Our Team

OSPO logo with colored circles


The UT-OSPO is a cross-organizational unit led by experts from the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), central IT services, University of Texas Libraries, and the School of Information to form an umbrella organization that is more than the sum of its parts.

Core Team

  • Dr. Jennifer Schopf

    Primary Investigator

    Director of Networking Partnerships at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC)

    Dr. Jennifer Schopf has been part of the pragmatic open software use community for over 20 years. While a program officer at NSF, she actively promoted the use of open source licensing for NSF-funded software projects as part of the Data Management Policy Development Team, but she’s also been part of several software projects with strong international uptake, including the Globus Toolkit, the perfSONAR consortium, and the NetSage project.

  • Dr. Angela Newell

    Co-Primary Investigator and Director

    Executive Director of Innovation for the Chief Information Office

    Dr. Newell has been a part of the public and open data environment for nearly 15 years. She was part of the team that, jointly with the White House, developed data.gov, one of the largest open data systems in the world. Dr. Newell has also served as a campus liaison for IT for nearly a decade and is an active participant in the research community as the grant administrator for the Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology and as a representative of the Chief Information Officer. 

  • Michael Shensky

    Co-Primary Investigator

    Head of Research Data Services for the UT Libraries

    Michael has been a strong advocate for the use of open source GIS software over the past decade in his roles as a Geography Lecturer and then as a GIS and Geospatial Data Coordinator. He has significant experience teaching others in for-credit courses and in non-credit workshops offered to the campus community about the benefits of using and engaging with open source software for both instruction and research, and is a current member of the open source FloDisMod team.

  • Dr. James Howison

    Co-Primary Investigator

    Associate Professor at the iSchool

    Dr. Howison has a background in researching open source software, as opposed to being a practitioner, since 2005. He has published case studies of open source software, developed a model for open collaboration, and is the author of a literature review of empirical studies on open source. Howison has also contributed to the development of CiteAs (http://citeas.org), a system to improve incentives for high quality software work in science by mapping from software to its requested citation and to the softcite project to identify software mentions in publications (http://github.com/softcite/).

  • Alex Marden

    OSPO staff member

    GIS and Geospatial data Coordinator with the UT Libraries

    Alex has utilized open software to facilitate international fieldwork and collaboration as a graduate student researcher. In addition to his research, he has taught numerous open source software-based courses and workshops at UT. As GIS and Geospatial Data Coordinator, he routinely works with members of the campus community to develop open source workflows for their research.

  • Michelle McDermott

    Executive Assistant

    Interim Executive Assistant to the CIO and Administrative Associate ITS/FBS