February 2022

HPS lecturer surprised during class with top university award

Leslie Roberts has been named the 2021-22 UNT Foundation Outstanding Lecturer. DENTON (UNT), Texas 

Leslie Roberts, principal lecturer in the University of North Texas College of Health and Public Service Department of Public Administration, has earned the coveted UNT Foundation Outstanding Lecturer Award. She was surprised with the designation, which is the university’s highest honor for a full-time lecturer and recognizes her for her “significant and sustained contributions to the university as evidenced by quality of teaching and service”, during a class on January 27.

“Ms. Roberts is in the elite group of faculty in the college who I would consider our best instructors. She is dedicated to her students’ success while also expecting rigor and hard work,” said Dr. Nicole Dash, dean of the college. “While it would be easy to expect students to learn and demonstrate the mastery of facts, she moves beyond that to instill a breadth of knowledge based on choices and behaviors. Her students are her priority, and as a result, she spends enormous effort building courses and materials to help them learn and succeed.”

Dr. Bob Bland, Endowed Professor of Local Government, Dr. Jennifer Cowley, UNT Provost, Mike Milnac from the UNT Foundation, Holly Hutchins, Vice Provost for Faculty Success and Dr. Chandra Carey, HPS Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, were on hand as she was presented with an engraved award and $5,000 check.

“I’m so honored to be recognized by the UNT Foundation for doing my job and I’m extremely grateful that my students value the skills they have when they leave our program,” Roberts said.

Prior to joining the faculty at UNT in 2011, Ms. Roberts practiced law for more than 20 years in both the U.S. and overseas. She has more than eight years’ experience working as a mediator in business, probate, employment, education and family disputes, and she regularly presents mediation training for large companies and area municipalities. Ms. Roberts also currently teaches in the UNT Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program.


HPS AuD student selected for prestigious research training program this summer

Olivia Montou has been selected to attend the Boys Town National Research Hospital Research Training Program in Omaha, Nebraska.

DENTON (UNT), Texas – Olivia Montou, an AuD student in the University of North Texas College of Health and Public Service Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Department has been selected for the Boys Town National Research Hospital Short Term AuD Research Training Program. It’s a three-month, full-time clinical or translational research training experience in the hearing sciences. She will work with Dr. Elizabeth Heinrichs-Graham in the Cognitive and Sensory Imaging Laboratory. Dr. Heinrichs-Graham is a cognitive neuroscientist by training whose work utilizes advanced neuroimaging methods such as magnetoencephalography (MEG) and structural MRI to identify the dynamics of brain function and dysfunction in children and adults.
Montou’s research traineeship also includes a monthly stipend and housing.
“This placement provides me with unique access to mentorship, resources and support to further explore my cognitive hearing science research interests,” Montou said. “As a first-generation student, I still experience bouts of imposter syndrome regarding my inexperience with higher academia and research processes. I am looking forward to dedicating time specifically to developing my research knowledge under a team of highly qualified individuals. Completing this program will be invaluable to my personal and professional goals.”
Dr. Erin Schafer, UNT audiology professor and director of graduate studies, says Boys Town produces some of the best research in the audiology field and that the department is very excited for Monotu.
“Olivia is an outstanding AuD student in our department, and the timing for this program is excellent given that she was just admitted into our Fall 2022 Ph.D. program in Health Service Research. We are so pleased that she will have the opportunity to gain significant exposure to research in such an awesome environment,” Dr. Schafer said.
Montou’s traineeship will begin this May.