Jeanne Tunks - Mentor of the Year 2014

Jeanne Tunks with Teachers in Guatamala

Dr. Tunks has been selected as The Eagle Feather Mentor of the Year for 2014 because of her extraordinary commitment to undergraduate research in education. Dr. Tunks has personally mentored nineteen undergraduates whose works have been published in The Eagle Feather. All the students were in their final year of teacher preparation in the College of Education at UNT. Pre-service teachers are expected to participate in action research that study the relationships between theory and practice in collaboration with their mentor teachers in their schools. Projects have included the development of math games for “Fiesta Nights” at schools to expose parents and students to new math concepts; evaluation of the use of electronic books in the classroom; projects to increase the involvement of African American parents in the classroom; and programs to increase reading comprehension.  

Dr. Tunks has been a Principal Investigator of Co-Principal Investigator on nearly $500,000 in grant money to improve teacher education at UNT. Grant sources include the Texas Education Agency and the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Tunks is active in her research and in her professional organizations. In the past five years, she has presented research papers at the American Education Research Association meetings in Vancouver Canada and in Boulder, Colorado; the Comparative and International Education Society conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Colegio Boston in Antigua, Guatemala. She also presented a workshop on math and science of music for teachers, institute professionals, and university personnel for the Institute for the Promotion of Science and Technology in Bangkok, Thailand. She is on the editorial board of School-University Partnerships and the Journal of Curriculum Development, and is a reviewer for Wadsworth, McGraw Hill, and Rowan and Littlefield.

Dr. Tunks is an extraordinary teacher. She has mentored 36 doctoral students in the College of Education at UNT. In 2004 she received the prestigious Shelton Excellence in Teach ing Award.

Dr. Tunks believes in giving back to the local community as well. She has been a consultant for the Institute for the Promotion of Science and Technology, the Lyle Leadership Program at Byrd High School, Texas Arts Council, the Dallas Opera, Dallas Children's Theater, Dallas Civic Garden Center, International Theatrical Arts Society, Paul Quinn College, and the Carrolton, Denton and Dallas ISDs.

Dr. Tunks takes her mentoring role very seriously, carrying it over even into her personal time. For the next three years, she and her husband of 36 years, Dr. Thomas Tunks, will serve as live-in scholars, faculty in residence in the Ware Commons residence hall at Southern Methodist University. This position will carry with it the responsibility to engage with first and second year residents, RAs, university leaders, and donors who are interested in supporting student success. There are academic as well as social engagement possibilities.  She and Tom are looking forward to the opportunity to serve students.

Jeanne Tunks, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Teacher Education and Administration, College of Education is an alumna of the University of North Texas, having earned her Ph.D. here in 1997. She also holds a bachelor’s in music from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and a master’s degree in music therapy from Loyola.

Thank you, Jeanne Tunks. You are The Eagle Feather 2014 Mentor of the Year.