Cue the requisite Bowie reference.

Some of you may have already heard this through other channels, but I’m stepping down as Associate Director of Matrix, a position I’ve held for 11 years.  While at Matrix I’ve had a hand in bringing many externally funded grants to MSU, have led (or contributed to) many significant and impactful projects, and helped grow MSU’s reputation in the domain of digital cultural heritage.  I am deeply proud of the work I’ve done while at Matrix and deeply appreciative of the wonderful people I’ve been able to work with while there.

I have been succeeded by Dr. Candace Keller, Associate Professor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design at MSU.  Candace is an Art Historian of West African Photography and has collaborated with Matrix on the NEH- and British Library-funded Archive of Malian Photography project. Candace has my respect and support, especially as she steps into this new role.

I will remain at Matrix as Head of Tangible Heritage & Archaeology Projects for the time being, but will not continue in a leadership role there beyond my own grant-funded projects. This will allow me to continue managing my current 3-year National Park Service funded Internment Archaeological Digital Archive project (which I co-direct with Dr. Stacey Camp). My new role will also allow me to continue submitting additional grants under the Matrix institutional umbrella.  

This change also affords me the opportunity to look ahead to building future collaborations and partnerships at MSU and beyond – partnerships that focus on the kinds of publicly engaged digital heritage and archaeology, heritage digitization, and museum centered digital collections projects that reflect the future of the field and about which I’m so passionate. As those prospects come into clearer view, I’m looking forward to sharing them with you.

I will, of course, retain my faculty position in the Department of Anthropology (I’ve always been 100% appointed in Anthropology) as well as continuing to direct the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative and the Digital Heritage Imaging & Innovation Lab. Both of these initiatives live in the Department of Anthropology, and I am excited to continue directing them.

Change is one of those things that seems to characterize our academic world and brings both uncertainty and opportunity. My scholarly identity has been tightly connected to Matrix for the past 11 years, and moving on raises questions even for me about what comes next. It’s also exciting, and I’m eager to find out what is possible in this new phase of my scholarly career.

What I do know is that this is a moment to reconnect with those of you who are part of my extended academic network, and I hope that we’ll have a chance to talk sometime soon about the ways our work may bring us together in new and exciting ways.  

Please continue staying safe and (hopefully) sane. 

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