Summer at UNT packed with variety of workshops

Ali West // Staff Writer

With workshops for children, teens, grandparents, musicians, debaters, conductors and more, UNT will offer 24 workshops this summer from June until August in a wide variety of subjects.

Mariachi Summer Camps

Of the workshops, 19 are music-related. One workshop, the Mariachi Summer Camp, is a four-day resident program for middle and high school students to work personally with expert mariachi instructors. The camp will be July 22 through July 26 with a concert on the last day.

Donna Emmanuel, associate professor in the College of Music, said fifth-generation mariachi maestro Jose Hernandez will be a guest instructor. His world-renowned mariachi group has won and been nominated for multiple Grammy awards,

The camp gives students with a mutual interest in mariachi music the opportunity to learn and perform together, Emmanuel said.

“If they enjoy playing mariachi music, they will have lots of fun working on new music and making friends with others who really enjoy the music,” he said.

Grandparents University

On June 19 and 20, UNT will host Grandparents University, a camp for grandparents and other family members and their grandchildren ages seven to 12.

Marilyn Wagner, director for the Center of Lifelong Learning at UNT, said the camp is a great way for grandparents and grandchildren to spend time together.

“It gives them a chance to know a little more about each other,” Wagner said. “It has a lot to offer the community.”

The camp is structured so children and grandparents choose “majors” to explore, like geocaching or computer science, and gives them the opportunity to stay on campus for the weekend in Honors Hall.

Judy Fritz, a grandparent who attended last year’s event, said Grandparents University is a unique experience.

“I think it’s really a great way to get children at a young age to go to college,” Fritz said. “This is one of the greatest concepts I’ve ever heard of.”

Mean Green Workshops

For middle- and high-school teens, Mean Green Workshops offers a way to prepare students for speech and debate events. The two-week workshop, from June 22 until July 26, offers guidance and experience for students in Lincoln-Douglas, congressional, public forum and policy debate events.

Institute Director Jason Sykes said more than 300 students are expected this year at the Mean Green Workshops, the largest summer debate program in Texas.

Mean Green Workshops, which is in its 11th year, gave away $500,000 in scholarships within the last decade, Sykes said. He said this aspect is an integral part of Mean Green Workshops.

“We wanted to bring a national-level debate into the North Texas area, and with that we understood that some students don’t get to go to camp,” Sykes said. “We wanted to make sure that we are able to reach out to students who wouldn’t get that chance.”

Sykes said debate offers a way for students to find their own potential, making them better students.

“We think that it’s really important for students to so they can use their voices to help make change,” Sykes said.

For more information or to sign up for any of the 24 workshop, visit

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