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Posted on: Monday, October 3, 2016 - 10:49am
Transitions and New Leadership at Western Libraries & the Learning Commons
(L to R) Carmen Werder, Sarah McDaniel, and Shevell Thibou / photos by Bri Schlemmer, courtesy of Western Libraries
As Western moves into a new academic year, the Libraries and the Learning Commons are gaining significant new leadership, with changes precipitated by the retirement of Carmen Werder, who began working at Western in 1984, and who served as the Director of the Learning Commons, the Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA), and Writing Instruction Support (WIS).
“It’s difficult to see such a valued colleague leave Western,” said Dean of Libraries Mark Greenberg. “I wish Carmen a long, happy, and healthy retirement.”
Western Libraries will host a retirement celebration in Werder’s honor and in appreciation for her many contributions later in November—details and date to be announced soon. In the meantime, the Libraries and the Learning Commons are preparing for what lies ahead.
Coming from University of Wisconsin, Madison, Sarah McDaniel has assumed the new position of Director of Teaching & Learning and the Learning Commons. Shevell Thibou, now Assistant Director of the Learning Commons, will also head the Teaching-Learning Academy, and Julie Dugger, who is also faculty in the Department of English, has accepted the position of Director of Writing Instruction Support.
“We make this transition with amazing new leadership,” said Greenberg. “Sarah, Shevell, and Julie each bring incredible expertise and energy to their new roles advancing teaching and learning in Western Libraries.”
Prior to coming to Western, Sarah McDaniel’s work focused on partnerships to transform libraries’ educational roles. She led the University of Wisconsin, Madison Libraries’ Teaching & Learning Programs for nine years, and partnered with the Chancellor’s Office, faculty, and campus and community organizations to establish the Go Big Read campus-community reading program, now in its eighth year.
In addition to leading a twenty-library information literacy program, she expanded the scope of the program to incorporate faculty development and instructional design partnerships, secured campus funding for library e-learning initiatives and co-chaired an Educational Innovation team focused on development of new service models.
As the Director of Teaching & Learning and the Learning Commons here at Western, McDaniel will bring her experience in faculty development, instructional design, and assessment to develop, implement, and assess an integrated teaching and learning program for Western Libraries that engages students and instructors from across the university. She is also a member of the Libraries’ senior leadership team, and will work collaboratively with librarians, staff, student employees, Learning Commons partners, and external stakeholders toward shared goals to advance new teaching and learning initiatives related to the online learning environment, student learning outcomes, and research-writing instruction in support of academic colleges’ curricula.
“I’m looking forward to leading the rich variety of education and outreach programs that library staff at Western are engaged in,” said McDaniel. “I’m particularly excited about the innovative integration of writing and research that’s underway in our teaching and services to students and faculty,” said McDaniel, mentioning as examples both the Hacherl Research & Writing Studio and the Integrated Research & Writing Workshops.
Shevell Thibou is no stranger to the Learning Commons or the TLA, having served as the coordinator over the past four years. The TLA is a dialogue forum engaged in studying the intersections between teaching and learning, with the mission of creating a community of scholars who work together to better understand the existing learning culture, to share that understanding with others, and to enhance the learning environment for everyone.
Werder explained that although the TLA began in 2001 as a temporary structure related to Western’s affiliation with the Carnegie Academy’s Campus Conversations program, it has endured as a place where students, faculty, staff, and community members can come to together to talk about what matters to them, and what matters in the world of teaching and learning, adding that she is optimistic about the future of the TLA.
“I have been truly blessed to be involved with the TLA since its beginnings up to the present, and I am absolutely thrilled to know that Shevell Thibou will be leading it from now on,” said Werder upon her retirement. “In mind, heart, and spirit - Shevell embodies all that is the TLA, and I predict that the best is yet to come.”
Thibou explained she appreciates how much the TLA emphasizes the importance of community, and she is excited about continuing to build community and to advance teaching and learning at Western.
“At times in higher education, we can sometimes create divides between faculty, staff, students, and community members, but in the TLA, the emphasis is on how we are all one,” explained Thibou. “To embody exceptional teaching and learning, everyone has to be a part of that process. The TLA looks at all points of views and perspectives, and that helps us advance teaching and learning, which can only strengthen Western and our community.”
Thibou invites anyone interested in learning more about the TLA to participate in the sessions that begin on Oct. 5th and 6th, adding that fall is a particularly great time to get involved because it is when the TLA will choose its study question, which will be the focus of the TLA’s work the rest of the year. She is also interested in expanding the reach of the TLA by finding a way to meet people where they are.
“As a suggestion from last year’s TLA dialogue sessions and to continue Carmen’s extraordinary work, we will be taking TLA on the road this year,” said Thibou. “We want as many people as possible to come to the TLA sessions, but we also want to reach those who can’t attend so we can get their insights, so that when we say we come from a community of teachers and learners, we are being as inclusive as possible.”
Julie Dugger has accepted a one-year appointment to serve as Director of WIS, and will be working with McDaniel and Thibou throughout the year to direct and further develop support for the program. Dugger has taught writing, literature, and humanities full time for sixteen years as a professor and instructor at four-year universities. She has also taught in the Academic and Professional Writing Program at the University of Chicago, the Young Scholars Program at the Oregon Council for the Humanities, and the English for Speakers of Other Languages curriculum at Crossroads Student Center. She is a former Director of the Core Curriculum at Benedictine University, and her publications include work on literature and politics, utopianism, and popular fiction.
“Julie also holds a long-time teaching appointment in the English Department. We are fortunate to have someone with such a wealth of experience in this important role.” stated McDaniel.
The WIS program is a Learning Commons partner, and provides direct assistance to faculty who are teaching writing intensive courses within their discipline. As Director of WIS, Dugger will be available to offer personalized consultations to faculty on a variety of topics, including writing course syllabi, assignments, response methods, evaluation schemes, and Writing Proficiency (WP) Course requirements.
“Not only is good writing an essential professional and civic skill in itself, but a skilled writer is also a better communicator and critical thinker more generally. I'll be working in this position to ensure that when students look back on their time at WWU, they'll point to writing instruction as one of the most important parts of their education.” said Dugger.
Werder, who was involved with the Learning Commons from its earliest stages in 2010, stated she is very pleased with how things have developed and evolved over the years.
“For my part, I am retiring a very happy person to have been a part of this splendid adventure, and I send my best wishes to all the people that make up the treasure that is the Learning Commons at Western Washington University,” said Werder.
For more information about the Learning Commons, the TLA, WIS, or teaching and learning at Western Libraries and the Learning Commons, please see: https://library.wwu.edu/learning_commons or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more: Transitions & New Leadership
Posted on: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - 4:01pm
Western Libraries Welcomes New Director of Teaching & Learning and the Learning Commons
Western Libraries at Western Washington University has hired Sarah McDaniel as the Director of Teaching & Learning and the Learning Commons. Sarah comes to Western from University of Wisconsin-Madison, where her recent work focused on partnerships to transform libraries’ educational roles.
In her new position as the Director of Teaching & Learning and the Learning Commons, Sarah will develop, implement, and assess an integrated teaching and learning program for Western Libraries that engages students and instructors from across the University. As a member of the Libraries’ senior leadership team, she will work collaboratively with librarians, staff, student employees, Learning Commons partners, and external stakeholders toward shared goals, and she will help advance new teaching and learning initiatives, including the online learning environment, student learning outcomes, and research-writing instruction in support of academic colleges’ curricula.
Sarah led the University of Wisconsin–Madison Libraries’ Teaching & Learning Programs for nine years. In addition to overseeing a twenty-library information literacy program, she expanded the scope of the program to incorporate faculty development and instructional design partnerships, secured campus funding for library e-learning initiatives, and co-chaired an Educational Innovation team focused on development of new service models. She also contributed to the leadership and facilitation of programs for early-career faculty, instructors involved in designing blended and online courses, and faculty visiting from partner universities outside the United States.
Sarah also worked in UW-Madison Provost’s Office, contributing to institutional efforts around accreditation and learning assessment. As consultant for a curricular redesign project in UW-Madison’s School of Library & Information Studies, she developed a communication plan for an upcoming name change for the school. Sarah has also been Associate Lecturer for courses on pedagogy and learning assessment in the UW-Madison School of Library & Information Studies, and she partnered with the Chancellor’s Office, faculty, and campus and community organizations to found the “Go Big Read” campus-community reading program, now in its eighth year. As a past Chair of both the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section and the ACRL Divisional Committee on Information Literacy, Sarah developed ACRL’s formal liaison relationship with the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI).
Previously, Sarah was Humanities Librarian, Assessment & Instructional Design Librarian, and Interim Director of the Teaching Library at University of California–Berkeley. At Berkeley, Sarah was appointed Assessment Consultant for the Mellon Faculty Fellowship for Undergraduate Research, where she co-facilitated a year-long curriculum for faculty fellows, assessed the impact of the program on student learning, and consulted with faculty redesigning assignments and courses. Sarah also partnered with Berkeley’s Graduate Student Instructor Teaching & Resource Center to develop programs on research-based learning for future faculty. Sarah’s academic credentials include a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS), a M.A. in Foreign Languages and Literatures (French) from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a B.A. in French from UW-Madison.
Read more: Welcome Sarah McDaniel
Posted on: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 9:46am
Subscriptions Reduction Review Process - Update
Read more: Subscriptions Review Update
Posted on: Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - 2:28pm
Announcing the 2016 Western Libraries Undergraduate Research Award Winners!
Here at Western, undergraduate students have unparalleled access to research opportunities which are supported by faculty mentors. Western Libraries views the research work of undergraduate students as being tremendously valuable, both in terms of the teaching and learning experience the research process creates, and also because of the research outputs students themselves generate.
Winners of this year’s Western Libraries Undergraduate Research Award were honored at a small reception in the library at the Research-Writing Studio on Friday, June 3, 2016, during which Dean of Libraries Mark Greenberg publicly recognized the award-winning students and presented each awardee with a certificate. Also in attendance were friends and family members of the award-winning students, the students’ faculty mentors, and members of the 2016 Undergraduate Research Award review committee.
Every spring, a review committee consisting of a variety of faculty members from the Libraries and other departments at Western selects from among the submissions three papers which demonstrate excellence in the creation of research papers for courses taught across the colleges. Papers must be based on significant inquiry using library resources and collections, and they must demonstrate originality or the potential to lead to subsequent original research.
This year was a little unusual because for the very first time, one of the award-winning submissions was actually written by a team of students. Four students in the Community Health major in the Department of Health and Human Development created a program plan called “Preventing Anorexia in Adolescents through Empowerment and Education (PAATEE).”
“The paper is reflection of how group and collaborative work are becoming more common,” explained librarian and review committee member Elizabeth Stephan. “Together with the other papers by Rachel Redjou and Marissa Hall, this year’s winners are excellent examples of the different formats research-based writing can take.”
Publishing the research papers in Western CEDAR makes them available to anyone in the world, enabling students to contribute to the scholarship of their chosen fields while also participating in the growing global movement to provide open access to scholarship and creative works. You can find the winning papers at this link: http://cedar.wwu.edu/library_researchaward/
Marissa Hall for “Feminist Identification within the White Supremacy Movement”
Faculty Mentor: Glenn Tsunokai, Sociology
Rachael Redjou for “Shunga: Erotic Art in the Tokugawa Era”
Faculty Mentor: Massimiliano Tomasi, East Asian Studies
Karima Boumatar, Alex Johnston-Thomas, Dillon van Rensburg, Emma Hefton, for “Preventing Anorexia in Adolescents through Empowerment and Education (PAATEE)”
Faculty Mentor: Senna Towner, Health and Human Development
Congratulations to these remarkable students for all of their accomplishments!
Read more: Undergraduate Research Award Winners
Posted on: Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 11:01am
Western Libraries Celebrates its Student Employees
Student staff have always been an essential part of Western Libraries. When Wilson Library’s namesake and Western’s first librarian Mabel Zoe Wilson first began working at Western, she was the only full time library employee for 10 years, and all additional library staffing needs were met by student employees. Today, Western Libraries has over 60 full time staff members, but during this past academic year, we also employed 112 students.
Every year, Western Libraries chooses one student employee from among the graduating seniors who has distinguished themselves from their peers by demonstrating unusual imagination, interest, and capability in providing outstanding service. This year’s Mabel Zoe Excellence in Student Service Award was presented to Simon Bakke in recognition of the number of ways he has provided outstanding service tot he Libraries, both as a Learning Commons Liaison and as the Libraries' Graphic Artist.
Miriam Snow Mathes, a professor of library science at Western, established an endowment in 1998 to fund both the Western Libraries annual student recognition event and also the Mabel Zoe Wilson Excellence in Student Service Award. The first Western Libraries Student Celebration was held in 1999, and they have been held annually every spring since then.
Read more: Student Celebration 2016
Posted on: Monday, May 23, 2016 - 11:03am
Western Libraries & the Western Gallery Partnership
Western Libraries has partnered with the Western Gallery to exhibit pieces from the Gallery’s substantial 65 piece collection of original chairs, benches, and tables all by prominent designers from the mid-19th century to 1980s.
Photo caption: Dean of Libraries Mark Greenberg, Western Gallery Director Hafthor Yngvason, and Western Libraries Art Committee: Michelle Becker, Leslie Hall, and Amy Stefany, (May 2016)
The chairs on display at Western Libraries are examples of mid-century design and include works by Hans Wegner, Isamu Noguchi, Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, and Arnie Jacobsen.
The installation is located on the third floor of Haggard and is strikingly displayed along the windows circling the rotunda. Stop by the library to find out more and take a look at some pieces from this remarkable collection.
Read more: Chair Collection Special Exhibition
Posted on: Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - 11:29am
James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowships - Now Accepting Applications for 2017
About the Awards
The James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowships promote awareness and innovative use of archival collections at Western Washington University, and seek to forward scholarly understandings of the Pacific Northwest. Fellowship funds are awarded in honor of the late Dr. James W. Scott, a founder and first Director of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, and a noted scholar of the Pacific Northwest region. Up to $1000 funding is offered in 2017 to support significant research using archival holdings at WWU’s Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (CPNWS), a unit of Western Libraries Heritage Resources.
- Applications are accepted from individuals in doctoral programs as well as individuals who have finished the Ph.D.
- Successful applicants will be expected to spend approximately one week examining CPNWS holdings in support of their research, and to be in residence prior to October 31, 2017. Additional information and detailed guides to collections may be accessed on the CPNWS website.
- Fellows will be asked to give a presentation about some aspect of their research during the course of their scheduled visit. The audience will vary depending on the time of the year, but may include members of the general public as well as students, faculty and staff from WWU.
- Applications are currently being accepted for the 2017 award. The number and size of awards granted annually is determined by the application review committee.
- Applications may be submitted via mail or electronically and should include:
- Cover letter
- Curriculum Vitae
- Research plan outlining on-site use of CPNWS holdings and proposed presentation topic
- Two letters of recommendation.
- Please send applications via email to Ruth.Steele@wwu.edu or by mail to Ruth Steele, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Western Libraries Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123. Please enter “Scott Research Fellowship Application” in the subject line of email applications.
- Funds will be awarded after a Fellow(s) has conducted research at CPNWS and delivered their presentation.
- Fellowship awards may be subject to taxation in accordance with the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Applicants are advised that they may need a U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (i.e. SSN or ITIN) to receive funds.