Sonya Lockett, associate librarian at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, was selected as a fellow in the Open Education Leadership Program of SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition.)

SPARC is an intensive professional development program to empower library professionals with the knowledge, skills, and community connections to lead successful open education initiatives that benefit students, according to a news release.

“The two-semester program blends online, peer-to-peer, and project-based learning to build a comprehensive understanding of the open education space coupled with practical know-how to take action on campus and beyond,” according to the release.

Lockett, who works at the John Brown Watson Memorial Library at UAPB, is one of 27 fellows selected from a competitive application pool for the program’s 2019-2020 cohort, according to the release.

“The John Brown Watson Memorial Library is deeply committed to supporting open education on campus,” said Library Director Edward Fontenette. “We are proud that Mrs. Lockett has been selected for this program, and believe that the knowledge that she will gain from this cohort will benefit students at UAPB.”

The program begins with an intensive online course in the fall to build open education subject matter expertise, according to the release.

In the spring, Lockett will work with a mentor to implement a capstone project that will help advance open education at UAPB and contribute back to the broader open education community as a whole. She will join other fellows at the 16th annual Open Education Conference at Phoenix, Ariz., in October.

“My goal for participating in the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program is to become a more effective advocate for open education, so that my work can have a greater impact for UAPB students,” Lockett said. “I am particularly interested in fair use and copyright, and hope to explore this topic in my capstone project.”

Nicole Allen is director of Open Education for SPARC.

“Academic libraries sit at the intersection of faculty, students and high-quality resources, and therefore are essential partners in advancing open education on campus,” Allen said. “A large part of what makes our program successful is the unique and valuable perspective each participant brings to it, and a vibrant community of practice develops amongst the cohort. We are proud to have Sonya among our 2019-2020 class.”