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Scholarship winners reflect on RDAP21 Summit - Jennifer Latessa

April 13, 2021 8:35 PM | Cameron

The following post was written by an RDAP 2021 Summit Scholarship recipient. Scholarships were prioritized for those from under-represented groups, first-time RDAP attendees, early career professionals, and current students. Each recipient was asked to write a brief post on their conference experience.


Where does the time go? Has it really been a month since the conference? My name is Jennifer Latessa. I am in pursuit of my Regional Development Planning Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati, I serve the University of Cincinnati Libraries as a Data & Geographic Information Systems Consultant, and as I reflect on the 2021 RDAP Summit and what I learned, I think about the tools and topics discussed that most impact my current research, work, and daily life. Namely, the ways in which libraries support community engagement through information science, and how data structures and management practices affect future research, interoperability, accessibility, collaboration, security, and social constructs. For me, the “RDAP 2021: Radical Change and Data” program helped to establish an understanding of how information professionals are learning and adapting with data as a means to better socially engineer our collectively built society. I very much enjoyed Dr. Tonia Sutherland's keynote presentation and had not thought much about negotiating life after death data strategies to promote positive societal change, where progress is founded on the notion of capturing and retaining personal respect and well-being. It is an important topic for me professionally, as I look to focus on recommended procedures when developing viable spatial data structures across time and place, and personally, as I witness the decline in my aging parents' health. This discussion, along with others presented at the conference, inspired me to acknowledge that behind every recorded entry there is a story, with unique considerations, and constant (sometimes even radical) evolution. And, what's more, with Margaret Janz's "Using Storytelling for Teaching Data Management" workshop, I acquired familiarity and experience, so I am well equipped and more able to story tell the stories! The RDAP Association's 2021 Summit promoted teaching and applying best data management methods for open, preservable research data, aiming to radically affect present-day results and instill important questions to contemplate for the world to come. It was truly a pleasure to meet, connect, and discover new skills and knowledge from the wisdom shared and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved.


The RDAP community brings together a variety of individuals, including data managers and curators, librarians, archivists, researchers, educators, students, technologists, and data scientists from academic institutions, data centers, funding agencies, and industry who represent a wide range of STEM disciplines, social sciences, and humanities.


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