March 2018

This Alumni Spotlight on Seana Epley ('17) first appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of The Mitigator, the EMDS department newsletter.

This year, we asked 2017 John Maxwell Award Winner Seana Epley to update us on what she is up to following her graduation from the EADP program last year. Seana writes:

"When I left the military I knew I wanted to continue being of service to my community but struggled to figure out exactly how I could. While finishing up my Associate’s degree I tried several things, but nothing felt right. Then one day, the random thought of “I wonder what degree you need to work at FEMA” crossed my mind.

"A couple of searches later and I ended up at the...

March 2018

Every country, government, and society reduces vulnerability to hazards and copes with disasters differently. Led by the United Nations, international disaster risk reduction efforts have made moderate progress. However, in the absence of preparedness and mitigation activities, many countries focus primarily on a reactive approach to managing disasters. This method is not sustainable.

EADP 4040 International Disasters was recently offered in an asynchronous online format with EMDS adjunct faculty member Luis Tapia.

Tapia covered topics including disaster trends, risk perception, social vulnerability, and sustainable development in an international context. Video lectures, film reviews, and an online accessible text book helped facilitate our discovery on how international stakeholders handle natural disasters and acts of terrorism. Special attention was given to the role of disaster relief and identifying why developing coun-tries continue to be...

March 2018

More than 96,000 nonprofit organizations are located in the state of Texas, the second largest number in the nation behind California, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics. Nonprofits in the Dallas-Fort Worth region generated more than 27 billion in total revenue and employed approximately 103,000 individuals in 2012, as reported by Dallas’ CNM Connect.    

Beginning with the 2018 fall semester, a new undergraduate degree program at the University of North Texas will prepare students for careers in the nonprofit sector. The bachelor of science degree in nonprofit leadership studies, offered in UNT’s Department of Public Administration, will expand on courses already offered through a minor in leadership of community and nonprofit organizations and an academic certificate in volunteer and community resource...

March 2018

MortonDuring this past summer, EADP student Hannah Morton had the opportunity to com-plete her emergency management internship in New Zealand. This is a unique program in which students gain experience interning at the Joint Center for Disaster Re-search through Massey University in Wellington and the National Headquarters for Fire and Emergency, New Zealand offices. Hannah was one of 11 students from across the United States selected to participate in this program.

When asked about her experience overseas for a semester, Hannah writes:

“I got to study in person the infrastructural damage from the massive 2011 Canterbury earth-quakes in Christchurch, climb a volcano in Auckland, and study tsunami hazards all along the coasts. It was extremely eye opening! For the Joint Center for Disaster Research (JCDR) I studied small community vulnerability, the unique risk perception and disaster culture among...

February 2018

At the National Rehabilitation Association Conference held this fall in Corpus Christi, Texas, Martha Garber, director of UNTWISE, and Crystal George, program manager of UNTWISE, received awards for their contributions to the field of rehabilitation.

As part of the College of Health and Public Service Rehabilitation and Health Services (RHS) department, UNT’s Workplace Inclusion & Sustainable Employment (UNTWISE) delivers information, continuing education and technical assistance in areas that affect the employment and inclusion of individuals with disabilities.

GarberMartha Garber (left) received the Research, Project Demonstration, and/or Special Program Award for her development and maintenance of the Texas Credential Program for Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) Providers of Employment Services. The first and...

February 2018

Melissa Huffman ('12 M.P.A.) had planned a relaxing trip to her hometown of Coppell for the last weekend in August to celebrate her mother's birthday.

But as a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in League City, near Houston, Huffman canceled her trip when forecast models showed a tropical depression in the Caribbean -- named Harvey -- likely to hit the Texas coast after it strengthened into a hurricane.

The first major Atlantic hurricane of 2017, Harvey came ashore with Category 4 intensity near Rockport, then caused widespread flooding in the Houston metropolitan area with 30 to 64 inches of rain. Huffman stayed at her office for six days to track the storm, working 12-hour shifts. She was the lead radar operator, evaluating radar data and deciding when to issue warnings. She also issued and updated river and bayou flood warnings and provided forecast information to Harris County regarding the explosion at the Arkema Chemical Plant in Crosby.

"Hurricane Harvey was a career-...

February 2018

Last fall, HPS’ Public Administration department welcomed a group of 22 juniors and seniors from North Forney High School (NFHS) to UNT to learn about peer mediation and life as a college student.

“These students are candidates for leadership roles in the peer mediation program that our Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program faculty and students are co-developing with NFHS administration,” said Leslie Roberts, ADR program coordinator & principal lecturer, who organized the daylong event.

“Forney is a high growth city in Kaufman County and schools are expected to feel significant impact,” she said. “Consequently, conflict management is a high priority at NFHS.”

While most of the day was spent discussing conflict, negotiation and mediating conflicts among their peers, the students were also exposed to campus life at UNT. They enjoyed a campus tour, dining in Kerr...

February 2018

Left to right: Mustafa Icer, Yusuf Baktir, Chris Guerra and Kaleigh LairdHPS faculty and students represented UNT at the Southwestern Association of Criminal Justice conference in Fort Worth October 13-14.

Jessica Craig, Ph.D., assistant professor of criminal justice and doctoral students from HPS’s Public Administration department Mustafa Icer and Yusuf Baktir presented their research titled Military and Crime: A systematic review of the literature.

Kaleigh Laird, criminal justice master’s student and Adam Trahan, Ph.D., associate professor of criminal justice and graduate coordinator, presented...

February 2018

"I feel like I didn't choose Emergency Management, Emergency Management chose me. When I was in high school I got involved with the Civil Air Patrol. Oddly enough, the day after I got my membership card in the mail was September 11, 2001. During Katrina in 2005, I found myself in a Salvation Army Shelter, advising the Command team on best practices to organize and manage the large influx of donations, volunteers, and unique medical needs of evacuees. In all of that, I found a passion and excitement of trying to create order of chaos. By 2007, I was enrolled in the UNT EADP program.

I probably had a more unique experience while earning my EADP degree. I was the very last UNT student that had to travel to UT Arlington to earn a Commission in the U.S. Army through the ROTC program. When I graduated, I commissioned onto Active Duty with the U.S. Army as an MP Officer thinking that would get me in the middle of the action for using my Emergency Man-agement skills. I was right and wrong. I was in...

February 2018

LabUnder the leadership of Scott Belshaw, Ph.D., lab director and associate professor of criminal justice, the UNT Cyber Forensics Lab  has built a fully-functional digital forensics lab to serve law enforcement since opening in early 2017.

  • The Lab can examine cell phones, SIM cards, tablets, computers, external storage devices and other forms of digital media to detect any files and data of evidentiary value on a wide array of crimes.
  • To bring together training and a greater awareness to law enforcement regarding online child exploitation crimes, the Lab is involved in initial talks with federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and local detectives with the North Texas Internet Crimes Against Children...

February 2018

Rusty CarterUniversity of North Texas student Rusty Carter struggled with alcohol abuse, post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and a failing marriage, a few months after he was honorably discharged from the Army. He knew that something needed to change in his life after a failed suicide attempt in June 2013.

“I hated who I was,” he says. “I spent years hiding behind a bottle in a feeble attempt to suppress my thoughts and drink my pain away. I created a façade to shield others from the truth, and worst of all, I lied to myself.”

Four years later, he graduated with honors from the University of North Texas to serve those who face some of the same issues as he did. With his bachelor’s degree in social work, he plans to become a mental health counselor to fellow veterans. Rusty also plans to earn a master of social work degree, to prepare for doing research on adjustments veterans face when they leave the military

Rusty says he started to turn his life...

February 2018

From Washington State, to Washington D.C., and half a world away to New Zealand, EADP students returned from several exciting internships this summer, as highlighted in recent course presentations. At the September 29, 2017 internship class, seven students recounted their fieldwork experiences. Several of the presenters acknowledged the value and pertinence of the classroom experiences they gained at UNT, when they had to “do it for real.”

Chelsea Hearron reported on her time with the Seattle, Washington Office of Emergency Management. She was engaged in a wide variety of planning and public outreach initiatives. Chelsea will return to the Northwest to start her emergency management career.

Daniel Ringhauser injected humor with insights about his time at the Irving Police Department’s Office of Emergency Management. With all the superlatives about Irving’s business and community features, Daniel observed with amazement, “The next time something bad happens, the mayor might be using a plan written by a twenty year old!”

Felicia Chavez accomplished important...

January 2018

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...

January 2018

apply nowHPS undergraduate and graduate students enrolled for classes in 2018-2019 are eligible to apply for HPS scholarships.

Some scholarships are open to all HPS students while others are available only to specific majors through the academic departments.

Thousands of dollars in scholarships are awarded to HPS students each year thanks to generous support from HPS donors.

Learn more and find applications at

Most applications due Thursday, March 1.

January 2018

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...

January 2018

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.

January 2018

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...

January 2018

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...

January 2018


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)...

January 2018

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,...

January 2018

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

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January 2018
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...

January 2018

BreedloveThe following post is the first in a series by Carrie Breedlove, MS, LPC, coordinator of Recovery to Practice, an initiative to encourage recovery-based principles and practices for addiction professionals and students across the country through education and training.

Some movements take off with a bang, while other initiatives see steady growth and sustainability over time. Eight years ago, the birth of a significant movement in the field of recovery occurred. In 2009, SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) funded the Recovery to Practice (RTP) initiative.

SAMHSA provided funding for five mental health organizations across the country to infuse the 10 Principles of Recovery into the practice of the...

January 2018

The University of North Texas Speech and Hearing Center is offering scholarships that will allow children in the second through seventh grades to attend the center's weekly therapy for delays in reading, writing and other literacy-language skills.  

The center, located at 907 W. Sycamore Street in Denton, is providing the scholarships through awards from both the Dallas Scottish Rite and Fort Worth Scottish Rite Associations. The scholarships are up to $1,000 per fall or spring semester and will provide full or partial support for the therapy services. Fees for the services are based on a reduced clinic fee scale and additional sliding fee guidelines.

The center's services include an after-school reading and language clinic Mondays through Thursdays that provides both one-on-one clinical instruction and group activities. The 2017 fall semester clinic runs through Dec. 7 (Thursday). The 2018 spring semester clinic begins Jan. 25 (Monday) and runs through May 3 (Thursday).

For more...

January 2018

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...