2017 Election: Kate Hertweck

This post originally appeared on the Software Carpentry website.

I am excited to stand for election for the 2017 Software Carpentry Steering Committee (SWC SC). I hope you’ll consider supporting me in this year’s election so I may continue to serve our community.

Previous experience with Software Carpentry:

Some folks might consider it insanity for a tenure-track assistant professor to volunteer so much energy to the Carpentries, but in reality, the time I’ve spent on the SWC SC has been essential to my development of an effective model of leadership. The following points highlight my contributions to our community:

  • Social media: Last May, I created a Facebook page for the Carpentries and have since posted the majority of content.
  • Mentoring and discussion sessions: My SWC service originally started with the mentoring subcommittee; I’m pleased to have continued this work over the last year primarily by hosting discussion sessions.
  • Lesson maintainers: I spent the early part of 2016 observing and learning about our lesson development and maintenance process. A few months back, I began leading this group through a process of reorganization and am excited to formally submit subcommittee proposals accordingly.
  • Bridge committee and community calls: As part of my SWC SC responsibilities, I served as a liaison to the Bridge committee with Data Carpentry. This group took over organizing community calls in the latter part of the year, and I’ve been pleased to attend and participate in these community interactions.
  • SC resolutions: I am gratified to have led discussions among members of the SC that resulted in what I believe are positive changes for our community. First, I helped the SC devise a policy to assist in continuity of the SC following elections, which was passed via community vote in October. Second, a motion I proposed at the end of November (and was subsequently passed by the SC) will continue availability of open online instructor training for members of our community at institutions that do not currently have access to training through joint organizational memberships. I believe both of these projects ensure stability and continued growth for SWC.

Future goals for Software Carpentry:

In retrospect, it took a solid six months for me to “hit my stride” as a member of the SC, and I’m eager to capitalize on this interia by continuing for another year. My experiences working with the SC and other committees described above have reaffirmed my commitment to providing strong leadership with the following goals:

  • Clarifying responsibilities in leadership: SWC has matured a great deal since the first SC was elected two years ago. I am keen to solidify the specific roles best filled by not only the SC, but also the Advisory Council, staff, and other community leaders.
  • Communication and community engagement: Our organization faces many challenges in terms of communicating with an intellectually diverse and geographically dispersed community. I want to do a better job of relaying information about choices made at the SC and subcommittee level back to the community, and balancing community input with steady movement towards decision making and progress as an organization.
  • Streamlining operations with Data Carpentry: I am very excited to have worked closely with Data Carpentry staff this year, and am looking forward to continuing to integrate our operations to our mutual benefit.

More about me:

My current position is Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Texas at Tyler. I teach plant taxonomy, genomics, and bioinformatics, and also mentor undergraduates and graduate students in independent research. I’m happy to chat about knitting, science, teaching, and faculty life on Twitter or my blog, and you can learn more about my research on GitHub or my research/teaching website

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