Faculty

Yvonne Chandler

Yvonne Chandler, 63, the associate professor of information science who headed UNT’s law library program and was a 2020 inductee into the American Association of Law Libraries Hall of Fame, died Aug. 8 in Denton. Throughout her career, she showed a strong passion for library education and diversity in the workforce.

She served as a librarian for several law firms and companies before working at Clark Atlanta University. She came to UNT in 1993 as assistant professor and director of the Law Librarianship and Legal Informatics Program in what is now the Department of Information Science. She served as president of the Texas Library Association and the Southwestern Association of Law Libraries. She also was active in the AALL, serving as chair of its Conference of Law Library Educators since 2017, serving as its representative on the American Library Association Task Force on Library Science Education, and editing its newsletter on diversity. In addition to her Hall of Fame honor, she received the association’s Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award this year.

At UNT, she received the President’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award in 2008 and was a lifetime member of the UNT Alumni Association. She earned her bachelor’s and master's degrees from Clark Atlanta University and her doctorate from the University of Michigan. She was known as an enthusiastic and dedicated educator and scholar who guided many students to the profession of law librarianship.

Elizabeth Figa

Elizabeth FigaElizabeth Figa, 65, who taught at UNT from 2000 until her retirement in 2018 as an associate professor in the Department of Information Science, died July 31 in Bloomington, Illinois. Her academic contributions as an ethnographer and information scientist included her study of storytelling as an oral tradition and innovative methods for teaching it online. She was one of the founding editors of the interdisciplinary journal Storytelling, Self, Society. She also taught a popular graphic novels and comics course. She served on the board of Beta Phi Mu, the international library and information studies honor society, and was its longtime faculty advisor at UNT. In 2009, she received the Provost’s Award for Extraordinary Professional Service to the university.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from DePauw University and a master’s degree from Illinois State University before earning a master’s and doctorate in library and information sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was known as an upbeat and inspirational teacher, who also loved running marathons and half-marathons, ballroom dancing and being a grandmother.

Allen Jackson

Allen JacksonAllen Jackson, 69, Regents Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation for more than 40 years, died Aug. 5 in Maine. He helped create the applied physiology laboratory, authored more than 100 research publications and played an important role in establishing the interdisciplinary doctoral programs in the College of Education. Allen, who worked at UNT from 1978 to 2019, also served as department chair and was working on modified service in the department. He gave generously to the Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation Excellence Fund.

He received his bachelor's and doctoral degrees from the University of Houston and his master's degree from Lamar University.

Keith Johnson

Keith JohnsonKeith Johnson (’63), 77, Regents professor of trumpet and renowned trumpeter, died July 31 in Denton. He taught at UNT from 1986 to 2014 and received the Distinguished Teaching Professor Award in 2011. He performed with the Dallas Opera, the Fort Worth Symphony and more orchestras across the U.S. Keith also wrote two books, The Art of Trumpet Playing and Brass Performance and Pedagogy, and published several method books. In 2012, he won the Award of Merit from the International Trumpet Guild for his service to the trumpet profession, and in 2013, was given a Distinguished Service Award by the New Hampshire Music Festival for his 50 years as co-principal trumpet. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and before joining UNT, taught at the University of Northern Iowa. He and his wife Cecile contributed to UNT’s College of Music and were members of the President’s Council. Donations can be made to The Keith Johnson Trumpet Graduate Scholarship Endowment. Memorial services will be scheduled later.

Daniel Johnson

Daniel JohnsonDaniel Johnson, 80, former dean of what is now the College of Health and Public Service who went on to become president of the University of Toledo, died July 1 in Washington Township, Michigan. His higher education career spanned more than 40 years and brought him international recognition. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas Christian University and his doctorate from the University of Missouri. He worked in various leadership roles at Virginia Commonwealth University, then served at UNT as a professor of sociology and dean of the then-called School of Community Service from 1991 to 1997. His research specialties included urban poverty and diverse student retention, and he received the university’s Equal Opportunity Award for his support of increased campus diversity. He wrote about and advocated for metropolitan universities, with a focus on applied research and serving the needs of their regions. In 1994, he was appointed by Gov. Ann Richards to the newly formed Texas State Commission for National and Community Service, to support volunteer participation in government and community-based programs. He also assisted with the merger of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine with UNT. He created the Daniel M. Johnson Award for Community Service, first presented in 1998 to Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk. Dan left UNT to become provost at the University of Alaska. He then led the University of Toledo from 2001 to 2006 and served in various other positions before retiring as distinguished university professor of public policy and economic development. He also was provost and chief operating officer of Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates from 2008 to 2011.

Hoyt Floyd Watson

Hoyt WatsonHoyt Floyd Watson, 91, a Professor Emeritus of education who taught at UNT for 28 years, died June 24 in Denton. He received his bachelor’s degree from Henderson State University, his master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his doctorate from Florida State University. Hoyt served in the U.S. Army in the Korean War as a sergeant first class. He taught at UNT from 1970 to 1998 and worked as a consultant with the Office of Field Services until retiring in 2012. He was a longtime Mean Green Club member and UNT basketball fan. He and his wife, Beverly, were members of the President’s Council for their donations to UNT Athletics and other gifts. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and was active in his church. The Dr. Hoyt F. Watson Scholarship was set up in his name. Survivors include his daughter Margo (’84, ’88 M.Ed.), who worked in the registrar’s office.

Gerald Morris

Gerald Morris, 67, of Lake Dallas, a retired landscape artist, died Nov. 8 in Denison. He worked at UNT from 1990 to 2014. He liked to fish, travel and spend time with friends, family and his dog.

Mildred 'Millie' Giles

MILDRED ‘MILLIE’ GILES (’70 M.F.A.), 69, of Denton, a former faculty member in the College of Visual Arts and Design, died Nov. 26. She taught at UNT from 1987 until her retirement in 2013, and served as coordinator of the watercolor concentration. She donated several gifts to CVAD and established the Rob Erdle Watercolor Painting Scholarship, named after her late husband, art professor Robert Erdle. She served as a critic for the VAST Painters of Denton as well as a director of the Chautauqua Art Association Galleries in New York. She was the co-owner of Watercolor World Wide Inc. After retiring, she volunteered for the Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity. She helped design Denton’s 30-foot steel 9/11 Firefighters Memorial Bell Tower, which she considered her greatest honor.

Gladys 'Glad" Hudgins Crawford

GLADYS (GLAD) HUDGINS CRAWFORD (’46, ’49 M.S.), 92, of Denton, who spent 57 years teaching biology at UNT, died Sept. 2. At UNT, she coordinated the medical technology and cytotechonology programs and directed Eisenhower Grants. She received a 45-year service to the university award and the ’Fessor Graham Award. Glad met her husband, the late William A. (Al) Crawford (’52), at North Texas. They were President’s Council members and life joint members of the UNT Alumni Association. Donations may be made to the Gladys H. Crawford Biological Sciences Scholarship Endowment, which was established by her husband. Survivors include daughter Kala Marsh (’83, ’84 M.B.A.) and sons Kal (’88, ’94 M.B.A.) and Kurt (’88).

 

 

 

 

Alis Adkins

ALIS ADKINS (’73 Ph.D.), 83, of Denton, a faculty member in the College of Music from 1988 to 1999, died Dec. 6 in Denton. Her doctorate at North Texas earned her the distinction of being the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in the arts from a Texas university. She taught music history and appreciation and often collaborated with her husband, the late Cecil Adkins, Professor Emeritus of music, on numerous publications. Their family often performed together as the Adkins String Ensemble and received the College of Music’s Honored Alumni Award in 2013. Before coming to North Texas in 1965, she earned her bachelor’s degree at Howard Payne College and her master’s in music history and organ at the University of Texas at Austin. She studied in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 1963 to 1965, after being awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. Donations can be made to the Adkins-Dickinson String Scholarship. Survivors include children Alexandra (’96), Anthony (’93, ’08 M.B.A., M.S.), Chris­topher (’80), Madeline (’98) and Clare Cason (’91).

 

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