COE alumnua, former TE&A faculty member named director of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of North Texas has named a new director to shape the future of its lifelong learning efforts.

Stephanie Reinke, formerly with the university’s College of Education in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration, said she is thrilled to be joining OLLI at UNT at such an exciting time.

“We are currently offering our members more course offerings ─ over 100 this fall ─ more distinguished faculty and more classroom locations than ever before,” said Reinke.

UNT established the Emeritus College, now known as OLLI at UNT, in 2009 to formalize its lifelong learning initiatives. The success of that venture made the university one of 120 programs in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute network. OLLI at UNT offers courses to the 50 and over population on the UNT campus, at Robson Ranch located near Denton and at the UNT New College in Frisco.

OLLI at UNT is currently in the midst of a campaign to hit a membership goal that would make it eligible for a $1 million endowment from the Osher Foundation.

 “I plan to not only hit our membership goal, but find new and exciting ways for our current and prospective members to become and remain engaged,” said Reinke. “Now is the time to get involved with OLLI at UNT.”

The Bernard Osher Foundation, headquartered in San Francisco, was founded in 1977 by businessman and community leader, Bernard Osher. The foundation seeks to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts.

 For more information about how to join OLLI at UNT, contact Reinke at or 940-565-3487.

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Global sport: KHPR student aligns learning with passion for soccer in international internship

When personal passions align with learning opportunities, life-changing experiences are often the result. Just ask Quinny Truong, a graduate student in UNT’s sports management program, part of the Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation.

Truong spent this summer interning with FundLife International, a nonprofit organization that brings soccer to impoverished children in Tacloban, The Philippines. The city was largely destroyed in November 2014 by Typhoon Haiyan, and many residents are still working to rebuild. FundLife creates after-school opportunities for Tacloban children to develop their confidence and leadership skills, give them a safe place to play and learn, and keep them engaged in their community.

For Truong, a lifelong athlete who played soccer for Rice University as an undergraduate, the experience meant an opportunity to put the sports management lessons she’d learned at UNT into practice.

“Sports management is like a business degree for the sport world. In my classes, I’m learning how to evaluate processes and management for sports organizations, and that’s what I got to do for FundLife,” she said. “The goal was to get feedback from the kids and find ways we could make the program even better.”

The organization hires college students to work as coaches for the children, who range in age from around 5 to 17, and in order to participate in soccer practices and tournaments, the kids must be enrolled in school and keep up with their schoolwork. At the end of her six-week internship, Truong presented FundLife leadership with her ideas for improvement, which she hopes will help make the already positive FundLife experience even more rewarding for Tacloban kids.

“I could see immediately that the kids loved the experience. This was what they looked forward to most in their lives, the biggest, brightest part of their days,” she said. “They were just so eager to learn, not only about soccer, but about America. They asked me so many questions, always wanting to know more.”

The children were also eager to play. Residents of The Philippines are known for their passion for soccer, and the kids in Tacloban were no exception, even though they lacked many of the basic resources they needed to play, Truong said.

“It was truly an experience to see how these kids in The Philippines played with such passion for the game,” she said. “Most of the kids didn't have the proper equipment and often played barefoot. Not to mention the conditions in which they had to play. Some played on uncut grass with rocks and used sticks for goals; some played on concrete with no lights so they often played in the dark.

“It was just an amazing experience to see how they played soccer in these types of conditions.”  

FundLife currently only operates in the Tacloban region, but the organization brings in soccer coaches, partners and advisors from around the world, including Arsenal in the Community, FIFA Football for Hope and UNT’s KHPR department chair, John Nauright, who helped Truong secure her internship.

“As part of my work supporting FundLife International, one of the two NGO Sport for Development partners of KHPR along with Sacred Sports in St. Lucia, we wanted to provide students opportunities to gain field experience in this important and growing field,” Nauright said. “Quinny was the ideal student to pioneer our engagement due to her sporting experience, her outstanding classroom performance and her infectious personality. We hope to send other students to The Philippines and to St. Lucia in the near future as KHPR promotes sport all around the world.”

Learn more about FundLife here and about UNT’s KHPR department here.


Top photo, Quinny Truong, front row left, with some of the kids she coached in Tacloban, The Philippines, and Zimbabwean soccer player Esther Mano, back rown third from right.


Counseling faculty part of $1.5 million in grants

Three University of North Texas professors have been awarded more than $1.5 million in grants to begin the work of increasing cultural competency in therapists.  

Angie Wilson, assistant professor in the Department Counseling and Higher Education in the College of Education, and Chandra Carey, associate professor and interim chair of the College of Health and Public Services Department of Rehabilitation and Health Services, along with Peggy Ceballos, associate professor also in the department of  Counseling and Higher Education, have been awarded a four-year $1,272,233 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to implement a program to address health disparities by enhancing the delivery of culturally competent mental health services to underserved communities.

Through this grant they will prepare UNT students to provide cultural competency training throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth region. The focus of this grant award is to provide counseling services in integrated care settings and to increase the number of mental health counselors working with underserved communities. In addition to the training, 80 master’s-level students will receive stipends for their clinical internship experiences.

“For me, it is exciting to look at the impact that the services we will provide through this grant will have on our community,” said Ceballos.

Wilson and Carey also have been awarded a separate grant of $353,543 from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to build clinical partnerships and assist with delivery of culturally competent counseling services and recruitment and retention of students from underserved populations.

Wilson said that grant will result in UNT developing partnerships with more than 20 agencies in the Dallas Fort Worth area to train therapists in cultural competency. She added that 33 UNT master’s students will work as interns with those community partners that target Latino and African-American communities.

“This is about the people in these communities getting the help they need,” Wilson said. “Our goal is that it extends beyond the interns and reaches the citizens in underserved communities.”

Carey added that one of the issues they hope to address with both grants is that people of color don’t generally reach out for help with mental health issues. Even when they do, they are not likely to return for regular counseling sessions because of a lack of cultural understanding from the therapist, she said.

“This is about access to services that reflect all cultures,” Carey said. “We need to redefine the narrative and recognize cultural differences so that all people can get the help they need.”


Pictured, from left, Angie Wilson, Peggy Ceballos and Chandra Carey.

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