The UNT College of Health & Public Service engages in a variety of programs and projects that support the community. Below are examples of how our faculty, staff, and students are inovolved in community engagement and service.
Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology
29 Acres: This organization provides safe housing and support services for neurodivergent individuals. We partner with 29 Acres by providing social opportunities for their participants through UNT EPIC. We also partner with them on research projects through the UNT Neurodiversity Initiative Research Consortium.
Academy of Aphasia: Associate Professor Dr. Gloria Olness currently serves as Chairperson of the Program Committee for the 61st annual scientific meeting of the Academy of Aphasia October 21-23, 2023, hosted in-person by the University of Reading (United Kingdom). There will be participation of research teams from five continents, who study the language problems of people who have neurological diseases. Trans-national scientific engagement at the meeting is enhanced and expanded in reach via an interactive hybrid conference platform.
Amon Carter Museum Neurodivergent Adult Programming Advisor: Clinical Associate Professor Lauren Mathews assisted in the development and implementation of Meet Up at the Museum, a sensory-friendly, biannual, private event with special programming for neurodivergent individuals at the museum. She also created educational programming on neurodiversity for faculty and staff.
Aphasia Access/Tavistock Trust for Aphasia: Dr. Gloria Olness currently serves on the national application review committee member of Aphasia Access (North American nonprofit), tasked with reviewing applications for the annual Tavistock Trust Aphasia Distinguished Scholar Award in North America, in advisement to the trustees of the Tavistock Trust for Aphasia (United Kingdom).
Dallas Children’s Theater: Lauren Mathews is a member of the Sensory-Friendly Performance Advisory Committee, which facilitated development and implementation of their sensory-friendly performance series. This series provides adapted performances for individuals with sensory differences in an inclusive environment.
Kind Theory Partner: This nonprofit educates organizations, institutions, and the general public about neurodiversity, accessibility, and disability rights as they relate to autism and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We partner with this organization by consulting on their advocacy initiatives and assisting with community presentations on neurodiversity.
On The Spectrum Foundation: This nonprofit mentors teens and adults on the ASD spectrum and increases awareness of how neurodiversity’s many strengths and talents improve society for everybody. We collaborate with them by inviting them to speak at events as part of the UNT Neurodiversity Speaker Series and hosted a dinner with a talk for UNT neurodivergent students in a private setting.
Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation: Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies Dr. Kat Aoyama serves as the scholarship committee chair for this charitable foundation. The foundation supports student scholarships, clinical research and exceptional programs for the benefit of audiologists and speech-language pathologists who serve individuals with communication disorders.
Texas Workforce Commission (TWC): Since UNT ENGAGE was established, they have partnered with TWC Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRC) in assisting UNT students in enrolling in and accessing services to reach their vocational goals. Along with Dr. Linda Holloway, Professor Emerita, Mathews received a 1.8 million contract from TWC in 2018 to support UNT ENGAGE over four years.
The Aphasia Collaborative (TAC): With funding from the Josephine Simonson Aphasia Trust Fund (Southwestern Medical Foundation), Dr. Gloria Olness and a multi-disciplinary team based in HPS and the North Texas community are conducting foundational research-in-advocacy to launch the network known as The Aphasia Collaborative (TAC) to support and collaborate with the estimated 49,000 North Texans whose lives have been impacted by aphasia (trauma to the brain, typically resulting from a stroke, that affects speech, writing, and understanding of written and spoken language) and their co-survivors. TAC is currently in the process of applying for nonprofit status.
The North Texas Stuttering Support Group: This is a National Stuttering Association chapter housed at the UNT Speech and Hearing Center. The group serves adults who stutter in the Denton and surrounding areas. The group meets once a month with the goal of providing education, support, and camaraderie for adults who stutter.
The UNT Aphasia Support Group: Support group at the UNT Speech and Hearing Center that is open to the community and serves people with aphasia, their loved ones, and caregivers. To our knowledge, this is the only group specifically for people with aphasia in the DFW metroplex. The group meets once monthly to provide support, education, and camaraderie through specific programming in a relaxed and welcoming environment meeting in local Denton restaurants. This coming year will be the 10th Anniversary of this successful community outreach group.
Courses with community service components:
ASLP 5060 Practicum Speech-Language Pathology: Two to five-day practicum experiences for graduate students in our Master of Science Speech-Language Pathology program are completed through collaborations with off-site supervisors at external sites, such as Pate Rehabilitation-Brain Injury and Stroke Rehabilitation in Ft. Worth, CC Young Senior Living in Dallas, Richardson ISD, Plano ISD, and Texas Health Harris Methodist Ft. Worth.
ASLP 6060 Clinical Residence in Audiology: Two-day external placements in a variety of audiology specialty areas, such as Fort Worth ISD, McKinney ISD, Lewisville ISD, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Cook Children’s Medical Center, and ENT Partners of Texas.
ASLP 6090 Clinical Residence in Audiology: Advanced full-time clinical practicum in an external practicum sites during the fourth year of the AuD program, such as Owens Ear Center, North Hills ENT, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Fort Worth ENT, and Heard It Through The Grapevine.
Denton State Supported Living Center (DSSLC): DSSLC is the largest residential facility for adults with intellectual disabilities in Texas. Students conduct clinical research and staff training, and complete practica, internships, theses, and receive supervision toward board certification and licensure in behavior analysis.
Kristin Farmer Autism Center (KFAC): The KFAC provides comprehensive services for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Students provide clinical assessment and treatment services, and conduct clinical research in the severe behavior program, complete practica, internships, theses, and receive supervision toward board certification and licensure in behavior analysis.
Lone Star Day Program (LSDP): LSDP provides applied behavior analysis services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan. Students provide clinical assessment and treatment services, and conduct clinical research in the severe behavior program, complete practica, internships, theses, and receive supervision toward board certification and licensure in behavior analysis.
Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC): Texas HHSC is a state agency for health and behavioral services for Texas residents. Students conduct clinical research and staff training, and complete practica, internships, theses, and receive supervision toward board certification and licensure in behavior analysis.
Learning Services Center for Neurosis Pate Rehabilitation: These are brain injury rehabilitation clinics in which students have garnered practicum and internship experience as well as supervision hours.
City of Denton MLK: After school tutoring/leadership program for children 1st-8th grade and high school volunteers learning to tutor.
Opening Doors International Services: Supplemental support for families with children with disabilities during the asylum application process.
BIHE: Pedagogical consultation and instructional design for university program for marginalized middle eastern groups.
City of Denton Police Department: Academic Associate Dean Jody Sundt provides service to the City of Denton Police Department.
Denton County Drug Treatment Court Program Evaluation: Associate Professor & UNT Inside-Out Program Coordinator Dr. Haley Zettler works with the Denton County Drug Treatment Court on program evaluation to continuously improve their services.
MS in Criminal Justice Service Learning: Dr. Zettler is working with Denton County Friends of the Family on a service-learning social media campaign project with graduate students.
Texas Juvenile Justice Department Outreach: Professor Chad Trulson engages with TJJD on research topics focused on serious and violent juvenile offenders and their outcomes when they return to the community from incarceration.
UNT Inside-Out Program: The UNT Inside-Out Prison Exchange® course is an opportunity for a group of students from the University of North Texas and a group of residents from the Bridgeport Correctional Center to exchange ideas and perceptions about crime, corrections, and the legal system. It is a chance for all participants to gain a deeper understanding of the legal system by combining theoretical knowledge and lived experience.
Emergency Management & Disaster Science
COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Operation Volunteers: In 2021 EADP students served as volunteers at the COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Operation held at Texas Motor Speedway. These efforts supported the Denton County Office of Emergency Management and Denton County Public Health in their efforts to disperse vaccinations to residents within North Texas.
EADP EMDS Student Volunteers: Students frequently volunteer as “victims” to support disaster drills held by local emergency management agencies throughout the DFW Metroplex.
Emergency Management Internships: As part of their degree, EADP students are required to complete a 240-hour internship. Students serve as emergency management interns for local, state, government, nonprofit, and private sector entities throughout North Texas.
Faculty Outreach: In Spring 2024, four EMDS faculty will each provide an hour-long course to participants of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) that will cover various contemporary topics in emergency management and disaster science.
The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM): The IAEM Student Chapter at UNT provides K-12 presentations to local schools about the benefits of emergency and disaster preparedness. They also host tables at local emergency management preparedness fairs in order to share information about disaster preparedness and the educational opportunities offered in the EADP and EMDS programs at UNT.
Services related to Community Engagement Projects
- Dallas Habitat for Humanity Assessing Blight Report
- Rideconnect project with City of San Antonio
- VolUNTeer Fair
- Voly in the Park (2022)
- Serve Denton Business Partnership
- Sail Away Gala Fundraiser for Serve Lewisville
- Ribbon Cutting for Serve Lewisville
- Nonprofit Leadership Advisory Committee
- City of New Fairview
- Urban Planning Studio with Broken Bow Oklahoma
- Metrocrest Grand Opening
- Our Daily Bread Private Tour
- Dr. Jang at Metrocrest Breakfast
Courses with community service components:
PADM 5800: Internships in the following Organizations:
- Our Daily Bread
- Serve Denton
- Dallas County
- City of Carrollton
- Town of Flower Mound
PADM 3010: Case Studies with Nonprofits - Partnered with local nonprofit leaders to present real-world nonprofit problems and their solutions to students.
Rehabilitation & Health Services
Recovery to Practice Grant: Provides a platform for continuing education and professional development for addiction services providers across the state of Texas.
Rehabilitation Services Administration Grant: Provides scholarships for students interested in pursuing a MS in Rehabilitation Counseling to work for State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies. Community engagement provided at various conferences and events to raise awareness of VR services and academic training.
Courses with community service components:
BS in Addiction Studies: Practicum: 200 hours at community substance use treatment agencies like Solutions of North Texas, Carrollton Springs Hospital, and Sante Center for Healing.
BS in Public Health: Practicum/Capstone 100 hours at community agencies like Denton County Public Health Department, Tarrant County Public Health Department, and the Texas Department of State Health Services.
BS in Rehabilitation Studies: Practicum; 200 hours at community agencies like MHMR, Special Ed Classrooms, United Way, and Addiction Treatment Centers.
MS in Rehabilitation Counseling Internship and Practicum: 600 hours at community agencies like MHMR, Private Counseling Clinics, Addiction Treatment Centers, and psychiatric hospitals like Mayhill and UBH.
UNT WISE activities with community service components:
Pre-Employment Transition Services: Classes for community providers. Presented on demand, upon payment of fees for accessing course materials to rehabilitation services providers in the community. Courses include Disability Disclosure and self-advocacy, entering the world or work, and Career Pathways.
Summer Transition Programs: For young adults with disabilities interested in vocational planning. Include Virtual Pre-ETS, Live & Learn, and College WISE programs. Works with Texas Workforce Solutions program as a vendor of services.
Training, Credentialing, and Endorsement Programs for Vocational Rehabilitation Providers working with TWC: The only certified credentialing provider for TWC Vocational Rehabilitation in Texas.
Transition Summits: Designed to provide workshops that introduce concepts on engaging in vocational exploration for students with disabilities. Provided on demand to various agencies.
UNT ENGAGE: Engaging Neurodivergent Groups in Academics and Gainful Employment for students who are neurodivergent. Works with Texas Workforce Solutions program as a vendor of services.
Community Health Worker Program for Opioids and Other Substance Use Disorders (CHW-OSUDS): Associate Professor Dr. Dhru Mukherjee's CHW-OSUDS project is a joint effort between the University of North Texas and the surrounding DFW/North Texas community. The purpose of CHW-OSUDS is to address the shortage of healthcare workforce in DFW— especially in underserved communities by providing training and an optional apprenticeship to participants.
Title IV-E Child Welfare Program: Training grant partners with Denton County Friends of the Family to present a training conference for CPS workers and other practitioners in the field who work with individuals experiencing violence.
Courses with community service components:
Field Practicum for BSW: Each student is placed in a community agency for their practicum hours and are required to complete 400 hours over the semester. Examples of placement agencies include Denton County Criminal District Attorney’s Office, Denton Children’s Advocacy Center, and Plano ISD.
Field Practicum for MSW: In the first year of the MSW, students are required to complete 400 hours and in the second year, they complete 500 hours. Examples of placement agencies include Connections Wellness Group, Cumberland Youth and Family Services, and Denton ISD.
Intro to Social Work: About 200 students per semester are required to do 15 hours community service volunteering in an agency. Students can identify their own agencies to volunteer and have participated with the North Texas Food Bank, Our Daily Bread, and Mia Café Iglesia.
Practice I: Mentoring service learning project with Communities in Schools of North Texas – each student is matched with an elementary student for mentoring.
Practice II: Service learning project where students partner with community agencies to provide task groups for individuals. These agencies include Denton Steams and Our Daily Bread.
Practice III: Community Project where students partner with an existing agency to fundraise and provide programming. Previous partnerships include Lewisville ISD, Kyle’s Place – Journey to Dream, and Zoie’s Place.