Meet the Staff: Spring 2016 Edition – Douglas!

Hello once again, GSLIS! Hope everyone is having a good week.

It seems like only yesterday we were all getting to know our Fall batch of GAs for the Help Desk (yours truly included). Well, with a new season comes more new faces! We have two new hires to the GA team, and as always, I wanted to present a little get-to-know-you primer on your new assistants!

First up is Douglas Heintz!

What brought you to GSLIS:

Douglas is originally from Windsor, Illinois. Prior to coming to GSLIS, he was working for fundraising administration for the College of Engineering right here at the University. Essentially what that boils down to, he says, is “I wrote lots of stuff on behalf of the Dean and worked on committees managing big IT projects and formulating institutional policies related to scholarships and fundraising.”

He has a BA in Russian Language and Literature from Illinois, with previous studies in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of New South Wales.

He comes to us from some time of wandering (not an unfamiliar story) because of a love of information and books, going back to his youth when he would study the 1964 edition of the World Book Encyclopedia. When he was working as an Executive Assistant in the University Librarian’s Office at Illinois, he was fortunate enough to assist on the proposal for the Research Data Service; he says this is how he took to library sciences, seeing the value and interesting nature of the work.

When asked what he hopes to do after completing the program, Douglas said, “I want to understand and help others understand the nexus of science, technology an culture. Whether that takes me to further study or working with scientists and scholars more directly in a library, will depend on how my interests develop at GSLIS.”

And where has that interest developed so far? Douglas is currently taking Vetle Torvik’s LIS452 CS boot camp course. “I studied some basic programming about twenty years ago, and it is exciting to reactivate old skills,” says Douglas. He greatly appreciates Vetle’s approach to teaching, which allows students to use even the most basic skills and apply them to problem solving specific to the students’ field of interest.

This problem solving and working through towards an effective and reliable solution is one of the things that also brought him to us and the Help Desk! And we do indeed enjoy our problem solving.

Tell me something interesting about yourself:

Douglas doesn’t claim much interesting about himself, aside from his librarything account. And I say hey, there’s plenty of interesting things about a personal library of Russian literature and assorted history books. I also say that I am probably going to regret opening Douglas’ link because I’m about to find myself spending all my time here, as well.

Four books that describe Douglas’ life:

  1. A Mother’s Disgrace, an autobiography by Robert Dessaix
  2. Chemodan [The Suitcase] by Sergei Dovlatov
  3. Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge, edited by Imre Lakatos and Alan Musgrave
  4. Reading the ORD: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages by Ammon Shea

The most memorable place Douglas has traveled to:

Douglas describes being in Russia at age eighteen, pointing to a spot on a map of the Russian railways, and going from there. The place he ended up was Vorkuta.

“Perching on the edge of the Arctic, Vorkuta is a fading industrial city built by GULAG labor to exploit the mineral wealth of the Pechora Basin. When we turned back for St. Petersburg, we were huddled in a converted shipping container in the Polar Ural hamlet of Sob.  I had severe food poisoning and an “infection;”  she had mild frostbite and pneumonia; and we both had three weeks of un-showered-human embedded in our skin.”

So you can see that Douglas is kinda holding out on us here. Be sure to stop by the Help Desk and say hi to him!

Facebook Twitter Linkedin

Comments are closed.