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UNT Faculty Newsletter September 2017

Faculty Focus

Associate Professor Sadaf Munshi joined UNT’s Department of Linguistics in 2006. Her research interests include language documentation, historical and comparative linguistics, and the changes in languages that result from contact with other cultures. One of her current projects involves documenting Burushaski, a linguistic isolate spoken principally in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan. Fewer than 100,000 people speak three different dialects of this language, a number that continues to decline as young people move to other parts of Pakistan or to other countries and adopt Urdu or an international language. Her work, supported by a $173,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, is creating a searchable corpus of linguistically analyzed Burushaski texts from different dialects, and includes digitized video and audio recordings. Her book, a grammatical description of one of the three Burushaski dialects, has recently been accepted for publication. More information on the Burushaski Language Documentation Project can be found here. Among her other ongoing works is the Kashmir oral history project documenting the living memories of the key events related to the intractable conflict of Kashmir, the area from which Professor Munshi originally comes. Relations between the Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims have been difficult since the armed insurgency in 1989. A high school student at the time, Professor Munshi experienced this period of violence and unrest first hand. In the wake of these events, the majority of the Pandit community left Kashmir permanently. The project is an attempt to preserve the factual integrity of Kashmir’s contested past and is an effort to promote healing and reconciliation through storytelling. The initial funding for this project was provided by a Charn Uswachoke grant from UNT; Professor Munshi is currently seeking funding to continue her work. In addition to her impressive body of scholarly work, she writes poetry and essays on various socio-political issues, and her talent in painting has led to an exhibition of her watercolors.

Elaine Pawlowicz, Associate Professor in the Department of Studio Art, is using interdisciplinary collaborations to help children on the autism spectrum and to broaden her students’ perspectives. Professor Pawlowicz got involved with Project Onward in Chicago while on Faculty Development Leave during the 2015-16 academic year. This program provides studio space, and artistic guidance to artists with autism, Down syndrome, mental illness, and other conditions materials, as well as opportunities to exhibit and sell their work. This included five separate commissions for the Barack Obama Presidential Library (see picture). Returning to campus, she began collaborating with other UNT faculty members, including Dr. Susan Nichols and Dr. Kevin Callahan from the Kristin Farmer Autism Center (KFAC) and Professor Linda Holloway of Rehabilitation and Health Services. Professor Pawlowicz observed the children for three months in the classroom through video monitors and received feedback on her observations. As a result, Professor Pawlowicz collaborated with Dr. Callahan and Dr. Nichols during the Spring 2017 semester to create a service learning project for Pawlowicz’s 200 Drawing II students. Dr. Callahan presented a lecture on autism to the Drawing II students along with information about the research being done at the Kristin Farmer School for Autism. The result was a project entitled “Core Connect.” The KFAC charged the art students with designing eighteen categories of Montessori Cards including topics such as furniture, emotions, and animals. A particular example involves renderings of a canary, bluebird, and cardinal that are sensory and tactile. The cards visually surpass generic commercial graphics and share unique details and visions designed for children with autism. Secondly, students created a library of short videos of human faces displaying various emotions. Most of us read and interpret facial expressions without conscious thought; those with autism often struggle with this, along with how to shake a hand, hug someone, or show happiness. Art students also learned that there are unique opportunities for them to be teaching aides at the KFAC. Professor Pawlowicz believes that these service learning projects allow students to become not just better artists but better global citizens. Young artists realize that their art has a voice and is valuable in interdisciplinary fields of study. Students learn about different fields of study and gain larger perspectives about empathy, generating solutions, and designing innovative art. Professor Pawlowicz has initiated 5 service learning projects across different areas of campus during her 11 years at UNT. These experiences have allowed her to creatively expand her painting practice, teaching and service.

Dee Wilson, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Merchandising and Digital Retailing, is retiring after more than 25 years as a part of the UNT family. She began as a staff member in UNT’s Career Center, before joining the faculty in 2007. In addition to her teaching duties, she was responsible for coordinating internships for the Department of Merchandising and Digital Retailing, as well as career development for the College of Merchandising, Hospitality, and Tourism. This job allowed her to get to know students in CMHT personally. Professor Wilson’s work with students on résumés, job search strategies, interview skills, and the like made an important difference in countless lives and careers. She particularly enjoyed working with the quieter and more reticent students, and she found the “lightbulb moments” with this group especially rewarding. Professor Wilson also coordinated internships for students in her department. One of her favorite activities was the study trip she coordinated and led to New York City during the Maymester each year. This tour involved merchandising students experiencing the industry through visits to manufacturing facilities, retailers and their corporate offices, and organizations providing industry support. Her work with students also included serving as faculty advisor to two student groups as well as providing informal advice and counseling to students who would drop in. Her efforts have borne important and tangible fruit: 70% of the graduates of the Merchandising and Digital Retailing complete a paid internship, and 90% of the program’s graduates find employment in the field. UNT’s program is ranked in the top 10 among merchandising programs in the U.S., a signal accomplishment for Professor Wilson and her colleagues. Professor Wilson is a proud alumna of UNT, and her husband and two of her three children are graduates of or are currently enrolled at UNT. She has high hopes that her third child will also join the Mean Green Nation after high school. We wish you a happy retirement, Professor Wilson!

Welcome Provost Cowley!

In July UNT welcomed a new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Jennifer Cowley’s areas of scholarship principally involve urban planning and recovery from natural disasters, and she holds a professorship in the Department of Public Administration. Her most recent administrative posting was as vice provost for capital planning and regional campuses at Ohio State University. Previously, she was a department chair and associate dean for academic affairs and administration in Ohio State’s College of Engineering. Dr. Cowley holds a Ph.D. in urban and regional science from Texas A&M University. Joining the UNT team is a homecoming of sorts for her: she is a native of Arlington and an alumna of UNT’s master’s program in urban planning. Welcome home, Provost Cowley!

 

 

Faculty Information System Help

The Faculty Information System will become part of the merit review process this year, and plans are underway to explore its use in the promotion and tenure process. Faculty who need assistance with or additional training in FIS should contact faculty.info@unt.edu.

 

Salute to Faculty Excellence 2017

UNT’s annual celebration of the accomplishments of our world-class faculty is coming up. Faculty are invited to mark their calendars for the evening of Oct. 20 (Friday) to salute UNT’s prestigious faculty. This year’s theme is “A Community of Collaboration;” please click here to register. Look for more information coming soon about the events planned for Faculty Excellence Week, scheduled for Oct. 16 (Monday) through Oct. 20 (Friday).

UNT's success and progress depends on the exceptional work of faculty members who set high academic and research standards. In addition to the individual awards being presented, faculty members who have recently been promoted or who have earned tenure will be recognized. See a complete list of promotion and tenure for the 2017-18 academic year.

Legacy refWorks Migration Deadline Extended      ProQuest, the producer of RefWorks, has announced that Legacy RefWorks will be available after December 31, 2017. Therefore, the UNT Libraries will not be implementing a hard migration from Legacy to New RefWorks, as previously scheduled for Summer 2017. Legacy RefWorks will be available until all of its functionality is available in New RefWorks, but ProQuest has not provided a deadline for the final migration yet. For more information on the RefWorks migration, visit the New RefWorks library guide at http://guides.library.unt.edu/rwnew or contact Erin O’Toole, Science Reference Librarian.

Difficult Classroom Situations and the Report-a-Problem App

Occasionally, faculty are confronted by classrooms issues ranging from the mundane (out of markers/chalk) to the sublime (can I get better lighting/noise control/projectors turned on?), but sometimes they can be truly scary (can I get some 911-help in this room, NOW?).

In every UNT classroom, you can get help for all of these classroom issues (and more!). A new-and-improved application is now available on all classroom computers. This app has been and will continue to be a way one can request non-emergency help; its interface is now more user-friendly. Importantly, this app now has expanded features specifically for 911 emergency situations. It is linked directly to UNT’s Emergency Operations Center, to first responders, as well as to Classroom Support Services. This app will allow anyone to summon emergency help, even in rooms in which cell phone reception is spotty. Another useful feature is that the projector will blank as soon as the app is engaged.

Also, on August 31st and September 13th there will be a panel discussion entitled “Managing Difficult Classroom Situations,” featuring veteran faculty members, as well as experts from the Dean of Student’s Office, Classroom Support Services, and UNT Police. For more information and to register, please click on the dates of the event above!

Turn Out to Support the Mean Green!             UNT’s football team is coming off an exciting season, capped off by a trip to the Heart of Dallas Bowl. There’s more progress to come in Seth Littrell’s second season as head coach. The season opener is Saturday September 2 at 6:00 p.m. against Lamar University. This is game will be UNT Faculty-Staff Appreciation Day. Faculty and staff can get two free tickets, and can purchase additional tickets for $5 each. Call 940-565-2527 for details. See you there!

September Give-Away                                            Congratulations to Cynthia Cready of the Sociology Department, winner of May's giveaway! In celebration of UNT Football 2017 kickoff, this month’s giveaway is a UNT stadium cushion to help you enjoy the season in style and comfort. The drawing will be held September 15th; please register here.

 

Important Dates

Workshop: Managing Difficulty Classroom Situations August 31, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m., ART 223

Workshop: Managing Difficulty Classroom Situations

September 13, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m., CHEM 109

Workshop: Pathway to Promotion and Tenure for Tenure-System Faculty

September 19, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m., UNION 385

Study Abroad Information Session: New Faculty Leader

September 21, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m., MARQ 107

Workshop: Pathway to Promotion for Lecturers

September 27, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m., ART 223

Salute to Faculty Excellence Week

October 16 – 20

Salute to Faculty Excellence Awards Dinner

October 20, 6:30 p.m., UNION Emerald Eagle Ballroom