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Scholarship Recipients Reflect on RDAP23 - Rachel Austin

May 22, 2023 3:32 PM | Elena Azadbakht

My name is Rachel Austin, and I am currently a student at the University of Southern Mississippi. I am working towards my Master of Library and Information Science and a certificate in archives. I have become increasingly interested in data and wanted to learn more about how to work with it in the library field. I am so glad to have gotten the opportunity to attend the RDAP summit this year because now I feel confident that I would like to explore research data positions as a librarian in the future!

The first skill I was able to learn at the summit was Python. The Introduction to Python workshop was very informative and allowed me to gain a new skill. I learned how to use the code to present data in various ways. During the remainder of the summit, I learned about the research data field and what professionals were accomplishing. This really inspired me to network with fellow professionals, which Whova made very easy. I was able to put myself out there and share my experiences and qualifications with others. I also saw who around me were professionals in the field and what opportunities were available.

One speaker I felt very inspired by was Amy Neeser. As an aspiring librarian, Amy showed me the wide world of research data in academic libraries. Amy spoke about how we can make the field more accessible and open to everyone. This gave me ideas of how to be a great leader in the field and the progress that we can make to involve everyone and hold diversity and inclusion as a top priority. This presentation inspired me to do similar work and made me excited for my future profession.

The summit has helped me grow as an early career professional. I have gained skills by attending workshops and hearing from other professionals. This will help me find opportunities in the research and data field. It allowed me to explore my interests that will help me reach my career goals. I look forward to contributing to RDAP in the future and attending the summit next year.


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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