People

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OEN Team

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DAVID ERNST, Ph.D.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Dave is graduate faculty and Chief Information Officer in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. Dave is the Director of the Center for Open Education and the Executive Director of the Open Education Network, which works to improve higher education through the advancement of open educational resources and practices.

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SARAH FAYE COHEN

SENIOR MANAGING DIRECTOR 

Sarah is Senior Managing Director of the Open Education Network. She earned her M.S. in Information Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign and is a graduate of Smith College. She is a two-time award winner of the Association of College and Research Libraries Excellence in Academic Libraries Award.

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TANYA GROSZ, Ph.D.

DIRECTOR OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

Tanya is the Director of Educational Programs with the Open Education Network. Tanya began her career as a high school English teacher before completing a Ph.D. in Education and Online Teaching and Learning. After hearing Cable Green keynote at the MN eLearning Summit in 2011, a new love for open education began, and with the OEN’s help, she spearheaded an open textbook initiative at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul which led to the creation of the first Z degree in the state of Minnesota.

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KAREN LAURITSEN​

PUBLISHING DIRECTOR

Karen is the Publishing Director for the Open Education Network and Open Textbook Library. She earned her M.A. in Education from UC Berkeley and a for fun degree in improvisation from the Second City. Previously, Library Journal named her a Mover and Shaker in technology.

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CRAIG SANDLER

COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST

Craig is the Communications Specialist for the Open Education Network. He earned his B.A. in Psychology from the George Washington University. Prior to joining the OEN, he worked in the political nonprofit sphere in Washington, D.C. Craig is passionate about bringing an inclusive, equity-focused perspective to his work in the open education field.

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BARB THEES

COMMUNITY MANAGER

Barb has spent the last ten years working in the field of international education managing events, collaborating with educators on international programming, and promoting learning abroad opportunities to students. She earned her B.A. in Spanish at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Affairs degree at the University of Minnesota.  

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ANDY SEROFF

DEVELOPER

Andy is a web application developer who previously worked in social media and entertainment technology with startups in the San Francisco Bay Area. He earned his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and his M.S. in Software Engineering from the University of Minnesota. In addition to coding, Andy is an accomplished athlete and musician.

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BARRY STEHLIK

ADMINISTRATIVE SPECIALIST

Barry makes sure everyone gets where they need to go and keeps the network on track. With so many members and continued growth, there is an endless sea of things to do and maintain. Barry handles it all with ease, so we can focus our efforts on helping students.

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DUY VO

Duy is a Student Admin for the Open Textbook Library. He is pursuing a B.S. degree in Biochemistry at the College of Biological Sciences with a goal towards pharmacy school. He is also interested in genetic engineering and data science! He likes to play soccer, ping pong or the piano in his free time.

Steering Committee

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ANNA BENDO

Anna Bendo is the Director of Affordable Learning Initiatives at OhioLINK. In this role, Anna manages OhioLINK’s initiatives to lower the cost of college for Ohio higher education students by assisting our member libraries and campuses in identifying strategies for Open and Affordable Learning textbook and course material adoption, and helping locate statewide shareable library materials as well as open educational resources that are no cost or lower cost to students. Anna has been in this role since July 2017. Before joining OhioLINK, Anna coordinated online student services at the statewide level including an online catalog of distance learning courses and degrees and wrote reports on the status of online and competency-based education in the state of Ohio. Anna has a Ph.D. in Student Affairs from the University of Maryland, a Master’s in Teaching from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in History and Spanish from the College of William and Mary.

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AMANDA HURFORD

Amanda Hurford is the Scholarly Communications Director for the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI). She holds a Master of Library Science with a specialization in Library Technology Management from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. In Amanda’s role at PALNI, she develops and supports scholarly communications initiatives of the 24 PALNI-supported institutions, and raises awareness of topics such as open access publishing and open educational resources. Under Amanda’s direction, PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning, was established in 2018.

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JONATHAN PORITZ

Jonathan is associate professor of mathematics and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Colorado State University – Pueblo. Before CSU-P, he was one of those tattered minstrel mathematicians one sees wandering dusty backroads with nothing but chalk on his coat and a theorem on his lips: in total, he was a student or faculty member at around a dozen universities in five timezones. He also worked in various IT firms, from start-ups to multi-nationals, doing things like AI, cryptography, and consulting on public policy towards technology. In Colorado, Jonathan has written two OER math textbooks and serves on the state OER Council. His A.B. is from Harvard University and his Ph.D. is from the University of Chicago, both in mathematics. Much more information about him can be found on his website.

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RELINDA RUTH

Relinda Ruth is the Director of Educational Resources and OER Specialist at the University of Arkansas-Cossatot. She is responsible for the Educational Resource Center (ERC), which includes Kimball Library, all tutoring services, and the college’s award-winning textbook rental/ OER program, along with textbook procurement. She also teaches English courses as an adjunct instructor. As the college’s OER Specialist, Relinda is responsible for the development and implementation of policies relating to open licensing, OER initiatives and practices, and provides guidance on creative commons licensing and OER content. She compiles open resources and provides OER usage training for faculty. Relinda chairs the college’s OER Board, raises awareness of open education activities, and as a leading contact for OER in Arkansas, she encourages broad participation across the state through conferences. She holds an M.A. in English and a B.S. in English and Mass Communications from Texas A&M University-Texarkana, and is also certified for specialization in open licensing and the Commons through Creative Commons. Relinda is an outspoken advocate for open resources and is excited to assist OEN’s members.

ADRIAN STAGG

Adrian is the Manager (Open Educational Practices) at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. He has a Master of Applied Science (Library and Information Science), and is a confirmed PhD candidate at the University of Tasmania.  His research interests include educational policy, open education ecologies of practice, and the role of education in democracy. Adrian was awarded the Australasian Academic Development Award in 2019 for his work in open grant communities, and is an active member of the Australasian OEP community. Photo by Sebastiaan ter Burg (CC BY).

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JEN WALLER

As the Director of Open Initiatives & Scholarly Communication at the University of Oklahoma Jen provides advocacy, information, programs, and services designed to increase information access, equity, and inclusion. Her role encompasses the diverse areas that comprise the scholarly communication landscape today – institutional repositories, library-based publishing, copyright in making and sharing scholarship, open access, and open education.  Jen joined the OU Libraries in 2016 and earned a Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from the Information School at the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Arts in English with an Interdisciplinary Minor in Communication from Tufts University. She is a member of the American Library Association, the Association of College & Research Libraries, and regularly publishes and presents on OER and scholarly communication issues.

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