The Career Opportunities Direction Exploration (CODE) is a series dedicated to connecting alumni and industry professionals with current students. The collaboration between the College of Information, the three COI departments, and the UNT Career Center is designed to help students explore professions in their field of study. Each semester will feature panelists who will focus on careers in each of our three areas of study.

Past Events


October 21, 2020 - Dr. Whitney Kilgore

Dr. Whitney Kilgore is a College of Information graduate who started a company called iDesign based in Dallas. 

Excerpt from iDesign About Us:

iDesign partners with universities to build, grow, and support online and blended course and program offerings.  We are passionate about serving faculty and designing engaging learner experiences that unlock the potential of instructional technology.

iDesign was created to offer a sustainable and mission-compatible service option for universities interested in online and blended programs. The landscape of higher education is changing rapidly due to the proliferation of instructional technology and growing concern over the value proposition for students. Universities need trusted partners to help them navigate these complex and increasingly competitive waters. The incumbent service model – the bundled revenue share – asked universities to relinquish control and half (or more) of tuition revenue. This model is not sustainable, as it incentivizes scale over student outcomes and institutional mission. iDesign offers an alternative: the unbundled, fee-for-service approach with a focus on serving faculty and students.


January 29, 2020 - Day of Data Science

CODE panelists group shot

The panelists at the event included:

  • Jim Ashley, Senior Vice President of Information Services, Ben E. Keith
  • Alfred Essa, VP of Analytics and Data Science at Macmillan Learning
  • Seemit Sheth, Senior Director, Head of Data Science, Capital One Banking and Finance
  • Michael Talley, Economic Development Director, Denton County Management and Government
  • Ravi Vadapalli, Senior Director IT Services at UNT

CODE Series Day of Data Science: 

The amount of careers available in Data Science currently outpace the number of people needed to fill them. According to the average salary for Data Scientists is $122,885. In an effort to highlight the current Data Science students, Department of Information Science Department faculty member Dr. Jinhua Ding sought a C.O.D.E Series event called a Day of Data Science.

In 2018, the Career Opportunities, Directions, and Exploration (C.O.D.E) Series began as a collaboration between the college, the departments, and the career center.  At the center of C.O.D.E events are COI students, looking to establish career directions as they plan their degree and perspective students interested in COI degrees or how our programs intersect with their fields of study. The morning session included lectures on use of Data Science from the following companies invited to participate, Ben E. Keith, Capital One and Denton County Economic Development. The afternoon session included two panel discussions, the first on Financing and Information Technology, the second panel on Data Science for Management and Computing and Advanced Data Analytics at UNT.

The companies were also invited to visit with students and learn their about their current research projects in a poster room.

  • Large Teams or Small Teams Building Disruptive Software in Science and Technology? - Ramakrishna Sasank T 
  • SemOIR: An Ontology based semantic information retrieval system - Mingwei Tang 
  • Diversifying Citation Contexts in Academic Literature for Knowledge Recommendation - Haihua Chen 
  • MDLDA: A New Multi-Dimension Topic Approach - Juncheng Ding 
  • Deep Learning Text Summarization - George Mihaila 
  • Modeling and Predicting Evacuation Flows during Hurricanes - Lingzi Hong 
  • Knowledge Graph (KG): Unwrapping the secrets with semantics - Mayuri Magdum 
  • How #MeToo Became A Worldwide Movement - Xinchen Yu 
  • Understanding Information Resources for College Student Mental Health: A Knowledge Graph Approach - Xiaoyu Zhang 
  • Fine-tuning Pre-trained Contextual Embeddings for Citation Content Analysis in Scholarly Publications - Huyen Nguyen 
  • Domain Concepts or Pre-trained Embeddings? Exploration of Legal Text Classification - Haihua Chen 
  • Machine Learning and Complexity theory approaches in modeling information seeking behavior of Data Science Employers - Sahar Behpour 

  • Review of Application Layer DDoS Literature - Jonah Turner 

  • Connective power of the twitter networks: Discovering the reverse agenda‐setting effects of hashtag activism through topic modeling - Mi Young 

  • REU Program Flyer - Junhua Ding 


April 18, 2019 - Career Panel: Linguistics Professions

Location: 12:00 - 2:00 p.m., Chestnut Hall, Room 120

​​​​Panelists speaking at CODE event

Panelists: Nick Gaylord (remote), Michael Mugo, Lisa Jeon, and Kevin Hawkins.
The event was moderated by Patricia Cukor-Avila. The series, known as C.O.D.E. (Career Opportunities, Directions, and Exploration) is a collaboration between the college, the departments, and the career center.
The goal of the event is to serve our target audiences of COI students looking to establish career directions as they plan their degree. The purpose is also to inspire prospective students interested in COI degrees by demonstrating how our programs intersect with their fields of study. Several topics came up in the discussion including data science, natural language processing, information retrieval and the need for Linguistics to be able to deal with unstructured data.  

The areas our panelists study or work in include:
- Sociolinguistics
- Language teaching pedagogy
- Computational linguistics
- Linguistics subject librarianship
- Editing and consulting
- Psycholinguistics
- The relationship between data science and linguistics


February 20, 2019 - Inaugural Career Panel: Library and Information Science Professions

Location: LT Agora, Discovery Park

Panelists speaking at CODE event

The panel consisted of 5 Library & Information Science professionals from academic libraries, health libraries, and public libraries. The panelists at the event included:

  • Jennifer Bekker, Director of Libraries – Denton Public Library
  • Kellie Boyd, Clinical Librarian, UNT Health Science Center
  • Morgan Gieringer, Head, Special Collections, UNT Libraries
  • Alan Kornblau, President and CEO, Amigos Library Services 
  • Mark Phillips, Associate Dean for UNT Digital Libraries

Panelists provided their responses to questions from students in the audience and those joining the conversation online via Zoom, as well as prepared questions from the moderator. Discussion and input centered around ways in which students can enhance their preparation for future careers, organizations that students can join in order to improve their networking reach, and some of the key characteristics, knowledge and tools that may be useful for the library and information field. Panelists were candid, and shared interesting stories about their paths to their chosen profession, and some information about what their jobs entailed. 

Related article: UNTIS students receive career insight and advice at College C.O.D.E Career Panel Series