Just out of interest, have any UK universities been signed up for the program yet?
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2010 10:31:07 -0500
From: stinsoad <at> dukes.jmu.edu
To: wikimediauk-l <at> lists.wikimedia.org
Subject: [Wikimediauk-l] Wikipedia Campus Ambassador Program to the United Kingdom
Hello Wikimedia UK,
I am Alex Stinson (User:Sadads), an American student from James Madison University (JMU) and a Wikipedia Campus Ambassador (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Ambassadors
). I am also a member of the Wikipedia Ambassador Steering Committee and soon will be a Wikipedia Campus Ambassador Trainer. I will be studying abroad in Oxford during the Spring, and look forward to participating in Wikimedia UK activities. The organization of Wikipedians in the United States (or at least the greater DC Area) has been rather slow, so I look forward to bringing back lessons I learn from you to Wikimedia DC.
I recently approached the board of Wikimedia UK and asked if they would be interested in starting an Ambassador program in the UK. Realizing that their will need to be significant effort on the part of myself and volunteers in Britain, they have given me the go ahead to begin developing the infrastructure to create an Ambassador program in the UK and begin engaging universities. The Steering Committee of the Ambassador program decided very early that it was best that the ambassador program to be run in a regional approach so that the program could become international and sustainable, I hope the UK will become our first extra-US Ambassador region.
The Campus Ambassador Program in the United States has largely been focused on the Public Policy Initiative and supporting writing projects and assignments in university classes. However, even in this first semester of the program, we have already seen the creation of two student organizations as well as course work in other disciplines (such as literature and chemistry). I also have been working closely with the library at JMU to begin discussion on how we think of Wikipedia in Academia through workshops on the topic.
I realize the approach to academic curriculum may be hard to translate to the UK university system. However, it is activities such as student organizations and the workshops in addition to the article writing assignments, which I would like to bring to the United Kingdom. Like GLAM cooperations, the Wikipedia Ambassador program has the potential to help a very large community of academics become more engaged with Wikipedia world wide.
I have yet to determine the exact schedule of my studies and activities at Oxford. However, while in the UK I plan to, at the very least, find and engage members of Wikimedia UK to begin a regional Ambassador program through Ambassador training and discussions at Wikimedia UK events as well as through the creation of a student organization at Oxford. If anyone would be interested in supporting such an Ambassador program, especially if you are engaged in a University campus, please send me an e-mail and we can begin figuring out how you can help. This program can only be successful if local Wikipedians engage and provide creative approaches to the university environment.
Wikipedia Campus Ambassador James Madison University
Wikipedia Ambassador Steering Committee Member
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