On the Move: The Official Newsletter of UNT Dallas President Bob Mong
From the President's Desk
President Bob Mong
President Bob Mong
Greetings Trailblazers,
UNT Dallas is one of America’s most diverse universities, and that places us on the front lines of the leading demographic trends in Texas.

I recently presented a strategic update to our Board of Regents and diversity was an important feature of my report. I told them that our undergraduate blended diversity is 86 percent Latinx, Black and Asian, putting UNT Dallas in first place among the state’s 38 public four-year universities. Our UNTD Law Center is also majority minority and more than 50 percent of its students are women.

Our rich diversity extends beyond our students. The UNT Dallas Cabinet, Deans and Department Heads are majority professionals of color. Five of six of our deans are diverse. More than 60 percent of our staff are minority, as are our adjunct professors.

While UNT Dallas is ahead on diversity, equity and inclusion, we are motivated to go deeper. 
Earlier this year, the university launched an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion task force, and it is off to an ambitious start. Committee members will pilot an ED&I climate survey and scorecard and hope to distribute results to the campus community in June. The Faculty Senate also kicked off a task force on ED&I faculty recruitment and retention.

I thank everyone at UNT Dallas for your devotion to building such a diverse campus community. Given Texas’ standing as the most diverse state in America for adults 24 and under, our diversity helps us produce future leaders for this New Texas.

UNT Dallas Featured News


The Trailblazing Dreamers Collaborative (TDC) is asking for your help. We are a collaborative composed of dedicated staff who is working hard to ensure we are providing resources and services for our documented and undocumented students, while creating a positive change on campus. Our mission as a Trailblazing Dreamers Collaborative is to advocate for and empower our dreamer students at UNT Dallas while educating our campus community. If willing, please complete the following survey found here: http://bit.ly/tdcdrc. If you have trouble accessing the short link, please click here.


Now you can remain informed and updated on campus COVID-19 cases by visiting our COVID-19 Dashboard. Our new dashboard provides accurate information on the university’s COVID-19 cases. The data includes combined student and employee information for both UNT Dallas main campus and the College of Law. The dashboard is updated every Friday afternoon by our Risk Management Department and is located on our COVID-19 Knowledge Center webpage, www.untdallas.edu/covid-19-dashboard. As new cases of COVID-19 again rise in Dallas County, hospitalization capacity has become a growing concern. Many experts attribute some of the increase to pandemic fatigue - a syndrome when people get tired of the pandemic safety guidelines and begin to ignore safety regulations in pursuit of some level of social interaction. To help, Psychology Today details 10 signs of pandemic fatigue and provides five recommendations on how to combat it.


We are in the midst of an exciting brand audit for The University of North Texas at Dallas to enhance the reputation and status of the university locally and nationwide. It is imperative that community members, alumni, prospective students, current students, and those working in academic fields recognize that UNT Dallas is hosting and sponsoring so many wonderful events and programs. The UNT Dallas brand is promoted and advertised on billboards throughout the metroplex, multiple LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram ads, local chambers of commerce websites, our campus website, in countless Dallas Morning News articles, in partnership ads with community colleges, on digital and printed direct mail pieces, flyers and viewbooks, to name a few. To push the UNT Dallas brand forward and to remain consistent, we are asking that only university approved logos are used. The main university logos can be found here. We are also introducing branded university templates such as social media tiles, PowerPoints, flyers, and branded virtual meeting backgrounds to make it easier for everyone to adhere to university brand guidelines. These branded assets can be found here under Internal Templates. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Alexandria Williams, Director of Brand Marketing, any time at Alexandria.williams@untdallas.edu.    


The University of North Texas at Dallas (UNT Dallas) has been selected, by State Senator Royce West, to manage the Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Leadership Program. The program transitioned from the Office of Senator West to UNT Dallas in December. The application window for the 2021 Class of the Conrad Program is open Dec. 7, 2020 – Jan. 4, 2021. The program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students attending any four-year college or university, who reside in Texas Senate District 23. To apply, visit conradleadership.org/application.

Since 1993, the Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Leadership Program has provided paid summer internship opportunities for more than 2,400 college students who reside in Texas Senate District 23. The program helps build bridges of opportunity that will lead students to successful careers and better socioeconomic mobility. The continued success of the Conrad Leadership Program is vital to the upward financial and social mobility of Dallas area students.

“Now, in its twenty-eighth year of operations, it’s important to attract even more students, provide ever more impactful internship opportunities and transition to a more sustainable model,” said State Senator Royce West. “The ability to have program staff, recruiters and communicators dedicated to student success to help secure the program’s sustainability was a big factor in selecting UNT Dallas.”

All interns will benefit from UNT Dallas’ dedication to student recruitment, skills training, community service opportunities, interview and resume building skills, and alumni relations activities. And with the continuous support from sponsors, the Conrad Program interns will also develop the professional and marketable skills needed for success after completing their degree.

“The Conrad Program has stood the test of time with its positive influence on the futures of a generation of young people,” said UNT Dallas President Bob Mong. “We thank Senator West for his stewardship over the years, and we are very pleased that a Conrad alum, Dr. Sabrina Hodge, of UNT Dallas, can now lead this important program.”

Conrad Program interns are assigned to positions at area hospitals, city and state agencies, law firms, corporations and other industries in their specific areas of interest. Many have turned their internship opportunity into permanent employment. “As an intern with the Conrad Leadership Program, college students are able to gain valuable work experience and transfer that practicum back into the classroom,” said Dr. Sabrina Hodge, who now manages the Conrad Leadership Program at UNT Dallas. “Numerous interns have been in the program for several years, even while pursuing post-graduate degrees. I am an alumna of the Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Leadership Program and I owe much of my success to the many opportunities offered by this program.” To learn more or sponsor a summer intern, please visit conradleadership.org or email Dr. Sabrina Hodge at sabrina.hodge@untdallas.edu.


UNT Dallas North Texas Food Bank
For the majority of 2020, UNT Dallas hosted mobile food pantry events for the Dallas community. Partnering with the North Texas Food Bank, the monthly, mobile food pantry was held on campus and designed to provide free, nourishing food staples to our students, employees and community members. The COVID-19 pandemic created extremely difficult health and economic challenges causing food insecurities to soar. Many times, the entrance to our food pantry created lines that stretched several miles long. Through it all, our volunteers, employees and especially the UNT Dallas police department showed grace and patience as thousands of cars attended the drive-thru events. In 11 months, UNT Dallas proudly served 7,564 families in the Dallas area.


Dr. Lisa Hobson
UNT Dallas is full steam ahead in various partnerships with Dallas Independent School District as it relates to the diversity among male teachers and early college career paths for middle and high school students. The purpose of this partnership is to create pathways for more males of color to enter the teaching profession. 

“Research shows that students who have teachers that look like them have higher rates of success,” said John Vega, deputy chief of Dallas Capital Management (HCM).  

As we gear up to promote THRIVE, Call Me Mister, and the Early College Teacher program, we would like to share a little more about each of these initiatives with our UNT Dallas faculty, staff, students and alumni.

“This is a triple win for the men who choose to pursue this calling. They can make a difference in the lives of students, have a stable career, and have the potential for high earning within Dallas ISD,” said Dr. Lisa Hobson, Professor and Interim Dean of the UNT Dallas School of Education. UNT Dallas is excited to partner with Dallas ISD to offer these educational opportunities to students in our southern Dallas communities. 

THRIVE focuses on attracting potential male teachers from various diverse backgrounds to become role models and change young lives through teaching.
This program provides:
  • Affordable Quality Education 
  • UNT Dallas has the lowest tuition costs of any 4-year institution in the North Texas area 
  • No. 1 in the nation for lowest student debt 
  • Learn from highly qualified professors and lecturers 
  • Outstanding professors who provide a high-quality education with a great teacher to student ratio (1 to 18) 
  • Our educators are highly qualified with extensive classroom experience 
For more information visit our UNT Dallas website.
The mission of the Call Me MISTER® (acronym for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) Initiative is to increase the pool of available teachers from a broader more diverse background with a focus on African American males among the State's lowest performing elementary schools. Student participants are largely selected from underserved, socio-economically disadvantaged and educationally at-risk communities.
This program provides:
  • Tuition assistance through Loan Forgiveness programs for admitted students pursuing approved programs of study in teacher education at a participating college
  • An academic support system to help assure their success
  • A cohort system for social and cultural support
  • Assistance with job placement 
Visit the website to learn more.


With the opening of the new Singing Hills Recreation Center and the extension of the Runyon Creek Trail, southern Dallas residents now have access to facilities they’ve long deserved.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the new Singing Hills Recreation Center is the latest milestone in this emerging community at the west end of an education corridor, bookended by the University of North Texas at Dallas and, to the east, Paul Quinn College.
Located in Oak Cliff, the recreation center offers community members a basketball court, fitness equipment, exercise rooms, ping pong, video games, a pool table, Wi-Fi and more. The $20 million state-of-the-art recreation center also provides the community with a recording studio, a computer room, meeting spaces and a wing exclusively for senior citizens. The Runyon Creek Trail, located nearby, was recently expanded in partnership with UNT Dallas and extends from the campus to Glendale Park. The running trail and the recreation center now provide local residents with access to indoor and outdoor exercise facilities that can help lead to healthier lifestyles. To read the full article, click here.


The men’s and women’s inaugural basketball season is off to an exciting start! With this being the first season of collegiate activities at The University of North Texas at Dallas, all eyes are on these talented athletes. To see these stars in action, check out the Men’s Basketball schedule and the Women’s Basketball schedule on the UNT Dallas website. The next home game for the men takes place on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m. at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, and the women’s next home game is on Monday, Jan. 11, 5 p.m. at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. Be safe, wear a mask, and enjoy the games!  


The University of North Texas at Dallas Cross Country team wrapped up an exciting inaugural season in October. The outdoor season will hopefully begin in March 2021. The UNT Dallas cross country team competed in three XC meets this season with freshman Yessica Araiza winning first place in the first two meets. “Overall the season has been challenging with the changes due to the COVID-19 restrictions, but I’m proud of the kids who stuck it out and I’m looking forward to watching them succeed as college athletes and students,” says Coach Kenneth Royal. 


Dr. Daniel Friesen
Dr. Constance Lacy
Dr. Constance Lacy
By Dr. Constance Lacy
Dean, School of Human Services

On October 23, 2020, Dr. Daniel Friesen, who served as the assistant dean of the School of Business and tenured associate professor of business, passed away suddenly.

We are deeply saddened by his passing, as he was known to many as the voice of UNT Dallas.

I had the privilege of working with Daniel over the last 15 years. We started our tenure here in July 2006 when the very young UNT Dallas was located off Hampton Road. We were both hired as Coordinators for our respective programs and were commissioned to help grow the university to an enrollment of 1,500 students. We all had to share an office with at least two other people because the campus was so small. It was like having college roommates. Over the years I learned that Daniel loved music, travel, and “whatever his wife Janine was interested in.” We specifically talked about her love for art and jewelry…which happens to be two of my favorite topics.

As the university grew, so did opportunities for leadership. Daniel and I served as Division Directors and shared what was known as the Dean’s suite in Building One. Daniel’s office was in the back facing the west. You could often hear him singing, and if you stepped in, you’d find him working on his computer with his cap or visor on in an effort to block the sun. No matter the circumstances or situations, Daniel always had a calming presence. He was full of jokes, movie quotes, a song or some silly anecdote. Daniel’s leadership will be greatly missed at all levels from Faculty Alliance President, to University Curriculum Committee Chair, to the Assistant Dean of the School of Business.

Daniel was the kind of person who got along with everyone and he knew no strangers. He was witty and comical, and just an all-around good guy. He never seemed to be in a rush or particularly moved by much of anything. Some knew him as a funny man, a dynamic boss, a mentor, and the best professor on campus.

We will forever cherish the impact and legacy of Dr. Friesen. He had a way of making all of us feel important, including students. I want to quote the statement his administrative coordinator, Dena Hale, made.

“My favorite thing he would say as he walked out of the office to go teach a class was, ‘Dena, I’m going to stomp out ignorance’.”

The biggest lesson we can learn from the loss of Dr. Friesen is to live life in the moment; enjoy the journey; laugh often; be supportive; be willing to listen and know that you have an opportunity to change your world one person at a time, one colleague at a time, one student at a time, one friend at a time.


Virtual Commencement
In December, UNT Dallas held a virtual commencement ceremony for all students who graduated in the year 2020. Graduates from Spring, Summer and Fall 2020 were recognized in a recorded ceremony that featured student speakers, recognition of veterans, a keynote Q&A with President Bob Mong and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Josh Howard and the unveiling of the UNT Dallas Alma Mater. To view the virtual commencement, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2sLEhy5PBA.
Hooding Ceremony
Our Graduate Hooding ceremony also took on a new twist with friends and family members conducting the traditional “hooding” of students earning a graduate degree. This year’s hooding ceremony was special to many students as they cherished the well wishes and the proud moments conveyed by family and friends. To view the hooding ceremony, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMrIMHL-MYM.
Town Hall
As the Fall 2020 semester came to a close, the UNT Dallas leadership team congratulated faculty, staff and students on completing another successful virtual semester. Our faculty and staff members continued to provide unprecedented support of our students. And our students exhibited a strong work ethic as they persevered in their academic studies. Additional success stories and a complete university update was provided by President Bob Mong and the university leadership team including an overview of what to expect in Spring 2021. To view the Town Hall meeting, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVNjccfEw8E.

UNT Dallas News, Notes & Campus Updates
Mike Maslanka
Mike Maslanka
Professor Michael Maslanka, UNTD College of Law, Goes International: Assistant Professor of Law Michael Maslanka interviewed with Aljazeera, the international news conglomerate which reports from Doha, Qatar and London, England regarding California’s Proposition 22. The proposition passed with 58 percent support, and allows firms like Uber to classify their drivers as independent contractors, dodging state requirements for labor protections and workers’ benefits. Maslanka specializes in Labor Law and his legal opinion and expertise are respected throughout the U.S. and internationally.

“This is a fierce fight that has been going on for years,” said Maslanka. “Those regulations are very, very pro-employer.” Maslanka views the California proposition as a precursor to a vast number of future litigations in employer protection against contractors
Artichala Wise
Artichala Wise
Jordan Avery Garrett
Jordan Avery Garrett
Jessica Armstead
Jessica Armstead
UNT Dallas & UNT Dallas Law Students speak to the Dallas Morning News regarding Senator Kamala Harris, the new Vice-President Elect: For Black female college students — especially those who took part in the election and mobilized around it — Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris' ascension into the vice presidency resonated deeply.

Artichala Wise, a 25-year-old second-year student at the University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law, said Harris holding such a powerful role is “comforting to me, just knowing that we are represented, that African-American women have a voice. It just resonates with me so much more, because of that representation for Black women, who have been a very pivotal backbone for the Democratic Party, for them to be seen.”

Fellow second-year student Jordan Avery Garrett, 26, was in ninth grade when Barack Obama first won the presidency in 2008. She recalled her mother and grandmother, both from Chicago, weeping during his first inaugural address. “It’s inspirational for young girls, who might have had dreams of doing more, but might have been told to ‘Stay in your lane.’ There is no lane. [Harris] has broken glass ceilings, not just for black women, but for all women.” Garrett said.

This election, however, was different. Wise and Garrett, both members of the school’s Black Law Students Association, took part in peaceful protests in downtown Dallas over the summer and helped register voters.

Jessica Armstead, a 31-year-old junior at the University of North Texas at Dallas, said Harris’ election should eliminate any stigma for students choosing a HBCU or minority-majority college like UNT-Dallas over prestigious private schools or large state universities. “It just opens so many doors; it shows me the sky’s the limit,” Armstead said.

UNT Dallas Law takes Inaugural DFW Mock Trial Competition: Congratulations to UNT Dallas COL students Fernando Leal-Calandra, Chase Miller, Anthony Lyons and Aubrey Eyrolles for their First-Place win at the 1st Annual Metroplex Mock Trial Competition. The competition was held on October 27th in Dallas. Coached by Profs. Tony Kolenc and Wes Moore, UNT Dallas Law students outperformed SMU Dedman School of Law and Texas A&M Law School.

Special congratulations to Fernando Leal-Calandra as he also was awarded Best Advocate for the entire competition!

UNT Dallas College of Law Wins AIA Dallas Design Award: Congratulations to UNT Dallas College of Law for receiving another preservation honor. The AIA Dallas Design Awards has designated the UNT Dallas Law Center as a 2020 Winner for its responsiveness to beauty, poetry, site condition and context, inspiration, process, and environmental, economic, and social impact. The purpose of the awards program is to honor the architects, clients and consultants who work together to achieve design excellence.
President Mong and Mr. Nakia Douglas Selected to Dallas 500
President Bob Mong and Executive Director of TRIO & Pre-Collegiate Programs Nakia Douglas were selected to the 2021 Dallas 500 List. The Dallas 500 is the D CEO Magazine editors take on the most powerful and influential business leaders in North Texas. 500 individuals are selected annually, with only 12 selected in higher education. Honorees are recognized in an annual edition of D Magazine.
Dr. Ratna Narayan
Congratulations Dr. Ratna Narayan
The Gerald Skoog Cup for Outstanding Leadership in Science Teacher Education has been awarded to UNT Dallas Associate Professor of Science Education Dr. Ratna Narayan. The statewide award is presented to a faculty or staff member at a Texas college or university who has demonstrated significant contributions to and leadership in the development of quality science education. To read the full announcement, visit https://www.statweb.org/stat-award-winners.
Dr. Santos-Hatchett
Dr. Santos-Hatchett
Dr. Santos-Hatchett Receives LULAC Award
Congratulations to Professor Emerita Dr. Sheryl Santos-Hatchett who was recently awarded 2020 LULAC District 3 Woman of the Year. LULAC, League of United Latin American Citizens, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health, and civil rights of the Hispanic population in the United States. Dr. Santos-Hatchett is the founding Dean of the UNT Dallas School of Education and retired from the university in May.
Nakia Douglas
Dr. Constance Lacy and Mr. Nakia Douglas Profiled in Dallas Publication 
Dr. Constance Lacy and Mr. Nakia Douglas were recently highlighted in the local publication, Dallas Doing Good. The online publication is committed to creating and sharing stories that support good news and good work in North Texas. Dr. Lacy, Dean of the School of Human Services, discusses her childhood and how higher education has impacted her life. Nakia Douglas, Executive Director of Trio and Pre-Collegiate Programs, speaks about the sacrifices his family and friends made so that he had access to a quality education.
Dr. Coe Publishes Children’s Book
English adjunct professor, Lauren Kalstad Coe, has published her first children's book titled "To the Stars in Bumper Cars." The book inspires creativity and curiosity through the imagination of a child as he takes fantastical trips in his dreams. The book can be purchased at Book Baby or Amazon.
Dr. Glenda Balas Selected for North Texas Leadership Training
Professor of Communication and Technology Dr. Glenda Balas has been tapped for the 36th cohort of Leadership Denton, a premier North Texas leadership program focused on broad community service at the local, regional, and state levels. Balas was selected for Leadership Denton 36 (LD36) through a competitive process based on her written analysis of North Texas issues, an interview with the Leadership Denton Board of Directors, and her background and demonstrated commitments to service. She joins 17 other corporate, educational, community, and nonprofit leaders for a nine-month program targeting such topics as economic development, education, the arts, youth services, city and county government, health, wellness, and state government.


  • Winter Break: Dec. 24 – 31, 2021
  • New Year’s Day Holiday: Jan. 1, 2021
  • All UNT Dallas offices open for business: Jan. 4, 2021
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday: Jan. 18, 2021
  • Spring Semester classes begin: Jan. 19, 2021
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