additional courses.  Vaidyanathan advises all of the students, but is looking forward to having two new faculty member colleagues in the fall who will be serving in an endowed professor line and a lecturer line.  The first class of biomedical engineering students will graduate in spring 2018.  Vaidyanathan said, “I love my job.  Starting this program and working with the students has been a fantastic experience.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Yvonne J. Chandler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Library & Information Sciences. Her personal goal when coming to UNT was to be an advocate for African American and diverse population librarians, just as her graduate school mentor had been for her.  Now, Dr. Chandler is the point person who organizes, recruits, advises, teaches, and writes grants for the Master’s of Library Science blended program. This program has received extensive funding (multiple million-dollar grants) from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  The funds have helped support the blending of online material and face-to-face instruction at a centralized location to the participants that happens as a part of the program.  The MLS degree was designed to increase job opportunities and salaries for librarians.  Students are recruited for the program in cohorts from across the country, including the continental U.S. and areas as far as the Pacific Islands where there is a great need for native librarians. The grants that Dr. Chandler has written have targeted rural areas for the goal of increasing the number of librarians of color. One of the current cohorts will be meeting in the coming weeks in Hawaii for 10 days to learn the digital skills needed to preserve historical-cultural artifacts.

Lecturer Spotlight




Brenda Sweeten, Lecturer in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service, came to UNT in 2010 after serving as the Program Director of CASA for Denton County for 12 years. She founded and continues to be a passionate advocate/advisor for the PUSH student organization. Sweeten also serves as the Foster Care Liaison Officer at UNT. 


Above: PUSH students sharing Thanksgiving dinner     

The PUSH students support one another and serve as a surrogate family as they go through any challenges they may face in college. PUSH students are active at presenting panel discussions at conferences concerning their own heart-wrenching foster experiences. PUSH stories have also served to inform decision-making in child welfare service settings.


PUSH, which stands for Persevere UNTil Success Happens, is a student organization that supports foster care alumni to ensure that doors are open for them to achieve in the university system.  The logo colors have the following representation: yellow is for foster care, blue is for child abuse prevention, and green is for UNT.

Spring Showers Give-away!

The May newsletter give-away is 5 UNT Faculty Connect umbrellas. 

Register by May 20th for one of five chances to win an umbrella (click here).


Congratulations to April's winner of two tickets to the UNT Dance and Theatre production of Shakespeare's 

Merry Wives of Windsor on May 1st: Bertina Combes!

Faculty Development Leave Workshops

 Are you thinking about applying for Faculty Development Leave? Please join us for an information session, followed by a Q&A period. There will be two sessions: 

May 9, 2016: 10:00-11:00 in Union 382B & May 10, 2016: 3:00-4:00 in Union 382B.


Important Dates 
Salute to Faculty Excellence September 22
September 21 and October 18 Lecturer Workshops
September 14 and October 11 Promotion and Tenure Workshops
August 18 New Faculty Orientation
May 20 Deadline to register to win an umbrella
May 13 and 14 Spring Commencement Ceremonies
May 9 and 10  Register for Faculty Development Leave Sessions on May 9 or May 10