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Our Team

The Commons is supported by a core team based within MESH Research at MSU, as well as a range of other collaborators and supporters. Members of the team blog at Platypus; follow us there for more updates.

MSU Team

Brian Adams

Headshot of Brian Adams

Brian Adams is Associate Director for Technology of MESH Research, where he oversees the development of MESH projects and manages the Humanities Commons technical team. Adams has served as lead developer within the College of Arts & Letters at MSU for the last ten years, where he has been instrumental to building numerous research and instructional projects.

Larissa Babak

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Larissa Babak is the user engagement specialist for Humanities Commons, where she provides user support and enhances community outreach. She is a graduate of Michigan State University with a Master’s degree in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing. She has an extensive background in instructional design, digital marketing, social media management, and technical writing with experience collaborating in arts institutions, non-profits, and business environments. Her academic research interests are educational technology, content strategy, sound studies, writing studies, and the intersections of the humanities within digital spaces.

Brian Boggan

Brian Boggan is the Commons’ identity management engineer. He has an undergraduate degree in Networking and Cybersecurity specializing in Network Technology.  He brings years of experience in enterprise access, network, and application support.  Before joining the Commons team, he managed high-level public facing applications for the State of Michigan – Department of Health and Human Services.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick

A headshot of Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Kathleen Fitzpatrick is project director of Humanities Commons. She is Director of Digital Humanities and Professor of English at Michigan State University, where she also directs MESH Research. Prior to joining the MSU faculty, she was Associate Executive Director and Director of Scholarly Communication of the Modern Language Association. Fitzpatrick is author of three books, including Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019) and Planned Obsolescence:  Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy (NYU Press, 2011). She was also lead author of the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook (MLA, 2016). She is president of the Association for Computers and the Humanities and president of the board of directors of the Educopia Institute. She is also a member of the board of directors of the Council on Library and Information Resources, and she serves on the advisory boards for numerous projects related to open scholarly communication and infrastructure.

Nicole Huff

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Nicole Huff is the graduate research assistant on the Commons team. She is a PhD student in the English department at Michigan State University. She received her bachelor’s from Kalamazoo College and her master’s from DePaul University. Her research centers on Afrofuturism, critical gender and sexuality studies, pop culture studies with a focus on Black women in horror and fantasy, and Digital Humanities methods.

Christine Peffer

Headshot of Christine Peffer Bennett

Christine Peffer is Associate Director of Networks at H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online and is also a core member of the Humanities Commons Community Team. Christine is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at Michigan State University. Her research interests lie at the intersection of weird fiction, ecocriticism, and feminism. Her dissertation project recovers and examines, through a material feminist lens, works of weird fiction by women writers in the postwar era, including Shirley Jackson, Barbara Comyns, and Leonora Carrington. 

Bonnie Russell

Bonnie Russell

Bonnie Russell is the product manager for the Commons, working in close communication with both the technical and the community teams. She also serves as the digital specialist for HuMetricsHSS. Russell has extensive experience in technical project management, user experience, quality assurance testing, technical documentation and training, and metadata management. She has been actively working with digital humanities scholars since 2012, helping scholars shape projects and identify technology needs. She served as the 2019-2020 chair of the Digital Publishing Committee for the Association of University Presses, primarily focused on the evaluation of digital publishing platforms and repositories.

Scott Schopieray

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Scott Schopieray is Assistant Dean for Academic and Research Technology in the College of Arts & Letters at MSU, where he also serves as Associate Director of MESH. In his position, he works to support digital infrastructure and methods for teaching, learning, and research across the arts and humanities. His current research areas are in high-impact/high-quality online teaching methods, faculty motivation to teach online, and processes for open digital scholarly publishing.

Ian Scott

Ian Scott is Python developer leading work on the Knowledge Commons Repository. Ian comes from an academic background in Religious Studies and Digital Humanities, and he has held faculty positions at Tyndale University and the University of Western Ontario. He has a longstanding passion for open research and for the potential of web technologies to make scholarship more just and accessible. He was co-director of the Online Critical Pseudepigrapha and is a member of the technical committee for the Distributed Text Services API standard. Prior to joining the Commons team, he developed an eLearning application for students of ancient Greek.

Michael Thicke

Headshot of Mike Thicke

Michael Thicke is the lead developer on the Humanities Commons project. He is a philosopher of science, social epistemologist, and web developer, having received an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia, and a Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science and Technology from the University of Toronto. Prior to joining the Commons team, Thicke was the developer of WP Museum, a WordPress plugin for managing an online museum in WordPress, which is used by the University of Toronto Scientific Instruments Collection.

Dimitris Tzouris

Dimitris Tzouris is infrastructure developer. He comes to the Commons team from the American College of Thessaloniki, where he developed extensive experience as an instructional technologist. Tzouris has an undergraduate degree in Computer Management Information Systems and has delivered talks and workshops on educational technology at numerous international events. He has served as a member of the coordinating committee of AMICAL, the American International Consortium of Academic Libraries, advising on social media and learning technologies. Tzouris also founded Global Game Jam Thessaloniki and has served as a member of the TEDxThessaloniki team.

Stephanie Vasko

Stephanie Vasko is Senior UX Researcher with MESH Research, as well as the Managing Director for the Center for Interdisciplinarity at Michigan State University. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for the International Network for the Science of Team Science.

Zoe Wake Hyde

Headshot of Zoe Wake Hyde

Zoe Wake Hyde is the Commons’ community development manager. She has been working towards transformational change in education and research since 2015, and has a background in publishing and communications across post-secondary institutions in New Zealand, Canada and the United States. Prior to joining the Commons, she led projects to develop collaborative open textbook publishing and open humanities research processes. She also serves on the LPC’s Ethical Publishing Taskforce and is Board President of Hands On Media Education, a Canadian non-profit organisation teaching digital literacy through media creation.

Collaborators and Contractors

The Commons is additionally supported by collaborators and contractors including:

Commons Alumni

And last but never least, our growing list of alumni, without whose efforts the Commons would never have made it this far.

Core Team

Collaborators and Contractors

  • Scott Koranda, Spherical Cow Group
  • Columbia University Libraries
  • Zheng Zeng
  • Scott Voth

In Memoriam

Amaresh Joshi was an information systems designer and programmer in the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University. He was also also a PhD candidate in linguistics at MSU, with interests in syntax, semantics and computational linguistics. He is greatly missed.