Our staff includes specialists in web development, usability research, videography, scholarly communication, and data management. We work collaboratively to translate the research needs of our partners into concrete technical solutions useful to the larger community.

Rebecca Kennison, Director

Leyla Williams, Communications Coordinator

Mark Newton, Production Manager

Eva Cunningham, Senior Project Manager

Amy Nurnberger, Research Data Manager

Simone Sacchi, Research and Scholarship Initiatives Manager

Kathryn Pope,  Head of Scholarly Communication

Brian Luna Lucero, Digital Repository Coordinator

Vincent Aliberto, Video Services Manager

Brett Bisogno, Video Producer

Kristian Portella, Video Producer

Kerri O’Connell, Project Coordinator

Megan O’Neill, Junior Web Developer

Jack Donovan, Lead Application Developer

Jackson Harvell, Web Developer

Aleksey Pokalyukhin, Senior Application Developer

Semhar Woldeyesus, Production Assistant

Ginny Wiehardt, PMA Editor


CDRS Interns

Our team is joined by dedicated interns each semester. Read about our interns.

  • Director

    Rebecca Kennison, Director

  • As Director, Rebecca is responsible for developing the programs and services of the Center and for coordinating these efforts with other Libraries/Information Services divisions, including the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, the Copyright Advisory Office, the Libraries Digital Program Division, the Libraries Information Technology Office, and Preservation and Digital Conversion Division. Her primary objective for the Center is to facilitate scholarly research and the communication of that research through technology solutions, and she works with faculty and researchers to address the issues that affect them.

    Before coming to Columbia, Rebecca was Director of Content Services for Healthline Networks, an online consumer health website. From 2002-2006, she was Director of Production at the open-access publisher, Public Library of Science. She has also held positions with Cell Press, SilverPlatter Education, Blackwell Publishing, Inc., and Database Publishing. She has an M.A. in English from Arizona State University.

      • Communications

      • Leyla Williams, Communications Coordinator

      Follow Leyla on Twitter @lwillm

      As CDRS’ Communications Coordinator, Leyla Williams manages partner relationships, oversees outreach and publicity efforts, and grows and maintains the Center’s online presence. Prior to joining CDRS, Leyla worked in her hometown of London in nonprofit communications, campaigns, and political fundraising. Leyla has a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Birmingham, UK.

    • Research and Scholarship Initiatives / Academic Commons

      The Scholarly Communication Program explores innovative ways to share, curate, and preserve new knowledge. The Academic Commons team acquires materials, manage content, and facilitate researchers, faculty, and students as they deposit content into Columbia’s expanding online repository.

          • Simone Sacchi, Research and Scholarship Initiatives Manager

      Follow Simone on Twitter @simosacchi

      As Research and Scholarship Initiatives Manager, Simone’s role is to develop and promote the scholarly communication life cycle, tools, and services that support the research mission of Columbia. He oversees the institutional repository, Academic Commons, and the evaluation and development of new research and scholarship services and initiatives, and develops outreach activities and educational opportunities on scholarly communication, open access and other trends in scholarly publishing.
  • Simone is a doctoral candidate at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois where he conducts research in the areas of digital stewardship, information organization and access, and conceptual and modeling foundation of LIS. Before moving to the US, Simone was Systems Librarian and Digital Repository Manager at the University of Bologna, Italy where he also obtained a Laurea Magistrale in LIS from the University of Parma and a postgraduate specialization in Free and Open Source Software Science and Technology from the Alma Graduate School, University of Bologna.
    • Kathryn Pope, Head of Scholarly Communication

      Follow Kathryn on Twitter @kathrynhpope

      Kathryn manages Columbia’s digital repository, Academic Commons. Before assuming her current role at Columbia, Kathryn was a Project Manager and Director of Research and Rights for Digital Knowledge Ventures. Her background is in multimedia production, and she has worked on video, audio, and print projects for organizations including MSNBC, Court TV, Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, PBS, and a number of museums. Kathryn has a B.A. in Women’s Studies from Brown University.

      • Brian Luna Lucero, Digital Repository Coordinator

        Follow Brian on Twitter @blunalucero

        Brian oversees the cataloging and metadata remediation for the material in Academic Commons. He also solicits new deposits to the repository and contributes to the Center’s outreach to Columbia’s scholars.

        Prior to joining CDRS, Brian was a Graduate Fellow at the Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections at the University of New Mexico where he digitized archival materials for the Celebrating New Mexico Statehood project and worked in public services, library instruction, and special collections reference. He holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies from Columbia University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of New Mexico.

      • Data Management

      • Amy Nurnberger, Research Data Manager


        Follow Amy on Twitter @DataAtCU

        As Research Data Manager, Amy’s primary role is to address the data life cycle needs of researchers through planning, outreach, and training. She also works to develop policies and best practices that enable research data management. Amy joins CDRS from The University of Texas at Austin where she received her M.S. in Information Studies in May 2012. While earning her degree she worked on various public service library projects at The University of Texas at San Antonio and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Before pursuing an education in information, Amy was a Validation Manager in pharmaceutical manufacturing.  She has a B.S. in Biochemistry from Michigan State University.

        • Video Services

          The Video Services team captures Columbia’s diverse array of lectures, conferences, and other events on video for preservation and sharing.

          • Vincent Aliberto, Video Services Manager


            Vincent has been providing video production services Columbia University since 2001, first with Digital Knowledge Ventures (DKV), and now at CDRS. From the beginning, he recognized the need to capture events, lectures, and symposia on video, both for archiving and preservation as well as for online delivery. In doing so, Vincent has helped CDRS become a key resource for the University. He works closely with The Earth Institute, The School of International Public Affairs (SIPA), University Programs and Events, and other departments on a regular basis.

            Previously, Vincent worked at Thirteen/WNET as an audio engineer and associate producer for the CD-ROM/DVD-ROM version of the Emmy Award-winning PBS series, Civilization, Heritage and the Jews.

          • Brett Bisogno, Video Producer


            Brett is a video producer responsible for taping University events, as well as editing and posting them to the Columbia website.

            Before arriving at Columbia, Brett worked as an editor for FOX News Channel. Brett attended the State University of New York at New Paltz, where he received a B.A. in Television and Radio Production.

          • Kristian Portella, Video Producer


            As video producer, Kristian is responsible for on-location videotaping and production of academic events around campus, which include conferences, interviews, and special projects. He is also responsible for post-production editing.

            Prior to coming to Columbia University, Kristian worked as a photographer and videographer for the Fire Department of the City of New York’s (FDNY) Photo and Audio Visual Units. His responsibilities in the F.D.N.Y. included the documentation of, in video and still photography, FDNY operations at the World Trade Center site following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

            Kristian holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the City College of New York, and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies with a Film Studies concentration, from The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York.

        • Production

          The Production group provides publication support for online scholarly journals, conference proceedings, and other digital projects related to the needs of the Columbia University community for scholarly exchange.

          • Mark Newton, Production Manager


            Follow Mark on Twitter @libmark

            Mark Newton is the Production Manager at the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS), a unit of the Columbia University Libraries/Information Services. At CDRS, Mark’s work focuses on the development of the library’s scholarly publications partnership program, the Academic Commons institutional repository, and a variety of faculty- and student-led digital scholarship projects. He currently serves on the project staff for Humanities CORE, an NEH-funded digital humanities project with the Modern Language Association, pairing repository infrastructure with the MLA Commons community hub. Mark completed a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and previously served as the Digital Collections Librarian at Purdue University.

          • Eva Cunningham, Senior Project Manager

              Eva oversees all aspects of multimedia projects, working closely with faculty members to help them achieve their project goals. She is responsible for creating schedules and resource requirements, as well as coordinating resources over the entire life cycle of a given project.

              Prior to coming to Columbia, Eva worked account management in the health care communications industry. Before that she managed projects for a small web development company in San Francisco. She has a B.S. in biology from Boston College.

            • Kerri O’Connell, Project Coordinator
            • As project coordinator, Kerri is responsible for managing various CDRS projects, including adhering to project timelines, troubleshooting site issues, and ensuring project goals are met. She coordinates the efforts of developers, management, and faculty members to keep projects on task and progressing at a steady pace.Kerri received her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute in 2013. Before becoming the project coordinator Kerri was the scholarly publishing and production intern at CDRS. She has also interned at Scholastic, Inc. and Infotrieve.
              • Megan O’Neill, Junior Web Developer


                As our junior web developer, Megan codes and designs web sites and web applications. Prior to joining CDRS, Megan did freelance work as a web developer, worked as an intern at MacMillan Higher Education, and completed General Assembly’s Web Development Immersive. Megan graduated from The College of New Jersey with a B.A. in History, and a certificate from Women in Leadership and Learning (WILL).

              • Jack Donovan, Lead Application Developer


                As the lead application developer, Jack designs, develops, and maintains computing systems and software, working with multiple languages such as Java, PHP, XML, and Ruby on Rails and with various databases.

                Jack transitioned to CDRS as part of the reorganization of Columbia University’s Digital Knowledge Ventures (DKV), where for several years he had been a senior software analyst/developer. Prior to that, Jack worked as a developer at Teachscape Inc., Worldwide Xceed Group, and the Episcopal News Service. Jack obtained his B.A. from the New School for Social Research.

              • Jackson Harvell, Web Developer


                Jackson joins CDRS after more than 10 years as an independent technology consultant and web developer in New York City. In this role, he worked on an eclectic mix of projects involving web development digital photography, digital video and strategic technology consulting. He hopes to contribute his expertise in front end web development in addition to his focus on design, typography and user experiences in promoting the academic mission of CDRS.

              • Aleksey Pokalyukhin, Senior Application Developer


                Aleksey joins us from Columbia’s CUIT web-infrastructure group, where he worked as part of the course management system team. Prior to working at Columbia, Aleksey worked for several different companies as a Java web developer and software engineer. In his new role as Senior Application Developer at CDRS, Aleksey implements CDRS’ online platforms by architecting, coding, integrating, and maintaining services and back-end applications that support the projects of the Center. Aleksey received his Masters in Computer Science from the Polytechnic Institute of NYU in 2006.

              • Semhar Woldeyesus, Production Assistant


                As the Center’s Production Assistant, Semhar is responsible for helping build out and improve content across websites and digital publishing projects. Prior to joining CDRS, Semhar worked as a freelance reporter and on production teams for NPR, ABC News, and Black Enterprise. Semhar has a Masters of Science in Journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

              • Ginny Wiehardt, PMA Editor


                Ginny Wiehardt maintains the Publications Management Application (PMA), an online archive of scholarship by Columbia Business School faculty that supports the Ideas at Work website and Business School faculty pages. In keeping with the project’s open-access mission, she also negotiates rights agreements with publishers to post full-text versions of this scholarship online.

                In addition to working for Columbia, she writes and edits for a number of organizations, including e-Scholastic and Previously, she was Managing Editor for Library Relations at the American Council of Learned Societies History E-Book Project and, prior to that, an editorial assistant at NYU Press. She has an M.F.A. in Poetry from the Michener Center for Writers and a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has appeared in journals such as the Notre Dame Review, PN Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review.

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