January 2018

Study Abroad in Panama: International Disaster & Crisis Communication

PanamaIn Summer 2018, HPS' Emergency Management and Disaster Science (EMDS) department will be offering a study abroad course in Panama. This class will be co-taught by Dr. Laura Siebeneck (EMDS) and Dr. Brian Richardson (Communication Studies) and will focus on the examination of hazards, risks, and disasters at the intersections of communication and culture in Panama.

Emergency management students may sign up for either the EADP 4040 International Disasters class or the EMDS 5800—Special Topics Course. While abroad, students will have an opportunity to interact with emergency management officials in Panama and visit sites such as the Panama Canal, Las Ruinas (Old Ruins), La Fortaleza de Santa Barbara, a local fire station, and the U.S. Embassy.

The department is excited to continue to offer international experiences for our students and we look forward to sharing our experi-ences with the EADP community upon returning home. If you are in-terested in attending, applications are being accepted until February 1st.

Visit mystudyabroad.unt.edu or contact Laura Siebeneck for more details on how to apply.


Video: Ingman represents UNT’s Future Without Poverty at world summit in Costa Rica

Members of the UNT branch of Future Without Poverty (FWOP) learned about sustainable tourism and its relevant effects on poverty last October at the FWOP World Summit. FWOP aims to reduce poverty and supports community sustainability through Education, Enterprise, Environment, and Empowerment.

Watch this video about the summit and find other videos on FWOP’s YouTube Channel.

Stan Ingman Ph.D., professor of health services in HPS’ Rehabilitation and Health Services department, original cofounder of FWOP and faculty advisor for UNT’s chapter of FWOP, accompanied other faculty and staff to the summit in Costa Rica.

“We’re working to expand our and others’ capacity to meet the challenge of poverty across the globe.” said Ingman. “FWOP and MIST are developing partnerships with other UNT units, including the College of Engineering and HPS’ Rehabilitation and Health Services and Public Administration departments, to expand UNT’s presence in cities across America, Costa Rica and beyond.”

FWOP is working to expand the organization’s domestic and international impact through several projects:

  • AWOW and the Lewisville, Texas Rotary Morning Club, with support from FWOP and Southwest Airlines, held a pre-summit dental outreach project in Barrio in San Jose, Costa Rica.
  • As a result of the summit, FWOP established a Technology Training Center in the Sustainable House on the grounds of The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE). A small air monitoring device developed by UNT researchers will be on display in the Technology Training Center.
  • FWOP made a plan to secure funding for expanding the existing rural sustainable tourism network that consists now of four communities. Field schools from various universities and high schools will visit CATIE to reinforce the initial steps made to reduce poverty and expand sustainable business development.
  • BUY ART FIGHT POVERTY will assist artists and raise funds to expand initiatives related to solar lamps for education, clean stoves to reduce pollution and clean water across the globe. The artist and FWOP receive a portion of the proceeds of each artwork purchased and downloaded from the site.
  • Veterans are being employed in Nashville and St. Louis through upcycling of Southwest Airlines’ aircraft seat leather into assisted living facility activities.

Read more about FWOP and the trip in The North Texas Daily:  UNT Future Without Poverty members learn about ecotourism at world summit in Costa Rica


Watts to take on the runway at annual cancer benefit

WattsJustin Watts, assistant professor in Rehabilitation and Health Services, will be a model in the You're Beautiful! Luncheon and Style Show on Jan. 26 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Denton Convention Center.

The annual event shares the stories of local cancer survivors and raises money for the American Cancer Society.

Read the original story by the Denton Record-Chronicle.


Bland named honorary member of international association

Robert L. Bland, endowed professor of local government in the University of North Texas Department of Public Administration, has been named an honorary member of the International City/County Management Association. He will be honored at the association's annual conference October 22-25 in San Antonio.

Founded in 1914, ICMA provides training and professional development to more than 11,000 city, town and county managers, their staffs, and other individuals and organizations throughout the world. Honorary membership is awarded to an individual who is not a professional in local government management, but who has achieved distinguished public service and contributions to the improvement and strengthening of local government.

Bland has devoted 35 years to advancing the study and practice of local government management through service, teaching and research. He joined the UNT faculty in 1982 as a faculty member in the Department of Political Science. In 1992, he helped to establish the new Department of Public Administration. He served as the department's first chair until 2013 and currently serves as the faculty director of the Department of Public Administration's Center for Public Management, which provides continuing education to local government officials in Texas.

Bland is the author or co-author of five books on local government finance, including "A Budgeting Guide for Local Government," which is used in the curricula of numerous master of public administration programs. He received the Excellence in Research Award from the Government Finance Officers Association for another one of his books, "Financing City Government in Texas."

For more than 30 years, Bland has secured funding from the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation for scholarships for UNT master of public administration students.

His other awards include the Stephen B. Sweeney Academic Award from ICMA and the Terrell Blodgett Academician Award by the Texas City Management Association. Bland was twice named Professor of the Year by the Public Administration Student Association and was elected as a fellow to the National Academy of Public Administration.

By Nancy Kolsti, News Promotions.


Smith receives UNT Special Recognition Award

SmithRichard G. Smith, Ph.D., an associate professor in HPS’ Behavior Analysis Department, received the UNT Special Recognition Award.

“Rick has spent a lifetime bringing grace to the world of adults with severe and profound disabilities, one of the most forgotten populations,” noted Shahla Ala'i-Rosales, Ph.D., BCBA-D, associate professor in the Behavior Analysis department, who nominated Smith for recognition.

The Special Recognition Award honors an extraordinary student, faculty or staff member (or group) who has contributed momentous, unique talent or service to the university and cultivated UNT pride.

This award is given where no usual award or recognition is available due to unique quality of the contributions. The president selects the recipients and presents the awards as the occasion arises. The award was presented at the Salute to Faculty Excellence Dinner in October 2017.

“Over 230 students have gained meaningful and hands on experience helping people with severe disabilities.,” continued Ala’i-Rosales. “If you talk with any of these students you would see the impression this experience has left them.  From Rick they have learned compassion and that through a science of behavior even the hardest problems can be solved, lives can be made better.”

Smith is Associate Professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis. He specializes in assessment and treatment of severe behavior disorders. A particular passion is identifying underlying basic mechanisms that are involved in creating, maintaining, and treating these disorders. Major contributions include innovations in the assessment of severe behavior disorders to reduce risk to clients and caregivers. These include the development and validation of indirect methods of assessment as well as identification and functional analysis of precursor behaviors. This allows more effective assessment of such severe behaviors as self-injury and aggression without actually having to observe those behaviors directly.


UNT names new dean for College of Health and Public Service

ChumblerNeale R. Chumbler, dean of the College of Health and Human Services at Western Kentucky University, has been named the new dean of the University of North TexasCollege of Health and Public Service, or HPS. His appointment will begin July 1.

Chumbler will replace Linda Holloway, former chair and faculty member in the college's Department of Rehabilitation and Health Services, who has served as interim dean since September 2017.

"I'm excited Dean Chumbler is joining UNT and know that we will accomplish great work under his leadership," UNT Provost Jennifer Cowley said. "Our College of Health and Public Service recently was re-envisioned to better serve our students and better align with the important needs of health and public service professions that serve our communities."

Chumbler said he was "struck by the ambition, enthusiasm and pride" in the HPS faculty, staff and students when he visited the college, as well as the college's unique academic disciplines.

"These disciplines not only will help meet the health and public service workforce needs in Texas, but will help shape the next generation of scholars through the novel research performed by health and public service Ph.D. students and the research-active faculty," he said. "The college also provides several excellent undergraduate and graduate programs that integrate service learning. This is important in providing students with an application-based education that betters the community."

Chumbler became dean of the College of Health and Human Services at WKU, where he earned his master's degree in sociology, in March 2015. During his tenure, he developed and implemented a strategic plan to guide the college through 2020 and raised the research and pedagogical profile of the college, despite cutting spending in the college. He also implemented a research incentive program, including a series of workshops on research methods for faculty members, developed a faculty research mentoring program for tenure-eligible assistant professors and created a Dean's Merit Award to recognize faculty and staff for outstanding contributions.

In addition, during his tenure, the amount of extramural research grants and contracts received by college faculty members increased 53 percent, and the number of funded awards increased 18 percent.

Chumbler's research focuses on improving the quality of care for senior citizens with chronic diseases and central nervous system damage. Prior to coming to WKU, he was a faculty member in the University of Georgia's Department of Health Policy and Management and chair and graduate coordinator for the department.

He also served in several administrative positions at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, or IUPUI. Chumbler was chair of IUPUI's Department of Sociology, director of the Institute for Research on Social Issues and interim director of the Survey Research Center. While at IUPUI, he simultaneously served as a research scientist at the Center for Implementing Evidence-based Practice, located at the Indianapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

He was a faculty member in the University of Florida's Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy and was also a research health scientist at the Gainesville Veterans Administration Medical Center's Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center.   

In addition to his master's degree from WKU, Chumbler received his doctoral degree in sociology from Case Western Reserve University and bachelor's degree in sociology from Murray State University.

By Nancy KolstiUNT News Service


Student interns attend local emergency preparedness meeting


Pictured left to right are interns past and present for the City of Denton Office of Emergency Management: Luc Tran, ('17) Julie Hagen ('16), Michael Penaluna (City of Denton EMC, '88), and Samantha Pickett. ('16).

Throughout the years, many of our EADP Alumni have provided quality internship experiences to our EADP majors. These internships provide wonderful opportunities for our students to apply what they have learned in the classroom in a real world setting. One such in-ternship is that offered by Mike Penaluna at the City of Denton. Each year, he and his office provide internships for EADP majors that pro-vide them experiences such as helping develop the annual large-scale exercise, updating EOPs, and writing other planning documents.

Three past and present EADP interns were in attendance for the March meeting of the Denton Emergency Preparedness Advisory Committee (DEPAC) held at the UNT Emergency Operations Center on March 22, 2017. EMC Michael Penaluna recognized the students for their many contributions to the City of Denton Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

Projects included developing and/or updat-ing a Chemical Risk Analysis, Special Populations Guidebook, Re-source Manual, EOC Guidebook, and assisting with meetings, train-ing, drills, exercises, and public education programs.

Penaluna stated, “I have had the great opportunity to work with many students through the EADP program. They have been bright, professional, and knowl-edgeable. I simply could not do all of my required activities without their help. Keep up the great work!”


Jang presents at University of Utah’s Asia Center

This fall, Hee Soun Jang, Ph.D., associate professor and assistant department chair of HPS’ Public Administration department, gave an invited lecture at Asia Center, a Title VI National Resource Center for Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Utah.

Jang’s lecture, “The Government-driven Civil Society in South Korea,” offered an understanding about Asia’s recent efforts to grow the third sector and engage nonprofit organizations in social service provision, with a focus on South Korea.

Prior to joining the University of North Texas, Jang was an assistant professor at the Division of Politics, Administration, and Justice at California State University Fullerton for four years. She teaches courses on nonprofit management, public and nonprofit partnerships, public administration seminar, leadership and organization in public administration, and personnel management in the public sector. Her research explores nonprofit and government partnerships, local government management and policy choices, and the nonprofit sector in South Korea and the role of government in civil society initiatives in Korea. Her research has been published in scholarly journals, including Public Administration ReviewAdministration and SocietyThe American Review of Public Administration, International Review of Administrative Sciences, and Journal of Policy Development and Research. Dr. Jang was a recipient of the Best Poster Research Award at the ARNOVA conference (the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action) in 2016 and received the Emerging Scholar Award from ARNOVA in 2005. She received the DeVoe Moore Fellowship from Florida State University.   


Undergrads can now schedule advising appointments online

Visit appointments.unt.edu to schedule your appointment now.

Undergraduate advising is offered by appointment 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Walk-in advising opportunities are only available during certain periods each semester.

Find the advisor for your major.


Office of Student Services and Academic Advising
UNT College of Health and Public Service

Chilton Hall, Suite 289
410 S. Avenue C, Denton, TX 76201


Video: Vaidya develops alternative to sedation for children undergoing radiation for cancer

Manish Vaidya, associate professor in the University of North Texas Department of Behavior Analysis, and graduate student Maria Otero are using a motion monitoring computer program to teach young children to stay mostly motionless during radiation treatments for cancer. They are currently testing the technology on healthy children.

Watch the 1-minute video from NBC 5 News: UNT Program Could Help Children During Radiation.

While radiation therapy is the most common cancer treatment for children under age 10, preparation for it may cause great stress for a child and his or her family.

A child cannot move more than 3 millimeters in any direction during radiation or risk damaging healthy cells near cancerous cells. Pediatric oncologists have routinely sedated children to keep them motionless for the therapy, so a child can't have food or water for up to 12 hours before a session. And therapy sessions are typically scheduled for six days a week, for up to six straight weeks, said Manish Vaidya, associate professor in theUniversity of North Texas Department of Behavior Analysis.

"Radiation itself is painless, generally takes less than an hour during a session and doesn't require an overnight hospital stay. But a child may not completely understand why he or she cannot eat or drink before radiation, and that could negatively impact relationships with parents," he said.

Vaidya has developed an alternative to anesthesia — teaching young patients to stay mostly motionless while awake for radiation therapy using motion monitoring. He is part of a research team working on the project, called PROMISE, or Pediatric Radiation Oncology with Movie-Induced Sedation Effect.

The research is being funded by a $900,000 grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. Vaidya is working on the project with four faculty members in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and a pediatric psychologist at UT-Southwestern.

Vaidya is currently testing PROMISE on healthy children under age 10 in a child friendly laboratory at UNT. The laboratory has colorful displays of the alphabet, solar system and world map on the walls and a bookcase and toy chest filled with toys.

As a child lies on a mock treatment table, he or she watches a cartoon projected upward on a ceiling screen. At the same time, a video surveillance system that beams a grid of light on the child monitors his or her motion. The video will display a green traffic light if the child is not moving more than 3 millimeters in any direction. If the child moves too much, the traffic light turns yellow, and the cartoon pauses. If the child continues moving, the traffic light turns red, and the cartoon disappears from the screen. But if the child reverts back to his or her treatment position in a short time, both the green light and the cartoon resume.   

"The more precisely we can observe behavior of children, the more we can develop applied behavior analysis training to modify that behavior," Vaidya said. "We want to make staying mostly motionless into a game."

He notes that in addition to the frequent need for sedation causing stress for children and their families, the anesthesia may have long-term effects on children's cognitive development.   

"Our goal is to get a child through a therapy session as quickly and as stress-free as possible," Vaidya said. "The total time for receiving radiation therapy is usually no more than 30 minutes, so our focus with healthy children is to create very short testing sessions."

Behavior modification to keep children mostly motionless "is a simple solution to make children’s lives easier," said Maria Otero, a UNT master’s student in behavior analysis who is working with Vaidya on the research.

"The idea seemed too logical to not be investigated," she said.

By Nancy Kolsti, News Promotions.