Faculty Excellence

Honoring outstanding faculty

UNT faculty members were recently celebrated for their dedication to excellence through research, service and education. Awards were presented during the seventh annual Salute to Faculty Excellence Awards Dinner and Ceremony Oct. 5, supported by the UNT Foundation. The four top honorees were John G. Peters, University Distinguished Research Professor of English; James Meernik, Regents Professor of political science; Young Hoon Kim, associate professor of hospitality and tourism management; and Karen Anderson-Lain, principal lecturer of communication studies. Watch a video honoring Eminent Faculty Award winner John G. Peters. View the complete list of faculty members who were lauded for their accomplishments.

Collaborator Spotlight
Inspire ParkBuilding research capacity in Frisco

While many of UNT's programs already are up and running strong at Frisco's Hall Park, UNT continues to expand opportunities in Collin County. On Oct. 1, UNT acquired 50,000-square-foot Inspire Park, the former North Texas Enterprise Center building, located close to the 100 acres where UNT will build its Frisco campus. UNT will use Inspire Park to create vibrant and evolving connections between its Tier One research ecosystem and local industry and entrepreneurs. Through undergraduate classroom projects, applied graduate research programs and funded research, UNT students will get opportunities for hands-on problem solving, while the university simultaneously will be able to provide the business community affordable access to advanced research faculty and assets. Many of the leading-edge firms and entrepreneurs who already call Inspire Park home have signed leases to remain at Inspire Park and are interested in collaborating with UNT on academic and research offerings. The technical infrastructure of Inspire Park provides UNT the ability to affordably reconfigure some of the building space to support lab- and science-based curriculum.

Research News
UNT assistant professor of computer science and engineering Hassan Takabi
Researching cybersecurity

UNT assistant professor of computer science and engineering Hassan Takabi recently received more than $1 million in grants from the National Science Foundation to develop a computer defense against malicious insiders who leverage basic computer access into unauthorized computer entry and to develop training that merges data science and cybersecurity. Not only will Takabi’s defense system lead malicious users to fake files, but it also will allow them to be traced to their point of origin so they can be identified and their access restricted.

Educational psychology professor Darrell Hull
Earning Fulbright Scholar grant

In Jamaica, "unattached" youth make up about 30 percent of the total youth population and have the highest unemployment rate at 22 percent. Educational psychology professor Darrell Hull has been named an award winner in the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program and will travel to Jamaica to study "unattached" youth — young people who are unemployed and are not in school or any training programs. Hull will examine the long-term impacts of a training program designed to reach Jamaican youth who aren't working or in school as well as assess the psychometric validity of measures used to evaluate youth in developing countries.

UNT professor Sheldon Shi
Heating up biofuel research

UNT professor Sheldon Shi and associate professor Haifeng Zhang, both from the Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering, have received a $482,905 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop a high-temperature sensor that will aid in biofuel research. "Right now, there are no sensors that can provide accurate readings and withstand such high temperatures, say over 1800 F," says Shi. The tool may not only help researchers determine whether or not biomass needs to cook longer but also create a more efficient and cost-effective process by eliminating repetitive and unnecessary testing.

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