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Balisage 2018 Participant Biographies

Syd Bauman
In late Fall of 1990 Syd Bauman’s manager dropped a large spiral-bound volume onto his desk and said to take a look at it, it might prove useful. It was TEI P1.1, and it was more than useful, it was transformative: Syd has been a believer in TEI ever since. Syd served as the North American Editor from 2001 to 2007, and as such served ex officio on the Board of Directors, the Technical Council, and multiple work groups & task forces. He is now an elected member of the TEI Technical Council.

When not striving to teach TEI, answer TEI questions, push the limits of TEI, or improve TEI, Syd is a senior XML programmer/analyst at the Women Writers Project, part of Northeastern University’s Digital Scholarship Group. Most of his programming, however, is XSLT designed to read TEI. But regardless of language, Syd’s programs are always copylefted.

Jeffrey Beck
Jeff is a Technical information Specialist at the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the US National Library of Medicine. He has been involved in the PubMed Central project since it began in 2000 and has been working in print and then electronic journal publishing since the early 1990s. He was the leader of the NLM DTD Working Group and is the leader of the BITS Working Group at NCBI. Currently he is co-chair of the NISO Z39.96 JATS Standing Committee, a member of the JATS4Reuse Steering Committee, and is a BELS-certified Editor in the Life Sciences.

Robert A. Beezer
Robert Beezer combined his long-time interest in programming (since 1970) with his long-time interest in teaching university mathematics (since 1978) to author in 2004 an open source linear algebra textbook featuring live embedded computational examples. A structured approach to the material, and numerous technical experiments, led him to start work on PreTeXt in 2013.

Elisa E. Beshero-Bondar
Elisa Beshero-Bondar is a member of the TEI Technical Council, as well as an Associate Professor of English and Director of the Center for the Digital Text at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. Her projects investigate complex texts such as epics, plays, and multi-volume voyage logs, and she is the founder and organizer of the Digital Mitford project and its annual coding school.

Sushil Bhattarai
Sushil Bhattarai is the Manager, Content Technology Group at ITHAKA. He is responsible for the development and maintenance of software systems performing validation and conversion of scholarly publications in electronic form that are being preserved in the Portico archive. He is a past contributor to Balisage and JATS-CON.

Tammy Bilitzky
Tammy Bilitzky is Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL)'s Chief Information Officer. Serving with DCL since 2013, Tammy is responsible for managing the company’s technology department; continuing its focus on resilient, high-quality, and innovative products; and helping to expand the business. She has extensive experience in using technology to deliver client value, supporting business-process transformation and managing complex, large-scale programs on and off shore. She holds a BS in computer science and business administration from Northeastern Illinois University and is a Project Management Professional, Six Sigma Green Belt, and ScrumMaster.

David J. Birnbaum
David J. Birnbaum is Professor and Co-Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been involved in the study of electronic text technology since the mid-1980s, has delivered presentations at a variety of electronic text technology conferences, and has served on the board of the Association for Computers and the Humanities, the editorial board of Markup languages: theory and practice, and the Text Encoding Initiative Council. Much of his electronic text work intersects with his research in medieval Slavic manuscript studies, but he also often writes about issues in the philosophy of markup.

Elli Bleeker
Elli Bleeker is a postdoctoral researcher in the Research and Development Team at the Humanities Cluster, part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. She specializes in digital scholarly editing and computational philology, with a focus on modern manuscripts and genetic criticism. Elli completed her PhD at the Centre for Manuscript Genetics (2017) on the role of the scholarly editor in the digital environment. As a Research Fellow in the Marie Sklodowska-Curie funded network "DiXiT" (2013-2017), she received advanced training in manuscript studies, text modeling, and XML technologies.

Abel Braaksma
Abel Braaksma is an invited expert of the XSL and XQuery Working Group and is creator and owner of Exselt, a streaming XSLT 3.0 processor. Besides his XSL work for the Working Group, he runs a consultancy and outsourcing firm Abrasoft, specializing in data aggregation and XML in .NET environments. He has over 15 years experience in XML and related technologies. You can contact him about Exselt or XML, XSLT and C# / F# related inquiries.

Bram Buitendijk
Bram Buitendijk is a software developer in the Research and Development team at the Humanities Cluster, part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has worked on transcription and annotation software, collation software, and repository software.

Todd Carpenter
Todd Carpenter is Executive Director of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO). NISO has standardized a variety of document systems and structures, such as JATS, NISO STS, DAISY Digital Talking Book, the Authoring and Interchange Framework for Adaptive XML Publishing Specification, as well as various metadata and identifier systems. Since 2008, he has served as Secretary of the ISO/TC 46/SC 9 - Identification and Description, as well as the Chair of the US Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for ISO TC 46 - Information & Documentation. He also recently took over responsibility for chairing the US TAG for ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 - Document description and processing languages.

Hugh Cayless
Hugh Cayless is a Senior Digital Humanities Developer at the Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing (DC3).

Vasu Chakkera
Vasu Chakkera is an XML XSLT enthusiast and has been working with the XML and related technologies since 2001.

His initial introduction to XSLT was in BBC worldwide, where he joined as an XSLT developer for their TV Data system. He is currenty a Sr.Platform Specialist (XML Technologies ) with Sapient Corporation.

John J. Chelsom
John Chelsom is CEO of Seven Informatics Ltd. He trained as an electrical engineer before gaining a PhD in artificial intelligence in medicine. He has been a Visiting Professor in Health Informatics at City University, London and the University of Victoria, Canada. As Managing Director of CSW Group from 1993 to 2008, John was responsible for implementation of XML workflow and production systems for many major organisations, including the British Medical Journal, Jaguar Cars and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

The Case Notes product developed by CSW was based on XML and other open standards. In 2003 the UK government chose Case Notes as the primary clinical system in the national architecture for a shared electronic health record covering the 55 million citizens in England. In 2000, John founded the XML Summer School and continues as a board member and lecturer in this annual event.

Since 2010 he has been the lead architect of the open source cityEHR product — an XRX (Xforms, REST, XQuery) health records system currently used in a number of hospitals in England.

Steven J. DeRose
Steve DeRose has been working with electronic document and hypertext systems since joining the FRESS project in 1979. He holds degrees in Computer Science and Linguistics and a Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics from Brown University.

He co-founded Electronic Book Technologies in 1989 to build the first SGML browser and retrieval system, “DynaText”, and has been deeply involved in document standards, including XML, TEI, XPath, XPointer, EAD, Open eBook, OSIS, HyTime, and others. He has served as Adjunct faculty in Computer Science at Brown University and Calvin College, and written many papers and patents, and two books. He works as a consultant in text systems and analytics.

Richard Dominelli
As Lead Software Engineer, Rich brings over 25 years of System Architecture experience to Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL). Applying his education from Iona College, the University of Phoenix, and Stony Brook University, he has been solving problems and designing resilient solutions on everything from microcontrollers to mobile phones to state of the art web based meter data management systems. Most recently Rich has been focusing creating intelligent targeted web crawlers.

David Dubin
David Dubin is a Teaching Associate Professor at the University of Illinois School of Information Sciences.

Kristen James Eberlein
Kris is the Chair of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee (TC), where she works to set the future direction, growth, and health of the DITA standard. She has been active with the DITA TC since 2007, and has served in several leadership roles: Secretary (2007-2010), Co-chair (2010-2013), and Chair (2014-present). To finance her standards habit, she is the principal consultant with Eberlein Consulting LLC, where she works with companies to develop, refine, and sustain successful (and practical) DITA implementations. She also is co-editor of the DITA 1.2 and 1.3 specifications. Trained as a historian, she’s worn almost all the content worker hats you can imagine: Information developer, team lead, information architect, tool smith … When not herding (technical) cats, she cooks, quilts, enjoys the emerging culinary mecca of Durham, NC, and drives her 2002 Mini Cooper a little too fast.

Katherine Ford
Katherine Ford is a software developer working on O'Connor's Online, a web-based legal research platform.

Mark Gross
Mark Gross, President of Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL), is a recognized authority on XML implementation, document conversion, and data mining. Most recently Mark has been developing techniques using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to automate data collection, extraction, and analytics. Prior to joining DCL in 1981, he was with the consulting practice of Arthur Young & Co. Mark has a BS in Engineering from Columbia University, an MBA from New York University, and has taught at the New York University Graduate School of Business, the New School, and Pace University.

Ronald Haentjens Dekker
Ronald Haentjens Dekker is a software architect and lead engineer of the Research and Development Team at the Humanities Cluster, part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. As a software architect, he is responsible for translating research questions into technology or algorithms and explaining to researchers and management how specific technologies will influence their research. He has worked on transcription and annotation software, collation software, and repository software, and he is the lead developer of the CollateX collation tool. He also conducts workshops to teach researchers how to use scripting languages in combination with digital editions to enhance their research.

Betty Harvey
As President of Electronic Commerce Connection, Inc. since 1995, Betty Harvey has led many federal government and commercial enterprises in planning and executing their migration to the use of structured information for their critical functions. She has helped develop strategic XML solutions for her clients. Ms. Harvey has been instrumental in developing industry XML standards. She is the co-author of Professional ebXML Foundations published by Wrox. Ms. Harvey founded the Washington, DC Area SGML/XML Users Group. Ms. Harvey is a member of “The XML Guild” and was a coauthor of the book Advanced XML Applications From the Experts at The XML Guild published by Thomson.

G. Ken Holman
Active in ISO standardization since 1988, Mr. G. Ken Holman has represented Canada in a number of different roles, including International Secretariat for the ISO/IEC committee responsible for SGML and XML, and a working group expert in the ISO/IEC eBusiness committee. A founding participant in the OASIS Consortium in 1993, Mr. Holman has been the founding chairman for a number of technical committees including Code List Representation, XML Conformance and XSLT Conformance, while actively participating in other technical committees. Mr. Holman is the current chair (and XML technology lead) of the OASIS UBL Technical Committee and editor of ISO/IEC 19845 Universal Business Language. As an invited expert to the W3C he was on the committee that created XML from SGML. He is accredited by Canada as an expert contributor to UN/CEFACT. He has been an active editor in the creation and maintenance of a number of ISO/IEC and OASIS specifications, including supporting the publishing process of specifications for both organizations and participating in the definition and support of the OASIS technical committee process. His additional volunteer work includes community-oriented activities near home and humanitarian education work in Africa.

Mary Holstege
Mary Holstege has been developing software in Silicon Valley for decades, in and around markup technologies and information extraction. She currently works at MarkLogic Corporation, where she mainly works on search. She holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University in Computer Science, for a thesis on document representation.

Adam Hyde
Adam Hyde is co-founder and organizer of the Coko Foundation, and has developed several end-to-end electronic publishing systems including web-based systems.

Jacob Jett
Jacob Jett is a doctoral student at the University of Illinois School of Information Sciences.

Astrid Kulsdom
Astrid Kulsdom is a project manager and researcher in the Research and Development team at the Humanities Cluster, part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. After completing her research Master in Literary Studies at Radboud University in 2012, she has worked as a project manager for several government institutions. As project manager of the Research and Development team, she combines her philological knowledge with her project management skills in order to effectively manage all strands of research within the team.

Deborah A. Lapeyre
Deborah Aleyne Lapeyre is a Senior Consultant for Mulberry Technologies, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in helping their clients toward better publishing through XML, XSLT, and Schematron solutions. She works with Tommie Usdin as architects and Secretariat for JATS (ANSI NISO Z39.96-2015 Journal Article Tag Suite) and BITS (Book Interchange Tag Suite). She teaches hands-on XML, XSLT, DTD and schema construction, and Schematron courses as well as numerous technical and business-level introductions to XML and JATS. Debbie has been working with XML and XSLT since their inception and with SGML since 1984 (before SGML was finalized as an ISO standard). In a previous life, she wrote code for systems that put ink on paper and used, taught, and documented a proprietary generic markup system named “SAMANTHA”. Hobbies, besides Balisage, include pumpkin carving parties.

Allan Lieberman
With a comprehensive technical background in both computer software development and large scale database design and applications, Special Projects Manager Allan Lieberman currently oversees Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL)'s efforts in identifying and accessing legal content on websites worldwide, and provides technical guidance both in-house and to clients. Allan joined DCL in 2012, following 25 years with the Information Systems department of Davis Polk & Wardwell, a leading global law firm, where his most recent position was Manager of Software Design and Systems Development. He holds a BA in Mathematics from City College of New York, and an MS in Computer Science from Polytechnic University of New York.

Peter M. Lukehart
Peter M. Lukehart is Associate Dean at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art (2001-present). His recent publications include “Nuda veritas: The Afterlife of Michelangelo's Indecorous Figures in the Last Judgment,” in After 1564: Death and Rebirth of Michelangelo in Late Sixteenth-Century Rome, ed. Marco Simone Bolzoni, Furio Rinaldi, and Patrizia Tosini (Rome, 2016), and “The Practice and Pedagogy of Drawing in the Accademia di San Luca,” in Lernt Zeichnen! Techniken zwischen Kunst und Wissenschaft, 1525-1925, ed. Maria Heilmann, Nino Nanobashvili, Ulrich Pfisterer, and Tobias Teutenberg, exh. cat. (Munich, 2015). He has a longstanding interest in the education and incorporation of artists in the early modern period. His publications on this subject include contributions to the exhibition catalogue Taddeo and Federico Zuccaro: Artist-Brothers in Renaissance Rome (J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007) and to The Artist’s Workshop, published under his editorship in the Studies in the History of Art series at the National Gallery of Art (1993). He also served as editor of the Accademia Seminars (2009), for which he wrote the introduction and an essay “Visions and Divisions in the Early History of the Accademia di San Luca.” He is project director for an online research database entitled “The History of the Accademia di San Luca, c. 1590-1635: Documents from the Archivio di Stato di Roma” (

James D. Mason
James D. Mason, originally trained as a mediaevalist and linguist, became a writer, systems developer, and manufacturing engineer at U.S. Department of Energy facilities in Oak Ridge since the late 1970s. In 1981, he joined the ISO’s work on standards for document management and interchange. He chaired ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34, which is responsible for SGML, DSSSL, Topic Maps, and related standards, for more than 20 years. Dr. Mason has been a frequent writer and speaker on standards and their applications. For his work on SGML, Dr. Mason has received the Gutenberg Award from Printing Industries of America and the Tekkie Award from GCA. He recently retired from working on information systems to support manufacturing and documentation at DOE’s Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Jerome McDonough
Jerome McDonough has been on the faculty of the School of Information Sciences at UIUC since 2005. His research focuses on sociotechnical aspects of digital libraries, with a particular interest in issues of metadata and description as well as digital preservation of complex media and software.

John Meyer
John Meyer is Director, Production and Content Technology, at ITHAKA. Since 2005, John has played a key role in shaping and implementing technologies for managing content streams into the Portico archive, from over 500 scholarly publishers, comprising over 29,000 journals 1.2 million e-book titles, and 187 digital collections, in over 1000 XML and SGML vocabularies. He was a member of the NLM Working Group, and is a member of the JATS Working Group, and has been a past contributor to Balisage and to JATS-CON.

Sheila Morrissey
Sheila Morrissey is Senior Researcher at ITHAKA, where her role is to provide technological perspective in researching the impact of the digital transition on the scholarly communications ecosystem, on the sustainability of digital resources, on the scholarly use of digital resources, on digital infrastructure in support of teaching and learning, and on collaborative development of the technical infrastructure of the library of the future. Sheila has worked on ITHAKA's Portico digital preservation service and has written extensively on the complex interactions between digital formats and their mediating software, as well as on the often subtle manner in which software engineering practice complicates the use and intelligibility of digital artifacts, both in the present, and over the very long term.

Ari Nordström
Ari Nordström is a Senior XML Specialist (fancy speak for "markup geek") at Karnov Group, a Scandinavian legal publisher. He is based in Göteborg, Sweden, but has been known to provide angled brackets across a number of borders over the years.

Ari is the proud owner and head projectionist of Western Sweden's last functioning 35/70mm cinema, situated in his garage, which should explain why he once wrote a paper on automating commercial cinemas using XML.

Wendell Piez
Wendell Piez is an independent consultant specializing in XML and XSLT, based in Rockville MD.

Allen H. Renear
Allen Renear is the dean of the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests include information organization and access, particularly the development of formal ontologies for cultural and scientific objects and the application of those ontologies in information system design, scholarly publishing, and data curation in the sciences and humanities.

C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
C. M. Sperberg-McQueen is the founder and principal of Black Mesa Technologies, a consultancy specializing in helping memory institutions improve the long term preservation of and access to the information for which they are responsible.

He served as editor in chief of the TEI Guidelines from 1988 to 2000, and has also served as co-editor of the World Wide Web Consortium's XML 1.0 and XML Schema 1.1 specifications.

Will Thompson
Will Thompson leads software development on core technologies for O’Connor’s Online, the web-based legal research platform that complements the company’s expanding library of mostly home-grown (and mostly Texas-based) legal books. Will works on a wide array of software, from back-end editorial toolchains to customer-facing search engines.

Bethan Tovey
Bethan Tovey is a PhD student in linguistics, studying the language-mixing behaviour of Welsh-English bilinguals. In her spare time, she is creating a linguistic corpus of cryptic crosswords. She was formerly a content architect at Oxford University Press. Even more formerly, she worked for the Oxford English Dictionary, specialising in medieval English.

B. Tommie Usdin
B. Tommie Usdin is President of Mulberry Technologies, Inc., a consultancy specializing in XML and SGML. Ms. Usdin has been working with SGML since 1985 and has been a supporter of XML since 1996. She chairs the Balisage conference. Ms. Usdin has developed DTDs, Schemas, and XML/SGML application frameworks for applications in government and industry. Projects include reference materials in medicine, science, engineering, and law; semiconductor documentation; historical and archival materials. Distribution formats have included print books, magazines, and journals, and both web- and media-based electronic publications. She is co-chair of the NISO Z39-96, JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite Working Group and a member of the NISO STS Standing Committee. You can read more about her at

Raffaele Viglianti
Raffaele Viglianti is a TEI Technical Council member and Research Associate at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland, where he works on a number of digital humanities projects and is the Technical Editor for the Shelley-Godwin Archive. Raffaele’s research revolves around digital editions and textual scholarship, with a focus on editions of music scores.

Norman Walsh
Norman Walsh is a Principal Engineer at MarkLogic Corporation where he helps to develop APIs and tools for advanced content applications. He has also been an active participate in international standards efforts at both the W3C and OASIS. He is the author of DocBook: The Definitive Guide. Norm has spent more than twenty years developing commercial and open source software.