Mellon Foundation Hires Slavic Languages and Literatures Scholar as Program Officer in Scholarly Communications

Patricia Hswe, a fluent expert in digital scholarship platforms and services, will join the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as its program officer in Scholarly Communications beginning August 1, 2016.

Hswe will work on a range of grants and initiatives supporting libraries, archives, museums, universities, presses, and other institutions that further the world’s collective knowledge of the humanities. These initiatives include: a multi-pronged plan to assist the evolution of academic publishing in the digital age, the preservation of digital scholarship and collections, the digitization of “Hidden Collections,” and a global collections initiative to provide access to non-English language resources.

Hswe brings to her role at the Foundation training as scholar of Russian literature, experience as an editor in a small publishing house, and an extensive background in library services. From 2010 until this summer, Hswe served as an associate librarian and co-department head in publishing and curation services at Penn State University Libraries, where she developed a number of scholarly communications initiatives. Hswe led efforts to engage users in the development of ScholarSphere, Penn State’s institutional repository for the intellectual assets of its faculty, students, and staff. She helped launch the department of publishing and curation services, which consolidated services and support for scholarly publishing, open access outreach and education, research data management, digital collection curation, and digital scholarship projects. She was also instrumental in leading Penn State’s collaborative efforts in community-based digital library initiatives, such as Hydra, a multi-institutional partnership focused on repository solutions, and the Digital Public Library of America.

After serving as an in-house editor at Bruccoli Clark Layman, a publisher of reference works in literary and social history, Patricia Hswe began working in academic libraries in 2004, when she was among the first cohort of Council on Library and Information Resources postdoctoral fellows in academic libraries. She held a Slavic Digital Humanities fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Library. There she later served as a project manager for digital preservation projects funded under the Library of Congress’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program. Her responsibilities included developing and testing of a preservation frameworks for repository interoperability; creating a methodology for assessing data format risk; and investigating approaches to archiving computer and video games, as well as online works of interactive fiction.

Originally a Russian literature scholar, Hswe received a PhD from Yale University in Slavic Languages and Literatures.  She also holds an AB in Russian language and literature from Mount Holyoke College and an MS in Library and Information Science from UIUC. She has held many professional service commitments in the field, including: membership in the Digital Library Federation Advisory Committee; chair in 2016-2017 of the Modern Language Association’s Committee on Information Technology; and vice chair, also in 2016-2017, of the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Research and the Scholarly Environment Committee.

Hswe will join the Mellon Foundation in a position previously held by Helen Cullyer, who left the Foundation earlier this year to become executive director of the Society for Classical Studies.