Melanie Kiper, Community Service Specialist
My current focus is using data to create interactive dashboards, maps, and other data visualizations. I bring a variety of skills to CPAR activities including survey and qualitative research methodology; project and program management; and technical editing and copyediting. I have been the lead web developer and administrator for the college since 2003, including providing technical assistance and training in using the CMS. My past experience includes managing three professional development programs and copyediting three peer-reviewed academic journals.
Education and Credentials
J.D., California State Bar License #277278 (2010)
M.A. Social Gerontology, University of Nebraska at Omaha (1998)
B.A., Philosophy, Berea College, Berea, Kentucky (1988)
Project Management Professional, Project Management Institute (2018)
Certificate in Project Management, University of Nebraska at Omaha (2016)
Recent grant and contract projects
Co-Principal Investigator, Fast Forward Electronic Media, 2014-2017 (USDOT, $200,000)
2018 Jerome and Patricia Deichert CPACS Staff Award
|What is your approach to working with a community partner?|
|The first step is to listen; specifically listening to understand the ultimate goal of the partner. I have learned that it is not only about creating the map or chart the partner wants. It is also about helping them tell their story or solve a problem. Once I understand the goal and my role, I develop a step-by-step, task-by-task plan to achieve that goal. Most important, throughout the entire project, I stay in constant communication with the partner.|
|What is your favorite recent project you worked on?|
|We recently partnered with the data editor of Governing magazine to transition and update interactives from the now defunct publication. I enjoyed building a new website to house these interactives. I am happily engaged in learning about new data sources and extraction processes and sharpening my skills in Tableau dashboard development as I update and refresh these inherited interactives.|
|What type of professional development activities do you engage in?|
|Every type. My favorite technical training source is the Nebraska Business Development Center (I have 3 of their certifications). I take university courses; attend training conferences and webinars; complete Udemy courses and MOOCs; watch training videos; and read industry blogs. I even enjoy reading software user manuals. I belong to the Greater Omaha Tableau Users Group; and to several industry-related social media groups and listservs.|
|What are the last three books you read?|
|"Unassisted: A Memoir about Self-Discovery and the Meaning of Home" by Erin Stammer.
"Sprinting Through No Man's Land: Endurance, Tragedy, and Rebirth in the 1919 Tour de France" by Adin Dobkin.
"Billy Summers" by Stephen King.