We were fortunate to have Jennryn Wetzler visit our studio during Open Education Week for a conversation about her Open Education Individual Award for Excellence in the Catalyst category. The name “Catalyst” is an apt description for Jennryn’s work at Creative Commons as someone who “supports the ideals of the Open Education movement through their own practices and who creates engagement in Openness within an organization or community.”

This was recorded as an Open Education week event where we offered a seat in the studio for anyone who wanted to be there, which included her colleague Jonathan Portitz.

This podcast was recorded as a live event during Open Education Week 2024.

You can learn in this podcast about Jennryn’s early experience in the Peace Corps, her work in the US State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and the catalyzing role she has played for Creative Commons including the highly successful CC Certification program , the Open Education Platform, and new interests in the area of Open Journalism. We were easily able to draw Jonathan into a animated discussion around artificial intelligence and he also reminded us about the definition of catalyst from chemistry as “a chemical which helps other reactions happen without being consumed itself.”

This aptly fits Jennryn Wetzler. Also stick around to learn about her activity for finding a “powerful” sense of balance, and more of what makes Jennryn the type of person the Catalyst word is designed to recognize.

Keep that in mind as the nominations for the 2024 OE Awards opens May 13, and we hope you know of a person in your sphere of Open Education work that ought to be recognized as a Catalyst this year.

In This Episode

FYI: This section of show notes alone was generated by AI Actions in the Descript editor we use to produce OEG Voices.

Episode 67: OE Award Winner Jennryn Wetzler

In this episode, Alan Levine interviews Jennryn Wetzler, winner of the Catalyst Award at the Open Education awards for Excellence. They discuss Jennryn’s background, work at Creative Commons, involvement in Open Journalism, and perspectives on open education and AI. The conversation touches on the impact of OER in various contexts, the importance of human connections in the face of challenges, and the power of community collaboration in education.

  • Introduction to Open Education Week
  • Jennryn’s Journey and Catalyst Award
  • Peace Corps Experience and Education Insights
  • Open Education Work at Creative Commons
  • Challenges in Open Journalism
  • The Importance of Human Connections and AI
  • Community Collaboration and Impact
  • Reflection on Work and Inspirations

Additional Links and Quotes for Episode 67

I oversee our training and learning efforts writ large, and then our consulting efforts trying to use the certificate, kind of foundational learning and apply it in different contexts for different audiences and reimagine it in different settings, too.

So one of the things that we are really hoping to announce possibly today, is this micro credential program with the University of Nebraska Omaha, which came about through the certificate program. So this is one example of how the learning and training program finds new partnerships and pathways to keep bringing open licensing expertise to new communities.

Jennryn Wetzler on the CC Certificates program

So as a connector across cultures, as something to open access to more education in a time of war, and as a something to point to so other people know, if it’s possible here in this really challenging set of circumstances where people are losing access to, electricity where they have, bomb sirens going off regularly, interrupting meetings and workflows and so on.

If they can make it work in a place that’s in the midst of war, then this can be done anywhere, this kind of collaboration and translation and the cross cultural understanding that goes with the translation can be done anywhere. So they did it.

Jennryn Wetzler on CC Education Platform support for librarians in Ukraine

Once again we urge listeners to make nominations for the people, projects and resources deserving a 2024 OE Award for Excellence — all of which will be future voices on this podcast.

Our open licensed music for this episode is a track called Catalyst by Anemoia licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Like most of our intro music, it was found at the Free Music Archive (see our full FMA playlist).

This was another episode we are recording on the web in Squadcast. This is part of the Descript platform for AI enabled transcribing and editing audio in text– this has greatly enhanced our ability to produce our showsWe have been exploring some of the other AI features in Descriptbut our posts remain human authored unless indicated otherwise.