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Project Personnel

Digital POWRR Institutes Personnel

Drew VandeCreek (Co-Principal Investigator, Facilitator)

 Drew E. VandeCreek is the Director of Digital Initiatives at Northern Illinois University Libraries and co-Director of that institution’s Digital Convergence Lab. He has served as Principal Investigator or co-Principal Investigator on grant projects totally over $3 Million including, Building Capacity for the Digitization,Dissemination, and Preservation of Southeast Asian Resources, Mark Twain’s Mississippi Project, and the American Archives Digitization Project. He is a graduate of the College of Wooster and hold a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Virginia.





Jaime Schumacher (Co-Principal Investigator, Consulting Instructor)

Jaime Schumacher is the Scholarly Communications Librarian at Northern Illinois University Libraries. Jaime served as Director for the Digital POWRR Project funded by a grant from the IMLS at Northern Illinois University. She recently earned her M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and holds a B.S. in Computer Technology from Purdue University. Previously, Jaime was an Information Systems Consultant for Deloitte Consulting in Chicago, IL.





Stacey Jones Erdman (Communities Liasion & Tech Lead, Tech Instructor)

IMG_3297Stacey N. Erdman is the Digital Archivist at Beloit College. In this position, she has responsibility for the collection, appraisal, organization, preservation, management, and appropriate sharing of archival content deposited with the Beloit College Archives, with a focus on digital materials. She works closely with the College Archivist to shape overall collection policies and on the education of the campus community on matters related to retention and strategic use of the College’s historical record. She also works closely with the College’s Digital Librarian on the selection, development, production, and marketing of the College’s digital collections. She is the former Digital Collections Curator at Northern Illinois University and served as the Technical Coordinator on the first two Digital POWRR Project phases.




 Danielle Spalenka (Consulting Instructor)


Danielle Spalenka is the Director for the Digital POWRR Project funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Prior to serving as Project Director, she was the Curator of Manuscripts for the Regional History Center and University Archives at Northern Illinois University. She served as a Lead Partner for the POWRR Project funded by the IMLS. Danielle holds a MA-LIS with a specialization in Archival Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BA in history from Saint Mary’s College (IN).



Lynne Thomas (Case Study Instructor)


Lynne M. Thomas is the Head of Distinctive Collections and Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University, and a co-Primary Investigator on the Digital POWRR Project at Northern Illinois University funded through the IMLS (2011) and the NEH (2014). She curates popular culture special collections, including literary papers of science fiction authors, dime novels, and popular historical children’s literature. She co-edited New Directions for Special Collections: An Anthology of Practice (with Beth Whittaker, Libraries Unlimited, 2016) and co-authored Special Collections 2.0 with Beth Whittaker (Libraries Unlimited, 2009).



Meg Miner (Case Study Instructor)

University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian Meg Miner works with a variety of campus constituencies to collect, preserve and make accessible the records that document the academic and organizational activities of IWU. As a member of the Ames Library’s Digital Initiatives team since 2006, Miner helps develop policies, conduct campus outreach and collect content for the library’s digital assets and the IWU institutional repository Digital Commons . Assistant Professor Miner is active in faculty governance positions and professional organizations. She is also the library’s liaison to the History Department and the School of Nursing, providing collection development assistance for those areas and the Health Minor, conducting group and individual instruction sessions and offering research assistance to members of the IWU community.


Martin Kong (Tech Instructor)

Martin Kong

Martin Kong is the Systems Librarian in the Chicago State University Library. He is responsible for coordinating the unit that manages all of the technology and systems used by the staff in the library. Part of his day-to-day work includes management of the Library’s Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS), which is an automated robotic system that holds about 70% of the library’s physical collection and also houses most of the University’s Archive and Special Collections material. Library patrons can request library materials directly from the ASRS via the catalog and have those materials brought down and checked out to them in a matter of minutes. Martin holds a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He also has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Management Information Systems from UIUC as well. He is a member of the American Library Association.

Past Team Members

Joseph Thomas (Systems Administrator)

Joseph Thomas is the LAN Administrator in the Technology Initiatives and Support Services Department at the Northern Illinois University Library.

Gayle Porter

Gayle Porter
Gayle Porter is the Special Formats Catalog Librarian and Assistant Professor at Chicago State University, where she works primarily with electronic resources. She serves as the library liaison to the faculty who teach Anthropology and Sociology, providing collection development assistance for those areas. Porter authored the proposal for the electronic submission of theses and dissertations (ETDs) at CSU, and assists in implementation and policy development for the current pilot project. She also serves as the campus administrator for the CSU site for ETD submission to Proquest/UMI. She is active in the American Library Association and holds a Master of Library Science from Brigham Young University and a Master of History from Chicago State University.

Sarah Fraser (Graduate Assistant)

Sarah Fraser is a former graduate student at Northern Illinois University, who graduated with  her M.S.Ed in Instructional Technology. She completed her undergraduate degree in Communication with a minor in Computer Science at Hope College in Holland, MI. Sarah worked on POWRR’s first IMLS grant phase.

Katharine White (Regional History Center Liaison)

Katharine White is the former Curator of Manuscripts for the Regional History Center at Northern Illinois University. She worked on the first IMLS grant.

Amanda Miller (Graduate Assistant)

AmandaAmanda Miller is a former graduate student at Northern Illinois University who graduated with a Juris Doctor degree and a Master of Business Administration degree. She worked on the POWRR Workshops phase of the project (NEH grant).


Kelly Klecka (Student Assistant)

Kelly Klecka is a former undergraduate student at Northern Illinois University who earned a BA in German language and literature and a minor in Japanese. She worked on the POWRR Workshops phase of the project (NEH grant).


Jennifer Justice (Graduate Assistant)

189461_5282895449_2015_nJen Justice is a PhD candidate with Northern Illinois University’s English department. Her reserach includes rhetoric and composition, video games, and writing pedagogy. She earned her M.A. in Rhetoric & Composition from Northern Illinois University, and holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Olivet Nazarene University. She worked on the POWRR Workshops phase of the project (NEH grant).