Laura Hammons, co-chair of the Vireo Users Group and Thesis Office Director at Texas A&M University, received a 2011 ETD Leadership Award from the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD).
The ETD Leadership Award is one of several awards related to electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) programs that NDLTD bestows yearly; it recognizes those “who have made significant contributions to the worldwide ETD movement.”
“Receiving the ETD Leadership award is an incredible honor,” Hammons said, “and it speaks to the tremendous efforts of those around me as much as to my own. If anything, I see this award as a testament to the power of working together toward common goals.”
In addition to overseeing her institution’s ETD program, Hammons has been instrumental in leading statewide and national efforts to facilitate communication and support for ETD programs, including through the TDL’s Vireo Users Group and the statewide Texas ETD Association.
Among her work facilitating professional development among ETD faculty and staff, Hammons co-chairs the Vireo Users Group, which provides a forum for administrative users of the TDL’s ETD submission and management software to share tips, provide mutual support, and assist TDL in prioritizing needs for future development.
Additionally, according to the NDLTD award announcement, Hammons was the “founder of the Texas ETD Association (TXETDA), which provides a network of support for ETD professionals in the state of Texas.”
She is also a founding member of the United States ETD Association, a nationwide professional development organization for ETD program staff and faculty.
“No one is more deserving than Laura of this recognition,” said TDL program coordinator Ryan Steans. “Her work has furthered the development of a true community around ETDs and has helped expand that community at the state and national level.”
While Hammons is pleased to have been recognized, she is far from seeing her work thus far as a finished product.
“I feel so privileged to have been involved in the development of these organizations, where ETD professionals can grow and learn together,” Hammons said. “But I recognize there is still so much more we can do.”