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Welcome to the third post in the Get Data Lit! blog series. This post will focus on my experience working as a STEM Research Data Services Associate with FSU Libraries during the 2020-2021 school year. In this role, I assisted with outreach and education to FSU students, groups, and organizations at Florida State University around STEM research data services.
My name is Paxton Welton and I will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Finance this semester. One question that you might have right from the start-why is a finance major working in a STEM-focused role?
When applying for jobs prior to this academic year, I knew I wanted a role that would challenge me and allow me to develop new skills. I believed that being the Research Data Services Assistant would provide me the appropriate level of challenge and opportunity that I was looking for. By and large, I believe that my experience provided me with just that. There was a major learning curve that I faced when I first started this role. While I had a grasp of the basics of data literacy and research data services, I quickly realized I did not know nearly enough to be able to properly speak to student groups about these topics. During the first few weeks of the fall semester, I spent a significant portion of my time getting a stronger understanding of data and everything FSU STEM Libraries had to offer to its students in regards to research data. By reading countless articles about data literacy and engaging in weekly discussions with my supervisor Dr. Nick Ruhs, the STEM Data & Research Librarian, I became confident in my working knowledge on these topics.
As the STEM Research Data Services Assistant, one of my main responsibilities was conducting targeted outreach to different student organizations across campus. When I first started this process I reached out specifically to STEM-focused groups. This process involved me initiating conversations via email with registered student organizations (RSOs) to introduce them to the research data services FSU Libraries offers them. In several cases, we were invited to meet and/or present synchronously to these groups. This gave us a chance to share more in-depth information about our services and just how valuable they are to students. It also gave students a chance to ask us any questions they may have. Getting the chance to directly interact with students and help them find the right resources to feel more prepared for their future was by far my favorite part of this role.
I also had the opportunity to contribute to data-related events hosted by FSU STEM Libraries. Two examples include Love Data Week in February and the Virtual FSU Libraries Data Services Quest in March. My involvement in these events allowed me to see the entire process of creating programming for students. I was able to sit in on brainstorming meetings, give my input on the marketing materials, and create content for the events.
One of my main focuses throughout this year has been to develop and create this blog series you are reading right now–Get Data Lit! The focus of this blog series was data literacy and its applicability to student’s educational experiences. As such, I had the chance to put into practice the new data literacy skills I learned in this role. I also had the opportunity to connect data literacy to real-world practice and explain the importance of critically evaluating data. Doing so made me realize just how important learning data skills are for my future career and education.
One thing that proved to be a common theme throughout all the work I was doing is that data is powerful and knowing how to work with it is even more powerful. From a career in law to a career in fashion, you are going to be working with data in some form. Learning how to critically evaluate data is going to give you the skills you need to stand out in the future.
By taking on a job in a discipline that I knew very little about, I was able to challenge myself and make the most out of this past year. From getting to work on student programming events to developing a blog series, I was constantly challenged and learning something new.
We are so lucky to be on a part of this amazing planet. Here in Florida we have plenty of sunshine, beautiful biodiversity, and lots of water to play in. Celebrate Mother Nature and Earth Day with us by checking out some of our great Pop Lit Picks through our curbside pick up. Take yourself outside and read in the sun, relax in the grass, and maybe volunteer for a garbage pick up, just make sure to stay hydrated with your reusable water bottle.
Here are some titles in our Popular Literature collection that cover just a few topics related to Mother Nature and our existence on this amazing planet. You can search for more Pop Lit books by selecting the Popular Literature collection location in an advanced search on our catalog!
Don’t forget your sunscreen and enjoy your well earned break from classes!
Every spring semester the Libraries hosts a reception celebrating our part-time student employees and honoring those who are graduating. This year we decided to post a blog about our students and celebrate our graduating seniors.
On behalf of Gale Etschmaier, Dean of University Libraries, “I want to thank you personally for your service to the Libraries. Without our part-time employees, we would be unable to provide the level of support that students and faculty at FSU want and need. You’ve been an integral part of this important effort and I hope you’ll remember your time at FSU’s Libraries as a happy and productive part of your FSU experience.”
Congratulations Graduates! All your friends and colleagues in the Libraries are proud of your accomplishment, and excited for you as you take the next big step in your life. At the same time, we will miss you!
We celebrate you! Read on for words of celebration on behalf of their supervisors.
Supervisor: Nikki Morse
“Amy has worked in the Outreach and Engagement unit for 3 years, leading the book display project for the majority of that time. She’s done amazing displays including Blind Date with Book and has also helped run dynamic events for undergraduate students. She kept our team laughing and was always available to lend a hand when someone needed it! Amy is graduating and moving on to the University of Connecticut Law School where she will be pursuing her Juris Doctorate.”
Supervisor: Shaundra Lee
“Bianca has worked at Dirac since Fall 2018. She’s been one of our most reliable, stalwart employees. Besides working the circulation desk, she collaborated with other library staff to compose a literature review on Public and Academic Library partnerships related to STEM education. In addition to crushing work, the double-major in Criminology and Psychology has interned at the Leon County Public Defender’s Office, volunteered with various community organizations and will graduate Summa Cum Laude. Her future includes law school and the occasional turkey leg.”
Supervisor: Shaundra Lee
“Claire has worked at Dirac since 2019. She’s a great worker at the library while managing her psychology course work and several research projects in campus labs. Her future plans include becoming a licensed clinical psychologist with a focus on children while mixing in travel with family and friends.”
Supervisor: Liz Dunne
Hannah has been an amazing Reference Associate from the second she joined the team! She is an outstanding information professional whose compassion and commitment to teaching and learning have benefited all those around her. Aside from her incredible research skills and wealth of library-related knowledge, she is an absolute joy to work with and simply put, just a really very kind and cool human. With her talent, I have no doubt she will become a Rockstar librarian in no time! Congratulations on your graduation!
Isabella (Bella) Jaramillo
Supervisor: Nikki Morse
“Bella has been a part of the Outreach and Engagement team for almost two years and started her journey with us helping out with Orientation in 2019. Since then she’s been a driving force on our team, running events and helping usher in partnerships around campus. Her passion for the environment and social justice has also helped build our team into all-around activists! Bella is moving on to Georgetown to pursue their MS in Environmental Metrology and Policy- she will be missed!”
Supervisor: Shaundra Lee
“Kenna has only worked at Dirac Science since August of 2020, but it seems like she’s been here much longer. She has been not only excellent on the desk but has been the lead on several on-desk projects. And this is all while earning Dean’s list-worthy marks in Biomedical Engineering and being involved in Habitat for Humanity. Kenna plans to work in the medical field and travel.”
Supervisor: Mimi Bilodeau
“Eilish is an incredible employee and has flawlessly stepped into the role of peer leader this year. We congratulate this rock star on her degree and amazing work at her internship.”
Supervisor: Rachel Smart
“Ayoola has worked with me for three years on an Open Access outreach initiative directed towards faculty and researchers on campus. She’s done amazing work and is very excited about her plans beyond undergrad and the traveling it may entail. I wish her all the best!
Supervisor: Nick Ruhs
“Paxton has been an awesome member of the FSU STEM Libraries team this year as the Research Data Services Assistant. She has played a key role in our engagement efforts with undergraduate students in the STEM disciplines around research data services. After graduation, Paxton plans to continue her education by enrolling in graduate school to get her Masters in Accounting! Congratulations Paxton!”
Supervisor: Eddie Powell
“Shania is an incredibly intelligent individual who has a bright future ahead of her. With her strong work ethic and professionalism she has been a wonderful member of the FSU libraries team
As Earth Day approaches, we wanted to highlight a climate crisis that is impacting everyone, but not many are aware of. Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is expanding at a crippling rate, causing irreversible damage every day. Land is being taken over for agriculture and development that is destroying the natural ecosystems of Amazonia. Delve into our selection of books, TED Talks, and not-so-fun facts about the Amazon rainforest. The following articles summarize the current crisis, if you’re looking for a brief but well informed read! Why The Amazon Rainforest is Nearly Gone Forests Burn, Soils Dwindle, and People Suffer
Play the FSU Libraries Marvel Madness Bracket Challenge and be entered to win a Smoothie King Gift Card!! Every Marvel fan has their all time favorite movie – will yours prevail? Participating is simple!
In July 2021, FSU Libraries is introducing a next-generation catalog and discovery interface. This upgraded OneSearch system will optimize your ability to find and request items on our website, lib.fsu.edu. It will also provide a robust new search experience, allowing you to search across our collections and many databases from a single interface.
Think you know what data services are offered through the libraries? Finish the Data Services Quest to find out! Complete the quest and be one of our 3 prize winners! Play for the chance to win a Study Room for Finals Week or a Smoothie King Gift Card!
When?: Play Monday, March 29th – Midnight on Friday, April 2nd to be entered to win one of our 3 prizes!
As we celebrate Women’s History Month (WHM), let’s take a stroll down memory lane to reflect on Florida State University’s history—or should I say, the Florida State College for Women.
The Florida State College for Women is what we know as the predecessor institution of FSU today. Not only that, but FSCW was also one of the largest all-female centers of higher learning in the country. From the year of its establishment in 1905 to the year its name changed to FSU in 1947, thousands of young women attended and graduated from FSCW.
Although FSU is no longer an all-female university, there are still significant efforts made by many organizations on campus to place a main focus on celebrating women, especially during Women’s History Month. WHM is celebrated every March to commemorate and raise awareness of the significant contributions of women to our culture and society throughout history. To take part in this celebration, organizations including Women Wednesdays at FSU and the Women Student Union are either taking a closer look at this year’s WHM theme or holding relevant events throughout the month.
The library was always a place that I was used to. Growing up, my dad and I would go to the library every week to check out new books, so that we could read together and learn new things. However, as I got older, reading just became something that did not interest me as much. We always tend to correlate the library with reading, but this is not always the case. Walking onto FSU’s campus, the first thing that caught my eye was the Starbucks logo inside of Strozier. This made me come to the library more and learn new things about what it had to offer, other than just books.
My freshman year in college, I found myself using the library more than intended. Not only trying a new Starbucks drink from Tik Tok everytime I went, but being glued to the computers to complete my assignments. It was for my economics class, where we had to play “Second Life” for a grade. I had come to the library before, but it wasn’t for long periods of time; probably to just print and go. However, doing my assignments helped me realize what the library really was, and how much of a benefit it could really be.
One of the most important and useful things for me was the materials that you could check out. Being that I was already in the library to use the computer for my Second Life assignment- it should already give some insight as to how broken my computer already was. Soon it broke completely, which was an essential item for a college student. I soon learned that the library had macbooks for checkout, which I used until I was able to get a new computer. You could also check out things like cameras, chargers and ever headphone pieces. While being in the library, I also noticed that there were big areas of study rooms that also contained white boards for dry erase. You could also check out those materials too if you needed!
Everything that I needed was at the library. If I didn’t have something, or left it in my residence hall and did not want to walk all the way across campus to get it, I could find it there. The library became like a second home to me, not only because of the materials that were available, but the atmosphere itself. It became a place I could depend on for my studies and success as a first generation student here at Florida State.