Current Team Members

At the University of Florida’s George A. Smathers Libraries:

Patrick Reakes

Patrick is the Principal Investigator for the project. He provides general project direction with a focus on fiscal monitoring, communication with the funder, and communication with internal stakeholders. ­­­­ He also assists the Project Coordinator with coordinating internal library staff in all other areas of production. Patrick is the Senior Associate Dean of Scholarly Resources & Services at UF. He previously served as Chair of the Humanities & Social Sciences Library, as Chair of the Departmental Libraries and Head of the Neuharth Journalism Library at UF. He holds an MSLS from Florida State University (FSU), a BS in Public Relations from UF, and is a graduate of the General Motors Management Development School. He was also a Fellow in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Research Library Leadership Program, a highly competitive executive leadership program designed and sponsored by ARL member libraries to facilitate the development of future senior‐level leaders in large research libraries. Prior to coming to UF, he served as a law librarian at Florida Coastal School of Law, where he headed the interlibrary loan department and served as adjunct faculty member. He has also been a reference and instruction librarian at FSU, where he served as the Business Librarian. His current research focus is on the impacts of the evolving digital environment on news research and archiving.

Melissa Jerome

Melissa is CoPI on the project and provides general project direction, with a focus on personnel management, coordinating key project personnel, Advisory Board members, vendors, project finances, and communicating with the Library of Congress. She is also the Digital Initiatives Librarian for the Latin American & Caribbean Collection at the UF Libraries. In this role, she provides leadership in planning, developing, and managing digital collections. She provides instruction, consultative services, and training for digital collections, with expertise in newspapers. Melissa also participates in the ongoing evaluation and development of the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC) and the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) to enhance the effectiveness of preservation, discovery, and access to digital resources. Additionally, she leads and participates in outreach, promotion, and advocacy activities for the Latin American and Caribbean Collection, UFDC, and dLOC.

Sarah Tew

Sarah Tew is the Project Coordinator and is responsible for all the day-to-day activities of the project, which include all technical and administrative activities related to the digitizing of the selected newspapers, maintaining communication with project partners and vendors, as well as overseeing and assisting with outreach activities and publicity efforts. She holds an MA in Digital Humanities and Digital Knowledge from the University of Bologna and enjoys exploring the digitized newspapers and their data through DH projects.

Ligia Ortega

Ligia Ortega joined the team in March 2024 as Bilingual Outreach Coordinator.  She manages the project’s social media accounts, creates social media content, assists with outreach efforts, and designs promotional print materials. She is passionate about the social and graphical aspects of historic publications and making this content accessible to the general public.  Ligia holds a MS in Social Psychology from the University of Florida.

Past Team Members

Brigid Massey

Brigid Massey joined the team in December 2022 as Outreach Coordinator. She managers the project’s social media accounts, creates social media content, and designs promotional print materials. She holds an MA in Mass Media with a concentration in Social Media from the University of Florida.

At the University of the Virgin Islands Libraries:

Nicole Hatfield

Nicole Hatfield is the manager of the Ralph M. Paiewonsky library at the University of the Virgin Islands where she coordinates library operations, facilitates information literacy sessions, and serves as the library liaison to the College of Science and Mathematics.   In just under three years with UVI, Nicole developed Affordable Learning UVI, an initiative that funds faculty work in OER and has saved students just over $100,000. She led the library’s transition to virtual learning, designing online tutorials and initiating the library’s virtual reference services. Nicole earned her master’s degree in Library and Information Science at Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Education at Western Michigan University.  Prior to a career in librarianship, Nicole taught composition as an adjunct instructor and both composition and literature in Michigan and Maine public schools. Her research interests include open education resources and open pedagogy, information literacy instruction, information services, digital librarianship, and user experience. 

Lindsay Negrello

Lindsay Negrello is a librarian at the Ralph M. Paiewonsky Library at the University of the Virgin Islands. In addition to serving as the Social Sciences librarian, Lindsay is currently coordinating efforts for the university’s updated document retention policy and creating a long-term plan for the library’s special collections. Lindsay earned her Master’s in Library and Information Science at San Jose State University and her Bachelor of Art in the History of the Americas at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research interests include archives and special collections, digitization and accessibility, records management, information literacy instruction, and student and faculty outreach. 

For a list of and information on past Team members, please view the project proposals linked in our Resources section. 

Past Blog Contributors:

Sarah “Moxy” Moczygemba (January 2016 – May 2018)

Moxy served as the Outreach and Promotion Assistant for the project. In addition to managing the project’s social media and blog, she also provided outreach to educators to help them integrate Chronicling America and associated resources into K-12 and university classrooms. She is the Social Media Manager for the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries. Moxy manages the main Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube accounts for the Libraries–a responsibility which includes content curation and promotional campaign development. She also created and maintains the Social Media Guidelines for the Libraries, offers trainings, and coordinates the Social Media Group to facilitate the exchange of ideas across the Libraries. Moxy is a PhD candidate in the Religious Studies department at UF, and holds a MA in Religious Studies (University of Florida 2013) and a BA in Political Science (Trinity University 2009).

Katiana Bagué (June – August 2018)

Katiana Bagué born in Miami, Florida to Puerto Rican migrants, received her B.A. in Art History from the University of Florida (UF) in May 2018. She served as the Bilingual Outreach Assistant, writing blogs that highlighted content from the project’s Puerto Rican newspapers. She currently works full time at the George A. Smathers, Humanities and Social Sciences Library, Library West, as a User Services Assistant, helping with circulation, outreach, and marketing initiatives for the branch. Additionally, she is a first-year graduate student in the Center for Latin American Studies at UF and is working towards the Latinx Studies, Migration & Transnational Studies specialization. Her research interests include exploring the artistic production by the Puerto Rican diaspora in the U.S. and improving diversity & inclusivity within libraries.

Heather Gonyeau (May – August 2019)

Heather served as the Bilingual Outreach Coordinator for the project. She curated materials for the project’s social media accounts, along with researching, authoring and translating the blog posts. She also managed community outreach, helping educators and historical societies understand and utilize Chronicling America’s many resources. Heather is pursuing a Ph.D. in History at the University of Florida. She holds an M.A. in History (University of Florida, 2018) and two B.A.s in History and Latin American Studies (George Mason University, 2016). Her specialization in Latin America provided the background for much of the research she conducted with the Florida & Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project. Heather’s dissertation explores physical culture and health; two themes you can see displayed prominently in her social media posts.