As of January 2, 2018, I currently work as an Information Technology Specialist and Professional Library Assistant at the Scott County Public Library and its two branches. Here is an overview of my daily responsibilities and projects:
TECHNOLOGICAL EDUCATION, PROGRAMMING, & OUTREACH
Develop curriculum for and teach several computer literacy classes at the beginner and intermediate levels.
Provide one-on-one technological tutoring on a variety of topics and devices.
Train staff on new technologies and procedures.
Facilitate the development of the library’s new makerspace and weekly maker lab programming.
Conduct maker-themed outreach with local schools and after-school programs.
Plan and execute the summer reading program for adults and for young adults.
Assist in planning and facilitation of events, like Mini-Con and Free Comic Book Day.
Draft technological policy and procedure for approval by director and board.
Troubleshoot computer issues and submit repair tickets to network administrator as needed.
Assist in transition to new patron access management software and new integrated library system.
BRANDING, MARKETING, & DESIGN
Design informational guides, forms, and signs for use by staff and patrons.
Design new branding and promotional materials.
Curate and disseminate The Avid Reader, the library’s quarterly printed newsletter.
Launch a new digital version of the newsletter through MailChimp.
Design and curate monthly displays.
Manage the library’s social media presence.
Attend relevant conferences, training, and other opportunities for professional development.
Liaise with board as needed.
Assist patrons at circulation desk by:
answering reference questions in person and by phone
conducting reference research
providing technological assistance for computers, copier, and microfilm reader
issuing library cards
assuring facility is clean and operational
maintaining cash drawer and receipts
other duties as needed.
I do my best to create a patron-centered user experience at all times and to protect our patrons’ privacy and freedom to read.
The title of my thesis is Comics: The (Not Only) Visual Medium.
Comics studies tends to privilege the visual, and some scholars, like Scott McCloud believe that comics are solely visual. However, as Ian Hague has noted, the idea that comics are a solely visual medium is not only incomplete but does not align with what the sciences of perception and embodied cognition tell us. This paper seeks to build upon Hague’s work by calling attention to and analyzing comics which exist without or with little visual imagery. These comics can be sorted into two primary categories, audiocomics and tactile comics. As these comics were created for people who have partial or no sight, existing guidelines and standards for creating aural and tactile imagery for people with partial or no sight are used to analyze the comics’ success in achieving an experience that is easy to understand and also utilizes the medium’s strengths. The comics are then analyzed as a whole in order to determine areas for improvement and additional experimentation.
If you would like to know more about my thesis, please contact me.
The Creative Communities Initiative was a research group at MIT led by Ian Condry and T.L. Taylor. The group used ethnography and other qualitative research methods to study subjects like, esports, livestreaming, music and inequality, anime and manga, and more.
During my time as a research assistant for the CCI, I did the following:
conducted ethnographic research, interviews, and focus groups
led meetings, book discussions, and brought in guest speakers
wrote a white paper about the social media practices of new mothers
organized secondary resources
gave feedback on articles and ideas
Additionally, I assisted in rebranding the research group by creating a new logo (pictured above) and a new website and monthly newsletter (pictured below). All of these can be found in action at http://ccimit.mit.edu. The archive of the newsletter can be found here.
Flying While Fat is my first attempt at a web comic. I created it for a course at MIT on women in comics and cognitive dissonance. This comic utilizes simple drawing techniques to represent a short narrative about the complexities, peculiarities, and misery of flying as a fat person.
If you would like a sample from this comic, please contact me.
I was a member of a viewing committee for the 2015 Peabody Awards. The process consisted of watching and analyzing a portion of the submissions for the Television category, about 30 submissions with 3 episodes apiece. Then, as a committee, we rated and ranked each submission. Finally, I co-wrote the committee’s final reports.
Over the 2016 Interim Activities Period at MIT, I taught a short course on comics as a medium in transition with Dr. James Paradis. For my portion of the course, I presented research about the nature of digital comics and comics and the senses.
For the data storytelling unit of workshop in Fall 2014, I decided to visualize PEW’s 2013 Library Typology data. This was my first attempt at working with data, so I ran into a few roadblocks. After struggling to properly scrape and clean the data, I decided to present the data alongside my personas for the project as library patron profiles. If I were to revisit the project, I would actually make library cards with persona info in the form of an ID on one side and the data on the back. Additionally, I would choose different fonts, and I would recolor the visualizations.
For the digital humanities portion of the Fall 2014 workshop, I decided to build a database for transmedia stories. One of the sites I had used for this purpose had shut down, and I found that there was a need for a replacement. My attempt can be found at http://storytellingtransmedia.wordpress.com. Ultimately, I decided not to continue with the project, because I found that my own understanding of the nature of transmedia storytelling was shifting during my time in the program.
Edit: I have since come across a group of students at a different university who are creating a database of transmedia stories. You can see their work here: http://www.tmdbonline.org/
With this workshop project, my friends and I sought to find a way to turn the codes of academia–often a source of stress for graduate students and faculty alike–into a space for play. We focused our efforts on the thesis defense, perhaps the most anxiety-inducing of academic rituals. Our hope was that we could create a new iteration of that ritual that would allow participants to play both with the textual layer of a defense–the thesis titles and theoretical concepts that mark it–and, importantly, with its emotional valences.
Participants rotate between the roles of ‘thesis defendant’ and ‘committee member.’ In each round, the participant deemed the thesis defendant selects a fictional thesis title from a pile of title cards, designed to be absurd and open-ended (e.g. Food Chams: Competitive Eating in the Chameleon Disapora; Das Kapitalization: a case against Anglophone titular conventions; Stop Socra-teasing me: Pitfalls of the Socratic Method; Whence the Stapler?). Participants deemed the ‘committee members’ select a theoretical concept (e.g. Debord’s ‘spectacle,’ Foucault’s ‘governmentality,’ and Zuckerman’s ‘digital cosmopolitanism.’) Committee members remain committed to their theoretical orientations, thesis defendants try to please everyone, and all participants attempt to build their academic empires. Rather than putting forth a rigid set of rules, we wanted to offer up a variety of options for players to experiment within this frame.
If you would like to play yourself or just check out our concept, you can find all of the necessary materials here: