Elizabeth Figa, 65, who taught at UNT from 2000 until her retirement in 2018 as an associate professor in the Department of Information Science, died July 31 in Bloomington, Illinois. Her academic contributions as an ethnographer and information scientist included her study of storytelling as an oral tradition and innovative methods for teaching it online. She was one of the founding editors of the interdisciplinary journal Storytelling, Self, Society. She also taught a popular graphic novels and comics course. She served on the board of Beta Phi Mu, the international library and information studies honor society, and was its longtime faculty advisor at UNT. In 2009, she received the Provost’s Award for Extraordinary Professional Service to the university.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from DePauw University and a master’s degree from Illinois State University before earning a master’s and doctorate in library and information sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was known as an upbeat and inspirational teacher, who also loved running marathons and half-marathons, ballroom dancing and being a grandmother.