University News

In Memoriam: Janet Olsen

The George Washington University - Wed, 06/11/2014 - 10:13
June 11, 2014

GW Libraries and the GW community mourn the loss of our friend and colleague Janet Olsen. A native of Cleveland, OH and Florida, Janet worked at Gelman Library from 1995 until her retirement in 2013. As a reference librarian, Janet worked closely with the University Writing Program and its UW 1020 course, in which capacity she collaborated closely with several Writing Program faculty. But Janet’s generosity, creative intelligence, wry humor, and joie de vivre endeared her to colleagues and students both within the Libraries and across the university. She will be sorely missed.

Janet was also an accomplished visual artist in multiple media. In tribute to her collegiality and her irrepressibly creative spirit, what follows is a collaborative portrait of Janet, drawn by several colleagues and friends. Always willing to go “not only the extra mile, but the extra 100 miles,” Janet brought an intensity of dedication to her work with patrons that made her a model for her colleagues. As noted by a long-time veteran of the Libraries, “She was one of the best Reference librarians I've had the pleasure to work with. She was great at finding the problems before the student and advocating for their rights to tools that worked right the first time.” Janet was also a cherished mentor to junior colleagues; notes one, “When I just started working here I had a few reference desk trainings with her and she could do it like nobody else, with a great sense of humor and energy. Like a true artist she always had an unconventional approach to doing things.” Never content with pat answers or the complacency that masquerades as common sense, Janet inspired us with her transformative enthusiasm. To her (a fan of the Nero Wolfe books), references librarians were “information detectives,” and our work was both an ethical commitment and an intellectual adventure. And yet, she managed to challenge our assumptions without being polemical or dogmatic; in her work with colleagues and students alike she knew what a quick wit and a generous laugh can accomplish, and with a bon mot she cut to the heart of many a tiresome discussion: “We’re just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.”

Her professional equanimity no doubt owed much to her rich life outside of the profession. A “woman of many interests,” she enjoyed astronomy and horticulture, read voraciously, traveled widely, and hosted unforgettable dinner parties. As a jeweler and bead-maker, she supplied colleagues with both beautiful objects (“ I have a treasure box of necklaces Janet gave to me...she gave me so many I never will have to buy any again”) and an infectious passion (“I lay my addiction to beading and jewelry making directly at her feet!”). But Janet’s two chief passions were painting and drawing, and the vicissitudes of the Washington Capitals. With a graduate degree in graphic design, this former landscape architect devoted her mornings and weekends to a practice that she summed up in the title of her blog: “Observe Closely.” The blog offers a glimpse of her aesthetic journey through oils, watercolors, pastels, pen and ink, gouache, and encaustic – a journey that she undertook with the hand and eye of a master but the heart of a student. Those of us who have the privilege of having one or two of Janet’s productions cherish them as emblems of an openness and magnanimity that approached the world itself as a treasure, as the source of a richness of experience that stands as an example to us all. Only Janet could make the unfledged spectator appreciate the balletic grace of a good hockey game. At the same time, she knew the virtue of a good heckle – knew that shyness and reserve are not healthy for the soul.

With friends, colleagues, and patrons, Janet struck that rare balance: a fundamentally “unconditional kindness” combined with the courage and honesty always to speak her mind. She will be remembered as someone who lived life after her own fashion, without needing or wanting to impose her way on anyone else. We mourn her loss; we look to the light of her memory. May the spirit of this “Rabelaisian librarian” always kindle that “mischievous glow” in the eyes of those whom her humor, wisdom, and generosity touched. Or in the words of a colleague, “For the last year, since she retired...when I would get stuck, I would ask: what would Janet do?”

Written collaboratively by the GW Libraries Staff

NISO Altmetrics White Paper

Catholic University - Tue, 06/10/2014 - 15:18

Are you wondering about altmetrics? The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) is in the midst of a project to define and promote community-based standards and recommended practices for alternative metrics.

From: NISO Issues Altmetrics White Paper Draft for Comment

“Citation reference counts and the Journal Impact Factor have historically been the main metric used to assess the quality and usefulness of scholarship,” explains Martin Fenner, Technical Lead Article-Level Metrics for the Public Library of Science (PLOS) and consultant to NISO for the project. “While citations will remain an important component of research assessment, this metric alone does not effectively measure the expanded scope of forms of scholarly communication and newer methods of online reader behavior, network interactions with content, and social media. A movement around the use of alternative metrics, sometimes called ‘altmetrics,’ has grown to address the limitations of the traditional measures. With any new methodology, however, issues arise due to the lack of standards or best practices as stakeholders experiment with different approaches and use different definitions for similar concepts. NISO’s Altmetrics project gathered together the variety of stakeholders in this arena to better understand the issues, obtain their input on what issues could best be addressed with standards or recommended practices, and prioritize the potential actions. This white paper organizes and summarizes the valuable feedback obtained from over 400 participants in the project and identifies a road forward for Phase II of the project.”

The White Paper is open for public comment through July 18, 2014. It is available with a link to an online commenting form on the NISO Altmetrics Project webpage, along with the detailed output documents and recordings from each of the meetings and related information resources.

Post expires at 3:08pm on Friday July 18th, 2014

Categories: University News

Marymount president honored by American Hungarian Federation

Marymount University - Tue, 06/10/2014 - 13:53
– Marymount University President Matthew D. Shank received the American Hungarian Federation’s Service Award at the 8th Annual Hungarian Charity Ball at the Sheraton Premiere at Tyson’s Corner.
Categories: University News

Janet Ioli Publishes Book on Organizational Ailments

American University News - Tue, 06/10/2014 - 09:38
Ioli, adjunct professor for the Key Executive Leadership Programs, examines five common organizational ailments.
Categories: University News

Soldiers Who Kill in Combat Less Likely to Abuse Alcohol

American University News - Tue, 06/10/2014 - 09:28
New research shows not all combat experiences lead to alcohol abuse.
Categories: University News

Gelman welcomes Colonial Inauguration!

The George Washington University - Mon, 06/09/2014 - 10:54
June 9, 2014

Gelman is proud to host the Academic Experience segment of Colonial Inauguration (CI) from 3:30-5pm on the following dates:

Friday, June 13
Thursday, June 29
Wednesday, June 25
Monday, June 30

This is an exciting chance for the GW Libraries to engage incoming students and let them know how we can help them succeed. These sessions will take place on the entrance floor and will include many people and some noise. Services will remain open and other areas of the library should be minimally affected.

Zachary Rybarczyk Awarded Boren Fellowship

American University News - Fri, 06/06/2014 - 11:42
Rybarczyk will study water access and government policies in Morocco to better understand the challenges of providing drinking water in rural areas.
Categories: University News

Marguerite Jimenez Named White House Fellow Finalist

American University News - Fri, 06/06/2014 - 10:34
Jimenez, a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Public Affairs, has been named a national finalist for the nation’s most prestigious program for leadership and public service.
Categories: University News

AU History and Music Student Pursues Passions

American University News - Thu, 06/05/2014 - 13:34
Zachary Kopin is making the most of his time at AU—both on and off campus.
Categories: University News

Recent WCL Graduates Named Fulbright Scholars

American University News - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 14:56
Matthew Smith '14 and Mina Trudeau '12 receive Fulbright Program grants for Fall 2014 projects in Mexico and Turkey
Categories: University News

Student Summer Research Projects

American University News - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 13:16
Studies cover antibiotic resistance, skin cancer genetics, and suburban poverty, among other topics.
Categories: University News

Building Strong Minds: New Exhibit on the 7th Floor

The George Washington University - Tue, 06/03/2014 - 14:17

Now featured on the 7th floor hallway adjacent to Special Collections: a new exhibit called Building Strong Minds: NEA's American Education Week.

AU Student Filmmaker Scholar Program Receives $12,500 Grant from the Academy

American University News - Tue, 06/03/2014 - 14:02
To provide 10 Washington D.C. area high school students with scholarships to filmmaking course.
Categories: University News

Professor’s Book Redefines Child Soldiers

American University News - Tue, 06/03/2014 - 11:13
Associate Professor Susan Shepler’s new book, Childhood Deployed: Remaking Child Soldiers in Sierra Leone,  examines the difficult reintegration of former child soldiers in Sierra Leone.
Categories: University News

A New Exhibit: Building Strong Minds

The George Washington University - Mon, 06/02/2014 - 16:36

There is a new exhibit on the 7th floor of Gelman Library in the hallway outside of Room 702. The exhibit is titled Building Strong Minds: The NEA's American Education Week.

Now Accepting Applications for the Kiev Judaica Collection Research Fellowship

The George Washington University - Mon, 06/02/2014 - 16:26

The Special Collections Research Center of The George Washington University Libraries is pleased to invite applications to the bi

Celebrating Diversity in the University Archives

The George Washington University - Mon, 06/02/2014 - 14:32
June 2, 2014

Did you know that GW developed courses focused on firearms, camouflage and ship hull engineering to better educate the changing student body during WWI?
Or that the Columbian Women’s Association made a contribution to purchase a gram of radium for scientist Marie Curie?
Its amazing what you can find in the University Archives!

The inaugural cohort of University Archives Diversity Research Fellows—students Eden Orelove, Isabel Garcia, Tasha Dorsey and Dominic Amaral—spent an academic year combing through the University Archives to dig up these unsung stories, examining the lives of the nonacademic staff, women, international students and veterans who have contributed to GW’s history.

The fellows were selected by a committee of faculty and staff from the Special Collections Research Center at the beginning of the academic year and awarded a stipend. Funding for the program was supplied through an Innovations in Diversity and Inclusion grant from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Read more about the University Archives Diversity Research Fellows at GW Today.

Building an NABJ Chapter at AU

American University News - Mon, 06/02/2014 - 14:08
Students gain support, petition for official chapter recognition.
Categories: University News

AU Evaluates Impact of D.C. Healthy Schools Act

American University News - Mon, 06/02/2014 - 13:23
Gains and challenges in supporting student health reported.
Categories: University News

Libraries’ New Website Unveiled

George Mason University - Mon, 06/02/2014 - 13:07

Mason Libraries’ website, library.gmu.edu has been revamped and revised! You may note some content has moved or has changed. Broken links? Other issues?  Please alert the Libraries’ Web Team by sending a comment.

Categories: University News

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