SPARC is pleased to announce the addition of Trudi Radtke as an Open Education Project Manager to its staff. Trudi will spearhead advocacy and implementation for initiatives to make education more open and equitable. Their portfolio includes InclusiveAccess.org, an initiative to raise awareness about the challenges of automatic textbook billing. Trudi also contributes across SPARC’s open education policy and advocacy efforts.
Prior to working at SPARC, Trudi was involved in the open education movement in California higher education. Most recently they were an education technology specialist at Imperial Valley College, bringing equitable, cutting-edge education technology solutions to the border school that serves primarily first-generation college students. As an OER specialist and consultant, they have worked to create, remix, and revise over 100 OER textbooks for the California community college system.
Trudi has experience presenting at conferences and workshops, helping colleges create sustainable and equitable OER materials for their students. Their advocacy work has primarily involved helping colleges create sustainable and equitable OER materials for their students. In 2021, Trudi was selected as a CAOpenEd research fellow for the California Alliance for Open Education
As a first-generation student, Trudi personally knows of the struggle to pay for college and the value of open materials. One semester, they had such a tight budget attending community college that the choice one came down to buying a pair of glasses or buying textbooks. Trudi opted for glasses and got creative to get what they needed for their community college classes. “I basically downloaded materials online, put it in binders and cobbled together my own kind of textbook,” says Trudi..
Trudi discovered OER and became a passionate open advocate. “I connected immediately with the concept that everyone should have an education and everything should be open,” Trudi says. “I thought this is how academia can reach and support people like me.”
Trudi says they have closely followed the work of SPARC and set as a goal joining the OER team.
“I’m so excited to be working here and I’m privileged to be working specifically on the inclusive access questions,” Trudi says. “The main ways that academia has traditionally approached the selection and dissemination of learning materials has a lot of hidden inequities. I’m interested in being an active part of the conversation that asks: Are there real student benefits to putting access to knowledge and learning materials behind a paywall? Or is there an alternative that really benefits society as a whole?”
Trudi is based in Los Angeles, California.When not advocating for open, they enjoy surfing, biking, rock climbing, hiking, and being outside.