The official newsletter of the UNT
G. Brint Ryan College of Business.

View this email on the web





Angela Tortorice ('89)

Angela Tortorice needed something to help her get through her divorce.

She took up running as a way to work through the challenges that come with life.

That activity turned into something more as she decided to train and run her first marathon after learning about John Tortorice, her former husband, being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Since then, she kept going with what would become a 25-year journey of running marathons and raising money to find a cure for MS.

All of those years led her to earning a Guinness Book World Record for "Most Marathons Calendar Year – Female" and something more.

"I have met so many lifelong friends along the way and the accomplishment of being the first woman in the USA to complete 1,000 marathons was just an added bonus," Tortorice says.

When Tortorice first came to UNT, her original intent was to study in the College of Music, but after personally seeing how competitive it was, she decided to go in another direction.

She chose to pursue a degree in accounting and learned quickly that it was a great career path that was in high demand.

Along with learning about taxes, auditing, internal controls and studying for her certified public accountant exam, Tortorice played tennis with members of the UNT tennis team and was a member of the International Order of Rainbow for Girls.

Not only did she like that the campus is centrally located in DFW, but she also has cherished memories from her time in college – from the friends she made along the way to gaining financial independence because of her career choice.

In 1989, she graduated with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Accounting Control Systems and became a certified public accountant (CPA).

She went on to work as a CPA in DFW and is currently an accounting specialist for TXU Energy, where she has been an employee for over 25 years.

During her career, she continued to maintain a healthy lifestyle and routine to train for marathons  – from waking up at 5 a.m. to get in a run before work, to working out during her lunch break.

"The key is making it a habit by doing it at the same time every day, plus you know you will feel better when you are done," Tortorice says. "Working out not only boosts your energy, but also improves your mood and your health."

Published by Danielle Zachariah, UNT North Texan, Spring 2022



Cameron Allahverdi ('06)

When Cameron Allahverdi was an entrepreneurship student at UNT, he had "classic 22-year-old confidence."

He listened as entrepreneurs talked about their successes and struggles in a class taught by Eileen Resnik, the former director of UNT's Murphy Enterprise Center and executive lecturer.

"I remember saying to her I'm going to create a business right away," he says. "I convinced myself I wouldn't see failure. I remember her smiling at me and nodding. To this day, I laugh about it because I knew she was thinking: 'I can't wait to see what you say in 10 years.'"

Allahverdi has experienced the many waves of entrepreneurship, but he's found a niche as the co-owner of, which specializes in customization of cremation urns that tell the story of the deceased person. After he and his business partner, Hamza Khan, learned to promote an inclusive company culture, the business is expected to make Inc.'s 500 fastest growing companies of 2022 list.

"Now looking back, I remember every single entrepreneur I've learned about had failures or trials that brought them to the brink of giving up," he says. "But those things will happen and you just have to learn how to navigate through it."

He learned these lessons by watching his father, Ray Allahverdi ('77 MBA), who immigrated from Iran and who believed strongly in the American dream. After working in the corporate world, his dad eventually owned and operated a successful dry cleaning business in Irving.

"Since the age of about 10, I've seen him do his own thing -- the efforts, the ups and downs," Allahverdi says. "It's a roller coaster for sure. But there was something ingrained in me to want to take that on and become my own boss, too."

He eventually opened a Fox's Pizza Den franchise for two years before partnering with FBS, a Richardson-based provider of wholesale and contract screen printing, with his childhood friend Nicholas McCoy ('05).

"My passion was finding solutions to industries or seeing how something can be done better," he says.

One of their clients was an India-based company that manufactured cremation urns for which FBS handled the storage and shipping. That is when Allahverdi and Khan were inspired to join forces and combine their skillsets in manufacturing, ecommerce and customization to start

Published by Jessica DeLeón, UNT North Texan, Spring 2022


Ryan College of Business scholarship donors

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, 250 Ryan College of Business students will be one step closer to graduating debt free. With more than $470,000 awarded through 285 scholarships for this upcoming school year, the impact of our supporters’ generosity will radiate throughout the Business Leadership Building and beyond.

Scholarship gifts ensure that you are helping future business leaders attain their academic and professional dreams. Whether through immediate gifts (such as cash, securities, or real estate), endowed gifts that establish permanent support, estate and planned gifts that provide a long-lasting legacy, or matching gifts that allow employers to strengthen your support, each method of giving makes a tangible impact.

We are honored to provide assistance to so many deserving students this year, and look forward to growing our student body and the support that comes with it.

To make your impact, visit:


Financial Planning students earn more than a degree

A Certified Financial PlannerTM (CFP®) is widely accepted as the highest standard in financial planning—affirming a professional has met strict requirements in the areas of Education, Exam, Experience, and Ethics.

Not only does UNT offer the only financial planning degree in the DFW metroplex, but the program is also CFP® Board Registered – putting students on a unique and marketable career path.

“To be a registered program means our courses count for more than just a degree. They also give students the education requirement necessary to earn the CFP® marks,” says Dr. Mark Evers, Financial Planning Program director and lecturer at the G. Brint Ryan College of Business. “Completing the educational requirement unlocks a potentially lucrative career at many financial planning, wealth management, and other financial services firms.”

UNT’s program fulfills the education component of becoming a CFP® (which also enables students to sit for the exam), and it gives students a head start in completing apprenticeship experience hours through its internship program.

“Each year we certify our program and course offerings... Our courses are inspected and reviewed by the CFP® Board Education Department to ensure we are adequately addressing each of the 70 principal knowledge topics required,” explains Evers.

Juniors and seniors in the program are already reaping the benefits with full-time job offers in their back pockets, while some are even being paid by their employers to enroll in the program.

The advantages of the Financial Planning degree at UNT are many. And while one of the goals of the program is to help students pass the exam, any student can enroll and benefit from the financial literacy education it offers.


UNT professor says NFTs aren’t passing fad, they can be viable options for permanent virtual record storage

Non-fungible tokens may be the answer to some challenges presented by paper records, University of North Texas professor Kimberly Houser said.

According to the US Government Accountability Office, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digital identifiers that represent a digital or physical asset. It estimates revenue from NFTs could pass $130 billion by 2030, advancing the digital economy.

In her forthcoming article in the Utah Law Review with co-author Oklahoma State University Assistant Professor John Holden, Kimberly Houser, a clinical assistant professor in the G. Brint Ryan College of Business, said that when examining the legal issues regarding NFTs, they realized that regulating NFTs would require updates in different areas of law depending on the actual use of the NFT. An NFT is created using blockchain technology and is simply stored data. However, what can be stored goes well beyond a Bored Ape Yacht Club digital collectable. This technology enables any type of record to be stored more securely. The NFT just points to the record.

“Everybody thinks of blockchain in terms of art and creating these things you could buy or sports trading cards,” Houser said. “We discovered that this underlying technology of blockchain with the use of NFTs has some other uses. In Africa, school children, for example, move around a lot. They go to a lot of different schools. It’s difficult for them because if they were forced out because of war, they have no access to everything that they've already done. Some of them are now using blockchain technology to create permanent academic records, which are held in NFTs.”

Once the NFT is recorded on the blockchain, it can’t be deleted, which creates an opportunity for records to be kept no matter where the child goes. It also can be used to track goods in a supply chain using RFID chips or replacing recording offices for deeds or corporate records.

“The promise of NFTs extends to virtually every industry; however, our present system is ill equipped to regulate their use,” Houser said. “NFTs and their underlying technologies offer incredible opportunities which could serve to make government more efficient, food and drug products safer and provide a method to create immutable records while protecting the data contained therein. Those who discount NFTs as a fad are missing the bigger picture.”

Published by Trista Moxley, UNT News, July 2022

Study Abroad program builds worldly business perspective 

Ten Ryan College of Business students are spending eight weeks in Ireland as part of a hybrid faculty-led Study Abroad program and international internship.

The students are able to learn and work in Ireland as part of the uniquely designed program that incorporates both academic learning and international internship placements, with the added bonus of organized cultural immersion events and travel. Traveling to locations such as Belfast, Zurich, Amsterdam, Vienna, Milan, Venice and Paris during their 2-month stay will open up doors and expand horizons.
The program was designed by Associate Dean Tracy Dietz to enable students to complete a full 12-hour course load over the summer. While the program allows students to complete an entire semester’s worth of credits, it does much more than that. Fewer than 1% of students in the US participate in a study abroad program, and fewer than 10% of those complete an international internship. This experience is truly inimitable and sets students apart from their peers when they graduate and interview for career positions.
While in Dublin, the students completed a Special Topics course in International Business that requires them to apply academic perspectives to their hands-on experience in the international work environment, plus a global leadership course through Fairfield University.
UNT also partnered with Global Experiences, a company that specializes in internship placements around the world. Ryan students are among more than 80 students living at University College-Dublin and working in full-time internships in Dublin.


Get paid to start a legacy with a charitable gift annuity

Did you know that there’s an easy way to share your legacy with UNT, earn an income tax deduction, and enjoy the benefits of lifetime payments? It’s all possible through an impact charitable gift annuity (CGA).

In exchange for a gift of $25,000 or more, UNT will send you lifetime payments at a fixed rate. You just need to designate UNT Ryan College of Business to receive the first three to five years of payments. At the end of the term, and for the rest of your life, you will receive the payments.

Some of the wonderful benefits you can expect through a CGA include:

  • Lifetime income
  • Income that is partially tax-free throughout your life expectancy
  • A charitable deduction for a portion of your gift
  • Fixed rates that don’t fluctuate with the stock market or interest rates
  • The opportunity to designate a loved one as the recipient of the income
  • Savings on capital gains taxes if you contribute appreciated securities

Most of all, you’ll know that you're making a difference on our mission today and tomorrow.

Contact Assistant Dean of Development Jessica Steinke to learn more or start your UNT legacy today:


UNT names Brandon Buzbee vice president for university advancement

Brandon Buzbee has been named vice president for university advancement at the University of North Texas.

Buzbee, whose appointment as leader of the Division of University Advancement is effective August 29, is charged with developing and implementing institutional advancement strategies that align with the UNT strategic plan to significantly increase constituent engagement and fundraising outcomes. He will oversee UNT’s philanthropic initiatives, including major and annual gifts, corporate, foundation, private endowment development, and the UNT Alumni Association.

“Brandon’s energy and enthusiasm, experience building an effective team and modern advancement apparatus, execution of large capital campaigns, and ability to relate to our constituents were key elements in our decision to appoint him as UNT’s next advancement leader,” UNT President Neal Smatresk said.

Buzbee is charged with increasing engagement with UNT’s alumni base and harnessing the untapped potential of corporate and foundation partnerships in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Mean Green family. In my time with members of the foundation and UNT staff and faculty, it was clear there is a deep and unified commitment to the students who attend UNT and their success,” said Buzbee, who comes to UNT from the University of Denver. “UNT has been on an incredible trajectory under President Smatresk's leadership and I look forward to joining efforts with our alumni, community and corporations to further propel UNT into a promising future.”

Published by Trista Moxley, UNT News, July 2022



Alumnus Wilson Jones (’85) and his wife, Jane, donated $5 million to the college earlier this year to create a new career center in the G. Brint Ryan College of Business. This generous gift will not only go towards the build out of a space that will serve to better prepare students for successful careers, but it will also fund the hiring of new staff and resources to support the college's growing student body. Working in conjunction with this gift, the Wilson Jones Endowment for Ryan College of Business Career Support Services will provide additional assistance to reach these goals and support services that promote career readiness.

The Dean’s Excellence Fund also provides immediate, essential support to our students. This fund serves as a vital resource to help our students and campus respond to opportunities and challenges as they occur. When you support the Dean’s Excellence Fund, you support the strategic vision of the college by allowing the Dean to have flexibility in directing the use of resources to the priorities of the college during this difficult time.

Frank Dudowicz was an ardent supporter of the G. Brint Ryan College of Business. Before he passed away on May 1, 2022, one of his final requests was to have memorials be made to the Ryan College of Business Communications Support Fund, a testament to his ongoing efforts to be a positive force in the UNT community. Donations made to the Communications Support Fund aid Dudowicz’s most recent board efforts to increase brand awareness for the Ryan College of Business. Click here to honor Frank's memory with a gift.



Join our mailing list
@UNTRyanBusiness @UNTRyanBusiness
@UNTRyanBusiness @UNTRyanBusiness
Copyright © 2022
University of North Texas
G. Brint Ryan College of Business

Our mailing address:
1155 Union Circle #311160
Denton, TX 76203-5017

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can
 view our privacy policy or unsubscribe from this list 


.  .