UNT has experts for everyone this holiday season

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 WiseHistory 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


  • 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

Student programs


UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

Media Contacts:

Trista Moxley