UNT to join Association of Research Libraries

UNT Libraries will become a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) effective Jan. 1. ARL is a nonprofit made up of research libraries and archives in Canada and the U.S. with a mission "to create a trusted, equitable and inclusive research and learning ecosystem and prepare library leaders to advance this work in strategic partnership with member libraries and other organizations worldwide." The ARL Membership Committee noted UNT's designation as a Tier One research university and Hispanic-Serving Institution as well as its commitment to multiple initiatives supporting system-wide expansion of diversity, equity, inclusion and access. As the most-used service on campus and an essential component of education and research at UNT, the Libraries offer access to more than six million print and digital items along with innovative programs and support services and expert personnel to assist patrons in achieving their academic and scholarly goals. Six separate facilities — four on campus and two off campus — house the Libraries' collections. UNT is the 128th member organization for ARL. Other members include libraries at Johns Hopkins, Harvard and Yale universities as well as the Library of Congress and National Archives and Records Administration.

Collaboration Spotlight
Expanding Career Opportunities

UNT Workplace Inclusion & Sustainable Employment (UNT WISE), in collaboration with Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), will use a $12.7 million grant to educate employers who use subminimum wage contracts about the benefits of competitive, integrated employment. The partnership will create the Texas Beacons of Excellence (TBE) to help employers enhance their skills in recruiting, retaining and accommodating employees with disabilities. UNT WISE will provide training across communities and connect employers, self-advocates, Section 14C certificate facilities, educational staff and community rehabilitation providers in order to create communities of practice that enhance opportunities for competitive, integrated employment.

Research News
Advancing Nuclear Recycling

Engineering professor Haifeng Zhang is helping to advance technologies for recycling used nuclear fuel (UNF). He earned a $2.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a self-powered, wireless sensor that provides long-term, real-time monitoring of high-temperature molten salt density and level. This will enable accurate safeguarding and monitoring of the electrochemical processing of UNF. "There is a lot of wasted spent fuel in the United States," Zhang says. "More than 90% of energy remains in spent fuel rods in the form of unused fissile metals. Reprocessing is a means of utilizing the remaining energy. If we can do that, we can improve fuel utilization as well as drastically reduce the volume of the high level of radioactive waste that has been deposited where spent fuel is stored."

Addressing urban water sustainability

Lauren Ames Fischer, associate professor in public administration, is part of a team that received a National Science Foundation CIVIC 2022 Stage 1 Planning Grant to address urban water sustainability challenges. The collaboration with Texas A&M AgriLife and The Nature Conservancy addresses urban flooding and the concern that traditional flood control systems are less effective under climate change. The project's initial phase collaborates with the City of Denton to create and pilot solutions that can be adapted for the Dallas-Fort Worth area and beyond. This project will educate stakeholders on the benefits of Blue-Green Infrastructure — a globally recognized nature-based alternative to traditional stormwater infrastructure — and develop a Community Green Asset Management tool that augments existing asset management software used by municipalities to manage and identify sustainable infrastructure solutions.

The latest episodes of The Lab series

Catch up on the latest episodes of The Lab, a YouTube series featuring UNT researchers describing how their groundbreaking research will impact the lives of people, business or culture. This month's episodes include assistant professor of marketing Lidan Xu talking about the link between sweets and creativity as well as Kerry Goldmann, lecturer of Jewish American history, discussing how holiday celebration has been used as a form of resistance throughout time. You'll also find episodes with Melanie Ecker (biomedical engineering), Bryan Lovelace (behavioral analysis), Andrew Gregory (conservation biology) and more. Subscribe to the UNT YouTube Channel and stay up to date with the series.

Great Grads

This week, UNT will celebrate its newest graduates in nine commencement ceremonies Dec. 16-18. More than 5,000 students are expected to earn bachelor's, master's or doctoral degrees. To honor Fall 2022 graduates, UNT is sharing stories of a few students who excelled amid adversity, some of which have taken on impactful research projects that will advance understanding on topics within their own fields. Students like Mia Rogers (pictured) who, after taking an anthropology course on migration, was inspired to research how racialization impacts the asylum-seeking process for Latin Americans; Dillon Shumaker, whose fascination with his grandfather's native language led him to study linguistics, exploring English as a bridge language — with a specific emphasis on pronunciation models; and chemistry graduate student Zhou Lu, who produced 13 manuscripts from his research, many of which have been published in top scientific journals. Read about these students and others recognized for their outstanding achievements in the Fall 2022 edition of UNT's Great Grads feature series.

Research on Tap

The Division of Research and Innovation is partnering with Denton-based Dan's Silverleaf to host the next installment of the Research on Tap discussion series. Grab a beverage from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, and hear Laurie Giddens, assistant professor in information technology and decision sciences, discuss how technology impacts anti-human trafficking. If you're unable to attend, watch on Facebook Live, where you can also see videos of previous talks.

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© 2022 UNT Research and Innovation is a publication of the University of North Texas Division of Research and Innovation and the Division of University Brand Strategy and Communications. Email us at untresearch@unt.edu.