2019 marks the 80th year of inception for the Department of Information Science. In celebration of this notable milestone, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and supporters of the department gathered at the UNT Gateway Center on Friday, November 8, 2019 to celebrate the growth, achievements, scholarship and service of the department for the past 80 years.
The evening began with welcome and greetings from Dr. Jiangping Chen, Department Chair; Dr. Kinshuk, Dean, College of Information; and Dr. Jennifer Evans-Cowley, UNT Provost. Dr. Chen acknowledged the dedication of IS alums and supporters of the department. "The IS Department is fortunate with generous support and gifts from our alumni, faculty, and others who care about the department," said Chen.
The keynote speaker for the evening, Dr. Gary Marchionini, dean and Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, gave a stimulating speech entitled “Library Science, Information Science, and Data Science (LIDS): The Many-Featured Elephant in the Fable of iSchool Evolution." He discussed the overlaps in LS/IS/DS and his perceptions about how iSchools meet these overlaps, with a focus on human-centered issues like information impact.
Dr. Philip Turner, professor emeritus and former dean of the former School of Library and Information Sciences spoke about the department’s impact on UNT with its move toward online education. He recounted how web-based instruction was incorporated into the UNT curriculum, and the continued success of the department's Onsite Institutes, "a signature approach to offering the masters that is still unique today."
There was a recognition and remembrance for Dr. Donald Cleveland, professor emeritus, who passed away in April. Former Dean Emeritus of the College of Information, Dr. Herman Totten, and Associate Dean of Academics, Dr. Yunfei Du, gave moving tributes, recalling fond memories of Donald. Totten spoke of him as a cherished friend who he remembers as “passionate about research, greatly respected by colleagues, and often ahead of all of us in his vision of information.”
The accomplishments of alumni and students were also recognized during the event. This year, two alumnae received the 2019 Outstanding IS Alumni award: Dr. Abby Goodrum (PhD ’97) and Ms. Melissa Rethlefsen ( MLS ’04).
In addition to the Outstanding Alumni Award, awards were presented to four doctoral students who received IS Endowed Graduate Fellowships. The Dewey E. Carroll Graduate Fellowship was presented to Ana Roeschley and Fariba Sadeghinaeenifard, and the Mark Rovig Graduate Fellowship was awarded to Haihua Chen and Miyoung Chong.
The evening ended with closing remarks from Dr. Jiangping Chen, who thanked everyone for attending, and for their continued support of the activities, scholarship and development of the IS Department.