The University of North Texas has a variety of experts who can speak on holiday-related topics including food; staying healthy, safe and stress-free; shopping; helping others; succeeding with New Year’s resolutions; and activities on campus.
All things food
- Jodi Duryea, a trained chef, can talk about how create a menu and host a great dinner party
- Han Wen, a wine expert, can offer expertise on how to shop for, serve and gift wine on any budget.
- Matthew Ward, chef general manager at UNT’s award-winning Mean Greens Café, the nation’s first all-vegan dining hall on a college campus, can offer tips on preparing vegan dishes.
- Amber Duncan, a chef at Kitchen West, UNT’s new allergen-free dining hall, can share ways to prepare recipes free of the “Big 8” food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and shellfish.
- Andrew Klipsch, a chef at UNT’s Bruceteria, can speak about including diverse holiday food in your party planning, including foods being featured in an international holiday dinner and a Hogwarts Christmas Dinner held in some of UNT’s dining halls as part of the holiday season. For a full list of dining hall events, click here.
- Michael Wise, History professor, can talk about American food culture related to the holiday. Wise is one of the editors of “Food and Foodways,” which uses food to talk about broader social, economic and cultural issues. He can also discuss Native American food traditions and historical myths around Thanksgiving.
- Ann Marie Afflerbach teaches Principles of Nutrition and Nutrition Sciences to non-nutrition majors. She can comment on healthy eating during the holidays. She can also speak about the community and the social importance of food during the holidays.
Stay safe, healthy and stress-free during the holidays
- Denise Catalano, associate professor in Rehabilitation and Health Services in the College of Health and Public Service, can speak about holiday mental health and coping with stress.
- Lori Wolfe, program coordinator for the Texas Teratogen Information Service and certified genetic counselor, can comment on maintaining a healthy pregnancy and protecting your baby during the holidays.
- Justin Watts is an assistant professor in Rehabilitation and Health Services in the College of Health and Public Service with specializations in rehabilitation counseling and addictions research. He can speak about staying sober, whether you’re fighting addiction or just trying to avoid over-imbibing at a holiday party.
- Erin Schafer and Lauren Mathews, both in the Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, have experience working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Mathews can speak about helping children adapt to changes in routine and offer ways to use proactive and visual strategies to help children adapt and function during a hectic holiday season. Additionally, Mathews can suggest toys to facilitate language learning and interaction for all preschool children. Schafer can offer strategies for helping children with ASD adapt to noisy environments.
- Paul Goebel, director of the UNT Student Money Management Center, can talk about managing finances and budgeting during the holiday season, especially for students.
- Bob Wall, a lecturer in Criminal Justice, had an extensive law enforcement career before transitioning into teaching the next generation of law enforcement professionals. He can speak about securing your home for the holidays and general safety tips while shopping.
- Scott Belshaw, associate professor in Criminal Justice and director of the Cyber Forensics Lab, can speak about protecting yourself while shopping.
- Linda Mihalick, senior director of the Global Digital Retailing Research Center and the Digital Retailing Program coordinator, can discuss how people can give great gifts that are sustainable, environmentally friendly and benefit the economy. Additionally, she can weigh in on consumer behaviors, how digital retail influences buying trends, major sales days such as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday and other retail topics.
- Tran Templeton, assistant professor of early childhood education in the College of Education, has suggestions on children’s presents that can spark creativity, collaboration and a curiosity for learning.
Helping others during the holidays
- Laura Keyes, lecturer in Nonprofit Leadership in the College of Health and Public Service, teaches courses in several subjects, including volunteer program management, and can speak about holiday philanthropy.
- Lt. Col. Sandra Bonney, USAF, is the commander of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Detachment at UNT. She has multiple previous deployments and can speak about offering support to military troops during the holidays.
New Year’s resolutions
- Brian McFarlin, co-director of the Applied Physiology Laboratory at UNT, can offer tips on starting the new year on a healthier note.
- Trent Petrie, professor of psychology and director of UNT's Center for Sport Psychology and Performance Excellence, can discuss how to prepare yourself mentally for setting fitness goals, improving personal performance and how to stay focused and motivated.
- Elijah Cumpton, Office of Spiritual Life coordinator, can discuss diverse holiday celebrations taking place at UNT.