Faculty Cooperative Projects

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Dr. Brenda Sims visits UAEM Department of Languages to work on several joint projects, December 5-7, 2006 / view pictures - UNT and UAEM have been working on a Double Master's Degree in Linguistics and Dr. Brenda Sims, Chair of Technical Writing and Chair of English Graduate Studies, was invited to Toluca, so she could meet with faculty members involved in the project and also have follow-up meetings with Director of Languages Department at UAEM Manuel Garduño, who visited UNT October 2006.

Dr. Brenda Sims stated there are 4 possible action items for the next steps in UNT-UAEM Linguistics/Languages relationship:

1) Allowing the UAEM faculty in the department of languages to access the UNT library databases. The UAEM faculty indicated that they did not have adequate research tools. Because UNT and UAEM have signed agreements, we should allow their faculty to login to our library to use our databases.

2) Setting up a workshop/retreat at UNT or UAEM (I recommend UNT) where the graduate faculty in linguistics from both universities would meet to develop curriculum and course materials; to learn technology that faculty will use; to discuss grading standards and expectations. This workshop/retreat will have the indirect value of allowing the faculty from both universities to share ideas, concerns, and expectations.

3) Working toward a joint research project with the goal of receiving external funding. This project would involve faculty from both universities--hopefully in linguistics and in technical communication.

4) Sharing of curriculum vita. I will ask the linguists to prepare electronic copies of their vita to send to UAEM. While in Mexico, I asked Manuel's faculty to send us their vita.

"As I told Manuel while I was in Mexico, I am excited about the growing relationship between UNT and UAEM. We have some challenges to overcome and details to work out, but the journey will benefit all of us." Said Dr. Sims.

UNT Linguistics Department sends two potential interns for working with ESL professor Kristan Taylor at UAEM, November 22-25, 2006 / view pictures - Graduate students from UNT Linguistics Department, Kristopher Geda and Valeriya Tsogoeva went on a trip to Toluca, where they observed the UNT ESL ongoing project for UAEM students interested in taking Graduate Programs at UNT. The main purpose of the visit was getting to know the program, the city and the students, so Valeriya and Christopher can take their practicum by being part of UNT ESL Program at UAEM in the upcoming semesters.

Through the ESL Program in Toluca, UAEM students are being prepared for taking the English Tests (TOEFL, GRE) required to enter UNT Graduate Programs.

Mexican students gave the visitors a tour around Toluca. Each student was assigned to explain something different about the city and its traditions.

Dr. Witold Brostow teaches an online class and UAEM students take it in Toluca, October 30, 2006 / view pictures - After Dr. Brostow's recent visit to UAEM, he spotted an opportunity to offer a class in Materials Science to a very interested student group of Mexican students. Since UNT does not have an undergraduate program in Materials Science yet, the subject: "Graduate Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering", is offered to students at UAEM who are mostly undergraduate (juniors and seniors), but the class is and has always been open to advanced undergraduate students. Through the UNT-UAEM agreement and the Liaison Office, both universities are seeking an optimal process for credit transferability in both directions. Currently, UAEM students get credit toward their Mexican undergraduate programs.

At the beginning of the semester and for inauguration purposes, there was a presentation by Oscar Garcia, Dean of the College of Engineering and UAEM responded with a speech from Jesus Pastor Medrano, Director of the Department of Chemistry.

The classes are taught in English, but when students have questions in Spanish, Dr. Brostow translates it to English so all the class knows what it is about and then he answers in either language.

There are 17 UAEM students currently enrolled in the course, coming from the Colleges of Sciences, Engineering and Chemistry.

"UAEM Director of Languages Department, Manuel Garduño visits UNT, October 25 - 27, 2006 / view pictures - UAEM Languages Department delegation consisting of Director Manuel Garduño, Graduate Coordinator Virna Velazquez and fulltime French Professor Georgia Grondin visited UNT to strengthen UAEM-UNT collaboration, seeking among other projects, a dual Master's Degree in ESL.

On the first day of activities, UAEM delegation had a meeting at the Department of English with Dean David Holdeman, Brenda Sims and Patricia Cukor-Avila. They compared their different curricula and started figuring out a way to match and complement each other's academic information for the future Dual Program. The alternative of having a Certificate of English as a Second Language, was exposed as a potential initial step towards having a Dual Master's Degree. Later on, they met with Sandra Terrell, Dean of Graduate Studies and top officials from International Studies and Programs, CAS Student Affairs, Graduate Admissions and English Department where the consensus of working directly with the Dual Degree was reached.

Since Distance Education is seen as a crucial tool for the Dual Program implementation and performance, UAEM delegates had a meeting with Patrick Pluscht, Director of the Center for Distributed Learning and held videoconferences with their partners in Mexico so they could talk about the project and get a first-hand idea of how remote classes or advising sessions would work.

The delegation had the opportunity to sit in on ESL classes so they could observe how UNT faculty run their courses, in order to start sharing information and methods between both universities.

During the visit, UAEM representatives met with faculty and staff from the Department of Foreign Languages and talked about different student and faculty exchange possibilities for French and Spanish programs.

Videoconference broadcast to UAEM in Fall 2006 UNT Linguistics Colloquium, October 26, 2006 / pictures coming soon - Linguistics faculty at UNT, took part in a panel discussion on Linguistic Fieldwork on the UNT campus. The panel was organized by Patricia Cukor-Avila and moderated by Shobhana Chelliah. UNT linguistics faculty and UNT graduate students from Linguistic Field Methods class (LING 5380) compared field techniques, activities and outcomes.

The panel served to build ties with the Toluca campus of the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México (UAEM). Graduate Linguistics students from Toluca joined us for the panel discussion via video conferencing and three members of the UAEM Languages Department, including Director Manuel Garduño, were present in the Denton audience as part of their most recent visit to UNT.

To access the panel discussion program
click here.

Professor Roden takes a 2-week academic residency at UAEM, October 16, 2006 / view pictures - Peyton Foster Roden, Regents Professor of Finance in the College of Business, spent part of October as a visiting scholar to Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México (UAEM). His activity centered around the main campus in Toluca, México. His two-week residency at UAEM consisted of lecturing to graduate and undergraduate students and of discussing distance learning and research methodology with "Maestros in the Facultad de Negocios". He concentrated on such topics as calculating a company's marginal cost of capital with special emphasis on using effective rates of interest in the calculation and on application of the sustainable growth model to developing financial policy. Presentations were in Spanish. "This activity is part of my developmental leave for the fall semester," Professor Roden noted. "The students at UAEM are intellectually curious and aggressive in wanting to learn the American way of doing business, and I'm honored to be invited there."

James Meernik and a delegation from UNT Political Science Department visit their counterparts at UAEM, Sep 18 - 20, 2006 / view pictures - UAEM Director for the Department of Political Science, Guillermina Diaz Perez, gladly hosted UNT delegation consisting of Professors James Meernik, David Mason, John Booth and Steven Forde.

After meeting with Director Diaz Perez and several Political Science faculty members at UAEM, there the following projects came about:

1) Joint research efforts in the fields of Conflict Resolution and Democracy in Mexico.

2) Two UNT faculty members will teach classes in Toluca during the Maymester (with simultaneous translation) and students will be credited towards their Master's in Political Science degree at UAEM.

3) Director Diaz Perez and other faculty members from UAEM will be presenting at UNT Political Science Conference in April 2007.

4) Dr. John Booth will be a guest author, publishing in one of UAEM's journals.

5) The first Political Science Agreement between UNT and UAEM was signed.

UNT sends English Teacher and Interns to collaborate at UAEM, August, 2006 / view pictures - As a result of the increased interest by UAEM students in studying Graduate Degrees at UNT, the UNT-UAEM Liaison Office realized there was an uttermost need to accelerate English proficiency levels at UAEM. In order to have a better understanding of living in an English-speaking country and having to generate articles, papers, projects and presentations in a different language the necessity of native-speaker professors is evident.

Therefore, UNT ended up sending Kristan Taylor as leading teacher and coordinator for the program in Toluca, which main objective is offering intensive English courses for students seeking UNT Graduate Degrees. Kristan Taylor received a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and a Master of Arts in Linguistics/ESL from the University of North Texas. Her work in the field of English language teaching includes classroom instruction, teacher training, and program coordination. Her 10-year career includes both private and public schools in Texas, Morocco, and Albania where she served as an English Language Fellow for the U.S. Department of State. Kristan's writing has been published locally and nationally in "Teaching Tolerance" magazine.

Since this program originated as a permanent one, the next objectives are aiding faculty and staff at UAEM and also undergraduate students willing to study abroad on exchange programs. The classes are taught at the International Center for Languages and Culture (CILC) located within UAEM main campus.

As part of the program, UNT continuously sends current students of the Master Degree in ESL for practicum purposes in Mexico. Tray Sturdivant is the first intern for the program and she has been working with students, faculty and staff throughout Fall 2006. Toluca, Mexico is an ideal location for UNT interns to gain valuable work experience at UAEM. The City of Toluca is also an interesting destination to experience what can only be described as "real Mexico."

List of Students taking English classes with UNT instructors at CILC:
  • Advanced Group:
    • Erwin Guillermo
    • Moises Aquino
    • Hector Barrera
    • Oniel Díaz
  • Intermediate Group:
    • Owen Mendoza
    • Manuela Camacho
    • Maria Merced Ortega
    • Pedro Sanchez
    • Isis Villa
  • Beginners:
    • Lucero Ruiz Perez (she is currently taking a Beginners English couse from CILC and will return to the intermediate group in January)