In a year like no other, ZSR’s Digital Initiatives & Scholarly Communication (DISC) team dispersed to our respective home “offices,” where we got to see one another’s walls, art, and books, and say hello to partners, kids, and pets during our meetings. Sure, things were different and Zoom fatigue is real, but by and large, our work continued without too many hurdles. And, in a silver lining, the pandemic afforded us more opportunities for adaptive and creative outreach and connection, both with Wake Forest faculty and with librarians and faculty at other institutions. It might sound strange to hear, but overall we had a good year. Here are our highlights…

Faculty Projects

  • Continued working with faculty on ongoing projects, including the Maria Edgeworth Letters, the Lynn Book Projects, and the Tirso de Molina Authorship Study
  • Began working with faculty on new projects, including on environmental justice and on knowledge repatriation
  • With funding through the Humanities Institute’s Digital Humanities Summer Stipend we…
    • Supported three faculty projects: Tirso de Molina Authorship Study; The Implementation and Enforcement of the Indian Child Welfare Act; and Analyzing Discourse, Activism, and Immigrants’ Rights Across Congregations within the Catholic Church
    • Launched a faculty learning circle for digital qualitative methods, which will serve as a foundation for growing a community of qualitative analysis software users
  • Initiated support for Airtable, an easy-to-use online database tool, for faculty-student project collaborations
  • Awarded two Digital Humanities Infrastructure Grants to faculty for MAXQDA licenses for their student research assistants

Classroom Projects

  • Worked with history professor Mir Yarfitz’s students in HST114/WGS214, “Gender & Sexuality in World History” to produce Volumes two and three of their open access primary source reader
  • Worked with Brianna Derr in Academic Technologies to conduct strategic planning for a unified digital pedagogy support model at Wake Forest
  • Worked with Brianna to also develop templates and other resources for helping faculty navigate classroom digital project data management needs


In mid-July we hosted the third annual DH@Wake Summer Institute, Community and Collections, highlighting collaborations by research teams at Wake Forest University, the University of Washington, and the University Delaware, as well as innovative digital humanities classroom collaborations that have bridged divides between the university and community organizations.

By necessity, this was the first virtual DH@Wake and the first open to participants beyond Wake Forest. The average attendance across 3 days was 48 participants. In total, 157 registered for the event from 53 institutions in the US, Canada, and India. We were pleased to have 33 Wake Forest faculty and staff representing 12 departments in attendance.

Support for Remote Teaching

With the other offices in the Faculty Commons—the Center for the Advancement of Teaching, the Office of Online Education, and Academic Technologies—we…

  • Launched emergency remote teaching support as soon as the university announced its closure mid-March, offering drop-in open lab hours and consultation appointments with Faculty Commons offices and faculty & staff
  • Helped plan and facilitate this summer’s Peer to Peer Learning Community Initiative (PLC) including the core Peer Facilitator Learning Community, working with a group of 66 faculty peer facilitators to develop disciplinary learning communities on online and blended learning
  • Co-facilitated summer reading groups and led faculty workshops as part of the PLC
  • Consulted with individual faculty and departments on digital pedagogy, tools and resources, teaching films online, and copyright and course materials
  • Worked with Academic Technologies and the folks at Hypothesis to manage the university’s pilot with Hypothesis social annotation software, facilitated Hypothesis training sessions, and served as primary contact for Hypothesis support on campus
  • Spoke at the inaugural ZSR Virtual Town Hall in September and at the ZSR Board of Visitors meeting in November about the Faculty Commons support for remote teaching, from our emergency response in the spring to the summer PLC Initiative


Our reach was broad this year, as the pandemic created more opportunities to reach out to faculty through the Peer to Peer Learning Community Initiative and the virtual DH@Wake. Between the five DISC members, we had…

  • 665 consultations via email, Zoom, phone, & in-person (pre-pandemic)
  • 66 workshops with 758 participants
  • 24 class presentations to 244 students

It was a busy, hard year, yet one marked by success, new opportunities, and a fortuitous addition to our team in January when Kyle moved to DISC as the Digital Pedagogy & Open Education Librarian. Here’s hoping that 2021 sees continued resilience and success, and an eventual reunion with our ZSR and Faculty Commons colleagues.

On behalf of the DISC Team,

Molly Keener, Director of Digital Initiatives & Scholarly Communication

Heather Barnes, Digital Curation Librarian

Kyle Denlinger, Digital Pedagogy & Open Education Librarian

Carrie Johnston, Digital Humanities Research Designer

Jess Wilson-Saia, Digital Scholarship Developer