references for azavea

It feels good to be able to hand off to Josephine and know that the result will be better than you imagined.


I don’t believe we would ever have accomplished what needed to happen for the RET refresh launch in December without her skills, commitment, and strategic thinking.

~ Maggie Potapchuk, President, MP Associates, Racial Equity Consulting | Supervisor, Sept 2020–present



Josephine has been proactive in engaging and maintaining relationships with stakeholders to determine goals and direction.

Since lead-drafting our report for the 2020 hackathon, she has been involved in every aspect of the project

~ David Bowden, Technical Co-Lead for MATchMapper Philadelphia | Teammate, Feb 2020–present


Throughout her work with EMEL, Dr. Dru focused on project outcomes, coordinated personnel, resources, and information to achieve those outcomes, and maintained clear communications at all times … She was a valued team member and appreciated by her colleagues.

~ Mike Phelps, Executive Director, Early Manuscripts Electronic Library (EMEL) | Supervisor, 2016–2018

web projects in use

One weakness in my fit for your Civic Applications Team is that I have not yet completed end-to-end contributions on a successfully launched web app. Between volunteer and stakeholder schedules, our Code for Philly team estimates that MATchMapper Philadelphia is still six to twelve months from beta launch.

Meanwhile, my contributions to the two web-housed libraries below illustrate my experience (and delight) in juggling the many components and dependencies involved in building and maintaining a good online space for people to visit and use.

2020 data management & navigation aids

for RACIAL EQUITY TOOLS: migrating an online library with 2,500–3,000 resource listings to a different web platform while upgrading search capabilities & resource-update processes

“I met Josephine last fall, when we had an immediate need for support in the final phase of refreshing the [Racial Equity Tools] website. … At the time, a new search process was being created and each of the resources had to be tagged [for a new database]. … Josephine quickly absorbed the task at hand, asked a lot of questions, then joined team meetings, and quickly had a broader vision for the project.

As different issues came up, Josephine tackled each problem and was also extremely helpful for our website designer/developer, first, because she understood the issues he was grappling with, and second, because of her creativity in finding different ways to remedy the situation, whether it was related to the search process, or a pop-up member form.

She expertly organized the clearinghouse of resources to ensure they would be accessible to our users, and set up systems so we can track work over time. …

The metaphor Josephine proposed, likening our 98 topical pages to different “bookcases” (within our four major library sections), framed our intricate site map more understandably for visitors.

Josephine proactively identified ways to improve the site:

Homepage, December 2020, freshly migrated to Wix

and took the initiative to address issues while also checking in with me and ensuring the communication loop was complete. She was instrumental in thinking through how-to tips for our new Search system, to ensure our users had the necessary info to find the resource or tool to support their racial justice work.”

~ Maggie Potapchuk, Racial Equity Consultant and RET Lead Curator

2018 navbar design & creation of user guide documents

for SINAI PALIMPSESTS PROJECT RESEARCH SITE: beta launch facilitating access to over 70,000 digital images of ancient manuscripts, with contributions by 30+ scholars and specialists from 12+ countries

Exploring Images with Mirador Tools”
(pages 15–16 from “Navigating This Site”)

If you interview me for Civic Applications Project Management, relevant topics I could happily discuss from this project include:

  • Dependencies involved in creating the ten documents listed in User Guide Contents, then linking them all (with stable, comprehensible URLs) to summarize each one’s purpose in a single file.
  • Dependencies involved in identifying steps and getting accurate screen captures for each facet of Navigating This Site: searching manuscripts, browsing scholarly metadata, using the Mirador viewer, comparing multiple images, saving and retrieving work sessions.
  • How I navigated the opportunities and challenges associated with my joining this project at a late stage in its history (after all the beautiful achievements documented on the Project Background site) to provide beta-launch support.

“In supporting the online publication of the Sinai Palimpsests Project, a collaboration of the UCLA Library, EMEL, and St. Catherine’s Monastery of the Sinai, Dr. Dru performed quality control of images and metadata on the website and authored instructional materials for the website based on information she compiled from written sources, as well as interviews with project leaders.”

~ Mike Phelps, Executive Director, Early Manuscripts Electronic Library (EMEL)

context for azavea

September 2021:

Maggie ( = RET) wrote a reference letter for me in February 2021 when I wanted to join your UX Design team. I eventually postponed submitting that application, to continue working on my skill gaps for that role, but enjoyed learning more from and about you, especially at the job fair in March.

On rereading Maggie’s letter recently, I realized that many of the contributions she highlighted fit Project Management more directly than Design. Her comments on this webpage (which she has freshly reviewed) are excerpted either from that letter or from spontaneous written responses to our work together in 2021.

David (MATchMapper Philadelphia) provided his notes in response to my asking why his initial reply to my request to list him as a reference was that your Project Manager opening looked like a good fit for me.

Our app’s name (coined by David) refers to its purpose: making it easier for people with opioid dependency to connect with good options for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in the Philadelphia area.

Key conversation partners so far include Health Federation of Philadelphia’s Opioid Epidemic Response Program and the City’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, which maintains the most comprehensive resource lists locally.

Mike and Damian (Early Manuscripts Electronic Library = EMEL) likewise provided their notes this month in response to my request to list them as references for this application.

I admire the quality and integrity of EMEL’s work in preserving and increasing access to cultural heritage, and see notable parallels between how EMEL and Azavea approach professional services:

Both organizations pursue excellence with thoughtfulness and humility. Those are key characteristics that make me want to work for and with you.