Question #1: Tell me about yourself and how you came to be involved with Open Education.
Sometimes I think that how I came to be involved with Open is different from a lot of other people’s experience – but maybe that’s normal, and everyone really comes to it in their own unique way. What I mean is that I often hear stories of people discovering Open directly through their experiences as a faculty member, librarian, or student, and realizing firsthand the problems at play. It’s [a story of] a journey where they find out about Open, then start advocating for it and doing that work, and then it may become a formal part of that person’s job. Whereas, I hadn’t really heard much about Open a few years ago, up until right before I started in my current position. I wasn’t thinking about it, I really wasn’t pursuing that path. But I was offered the opportunity to move into a newly-created OER Coordinator role. It was more that I was presented with a new opportunity and it made sense for me as something to try.
To give you some context on my background and how that eventually led to being involved with Open, I’ve been an academic librarian since 2013 and I’ve always been in the undergraduate instruction and outreach space. In my previous positions I was teaching information literacy, doing campus outreach, supporting undergraduate students, and collaborating with other student services units.