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From our Community Blog:

Introducing WPCampus’ Inaugural Board of Directors

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In April 2022, Rachel Cherry announced she was stepping down as the Director of WPCampus. WPCampus formed a community working group to design, implement, and lead our community transition toward a new governance model.

The goal of the WPCampus Leadership Transition working group was to define and implement a new baseline leadership model for the WPCampus organization. The working group created our new organizational bylaws. The nominations and selection process for our new Board of Directors began in October 2022.

In January 2023, the WPCampus leadership model officially moved from a single Director (Rachel Cherry) to a Board of Directors. Rachel volunteered to serve as one of the initial Directors in the role of “Past President,” who serves as a non-voting advisor, to ease the transition process throughout 2023.

Today, we are thrilled to announce WPCampus’ inaugural Board of Directors.

About the Board of Directors

The inaugural WPCampus Board of Directors brings together a group of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences in higher education and WordPress, united by a shared passion for supporting the growth of higher education through the enrichment of its people and its technology.

The Board plays a crucial role in setting the direction and priorities for WPCampus. Their impact on the organization lies in their ability to provide strategic guidance, oversee operations, and serve as advocates for the needs and interests of the community. By working collaboratively with other members of the WPCampus community, the Board helps to ensure that the organization remains focused on its mission of providing resources, support, and networking opportunities to those who use WordPress in higher education.

Introducing the Board of Directors

You can learn more about each Director on our Board of Directors webpage.

David Dashifen Kees (they/them) - President

By day, David Dashifen Kees (they/them) is a mild-mannered software developer working with Georgetown University's web services team. By night, they're the same thing, except asleep. They've been working in higher education since 1998 at both public and private institutions, and the one time they left the warm embrace of academia for the fast-paced lifestyle of digital agency work, it lasted only eight months before they scurried back into the ivory tower. Nearly everyone calls them Dash, and you're very welcome to do so, too.

Reed Piernock (they/them) - Secretary

Reed is a front-of-the-front-end developer who is passionate about usability and accessibility. They work with HTML and templating languages to write strong semantic markup that, in addition to their CSS and Sass code, creates accessible websites with an intrinsic design that works well across all devices for all audiences. Their undergraduate degree concentrated on digital media and web technology, and they have also earned a professional certificate in web accessibility. Reed recently completed a master's degree in Communication, Culture, and Technology from Georgetown University, and is active in the Popular Culture Association, focused on horror studies and marginalization in media.

Kiera Howe (she/her) - Treasurer

Kiera is an entrepreneur and software developer with skills developed over the last 20 years across a wide variety of endeavors. She has been a business owner since 2005 focusing on technology solutions to make businesses and their staff and customers more efficient. She has also taught part time college classes and has spoken at, and organized WordCamps, conferences for WordPress.

Rachel Cherry (she/her) - Past-President

Rachel Cherry is a freelance software engineer and consultant with over 15 years of experience in back and front-end web development, working primarily in higher education and enterprise-level environments. She has become a focused specialist in accessible and performant web development. Rachel is the Director of Technology and Design for Equal Made and the Founder of the WPCampus organization. Rachel led the WPCampus accessibility audit of the WordPress Gutenberg editor and helped spur change in the software project that benefited users worldwide. Rachel loves to travel and explore. She is quite fond of feminism, running lots of miles, and eating tacos.

L. Danielle Baldwin (she/her)

Danielle Baldwin is an award-winning digital strategist with more than 20 years of experience in development, design, marketing, content, and media strategy. Danielle uses that experience and knowledge to help advocate for women in technology and STEM in the digital world.

Ed Beck (he/him)

Ed Beck has been working in the Educational Technology field since 2013. His current position is at SUNY Oneonta, where he works with faculty on the development of online, hybrid, and face-to-face courses. Some of Ed’s interests include scaffolding digital competencies across the curriculum, and the exploration, adoption, and creation of high-quality open resources. Ed is one of the co-founders of the SUNY Create initiative that invites students to build a web presence using open source tools.

Phil Crumm (he/him)

Phil is Senior Vice President of Marketing & Growth at 10up, a full-service digital agency that builds websites and tools for content creators at startups, enterprises, universities, and everything in between. Phil began his career as an engineer at Automattic before transitioning into a strategy role at 10up – helping clients explore how WordPress can best serve them. He believes that WordPress is the web's most flexible and powerful CMS, and that higher ed is uniquely positioned to benefit from WordPress' robustness.

Eric Scott Sembrat, Ph.D. (he/him)

Eric Sembrat, Ph.D. (he/him) leads the digital presence of the College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His work spearheads campus- and college-level initiatives, including a campus-wide WordPress service, a thriving web development users group community, and exploration of new web technologies. He presently serves as an Information Technology representative lead for Georgia Tech Staff Council.

You can attend Board meetings - your voice counts

If you're a member of the WPCampus community and care about the future of higher education and WordPress, the directors would like you to attend their meetings.

As a community member, your voice matters and can significantly impact decisions made by the Board. By attending meetings, you will have the opportunity to hear directly from the Board about the future of the organization, share your ideas and feedback, and learn about ways you can get involved and contribute.

The meetings run from 3:30 to 5 pm Eastern time on the third Friday of each month. The meetings are listed in the WPCampus community calendar.

The minutes from each meeting are published online and available to the community. You can also subscribe to receive email updates about the Board.

Don't miss out on this chance to engage with fellow members and shape the future of WPCampus. Join us at the next board meeting and help us make a difference!

Learn more about WPCampus Governance

Join us at WPCampus 2023

Don’t forget that our annual conference is returning in person for summer 2023! We are thrilled to head to New Orleans this July 12-14 for a few days of sessions, networking, and social events on the beautiful campus of Tulane University.

The event will cover a variety of topics focused on the growth of higher education, accessibility, WordPress, and its people.

If you work anywhere near the intersection of higher ed, accessibility, and WordPress, we'd love for you to join us and share your stories, how-tos, hypotheticals, demos, case studies, and more. Our call for presenters is open until the end of this month. We'd love to learn from you.

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