Focke honored by Rice Board of Trustees

The Rice Board of Trustees recently recognized Amanda Focke, the head of special collections at the Woodson Research Center in Fondren Library, for her service to Rice’s students, staff and alumni throughout her 18-year career at the university.

Amanda Focke

Amanda Focke

Focke, who is responsible for the university’s archives, rare books and manuscript collections, has led the effort to archive digital and digitized materials at Woodson and to educate the Rice community on digital humanities, the application of technology to research and publishing in the humanities.

A letter to the board highlighted Focke’s accomplishments, including projects that have had an impact in the Houston community and beyond such as the Sugar Land Convict Leasing exhibit, the Houston Asian American Archive and the Houston Jewish History Archive.

“She goes above and beyond to do what is necessary to complete a project, selflessly and quietly,” a faculty member wrote.

Another faculty member described Focke as an indispensable colleague: “She represents the best of Rice University, whose reputation and profile have only grown because of her outstanding work.”

The nomination letter concluded by describing Focke as an “extraordinary leader who shares the sense of mission and purpose and a real delight in our work with her colleagues.”

“Her kindness, accessibility and encouragement have made the Woodson a wonderful place to experiment and innovate,” the letter said. “Her unwavering work ethic and commitment to library and archival service, her enthusiasm for our work of preserving and providing access to our shared history, her generous spirit in mentoring and encouraging the growth of her colleagues and patrons have made it a pleasure to work with her.”

About Arie Passwaters

Arie Wilson Passwaters is editor of Rice New.