Mikala at the University of Minnesota in December 2021

I’m excited to introduce myself as the Assistant Director of the Data Curation Network! As a little bit of background, I earned my MLS from Indiana University, and a BA in Interdisciplinary Humanities from the University of San Diego. In my free time, I enjoy kayaking and hiking, especially when my dog, Li’l Jeff, comes along.

Mikala and Li’l Jeff in Asheville, NC

My professional experience and research interests have centered on the long-term access, curation, and preservation of digital content, all highly interrelated and interdependent topics. This has led me down different avenues, from archival and special collections content to research data, and many stops in between. I’m particularly interested in the long-term preservation impact of curatorial decisions, including how emulation or migration might impact future users, or when digital content (e.g., art, scholarship, etc.) is allowed to gracefully decline.

I’ve been following DCN for a few years now, after attending the November 2019 Washington University St. Louis workshop (Hi to my fellow attendees!) and completing the Qualitative Data Primer with Heather Coates and Diana Castillo (and Shanda Hunt and Hannah Hadley!), I’ve been looking for ways to be more actively involved.

The favorite part of the WUSTL workshop from a fellow attendee.

This position appeals to me for many reasons, but foremost in my mind is the vibrant, growing, and welcoming community of curators and practitioners. Every DCN event I’ve attended, virtually or in-person, I’ve been welcomed with open arms and leave with a long list of readings, tools, and other data curation best practices to continue learning and growing.

The DCN is one of those rare places, where work, passion, collaboration, and most of all, community, merge to create something much larger than the sum of its parts. I’m elated to be here, and can’t wait to work with you all.

“Now go find your team. Get to work. Whatever that work is that you find worth doing. Do it, and find some people to love who’ll do it with you.”

-Leslie Knope, NBC’s Parks and Recreation

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