VRAF News & Events

VRA Foundation Announces 2014 Professional Development Grant Winners

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Board of Directors of the Visual Resources Association Foundation is pleased to announce the presentation of its 2014 VRAF Professional Development Grants to Mark Pompelia, Rhode Island School of Design, and Courtney Baron, University of Georgia. The amount of each award is $850.00.

Mark Pompelia, recipient of the grant for Established Career Professional, is Visual + Material Resource Librarian at the Fleet Library, Rhode Island School of Design, in Providence, RI.  He will use the award to support his participation at the October 2014 conference of the Art Libraries Society of Australia and New Zealand in Auckland, NZ.  He will speak in the session titled, Steady as She Goes: Images and the Visual Resources Association: Preserving the Past while Embracing the Future, organized by VRA colleagues Victoria Brown of Oxford University, UK, and Jennifer Brasher of Griffith University Queensland College of Art Library, Queensland, Australia.  Mark's talk will focus on the "expanded definition of visual resources at the Rhode Island School of Design," which "has come to include all non-text-based collections and services for RISD's twenty-two departments and administrative offices of the President, Alumni Affairs, Graduate Studies, and Global Partners and Programs."  Proposed by the new VRA International Chapter, this session was inspired by enthusiasm for the opening session at the 2014 VRA conference in Milwaukee, moderated by Mark, which had a similar theme.  This is the first time a VRAF Grant has been awarded to an American attending an international conference, exemplifying the Foundation's commitment to reaching a diverse and global audience with educational offerings in the field of visual resources and image management.

Courtney Baron, recipient of the grant in the Emerging Professional category, serves as the new Visual Resources Curator in the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA.  She is also working toward her MLIS degree at Valdosta State University, focusing on art and academic librarianship, with the anticipation of finishing in the spring of 2015.  Courtney will use the grant to support her participation at the 2015 Visual Resources Association Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado.  As a first-time VRA conference attendee, Courtney expects to bring back "much needed connections, tools, and ideas" to her home institution.  Among the topics she is eager to learn more about are "the changing and growing responsibilities of the visual resources professional, re-envisioning the physical space of visual resources libraries, and supporting the digital humanities."  She would also like to see what collection management systems other professionals are using, since her goals at the University of Georgia include selecting and implementing a new database for their image collection, as well as an institutional archive for their School of Art.  Courtney states that although the VRA listserv "has been an invaluable resource" in her pursuit of information about these and other topics, she knows that she "could learn and absorb much more at the annual VRA conference.  I know I will put the experience of attending VRA to good use."

The purpose of the VRAF Professional Development Grant is to support professional development in the field of visual resources and image management.  In recognition of the differing professional development needs for an emerging professional and an established career professional, two awards are funded annually.  For more information, see the Professional Development Grant web page.

The mission of the VRA Foundation is to advance knowledge in the field of visual resources and image management and to provide educational and training opportunities in support of broad access to cultural information in the digital age. The Foundation advances awareness of important issues for digital information management; encourages the application of professional standards, innovative technology, and metadata cataloging protocols; facilitates workplace training; and promotes awareness of intellectual property rights and copyright issues. The VRA Foundation supports a range of educational offerings to help ensure that such information reaches a diverse and global audience.

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