2019 Election: Elizabeth Wickes

Focus on targeted growth and representation

About me

I am a current Executive Council member and submitting my nomination for reelection. As an elected representative for the 2018 Executive Council, I am eager to continue the work I’ve begun and see it through next year.

I have been active with The Carpentries since 2015. I completed my instructor training as part of a larger independent study on teaching practices for end user programmers. I was one of the first certified instructors at the University of Illinois and have experienced the power of local mentorship to push my skills and deepen my understanding of Carpentries practices.

Since then I’ve completed my master’s degree in Library and Information Science, worked at our University Library for two years as a Research Data Specialist, and moved into a full-time teaching faculty role within the School of Information Sciences in 2017. One of the first things I did in that position was complete my Carpentries Instructor Training certification.

Previous Executive Council and Carpentries Work

My local Carpentries work at the University of Illinois is strongly focused on strategic planning and all aspects of instructor training. Our ability to run local instructor training means that we can provide mentorship and support through the entire certification and first instruction process. I stress the mentorship relationship through this process, as I benefitted from it and recognize how necessary it is. I am also focused on expanding our workshops to include of humanities scholars, information science, and our library.

Working with the Executive Council this year was something completely new and a thrilling learning experience! Most of my EC time was spent working with the bylaws writing team. I’ve never had the opportunity to draft bylaws before, so I asked to be their note taker and set of fresh eyes on what is being crafted. The months I spent meeting every two weeks and documenting these discussions were some of my most fulfilling professional experiences this year. I have also worked with coordinating communication from the Executive Council and assisted with interviewing some of the recent staff hires.

Looking Forward

2018 was the first year of our merger into The Carpentries. As much as our communities were aligned, we still had substantial work to merge traditions and adapt to the new scale of our community. We have broader representation across geographic and domain science areas. Our scale of learners, workshops, and instructors is booming. We have our first new Lesson Program (welcome again, Library Carpentry!) with more groups eager to start that process in 2019.

Much of 2018 was spent tackling tasks like writing bylaws and establishing policies to address immediate concerns, though with a forward-thinking perspective. In 2019 we will be able to focus on strategic planning.

We are a community of leaders who value diversity, inclusion, feedback, and growth. Together we are focused on teaching a variety of data skills to learners across the globe. I love this community and would be grateful for the opportunity to serve on the Executive Council again to continue the work I’ve started.

Dialogue & Discussion