Please join me in welcoming the newest member of the hastac.org administrative team based at Duke University, Kaysi Holman. Kaysi will be working primarily with me but, since we practice the “collaboration by difference” method we preach, she will also be working with steering committee members and HASTAC Scholars and other parts of hastac.org distributed team at other institutions too. She'll be key in planning the future of hastac.org, thinking through aspects of the Digital Media and Learning Competition, working with our new postdoctoral fellow on the NSF EAGER grant and working with our team at Duke and UNC on the NSF Ci-BER grant. She’ll also be key to the complex triad of online and public courses I will be offering in the spring, a graduate class in “21st Century Literacy: Digital Knowledge and Digital Humanities” as well as a public course called “Surprise Endings: Social Science and Literature” that I’m team-teaching with behavioral economist Dan Ariely and then the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge that I co-direct with David Bell. All these integrate and interface in public ways, have a cadre of teaching assistants, research assistants, apprentices, and fellows—and Kaysi will somehow be keeping this all together.
In fact, I’m not sure why I’m using the future tense since she has already proven herself an invaluable team member, a creative and innovative technology “early adapter,” and an astonishing systems and design thinker. She'd been in the office only three or four days when we had our annual planning retreat and, within minutes, was at the whiteboard helping to organize ideas and plans as efficiently as she was diving in and getting a grip on our (sometimes frustrating) group ware collaborative PODIO tool. She's even a patient teacher so I'm halfway to having PODIO figured out--and that's incredible. It's one thing to master new tech with ease and quite another to have the gift of helping others to gain that same proficiency. As we redesign our website yet again, Kaysi's keen eye for usability is going to be invaluable. It already has been in bending Word Press to the purposes of my interconnected Spring classes.
With a law degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State and an undergraduate Cognitive Studies degree from Vanderbilt, Kaysi is already helping us architect some complex bridges between programs, technology systems, and people with real elegance and finesse. Not a practicing lawyer, Kaysi nonetheless is very wise on an array of legal issues and IP issues of the kind that any tech organization has to be conversant with on a daily basis.
Previously, Communications Consultant for the Alamada County Bar Association, she’s supervised data base conversions and website redesigns, virtualized servers and desktops, and helped coordinate targeted communication strategies across a range of social media. She’s worked as the Lead Organizer for Low-Income Families Empowerment Through Education, as a marketer for Planned Parenthood, a Program Coordinator for the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, and has volunteered with numerous organizations, including as an ESL Tutor, a coach for the National Hispanic Bar Association Moot Court Competition, and worked as a board member for the Asian Pacific Law Student Association, the Gay and Lesbian Legal Alliance, and the Coalition Against Discrimination at ASU.
In short, Kaysi commitment to a wide-range of social causes is as impressive as her in-depth knowledge of an array of softwares, data bases, content management systems, and other tools. She's also a delightful, unpretentious, roll-up-the-sleeves-and-get-it-done kinda gal. At her interview, when we asked her what she does when she has to figure out a new software or middle ware, she laughed and said, "I push all the buttons." Very HASTAC!
We have an extremely busy semester ahead at hastac.org and we’re fired up—and ready to go! Happy holidays, everyone!