The SPARKY Awards - A Contest to Promote the Open Exchange of Information
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If you have an apple and I have an apple, and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea, and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
- George Bernard Shaw

Our fabulous 2010 judges' panel included:

Nicole Allen, The Student PIRGs

Nicole Allen is the director of The Student PIRGs' Make Textbooks Affordable campaign. She began her career in higher education advocacy as a student at the University of Puget Sound, where she led a statewide effort to stop a $12 billion cut to federal student aid programs. Following her graduation with a degree in Philosophy, Nicole worked as a student organizer for WashPIRG, during which time she played a key role in passing Washington state's landmark textbook price-disclosure law. In her current role, Nicole spearheads research, advocacy and program development for Make Textbooks Affordable, which is run on over 100 campuses nationwide.

Pat Aufderheide, Center for Social Media, American University

Center director Patricia Aufderheide is a professor in the School of Communication at American University in Washington, D.C. She is the author of, among others, Documentary: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2007), The Daily Planet (University of Minnesota Press, 2000), and of Communications Policy in the Public Interest (Guilford Press, 1999). She has been a Fulbright and John Simon Guggenheim fellow and has served as a juror at the Sundance Film Festival among others. She has received numerous journalism and scholarly awards, including career achievement awards in 2006 from the International Documentary Association and in 2008 from the International Digital Media and Arts Association. Aufderheide serves on the board of directors of Kartemquin Films, a leading independent social documentary production company, and and on the editorial boards of a variety of publications, including Communication Law and Policy and In These Times newspaper. She has served on the board of directors of the Independent Television Service, which produces innovative television programming for underserved audiences under the umbrella of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and on the film advisory board of the National Gallery of Art. She received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Minnesota.

Adrian Ho, Association of College and Research Libraries

As Scholarly Communication Librarian at The University of Western Ontario, Adrian Ho networks with different constituencies on campus to explore avenues for the efficient dissemination of locally generated scholarly content. He manages an institutional repository and meets with faculty and students to discuss scholarly publishing issues such as copyright management and open access. Adrian currently serves on the ACRL Scholarly Communications Committee and helps with the update of the ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit. Before relocating to Ontario, he was Collections Coordinator at the University of Houston.

Laurence Johnson New Media Consortium

Laurence F. Johnson, Ph.D. is Chief Executive Officer of the New Media Consortium (NMC), an international not-for-profit consortium of learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies. Its hundreds of member institutions constitute an elite list of the most highly regarded colleges and universities in the world, as well as leading museums, key research centers, and some of the world's most forward-thinking companies. Johnson is an acknowledged expert on emerging technology and its impacts on society and education, as well as the topics of creativity, innovation, and how to think about the future.

Jennifer McLennan, SPARC

Jennifer is SPARC's programs maven and is pleased to support our fantastic partners in this fourth year of the project. Besides the Sparky Awards, Jennifer spins several plates, including international Open Access Week, the 2010 SPARC Digital Repositories Meeting, and a couple (okay, a lot) of other things.

Ben Moskowitz, Students for Free Culture & Open Video Alliance

Ben Moskowitz co-founded the SFC@Berkeley chapter of Students for Free Culture and created a seminar at UC Berkeley on the politics of piracy. He also co-organized the Free Culture 2008 Conference and the Open Video Conference in NYC. He is currently a student of Mandarin at NYU SCPS and works with the Open Video Alliance to promote openness in online video.

Mark A. Puente, Association of Research Libraries

Mark A. Puente is Director of Diversity Programs at ARL. He provides leadership for a range of initiatives that recruit people from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups into careers in research libraries and that prepare and advance minority librarians into leadership positions in ARL libraries.

A musician by training and experience, Puente was a private-voice instructor and arts administrator in his home town of San Antonio, TX for 13 years prior to entering the LIS profession. He has experience working in music and performing arts libraries at the University of Arizona, the University of North Texas, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. In his free time he enjoys exploring all that DC has to offer in museums, the performing arts, and (most importantly) restaurants.

Jessica Reynoso, Campus MovieFest

Jessica Reynoso came to Campus MovieFest in March of 2008 after almost two years working in development at Type A Films. Her position with Campus MovieFest is to organize and facilitate any and all special events and sponsorships. She’s a big movie lover and her passion for student filmmaking is what brought her to CMF and why she’s honored to be on the judging panel for the Sparky Awards.

Kristen Riccard, Association of Research Libraries

Kristen Riccard is a Law and Policy Fellow at ARL. Prior to joining ARL, she served as a student attorney in the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Law and Property Clinic at American University, where she focused her efforts on helping documentary filmmakers assert their fair use rights when creating educational and scholarly films. Additionally, she managed a coalition of media literacy educators to ensure that students and teachers retain access to innovative digital technology programs in and outside of the classroom. Kristen holds a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law and a B.S. in Communications from Northwestern University.

Nick Shockey, SPARC

Nick Shockey began working with SPARC as an undergraduate at Trinity University where he passed a resolution supporting the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) through Trinity’s student government. He continued his efforts to support Open Access both nationally, aiding SPARC in its launch of the Right to Research student campaign, and locally, pushing for Open Access on Trinity’s campus. Nick was named a SPARC Innovator in 2007 for his work on student outreach and advocacy.

In June of 2009, Nick joined SPARC and has since become SPARC’s Director of Student Advocacy and Director of the SPARC-sponsored Right to Research Coalition, a group of local, national, and international student organizations that advocate for students, researchers, universities, and governments to adopt more open scholarly publishing practices. Under Nick’s tenure, the coalition has grown from 6 members to over two dozen, representing over 5.5 million students, lobbied over 100 Congressional offices in support of FRPAA, and been awarded a grant to expand internationally by the Open Society Foundations.

Anu Vedantham, Penn Libraries, Weigle Information Commons

Ms. Anu Vedantham directs the Weigle Information Commons at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) has recognized her global warming research as a significant contribution to the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. She has championed educational technology for more than 15 years at the US Department of Commerce, Stockton College and Stafford Township School District. She has her Masters in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, her NJ Principal Certificate and her Bachelors and Masters in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


Past judges

Peter Decherney, University of Pennsylvania

Peter Decherney is Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches courses on the history of Hollywood and on contemporary internet policy. His writing focuses on the interaction between Hollywood and Washington. He is the author of Hollywood and the Culture Elite: How the Movies Became American (Columbia UP, 2005) and articles on the Hollywood history, fair use and academia, and other topics. In 2006, along with two colleagues, Decherney successfully petitioned for an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for media professors using clips for teaching. He is working on a new book on the history and future of Hollywood and copyright law. He frequently assigns mashups as coursework.

Barbara DeFelice, Dartmouth College, ACRL

In her current job as Digital Resources Program Director at the Dartmouth College Library, Barbara DeFelice provides education, outreach and information for faculty, students and staff in the areas of open access to scholarly and educational information, copyrights, author’s rights, and changing scholarly publishing models. She has been involved in digital collection development and scholarly communication issues for many years and has given presentations on these issues. She currently serves on the ACRL Scholarly Communication Committee and is helping develop an ACRL New England Chapter SIG for Scholarly Communication. Previously, she was the head of the Kresge Physical Sciences Library and Cook Mathematics Collection at Dartmouth College and worked for several years on the Digital Library for Earth Systems Education, part of the National Science Digital Library.

Rich Jones, Students for Free Culture Boston Chapter

I am a student and the leader of the Boston University chapter of Students for Free Culture, where we focus on Open educational materials and defend the digital rights of students and professors. I am a programmer, and I run the website, where I write about and report digital rights issues and post my personal programming projects related to free information. In my spare time, I listen to loud music from Japan.

Kembrew McLeod, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, University of Iowa

Kembrew McLeod is an independent documentary filmmaker and a media studies scholar at the University of Iowa whose work focuses on both popular music and the cultural impact of intellectual property law. He has written refereed journal articles and published two books on the subject of copyright and music. Recently he completed his second documentary, titled Freedom of Expression®: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property, which focuses on free speech and fair use.

Crit Stuart, Association of Research Libraries

At Georgia Tech, Stuart has most recently worked to coordinate the evolution of “library as place,” emphasizing enhancements to spaces, technologies, and services that support student productivity and success in a 24-hour environment. His work there has relied on genuine collaborations with campus partners and the results have attracted the attention of academic libraries throughout North America. A historian by training, Stuart earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Arkansas before earning the MLn at Emory University. His career as a librarian developed during his 32 years at the Georgia Tech Library, beginning in the circulation and reserves departments with progressively greater responsibilities until he was named Senior Associate Director for Public Services in 2001.

Mike Wesch, Kansas State University

Dubbed “the explainer” by Wired magazine, Michael Wesch is a cultural anthropologist at Kansas State University exploring the impact of new media on human interaction. After two years studying the effects of writing on a remote indigenous culture in the rain forest of Papua New Guinea, he has turned his attention to the impact of social media and digital technology on global society. His videos on technology, education, and information have been viewed over ten million times and are frequently featured at international film festivals and major academic conferences worldwide. Wesch has won several major awards for his work, including a Wired Magazine Rave Award and the John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in Media Ecology. He is also a multiple award-winning teacher whose teaching projects are frequently featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education and other major media outlets worldwide. Wesch is currently serving on the Editorial Board of Advisors for Encyclopaedia Britannica.