As a current, elected member of the Executive Council, I’m very excited to be putting myself forward for re-election for a two-year term. It’s been a wonderful, engaging, and educational year for me on the Council, but now that we’ve gotten the new organization up and running, I’m eager to participate in more of the building activities I hope to see happening in the future.
I received a PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale, after which I worked for nearly 10 years at science database companies. I’ve now been at Stanford University Libraries for the past six years, where my role is to help researchers, particularly in the sciences, with data management and sharing and with developing the skills they need to perform these tasks efficiently and effectively. Research in all fields is moving rapidly toward intensive data science, leaving many researchers struggling to keep up with learning all the new skills needed for the complex research questions they devise. The Carpentries can help many researchers improve the quality and robustness of their work.
My Work with the Carpentries
My introduction to the Carpentries was through hosting a workshop at Stanford in January of 2014. Since then, I’ve become a certified instructor as well as an instructor trainer. I feel that I’ve really found my niche in the instructor training program – I’m on a plane to Atlanta even as I write this to teach an in-person instructor training session! I also manage Stanford Libraries’ partnership with the Carpentries and our interactions with campus partners who are hosting their own workshops. I’ve taught Carpentries workshops in Africa and love the way this organization takes seriously its goal to be a global, inclusive community.
Carpentries and the Future
This past year has been challenging for the Carpentries and for the Executive Council. We necessarily have had to focus a lot of attention on core administrative tasks, like writing the by-laws and getting formal policies in place for activities like this election and for the on-boarding of Library Carpentry. It’s been great to help set the new organization on a clear path forward, but it’s time to start thinking more about where the Carpentries want to grow in the future, how we can maintain this fabulous community while getting larger, and how to build a financially sustainable organization at the same time. These are substantial challenges, because it’s important to all of us that we maintain the spirit that makes the Carpentries the friendliest, most welcoming, and most helpful organization in which we’ve ever participated.
My experience in working with the Carpentries in Africa, doing corporate software training in India, teaching students at Stanford, talking with people around the country and from countries all over the world, convinces me that our shared goals and perspectives bring us together more than they divide us, and that the Carpentries can succeed as a global organization. My experience in the corporate sector provides me with a more business-like perspective on financial and sustainability issues, and my focus on teaching and education throughout my career allow me to bring that practical, business sensibility to bear in ways that keep our learners and our community foremost in our decision making. I look forward, if elected, to serving you for another two years on the Executive Council.