HASTAC thanks Fiona Barnett! #thanksFionaB

HASTAC thanks Fiona Barnett! #thanksFionaB

Fiona Barnett has been an instrumental part of HASTAC since we welcomed her as the Director of the HASTAC Scholars Program in June 2009. She has single-handedly helped hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students develop as scholars, connect with each other, and ultimately build an innovative student-driven network. HASTAC Scholars are some of the most active members on the HASTAC site, driving much of its content. That participation is due to Fiona’s work throughout the years.

For those who don't know, Fiona Barnett is also a Ph.D. candidate herself (in the Literature Program and Women's Studies at Duke University). During her tenure at HASTAC, she was awarded the Association of American Colleges and University (AAC&U) Future Leaders Award for her demonstrated commitment to developing academic and civic responsibility and strong emphasis on teaching and learning. She's also known within HASTAC staff for her witty wordsmithing. She even coined one of HASTAC's mottos, "Difference is Our Operating System"

Help us celebrate the integral part she played at HASTAC by: 

  • Adding your thanks to this Wiki, either as a comment below or by actually "editing" the wiki itself (note: only one person can do this at a time)
  • Tweeting your thanks using hashtag #ThanksFionaB
  • Sharing a photo of yourself with a "HASTAC Thanks Fiona" Sticker. Please feel free to post your photos here in the comments, on HASTAC's facebook page, or on twitter using hashtag #ThanksFionaB


Personal Messages Thanking Fiona: 

What Fiona Taught Me About Love in the Academy

You've done so much to build this community and help it thrive. I realized that my most eloquent thanks to you is still the one I wrote a couple years ago for a Scholars panel at HASTAC Toronto:

Fiona Barnett taught me that networks, far from being the low-maintenance open-access, loosey goosey modular things that we like believe they are, take a whole lot of work. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say the HASTAC Scholars program owes everything to her. There isn’t a single one of us who hasn’t received That Email encouraging us to take a more active role in the organization, or who hadn’t received a useful tip for our research and blogging because of her vigilance and familiarity with our work. When I first met Fiona, I was shocked to see that she wasn’t much older than me. From her emails, I expected a sage figure that was well established in academia, not a fellow grad student who was simply wise beyond her years.

For someone who herds over 200 nerds in a year, Fiona’s ability to add a personal touch to mentorship is nothing short of inspiring. As I walked up to her for the first time in Durham I saw a fellow dyke, and worried briefly if we would have to do an awkward butch posturing thing when put in the same room together. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. She greeted me like an old buddy, probably even gave me a hug. I didn’t realize that I was meeting someone who would become a friend, colleague, confidant, and boss all rolled into one. Fiona doesn’t only perform the tedious manual labor of sifting through spam comments and editing Cathy’s blog posts, but she does a tremendous amount of affective labor to make sure every scholar has at least one personal contact within this large and sprawling institution. She is a networker herself, maintaining much more than the digital threads of HASTAC that bind its bloggers together; at conferences, she is a tireless and generous connector of people. If we visualized a network diagram of this program, Fiona would be its giant, shining heart node.

Two light-skinned queer women with short haircuts raising their eyebrows while facing the camera. The one on the left is wearing a black shirt and has her arm around the one on the right, who is wearing a blue shirt and glasses.

I'm so grateful for your contributions to HASTAC, as well as for your friendship. The organization will never be able to fill your shoes. XOXO
- Amanda Phillips

4 comments

So grateful for your tireless work to make academic community for so many people! You rock!!!

114

I don't know how I would survive academia (and life) without you! From your unyielding support and intellectual engagement to doggie advice, I've depended on you for so much. I appreciate all you've done for me, for our community, and for #tranformDH. <3

101

Fiona - you are the heart and soul of HASTAC Scholars, but also of a beautiful network of collaborators and the world is grateful for all that you do!

Long live the desert flowers even on the east coast

102

I can't say it better than the others already in this thread, and especially Amanda – giant shining heart node that you are! The kind of networking, generosity, and worldbuilding you model has made scholarly life a place of joy and sustainability in so many different ways over the years, and we all know that's not a common experience for academia. Wish I were there in Arizona celebrating you!

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