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KU Libraries announce 2019 Research Sprints participants

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Libraries have announced the 2019 Research Sprints participants: Sara Gregg, associate professor of history and environmental studies, and Melissa Peterson, lecturer for the Applied English Center. As a result of having their projects chosen through a competitive selection process, Gregg and Peterson each spent one intensive week collaborating with a team of librarians to advance a research or instruction project. In addition, Gregg and Peterson each received a $1,000 stipend to support their work. 

Research Sprints, an initiative from the libraries’ Center for Faculty Initiatives and Engagement, offers an opportunity for faculty and unclassified academic staff to partner with a team of librarians on an aspect of their research or instruction for an intensive week. A Research Sprints committee, in collaboration with the Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communications & Copyright, chose an open access and open education theme for the 2019 Research Sprints. Promoting greater inclusivity in scholarship and classrooms, this theme required participating faculty to openly publish resulting scholarly materials or to create an open educational resource (OER) for their teaching.  

Gregg’s research project, “Kansas Homesteading: It’s More Interesting and Complicated Than You Would Expect,” focused on the daily experiences of Kansas homesteaders, the history of indigenous peoples’ dispossession and the expansion of the nation-state. She worked to create an interactive story map to bring her research into the classroom. Gregg partnered with library experts Rhonda Houser, GIS and data specialist; Carmen Orth-Alfie, assistant librarian for business and graduate engagement; and Greta Valentine, research and data analyst. 

Peterson’s project is titled “Developing an Open-Source Textbook for Undergraduate Research and Academic Technology Skills.” She worked to create an OER tailored to the information literacy needs of international students. This openly accessible textbook will also be applicable to the needs of domestic students. Peterson collaborated with library partners Mary Raple, library specialist; Fran Devlin, librarian for French, Italian, German and European studies; and Samantha Bishop-Simmons, undergraduate learning specialist. 

The 2019 Research Sprints were funded through additional support from the Diversity Scholars program, offered through the Center for Teaching Excellence. Previous recipients include Dave Tell, Genelle Belmas, Alison Olcott, Peter Bobkowski, Abbey Dvorak, Robert Unckless and Kathy Achelpohl. 

The 2019 Research Sprints committee was co-chaired by Younger and Rebecca Orozco, science and engineering librarian, and composed of Michael Peper, head of the Center for Faculty/Staff Initiatives and Engagement; Corinne Forstot-Burke, performing arts and humanities librarian; Valentine and Raple.

KU Libraries have gained national attention for its Research Sprints model, including a feature in American Libraries magazine. Partnering with the University of Minnesota Libraries to refine and promote the model, the libraries created a Research Sprints Toolkit for use at other universities. Learn more at lib.ku.edu/research-sprints.


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