People

We support the community in our work together

OTN team

Headshot of Dave Ernst

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 Textbook Network, which works to improve higher education through the advancement of open textbooks.

HEADSHOT OF Sarah Cohen

SARAH FAYE COHEN

SENIOR MANAGING DIRECTOR 

Sarah is Senior Managing Director of the Open Textbook 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.

HEADSHOT OF KAREN LAURITSEN

KAREN LAURITSEN​

DIRECTOR OF PUBLISHING

Karen is the Director of Publishing for the Open Textbook Network and Open Textbook Library. She received 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.

Headshot of Tanya Grosz

TANYA GROSZ, Ph.D.

DIRECTOR OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS


Tanya is the Director of Educational Programs with the Open Textbook 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 OTN’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 MN.

Headshot of Mark Sheaves

MARK SHEAVES

COMMUNITY MANAGER

Mark is the Community Manager of the Open Textbook Network, supporting the OTN’s mission through strategic communications and community support. Mark holds a B.A. in history (University of Exeter, UK) and Master’s degrees in history (UT Austin) and Latin American area studies (University of London.) Between degrees, Mark has worked in the higher education sector for around a decade with experience as a project manager, social media strategist and communications manager in universities in England and the USA, most recently at the University of Kansas.

Headshot of Barry Stehlik

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.

Headshot of Jared Erlein

JARED ERLIEN​

Jared is a Student Admin for the Open Textbook Library. He earned his A.S. degree in Computer Science at Normandale Community College, and is currently pursuing his B.S. in Computer Science with a focus in Cyber Security at the University of Minnesota.​

Steering Committee

Headshot of Anna Bendo

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.

Headshot of Cheryl Cuillier

CHERYL CUILLIER

Cheryl Cuillier is the Open Education Librarian at the University of Arizona Libraries in Tucson. She coordinates campus OER initiatives and collaborates with a wide range of university partners. She has spoken about OER and other ways of reducing the cost of course materials at a number of national and regional conferences. An active member of the Open Textbook Network since 2015, she currently serves on the Open Textbook Network Steering Committee. She is also a Faculty Senator and is involved in library faculty governance.

Headshot of Amanda Hurford

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.

Headshot of Amanda Larson

AMANDA LARSON

Amanda Larson is the Open Education Librarian at the Penn State University Libraries in Pennsylvania, where she coordinates affordable content initiatives across the campuses and provides guidance on copyright, creative commons licensing, and project management. She also serves as a liaison for faculty to other University units creating OER. She holds dual Bachelor degrees in English and History, a Master of Arts in Literature, and an M.L.I.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While at UW-Madison, she worked with faculty creating open textbooks using Pressbooks. Her professional interests include open education, privacy and student data, and incorporating open pedagogy into information-literacy instruction sessions.

Headshot of Jonathan Poritz

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.

Headshot of Relinda Ruth

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 OTN’s members.

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