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G. Brint Ryan College of Business.

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Nedal Ahmed ('11)  


Nedal Ahmed ('11) and Bryan Barnes ('10) sell everything from candy to health insurance. In 2018, the advertising executives tackled the difficult issue of race in a TV spot called "The Talk" -- and it won the Primetime Emmy Award for Best Commercial.

In "The Talk," a two-minute ad for Procter & Gamble, generations of black parents tell their children how they may face certain tough situations because of their race, such being called "pretty for a black girl" or the importance of carrying an ID card in case a police officer stops them.

Ahmed was also nominated for the American Advertising Federation's Most Promising Minority Student Program by former UNT professor Sheri Broyles, which included a visit to New York.

"I immediately fell in love with the city," Ahmed says. "It opened my eyes to where my future could go."  

After graduation, Ahmed and Barnes first met when they were both hired by the DFW-based TracyLocke agency, where they worked on a campaign that rebranded the city of Dallas.

After a few years, they both wanted to work on bigger accounts. Barnes first moved to BBDO in New York City and when he didn't have a writer, he persuaded his bosses to hire Ahmed. They've created ads for M&Ms, Dunkin' Donuts and other companies.

For Humana Insurance, they created an ad that showed an older, white-haired man running a crazy path all over the city -- with the GPS map making the route in the shape of a heart.

When CVS drugstore stopped selling cigarettes in 2014, Barnes and Ahmed created a 50-foot-tall replica of a cigarette that was placed at Bryant Park in New York City to promote the change. The cigarette was robotically extinguished throughout the day.

For "The Talk," Ahmed relied on personal experience, such as worrying about her younger brother.
"We really wanted to expose that there's a whole other talk black parents have with their children that people don't know about," says Ahmed, who now works for 72andSunny Amsterdam advertising agency. "The stakes are a lot higher."

She flew to Procter & Gamble's headquarters in Cincinnati to pitch it to the company's executives. As she presented the script for the ad, she looked up to find many of them had tears in their eyes.

"The Talk" also won the Cannes Film Festival Film Lions Grand Prix award in 2018.




Quintarius Queen ('20)

Quintarius Queen used to dominate area track and field meets with his speed and agility as a sprinter. 

Now, he wants to use those traits to help area families get their finances on track.

Queen started working as a financial advisor for the Iron Horse Financial Group in Baton Rouge. He wanted to start his career by helping area families set and reach financial goals while maintaining financial stability.

“I feel like most people don’t have any idea what all this is, so it’s important being a person who can sit down and help people come to light with these certain financial services that a lot of people need,” Queen said. “I want to get people in a position to live a more comfortable life and understand the resources that are available.”

Queen said he wants to reach out to anyone who needs assistance, especially those who come from a low-income household like he did -- and he'll offer free advice and counseling to anyone who needs it.

While growing up, Queen said he watched many of his family members struggle with debt and other financial problems. He had to use his athletic and academic scholarships out of high school to pay for college, which he said was a blessing to have since it was something that most people from low-income backgrounds don’t get. 

After witnessing his family’s struggles, Queen said he wanted to enter the financial industry to help end financial burden in the community and set people up for future generational wealth. 

“I had no guidance or resources to manage my money, so I took it upon myself to be that person to study this so I could learn about it,” Queen said. “Because of the financial situations in life that I have witnessed from my family, I felt like it was time for somebody to break this cycle. I’ve done that. Now I feel like is the time I can come back and give back." 

“We all may not have the opportunity to become part of the 1 percent, but I strongly believe we all deserve a chance to live and be financially stable.” 

Queen, who is currently pursuing a master’s of business administration in finance from UNT, said he also wants to serve as a role model for area youth to show them that they don’t have to be a famous professional athlete, actor or musician to be considered successful. 

He wants to encourage them to follow their dreams, work hard in school and give back to their communities one day. He also wants to teach them how to set their families up to be financially stable. 

“Some people don’t have hope. I want to be the shining light in somebody’s life that can bring some kind of hope so they can be successful.”



Jim & Linda McNatt

Longtime UNT supporters Jim and Linda McNatt recently gifted $250,000 to establish The McNatt Fund for Students in Financial Crisis.

The goal of providing these emergency awards is to keep students in financial crisis enrolled and progressing toward their degrees. 

While at UNT, Jim witnessed the needs of his fellow students that created barriers to obtaining their education. For that reason, the McNatts chose to establish a fund that could assist students in similar situations, so that they can continue to pursue their academic goals without worrying about financial impact. 


Accounting student awarded $10,000 PCAOB scholarship

Sarah Wasikowski has become the second UNT student to earn the distinction of Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Scholar.

As a PCAOB Scholar, Wasikowski will receive a scholarship in the amount of $10,000 for the 2019-2020 academic year.

The PCAOB is a nonprofit corporation created by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 to oversee audits of public companies to protect the interests of investors. Funds collected from PCAOB penalties are used to fund merit-based scholarships, which are awarded to students in accredited accounting degree programs.

Wasikowski, who has earned a 4.0 GPA in accounting, is a current master’s student in the BS/MS accounting program, focusing in audit, and serves as an audit intern for Howard, LLP, as well as a Department of Accounting lab tutor.

Swati Panda earns International Society of Franchising Best Graduate Student Award

Doctoral student Swati Panda received the 2019 International Society of Franchising (ISoF) Best Graduate Student Award for her publication, “Governance Structure and Franchisee Opportunism in an Emerging Market.”

Honored at the 33rd annual International Society of Franchising Conference held in Austria this past June, Panda’s award-winning paper was co-authored by Satyendra Pandey and UNT professors Audhesh Paswan and Lou Pelton. The research analyzed franchise satisfaction levels when taking the influence of governance mechanisms and feelings of franchise solidarity into account, in an emerging market.

This is not the first time Panda has been recognized for her influential work. She also earned the ISoF Best Graduate Student Award in 2017 for her research on how franchisers attracts potential franchisees.

"Swati's first award winning paper from 2017 has already been published in Industrial Marketing Management, a top ranked publication in business-to-business marketing," said UNT academic associate dean Audhesh Paswan. "I am certain that this paper will also go to a top journal. Such achievements from our doctoral students enhance the prestige of our doctoral program."  

The annual ISoF Conference is the premier conference for researchers in franchising and Panda’s internationally-recognized contributions speak volumes of the quality research and academia that UNT puts forth.

Logistics program recognized for outstanding efforts in career preparation

The University of North Texas G. Brint Ryan College of Business was recognized for its logistics student onboarding program by Global Trade Magazine this past month.

Among the list of five top-tier business schools, the college earned its spot for being among the best in the country at preparing students for the logistics workforce.

The college was noted for its efforts in addressing a variety of career preparation topics, including dressing for success, communication skills, generation gaps and analyses presentations. Personalized mentoring and in-class company sessions were also highlighted as providing added value to those earning their degree.

Other schools that earned their mark on the list included Ohio State, Syracuse University, Rutgers University and University of Tennessee-Knoxville.





Marketing program ranked top 10 in the nation

The Ryan College of Business recently earned a spot among the top 25 marketing bachelor degree programs in the nation from Bachelor's Degree Center.

Methodology for the ranking began with analyzing accredited business schools offering marketing degrees and then took a deeper look into five important criteria: cost, reputation, return on investment, graduation rate and employment rate.

The Ryan College of Business ranked sixth overall and was noted for its networking opportunities and strong alumni community working at the top of the executive ladder.


2018-2019 academic year ends with historic achievements



A $10,000 gift to the Ryan College of Business Department of Marketing will give merit-based awards to students pursing a degree in marketing. Your gift will make an immediate impact on a student's life as they work to earn a nationally-ranked degree.


A $5,000 gift to the Center for Logistics & Supply Chain Management at UNT helps support getting students industry-ready to excel in the logistics field when they graduate. With the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex serving as one of North America’s most important distribution hubs, there is no better place for a student to begin their logistics career than here at UNT.


Contribute toward the newly established McNatt Fund for Students in Financial Crisis and help make an even bigger impact on those in need. Your gift will support students facing emergencies while enrolled in school, so that they can continue pursuing their degree.

Click here or the "Make a Gift" link below to learn more
and solidify your support.


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