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UNT Briefs

University to present conference on peace

The Middle East Peace Conference at UNT, “The Middle East: A New Era?,” will focus on the economic, political, social and education transformations in Middle Eastern nations after the Arab Spring.

The conference will take place March 22 and 23 at UNT’s Gateway Center, 801 North Texas Blvd.

Registration is available online at through March 20 and is free for the conference research presentations and panel discussions and most other activities.

The keynote sessions, which will be a dinner on March 22 and a lunch on March 23, require fees of $20 each.

The conference is being sponsored by 13 UNT departments, divisions and institutes, including UNT-International and the Castleberry Peace Institute, the first institute in Texas devoted to peace studies research.

Conference participants may attend 18 research panels, research presentations and panel discussions on regime transitions, women’s rights, human rights and social justice for Palestinians, Palestinian-Israeli peace prospects, and collaborative arts among nations in conflict, among other topics.

Participants may also attend cultural activities, including an opening reception at UNT on the Square for “Your Night/My Day,” an ongoing online and digital intercultural collaborative art project between artists in Iran and the U.S., and “Celebrating Peace: Middle Eastern Music and Dance,” a showcase of the talents of UNT’s international students.

A complete conference schedule is posted on the UNT-International website, .

For more information, contact Kelly Hughes in UNT-International at 940-369-7098.


Mezzo-soprano named Presser Scholar

The UNT College of Music has named mezzo-soprano Alyssa Narum the 2013-14 Presser Scholar and recipient of the $4,800 Presser Scholarship.

The Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award is presented annually to a student entering his or her senior year who has shown extraordinary musical and academic accomplishments.

The winner is nominated and selected by the UNT music faculty and receives the award from the Presser Foundation, which awards annual scholarships, grants and funds for the furthering of music education and music in America.

The vocal performance senior started singing in choir when she was in the fourth grade and began taking voice lessons at age 13.

A student of Di Fiore, Narum has participated since her freshman year in UNT’s A Cappella Choir, Collegium Singers, and UNT Opera Theatre, and has been featured as a soloist with each of these groups.

She performed the role of Stéfano in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, and was featured in two roles in the 2011 Opera Gala.

Narum was a finalist in the most recent UNT Winspear Opera Competition and was selected as Outstanding Undergraduate in Vocal Studies in 2012. She is also a member of the Honors College at UNT.


Student chosen for President’s List

Megan Pollack, a general studies junior from Denton, was selected to the University of North Texas President’s List in the fall 2012 semester.

The President’s List honors students who maintain a 4.0 GPA while taking 12 or more hours during a semester.


Student’s film selected for New Filmmakers

After leaving her home country of Italy and coming to the U.S., University of North Texas graduate student Sara Masetti found herself identifying with other immigrants.

She chose the student movement for passage of the DREAM Act as the subject for the second film she created for her master’s degree in documentary film production.

This film, Undocumented Dreams, has been chosen for screening at the New Filmmakers Series in New York City.

Started in 1998 by New York University film students to show their work and promote themselves to the city’s film community, New Filmmakers is now internationally recognized for screening animation, documentaries, shorts, and feature films that are not eligible to be shown at other New York City festivals.

The organization has a Los Angeles branch and several corporate sponsors, including Angelika Entertainment, owner of the Angelika Film Centers in Dallas and Plano.

Undocumented Dreams will be shown at 6 p.m. March 13 as part of New Filmmakers’ Latino film series — films by and about Latinos.

Masetti will attend the screening.

She features Loren Campos, a native of Mexico and an activist for passage of the DREAM Act, as the main character in Undocumented Dreams.

A 2011 civil engineering graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Campos came to the U.S. at age 11 with his mother, who fled an abusive marriage.

Masetti, who earned her bachelor’s degree in radio, television and film from UT-Austin, found out about Campos through his blog.

Undocumented Dreams was also shown at Denton’s Thin Line Film Fest and the Dam Short Film Fest in Boulder City, Nev., earlier this month, and the United Nations Film Festival in San Francisco last fall.

Masetti is currently creating her master’s thesis documentary, a 20-minute film about her coming to terms with her two lives — the one as a student in the U.S. and the one in her hometown in Italy.

She has been traveling back and forth to Italy to shoot the film, called The Ocean In Between.

After graduating this May, Masetti hopes to teach at a U.S. college or university while continuing to create films.