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Monday, September 14, 2020 News

Welcome to the Open Education Leadership Program 2020-2021 Fellows!

Open Education

SPARC is pleased to welcome the 2020-2021 cohort for the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program, our intensive professional development initiative to empower academic professionals to lead successful open education initiatives. This year’s cohort is composed of 21 fellows includes a wide range of backgrounds, spanning from open education librarians, instructional designers, policy analysts, and project managers. Our fourth year running the program marks the first that SPARC has expanded participation from academic librarians to include all academic professionals working in open education. The fellows were selected from a competitive application pool. 

2020-2021 SPARC Open Education Leadership Fellows

Adam Mazel, Union College
Angela Chikowero, University of California, Santa Barbara
Brad Ost, Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc.
Bryan McGeary, Pennsylvania State University
Christina Riehman-Murphy, Penn State Libraries, Abington College
Claire Nickerson, Fort Hays State University
Connie Strittmatter, Fitchburg State University
David Tully, North Carolina State University Libraries
Donna Langille, University of British Columbia, Okanagan
James (Jim) Paradiso, University of Central Florida
Kristina De Voe, Temple University
Lee Miller, Director of Innovation and Compliance, Barton Community College
Liliana Diaz Solodukhin, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)
Mélanie Brunet, University of Ottawa
Nicole Arnold, University of California, Irvine
Pamela Contakos, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Shannon Smith, Utah State University
Sophie Rondeau, Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA)/George Mason University
Stefanie Buck, Oregon State University
Tiffany MacLennan, The Maple League of Universities
Ursula Pike, Digital Higher Education Consortium of Texas (DigiTex)

The SPARC Open Education Leadership Program offers intensive training to empower academic professionals with the knowledge, skills, and connections to lead successful open education initiatives that benefit students. The two-semester program blends online, peer-to-peer, and project-based learning to build a comprehensive understanding of the open education space coupled with practical know-how to take action on campus and beyond. Fellows participate as part of a cohort that becomes a vibrant community of practice, enhanced by expert instruction and mentorship support. The program has graduated three cohorts totaling 64 fellows since 2007. 

The incoming cohort begins the program on September 14. Throughout the program, each fellow will develop and implement a capstone project that advances open education locally and publish an openly-licensed resource that benefits the broader community. Each fellow gets paired with a mentor to provide one-on-one leadership development, many of whom come from the program’s growing alumni pool. During the first semester, the cohort will attend the first ever virtual iteration of the annual Open Education Conference in November, where they will connect with each other and immerse in the open education community.

The COVID-19 crisis has presented higher education with extraordinary new challenges, and has magnified the harm of structural inequities that exist within the system. When the pandemic hit this spring, the 2019-2020 cohort had to adapt quickly, and many of their leadership capstone projects became essential resources that aided their institutions in the quick pivot to online learning. We are ready for this year’s incoming cohort to continue to harnessing the power of open education to support their campus communities through an unprecedented year ahead.

SPARC launched the Open Education Leadership Program in 2017 in response to a need identified by our membership. The program is funded by tuition to ensure that it can be offered sustainably. Given that interest in the program continues to grow, we hope to run the program again for a fifth year in 2021-2022. Applications will be available in the spring of 2021. The program is taught by Dr. Tanya Spilovoy, and more information about the program’s openly-licensed curriculum, outcomes, tuition, and past cohorts is available on the SPARC website.

To receive updates about the program, sign up here.


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