Skipper

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    Mean Green Eagle
  1. Campus Crime Map

    Sarah Lagro | Senior Staff Writer Crimes on campus that occurred within the last month. View the full article
  2. Torie Mosley | Staff Writer @toriemosley North Texas swimming and diving is making the 2015-2016 season a year to remember. At 7-3 in dual meets so far this season, the Mean Green is off to its best start in school history. The seven victories also mark the second-most in team history, the seventh coming in a dominating 180-120 win on senior day against Texas Christian University last Friday at the last North Texas home dual meet this season. “It’s overwhelming,” senior Bianca Bocsa said. “I’m really proud of this team. [People] have no idea how much work we put into this. We woke up [Friday] morning with the thought of ‘We’re going to beat TCU.’” The Mean Green blew past TCU early in the meet before going on to win each of the first 10 swimming events, winning 12 of the 16 total events overall. Junior Samantha Scheck and senior Jasmine Abercrombie shined on the boards for North Texas, with Scheck placing second and third in the one and three meter competitions and Abercrombie finishing fourth in both events. Scheck’s scores of 263.92 on the 1-meter and 254.10 on the 3-meter are the best by a Mean Green diver this season. Abercrombie’s 1-meter score of 249.22 and 3-meter 249.97 score was the second-best by a North Texas diver all season. The win was just the fourth North Texas victory against the Horned Frogs in 23 all-time meetings. “TCU is a good rivalry for us,” head coach Brendon Bray said. “We need meets like this to make us swim our fastest.” Bocsa has swam fast for the Mean Green all season. The senior was a part of three of the wins against TCU and took first place in meets against University of the Incarnate Word, Liberty University, Rice University and the University of Houston. “Bianca’s really hard-working and a really good leader for our team,” Bray said. “She works hard in practice and always leads by example.” The Mean Green honored Bocsa along with Abercrombie, Nichelle Balcaen, Gaby Colunga, Haley Goertz, Zoe James, Sarah Manning and Ashley Payne on senior night. But it was freshman Rebekah Bradley who stole the show, earning Conference USA Swimmer of the Week honors for her performance against TCU, where she finished first place in both the 100-yard and 200-yard strokes. She said helping send the team’s seniors off with a win in the last home meet made this season even more special. “I’ve never experienced something like that before,” Bradley said. “It was cool that all the parents came out and supported. The seniors really deserved to go out like that.” Bradley joined the team in January and has had first place finishes in every meet with the Mean Green so far. Bradley and Sophomore Sarah Vaisse combined for two of the last three C-USA swimmers of the week. Vaisse also said she felt proud to be a part of the senior’s last home win. “All the seniors did really well all season,” Vaisse said. “That was the best gift that we could give them. I’m really glad the seniors get to end their career at UNT with a win. It’s the only way to end it right.” Although the Mean Green started the season with a 1-3 start, North Texas has gone on a 6-0 win streak, with its last lost at Rice in November. Preparing the squad for the conference tournament later this month is the main thing on Bray’s mind from this point forward once the team plays Southern Methodist University at 5 p.m. on Saturday Feb. 6. “We just want to be at our best at the tournament,” Bray said. “That’s all that matters.” Featured Image: North Texas swimming and diving is off to its best start in history with 7-3 in dual meets so far this season. File Photo | North Texas Daily View the full article
  3. Torie Mosley | Staff Writer @toriemosley After a close first half, North Texas men’s basketball scored 41 second half points to blow out the University of Southern Mississippi 70-54 at home for its first win in over three weeks. The Mean Green had dropped five games in a row headed into tonight’s matchup, three by double digits. Adding to the team’s woes, North Texas lost freshman center Rickey Brice Jr. after being elbowed in practice by a teammate just days after losing 81-76 to Western Kentucky University. Brice then failed a concussion test, causing the 7-foot-1 center to miss a required 10 days of action due to NCAA rules. Brice returned to the court tonight with a dominant 11 point, five rebound and three block performance. Head coach Tony Benford said the freshman did a great job stepping back into his role as a dominant big for the Mean Green. “We really missed Rickey,” Benford said. “He plays with a lot of energy and passion. He’s just got to quit looking at the crowd every time he scores and get back on defense.” Brice played more minutes in the second half after freshman forward Khalil Fuller left the game when a collision with a Southern Miss player sent him crashing to the floor. “Khalil really changed my attitude,” Brice said. “Seeing him in pain, I told him before the [second] half, ‘I’m going to play for you and give it all I got.’” The center did just that in the second half, hitting a couple key shots and throwing down a two-handed dunk that sent the Super Pit into a frenzy to help North Texas pull away with the lead. Two second-half Brice blocks added to the great overall defensive play by the Mean Green. “It was amazing,” Brice said. “It’s horrible sitting and not helping on the court, so it was a great experience. I’m glad I’m back.” At 8-14, North Texas has nine games left to try and climb the Conference-USA standings from its current 12th place rank. With Louisiana Tech University (17-5, 6-3) coming to the Super Pit on Saturday, junior guard J-Mychal Reese felt great to help get the five-game losing streak off the team’s back. “It always feels good to get a win,” Reese said. “Tonight we played defense, rebounded the ball and kept them out the lane, and that really helped us.” View the full article
  4. Torie Mosley | Staff Writer @toriemosley North Texas men’s basketball is back in the win column after clinching a key conference victory tonight at the Super Pit. The Mean Green (8-14, 3-6) defeated the University of Southern Mississippi University 70-54 in its first home game since mid-January, putting an end to its five-game losing streak. North Texas went 47 percent from beyond the arch, and got big performances from junior guard J-Mychal Reese (19 points) and sophomore forward Jeremy Combs to fuel the victory. Combs scored 14 points, but came one rebound short of his eighth straight double-double. The team’s chemistry showed on the court with energetic play throughout the game. Fresh off a three game road trip, the Mean Green played an up-tempo game with Southern Miss (7-13, 4-5) early on, going on a 17-6 run to start the first half. A 9-0 Southern Miss run would cut the lead to two before freshman guard Ja’Michael Brown hit back-to-back threes to make the score 23-15 with just over five minutes left in the first half. Freshman center Rickey Brice Jr. turned the ball over four times in his first seven minutes, but helped the Mean Green out defensively off the bench with three blocks, including the Mean Green’s only swat of the first half. Southern Miss took advantage of those turnovers and put the pressure on the Mean Green with an 11-6 run to end the half. With 1:26 left in the first half, freshman forward Khalil Fuller fell to the ground hard after a big collision with a Southern Miss player and did not return. North Texas headed to the locker room up 29-26 at the break, but came out firing on all cylinders in the second half. A two-handed Combs dunk off a Reese assist brought life to the Super Pit and put North Texas up 35-33 early in the second half. Brice threw down another two-handed flush, followed by a mid-range jump shot a couple of possessions later to give the Mean Green a 39-34 lead in the tight matchup. Then, the Mean Green’s long range shooting heated up again. Junior guard Carrington Ward drained a trey to put the home team up 48-37 with 8 minutes left. Reese connected on a three a few possessions later to put North Texas up 58-45, and a Deckie Johnson made three just a minute later stretched out the Mean Green’s lead to 61-47 with 3:32 left to cap off the win. Next up for North Texas is a Saturday matchup at the Super Pit against Louisiana Tech University (16-5), the third ranked team in Conference USA. Tip-off is at 3 p.m. View the full article
  5. Clay Massey | Staff Writer @Clay_FC Woeful offense and 26 turnovers got the best of North Texas in a conference clash with the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, as the Mean Green fell 57-38 in Hattiesburg, MS. North Texas (8-11, 3-6) has now lost four of its last five. Senior forward Achiel Tac led the way for the Mean Green with 12 points and seven rebounds, but the rest of the offense struggled, helping the Golden Eagles remain undefeated at home. “We can’t beat anybody with 20 turnovers,” head coach Jalie Mitchell said. “I thought they punished us inside, and I thought that’s where we lost it a little bit. They made a conscious effort to take it inside on us.” North Texas took a while to get going and never led for the entire game. Candice Adams sparked a 6-0 Mean Green run with her 78th career three-pointer, moving her into 8th all-time on the North Texas career three-point list. “It’s great to have, but I’m still going to play the game,” Adams said. “I’m not going to worry about that until we accomplish a bigger goal, which is to make it to the tournament.” The 6-0 Mean Green run put them within five of Southern Miss, but North Texas went cold at the end of the first half, making just one of its last eight field goals. Southern Miss, on the other hand, finished strong to take a 33-23 lead into halftime. The game only went downhill from there for the Mean Green. North Texas only scored four points in the third quarter, their second worst quarter-mark of the season. The Mean Green shot only 15.4% from the field in the third quarter, taking over six minutes to get on the board. The shooting woes continued into the fourth quarter, as North Texas  scored only 15 points in the entire second half. North Texas also struggled from the free throw line, going 6-15 for 40 percent on the night. Southern Miss freshman phenom Caitlin Jenkins, a candidate for Conference USA Freshman of the Year, helped widen the margin in the second half, coming out firing for a 12 points in the third and fourth quarters after going after North Texas shut her out in the first half. The Golden Eagles also made the most of North Texas turnovers, with 24 points coming off Mean Green mishaps. “They’re scoring half their points off our turnovers. So if we cut our turnovers, then maybe it would have been a different game,” Tac said. “We didn’t give ourselves opportunities tonight on the offensive end.” North Texas returns to action with a Saturday night road contest at Louisiana Tech University. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. “Hopefully we can make shots,” Mitchell said, “especially lay-ups and free-throws.” View the full article
  6. Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer @ReeceTapout15 The North Texas football team released its 2016 schedule Friday afternoon, and the Seth Littrell era will officially begin on Sept. 3 with a home game against rival Southern Methodist University. It is the second season in a row North Texas will open with a game against the Mustangs. Seven of the Mean Green’s 12 opponents competed in a bowl game last season, with the toughest match-up of the season likely coming when North Texas travels to play the University of Florida in Gainesville on Sept. 17. It is the second meeting of all time between the two schools. Unlike last season, the Mean Green will have six home games at Apogee Stadium. Along with SMU, North Texas will also play host to Bethuane Cookman University, Marshall University, Middle Tennessee State University, Louisiana Tech University and the University of Southern Mississippi. The Mean Green also do not have a Thursday game this season and play all of their games on a Saturday. North Texas will play the same conference opponents as it did a year ago and will have a mid-season bye, as opposed to one to begin the year. The bye comes on Oct. 15 in between a home game against Marshall and a road contest at Army, giving them an extra week to prepare for Army’s triple option offense. Featured Image: The football team stands at the entrance to Apogee Stadium before a game against Western Kentucky. Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer View the full article
  7. Chelsea Watkins | Staff Writer @chello The student body president is now working for the UNT Police Department. Along with being Student Government Association president, Adam Alattry will intern with the UNT police as a policy analyst this semester. Alattry sought an internship position with the UNT police to fulfill his capstone requirement for his political science major. During his internship, Alattry will be assisting with accreditation and policy management, where he will look into policies to make sure they are up-to-date and help create police training materials. He will also transfer materials to new software the police department is adopting. Lieutenant David Owen said the new system will allow police officers to take training courses online and will include testing. Training is a large part of the police department, as it is required to keep their accreditation status. The UNT police are accredited through both the Calea standard and Iaclea standard, which means they must continuously train officers and update policies. The police department has a little more than a hundred policies, Owens said. “What Adam is going to be doing is working with [Peg Gant] to make sure training is meeting standards,” Owens said. The police department doesn’t typically advertise internships for students, as positions vary from year to year. However, any students interested in interning for them can contact them to inquire about available positions, he said. “It really depends on their interest,” Owens said. In this case, Owens said their need for help in the adoption of this new system fit well with Alattry’s career interests. As SGA president, Alattry was also a part of the campus carry task force and helped draft the recommendations for campus carry laws and rules for UNT that was sent to the board of regents. “Now the UNT police department is going to need a policy specifically for campus carry and how they are going to deal with active shooter situations,” Alattry said. “As a student body president, I was able to help draft that initial thing and then I’m gonna help draft the procedure at UNT PD.” Alattry said he recently enlisted in the Army to work as an intelligence analyst and will be shipping off this summer. “I think this [internship] will help me a lot with the policy aspect of a lot of the things that I’ll be working with,” he said. Featured Image: SGA president Adam Alattry explains what his job as a policy analyst at the UNT Police Department is. Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer View the full article
  8. Alejandro Medellin | Staff Writer @skinny_fats Students were concerned that several fire alarms have gone off at the University Union in recent weeks, but University Union director Zane Reif said there’s nothing to be worried about. The building, which opened late last semester, is still in the adjustment period, as it opened several new retail spaces and restaurants earlier in the semester. Reif said invisible laser beams would set off the fire alarm if blocked by smoke, a person or maybe a balloon. These laser beams are adept at smoke detection, but their sensitive nature requires attention from Union staff. “They are designed for smoke, but if people are working on the ceiling, they need to have them disabled before they block them,” Reif said. Featured Image: Illustration | Samuel Wiggins View the full article
  9. Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer @ReeceTapout15 Courtney Anderson | Staff Writer @CPaigeA23 Cookies, drinks and bags of green and white balloons filled the third floor HUB Club at Apogee Stadium Wednesday night, with flat-screen TVs scattered across the venue looping highlights of the 19 new North Texas signees. The North Texas athletics department hosted a Signing Day Meet and Greet, open to all Mean Green fans, for supporters to forget about last year’s dismal 1-11 season and look ahead to the future. Hundreds of North Texas alumni and fans mingled and chatted about all things UNT football, with free appetizers and a cash bar accompanying them. This was an event designed for fans to interact with head coach Seth Littrell and his new coaching staff. Even UNT president Neal Smatresk stopped by to offer his support. “I look at this coach and I see the next UNT dynasty,” Smatresk said. “I see a team that’s going to do great things. I see a new energy and a new attitude.” But the event was not only designed for fan interaction. Fundraising was also an important part of the planning and thought process that went into making the occasion possible. “[We wanted to] get early ticket sales, to be honest with you,” deputy athletic director Hank Dickenson said. “We wanted to get people fired up and want them to know we’re selling tickets now.” With this past football season showing record-low attendance at home games, there is a strong push for fans to back the football program. Long-time donor and the man UNT’s softball field is named after, Don Lovelace, had only positive words for what he believes will be the turnaround for North Texas football. “I think we’re going to be a consistent winner and put a team on the field where we as fans can be very proud of,” Lovelace said. “The more we win, the more fans will come. So I’m very confident in the future of this program.” The outpouring of support for the team and its new head coach was apparent, with several donors and alumni expressing their encouragement for the future of North Texas football. One season ticket holder, UNT class of 2004 alum Bryan Waddle, is even renewing his Mean Green Club membership. “The lack of urgency in general is what led me to cancel my membership, the fans and boosters not demanding more,” Waddle said. “There needs to be an expectation of winning. But I intend to renew my membership tonight for this season.” Another Mean Green Club member, UNT class of 2004 alum Curt Garner, said he has been coming to this event every year since he’s graduated from North Texas. The level of excitement showcased at the Meet and Greet gives Garner optimism, especially considering the Mean Green’s lack of success in recent seasons. “I really like seeing the spirit behind this program and people being enthused,” Garner said. “It’s nice to know that there are people who still have that passion for UNT football despite the last two years. To have an event of this size with a new coach, it really says a lot for the support that’s out there for the program.” Head Coach Seth Littrell talks with students during the signing day meet and greet at Apogee Stadium. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer The amount of people that descended upon Apogee even surprised North Texas athletic director Rick Villarreal, who saw supporters he had never seen before. “Sometimes you don’t realize the numbers you have,” Villarreal said. “Our base is bigger than we know it is. Having an event like this with the excitement surrounding Coach Littrell, and seeing the new faces and some old faces come back is really important. It makes a statement that people believe we are in a position to take our rightful place where we ought to be.” Before the main festivities began, Littrell introduced each assistant coach during a brief presentation, so fans could put faces to the names. Senior associate athletic director John Nitardy said it was important to give fans a face-to-face experience with the ones who will be leading the Mean Green next season. “To have people come out and meet with these coaches and talk to these coaches one-on-one is just great,” Nitardy said. “The coaches have come in on such short notice and have been kind of running around trying to settle in. I think it’s a great opportunity.” The next time North Texas will take the football field publically will be in April for the team’s annual spring game, followed by the team’s season opener against Southern Methodist University on Saturday, Sept. 3. Littrell said he’s looking forward to getting back to work and putting on a show for North Texas fans. “The support I’ve seen tonight is awesome,” Littrell said. “I can’t wait for the season to start and to show everyone what this team can do.” Featured Image: Hundreds crowd around Dave Barnett and Seth Littrell during the signing day meet and greet. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer View the full article
  10. Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer @ReeceTapout15 Nineteen signees were a part of the 2016 North Texas recruiting class when the faxes started coming in on Wednesday morning. Headlined by graduate quarterback Alec Morris and redshirt freshman defensive tackle Bryce English, the Mean Green picked up nine offensive and 10 defensive players when the dust settled. Since his hire in December, head coach Seth Littrell and his staff have hit the road hard, looking for recruits at the high school, junior college and collegiate levels. Littrell has taken it upon himself to rebrand the team, including starting a new Twitter page, #UNTouchable, and coining the phrase #SoarWithTheMeanGreen, in hopes of turning the program around. “In talking with everyone, they see the brand and they see the vision,” Littrell said. “You drive down I-35, and you see this stadium. It’s an unbelievable place, and there is a lot to talk about.” Senior transfer quarterback Alec Morris stands for a portrait at Apogee Stadium. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer Littrell’s vision is one Morris and English admired when considering UNT as a school to transfer to. For English especially, it was the selling point to why he chose to suit up for the Mean Green. “Coach Littrell, everyone, they just had a big vision of turning this program around,” English said. “The culture, the atmosphere, everything. They’re making it all about UNT football.” Along with Morris and English, Littrell and his staff managed to recruit three high school wide receivers: Rico Bussey Jr., Deion Griffin and Tyler Wilson. With wide receivers playing a large role in Littrell’s spread offensive scheme, improving depth at the position was one of Littrell’s many goals. New offensive coordinator Graham Harrell, an air raid disciple of Mike Leach during his playing career at Texas Tech University, is excited to implement the spread offense at North Texas. Nevertheless, he anticipates a few obstacles along the way. “The way you practice and the way you do everything is going to be totally different,” Harrell said. “It’s going to be a challenge, but the thing about what we’re going to do is we’re going to keep it simple. We’re not going to make it complicated for the guys. We don’t want them thinking, we just want them playing and reacting.” Another recruit the Mean Green picked up was quarterback Mason Fine from Locust Grove, Oklahoma. A two-time Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year, Fine came to North Texas despite an offer to walk-on at the University of Oklahoma. Although Fine will only be a freshman in the fall, Littrell was adamant Fine would compete for the starting quarterback job with Morris and incumbent starter DaMarcus Smith. “I tell every one of these guys, no one is guaranteed anything when they come here,” Littrell said. “You’re going to have to earn everything you get on the field. So for me to sit here and say which individuals have the better opportunity, I don’t know. We’ll find out when they get here. Whoever the best guys are will play.” Redshirt freshman transfer Bryce English stands for a portrait at Apogee Stadium. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer Morris, a two-time national champion with the Crimson Tide, agreed with his coach. “No position is ever guaranteed in this game,” Morris said. “If someone is better than somebody, they should be playing. No questions asked.” At Alabama, Morris primarily saw action in a pro-style offense, which is more centered around a run game and balanced passing attack. So when the idea of leading an offense that throws the ball almost exclusively came about, Morris jumped at the opportunity. “I think any quarterback would be really excited to jump into this kind of system,” Morris said. “The opportunity to throw the ball, however many times a game, is something that no quarterback is not going to like.” North Texas has 212 days to prepare for its first game of the 2016 season—a clash with rival Southern Methodist University at Apogee Stadium. And while the first snap is months away, Littrell is confident the team is already on the right track. “I feel like we have laid a great foundation with this class,” Littrell said. “We have addressed some immediate needs at certain positions, and we look forward to developing all of these guys to get our program to where we want it to be.” Featured Image: Head Coach Seth Littrell answers questions during a press conference on National Signing Day. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer View the full article
  11. Nikki Lyssy | Staff Writer @Blindnikkii A symphony of sounds greets anyone who walks through the doors of the North Texas Animal Shelter: barks; meows; the calls of animals waiting for a human friend. Along with cats, dogs are one of the animals you can adopt at the shelter. Nathan Roberts | Staff Photographer Every week, the North Texas Animal Club gathers to interact and engage with shelter animals. Psychology sophomore Alyssa Gallacher, the club’s president, said former club president Mallory Schier created the club on the same principles as the all-inclusive, community-serving World Echoes club, which she was also part of. “[She] started up the club because she had bounced around from club to club trying to find her niche,” Gallacher said. “A lot of people are more comfortable with animals than they are with people.” Psychology freshman and NTAC vice president Karissa Deanbugai said the club was started to help people connect to like-minded individuals around them. “A lot of people find it easier to talk with an animal in their hands,” Deanbugai said. As club president, Gallacher is responsible for organizing events, one of which is Fuzzy Friday. The event, which will take place April 1, is the club’s biggest and will feature shelter animals from the community that UNT students can play with. History sophomore Mia Rook said she has enjoyed being a member of the club. “I like the fact that they do so much community work,” Rook said. “They work with a lot of shelters who have a high euthanization rate.” Rook said her favorite event from last year’s Fuzzy Friday was designed for disabled dogs, called “dogs in wheelchairs.” She expressed her excitement for an even bigger event this year. Psychology freshman Karissa Deanbugai pets one of the cats at the shelter. Nathan Roberts | Staff Photographer The club’s advisor, English professor Kelly Mitchell, became involved with the club after Gallacher, who was enrolled in one of the professor’s classes, asked her if she would be interested. “I have a love of animals, pets and dogs,” Mitchell said. “So I agreed to be an administrator for the club.” As the club’s advisor, Mitchell approves meetings and content, as well as outings and events. She said the club gives her a connection to students with whom she works on a daily basis. “I have a kinship with my students very often, so I want to help and participate with them, not only to be a mentor for them, [but also] to support such a good cause,” Mitchell said. “I personally have three dogs, and we’re trying to raise awareness and get these homeless animals adopted out.” Featured Image: The Animal Shelter has seven cats up for adoption. Nathan Roberts | Staff Photographer View the full article
  12. Haley Yates | Staff Writer @haleysocoollike Slumped in a corner of Willis Library, the Factory buzzes and whirs as students interact with machines, creating gizmos and gadgets. Locked behind cabinets are tools to build interactive robots, virtual reality goggles and enough audio and video gear to film a professional movie. When the Factory opened in October 2014, the main attraction was a new 3-D printer that was available to students, faculty and staff. Before, only engineering students had access to the only 3-D printer on campus, which is located in the FabLab. Factory lab administrator Judy Hunter said she wanted to create a cross-disciplined three-dimensional learning space in the library. “We wanted the library to be a place where anybody could come and work together,” she said. This semester, the Factory received a Texas State Library and Archives Commission Grant, which provided a chance to get new equipment for the lab. This was used to collect feedback from the university on what they wanted. A survey was sent out to students and faculty to see what curriculum-based projects might need special equipment and what the students wanted. “Some people had some really in-depth projects that they were throwing at us,” Hunter said. “We want to be able to support the variety of what students need.” Hunter said without the survey, they might not have gotten sewing machines with the new grant, but it was such a common request that they decided to get two. The Factory offers a seven-day checkout for most equipment, and items can be placed on hold for personal and class projects in the future. Last semester, the 3-D printer did more than three times as many print jobs as the previous semester. “The numbers keep escalating each semester, which is fantastic,” Hunter said. “It’s what we’re here for.” The 3-D printers use filaments to make board game pieces, phone cases, toys, functioning tools and any other tangible object students or faculty might need. The only roadblock one might encounter during a project is precision. The printers in the Factory are considered “hobby-grade” equipment, meaning they aren’t advanced enough to print motor parts or professional-grade gear. “We have to be clear with students to make sure that their expectations match what we can provide for them,” Hunter said. “We limit only if we feel it’s something our equipment isn’t designed to do, or if it’s not appropriate for the quality they’re looking for.” Jeffrey McCullui, a Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate and Factory employee, said many students stop by to look at the equipment and ask questions. “I’ll ask them what they’re interested in and try to relate something we have to their interest,” McCullui said. “It’s not hard because there is so much stuff, and there’s a lot of relate-ability with what we have here.” To make room for the new equipment received through the grant, the Factory will expand and take place of the printer room in Willis Library. Students and faculty will soon be able to work on projects in an open space equipped with resources and a staff available to help answer questions. “There’s not a lot of space to hang out and work on stuff, but once we get a larger area I think a lot more students will be coming by,” McCullui said. The Maker Movement is a term used to describe the new push of hands-on involvement in technology and engineering in kindergarten through 12th grade schools. Many universities caught the tail end of this movement and are just now receiving the tools to create a “maker space” like the Factory. “I’ve hired a few students that worked at Dallas’ maker space or Austin’s maker space,” Hunter said.  “A lot of the times, people who worked at children’s museums have experience with the equipment.” Maker spaces have opened up across the country, offering a similar environment to that of the Factory. The community gathers together to share resources, work on projects and have access to equipment like 3-D printers, laser cutters and robotics kits. The Factory offers student-led workshops for those who want to learn more about the new tech. Each workshop focuses on a specific item or program that the Factory has available, and there are technical assistants onsite to answer questions and ease concerns about the complicated systems. “Our goal is to be able to show that we’re making an impact on students to have a better experience while they’re here at the university,” Hunter said. “And to walk away with a larger skill set that will help them as they move forward.” Featured Image: Two miniature radial airplane engines printed by UNT’s first 3-D printer, located in the fabrication lab of the Art Building. The engines took roughly four hours each to make. File Photo View the full article
  13. Alex Lessard | Associate Sports Editor @alexlikechexmix Since becoming head coach of the Mean Green women’s tennis team in 2006, Sujay Lama has proven his knack for finding talent from all over the world to fill his roster every season. But due to the diversity of his teams, bringing in two players from the same city and country can be tough to come by.  This year he broke that trend. “Recruiting is a competitive thing. You snooze, you lose,” Lama said. Senior Kamilla Galieva and freshman Maria Kononova both grew up in Ufa, Russia, the capital city of the Republic of Bashkortostan. Tennis is not one of the most popular sports in Russia, but coming to the United States to compete on the collegiate level was a special opportunity.  Kononova said she barely considered college tennis at all in high school  but was convinced by her father that she should look into the possibility. Once she visited the U.S. for the first time in Florida, her college application process began. “I tried to take some exams like the SAT. I did pretty good, and my coach in Russia knew [Lama],” Kononova said. “I can say it was kind of destiny, because Kamilla was here also. So I decided to try.” The comfort of having her teammates’ aid and a native of her hometown around has made Kononova’s transition to life in the U.S. seamless. She said learning a new language and adapting to a new culture was difficult at first, but the patience and kindness of her peers allowed her to feel comfortable, particularly with the support of Galieva.  Despite a three-year age difference, the duo formed a close friendship after playing against each other in tournaments growing up. When Kononova was making her final decision on which college to choose, she asked Galieva about North Texas, who had nothing but great things to say about the school.. “I think it was a benefit for me to know that she’s here,” Kononova said. “She was ready to help me with what I need and give me advice.” For Galieva, the road to Denton was a bit longer. She played her freshman season at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, but the school’s tennis program was stripped the following year, leaving her in search of a new school to transfer to. After the Trojans defeated the Mean Green in the Sun Belt conference tournament, Galieva talked with coach Lama about finding a way to come to North Texas. “When I saw them, how they were fighting and were a really good team, I just wanted to come here,” Galieva said. “It was my first choice. I just wanted to go to North Texas.” While Lama typically has to travel to obtain top-tier international talent, he coincidentally didn’t have to travel to Russia to find his Ufa duo. Nevertheless, he still spends a lot of time traveling overseas throughout the season to find future talent, often taking the international trips just days after making travel arrangements. “You don’t really have a choice to make those trips,” Lama said. “You make it when it’s time to make it.” Lama’s first priority while scouting young players is always to evaluate their on-court skills, but academics are equally important to him. Galieva and Kononova were both outstanding students in high school, exemplifying exactly the type of work ethic Lama looks for. “They seize the moment, and they’re appreciative of what they get here,” Lama said. “I never have to worry about them not putting forth their best effort, showing up late or not going to school because they take everything very seriously.” Goals of winning the Conference USA tournament and maintaining a high academic standard give Lama plenty to be focused on each year. This season, one of his biggest challenges has been managing an equally youthful and experienced roster. Aside from junior Alexis Thoma, the entire team is comprised of only freshmen and seniors. As a result, Lama has asked his seniors to take on a larger leadership role this season. Galieva said she has embraced the opportunity to mold the freshmen into close, supportive teammates. In Russia, players only compete in singles matches, often growing up without the experience of playing in a team atmosphere. That has led Galieva to spend even more time working with her freshman counterpart. “When you’re on the team, you have to fight for each other. You have to be together,” Galieva said. “Even if you lose your match, you have to go support your teammate. I feel like I’m trying to tell her how to do it the right way.” Featured Image: Freshman tennis player Maria Kononova laughs with teammate freshman Tamuna Kubtubidze during a practice. Courtesy | North Texas Athletics View the full article
  14. Torie Mosley | Staff Writer @toriemosley In just his third season coaching the North Texas women’s swim team, Brendon Bray has already etched his name in the record books by orchestrating the best start to a season in Mean Green history. “Coaching for North Texas has been a blast for me,” Bray said. After a collegiate swim career at the University of Utah and the University of Washington, Bray entered the coaching realm as an undergraduate assistant coach with the Huskies immediately after graduating in 2004. A year later, he became the men’s and women’s team’s assistant coach from 2005-2007, where he helped coach several NCAA Championships participants and recruited some of the top players in the nation. From there, Bray landed an assistant women’s swimming coaching gig at San Diego State University in 2007 – a program that finished in last place at the Mountain West Conference meet five straight seasons prior to Bray’s arrival. Bray bucked that trend, leading SDSU to its first Mountain West Championship in 2011, its second in 2013, a 26-1 record in dual meets, and three Mountain West Swimmers of the Year. “I learned a lot about what it took to be a successful swim coach at San Diego State,” Bray said. “Working with all the great coaches and athletes there prepared me to be able to handle taking over as head coach here.” Women’s swimming head coach Brandon Brey poses for a portrait after their meet against TCU. Nathan Roberts | Staff Photographer The San Francisco native left SDSU to join the North Texas as its head coach in 2013 in the Mean Green’s inaugural season in Conference USA. In that season, North Texas set four program records, with three NCAA B-qualifying times in three events. Although achieving success with the Mean Green didn’t take long, Bray said starting over with an entirely new roster was a huge adjustment. “At San Diego State, we had really high-level swimmers that were really successful. Here I had to learn to work with the swimmers I hadn’t recruited,” Bray said. “I had to work really hard to build relationships with them and have them trust me, and that takes time. You just can’t walk in the door and do that right away.” Senior Bianca Bocsa started swimming for the Mean Green the year before Bray arrived and said he’s one of the best coaches she’s ever had. “Since he came to this team, he believed in me,” Bocsa said. “My freshman year wasn’t a very good year, but he’s so flexible and always tries to please everybody, which not a lot of coaches are able to do.” Head Coach Brandon Brey explains how to do one of the drills to the swim team. Nathan Roberts | Staff Photographer Bray’s positive attitude towards the team separates him from other coaches, according to Bocsa. “He smiles and jokes around all the time and knows how to get us going,” Bocsa said. “He has an individual plan for every single one of us here, and it’s hard to keep up with 30 girls.” The Mean Green’s 7-3 dual meet record this season marks the best start in school history and the second most regular season wins ever for the team. Bray’s squad set the record for best start in team history last season as well by starting 3-1, eventually leading North Texas to a fifth place C-USA tournament finish. With Bray’s third season at North Texas winding down, he said he feels the team is finally competing at a standard he knew they could reach. “It’s taken us a year or two to get there, but I think this is our first year of really operating at an efficient level,” Bray said. “It wasn’t a lack of talent. It’s more about having a team trust in the vision and the program and having a team together operating as one.” After a sluggish 1-3 start to the season, the Mean Green has put together six straight victories and hasn’t lost a game since October. “We did a lot of training earlier in the fall, and now I think we’re starting to reap the benefits of it,” Bray said. Volunteer Assistant Coach Jessica Rodriguez reviews the swimming exercise with the team. Nathan Roberts | Staff Photographer North Texas has also collected two of the last three C-USA Swimmer of the Week awards through the efforts of sophomore Sarah Vaisse and freshman Rebekah Bradley. Vaisse said she enjoys playing for Bray because he brings the best out of each player. “We can talk about anything with him whether we’re having a problem with school or family,” Vaisse said. “My family’s in France, so I’m a little nostalgic sometimes when I miss them. But we can talk to Brendon about anything, and he’s always understandable.” As Bray continues to write his chapter in the North Texas history books, he said keeping cohesiveness amongst himself and the team to help them improve is his main priority. “When we aspire to have people who are swimming at a really high level, they have to have an incredible amount of knowledge and self-drive,” Bray said. “I can’t instill that in them, but I can help them get there.” Featured Image: Head coach Brandon Brey explains how to do one of the drills to the swim team. Nathan Roberts | Staff Photographer View the full article
  15. Victoria Monteros | Staff Writer @ToriLaSuper For 11 years, competitive jumping rope team the Falcon Flyers have been performing in the North Texas region. Created by coach Wendy Bailey, the team is comprised of 44 members aged from fourth to 12th grade. Bailey, a former physical education teacher from Lake Dallas Independent School District, taught P.E. for 18 years. As a new teacher she attended a state P.E conference, where she became more aware of jumping rope and took a double-dutch workshop. She took the sport back to her fifth-grade students, but few showed interest. When a performance team from Grandview came to visit, she reached out to them instead. “I said, ‘How do you learn this? I’ve been wanting to teach this,’” Bailey said. “They told me, ‘Go to the USA Jump-Rope website,’ and I did.” The next weekend, Bailey attended a workshop for jumping rope. She then went on to recruit more children. “I took 10 kids I picked just randomly off the playground and thought [about] who would have a good attitude and wouldn’t be rude at this workshop, who had good stamina and coordination,” Bailey said. “I took some kids and fell in love with it and started an after-school club, which turned into a national competitive team.” Viri Apaez and Flor Cedillo practice jump roping together at their after school program Falcon Flyers. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer The team participates in speed events, both single- and double-dutch ropes, free style events and team shows, which are four to five minutes in length and can include up to 30 individuals on the floor. Assistant coach Katelyn Romero, currently a sophomore at TWU, originally started jumping rope on the Jumping Jammers and has been jumping since second grade. She discovered the sport through a childhood friend and has since fallen in love with it. “I like being able to be creative when I am creating routines,” Romero said. “I enjoy being creative with kids, working back and forth with kids.” A kinesiology pre-occupational therapy major, Romero also said working with the kids frequently enables her to observe their jumping abilities and see their motor skills develop. The members of the Falcon Flyers are visibly energetic, enthusiastic and diligent, dedicating hours to practice and eager to learn new skills. “You get to jump in front of people and you get to show what you’re really good at,” fifth grader and Falcon Flyer Cedillo said. “And then I like it when they applaud [sic] at you and it makes you really happy.” Yenna Hall and her sister Jina Hall are both in the Falcon Flyers and double dutch rope together. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer Aside from the great physical benefits and showcasing opportunities, being in the Falcon Flyers provides a benefit that goes beyond physicality. They learn valuable lessons of discipline, independence, good manners, responsibility and giving back to the community. “I think [my favorite part is] helping the younger ones get new tricks and watching them make new routines,” Falcon Flyer and Denton high school junior Stephen Miles said. The team works with the American Heart Association and has appeared on live news broadcasts, getting the chance to meet news anchors and observe what goes on behind the scenes. They have also performed for professional and college sports events including Texas Legends games and, most recently, a UNT women’s basketball game. “I think what I like the most about it is the door opens for other opportunities and it teaches them responsibility,” Bailey said. Featured Image: The Falcon Flyers team practices after school to perfect their competition routines. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer View the full article