Two Oregon Tech Faculty Awarded for Efforts to Reduce Coursework Material Costs for Students

Jun 07, 2019
Dawn Lowe-Wincentsen and Addie Clark were recognized as 2019 Oregon Education Resources champions by Open Oregon, an organization that promotes textbook affordability for community college and university students, and facilitates widespread adoption of open, low-cost, high-quality materials

Dawn and AddieTwo Oregon Institute of Technology, “Oregon Tech,” employees were recently recognized for their work expanding access to education in Oregon. Dawn Lowe-Wincentsen, an associate professor and director of the Portland-Metro campus library, and Adelaide “Addie” Clark, Ph.D., assistant professor of Chemistry, were recognized as 2019 Oregon Education Resources (OER) champions by Open Oregon, an organization that promotes textbook affordability for community college and university students, and facilitates widespread adoption of open, low-cost, high-quality materials.

Open Oregon is funded by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission and the Oregon State Legislature, with additional support from the Oregon Community College Distance Learning Association. The organization provides grants, programs and services at no cost to Oregon’s public higher education institutions.

Dawn Lowe-Wincentsen was nominated three times for her leadership in OER initiatives at Oregon Tech. Among these she piloted an OER grant program, brought OER speakers to campus, and continues to engage faculty through presentation and professional development opportunities, while working with the bookstore to also help support these efforts. The quarterly average savings to students from the internal grant program over the first year is $71,000. Actual savings to students over the course of the first year exceeds $200,000. A faculty member wrote, “Without these efforts, I would not have been motivated to do anything to help combat rising textbook prices for our students. Dawn is working hard to change the perception of OER and encourage their use at our institution and her work deserves recognition.”

Recognized for her leadership of an Innovative Grant Project, Dr. Addie Clark has taken the Chemistry 201-202 series from expensive textbooks that were not uniformly used across the curriculum to create open materials via LibreText, providing an estimated savings of nearly $80,000 to students in the first year. “OER availability is definitely becoming more important to student success I’m excited to have been a part of pioneering this at Oregon Tech,” said Dr. Clark.

Mrs. Lowe-Wincentsen has worked at Oregon Tech for 11 years as the director of Oregon Tech’s Portland-Metro campus library. From summer 2017 until April 2019 Mrs. Lowe-Wincentsen was also the Interim Director of Libraries for all Oregon Tech campuses. She is an associate professor for the university. She received a Master of Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Linfield College.

Dr. Clark has worked at Oregon Tech for three years as an assistant professor of Chemistry in the Natural Sciences department. She obtained her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Baylor University and Bachelor of Science from Emory & Henry College.

More information about their joint efforts is available in a recent article from the Oregon Library Association Quarterly:

Clark, A., & Lowe-Wincentsen, D. (2019). Sciences and Technology Open Resources: A Collaborative Effort Between Libraries and Faculty. OLA Quarterly, 24(3), 6-12. https://doi.org/10.7710/1093-7374.1949

For more information about OER and the Champion awards, visit https://openoregon.org/2019champions.

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