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UNT alumna killed

The passengers aboard the one of planes used in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon Sept. 11 included one UNT alumna. Mari-Rae Sopper earned her master's degree in kinesiology in 1993. She was a passenger on the American Airlines flight from Washington that crashed into the Pentagon, according to a list released by the airline.

She had recently been hired as a gymnastics coach by the University of California-Santa Barbara and flying to California to begin her new job. She earned her bachelor's degree from Iowa State University in 1988 and a J.D. degree in 1996 from the University of Denver College of Law.

She had been working as a litigation associate at Schmeltzer, Aptaker and Shepard PC in Washington, D.C., after serving as assistant coach and choreographer for the women's gymnastics team at the U.S. Naval Academy. She had previously held a number of other coaching and choreographer positions.


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Regents approve appointments

During its August meeting, the UNT System Board of Regents approved the creation of three new UNT positions. Deborah Leliaert, UNT's associate vice president for marketing and communication and UNT System associate vice chancellor for communications and marketing, was promoted to vice president for university relations. Milton L. "Pat" Howell Jr., director for facilities management at the UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth, was selected as the associate vice president for facilities, and Chuck Fuller, director of business services, was promoted to assistant vice president for business services.

The position of vice president for university relations will oversee the university's communications and marketing as well as visitor and public relations. Leliaert has served in her current role since 1996 and was the university's director of news from 1992 to 1996. She continues as associate vice chancellor for communications and marketing for the UNT System.

Howell was selected as associate vice president for UNT facilities after a national search. He has extensive experience in directing, planning and managing the development, construction, operations, renovations and maintenance of facilities and infrastructures.

The position of assistant vice president for business services was created to reflect the increased responsibility of overseeing the university's auxiliary business services. In addition to overseeing most auxiliary operations on campus including housing, dining services, the University Union, printing and mail services, and the bookstore contract, the assistant vice president will be responsible for overseeing the operations of the Coliseum, Auditorium and Gateway Center.

The board also approved new operational functions and appointments for key UNT System personnel. Virginia Wheeless, UNT System associate vice chancellor for planning and UNT associate vice president for planning, was appointed vice chancellor for planning, while Howell was appointed associate vice chancellor for system facilities in addition to his UNT appointment. Reymundo "Rey" Rodriguez Jr. was appointed assistant vice chancellor for governmental affairs, and Walt Parker, who serves as vice chancellor for governmental affairs, was approved for a reduced-time appointment.

As vice chancellor for planning, Wheeless will be responsible for the planning for the new UNT at Dallas campus, which was established by statute in the 2001 legislative session. Wheeless served as the interim UNT System Center executive director from its inception in 1999 and has been head of the university's planning office since 1992. She will continue as associate vice president for planning for the university.

Howell was selected as associate vice chancellor for system facilities after a national search.

Rodriguez joined the system governmental affairs staff in January 2001 in time to help establish the UNT System office in Austin and to assist during the 77th legislative session. Before joining UNT, he worked as a senior analyst in Austin for the Mexican-American Legislative Caucus and as an analyst with the Social Security Administration in Washington, D.C., and in Baltimore. Rodriguez is now chief of the UNT System office in Austin.

Parker, who has served the university since 1979 and the system since 2000, has requested a 60 percent appointment for 2001-02 and a 50 percent appointment for 2002-03. A statewide search will begin soon for a person to lead the day-to-day efforts of the system's governmental affairs office.

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BUGS program created

A National Science Foundation grant of $900,000 and a cooperative effort among UNT's College of Education, Elm Fork Education Center and Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science have helped create a program to improve science education for girls.

Bringing Up Girls in Science, or BUGS, also involves a partnership with the Denton and Decatur independent school districts, Rose Street Day Treatment School in the Wichita Falls Independent School District and Bernalillo public schools in Bernalillo, N.M.

The program is designed to encourage an interest in science among elementary school girls and foster scientific attitudes such as curiosity, respect for evidence, flexibility and sensitivity to living things.

Girls from the fourth and fifth grades will participate in an after-school outdoor science lab during each year of the three-year grant.

In addition to increasing the girls' knowledge of scientific skills, BUGS aims to improve their confidence in academic pursuits, provide mentoring relationships and increase parents' and teachers' awareness of gender issues in math and science.

Tandra Tyler-Wood, associate professor of technology and cognition, is principal investigator of the project, and Jane Pemberton and Mark Mortensen, assistant professors of technology and cognition, are co-principal investigators.

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Nasher series set

As part of the Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Lecture Series in Contemporary Sculpture and Criticism, Polish sculptress Magdalena Abakanowicz will speak on campus Nov. 7. Most of her works are large, headless human figures, which are considered among the most emotive and disturbing modern sculptures. They are housed in various museums and public and private collections around the world. Some of these figures are part of the Nasher Sculpture Collection. The Nasher series, which is open to the public, began in 1998 with the intent of bringing nationally and internationally known sculptors and critics to the UNT School of Visual Arts. The presentation begins at 7 p.m. in the Eagle Student Services Center. For more information, call (940) 565-2855.


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Visitors center planned

Droves of tourists and regular interstate travelers soon may have an exciting new "infotainment" destination along I-35 in Denton. An innovative visitors center planned by UNT will be located in the university's new Gateway Center, near the new main entrance to campus on Avenue E. It's just one block from I-35 East, one of the most traveled interstates in America.

Plans for the visitors center, where guests will discover through a high-tech, high-touch experience the importance of higher education and its impact on the lives of Texans, will make it a unique university attraction in the state. The center's web site will have interactive components, permitting virtual visitors worldwide to enjoy the experience.

UNT's elite student corps of Eagle Ambassadors will staff the center to assist visitors and answer questions. Guests will be able to tour the space at their leisure. As they follow a well-designed, circular path, chapters in the university's story will unfold. Photographs and memorabilia that illustrate the university's past will give way to high-tech, interactive exhibits on UNT research, athletics, music and art.

Children, and more than a few adults, may help a digital Scrappy (UNT's mascot) decide what he wants to be when he grows up. Through this entertaining interactive game, children may visualize themselves in various vocations and learn of the educational steps necessary to achieve certain careers.

UNT is planning for the center to also serve as an information location for the city of Denton and Denton County.

The university is working to raise funds for the visionary project. A lead gift will establish the center, and additional sponsorships will fund individual exhibits within the space. Once funding is secured, the center is expected to take four to six months to complete. To take a virtual tour of what it could look like, visit


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Recent deaths

Gary Anderson
Gary Weldon Anderson, 64, of Denton died July 12 at Denton Regional Medical Center. He retired in 1999 as an associate professor of teacher education and administration. He joined UNT in 1973.

Anderson, born in Towner, Colo., received his bachelor's degree in music and his master's degree in music and education from Adams State University in Alamosa, Colo. He earned his doctorate in administration and political science at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

He was active in Phi Delta Kappa, Kappa Delta Pi, the National Education Association, the National Association of Teacher Educators, the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development and the Better Breathers at Denton Community Hospital.

Maurice McAdow
Maurice McAdow, 96, Director Emeritus of bands, died Aug. 20 at Good Samaritan Village in Denton.

McAdow began his musical career playing cornet in a municipal band in Anthony, Kan., And at age 16, he played with tent shows and stock companies. His professional instrument was the trumpet and he played professionally in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Detroit.

In the late 1920s, he studied with Herman Bellstedt and with Edward Llewellyn, well-known member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In the '30s he studied woodwinds, trombone and percussion with symphony artists and played flute with the St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra.

He received a bachelor's degree from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1939; was a pupil of the famous Russian conductor Nicolai Malko from 1943 to 1944; and earned a master's degree from the American Conservatory of Music in 1953.

McAdow joined the North Texas music faculty in 1945 and proceeded to build one of the state's top band programs. After his retirement in 1975, he continued his work through the Brook Mays Music Co. of Texas.

During his years at North Texas, McAdow led the band on 28 tours throughout 13 states. Under his leadership, the bands of UNT achieved a national reputation for outstanding musical excellence.

McAdow's work was honored in 1973 when he was named Texas Bandmaster of the Year. UNT named him an honorary alumnus in 1990. He became a member of the Phi Beta Mu Texas Bandmasters' Hall of Fame in 1991 and the next year was a charter inductee into the Region V Bandmasters' Hall of Fame.

In addition, his legacy was recognized in 1999 when a plaque bearing his name was attached to a Disklavier grand piano donated to UNT by Brook Mays Music Co.


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Chancellor Alfred F. Hurley (left) and retired U.S. Air Force Col. David Glantz
Chancellor Alfred F. Hurley (left) and retired U.S. Air Force Col. David Glantz

Seminar video online

Almost two decades ago, UNT System Chancellor Alfred F. Hurley, who also is a faculty member in UNTís history department, began a military history seminar that has become an annual tradition. This yearís seminar, held Sept. 15 on campus, focused on World War II and the Cold War, with an emphasis on the Russian military. Two speakers ó Retired U.S. Army Col. David M. Glantz and Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles Hamm ó addressed the nearly 200 attendees. Glantz is the founder and editor of the Journal of Slavic Military Studies. Hamm, whose career included service as the U.S. defense attache in Moscow from 1981 to 1983, provided commentary from a veteranís point of view. Streaming video of the presentations made by both of this yearís speakers can be viewed below:

* Both of the streaming media presentations require the Real Player to view. The Real Player can be downloaded here

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