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Portrait Gallery: Ernestine Denmon, academic advisor

Ernestine Denmon, academic advisor, College of Merchandising, Hospitality and TourismErnestine Denmon was an academic advisor for more than 20 years. Don’t be surprised if you cross paths with her in Costa Rica or Canada.

What is your title, how long have you been at UNT?

I’m an academic advisor in the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism. I’ve been with UNT for 22 years, until retirement in December 2012.

How has UNT changed since you arrived?

I’ve seen the university grow and expand with these buildings: Eagle Student Service Center, Pohl Recreation Center, Chestnut Hall, Discovery Park, Apogee Stadium and pedestrian bridge, Kristin Farmer Autism Center, Murchison Performing Arts Center, Voertman Concert Hall, and the Chemistry and Life Science buildings.

How have students changed?

Most of the students are all wired up with all kinds of technology. They are always looking down, not watching where they are going and preoccupied. They are either on the phone or texting with their fingers at lightning speed. 

What will you miss about your job?

I love my students. I love interacting with them seeing them as beautiful rosebuds blooming into a mature rose, or watching them come from a cocoon to become a beautiful butterfly.  I will miss being around them and interacting with them and watching them grow and mature. I liked listening to their beliefs, values and expectations and providing options and resources to support their goals. 

What are some memorable moments?

Watching students strive for excellence and reaching goals they set for themselves.

When advising students, I would listen to their goals and dreams. I have the students think though solutions by asking questions and letting them find the answers.

When I started working in the then-School of Merchandising and Hospitality I saw the need to do something to keep the freshman and transfer students connected, and to help them fit in at UNT. The Ambassador Club was created. I was the staff advisor, I arranged for a career coach and recruitment manager to conduct a training session for the ambassadors. The ambassadors elected officers, served at recruitment events and many community activities.

They were involved with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization of Denton, in which they received volunteer of the year two consecutive years. They also were involved with Vision Ministries, Hope Cottage, TAMS prom, President’s Council, Bowl for Kids’ Sake.  I will always remember how the students would shine on the UNT campus and in the community.

I will always remember how these wonderful students gave unselfishly their time and their resources to help others.

What do you plan to do when you retire?

I plan to travel and go visit some of my students that have graduated. One of my students is working at The Fox Hotel & Suites in Canada has invited me to stay there. Another student bought a house in Costa Rica and asked me to visit. I also plan to go skydiving. In other words, I plan to live life and enjoy it to the fullest.  

It's not possible to know everyone on a big, busy campus. So InHouse periodically publishes Portrait Gallery features to help us learn about our colleagues and their contributions to the university's success. Send suggestions for Portrait Gallery subjects by email to InHouse with "Portrait Gallery" in the subject line.)


Posted on: Wed 02 January 2013

Owning Excellence

Faculty and staff members have roles in transforming UNT into a nationally prominent university. Share your ideas on how you can help UNT to own excellence, keep students on track and improve graduation education.

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