Getting Creative in ScholarSpace

Mitchell Lawrence in doorway of ScholarSpace

ScholarSpace is a place for study, consultation, and collaboration through the use of technology. The beauty of ScholarSpace is that it is community driven; it is a space for the exchange of knowledge, and this typically involves all parties involved walking away with new knowledge, not just the consultant or instructor. I joined ScholarSpace in January 2017 hoping to refine and share my interest in the Adobe Creative Suite, and while I have had that opportunity, I have learned so much more that I couldn't have anticipated.

One of the primary support services we as ScholarSpace consultants provide is assisting in the formatting of graduate students’ dissertations. Through the help of my peers, I was able to learn about the many complexities of dissertation formatting in Microsoft Word. This led to the opportunity to contribute to the greater University community by creating a template that is now available for all graduate students at the University. It was really rewarding to have the opportunity to create something that can alleviate some of the struggles that graduate students encounter in authoring their dissertation.

I’ve also worked on projects with the library staff to create posters that support their projects and initiatives. I really enjoy these projects because they give me an opportunity to return to my graphic design roots in my favorite program, Adobe Illustrator. Working with staff to tweak the designs and create something that fulfills their needs has been a valuable learning experience. This process has provided me with experiences in collaborating to help create visualizations based on the work of others that I’m sure will stick with me in the future.

Additionally, while working with student researchers, I have been challenged to use familiar tools in new ways. One particular project brought in a patron who was seeking a means of analyzing the ratio of different portions of some cells. She had taken photographs with a microscope that we were then able to take into Photoshop. Through the application of measurement tools we were able to create a new way of gathering her data. This collaboration was a valuable experience for both parties, as we were together able to both learn something new about the many capabilities of Photoshop.

Photoshop screenshot of cell structure

Experiences like the ones above are what make ScholarSpace great; the exchange of knowledge is never one-sided. I’m constantly exposed to interesting research being conducted by the many amazing students and faculty here at the University. I’m also pushed to learn more about the tools that I share with them and to refine my expertise as we learn together. My time here is truly worthwhile, and I’m happy to be a part of this team providing such valuable support to the community.