UNT Peace Symposium

Friday, March 25, 2011 - 8:00pm

March 25, 2011 - 3-7 PM
Peace Symposium will feature a known scholar on peace and Sufi music

Dr. Ori Soltes of Georgetown University will speak on “Mysticism and Peace: Weaving a Common Thread Across World Religions,” as part of the UNT Peace Symposium on March 25 (Friday). The symposium will focus on finding commonalities in world religions and cultures. The event begins at 3 p.m. in the UNT Union Lyceum.

The scholarly and colorful program will feature a keynote presentation, a panel discussion on the topic and a breathtaking performance of South Asian Sufi music. Students will participate in the program to write research papers for their classes.

“Soltes is a known scholar who has published more than 180 articles on common themes in world cultures and religions, especially Jewish, Muslim and Christian traditions. Also a prolific speaker on the Middle Eastern issues, he currently teaches theology, philosophy and art history at Georgetown University” said program organizer, Qaisar Abbas, Assistant in the College of Education.

A panel discussion will follow Soltes’ lecture from 4 to 5 p.m. In addition to Soltes, the discussion will feature Dr. George James, UNT associate professor of philosophy and religion studies; Dr. Masood Raja, UNT assistant professor of English; and Pravrajika Brahmaprana, associated with the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society of North Texas. Dr. Mitch Land, interim dean of UNT’s Mayborn School of Journalism, will moderate the panel discussion. Following the discussion, a performance featuring Sufi music will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

In addition to the Center for the Study of Interdisciplinarity that sponsored the Peace Symposium, the program is also partially funded by the College of Education, Contemporary Arab & Muslim Cultural Studies Institute, Division of Equity and Diversity, Peace Studies Program and Jewish Studies program. South Asian snacks will be served during the break.

For more information, contact the progam organizer, Dr. Qaisar Abbas, at qaisar.abbas@unt.edu or at 940-565-2523

Educational Research Exchange

Friday, February 25, 2011 - 4:00pm

Educational Research Exchange

The Tenth Annual Educational Research Exchange (ERE) was held at the College of Education in Wooten Hall on the University of North Texas's Denton campus on February 25, 2011. A mini-conference for exchange of research among faculty and students.

Plan to attend the 2012 Conference
Information regarding that conference will be posted Fall 2011.

Initiative motivates high school students to consider bilingual education

The University of North Texas College of Education partnered with the Denton Independent School District this spring to encourage high school students to consider careers in bilingual education.

“We want our bilingual high school students to have the opportunity to explore a bilingual teaching field,” said Teresa Taylor, the director of bilingual ESL programs for Denton ISD. “We want to give them that opportunity to start setting those goals beyond the high school diploma.”

To read the full NT Daily article about this program, please click here.

Third Texas-Jalisco Conference in Education and Culture

Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 1:00pm

Third Texas-Jalisco Conference in Education and Culture
"Celebrating 200 Years of Mexican History and Culture"

Featuring Keynote Addresses by:

Ambassador Juan Carlos Cué Vega
Consul General of Mexico in Dallas

Mark Hugo Lopez, Associate Director of PEW Hispanic

Dr. Aaron Navarro, UNT Dept. of History

Dr. José Angel Gutiérrez, UTA Dept. of Political Science

Presentations by:

Dr. Roberto Calderón, UNT Dept. of History

Dr. David Molina, UNT Dept. of Economics

Dra. Lya Sañudo Guerra, Secretaría de Educación de Jalisco

UNT Graduate Students in Anthropology, Economics, Education, History, and Political Science

Date: Thursday, April 28th from 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Place: Golden Eagle Suite, University Union, University of North Texas

Texas Higher Education Law Conference

Monday, March 28, 2011 - 8:00pm

March 28-29: Texas Higher Education Law Conference

Sponsored by the UNT Center for Higher Education and the College of Education.
Co-Sponsored By:
The Texas Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators (TACUSPA) Independent College and Universities of Texas, Inc.
The Texas Association of Community Colleges
2011 Conference Partners

* UNT Center for Education Law, Administration and Policy
* North Texas Community College Consortium
* PublicIDentity, Inc.

Deadline for College of Education Scholarship Application extended to March 25th

The deadline to apply for the College of Education Scholarship has been extended to March 25, 2011. The previous deadline was March 7th.

Applications are available in the COE Dean's Office, COE Student Advising and online at http://www.coe.unt.edu/scholarships/general-college-education-scholarships

UNT Peace Symposium to be held on March 25th

UNT Peace Symposium to be held on March 25th, 2011 in the Student Union Lyceum on the Denton Campus. See flyer below for more details. For more information, please contact Qaisar Abbas at qaisar.abbas@unt.edu.

UNT Peace Symposium

Looking Back: Joe Atkins and the Desegregation of North Texas

Looking Back: The Desegregation of North Texas

The Early Years

Joe Atkins did not plan to initiate the desegregation of North Texas State College, now known as the University of North Texas, but his pursuit of higher education would eventually lead him down a path that would forever change the history of UNT. Born in 1936 in Jefferson, Texas to a farmer and a housewife, Atkins displayed a passion for education and self improvement that was instilled in him at a young age. Atkins’ father started out as a farmer living in a little rural community west of Jefferson. Wanting better for his family, he came to Dallas in the late forties during the migration of blacks to the cities and got a job as a plumber’s helper. He soon learned the trade and became a master plumber and eventually built his own business. Atkins’ mother was equally driven. Although a housewife for a while, she also sold insurance working for the American Woodman’s. She would later work with Atkins’ father as he established his own business.

Atkins’ childhood was admittedly sheltered. His family lived in a black community, went to a church in that community, went to school in that community and went to the movies in that community. He remembers that the only times when he truly felt discriminated against was when he rode the bus, the streetcar, or went to use the water fountain downtown. It wasn’t until he joined the Dallas Youth Council in 1952 and met Mrs. Juanita Craft, who is credited with revitalizing the NAACP in the state of Texas, that he truly became conscious of discrimination.

Youth Activism and a Lesson in Equal Rights

Mrs. Craft was the sponsor of the Dallas Youth Council. They met on a monthly basis and, as Atkins recalls, it was a very popular group. Atkins was no stranger to activism since his own parents were active members of the Dallas branch of the NAACP. Mrs. Craft helped motivate a young Atkins to look at other issues, especially those that dealt with segregation at that time. Atkins had always been very interested in North Texas State, but didn't think he would ever attend because of segregation. When the pivotal decision of Brown vs. the Board of Education came down during Atkins’ senior year in high school, it became a very real possibility that he could attend.

Although Atkins attended Philander Smith for his first year of college, he disliked the lengthy commute and wanted to apply to schools closer to Dallas. He spoke with his parents and decided to enroll at North Texas State. Although his mother was reluctant, both of his parents supported his decision. In June of 1955, Atkins went to the registrar’s office with his mother and Mrs. Craft.

The meeting with the registrar turned into a meeting with the vice-president for academic affairs, Dr. Sampley. Dr. Sampley mentioned the admittance of Tennyson Miller, a black graduate student who had been admitted to the university the previous year. However, he also mentioned a stair step plan they wanted to put together. The idea was to admit senior transfers then juniors and so forth. Dr. Sampley stated that they did not want a test case. Atkins submitted his application and waited. After a month, Atkins received a letter from Dr. Sampley denying his admission based on the fact of his race; stating that his admission would be a violation of the Texas constitution.

Fighting for What Was Right

Atkins gave the letter to the regional NAACP attorney at the time, U. Simpson Tate, who filed the paperwork for the case. The NAACP financed the lawsuit. In the meantime, Atkins was accepted to Texas Western, now the University of Texas at El Paso. While at Texas Western College, Atkins became the target of Attorney General John Ben Shepperd, who was attempting to outlaw the NAACP. The Attorney General claimed at the time that plaintiffs in civil rights cases had been prompted by the NAACP. Atkins stated that fortunately at the time, when Texas Rangers attempted to visit him in El Paso they did not find sympathetic supporters. The attempt to intimidate Atkins was thwarted as the dean of Texas Western forced them to leave. Any attempts to get the law on their side were also futile as the sheriff would not cooperate with them.

Back at North Texas, Dr. Matthews, the university president, was not entirely unsympathetic to Atkins’ dilemma. He spoke to the Board of Regents, but the consensus of the board was, “If a black applies, we will reject his application. He’ll probably bring suit, and we’ll lose. But at that point we can then go to the mamas and papas of the white students and say, ‘Look, we tried to prevent blacks from enrolling in North Texas, but we failed, and the law was the law, and now we have to comply.’” Atkins’ suit against North Texas went to court and the judge ordered North Texas to desegregate. When Dr. Matthews was offered the opportunity to appeal the decision he passed. North Texas admitted its first black students in the spring semester of 1956.

North Texas Changes For the Better

Despite his win in the lawsuit, Atkins decided to finish his undergraduate career at Texas Western. However, his fight and case won the right for others like Abner Haynes, Joe Greene, and many more to attend North Texas. For a while, North Texas had the largest number of blacks of any state-supported institution in the state of Texas. Atkins did eventually return to North Texas to obtain his master’s degree in 1966, graduating from the College of Education.

While Atkins was still a graduate student at UNT, he worked for nine years teaching in the Dallas Independent School Joe AtkinsDistrict. After graduating, he worked for 23 years as a field representative with the Texas State Teachers Association before joining Blair White Realtors. In 1990, Atkins was made an honorary member of the Progressive Black Student Organization and previously received the Pioneer Integration Award from the campus chapter of the NAACP.

Today, the University of North Texas embraces diversity and there is a scholarship named after Miller and Atkins available through the Division of Equity & Diversity. You can apply for the A. Tennyson Miller and Joe L. Atkins Scholarship Award by going to http://edo.unt.edu/.

15th Annual UNT Higher Education Law Conference

15th Annual Texas Higher Education Law Conference

Cyberbullying, Guns on Campus Among Issues at Higher Ed Law Conference

The Texas legislature appears to be moving toward the allowance of handguns on college and university campuses. The legal contexts for institutions will be among the topics to be covered at the 15th Annual Higher Education Law Conference at the University of North Texas, March 28-29, 2011.

Other topics that will be presented and discussed include:

* Legal liabilities in campus recreation centers and athletic programs
* The implications of a recent Supreme Court decision on regulating student group membership policies
* Reduction of staff for economic reasons through early retirement and voluntary separation plans and incentives
* Legal issues surrounding cyberbullying and suicide on campuses
* Recent legal developments regarding campus search and seizure actions

A full listing of the program and presenters is available by visiting the conference website, http://www.coe.unt.edu/HElawconference, or by calling 940-565-2514.

Online registration is also available at that site. Two-day registration through March 10 is $290, $340 thereafter, and $365 on site at the conference. There is a discount price for UNT faculty, staff and students which is $175.

The conference is sponsored by the UNT Center for Higher Education and the College of Education. The conference is co-sponsored by the Texas Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators, the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas, and the Texas Association of Community Colleges. Conference partners include the North Texas Community College Consortium and PublicIDentity, Inc. The conference is directed by Richard Fossey, J.D., Ed.D., and Marc Cutright, Ed.D.

COE advisor selected to referee NCAA Women's Basketball Championship

D'Lynn Schertz, a multidisciplinary advisor in the College of Education and UNT alumna, was selected as one of twelve officials to referee the 2011 NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Championship. She will be refereeing a regional game on March 11, 12 and 14 at a campus site to be determined. Officials that work the championship game of the regional will advance to the Elite Eight on March 22, 23 and 25 at the St. Joseph Civic Arena in St. Joseph, Missouri.