I’m in New York for the NFAIS Humanities Roundtable, and it’s being held at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, which is on 365 Fifth Avenue and extremely close to the Empire State Building and so many buildings with fabulous Art Deco stylings. Seeing the buildings made me think of a wonderful colleague, Matt Mariner, who recently left the University of Florida libraries to join the Auraria Library at the University of Colorado Denver (Auraria serves several local campuses, but Matt is based with UC-Denver) as the Head of Special Collections and Digital Initiatives.
Matt has an #alt-ac or alternative academic career in that he didn’t follow the seemingly normal or expected path of earning a PhD and then going on to a tenure-track, research and teaching-focused position. Matt earned his MHP (Master of Historic Preservation) in Historic Preservation from the University of Florida in 2011. From 2006-2012, Matt worked on the UF Digital Collections and the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) where he did fabulous work, basically automating, remaking, and defining workflows and his position. In addition to Matt’s expertise and education, Matt is also simply a great colleague. After earning his MHP, Matt decided that – while he loves Florida and UF – he’d lived in Florida his whole life and wanted to explore other places. In considering opportunities, Matt saw his current position, which is a tenure-track position in the Auraria Library as Head of Special Collections and Digital Initiatives, and applied. He was an excellent match and is now with Auraria Library.
Matt’s career is also enough great example of the opportunities that can be available. His position and mine, I’d argue at least, are examples of opportunities that would be great to promote for people who’ve already gone the #alt-ac route and for those in the traditional route who may be interested.
Matt’s a great colleague and contact, and I believe he’ll be attending the upcoming THATCamp Digital Humanities and Libraries in Denver, so that will be a great opportunity to meet him.