Angela Chikowero with SPARC logo

UC Santa Barbara librarian Angela Chikowero has been selected to the 2020-21 cohort for the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) Open Education Leadership Program.

“I am thrilled that Angela has agreed to take a learning and leadership role in open education,” said UCSB Associate University Librarian Rebecca Metzger. “Through her participation, the UCSB Library commits itself more deeply to an open paradigm for research and teaching and to student success.”

The UCSB Library is a member of SPARC, a global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education by championing the adoption of policies and practices that advance Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education.

Open education is a philosophy that everyone should have access to high-quality educational experiences and resources. Advocates work to eliminate barriers to this goal, which may include high monetary costs, outdated or obsolete materials, and legal mechanisms that prevent collaboration among scholars and educators.

The SPARC Open Education Leadership Program - now in its fourth year - is an intensive professional development initiative to empower academic professionals to lead successful open education initiatives.

Chikowero is one of 21 fellows selected from a competitive application pool for this year’s cohort. She is a subject librarian for Black Studies, Business, Communication, and Economics.  

Throughout the two-semester program, Chikowero and her peers will develop and implement a capstone project that advances open education locally and publish an openly licensed resource that benefits the broader community. Each fellow gets paired with a mentor to provide one-on-one leadership development, many of whom come from the program’s growing alumni pool.

Chikowero started the program in September, at a time when the COVID-19 crisis has presented higher education with extraordinary new challenges and has magnified the harm of structural inequities that exist within the system. 

“Being a part of this program will help UCSB Library harness the power of open education to support the UCSB community through an unprecedented year ahead,” said Chikowero. 

“The knowledge and expertise that I’ll gain will help me to explore and develop open education initiatives aimed at ensuring all our students have access to affordable learning resources, thus, empowering them to participate in the learning and knowledge production process.”