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  1. Congratulations to UNT students, ensembles, and faculty mentors for their recognition in the 2016 DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards! Prof. Jennifer Barnes is recognized by DownBeat this year with an Education Achievement Award. jazz.unt.edu/downbeat View Full Article
  2. Join the Concert Orchestra and conductor Clay Couturiaux on April 20 at 8:00pm for the highly-anticipated performance of Grammy-nominated faculty member Richard DeRosa’s newly composed work, Suite for an Anniversary. This composition commemorates the 125th anniversary of the University of North Texas and showcases some of the extraordinary talent within the College of Music in both the classical and jazz programs. The instrumentation includes a full orchestra (mixed with classical and jazz performers), an additional jazz rhythm section, and an improvising saxophonist. Since UNT’s development is firmly rooted in the ‘old’ American West, Richard DeRosa’s composition includes a section with a bold and rugged energy which creates a thrilling, modernized Western Swing style reminiscent of the American frontier. Come be one of the first to hear this exciting new composition performed by the Concert Orchestra combined with UNT jazz musicians. Full press release Cost of Admission: $10 Adults; $8 Senior Citizens 55+, Non-UNT Students, Children, UNT Faculty/Staff/Retirees and Groups of 10+; Free to UNT Students (limit 1, UNT Student ID required, must be picked up in person at the MPAC Box Office). Tickets: http://thempac.music.unt.edu/">http://thempac.music.unt.edu/ The concert will be streamed live: https://recording.music.unt.edu/live/8085 View Full Article
  3. The Airmen of Note is the premier jazz ensemble of the United States Air Force. Stationed at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., it is one of six musical ensembles that comprise The U.S. Air Force Band. Through the years, the Airmen of Note has presented its own brand of big band jazz as well as more contemporary forms of jazz to audiences via annual tours across the United States, deployments around the world and local performances throughout metropolitan Washington, D.C. About the Airmen of Note Come to the UNT Union Syndicate on April 21 to see the Airmen of Note (and six UNT alumni who are members of the group) perform for FREE! Name of Event: The Airmen of Note Date/time: April 21 at 9:00 pm Cost of Admission: FREE Venue Information: UNT Union Syndicate Parking is available to the public at the Highland Street Garage and the Union Circle Garage. In lot 39, a P lot east of Welch St. between Highland and W. Prairie Sts., parking is allowed with any valid UNT permit between 5 and 9:59 p.m., and no permit is required after 10 p.m. Parking map View Full Article
  4. Dear Friends of the One O’Clock Lab Band, Greetings from the UNT College of Music and the Division of Jazz Studies! As you may have heard, our One O'Clock Lab Band has been invited to tour Australia in May 2016. This is the professional development opportunity of a lifetime, as our musicians will assist in leading concerts and clinics at the James Morrison Academy, perform for thousands of jazz students from all across Australia as featured headliner at the Generations in Jazz Festival, and collaborate with numerous jazz professionals and jazz orchestras from Australia and around the world. We last toured Australia in 1986 under the direction of Neil Slater. It was an experience that helped to launch careers for our alumni, including: former One O’Clock Lab Band director Steve Wiest; Dave Pietro, a jazz saxophonist who recorded with the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra; Mike Williams, Count Basie Orchestra's lead trumpet since 1987; and Tony Scherr, a bassist who has recorded with Bill Frisell. We are receiving support from our Australian partners, and have raised more than 50% of the remaining costs. Our goal is to raise $70,000 in the month of April to fund our travel costs, which will be matched by the UNT College of Music. We need your help to meet this goal! All contributions will allow for our students to receive an otherwise impossible experience that may help establish their careers. I'd like to introduce you to some of our students who would benefit from the life changing opportunity your gift provides: Garrett Wingfield MM Jazz Composition Bari Sax "I'm looking forward to collaborating with Australian musicians and getting to know people who are equally as invested in jazz…I'm excited to understand the logistics of the tour...and to have my compositions/arrangements performed by the band!" John Sturino BM Jazz Studies ’16 Drumset "We'll be sharing our love of jazz with a plethora of students and artists alike …and hopefully opening doors to future engagements …touring a continent with a big band seems like a rarity in this day and age...it won’t be taken for granted." Nicholas Olynciw BM jazz Studies ‘16 Piano This trip is perfectly tailored to my career goals. It will give me the opportunity to teach young, aspiring jazz musicians, perform throughout the country with my peers, and make new connections with prolific musicians and educators. Your gift makes a momentous difference in the professional lives of Garrett, John, Nicholas, and all the One O’Clock musicians. Please consider making a gift by April 30, 2016 to aid in the professional development and cultural experience of our students. No donation is too small, and any household budget can make a donation! Simply click here to donate, or mail a check to: University of North Texas College of Music – Development 1155 Union Circle #311367 Denton, TX 76205 Thank you in advance for your generosity. We are constantly grateful for the passion our alumni show for the continued growth of our students. If you have any questions about our One O’Clock Australia Tour campaign, contact Erin Smith at (940) 565-2243 or Erin.Smith@unt.edu. Sincerely, John Murphy Chair of the Division of Jazz Studies View Full Article
  5. Click for larger image Five Jazz Studies majors were recognized at Honors Day on April 1, 2016 at Winspear Hall. L to R: Amanda Ekery, Robert Cox Memorial Award from the Honors College; Brendon Wilkins, Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Woodwinds; Eric Pers, Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Percussion; Aaron Holthus, Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Jazz Studies. Not pictured is Brian Horton, Outstanding Graduate Student in Jazz Studies, who attended the ceremony but had to return right away to rehearsal for his doctoral recital on Monday, April 4 at 8 p.m. in Voertman Hall. View Full Article
  6. Congratulations to alumnus Tom "Bones" Malone, who received the Mississippi Arts Commission Governor's Award for Lifetime Achievement on February 11, 2016 in Jackson, MS. View Full Article
  7. Preston Mitchell| Staff Writer @presto_mitch If you saw “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” last weekend, you were probably disappointed. Sitting at a 28 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, it took the already mediocre “Man of Steel” and crammed several DC superheroes into its flawed universe. The result is an over-bloated, overlong and overly maudlin crossover that juggled too many plots on top of occasionally laugh-out-loud bad dialogue. All brought to you by the hack that is Zack Snyder (“Watchmen”). While Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill say the film is for fans and not critics, receipts say otherwise. It grossed millions on opening night, but had the single worst Friday-to-Sunday drop for a superhero movie in North American box office history. Another movie with a 58 percent decline was last year’s “Fantastic Four.” On those grounds, here are the only ways DC can fix its franchise: First and foremost, it’s time to lighten things up. “Man of Steel” shot itself in the foot by darkening down Superman. In the comics, Batman and Superman are at odds because of their conflicting ideologies. However, Batman is now just as dark as Cavill’s Superman, and it makes the new movie bland because both heroes share similar portrayals. Since other characters barely crack a smile also, it dulls the overall atmosphere and makes matters flat. Also, “Batman v. Superman” had too many easter eggs setting up future movies. Unlike “Deadpool,” which told one single story in the context of a franchise, Zack Snyder helmed a convoluted narrative with homages that felt out of place. For example, the scene where the Flash ripples through time was absolutely random. Worse than that was Lex Luthor emailing videos of Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg to Wonder Woman. This scene was really ill-conceived because: 1) Luthor has no way of creating each character’s logo before they’re introduced and 2) it’s terrible storytelling to foreshadow the Justice League. Honestly, the only tertiary character that worked was Wonder Woman, embodied perfectly by Gal Gadot. She made her dialogue palatable, wore the tiara well and I’m now looking forward to her solo adventure. What can be learned from this film is that DC needs to start delivering on their titles. The movie is a two-and-a-half hour “Batman v. Superman” film where the leads only fight for 15 minutes. That’s a big problem, especially since Batman had legitimate reasons for hating on the Man of Steel. Superman never gets a real motivation. He simply flies right in the middle of Batman fighting crime, tells him to stop fighting crime and flies into the air. Even though “Captain America: Civil War” isn’t released yet, the trailers clearly address why Cap and Iron Man are fighting. Zack Snyder can’t even do that right. To be fair, DC can still redeem itself. The advantage that Marvel has is how it treats its characters seriously without sacrificing the fun that comes with the package; something DC needs to note. In the meantime, DC choosing talented directors like David Ayer (“End of Watch”) and James Wan (“Furious 7”) is a step in the right direction. Now please, guys, start delivering. Featured Image: Courtesy |Warner Bros View Full Article
  8. Jynn Schubert |Staff Writer @JynnWasHere Julia Falcon |Staff Writer @falconpunch_ As the runoff election for Texas House District 64 between Republicans Read King and Lynn Stucky heats up, political media arts senior Connor Flanagan is gearing up for the general after he beat Paul Greco on Super Tuesday in March. Flanagan, 21, is due to graduate in December, so he’s making plans now to be in Austin when the next legislative session begins to focus on standardized testing in lower education as well as making college more affordable, both highly debated issues on the presidential campaign trail and in the halls of the Texas capital. Connor Flanagan | Courtesy A transfer student from Texas Tech, Flanagan originally wanted a job in TV punditry or production. He’s a son of a lawyer, so he’s been politically aware his whole life. Between his TV show on ntTV, the 15 credit hours, 10 hours a week of studying, he still finds time to do about 40 hours a week in campaigning, he said. He doesn’t neglect the family either, nor can he get away from his friends — his campaign, Flanagan said, is comprised mostly of his pals. “My friends think it’s cool that I’m running, but it doesn’t come up,” Flanagan said. “They treat me the same and it doesn’t consume our friendship at all. They’re really supportive.” Both of Flanagans parents support his decision to run, even though they were a little doubtful of his choice at first. It was his mother who broke the news he had won the Democratic Primary against Greco. “I didn’t think it would happen,” Flanagan said. “My parents thought I was insane and didn’t have enough experience, but I meet all of the requirements to run. They didn’t think anyone would give me a chance.” Flanagan said his campaign is self-funded. He listed no expenditures or contributions on the latest campaign finance report, according to documents from the Texas Ethics Commission. “Hopefully I’ll get more donations, but during the primaries I was more concerned about face-to-face time,” Flanagan said. “I don’t like asking for money, I’m gonna have to get over it obviously. It’s a lot of talking and going door to door. Campaigning, especially in this area, is a lot of convincing. My best bet is focusing on Denton voters, they would consider voting Democrat. My goal is to focus on people who have an open enough mind and to get people to register to vote.” Greco said that despite his young age, Flanagan not only meets the requirements to run for this position, but also has what it takes to win in the general against a Denton County Republican establishment which has won every partisan election in the last 14 years. “I think it’s time for a younger generation to reach out,” Greco said. “I have a lot of confidence in him and I’ve always liked him. Connor is running pretty close and parallel to my ideas, but we have a few differences. He is absolutely a clear politician, he wanted to be it and he’s good at it and I think he’s the next generation of congressmen.” The youngest of seven kids, Flanagan has learned to power through and not allow his youth to be serve as a disadvantage on the way to achieving his goals. “Paul cares a lot about the race, and he has more time than I do to do full time campaigning,” Flanagan said. “One of my friends told me that now I am an actual politician, and that hit me. I am so excited and ready for it. It was wearing me out, but I am not going to give up and I’m going to try my hardest the rest of the year.” Phyllis Wolper, chairwoman of the Denton County Democrats, said she has been there for moral support for Flanagan as well as the other Democratic candidates. “If he is able to muster enough loyal Democrats in the county, it is possible for him to win,” Wolper said. “I always encourage young people to step up and get involved at whatever level they are comfortable with.” Greco said he’s happy to see a diversity in candidates running for election. “I’ve been learning a lot, and Connor had political science and journalism professors help him out. The younger generation was also raised on the social media and that helps out a lot,” Greco said. “Connor knows his stuff too, he has a passion for it, he knows how to talk to people and that’s what I like about him and his compassion for people. I think this will be an exciting election.” Flanagan said his young age has both positive and negative political side effects, however he doesn’t often have to fight his opponents on this front. “They treat me like an adult,” Flanagan said. “My age never gets brought up, and we run clean campaigns. They are respectful and nice and there’s no dirty political things being talked about. There will be traditionalists who don’t think I am experienced enough, but I think people will see my passion no matter how young I am.” View Full Article
  9. Dalton LaFerney| News Editor @daltonlaferney Tiffany Ditto| Staff Writer @TiffanyDitto The UNT police officer who shot and killed 21-year-old Ryan McMillan will not face charges after a Denton County grand jury chose not to indict the officer, according to the Denton County District Attorney’s Office. UNT police Cpl. Stephen Bean shot and killed McMillan the morning of Dec. 13, 2015, after responding to a disturbance call. When he arrived, according to dash camera footage released by authorities, McMillan was carrying a small ax or hatchet. When McMillan began walking toward Bean, the officer told him multiple times to stop. McMillan did not, and Bean fired three to four shots, leaving him dead at the corner of Oak and Fry streets. The grand jury chose not to indict, but that does not necessarily mean the case is finished. McMillan’s family hired an attorney, Renee Higginbotham-Brooks. She has criticized the Texas Rangers for its investigation of the shooting, saying the agency — along with the university — has not been open enough with the community about this investigation. “This no-bill presents more questions than it does answers to what happened,” Higginbotham-Brooks said in a statement. “With the secrecy surrounding the investigation of this incident, we are not surprised by the grand jury’s action. There has not been any transparency from the beginning only secrecy.” The results from McMillan’s autopsy have not been released because the Texas Rangers said public access to the document would disrupt the investigation, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office and dispatches from the Texas Attorney General’s Office. David Asay, an integrative studies junior, said a friend of his was killed by a police officer for resisting arrest. Asay said McMillan’s death reveals a misunderstanding between police and citizens. “I don’t think the officer should return,” Asay said. “Police have way too much power. They can’t just get away with killing people.” Since McMillan’s death, university officials deferred all comment and information to the Texas Rangers, and they put Bean on desk duty. Because of UNT’s silence, it was not immediately known whether Bean (or other officers) carried Tasers, nor is the UNT Police Department’s use of force policy known, but a report revealed the department does supply its patrol officers with Tasers. UNT responded to the news with a statement saying officials were appreciative of the grand jury’s decision and of the impartial investigation. “The university believes he acted appropriately under the circumstances and showed commendable restraint before taking this action,” the statement said. UNT spokesperson Margarita Venegas said Bean is still on administrative duty, but is expected to return to regular duty soon. She said she was not sure when exactly Bean will return to patrol duties. Students have mixed feelings about the district attorney’s decision. Jason Knowles, a computer science junior, has a concealed carry permit and thinks the officer acted appropriately. “It’s unfair to ask police to risk their life,” Knowles said. “They have the right to defend their selves just like everyone else. I’m happy he wasn’t indicted, but it’s sad that the axe-wielding guy is dead.” The police should not be punished, art junior Steven Gonzales said, for doing what they were trained to do. “It was definitely self defense,” Gonzalas said. “He was technically doing his job. You [shouldn’t] punish people for doing their job.” Some students feel that it’s hard to understand how officers react in certain situations. “I agree with the Texas Ranger’s decision,” material science and engineering junior Hunter Lide said. “In the line of duty it’s hard for everyday citizens to understand situations like that, unless they have police or military training.” Others feel as though Bean should have been charged. = “He should not be allowed to come back to the university, and should face some charges,” biology and art freshman Aurora Brown said. View Full Article
  10. Chelsea Watkins|Copy Editor @chelloo Beginning Friday, the Department of Parking and Transportation will no longer be a wing of the UNT Police Department, UNT officials said. Instead, the office’s director, Geary Robinson, will report to university information services vice president Allen Clark. The change comes after weeks of meeting between the parking and the police departments, and will centralize all transportation efforts campus-wide. Robinson said parking will soon become the Department of Transportation. “We don’t want to make it a negative for the university,” Robinson said. “We want to make sure this is a positive.” This is all according to UNT’s campus master plan, the guide for the facilities’ reconfiguration currently underway. The parking office will continue to handle parking tickets, university spokeswoman Margarita Venegas said. In 2015, the university generated about $1.2 million in revenue from parking citations on campus, according to documents obtained by the North Texas Daily. Students at the University of Texas at Arlington paid $346,501 in 2015. UT brought in $937,867. Texas Woman’s University tickets approximately $120,000 per year, officials said. Money brought in from parking violations fund parking services, like cleaning the parking lots and improving lighting around campus. “I don’t have any problem looking at someone that’s gotten a ticket and saying, your money just helped repave that lot, or plant that tree, or replace that light,” Robinson said. The most common parking violations are vehicles not displaying valid permits, expired meters and time zones, Robinson said. The department is conducting a study to alter the way they handle parking – looking into how many permits are sold and figuring out if they want to build more parking garages across campus. The Highland Parking Garage cost the university $21 million. By the time they are done paying for it, it’ll have cost $40 million, he said. “So, what if we took that same $20 million and invested it in a very robust transportation system and by saying system, I’m not saying buses. I’m saying the different modes of transport,” Robinson said. Robinson said he believes the university will have to build at least one or two more parking garages to alleviate parking struggles, but hopes it won’t exceed that. Staff writer Lisa Dreher contributed to this report. Featured Image: File PhotoHannah Lauritzen | Design Editor View Full Article
  11. Evan McAlister | Staff Writer @evan_McAlister The recent hire of Dr. Stuart Flynn as the new dean of the UNTHSC and Texas Christian University medical school reflects Texas’ allure on talent across the nation. Dr. Stuart Flynn | Courtesy From the outset, planners from both UNTHSC and TCU sought to alleviate Texas’ shortage of medical doctors. Flynn wants to grow and develop a program focused on teamwork, patient-centric and business-minded to transform Texas healthcare for generations. “UNTHSC, TCU and Fort Worth provide all the ingredients needed to develop a cutting-edge medical school with national aspirations,” Flynn said. “Texas has such a huge shortage of physicians. We must increase the number residencies to keep up with the demand for general physicians.” Texas’ physician shortage is widely reported, thanks in part to a Texas Medical Association report that stated the Lone Star State needs to invest more in medical schools and residency training programs. The study, “Healthy Vision 2020,” said many medical school graduates in Texas leave the state because they cannot find residency programs here. Students back in Denton said UNT System’s growth is encouraging and reinforces the university’s claims to prominence. “I feel like we’re on a good progressive and modern track and keeping up with the student body needs,” fashion merchandising junior Sky Hardy said. Flynn is the current and founding dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine at Phoenix, where he lives with his wife and children. Flynn graduated from the University of Michigan in 1979 and completed his fellowship at Stanford University. After completing his medical training, he went on to teach pathology and surgery at Yale University School of Medicine. He said Yale and similar establishments don’t face the same issues the UNT-TCU medical school will have to deal with. “Yale is over 200 years old, so they don’t face the same challenges but we also have the chance at UNTHSC to build a new curriculum that will change Texas’ health care for years to come,” Flynn said. “Though Yale is widely renowned for its medical program, they have a hard time with change. We won’t.” Flynn helped create the curriculum and guided the Arizona College of Medicine through a complex accreditation process. He also helped grow the school from a flagship class of 24 to 80 students, Flynn said. “I want to be a general care physician,” biology freshman Bianca Bahizi said. “Having a dean that is making it his priority to increase general care makes me so excited to graduate and continue my education here at UNT.” Flynn will be joined by his family in Texas after the school year finishes. He said that his wife’s support is the final stamp of approval that will make the transition to Texas much easier. “The family is excited to be in Fort Worth and help with the new house,” Flynn said. “I wouldn’t call it a vacation because if my wife heard that, she’d probably kill me. But to move as a family is so special.” View Full Article
  12. Adalberto Toledo | Senior Staff @Aldot29 Advertisements from the university often use words like “superb,” “leading” and “top” to solidify its brand image, but in a recent review, UNT System chancellor Lee Jackson advised a change in the language UNT uses. Having recently received the Carnegie Classification, Jackson advised UNT that as the university or any organization grows, the rhetoric associated with it must also change, to cast UNT in a more prestigious light. With the “Green Light to Greatness” campaign ending in 2017, UNT will change the university’s voice to reflect that of a university comparable in standing to other Carnegie classified universities. “Cities, companies, and universities,” Jackson said, “make broader and more aggressive claims laced with superlatives and ambitious expectations when they are weak than when they become more successful and respected.” UNT’s Identity Guide suggests all advertisements be “written in a way that expresses the university’s creativity and innovation.” The website says to use of words like “confident,” “friendly,” “bold,” and “inspiring” to describe the university. The online version of the “viewbook” every prospective student receives from UNT have words like “one-of-a-kind” and “incredible,” to showcase the university’s diversity and viability as a freshman’s new home. Deborah Leliaert, vice president for university relations and planning, said UNT always tries to give an accurate representation of itself. “Our practice is to provide information accurately and on a timely basis,” Leliaert said. “We routinely freshen the appearance of our marketing and communication materials – print and digital.” As with all brands, UNT’s image is an evolution. Leliaert said the university must look to the best practices of communication throughout various fields, not just higher education, to establish its brand. Biology senior Brittney Anderson said the university just wants students to enroll, and mentioned that the language describing the university is often “very cliché.” “If you express and talk a lot about your accomplishments, it makes you want to look into what they’re saying,” Anderson said. “They should be more specific with the things they advertise.” Her friend, biology senior Allen Thongrivong, said that while he agrees with many of the things UNT says about itself, the university should focus in on the accomplishments of specific programs and not on the overall “awesomeness” of the university. “They need to prove [what they say],” Thongrivong said. “You have to live up to what you say, and I personally think they do.” In the performance evaluation, Jackson said he receives many newsletters and messages from universities that contain their language. “I am struck by how many of them are more restrained in speaking of their own campus accomplishments,” Jackson said. “The universities with the strongest reputations whose faculty or student achievements are perhaps expected [in particular].” A look into peer university’s messages to their student body shows this restrained language. When UT Dallas became a part of universities in “highest research” category of the Carnegie Classification, the announcement did not come with elevated language or even the use of the words “tier-one,” something UNT did. The announcement’s headline “UNT ranked among nation’s Tier One research universities.” That stands in contrast to UT Dallas, which led with, “Carnegie Classification of Institutions Elevates UT Dallas to Highest Research Category.” In the language of the announcement itself, no mention of “tier-one” exists, though in a sidebar UT Dallas explains the term as “inexact.” The sidebar also said “Texas currently has three universities that by common consent would be termed as “Tier One”: The University of Texas at Austin, Rice University and Texas A&M University.” UT Dallas said the announcement comes as “merely a milepost” in its pursuance of their greater strategic plan. UNT, however, marked it as a “significant step” and did not distance itself from language like “top-tier,” and “among the state’s top universities.” Journalism junior Rand Gowan agreed with Jackson’s criticisms of UNT’s voice. “Overtalking your brand can be construed as insecurity,” Gowan said. “Rather than say that UNT is great, say what specifically makes it great.” The Carnegie ranking, Jackson said, gives reason for UNT to adapt its voice and “speak more modestly now.” “Leaders [at other institutions] are able to speak about their institutions with pride in an understated voice,” Jackson said, adding he would like Smatresk to review the best examples of communications from other respected universities. Featured Image: Courtesy | UNT View Full Article
  13. SGA presidential debate in Union

    Staff Reports There will be a Student Government Association presidential debate at 6 p.m. today in the Lyceum, inside the University Union. Five students have joined the race to become the next president of the undergraduate student body. The debate, which will last about two hours, will be moderated by assistant political science professor Dr. Bethany Blackstone, according to a Facebook event posted by SGA. Two sitting SGA executives are running to replace undergraduate student body president Adam Alattry. Grant Hall, the current chief of staff, and Mikayla Barnes, the director of campus outreach, are each running their own presidential campaigns. Voting for this race and others begins Monday, April 4. Polls close later that week on Thursday. The results of the election will be certified that night, according to the SGA website. SGA is not the only governing body on campus. There is also the Graduate Student Council, which used to be a part of SGA until it split last year. GSC is the official legislative organization for the graduate student body. For the faculty and administration, there are the staff and faculty senates, where professors, assistants and UNT leaders go to voice concerns about their departments or lectures. And there’s also the Board of Regents, which is the chief legislative body for the entire UNT System. Featured Image: File PhotoPaulina De Alva | Staff Photographer View Full Article
  14. Haley Yates | Staff Writer @haleysocoollike Though she thought it was a mattress company, Natalie Woods was already looking for a permanent position in Denton when Comfort Keepers contacted her about a position as office manager after finding her resume online. Woods felt that her resume was “alright,” but knew that her passion and heart for people were what made it shine to founder, and nurse, Becca Allford. “With all the activism that I do, I was looking for a gig that could bleed into my volunteer work, and now they do,” she said. “It was fate that they happened to find me. I thought it was too good to be true because everything is always too good to be true.” Comfort Keepers aims to provide personal care to seniors and adults who need assistance and want to stay in the comfort of their own home. The franchise opened their office this week, and are now waiting for their first client and caregiver. Some clients are recruited through hospitals, home health agencies or social workers, but most client referrals are by word of mouth. Upon brainstorming business ideas for a new startup, a franchise consultant suggested dog grooming, window blinds and a multitude of other ideas. After she suggested Comfort Keepers, Allford knew it was the perfect fit. “Different people need different kinds of help, so we’re not just in one bracket,” Woods said. “Seniors are our primary focus, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t reach out and put a companion in the home of somebody in need.” Allford will be going into the client’s home to assess what level of care they might need, whether it’s companionship or more immediate needs like mobility assistance or grooming needs. Comfort Keepers offers different levels of care, seeing as some clients might just need someone to take them to the movies, while others require more homemaking care services like bathing and cooking. Part of Woods’ job is matching up the right caregiver with the right people based on their personalities and individual needs. “One of the most important aspects of Comfort Keepers is the focus on interactive caregiving,” Allford said. “We want our caregivers to be getting involved with clients. For example, not just cooking for them but getting them involved too.” The franchise in Denton started up after a consultant told Allford about the company and said there was territory available in Denton. Woods said that although Denton is sometimes generalized as a college town, many people retire here and are raising families who might have to move a family member in with them. “I know our services are needed in Denton because when I’ve worked with nursing homes here, there were people who could take care of themselves, but needed a little extra assistance. So, their family put them in a home,” Woods said. “I love the idea of allowing someone to still have their independence on top of being able to employ the people of Denton who want to help for the greater good.” Woods also said that she foresees a greater life expectancy in seniors that are allowed to stay at home and salvage their independence. Placing seniors in assisted living homes can affect the whole family, she said, and create a shockwave of anger, bitterness and sadness. Allford said if there is an immediate need a client needs access to that Comfort Keepers can’t provide, a nursing home may be a more viable option. “It’s scary to jump right into a nursing home,” Allford said. “The elderly are generally at risk for depression as a result of aging. You pull them out of their homes and throw them into a new environment and they have to move out of their homes where all of their memories are.” Comfort Keepers also offers a software called Family Room that allows family members to watch their loved ones live, what tasks have been performed by caregivers and any notes the caregivers have left. “We want a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. Because, for a lot of seniors, it’s an uncomfortable situation to ask for help,” Allford said. “It’s mutually beneficial for caregivers and our clients because it’s very rewarding work. Featured Image:Becca Allford opened up Denton’s franchise of Comfort Keepers in March. Haley Yates | Staff Photographer View Full Article
  15. 31_Spring Quaterbacks

    Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer @ReeceWaddell15 Featured Image:Junior quarterback Damarcus Smith left the program giving other quarterbacks a chance to compete for the spot with fifth year senior Alec Morris. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer View Full Article