Kevin Roden set to leave UNT

Kevin Roden set to leave UNT

Kevin Roden set to leave UNT
July 13
18:19 2014

Joshua Knopp / Senior Staff Writer

With Dean Richard Sinclair having already announced his retirement after the summer, the Texas Academy of Math and Science will also have to find a new assistant director of student life.

Kevin Roden, who has served in the position for 15 years, is leaving UNT to help his wife, Emily, with her startup project, ReadyRosie. TAMS is a residential program for high-school aged students to take UNT math and science courses.

Roden has been affiliated with UNT since 1992 when he came to Denton to study jazz drumming. After graduation he would start working in the TAMS program, reaching his current position in a few years, and would eventually be elected to City Council in 2011. He is serving his second term there. He has also taught philosophy courses as an adjunct from time to time.

Roden likened his position to that of a high school principal, saying he has input on out-of-class activities. He said he was proud of the community service programs that have bloomed under his watch, which see TAMS students perform 12,000 community service hours per year.

“I think that has really helped TAMS connect to the Denton community,” he said.

TAMS Director of Student Life Russ Stukel said Roden was responsible or partially responsible for many more parts of TAMS life, including their database management system, a move-in system that is unique even on campus, and a summer reading program that Stukel said other colleges have imitated.

Stukel said Roden is a multi-talented collaborator and networker, and he will be looking for someone with similar skills to replace him. Stukel also praised Roden’s generosity.

“He’s opened his home, his family up to people,” he said. “You could count on one hand the professors who’ve done that. Whoever steps in his shoes is going to be greatly challenged.”

Emily Roden helped found ReadyRosie in 2012. The program develops and sends training videos to parents to help with early childhood development. The company’s first product, ReadyRosie, has stayed mainly in large Texas markets like DFW, Austin and San Antonio, but Emily Roden said the company was primed for expansion — into both older age groups and the national marketplace.

“We’re developing a second product that relates specifically to parent engagement and mentoring to older children,” she said. “We’re going to expand a grade level at a time.”

Roden said the company will be marketing in Pittsburgh; Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Tulsa, Okla.; and several other smaller, national markets. She said Kevin Roden was brought in to help networking and getting ReadyRosie off the ground in new markets, using his background in city politics, high school education and social media.

“As my partner [co-founder Luke Dodson] and I started, we knew we needed someone in this strategic position to launch us to the next level as a company,” Emily Roden said. “We could never find a better candidate for a position like this. Apart from being excited about getting to work with my husband, I’m really excited to work with Kevin Roden.”

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