Rebecca Munson passed away during the morning of August 13 surrounded by family and loved ones. She was 37 years old. She was a beloved friend, colleague, scholar, and mentor. Rebecca joined the Center for Digital Humanities in 2016 as a temporary project manager but her role grew and changed along with the Center. She was promoted to a permanent member of the CDH staff as the Education and Outreach Coordinator and most recently the Assistant Director for Interdisciplinary Education.
It is not an exaggeration at all to say that Rebecca represented the best of the CDH. During a global pandemic, Rebecca fought every day to receive the medical care that would keep her alive as long as possible, while also choosing to continue to come to the CDH and to lay the groundwork for a graduate program and advocate for the graduate students she mentored and believed in.
She allowed us to share in her vulnerability and courage and taught us, in turn, to be both vulnerable and brave. Her smile, her humor, her wit, her fierce intellect, her capacity for joy, and her generous, generous, generous spirit that never stopped fighting to live and never stopped fighting for what she believed in – we will carry these with us always. We have turned our CDH logo purple in memory of her hair, and the strength and bravery she brought to our work and our lives every day.
All of us welcome your thoughts and memories, pictures, anecdotes, and love in the coming days, weeks, months, and years as we work to reorient in a world without the person who provided so much of our orientation, who knew how to organize us and keep us on track, who saw the outlier questions and helped us find answers. Rebecca was crucial in our efforts to foreground and credit the often invisible labor of organizing and effectively collaborating on our work; the charter program she and CDH Associate Director Natasha Ermolaev created and the project management skills she developed and implemented are unlike anything else on campus or elsewhere, and we will carry this work forward in her memory.
There is no organizing or compartmentalizing a grief that will be stitched into the fabric of our organization. We ask for your grace and understanding as we mourn and celebrate our dear, dear friend.
Meredith Martin, and everyone at the CDH
- Public Writing by Rebecca
- “Their Data, Ourselves,” Startwords