Award Details

2019 NDLTD Leadership Award

posted Nov 12, 2019, 12:19 PM by NDLTD Admin

Hussein Suleman

Dr. Suleman has done extraordinary service to the worldwide ETD initiative for two decades. He played an important role in the Open Archives Initiative efforts that began in 1999, which led to the Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH); it underlies much of the work to collect metadata about ETDs. While a doctoral student he worked on OAI-PMH, applying it to ETDs, and also played a lead role in the work on ETD-MS, the ETD metadata standard.

Dr. Suleman earned his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in Computer Science in 2002 with his dissertation entitled “Open Digital Libraries” (see, working even then with ETD metadata.

Dr. Suleman went on to join the faculty in Computer Science at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. There he promoted ETD efforts in his country as well as in other nations of Africa, from 2005 serving on the Steering Committee of the NRF/CHELSA South African National ETD Project. Dr. Suleman has been on the NDLTD Board of Directors since 2004, and has published about ETDs and OAI starting in 2002. He ran ETD 2011 in Cape Town, South Africa. Since 2012 he has run the NDLTD Union Catalog, and since 2015 he has run the NDLTD Global Search system. Thus he has contributed to the technology as well as human support of ETDs.

Husein Suleman´s Acceptance:

YouTube Video

2018 NDLTD Leadership Award

posted Sep 26, 2018, 10:16 AM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated Sep 26, 2018, 10:17 AM ]

Tony Cargnelutti

Tony Cargnelutti's Acceptance Remarks at ETD 2018:

September 2018

To my wonderful friends, extraordinary colleagues and all the members of the ETD community.

I would like to thank the NDLTD Awards Committee for nominating me for the 2018 Leadership Award, and to send a special and sincere thank you to the colleagues who proposed and wrote the nomination.

I am both delighted and humbled by the nomination and while I am not really sure I deserve it, I am extremely proud to accept it. My association with the NDLTD and ETD community, with the support of The University of New South Wales Library, goes back to its early
days. Coincidently, this was at the very same time a quirky search engine called Google began disrupting things. It was 1997. As part of the NDLTD community I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to design and develop what was originally called The Australian Digital Theses Program (known as the ADT), later with the inclusion of New Zealand to be renamed The Australasian Digital Theses Program.

From the first small and tentative steps, the ADT Program evolved into a national program. It was flexible, based on a few necessary data standards and protocols, and managed at The University of New South Wales. The concept for the ADT model was driven by the
Council of Australian University Librarians with subsequent funding by the federal government’s Australian Research Council. We didn’t realise at the time we were pioneers in demonstrating the value of collaboration and the open sharing of research outputs such
as ETDs. This was of course, all made possible by emerging information technologies.

As the ADT developed, the Australian Government began to fund and develop national programs including mandating that all universities develop digital research repositories. These government initiatives ultimately led to a more consolidated and integrated national program for all research outputs, digital theses obviously included. As a result the ADT became part of the national research
management program and therefore no longer a separate entity. Mind you, there was and still is, debate as to whether or not this was a good move.

Part of my journey with the NDLTD was to contribute to, and help promote the ETD conferences, with the 8th ETD conference held at
UNSW in Sydney in 2005. And now here we are in Taipei in 2018. I am delighted to see the ETD conference program has evolved into a truly international event. Finally, in my long association with the NDLTD I have had the privilege and opportunity to work with, and be inspired by, so many fabulous people. Too many to name and acknowledge here, however, I want to single out two: The late and much missed Marian Bate, University Librarian at UNSW – without whose foresight, incredible intellect and leadership, and unconditional support, the ADT would never have been. And of course, Ed Fox. Without Ed’s stewardship from the very beginning I don’t think we’d be here in 2018.

Thank you all again, and best wishes for another fabulous ETD gathering.


2012 NDLTD Leadership Awards

posted Sep 18, 2012, 2:46 PM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated May 3, 2013, 2:08 PM ]

David T. Palmer
Associate University Librarian for Digital Strategies & Technical Services
University of Hong Kong Libraries, Hong Kong

David Palmer is an Associate University Librarian for Digital Strategies & Technical Services and Principal Investigator for The HKU Scholars Hub at The University of Hong Kong, where his career spans over 21 years. Palmer's achievements include responsibility for a 2001 ETD mandate covering all HKU thesis producing graduate degrees, as well as a retrospective conversion policy and process. HKU was the first institution in Asia to have its entire thesis collection online. Now numbering some 20,000 ETDs, HKU is among select institutions worldwide with the highest number of ETDs that are full text, fully catalogued, and available as open access. David's work on HKU ETDs was the spearhead for the 2006 creation of the HKU institutional repository, The HKU Scholars Hub. David suggested digitizing retrospective theses in 2005 to the Chinese American Digital Associative Library (CADAL).Palmer works with the HKU Office of Knowledge Exchange to gain grant funding to further digitization efforts as well as open access and institutional repository implementation throughout Hong Kong as well as facilitating collaboration on digitization among Asian universities.
Librarian David Palmer receives his ETD Leadership Award

Librarian David Palmer receives his ETD Leadership Award.

2011 NDLTD Leadership Awards

posted Sep 18, 2012, 2:44 PM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated Sep 18, 2012, 2:51 PM ]

Felix N. Ubogu
University Librarian
University of Witwatersrand, South Africa 

Felix is responsible for the strategic management of the university libraries and the provision of high-level library and information services for all of the University’s students, academic staff and other employees. 

For over a decade, Felix’s landmark achievements include having made Rhodes theses and dissertations available on the web (the first library in Africa to do so) in 1998; having served as Project Manager of a UNESCO pilot project to improve the management of and access to theses and dissertations prepared at universities in two of UNESCO's Member States in Africa – Ethiopia and South Africa, 2003-2004; and having served as Chair for the Advisory Committee of the Database of African Theses and Dissertations (DATAD) Pilot Project, July 2000 to February 2005. 

Felix’s dedication to digital library developments and open access in scholarly communications has put the South African national and African continental ETD programs in many nations on the global map.  

Laura Hammons
Director for the Thesis Office
Texas A&M University, U.S.A. 

Laura is the Director for the Thesis Office at Texas A&M University (TAMU) serving a graduate student population of over 9,000 graduate students. Laura and her staff are responsible for providing effective guidance to students in the preparation of a thesis/dissertation through conducting pre-submittal conferences for each thesis/dissertation and reviewing final manuscripts to ensure compliance with TAMU thesis/dissertation requirements. 

Laura has led efforts state of Texas for the Vireo User’s Group, which facilitates communications regarding the state-wide repository system for Texas Digital Library Consortium.  Additionally Laura was the founder of the Texas ETD Association (TXETDA), which provides a network of support for ETD professionals in the state of Texas.  Most recently Laura has been an integral founding member of the United States ETD Association (USETDA), which provides information on best practices, develops and disseminates information on ETD initiatives, supports the development of state-wide ETD associations and provides networking opportunities to support ETD program faculty and staff throughout the United States.

2010 NDLTD Leadership Awards

posted Sep 18, 2012, 2:41 PM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated Sep 18, 2012, 2:52 PM ]

Tim Brace
Assistant Director, Office of the Registrar
University of Texas, Austin, U.S.A.

Tim has been involved with the NDLTD for the past decade and has provided leadership to implement the ETD program at the University of Texas at Austin, one of the largest graduate schools in the U.S.  His many presentations on ETD implementation at UT-Austin and the launch of the original ETD Administrator pilot with ProQuest/UMI have always captivated audiences as he shared lessons learned.  He also assisted with migration of the ETD process to the new state-wide consortium Texas Digital Libraries repository system.  His unique perspectives gained from his work in the graduate school as well as the information technology sector have helped provide critical and respected guidance for many institutions around the world on ETD matters.  

Monica Hammes
Assistant Director for Open Scholarship and Quality Assurance for the University Libraries
University of Pretoria, South Africa

Monica has been involved with ETDs at the University of Pretoria, South Africa for the past decade where she has also contributed to the international development of digital repositories in the African continent and around the world.

Acceptance Video:

Nancy Stuart
Technical Services Librarian
University of Victoria, Canada

Nancy has been a long-time supporter of digital collections and ETDs at University of Victoria, Canada where she was instrumental in implementing their ETD program and repository program as well as assisting with the development of the national Theses Canada portal.

2009 NDLTD Leadership Awards

posted Sep 18, 2012, 2:37 PM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated Sep 18, 2012, 2:52 PM ]

Thomas Dowling
Assistant Director, Library Systems, Client/Server
OhioLink, Columbus, OH, U.S.A.

Thomas has led the way in the adoption of electronic theses and dissertations in Ohio by creating and managing OhioLINK’s Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center, a consortium of 88 universities and colleges.  OhioLink serves as a model for digital library consortia networks, and is the first ETD consortium established in the world.  The OhioLink Web site is available at

John H. Hagen
Manager, Institutional Repository Programs and Coordinator, Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Program
West Virginia University (WVU) Libraries, Morgantown, WV, U.S.A.

Over the past decade, John’s commitment to ETDs at WVU has resulted in a program that serves as a model for many other universities. John has led regional and international workshops for the NDLTD, and he has hosted many visitors who come to WVU to learn about the ETD program.  John has become recognized internationally for his ETD implementation and open access advocacy.  More information about John is available at

2008 NDLTD Leadership Awards

posted Sep 18, 2012, 2:32 PM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated Sep 18, 2012, 3:04 PM ]

Susan Copeland
Senior Information Adviser (Research)
Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland (UK).

Dr. Copeland is largely responsible for ETD developments in the United Kingdom and the European Union. She has also worked extensively on international projects with the NDLTD and the American Library Association.

2007 NLDTD Leadership Awards

posted Sep 18, 2012, 2:30 PM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated Sep 18, 2012, 3:03 PM ]

Gail McMillan
Director, Digital Library and Archives
Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA, U.S.A.

Peter Schirmbacher
Professor - Computer and Media Services Department
Humboldt University, Germany

Acceptance Video:

2005 NDLTD Leadership Awards

posted Sep 18, 2012, 2:25 PM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated Sep 18, 2012, 2:55 PM ]

Marian E. Bate
University Librarian (retired)
The University of New South Wales, Australia

Project Leader Emeritus, Australian Digital Theses Program

Maggie Dougherty
Information Systems Support Specialist for the College of Graduate Studies
Montana State University, Bozeman, U.S.A.

Jose Mutt
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies
University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, U.S.A.

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