From the President's Desk

On February 22-23, we hosted the University of North Texas System Board of Regents for their quarterly, 2-day meeting and I’m proud to say our students made a huge impression on the board and helped articulate – in a very powerful way – why this university is so special.

As the host university, I was asked to make opening remarks and I could think of no better way than to introduce a diverse cross-section of our student body to the board. What better way to learn about what’s happening at UNT Dallas than to talk to our students?

The student panel of (pictured above, left to right)  Alejandra Villanueva , Zainab Hameed, Ashley Wright, George McDonald, and Erran Mays dazzled our board with their insights and personal stories. The next day SGA President Erick Solis and graduate student Dean Boyd further impressed our board during presentations regarding the future of UNT Dallas. I was so proud to see our students shine on this stage – just as they do on campus each and every day.

Other highlights from the month included a wonderful debut event with the Ashoka Changemakers (highlighted below) that will result in a future partnership, as well as the grand opening of our on-campus coffee shop that proudly pours Starbucks products, exclusively. And finally, the search for our next UNT Dallas College of Law Dean is down to three finalists — look for an announcement later this spring.

UNT Dallas continues to grow exponentially, and there are so many ways that our students get involved that are really making an impact. I am continually impressed by the variety of talents, contributions to our communities and vitality that comes from this growing university full of Trailblazers.

February News & Campus Updates

Our campus culture continues to develop and evolve with all of the exciting possibilities, intellectual curiosity and diversity among our students and faculty, and on Feb. 6 we had a productive Best Places to Work Town Hall as a conversation starter that included UNT Chancellor Lesa Rowe and Regent Laura Wright as our guests. We are preparing for a larger audience on March 6. The conversation has already been extremely productive, and I encourage everyone to get involved and bring their perspectives to this important process.
Enrollment Update: Our growth continues to trend at double-digit totals, for year-over-year for the Spring Semester. That makes four semesters in a row of record enrollment. I congratulate everyone for this amazing work. We are hosting a large recruitment event, Jag360, on campus March 24. The UNT Dallas College of Law is also way ahead of where it was at this time in 2017 on the number of applicants and building on that trajectory.
The Dallas County Promise: The deadline for Promise pledge cards at the 31 area high schools was Jan. 31, and it was a great success. A remarkable 96 percent of 9,183 students completed the form, promising they would attend college. These students now must complete their FAFSA or TAFSA forms by March 15. Prairie View A&M and Midwestern State recently joined the program as four-year partners, joining UNT Dallas and SMU. President Mong is helping recruit more universities.
TRIO & Pre-Collegiate Programs Outreach: Nakia Douglas and his team have hit the ground running and are organizing all participating schools in identifying 9th and 10th graders to prepare for college. As part of this grant, there will be Upward Bound summer camps on our campus this year. Dr. Kimberly Riddick recently joined Nakia’s team as Program Manager for Ronald E. McNair Scholars.
DISD and Early College High School Academy Updates: Our partners at Mountain View College (Sunset High School) and El Centro College (Lincoln High School) are fully engaged with us and the high schools. Our education dean, Dr. John Gasko, has also taken the lead in organizing other Dallas ISD Early College High Schools with teacher training themes (including ours at Sunset, W.T. White High School, Samuell High School and Bryan Adams High School). The goal is to produce “grow your own” teachers for area school districts and reduce the teacher shortage in North Texas.
College of Law Dean Search Committee: We are down to 10 finalists and will whittle it to three by early March.
February Board of Regents Meeting: For the lunch, we honored Rep. Helen Giddings, who is retiring. Michael Williams, our Distinguished Leader-in-Residence, introduced Rep. Giddings. The student panel was moderated by a fellow student.
Academic Affairs: Our representative from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) visited campus on Jan. 29 and 30. The SACS on-site committee will be on campus April 10-12.  
Caruth Police Institute: CPI continues to work with President Mong, the UNT Dallas Criminal Justice Dept. and Carter High School’s Police and Fire Collegiate Academy. Joining in the next meeting will be Dr. Beck and Dr. Beeson, from the UNT Health Science Center, both of whom paid their way through college and medical school by working as EMS specialists.   
Texas Higher Education Initiative: Our campus is hosting the area recruiting fair for this Dallas non-profit on April 28. We helped get this initiative up and going two years ago, and it is dedicated to assisting African American, first-generation college students by streamlining the admissions process. Many colleges have now joined this effort, which is headed by a veteran investment banker and associated with St. Luke United Methodist Church. Students learn how to write college essays, talk with admissions officers and get advice with navigating the higher education financial aid system.
Fundraiser for the Young Men’s Leadership Academy at Florence Middle School in Pleasant Grove: As part of our initiative for males, we are bringing nationally-known speaker and author Roland Martin to Dallas for three events on April 18. One will be at the Young Men’s Leadership Academy at Florence Middle School. We will also have a lunch for our students and a dinner on campus for leaders in the community concerned about the discrepancy between boys and girls in academic achievement.
UNT Dallas Social Entrepreneurship seminar in partnership with Ashoka: This seminar will focus on how wellness and keeping strong personally is necessary to affect change in the community. Ashoka is a world leader in social entrepreneurship, and two of their top leaders will participate. Ashoka has programs in 90 countries, and is leading a movement to transform how young people grow up so they have power to lead and to contribute in communities, businesses, schools, and neighborhoods.  
Building & Construction Updates: The campus Starbucks, much anticipated by all, is nearing completion. The work on the Student Learning & Success Center also continues at an accelerated pace.
Fairway to Success Program: UNT Dallas reached an agreement with the Deloitte Fairway to Success Scholarship Program. It’s a partnership with the Northern Texas PGA that awards a $20,000 scholarship from Deloitte for the next academic year to first-generation, inner-city youth with an interest in golf.
Wipro: Last year, UNT Dallas received a $1.1 million grant from the Wipro Foundation, part of India’s Wipro Corporation, to train science teachers in area school districts. Our team recently went to Boston to report on their progress on the grant and were received favorably. Wipro at UNT Dallas is under the direction of Dr. Ratna Narayan and Dr. Glenda Moss. The Wipro Foundation will visit campus in late May for a review.
Student Engagement: UNT Dallas received its latest student engagement results from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) study of high impact practices at U.S. colleges and universities. The study presents findings from the most recent administration of NSSE surveys to first-year and senior students attending more than 630 bachelor’s degree-granting institutions across the United States in spring 2017. The good news is that the study found our engagement is up across the board.
Scholarship Aid Ranking: In a new ranking by Peterson’s Financial Aid, UNT Dallas ranked behind only UT Austin and UNT Denton in Texas and 66th nationally for undergraduate scholarship aid. UT ranked 33rd nationally and UNT came in 45th.
The UNT Dallas Foundation: The UNTD Foundation has been newly reconstituted, and it is the culmination of groundwork by Vice President of Advancement, Dr. Monica Williams. The new members of the foundation reflect the mission and vision of the university, and they met Feb. 16. For the future of UNT Dallas, the UNTD Foundation is an important, far-reaching initiative.

Notable: We sent a delegation to Tarrant College Community College’s Southeast campus recently, to continue to strengthen relationships and build connections with their students. Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax spoke on campus on Jan. 25 to a large turnout of community leaders, many of whom had never been to UNT Dallas. It was an opportunity for President Mong to tell our story…The Inland Port Symposium will be held on campus, March 9. County Commissioner John Wiley Price and City Council Member Tennell Atkins will be joined by business leaders, developers and community leaders in a conversation on how to solve transportation challenges and getting people to work at the many huge warehouses along I-20 and I-45 near campus…The Texas Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals met on our campus on Jan. 29. Our campus continues to host important groups and elevate its exposure regionally…This spring, Dr. Monica Williams is organizing a Women’s Leadership Summit, which will bring together 50 high-potential minority women with 50 mentors for a day of training and fellowship…Nearly 50 of our supply chain & logistics students were given a rare treat recently – a tour of one of the massive Amazon shipping centers here in North Texas. Lecturer Jeffrey Wendt helped organize the evening trip.


"Standing in Your Truth" the Theme of Women's Forum on Campus

Led by Alounda Joseph (Director of Graduate Admissions) and Shaniece Miller (Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions), the "Black Girls Talk" forum featured women of color from across campus communicating with one another about issues, trends and self-image.
More: Women Discuss Issues and Excellence In Forum

1 Million Changemakers Summit Ignites Powerful Conversations

The Emerging Teacher Institute co-hosted the “1Million Changemakers: Changemaking from the Inside-Out” event recently at the Trinity Audubon Center. With the help of one of the world’s most prominent social venture and entrepreneurship firms, the Ashoka Changemakers, the event brought educators together from across the Dallas-Fort Worth area for a day of powerful leadership enhancement.
More: Summit Brings Educators Together For A Day of Leadership Enhancement

Cops & Coffee Event Gives Students Chance to Meet Campus Police

An opportunity to continue to bridge the gap between the campus police department and student body, graduate student Dean Boyd III hosted the “Cops & Coffee” event recently. In a casual atmosphere, it allowed students and officers to touch on a number of topics and make sure everyone was on the same page in regards to safety and understanding. 
MoreCampus event highlights respect and understanding

Roberson a Shining Example of Leadership in Academics

A product of Dallas, Texas, by way of Oak Cliff, Marcus Roberson is a shining example to young people from his neighborhood as the Assistant Director of Leadership Development & Multicultural Programs. Roberson started working at UNT Dallas in 2013, beginning in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Two years later, he was promoted to his current position in the Office of Student Affairs.
More: Marcus Roberson A Mentor Who Focuses on Building Relationships

Black History Mobile Museum Has Insightful Visit to Campus

In conjunction with the Office of Student Affairs, The Black History 101 Mobile Museum recently made its way to campus to give visitors a deeper look into black culture. Throughout its nearly 30 years of existence, museum founder Khalid el-Hakim, a former social studies teacher by way of Detroit, Mich., travels the country displaying over 7,000 intriguing black history items. Some of its most interesting artifacts include memorabilia dating from the transatlantic slave trade era to hip-hop culture. 
More: Mobile Museum Gives Provides Look Into Black Culture and History

LinkedIn Workshop Shares a Wealth of Knowledge with Students

Director of Career Services Arthur Lumzy hosted a LinkedIn & Career Planning Workshop recently for students aiming to build the perfect professional network. He also tutored students on using the social network to conduct research on companies as well as search for job opportunities.
More: Career Services Working To Help Prepare Students Online Profile

Jag Fest Opened World of Campus Opportunities to Students

The Spring semester kicked off with JAG Fest, featuring a host of student-led organizations promoting their initiatives and goals to help enhance the UNT Dallas college experience. Each student organization had a table and representatives for students to visit and learn more about their organization. 
More: Students Learn About Organizations at Jag Fest

Nation's Largest Honor Society Has Orientation on Campus

The National Society of Leadership and Success wrapped up its orientation at the start of the Spring semester. It’s the nation’s largest honor society, and it gives members the opportunity to build leadership skills through a variety of programs. The NSLS has 832,591 members at 604 colleges nationwide. The Society encourages community action, volunteerism, personal growth and strong leadership from its chapters and members.
More: NSLS Gives Members Opportunity to Hone Leadership Skills