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UNT briefs

Discussion on quail planned for Friday

UNT-Quail, a quail research and landowner extension program, will play host to the North Texas Quail Symposium, a one-day event bringing together the nation’s top quail scientists and enthusiasts to discuss the philosophy and science of quail conservation.

The event is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at the UNT Gateway Center Ballroom, 801 North Texas Blvd.

The event will honor Dr. Fred Guthery, Bollenbach Chair at Oklahoma State University, for his contributions to quail research. All talks will be summaries of chapters of a unified book to be published in 2013. Dr. Kelly Reyna, UNT professor of biological sciences and director of UNT Quail, organized the symposium.

Speakers include quail researchers from Texas A&M-Kingsville, Texas Tech University and other research centers across the state. Landowners Rick Snipes and Deborah Clark, as well as quail storyteller Henry Chappell, also will present.

To register visit . Registration is $35 and includes breakfast, lunch and all of the presentations.


UNT ranked as one of ‘Best in the West’

The Princeton Review ranked the University of North Texas one of the best colleges in the West.

The Princeton Review, a nationally known education services company, selected UNT as one of 122 institutions in its “Best in the West” section of its website feature, 2013 Best Colleges: Region by Region.

For five consecutive years the university has been recognized.

The schools are also rated in six categories — academics, admissions selectivity, financial aid, fire safety, quality of life and green.

The 122 colleges that The Princeton Review chose for its “Best in the West” list are located in 15 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

For the full ranking and ranking criteria, visit


Journalism school gets new interim dean

M. Jean Keller has been appointed as the acting dean for the University of North Texas’ Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism, effective Sept. 4.

She replaces Roy Busby, regents professor of journalism, who had served as interim dean since June 2011 and has returned to his role as a faculty member and associate dean in the school’s graduate program.

Keller, a professor of kinesiology, health promotion and recreation, served as dean of UNT’s College of Education from August 1997 to August 2008, when current dean Jerry R. Thomas was appointed.

As dean, Keller was responsible for a $19 million annual budget, 300 faculty and staff members, 5,200 undergraduates and 3,300 graduate students enrolled in the college.

Keller also served as the college’s associate dean of academic affairs from September 1993 to July 1997. In that position, she was responsible for institutional effectiveness, program development and evaluation.

From 2008-11, Keller was a special assistant to the vice chancellor for Campus Academic Transition.

She has also served UNT as a member of the University Curriculum Committee, University Equity and Access Committee, Academic Affairs Committee, Evaluation of Teaching Committee and Student Success and Enrollment Management Review Committee, among others. She has mentored students in UNTs McNair Scholars Program, a highly competitive, federally funded program that prepares students who are from low-income households, are first-generation college students and/or are under-represented in higher education to earn doctoral degrees.

Keller has also been a mentor to students in UNT’s Emerald Eagle Scholars Program, which provides tuition and fees to academically talented students with high financial need.

A search for a permanent dean for the Mayborn School is continuing.

Keller has been a faculty member in UNT’s Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation since 1989. She received her doctor of education degree from the University of Georgia, and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Florida State University.

She has participated in the Governor’s Executive Development Program at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, and in the Baylor College of Medicine’s professional development institute in Houston. 


UNT debate team ranked No. 1 in Texas

The University of North Texas debate team has been ranked first in Texas and 95th in the world by the International Debate Education Association.

The annual rankings are determined by the teams’ performances in 33 high-profile tournaments across the world to show an accurate representation of the comparative strength of competing universities. The totals are calculated by adding the results of all the teams from all the tournaments accumulated over the course of the year.

The team is directed by Brian Lain, associate professor of communication studies.

This year’s team will attend its first tournament Friday-Monday at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, and will also attend tournaments at the University of Kentucky, Wake Forest University, University of Iowa, Northwestern University and Harvard University.

In 2011-2012, 15 members participated in 772 separate debates at several tournaments. The team won 53 percent of the time, and the most experienced team won 62.8 percent of the time.

Ending the year ranked at 20th in the nation, members brought home more than 20 trophies.

The team also is engaged in several outreach programs designed to expand and support the academic debate community and foster argumentation education.

The team is open to all undergraduate students enrolled in the university.


Fall Forum addresses human trafficking 

Survivors will share their stories, and a team of four panelists will lead a discussion about “Sex Trafficking: Modern Day Slavery” during the annual Fall Forum presented by the University of North Texas College of Public Affairs and Community Service in partnership with New Friends New Life.

The free event will be held from 11 a.m. to noon Sept. 27 in the University Union Silver Eagle Suite, one block west of Welch and West Prairie streets.

Contact or Jamie Young, communications and alumni relations coordinator for the College of Public Affairs and Community Service, at 940-369-7439 for general information. A free picnic lunch will follow the event.

Panelists will include:

•  Brooke Grona-Robb, an assistant district attorney in Dallas County who has been supervising the Human Trafficking and Internet Crimes Against Children Unit of the Organized Crime Division for the past five years.

•  Melissa Miles, who heads the City’s Code Compliance Litigation Section in the Dallas City Attorney’s office.

•  Katie Pedigo, executive director of New Friends New Life, a Dallas-Fort Worth area organization that encourages women to leave the sex industry and build new lives.

•  Dr. Irie Session, protege advocate, the spiritual support coordinator for New Friends New Life.

•  Mike Vincent, sergeant with the Addison Police Department assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division and head of the Hotel/Business Retention Unit, which investigates vice and narcotics crimes.


Symphony Orchestra to open new season

UNT’s Symphony Orchestra will open the 2012-13 season with a concert that includes Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, a complex 20th century masterpiece displaying the orchestra’s technical and artistic strengths, at 8 p.m. Friday in the Murchison Performing Arts Center.

The orchestra also will perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58 — with Adam Wodnicki, UNT regents professor of piano — and Arturo Marquez’s Danzón No. 2.

Wodnicki is an internationally renowned pianist, recording artist and pedagogue and a three-time prizewinner of the annual Chopin Society National Piano Competition in Warsaw and the recipient of three prizes at the Eighth Festival of Polish Pianists.

Tickets to the performance can be purchased online or by calling 940-369-7802. Tickets are $10 for adults; $8 for senior citizens, non-UNT students, children, UNT faculty/staff/retirees and groups of more than 10; and are free for UNT students.