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Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Nakia Douglas

Nakia Douglas has dedicated his career to mentoring youth and shaping future leaders in his hometown of Dallas. At UNT Dallas, Nakia designs and implements "holistic, nontraditional educational experiences for first-generation and historically disenfranchised students." Before starting at the southern Dallas campus three years ago, Nakia was the founding principal of the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy, which opened in southern Dallas in 2011. He has received many professional honors including the 2015 Dallas Independent


School District Magnet Principal of the Year, KERA American Graduate Champion and DISD Exemplary Principal. In June, Nakia delivered this impassioned interview for WFAA's moving video series, "While I have your attention."
How long have you worked in UNT World and what do you do? 
October officially marks my third year as a member of UNT World. In my role as executive director of TRIO and Pre-Collegiate Programs, I have the privilege of working with a diverse, innovative team. Our departmental mission is the “development of students’ academic, emotional, ethical, physical and social skills for transformational impact in life, school and leadership” – this is the North Star of our efforts with our participants.

What is your favorite aspect of your job ?
The strategic process of design, creation and implementation of programs for students, families and communities is exciting. The greatest joy is witnessing our participants' enjoyment of a new educational experience and/or students reflecting on the impact of their learning within our programs. These moments are the ultimate evaluation of the effectiveness of our work.
What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World? 
Employee academic scholarships.
What is your proudest work moment? 
Building and developing our TRIO & Pre-Collegiate professional team, then witnessing their impact with the students within their individual programs at the university and our local community.
What is your proudest non-work moment? 
The strengthening of my relationship with my family during the pandemic. While the reasons for our time together are not enjoyable, the conversations, walks, meals and newly created family memories have been most enjoyable and heartwarming.

What fact about you might surprise your colleagues? 
I own a PS4 and play Madden, NBA 2K, FIFA and The Incredibles with my kids, I have opened two new schools for Dallas ISD (Maynard H. Jackson Middle School and Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy) and I began my educational career as a kindergarten teacher.

Book?: Uncommon by Tony Dungy

Movie?: Black Panther, Love Jones, Invictus, Remember the Titans and Waiting for Superman

Place to Visit?: West Africa, North Carolina and/or Caribbean Islands

Song?: "Love and Happiness" by Al Green

Charitable cause?: Friends of Barack Obama Men's Leadership Academy, Mayor's Star Council, City Square, For Oak Cliff, 826 Literary Project