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From the President's Desk
Bob Mong, UNT Dallas President
President Bob Mong
The UNT Dallas student experience begins before students step on campus and continues even after graduation. Our unique approach helps us stand out on the higher education landscape.

We begin by presenting UNT Dallas as a welcoming and transformational place for prospective students and their families. Our recruiters stress the value of a bachelor’s degree as a pathway to premium lifelong earnings and continuous learning. The message resonates. Our affordability and commitment to keep student debt low helps too.

Once here, our faculty and staff are dedicated to providing a meaningful first-year experience. We value the individual qualities of our students and promise them a personal experience. Our professors are accessible and our tutors, advisors, and counselors are here to help students get off to a good start.

As students progress along their higher education journey, UNT Dallas programs support resilience, persistence, and staying power. Programs like Trailblazer Elite guide students along the way with mentors, extra support, and encouragement. The program is becoming increasingly popular and sought after.

Our Career Readiness program – better known as CRED – follows students to graduation and connects their field of study to the workforce as well as graduate and professional schools. CRED was wonderfully designed and has progressed year by year in meaningful and relevant ways without losing energy along the way. CRED is a great program with follow through.

The last essential touchpoint in our student journey is our promise to stay in touch with graduates after they leave UNT Dallas. Our commitment is to survey a large number of grads each year and ask them about their experience at UNT Dallas. We completed our first study last year and reached 17 percent of our grads with a 43-question survey. We’re in the field now for our second survey. I promise you we will learn from these perspectives.

UNT Dallas is on an important, mission-oriented journey to help our students succeed in life. What could be better than that!

UNT Dallas Featured News
UNT Dallas Posts Record Enrollment Growth for Fall 2021

The University of North Texas at Dallas (UNT Dallas) continues to defy a downward national enrollment trend caused by the COVID-19 crisis, posting record enrollment at 4,230 students, topping 4,200 for the first time in university history.

Both undergraduate and graduate enrollment experienced overall growth. Undergraduate programs with the greatest increases include Hospitality Management and Supply Chain & Marketing Management, both up 21% and Business Analytics, up 41%. Graduate programs for School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling, grew 43% and 49% respectively. Undergraduate transfer enrollment grew 11% and new law school enrollment was up 18%.

“We are proud of our students for taking the opportunity to move forward during the stress of the continued pandemic, and we are grateful to our university community for supporting their success,” said Stephanie Holley, UNT Dallas Vice President for Student Access and Success. “As we continue to grow, we are committed to staying focused on our students, soliciting their input and ideas, and working together to create a brighter future for each individual we serve."
UNT Dallas, an emerging urban university boasting a student body that is 85% minority and 70% first-generation college students, has focused on serving local underserved populations, concentrating recruiting efforts in southern Dallas communities. The university was just named a 2022 Best Colleges for Social Mobility by U.S. News & World Report.
While many Texas universities have resumed normal or near-normal operations, UNT Dallas has proceeded cautiously. For the Fall 2021 semester, most freshman and sophomore level classes are being delivered in a face-to-face format to help first time in college students adjust to university life. But junior and senior- level classes along with graduate classes continue (mostly) in an online or hybrid format. The university is committed to keeping the university community safe, while providing students with the highest quality education, whether it is delivering curriculum in-classroom or virtually.
Over the course of the pandemic, the university has made a great effort to keep students engaged and connected through regular communication and a variety of virtual activities. They have also provided technology for students who need assistance, including laptops and hotspots for online learning. The university is committed to keeping tuition rates low and offers the most affordable tuition among public four-year universities in the DFW metroplex.

UNT Dallas Selects New Assistant Vice President for Student Access and Success/Dean of Student Affairs

On August 1, Dr. Jose da Silva assumed his role as the new Assistant Vice President for Student Access and Success/Dean of Student Affairs. Most recently, Dr. da Silva served as Vice President for Student Affairs at Kankakee Community College, where he oversaw all areas related to student affairs and enrollment management. Dr. da Silva replaces Dr. Jamaica Chapple who stepped down in April to assume a position with UNT System as the first Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Success Initiatives.

"Dr. da Silva brings an enormous number of strengths to UNT Dallas and its expanding student body. His warm and informed leadership will advance our commitment to the relentless pursuit of student success,” said Bob Mong, UNT Dallas President.

Dr. da Silva earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology and master’s degree in higher education administration from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of North Texas. Driven by the belief that higher education is one of the most important elements of any community, he has championed efforts to increase college access and worked to build community support.

Before Kankakee Community College, Dr. da Silva served as Interim Dean/Chief Student Services Officer at Big Bend Community College. He also provided leadership at Walla Walla Community College as Vice President for Student Affairs and as the Director of the Bowie Campus for North Central Texas College.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. da Silva to his new role, particularly at a time when the university is beginning to return to normal operations post-pandemic,” said Stephanie Holley, UNT Dallas Vice President for Student Access and Success. “He brings the experience and leadership qualities that guarantee student success and engagement.

Caruth Police Institute Receives $2 Million Gift from Texas Instruments Foundation
The Caruth Police Institute at UNT Dallas has been awarded a four-year, $2 million gift by the Texas Instruments (TI) Foundation to focus on creating an Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Project™ Center of Excellence. The project will provide peer-to-peer training for law enforcement to handle situations safely before they escalate.

Backed by prominent civil rights and law enforcement leaders, the evidence-based, field-tested ABLE™ Project was developed by Georgetown University Law Center’s Innovative Policing Program (IPP) in collaboration with global law firm Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP. The outcome of ABLE training, which teaches ethical decision-making and tactics of intervention, is a healthy police officer -- the single most essential and effective resource in public safety.

TI Foundation $2 million grant to fund expansion of ABLE training in North Texas and across the state

The TI Foundation gift will provide for the expansion of ABLE-approved training opportunities to law enforcement departments across Texas -- starting with those in North Texas -- taught by ABLE-certified instructors. Grant funds will also be used toward the development of protocol and data collection to quantitatively assess outcomes inside police departments both pre- and post-training and capture best practices to be incorporated into future training materials.

“We are most grateful to the TI Foundation for their faith in us as expressed in this extraordinary gift. Their support will provide significant opportunities to expand transformative best practice law enforcement training locally and throughout Texas,” said UNT Dallas President Bob Mong.

By funding the Texas ABLE Center of Excellence, the TI Foundation is taking a meaningful stance on public safety that goes beyond rulemaking and policy change and gets to the heart of police culture and community engagement. 

“We all deserve to live in safe communities, with public safety systems that are fair and equitable,” said Andy Smith, executive director of the TI Foundation. “We’re excited about how this grant will support our police officers by helping to strengthen the tactics and skills they employ to minimize escalation, misconduct, and mistakes made in the heat of the moment. We believe the ABLE program will help to protect both our community and our law enforcement officers.”

Read more on the UNT Dallas website. 
UNT Dallas Athletics: 2021 Season is Underway
The new sports season at the University of North Texas at Dallas officially got underway with the Trailhead 2021 gathering of coaches and student athletes to learn more about various aspects of campus life and undergo pre-practice physical examinations. Over 60 incoming Trailblazers were welcomed by UNTD President Bob Mong and Director of Athletics Jack Allday before hearing presentations from university staff.

Cross country season has started and in October, the basketball teams will play a full schedule against fellow Sooner Athletic Conference members.  View schedules, rosters, and more on the Athletics website.  

NAIA Honors Trailblazers

After its first year of athletic competition, the University of North Texas at Dallas has been recognized by the NAIA with a Five-Star Champions of Character award. The honor goes to NAIA member schools throughout the nation that meet a variety of qualifications focused on sportsmanship, leadership, and community involvement.

The unique program focuses on five core values that enhance the athletic experience: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership.  Trailblazer coaches, athletes, and members of the Athletic Department were actively involved in a variety of volunteer activities during the 2020-2021 school year. A student-athlete involvement program – Trailblazers Helping Hands – was initiated last year.

“I’m proud of our coaches and student athletes for stepping up and helping make UNT Dallas a Five-Star campus,” says Director of Athletics Jack Allday. “This is especially impressive since it was our first year. The best is yet to come.”

The Trailblazers currently field teams in men’s and women’s basketball, cross-country, and track & field. 

UNT Dallas to Participate in NSF Grant Project with Dr. Donna Hamilton as Co-Principal Investigator

Associate Professor, Natural Sciences, Donna Hamilton is co-principal investigator on a new National Science Foundation grant project. The $2,017,456, five-year grant was recently awarded to Texas Tech University and includes alliance partners UNT Dallas, South Plains Community College, Texas Southmost College, and Dallas College El Centro campus.

The grant project is part of the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program, an alliance-based program with the overall goal of assisting universities and colleges in diversifying the nation's science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce by increasing the number of STEM baccalaureate and graduate degrees awarded to populations historically underrepresented in these disciplines.

The grant project will directly benefit our students majoring in Biology, Information Technology, and Mathematics and will help UNT Dallas support LSAMP student scholars financially, in undergraduate research, scholar development, and in travel to Texas Tech and/or research conferences. The grant will also provide for the creation of a STEM center for UNT Dallas STEM students with tutoring and other developmental support offered through UNT Dallas or Texas Tech University. 

UNT Dallas 2020 Grad Corey Borner “Finds a Way” to Walk again at Commencement Event

After a debilitating football injury that left him paralyzed, UNT Dallas 2020 graduate Corey Borner found his way to walk again at the university’s 2020 Walk the Stage event on August 14, 2021.

The Walk the Stage event was held to honor graduates from UNT Dallas who were not able to participate in 2020 graduation festivities due to COVID-19.  The 2020 graduates were given the opportunity to walk across the stage to receive their diplomas and have their pictures taken. Thanks to the assistance of a specialized robotic suit called an Eksoskeleton, Corey was able to participate with his classmates.

Corey’s family and friends waited patiently for his turn -- last in a line of 200+ graduates -- and erupted in cheers and applause as he walked out to accept his diploma, leaving his wheelchair behind if only for the moment.

In 2009, Corey, a DeSoto High School sophomore football player was stepping into a bright future as a cornerback.  That future would take an unexpected turn during spring football practice. After making a routine tackle, Corey didn’t get up.  He had suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury at the C-5 and C-6 levels and was paralyzed from the neck down, changing his life forever at the age of 16.

Corey was rushed to a local trauma center and underwent a 9-hour emergency surgery. He spent 11 days in intensive care and continued his recovery at Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation in Dallas vowing “I’ll walk again.” After surgery, Deon Sanders, Terrell Owens, now Texas Governor Greg Abbott, former University of Texas football coach Mack Brown, and other professional athletes visited him for motivation and encouragement to persevere.     

Corey struggled with his new reality but turned that struggle into motivation and continued to “Find A Way” to walk again someday.  Corey graduated from DeSoto High School in 2011 and the school retired his football jersey (#24).  He went on to graduate from UNT Dallas and became a motivational speaker. Since his life-changing injury, he has documented his journey on social media focusing on his unwavering belief in himself and extreme positivity.

Now in 2021, twelve years after his injury on the football field, Corey’s journey of finding a way to walk again has come to fruition, marking a milestone in his recovery and life.

New elevator wraps and interiors were installed over the summer, adding a fresh look to elevators in DAL 1 and Founders Hall. 

Trailblazer Faculty/Staff Spotlight
Thomas “Aaron” McMillan
Graphic Designer, Marketing and Communications

Aaron handles most of the university’s branding and marketing print and digital media projects. This ranges from signs, flyers, social media posts, brochures, promotional items, advertising campaigns, and almost anything and everything that visually represents UNT Dallas.

Q & A
Where are your roots? I’m originally from New Orleans, Louisiana.

What led you to your current position at UNT Dallas? A combination of working on my high school yearbook and creating my own fan art and graphics for my favorite video games and television shows led me to design. I was freelancing for a while before finding UNT Dallas and after researching the school, I saw that my skills would make much more of an impact here.

How long have you worked at UNT Dallas? I’ve worked at UNT Dallas for 1 year and 5 months.

What do you enjoy most about your work? I enjoy pulling together amazing and cohesive designs from the information provided and turning it into an eye-catching visual experience for everyone that comes into contact with it.

What are your workplace challenges? Every design, every project, every idea presents its own set of challenges. There are always new limitations that must be adhered to depending on the design, making sure a design appeals to as many people as possible, ensuring that information, thoughts, and concepts are presented clearly and efficiently. None of these aspects are the same from one project to the next so one must be malleable.

How do you envision your work growing or evolving over the next year and beyond? I envision it as a constant uptick. Due to the constant changing of the work and the nature of design and art as a whole, growing and evolving is a given. I expect my work to go beyond what it has already and constantly outdoing what was done previously.

Anything else you’d like to share about your work? I’d like to encourage everyone to take note of how much design and art impact daily life. So much of it is taken for granted and underappreciated. So much of what we interact with daily was designed for a specific purpose with thought and skill put into it.

What do you like to do in your free time? I take part in a lot of different hobbies and arts. Primarily, I tend to focus on photography, illustration, and gaming.

Just for fun: 
Favorite quote? “We evolve, beyond the person that we were a minute before. Little by little, we advance with each turn.” - Simon, Gurren Lagann
Dog or cat person? Cats, almost exclusively.
Famous person you’d like to meet? Frank Ocean, he’s my favorite musical artist.

UNT Dallas News, Notes & Campus Updates
UNT Dallas National Night Out
The UNTD Police Department will join police departments across the United States in hosting a National Night-Out, October 5, 5 – 8 p.m. on the UNT Dallas main campus. National Night Out events are held on the first Tuesday in October each year.

National Night Out enhances the relationship between students, staff, our local community, and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. This event also provides an excellent opportunity to get police and surrounding neighborhoods together under favorable circumstances, such as games, music, discussions, and food. All students, staff, faculty, and community members are invited to this fun, free event. 

Alumni Virtual Town Hall
Alumni are invited to a virtual Town Hall featuring UNT Dallas President Bob Mong. President Mong will discuss general campus updates and alumni news -- Wednesday, October 6, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Please RSVP via our online form

UNT Dallas Homecoming 2021: October 25-30
UNTD Homecoming Basketball Doubleheader, Saturday, October 30
2 p.m. – Women’s Basketball vs. Huston Tillotson
4 p.m. – Men’s Basketball vs. RPA College (Exhibition)

All Home basketball games played at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church Collegiate Academy, 1821 W Camp Wisdom Rd, Dallas, TX 75232.
Faculty/Staff vs Students/Alumni Soccer Game
The Annual Faculty/Staff vs Students/Alumni Soccer Game has been a long-standing tradition at UNT Dallas and this year's Homecoming is bringing it back! The game is set for Friday, October 29 at 5:30 p.m. The team captains are Stephanie Sierra '16 and Erick Solis '18. Please complete the online form by October 1 if you would like to participate. Questions? Email StudentAffairs@untdallas.edu.

Hart Amphitheater Ribbon Cutting
Please join UNT Dallas President Bob Mong and Linda and Mitch Hart for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Hart Amphitheater on the UNT Dallas campus, Thursday, October 14, 10 - 11:30 a.m. Enjoy light refreshments and live performances from Dallas’ arts and culture community. Valet parking will be provided. RSVP to events@untdallas.edu by October 12. Appropriate social distancing protocols will be in place for this all-outdoors event.

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