We are pleased to invite you to the inaugural Discovery Lecture Series 

Open Education Resources and the Future of Education

by Dr. Rory McGreal

 Thursday, December 15, 2016 from 2:00—3:30 p.m.

Rory McGreal

The rising cost of education has been a common topic in conversation and in the media for some time.  The cost of information is a highly contentious topic.  One component of this conversation is the cost of textbooks.  But did you know there were other options for faculty to choose?

Dr. Rory McGreal is joining us from Athabasca University in Canada to present his argument that the world’s knowledge is a public good that should be made available to everyone.  OER is a critical resource in the efforts to build a knowledgeable society.  He will focus on the implications of OER on today's educational environment, particularly on the quality of education and the financial burdens of expensive textbooks on the students.


He will be discussing some critical questions that are important to us as faculty:

Why are OER needed, not just desirable, in education?

Where are we going with OER in the US and Canada?

What are the limits of "fair use"?

How can OER help not only in teaching but also with online collaborating?

What can we as faculty do to help our students with their expenses?




Dr. McGreal studied for his PhD (Computer Technologies in Education) at a distance over the Internet from Nova Southeastern University’s  Graduate School of Computer and Information Science. He studied the implementation and management of distance education systems and networks from technological, pedagogical and policy perspectives. His present research interests include the use of Open Educational Resources and standards in technology assisted learning, particularly in the development and application of learning objects. He is also researching how these would be applied and formatted on mobile devices for M-learning.

The University of North Texas College of Information has named Dr. Kinshuk as its new dean. Dr. Kinshuk is formerly the associate dean of the Faculty of Science of Technology at Athabasca University in Alberta, Canada. Dr. Kinshuk will start his new position as Dean of the College of Information on August 15. Regents Professor of Decision Sciences Victor Prybutok has served as the college's interim dean since February. For details please go here: 

Michelle Farabough

Information-sharing strategist, researcher, and life-long disruptor known to question the status quo and think squarely outside the box - that’s the way Michelle Farabough describes herself on Twitter. “That moniker is a brief introduction into what makes me tick,” she says. Dr. Oksana Zavalina, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Library and Information Sciences and Associate Director of the College of Information Interdisciplinary Information Science (COI IIS) PhD program says there’s much more to Michelle’s story.

Michelle is a PhD teaching assistant (TA) and student in the UNT COI IIS program. With a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and master’s degree in Knowledge Management from an ALA accredited Library and Information Studies program, her diverse educational background and expertise are quite typical of UNT IIS students. “I feel like I really belong here! Even though I’m a nontraditional student, I fit in. UNT offers a wonderful program with international and second-career students from varied backgrounds. I’m fortunate to have the chance to learn from my classmates and from faculty who have expertise in computer science, librarianship, management information systems, journalism, and business.” 

Michelle’s current studies are focused in health information and communication. She became interested in this new area of specialization while working at the University of Oklahoma (OU) Health Sciences Center as an information and communication specialist. After presenting twice at the CDC National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media, she was encouraged to pursue PhD studies at OU’s Communication Department. In her third year of studies she transferred to UNT to take full advantage of UNT faculty expertise in Social Network Analysis (SNA) and health informatics. “One of my OU master’s program classmates was already at UNT. He told me great things about the COI IIS program, so I decided to make the switch. Dr. Ana Cleveland is widely recognized as a pioneer in medical librarianship and health informatics. Learning from her is such a privilege.  Also, I’ve become very interested in SNA, and OU didn’t offer any classes. I heard that Dr. Barbara Schultz-Jones taught SNA, and I took a class with her last semester. We learned the history of SNA and its methodology. We used advanced technologies to analyze data we collected. I enjoyed her so much that I traveled with her study abroad group to Europe last summer. And now I work as her TA.” 

Michelle says that one of her motivations for attending UNT is the program reputation. It remains one of the largest in the nation with a student body of more than 90 and an interdisciplinary faculty from academic and research units across campus and from universities around the world. “I’ve been so fortunate to take classes and learn from the best in our field. Professor Yvonne Chandler received her PhD from the University of Michigan; Professor Shawne Miksa received hers from Florida State University, and Professor Brian O’Connor studied at the University of California at Berkley. Library and Information Sciences Department Chair Suliman Hawamdeh received his PhD from the University of Sheffield.”

Dr. Hawamdeh served as Michelle’s MSKM advisor at OU. “At the UNT COI IIS program I can take full advantage of the interdisciplinary nature of my knowledge management studies. I’m able to use theories I learned and connect perspectives from the fields that are tied to information science—communication, information, and management. I hope to use what I’ve learned to find unique solutions to information problems that continue to plague the U.S. health care system.” 

Prior to returning to school, Michelle served as a marketing and graphic design consultant for over 20 years. After graduating from OU with her undergraduate degree she worked at a small-town Oklahoma newspaper, a Dallas advertising agency, and then Tulsa’s city magazine. Her combined communication background, knowledge management studies, and terminal degree in information science offer her a unique breadth of knowledge. “At this stage in my life I’m excited to share with undergraduate and master’s students what I’ve learned over the years. After working in the field I can offer anecdotes to help them apply what they are learning in class.”

Michelle lives near Tulsa, Oklahoma, and has driven weekly to Denton for on-campus classes, to meet with UNT faculty and staff, to work for Dr. Barbara Schultz-Jones, and to foster relationships with her PhD student cohort. “Many of my new friends have offered to host me in their homes while I’m here. Leveraging technology for distance learning is awesome, but I also enjoy having deep conversations and hanging out with my classmates and professors.”

Having two teenage sons involved in sports and advanced classes keeps Michelle busy. Knowing they will soon be entering college has been one of her motivations for working toward a PhD. “I want to be prepared for this new chapter in my life when they leave home. Until then, I’m making the most of the time we have together.” During summer break in 2013 she took her children on a 22-state, 4,500 mile trek through the Eastern United States. This past summer, she met them in Rome after her UNT study abroad trip and traveled across Europe—Rome, Florence, Venice, Lugano and Lucerne Switzerland, Paris, and London. 

In her spare time, Michelle and her family visit their cabin in Michigan. She enjoys watching her kids play sports, going to dinner and movies with friends, playing the piano, gardening, and walking every day. Her weekly treat, she says, is taking 90 uninterrupted minutes each week to watch CBS Sunday Morning and needlepoint.

Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller is a PhD research assistant and student attending UNT College of Information Department of Learning Technologies. She has done extensive research in STEM and STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) education and has been awarded grant funding for her research initiatives. Ms. Miller has taught dual credit and CIS courses in database design in the university setting as an adjunct professor, and is interested in connecting K12 educators and students across the state via social media platforms.

She is a curriculum designer and learning technology trainer specializing in STEM K-12 integration initiatives. Jennifer just began serving teachers and students at Carroll ISD in Southlake, Texas in August 2014 as a district instructional technologist.  In 2010, she served as a District Technology Coordinator and Instructional Technologist where she led a 1:1 K12 initiative. Jennifer created a STEAM camp curriculum with New Jersey’s Sandra Wozniak. STEAM camp was implemented in 2011, with a research pilot study in rural Texas during the summer of 2012. The last three years, she has successfully implemented research initiatives to study student attitudes and perspectives during STEAM camps with the University of North Texas. After launching the first NASA MMS 3D fabrication K12 student printing program, in the Summer of 2012 STEAM camp and the Dublin's STEAM camp, this student program has been featured at various conferences - Texas ASCD 2012 and 2013, TCEA 2013, SITE 2013, SITE 2014, ISTE 2012, ISTE 2013 and ISTE 2014.

Jennifer has obtained a Master of Science degree in Computer Information Systems, a Master Technology Teaching certificate, Texas Principal certificate, TCEA Technology Director Certificate, Technology Applications K-12 Teaching Certificate, and a Business Administration 6-12th teaching certificate. Jennifer provides professional services to various K-12 districts in the US.

In her spare time she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and playing the piano and flute.  She is the mother of two boys Ezekiel and Nolan Miller.

Michele Lucero

Michele A. Lucero Villagran brings ideas and enthusiasm to her role as College of Information Alumni Society president. From her roots of Sin City to the humidity of Houston to the beaches of Southern California, there is no better time or place than now to be invigorated and involved with our profession and College. She said, “UNT COI is my home away from home and I’m excited to help grow our community at such a crucial time within our profession.”

As an accomplished law librarian and business, educator, leadership, and dispute resolution professional, she is adept at combining her in-depth knowledge with skillful relationship building. She is Director of Client Development with LAC Group based in the Los Angeles area. Additionally, Michele is adjunct faculty with Woodbury University Institute of Transdisciplinary Studies, local coordinator for UNT COI LIS master's program cohorts in California, and adjunct faculty with the LIS master's program. She is a certified level 1 & 2 cultural intelligence facilitator through the Cultural Intelligence Center (CQC). Michele has more than 20 years of experience working in the public and private sectors including with the LA Law Library; West, Thomson Reuters business; Mayer Brown; Weil Gotshal & Manges; Lionel Sawyer & Collins; and the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District.

Michele is twice a UNT alumna. After earning a BS in Management and International Business from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, she earned an MSLS in Law Librarianship and Legal Informatics and an MBA in Strategic Management from UNT. At Pepperdine University, she completed a Certificate in Dispute Resolution and a Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) and is currently pursuing an Educational Doctorate in Organizational Leadership (EDOL) with her dissertation focusing on cultural intelligence. Michele holds offices and serves on committees in many professional associations in the library, legal, dispute resolution, and education fields. 

Tao Zhang, Xiangli Gu, and Lin Lin

Research on video games and physical activity being conducted by Learning Technologies Associate Professor Lin Lin and her colleagues is featured in UNT's INHouse. Click here for the full story.

Samuel Muwanguzi with wife Dorothy Muwanguzi

On Saturday, April 26, 2014, UNT held the 2014 National Scholarship, Fellowship & Distinguished Placement Recognition Banquet. The evening’s program was dedicated to Samuel Muwanguzi, the Alice Jones Givens Foundation Scholarship for Outstanding Blind Students in Academics and Leadership. Dr. Muwanguzi recently earned his PhD in Information Science with an emphasis in information policy. His dissertation research focused on adoption of open source software in Uganda.

Samuel received his master’s degree from the UNT Communication Studies department in 2005. For over four years, he worked as a teaching and research assistant in the College of Information. Three years ago, he was selected as the UNT International Student of the Year. In a former life, because of his achievements in the Ugandan communications industry, he was known as the “Larry King of Uganda.”

“Samuel is a person who defies limitation, whose teaching inspires, and whose outreach spans several cultures and communities,” said Dr. James Duban, Director of the UNT Office for Nationally Competitive Scholarships. “He has enriched our campus by his presence. He is more than an outstanding graduate student and alum; he is everything an exemplary human being can become.”

Dr. Muwanguzi expressed appreciation for the assistance received from UNT throughout his academic journey. “Without help from fellow students, administrators, faculty, and my family, these accomplishments would have been much more difficult,” he said.

Yvonne Chandler

Dr. Chandler receives a Vera Wang vase from her former students at the 2014 College of Information Alumni Reception, which was held in San Antonio, Texas.

Holly Hutchins and Corinne Hill

The College of Information has selected Outstanding Alumni for 2014: Dr. Holly Hutchins (Ph.D. 2005) and Corinne Hill (M.S. 1995). Read more about this year's COI Outstanding Alumni at

The following students from the College of Information were honored at UNT's Honors Day on April 4, 2014.

UNT award

Kristin L. Firmery (ATPI PhD student): Nicholas D. and Anna Ricco Ethics Award

Dept. awards

Kevin Yanowski: Outstanding Student in LIS MS Information Science major

Sunyoung Park: Outstanding Student in LIS MS Library Science major

Rochelle Herbst: Outstanding Student in LIS MS Houston Program

Mary Alexander Smith: Outstanding Student in LIS MS Program Los Angeles Cohort

Megan Glidden: Outstanding Student in LIS MS SWIM Cohort

Ishmael Perez: Outstanding Student in LIS MS LEAP Cohort

Uzoamaka Okafor: Outstanding Student in LIS MS Atlanta Cohort

Danielle Mayabb: Outstanding Student in LIS MS Nevada/Utah Cohort

Marlon Hernandez: Lis and Phil Turner Outstanding Paper award