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U.Va. Digital Humanities Scholar Earns Distinguished Appointment

Bethany Nowviskie, the University of Virginia Library’s director of digital research and scholarship, has been appointed a Distinguished Presidential Fellow by the Council on Library and Information Resources.

The council is a major nonprofit organization that develops global strategies to enhance research, teaching and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions and insitutions of higher education. One of three current presidential fellows selected by the council’s leadership, Nowviskie is the first to be appointed from U.Va. Past fellows have included top librarians at the University of Michigan, Stanford University and Bryn Mawr College.

During her two-year appointment, Nowviskie will consult with the council’s leadership and its constituents, conduct independent research and explore generational turnover at academic institutions and shared governance in relation to changing career paths for scholars, librarians, archivists and information technology professionals. A leading scholar in the field of digital humanities, Nowviskie also will publish position papers through the council.

“I see this great honor as a recognition, at the national and international level, of the caliber of digital humanities innovation coming out of the U.Va. Library,” Nowviskie said, citing “collaborations with faculty in the Scholars’ Lab and Digital Media Lab, and our work to expand career options for grad students through the Praxis Network and Scholarly Communication Institute.”

Earlier this year, The Chronicle of Higher Education named Nowviskie one of its “Ten Tech Innovators” for 2013 for her role as a driving force in digital humanities, demonstrating the potential to answer humanities research questions with computing.

“Ms. Nowviskie is at the leading edge of developments in the digital humanities,” Council on Library and Information Resources President Chuck Henry said in an announcement released last week. “From illuminating issues pertaining to alternative academic career opportunities to providing leadership in many other areas of scholarly endeavor, her intellectual engagement has enriched many key aspects of CLIR's mission. We are delighted to be working with her.”Additionally, Nowviskie also has been appointed to a three-year term at U.Va. as special adviser to the provost for digital humanities, effective Sept. 1, while retaining her current role (along with her office) in the University Library.  

“Bethany will assist with faculty recruitment in this important area, and help us create a pragmatic, scholar-driven plan to strengthen U.Va.'s world leadership in digital humanities research and teaching,” Executive Vice President and Provost John Simon said.

The library is delighted to offer Bethany’s talent to this important effort,” University Librarian and Dean of Libraries Karin Wittenborg said. “We look forward to the results of this partnership across Grounds.”

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