SPARC welcomes Briana O’Neal as our new Open Education Conference Manager. In this new role, effective September 1, she is responsible for coordinating logistics of the annual Open Education Conference as well as supporting its board of directors and community.
The Open Education Conference is designed for sharing and learning about open educational resources, open pedagogy, and open education initiatives. Last year, the virtual event drew more than 1,800 practitioners, researchers, and advocates from around the world. Led by a community-elected board of directors, the Open Education Conference’s operations are currently housed within SPARC.
Briana has worked in higher education for the last decade. She has experience with teaching, advising, academic support, and project management.
“I am thrilled to be part of this conference team,” Briana said. “As a first generation college student, the hidden costs of college were a huge obstacle for me and throughout my career I have seen this issue continue to impact students in similar ways. When institutions price students out of formal education and publishers price people out of access to general knowledge, they perpetuate the system of inequality that disadvantages BIPOC and low-income communities. I’m excited to be in a role that brings people together with the common goal of sharing open education resources.”
Prior to joining the SPARC team, Briana was the senior director of college & career programs with Bridges Baltimore. She’s been assistant dean of academic life at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland, and project manager for Engineering for US All at the University of Maryland.
Briana is a former Chair of the Maryland Advising Conference and has been a presenter at the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) since 2018.
Briana graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s of science in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania. She is pursuing her doctorate in higher education at the University of Maryland.