Director of Community Development and Engagement Transition

Serah Njambi Kiburu is moving on from The Carpentries

Announcement from The Carpentries

We are writing to share the news that The Carpentries Director of Community Development and Engagement and Community Development Team lead, Serah Njambi Kiburu, is departing her position to pursue new opportunities. Her final working day at The Carpentries will be July 30. Erin Becker, the Associate Director of The Carpentries, will lead the Community Development team while we search for Serah’s successor.

“Serah is truly a thought leader in open science, and one of the most caring and compassionate advocates I have ever met. One of the many things I learned in my time working with Serah is the value of feedback, and creating space for all the voices to be heard,” says Kari L. Jordan, Executive Director of The Carpentries, ”Several programs that are core to our mission were developed by Serah during her time with The Carpentries. Her legacy is sound, and the organisation is better because of her contributions. We will miss you Serah!”

In her time with The Carpentries, Serah has been an invaluable member of the team, helping guide the communications and community efforts of The Carpentries effectively and smoothly. While Serah’s accomplishments at The Carpentries are innumerable, we would like to specifically thank her for her tireless work on the CarpentryConnect Kit, Community Facilitators Program, Instructor Development Committee, and the virtual CarpentryCon @ Home.

Message from Serah Njambi Kiburu

Dear Carpentries community, it has been thirty (30) months since I joined The Carpentries, and what an incredible time I have had collaborating with many of you to create, grow and support different initiatives in The Carpentries!

I am very grateful to have worked on high-impact projects in my time here at The Carpentries, most of which relied heavily on community input, feedback and adoption to work well - from developing The Carpentries communications strategy, to articulating The Carpentries core values, designing the annual Gratitudes project, organising our first concerted effort for HacktoberFest in 2019, writing the CarpentryConnect Planning Kit, developing the Community Facilitators program, jumpstarting our efforts to improve accessibility across Carpentries resources and in organising online events, and facilitating the Fireside Chat conversations at CarpentryCon 2020. In case you missed it, we recently curated conversations from the Fireside Chat into inaugural episodes for The Carpentries podcast - have a listen!

These projects have reinforced my understanding that listening with a goal to be responsive to community needs is indeed one of the most important exercises in community-driven work. You made this work possible, thank you so much for trusting us with your ideas, feedback and contributions throughout!

It has also been a remarkable experience to lead the Community Development Team in my time at The Carpentries - a group of brilliant and passionate individuals on the Core Team who have, from week to week, shown up in meetings and conversations to brainstorm ideas, triage issues, and polish approaches to aid our strategies around community development and engagement in The Carpentries. You can read about the work the Community Development Team has been up to over the last thirty months on this page that summarises quarterly Team Projects. Thank you Team!

One of my mandates in my role has been as liaison to various committees and task forces in The Carpentries, and in partnership with other community-led initiatives in the open source, open science and data science spaces. A big thank you to the Instructor Development Committee, Feedback Facilitators and CarpentryCon 2020 committees for your dedication and the inspiring work you continue to do. I am also indebted to communities, steering and working groups I was charged with building cross-community collaborations with - especially those at CSVConf, SciPy, Code for Science and Society, Research Software Alliance, FORCE11’s REPO, CSCCE and SORSE for working together to deliver incredible community conferences, workshops and resources!

For all the work we have accomplished together, I have learnt so much more in my time at The Carpentries, and I have you to thank for it all. Thank you Carpentries team and community!

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