Welcoming our new Associate Director

Authors: Tracy TealErin Becker BLOG

Dr. Erin Becker starts as the new Data Carpentry Associate Director

We are excited to announce that Dr. Erin Becker has accepted the position of Associate Director for Data Carpentry! Erin did her PhD in computational genomics and her postdoc at the Center for Educational Effectiveness at UC Davis. Her postdoc focused on bringing evidence-based teaching strategies to teaching assistants, and she developed and implemented training programs, supervised and mentored instructors and assessed the effectiveness of training practices. Her computational background and experience with educational pedagogy and communities of instructors are skills and perspective she will bring to the Data Carpentry community, and we’re delighted to have her join the team!

Erin will lead Data Carpentry’s community engagement activities, sustainably growing a strong and supportive volunteer community of contributors, instructors, and learners. Her focus will be on improving communications, working with the Software Carpentry Foundation on the instructor training and mentorship program and increasing opportunities for learners.

Please join us in welcoming Erin! She is @erinsbecker on Twitter and on email.

Message from Erin Becker

I’m very excited to be joining the Data Carpentry team as Associate Director. I come to Data Carpentry from the University of California, Davis after completing my PhD in Microbiology and a postdoc in biology education research.

My postdoctoral work focused on understanding how to help both novice and experienced instructors effectively use evidence-based teaching practices. This work has helped me to appreciate the variety of motivations that bring people to teaching and the diversity of beliefs about teaching and learning that shape instructors’ behaviors. I look forward to bringing this experience to my work with Data Carpentry as I help direct the instructor training program and serve as a mentor for workshop instructors.

Data Carpentry’s goal of helping researchers develop the ability and self-confidence to conduct computational data analyses resonates strongly with me from my own experience struggling to self-teach computational skills in graduate school.

When I first started my doctoral program, I had no intention of becoming a computational biologist and possessed barely basic computer literacy skills. A few years later, I found myself pursuing a thesis project in comparative genomics. I was lucky enough to have a supportive mentor who provided me with space to learn and believed in my ability, despite my own initial feelings of incompetence.

My desire to bring this guidance and supportive environment to others, so that they can be successful in their own long-term learning, has led me to Data Carpentry. I look forward to working with the community to help grow our ability to support researchers in becoming confident, capable data scientists.

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