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Key Skills

  • Experienced editor (including copy editing, developmental editing, and scholarly editing)
  • Experienced writer (including persuasive copy written across varied genres and formats for diverse audiences with specialized goals)
  • Experienced project manager (including work with multiple stakeholders inside and outside organization)
  • Significant, proven experience as a member of a team and a technical lead; positive interpersonal skills and a customer-service orientation, particularly with clients from a wide variety of cultures


  • Ph.D., English Literature, The University of Michigan, 2007
  • M.A., English Literature, The University of Michigan, 2002
  • M.F.A., Creative Writing, The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, 2001
  • M.A., English, North Carolina State University, 1998
  • B.A., English, magna cum laude, The University of the South, 1994

Professional Work Experience

Scholarly Communication and Open Access Publishing Lead

George Mason University, Fenwick Library
Fairfax, VA. February 2018 – present

Provides leadership, education, and compliance assistance on copyright and fair use issues, administers and promotes the open access publishing fund, promotes awareness of and assists in the development of open educational resources, and provides editorial assistance to the George Mason University Press.

Senior QA Specialist

PalTech, Inc., Foreign Service Institute’s (FSI) Instructional Support Division
Arlington, VA. June 2017 – February 2018

The Instructional Support Division in the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute develops and delivers instructional design and technology-based training tools, including eLearning and multimedia courses and products

As the Contract Technical Lead for Quality Assurance, my work focuses on the following tasks and roles:

  • Guide team of contractors in delivering QA service following industry standard and USG web development policies and standards
  • Directly support government client through consistently documenting, tracking and reporting project status and portfolio development
  • Manage maintenance portfolio (tracking issues reported, following up with developers and PMs on solutions, going back to the Help Desk for more information, and sometimes directly contacting the student for more details) 
  • Review and edit storyboards, providing written feedback to instructional designer and client. (Highly skilled in detail-oriented documentation, with significant abilities in communicating with Subject Matter Experts and programmers in tactful manner)
  • Identify, analyze, troubleshoot, verify, and submit software defects following established QA processes and procedures through Gemini software
  • Interact with HelpDesk personnel and protocols to identify and resolve courseware issues
  • Test eLearning software for multiple browser compliancy on a variety of browsers and multiple operating systems
  • Collaborate with a learning management system team to ensure that all courses and products are SCORM and 508 compliant and work optimally in the learning management system as well as other web-based platforms
  • Collaborate with a learning management system team to acesss and review courses and surveys in a production environment

Technical Writer IV

PalTech, Inc., Foreign Service Institute’s (FSI) Instructional Support Division
Arlington, VA. October 2016 – May 2017

  • Served as dedicated technical writer for Diplomatic Mastery blended learning pilot
  • Worked individually and in teams of instructional designers, graphic designers, developers, and subject matter experts to create course materials, document system requirements, craft marketing copy and internal reports
  • Served as SharePoint administrator for all division sites
  • Created and populated new sites, managed permissions, developed automated workflows for improving organization and intra-office processes
  • Provided quality assurance and copy editing for FSI-developed eLearning instruction modules

Head, Scholarly Communication and Publishing Unit

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University Library
Urbana-Champaign, IL. August 2015 – September 2016

  • Launched library publishing initiative (Illinois Open Publishing Network [IOPN])
  • Advocated, in scholarly writing, social media, and public meetings, for Open Access to scholarly research [that is, global access to the scholarly record with minimal restrictions] as a matter of institutional, statutory, and federal policy
  • Created all publishing workflows, policies, and draft legal documentation for library publishing initiatives
  • Recruited and edited high quality scholarly content for open digital publishing environment
  • Coordinated institutional repository program
  • Oversaw implementation and customization of publishing platform tool-chain (comprising existing open-source tools)
  • Coordinated Publications & Workflows Working Group as part of Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded Publishing Without Walls grant project
  • Hired and managed team of five librarians and staff members

Editorial Director, University of Michigan Press

University of Michigan – Michigan Publishing
Ann Arbor, MI. November 2012 – June 2015

  • Coordinated all editorial decision-making for Tier 2 university press
  • Personally guided 25+ academic titles through acquisition, peer-review, and editorial processes per year
  • Advocated, in scholarly writing, social media, and public meetings, for Open Access to scholarly research as a matter of institutional, statutory, and federal policy
  • Oversaw editorial department budget
  • Managed team of 4 acquisitions editors and 1 open access journals coordinator
  • Led creation of Maize Books, open access book publishing imprint (http://www.maizebooks.org/)
  • Regularly consulted with a network of scholars and advisors in relevant disciplines at the University of Michigan and universities around the world

Librarian for English Literature & Comparative Literature

University of Michigan – Hatcher Graduate Library
Ann Arbor, MI. July 2010 – October 2012

  • Liaised with English department and Comparative Literature department
  • Taught upper-level library instruction sessions; consulted on undergraduate library instruction policies
  • Conducted grant-supported scholarly research on library instruction methods
  • Performed reference duties (specialized meetings with faculty/graduate students and general reference shifts)
  • Selected for English Literature and Comparative Literature Collections
  • Served as member on relevant library committees

Text Creation Partnership (TCP) Outreach Librarian

University of Michigan Library – Scholarly Publishing Office
Ann Arbor, MI. July 2009 – June 2010

  • Raised TCP awareness among scholars locally, nationally, and internationally through outreach efforts, including public speaking engagements, direct marketing, and website-based promotion
  • Raised ~$1M in one fiscal year, funding 4 subsequent years of text encoding for Early English Books Online (EEBO) digital images
  • Projected annual budgets and monitored month-to-month budgets
  • Coordinated legal and financial transactions between partners, TCP, library budget office, and general counsel

University Teaching

The University of Michigan, The University of Iowa, North Carolina State University

September 1998 - May 2009

  • Taught multiple sections of English Literature, Composition and Rhetoric, and Creative Writing classes, focusing on making specialized concepts and conventions legible to undergraduate students
  • Served as undergraduate curriculum advisor (Michigan)
  • Consistently received positive student evaluations

Selected Publications

Edited Volumes

  • Mills, Kincaid, Genevieve Chandler Peterkin, and Aaron McCollough, eds. Coming Through: Voices of a South Carolina Gullah Community from WPA Oral Histories. University of South Carolina Press, 2008

Articles in Journals

  • McCollough, Aaron. “Does it Make a Sound: Are Open Access Monographs Discoverable in Library Catalogs?” portal: Libraries and the Academy, 17.1, January 2017

Creative Works

  • McCollough, Aaron. Rank, University of Iowa Press, Kuhl House Poets, Iowa City, Iowa, 2015
  • McCollough, Aaron. Underlight, Ugly Duckling Presse, Brooklyn, New York, 2012

Book Reviews

  • McCollough, Aaron. “[Book Review] Martin Paul Eve. Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies, and the Future.” Journal of Electronic Publishing, 18.3 (2015)
  • McCollough, Aaron. “Book Review: Michael Bhaskar. The Content Machine: Towards a Theory of Publishing from the Printing Press to the Digital Network” Journal of Electronic Publishing, 17.2 (2014)
  • McCollough, Aaron. “A Review of Carmen Giménez Smith’s Milk & Filth.” The Brooklyn Rail, February, 2014
  • McCollough, Aaron. “Wanderer: Jay Wright’s The Presentable Art of Reading Absence and Polynomials and Pollen” Boston Review, November/December, 2008

Selected Presentations

  • “Humanities Open Access Monograph Publishing in Libraries: Opportunities and Challenges,” Library Publishing Coalition Forum (Denton, Texas, May 19, 2016)
  • “Publishing Our Own Work: Contributing to the Professional Literature through Systematizing Sharing of Library Reports,” The Charleston Library Conference (Charleston, South Carolina, November 5, 2015)
  • “The Once and Future Publishing Library,” The Charleston Library Conference (Charleston, South Carolina, November 6, 2015)
  • “Publishing Libraries Collaborating At and For Scale,” Library Publishing Coalition Forum (Portland, Oregon, March 30, 2015)
  • “The Library as Publisher: Details, Practice, and Potential Outcomes,” Society for Scholarly Publishing Charleston Pre-conference workshop (Charleston, South Carolina, November 5, 2014)
  • “Examining the Economic Infrastructure of Scholarly Publishing,” University of Wisconsin Scholarly Publishing Symposium: Examining Publishing in the 21stt Century (Madison, Wisconsin, October 30, 2014)
  • “Scholar, Maker, Creator: New Humanities Conversations,” Virginia Commonwealth University Digital Pragmata series (Richmond, Virginia, April 8, 2014)
  • “E Before P,” A panel on electronic publishing, Association of American University Presses (Boston, June 21, 2013)
  • “Putting Research under a Microscope: Teaching ‘Micro-Level’ Information Use in First-Year Writing” Library Orientation Exchange (Nashville, Tennessee, May 3, 2013)
  • “The Library’s Role in Introducing Digital Humanities,” Michigan Library Association 2012 Academic Libraries Conference (Ann Arbor, May 10, 2012)

Software & Tool Experience

  • Microsoft suite: SharePoint (including Designer), Word, Excel, Visio, PowerPoint, InfoPath
  • Project Management/Collaboration Tools: Atlassian suite, Gemini, Trello, AirTable, slack, Google Apps
  • CMS: Jekyll/Github Pages, WordPress, Drupal
  • Code: HTML, CSS, Markdown