ATLANTA—Georgia State University Library faculty Bryan Sinclair and Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh have been awarded a $150,000 grant from the New America Public Interest Technology University Network to expand programs that promote “data literacy for the public good” and encourage a more diverse pipeline of students pursuing careers in data science.
The Public Interest Data Literacy (PIDLit) initiative, led by the Georgia State Library with multiple campus partners, will expand programs promoting data literacy and career preparedness with a focus on reaching first-year students and underrepresented groups. The Library provides support and training on a host of data analysis tools and methods along with opportunities for students to network with the broader Atlanta community around practical applications of data science.
Georgia State’s College to Career initiative encourages curricular enhancements that help students become aware of career competencies, connect those competencies to the work they do in their major and demonstrate their proficiency in transferable skills.
Georgia State’s Digital Learners to Leaders (DLL) initiative organizes student-led teams that create digital solutions to working-world challenges, growing students’ digital and problem-solving skills and increasing their career marketability.
“By conjoining these campus initiatives,” Sinclair said, “we seek to expand data literacy outreach to first-year students, fostering a career pipeline that is stronger and more diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, ability, gender and socioeconomic status.”
Sinclair is a member of the Public Interest Technology working group, which is working to advance PIT-related initiatives on Georgia State campuses.
The PIDLit initiative is bolstered by a partnership of colleagues from multiple programs and departments at Georgia State as well as data literacy specialists from Clemson University, North Carolina State University, the University of Cincinnati and other partners. Sally Wallace, dean of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, is the primary campus contact for PIT-UN at Georgia State, which was named to the network in January.
“We are excited to join the Georgia State University Library in preparing our students to lead our data-driven future forward,” said Wallace. “The stronger collaborations PIDLit will help build among our partner institutions will be essential in effectively teaching students to manage technological advances that will support society’s core values while minimizing the risks and unforeseen consequences they may impose.”