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  • Ashley Morrison

Meet the Open Texas Committee Members: Heidi Winkler (Digital Experience)

Heidi Winkler, Digital Services Librarian at Texas Tech, still trying in her mid-30s to look hip at work

Name: Heidi Winkler

Preferred pronouns: she/her

Where do you work?

Texas Tech University Libraries

What do you do there?

I serve as Digital Services Librarian. I curate the faculty research collection of our institutional repository, and I run the Raider Digital Publishing Pressbooks platform, where I get to work with authors creating OER.

Where did you go to school?

I have both my BA in English ('10) and my MSIS ('12) from the University of Texas at Austin! I'm also finishing up a Public Health Certificate from the UTHealth School of Public Health.

Where is your hometown?

San Antonio, TX (but I also grew up in Quincy, IL!)

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I love musical theatre. Since 2018, I've been performing with Lubbock's Moonlight Musicals, where I especially love to dance. Come see Hairspray and Newsies this summer!

How did you get involved with the Open Texas Conference?

I first attended last year and loved it. This year, I answered an email call for participation on the conference committees, and then I was asked to co-chair the Digital Experience Committee, which I was honored to accept!

Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while working on Open Texas?

I'm so excited to finally get to work with Jessica McClean from UTA, my Digital Experience Committee co-chair.

What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about open education practices?

My approach to running our Pressbooks platform (which we get from TDL) is that as long as your content meets the educational mission of the university and is designed to be free and fully useable, shareable, and adaptable in the digital environment, then you're free to create whatever you need to and collaborate with whoever you want to. Not only does that free textbook authors from having to prove that there is a large enough market for their work, but it allows voices that have been historically ignored or marginalized by the traditional publishing industry to be heard. Bring in community voices who normally would never be published in academic spaces. Give students the opportunity to create pedagogy with you. OER publishing models hold so much potential to expand the pool of education content creators and challenge who gets to contribute to the academic conversation.

What are your professional goals for the next five years?

I intend to really dig into a research agenda of applying behavioral health promotion theories and practices to the advocacy of open education and open access. I think we can build a culture of "evidence-based scholarly communications" practice if we treat our work as interventions into current unhealthy publishing cultures.


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