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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Post #100 for techaticpsr and a goodbye

Well, well, well, post number one hundred. The first big milestone post in a blog.

The big news this week is also some sad news here at ICPSR. Our colleague Felicia LeClere has left ICPSR for new opportunities. Felicia was at ICPSR for over five years, and I came across this item in our archive of announcements:
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Felicia LeClere will join ICPSR and the Michigan Population Studies Center as an Associate Research Scientist and Director of the Data Sharing for Demographic Research project (DSDR). She brings a strong record of research accomplishments coupled with extensive experience in data collection, data processing, and project management. Dr. LeClere will lead the project part time during the summer and will begin a full-time appointment on September 1, 2005. Dr. Felicia LeClere is currently Associate Research Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, where she also directs the Laboratory for Social Research. She received her Ph.D. in 1990 from Pennsylvania State University in the fields of demography and rural sociology. Prior to Notre Dame, Dr. LeClere held appointments at the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She has received numerous awards for her achievements, has a strong record in obtaining grants, and has published extensively in her field.
We're going to miss Felicia a lot at ICPSR; she was a strong advocate for improving the experience of using ICPSR through improved technology and new services. Several members of my team had worked closely with Felicia during her tenure her. Some of the most recent tech projects I've blogged about here - like the Restricted Contracting System and our experiment in making restricted-use data available via a cloud-based platform - are among the projects Felicia championed. And unlike most of the archive projects at ICPSR, Felicia's projects routinely contained a line-item in the budget to support a fraction of a software developer who could then provide sustained, individual support to her projects, such as building custom tools for managing complex datasets, or developing customized interfaces for delivering data or browsing content.

I've told several people (including Felicia) that she's leaving behind a stronger ICPSR than she joined back in 2005, and one of the major reasons that it is stronger is due to the leadership and vision she provided.

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