Back to school!
Monday we welcomed new faculty and staff to our campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston. They joined our nearly 1,500 faculty and staff who are busy this week preparing for classes that start Aug. 26. As part of our “Year of the Woman” welcome back session, I lauded the leadership and inspiration of the U.S. women’s soccer team and the early women’s suffragettes, including three of our early regents, who were instrumental in Texas’ passage of the 19th Amendment. Throughout the year we will pay special attention to women who lead as we open the new site for our Institute for Women’s Leadership.
Three new academic leaders were introduced—College of Nursing’s Dean Rosalie Mainous and Associate Dean Shelley Hawkins; and Christina Bejarano (pictured above), chair and professor of Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies.
Dr. Bejarano’s campaign and leadership training programs empower Latina and Hispanic women to successfully run for elected office and complement the outreach work of our Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy. Dr. Bejarano served as a guest analyst for the Presidential Gender Watch project in 2016 and 2018, and has shared her assessment with our center.
Heroic Southwest Airlines pilot visits Institute for Women’s Leadership
What an honor it was to welcome 2018 Texas Women’s Hall of Famer Southwest Airlines Captain Tammie Jo Shults and her SWA captain and husband, Dean, to our Denton campus for lunch and a special tour. You may remember reading of her resolve and courageous leadership in safely landing Flight 1380 in April 2018 after an engine failed.
While touring the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) collection in our library and the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame, the former U.S. Navy fighter pilot shared that she had swapped flights with her husband on that particular day. You can get a free sneak peek of the first four chapters of her upcoming book, Nerves of Steel, which will be out on Oct. 8.
Nation’s 2nd-largest Vietnamese community watches TWU health program
Center for Global Nursing clinical faculty Vi-Tuong Ho and TWU alumnus Michael Pham, who works as a nurse practitioner at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, are now producing two monthly TV shows called “Health and Life” for the nearly 40,000 Vietnamese living in Houston.
The duo—both fluent in Vietnamese and holding PhDs in nursing from TWU—have hosted the show on Apple Broadcasting TV (55.4) since 2018, following grant-funded health broadcasts that began in 2016.
They cover a wide range of health topics for their viewing audience, from common diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, hepatitis and cancers to the common cold, allergies, heat stroke, healthy nutrition and vaccinations. Their program focuses on promoting good health and preventing disease and is tailored to Vietnamese culture.
TWU’s Center for Global Nursing began a professional nursing relationship with Vietnam in 2008 with visits to a number of universities and hospitals. Ever since, the center has sponsored biennial education abroad courses in Vietnam for our students and faculty, in addition to hosting a visiting scholar faculty member from Vietnam. Since 2001, the center has engaged in collaborative activities with 15 countries, including China, Peru, South Korea, Indonesia and Kenya.
Institute for Women’s Leadership launches new lecture series
We’re launching a new lecture series Sept. 19—and you’re invited!
Our inaugural speaker will be Kathryn Childers, hired in 1970 as one of the first five female U.S. Secret Service agents. In this role, Childers protected the president, first family and foreign heads of state, as well as Caroline and John F. Kennedy, Jr.
The free public event will be held 7:30-9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, at Ashton Gardens in Corinth, and includes complimentary breakfast. Advanced registration is required. For more information, visit twu.edu/pauplecture or call 940-898-2896 for questions about registration.
TWU choir recognized on national stage
I was thrilled to learn our Concert Choir, conducted by Joni Jensen, DMA, has been selected to perform at the 2020 Texas Music Educators Association Centennial Clinic/Convention in San Antonio. This mid-February event is the largest music educators conference in the nation, drawing more than 29,000 music educators, clinicians, exhibitors, students and their families each year from around the world. TWU was one of only two university choirs chosen to perform at this conference!
Nursing academy gives ‘Living Legend’ highest honor to TWU alumna
I’m proud to share that our ’97 Distinguished Alumna, Geraldine “Polly” Bednash (BS-Nursing '65) will be one of five nursing leaders from across the country to receive the American Academy of Nursing’s highest honor—“Living Legends”—at its annual conference on Oct. 24 in Washington, D.C.
NSF awards $1 million to TWU to increase STEM students
The National Science Foundation awarded us a five-year, nearly $1 million grant to grow the number of students and graduates in science, technology, engineering and math fields! The grant will support TWU’s Scholarships, Teams and Research project, a unique effort that annually provides 15 students with scholarships, one-on-one mentoring and hands-on STEM activities.
Pioneer Pride dance team wins first place
Our year-old Pioneer Pride dance team placed first in Division II schools during the National Dance Team Camp held on the SMU campus in late July, beating out Dallas Baptist University, Tarleton State University and Angelo State University.
Our athletics teams also had a phenomenal year—in competition and in the classroom. All five teams combined for a spring GPA of 3.601, a new record! This extends our winning streak of 74 consecutive semesters (or 37 years!) with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. We also won the Lone Star Conference Academic Excellence Award for the fifth time in six years, and more than 75% of our student-athletes were named to the LSC honor roll, with 32 of the 72 honorees earning a perfect 4.0 GPA.
The excellence of our student-athletes also has been recognized by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who appointed Lexi D'Abrosca of the Pioneer soccer team as the new student regent—the first TWU student-athlete to hold the position!
New field house slated for 2020
To support our soccer and softball teams, we received the regents’ approval this month to build a new field house with expected completion next year. The new facility will feature a classroom, locker rooms, ADA-compliant restrooms and outdoor space. While the new space will support our athletic programs, our expectation is the space will be a broader resource for the university.
Alumna named to TWU Board of Regents
We all were pleased to welcome back to TWU our alumna Stacie McDavid (B.S.-physical education '80) as a new member of the TWU Board of Regents. When she was a student, she threw javelin for our Pioneers Track and Field Team. And true to our legacy of female leaders, she was running a franchise of fitness centers across Texas and Florida by the time she was 22. She went on to become a champion nonprofessional cutting horse rider and was recently named a “2019 Cowgirl Honoree - Texas” by the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. Today, she is the CEO of McDavid Companies, where she oversees the McDavid Ranch and the McDavid Companies’ real estate investments.
Regents, officials tour Denton County Courthouse
Thanks to a special tour and dinner personally arranged by TWU Regent Bernadette Coleman and her husband, Denton County Commissioner Hugh Coleman, university officials gained important historic insights about the uniqueness of the Denton County Courthouse built in 1896. A special thanks to the Colemans, Constable Doug Boydston and the museum docents for teaching us about this spectacular courthouse!
Construction projects winding down this fall
Those of you who visit our Denton campus may be pleased to know that four of five major construction projects will be completed around the end of the year. There will be a lot of new places for you to check out when you visit us!
Our new dining hall on Bell Avenue is expected to open in early October and will feature nine dining stations with interior seating for more than 600 faculty, staff, students and visitors. It also will have a large outdoor patio that can seat an additional 120. In addition, check out our new Oakland Café's healthy breakfast and lunch options. And our much-anticipated new student union will include 25 meeting rooms, a veteran’s lounge, a performance lounge, a 295-seat auditorium and a ballroom that can seat up to 1,000.
Thank you for your interest in Texas Woman's. I invite you to email me if you have any comments or questions, and I am delighted that you have spent a few minutes with me today.
Page last updated 1:08 PM, April 14, 2023