Teaching basic lab skills
for research computing

Amy Hodge: Nomination for 2018 Steering Committee

2018 Election : Amy Hodge

A Little About Me

Hi all! My name is Amy Hodge, and I work for Stanford University Libraries. I have a PhD from Yale in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, and spent about 10 years working at science database companies, where I discovered the elegance of SQL and the perfect role for me in enabling people to do better science. Since my undergraduate days I’ve been involved in teaching, mentoring, and software training, and my involvement with the Carpentries is a natural extension of these activities and my desire to enable people to do better science.

My Involvement with the Carpentries

I got my start with the Carpentries by hosting a Software Carpentry workshop in January 2014. The response from learners was so positive that I hosted three more workshops that summer. The next January I became a certified instructor so that I could increase our capacity to offer these workshops on campus. After teaching my first Data Carpentry workshop at Stanford in April 2015, I quickly realized teaching and hosting simultaneously was not very practical, so I have been teaching versions of the SQL and OpenRefine lessons as stand-alone workshops as my schedule allows. In late 2015 and early 2016, I organized and helped at one workshop for the Libraries and served as a helper at two other campus workshops.

From July 2016 to June 2017, I served as an advisor to a Stanford professor who had been awarded an NIH training grant addendum to develop curriculum for reproducibility and rigor. She was incorporating the Carpentries as a major component and sought my advice on doing this. I helped with one workshop, planned/hosted an instructor training, and hosted/helped at another workshop for postdocs.

This past summer I helped at an instructor training at Davis and earned my certification as an Instructor Trainer. I also successfully campaigned for Stanford Libraries to sign on as a Carpentries Partner, for which I am the contact. I recently taught at Data Carpentry workshops at two universities in South Africa as well as my first instructor training.

Carpentries Future and Growth

As someone who has been working on her own to provide these workshops at my institution, I’m interested in how we build local communities. How can we draw in more campus organizations to fund these workshops? How can we get more people interested in contributing once they become instructors? How can we get study groups going after the workshops are over?

My recent experiences with teaching in Africa have taught me much about how workshops are run at different institutions and for different groups of learners. I’d like to see us implement more ways that instructors and hosts can learn from each other about how to have a successful workshop.

I’m interested in becoming more involved in lesson development and maintenance and discussing ways to get more of our instructors involved in these activities as well. I’d like to see the Data Carpentry curriculum in particular provide more options for the use of data sets in different fields, because I can see the benefits to the learners of having materials that are more accessible for them.

Dialogue & Discussion

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