Emily Green and Amaka Okechukwu Named 2021-22 Fenwick Fellows

FAIRFAX, VA – September 15, 2021: Dean of Libraries and University Librarian John G. Zenelis is pleased to announce the award recipients for the 2021-22 Fenwick Fellowships: Emily H. Green, Associate Professor of Music History, College of Visual and Performing Arts, and Amaka Okechukwu, Assistant Professor of Sociology, College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Professor Green’s applied research project, Musical Practices of Early Black Virginians, seeks to document, present, and teach the early performance practices of free and enslaved Black musicians in Virginia. Green’s research will contribute to filling the gap currently existing between contemporary renditions of early songs and historically informed music practices, with a particular focus on colonial and antebellum Virginia. The project’s goals include creating an open-source website with resources for educators, publishing research for the academic community, developing courses for Mason students, and offering musical performances in the region. Professor Green’s Fenwick Fellow year will focus on the research and website creation, with the goal of offering coursework and concerts in the year following her fellowship.

Professor Okechukwu’s digital humanities project, Black Belt Brooklyn: Mapping Community Building and Social Life during the Urban Crisis, aims to map, illustrate, and historicize Black practices of resistance, mutual-aid, institution building, and vitality in Central Brooklyn during the 1970s and 1980s. With this project, Okechukwu’s goal is to push scholarly and popular understandings of the period of urban decline, particularly those conclusions generated about Black agency and cultural responses to urban decline. Her research offers a nuanced interpretation grounded in oral history, archival, visual, and spatial evidence of Black life. By creating a digital humanities project, Professor Okechukwu seeks to make her research more accessible and immersive, bringing viewers into a fuller picture of the social and political life in an urban Black community during the late twentieth century.

Dean Zenelis commented, “Each year the Fenwick Fellows program receives a number of creative and innovative proposals from Mason faculty members, and I am grateful for the work of the review committee in selecting this year’s recipients. It is rewarding to read in the proposals of this year’s fellows of their intent to work with two important centers within the Libraries – the Center for Mason Legacies and the Digital Scholarship Center. The breath of the research offered in these proposals – from applied musical research to digital humanities scholarship – is reflective of the Libraries’ range of collections and expertise. We look forward to hearing about the project results next year when Professors Green and Okechukwu share their findings.”

As is customary for recipients of the Fenwick Fellowship, Professors Green and Okechukwu will present on the outcomes of their projects in Spring 2023 at the annual Fenwick Fellow Lecture hosted by the University Libraries.

ABOUT THE FENWICK FELLOW PROGRAM: The Fenwick Fellowship is awarded annually to one or two Mason tenured, tenure-track, or multi-year appointment term faculty members to pursue a research project that uses and enhances the University Libraries’ resources while advancing knowledge in their fields. The winning proposals are recommended to the Dean of Libraries and University Librarian by a six-member selection committee including three instructional faculty members and three librarians, with one of the Associate University Librarians serving as administrative coordinator. The recipients are provided with a fully equipped and furnished research office in Fenwick Library and an award of $5,000 to support the recipient’s research project. The term for the fellowship is one academic year.

VIVA Open Adopt Grants – applications due Oct. 4

VIVA Open Adopt Grants provide awards of $2,000 to individual instructors to support the time it takes to integrate existing open or no-cost materials into a syllabus, and to ensure that the results of those efforts are widely available to Virginia educators.

Instructors interested in applying for this opportunity are encouraged to explore VIVA’s repository of Open Education Resources, VIVA Open, to discover open resources that may be of use in their courses. Applicants do not need to choose a resource listed in VIVA Open to apply for the grant.

Team and departmental adoptions, as well as projects seeking to adapt or create new Open Educational Resources, should apply for the larger scale VIVA Open Course Grants.

Applications are due October 4, 2021 via email at vivaopen@gmu.edu. Notification of award recipients will take place by November 12, 2021. Adopted course materials must be piloted in the classroom by spring, 2023.

Learn more at https://vivalib.org/va/open/grants/adopt. Register for an upcoming informational webinar on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 9:30 am: https://vivalib.libcal.com/event/8065999. Advance registration is required.

Questions about all VIVA Open grants can be sent to vivaopen@gmu.edu.

Contribute to the Dataverse

Thanks to a collaboration between the Libraries and the Office of Research Computing, we are now hosting our own locally managed Dataverse here at Mason.

The George Mason University Dataverse is a place for Mason researchers to share data publicly, and is part of the Mason Archival Repository Service (MARS). MARS includes works of Mason scholarship such as articles, books, theses and dissertations, and data. The George Mason University Dataverse data repository is a local instance of Dataverse, developed and used by Harvard University.

You can learn more about the Dataverse and the benefits of contributing to it here, and find instructions for preparing and archiving final research datasets here. Information about the Libraries’ various repositories is available here.

Margaret Lam receives PAM Achievement Award

Congratulations to Margaret Lam, Physical Sciences & STEM Data Librarian!

At the 2021 Special Libraries Association (SLA) Annual Conference, the Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics (PAM) Community presented Margaret Lam with the PAM Achievement Award on Friday, August 13, 2021. Lam is the 23rd recipient of this honor since it was first awarded in 1997. The purpose of the PAM Achievement Award is to recognize those members who have made outstanding contributions to the PAM Community, and whose professional work is marked by distinction and dedication to librarianship in astronomy, mathematics and/or physics.

Anya Bartelmann, Chair of the PAM Awards Committee and Astrophysics, Mathematics, and Physics Librarian at the Lewis Science Library & Fruth Plasma Physics Library of Princeton University, presented the award to Lam, praising her dedication and expertise in her fields, active contributions to PAM, organizational skills, strategic planning, and service orientation. Bartelmann’s full remarks will be included in the November issue of the PAM Bulleton (published via PAMnet).

Lam, who has been with Mason Libraries since 2010, is a member of the Sciences and Technology Team in the Learning, Research and Engagement (LRE) division. John Walsh, Associate University Librarian for LRE, called the award “a truly major achievement! With this award, Margaret is now part of a cadre of remarkable professionals. Past winners are all luminaries in Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics librarianship or leaders in STEM academic or societal publishing. ”

Kim Hoffman, Lead for the Sciences and Technology Team, remarked, “Margaret is deserving of this award, and I am so glad to see her expertise acknowledged by her professional colleagues.”

Upon learning of Lam’s selection for this award, John Zenelis, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, commented, “Receiving notification of the PAM Awards Committee’s selection of Margaret was wonderful news. Margaret’s dedication to librarianship and to the Mason community is a testimony to her expertise, work ethic, and numerous professional contributions.”

Among her many accomplishments and in addition to her committee and community service, Lam has appeared in numerous publications, presented at conferences, managed collections development in a variety of STEM disciplines, and provided innumerable research and reference support and consultation to faculty and students.

Lam has her BA and MA in Chemistry and her Master of Library Science, from Queens College, The City University of New York.

Center for Mason Legacies releases “Black Lives Next Door” preliminary findings

The Center for Mason Legacies (CML) invites you to explore their newly created digital project, Black Lives Next Door: George Mason and Northern Virginia in an Age of Disparity and Opportunity (BLND). Building on work that began in 2020, BLND is presenting its first set of findings and inviting our community to take a journey through our “pasts next door” and related stories. Read the full announcement here.

About the Center for Mason Legacies: CML is an interdisciplinary and collaborative research center established by the University Libraries and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. CML’s mission is to preserve and examine the legacy of George Mason IV (1725-1792), his ancestors and heirs, and the people he enslaved. Learn more about the center here and their various research projects here.