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UNT study shows Hispanics live longer

Confirming the existence of the Hispanic Mortality Paradox, a new analysis of health studies led by a University of North Texas psychologist shows that the Hispanic-American participants’ survival rates from heart disease and other medical conditions were substantially higher than that of the non-Hispanic white and black participants.

John Ruiz, assistant professor of psychology, worked with researchers at Brigham Young University to determine survival rates of specific diseases by different racial and ethnic groups. Past studies had focused only on death certificates and census counts, not causes of death.

For the analysis, which is published on the American Journal of Public Health website, Ruiz and Patrick Steffen and Timothy B. Smith from BYU identified 58 past longitudinal studies that provided quantitative data regarding individual Hispanic-American mortality rates.

All of the studies were published from January 1990 to July 2010, and involved more than four million participants in all ethnic groups. Participants in 13 of the studies had no health conditions at the time of the initial survey, while those in the other 45 studies had been diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, HIV/AIDS and other medical conditions such as lupus, diabetes, kidney disease and strokes.

The participants were followed for the studies for as long as 33 years, but the average time was 6.9 years. 

Overall, the Hispanic participants in all of the studies had a 17.5 percent lower mortality rate as compared to their non-Hispanic white and black counterparts, regardless of age.


College of Music presents spring events

The University of North Texas College of Music presents a spring season that features world-class guest composers, the American leg of the International Janacek Festival and Conference and a fresh, new take on gospel.

A recital of the chamber music of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Yehudi Wyner begins a series of concerts of music by outstanding guest composers and arrangers, which will include the multimedia works of composer and pianist Jaroslaw Kapuscinski on Feb. 25, Baylor professor of composition Scott McAllister and alumnus Kevin Walczyk on April 11 and the highly anticipated world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Ahab Symphony on April 24. “Gospel Meets Jazz: A Black History Celebration” will showcase guest artist Claus Raible’s original arrangements as performed by the Brad Leali Jazz Orchestra on Feb. 17.

The International Janacek Festival and Conference includes a number of concerts of Czech music by guest artists from the Czech Republic as well as UNT performers. The conference will conclude with UNT Opera’s U.S. premiere of the semi-staged, fully orchestrated version of Janacek’s song cycle “The Diary of One Who Disappeared.”

For a complete list of UNT College of Music events, including faculty and student recitals, visit the College of Music online calendar at For ticket information for performances at the Murchison Performing Arts Center, call the box office at 940-369-7802 or visit the center’s website at . Some concerts are streamed live online at .

Events coming up this month are:

•  8 p.m. Thursday — Guest artist recital with Chad Burrow playing clarinet and Amy I-Lin Cheng playing piano in Voertman Hall in the Music Building, located at the southeast corner of Avenue C and Chestnut Street. Free.

•  8 p.m. Friday — Trombone Showcase I with Vern Kagarice as coordinator in Voertman Hall in the Music Building. Free.

•  3 p.m. Sunday — Guest artist master class with Alexander Lapins playing tuba in the Recital Hall in the Music Building. Free.

•  6:30 p.m. Sunday — Guest artist recital with Alexander Lapins playing tuba and Susan Wass playing piano in the Recital Hall in the Music Building. Free.

•  8 p.m. Monday — Faculty Recital with James Scott playing flute and Armin Abdihodzic playing guitar in Voertman Hall in the Music Building. Free.


Online programs earn national rankings

University of North Texas online graduate degree programs in business and education have been ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News and World Report in its 2013 Best Online Education Program rankings released this week.

The College of Education was ranked 13th in the nation for Best Online Graduate Education Programs, including its master’s degree in educational psychology with a concentration in gifted and talented education and a new accelerated online master’s degree in educational leadership.

UNT’s Master of Business Administration degree program was ranked 20th in the nation for Best Online Graduate Business Programs.

UNT offers online M.B.A. programs with concentrations in marketing, strategic management and finance. The degrees are provided in flexible formats to meet the needs of working professionals, and the UNT M.B.A. is fully accredited by AACSB-International, the world’s premier accrediting agency for colleges of business.

According to U.S. News and World Report, rankings are based on factors such as student engagement, faculty credentials and training, support services offered to students and admissions selectivity.


Doctoral student awarded scholarship

Phillip Davis of Greenville, S.C., a doctoral student in the University of North Texas’ College of Business, was honored as one of the top business students in Texas at the Texas Business Hall of Fame’s 30th annual Induction Dinner in Houston last fall.

Davis plans to use his scholarship award to fund additional academic conferences to present his research in entrepreneurship and strategy.

The foundation annually awards one scholarship at each of the program’s 19 participating Texas universities. This year, Davis represented UNT.

Davis received his Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering from Clemson University.

His research interests include entrepreneurial process, capability development and strategic entrepreneurship.


CNN’s Don Lemon to address conference

Veteran CNN anchor Don Lemon, who in 2011 released a memoir to discuss his homosexuality, as well as racism, homophobia and colorism in the black community, will give one of three keynote addresses at “A Journey to Freedom,” the University of North Texas’ 13th Equity and Diversity Conference at 10 a.m. Feb. 1.

The theme of the conference was chosen to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863.

The conference, open to 500 participants, is aimed at students, educators and professionals who are committed to equity and diversity in higher education and in the workforce. It will include sessions on addressing unconscious biases and stereotypes and identifying barriers against more inclusive environments for those with disabilities, among other topics. Registration is free for students, $50 for UNT faculty and staff members and $150 for others, with group rates available for six or more people.

Registration is available through Friday by visiting .

The conference will take place at the Silver Eagle Suite of UNT’s University Union, 1155 Union Circle. 

Lemon will focus on diversity during his keynote address.

Lemon also will sign copies of his memoir, Transparent, during the conference’s luncheon.

Other keynote speakers for the conference are Valeisha Butterfield-Jones, co-founder and chairwoman of the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network, and Cuc Vu, chief diversity officer for the Human Rights Campaign.

For more information, visit .


Samuel Golden set for speaker series Feb. 8

The University of North Texas College of Business Distinguished Speaker Series will present Samuel P. Golden at 10 a.m. Feb. 8.

Golden is managing director of Alvarez & Marsal, a financial management consulting firm that caters to organizations at locations across North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

The free presentation will take place in Room 170 of UNT’s Business Leadership Building, at 1307 W. Highland St.