The Alumni Society is proud to introduce the 2106 Alumni Society Scholars.
Elizabeth Stefanski is a full-time master’s degree student in Library Science at the UNT College of Information, with plans to graduate in the spring of 2017. Her love for the library blossomed at a very young age, when her mom would spend hours at the public library and read aloud any book Elizabeth pulled from the shelves. In fact, Elizabeth learned how to write her name at age four just so that she could sign her very own library card. Since that young age, Elizabeth’s love for reading and the library has only grown.
After graduating from high school in Katy, Texas, Elizabeth pursued undergraduate majors in both elementary education and history through the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. During two of her summers in college, she had the fortunate opportunity to intern at the Katy Branch of the Harris County Public Library system, where she worked closely with the children’s librarian and realized that she had a passion for librarianship. Thus, after graduating summa cum laude from college in May 2015, Elizabeth entered graduate school through the University of North Texas to immediately pursue her dream of becoming a librarian.
Currently, Elizabeth focuses on her full-time classes, while working as a teaching assistant for the UNT course Introduction to Information Organization and continuing to volunteer at the Katy Branch Library. She is very honored to have been selected as a recipient of the Lady Kate Medders Alumni Society Scholarship, which will allow her to continue learning from the wonderful UNT professors and help her complete her final year of graduate school. After graduating, Elizabeth hopes to pursue a career as a children’s librarian in a public library, although she is very interested in the many different paths that a librarian can take. By serving as a librarian, Elizabeth hopes to apply her elementary education degree to positively impact the literacy of young children, while serving all generations by providing access to important library resources and programs. She appreciates the support of the alumni who have provided this scholarship and helped further her progress on the path to her dream career.
Jennifer DePino is the 2016 recipient of the Lady Kate Medders Endowed Scholarship. She is currently in her second semester at UNT and enjoying the program immensely. She is a member of the UNT-Manchester City Library New England Cohort.
Jennifer has a previous English Master's degree. After teaching various English classes, including Freshman Composition I and II, College Writing, Research Methodologies, Oral Communication, Mystery Writing, Intro to Literature, and Intro to Journalism, as an adjunct instructor for some 20 years, she found the LIS field. The college where she taught closed in December 2015, but when the impending closure was announced in summer 2015, she happened to see an ad for the program at my local library, she says, “I decided to take a leap and make a change--I had always thought that in another life, I might like to be a librarian, and when the opportunity presented itself, it was too good to pass up!” Jennifer has also worked as an editor of supplemental educational materials (K-12) and as a freelance editor and writer of K-12 teacher resources and ESL materials, all in the K-12 scholastic market.
Ms. DePino lives in southern New Hampshire with her husband, two children, and two cats. She love the beach and lakes in the summer and skiing in the winter, and in their free time (what little there is of it these days!) the family loves to putter in my garden (mostly perennials and annual flowers, some herbs, and tomatoes)
The Alumni Society is proud to introduce the Lady Kate Medders Alumni Society Scholars for 2014 – 2015:
Jane Reed is a part time Masters’ degree student in Information Science, Information Systems at UNT College of Information. She has a 4.0 GPA and is 24 hours into her degree. Previously, Jane completed her Masters’ in Curriculum and Instruction Education, Language and Literacy degree at the University of Texas at Austin. During undergraduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, she was a world ranked scholastic swimmer. Current professional activities include The Heart of Texas Writing Project and The University of Texas at Austin’s affiliate of the National Writing Project. Based on academic performance, she is a member of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society and Kappa Delta Phi Honor Society. Jane grew up in Champaign, Illinois and graduated from Champaign Central High School.
As an English as a Second Language teacher in Austin, Texas for 13 years, Jane has worked with students that speak a wide variety of different languages: Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Urdu, Taiwanese, Hungarian, Tagalog, Vietnamese, French, Spanish, Russian, and Korean. Jane gained valuable communication skills while working with a culturally diverse population through her teaching career.
Receiving the College of Information Alumni Society Lady Kate Medders Scholarship is a great honor. This endowed scholarship is funded by alumni membership dues. The scholarship is awarded once yearly to two outstanding students. The scholarship will allow Jane to finish her Master’s degree in the next year and move into a new career. She wishes to pursue a career as an academic librarian at the university or as an information specialist in the technology field. Jane is honored to receive this scholarship and the alumni support for her Master’s degree.
Tiffany Durham is a part time Masters’ degree student in Library Science at the UNT College of Information. She states, "My purpose in life is to educate those who educate young children through play and literacy!" She has shared this purpose with children at a summer camp, early childhood classrooms, children’s bookstores, children’s museums, college/county libraries and a classroom in rural South Africa.
Currently, Tiffany is an Early Literacy Consultant in San Antonio, Texas and is known as “Miss Tiffany” the Storytime Chick because it is just too darn cute not to squawk like a chicken when you sing ‘If You Are Happy and You Know It’. Since her birthday is the same as Randolph Caldecott, she plans to dedicate her life to Children’s Literature and would love not only to be on the Caldecott Book Selection Committee someday but be the serve as committee chair.
Tiffany has completed three semesters towards her Masters in Library and Information Science. She remarks, "My short-term career goal is to work as a Children’s Librarian and long-term goal is to work in Sub-Sahara Africa as a literacy consultant".
Reading and writing difficulties came to light in the eighth grade for Tiffany who learned she was reading and spelling at a third-grade level. Her parents located an Orton Gillingham tutor to assist with her dyslexia her freshman year. "It was this tutor that introduced me to literature", recalls Tiffany. Her love for listening and dramatizing a story grew from one grandmother’s love of audiobooks and the others love to tell the story.
"The LIS online courses have been a wonderful experience for me as a learner," states Ms. Durham. "My journey to this point is a bit of a struggle but the lessons learned are so fulfilling. I can’t imagine that taking a simpler path would have made me into the person I am today. Receiving the College of Information Alumni Society Lady Kate Medders Scholarship is truly an honor!"