April 2019

Nonprofit Leadership Studies student selected as UNT undergraduate research fellow presents at 2019 UNT Scholars Day  

Melinda Sapaugh worked under the mentorship of Dr. Norman Dolch, adjunct professor in the UNT College of Health and Public Service Department of Public Administration.

DENTON (UNT), Texas – Melinda Sapaugh, a senior at the University of North Texas who is minoring in Nonprofit Leadership Studies in the College of Health and Public Service (HPS) Department of Public Administration, presented research she completed as a UNT Undergraduate Research Fellow at UNT Scholars Day on April 2.

“I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work alongside Dr. Dolch during my senior year at UNT,” Sapaugh said. “My research extends the original three-year longitudinal study by Dr. Dolch and his associates to nine years and will examine which strategies nonprofit organizations implemented in 2018 comparing them to strategies used by nonprofits following the 2007 economic recession. I am so excited we were able to present the research we’ve compiled thus far at the University’s Scholars Day this last Tuesday and am looking forward to the continuation of this study.”

In her recent findings, she noted that more than half of the country’s nonprofits are estimated to be operating with less than one month’s cash reserves and data shows that they will most likely rely on the following strategies:

  • entrepreneurialism
  • fundraising
  • grant writing
  • maintaining employees and volunteers
  • forming alliances and partnerships
  • exhibiting commitment to the organization’s mission and values

Dr. Laura Keyes says Sapaugh is another shining example of the stellar students who are part of the Nonprofit Leadership Studies Program and is glad she was able to be part of a mentorship while at UNT.

“We are really proud of Melinda and her research accomplishments,” said Dr. Laura Keyes, undergraduate coordinator of the Nonprofit Leadership Studies and Urban Policy and Planning programs in the Department of Public Administration. “Her findings are an important contribution to our knowledge of volunteer management. We encourage all undergraduates to seek out this opportunity to work directly with faculty on research that has important implications to our fields of nonprofit management and urban planning.”

Dr. Neale Chumbler, dean of the college, says it’s important for undergraduate students to have the opportunity to work closely with faculty on research.

“We are a tier one institution and we want to make sure our students receive an education indicative of that designation, thereby integrating them into robust research activities,” Dr. Chumbler said. “In HPS, we strive to make these innovative research opportunities available as part of our student-centered education so our graduates leave here with the skills that make them career-ready and allow them to stand out when heading into today’s fast-paced workforce.”

For more information on Nonprofit Leadership Studies, visit nps.unt.edu or for Urban Policy and Planning, visit upp.unt.edu.


Stuttering support group to offer parents free resources, encouragement

The group is meant to help reduce feelings of uncertainty and isolation for parents of preschoolers who stutter.

DENTON (UNT), Texas – The UNT Speech and Hearing Center, located at 907 W. Sycamore St. in Denton, is offering a Support for Parents of Preschoolers who Stutter (S-POPS) group at 3 p.m. on May 5 for parents of preschoolers who stutter or show signs of stuttering. The group, which provides educational resources about stuttering and serves as a place of support, was developed by five speech-language pathologists who specialize in stuttering.

“If your preschool aged child is stuttering, this can be a very stressful time for parents,” said Robyn Martin, clinical supervisor of speech-language pathology in the University of North Texas College of Health and Public Service (HPS) Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. “This group will help parents feel empowered and we hope to reduce the feelings of isolation and uncertainty that parents may feel during this time.”

For more information on the S-POPS group, contact Martin at robyn.martin@unt.edu or call 940-369-7497.


New UNT research shows importance of intersectionality when looking at support for death penalty

 The data looks at education, race and gender in relation to opinion of capital punishment. 

DENTON (UNT), Texas – Researchers in the University of North Texas College of Health and Public Service (HPS) Department of Criminal Justice have completed the first intersectional research on public opinion on capital punishment that incorporates measures of race, class and gender. The research was conducted by Andrekus Dixon, lecturer and director of undergraduate programs; Dr. Brooke Nodeland, assistant professor and online master of science in criminal justice degree coordinator; and Dr. Adam Trahan, associate professor and director of graduate programs.

Public Opinion of Capital Punishment: An Intersectional Analysis of Race, Gender and Class Effects” was published in Sage journals’ Criminal Justice Review and showed the following:

  • All intersections that include whites opposed the death penalty less than all intersections that include blacks.
  • Opposition among whites ranged from 16 percent for white undereducated men to just over 30 percent for white educated women.
  • The lowest rates of opposition among blacks was approximately 47 percent for educated black men.
  • More than 50 percent of black educated and undereducated women opposed the death penalty.

“None of the past research is fully intersectional, so this study shows the reality of peoples’ identity and that the belief that the majority always supports the death penalty is a less-than-accurate statement,” said Dr. Trahan. “When more than 70 percent of the U.S. population is white, you end up with simple skewing. The majority of some groups support it while the majority of other groups do not.”

Mr. Dixon says the importance of intersectionality was striking.

“Our ability to take the intersections of class – in this case, education – race and gender just shows the very diverse opinions in relation to peoples’ views on capital punishment,” Dixon said. “I was also interested in the impact of education on the various respondents’ views of the death penalty. While there is nothing in our data that explain the findings, I believe our results set the foundation for future research on this topic, in order to potentially explore some of those unanswered questions.”

Dr. Nodeland says she also found the results regarding the intersectional relationship between race and education interesting.

“While there is a considerable amount of previous research suggesting that women oppose capital punishment more than men, our use of intersectional variables for race and education produced more refined results,” Dr. Nodeland said. “Specifically, our findings suggest that white educated and undereducated women were more likely to oppose the death penalty by 68 and 37 percentage points respectively while educated and undereducated black men were 234 and 271 percentage points more likely to oppose the death penalty.”

Dr. Neale Chumbler, dean of the college, says collaborative research is of utmost importance in HPS.

“As a tier-one institution, we are constantly looking for ways to expand and grow our research,” Dr. Chumbler said. “The fascinating information gleaned by this collaborative study not only helps shed light on how specific demographic segmentations impact opinion on capital punishment, but opens doors for future studies to determine why race, gender and class determine these beliefs.”