Academic Services Associate
Primary Responsibilities: supporting teaching, learning, and research of the faculty, as well as assistance with student recruitment and retention, maintaining the accuracy of program information in student handbooks and on the website, assisting with course scheduling, processing fiscal transactions and partnering in the effective management of departmental budgets, and assisting with all student services
Academic Services Associate
Colorado native Vanessa McWhirt currently works as an Academic Services Associate at the Morgridge College of Education. She has been in higher education since 2013, working in student travel and academic advising. Vanessa received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Metropolitan State University of Denver and went on to pursue her master’s degree in Leadership with a concentration in Student Affairs in Higher Education from the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs. At Morgridge, she works with the new 2U programs for the Online Master’s in Library and Information Science and School Counseling. Vanessa comes from a technical background and is here to support students with their educational journey. When not at MCE, Vanessa enjoys photography and likes to visit Red Rocks Amphitheatre for concerts and to see her winning photograph for the Red Rocks Photography Contest.
Assefa, Shimelis, Ph.D.
Dr. Assefa received his PhD in information science from the University of North Texas. His research focuses on diffusion of knowledge and innovation, knowledge production, and data for development - all in the context of Africa, as well as information systems success, health informatics and learning technologies. His current research investigates the role of big data and data use to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #3 – i.e. – healthcare and well-being, taking Africa as a case. Dr. Assefa developed and taught numerous graduate level courses in the area of information science and technology, including information science, data mining, data visualization, database management system, information architecture, library and information technology, web content management, usability, user-centered design, information retrieval, information seeking behavior, teaching and learning with technology. For more details, please visit his Portfolio Page or personal website.
Bright, Kawanna, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor of the Practice
Dr. Kawanna Bright recently earned her PhD in Research Methods and Statistics from the University of Denver. Prior to earning her doctorate, Dr. Bright worked as an academic librarian for twelve years, with a focus on reference, instruction services, and information literacy. She earned her MLIS from the University of Washington iSchool. Dr. Bright's research focuses on assessment in libraries, diversity in libraries, the role of liaison librarians, and the application of research methodology to the study of LIS; her work with Dr. Amy VanScoy (University at Buffalo) to investigate the reference and information services experience of librarians of color received the 2014 ALA Diversity Research Grant and was awarded the 2017 Beta Phi Mu-Library Research Round Table Research Paper Award. She is currently working on a project to develop a diversity audit for academic libraries and continuing her investigation into the role of liaison librarians as research collaborators.
Cutforth, Nick, Ph.D.
Department Chair and Professor
Dr. Cutforth received his PhD from the University of Illinois-Chicago. He has been conducting research with schools and community-based organizations for over 15 years. His research and teaching interests include school health and physical activity environments, qualitative research, physical activity and youth development, university/community partnerships, and community-based research. His current research involves school-based intervention studies related to physical activity and healthy eating among K-12 students in the San Luis Valley in rural Colorado. His hobbies are running, biking, and swimming.
Matusiak, Krystyna, Ph.D.
Dr. Matusiak received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Prior to the Morgridge College of Education, she worked as academic librarian for 12 years in public services and digitization. Dr. Matusiak also served as a digitization consultant for projects funded by the Endangered Archive Programme at the British Library and assisted digital library projects at the Press Institute of Mongolia in Ulan Baatar, Mongolia and the Al-Aqsa Mosque Library in East Jerusalem. Dr. Matusiak has strong interest in international librarianship and serves as an officer of the IFLA Library Theory and Research Standing Committee. Together with Dr. Tammaro, she coordinated an IFLA research project on the roles and responsibilities of data curators. Her research interests include digital library development and evaluation, digitization of cultural heritage materials, digital curation, visual information, and information seeking behavior. Her book, Digital Libraries: Research and Practice, co-authored with Dr. Iris Xie was published in 2016. She enjoys reading, hiking, and traveling.
Organisciak, Peter, Ph.D.
Peter's research focuses on massive-scale text analysis, information retrieval, and data issues in crowdsourcing. He currently develops computational methods for extracting meaning from text at scales too large for a person to read. Dr. Organisciak holds a PhD in Library and Information Science (UIUC) and an MA in Humanities Computing-Library and Information Studies (Alberta). Most recently, he has focused on scholarly access to millions of digitized books at the HathiTrust Research Center. His work has received paper awards from the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), and won a joint Outstanding Contribution Award from the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities. Find out more on Peter's Portfolio Page.
Stansbury, Mary, Ph.D.
Dr. Stansbury received her Ph.D. from Texas Women’s University. She is the principal investigator of "Early Childhood Librarianship: An Interdisciplinary, Experiential MLIS" funded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Co-principal investigator of WebWise 2010 and 2011, funded through IMLS. Dr. Stansbury is co-chair of Colorado Library Development Council and served as co-chair of the Association of Library & Information Science Educators 2011 Conference. Her research interests include information policy, digital divide, health information seeking behaviors, and LIS education. Dr. Stansbury enjoys reading, art museums, and being with her family.