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UNT briefs

Regents to officially vote on new president

The University of North Texas Board of Regents will meet via teleconference at 8:30 a.m. Thursday to officially vote on the naming of Dr. Neal Smatresk as president.

The meeting will take place at in the board room on the third floor of the UNT Gateway Center, 801 North Texas Blvd. in Denton.

Smatresk was named sole finalist for the UNT president on Nov. 20 and currently serves as the University of Nevada-Las Vegas president. Texas law requires the Board of Regents wait a minimum 21 days before taking a final vote officially naming Smatresk president, which district officials say will come to a close Thursday.

Community forum rescheduled for Jan. 14

A community forum to discuss Denton recreation and quality of life is being rescheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 14 at the Joseph A. Carroll Building, 401 W. Hickory St., in Denton.

The free event, originally slated for Dec. 6, was postponed because of inclement weather.

It is the first of five events requesting local residents to share their views on recreation and well-being, residential, transportation, health care, including mental health and substance abuse services, and community support and services. The focus for the meeting is recreational health.

Officials with the University of North Texas, North Central Texas Area Agency on Aging and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services is asking Denton residents from every age group to participate in the forum. Individuals can register by contacting Julia Wolfe, project coordinator, at 940-784-3780 or

Moot court teams advance to nationals

Three University of North Texas teams will advance to the American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Championship Tournament at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University Jan. 17-18 after being selected by judges in the regional tournament at Texas Tech University School of Law Nov. 15-17.

The UNT teams are among 11 out of 54 competing teams chosen to go to the national tournament from the southwestern region. The wins mean that UNT is in a strategic position to hold onto its fifth-place ranking in the nation.

“This is very impressive because we qualified three teams for nationals and won six speaker awards — more than any other squad in the region,” said Dr. Kimi King, professor of political science and UNT moot court coach of 14 years. “I’m particularly pleased that we advanced one team whose members have been to nationals previously, plus two new teams. We are looking forward to going and competing with the top teams in the country.”

Moot court is a simulation of appellate court proceedings in which students examine a legal problem and argue both sides of the case as petitioner and respondent before a group of judges.

Judges rank students across four categories:

Knowledge of subject matter.

Response to questions.

Forensic skill and courtroom demeanor.

Organization, logic and clarity of argument.

Megan Altobelli, a senior from Plano and political science major, and Jada Kent, a senior from Denton majoring in history with a minor in political science, ranked second among the teams advancing to the national tournament. Kent was additionally recognized with an orator award that placed her in a top-10 ranking among 68 participants. Altobelli received an orator award that placed her in the top 20. This is Kent and Altobelli’s first semester participating in moot court.

Both Altobelli and Kent will graduate in December and plan to attend law school in the fall.

The team of Alex Schwind, a senior from Grandview majoring in political science and history with minors in economics and German, and Taylor Ledford, a sophomore from San Antonio majoring in political science, tied for third place behind Altobelli and Kent. Ledford received an orator award that ranked him in the top 20.

MacKenzie Dunham, a senior from Aubrey and double major in political science and history, and Blake Jackson, a senior economics major from Keller, advanced with the highest scores after the first day of competition and finished fifth overall. Jackson received an orator award with a top-20 ranking.

Additional speaker awards went to Conor McElroy, a junior majoring in history, whose award placed him in the top 20; and Eryn Mascia, a freshman of political science who recently won the Moot Court Champion title at the invitational Texas A&M University School of Law tournament. Her award gave her a top-10 ranking.

Associate professor named co-editor

The Journal of Product and Brand Management recently named Francisco Guzman, associate professor of marketing in the University of North Texas College of Business, its co-editor, according to university officials.

Beginning next month, he will serve three years as co-editor with Cleopatra Veloutsou from the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom “primarily responsible for coordinating submissions, reviewing them, assigning them for blind review, and recommending revisions before publication,” according to a UNT media release.

“Academic life is collaborative,” he said. “Every time we as editors attend a conference, every time we are invited to a ‘meet-with-editors’ roundtable, the University of North Texas’ name will be there.”