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As a proud sponsor of the 2021 Open Education Conference, the Michelson 20MM Foundation is thrilled to award attendance scholarships to a cohort of open community members who will join us at the virtual conference, October 18–22. Since 2003, OpenEd has provided a critical space to present research, share skills, and build community. In the spirit of this year’s OpenEd theme “Making Open for All,” Michelson 20MM has re-launched the scholarship program and awarded seven community members with access to the conference. 

This year’s awardees are:  

  • Dr. Amy Nusbaum is an assistant professor of psychology at Heritage University in Washington. As a former first generation college student, Dr. Nusbaum dealt with the high cost of college textbooks firsthand and believes that open can be a powerful tool for class mobility. As an educator, she has used open textbooks in her classes to bring down costs and is looking forward to adding to her “OER Evangelism toolbox” throughout the conference.
  • Ame Maloney is the lead on all things OER as the faculty services librarian at Skyline College in San Bruno, California. Ame has seen the way open can not only reduce financial barriers for students but also increase student voice within classrooms. She’s particularly interested in sustainability within OER and student engagement and outreach.
  • Michaela Keating not only helps faculty find and implement OER in her role as the OER librarian at California State University Fullerton, but also uses OER in her classroom as an adjunct lecturer. While cost savings are an important aspect of open, Michaela sees the role of OER for engaged and authentic learning as an important tool for social justice and anti-oppressive education. She has built her career around making education a more equitable experience, and in doing so has found OER to be a foundational piece of this work.
  • In her role as an instructional designer at Holyoke Community College, Jess Egan supports over 300 faculty members across her college. She will be playing a leading role in implementing a large grant from the U.S. Department of Education to aid in the remixing and deployment of culturally relevant open educational resources. In addition to helping others adopt and use open materials, Jess is also an open author.
  • Alyssa White is a first year masters student at University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, studying anthropology. In addition to incorporating OER into her course as a teaching assistant, open education is a focus of her master’s thesis. As the field of anthropology grapples with the concerns around de-colonization and expertise in knowledge, Alyssa is particularly interested in the ways opening up access to the production of knowledge allows for multivocality.
  • James Weichert serves as the Academic Vice President of Associated Students at the University of California, Berkeley, where he advocates at a system-wide level for the expanded use of OER throughout the UC system. In addition to his advocacy work, James also works as a tutor, teaching the fundamentals of data science using an open textbook. When not advocating or assigning open materials, James uses them as a student himself (MIT OpenCourseware) to prepare for his classes.
  • Gerardo Chavez serves as the president of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges’ (SSCCC). Representing over 2 million students across the state, Gerardo attends Riverside City College and has been involved in CCC student advocacy since 2019. Gerardo is passionate about bolstering student participation in participatory governance, college affordability, and accessibility to basic needs and resources.

Conference attendees will have the opportunity to attend plenary sessions led by global experts in open education, learn from the most current research on open pedagogy and student success, and connect with community members through social events such as group games and even a cooking show. Educational opportunities include the session “Open for Anti-Racism: Using Open Education to Support Antiracist Teaching,” in which Michelson 20MM OER Fellow James Glapa-Grossklag and project partners will share their findings. Visit Open Education Conference for the complete week-long schedule of events. 

Michelson 20MM is a private, nonprofit foundation seeking to accelerate progress towards a more just world through grantmaking, operating programs, and impact investing. Co-chaired and funded by Alya and Gary Michelson, Michelson 20MM is part of the Michelson Philanthropies network of foundations.