Jennifer Whiteley
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2016

UNT really showed Jennifer Whiteley a grand time. She enjoyed being a part of so many wonderful organizations; SEPA, HATC, HFTP, and Alpha Sigma Lambda. As well, she has been blessed to be taught by so many caring and devoted teachers. After graduation she was offered a job working for the world leaders in private clubs. A short semester after graduation, she quickly advanced in her field of studies. She’s excited to see where life takes her. As for her future, well, she hopes to one day return to UNT to further grow her studies in Hospitality.

Hannah Fudge
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2016

Hannah Fudge recently graduated with her Bachelor's Degree in Hospitality Management. She is grateful for every single thing UNT and all of her professors did to help her on her journey because she wouldn't be where she is today living her dream without their help. During her last semester, she did her internship at Dr. Pepper Ballpark as Catering Supervisor and gained much experience while there. She then applied for the Disney College Program was accepted as a Character Attendant and her home park is at Hollywood Studios but she can pick up shifts in all the parks. She’s so thankful for working there that she’s in the process of applying for full time so that Mickey Mouse can be her boss for even longer.

Samantha Balderas
B.S. in Digital Retailing, 2016

Samantha is a proud 2016 graduate with a B.S. in Digital Retailing and a minor in Marketing. She is now an Account Coordinator for a small social media agency called Social Strategy1. She develops effective social media strategies for B2B and B2C companies. She also analyzes data using our proprietary social listening engine. This includes processing mentions about a client to uncover trends, sentiment, and market opportunities. Other than being a social media geek, she enjoys spending time with her two pups and traveling!

Emily Blalock
B.S. in Digital Retailing, 2016

Emily Blalock graduated from UNT in August of 2016. She majored in Digital Retailing and was recently hired on at APMEX in Oklahoma City as the Email Marketing and Promotions Specialist. She plans on going to grad school to get her MBA in Marketing within the next five years as she wants to enter management in the e-commerce industry, preferably work for a fashion, cosmetics or home interiors company. Additionally, her interests include movies, travelling and her best four-legged friend, Buddy. 

Kristi’an Taylor
B.S. in Merchandising, 2015

Since graduation, Kristi’an had the opportunity of being a Merchandise Executive Trainee with Stage Stores in Houston, TX. From there, she spent a year as Assistant Buyer in Missy Special Sizes. Currently, she has transitioned into the role of an Allocation Analyst in the Home & Textiles department. She is so grateful to UNT for her amazing education and preparing for her career.

Kristen Washington-Scott
B.S. in Merchandising, 2015

Kristen graduated in Fall 2015 with a Bachelor’s in Merchandising. She is currently a buyer-coordinator for Tuesday Morning Corporate office. She is also a Dallas-based personal stylist, fashion blogger and fashion show producer currently planning her 3rd fashion show to debut this summer. Her plans are to pursue this career path full time, and to open a clothing boutique. She is working heavily to leave her mark within the Dallas fashion industry.

Adriana Solis
B.S. in Digital Retailing, 2015

Adriana Solis from Dallas, Texas graduated from CMHT in 2015 with a dual degree in Merchandising & Digital Retail. While at UNT, she represented CMHT in various competitions such as the NRF Student Challenge, Next Generation Scholarship, Shop. Org's Ray Greenly Scholarship and UNT New Venture Creation contest. One of her favorite projects was leading Method Seven Magazine at UNT and working with many talented students to bring the magazine to life. After graduation, she worked for JCPenney. com as a site merchandiser of kids', men's and athletic shoes for two years. She’s getting married in October and is happily working on the next step in my career. :) CMHT has a very special place in her heart!

Bre’jal Guerrero
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2015

Bre'jal Guerrero started the CMHT program in the Fall of 2012 and graduated in May of 2015. In June of 2015, she took a job in Austin off of Lake Travis working as a Sales/Catering Administrator for Remington at Lakeway Resort and Spa. She left the company in January 2016 for a temporary position as an Office Manager with Cloud Imperium Games. In April 2016, when the time came for her to move on, she gained a position with Cypress Falls Event Center, in South Austin, where she works as a Manager for the hotel side. She enjoyss all the job entails and hopes to take what she has learned from this position and open her own Bed and Breakfast in West Texas one day.5

Kelsey Henry
B.S. in Digital Retailing, Minor in Marketing, Certificate in Retail Marketing, 2015

During her academic career, Kelsey was very active in the UNT community as a member of the National Retail Federation Student Association, was Founder of the Council of Digital Entrepreneurs (CODE) program, and the Founder and President of the campus called Bored in Denton (BID). The summer before her senior year, Kelsey interned in the Retail Practice at Demandware in Boston, MA. The valuable knowledge gained from her education and internship allowed her to achieve a position in the College Recruiting Program at PFSweb after graduation. She has now completed the College Recruit Program and is working in the Merchandising department as an Online Merchandising Specialist. Kelsey has also been admitted to the University of Texas at Dallas to begin the M.S. Marketing program in the Spring.

Kelli Hiroms
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2015

Kelli Hiroms has always had a passion for hospitality and customer service, but she never knew exactly what career path she wanted to take. She gained experience at Red Lobster, Denton Country Club, and interned with the Sports Commission at the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau. After her internship, she joined the Renaissance Dallas-Richardson as Executive Meeting Manager. She was honest and told him that she had no hotel or sales experience, but the executive who interviewed her was insistent that her education would serve her well. Kelli says she owes so much credit to UNT and the wonderful professors that helped mold her skills and encouraged her every day.

Cory Simmons
B.S. in Merchandising and Digital Retailing; Certificate in Retailing;, 2015

Cory Simmons recently graduated from the University of North Texas in August of, 2015 and lives in Carrollton, TX. He has a baccalaureate degree in merchandising and digital retail, with a retailing certificate. Cory is currently the assistant merchandiser for local Dallas menswear brand, Haggar Clothing Company. His role includes, but is not limited to: helping to produce and maintain samples for each new season, visual merchandising, assisting with line presentations, market research and development. Cory has recently celebrated his 24th birthday and enjoys his time mostly with friends or his favorite Netflix series.

Caroline Vu
B.S. in Merchandising, 2015

Caroline was not only a dedicated student, but also was a member of the North Texas Sweethearts and worked in retail at dELiA’s where she worked her way up to becoming an Assistant Store Manager. For her internship, she was a Production and Styling Assistant with Jan Strimple Productions where she helped produce high profile fashion events around the DFW area and served as the liaison between clients and talent agencies. After graduation, Caroline became an assistant to Suzanne Droese at Droese Public Relations in the Dallas area.

Elizabeth Jimenez
B.S. in Merchandising, 2015

Currently she is working at Michaels as a Floor Planning Coordinator. Previously to floor planning, she worked in the buying world as a Category Administrative Associate. Her current role focuses on the management of store maps, department resets, and directing stores on product placement for future resets. She started out as an Intern in the Summer of 2014 and have made her way to this wonderful role! 

Sarah Ann Kinser
M.S. in Hospitality Management, 2015

Since graduating, she continued working with the Disney Vacation Club, which is where she completed her most recent internship. Shortly after, she was promoted to Sales Coordinator in charge of the Advanced Sales Assistants (ASAs) and the Sales Guides for DVC at our Saratoga Springs Preview Center. She is having a blast working for Disney. She gets to use everything she learned while pursuing her MS in Hospitality Management and MBA in Strategic Management. She’s excited to see what the next step in the journey will be.

Shelby Jessica Librach
B.S. in Merchandising, 2015

After a challenging job search after graduation, she was offered a position and role that she had no prior experience with, but was trusted and supported with taking on. She is now an account executive, the heart of the company and the people who get stuff done, at Bioworld Merchandising. Bioworld Merchandising is the leading design and manufacturing firm for licenses apparel and accessories for about any and all retailers one could think of. The most amazing part of it all; she is not only working within the same industry as my degree, but the primary reason why she is capable of carrying out this role and duties is because of the specific courses she completed at the University of North Texas and the knowledge she obtained while completing them. She is happy to say that she has maintained the hard, diligent, work ethic that she was able to mold and perfect during my three years at the University of North Texas, but also retaining her thirst for knowledge and new experiences. 

Hannah Newman
B.S. in Hospitality, 2015

Graduated UNT with a B.S. In Hospitality Management in August 2015. She is now a Conference Coordinator at the Gaylord Texan.

Jacklyn Hancock
B.S. in Merchandising, 2015

Jacklyn finished her degree in the summer of 2015 and has been employed by Reap Marketing since graduating. Her job entails both physical and virtual merchandising working with Standish Salon Goods, a client of Reap Marketing. Jacklyn routinely makes website edits to their main site, as well as their partner website with L’Oréal and Salon Centric. Her internship with Sally Beauty (completed in her last semester at UNT) prepared her for this career in the beauty industry. While taking a break from wedding planning, Jacklyn enjoys exploring downtown Dallas and Deep Ellum, where she currently lives with fiancé Stephen and puppy Apricot. 

Alexandra Shaw
B.S. in Digital Retailing, 2015

Currently, Alex is working at Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co. in the Direct to Consumer channel as an Ecommerce Marketing Specialist. After completing her summer website merchandising internship with the same company, she applied for the position and was offered the job. As an Ecommerce Marketing Specialist she works with different analytics platforms to analyze product and category performance, contributes to promotional planning, email marketing, and SEO/SEM. 

Leah Weeks
B.S. in Home Furnishings Merchandising, 2014

Leah works as an assistant buyer for Ross Stores, Inc. She relocated to New York City proceeding graduation from CMHT to accept the position. Prior to graduation, Leah's career began with internships at a textile design firm, followed by 2 interior design firms, and the internship with Ross Stores which led to her current position in the decorative home department. Leah's favorite part of her job is combining business analytics with an eye for trend to compose the perfect assortment. She aspires to one day join executive leadership with Ross and usher the company in to the future. In her free time, Leah enjoys exploring the many museums the city has to offer, diving in to new literature, or checking out the latest foodie hot-spot.

Rickie P. Smith
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2014

During his time at UNT, Rickie was the president of National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) where it allowed him to sharpen up leadership skills. He gained valuable experience as a food beverage intern at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas and Rooms Intern at Embassy suites outdoor world. After graduating, he became a manager Laquinta Inn & Suites and then became branch manager for Ryder Truck Rental. He is currently a Customer Logistics Supervisor for Ryder, where he provides customers with solutions to their supply chain.

Kyle Cockerham
B.S. in Digital Retailing, 2014

After his internship, he worked for Square 205 in the Digital Marketing department and has had the opportunity to stay with the company where he currently works as a Digital Strategist.

Tyler Funderburke
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2014

Tyler Funderburke grew up in Richmond, TX, one of the many suburbs in the Houston area. He’s enjoyed traveling since he can remember and was usually more excited to see the hotel his parents had chosen than the sights of the location they were visiting. His love of travel combined with his hospitable attitude and customer service experience is what solidified his future in the industry. While attending UNT, he worked at the Homewood Suites by Hilton in Denton for two years to gain experience in the industry and to fulfill his degree work experience requirement. Tyler enjoyed being a member of Theta Chi fraternity during his time at UNT and made lifelong memories and friends through this organization. His favorite activity was definitely attending the tailgates and football games with friends. During his final semester at UNT he completed his internship at Patrick Henry Creative Promotions, a beverage based marketing agency specializing in strategy and promotions for restaurants, bars, and hotels. The company offered his a position, and he accepted!

Whitney Green-Jones
B.S. in Merchandising, 2014

Whitney was an active student on campus, serving as an Ambassador of the College of Merchandising, Hospitality & Tourism. As a freshman, she lived in the REAL (Residents Engaged in Academic Living) community, and as a senior she enrolled in the New York study tour. Whitney was an Eagle Ambassador at the University of North Texas, and an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. She completed her internship with Haggar Clothing Co. in Brand Strategy, Licensing, and Sponsorships in the marketing department. She assisted with the development of Brand Strategy approaches and processes to advance the Haggar brand. (e.g. social media and brand comparisons), liaised with legal, merchandising, and sourcing to ensure that all obligations were met for creation of Hall of Fame jackets (ProFootball, Hockey, Bowling Hall of Fames). After graduation, she joined the company as an eCommerce Producer/ Site Merchandiser. She manages the User Experience for both desktop/mobile and creating/executing ecommerce promotions. Whitney loves working at Haggar and has many great mentors since joining the company almost two years ago. Whitney is a member of the UNT Alumni Association and comes to visit frequently volunteering with organizations on campus.

Hannah Hillaker
M.S. in Merchandising, 2014

While at UNT Hannah was a Teaching Assistant for Digital Retailing courses and Graduate Student Representative for the UNT chapter of the National Retail Federation (NRF). She successfully completed a beta course with Forrester Research and CMHT’s Executive Education Program. Hannah was given the opportunity to attend the NRF Big Shop and the Summit. As a graduate student, she worked at The Home Depot and was offered a summer internship at the corporate office in Atlanta, GA. She was then hired full time as an Executive Assistant to the Merchandising Vice President of Flooring and then promoted to her current position as Senior Analyst in Assortment Planning. At this current position, Hannah analyzes space and strategic assortment opportunities for the merchandising organization.

Megan Hodges
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2014

Megan was a member of the honors society Eta Sigma Delta for hospitality management during her time at UNT. After receiving her degree she began the Management Trainee program with Enterprise Rent-A-Car in the Denton, TX area and became an Assistant Manager after successfully completing the program.

Joseph Im
B.S. in Merchandising, 2014

Joseph was born in Pusan, South Korea and moved to the United States when he was four years old. While attending UNT, he was a part-time translator and was involved in a student led organization called Korean Cultural Exchange and served as vice president for three years. Joseph enrolled in the Hong Kong/China study abroad program. He completed a product development internship with a leather company, Leatherology. After graduating, Joseph began his career as a Merchandising Business Systems associate at 7-Eleven Corporate headquarters.

Jessica Olvera
B.S. in Merchandising and Hospitality Management, 2014

Graduated in 2014 with a double major in Hospitality Management and Merchandising with dreams of becoming an event planner. Today she is a Senior Coordinator at Agave Estates, a prestigious and beautiful venue in Katy, TX. where she meets, plans, and organizes events for clients. She states, “ I love my job and am grateful for the education UNT has provided me! Go Mean Green!

Charles Kleineck
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2014

While pursuing his degree at UNT he gained experience in the hospitality industry while working at the Hilton DFW Conference Center. Currently, he is working at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, TX.

Viviana Mantovani
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2014

Viviana gained experience in banquets and weddings at Ponte Family Estate Winery and the Lantana Golf Club. With her enthusiastic spirit and passion for the service industry, Viviana strives to exceed any expectation that comes her way. She currently works in a customer service role with the Marriott Hotels in Irving, TX and enjoys working with the staff and customers in that busy industry.

Aaron McArthur
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2014

Aaron was involved with Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) and interned at Brook Hollow Golf Club in North Dallas in food and beverage. Upon completion of the internship, his career took a different path to the hotel industry. In 2012, Aaron started as a Night Auditor at a Holiday Inn Express in Denton while he was in school at UNT. He also gained experience at Walters Wedding Estates (Wildwood Inn). After graduating in December, 2014 , Aaron was promoted to Administrative Sales Assistant the following month at the Intercontinental.

Jensen Medeiros
MS/MBA Hospitality Management, 2014

Jansen Medeiros is a Managing Director at Hawaiian Hotels and Resorts, where he oversees two large full-service resorts. He graduated from Park University with a bachelor's degree in Business Management in 2009 and completed a dual MS/MBA in Hospitality Management from the University of North Texas in, 2014 . Jasen has over 15 years of hotel management experience in both Hawaii and the U.S. Mainland markets.

Hayley Meyer
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2014

Hayley enriched the UNT experience by participating in professional organizations such as Hospitality Sales and Marketing International and Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals. Hayley also was a member and eventually the president of the UNT Chapter of Eta Sigma Delta, the International Hospitality Management Honor Society that offers tutoring services to CMHT students. She had the pleasure of attending the Eta Sigma Delta Breakfast at the International Hotel, Motel, and Restaurant Show in New York through a college-sponsored trip. She gained valuable experience while in school in sales in the restaurant equipment industry and as hotel guest service agent. In between full semesters, Hayley gained work experience while still a student by working in numerous sales positions in the restaurant equipment industry, as guest service agent at a hotel in Plano, and through a revenue management internship at Hilton Worldwide. When not traveling about the globe, she is happily engaged as a full-service hotel revenue manager for Hilton Worldwide.

Hahna Muehlberger
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising; Certificate in Retailing; Minor: Marketing, French, 2014

Hahna Muehlberger graduated from The University of North Texas in, 2014 with a Bachelor’s in Merchandising and a Certificate in Retailing. While working towards her degree in merchandising, she joined Merchandising, Inc. and held the office of Fundraising Chair, followed by President. She was also involved with the National Retail Federation Student Association and had the opportunity to serve as Vice President. Involvement with these organizations allowed her the opportunity to meet and work with professionals in the industry, which helped lead to a paid internship. The internship led to a full-time job with Ross Stores, Inc in their Dresses Division. Prior to her internship, Hahna had the opportunity to travel to China with other CMHT students. The knowledge and experience gained during those two weeks has proven to be invaluable. In addition to her studies in merchandising, Hahna received Minors in Marketing and in French. To pursue her French minor, she traveled with other UNT students to study for a semester on the French Riviera. Following her return, she graduated and immediately moved to New York City, where she currently works and resides.

Jessica Olvera
B.S. in Hospitality Management and Merchandising, 2014

Jessica completed a double major (hospitality management and merchandising) while earning her B.S. degree. She was very involved in extracurricular activities throughout her time at UNT. She was a member of Club Managers Association of America, Student Event Planners of America, North Texas Sweethearts and Zeta Tau Alpha. She enjoyed being a part of something among like-minded individuals striving for a purpose and always willing to help in their community. Each organization, although different, taught her different values that she still holds to this day. She interned as a Coordinator and Event Manager at Circle R Ranch an event venue in Flower Mound, TX. After graduation, she moved back to her hometown of Katy, TX to pursue her goal of becoming an Event Coordinator. It took a lot of research and hard work but in June of, 2015 she landed her dream job! Currently, she is a Senior Coordinator at Agave Estates, a prestigious and beautiful venue in Katy, TX. She truly loves her job and is grateful for the education UNT has provided!

Karen Saltzman
B.S. in Merchandising, 2014

Karen was a member of the National Retail Federation Student Association (NRFSA), Merchant Development Program (MDP), Head stylist for MOSE Models and competed nationally in the first ever NRFSA student challenge competition, placing 3rd place for the ‘K. Saltzman’ shoe concept. Upon graduating, she was a Buying/ Planning Intern for Nordstrom in Seattle, WA, and currently she is an E-Commerce Assistant Merchant at Signet Jewelry for the Zale Corporation. She expressed her gratitude to the College of Merchandising, Hospitality & Tourism, her professors, peers and family for helping her achieve her dreams thus far through their support, wisdom and kindness.

Marissa Tavares
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2014

A recent graduate of The University of North Texas' Hospitality Management program in, 2014 , Marissa Tavares is currently gaining management experience as Spa Supervisor at The Spa at the Crescent. Her goals are to spend time in multiple areas including both domestic and international properties as well as become the Spa Director of a luxury property. Prior to graduating she had completed her internship with the Rosewood Crescent Hotel as an accounting intern, and has continued to grow with the company.

Lauren Vasquez
M.S. in Merchandising, 2014 ; B.S. in Merchandising and Minor in Business 2012

Lauren participated in various organizations including Kappa Kappa Gamma, Merchandising Inc., and Golden Key International Honors Society while at UNT. After an internship at Oppsy Daisy Baby, Lauren graduated Cum Laude with her bachelor’s degree with The Honors Scholar Award and immediately entered the M.S. in Merchandising program at UNT. Lauren’s research focused on consumer’s social experience, and her thesis was, DETERMINANTS AND IMPACTS OF PINTEREST CONSUMER EXPERIENCES. While working on her M.S. in Merchandising Lauren moved to St. Petersburg, Florida for a social media internship with The Home Shopping Network. After completing her M.S. in Merchandising, Lauren started her career at JCPenney as an Enterprise Merchandise Assistant for the Young Men’s collections team. She has worked on the Young Men’s Collections, Big & Tall and Levi MAT Teams. Currently Lauren is working with the Young Men’s Collections and the Levi team. Lauren also is an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas teaching Global Sourcing, and she is excited for the future ahead of her.

Victoria Whitaker
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2014

During her time at UNT, Victoria was an active member of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association and learned as much as possible about the hospitality industry. After completing her required internship with Ultimate Ventures in their Marketing and Operations department, she graduated from UNT and joined Hilton Worldwide as Revenue Coordinator where she is applying her education and experience.

Demetria White
B.S. in Merchandising, 2014

Demetria’s undergrad years at UNT were fantastic, the knowledge she gained was immeasurable and the wide range of courses and professors were awesome. Recently, she decided to return to UNT to continue with her education by applying for Grad School to earn an M.S. in Merchandising. She believes there is a wide range of careers for those students pursuing merchandising degrees. Currently, she is working at Haggar Clothing Co. as a Product Associate in their Global Sourcing Department. Her goal in pursuing a Master's in Merchandising is to further her knowledge in the field of Merchandising so that later in her career she can pursue teaching at a four year university.

Esther Wu
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2014

Esther Wu graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in 2008 before enrolling at the University of North Texas. Upon graduation, she started her career as General Manager at the Panda Restaurant Group where she provides operations expertise and manages the performance of support staff. While currently working with the company, Esther continuously challenges herself in new projects to assist in growing the company. She relocated to Denver, Colorado to elevate operational performance and work toward becoming a multi-unit-manager.

Aiyana Zihuatanejo
B.S. in Merchandising & Digital Retailing, 2014

Aiyana completed a double major while earning her B.S. degree at UNT. To gain experience, she interned for multiple companies, including the Aikaz Showroom, in the garment district of New York City, but she had a deep passion for e-commerce. After graduating, she travelled to the Greater Boston Area of Massachusetts to intern during the summer of, 2014 at German software company, Demandware. Upon completing her internship with Demandware, Aiyana returned to Texas to begin a fall internship with JCPenney. While working as a Graphic Print Librarian in JCP’s Textile Design division, she learned of the Site Merchandiser Training Program from her teacher, Rich Last. She started as a Site Merchandiser Trainee and after completing the program was placed in the Kid’s division as a Site Merchandiser. Following her UNT graduation, she is a Site Merchandiser for JCPenney’s Jewelry division overseeing watches and fashion accessories. She resides in North Dallas and when she’s not working at JCP’s corporate office, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, as well as cruising on her road bicycle.

Marco Ludovisi Arce
B.S. Hospitality Management, 2014

“Marco Ludovisi Arce immigrated from Mexico in 2006. He spoke no English and knew very little about the American culture or its people. Fluent in Spanish and English, Marco holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas where he majored in Hospitality Management. Marco knew that education was his first step towards opportunity. During his college career, he sold tamales door-to-door in order to pay his college tuition. Marco is registered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority as a General Securities Representative Series 7, and licensed by NASAA with a Series 66. Through a partnership with Harvard Business School Publishing and Fidelity, Marco has completed multiple courses through HarvardManageMentor, the most trusted-on demand leadership development resource.

Marco is a Planning & Guidance Consultant at Fidelity Investments. Headquartered in Boston, Fidelity is the No. 1 provider of 401(k) retirement savings plans, the- second largest discount brokerage firm, and the third largest provider of 403(b) retirement plans for not-for-profit institutions in the United States. Fidelity currently has 2 trillion dollars in global assets under management and 5 trillion dollars in assets under administration.

Marco provides investment direction by using guidance tools to match needs with suitable solutions such as products, research, or services including trading and online education while acquiring, retaining, and developing assets. In December 2015, Marco was named “Most Valued Person” for his team due to his business results. He was also a recipient for the “Top 5% Gold Award” for a National Fidelity Workplace Investing Business Campaign.

Marco is an active member of the community. He has worked in multiple projects with various local and national chambers of commerce. Marco has also served in the board of directors for the Association of Latino Professionals for America and the Irving Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Marco’s next career goal is to finish his Master’s degree, become a Certified Financial Planner, and eventually become a VP Financial Consultant or a VP Managing Director.”

Kenzie Branum
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2014

Since graduating, Kenzie has worked as a Meeting Coordinator at Rx Worldwide Meetings and as a catering manager at Sambuca Restaurants. Currently, she is the Catering Sales Manager at the Westin DFW Airport Hotel, living in Dallas, TX.

Giselle Greenidge
M.S. in Merchandising, 2014 

Doctoral student (2nd year)

Major concentration – Global and Comparative Sociology
UNT Department of Sociology

Currently a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Sociology
Graduate Student Council Senator for Sociology (Fall 2015 – Spring 2016)
Graduate Student Council Vice President of Programming & Outreach (Summer 2016 – Spring 2017)

Chloé Halley
B.S. in Merchandising and Digital Retailing, 2014

After graduation in August 2014, she had the opportunity to be the Site Merchandiser of Home at Neiman Marcus for,, and In June 2015, she was offered a position at PFSweb to be the Site Merchandiser forLancô,, and the L'Oréal Group. She is still with PFSweb. It will be a year with PFSweb in June. It is her dream job and dream company to work for. Being a Site Merchandiser was her goal after graduation, the Digital Retailing program really prepared her to succeed as a Site Merchandiser. She hopes to become a Site Merchandising Manager - maybe even the Vice President of E-Commerce one day! She was accepted into graduate school at UT Dallas and will earn a Master of Science in Marketing - specializing in Digital Marketing & Advertising. I plan to start in the summer of 2017.

She recently became a mother to a beautiful baby girl named Clara Madison Serrato, who was born 3/8/16.

Karen Saltzman
B.S. in Merchandising, 2014

She graduated Cum Laude from CMHT in December 2014 with a Merchandising/Marketing Degree along with my Retailing certificate. Upon graduating, she was a Buying/ Planning Intern for Nordstrom in Seattle, WA and currently is an E-Commerce Assistant Merchant at Signet Jewelry LLP for the Zale Division.  

Blaire Zahn
M.Sc. International Sustainable Tourism, 2014

After completing the MIST program in 2014, she did a brief Marketing & Communications internship with the nonprofit Sustainable Travel International. Her mentor with the organization then helped her secure her current job at the Tourism Director for the Mineral Wells Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau. She has been incredibly lucky to be able to experience managing tourism marketing & development in a smaller community for over a year now. 

Ashley Anderson
B.S. in Hospitality Administration/Management, 2013

During her time at UNT, Ashley gained experience in the hospitality industry at Winstar World Casino Hotel as a Front Desk Agent and later as an Accounting Intern prior to graduating. Once Ashley received her degree, she went to work with Omni Hotels & Resorts as an Income Auditor where she kept banquet summaries and transmitted data to the corporate headquarters. She currently has moved to the Ft. Worth area where she works as a Staff Recruiter for Oxford Global Resources.

Ashley Bonner
B.S. in Merchandising and Digital Retailing, 2013

Ashley’s interest in ecommerce and digital marketing grew after being involved in Method Seven Magazine and taking the Intro to Digital Retailing class with Richard Last. Ashley interned at Imaginuity Interactive from June 2012 to August 2012 as a Retail Account Apprentice and worked remotely for the next year as a Retail Account Intern. In September, 2013, she moved to Globe Runner. There her responsibilities included PR and outreach, focusing on strategies and implementation of content marketing, site optimization, and reporting for several clients. Her role has evolved to Quality Manager with oversight for objectives such as UX (user experience) design and testing, site optimization, keyword research, blogger/influencer research and outreach, data analysis and more.

Megan Brown
B.S. in Merchandising, 2013

Meagan was a member of the National Retail Federation Student Association and attended the NRF Big Show in New York City. She spent her internship with the Category Management team at Michael’s Stores, Inc. After graduation, she began her career with JCPenney as an eCommerce Merchandise Assistant before moving into the Site Merchant Trainee program. At the conclusion of the training program, she moved into her current position as a Site Merchant. Megan is confident that with her education and experience, she can be successful within any aspect of merchandising.

Jessica Burton
M.S. in Merchandising, 2013

Jessica Burton is a proud alumni of the University of North Texas. She earned her Master of Science in Merchandising in, 2013and previously earned her Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing in 2008. While earning her degrees, Jessica served in numerous leadership roles including being an Orientation Leader (2006) and a Senator on the Graduate Student Council representing CMHT(2012). Currently, Jessica is the Country Planner for Canada at EXPRESS, and attributes her continued success in her role and career through her graduate experience at CMHT. "Retail is a dynamic industry filled with an array of opportunities and avenues of growth. In the Merchandising MS program at CMHT, I learned practical, tangible skills as well as methodical and strategic ways of thinking that I apply daily in my current role". Jessica encourages every student to take full advantage of every opportunity and program offered by CMHT - you never know where it will take you!

Catherine Carmean
B.S. in Merchandising, 2013

During her undergraduate career, Catherine was a member of Merchandising Inc. and held several part-time jobs to gain retail experience. She began her career with Pacific Northern Inc. as an Account Coordinator and specialized in product development of custom fixtures and displays for David Yurman retail store fronts and wholesale locations. Currently, Catherine works as a Project Specialist/Environmental Design with the Fossil Group where she manages and executes the product development process for all wholesale fixtures such as Adidas, Michele and Tory Burch. She has extensive experience as a merchandise coordinator and has expertise in the marketing, and hospitality fields. Catherine has a passion for working in the retail and fashion industry and looks forward to continuing this career path.

Avery Davis
B.S. Merchandising & Digital Retailing, 2013

While attending UNT, Avery studied abroad summer 2012 in Hong Kong and China where she saw the apparel supply chain firsthand though tours and information sessions at textile mills, apparel production factories and the Yantian International Container Terminals. She completed an internship with Haggar in e-commerce. As an intern she built and uploaded merchandising promotions using a content management system and assisted in planning the promotions calendar for Summer and Fall, 2013. She also completed user-acceptance testing for the re-vamp of the retail website. Currently, Avery is a Product Associate for Haggar Clothing Company where she corresponds with overseas vendors and sourcing directors. She ensures purchase order deadlines are met by reviewing weekly work in progress reports, delivery charts from the vendor, and information entered in BlueCherry. Avery also works with textile mills to book fabric commitments based on company forecast and demand.

Tanell Evans
B.S. in Hospitality, 2013

Tanell was a member of the National Hospitality honor society and the Club Managers Association while pursuing her studies in hospitality management. After graduating in, 2013, she began her career with the Rosewood Hotels & Resorts as a Reservations Sales Consultant. Currently, she is the Loyalty Ambassador-Supervisor for the Omni Hotels where she focuses on promoting their loyalty program to guests who are not members and implementing training methods and procedures/manuals for her team of employees.

Kimberly Galvan
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2013

Shortly afterward graduating from the CMHT program, Kimberly created a profile on Hilton’s worldwide career network website and began her career at the Hilton Americas-Houston. As the largest hotel in the city of Houston, this property was the perfect training ground for a career in Sales. Starting as a Sales Administrator, it was only 12 months until she relocated as a Manager to the franchised Hilton NASA Clear Lake hotel. Very shortly after that, upon receiving an encouraging email from a colleague, she applied to a rarely available SMERF Sales Manager position at the Hilton Houston Post Oak hotel. This Hilton managed property located in the gorgeous Uptown Houston area has become her new home, and she looks forward to many years of growth with the Post Oak team. Kimberly attributes much of her accelerated advancement to the skills she acquired at the University of North Texas and the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism.

Carlye Greyer
M.S. in Hospitality Management, 2013

As a Design Consultant for Wisenbaker Builder Services, Carlye Greyer started her career with a Bachelor’s in Interior Design from Texas Tech and her Master’s in Hospitality Management from UNT. While attending UNT and working on her Masters’ she presented articles to the Asia Pacific conference in May, 2013on Hospitality and Tourism Management. With over eight successful years in customer service related positions she genuinely enjoys her chosen career path.

Julie Hajda
B.S. Home Furnishings Merchandising, 2013 As a CMHT Ambassador, Julie represented the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism and provided information to prospective students about our programs. She was also a member of Merchandising Inc. and collaborated with the Promotions Team. For her internship, Julie worked with Portico Collection where she applied what she had learned and gained experience. After graduating, she worked as a Lighting Designer for Meletio Lighting and Electric and worked with builders, designers, and home owners to create and design lighting packages for newly built luxury homes and commercial properties. She made a change in her career path to real estate with Keller Williams Memorial.

Amanda Harris
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2013

Thanks to the skills she developed during her studies, Amanda’s work experience now ranges from hotel service to food and beverage management, along with event sales and planning. Amanda finds herself drawing from lessons learned at UNT and sharing them with the team she leads on a daily basis at Agave Estates in the Houston, TX area. She believes she would not be the manager she is today without the influence of the educators she was fortunate enough have at UNT.

Nawal Harris
B.S. in Home Furnishing Merchandising, 2013

Along with concentrating on her studies while at UNT, Nawal was a member of Merchandising Inc. and participated in the Market Mentorship Program. Her internship with Haverty’s Furniture allowed her to plan and present design trend workshops for their customers all while allowing her to use her home furnishings background. After graduating, Nawal began working at Hewlett-Packard as a Sales Representative and was promoted to Territory Account Manager where she forecasts sales and develops projects for marketing campaigns for HP servers, storage, and network portfolios. Recently, she joined the Toastmasters International organization which focuses on communication and leadership development.


Wayne Ho
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2013

Wayne interned at Minute Suites in the IT support department at the DFW International Airport and continued as a supervisor. Prior to Minute Suites, he worked with the Four Seasons in Dallas and UNT Dining Services at Maple Hall during his years as a UNT student. Wayne currently lives in Dallas and stays active by pursuing his passion in fencing and volunteering with the UNT Fencing Club where he originally learned the sport.

Jessica Jones
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2013

She was a part of the Eta Sigma Delta Honors Society and dually worked as a guest service assistant at the Hilton Garden Inn while continuing her studies at UNT. After receiving her degree, Jessica worked as a Front Office Manager for Aimbridge Hospitality in different locations before accepting a position with Expedia, Inc. as a Market Associate in mid-August, 2015 .

Marian Karam
M.S. in Merchandising, 2013

Marian received the Outstanding Merchandise Student Award and published her thesis topic on wFacebook brand page attributes. She worked for Dallas Harley-Davidson as assistant to the merchandising manager and purchased merchandise for the store, styled and photographed product for marketing and social channels, and maintained the e-commerce site. After graduation, she joined JCPenney as an e-commerce assistant buyer. She was awarded a JCPenney certificate of excellence in her area and was selected as a subject matter expert to help develop and teach e-commerce assistant buyer classes. Marian currently works for Stage Stores Inc. in Houston, TX as a website marketing specialist. At Stage, she focuses on digital marketing and website user experience and is involved in web analytics, user acceptance testing, and research. She also helped launch their new mobile optimized site and customer loyalty program. Marian is excited to continue her involvement in digital channels and is launching several other exciting projects with her current company.

Ryan Kercheval
B.S. in Home Furnishings Merchandising, 2013

During her time at UNT, Ryan received the "Outstanding Senior in Home Furnishings" Award Spring, 2013. Ryan interned at Studio Bon Textiles while going to school at UNT and gained valuable experience. Her first job was with a start-up company, A Mediocre Corporation that boasts the same Founder as She also gained experience with D2 Rick & Kathy Drysdale Showroom at the Dallas Market Center. Currently, Ryan works at 7-Eleven, as a Category Support Coordinator for Non Alcoholic Beverages for TX, FL, and parts of the East Coast.

Brittany Kolodziej
B.S. in Merchandising, 2013

Brittany participated in several campus organizations including Merchandising Inc., Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Golden Key International Honors Society. She interned at Nordstrom and following graduation, she joined JCPenney Company, Inc. as a Merchandise Assistant for the Home department. She was accepted into their Assistant Buyer training program and worked as an assistant buyer in the Men’s active wear department. Brittany later joined Pier I as an Associate Site Merchandiser. Brittany is excited to be a part of the team at Pier 1 Imports that was announced as the winner of the “Comeback of the Year Award” at the inaugural Internet Retailer Excellence Awards in June of, 2015 .

Keitha Largent
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2013

Keitha’s knowledge of the hospitality industry was cultivated through her time spent in the hospitality management program at UNT along with her experience as a Sales and Catering Manager prior to finishing her degree. She has worked as a Corporate Sales Manager for The Cliffs Resort and the Double Diamond Resorts and currently is with Hersha Hospitality where she is the Senior Area Director of Sales and Marketing.

Ocean Martinez
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2013

Ocean’s experience in the hospitality industry and her academic achievements in the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism prepared her to be the Event Operations Manager at the Circle R Ranch. Her tasks involve hiring, scheduling, and training staff and managing private events. She enjoys working in the highly dynamic atmosphere of the event industry. She likes to stay busy and is enthusiastic about her job; Enthusiasm is contagious. Her goal is to be the best team member that she can be while performing her job duties to the best of her ability. She’s proud to work with colleagues who deliver five-star service to their clients.

Andie Rogers
B.S. in Merchandising, 2013

A highlight of Andie’s UNT experience was the Hong Kong and mainland China program where she experienced first-hand the supply chain process. Visiting factories was an exciting new experience. Prior to graduating, she completed her internship in New York City with Glamour Magazine as a Merchandising Intern in the creative services department. She assisted with photo-shoots, created copy, and created proposals using InDesign. Upon graduating, she joined the Beauty Systems Group as an Assistant Buyer.

Domenique Sam
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising, 2013

Domenique participated in Merchandising Inc. and Pi Beta Phi at UNT. She completed internships with Jan Strimple Productions as a backstage dresser and the Nordstrom Retail Management program. After graduating with her merchandising degree and a Retailing Certificate, she joined Sally Beauty Holdings as an Assistant Buyer in the Nail Category. While working full-time, she began graduate studies where she is pursuing a M.S. in Merchandising with a planned graduation of May 2017. Domenique looks forward to the next two years with the wonderful College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism. Happy 125th Anniversary!

Kendall Schmidt
M.S. in International Sustainable Tourism (MIST), 2013

Kendall previously spent time in Costa Rica as a production assistant/producer for Anywhere Costa Rica and was a marketing and research intern with the company. Her interests and specialties vary from marketing and social media to editing and film production. After receiving her master’s degree, she began her career with Allegro as a Marketing Data Analyst in the DFW area where she works with a team of analysts that works together to develop digitally-focused marketing campaigns.

Holly Sherrod
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2013

Holly enjoyed spending time with friends and walking around the beautiful campus. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority and enjoyed attending football games with the Lady Wings. She gained experience working at Winstar World Casino and the Omni Hotel in Dallas, TX. With 12 years of experience in the hospitality industry and her degree in hand, she accepted a teaching position in Forney, Texas as the High School Culinary Arts/Nutrition, and Hospitality teacher.

Erica Stein
B.S. in Merchandising, Minor in Business Foundations, 2013

While pursuing her studies, she also was President of Chi Omega, a fraternal organization. Erica was a member of the National Retail Federation Student Association (NRFSA) and met industry professionals from the retail and fashion sectors. Erica focused on taking courses relevant to consumer experiences and behaviors, apparel evaluation, marketing and management, advanced buying and planning, and fashion theory. She completed her internship with Accessories and was responsible for product sales and managing the website and social media to increase brand awareness. After graduation, she started her career with the Zale Corporation as an E-Commerce Merchandise Coordinator and eventually was promoted to an Assistant Merchant position. Recently she accepted a position as Digital Marketing Manager for the Omni Hotels & Resorts in Dallas.

Marian Karam
M.S. in Merchandising, 2013

Marian received the Outstanding Merchandise Student Award and published her thesis topic on wFacebook brand page attributes. She worked for Dallas Harley-Davidson as assistant to the merchandising manager and purchased merchandise for the store, styled and photographed product for marketing and social channels, and maintained the e-commerce site. After graduation, she joined JCPenney as an e-commerce assistant buyer. She was awarded a JCPenney certificate of excellence in her area and was selected as a subject matter expert to help develop and teach e-commerce assistant buyer classes. Marian currently works for Stage Stores Inc. in Houston, TX as a website marketing specialist. At Stage, she focuses on digital marketing and website user experience and is involved in web analytics, user acceptance testing, and research. She also helped launch their new mobile optimized site and customer loyalty program. Marian is excited to continue her involvement in digital channels and is launching several other exciting projects with her current company.

Lanaighyah J. Beard
B.S. Merchandising and Digital Retailing, 2013

She obtained her Bachelors of Science in Fashion Merchandising and a minor in retail in August 2013. In addition, she accomplished the study aboard Hong Kong/Beijing tour which was an incredible experience to learn hands-on outside of the classroom environment and during my matriculation, she worked as a sales associate at Neiman Marcus Last Call. She’s currently a Beauty Replenishment Administrator at Neiman Marcus corporate buying offices in Dallas, TX. She is in pursuit to obtain a Masters of Arts in Luxury and Fashion Management at Savannah College of Art and Design through their e-learning program. She hopes to inspire students that it is possible to start at the bottom to get your foot in the door in your desired field and work your way up. 

Britney Hall
B.S. in Merchandising, 2013

After graduating with my B.S. In Merchandising with a minor in business in Fall 2013, she started her career at JCPenney Headquarters in Plano where she is now a Creative Merchandise Assistant working with the Visual Packaging Team. Her education from UNT definitely helps her in her career now and she can't thank this program enough for teaching her everything I needed to know about the business side of fashion. Go Mean Green!

Jessica (Hamilton) Leal
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2013

She is a Training Specialist at ARGUS software. So, she gets to travel wherever the class may be and train different clients over our products. Most of the time the class is in the US and Canada but sometimes the training classes are in Europe too!

Kaley Hanna (Blahnik)
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2013

Currently she is the Wedding and Social Catering Manager at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, where she sells and executes over 100 social and wedding events per year. The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek was recently named the #1 hotel in Texas by Travel and Leisure magazine. She recently got married and is living in uptown Dallas with her husband and dog, Mellie!

Shadan Kishi Price
M.S in Hospitality Management, 2013

Shadan graduated from the University of North Texas in 2008 with a degree in Visual Arts Studies. She taught art for a short time but realized that food was her passion. She went back to school and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of North Texas again in 2013 with a degree in Hospitality Management. She has been a proponent of the vegetarian lifestyle and cuisine since 2007 and knew that she wanted to take this love for vegetarian cooking and open a food establishment where she could share it with the community. In the past, she has worked as the sous chef/supervisor at the vegan dining hall on the UNT campus and she has also taught cooking demonstrations at both Natural Grocers and Lifetime Fitness.

The truck is essentially an extension of Shadan's personality. Shadan was born in Iran and moved to Texas when she was two. Being an Iranian in Texas meant learning how to combine the best of both cultures, which is exactly what her food offers. It combines the exotic flavors of Middle Eastern food with the traditional classics we all know and love. All the food is vegetarian and it uses local produce whenever possible. Leila's Food Truck is also strongly committed to serving the community. The truck accepts canned food donations which they donate to a local food pantry. Please continue to follow Leila's Food Truck for information on other community service events. Whether you are a vegetarian yourself or just someone wanting to try some new dishes, Leila's Food Truck has something for you! Come visit us today and make sure to follow us on our social media pages to keep up with what we have going on!

Pooja Amin
B.S. in Merchandising, 2012

During her time at UNT, she took pride in her role as Philanthropy Chair officer in Merchandising Inc. and was an active model in the 'Models of Style Exposed' organization. She took part in many of the associated fashion shows on and off campus. She just recently joined Charming Charlie Corporate in Houston, TX and is very excited about this new opportunity in Global Sourcing.

Willie Beaver
B.S. in Hospitality Administration/Management, 2012

During his time at UNT, Willie served as Treasurer of the National Society for Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) where he volunteered on a weekly basis to provide public service to the local Denton community. Prior to pursuing his education, he worked as an Aviation Electronic Technician for the U.S. Navy and completed his training in Oklahoma City, OK. During the last year of his undergraduate degree, Willie worked as a Manager on Duty/Front Desk Supervisor for the Winstar Hotel World Casino, a 395 room hotel. Maintaining guest satisfaction and providing support for every area of the hotel were just a few of his daily tasks. His current role as a Project Manager with GSA has allowed him to apply both his educational background and work experience to successfully provide creative solutions while working on multiple projects.

Jelisa Carroll
B.S. in Merchandising, 2012

While still in school, Jelisa was a contributing Editorial Photographer for Method Seven Magazine where she worked with a team to create photo shoot themes and set designs. After completing an internship with Target in their Executive Intern Program, she continued a new internship with Anthroplogie in their Southlake stores’ Visual Merchandising department. She currently is working as a shoot coordinator for Neiman Marcus at their headquarters where she coordinates with buyers and audits content from photo shoots.

Rachel Caudle
M.S. in Hospitality Management, 2012

Along with her Master’s degree, Rachel also is certified as a Meeting Planner (CMP) from CIC and is a certified Tourism Ambassador from the Tourism Ambassador Institute. Prior to receiving her Master’s she worked at Truglo as an International Specialist and as a Corporate Event Planner for Freese and Nichols for several years. Currently, she is the Trade Show and Events Manager for Bell Helicopter in the DFW area.

Marawee Dawson
B.S. Fashion Merchandising, 2012

While pursuing her studies at UNT, Marawee was involved with Merchandising Inc., was a member of Phi Theta Kappa International honor society, and participated in the Study Abroad program to Hong Kong and China in 2011. After completing her internship with Chanel in the DFW area, she became an Area Sales Manager with Dillard’s where she used analytical skills to research End-of-Month reports, conducted monthly inventory counts and implemented floor set changes. Recently, she opened the Blue Fairy Shop in the Lubbock, Texas area which carries women’s clothing and accessories both in store and online.

Ana Galaviz
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising, 2012

While at UNT Ana enjoyed participating in the Hong Kong-Beijing study abroad tour and visited factories and learned first-handed about the apparel supply chain. Ana has held positions in marketing, event management, and sales, serving as a Creative Services & Event Manager with Dallas Market Center, the world’s leading wholesale marketplace. Ana currently is an Account Executive at Bioworld Merchandising, where she is a member of the Walmart Accessories team. In her role, she oversees sales orders from receipt to delivery following vendor compliance procedures adhering to Walmart standards. She currently lives in Dallas and is pursuing an MBA with an emphasis in Marketing. Her activities include, serving on the programs committee for Fashion Group International of Dallas, freelancing for local fashion shows and charity events, and practicing Bikram Yoga.

Shannon Kennard
B.S. in Merchandising, 2012

Shannon was totally engaged at UNT. She enjoyed the New York Study tour, a study tour in South America, and was the Fashion Director of Method Seven Magazine for a semester. After spending her last semester in New York City interning for VS Magazine, she made the permanent move to the city, and a brief stint in the world of retail buying, before beginning a career in fashion PR. She works with editors from well-known glossies, coordinates events for fashion week in both New York and Miami, and managed social media campaigns for fashion, beauty, and lifestyle brands. In her free time, she is thrift shopping, traveling, reading, writing, and chasing music festivals.

Monica Lindsey
M.S. in Merchandising, 2012

Her passion for retail led Monica to pursue an undergraduate degree in Textiles, Apparel & Merchandising at Louisiana State University. After college she felt like something was missing and wanted to learn more, so she enrolled in the graduate program at the University of North Texas in the Fall of 2010. During her time at UNT she was able to take part in Internships, study abroad tour, graduate research opportunities and was also given the opportunity to be a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Merchandising and Digital Retailing. After having those experiences along with the continuous support of the department faculty and staff, she believed she was well equipped to start her career in retailing. She began her career in Planning and Allocation where she handled all assortment planning and allocation for a women’s leathers business. Today, she is a member of the buying team for Women’s Activewear at JC Penney, which has become their divisions’ largest growth area.

Sydney Matiacio
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2012

Since graduating, Sidney joined the TMI Hospitality team, first in the South Texas region, and currently she is a General Manager in the Houston, TX area.

Julia O’Rourke
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2012

Prior to graduation, Julia worked as an Eagle Ambassador for UNT, interned at PepsiCo, served as President of Eta Sigm Delta, and continued with marketing aspirations after graduation. Since graduation, Julia has helped companies such as Del Taco LLC, Integrity Materials, Hyatt Hotels, and Nestle Skin Health. Julia is continuing her education at Franklin University and working towards a M.S. in Marketing and Communications while working full time. As a Community Manager at Nestle Skin Health, Julia is exposed to current trends in Digital Marketing and has the opportunity to travel the globe learning best practices. Looking back, Julia loved Chef Duryea’s food preparation course the most and the Beverage Survey course. Julia achieved Level 1 and 2 Certifications from the International Sommelier Guild. Her favorite thing about UNT: Her lifelong friends that are fellow UNT Eagles!

James Seifert
B.S. in Merchandising, 2012

During his academic career, Jimmy was Treasurer of Merchandising Inc., a member of CMHT Ambassadors, member of NRFSA, and attended the 2012 NRF Big Show. The summer before he graduated, he was a Planning Intern with Tuesday Morning and continued his role there until graduation. After graduating, he accepted a Merchandise Distributor position with Fossil Group, where he was later promoted to a Planning position. Currently, Jimmy is with The Container Store as an Inventory Planning and Allocation Manager for the Office and Collections Departments.

Gaylen Tasker
B.S. in Merchandising, 2012

Upon her arrival to the University of North Texas, Gaylen immediately took an interest in the unique atmosphere that Denton has and enjoyed being in the surroundings of intellectuals from all parts of the world. During her last year of studying, Gaylen decided to study abroad in Florence, Italy where she has been living ever since. She did an internship with Scuola del Cuoio and after completing the internship and graduating, she was offered a job and continued working for the company as a Collaborator. For her past four years in Florence, she has not only grown within the company but has also developed personally through her appreciation of art, fashion, and the European lifestyle. Her current role as a Collaborator involves public relations, online communications. Recently she accepted the responsibility of producing and maintaining the website and online shop for the Scuola del Cuoio. She looks forward to continuing her time in Europe and is focusing on experiencing the diverse cultures of the area.

Jennifer Vaquiz
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2012

During her time at UNT, Jennifer received a scholarship from the CMHT department and was a part of the President’s List of 2011. After graduating with her Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management, she briefly worked for Gaylord Entertainment as a Concierge Agent before accepting her new position with EnVoy Airlines. Jennifer currently works for EnVoy Airlines as a Crew Scheduler for the Fort Worth, TX area and also has worked in several other areas of the hospitality industry.

Sarah Harris
B.S. in Merchandising, 2012

Sara is now a showroom manager for Jennifer Rush Kids at the Dallas Market Center and also a licensed Real Estate Agent at Regal Realtors in Rockwall. 

Nicole Torres
B.S. in Merchandising, 2012

She is now working with full time with an Irving based Technology company called Solaris Technologies as their Marketing Lead. It has been a great position to hold and gain experience in, as marketing lead she does forecasting, budgeting, product promotions, customer relationship management and so much more. 

On the side, she started her own online fashion jewelry boutique It has been a fun adventure getting her back into the fashion industry that she loves so much. She has had to work on website design, sales, product promotions, social media engagement, customer retention, vendor events, bridal expos, personal styling, e-commerce, and so much more. She has used so many aspects of my UNT degree to grow her business, it has been a real exciting and challenging adventure!

Nicole Marie Williams (Corts)
B.S. in Merchandising, 2007; M.S. in Merchandising, 2012

Immediately after college, she briefly worked retail in the children's department for JC Penney at the Parks Mall in Arlington, TX. In February 2008, she started as an assistant buyer for Dillard's E-Commerce. In 2010, she was promoted to buyer. she currently buys jewelry, watches, sunglasses, tech and accessories for and has been the accessories buyer for the past 6 years. Jewelry is my real passion and a real delight to buy everyday. She attends market in NYC 4-6 times a year in addition to watch market at Fossil Headquarters in Richardson, TX. 

Nicole has been married a little over a year and currently resides in Keller, TX with her husband. 

Colin Brown
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2011

While enrolled in school, Colin was also actively involved in intramural sports and the Asian Student Association. After graduating, he worked for Clampitt Paper Company and Restaurant Supply Chain Solutions where he functioned as the coordinator for all project managers planning and selling equipment. In the summer of, 2015 , he accepted a new position as the Customer Development Manager for Pepsico in the San Antonio area of Texas.

Ran Huang
M.S. in Merchandising, 2011

Through Ran Huang’s two-year graduate study in Merchandising at the University of North Texas, she captured and developed her research interests in digital retailing. While attending the graduate program, she was committed to diverse learning opportunities about consumer experience management and multi-channel retailing. Hands-on experiences in professional meetings such as summit, field work in the retailing industry, and lectures from professors engaged and developed her interest and capacity. Studying merchandising has instilled in her a deep interest in digital retailing as well as a desire to learn how the online shopping environment can increase customers’ engagement. Completing the graduate thesis on social capital and virtual engagement in China’s social media, participating in professional competitions of innovation challenge about smart-phone application creation and her UNT graduate classes instilled a desire for more education. Ran is pursuing a doctoral degree at U. of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Da'Shira Jackson
B.S. in Merchandising, 2011

While attending UNT, Da'Shira participated in student organizations such GFORCE and Merchandising Inc., where she served as the activities coordinator during the 2010 school year. After graduating, pursued a career at The Hanger Project, a luxury garment care retailer that dominates the shoe care and hanger business, where she is the Merchandising and Operations Manager. She is responsible for daily management of the website and day-to-day operations. In, 2015 , she completed a M. S. degree in Information Design and Technology from SUNY Polytechnic University. She plans to teach continuing education courses to help small business owners create a social media presence.

Phylicia Jasper
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2011

Phylicia was an RA for five semesters at UNT’s Clark Hall and says it was one of the best experiences she had due to the great people she met and the relationships she built. She also was inducted into the Eta Sigma Delta and Sigma Alpha Lambda honors societies and was a National Residence Hall honoree. After graduation, she worked at the Hilton hotels as a Front Desk Agent for a year, then moved to a Marriott where she became a Supervisor. She earned a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Change Management from Colorado State University. In May of, 2014 , Phylicia became an Event Manager, but was soon promoted to a Senior Event Manager while working Aimbridge Hospitality.

Maranatha Lee
B.S. & M.S. in Merchandising, 2011

Maranatha earned both B.S. and M.S. degrees in Merchandising at UNT, and also completed a Graduate Certificate in Event Management. During her time at UNT she was an active member of Merchandising Inc. and was on the Academic President’s List in 2009. Maranatha has had amazing opportunities while interning in New York City and the Dallas area for companies like Tommy Hilfiger, Kohl’s, Michele Marie PR, Bollare Communications, InStyle Magazine, and People’s Revolution. Maranatha is a Merchandise Assistant at J.C. Penney, Inc. after completing the Assistant Buyer Training program.

Veronica Mendes
B.S. Hospitality Management, 2011

In addition to her degree, Veronica also earned a Teaching Certificate and an ESL Certificate. During her time at UNT she volunteered as summer staff for YoungLife that attracted 700 campers. After graduation, she worked for several years as the Banquet Coordinator for the Omni Hotels & Resort in Dallas, TX before changing careers to teach as an 8th grade ELAR/Coach at Lady Bird Johnson Middle School where she specializes in working with students who are dyslexic.

Nuz Moreshed
B.S. in Merchandising, 2011

Nuz was a member of both Merchandising Inc. and MODA. After graduating, she became a production and styling assistant with the well-known Jan Strimple Productions. After working in New York City as an assistant to the Creative Director at Ralph Lauren and as a Freelance Styling Assistant with various talent and advertising agencies, she made her way back to Texas to be the Shop Manager of a Michael Kors store in the DFW area. She currently is the Selling Manager at North Park’s Victoria’s Secret.

Christopher Passafiume
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2011

While pursuing his undergraduate degree, Christopher interned in the food and beverage department at the Tower Club of Dallas where he combined his education with hands-on training. After graduation he continued his career in the hospitality industry with Mortgage Contracting Services as an Asset Preservation Coordinator then later moved to the healthcare giant Cigna as a Group Claims Manager in their Plano, TX location. In 2012 he made the decision to pursue an MBA at UT-Dallas and recently completed the program. He currently lives and works in Birmingham, AL as an Accounting & Operations Analyst for Protective Life.

Jessica Pittman
B.S. in Digital Retailing, 2011 & M.S. in Merchandising, 2012

During her time at UNT, Jessica was a member of the NRF organization along with Merchandising Inc. and worked in the Division of Advancement office. Jessica enhanced her educational experience by participating in the New York Study tour in 2010 where she learned from business executives and designers in the fashion industry. After receiving both her Bachelor’s and Master’ degrees, she began her career with The Apparel Group as a Marketing Coordinator then as an E-Commerce Specialist where she used her educational background in digital retailing to succeed in these positions. Jessica has worked in several other social media management positions and currently works as the Digital Marketing Manager in Social Media for DR Horton in the DFW area.

Larissa (Kitley) Reeve
M.S. in Hospitality Management, 2011

Larissa Kitley Reeve began employment in the hospitality industry as a Front Desk Agent at the Hilton Garden Inn Lewisville, while working on her graduate degree in Hospitality Management at the University of North Texas. Shortly after her May 2011 graduation, Larissa accepted a position as a Front Desk Supervisor at the Dallas/Plano Marriott at Legacy Town Center. Larissa's talents were recognized, and she expressed interests in other departments. A little over a year after she joined the Marriott team, she was promoted to Event Coordinator in the Events Department at the hotel. In this role, she assisted the event managers and assumed duties for small group meetings, room blocks, and even coordinated her first wedding. While Larissa enjoyed her time in Events, she had other interests to pursue. In July, 2014 , she moved to her current role as the Catering Sales Executive at the Dallas/Plano Marriott at Legacy Town Center. Shortly before this promotion, she became engaged to Patrick Reeve. Larissa and Patrick will celebrate their first anniversary this year on April 18th.

Megan Rose
B.S. in Merchandising, 2011

Megan was an active member of Zeta Tau Alpha and was a Cheerleader for the Texas Rangers Baseball Club. She interned with ISAIA in New York where she assisted with marketing and planning special events, was the liaison to their Italian offices and assisted the sales team with market presentations and order entry. After graduating, she decided to move to New York to start her career with The Jones Group as a Product Development Coordinator for their Nine West brand. After nearly two years with the company, she moved to Global Brands Group as an Associate Product Developer with responsibility for pricing for off-price and private label accounts. She is still in the Greater NYC area and currently is working for Macy’s as a Pricing Manager where she analyzes sales for all stores in the zones she covers and works with buyers to prepare seasonal business strategies.

Hillary Stark
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2011

Upon graduating with her B.S. degree, she completed an MBA at the University of Missouri in, 2013. During her work experience, she was in management roles with 801 Restaurant Groups and Standing Dog Interactive. Recently, she served as an adjunct lecturer for the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism when she taught two undergraduate marketing courses with an emphasis on the current digital marketing trends seen within the hospitality industry. She is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Information Science at UNT where her focus is on digital consumer behavior involving big data and algorithms and is expected to graduate in May of 2019.

Cody Vaughan Sharp
B.S. in Merchandising & Digital Retailing, 2011

Cody Vaughan Sharp double majored in Merchandising and Digital Retailing and minored in Business Foundations. He also earned a certificate in Internet Marketing and worked as a Student Services Representative for the University. After graduation, he started his career with Globe Runner SEO as the SEO Team Lead, helping businesses form their internet presence. His main area of concentration is Search Engine Marketing, which tends to overlap with UX, Social Media Marketing, and Web Development. Cody believes his education and experience, combined with his creative spirit are propelling him to be an industry leader in Digital Marketing. Currently, he is working with Pier 1 Imports as an eCommerce Site Content Specialist where he works closely with Content Managers, Buyers and Site Merchants to plan and execute strategic content that supports the Pier1 Omni-channel vision while addressing the needs of individual markets.

Westly White
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2011

Shortly after graduating, Westly began a career with the Dominion Golf Group as the Assistant Service Director at Lantana Golf Club in Lantana, Texas. Within a year he was promoted to Service Director at another Dominion Club, Bridlewood Golf Club in Flower Mound, Texas. While at Bridlewood, he developed and instituted a service training program that is now in use at all six Dominion Clubs throughout Texas. He then returned to Lantana as Service Director in November of, 2013, where he remained until August of, 2014 . Having built a reputation for revitalizing failing Food & Beverage operations, he was relocated to Austin, Texas to assume the position of Operations Manager at the historic Onion Creek Club in South Austin, birthplace of the Senior PGA Tour. Westly currently lives in Buda, Texas with his wife Ashton.

Kelly Williammee
B.S. in Hospitality Administration/Management, 2011

Kelly was involved with several organizations during her time at UNT including the Club Managers Association of America, CMHT Ambassadors, and Chi Omega. While pursuing her studies, she had multiple jobs in the hospitality industry that helped add to her work experience. Upon graduating, she worked as the Corporate Sales Manager of the Embassy Suites Dallas Market Center. In that position, she focused on sales related to group rooms of 10 or more and determined discount rates based on ADR, revenue, and month-to-end reports. Her current role as the Senior Sales Manager of the Hotel Indigo has been a great way to combine her educational background in hospitality and previous work experience to provide the best customer service at their exciting downtown Dallas location.

Ashley Williams
B.S. in Hospitality Administration/Management, 2011

She has been working in hospitality management since her graduation and currently is the Assistant General Manager at the Hilton Garden Inn of Granbury, Texas where she manages the day-to-day operations of the hotel.

Jennifer Xeykaothao
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2011

During her time at UNT, Jennifer worked for several hospitality companies, which allowed her to grow her background in the industry and apply what she had been learning at school. Her current role as a Talent Acquisition Specialist for AMN Healthcare requires her to apply skills such as recruiting, career coaching, and talent development.

Karlandrea Bennett
B.S. in Merchandising, 2011

Currently employed at Wal-Mart as the Assistant Store Manager. Also, currently enrolled in the Master’s Degree in Human Resources concentration in generalist.

Rachele (Dudley) Kent
B.S. in Hospitality, 2011

She is working for American Airlines as a Corporate Event Planner for the Meetings & Events Team. She has been in the event industry since graduating from the Hospitality program in December of 2011. As an event planner for American Airlines, she plans events such as department meetings, client facing sales events and leadership conferences. The Meetings & Events Team is responsible for an average of 200 events per year. Her father is also a Captain on the 787-Dreamliner for American Airlines and has volunteered at her events as uniformed crew.

Tracy Repko-Kuboff
M.S. in Merchandising, 2011

She graduated from University of North Texas in 2011, in which she earned a Master of Science in Merchandising. She has been teaching at Youngstown State University in the Human Ecology department for 10 years now as an Adjunct Instructor.  She teaches various merchandising classes to undergraduate students pursuing a Bachelor of Applied Science in Merchandising: Fashion & Interiors.  While teaching part-time at the university, she also worked full-time at Justice (just for girls), in retail management.  Sixteen years ago, she was lucky to land a job with Limited Too/Justice right out of college to become an Assistant Manager, after a few short years, she become a Store Manager, and eventually a District Manager.  Just recently, she made the decision to leave retail management to devote more time to the university; by teaching more classes and mentoring students one-on-one in achieving their goals. 

Nicole Beatty
B.S. in Merchandising, 2010

I'm so glad to have attended the New York Study Tour my junior year because the connections I made while in New York are what helped me land a summer 2010 internship at Harper's BAZAAR magazine for my last semester at UNT.

Following completion of that internship, I went on to work for where I was able to utilize the skills I learned while completing my Fashion Merchandising major and Journalism minor.

In 2012, I was recruited to return to Harper's BAZAAR, where I was a launch team member for, their eCommerce offering. In the 3.5 years I spent working full-time at BAZAAR I helped launch and project manage an eCommerce site, art direct and produce photo and video shoots, as well as spearhead nationwide events and integrated marketing campaigns.

I've recently returned to Dallas where I've spent the last 5 months working with local fashion and commerce clients, that include Highland Park Village shopping center, as a Digital, PR and Events Consultant.

Watson Baldwin
M.S. in Hospitality Management, 2010

Chef Watson Baldwin earned his Doctorate in Hotel and Tourism Management in 2016 from the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and is an instructor there. His courses focus on the Food and Beverage Department. He also serves as an educational consultant dealing in Hotel Management, Food & Beverage, and Culinary education; specializing in Food and Beverage Programs in schools and colleges in Mainland China and restaurants in Hong Kong.

Emily Boykin
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2010

Emily Boykin, CMP, is currently a Meeting Planner for Onyx Meetings and Events in Overland Park, Kansas. She has seen great success planning and executing events since her career began in 2010. She's also worked in events at the Hyatt Regency Dulles in the Washington, D.C. metro, the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Texas, and J.Hilburn Men's Clothier. She began her work in events during college as the Student Assistant to the Director of Events for the Office of the President at the University of North Texas. Emily received an Official State of Texas Resolution from State Representative Betty Brown and was named the Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year by Greater Texas Community Partners in 2008 for her work with non-profit event management. She received a CMP scholarship from the Timothy S Y Lam Foundation in, 2015 . She was also published in the Corporate and Travel Incentives magazine in 2016.

Crystal Glaser
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2010

Crystal Glaser is a graduate of the Hospitality Management program with over 10 years of customer service experience and three years in Restaurant Real Estate Evaluation and Special Projects Management. She graduated from UNT in 2010 and currently resides in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Crystal enjoys working in a fast paced and challenging environment to apply professional strengths and contribute to an organization’s goals and objectives.

Tarah Kreis
B.S. in Merchandising and Home Furnishings Merchandising, 2010

Tarah was a member of the SMHM Student Ambassadors and the Golden Key Honor Society while she attended UNT. Prior to graduating in 2010 she interned in the Product Development department with Arteriors Home where she was responsible for managing samples, keeping product information up to date for sales reps among many other responsibilities. Once she graduated, she was an E-commerce assistant buyer with Dillard’s in their Home Department and Children’s Department. After a few years of working with Dillard’s she was recruited to JCPenney as an E-Commerce Assistant Buyer in the Home Décor Department and is currently their Enterprise Assistant Buyer for Upholstered Furniture.

Merrilee Moore
B.S. in Hospitality Administration & Management, 2010

Merrilee describes herself as a passionate hospitality professional who has experience in guests’ services, food and beverage, retail services management, and resort events management. While pursuing her degree she worked as a night Auditor for the Great Wolf Lodge and continued to work with them after attaining her degree. Previously, she was the Manager of Brand Experience and Special Events for several years which included planning and executing all events for 2000+ guests for all holidays. Her responsibilities included forecasting accurate trends based on fluctuating occupancy due to a mix of leisure and business travelers. She recently was promoted to Employee Relations Manager, where she hopes to apply her educational background and previous work experience to achieve even high levels of success.

Stephanie Perez
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2010

After graduating with her degree, Stephanie began working as an Administrative Assistant with the Baylor Health Care System in Garland, TX. Through her time in the hospitality industry she’s gained a diverse work background with experience in Human Resources, Process Improvement, Hospitality Management, Customer Service, and Accounting. She is still with the Baylor Health Care System as a Human Resources Assistant where she oversees the onboarding process and orientation of new hires and transfers and assists in other departmental special projects. Stephanie looks forward to continuing her education and developing valuable skills that will assist in her advancement in the business environment and hospitality industry.

Rachel Phair
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2010

Before graduating, Rachel completed an internship with Kimpton hotels where she focused on management aspects of hotels and restaurants. After receiving her degree, she began the Manager-In-Development program in the Food and Beverage department for the Omni hotel in Ft. Worth, TX. She also worked as an Assistant General Manager at Gaylord Entertainment. Currently, she is Manager at Fearing’s in The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in Dallas, TX.

Michael Rodriguez
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2010

During his time in Denton, Michael was involved with the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality and was an active member of the International Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta on campus. As his required internship, he worked at the Omni in San Antonio where he created and designed an e-mail marketing campaign to bring in new customers from the Northern Mexico region. He is with the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Orlando, Florida after having started in their Dallas location as a Manager. Michael has accumulated experience in hospitality and hotel/restaurant operations, including supervisory & leadership positions.

Shayla Truesdell
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2010

While pursuing her degree, Shayla worked her way through college as a property manager with the Richdale Group. The combination of a solid academic program and real world experience helped launch her career and rapid advancement in the hospitality industry. Shayla began her career as an intern at the W Hotel in downtown Dallas. While completing her internship, she was recruited into a Leadership in Development position with the Omni Mandalay Hotel. Omni later promoted her to accounting manager, relocating her to St. Louis, Missouri and was later promoted to the Junior Financial Analyst at the corporate office in Dallas. While attending UNT, she completed a number of classes that developed her further understanding of restaurant operations and business analysis. She recalls one Facilities Design class in particular with Dr. Lisa Kennon that culminated in a restaurant design project. This assignment provided her with the knowledge and experience needed to successfully design the Tea2Go franchise location in Coppell, Texas, which opened in, 2015 . Shayla Truesdell is currently a Corporate Financial Analyst for Omni Hotels & Resorts.

Rochelle Elliott
B.S in Merchandising, 2010

Rochelle Elliott is currently a Campus Recruiter at Target. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she completed an Executive Internship at Target and gained some valuable leadership experience. Upon graduation she joined the Target team as an Executive Team Leader (assistant manager) in Frisco, TX. After her first assignment, she moved to Flower Mound, TX and became the Human Resources Executive where she quickly found her passion for people and development. Rochelle currently recruits recent college graduates and intern candidates for store and distribution opportunities in the Texas market. During her time at UNT she participated in Merchandising Inc. and went on the New York Study Tour.


Kimmi Gibbs
B.S. in Merchandising, 2010

After college at UNT and her internship in NYC, she spent 5 years in Florida designing and merchandising retail stores across the U.S and Canada, as well as producing photoshoots for marketing and video content. She just recently made the move to Seattle where she works in the city as a Producer for PBJS experiential agency. Producing content to be played live at events for clients such as Microsoft, PayPal, and Ebay. 

Photo & Video Production was not something she ever thought she would end up doing! But she absolutely loves it, and in the fashion and business world - it's definitely a fun experience to have - if you're interested in project management and traveling. 

LaDacher "Dai" Jackson
M.S. in Merchandising, 2010

She is now an Assistant Principal at Newman Smith High School in Carrollton, Texas. She is also pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership Organizational Development and is currently working on her dissertation. Graduation is just around the corner. Although she moved in a different direction, she still uses the skills learned during her merchandising studies every day. Schools are businesses with stakeholders, budgets and a very valuable product. She is grateful to the professors at UNT for helping mold her into the scholar and leader she has become. She is forever an Eagle.


Kyle Ruch
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2010

Kyle has been at Bent Tree Country Club in North Dallas for the past 3 years as Assistant General Manager. Previously he worked at Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, AZ, Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, OK as well as Dallas Country Club in Dallas, TX.

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Lindsey Ater
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2000

Lindsey has almost 10 years of experience in technology and solution sales and is currently a Territory Sales Representative with GoEngineer in the DFW area. She excels at prospecting to find new opportunities and earn new business, all while nurturing and maintaining existing accounts. With excellent communication skills and a keen attention to detail, Lindsey is well equipped and excited for all challenges that come her way!

Siraj Bose
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2000

After completing his degree, Siraj moved back to India to be a part of the emerging outsourcing (BPO) industry and has now completed 15+ years in the contact center industry. In 2010 he made the move back to the Dallas area and is currently the Assistant Vice President at Tata Consultancy Services where he manages a 750+ Customer Service and Collections relationship with one of the largest non-bank mortgage servicers in the US.

Julie Hicks
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2000

During her time in the hospitality program, Julie was an involved student and was a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. After graduating, she took a position with Hilton Worldwide as a National Sales Manager working for several years before becoming the Assistant Director of Sales for the Hilton DFW Lakes for four years. She currently is a Global Account Executive with Continuity Housing where she uses more than a decade of industry experience in the hospitality industry to plan and management events.

Brad Shinn
B.S. in Hospitality management, 2000

Brad Shinn is an Internal Audit Manager for ClubCorp, based in Dallas. He gained experience while attending UNT and after graduation accepted a hotel management position with La Quinta Inns and Suites. Within less than a year, the company recruited him as an Internal Auditor at La Quinta’s corporate office in Irving. Brad found that the Internal Audit position was just what he was looking for, as it offered the ability to travel to different hotels, evaluating the effectiveness of the locations’ internal controls. Brad further solidified his footing in the Internal Audit profession by obtaining his Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) professional designation in 2007. He has remained in the hospitality industry, which has always been his true passion.

He has held various Internal Audit positions with La Quinta Inns and Suites, Ashford Hospitality Trust, and ClubCorp. He also is a volunteer in the Employee Partner Care Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded to help ClubCorp employee partners in times of catastrophic need.

Charae (Wheatley) Swanson
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising Minor: Business Administration, 2000

I am a 2000 graduate with a Bachelors of Science degree in Fashion Merchandising with a minor in Business Administration. I have been working in corporate America for the last 16 years as an Inventory Analyst. I am currently an Inventory Analyst at Success Partners in Plano, Tx.

I reside in Carrollton with my husband of 11 years and our 6 year old twins Raegan and Robert. When I am not busy working and raising a family I enjoy spending quality time with family and friends.

Julie Lyn Anderson
B.S. Merchandising, 2000

She works for Peterbilt Motors in Denton. She is part of the Cost Savings group that works with engineering, purchasing and our suppliers to identify projects/parts that have savings potential towards total cost to build each truck.  

Tracy Hopkins
B.S. in Merchandising, 2000

First, she is a grandmother to a beautiful and perfect granddaughter - she is 6 months old!  She has a 7-year-old pug named Molly - another light of her life!!  She just celebrated her "10" year anniversary yesterday with Coach, Inc. and her co-workers had a celebration for her that was very special!  She loves Coach- “It is a wonderful company and I have learned so much there!  And, I started it all with you guys and the professional atmosphere you all showed us.”

Blythe Beck
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2001

While working on a degree in Hotel Restaurant Management at the University of North Texas, Blythe became passionate about culinary arts and fine dining. In this pursuit, she completed an internship at the acclaimed Mansion on Turtle Creek. Upon graduation, she accepted the coveted position of Apprentice to Master Chef Dean Fearing. During her four-year tenure at the Mansion, she moved quickly through the ranks, honing her skills and her determination to make her mark on the industry. In October, 2004, restaurateur Hector Garcia tapped Blythe to become sous chef at his new restaurant, Hector’s on Henderson. In January, 2006, she was promoted to executive chef. From there – in 2009 – Blythe accepted the position of executive chef at Central 214 in The Hotel Palomar, which at the time was Kimpton’s premier property in Dallas. While working at Central 214, The Naughty Kitchen with Chef Blythe Beck television project was filmed. It showcased Blythe’s belief in embracing who you are and living with a confident, positive focus. It was a non-scripted look behind the scenes at what it takes to make this happen. The show was purchased by the Oxygen Network as part of their “Living Out Loud” banner. The completed season garnered enthusiastic reviews and international appeal. In 2013, Blythe accepted a one-year consulting position for MovieLounge, an upscale, multi-use entertainment complex, designed for smaller markets. She was voted one of Arkansas’s Ten Most Fascinating People, and invited to participate in the prestigious American Heart Association’s Annual Wine Sale Charity Event in Washington, DC. Beck recently returned to one of her passions - cooking for a live audience – completing several episodes for the Paula Deen Network. She was also be featured on an episode of “Beat Bobby Flay – Season 3” on The Food Network, which aired during the 2014 holiday season. In May of 2015, Beck completed her second 4-month term as executive chef of one of Dallas’ most unique restaurant concepts, Kitchen LTO, in Trinity Groves. She is now chef/owner of Dallas’ new southern darling, Pink Magnolia, in Oak Cliff.

Daton Lee
M.S. in Merchandising, 2002; B.S. in Fashion Merchandising, 1999

Daton attended UNT in 1997 after finishing his junior and sophomore years in a community college. After completing his B.S. in Fashion Merchandising, Daton became the first graduate student in our new joint MS/MBA Program. After completing his study, Daton moved to New York City before returning to Asia in 2003.

In the past 12 years, Daton’s career took him to different cities of China, such as Dongguan and Shanghai, before he returning to Hong Kong in 2010. Currently, he is the General Manager of Pepe Jeans (HK) Limited, responsible for the P&L of the company. The company is a buying office with a focus in the sourcing and production of apparel items under the Pepe Jeans Brand.

Daton is always grateful that he got an opportunity to get back to school. And, his UNT education helped paved the path for his success. He is certainly looking forward to visiting the campus and faculty members in the near future.

Marissa Zorola
B.S. & M.S. in Merchandising, 2002

Marissa Zorola is a Senior Lecturer in merchandising at UNT. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in merchandising and proudly considers herself “a product of CMHT”. As a graduate student, Marissa discovered that teaching could join two of her great interests: students and the apparel industry. She served as faculty advisor to Merchandising Inc. for over nine years. Under her guidance, Merchandising Inc. raised over $25,000 to endow the Jaime Regen Merchandising Inc. Scholarship. She managed the New York Study Tour for five years, and is now faculty leader for the Hong Kong – Beijing Study Tour. As the faculty leader, Marissa has enjoyed learning alongside her students and watching their classes come alive while visiting factories, ports, and more. When she’s not working with students, Marissa enjoys spending time with her family and participating in long-distance running events.

Molly Parker
B.S. in Merchandising , 2003

Molly really enjoyed her time at UNT, where the education she received helped her in her career and the professors did a wonderful job connecting the students with the industry. After completing her internship, she started her career as an Assistant Buyer at Dillard’s. She worked for Dillard’s for six years before being recruited to Sports Authority in Denver, CO where she took on the role of Director of eCommerce Merchandising. Working for Sports Authority expanded her knowledge of merchandising, because she was over completely new categories. Her background was purely fashion while she was at Dillard’s, but at Sports Authority, she managed the hardlines division, which included all hardgoods. After nearly two years, she was recruited to be Women’s Apparel Buyer at in Salt Lake City, UT. She was excited to get back into fashion and for the opportunity to work for a billion dollar pure-play eCommerce site. Molly has been with for over 2 ½ years. Although she began in merchandising, she moved to the marketing department managing online creative across the website and external marketing platforms (email, display ads, commercials, etc). Her merchandising background is a huge asset, and she is very thankful she chose the merchandising program at UNT.

Reagan Fendrick Rybolt
B.S. Hospitality Management , 2003

After successfully attaining her degree, Reagan joined the ClubCorp team as a Private Events Assistant at the Stonebriar Country Club in Frisco, TX. After years spent in management roles at both the Stonebriar and Oakmont Country Clubs, Reagan is now the Regional Director of Private Event Sales with ClubCorp in the DFW area.

Chantel Terrell
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising , 2003

Chantel Terrell is the Director of Production for the Kate Hudson brand Fabletics. 10 years ago Chantel moved to Los Angeles, California from Dallas, TX to develop a premium denim line from conception. Since then, she has worked for a variety of high-fashion apparel and denim companies such as William Rast, Jean Mart Inc., Lucky Brand, Diesel and Genetic Denim. While at William Rast she served as the coordinator for domestic and China production. At Jean Mart, a domestic denim factory in LA employing up to 500 people, she served as the in-house production manager handling the Lucky Brand, Diesel and Genetic Denim accounts. This allowed Chantel to gain a vast experience in pre-production, wash development, factory floor management and quality control. Working on both the corporate and factory level has exposed her to different sides of the industry and provided a wealth of knowledge. For the past three years, Chantel has been working with Kate Hudson’s new activewear brand, Fabletics. As one of the founding members of the team, Chantel has worked her way from a Production Coordinator to her current role of Director. At Fabletics, she manages her team in the production of 10+ million a year in global inventory for this fast-paced e-commerce apparel company. Administering production of nearly 700K units each month, Chantel has been given the opportunity to travel to China, Taiwan, El Salvador Mexico, Guatemala, Mauritius and Lesotho to visit factories and oversee the production process.

Hye-Young Kim
M.S. in Merchandising, 2003

Associate Professor and Program Director, Retail Merchandising Program, College of Design, University of Minnesota

Sunny Punjani
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2003

Since graduating, he still resides in San Antonio and is a franchisee of Little Caesars Pizza.  He has had tremendous growth since his start in 2005 as a franchisee.  He is now at 13 Locations soon to be 15 before the years ends.  2015 was an amazing year as he had his first kids, yes kids, blessed with identical twin girls!  He also won the Presidents Award from Little Caesar’s pizza which is the highest honor as a franchisee that you could receive.

Ashly Westbrook
B.S. in Home Furnishings Merchandising, 2003

Upon graduation, she immediately jumped into the Real Estate industry.  She’s currently approaching 10 years in residential real estate and working at the largest Keller Williams office in DFW.  As Malcolm Gladwell states, it takes 10,000 times or the equivalent of 10 years to become an expert.

In October of 2014, The Westbrook Realty Group became a reality.  Locally, they service Dallas, Denton, Collin, Tarrant and Rockwall counties, but Keller Williams is located throughout the state of Texas and has expanded into various markets across the United States.  In October of 2015, she was named “Rock Star” of the month in our office of 540+ agents.  This recognition by her peers was unexpected, but was both an honor and a surprise!

John Reno
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2003

John has been with Whataburger Restaurants since 1998 (worked in the restaurants during his time at UNT 1999-2003) and worked in operations up to 2005, then moved into the corporate office. Since then, he has worked in many departments, learning all the facets of the business, from IT to M&A. Currently, John is the Chief of Staff for Restaurants. His responsibilities include: Strategy development, performance management, field maintenance services company, training and the internal university, internal call center, customer care, incident and crisis management, equipment research and development, and project execution. He also works with the franchise community on a regular basis.

Lizzie Moody
B.S. in Home Furnishings Merchandising, 2003

Lizzie (Appleton) Moody graduated in December of 2003 with a BS in Home Furnishings Merchandising. She worked at Tuesday Morning Headquarters and most recently Peacock Alley Corporate in Dallas. She is the new Senior Buyer at Erwin Distributing Co. They operate 27 party stores in Texas (1 Oklahoma) known as Wally’s Party Factory.

Mandi Hitchcock
B.S. in Merchandising , 2004

Mandi had been working for the Zale Corporation as an Assistant Buyer in Irving, TX for 2 years before becoming an Assistant Buyer with the Home Shopping Network. She worked with their offices in Saint Petersburg, FL until 2013 when she moved back to Houston, which is where she currently is, to become the Buyer for rings and earrings at Charming Charlie.

Andria Jackson
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising , 2004

Andria started her merchandising career with Zale Corporation as an Assistant Buyer in the jewelry industry. Her next career move was to Associate Buyer at Bag’n Baggage buying travel accessories and custom designs. Later she worked as a Jr. Account Manager for Hannah Rose, a jewelry company on the vendor side. She worked directly with factories overseas to produce products. She later moved to Michaels Arts and Crafts in the Product Development Department, and began travelling in Asia. She currently is leading the Product Development department at Value Vinyls as the Senior Product Development Manager.

Lindsey Overby
B.S. in Merchandising and Digital Retailing , 2004

During her time in the Merchandising program, Lindsey was an active member of Merchandising Inc., played Intermural sports through the recreation center, and was a Marketing Assistant for the master-planned golf course community of Lantana, TX. After graduating, she became Merchandiser/Event Coordinator of the Firewheel Golf Club in Garland, TX. She bought apparel for their two professional golf shops and was responsible for successfully planning and coordinating multiple golf tournaments and social events. Lindsey then became Account Executive with Elie Tahari in New York City, where she managed 30 specialty store and department store accounts. She later returned to Texas as an eCommerce Merchandiser for and focused on managing the Men’s Division online. Currently, Lindsey is a Global Merchandise Manager for for watches and jewelry.

Natalie Roberts
M.S in Merchandising, 2004

She is a 2004 Merchandising graduate. After graduation, she worked at Terry Costa as their Assistant Accessories Buyer. She later opened a Financial Planning business specializing in real estate alongside her husband. They were able to help thousands across America gain financing and earn a living in the real estate business. In 2013, they sold that business and opened their own award winning brewery, 903 Brewers. Their product can be found in restaurants and retailers everywhere between Austin, Tyler, and DFW. They are currently working on an expansion that will enable them to nearly triple our production. She may not be in the direct retail business, but the planning, buying, and design skills she learned have been invaluable.

Rosa Malave
B.S./M.S. in Hospitality Management , 2005/2007

Rosa is at Senior Lecturer in the Hospitality & Tourism at UNT. She has held management and sales positions with La Madeleine French Bakery and Restaurant, as well as Coco Lopez. As an educator for over six years, she utilizes her passion for hospitality in her full-time teaching position at the University of North Texas. For four years, she also served as Career Coordinator for the HTM Department. Known for her enthusiasm and commitment to student success, Malave enjoys teaching and creating opportunities for her students.

A native of Puerto Rico, Rosa moved to Arlington, Texas in August 1999 and is the youngest of five children. Today, Mrs. Malave encourages people to follow their dreams, no matter the challenges. “A winner is a dreamer, who never gives up.” – Nelson Mandela

Jacqueline Philbin
M.S. in Merchandising , 2005

Jacqueline was an Assistant Buyer in the NYC area for Decorative Accessories and Lighting and was a Sr. Assistant Buyer for Bloomingdale’s. After successfully attaining her M.S. in Merchandising degree, she was recruited as a Buyer for Bed Bath and Beyond. She worked there for three years and was responsible for more than $100million annually across multiple departments such as men’s and ladies gift and office organization. Her next adventure led her to work with Polo Ralph Lauren as their Director of Sales for Ralph Lauren Home where she managed the RL bedding and bath businesses for Macy’s,, and The Bon Ton. She was promoted to Senior Director of Sales for the Ralph Lauren Home division. Jacqueline is also a member of the National Association of Professional Women and enjoys staying connected with others in her field.

Emily Slaughter
B.S. in Home Furnishings Merchandising , 2005

At UNT, Emily completed an internship with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia working on the product development team for the Kmart line. After her internship, she became the Editorial Assistant for the Home, Decorating and Collecting departments supporting the Editorial Directors with photo shoots, interior design projects, events, etc. After graduating from UNT in 2005, she moved to New York City to launch her career within the home industry. After two years with Martha Stewart Living, she went to Conde Nast Publications. She spent a year with domino magazine within the Decoration and Renovation departments. Her next career opportunity was as Visual Merchandising Designer for Kravet showrooms and then on to Gilt Groupe in 2009 with merchant responsibilities launching multiple sites and managing multiple categories. At the time when she joined Gilt, there was not a Home site, and the company was still very much in its startup infancy. As a key member of the team, she helped launch the home site in 2009, then gourmet food and wine in 2011. After 4 years with the company and 8 years in New York City, Texas was calling her home, and she moved back to Dallas in 2013. When she returned, she was recruited by former Gilt colleagues to be the Buyer for a new wedding registry site,, which they launched in October 2013. In 2014, she joined the Zale Corporation as a Merchant for Ecommerce managing multiple categories. At UNT, Emily was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.

April Zuniga
B.S. in Hospitality Management , 2005

In addition to her Hospitality Management, April minored in Business Foundations and was active in Eta Sigma Delta honors society. After graduation, she accepted a position with the Omni Hotels & and has worked at the Barton Springs, Downtown, and Southpark locations in the Austin area. She currently is the Director of Rooms Division for the Omni Houston Hotel and is enjoying learning how she can grow that aspect of the company.

Lindsey Johnson
B.S in Merchandising, 2005

Lindsey Johnson is currently a Store Team Leader at Target. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she completed an Executive Internship at Target and gained some valuable leadership experience. Upon graduation she joined the Target team as an Executive Team Leader over Guest Experience in Euless, TX. After her first assignment, she moved to Dallas, TX and became the Softlines Executive where she quickly found her passion for people, development, and of course merchandising.  Lindsey currently runs the West Fort Worth Target where she continues to develop a highly successful and engaged team. During her time at UNT she participated in Merchandising Inc. and went on the Hong Kong Study Abroad program.  She was also honored as the Outstanding Senior in Merchandising and Outstanding Student Leader.

Demetrio Zepeda
B.S in Merchandising, 2005

After graduating from UNT in 2005 with a BS in Merchandising, I had been working at Disney World doing product research for their category planning department. I left that job to teach English in Japan. I wanted to pursue my desire for world travel, so while in Japan, I would consolidate my days off and travel around Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

After a year and half of teaching and traveling as a tourist would, I decided I wanted to continue traveling and left to Europe, on the way stopping to visit India and Egypt.

Arriving in Italy, I took a temp job teaching English and hit a pivotal moment in my life, when that job was over; I had no job and nowhere to be. It was both fearful and perhaps the most liberating experience I have had. I decided to backpack north to Scandinavia and west Europe. I continued to travel as a backpacker for a year and a half taking a variety of jobs from managing a hostel in Ireland to spinning fire on the streets of Denmark, to waiting tables in Malta.

Eventually I came back to the US to take care of family matters. After that and a little more travel around the continental US, I found myself working for a sweater designer in New York. I found New York life to be unsatisfactory and left for Boston to concentrate on my meditation studies I had taken up after returning to the US.

After that, I decided to continue to travel and this time head south toward Antarctica via South America thus touching ground on all 7 continents. This took 2 years. The return trip from Antarctica was yet another pivotal moment when I decided that a person could spend their whole life traveling and still not see everything there is to witness in this curious world. Traveling began to lose its novelty and I decided to engage in something more meaningful.

Having returned to the states, I looked to deepen my meditation studies and practice further and now live and work as the Guest Services Manager at the Shambhala Mountain Center in the Rocky Mountains.

I have taken vows to dedicate my life to the benefit of others and find that the pursuit of working tirelessly to bring about a better world is how I choose to spend my time amongst the infinite choices life has to offer.

Nick Argentiero
B.S. in Hospitality Management , 2006

After graduating from the Hospitality Management program, Nick focused on managing an Olive Garden Restaurant in the DFW area for several years before moving to the Costa Mesa, CA area. There he joined the Season’s 52 team as an Assistant Managing Partner. Currently, Nick is still with the Season’s 52 company and holds the position of Managing Partner at the City Centre area of Houston, TX.

Sharisse Colon
B.S. in Hospitality Management , 2006

At UNT, Sharisse was a dedicated student and, active member of Eta Sigma Delta, and a Student Ambassador for UNT. After graduating, she was recruited by the Omni Hotels and Resorts for the Leader in Development Management Training Program in the Austin, TX area. After spending numerous years with the Omni, Sharisse currently works as an Associate Consultant at Ryan in Austin, TX.

Amanda Lingle
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising , 2006

Amanda work in retail to further develop her communication skills, product knowledge, and client development. She was involved in Merchandising Inc. and was a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority. After graduating, she accepted a position with Staff Care, a medical staffing company and started a career in business development as a Medical Staffing Consultant. After 5 years in business development, she moved to The Delta Companies where she could pursue a hybrid role of business development as well as account management. In her first 3 months at Delta she was nominated for Rookie of the Quarter, and within 30 months qualified for Platinum Club; which was the fastest ramp up for a marketing representative in company history. She will be promoted into a Principal Marketing Consultant role this year and has aspirations for continued growth within The Delta Companies as well as developing new hires within the marketing roles.

Berkeley K Stone-Simmons 
B.S. in Merchandising, 2007

Upon completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Merchandising at the University of North Texas Berkeley entered the fashion arena as an Assistant Buyer at Dillard’s Forth Worth Divisional Buying Office. She would be promoted to the Junior Collections Buyer. As the Junior Collections buyer, sales in the Junior Collections Department had its first increase in three years.

Berkeley married her college sweetheart, Captain Stephen B. Simmons (USMC), in December 2008. With his occupation as an Active Duty Marine his career called for a move late Fall 2010 and the two packed up and moved down south to New Orleans, LA. Berkeley transferred to a store and became the Visual Merchandising Manager of Dillard’s Lakeside, which is a top volume and profitability stores in all of Dillard’s.  Her greatest accomplishment during this period was having the opportunity to be involved in New Orleans very first Fashion Week. Berkeley not only styled the Dillard’s portion of Fashion Week NOLA but had a chance to participate in the first ever Fashion Week NOLA Spring 2012 Student Fashion Symposium and Career Day as a guest speaker in which she gave a presentation to college students from all across Louisiana who were interested in pursuing a career in fashion.

In the fall of 2012, Berkeley waved goodbye to the south and moved to the state of Michigan. Berkeley accepted a Sales Account Manager position with Nygard International – who is a private label for Dillard’s.  In the Fall of 2014, she and her husband welcomed their firstborn son, William “Liam” Alexander Stone Simmons, into this world. The family has since relocated back to Fort Worth and resides in the area.

Ryan Ethridge
B.S. in Hospitality Management , 2007

Ryan started his career with the Gaylord Entertainment Company and currently works as the Assistant General Manager of Food & Beverage at the Gaylord Hotel. With over 15 years as a hospitality professional and over 10 years with a leading upscale lodging brand, it is his utmost desire to continue to grow as a respected leader within the hospitality industry based on his diverse experience, relevant education, and unique ability to work with others to achieve the foremost levels of guest and associate satisfaction.

Kasey Luithle
B.S. in Hospitality Management , 2007

Kasey was an active member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, SMHM Ambassadors and the Club Managers Association of America while she pursued her degree in hospitality management. She landed an internship at the Dallas Country Club at the beginning of the Fall 2007 semester and continued working there for a year before taking a new position as the Catering Sales Manager at the Sheraton DFW Airport hotel. With her new position she successfully established a client base of individuals, organizations and corporate businesses through both outside and inside sales efforts. Currently, Kasey is now the Social Catering Sales Manager at the Sheraton Arlington Hotel.

Rebekah Markeson
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising , 2007

Rebekah worked as an Assistant Manager at the Gap where she refined her management and visual merchandising skills while going to school at UNT. After graduating she spent four years with Target as an Executive Team Leader where she learned a lot about the company and retail management. In 2012 she accepted a position as the Director of Recruitment with Bayside Search Group, which is where she currently works. Her specialties are in staffing and recruiting for the retail industry, specifically buying, merchandising, and product development.

Meghan Smith
B.S. in Hospitality Management , 2007

Before graduating she worked her way up to manager of The Greenhouse Restaurant where she experienced all aspects of the hospitality management including cooking, catering, and menu selection. After graduating, Meghan worked for Event Builders for several years as a Project Coordinator where she worked closely with high-profile clients to organize and plan non-profit events locally and nationally. She also spent time as a Production Assistant and Onsite Manager for NBC’s America’s Got Talent and Bravo’s Top Chef. She got her start at her current position in George P. Johnson Experience Marketing as an Event Logistics Manager. She is their Project Manager in Austin, TX where she oversees the planning, implementation, and tracking of large format projects and events.


Mary Lou Villa
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising/Business , 2007

Mary Lou currently manages over a $1,000,000 Woman’s Runway collection Prorsum, Burberry London, and Brit in Dallas, where her responsibilities vary from styling a customer head to toe to developing reports. She found the E-Passport course and the consumer-focused courses especially beneficial in her position. One of the best aspects of the program was professors that were committed to student learning. They were available and approachable. Mary Lou stated, “Our curriculum was stimulating and provided diverse subjects in financial, visual arts, and business/retail theory”.

Jessica “Williams” Pace
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising, 2007

While attending UNT, she participated in the Hong Kong/ China study abroad trip in 2005 and it became the most memorable experience of her college career. She began her career as Tech Prep coordinator for Panola College and Kilgore College in East Texas, where she promoted numerous technical programs through marketing promotions and developed and maintained relationships with the surrounding areas 38 school districts. 

In 2011, she became the Store Manager for Panola College Store where she managed all aspects of the store, including textbooks, apparel, supplies, and electronics. During that time, she also implemented Panola College Boutique, a POS system, and created an online store front. Under her management, Panola College Store was published three times in national publications in the college store industry for innovative and profitable endeavors. 

In 2014, she accepted the position of Director of Institutional Advancement at Panola College. She manages all development areas for the College including the Panola College Foundation, the Alumni Association, marketing and public relations.

Additionally, she has been an adjunct instructor for Panola College for the past six years instructing office professional and kinesiology yoga courses.

Cynthia Goudeau
M.S. in Merchandising, 2007

Cynthia Goudeau graduated from UNT with a Master of Science degree in Merchandising in 2007. In 2014, she earned her doctorate in Human Sciences with a Merchandising concentration from Oklahoma State University. Her research interests include consumer behavior, sustainability, and student development. Over the last decade, she has assumed several roles inside and outside of the higher education classroom. Her experience includes teaching, advising, recruiting, and mentoring diverse student populations. In her current position, she overseas assessment efforts for the Division of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Kansas.

Erich Gosch
B.S. in Merchandising , 2008

During his time at UNT, Erich was an active member of the National Honor Society. Currently, he’s pursuing an MBA at UT-Dallas in Finance and is working as a Senior Manager in Risk Management for Elevate.

Sherene Kutach
B.S. in Home Furnishings Merchandising , 2008

In 2007, Sherene fulfilled her internship requirements as a manager at Francesca’s®. After four years of operating at the field level, she was able to parlay her management and organizational experience into a corporate position and relocated to Houston as the Direct to Consumer and Customer Service Manager. With her level of field expertise and in conjunction with her educational background, Sherene was recruited to develop the Remodel Program overseeing the existing store portfolio. UNT was instrumental in the foundation for Sherene’s career path. Sherene is currently working as the Construction Manager of Remodels for francesca’s®, and has personally worked on 100 store remodels to date. She is excited that francesca’s® is going into the Golden Triangle Mall in Denton, Texas, as it will give her a chance to visit the UNT campus.

Caitlan Lochridge
B.S. in Merchandising , 2008

While attending UNT, Caitlan participated in the Hong Kong/China study abroad trip, received the award for Outstanding Merchandising Senior and graduated Summa Cum Laude. After graduating, she worked as wardrobe stylist and visual merchandiser before packing her bags and moving to NYC. With two pieces of luggage and a one-way ticket, she left Texas and headed for the bright lights and high energy of the city. It was a good experience, but she headed back to Dallas and a job with Neiman Marcus. Next, she joined the management team at Madewell Northpark and discovered a passion for retail operations. In 2014, she accepted a position as Store Director of Madewell Santana Row in San Jose, California.

Mary Mahan
B.S. in Home Furnishings Merchandising , 2008

While earning her degree, Mary gained retail experience and was also a member of Merchandising Inc. After graduating, she began her career with Fossil as part of their Customer Care Support Team and later was promoted to Assistant Planner for Women’s Leather. She brings with her six years of customer service experience and a diverse background that includes retail planning, inventory management, and merchandising techniques.

Eric Norman
B.S. Hospitality Management; M.S. in International Sustainable Tourism , 2008/2012

Eric Norman’s time at UNT started in 2004 when he enrolled in the Hospitality Management program with the intent to one day own his own restaurant. He served as a college ambassador, leading tours and introducing potential students to the degrees offered in the college. During the summer of his sophomore year Eric went on a study abroad program to New Zealand and became interested in the relationship between tourism and conservation. After interning at the San Francisco Airport Marriott and taking a job at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. When the M.S. in International Sustainable Tourism (MIST) was launched, he knew it was a perfect fit for his goals. After completing the last year of the degree in Costa Rica, he accepted a position with the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), married Joanna, a fellow UNT-graduate, and they made their home in the town of Turrialba. Their time surrounded by such beautiful landscapes, and a slower pace of life, gave the couple lots of time to think about the life they wanted to live, and they decided to pursue a plan Eric had long considered something he would do only after retirement - making shoes. Currently, Eric is continuing his education as a shoemaker’s apprentice at a small shop in Flint, Michigan. Eric feels fortunate to have attended UNT, not only because it is where he met his wife, but also because it is here he was exposed to perspectives different from his own, and developed many of the characteristics that drive him forward.

Kyndil Ryan
B.S. in Hospitality Management , 2008

During Kyndil’s time at UNT she was an active member of the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority, Order of Omega, Rho Lambda, and Eta Sigma Delta., the honors society for Hospitality Management. After completing a design internship with Cosmopolitan Events and receiving her degree, she was the Guest Relations Coordinator at the Four Seasons Hotel where she built positive relationships with incoming guests and functioned as the liaison between all the departments. She currently is working for the Robert Half Office Team at their Dallas location as their Division Director.

Ashley Longbotham Ramos
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2008

Completed her internship with Norwegian Crusielines America, after working in Hawaii on the Pride of America for 7 months, she went to work with IHG at a resort in Phoenix in guest services for a year.  Relocated to Savannah, Georgia to work with Hyatt for 5 years, beginning in guest services and moving into accounting for the last three years.  In 2014, she relocated to Alexandria, Virginia to work with Kimpton. She is the Assistant Director of Finance for two Kimpton Hotels, Hotel Monaco Alexandria & Morrison House in Alexandria, Virginia, and she is working on her MBA with a focus in accounting through Columbia College with an expected graduation date of April 2017.  She’s hoping to move with Kimpton to more beautiful locations!

Adam Zachary
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2008

Adam Zachary owns the awarding winning restaurant, Lakeside Craft Kitchen in Denton, Texas. He graduated from UNT's College of Merchandising, Hospitality, and Tourism in 2008. His first business venture, The Milestone, was a pathbreaking wedding venue where superlative customer service constituted the baseline standard for operation. The Milestone was so successful that he opened a second location in Aubrey in 2015. In 2017, Adam sold this business to open Lakeside Craft Kitchen where he is now evolving as a chef, event planner, and service manager. One of the most important lessons he learned at UNT is that if you want to be truly successful, you need to balance disciplined book learning with real time experience that pushes your creative limits.

Megan Burnett
B.S. in Merchandising , 2009

Megan’s career began at Dillard’s Direct as an Assistant Buyer. She worked closely with a Ready-to-Wear Apparel Buyer for just over a year before being promoted to the Contemporary and Bridge Women's Apparel Buyer position. The next three years she travelled to New York and LA to meet with vendors to develop and manage assortments for the e-commerce site. In 2013, moved tot Pier 1 to an analytical position with their merchandising team. As a Merchandise Planner, Megan works closely with a Buyer and Allocator for the Throw and Curtains departments managing the open-to-buy and forecasting product to make the best strategic decisions for the business. She’ll always be grateful to Ms. Dee Wilson, her internship instructor at UNT, for guiding her and helping her find the perfect career path.

Sara Button
B.S. in Merchandising , 2009

After graduation, Sara found work as a Visual Manager at Dillard's before joining Bath and Body Works as store manager. In 2013, she was recruited JCPenney for the buying teams in the home division. At the same time, she volunteered as the Content Director for the music festival 35 Denton. Reigniting her passion for writing and blogging, she soon found a perfect fit at EZLynx, a software company in Lewisville, where she currently works as a Content Manager.

Ashley Featherston
B.S. in Merchandising , 2009

Ashley travelled America the summer after graduation, visiting the scenic landscapes of Santa Fe, the calming Ozark Mountains, and soulful New Orleans. Free to explore without schedules or commitments, Ashley found her own inner strength; and, just as importantly, discovered her love of feathers. Ashley returned home and began wearing feathers in her hair, and making feather earrings which later led to starting her own business. Using business expertise she garnered from her visual merchandising, and marketing studies at UNT, was born. Ashley personally handles every aspect of the business: from design, to daily operations and marketing, to web design and social media. was featured in magazines such as La Mode Dallas, and Cassidy and Disfunkshion; and blogs including NBC DFW, Pirates and Ponies, The Numinous, Horses and Heels, The Cult of Style, and Nonsense and Sensibility.

Bridget Goodenbour
B.S. in Merchandising , 2009

Bridget Goodenbour is a proud alumnus of the University of North Texas. While enrolled between 2005- 2009 Bridget worked tirelessly both in and out of school to gain the experience she needed to apply to her career upon graduation. Sometimes this meant working 2-3 positions at a time in addition to advancing her degree, however, Bridget embraced the workload. Some of her roles included a position as the marketing and events manager for a large beverage corporation, a Cosmetics Counter Manager within Macy’s, and the position that gave her her start: Shop Manager for BCBGMAXAZRIA’s wholesale division based out of Dallas Galleria. In her two years with BCBGMAXAZRIA, Bridget executed two fashion shows in partnership with the Westin Galleria Dallas with over 1000 attendees, achieved exposure for the brand in Envy Magazine and on the local news station, received an award for Best Shop Manager in the company, and was offered a multi-unit role with the company in Houston. Bridget declined, instead choosing to join the number one eyewear company in the world, Luxottica Retail, as a Regional Trainer for Sunglass Hut. At Sunglass Hut, Bridget oversaw the training of 28 full line, kiosk, and outlet stores in the Dallas area and East and West Texas. She was responsible for the sourcing, hiring, and development of new and existing store staff relating to product knowledge, visuals, sales, and customer service. During her time at Sunglass Hut, her region was ranked #1 in the company. After two years with Sunglass Hut, Bridget received her dream position with Michael Kors as the Recruiter for the Midwest and South Central Regions where she has overseen the full life cycle recruitment process for the Retail Development division for the last three years.

Gilpatrick Hornsby, Ph.D.
B.S. in Hospitality Management , 2009

During his time at UNT, Gilpatrick was very involved in the hospitality program and was part of the MEECS Society, NSMH, and was President of the SMHM Ambassadors. He is grateful for being selected as student assistant for Chef Duryea, Chef Baldwin, and Mrs. Kniatt, conducting research with Dr. Kennon, and enjoyed planning career fairs with Mrs. Wilson. His work experience includes hospitality, event planning, catering and university dining industries. After earning his B.S. degree at UNT, he earned both a M.S. in Hospitality Administration and his Ph.D. in Human Sciences at Oklahoma State University. Currently, Dr. Hornsby is an Assistant Professor at James Madison University.

Brittany Roberson
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2009

Brittany completed an internship with the Great Wolf Lodge where she refined her hospitality and customer service skills. After graduating, Brittany joined the Wyndham Hotel Group as a Quality Assurance and Conversions Consultant with responsibility for unannounced inspections, de-identification properties and photo presentations for brand reviews. After working for the Wyndham Group and Hilton Worldwide, she joined World Ventures. Along with starting a new job, Brittany focused on becoming a Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) through the CTA Program. Brittany prides herself on being a customer service focused professional who is driven to assist properties in reaching their full potential while ensuring that overall guest satisfaction is achieved at each hotel. The guest experience is always her number one priority.

Emily Sturrock
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 2009

During her time at UNT, Emily was a member of Eta Sigma Delta, the hospitality honor society, the North Texas Wakeboard Team, and a Teaching Assistant with the opportunity to teach Food Preparation. Emily started her career in management positions with companies like Consolidated Restaurant Operations and the Horseshoe Bay Resort where she has managed restaurants, yacht clubs, and banquet facilities. Her current position as Account Executive with GoVision in the DFW area is client based. She researches new businesses and works closely with them to provide the best quality Mobile LED Screens/Event Video equipment while providing exceptional customer service.

Whitney Sulak
B.S. in Merchandising, 2009

During her time at UNT, Whitney was a member of Merchandising Inc., a student organization. She started her career as an Assistant Buyer at Dillard’s and was quickly promoted to a Women’s Shoe Buyer for the Ecommerce area. After several years at Dillard’s, Whitney is now at Pier 1 Imports as a Merchandise Planner.

Tamara (Roberson) Jennings
M.S. in Merchandising, 2009

Tamara (Roberson) Jennings graduated in 2009 with a Master of Science Degree in Merchandising. 

From 2009-2016 Tamara worked for Zale Corporation where she held positions in both Merchandising and the Sourcing Departments. Her most recent role was in the Sourcing Department, where she was the Sourcing Manager for Solitaire Jewelry, 3-Stone Rings, Gents Rings, and Wedding Bands. Tamara enjoys spending time with her husband Bryon and 3 year old son Cameron.  She and her husband are expecting their 2nd son in July of 2016.  

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Idara Reece
B.S. in Hotel & Restaurant Management , 1999

Idara was an active student at UNT. She was the Recruitment & Retention Officer for UNT’s chapter of the NAACP and was a part of the Society of Hotel/Restaurant Managers. Since graduating, she has worked as a Coordinator, Corporate Recruiter, and Resort & Sports Club Professional for companies such as Matrix, Zimbra, and the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. She is currently an Executive Assistant to the VP of Human Resources for Fresnius Medical Care. Throughout her career, Idara has thrived in hospitality, technology and non-profit organizations.

Nick Johnson
B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant management , 1998

Nick started his career as Director of Junior Development at the Northwood Club in Dallas, TX for seven years. He combined his interest in sports and his background in management to grow the program. For the last 11 years, Nick has been the Owner and Academy Director of the Lake Tennis Academy in Frisco, Texas.

Jordan Roth
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 1998

Jordan Roth is a co-owner and gallery director for Ro2 Art, a full-service art gallery and advisory in Dallas, he runs alongside his mother, Susan Roth Romans. Growing up around the art business, Jordan's career path seemed an obvious one. From the time, as a child, he played “gallery” at his mother's MJS International Fine Art in Fort Worth, the influence of art has been a dominating force in his life. Jordan officially gained employment in art galleries in 2006, working his way to Director of two Dallas galleries before joining forces with his mother in 2009, to form Ro2 Art, which has operated as many as three full-time spaces at once, in it's almost four years in operation, producing more than 100 exhibitions to date. Ro2 Art has been named Best Art Gallery by The Dallas Observer, and is a proud member of CADD, the Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas.

Jordan thrives on his involvement in philanthropic endeavors within and outside of the art world. Since 2008, Jordan has served on the art committee for Dallas Children's Advocacy Center, acting as art co-chair for their annual Art+Advocacy auction in 2012, which netted over $500,000 for DCAC. Jordan holds a position on the board of directors for The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, a nonprofit arts space founded in 1994. Jordan also leads the organization's MAC PAC initiative. In 2012, Jordan accepted, on behalf of Ro2 Art, the prestigious Obelisk Award, presented by The North Texas Business Council for the Arts.

Ro2 Art represents a diverse group of established, mid-career, and emerging contemporary artists, including those from North Texas and nationally to internationally known artists. The gallery focuses on the exhibition and sale of work in all visual media from painting and sculpture, ceramics, fiber arts, to installations, video, and performance; exhibiting in various traditional and non-traditional spaces in and around Dallas, with the gallery's base at 1501 South Ervay in The Cedars neighborhood of Dallas. The gallery also collaborates on public exhibitions programs in partnership with Downtown Dallas, Inc, The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, Make Art with Purpose (MAP), and The Town of Addison – in addition to curating rotating exhibitions at the Magnolia Theatre in Dallas' West Village. Most recently, Ro2 Art mounted a successful exhibition at the 8th Annual Dallas Art Fair, presenting among 95 of the world's top contemporary art galleries.

Angelique “Angel” Greene
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising, 1998

She is a 1998 Graduate of UNT with a BS in Fashion Merchandising and a Minor in Business.  She worked in the Industry for 2 1/2 years with Target Corporation before getting married and having two amazing boys.  She attended Ogle Cosmetology School in 2006 and Graduated in the Spring of 2007.  Upon Graduation, she worked in a corporate salon for 10 months, built up a clientele, then went on my own where she now has her own salon in Allen where she rents a studio and have for the past 8 years.  Her time at UNT helped with her business skills.  

Jay Sang Ryu, Ph.D.
M.S. in Fashion Merchandising , 1996

Dr. Jay Sang Ryu is an assistant professor in the department of interior design and fashion merchandising at Texas Christian University. Prior to joining TCU, he worked as an assistant professor at Texas State University and as a buyer and product developer for international retailers such as Kmart, Samsung, Tesco, and LG Home Shopping. Dr. Ryu earned his M.S. degree in merchandising at UNT (1996) and his doctoral degree from Oklahoma State University (2010). His research focuses on identifying impact of image on branding cities and nations, and the influence of retail technology and digital marketing on consumer behavior in the Omni-channel retail environment. His research has been funded by Cotton Incorporate Stockholm Program of Place Branding (STOPP), and university-sponsored grants.

Michelle Houston
B.S. in Hospitality Management , 1996

Since graduating with a B. S. degree, Michelle has excelled in closely aligned industries: hotel and restaurant management, legal, banking, sales and marketing, event planning, retail, recruiting, and human resources. She has over 20 years of building a better Denton through community involvement in the Denton County Friends of the Family, Denton County Bar Association, Leadership Denton (Graduate and Co-Chair,) and Denton Chamber of Commerce a recipient of the Denton Chamber’s Volunteer of the Year. Ms. Houston brings a unique level of energy and infectious enthusiasm to every project she is involved in. As coined by poker players around the globe, she goes “all in.” Ms. Houston is the Business Development Officer at AccessBank Texas.

Joe Guerra
B.S. in Hospitality, 1996

Joe is celebrating his 20th anniversary with Rudy’s Tortillas. Currently, he is VP and part owner in his family’s 3rd generation tortilleria. Two years ago, they relocated to a 250,000 sq ft facility in Carrollton, TX.  They have earned our SQF2, GFSI, and Silliker accreditations. Today, Rudy’s services 35 states and produce 10 million tortillas a day. He met his beautiful wife Pauline at UNT. They have three children Lilliana, Rosalia and Carina.

Julie Lindsey
B.S. /M.S. in Merchandising , 1995/1997

After graduating from the Merchandising program, Julie began her career in sales management before moving to Senior Assistant Buyer at J.C. Penney. Currently, she is with Strategic Partners in the Sales and Merchandising Department. Julie has nearly 15 years of experience in merchandising and training with expertise in motivating national sales forces, apparel buying and retail management.

Zohe Felici
B.S. in Hotel & Restaurant Management , 1995

Zohe’s education led her to Food and Beverage Management with the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts for several years in the Southern California region. Her next move was to Bacara Resort & Spa as catering manager and later was co-owner of Southern California Mitzvahs. In May of 2010, she started Felici Events, an event production company that offers a variety of options and levels of event service. Zohe was nominated in 2012 as a Top 40 under 40 Business Owner by the Pacific Boast Business Times, as well as a nominee for Business Person of the Year for the Young Professional Club of Santa Barbara. She looks forward to many more years in the event industry in the Southern California region.

Matthew Massengale
B.S. in Merchandising and Hospitality Management , 1994

Matthew Massengale has more than 25 years of extensive experience in all aspects of hospitality sales, development, logistics, planning and management. He is a dynamic award-winning hospitality professional with a passion for excellence and has managed programs ranging from 10 to 8,000 attendees both domestically and internationally. These programs include executive level meeting, incentive trips, city-wide conferences, sales meetings, product launches, tradeshows and special events, including trekking Mount Kilimanjaro, World Cup Soccer, the 1996 Olympics and Marlboro Team Penske Racing. Matthew creates unforgettable epic experiences for his clients and their attendees. Matthew is currently the General Manager and Director of Sales for the Texas office of CSI DMC (

Michael Cohen
M.S. in Hotel & Restaurant Management , 1994

Michael Cohen’s formal introduction to the hospitality industry began while working for a tour company in London, England. After earning his M.S. in Hotel & Restaurant Management, he joined Rosewood Hotels & Resorts in Dallas, TX. He later worked with a diverse portfolio while with MeriStar Hotels & Resorts before moving to Chicago, IL. He travelled the globe with Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts and Raffles International. Michael later joined Hyatt Hotels Corporation in revenue management with their Select portfolio that grew to just over 220 hotels, with annual revenues in excess of $565 million, and market share growth for seven straight years. In 2001, Michael was the recipient of the Honored Alum award by the Hotel & Restaurant Management Department at the University of North Texas. In May of 2015, Michael joined Levy Restaurants’ corporate team as Senior Director of Revenue Planning & Category Management, responsible for revenue growth and revenue optimization strategies for the entire portfolio of venues within the Sports & Entertainment division.

Curt Kelley
B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management, 1993

Curt’s participation and leadership in the student chapter of CMAA propelled him to a career in club management. He completed an internship at Lakewood Country Club in Dallas, where he began his career. Fifteen years ago, Preston Trail Golf Club of Dallas recruited him, and he currently is their Club Manager. Curt’s career highlights include: Certified Club Manager through CMAA, TLSC North Texas Region Chair, TLSC President, and USGA committee member (2011-2014). On a personal note, Curt met his wife Lisa at UNT, and they celebrated their 20th anniversary in July and are proud parents of three great kids. He describes himself as “truly blessed”.

Dannet Botkin
B.S. in Merchandising , 1993

Dannet has over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, procurement, merchandising and operations. Her career has taken her from Texas to New York; Barcelona, Spain; Tampa to Hot Springs Village, and has included positions from Advertising Account Executive to Marketing Operations & Sales Director to Executive Director & USA CEO.
Currently, she is the Marketing Director of Hot Springs Village in Arkansas. Charged with increasing community visibility and interest, her team opened a Visitor Center, developed an aggressive advertising campaign, created new marketing collateral including landing pages, social media, guide books, print ads, banner ads, magazines, websites, videography, photography, direct mailers, press kits, etc., and implemented a customer relationship management system to manage prospect leads.

Tricia Barnes
B.S. in Clothing & Textiles , 1993

Tricia Barnes is the Vice President of Operations for Riverbend Sandler Pools in Plano, Texas, one of the largest custom pool builders in the United States. Prior to her current position, Tricia worked as the Director of Marketing for eight years. Tricia worked as a design consultant for six years at Riverbend Sandler. The recipient of several design awards, Tricia has been involved in the pool business for over thirty years. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1993 from the University of North Texas in Clothing & Textiles, Tricia went on to work for a well-known fashion designer before rejoining the family business in 1995. Tricia currently lives in Plano, Texas with her two sons, Noah and Jett.

Paige Park Green
B.S. in Hospitality, 1993

Cannon Green
B.S. in Hospitality, 1992

Met in class at College Inn. Married 21 years.  Two children – daughter, Avery 15 and son, Chase 12. Live in Southlake, TX.  Both spent many years in the hospitality business but now Paige is a stay at home mom and volunteer and Cannon is a partner in a commercial real estate company, Stream Realty.

Christina Toups
B.S. in Hospitality Management , 1992

Christina gained valuable experience in all aspects of club management at Victoria Country Club, Houston Country Club, Ridglea Country Club, and Austin Country Club before returning to Rodglea as the General Manager in 2002.

She helped charter the UNT student chapter of Club Managers Association of America and continued her affiliation with the organization as an industry professional. She has served at the local and state levels, including as President of the TLSC in 2005. She was inducted into CMAA’s Honor Society in 2003 and attained her Certified Club Executive designation in 2009.

Christina is active in the community as Chairman of the Board for Meals on Wheels, Tarrant County; Chairman of the Board for the Texas Alliance of Recreational Organizations; and is a member of Leadership Fort Worth.

Mark Austin
B.S. in Hotel & Restaurant Management , 1992

Mark has spent almost 20 years working in every aspect of wholesale produce, from the docks to the boardroom. As the CEO of Hardie’s Fresh Foods, a family-owned fresh foods wholesaler founded in Dallas in 1943, Mark takes to heart the company’s values of accountability, integrity, innovation and teamwork.

Mark is part of the third generation of family that makes up the Hardie’s management team. This continuity supports the strong relationships that have allowed Hardie’s to become the premier Texas purveyor of fresh foods and produce. Mark brings big-picture leadership to an organization that delivers on quality everyday, to a five-star roster of foodservice operators.

In addition to his leadership within Hardie’s, Mark Austin is active in the national produce industry, where he is recognized as a subject matter expert.

Carol (Skaggs) Benavidez
B.S. in Hospitality Management , 1991

Carol Benavidez, CMP, CMM is currently a Regional Vice President with HelmsBriscoe. Since she graduated in December 1991 with a BS in Hospitality Management, her work experience has included management positions in many hotel departments including restaurants, bar, room service, catering and group sales working for The Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center, Radisson Plaza Hotel Fort Worth, Omni Dallas Hotel at Park West, and Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas.

She is also a current member of ASAE and MPI. Her participation within the D/FW MPI Chapter included earning the Spirit of MPI, May 2002; Rising Star of the Year, June 2002; serving on the 2002-2003 Board as Director of Finance, 2003-2004 Board as VP of Finance, 2004-2005 Board as Director of Leadership/Development, 2006-2007 Board as VP of Finance, 2007-2008 Board as President Elect, 2008-2009 Board as President, and 2009-2010 Board as Past President. She currently is the Chair of the CMP Study Program.

In addition, she achieved the Convention Industry Council’s Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation in 2000, and Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM) in 2012.

Carrie Goff
B.S in Hospitality Management , 1990

Carrie Goff is currently working in the hospitality recruitment industry as a Franchisee/Owner of Patrice & Associates Franchising in Austin, TX. She started her career as an Operations Training Manger at Black-eyed Pea Restaurants where she increased sales through structure and systematic processes at the store level. Her next career moves were to Texas Wings as Director of Training (11 years), Director of Training for Which Wich, Director of Human Resources at Schlotzky’s, and Vice President of Human Resources at Snap Kitchen. With 20+ years as a human resources leader, trainer, and operations manager, she has a proven record of restructuring operations and creating innovative programs at companies with which she has affiliated.

Jonathan Seyoum
B.S. in Hospitality Management, 1990

While at UNT, Jonathan began working at the Pancake House. There, under his mentor and then owner of the restaurants, Rick Zappolo, he earned several promotions to be the company’s first multi-unit supervisor by age 25. After some time developing an entertainment complex in Eritrea, a small underdeveloped country near Ethiopia, and earning his MBA, Jonathan was offered a partnership position with the Pancake House. The company continues to thrive as the Original Pancake House. He, his wife, and three daughters live in East Plano. He is a supporter of various organizations including The North Texas Commission, the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association, North Texas Food Bank, local chambers of commerce, as well as several schools and clubs.

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Lena Milstead
B.S. in Home Economics, 1981

Lena Milstead has over 30 years of experience in real estate and 15 years in banking. As a lifetime resident of Collin County, she and her husband, Earl, are the founding partners of The Milstead Team and have continued to grow the business through booming and tough times. Throughout her career, Lena has worked as onsite sales representative for custom builders and also owned her own real estate company. The Milstead Team made a move in 2001 to join Keller Williams Realty where they have been recognized numerous times for being one of the top Real Estate Teams at Keller Williams.

Lena holds a bachelor’s degree from North Texas State University and Certificate in Banking from Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University.

Steve Wesley
B.S. in Clothing and Textiles, 1984

After working in the retail field for 30 years as a District and Regional Manager, Steve was able to transition into the education field as a Culinary Arts Instructor for Birdville ISD. It would not have been possible without his time at the University of North Texas (North Texas State)

Christy A Crutsinger, Ph.D.
M.S. in Human Resource Management, 1987

Christy Crutsinger, Ph.D., is the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of North Texas. In this role, Crutsinger oversees the development and revision of academic policy, evaluation of centers and institutes, and student and faculty success initiatives. Prior to her current post, Crutsinger served as the Vice Provost for Faculty Success providing support and programming for 1,100 full-time faculty in the critical areas that support their teaching, scholarship, and service. Crutsinger, a professor in merchandising, is recognized as a leader in innovative teaching and web-based course development. Under her leadership as department chair from 1998-2006, the Merchandising Department at the University of North Texas received the American Textile Manufacturers Institute’s (ATMI) Award for Excellence for exemplary and innovative programs including the nation’s first 100% web-based graduate merchandising degree. Crutsinger has studied the impact of work experiences and expectations on job satisfaction and career intentions in the retailing industries.

Paige Elliott
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising , 1988

Paige was an active member of her sorority, Alpha Phi and was a little sister to the Kappa Sigma Fraternity at UNT. After graduating, Paige started her career as a Store Analyst/Assistant Buyer for Charming Shoppes for four years. She refocused her career path differ at Prudential Preferred Properties. Paige and her husband, Curt Elliott, formed the team Elliott & Elliott in 2007 with a focus on providing the highest level of quality customer service. She has served on the board of the HPISD PTA, is a member of the University Park Community League, and a member of the Park Cities Learning Difference Association. She also is an advocate for families with special-needs children.

Holli Burlison
B.S. in Fashion Merchandising , 1989

During her time at UNT, Holli was a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority while pursuing her studies in Fashion Merchandising. After graduating, she gained experience through numerous positions such as a production manager, coordinator, and buyer for several companies in both Dallas and New York City. Holli currently sits on the Board of Directors for Zulahoo, Inc. and holds the VP Associate Director of Integrated Production for Publicis Hawkeye in Plano, TX where she oversees art and print production along with the companies’ studio.

John Dirba
B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management , 1989

John E. Dirba began his hospitality career in Dallas while finishing school with an internship at the Omni Melrose Hotel. After graduating from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management and a minor in Business, the hotel offered him full time position, which he remained at for several years. After his stint with Omni, his career took him to other hotel brands such as Stouffer Hotels and Resorts and Renaissance Hotels. In addition, John spent four years in restaurant catering sales for well-known establishments such as Star Canyon with renowned chef, Stephen Pyles.

Since 1999, John has worked with HelmsBriscoe, the largest hotel sleeping room procurement company in the world. John has been elevated through several titles and is recently Regional Vice President. He holds a CMM accreditation and is a member of GBTA. He has served on the Resource Center Board of Directors from 2012-2014 and is an investor in High Hill Farm, a resort and spa currently being built in Arp, Texas outside of Tyler, Texas.

Mary Prince
B.S. in Vocational Home Economics Education, 1989

Mary has been teaching for 23 years. The majority of her teaching has been in FCS, but she has taught kindergarten and elementary school as well. She is currently teaching Family and Consumer Sciences courses at O' Connor High School in Helotes, Texas.  For the past 10 years, she has been teaching for the Northside School District and living in San Antonio with her husband and 3 children.

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Dr. June Lavelle Kelsay

When Dr. June Lavelle Kelsay finished high school in Marlow, Oklahoma she had no plans to go to college. But her older sister Laura sent a car to pick her up one day and that car took her to Denton, Texas where she was dropped off. She had to learn how to get enrolled in some field of study. She decided on the field of food and nutrition, and completed both a bachelor’s and master’s degree at UNT. She went on to earn a doctorate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Biology & Biomedical Sciences. Her research was first published in 1969 on the topic of nutrient utilization, the body’s response to carbohydrates, and metabolism in young women. Later publications focused on multiple aspects of the food and nutrition course of study. Most of her work experience was with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D. C. Dr. Kelsay also traveled extensively to third world countries teaching others how to grow nutritional crops and how to prepare them.

Maribeth Koch
B.S. in Home Economics, 1968

After spending 21 years teaching in the Denton ISD, and 5 years as a substitute teacher. Maribeth Koch retired in 2013. She and her husband, Harry, have 3 children:

Montie, Amy and their 4 children live in Denton.
Heather, Brian and his son also live in Denton. He has two daughters who live with their mother In Ponder.
Heidi, Wade and their 3 children live in Georgia.
Heather and Heidi are both graduates of UNT.

Margaret Steenson Filingeri
B.S. in Home Economics, 1969

Margaret retired from 37+ years at JCPenney 8 years ago. She keeps busy with book review clubs, JCP retiree club, lunches with friends, travel, exercising, Chi Omega Alumnae, DAR.

Beverly “Bowden” Hendrix
B.S. Merchandising, 1978

In 1984, Bev was given the support by her family which came in the form of a heart felt letter from her mother, Betty, giving Bev her blessing to search for and to fulfill the always-present question in her life to seek her birth parents. She began the journey to attempt to find answers to many of the questions that come with being adopted. Even in the best possible scenario of adoption, which was hers, there are always the nagging questions of who am I, where did I come from, and why did you not want me.

Bev is recently retired after twenty-eight years in the legal field in Dallas, Texas where she was fortunate enough to live with her stepson Wes Hendrix, an amazing young man she is so proud of and her and Mike's beautiful daughter, Mckinley Hendrix. Bev currenlty lives with her husband Mike at their beautiful new log home on their ranch they call "Two Bucks" in Rochelle, Texas.


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Avis Hall
M.S. in Home Economics, 1950

Avis Hall (’50 M.S.), 104, died Feb. 21, 2017. She began her career as a home management supervisor for the Farm Security Administration before working as an instructor in North Texas’ School of Home Economics beginning in 1951. She retired in 1978 as an assistant professor and chair of the clothing and textiles department. She served on the Faculty Senate and was involved in numerous committees, helping to formulate North Texas’ first tenure policy. She also was a longtime sponsor of Phi Upsilon Omicron, the national home economics honorary society. She earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics from the University of Texas, later earning her master’s in home economics from North Texas. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Denton since 1942, and active in the United Methodist Women and its quilting group. She was a life member of the Eastern Star of Denton, the Texas Retired Teachers Association and the National Association of Retired Federal Employees. She also was a member of the Shakespeare Club, the Shakespeare Forum of the Arial Club, the Women of N.T. and the Needlecraft Club, the Greater Denton Arts Council and the American Association of Retired Persons.

Billye Slaton
B.S. in Home Economics, 1951

Billye Y. Slaton (’51), Dallas :: She was a home economics teacher for 32 years, starting in the fall of 1951 and retiring in 1996, having taken off a number of years while her sons were young. She served her entire career at Marfa High School.

Frances Pettit
B.S. in Home Economics, 1960

Clara Frances Pettit (‘60) passed away June 8, 2017. She founded, owned and operated for 30 years what became the largest dietary consulting firm in West Texas. Her professional memberships included the American Dietary Association, the Texas Dietary Association and the Lubbock Dietary Association. She also belonged to the Lubbock Women's Club, the Lubbock Club, the Lubbock Country Club, and the First Christian Church and its Upper Room Sunday school class. She was married to former UNT Regent and current Mayborn Advisory Board member Burle Pettit (’60) for 60 years.

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