Faculty

Ray W. Johnson II

Ray W. Johnson II, 90, of Denton, who oversaw the counseling psychology program when it was accredited in 1978, died Jan. 8 in Denton. He worked at North Texas from 1965 to 1999. He received his bachelor’s degree from Central Missouri State College, and master’s degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Missouri. Memorials may be made to the Ray W. Johnson Counseling Psychology Scholarship Fund.

Rita Huber

Rita Huber, 84, of Denton, who served as a secretary in the biochemistry program at UNT for more than 20 years, died Feb. 5 in Denton. She raised her four children while her husband, Charles “Chuck” Huber, was deployed in the U.S. Air Force, then they moved to Denton in 1976 to begin new careers.

Jack R. Haynes

Jack R. Haynes (’57, ’58 M.A.), 87, of Denton, Professor Emeritus of psychology who worked at UNT from 1963 to 2001, died Feb. 2. In 1995, he was part of the committee that founded The Merl Bonney Endowed Fund in Psychology. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, and earned his degrees from Texas Chris- tian University. Survivors include his daughter, Kyla Welch (’90).

Virginia Dick

Virginia Dick (’57, ’64 M.A.), 83, of Bridgeport, an adjunct professor of hospitality management from 2000 to 2007, died Feb. 23 in Denton. She received her doctorate in home economics from Oklahoma State University, then taught at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Texas Woman’s University and UNT. She was a published author of educational materials and a consultant to nursing homes and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Barbara Ann Mathis Tarbutton

Barbara Ann Mathis Tarbutton (’61, ’90 Ph.D.), Brookhaven, Mississippi. She taught voice at high schools, colleges and universities in Texas, Alaska, Florida and Mississippi, then for 22 years at Lamar University in Beaumont before she retired. She spoke at many colleges in the U.S. and Europe about vocal cord pathology, a subject in which she was considered an expert. The soprano sang The Star- Spangled Banner for President Lyndon B. Johnson and performed in renowned places such as Carnegie Hall and The Vienna Opera House.

Emmett Reese Baker

Emmett Reese Baker (’61, ’63 M.Ed.), Denton. He had a 35-year career in Ponder ISD, going from teacher to superintendent before becoming an adjunct professor at UNT in 1996. He recruited and trained teachers for I-Teach Texas. As a basketball player at North Texas, his favorite memory was playing against future NBA legend Oscar Robertson.

Robert Fred Kern

Robert Fred Kern, 75, of Dallas, Professor Emeritus of music and specialist in piano education at UNT from 1980 to 2011, died Aug. 14. Previously, he was a professor at William Rainey Harper College and Northwestern University. Kern earned a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University, master’s degrees from Illinois Wesleyan and Northwestern University, and a doctorate from the University of Northern Colorado. He was an author and co-author of seven piano methods and contributed more than 500 original compositions and arrangements to several pedagogical publications. He taught clinics all around the country, as well as in Canada and Taiwan. He was inducted into the Illinois State University Woonsok Kim College of Fine Arts Hall of Fame in 2014, and he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy.

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.

Pages