KU Libraries announce 2017 Shulenburger Award for Innovation and Advocacy in Scholarly Communication

Friday, October 20, 2017

KU Libraries are pleased to announce Professor Amy Rossomondo as the 2017 recipient of the Shulenburger Award for Innovation & Advocacy in Scholarly Communication for her leadership and development of the open educational resource (OER) and innovative language learning tool, Acceso. Dr. Rossomondo is associate professor of Spanish & Portuguese and director of the KU Spanish Language Program at the University of Kansas and has been the Acceso project creator and director since 2009.

Granted annually, the Shulenburger award recognizes KU staff, faculty, students and academic departments that demonstrate outstanding efforts to facilitate open access by creating a variety of open channels for public communication between scholars and community members across the globe. Former KU Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David Shulenburger, a longtime advocate for open access, established the award with a private gift in 2014 to recognize exceptional advocacy and innovation in the scholarly communication system.

The award committee noted Dr. Rossomondo’s commitment to building a locally used and globally implemented open pedagogical tool for teaching Spanish. Dr. Rossomondo’s leadership and collaborative efforts on the creation of Acceso as an openly accessible, innovative pedagogical tool that met both the spirit and intent of the Shulenburger Award. Her work demonstrates persistence, commitment and dedication to the principles of “open” to this student focused resource.

“Because this award reflects KU’s commitment to the open and free dissemination of scholarship, it is truly an honor. I am most proud that Acceso has allowed graduate students in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese to connect their research to their development as teachers, and I am grateful to the staff at EGARC and the lecturers in the Spanish Language Program for their support and commitment to the project,” said Rossomondo. “As a result, undergraduate students at KU and beyond have the opportunity to broaden their understandings of the Hispanic world while developing their abilities to communicate effectively in Spanish.”

The nominators describe Acceso as “an open access, openly licensed, pedagogically-innovative, Web-based curriculum for intermediate Spanish language acquisition created by Amy in collaboration with the Ermal Garinger Academic Resources Center, (EGARC).” Jonathan Perkins, director of EGARC, wrote in his supporting letter that Acceso is an “interactive, multi-media-rich environment that provides historical and cultural knowledge as well as practice in the language, equipping students with the transcultural and translingual competence they will need for success in the increasingly globalized world of the 21st century.” With the support of Perkins and EGARC, Acceso has saved students over $900,000 in textbook fees by providing an open and free resource for their language instruction, and has been adopted at over 200 institutions worldwide.

“The Libraries and its Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication and Copyright are pleased to award Dr. Rossomondo for her persistence and innovation in the area of open educational resources,” said Kevin L. Smith, dean of KU Libraries. “The libraries and the University are working to enhance and support projects that reduce the cost of textbooks to students, and contribute to a global exchange of educational and scholarly resources and we are excited to offer this award for the successes of this project and its potential to inspire other scholars and instructors at KU to consider adopting, adapting and building, as Dr. Rossomondo has with Acceso, openly accessible educational resources.”

Professor Amy Rossomondo was formally recognized at the conclusion of Stephanie Wright’s keynote talk, The Role of Open in Higher Education: Are we ready for a revolution? which concluded the Working Open Workshop, October 16, 2017, in the Big 12 Room of the Kansas Union. This event kicked off the celebration of Open Access Week at KU.


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