University of North Texas The North Texan

The Mean Green Family has never shied away from a challenge. Whether working tirelessly to raise our research profile to achieve Tier One status, pinpointing the best ways to support our community as a Minority-Serving and Hispanic-Serving Institution, or collaborating to provide an exceptional educational experience to students, even in the midst of a global pandemic, our commitment to striving for -- and achieving -- the best has been evident throughout our 130-year history.

That tenacity also applies to our alumni, who are fighting to establish a better, more equitable world through their involvement in social justice initiatives. It applies to our faculty researchers, who through avenues as diverse as linguistics, education, psychology and chemistry, have contributed to a better understanding of COVID-19 and its effects on mental and physical health. And it even applies to our youngest generation of students, who are making a mark in the classroom and on the soccer field.

We have no doubt you're doing your part to make the world better as well. Have a story you'd like to share? Reach out to us at

Fall 2020 Issue
Read this issue of the North Texan on Issuu.
Justice for All, diverse hands forming a circle

Cover story

Justice for All

From marching in protests to crafting legislation, UNT alumni are fighting for social justice, determined to create a more equitable society for everyone regardless of race, gender or sexuality -- and that desire for systemic change has only deepened in the wake of George Floyd's death. "The world has stopped for a lot of people," says activist Jennifer Rose Miller ('17), "violently crashing down upon them in that 8 minute, 46 second video." Watch a video to learn about the efforts of an interdisciplinary group of more than 30 faculty researchers who are working to combat disparities in health care as part of UNT's new Center for Racial and Ethnic Equity in Health and Society.

Related: Listen to UNT history professors discuss the centuries-long fight for civil rights in UNT Pod, Episode 15. And check out our full list of episodes here.

Featured in This Issue
TaKiyah Wallace

Alumni Spotlight

A Leap Forward

Eight years ago, TaKiyah Wallace ('02) -- who works as Dallas ISD's STEM coordinator -- noted the lack of representation in dance. So she decided to use her newfound photography skills to shine a spotlight on dancers of color through her project Brown Girls Do Ballet. Now, the project has given rise to a growing nonprofit of the same name -- and Wallace's efforts have been noted by The Huffington Post, the Washington Post and BuzzFeed.

Shobhana Chelliah

Research Feature

2020 Vision

As COVID-19 rages on, UNT researchers have focused on finding the best ways to battle the virus, deploying their expertise in areas ranging from linguistics and chemistry to psychology and education. "Whether you are applying the scientific methods of documentary linguistics or conducting tests in a lab, science matters," says Shobhana Chelliah, associate dean and professor in UNT's Department of Linguistics.


Online Extra

Creativity on Display

At UNT's CoLab -- which will serve as a learning lab for College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism students and offer a range of programming from lectures to art exhibits and installations featuring the work of students and other creatives -- participating alumni makers and students are encouraged to push their creative boundaries.


Alumni Spotlight

Guiding Voice

As a first-generation college student, Bob Garza ('74) beat the odds to become a trailblazer in business computer information systems, retiring in 2011 as AT&T's governmental relations director in external affairs. Now, last year's winner of the UNT Alumni Association's Outstanding Alumni Service Award is working to build a support system for Latinx students at UNT.

Where Education Never Stops video still


Campus Life, In Motion

Check out our new national ad, "Where Education Never Stops"; UNT President Neal Smatresk welcoming students to campus during the four-day move-in event; and Scrappy modeling health and safety measures to keep the campus well.

More Online Features

Calling All Mentors!
Want to support UNT students? Join Mean Green Mentors, the new University of North Texas career and mentorship network -- a joint partnership between the UNT Alumni Association and the Career Center. The professional networking and mentoring platform is an opportunity for alumni to share their college and career experiences with students, give back to the community and gain fresh perspectives, all while enhancing communication and leadership skills. Once you complete the brief sign-up form, you can share your thoughts on the discussion board while waiting for student mentees to join and contact you.

Kuehne Speaker Series
The fall UNT Kuehne Speaker Series -- scheduled for 11 a.m. Nov. 10 including a Q&A with legendary College Football Hall of Fame coach Lou Holtz -- will be presented virtually to ensure the health and safety of guests. The virtual event is free and open to all. To attend, please RSVP to Mary Howard at
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