Associate Professor of Music Education
Dr. Donna Emmanuel came to higher education via the worlds of public school teaching, sales, marketing and public relations. Born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, living on the Florida Gulf Coast for most of her life, and moving to Texas from Michigan, Donna has a rich and varied background that has helped to form her philosophy, impact her teaching and scholarship, and drives her passion for service. Her graduate degrees in Music Education from the University of Michigan and Michigan State included related fields in voice, educational psychology and ethnomusicology. She has a passion for mariachi, having performed in one at the University of Michigan. In 2003, she founded the first mariachi program at the University of North Texas, Mariachi Águilas. This has expanded into a highly developed form of community engagement that includes the only mariachi summer camp of its kind in the country. This camp brings together middle and high school students, university students, area mariachi directors, and guests from across the country.
Donna’s areas of scholarly interest include cultural competence, philosophies of music education, community engagement, urban teaching and learning, and Hispanic issues. Her interest in community engagement has been demonstrated by her involvement with the College Music Society, having served as Chair of the National Committee for Community Engagement. She organized and hosted a national summit on community engagement for this organization and continues to serve on the committee.
Her growing reputation in this field has been recognized by UNT as she was appointed by President Lane Rawlins to serve on the President’s Council on Community Engagement. Her work on this council resulted in her appointment as Director of Service Learning and Community Engagement for the Division of University and Community Relations. She received the UNT Foundation Award for Community Service in 2015.
Donna is active within the Denton community, is an avid photographer, an INFP, loves to cook and lives with her best friend, Iggy, a 100-pound German Shephard.