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Briefly: The University of North Texas

TAMS student wins Goldwater scholarship

Amber Lu, a 16-year-old senior enrolled at UNT's Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, will get to go to college in fall with the help of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. 

The national scholarship is one of the hardest to land in the nation. This year, Lu is one of 240 to land the scholarship to study science, mathematics or technology. 

She already has co-authored two publications and works with the UNT chemistry department on how to purify fossil fuels. The scholarship is worth $7,500 per year for two years.

Prateek Kalakuntla, also a TAMS senior, was given an honorable mention by the scholarship foundation.

New endowed chair in College of Education picked 

In August, Elizabeth Murakami, professor and director of educational leadership programs at Texas A&M San Antonio, will join UNT as the Mike Moses Endowed Chair in Educational Leadership. 

Endowed chairs in a department are the most coveted faculty positions and typically are paid for by people outside the university to attract top talent. Donald Buchholz, an alumnus and former regent, funds this position.

Murakami has worked to improve Texas schools for more than a decade through research and published works, and she earned her doctorate in educational administration from Michigan State University.

Researcher earns Fulbright scholarship

Rhonda Christensen, a research professor in the College of Information, will work in the Netherlands this fall as part of a Fulbright Senior Specialist Scholarship. 

Christensen will work with faculty at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences to work on how to infuse technology in education this fall. 

Next year, she plans to host a symposium for faculty at UNT and Windesheim to share their research and resources.

Associate dean heading to leadership institute 

Pamela Padilla, associate dean of research and graduate studies for the new College of Science, is heading to a new leadership institute designed for scientists. 

Padilla, who also teaches biology, will attend the leadership institute with 14 other scientists in June in Washington, D.C. She's attending Howard Hughes Medical Institute through its partnership with the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in science.  

Professor earns math teaching award 

Neal Brand, a mathematics professor for 34 years, was presented with the Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics Award from the Mathematical Association of America Texas. 

One professor throughout the state is recognized with this award annually. The award comes as Brand works toward retirement, and he will only teach one semester per year for the next three years. 

Researcher gets National Science Foundation award 

Cornelia Caragea, assistant professor of engineering, is one of the young researchers nationwide to earn the National Science Foundation CAREER award. 

With the award, NSF will fund her research about how to create solutions in digital data to make information more accessible and comprehensible for scholarly work. 

The award is the most prestigious distinction from NSF for early career researchers.