An Open Letter to Speaker Pelosi on the Student Loan Crisis

As a Democratic voter and donor, a lifelong educator, a tenure-track faculty member at a public university, and someone who has been crushed for decades by student loan debt and repeatedly failed by the administrative incompetence and backlog of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, I am deeply concerned about your factually inaccurate statement on July 28, 2021 about the Executive branch not being able to forgive student loans. The US Education code specifically provides for the Secretary of Education to do this. Forgiveness of interest—which has now been done across multiple administrations—is itself an exercise of this authority. While legislative solutions to the student debt crisis are commendable, all solutions—both Executive and Legislative—should be furthered.

The other part of your statement that was deeply disturbing was about how forgiving student loans using other people’s taxes would not be perceived as fair. That comment was both out of touch and prejudicial in the extreme.

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Turning Open Access Academic Books into BIPOC Art Galleries

One of the best parts about my job as a ScholComm Librarian is working with amazing students on meaningful publishing projects. As part of a team working on a Dept of Ed funded grant with our National Resource Center for Asian Languages, I had the wonderful privilege of collaborating with a team of BFA and MFA illustrators to make Vietnamese language books in support of bilingual K-12 education in Orange County. One of our illustrators, a young, gifted and Black artist by the name of Leah Simone Metters, brought tremendous energy, creativity and leadership to the project.

Now that my Open Science book experiment on the First Gospel (Qn) is almost a year old, over 1000 pages, more than 325,000 words, has over 2500 unique downloads, and is the basis for an upcoming peer-reviewed presentation in the Digital Humanities section of the Society of Biblical Literature this November, it felt like the right time to take the book to the next level of professional publishing. So I decided to commission book cover art, and I could think of no artist better suited to realize my vision for the book than Leah.

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Linked Open Data Protest against ResearchGate.net and Academia.edu

After having spent countless hours curating publication lists and metadata on these platforms and fielding numerous requests from their bots and users to upload content, as a self-motivated academic author I’ve finally decided to reset the nature of my relationship with ResearchGate.net and Academia.edu.

Besides deleting dozens of my publications from these sites, here is the core of my personal Linked Open Data protest:

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