For the period of May 1, 2021 to June 30, 2023, VALE appointed three academic librarians to serve as OER Ambassadors. These OER Ambassadors led a two year, coordinated, statewide effort to advance OER and textbook affordability in NJ higher education. This work was primarily done by visiting institutions to provide workshops or to support local leaders in organizing workshops, participating in VALE’s OER listserv, and networking with librarians and faculty across institutions to form collaborative relationships around OER implementation.

2021-2023 OER Ambassadors:

  • Megan Dempsey, Associate Professor, Instructional Services Librarian, Raritan Valley Community College (2021-22)
  • Muhammad Hassan, Director Of Digital Information Resources, The Learning Commons (NTLC), Kean University
  • Lily Todorinova, Undergraduate Experience Librarian, New Brunswick Libraries, Rutgers University

2019-2020 OER Ambassadors:

On April 12th, 2019 in response to Bill S678, requiring NJ institutions of Higher Education to develop an open textbook plan, VALE appointed 4 of its member institution’s librarians as VALE-OER Ambassadors. These ambassadors were:

  • Alison Cole, Computing & Information Technology Librarian, Felician University
  • Kenneth Karol, Instructional Technologist & Reference Librarian, Passaic County Community College
  • Janet Marler, College Lecturer II-Library, Ocean County College
  • Marilyn Ochoa, Director for Library and Learning Center Services, Middlesex County College

The 2019-2020 Ambassadors attended the Open Textbook Summer Institute at the University of Minnesota in July 2019, where they had the opportunity to collaborate with other open education leaders to develop open education strategies and build a community of practice. Upon their return, the Ambassadors served a one year term as leaders and mentors for OER adoption and open education practices across NJ institutions, organizing and presenting training workshops across the state.