October 2020

Boldly Go, news from Chancellor Feyten masthead image showing the chancellor seated at her desk wearing a protective face mask

October is all about health!

Dear Friends:

There are many annual health-related awareness campaigns this month—ranging from breast cancer and dental hygiene to ADHD, dyslexia, audiology and emotional intelligence.

As a university with a long legacy of educating health care professionals, we applaud and support many of these areas. We offer more than 50 degrees and certificates in health-related fields in all five of our colleges—educating occupational, physical and music therapy students and others with their sights set on nursing, psychology, nutrition, dental hygiene, executive hospital administration and everything in between.

Shining a spotlight on Physical Therapy

PT students from both the Dallas and Houston campuses

Some of our Dallas PT students partnered with Operation Gratitude to bring Halloween cheer to our troops, left, while others in Houston helped an art studio prepare for a virtual opening.

This month our physical therapy students in Houston and Dallas took time away from their intense studies to celebrate National Physical Therapy Month by participating in this month’s Global PT Day of Service.

In Houston, our PT students, alumni and local volunteers organized materials, hung artwork, tidied up space and provided emergency kits for the virtual opening of an art studio created to promote and empower the work of individuals within the disability community. Another group of our students spent the day volunteering with the Houston Food Bank, packing and distributing items to those in need.

Twists and turns lead two Pioneers to rewarding PT, OT career paths

PT student Jose Trujillo and OT student Christopher Villarreal

From left, Jose Trujillo seeks a DPT degree in Houston; Christopher Villarreal earned his MOT in Dallas.

I often hear stories from our students who find their passion in life thanks to the influence of our faculty. With the pandemic causing introspection and changes in personal and professional paths, I'd like to share the examples of two health sciences Pioneers that may provide inspiration to you and others.

In Houston, Jose Trujillo is nearing the completion of our Doctor of Physical Therapy program where, along the way, he discovered that he wanted to be in neuro rehabilitation. He began clinical rotations working with vulnerable populations in Harris County and is now in his third rotation, working directly in the outpatient setting at the Neuroscience and Spine Center at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.

In particular he singled out two of our faculty, Drs. Wayne Brewer and Alexis Ortiz, for helping him succeed in his "less than linear" journey.

In Dallas, Christopher Villarreal (MOT ’17) shifted from a sales and marketing career to earn his master's degree in occupational therapy and found exactly what he was looking for.

“The education at TWU is provided by professors who either are or were clinicians or researchers in the field, so they have practical advice and experiential knowledge to superimpose over formal academic learning,” he told us. “The occupational therapy program helped me become a creative but practical, solution-based thinker through both lecture and hands-on clinical application during paired lab instruction.”

Christopher now works as an acute care occupational therapist at Baylor University Medical Center, where he leads the hospital’s dedicated COVID-19 therapy team, which collaborates with physical and occupational therapists and administrators to create rules, policies and occupational therapy treatment design, and perform actual direct patient care and telehealth services.

Biology team granted patent for three compounds that prevent cancer cell growth


Dr. Michael Bergel in front of a whiteboard

Michael Bergel, PhD, draws the structure of his team’s patented anti-cancer compounds. Photo by Michael Modecki.

Our biology team, led by Michael Bergel, PhD, has just been issued a patent for three compounds that may prevent the growth of human breast, lung and colon cancer cells.

Dr. Bergel’s team discovered and demonstrated the ability of the compounds, called “bisamidoximes,” to specifically inhibit these cancer cells in very low concentrations without killing healthy human cells at the same concentrations.

One of the compounds was effective in shrinking breast cancer tumors in mice, and all three of the compounds combined reduced colon cancer cells when used with a commercially available chemotherapy drug.

Sen. Nelson pays first visit to our Institute for Women's Leadership

Chancellor Carine Feyten with Senator Jane Nelson, Sue Bancroft, and Jill Jester touring the new IWL interactive exhibit

Sue Bancroft, left, and Sen. Nelson joined me in a “sneak peek” of the institute’s interactive gallery that will open virtually early next year.

Despite the COVID-19 delay in opening the interactive exhibit space in the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership, the work of the institute continues apace.

And this month I had the pleasure of providing a private inaugural tour of the new space to Sen. Nelson, for whom we have named the institute; Sue Bancroft, for whom the Sue S. Bancroft Women’s Leadership Hall is named; and Jill Jester, chair of our Board of Regents.

Throughout the challenges we have all faced this year, the institute has provided more than $1 million in grant funding to women-owned businesses across the state affected by COVID-19 and also provided business advisement to more than 100 women-owned companies.

As I mentioned in last month’s e-letter, we also hosted our first seminar about health care policy in the state, which Sen. Nelson introduced.

While we await an opportunity to appropriately open the institute to visitors, we are busy working on becoming a leader in research about women’s issues and a national resource for topics and issues related to women’s leadership, including:

  • Turnover in nursing and how ethical leadership can lead to greater longevity in a nurse’s career
  • How organizations can redesign workplaces to make them more women-friendly
  • A project for women of color to find their voices and be trained in producing op-editorials, and
  • A project to research and record music by women composers for wind symphonies—music that has seldom been performed and has never been recorded.

Houston nursing professor elected to national association board of directors

Sandra Cesario, PhD

Many of our nursing faculty, like Sandra Cesario, are nationally recognized and hold important leadership posts.

I am proud to share that yet another of our nursing faculty has achieved national leadership stature. Sandra Cesario (PhD ’99), our professor and PhD program director in the College of Nursing in Houston, has been voted president-elect of the board of directors of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses for 2021 and will assume the role of president on Jan. 1, 2022.

This nonprofit membership organization, which represents the interests of 350,000 registered nurses across the United States, is dedicated to improving the health of women and newborns, and strengthening the nursing profession.

TWU, Fort Worth to continue hosting NCAA women's gymnastics championships

A TWU gymnast performs

Our gymnastics team is a major source of pride for all of us. This year it is No. 1 in team GPA (3.8881) among all Divisions I, II and III women’s college gymnastics programs.

I’m pleased to share that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has selected Texas Woman's University and the City of Fort Worth to host the NCAA National Collegiate Women's Gymnastics Championships at Dickies Arena from 2023 through 2026—which will mark eight consecutive years that the championships will take place in Fort Worth.

Graduate student is rural librarian who is expanding telehealth in North Texas

TWU graduate student Dianne Connery

Dianne Connery is pursuing a master’s degree in our popular library science program.

Access to broadband internet and healthcare are challenges to rural Texans. And in a pandemic, those challenges are magnified. But, efforts by our graduate student, Dianne Connery, director of the Pottsboro Area Library, are improving her rural community’s health.

What started as keeping the library open by appointment for computer users evolved into one of five $20,000 COVID-19 Health Information Outreach Awards that the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health, awarded this year.

With plans for scales, blood pressure cuffs, web cams, microphones, and a soundproof room, Dianne hopes to provide a model for libraries across the country.

She is a member of our Transforming Libraries into Community Anchors in Rural Texas inaugural cohort and slated to graduate in December.


Haley Taylor Schlitz now eyeing path to the presidency!

TWU graduate Hayley Taylor Schlitz

Recent graduate Hayley Taylor Schlitz, now 18: law student, political activist and author!

A little more than a year ago, Hayley Taylor Schlitz (BS ’19) graduated from TWU at age 16 and went on to law school at SMU. She recently met vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, and now she has another career path in mind that could take her from Austin to Washington. We continue to be so proud of this talented young leader!

New book is a resource for young athletes

TWU alumna Amy Goodson with her new book

When the pandemic hit this year, alumna Amy Goodson (MS ’06) finally found time to write the book she has had in mind since 2013. Armed with a TWU master's degree in exercise and sports nutrition, she has pursued her passion for overall health, wellness and sports nutrition in a number of ways.

In her new book, The Sports Nutrition Playbook, the registered dietitian, adjunct faculty member and consultant provides a play-by-play on sports nutrition for athletes, coaches, trainers and parents. Full of practical, easy-to-use fueling tips and examples, it details nutrition for peak performance and recovery.

Her knowledge has been augmented over the years by her experiences working for Ben Hogan Sports Medicine, the Dallas Cowboys, the Texas Rangers and their minor league affiliates, Texas Christian University Athletics, FC Dallas Soccer, the NBA G League, Jim McLean Golf School and with many PGA Tour players, as well as with many middle school, high school and endurance athletes.


Alumna to share C-Suite challenges

TWU alumna Beverly Walker-Griffea

I invite you to join us at 6:30 p.m. Central Time Thursday, Oct. 22, for a special talk on the challenges of reaching the C-Suite given by Beverly Walker-Griffea (’04 PhD-Child Development), president of Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan.

She also was appointed last year by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the six-person Great Lakes Water Authority Board of Directors to represent citizens in Flint and other nearby areas until December 2022.

You can check in for this virtual talk starting at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday.

Athletes accompany students to polls

TWU students walk to the polls for the presidential election

I was thrilled to see a group of our athletes and their colleagues headed to vote in Denton this week. All of our teams have promoted voting on social media—and our soccer, volleyball, gymnastics and softball teams registered 100% of their players to vote. No wonder the Washington Monthly Magazine listed our university on its list of best voting universities who are showing "a repeated commitment to increasing student voting and have been transparent about the results."


Chancellor Carine Feyten smiles with her Otis L. Fowler award

In closing, I share with you a recent moment that will forever mean so much to me.

The Denton Chamber surprised me with its special Otis L. Fowler Award that it has given to some of the most extraordinary leaders in Denton since 1960—I am so humbled and honored!

This award is particularly meaningful to me because it really demonstrates the university’s true value to the community—something I am especially passionate about.

Denton is unique in having three fantastic higher education institutions which complement one another and make this community a special place.

My gratitude to all the businesses, the chamber, the nonprofits and the amazing people who are the fabric of this city.

Thanks for your interest in Texas Woman’s. As always, email me with your comments or questions. I am delighted that you have spent a few minutes with me today.

Warm Regards,

signature of Chancellor Carine Feyten






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Page last updated 4:28 PM, November 28, 2023