Teaching basic lab skills
for research computing

Elizabeth Wickes: Nomination for 2018 Steering Committee

2018 Election: Nomination by Elizabeth Wickes

Who am I?

I’m Elizabeth Wickes and I work as a Lecturer with the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I began this position in mid-2017, and previously worked as a Data Curation Specialist for the University Library at UIUC for 2 years. I have my MSLIS, and worked for 5 years at Wolfram|Alpha before beginning my master’s program.

While I enjoy teaching and working with a variety of domains, I am primarily experienced in teaching for digital humanities researchers, librarians, and other non-STEM fields. I constantly challenge myself to make computational and digital tool training interesting, accessible, and valuable to all research domains.

My Previous Involvement

I have been active within the Carpentries since 2015 when I went through my instructor training, completing my certification in Summer 2015. Since then I have been active with our local workshop runs, as an instructor for 7 and a helper for several more. I have also been a lead instructor at several digital humanities workshops that have remixed Carpentries materials, and I have adapted several of the core SWC lessons for use in my classes.

In January 2017 I had the opportunity to work for several days at BIDS as part of a reproducible research in Jupyter hackathon. I was excited to meet many of my fellow Carpentry members in person and have a chance to learn from them in a hackathon environment.

During summer of 2017 I completed my Carpentry Training certification in August this year. This training was a fantastic opportunity to revisit the content of my own training and reflect on how that has influenced my teaching.

Looking Forward

UIUC’s local Carpentries community has grown over the previous two years, allowing my role to shift from instructing 2-3 times a semester to being a mentor to new instructors and focusing my instruction efforts on Instruction Training events, both remote and local.

Our community’s strength is in the diversity of roles, domains, and backgrounds of our instructors. The strength of these combined factors shines in our lesson maintenance and creation, consistent growth in learners and instructors, and how everyone can find a home within the work we do.

Working with the 2017 global Library Carpentry sprint was a powerful experience to observe our core values in action. A community can accomplish so much when newcomers are supported by all and many voices come together toward a common goal. I am keen to continue expanding our training opportunities into research domains that have a clear need for digital research training, but don’t have it as part of their standard educational pathway.

My hopes for becoming a board member are to continue representing non-STEM domains, working with the assessment group to understand what we are doing well and where we are needed most, and helping the joint mission of Software and Data Carpentry find its voice as a merged group. Our community is a powerful one, and together we can continue to accomplish great things!

Dialogue & Discussion

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