Wikipedia:Wiki Education Foundation/Adrianne

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We are incredibly saddened to learn that Adrianne Wadewitz, a member of the Wiki Education Foundation board, has passed away. Adrianne was an exceptional Wikipedian, academic, friend, colleague, and person, and we will miss her enormously.

Above all else, Adrianne was a Wikipedian. She made her first edit in July 2004, quickly becoming one of Wikipedia’s most prolific and talented contributors. She wrote and co-authored more than thirty Featured Articles, primarily focusing on 18th-century British literature, the area in which she received her PhD. She also wrote a number of Good Articles and started more than 100 articles on history and literature topics. Tens of thousands of readers around the world benefit each month from Adrianne’s articles. Her writing style conveys information in a clear and accessible manner, allowing readers unfamiliar with the given topic to easily obtain the information they seek.

Adrianne’s engagement with Wikipedia went far beyond her online activities. As an organizer of Wikipedia “edit-a-thons”, she trained countless people how to edit. Adrianne devoted much attention to countering systemic bias in Wikipedia by helping people understand where systemic bias exists in Wikipedia. She worked particularly hard to close Wikipedia’s gender gap by encouraging more women to contribute content.

Adrianne has also been involved in nearly every aspect of the Wikipedia Education Program in the United States. Her pathbreaking essay on teaching with Wikipedia, “Wiki-hacking: Opening up the academy with Wikipedia”, served as the basis for the preliminary pilot of the program. Adrianne was one of the first people to volunteer to help support university instructors looking to incorporate Wikipedia as a teaching tool in their classrooms; over the last four years, Adrianne has supported more than 20 courses as a Wikipedia Ambassador as well as teaching two courses herself. When the Wikimedia Foundation spun off the U.S./Canada program into its own nonprofit, Adrianne stepped up to support the new Wiki Education Foundation as a board member.

Her impact on work promoting Wikipedia as a teaching tool can be seen throughout the Education Program. The “Instructor Basics” brochure is based on Adrianne’s work, and she served as a model for other university instructors who started using Wikipedia in their own classrooms. It was a tribute to her longtime activities in this field when she was featured on the cover of the “Editing Wikipedia” brochure, published in 2014.

What stands out most vividly are Adrianne's passion and heartfelt enthusiasm for her ideals. Her brilliance, positive attitude, and encouragement embodied the best in Wikipedians and academics, and her understated leadership has influenced Wikipedia profoundly. She charged others to do better by providing a reflection of how to do so with her own keenness of spirit. Adrianne cared deeply about addressing gender gap issues on Wikipedia, she showed unsurpassed commitment toward improving the quality of articles, and felt a strong professional calling to help academics understand Wikipedia.

We speak for the entire Wiki Education Foundation board, staff, and volunteers when we say we will dearly miss our friend and colleague. Adrianne, you made a huge difference!

Diana Strassmann
Wiki Education Foundation
Board Chair

Frank Schulenburg
Wiki Education Foundation
Executive Director