Alumni Society Scholars
Jennifer DePino was a 2016 recipient and is one of the 2017 recipients 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; when the impending closure was announced in summer 2015, she happened to see an ad for the program at her 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 and as a freelance editor and writer of teacher resources and ESL materials, all in the K-12 scholastic market.
Ying Zhi Low
Ying Zhi Low is a recipient of the 2017 Lady Kate Medders Endowed Scholarship. Ying was raised in Malaysia and was a member of the concert and marching band at Navarro College (where she also served as the Vice President of the Honors College). As a student at UNT, Ying has held a number of leadership positions in numerous student organizations, such as Ascend, Delta Sigma Pi, Woman in Business, Malaysian Student Association and Student Investment Group. She credits her involvement in these groups along with her business fundamental courses at UNT for revealing her true passion for analytics. Ying graduated from UNT with her Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance in Fall 2013 and began pursuing her M.S. in Information Science with a focus in General Program of Study concurrently with her M.S. in Business Analytics. She states that "Both programs complement each other well and by pursuing both programs, it gives me a more well-rounded experience of the full information life cycle."
Outstanding Alumni Awards
Since the first UNT School of Library and Information Sciences (LIS) Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Marilyn Gell Mason in 1979, an additional 45 LIS graduates have received the honor plus 20 recognized as platinum and rising stars during the 70th Anniversary in 2009. In 2010, the Alumni Society bylaws were revised to include outstanding alumni awards from both departments within the new College of Information: LIS and the Department of Learning Technologies (LT). The award names were changed from Distinguished to Outstanding Alumni Awards.
2016 UNT Department of Library and Information Sciences Outstanding Alumna: Virginia Rey (MS '89)
Ms. Rey was the keynote speaker at the College of Information Undergraduate Recognition Ceremony on May 13, 2016. She is a first generation, four year college degree recipient and attributes her hard work ethic to her immigrant parents. Ms. Rey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1984, and a Master of Science degree in Library and Information Science from the University of North Texas in 1989. Ms. Rey has 30 years’ experience in public school education at the elementary, middle, high school, and district level in the Ysleta Independent School District in El Paso, Texas. The Ysleta ISD is the third largest school district in El Paso, Texas, and was named after the Isleta Indians who resided in the area for one thousand years. The first school in Ysleta opened in 1880. YISD was the first urban school district in the state to become a “recognized school district” based on student performance on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Test. Ms. Rey is a proud product of the Ysleta ISD, having graduated from Ysleta High School in 1980. She began her career as a 2nd and 4th grade teacher and pursued a calling to become an English as a Second Language Teacher in Nagano, Japan for one year. It is during this rewarding year in Japan that Ms. Rey discerned that her next step would be to pursue an MLS degree from UNT so she could instill a love of reading in children and focus on literacy efforts. This higher education degree from UNT has opened many doors for Ms. Rey. As a middle school librarian in 2005, Ms. Rey was named Campus Teacher of the Year, and a Top Ten District Teacher of the Year Finalist. The following year, she was nominated for a Disney Teacher Award for creativity in teaching. Her passion for librarianship and advocacy efforts have led to her being named Border Regional Library Association Librarian of the Year in 2011, serving on the State Senator’s Education Advisory Committee in 2012, the Texas Library Association Legislative Committee from 2013 to the present, and the Texas Library Association Awards Committee in 2016. Ms. Rey is most proud of serving the 58 librarians under her care as Coordinator of Library Media Centers, advocating for libraries at the local and state levels, and assisting in promoting literacy to the over 42,000 students in 62 campuses in the Ysleta District of which 93.02% are of Hispanic ethnicity and 80.48% are economically disadvantaged.