Festive Library Board Meeting

alexThis guest post by Alex Burns C’17 describes a presentation for WIC’s 10th birthday at the February 2016 Penn Libraries Board of Overseers meeting. Alex is studying political science and you may meet him staffing the WIC Desk on weekday mornings.

The latest Penn Libraries board meeting was a little more festive than usual. Not because spring break was on the horizon, but because it was time to celebrate Weigle Information Commons’ 10th anniversary! At the meeting, a diverse group of students, professors, staff and alumni had the opportunity to reflect on their experiences at WIC.

It was really great to hear how Weigle has positively impacted people’s lives. Selamawit Bekele, a junior and Hoesley Digital Literacy Fellows, spoke about how the technology at WIC has helped her grow as a student. She went from having limited computer access before Penn to becoming an expert coder. It was also interesting to hear alumni echo my appreciation for the technology available at WIC. Ryan Leonard (C’10) shared a hilarious music video with the audience. He said it was made possible with the help of video production equipment from WIC. The highlight for me was watching Samantha Kannegiser’s slide show of her 10 favorite moments working at WIC. Her light-hearted presentation featured crazy Halloween costume pictures that drew a lot of laughs from the crowd. Overall, it was a fun event. I had the opportunity to talk about my experiences staffing the WIC Desk. Happy birthday WIC!

Here is a listing of the ten stories told at the meeting.

Penn Libraries Board Meeting – 10 WIC Stories

Wednesday, February 24, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm,

We share 10 stories to celebrate 10 years of the David B. Weigle Information Commons (WIC).

  1. Dr. D. Kent Peterman, Associate Dean and Director of Academic Affairs, The College, School of Arts and Sciences, discussed the vision that led to the creation of the Commons and will share a bit of history about a “Collaboratory” process. Kent has guided the WIC Program Partnersfor the past decade, and helps WIC maintain a strong connection to curricular needs.
  2. The Weigle Music Video created in October 2007 has brought smiles to audiences around the world.  Ryan Leonard C’10 was a freshman when he won our first Mashup Contest. He created this video with his prize camera and his two best friends. Today he manages data analysis with Tableau at Anthem, Inc in New York City. Ryan reflected on his adventures with video and WIC’s role in his career with healthcare consulting.
  3. Taylor McLendon W’15 worked as a lab consultant in Vitale and presented on our 2012 symposium student panel. Taylor was selected for the first Daily Pennsylvanian Penn Ten. Today she works at Makuu, continuing to contribute to the Penn community.
  4. Dr. Peter Decherney, Professor of English and Cinema Studies, helped create the WIC Faculty Advisory Group. He leads the Mashup Contest Selection Committee and the undergraduate student panel each year. Peter’s latest book Hollywood: A Very Short Introduction builds on his long-standing commitment to media law and policy, especially the regulation of Hollywood. Peter shared faculty perspectives on WIC’s work.
  5. Sarah Jacoby created a powerful portrait of five Penn faculty during her time here as a lab consultant at the Vitale Digital Media Lab. Today, she is an an artist and illustrator with many exciting accomplishments to share. She has received many awards for her work including the Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators.
  6. Alex Burns C’17 is a junior in the College studying Political Science. He has staffed the WIC desk on weekday mornings for the past year, and has taken the lead on several WIC projects. He shared some reflections on how the space is helpful for students who have different backgrounds and expectations for support.
  7. Samantha Kannegiser will graduate this May with a Masters in Library Science from Rutgers University. As a graduate intern at WIC, she led the creation of our New Media Showcase where we display, and permanently chronicle, the amazing works our students create for contests and classes. Samantha especially enjoys the lighter side of WIC’s work.
  8. The Hoesley Digital Literacy Fellows Program reflects a board priority, and brings together a cohort of 15 students each year to “demystify technology, provide hands-on training and a website building project, and foster career connections.” Selamawit Bekele C’17 is a junior in the College majoring in Health and Societies, and shared experiences with the current cohort, managed by Vickie Karasic, Digital Projects Fellow.
  9. The Seltzer Family Digital Media Awards supports innovative student projects using new technologies. Now in its ninth year, currently managed by David Toccafondi C’95, Manager of the Vitale Digital Media Lab, the awards get campus-wide attention. Carolina English C’16 is a senior in the College majoring in Visual Studies, and is a member of both the Seltzer and Hoesley programs this year. She shared her experiences with the programs as she approaches her graduation from Penn.
  10. For many years, Ian Seltzer C’09 has supported the Seltzer Family Digital Media Awards by mentoring current students and serving on the awards selection committee.  Ian is a media consultant having worked at Hulu and Michael Eisner’s digital studio, Vuguru. He has developed, licensed and launched thirty original titles for TV, Film, the web in over 110 countries worldwide. He shared his reflections as an alum and a mentor.

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