This is the first in our new series of Saylor.org staff interviews. Here, we catch up with David Rose, our Senior Content Analyst.
Why don’t we begin with you telling us a bit about yourself?
Sure. I am originally from Hawaii but have been living in DC for a year and a half. I live in the Georgetown neighborhood, and love it. I attended the Universities of Colorado and Utah before graduating with a degree in Anthropology from the University of Hawaii. While in school, I wanted to do underwater archaeology and discover and preserve historic shipwrecks. Life happens, and somehow I ended up in DC working for a nonprofit education foundation.
To be fair, our office is pretty close to the waterline, and there’s lots of stuff at the bottom of the Potomac. So, pretty good trade-off?
I love working at the Saylor Foundation and feel so lucky to have ended up here.
Correct answer. Other than working here, how do you stay entertained?
I have three brothers, all of whom are my best friends; I enjoy snowboarding, surfing, football, basketball.. any kind of sport really; and I love to travel. In May, my girlfriend and I going to Iceland, Switzerland, and the French Riviera. I am very excited.
Looking out the windows in D.C. this week, that sounds…pretty great. And yet, D.C. has it’s pluses, right? What brought you here?
The aforementioned girlfriend got offered her dream job at National Geographic, so I didn’t have much of a choice. In all seriousness though, I was really excited about the opportunity to live someplace completely different than Hawaii. DC is such a fun city and I really like living here.
D.C. has sandy beaches, too. By sand, we mean river mud, obviously. So how did you get roped into working at the Saylor Foundation?
When we moved to DC, I immediately started looking for a job. A couple of weeks into the job search, I found an ad for an opening at Saylor. I had never heard of the Saylor Foundation, or anything about the Open Education movement, for that matter, but I was instantly enthralled with the idea and mission. Education had always been something I cared about and was interested in, but never something I thought I would pursue professionally. I became infatuated with the idea of free education after seeing that job posting and put my best effort into applying. Luckily, it all worked out and I’ve been with the Foundation for over a year now.
So the honeymoon is over, and you’re still going strong! What’s your typical day look like here in the office?
I manage the process of finding openly-licensed resources for our consultants to build courses around and am also working on integrating mobile apps into Saylor courses. A typical day for me consists of making sure the research assistants I work with have an assignment and understand what needs to be done, finding and vetting educational apps, and corresponding with consultants about permissible resources and apps. Like any job, there are also weekly meetings as well as spur of the moment collaboration projects with colleagues, and if I’m really lucky, I get to answer fun questions like these :)
Got any favorite courses? Or one you’d recommend?
As of now (February 19, 2013 at approximately 2:05 pm EST, but who’s keeping track, right?), we are nearly done with the app integration process with our first three courses: PSYCH101, BUS206, and ME102. Those courses will be seriously awesome once everything is updated on our site. I highly recommend anyone using a mobile device to access our courses to take those three (and the many, many more that are soon to follow!)
ME102 is live now! We’re writing about it tomorrow, in fact (February 22, 2013 at approximately 10:45 am EST). If you don’t mind, we’d like to ask a few more questions…just to get a fuller picture of who you really are.
Okay. First: if you could have dinner with any public figure, dead or alive, who would it be?
I’ve never had a good answer for this question. I guess my indecision is my decision — no one. I’d rather spend my time with my friends and family, those are the people that make me happy.
That’s evasive, but very nice. We’ll make sure they see this profile. Also you forgot ‘colleagues’. Second: would you rather wrestle a lion or fight a shark?
I grew up in the ocean, so naturally I would choose the shark.
Naturally. You’ve seen sharks in the water with you?
Yes. Lions are something I only see in a zoo, but their YouTube videos always show them ending some other animal pretty quickly (except Christian the lion, he’s okay in my book). Sharks, while still not my ideal tango partner, I can at least think of in a more real context. If you surf, you have to be okay with the fact that there are sharks out there but not be scared, or else you’re never going to enjoy yourself. I would choose known and scary over unknown and scary any day.
If we’re getting serious about this question, I have a few more thoughts on the subject. 1) I guess this would be the preface to the question, but whatever.. if you’re in the plains of Africa and a lion spotted you, I think there’s a pretty good chance it would attack you, while sharks on the other hand are going to leave you alone 95% of the time. 2) Once the rumble began, I feel like a shark would be much more likely to swim away if you tried fighting back (hello, just punch it in the nose. Just kidding.. I have no idea if that actually works). Lions, I would guess, do not shy away from a fight as easily and would probably attack me even more viciously if I tried to fight back. And 3) If I were to lose the fight, which is almost a forgone conclusion, I think a shark would end it much quicker than a lion would. I’d rather not have a lion play around with me for a while before he decided to feed me to his family.
Wow, you kind of went off there. I suppose that’s perfectly reasonable. Third question: if you were a LOTR/Harry Potter character, which one would you be?
First of all… LOTR? Get real. I mean, seriously, who even likes that garbage? Harry Potter on the other hand is a total boss — he does right by people while still holding on to the rebel in all of us, he marries his best friend’s little sister, and he kills the greatest dark wizard the world has ever known. We all want to be the hero.
Message to the People?
Laugh more. I can help.