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Ask an Expert Archives


UNT System HR is bringing our experts directly to you in this periodic and always timely installation called “Ask An Expert.” We access UNT World experts, faculty and staff from each of our institutions, to provide guidance and advice on topics ranging from the fun, like selecting a bottle of wine, to the serious, such as maintaining our sanity and staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also look for the “Ask an Expert” series in HR Highlights, delivered to your inbox each Thursday.


Jerrod Tynes, UNT Dallas
Jerrod Tynes, UNT Dallas

Jerrod Tynes, Lecturer of Urban Agriculture & Renewable Resources, Department of Life and Health Sciences, UNT Dallas

Spring is here and what better way to welcome the season of new beginnings than planting a vegetable garden in your backyard?

Gardening doesn't have to be expensive, complicated or time-consuming. But, it can be educational and extremely rewarding -- both the process and the harvest. We've enlisted Jerrod Tynes, who heads UNT Dallas' Urban Agriculture curriculum, to provide some tips on how to get started on your first vegetable garden -- and see it through to fruition. View more...

Dr. Tyson Garfield
Dr. Tyson Garfield, UNT Health Science Center

Dr. Tyson Garfield, Assistant Professor of Geriatric Medicine, UNTHSC

Throughout this ongoing pandemic, we've seen just how advantageous it is to have a medical school as a member institution.

With thousands getting vaccinated daily in North Texas, we have plenty of questions about what that means for our daily lives. Can those of us vaccinated safely go to grocery store? Or dining indoors? How about taking our unvaccinated children to the upcoming Texas Rangers home opener? Dr. Garfield has answers. View more...

Dr. Shanda Riley
Dr. Shanda Riley, UNT Dallas

Dr. Shanda Riley, UNT Dallas, Assistant Director of Counseling & Wellness Center and Adjunct Professor

This past year has presented plenty of new mental health challenges for students, faculty, staff and even experienced mental health professionals.

We sought Dr. Riley to provide advice about how to detect warning signs that a student might be struggling emotionally due to the pandemic or other factors, ways to assist a struggling student, as well as best practices for ongoing self-care as we all attempt to manage the daily stresses we face. View more...

Dr. Julie Leventhal
Dr. Julie Leventhal, UNT College of Education

Dr. Julie Leventhal, UNT, Senior Lecturer, College of Education's Department of Educational Psychology

Valentine's Day is coming just at the right time to remind us how lucky we are to have our significant other with us during such stressful times.

Dr. Leventhal provides advice about how to make Valentine's Day during a pandemic meaningful, how better to support one another through stressful times so the proverbial pot doesn't boil over as so many of us are spending more hours together with our loved one than ever before.  View more...

Damon Schranz
Dr. Damon Schranz, UNT Health Science Center

Dr. Damon Schranz, Family Medicine Physician at HSC & Associate Professor at TCOM

Learn about some important recent changes to cancer screening guidelines

Dr. Schranz joined the Department of Family Medicine as an assistant professor in 2001 and has been an integral member of the department ever since. For the last 20 years, he has taught medical students and residents through two Family Medicine Residency Programs; one at Osteopathic Medical Center of Texas and currently at Plaza Medical Center of Texas.  View More...


Charlotte Russell
Charlotte Russell, UNT System

Charlotte Russell, Chief Information Security Officer & Sr. Director of Management and Risk Services

Identity theft and online scams are prevalent. Learn how to take steps to protect your data -- whether it's your personal or work-related information.

Charlotte has worked for more than 25 years in information technology and has spent most of that time working in information security. Online fraud, scams and phishing attempts are prevalent, and especially so during COVID-19. In fact, UNT System has been dealing with attempts at unemployment benefits fraud using the identities of our employees.  View more...

Cheryl Wattley
Cheryl Wattley, UNT Dallas College of Law

Cheryl Wattley, Professor of Law, UNT Dallas College of Law

When there is silence, extremist voices resonate with deafening noise...

As we approach this MLK Day on the heels of massive nationwide civil rights protests in response to ongoing police brutality and racial injustice, and the recent deadly mob violence at the Capitol, Professor Wattley provides her expertise and unique insight into what should be at the forefront of our thoughts on this MLK Day, the Black Lives Matter movement and the importance of a successful UNT Dallas College of Law.  View more...

Danielle Gemoets
Danielle Gemoets, UNT Student Health and Wellness Center

Danielle Gemoets, Dietitian, UNT Student Health and Wellness Center

Learn how to navigate through some confusing nutrition topics!

Danielle has called UNT home for seven of her 11 years as a Registered Dietitian. She helps students discover their health goals and works collaboratively to empower them to live their best lives.  View more...

Jodi Duryea
Chef Jodie Duryea, UNT Hospitality Management

Jodi Duryea, UNT, Principal Lecturer, College of Merchandising, Hospitality & Tourism

Can't join family this year? Get tips on making smaller meals or putting a spin on your traditional sides

Chef Duryea is a former Executive Chef with more than 10 years experience working in New York City restaurants. Her passion is creating a menu and hosting a great dinner party -- so you know COVID-19 is putting a damper on her traditional holiday plans. Still, it is the holidays, and she has great advice for preparing a smaller meal -- or going big and delivering to relatives -- putting a global spin on your traditional sides and creating a super-tasty French pastry for dessert.  View more...

Dr. Diana Cervantes UNTHSC
Dr. Diana Cervantes, UNTHSC

Dr. Diana Cervantes, UNTHSC, Assistant Professor and Director, MPH Epidemiology Program

COVID-19: From safety precautions for holiday travel to confidence in vaccines

Known as Dr. Microbe, the assistant professor and Director of the Master of Public Health Epidemiology program is the go-to expert for reporters seeking the inside scoop on infectious diseases. With COVID-19 still raging, Dr. Cervantes is in high demand. We were fortunate to catch up with her to discuss everything from trusting the vaccines to traveling during the holidays to how we'll look back on 2020.  View more...

Dr. Han Wen, UNT
Dr. Han Wen, UNT Hospitality Management

Dr. Han Wen, UNT, Assistant Professor, College of Merchandising, Hospitality & Tourism

Giving a bottle of wine as a gift this holiday season? Dr. Wen has tips for researching wine choices, price points and trendy regions

December is the month for giving, and what better way to express our appreciation for family, friends and colleagues than by giving an exemplary bottle of wine? But, if you're anything like us, you can stand in front of the wine aisle for an hour and accomplish nothing more than scratching our head. What variety should I buy? What year? Does that one cost too little or too much? So many questions, so little time.  View more...