University of Houston Libraries, supported by the UH Office of the Provost, is pleased to announce the 2022 recipient cohort of the Alternative Textbook Incentive Program (ATIP).
UH instructors applied for an award ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 that would go toward implementation of an open or alternative textbook in a future course. This program incentivizes faculty members to replace required traditional textbook(s) and other high-cost learning materials in their courses with adoption, adaptation, or creation of open educational resources (OER), or assembly of freely available or library-sponsored resources.
Awards were granted based on the number of students impacted, projected cost savings for students, the type of project proposed, and the timeline and feasibility of successful implementation.
2022 ATIP winners are:
Graduate College of Social Work
- Chiara Acquati, Aabha Brown, and Virginia Lucas – SOCW 6305: Research and Knowledge Building in Social Work Practice
- Virginia Lucas – SOCW 6308: Human Diversity and Development
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
- Olusegun Babalola – PSYC 2305: Introduction to Methods in Psychology
- Anadeli Bencomo – SPAN 3374: Spanish American Culture and Civilization
- Viola Green, Raymond Gwanwo Hounfodji, Julie Tolliver, and Céline Wilson – FREN 1501: Elementary French I and FREN 1502: Elementary French II
- Viola Green, Raymond Gwanwo Hounfodji, Julie Tolliver, and Céline Wilson – FREN 2311: Intermediate French I and FREN 2312: Intermediate French II
- Jose Angel Hernandez – HIST 2303: Historian’s Craft
- Jose Angel Hernandez – HIST 4336: History of Histories: Historiography Capstone Seminar
- Melody Yunzi Li – CHIN/WCL 3342: Tales of East Asian Cities
C.T. Bauer College of Business
- Barbara Carlin and Marina Sebastijanovic – MANA 3335: Introduction to Organizational Behavior and Management
Conrad H. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership
- Simone Doudna – HRMA 4397: Airline Services Management
- Jason Draper – HRMA 2365: Tourism
- Sadegh Kazemi – HRMA 3348: Principles of Hospitality Revenue Management
- Cristian Morosan – HRMA 1301: Hospitality Technology
- Minjung Shin – HRMA 6330: Statistical Data Analysis in the Hospitality Industry
Cullen College of Engineering
- Stacey M. Louie – CIVE 6373: Experimental Methods in Environmental Engineering
College of Education
- Saira Rab – HDFS 4315: Culture and Diversity in Human Development
- Sissy Wong – CUIN 4325/7366: Teaching Science in Grades 4-8 I and CUIN 4326/7367: Teaching Science in Grades 4-8 II
This is the fourth round of awards for ATIP, which is part of the University’s mission to provide an inclusive, accessible educational experience for UH students. The initiative to mitigate the high cost of textbooks for students was championed by Paula Myrick Short, the former senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, who led the UH initiative to join the Open Textbook Network (renamed Open Education Network) in 2017. Since then, more UH faculty have been empowered through ATIP to reduce the financial burden of UH students.
Six of this year’s awarded projects were for adopting OER or library materials, one is for authoring OER, and eleven involve a combination of adopting, adapting, and/or authoring open resources. Projected savings for students in the first year of implementing alternative textbooks in these courses is $631,655, benefiting an estimated 4,873 students.
“It’s highly rewarding to see the benefit of free and immediate access to course materials realized for so many UH students,” said Athena N. Jackson, dean of UH Libraries and Elizabeth D. Rockwell chair. “We’re committed to student success through the development of open educational resources via ATIP, and we’re pleased to continue partnering with faculty to improve the learning experience for students.”
Thanks to the members of the ATIP Review Committee: Emese Felvegi, Jaspal Subhlok, Shawn Vaillancourt, Elizabeth Irvin-Stravoski, and Ariana Santiago.
Carolina Hernandez, student success librarian at University of Houston Libraries, is the 2022 recipient of the Rooks Early Career Librarian Fellowship.
Former UH Libraries dean Dana Rooks and spouse Charles W. (Mickey) Rooks, PhD established the fellowship endowment to support a UH librarian in professional development and research opportunities, such as memberships, conference fees, travel costs, equipment, and technology.
Hernandez is assessing the hiring process in academic libraries and how to make it more equitable and inclusive for applicants. “I’m working on a project focused on job postings and related application requirements, and how these can create barriers to application for Black, Indigenous, and Person of Color (BIPOC) identifying applicants,” Hernandez said. “Through interviews, I’d like to find out what characteristics have discouraged BIPOC individuals from applying to academic librarian positions, and also the encouraging characteristics that could be replicated elsewhere.”
The research that Hernandez is conducting aligns with student success priorities of the University. The insights discovered could lead to librarian applicant pools that better reflect the diverse UH student population. “Part of what can help students succeed is their ability to see themselves as researchers and scholars, and representation can help with achieving their goals,” Hernandez said. “Ultimately, our ability at UH Libraries to support student success hinges on the strength of the people that work here, so hiring practices need to be examined to ensure we’re vetting candidates in an equitable and effective manner.”
Hernandez received a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master of Arts degree in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in French from Rutgers University.
A student-curated digital exhibit featuring materials related to DJ Screw is available online.
From Coast to Coast: A Tour of DJ Screw’s Record Collection was created by Jenna Goodrich as part of a Research for Aspiring Coogs in the Humanities (REACH) project.
“This project has given me a glimpse of the steps in the process of creating an exhibit, and has taught me about what all goes into archival work,” Goodrich, a senior Honors College political science major, said. “This experience is invaluable.”
Goodrich, who is interested in archival and librarian work, selected items from the archives of UH Libraries Special Collections’ Houston Hip Hop Research Collection, particularly from the DJ Screw Sound Recordings comprising over 1600 of the artist’s personal albums and singles.
In working with primary sources, Goodrich learned what curating an exhibit involves. “You have to creatively piece together a story and a theme based off of what you have,” she said. “I learned about the wide array of materials that are considered primary sources. I was working with vinyl records, a unique type of source that opened my eyes to types of media that can be used for research.”
The online exhibit and the collection it represents offer viewers a deep look at DJ Screw and the milieu in which he created mixtapes. “The DJ Screw collection tells us about the diversity and wide scope of influence of both Houston hip hop and DJ Screw himself,” Goodrich said. “Screw had records from artists across the United States and used many different types of music to create his tapes. The vast amount of records from Houston-based hip hop artists sheds light on the entrepreneurial spirit of the artists.”
Based on her experience, Goodrich offers advice to other UH undergrads who may be interested in doing a research project. “I would suggest everyone try to do at least one research project before graduating,” she said. “Put your heart into the work so you can look back on your project and be proud of it when it comes time to apply for other fellowships or jobs. Create deadlines with your mentor and be in close contact with them to ground your project and give you structure. Have a vision of the end product in mind.”
University of Houston Libraries has received a gift of $75,000 from the John P. McGovern Foundation, designated for updates to research and learning spaces.
In its ongoing evaluation of critical infrastructure, spaces, and services for the campus community, UH Libraries identified opportunities for enhancements to high-impact areas in MD Anderson Library. The McGovern Foundation gift will allow UH Libraries to begin better alignment of research and learning spaces, including computing, study, and consultation areas, with the dynamic needs of students, faculty, and researchers. Upgrades, including furnishings, technology, and other resources, will reflect the research and learning lifecycle of the University and facilitate connection between scholarly and public communities.
Departments within UH Libraries were recently restructured to advance the University’s Strategic Plan. A new Libraries unit, Research and Student Engagement (RASE), comprises Information and Access Services, Research Services, and Teaching and Learning, three departments with high public engagement. The priorities of this unit are connected to the University’s initiatives toward student success, nationally competitive research, and social responsibility. Physical space improvements related to the services and resources of this unit will support the University’s key initiatives. “The generosity of the McGovern Foundation advances the Libraries’ innovative teaching and research practices, connecting UH students, faculty, and staff with the resources and expertise needed to be successful in the classroom, in scholarship, and beyond,” said Santi Thompson, associate dean of Research and Student Engagement.
“This generous gift from the McGovern Foundation allows us to enhance the core and collaborative services we offer to the UH community and complements campus-wide services in direct ways,” said Athena Jackson, dean of UH Libraries and Elizabeth D. Rockwell chair. “UH Libraries remains focused on engaging and empowering those who visit our spaces and e-spaces, with the goal of inspiring knowledge-sharing partnerships among research and learning communities in the heart of the University.”
University of Houston Libraries projects in digital humanities are being offered through Research for Aspiring Coogs in the Humanities (REACH), a year-long introductory research experience for undergraduates in humanities disciplines.
The UH REACH program is supported by the Cougar Initiative to Engage and the Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards (OURMA). REACH connects students to existing UH digital humanities projects and allows them to develop research skills through mentored, first-hand scholarly inquiry and through participation in OURMA research programming.
REACH participants receive a $1,500 scholarship split between the fall and spring semesters in the program, and will present their research at Undergraduate Research Day in April 2023.
Projects significantly connected to UH Libraries’ collections and expertise include Making the History of UH Student Group Afro Americans for Black Liberation (AABL) Available Online, Sharing Stories from 1977, OER Textbook: Be a Tech Advanced Cultural Learner, Triumph and Tragedy in the Bayou City’s Civil Rights Era, Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Program, and SYRIOS.
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors are invited to apply by September 7.
University of Houston Libraries welcomes Kate McNally Carter as the new open educational resources (OER) librarian.
Please describe your role at UH Libraries and discuss some of your professional goals.
I will be working under the direction of the OER coordinator, Ariana Santiago, to support instructors in the adoption, adaptation, and creation of OER in order to meet teaching and learning needs and advance the University’s student success goals. I will support and contribute to the planning, implementation, and assessment of OER program activities, including the Alternative Textbook Incentive Program (ATIP).
As the OER program continues to expand at UH, we are hoping to use a targeted approach to identify high-impact courses for OER adoption, continue to increase awareness of OER usage and its impact at UH, and increase transparency for students around which courses use OER. I am excited to join a university that has demonstrated investment in its core value of student success, and in my role I hope to further highlight the amazing work already being done by our faculty and support the continued growth of the OER program in order to help meet the University’s strategic goals.
Please share a bit about your background and interests. How do these inspire and shape your approach as a librarian?
Most recently, I worked as a research and instruction librarian at UH-Clear Lake; before entering the library field, I worked at San Jacinto College North Campus as an administrative assistant for the provost. I also have some experience working as a contractor for a textbook publisher. My experience in all of these roles has galvanized my passion for supporting equitable educational experiences and resources for students. I have witnessed and experienced firsthand the impact that financial insecurity has on student learning and engagement; one way to alleviate that burden is to reduce prohibitive textbook costs that can impede students at every stage of their educational careers.
OER are particularly powerful tools to address the high costs of higher education for a number of reasons. OER enable students to have immediate access to learning materials right from the beginning of their courses, and research has demonstrated that students with first-day access to course materials are more likely to achieve successful outcomes. In addition, OER also provide instructors academic freedom and autonomy to customize their materials in closer alignment with the course’s learning objectives. If course materials are openly licensed, instructors can easily adapt materials to fit their needs accordingly; this enables instructors to design their courses with intentionality while also centering student learning.
What are one or two ideas you’d like the community to know about OER?
In general, one misconception that we often hear is that OER are simply “free textbooks.” While this may be true in some cases, it’s important to contextualize this. First, OER are not just “free” or without cost; more importantly, OER are openly licensed learning materials. These open licenses allow users the automatic rights to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute the material, depending on the specific license applied to the work; this enables students and faculty to engage with the material in transformative and creative ways that are otherwise prohibited when using copyrighted materials. It’s also important to emphasize that OER come in a variety of resource types and formats, including lesson plans, instructional videos, tutorials, course modules, worksheets, activities, presentations, and more—it’s not just textbooks!
While there is a vast plethora of OER available for a variety of different courses and subjects, there are not always OER available to meet every instructional need. However, use of OER doesn’t necessarily need to take an all-or-nothing approach; in these cases, the library can assist with identifying library-licensed materials or other low-cost copyrighted materials that could serve as potential alternatives.
As OER usage becomes more prevalent in higher education, I think it is going to become even more important for us to consider the accessibility of resources and the representation of diverse populations in our learning materials. In the library, we have an opportunity to provide expertise in designing OER that meet accessibility guidelines for students with disabilities. We also need to advocate for OER that are representative of the student populations we serve; that means we need to ensure that instructors include diverse voices in their instructional materials, and if possible allow students to contribute their own lived experiences to the learning objectives. This gives our students agency, and ultimately empowers them to recognize the value they bring to the classroom, enriching everyone’s learning experience in the process. Systemic change is needed to break down systems of oppression in higher education that stifle creativity and innovation, and I’m excited for the role that OER can play in opening pedagogical practices and resources for students of all backgrounds and abilities.
Paintings and collages have been installed on the 2nd floor of MD Anderson Library near Special Collections, adding to the current exhibit featuring works of Texas-born artist Dorothy Hood (1918-2000).
In collaboration with Public Art of the University of Houston System and the Art Museum of South Texas (AMST), University of Houston Libraries will display Dorothy Hood: The Edge of Being through March 2023, along with additional exhibit locations at UH and University of Houston-Clear Lake. Visitors interested in an immersive look at Hood’s personal archives are encouraged to contact head of Special Collections Christian Kelleher.
Artworks include The Terrible Parade, Black Vessel, Sound From Within, Thorns, Primal Edge, and others.
University of Houston Libraries celebrated its high-performing employees at an awards ceremony this week. The Library Excellence Awards, now in its 22nd year, recognizes librarians and staff who achieve meritorious work goals and embody organizational values of collaboration, empathy, and creativity. Dean of Libraries and Elizabeth D. Rockwell chair Athena N. Jackson opened the Moon Day-themed event, held in-person at the MD Anderson Library Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion and via Zoom, with praise for all Libraries’ employees and their agility during the intentional restructure of the Libraries to better align with the University’s mission and vision.
The Dean’s Advocate award was presented to Claudia Neuhauser, PhD, associate vice president and associate vice chancellor for research and technology transfer at University of Houston. Dr. Neuhauser has engaged with UH Libraries to amplify the Libraries’ role in the research enterprise, such as developing co-sponsored data management workshops that connected the Libraries with researchers; partnering with the Libraries on expanding research infrastructure and advocating for the first jointly-funded position between the Libraries and the UH Division of Research; and collaborating to expand expertise in digital humanities research and emphasizing the important role that public-facing research plays at UH.
The Student Achievement awards were presented to Emily Slaughter and Robby Reyna. Slaughter has an exemplary attitude, along with patience and a willingness to lend help where it’s needed. Currently a graduate student in the Curriculum and Instruction Art Education program, Slaughter’s insight on the learning habits of art students is always most welcome. Reyna is a student ambassador for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) and has excelled as a motivated self-starter with great communication skills, able to identify what needs to be done as efficiently as possible and always looking for ways to improve productivity.
This year’s John P. McGovern Outstanding Student award recipient is Ricardo Jimenez Montoya, a doctoral student at the Moores School of Music. Montoya’s positive attitude has made a strong impression on colleagues at the Music Library and fellow students engaged in music performance, scholarship and beyond. As a way to increase the audience for Music Library social media content, Montoya created reviews and recommendations for digital display in both English and Spanish. As a violin player in the Mariachi Pumas and instructor at the Suzuki Academy of Music, Montoya is an in-demand practitioner-educator.
Eric Larsen is the McGovern Staff Rookie of the Year. Larsen is excellent at assisting patrons with using databases and other library resources, teaching methods of conducting research in a library, and leading library staff to complete special projects. After the pandemic changed the nature of the workplace, Larsen seized the opportunity to pivot by providing a high-level of customer service in a hybrid-flexible environment.
Leo Martin is the McGovern Librarian Rookie of the Year. As a resource description librarian of unique formats, Martin has provided excellent resource description to music scores, sound recordings, and video recordings. He has developed, documented, and provided training to colleagues to ensure accurate entry of data. He serves as coordinator of the Subject Authority Cooperative (SACO) Music Funnel of the Music Library Association and currently co-chairs the Conscious Editing Working Group.
This year’s Trailblazer Award for Leading Organizational Change recipients are Kerry Creelman and Veronica Arellano Douglas, who are recognized for the restructuring of Liaison Services and fundamental improvements on how services are provided to academic departments. Rather than providing support by discipline, librarians now focus on the specific service need of users. The work to overhaul Liaison Services into the functional departments of Teaching and Learning, Collections Strategies and Services, and Research Services has been transformational.
Julie Grob received the Dean Dana C. Rooks and Dr. Charles W. Rooks Diversity Award for her focus on initiatives related to diversity and inclusion. Grob has been a part of the Libraries’ Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (CoDI) for over 5 years, and was integral in providing data and context to help the Libraries formulate perspectives and narratives on emerging equity, diversity, and inclusion issues and events. As curator for the Houston Hip Hop Research Collection, Grob is on the forefront of preserving important cultural records and artifacts showing the complexity and diversity of the hip hop movement in Houston and in Texas.
Estefania Garcia and Jeannie Pham received Staff Achievement awards. Garcia became an avid promoter of equity and social justice by curating book displays that represent marginalized groups. Garcia is reliable and creative, assisting with promoting materials, creating short story clips on searching for articles, images, videos, and databases, and managing the William R. Jenkins Architecture, Design, and Art Library‘s Instagram account. Garcia is a recent graduate of the School of Art with a wide-ranging knowledge of art programs, and offers invaluable insight on student needs and behaviors when planning outreach and service activities. Pham’s experience in serial resource ordering and payments is priceless. She handles payments of all serials titles and the processing of database payments while working patiently to solve problems or obstacles with vendors or accounts payable. Her resourcefulness is shown in collaboration with others on activations, the study of Alma (the library services platform) material, and the application of it to her tasks and projects.
The McGovern Outstanding Staff award recipient, Laura Ramirez, has contributed to UH Libraries and local organizations through active services with committees, task forces and scholarship work. She is a dedicated team member to the Theses and Dissertations Digitization (TDD) Task Force, contributing to the metadata mapping and migration, copyright reviews, and leading a sub-working group to discuss daily TDD issues and solve problems. Ramirez has provided excellent contributions to Metadata and Digitization Services by creating wiki sites and pages that allow a one—stop space for workflows for digital collections and the Cougar ROAR institutional repository, metadata resource, digital projects and authority control system which provides convenience for new employees to orient and learn metadata work.
The Librarian Achievement award went to Kerry Creelman, who has published book chapters on organizational restructure and articles on overhauling collections practices in libraries. Creelman has represented UH Libraries as a faculty senator for several years, and being elected to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee as a member at large for the past two years is an indication of her strong reputation among faculty peers. Creelman is highly respected on campus and represents the Libraries admirably.
Vince Lee is the McGovern Outstanding Librarian. He is genuinely collegial and his service to the profession is most impactful where it has overlapped with service to the University and the Houston community. As a curator and leader in Special Collections, Lee has taken UH Libraries’ LGBT History Research Collection from being a small component of the Carey Shuart Women’s Research Collection to becoming one of the most significant LGBT collections in the country, and has done this through stalwart work on campus and in the community, building productive, trusted relationships with students, faculty, staff, and community leaders with sustained efforts over the course of many years.
University of Houston Libraries is pleased to announce Santi Thompson as the associate dean for Research and Student Engagement (RASE), effective June 1.
The newly created position is designed to provide strategic leadership in building a collaborative and integrated approach to library specialties, one that promotes the teaching and research mission of the University.
“Santi Thompson is a highly regarded leader effectively leading robust research initiatives in academic library settings,” said Athena N. Jackson, dean of UH Libraries and Elizabeth D. Rockwell chair. “He brings distinctive experience and an exceptionally collaborative spirit that will further strengthen the Libraries’ impact on information access, teaching, and research. I’m thrilled that he has accepted this new role.”
RASE is a recently created portfolio within the new intentional restructure of UH Libraries. The portfolio includes Information and Access Services, Research Services, and Teaching and Learning. As associate dean, Thompson will advance the University’s research goals by partnering with faculty, staff, and students across the research and learning lifecycle; advocate for the effective application of enterprise-wide services across the Libraries; and provide leadership in the enhancement of learning and research spaces and information literacy efforts for undergraduate and graduate programs, and co-curricular learning experiences in support of student success.
“The RASE associate dean role presents a variety of collaborative opportunities to optimize the Libraries’ services and expertise in teaching, research, and access to needed information and resources,” Thompson said. “I am excited to work alongside talented colleagues at UH Libraries to create diverse and enriching experiences for students, faculty, and staff to learn, create, and connect with one another.”
In his prior role as head of Research Services, Thompson was integral in positioning the Libraries to support expansion of research productivity at the University, and continues to provide significant contributions in the development of research support services. Thompson developed policies and workflows for the digital components of scholarly communications, including digital research support and digital repositories. Under his direction and with support from the UH Division of Research and Office of the Provost, UH Libraries launched the Digital Research Commons (DRC) in 2018, a facility dedicated to the production of digital research projects and instruction on digital research methodologies. Thompson has been instrumental in the creation of the Libraries’ digital collection development policy and in the development of the Libraries’ future digital asset management system. He was also involved in the development of a digital preservation policy and the selection of a digital preservation tool; and collaborated with several Libraries departments on the Cougar Research Open Access Repositories (Cougar ROAR). In 2020, Thompson was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Eva Digital Research Endowed Library Professorship, an appointment which enables the Libraries to expand its services in the emerging areas of digital research, data preservation and accessibility, and scholarly communication.
Thompson has authored and produced numerous peer-reviewed publications and presentations and has been invited to present his work at international venues. He has represented the profession and the University through leadership roles with the Digital Library Federation (DLF), the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), and the Texas Digital Library (TDL). In 2018-2019 he served as an inaugural DLF Futures Fellow. He is the principal investigator for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)-funded “Digital Content Reuse Assessment Framework Toolkit (D-CRAFT)” grant project and the co-principal investigator for the IMLS-funded “Bridge2Hyku Toolkit: Developing Migration Strategies for Hyku.” He previously served as the principal investigator for the IMLS-funded “Developing a Framework for Measuring Reuse of Digital Objects.”
An upcoming construction project will temporarily disrupt access to specific areas within MD Anderson Library.
Flooring replacement work in Blue wing 4, 5, and 6 will begin on Monday, June 27 and continue through Friday, July 22, with preparation work starting on Friday, June 24. Each floor will be inaccessible for approximately two weeks, with some work overlap requiring that more than one floor will be closed at a time.
The schedule of affected areas is as follows:
- 6th floor: Monday June 27 – Friday July 8
- 5th floor: Tuesday July 05 – Friday July 15
- 4th floor: Monday July 11 – Friday July 22
Although collections housed in these areas will be inaccessible while construction is underway, users can still request to have an item retrieved. UH Libraries can assist with alternate access such as e-book, interlibrary loan (ILL), or finding a copy in a local library.
Due to the nature of the project, users can expect to hear noise. Disposable earplugs are available for users at the Service Desk. Alternate areas for study can be found on:
- Brown wing floors 2 – 5: individual study carrels
- Blue wing 7 – 8: open study spaces
- Gold wing 3: open study spaces
For more information on access to materials or spaces, please contact Lee Hilyer.