Staff in Tibetan Studies at UVa

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The University of Virginia has an unusually large number of staff involved with Tibetan Studies due especially to our innovative programs using digital technology to facilitate collaborative research and community engagement projects.

Tibet Center Staff

Bradley Aaron
As associate director of the UVa Tibet Center, Bradley works to carry out the mission of the Tibet Center through the management of key programs such as the Education to Employment Initiative and the Tibetan Sustainable Communities program.

UVA Library Staff

Jama Coartney
As director of the Digital Media Lab of Clemons Library, Jama Coartney has provided important help with image processing and general support of THL staff working on images, audio-video, and places.
Bethany Nowviskie
As the director of the Library’s Digital Research & Scholarship, Bethany has provided high-level support and advice to THL’s technical dimensions.
Nawang Thokmey
As Tibetan and Serials Library Assistant, Nawang Thokmey is directly responsible for cataloging new Tibetan language acquisitions, as well as helping library patrons with questions and needs concerning the Tibetan language collection.
Philip McEldowney
As Librarian for Religious Studies and Anthropology, and Selector of South Asia and Middle East materials, Philip McEldowney supervises the Tibetan collection and takes the lead in its strategic development through new acquisitions.
Will Rourk
As a specialist in rich media, Flash, three-dimensional reconstructions, and architecture, Will Rourk has played a vital role in THL’s interactive maps and panoramic images, as well as leading the Meru Monastery documentation project and being a key figure in the Lhasa City project.
Judy Thomas
As first head of the Robertson Media Center and now Director of Arts & Media Library Services, Judy Thomas has been a critical support designing an approach to THL’s image collections, as well as providing high-level support in general for THL’s technical work in regards to rich media.

Tibetan and Himalayan Library (THL) Central Staff

Mark Ferrara
As lead designer for front-end development of the Tibetan and Himalayan Library’s website, Mark developed the current template design online at thlib.org. His other projects at UVa include the design, development of the Tibet Center’s website and major aspects of the SHANTI Portal website, in particular the UVa Knowledge Base.
Ed Garrett
Ed is a linguist and programmer who has focused on building software solutions for THL’s rich, annotated and timecoded transcripts of audio-video.
Nathaniel Grove
As Technical Co-Director of the Tibetan and Himalayan Library, Nathaniel Grove has led technical work on multiple initiatives in THL including the Tibetan Literary Collections for archiving and delivering Tibetan literature and associated scholarly content, the JIATS scholarly publishing system, and the general framework for THL webpages. He brings a deep technical background in programming as well as a doctorate in Tibetan and Buddhist Studies to his work.
Heiser Mazariegos
Heiser is a central programmer in THL with a special focus on the social networking software underlying “Connections”, the Tibetan Historical dictionary, and the Knowledge Maps.
Bill McGrath
As technical staff, Bill McGrath provides crucial content processing of resources such as XML essays as well as logistical coordination and support for our eastern Tibetan collaborators and initiatives.
Andres Montano
As Technical Co-Director of the Tibetan and Himalayan Library, Andres Montano has led technical work on multiple initiatives in THL including the Media Management System archiving and delivering images and audio-video content, the Tibetan Translation Tool, the Himalayan Dictionaries, and the Knowledge Maps. He brings a deep technical background in computer science as well as doctoral training in Tibetan and Buddhist Studies to his work.
Pema Namgyal
As UVa Liaison in Lhasa, Pema Namgyal supervises UVa’s study, research, and exchange programs in Lhasa, Tibet. This involves many different projects, as well as running UVa’s collaborations with Tibet University and the Tibet Academy of Social Sciences.
David Newman
The linchpin for the image collections and the collection of place documentation in the Tibetan and Himalayan Library since 2001, David Newman is a long-time employee, sometimes full-time and sometimes part-time, who has been crucial to many cultural projects in THL.

Part-time THL Staff

UVa Sciences, Humanities and Arts Network of Technological Initiatives (SHANTI) Staff

Raf Alvarado
Associate Director of SHANTI, Raf has played an important role in consulting with software used by both SHANTI and THL.
Bill Ferster
Visualization Director of SHANTI, Bill has played an important role in consulting with the use of his VisualEyes framework for creating highly interactive maps.
Travis McCauley
Travis is currently programming the Media Base, which will be THL’s new audio-video publishing system.

UVa Staff Assisting THL

Robbie Bingler
Senior Programmer Analyst for the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, Robbie Bingler is the lead programmer on the THL Tibetan Dictionaries initiative, which is creating a collaborative framework for building extremely detailed studies of Tibetan words based upon historical and spoken usage.
Daniel Pitti
Associate Director of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, Daniel Pitti is a leading expert in XML technologies and digital humanities. He was the original architect of THL’s Tibetan literature publishing system, and has been a valuable consultant on technical and design issues in THL’s ongoing development, as well as a central adviser on conceptualizing the social infrastructure of THL.

Special Mention

Thornton Staples
Former director of the Digital Library Research and Development Department, Thorny Staples was a crucial figure in helping develop the Tibetan and Himalayan Library in a variety of ways, both technical and intellectual. He originally designed the THL Place Dictionary, but also helped formulate the overall conception of THL as part of the Library’s Information Communities Initiative and inspired much of its architecture.
Michael Tuite
Former director of the Clemons Digital Media Lab, Michael was central in the development of THL’s cultural geography initiatives, as well as the development of its image and audio-video collections. In addition to participating in multiple field trips and providing timely technical assistance again and again, he also inspired THL’s original focus on putting cultural geography at the heart of its design.

Other Staff

Mick Watson
As Religious Studies Administrative Supervisor, Mick provides crucial administrative and fiscal support to Tibet Center activities and funding sources.