VCU librarian selected for national open education fellowship

September 10, 2018

VCU's Scholarly Communications Outreach Librarian Hillary Miller has been selected as a fellow in the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program, an intensive professional development program designed to empower library professionals with knowledge, skills and connections to lead successful open education initiatives that benefit students. The two-semester program blends online, peer-to-peer, and project-based learning to build a comprehensive understanding of the open education space coupled with practical know-how to take action on campus and beyond.

Miller is one of 24 fellows selected from a competitive application pool for the program’s 2018-2019 cohort.

At VCU Libraries, Miller has taken a leadership role in open education initiatives, including serving as an Open Textbook Network statewide system leader and helping to establish the Affordable Course Content Awards program for faculty who choose to write or adopt open educational resources.

"VCU Libraries is deeply committed to supporting open education on campus," says Dean of the Libraries and University Librarian John E. Ulmschneider. "We are proud that Hillary has been selected for this program that will increase her capacity to continue in this work that so clearly benefits students."

The SPARC Open Education Leadership Program spans two semesters, beginning with an intensive online course in the fall to build comprehensive open education subject matter expertise. In the spring, Miller will work with a mentor to implement a capstone project that will help advance open education at VCU and contribute to the broader open education community. Miller will join the rest of the cohort at the Open Education Conference in Niagara Falls, NY  Oct. 10-12th.

“My goal for participating in the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program is to become a more effective advocate for open education, so that my work can have a greater impact for VCU students," says Miller. "I am particularly interested in open education projects that engage students in the creation of their course materials, and hope to explore this topic in my capstone project.”

VCU Libraries has been focused on affordable course content and open education resources for the past two years in partnership with the Office of the Provost, the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence and the ALT Lab. Miller has played a pivotal role in this initiative.

It is well deserved that Hillary Miller's work in promoting open education has been recognized through this fellowship appointment,” says Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Communication and Publishing Jimmy Ghaphery. “We are proud that she has been selected for this program, and know that her work will further contribute to student success at VCU.”

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