David Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications, received the Spring 2014 Facultas Award on May 20 at the annual University Faculty Staff Picnic. Uspal is the seventh Falvey Memorial Library employee to receive the Facultas Award. The late Therese Dougherty received the Fall 1996 Facultas Award, followed by Bente Polites, Special Collections and reference librarian, fall 2004; Phylis Wright, Interlibrary Loan Office, spring 2006; Domenick Liberato, Access and User Assistance, fall 2007; Barbara Quintiliano, Instructional Design Librarian, fall 2008; and Susan Ottignon, research librarian, spring 2012.
The Facultas Award is presented each fall and spring semester by the Faculty Congress to “acknowledge and honor the contributions of staff members of the Villanova community,” “focus attention on the vital, yet often unnoticed, services essential to the smooth and efficient functioning of the Villanova community, especially the academic faculty,” “recognize persons who would not be otherwise recognized …” and “reinforce among our fellow faculty the importance and diversity of staff support work in all areas of the University.” The Facultas Award constitutes a plaque and a Wildcard gift certificate.
This is Uspal’s second University award. The University Staff Council presented a Work Process Improvement (WPI) award to him in spring 2013 for the interactive map of Falvey Memorial Library that he developed.
Uspal says, “I want to thank Villanova University and Falvey Memorial Library for bringing me on board three years ago and the Technology Development team and the Digital Library team for being supportive of our efforts in the realm of Digital Humanities. A big thank you to all the students and faculty for helping us pilot our way through our initial Digital Humanities projects. Finally, a special thanks to Laura Bang, the Digital Scholarship Coordinator for the Aurelius Digital Scholarship initiative, who has masterminded Villanova’s push into the Digital Humanities universe and without whom this award would have been impossible.”
Interim Library Director Darren Poley comments, “David Uspal is a wonderful asset to Falvey. His blend of deep knowledge as an information technologist with an ever cheery disposition and excellent people skills is incredibly rare. We are indeed fortunate to have David in the Library where he works so well with both staff and the patrons we serve.”
Uspal relaxes by reading and playing board and video games/interactive fiction. His interest in interactive fiction is aptly shown by his involvement with VuPop 2, an annual conference which explores pop culture and mass media.