Library faculty recognized at Celebration of Teaching Excellence

Maoria Kirker and Wendy Mann were recognized at the 2021 Celebration of Teaching Excellence today, an annual event hosted by the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning at Mason.

Maoria Kirker, Lead of the Teaching & Learning Team at the Libraries and adjunct faculty with the Honors College, received the Adjunct Teacher of Distinction Award. Teacher of Distinction commendations are awarded based on an instructor’s teaching innovation and excellence, commitment to their students, and mentorship activities, among other qualities. To read more about Maoria’s accomplishments and recognition from her students and colleagues, click here for an article written by Mariam Qureshi, Honors College Writing and Reporting Intern (and one of Maoria’s students).

Wendy Mann, Director of the Digital Scholarship Center, received the Distinguished Library Faculty Award. The Distinguished Library Faculty Award is awarded to a library faculty member in recognition of their professional accomplishments, embodiment of the Libraries’ organizational values, and support of the Mason scholarly community. To read more about Wendy’s accomplishments and recognition from her peers, click here for the Libraries’ announcement.

Learning data skills for research

The Libraries, in partnership with the Office of Research Computing, is a member organization of The Carpentries, a network of volunteer instructors and workshops that focus on teaching essential data and computational skills for conducting efficient, open, and reproducible research. The Carpentries offers three curriculum tracks:

  • Data Carpentry teaches fundamental data skills needed to conduct research. Lessons are developed based on disciplines (ecology, social sciences, etc.). These lessons include data organization in spreadsheets, data cleaning with OpenRefine, data management with SQL, and data analysis and visualization with Python or R.
  • Software Carpentry teaches basic lab skills for research computing. Lessons include the Unix shell, version control with Git, Python, and R.
  • Library Carpentry teaches software and data skills for people working in library and information-related roles. Lessons include the Unix shell, version control with Git, regular expressions, tidy data, webscraping, Python introduction, and introduction to data for archivists.

Any members of the university community with questions about requesting a workshop or who want to know more can contact the Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Center at or Mason’s Office of Research Computing at for additional information. Read more about the program here.