Kathy Beazley
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Photo courtesy of Dallas Pride Sherrell Cross, Dallas Pride Executive Director

Dallas Pride is thrilled to announce the appointment of Sherrell Cross as the organization's new executive director. With a strong background in LGBTQ+ advocacy and leadership, Cross brings experience and passion to her new role in helping Dallas Pride pursue its mission of strengthening, supporting and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community by creating events and initiatives that foster connections between members of the community, allies and supporters.

The Dallas Pride Board of Directors is confident that Cross’s vision and leadership will help the organization reach new heights in promoting LGBTQ+ rights and fostering unity within the community.

"We are delighted to welcome Sherrell Cross as our organization’s new executive director," said Frank Holland, president of the Dallas Pride Board of Directors. "Her deep commitment to our mission and her impressive track record make her the ideal leader to guide Dallas Pride into a bright and inclusive future."

Cross comes to Dallas Pride with an impressive track record of dedication to LGBTQ+ causes. She is a tireless advocate for equality and inclusion, and has served in key leadership roles within local LGBTQ+ organizations. With Real Live Connection, Cross was the assistant executive director for six years while she helped grow the organization within Dallas Pride’s Teen Pride Zone, increasing attendance and sponsorship growth each year. Cross has also served on the leadership board of Lambda Legal, volunteered with Promise House, hosted Thanksgiving meals for Real Live Connection, and partnered with Love 2 Give to lead water drives for the homeless during summer months. Her commitment to fostering diversity and creating safe, inclusive spaces aligns perfectly with the mission of Dallas Pride.

In her role as executive director, Sherrell will oversee all aspects of Dallas Pride's operations, including event planning, community outreach and fundraising. She will work closely with the board of directors and volunteers to continue the organization's tradition of hosting vibrant and impactful Pride events that celebrate diversity and promote acceptance. 

"I am honored to lead Dallas Pride and build upon the incredible work of this organization," Cross said. "Pride is not just a celebration; it's a vital platform for advancing LGBTQ+ rights and making our community's voices heard. I am excited to work alongside our dedicated team to create memorable and meaningful Pride experiences for all."

About Dallas Pride

Dallas Pride is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening, supporting and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community by creating events and initiatives that foster connections between members of the community, its allies and its supporters.

Follow @DallasPrideOrg on Facebook, @DallasPrideOfficial on Instagram, @DallasPrideOrg on Twitter, or via the organization’s website,, for all the tea.

Kathy Beazley
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Aw Shucks 40th Anniversary Celebration_2__Photo cr

Back to the 80s party includes food and drink deals, costume contest, awesome prizes, and 80s cover bands at all locations for one day only

What’s the big whoop? Aw Shucks and Big Shucks Oyster Bar will be bringing back awesome memories as they celebrate their 40th celebration on Throwback Thursday, September 28, at its five locations in Dallas, Richardson, Lewisville, and Frisco. The totally tubular 80s party includes food and drink specials (all day) and jamming to 80s cover bands at all locations (from 5pm-9pm). Break out the legwarmers and tease the big hair for a chance to win gnarly prizes including t-shirts, Aw Shucks Gift Cards, and a 40” smart flat screen TV at each location. Don’t have a cow, man, there’s fun for everyone!

The most excellent specials include:

  • $19.83 throwback platter that includes 1/2 Lb. Dungeness crab, ½ Lb. shrimp, with sausage, corn, and potatoes
  • $19.83 dozen fresh oysters
  • $3.83 The Dirty Bob (a special cocktail for ONE DAY only; includes pineapple juice, peach liqueur, Jäegermeister, and a slice of peach served over ice)
  • $3.83 margaritas
  • $2.83 draft beer
  • FREE Slice of key lime pie for those born in 1983 (I.D. required)

What’s in a name? Aw Shucks was founded by two righteous dudes, Bob Peterson and Scott Holyfield. These former executives from America’s most colorful airline, Braniff International, chose the name of “Aw Shucks” because it was just a fun play on words that they felt would work - and it DID! Bob had a favorite seafood concept from the south coast and modeled his beloved Shucks after it. When Bob and Scott were initially developing the Aw Shucks menu in 1983, they offered only a few items: catfish, shrimp, oysters, and all combinations thereof so that there was no more than a total of 9-10 items on the original menu. Bob’s theory was to do it simply and do it awesomely. That’s how Aw Shucks was born!

Since 1983, Aw Shucks and Big Shucks Oyster Bar have been the best places in North Texas to veg out and enjoy raw oysters, shrimp, catfish, crab legs, po'boy boy sandwiches, a nice cold beer, and tasty crawfish when in season. With its wicked seafood shack atmosphere, guests are guaranteed to have an outrageous time. For more information on Aw Shucks and Big Shucks, visit Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest news and promotions. #shucksdallas


Peterson Management Group is a family-owned and operated restaurant management company with 12 restaurants located across North Texas. Founded by Bob Peterson and Scott Holyfield, two guys with larger-than-life personalities, it all started in 1983 with eclectic seafood shack restaurants, Aw Shucks and Big Shucks Oyster Bar. They are the best places in North Texas to get raw oysters, shrimp, catfish, crab legs, po'boy boy sandwiches, a nice cold beer, and some tasty crawfish when in season. In addition to Aw Shucks and Big Shucks, Peterson Management Group opened Blue Goose Cantina in 1984, where fantastic made-from-scratch Mexican food, legendary cocktails, top-notch service, a fun atmosphere and a kick-ass attitude come together. The restaurant chain has repeatedly been voted the best in North Texas for its winning combination of food, fun, and signature margaritas. Today, Nick Peterson, son of Bob, leads the family business, serving as its CEO. For more information, visit

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Photo credit Texas Woman's University

Texas Woman’s University (TWU) broke ground on a $107 million, state-of-the-art health sciences center that will expand programming and training for students seeking health-related careers, increase the number of professionals in high-demand health fields and extend critical health services to rural, underserved areas of North Texas.

The 136,000-square-foot facility is being built on seven acres adjacent to Parliament Village, a TWU residential community, and will serve students in the allied health care fields — such as nursing, physical therapy and occupational therapy — with a special emphasis on preparing students to serve in rural settings. The building will include labs, classrooms, collaborative workspaces, outdoor clinic sites and a teaching kitchen, as well as community health care clinics and training spaces for students. The building project is scheduled for completion in summer 2025, with opening set for fall 2025.

The center will serve as a hub for community and rural health efforts, which will significantly increase health care education, research and service. The center also will spur collaborative programming among the university’s five colleges, with a specific goal to graduate 30% more nursing and health care professionals and support the state’s plan to produce more health professionals.

“This new facility will bring students and faculty from different professional perspectives together in spaces, labs and clinics specifically designed for collaboration and team building,” said Texas Woman’s Chancellor Carine Feyten. “This innovative educational experience will produce workforce-ready professionals who have a grounding in a patient-centered, whole-person approach to health and healing in a field not only desperate for more professionals but transformational leaders.”

The university also launched the public phase of a historic $125 million fundraising campaign, Dream Big, which will support TWU’s continued growth and leadership development in health and life sciences, financial and business services, entrepreneurship, technology and aviation. The campaign, scheduled to end in conjunction with the university’s 125th anniversary in 2026, is the university’s first-ever comprehensive fundraising effort.

To date, the university has raised more than $103 million in support of the campaign's three-pronged approach that will open doors of opportunity for students to fuel innovation and change, and cultivate and nurture leadership development.

“For decades, Texas Woman’s University has been a leader in producing graduates to meet the state’s high-demand workforce needs, and this new center will be a game changer for the overall health of North Texas,” said Stacie McDavid, chair of the TWU System Board of Regents. “Indeed, we are dreaming big, and our aim is to provide more healthcare opportunities for Texans, and to keep the state thriving and prosperous.”
With campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston, Texas Woman’s, the nation’s largest woman-focused university system, is committed to transformational learning, leadership development, service, discovery, and health and wellbeing in an inclusive environment. The university has built a reputation on its contributions in nursing, education, the healthcare professions, the arts and sciences, and business.

For more information, visit or connect with Texas Woman’s University on Facebook @TexasWomansUniversity, Instagram @txwomans, Twitter @txwomans, and LinkedIn @texaswomansuniversity . #DreamBigTWU, #TWU125

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Photo courtesy of Metrocrest Services

Metrocrest Services Officially Opens New Home in Heart of Metrocrest Community to Envelop Clients in Hope, Dignity and Respect

Welcome home, Metrocrest Services! Local non-profit answers unprecedented need with new facility that provides wrap-around services to help people on the path to self-sufficiency.


Friends and supporters gathered today for a housewarming party unlike any other, a celebration of the new home of Metrocrest Services at 1145 North Josey Lane in Carrollton, in the heart of the Metrocrest community, which comprises the areas of Carrollton, Addison, Farmers Branch, Coppell, and areas of Dallas.

“The collective effort of so many in the community – volunteers, donors, staff and city officials – is not only the reason we were able to build and open this new facility, but it’s also the reason this organization has been able to serve our clients for more than five decades,” said Tracy Eubanks, CEO of Metrocrest Services. “Their support is the reason we can help people on the path to self-sufficiency.”

Putting People on the Path to Self-sufficiency

Inside the new home of Metrocrest Services, its clients find a modern, spacious place to access the services they need, all delivered with dignity and respect.  The new home brings all of the organization’s services under one roof, creating convenient access for clients and volunteers alike with the largest expansion the non-profit has had in its 50-year history. 

Designed by Gensler and built by Talley Riggins Construction Group, the 48,000-square-foot facility on 4.6 acres in Carrollton is a welcoming hub for all of Metrocrest Services’ daily operations, including providing access to nutritious food, workforce development and financial literacy, rent and utility assistance, senior services and other programs for individuals, families and seniors that lead to self-sufficiency and foster independence. The Ratliff Group served as construction manager and owner’s representative for the new facility.

The campus also includes shared space for complementary service providers to support clients from one central location and a volunteer center for greater opportunities for community engagement. 

Feeding the Need

More than 25 percent of the new facility is dedicated to the Metrocrest Services Food Pantry, an on-site warehouse, a Volunteer Center to support pantry operations and a Teaching Kitchen. This new space doubles the former facility’s space for dry and cold storage, ensuring the Food Pantry will stay stocked with nutritious food throughout the day. 

Clients may easily access the Food Pantry through a dedicated entrance, grab a grocery cart, and shop the shelves of this pantry as if it were a neighborhood grocery store. Bright lights and cheerful pictures adorn the walls of the two-story facility, where clients are assisted by staff and volunteers dedicated to creating a good experience with education and support. 

Outside, a Teaching Garden on the campus empowers clients to learn more about growing and harvesting fresh fruit and an indoor Teaching Kitchen is a fun place for workshops on healthy food preparation.

An Increased Need

The need today is greater than ever, and Metrocrest Services is rising to the challenges while planning well for the future ahead. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, prior to the deadly winter storm and the economic hardships many have endured, the Metrocrest community has experienced a staggering need for social services. 

Individuals, local businesses and large corporations have come together to fund $18 million toward the Building Our Future capital campaign to build the new headquarters. The North Texas Food Bank, Southwest Airlines, Sam Pack, Vari and Container Store are some of the many names seen in the new facility, highlighting the deep community support offered to the work of Metrocrest Services.

To help stock the pantry’s new shelves, provide additional support to North Texans in need, and provide needed items for the new facility, find the Metrocrest Services Amazon Wish List at

Metrocrest Services, Inc., is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing programs for individuals, families and seniors that lead to self-sufficiency and foster independence. Programs include rent and utility bill assistance, financial and budgeting assistance, food pantry, employment coaching and transportation, minor home repairs and home-delivered meals to benefit seniors. Additionally, Metrocrest provides programs focused on children including holiday gifts and summer food. For more information, visit

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Photo Courtesy: NAMI North Texas

September is a month that holds significance for various reasons, from the changing seasons to cultural celebrations. However, it also serves as a time to shed light on a matter of utmost importance: suicide prevention. National Suicide Prevention Month, observed in September, aims to raise awareness about the critical issue of suicide and mental health, while emphasizing the vital role that organizations like NAMI North Texas play in offering support, education, and hope to individuals and families affected by mental health challenges.

Understanding the Crisis and the Warning Signs

Suicide is a global public health concern, claiming the lives of more than 800,000 individuals every year, according to the World Health Organization. The impact of suicide extends far beyond those who lose their lives; it leaves a lasting emotional toll on families, friends, and communities. By reaching out for help or checking in with family and friends, we can avoid devastating outcomes.

Recognizing signs of suicide is essential. Watch for expressions of hopelessness, increased drug and alcohol use, talking about being a burden, withdrawal from family and friends, impulsive and reckless behavior, and dramatic mood shifts. If someone shows these signs, it's time to worry. NAMI advises approaching them with empathy and openness. Choose a private setting, express your concern non-judgmentally, and listen actively. Ask direct questions about their feelings and offer reassurance. Encourage professional help, assist in finding resources, and stay connected.

Like any other health emergency, it’s important to address a mental health crisis like suicide quickly and effectively. Unlike other health emergencies, mental health crises don’t have instructions or resources on how to help or what to expect (like the Heimlich Maneuver or CPR). To help address the need, NAMI created Navigating a Mental Health Crisis: A NAMI Resource Guide for Those Experiencing a Mental Health Emergency, so people experiencing mental health emergencies and their loved ones can have the answers and information they need when they need it. Your support can make a difference in their journey to recovery.

National Suicide Prevention Month is a time to honor those who have been affected by suicide, as well as a platform to promote awareness, prevention, and support. The observance serves as a call to action, urging individuals, communities, and organizations to work collectively to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues and to foster an environment of empathy, understanding, and hope.

NAMI North Texas’ Crucial Role

NAMI North Texas stands as a beacon of hope for individuals and families grappling with mental health challenges. Incorporated in 1982, NAMI North Texas has dedicated itself to providing support, raising awareness, and advocating for policies that prioritize mental health. Through education, advocacy, and a network of local chapters, NAMI has made substantial strides in reducing stigma and ensuring that mental health concerns are treated with the same importance as physical health.

One of NAMI's most significant achievements is its unwavering commitment to reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues. The organization actively promotes conversations that dispel myths, encourage empathy, and create an environment where seeking help is seen as a sign of strength rather than weakness. This approach aligns perfectly with the spirit of National Suicide Prevention Month, where honest discussions are essential to saving lives.

NAMI North Texas offers an extensive range of resources that empower individuals to take control of their mental health journey. From educational programs and support groups to helplines and crisis intervention, NAMI's offerings ensure that no one has to face mental health challenges alone. By fostering a sense of community, NAMI gives individuals and their loved ones the tools they need to navigate their struggles and seek help when necessary.

How You Can Get Involved

During National Suicide Prevention Month, there are numerous ways you can participate in raising awareness and promoting mental health:

  1. Educate Yourself: Learn about the signs of mental distress and how to support those in need.
  2. Start Conversations: Initiate discussions about mental health with friends, family, and colleagues to break down stigma.
  3. Support Organizations: Contribute to and volunteer with organizations like NAMI North Texas that are dedicated to mental health advocacy and support.
  4. Share Resources: Spread the word about available resources for those struggling with mental health challenges.

Remember, a small act of kindness, a listening ear, or a shared story of hope can make an immeasurable difference in someone's life.

If you are seeking support or need information on how to better manage a mental health challenge in yourself or a loved one, you are not alone. Reach out to NAMI North Texas, a chartered affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which offers outstanding peer-led programs and provides no-cost education, skills training and support in Dallas, Collin, Denton, and Rockwall counties. Visit  or call 214-341-7133 for more information. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts and in need immediate of help, please call or text 988 or chat online at

Kathy Beazley
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Photo credit Texas Woman’s University Texas Woman’s University student Saira Jamali, Dallas College student Iryna Martsinovich and TWU professor Tina Gumienny (from left to right), participated in a summer STEM workshop at Texas Woman’s that, through a grant from Lyda Hill Philanthropies, will be augmented to create more opportunities for students majoring in STEM disciplines.

Lyda Hill Philanthropies awards grant to expand STEM pathways at TWU

Collaboration with Dallas College, North Central Texas College, Tarrant County College will encourage students to pursue four-year STEM degrees.

Texas Woman’s University has received a grant from Dallas-based Lyda Hill Philanthropies to create additional pathways for community college students to receive four-year STEM degrees, an effort that aims to better position the Metroplex for job growth in the life sciences and other STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields by increasing the number of college-educated STEM workers ? a move critical to the region’s economic success.

“Lyda Hill Philanthropies is committed to supporting advancements in science and helping students further their education in STEM is key," said Lyda Hill, entrepreneur and founder of the organization. "We are proud to work with Texas Woman’s University, Dallas College, North Central Texas College and Tarrant County College in this effort and look forward to seeing the success these talented students have in their careers in STEM."

“This project will give community college students a chance to work with mentors and graduate students in research laboratories at TWU,” said Juliet V. Spencer, head of the School of the Sciences at TWU, and one of five TWU professors and administrators leading the project. “Studies demonstrate that getting students into research labs and working with faculty on STEM research makes it more likely that they will want to continue their STEM educations, either at the bachelor’s level or in graduate school.”

The gift will fund one-day experiential STEM learning opportunities for 100 community college students from Dallas College, North Central Texas College and Tarrant County College, and paid, two-week internships for 10 students.

Earlier this year, TWU launched a smaller pilot project with Dallas College in which 24 students participated in one-day experiential STEM learning opportunities, including a site visit to the STEM labs on the TWU Denton campus, where they learned about STEM research. Two of the participants were selected for two-week internships on campus this summer.

Based on the success of the program, Texas Woman’s has now planned an expanded project for 2024 involving Dallas College, North Central Texas College and Tarrant County College.

The expanded project will involve 100 students spending a day at TWU. Of the 100 students, 10 will be offered paid two-week internships on the TWU campus, where they will eventually present their research. Disciplines supported by the project include biology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, computer sciences and mathematics.

“Dallas College is thrilled to be partnering with TWU and grateful to Lyda Hill Philanthropies for their support to expand the program. Experiential learning, particularly undergraduate research, provides students with unique opportunities that increase their retention and completion of a STEM credential and provides critical skill building that will help them when they enter the STEM workforce,” said Jason Treadway, director of the STEM Institute at Dallas College.

The initiative will also include robust, multi-year tracking of where participants complete their college educations, as well as scholarship support for at least seven program participants who transfer to TWU to complete their undergraduate STEM degrees. TWU’s goal is to use data from the pilot project to help it scale the program across Texas in subsequent years.

“TWU has developed outstanding relationships with local community colleges over the years, and we are proud to be able to collaborate with three of them to increase an interest in four-year STEM education,” said Texas Woman’s Chancellor Carine M. Feyten. “We are honored that Lyda Hill Philanthropies, a national leader in STEM funding, has chosen to support this groundbreaking project.”

“North Central Texas College is excited to build upon years of successful partnership with Texas Woman’s University to provide this opportunity for our students to explore careers in the fast-growing STEM fields,” said Brent Wallace, chancellor of North Central Texas College.

The project aligns with TWU’s current strategic plan, which seeks to double the number of STEM opportunities on campus as a top priority. With the most diverse student body among Texas public universities, as well as a student body that is 89 percent women, TWU is strongly positioned to support students from groups underrepresented in science who wish to pursue STEM careers.

“This is a great opportunity for our students at Tarrant County College. We are looking forward to working with TWU as we expose Tarrant County College students to innovative research experiences in STEM,” said Stephen Jones, dean of mathematics, natural sciences and kinesiology at Tarrant County College.

About TWU:

Texas Woman’s, the nation’s largest woman-focused university, is committed to transformational learning, leadership development, service, discovery, and health and wellbeing in an inclusive environment. The university has built a reputation on its contributions in nursing, education, the healthcare professions, the arts and sciences, and business. For more information, visit

About Lyda Hill Philanthropies:

Lyda Hill Philanthropies encompasses the charitable giving for founder Lyda Hill and includes her foundation and personal philanthropy. Our organization is committed to funding transformational advances in science and nature, empowering nonprofit organizations and improving the Texas and Colorado communities. Because Miss Hill has a fervent belief that “science is the answer” to many of life’s most challenging issues, she has chosen to donate the entirety of her estate to philanthropy and scientific research. For more details visit

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Photo courtesy: NAMI North Texas

In a fast-paced world full of daily challenges and stressors, it's easy to lose sight of the most critical aspect of our lives: our well-being. National Wellness Month, celebrated every August, serves as a timely reminder to prioritize self-care and mental health. In this busy modern era, where the pursuit of success and productivity often overshadows personal well-being, taking a step back to focus on self-care and mental health is not only essential but also vital for leading a fulfilling life.

The Concept of National Wellness Month:

National Wellness Month was established to create awareness and promote overall wellness across various dimensions of life - physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual. It aims to empower individuals to make positive changes in their lives, leading to improved health and well-being. This month-long observance encourages people to reflect on their habits, set achievable goals, and adopt healthy practices that contribute to a more balanced lifestyle.

Prioritizing Self-Care:

Self-care is the foundation of a healthy and happy life. It involves consciously engaging in activities that promote well-being and reduce stress. In our relentless pursuit of success and accomplishments, we often neglect our own needs, leading to burnout and physical and mental health issues. National Wellness Month encourages us to take a step back and invest time in self-care activities, such as regular exercise, sufficient sleep, maintaining a balanced diet, and engaging in hobbies that bring joy.

Mental Health Matters:

In recent years, the importance of mental health has gained widespread recognition. National Wellness Month plays a crucial role in destigmatizing mental health issues and advocating for open discussions about mental well-being. Taking care of our mental health is as essential as looking after our physical health. It involves acknowledging and expressing emotions, seeking help when needed, and maintaining a positive mindset.

The Impact of Self-Care on Mental Health:

Self-care and mental health are intricately connected. When we neglect self-care, our mental health can suffer, leading to increased stress, anxiety, and feelings of overwhelm. Engaging in self-care practices not only provides an opportunity to relax and recharge but also improves our resilience and coping mechanisms when faced with challenges. Whether it's practicing mindfulness, spending time in nature, or simply engaging in activities we enjoy, these practices have a profound impact on our mental well-being.

Strategies for Enhancing Mental Health:

During National Wellness Month, it is essential to explore and implement strategies that enhance mental health and well-being:

1. Mindfulness and Meditation: Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help calm the mind, reduce stress, and promote overall emotional well-being.

2. Physical Activity: Regular exercise releases endorphins, the "feel-good" hormones, which can significantly improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

3. Social Connections: Building and nurturing positive relationships with family, friends, and community members can provide a strong support system during difficult times.

4. Time Management: Effectively managing time and setting realistic goals can alleviate stress and prevent burnout.

5. Professional Support: Seeking help from mental health professionals, such as therapists or counselors, can be immensely beneficial in addressing mental health concerns.

National Wellness Month reminds us that self-care and mental health should be an ongoing priority, not just a fleeting focus. By embracing self-care practices and actively nurturing our mental well-being, we equip ourselves to lead more fulfilling lives, enhance our overall resilience, and effectively cope with life's inevitable challenges. Let us use this month as a springboard to build habits that promote wellness in every aspect of our lives, ensuring that self-care and mental health remain at the forefront throughout the year and beyond.

If you are seeking support or need information on how to better manage a mental health challenge in yourself or a loved one, you are not alone. Reach out to NAMI North Texas, a chartered affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), which offers  outstanding peer-led programs provide free education, skills training and support in Dallas, Collin, Denton, and Rockwall counties. Visit  or call 214-341-7133 for more information.

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Photo credit Texas Woman's University Texas Woman’s University Chancellor Carine M. Feyten (left) and Doswell Foundation CEO Beverly Fricke hold a check for $1 million, the first payment toward the foundation’s historic $15 million commitment to the Doswell School of Aeronautical Sciences at Texas Woman’s University.

Members of the Dallas-based Doswell Foundation board formally signed an agreement with the Texas Woman’s University System Board of Regents on Aug. 11, marking the foundation’s historic $15 million gift to TWU establishing the Doswell School of Aeronautical Sciences. The school aims to address a nationwide pilot shortage and increase the number of women commercial pilots. Doswell Foundation CEO and Chairman Beverly Fricke and foundation board members celebrated the partnership a day earlier at a special dinner with Board of Regents Chair Stacie McDavid and fellow regents. During the regents’ board meeting, the foundation presented Texas Woman’s Chancellor Carine Feyten with an initial payment of $1 million. The aeronautical sciences program is expected to begin enrolling students in August 2024. The Doswell Foundation and the late philanthropist Florence Doswell have been longtime supporters of TWU's College of Nursing.

About Texas Woman’s University

Texas Woman’s University is the nation’s largest woman-focused institution. In 2021, total student enrollment from its campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston exceeded 16,300.

Texas Woman’s is recognized for its contributions and leadership in the health sciences, education, business, arts and sciences. The university offers student support, small class sizes and campus esthetics more typically found at a private university. The university’s Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership focuses on increasing opportunities for women in business, politics and public policy and student leadership.

Male students have been admitted to the university’s graduate programs since 1972 and undergraduate programs since 1994. Texas Woman’s prides itself on providing students with a well-rounded education predicated on experiential learning, service, health and well-being, and integrity.

Respect for diversity in all dimensions (U.S. News & World Report ranked the university tied for fourth in the nation for diversity in 2021) and a safe campus environment (Texas Woman’s is among the safest campuses in the nation) are among the hallmarks of a TWU education. The university consistently is recognized as Military Friendly. 

Committed to transformational learning, discovery and service in an inclusive environment that embraces diversity, Texas Woman’s inspires excellence and a pioneering spirit. For more information, visit

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Photo courtesy of NAMI North Texas

In the wake of a heart-wrenching incident involving an officer who took his own life after firing his service weapon in the fatal shooting of a murder suspect on August 7, our community is reminded of the vital importance of prioritizing the mental health and well-being of our law enforcement officers. An18-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, Officer Matthew Bacon served as a member of the U.S. Marshals fugitive task force, a collaborative effort involving both Dallas and Mesquite police officers. The task force was in the process of executing an arrest warrant for a murder suspect at a Dallas apartment complex.

Law enforcement officers face unimaginable challenges and responsibilities daily, often putting their own lives at risk to protect our communities. Recent events have underscored the acute emotional toll that these brave individuals carry with them, even as they fulfill their duty to serve and protect. The loss of an officer to suicide not only devastates their families and colleagues, but also serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for comprehensive mental health support within police departments.

In times like these, we must come together as a community to address this critical issue and ensure that our officers have access to the resources they need to cope with the immense stress and trauma they encounter on the job. Mental health support should not be an afterthought, but an integral part of the comprehensive training and ongoing care provided to our police force.

As we mourn the loss of the Dallas Police Department’s own, we must also take action. NAMI North Texas is committed to actively advocating for increased awareness, funding, and implementation of mental health programs specifically tailored to the needs of law enforcement officers.

NAMI North Texas and its Overwatch Peer Support (OPS) program have offered support to the Dallas Police Department to assist those officers in need, but haven’t received a response yet. The NAMI North Texas OPS program is the first of its kind: in-person, no-cost, confidential, community-based, inter-agency peer support network for first responders. This innovative program provides a private option to take the first step towards mental health care, making it easier for first responders to seek help, prioritize their own well-being, and connect with vetted, culturally appropriate clinical care when necessary. Intended to be supplementary to intra-agency support teams, OPS serves as an additional resource to optimize first responder wellness and professional performance.

“It is our collective responsibility to create an environment in which our police officers feel safe to seek help and openly address their emotional well-being without fear of stigma,” states Michelle Horridge, who serves the NAMI North Texas Frontline Wellness Coordinator and a Detective for the Flower Mound Police Department Criminal Investigations Division. “Just as they work tirelessly to protect our community, we must work tirelessly to protect their mental health.”

The tragedy we face today serves as a painful reminder that we cannot wait any longer to address this pressing issue. Let us honor the memory of our fallen officer by fostering a culture of compassion, understanding, and support for our law enforcement officers. Together, we can make a difference and ensure that no officer feels alone in their struggle.

If you are a member of the law enforcement community (sworn or civilian) and would like to be connected with an OPS Peer Supporter, please visit or email Michelle Horridge at


Founded in 1982, NAMI North Texas, a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit organization, advocates for equitable access to mental health services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community of hope for all of those in need. Serving Dallas, Collin, Denton, and Rockwall counties, NAMI North Texas provides essential and free education, advocacy and support group programs. For more information, visit

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Photo courtesy of NAMI North Texas

As the summer break comes to an end, students around the world are preparing to head back to school. While this transition marks a return to academic learning and social interactions, it also presents a crucial opportunity to address and prioritize children's mental health. Beyond academic achievements, a focus on emotional well-being within the school environment can significantly impact a child's overall development, enabling them to thrive both in and out of the classroom.

The Importance of Emotional Well-being in Education

Emotional well-being is an integral aspect of a child's growth and plays a vital role in shaping their learning experiences. When children feel safe, supported, and emotionally secure in the school environment, they are more likely to engage actively in their studies and form positive relationships with peers and educators. Moreover, promoting emotional health can foster a positive school culture, where students feel valued, respected, and empowered to express themselves.

Creating a Safe and Inclusive Learning Space

To enhance children's emotional well-being in schools, educators and administrators must prioritize creating a safe and inclusive learning space. This involves establishing clear expectations for behavior, implementing anti-bullying policies, and providing training for teachers on recognizing and addressing emotional struggles in students. By nurturing a sense of belonging and safety within the school community, children are more likely to develop the confidence to explore their academic potential and build meaningful connections with others.

Promoting Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programs have gained recognition for their positive impact on students' mental health and academic performance. These programs teach essential life skills such as self-awareness, empathy, emotional regulation, and conflict resolution. By incorporating SEL into the curriculum, schools can equip students with the tools they need to cope with stress, manage emotions, and navigate social situations effectively. Moreover, SEL fosters empathy and understanding among students, reducing the incidence of bullying and promoting a more supportive environment. 

Encouraging Physical Activity and Play

Physical activity and play are vital components of a child's overall well-being. Encouraging regular exercise, both in physical education classes and during breaks, can have a profound effect on children's mental health. Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, promoting positive emotions and reducing stress and anxiety. Additionally, unstructured playtime fosters creativity, problem-solving skills, and emotional expression, allowing children to decompress and recharge during their busy school day.

Identifying and Supporting Students' Emotional Needs

Every child is unique, and their emotional needs can vary greatly. Teachers and school staff play a crucial role in identifying students who may be struggling emotionally and providing appropriate support. Implementing regular check-ins with students, individualized counseling sessions, or peer support programs can offer a safe space for students to express their feelings and receive guidance. By taking a proactive approach to emotional support, schools can address issues early on, preventing them from escalating into more significant challenges.

Engaging Parents and Guardians

Parents and guardians are essential partners in nurturing children's emotional well-being. Schools can facilitate this partnership by engaging parents in their child's education and emotional development. Regular parent-teacher conferences, workshops on emotional health, and open communication channels can help parents better understand their child's needs and contribute positively to their well-being both at home and in school.

As children head back to school, it is crucial to recognize that their mental health and emotional well-being are fundamental to their success as learners and individuals. By creating a safe, inclusive, and supportive learning environment, promoting social and emotional learning, encouraging physical activity and play, and actively addressing students' emotional needs, schools can play a pivotal role in nurturing emotionally resilient and confident young individuals who can thrive academically and in life. Ultimately, by prioritizing children's mental health, we can empower the next generation to reach their full potential and lead fulfilling and successful lives.

To help schools and organizations serving youth and their families address mental health, NAMI North Texas, a chartered affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), offers a no-cost program called Ending the Silence. It is a powerful tool in raising awareness, improving understanding and reducing stigma. Ending the Silence delivers a message of hope and recovery, helping to end stigma and empower safe, open communication around mental health conditions. For middle school, high school and college/university students, there is NAMI On Campus, which are student-led clubs that raise mental health awareness and reduce stigma on high school and college campuses through peer-led activities, education, and events. NAMI On Campus connects students with their local community and supports them in creating a culture free of judgment and accepting of reaching out for help; a more aware and mental health-supportive school culture. If your school or university would like to learn more about our programs, contact Tiffany Gomez at or call 214-341-7133.

Founded in 1982, NAMI North Texas, a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit organization, advocates for equitable access to mental health services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community of hope for all of those in need. Serving Dallas, Collin, Denton, and Rockwall counties, NAMI North Texas provides essential and free education, advocacy and support group programs. For more information, visit