Project Leadership

jean amaral, principal investigator

jean amaral (MLIS, MA), associate professor and open knowledge librarian at Borough of Manhattan Community College, partners with faculty across disciplines to create active and engaging learning experiences for students through open knowledge practices, such as open educational resources and Wikipedia edit-a-thons. Having taught information literacy, as well as literature and composition, for several years, amaral strives for student-centered learning experiences with a focus on asset pedagogies including culturally sustaining and trauma informed pedagogy and universal design for learning. Her research focuses on open knowledge practices, future libraries, and holistic student needs. 

Melissa Blankstein, Co-Investigator

Melissa Blankstein is a senior analyst in the Libraries, Scholarly Communication, and Museums program at Ithaka S+R. Melissa uses her mixed-methods research background to lead a multitude of institutional and large-scale research projects studying the attitudes and practices of faculty members, students, administrators, and library leaders. She is passionate about unpacking and rethinking traditional conceptualizations of student success, and documenting and addressing student basic needs like housing and food insecurity.

Melissa holds a bachelor of arts in applied psychology from Binghamton University with a minor in women, gender, and sexuality studies, and a master of arts in general psychology from the State University of New York at New Paltz. She also spent a semester at University College Utrecht in the Netherlands. Her master’s thesis examined the effects of counterfactual thoughts on military and veterans in seeking mental health services.

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