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Orlando J. Pérez, Ph.D., UNT Dallas

Dean Pérez joined the UNT Dallas faculty in July 2019, overseeing the largest school on the southern Dallas campus with 1,800 students. He received his Ph.D. and master's in political science at the University of Pittsburgh and writes on civil-military relations, public opinion, democracy and Latin America. For anyone who keeps up with any of these topics, Dr. Pérez's Twitter account (@Perez1oj) is a must-follow. To take his mind off such heavy issues, Dr. Pérez enjoys, whether on TV or the big screen, adventures to the final frontier and good vs. evil in a galaxy far, far away. And when he just wants a laugh, he turns to Dorothy, Blanche, Sophia and Rose living their best lives in his hometown back on Earth. Read on and get to know the Dean.

 

Q&A

What is your favorite aspect about your job?
As Dean, I get to promote and work with a fantastic group of faculty and staff dedicated to helping our students succeed.

What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World?
I have heard from several UNT-Dallas faculty that they wish our campus had full and seamless access to all of the databases available at the UNT-Denton libraries. While our library director, Ms. Brenda Robertson, does a wonderful job boosting the resources at the Dallas campus, we cannot match the breadth and depth of the Denton libraries. Our students and faculty would benefit enormously from such access.

What is your proudest work moment?
Commencement!

What is your proudest non-work moment?
The birth of my two children!

What is a fact about you that may surprise your work colleagues?
I have binge-watched all seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation (not in one sitting, of course!)

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE...
Movie?: 
Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi. This is still the best of the 9 Star Wars movies, by far! (and I love Ewoks!)
TV Show?: The Golden Girls. Its incredibly funny and I grew up in Miami.
Charitable cause?: Amnesty International. They are the leading international organization promoting human rights and democracy around the world. https://www.amnesty.org/en/donate/.

Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Laurie Polser, UNT System

Laurie Polser is a relative newcomer to UNT World, joining the UNT System Human Resources team just last January. Her job is to help you understand your benefits, so she'll be expecting your email. Previously she worked as a registrar and attendance clerk for Liberty Hill Junior High, choosing to work there to be close to her three children as they were growing up. A Texas-ex, it's not surprising then that she lists her favorite celebrity as this former Longhorns quarterback with the all-too-Texas name. Before going to college, she spanned the globe, spending time in New York, Hawaii, Japan, London and even Bermuda. No, she didn't join the Army -- she joined her high school drill team. Read on and get to know Laurie. 

 

What is your favorite aspect about your job?
Helping our employees across the UNT System to make informed decisions about their benefits.

What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World?
I think UNT World offers so many great benefits already. I work in benefits, shouldn't I be saying that? Seriously though, the recent introduction of our new and improved EAP (Employee Assistance Program) will be advantageous to so many here at all of our UNT System institutions. I am looking forward to researching and learning more about everything involved with this program.

What is your proudest work moment?
The day someone emailed me and asked me if I wouldn't mind being interviewed for this spotlight. While doing my job, someone decided that I had been helpful and paid me this compliment.

What is your proudest non-work moment?
I would have to say raising three wonderful children: Sam, Haley and Joe. All have gone on to pursue their dreams. My oldest son, Sam, graduated from The University of Texas, with a Bachelors of Science in Communications . He is married to his wife Haylee and they live in Midland. Shortly after moving to Midland, Sam received  a job offer with HEB. Currently, he is Operations Leader at one of their Midland locations. My twins, Haley and Joe, graduated from Liberty Hill High School last May. They endured a very long senior year, making it through COVID with no normal senior traditions -- mom barely survived that.  hey both worked during the pandemic and continued to go to school. They realized the importance of making the most of these unusual times. Haley is attending The University of Texas, majoring in Communications and hopes to work in a sports-related field centered around philanthropy. My son, Joe, is attending Texas A&M and is pursuing a Mechanical Engineering degree. He would love to have his own engineering and design firm someday. My husband and I could not be more proud of our children.

What is a fact about you that may surprise your work colleagues?
I danced at Disneyland Japan with my high school drill team. We performed in the park on several stages. We mainly danced to songs that were centered around Texas. One I remember well was, “Deep in the Heart of Texas.”  It was an experience I will never forget. Today, I realize how special it was to be able to travel with my drill team to so many wonderful places: Hawaii, Japan, New York, Bermuda and London. 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE...
Inspirational Hero?: My Dad. He survived polio as a teenager. He was an iron-lung survivor. His goal in life was to leave a legacy of strong values. He and my mom modeled these values. He had faith, hope and love. In a letter we received after his death, he noted a few things we should remember, some of which are: Always be true to ourselves and our work and to never ever, ever give up. I will forever be grateful for the legacy my dad left us.
Place to visit?: Too many to choose from. I love traveling to both the beach and the mountains. I love to be outdoors!
Celebrity?: Former Texas Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy. He may not be a celebrity in most people's eyes, however following his injury at the National Championship game he was interviewed and he used that platform to show his faith in God. Hobby?: Spending time with my husband, David, and my children -- if you can call that a hobby.

Ask An Expert: Nedra Washington, Ph.D., UNT Dallas

UNT System HR brings you UNT World experts with this periodic and always timely installation called "Ask An Expert." So, let's ask...

EXPERT: Nedra Washington, Ph.D., is a Senior Lecturer in the UNT Dallas School of Human Services and the former Program Coordinator of Child Development and Family Studies. One of her many strengths is her knowledge of early childhood education and child development teachings and research. She brings her expertise to us today as it relates to discussing with our children the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Whether it's explaining why it's important to frequently wash our hands or why some kids wear a mask at school and others don't, parents can influence their kids more than anyone, she says. Dr. Washington discusses steps parents can take to better understand what their children are thinking through all this and how best to communicate with them and comfort them. Please read on for Dr. Washington's tips to help you have constructive dialogue with your kids at this extremely important time.

 

Dr. Washington:

The multiple strands of the Coronavirus have impacted all families in various ways, especially our children. Whether it is washing your hands, wearing a mask or social distancing, parents are the greatest influencer. From our infants to our adolescents, the care and guidance from parents is the most powerful. From a perspective as a professional in the disciple of child development, there are several steps parents can take to minimize anxiety, stress and confusion to help their children understand and navigate best practices during this unprecedented time or the viruses. 

Find out what your child(ren) already knows
Ask your children what they know and allow them to express what and how they feel about all of the changes going on around them. Sometimes as adults, we are so busy trying to provide what they need to sustain their physical health, we forget about their cognitive state which drives their emotional and social needs. Listen and become more in tune with the thinking process of your child(ren).

Check in with your child(ren) every day and let them take the lead
There will be times when your child(ren) may want to discuss their day and other times they may not want to discuss their day, and that is OK. What matters is keeping that connection and knowing that you respect how they feel and they can trust you with their feelings. If this is occurring in your home, you are establishing a much-needed new normal.

Your responses to your child(ren) should always be developmentally and age-appropriate
Many families have multiple children and the ages may vary. As parents, our conversation will be different with a 4 year old than it is with a 15 year old. Developmentally and age-appropriate conversations are strongly recommended. The language utilized by parents is vital to how children/adolescents are comprehending things that are happening and what the family is doing to keep them safe and healthy. Many of our children have high-frequency receptors and know when parents are not being honest. Remain calm in all your conversations with your children and be honest. 

Children/adolescents worry about their family and friends
Allow the children to keep in contact with their family and friends. Video chatting, a phone call, even writing a letter will do wonders for your children. Constant contact provides reassurance that loved ones are OK and releases some of that stress and anxiety discussed earlier.  

Above are just a few suggestions to help remain connected to our children as we navigate through the pandemic. Let us not forget to deal with our own stress and anxiety because as parents, we set the tone. Their safety, health and well-being are guided by our actions. Make the best decision for your family, and if you could use some guidance, please visit this link for resources that may be helpful to you: https://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/covid-19-resources.

 

 

Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Hoda Vaziri, Ph.D., UNT

Dr. Vaziri arrived at the UNT G. Brint Ryan College of Business in the fall of 2019, a return to North Texas after earning master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington and a detour to West Lafayette, Ind., and Purdue University as a post-doctoral fellow. She stays busy in Denton teaching unemployment law to undergrad students, leadership to master's students and statistics to Ph.D. students. She also researches work-life balance and employee well-being in hopes of reducing the tension and conflict that can arise trying to balance work and home life. Originally from Iran, Dr. Vaziri seeks her own work-life balance with this 100% American TV show and a particular thrill-seeking adventure. Read on and get to know Dr. Vaziri.

 

Q&A

What is your favorite aspect about your job?
When I see a phenomenon around me and I wonder why it is happening – and then my job actually allows me to study the phenomenon! This is why I love my job.

What is your proudest work moment?
When a student emails me and says they enjoyed my class and they learned something valuable.
 
What is your proudest non-work moment?

When my son turned 1-year-old this past July!! I was like, hey, I was able to make it this far, in the middle of the pandemic! And he is the light of my life.
 
What is a fact about you that may surprise your work colleagues?

I love skydiving!!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE...
TV Show?: 
Friends (I watched it 4 times already)
Place to visit?: Prague, Czech Republic
Hobby?: Jigsaw puzzles

Jared Mosley, UNT Athletics

UNT System HR brings you UNT World experts with this periodic and always timely installation called "Ask An Expert." So, let's ask...

EXPERT: Jared Mosley, Associate Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, UNT Athletics, has worked at UNT since 2016. He serves on the leadership team for Vice President and Director of Athletics Wren Baker, and assists with daily operational and administrative duties, as well as the coordination of strategic initiatives and provides oversight for facilities and event management, student services, public relations and communications. One more item that both Mosley and Natasha Oakes, Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director for Compliance/Senior Woman Administrator, have on their plates as we begin the 2021-22 athletic year is the new "NIL" policy approved in June by the NCAA that is going to forever change the game for student-athletes. Mosley and Oakes were gracious enough to take a timeout to give us the A-B-Cs of NIL.   

 

What does "NIL" stand for, what does it allow student-athletes to do that they couldn’t do before and why is it so groundbreaking in college athletics?
Name, Image, Likeness. The new state and NCAA legislation now allows student-athletes to monetize their name, image and likeness like any other individual or student. Many student-athletes come into college settings with significant followings through social media platforms or they have established businesses, and now they can pursue opportunities to monetize those fully with permissible state and NCAA legislation. In the past, student-athletes had a few opportunities to do this, but it was extremely limited in scope due to various factors (e.g. rules did not allow any references to their student-athlete status, the business venture or brand ambassador opportunity could not be tied in any way to athletics, etc.) and institutions had to seek relief from the NCAA via a waiver process in order for the student-athlete to engage in the opportunity. Now the student-athlete has far more flexibility.

UNT launched the Paramount Program quickly after the NIL ruling. Did the athletics department anticipate this would happen and what is Paramount’s aim?
We have anticipated this change for some time. With Texas passing legislation that went into effect on July 1, we had to speed up the initial launch of the Paramount Program, but it didn’t impact the goal of the program. We want to build a program that educates Mean Green student-athletes on current NIL legislation, provide programming to assist with personal brand development, as well as provide education and tools to equip them with managing permissible opportunities they may be presented with.

How does this work – can a student-athlete hire an agent or representative to seek out deals or will businesses seek out athletes?
Student-athletes may do either. They do have the option to hire representation to assist with managing NIL opportunities or they can manage that on their own. They are required to disclose proposed agreements with our office of compliance prior to engaging in any NIL activity to ensure it fits state and NCAA established guidelines.

Talk of paying athletes had always mostly centered around football players and top-tier basketball players at the largest universities and top programs. But, is there an opportunity here for athletes at mid-major programs like UNT to make money?
It’s important to distinguish that this is not pay for play. NIL allows student-athletes across all sports to pursue these opportunities, and across the country you are seeing student-athletes outside of football and basketball capitalizing in very significant ways. 

Along those lines, how about opportunity for female athletes and athletes in non-revenue (Olympic) sports? 
This legislation benefits all student-athletes across all sports. We have some female and Olympic-sport athletes who have been presented opportunities in the NIL space. We anticipate that growing as student-athletes become more educated on building their brands or establishing businesses that allow them to monetize their name, image and likeness. 

How does social media play into all of this?  
We have seen people of all ages build robust followings across social media platforms that then create significant opportunities for monetization as “influencers.” Prior to this recent legislation, institutions would have to seek a waiver for student-athletes be brand influencers, and if a waiver was granted, they could not make any reference to their student-athlete status or be involved with anything that had an athletics nexus. Essentially, student-athletes wishing to compete at the college level had to decide whether to forego the potential opportunities for earning compensation to keep their eligibility or forego playing in college to be compensated. 

Before NIL, the NCAA seemingly had an encyclopedia of rules violations pertaining to payments to student-athletes, everything from a car to a spaghetti dinner. Is anything illegal now?
Again, this is not pay for play. There are still restrictions to prevent a pay-for-play model across college athletics. Further, state legislation requires that a student-athlete receive fair market value when being compensated for NIL activities. This legislation works to ensure contracts/agreements made with student-athletes fit into the category of name, image and likeness and are not performance-based incentives or payments not tied to a legitimate business function. In addition to ensuring student-athletes are being paid for engaging in actual NIL activity, state legislation prohibits student-athletes endorsing certain types of categories (e.g. alcohol, tobacco products, gambling, etc.).

We’ve now seen a high school quarterback – Southlake’s Quinn Ewars – choose to skip his senior season and enroll early at Ohio State with an eye on cashing in. Is this a trend waiting to happen or something only a very small percentage of the nation’s top recruits can entertain?  
I don’t feel you will see a significant number of student-athletes take this path. Student-athletes are still required to graduate high school and meet specific NCAA eligibility requirements prior to enrolling at a college institution. The percentage of student-athletes that can do that and who also have significant followings or influence across social media platforms is not the majority. 
 

Loren Jacobson, UNT Dallas College of Law

Loren Jacobson, has found a special home at UNT Dallas College of Law, a burgeoning school founded on the principle of making a law degree accessible and affordable to those of all socioeconomic backgrounds. She says, "One of the wonderful things about the UNT Dallas College of Law is how diverse we are, which means I have so many different perspectives in my classroom." It comes full circle. Born in South Africa, Jacobson names Nelson Mandela as her inspirational hero. "The most extraordinary thing about him was his infallible sense of hope," she says. This mother of two teenagers has a lighter side, too, take her favorite movie (hint: Bueller? Bueller?) for example or just drop a dance floor in front of her and watch out. Click below to learn more about Loren.

Q&A

What is your favorite aspect about your job? 
There are a lot of things I like my job, but my favorite is the interactions I have with students. I love to see my students learn and I love to learn from them. It is especially gratifying when my students not only grasp the concepts we are learning in class, but seem enthusiastic about the subject matter, the law or the prospect of being a lawyer. I also love learning from my students. One of the wonderful things about UNT Dallas College of Law is how diverse we are, which means I have so many different perspectives in the classroom. This makes for rich class discussions and it means I am always learning from my students, who may look at the law, or a case, in a different way from the way I do, or who teach me to see a situation, or even the world, in a way I hadn’t considered before.
 
What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World?

Although this wouldn’t benefit me because my children are teenagers, I would like to see UNT World provide paid parental leave to its employees. A lack of paid leave after a baby is born is detrimental to the baby and the whole family, as it pressures parents to return to the workforce early, before sufficient bonding and in some cases, nursing, can be established. I also think that if UNT World is serious about attracting, retaining and supporting women, it must provide paid parental leave. When my children were born, the law firm where I was working afforded me 10 weeks of paid leave, which is a big reason why I went to the firm in the first place and was also part of the reason I stayed there for 12 years.

What is your proudest work moment?
It’s hard for me to pinpoint one proud moment. I’m just really proud to be part of a group of people who are working so hard—sometimes against the odds -- to accomplish the mission at the UNT Dallas College of Law. I believe fervently in our goals of providing access, excellent preparation, value, innovation and community all for the purpose of promoting justice and advancing the potential of a diverse array of students.
 
What is your proudest non-work moment?

Again, I don’t really have a proud “moment.” What makes me proudest outside of work are my children, and what makes me most proud about them is what good people they are. Both are caring, empathetic, thoughtful, and genuine, and they consistently show their loved ones, friends and even strangers kindness and compassion.
 
What is a fact about you that may surprise your work colleagues?

Some of them have probably figured this out, but I am, as ABBA would put it, a “dancing queen.” I love to dance! Put me on a dance floor and I will bring it (especially if there’s some Shakira playing)!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE...
Book?: 
I love Victorian novels, and am especially fond of Jane Austen and George Eliot’s work. But, I think my all-time favorite book is Yaa Gyasi’s "Homegoing." I continue to think about the story, imagery and exquisite writing to this day, even though I read it about four years ago. It is really a novel that has stuck with me.
Movie? Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I’ve watched it 14 times. Nine times. Nine times? No, 14 times!
Inspirational Hero?: Nelson Mandela. I was born in South Africa and have visited Robben Island where Mandela was kept imprisoned. I admire Mandela because he fought for and ultimately achieved the end of apartheid in South Africa. But I think the most extraordinary thing about him was his infallible sense of hope. Even though he was kept in prison for 27 years, he never gave up his belief that equality and justice could be achieved. And although he experienced the worst of humanity, he also never gave up his belief in the human capacity for good. After all he went through, Mandela could have been angry, but he was never animated by hate. Instead, he believed in reconciliation, always looked for the best in people and kept his sense of humor. He was truly an incredible man.

The contribution rates for the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) are changing. These changes impact pay received on or after Sept. 1, 2021.

New rates:

Employee 8.0% (pre-tax)

Old rates:

Employee 7.7% (pre-tax)

The Texas legislature passed these changes in the 2019 legislature. Future increases passed include:

Date: Sept. 1, 2023
Employee: 8.25%

The contributions deducted from your paycheck fund the TRS pension. They do not determine how much your retirement income will be – your TRS retirement annuity is calculated using a formula:

2.3 x years of service = percentage
Average of highest five salaries x percent = annuity

Example:

  • 20 years of TRS service x 2.3 = 46%
  • $50,000 x 46% = $23,000 annuity pre-tax
  • $23,000/12 = $1917/month pre-tax

Learn more: Retirement plans and TRS

Contact a benefits coordinator in your campus HR group to schedule your retirement meeting, or for a benefits consult to help you plan for retirement in the future/understand your benefits:

Bobbie Bratton, UNT Health Science Center

UNT System HR brings you UNT World experts with this periodic and always timely installation called "Ask An Expert." So, let's ask...

EXPERT: Bobbie Bratton, Clinical Executive, SaferCare Texas, UNT Health Science Center, is a board certified family nurse practitioner with 25 years of nursing experience and over 19 years of advanced practice. Her goal is to provide patients with guidance and leadership toward health decisions that are safe and promote improved quality of life. And that's why we sought her out -- to provide clear and honest guidance in making critical health decisions for ourselves and our families as the Delta variant surge has again heightened our level of concern and forced us to reevaluate our behavior. Especially now, as students of all ages return to school, and school districts, cities, counties, politicians, judges and high courts issue various mandates and bans on mandates, we need clear-headed, practical, science-based facts and advice. Thank you, Bobbie Bratton, for being our Expert, our voice of calm and reason during a difficult and confusing time. Please click the button below to read on.

 

Q&A

What is safe and isn’t safe since Delta variant is a real game changer?
The recent surge of COVID cases due to Delta variant presents a challenge as campuses across the country reopen for the fall semester. During this surge, it is important for individuals to be mindful of what they can do to support efforts to stay fully open such as: continuing to practice good hand hygiene, continuing to use proper cough/sneeze etiquette, frequently disinfect common spaces and high-traffic areas, practicing social distancing especially in indoor public areas, staying home when sick, assessing for symptoms before leaving home, following the CDC’s guidance on mask wearing and strongly considering vaccination, if eligible. I think everyone would agree the overall goal is to find a way to safely resume our “normal” way of life including work, school, church, sports and community. As we have seen over the past year, that very well could mean that safety measures will likely ebb and flow, being less strict during seasons when cases are low and stricter during times of surge. Earlier this year, we transitioned to a less restrictive environment, however, each of us is responsible for being aware of the risks and benefits of our behaviors and to make responsible choices for our own well-being as well as the well-being of others in our community. 

How should professors proceed in the classroom? Should they wear a mask? 
The CDC guidelines currently state to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possible spreading to others. Fully vaccinated people should wear a mask indoors in public if in an area of substantial or high transmission. Classroom settings vary and may be set up to offer protective alternatives such as safe distancing or the use of plexiglass barriers, etc. Professors and students are encouraged to look at their personal health status, what their daily routine looks like, what their exposure risks are and make appropriate decisions to protect themselves.  

Even if vaccinated, should I wear a mask to crowded outdoor events such as concerts or the State Fair? Are outdoor events safe to attend considering the high level of transmission? 
A good rule of thumb for any outdoor event, regardless of vaccination status, is to "know before you go." Check the event venue website for considerations such as: seating charts or spacings on lawn, the type of restroom facilities available and sanitation practices, available food services, any COVID related requirements, e.g., mask requirements, vaccination, or testing requirements. The CDC guidelines state that wearing a mask in outdoor settings may be recommended in some scenarios. Finally, consult with your personal healthcare provider to help determine what measures offer appropriate protection for you based on your personal health history. 

Is indoor dining safe? If I dine indoors should I wear a mask?
Some important things to consider before going for an indoor dining event include: restaurant staff wears masks, seating that promotes safe social distancing and restaurant hygiene practices. During the current surge, it may be a good idea to consider opting for patio seating. While not all measures may be in place, the important thing is to be knowledgeable about what the exposure risk level is and make decisions based on personal health and personal comfort level with those risks. While choosing to wear a mask is a personal decision, it does impact others. It is important to remember that not only does the mask protect you but it also protects others, including restaurant staff who are trying to safely earn a living and take care of themselves and their families.

How do I verify a disinfectant actually works against the COVID-19 virus?
The CDC website offers great information on proper disinfection practices and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifications of products that are available for use. This link is a user-friendly guideline for cleaning and disinfecting while reinforcing the importance of using products properly for effectiveness and health safety.

U.S. EPA - Cleaning and Disinfecting Best Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Why should I seek a medical evaluation for my symptoms when I can get a COVID-19 test done on my own?
Common symptoms of COVID-19 infection include: fever or chills, cough, fatigue, body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing. A person who is ill may experience all, few, or no symptoms. These common symptoms are also very common for other respiratory issues such as seasonal allergies, common cold, influenza, strep or other respiratory infections. Getting evaluated by a medical provider will help you reach an accurate diagnosis and it will help you get the medications and treatments you need for effective recovery. In the event that you are ill with a respiratory infection that is not COVID-19, your medical provider may be able to help you return to normal activities sooner than if you prolong your medical evaluation or do not get one at all. This can mean decreased loss of time away from work, school and other important activities. 

Helpful information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/

Erin Cristales, UNT

Erin Cristales is an outstanding writer whose colorful prose that appears in the pages of the North Texan and Research and other publications brings to life the people and places that make the University of North Texas a place of limitless potential. She was recently awarded the 2021 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Platinum Award for Best Article of the Year for her long-form feature, "The Past as a Present." Perhaps even more impressive than her writing chops is her otherwise unknown juggling ability, a mind-clearing exercise for her, and her inner drive that pushed her to finish her first marathon last April. Now, maybe if she were to juggle bowling pins while running a marathon... Anyway, read on to discover more about Erin.

 

Q&A

What is your favorite aspect about your job?
My favorite part of my job is that I’m constantly meeting and interviewing so many smart, interesting people. It’s great to be able to connect with students, faculty, staff and alumni and learn how they’re changing the world for the better. Plus, I love the opportunity to build so many positive relationships within the university and beyond.
 
What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World? 

It would be fun to create some UNT marathon or charity walk teams.

What is your proudest work moment?
I’m always proud when I receive feedback from sources who feel like I really captured their story. At the end of the day, that’s the greatest reward.

What is your proudest non-work moment? 
Finishing my first full marathon in April, and four half-marathons leading up to that. I never thought I’d actually be able to push myself that hard!
 
What is a fact about you that may surprise your work colleagues?

When I was in fifth grade, the P.E. teacher (a former clown — really!) taught our whole class how to juggle. Not that I’m particularly great at it, but juggling is my favorite way to clear my mind, especially when I have writer’s block.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE...
Movie?:
The Hustler
Restaurant?: La Calle Doce in Dallas. In Denton, my favorite is Komodo Loco.
Charitable cause? Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation — as someone who has lived with Type 1 Diabetes for the past 28 years, I can personally attest to the great resources and support JDRF provides those with Type 1 and their families. And their annual walks in the DFW area are coming up this fall!

Sheba Joyner, UNT System

Sheba Joyner marks her sixth anniversary with UNT System next month and while she's likely to favor the go-for-it end of risk-assessment in her personal life -- like jumping out of an airplane three different times -- her work life is exclusively risk-adverse. As Senior Director of Internal Audit, she reviews business processes and identifies risks that could threaten UNT System from accomplishing our goals. When she identifies a risk, she alerts leadership and recommends improvements to help reduce those risks. Read on to discover the southeast Asian nation that's her favorite place to visit, the other southeast Asian country that cooks up her favorite food and why this act of kindness makes it obvious her heart is made of pure gold.

 

Q&A

What is your favorite aspect about your job?  
My favorite thing about my job is meeting people throughout the entire organization and helping them identify ways to make their department stronger.

What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World?
I would love a festival where employees, faculty and staff enjoy each other with food, fun, games and rewards.

What is your proudest non-work moment? 
I enjoy helping those in need, so my proudest non-work moment was when I took care of a brother and sister who both had glioblastoma (type of brain cancer) and helped to make their wishes come true! The brother was able to be an FBI agent for a day in Washington D.C. and the sister met her favorite celebrity.

What is a fact about you that may surprise your work colleagues?
I enjoy thrills and adventures so I decided to go skydiving with my sister. Because I loved the experience so much, I jumped out of a plane three different times.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE...
TV Show?:
I enjoy watching both Grey's Anatomy and Chicago PD
Place to visit?: Growing up we would travel to India often. During one of our trips, we went to Singapore, which is my favorite place I have ever visited.
Restaurant?: I love Thai food, so I enjoy eating at a Thai restaurant.