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G. Brint Ryan College of Business.

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Bob Garza ('74)

Roberto 'Bob' Garza never dreamed of going to college as a kid. Frankly, he knew his family could not afford it. Many of his family members did not finish high school, so college was a long shot, and working for a major corporation didn't seem possible, either.

Despite those odds, Garza did earn his high school diploma. Shortly after, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. He hoped his four years of service to his country would help him land more promising career options. When he returned to civilian life, Garza began taking computer programming classes at a technical school in Corpus Christi.

"Out of 22 students, I was the only one who graduated," Garza says. "My instructor said, 'You really have a good aptitude for logic and programming. But, you need to go get a degree.'"

That motivation led Garza to UNT, where he enrolled in the university's budding business computer information systems program, which at the time was under the business administration department in what is now the G. Brint Ryan College of Business.

Eventually, he transitioned into full-time work at UNT's data center, which gave him hands-on experience programming an IBM 360-50, the same IBM system he would later be charged with running at Southwestern Bell, the precursor to AT&T.

"I often tell folks when we're talking about my career that UNT was a lifesaver. It allowed me the opportunity to work and go to school at the same time and prepared me to go into work at a major corporation," says Garza, who worked at AT&T for 36 years before retiring as the company's governmental relations director in external affairs in 2011.





Paul Underwood  ('74)

Paul Underwood grew up the youngest of 13 children in a blue-collar home in Hillsboro. When he was 3, his father passed away, and even working three jobs, his mother struggled to make ends meet for her three boys still living at home.

His father had belonged to the Fraternity of Freemasons, and a few years after his passing, a few Masons from Hillsboro Lodge 196 visited Underwood's mother offering to send him and his two older brothers to the Fort Worth-based Masonic Home and School of Texas. She agreed, and Underwood attended the school from the time he was 10 until he was 18.

It was a tough decision, but one that paid off. Though his mother had only a sixth-grade education, and his father never learned to read or write, Underwood internalized the many lessons of self-sufficiency the Masonic Home imparted, going on to become a college graduate.

"Going to that school truly did, emotionally, physically and financially, save my life," says Underwood, who earned his accounting degree from North Texas' College of Business in 1974. "It instilled in me that education is how you overcome poverty, and I knew I did not want to live the way I did before I went to that place."

Even as a commuter student, Underwood relished campus life at UNT. Though he was an accounting major, he also loved music, and enrolled in some of the iconic 'Fessor Graham's music appreciation classes. He spent time in the Union between classes, drinking coffee and enjoying the camaraderie of the other students coming and going.

"I just felt really honored to have the privilege of going to North Texas," says Underwood, who went on to earn a B.B.A. in accounting and serve as senior auditor for the Texas Comptroller's office.



Advisory Board Member Dave Gorman


Accounting PhD candidate one of twenty-five AICPA doctoral minority fellows

Accounting PhD candidate Monica Kabutey was announced a winner of this year’s American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) doctoral minority fellowship. Renewable for up to four years, the fellowship title comes with a $12,000 scholarship and is awarded to only 24 other select minorities in the accounting field.

“As one of this year’s recipients of the AICPA doctoral minority fellowship winners, I am grateful for all the opportunities this award will provide. This scholarship is extremely valuable as it will help in paying my educational expenses, which will allow me to concentrate more of my time on studying and conducting research,” said Kabutey.

The AICPA fellowship serves to encourage diversity among accounting educators in universities and colleges across the nation. To qualify, candidates must be minorities who have earned a master’s degree or worked at least three years in the accounting industry.

“As research shows that African-Americans make up only 1% of accounting professionals, I hope to empower minorities to study accounting,” said Kabutey. “I have a passion for teaching and making accounting fun to learn.”

Prior to joining the G. Brint Ryan College of Business PhD program, Kabutey worked as a reporting analyst at the UNT system controller group.

UNT Delta Epsilon Chapter takes over the Delta Sigma Pi virtual stage

UNT’s Delta Epsilon Chapter took over the virtual stage at this year’s Delta Sigma Pi awards presentation. The college’s professional business fraternity received five prestigious recognitions, including a provincial award for Outstanding Scholastic Development, and regional awards for Outstanding Alumni Relations, Outstanding Professional Activities, Outstanding Service and the R. Nelson Mitchell Outstanding Collegiate Chapter Award.

Collectively, these awards represent the Chapter’s ability to successfully promote the goals of the fraternity, implement a comprehensive program of scholastic and professional development, integrate alumni relations and employ the overall most effective and comprehensive program of service to others.

To be honored with such distinctions, the fraternity’s nomination was reviewed extensively in three evaluation rounds, comprised of regional, provincial and national committees.
“To win numerous awards is a testament to the chapter’s overall excellence,” explained Megan Allen, communications specialist for Delta Sigma Pi.
Adding to this list of recognition, Professor Erin Welch, Chapter advisor, received Delta Sigma Pi’s Regional Chapter Advisor of the Year award. This honor highlighted Welch’s outstanding commitment to ensuring the success of the Delta Epsilon Chapter.

UNT team advances to final round of 2020 Intermodal Expo Academic Challenge

A team of UNT students placed in the top four during the annual 2020 Intermodal Expo Academic Challenge.
The competition tasked teams with responding to current import issues, as they relate to the U.S.-China trade war during today’s pandemic. From the perspective of a fictitious company, teams responded to questions regarding volume return and trade war impacts on ports.
Eight teams, in total, participated in this year’s challenge, involving two rounds of virtual presentations. Aside from UNT, competing teams included representation from Georgia Southern University, University of Maryland, University of Wisconsin at Superior, College of Charleston, University of North Florida, California State Maritime Academy and Auburn University.
The UNT students that made it to the final round included Matthew Redmond, Riley Mickley, Rebecca Zheng, Kiran Patil, Janeth Gabaldon and Bryant Caraway, led by faculty advisor Dr. Suman Niranjan. Overall, the team gained invaluable experience and knowledge throughout the processrunning optimization models that helped forecast and develop comprehensive responses to thought-provoking scenarios. 


Drs. Blair Kidwell and Virginie Lopez-Kidwell publish study on emotional ability

Drs. Blair Kidwell and Virginie Lopez-Kidwell, recently published “Birds of a Feather Feel Together: Emotional Ability Similarity in Consumer Interactions” in the Journal of Consumer Research.
Working alongside Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Fellow Erick Mas and Christopher Blocker of Colorado State University, the Kidwells' research uncovers how the similarity or differences of emotional abilities play a role in successful consumer relationships. Historically, research has argued that one party’s emotional ability drives the outcomes seen in selling interactions, service encounters and interpersonal relationships. However, the Kidwells uncovered that when two parties have similar ability-based emotional intelligence, consumer relationships have a higher level of satisfaction.

As explained in their study, “In the same way that people who speak different language dialects have a difficult time understanding each other, the verbal and nonverbal norms expressed through different emotional dialects create differences in how comfortable, understood, and validated consumers feel in exchange interactions with others.”



Dr. Meredith Rhodes talks research on market responses in crisis periods 

Dr. Meredith Rhodes discusses her research at the UNT G. Brint Ryan College of Business, which focuses on market responses in crisis periods. More specifically, she explains how the amount of information that is available and accepted plays a role in developing market responses. Similarly, Rhodes also researches how these information-dependent responses affect municipality budgets during crisis situations, such as COVID-19.
“There’s usually a defining event that causes people to realize how much they don’t know, and then they can either choose to just not know and not participate, or they can actually go and search out for more information to see if something's a good investment," explains Rhodes. 




This year, more than ever, we are thankful for the outpouring of generosity that we received from our alumni and friends. From offering advice and mentorship, to donating gifts and resources, the UNT community has united in ways that we could not have imagined.

Now, with the college’s growing enrollment, and our commitment to providing an exceptional education, we hope you continue to raise the bar.

When you consider us in your year-end giving, you are considering the direct impact you will have on more than 7,000 students. From future financial analysts to the next Chief Information Officer, your gift paves a path for student success.

Make your gift before December 31 by clicking the donate button below. Each dollar raised is one step closer to another hard-earned degree.




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