Jack Weinbender works half-time in our library as my assistant. He’s a whiz around an Excel spreadsheet, so I regularly put him to work gathering and representing our user and resource statistics. He’s also a mean (self-taught!) web coder, so I put him to work implementing the recent re-design of our website. It looks great!
Jack is a senior at a nearby seminary. He is currently preparing applications to various doctoral programs in ancient Near Eastern and biblical studies for next Fall. Jack is an excellent student and a competent researcher. I hate the prospect of losing him as an employee, but I sincerely wish him well in his desire to find a placement for continuing his studies.
The other day Jack shared with me a draft of the Statement of Intent he is preparing to accompany his applications. As I was reading, I encountered this excerpt (included with permission):
Upon completion of the PhD, I hope to participate actively as a professional scholar through the publication of my own research and as an instructor in the classroom. On both fronts I feel that I can make meaningful contributions professionally. For example, I hope to be an advocate for open publishing in the fields of Near Eastern and biblical studies by supporting the few Open Access publications extant in the field and by advocating for open scholarly communication via the internet. In a similar vein, I hope to engage students in the classroom by utilizing sound curricular design theory with meaningful and measurable learning outcomes. (emphasis added)
Jack is aware of my open access advocacy, and it is gratifying to consider that I may have had an influence on his thinking as he contemplates a future in research and teaching. It is even more gratifying to consider that as a scholar of a new generation, Jack and others like him will surely accelerate the adoption of open access in theological and related fields of study. Blessings to you Jack!