I started editing Wikipedia in 2005 as User:FloNight, after reading a biography of Florence Nightingale. As a retired OB/GYN nurse, I was inspired by her remarkable advancements in nursing care that were directly related to her childhood education in mathematics and statistics. After learning about Wikipedia, I could “imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge,” and I recognized the power that would have in improving health.
Soon, I realized that there is a gender gap on Wikipedia in both content and the number of women editors, And that overall there is a lack of diversity among Wikimedia volunteers. I could see that Wikipedia was lacking content that would be written if the community was more diverse. Also during the first year, I attracted the unwelcome attention of a misogynistic individual who continued to contact me off of the Wikimedia wiki for years.
To address these concerns I have taken part in a number of volunteer jobs, committees, and projects that are changing Wikipedia for the better such as the the Community Health and Harassment working group and Gender Gap Inspire Campaign Committee. Currently I am an administrator, oversighter, and checkuser on Wikipedia English. And I am a co-founder of WikiWomen's User Group, Kentucky Wikimedians User group, WikiConference North America, and a Board member of Wiki Project Med Foundation, and a member of Whose Knowledge? Previously, I worked as a Wikipedian in Residence at Cochrane, and I was a member of the Wikipedia English arbitration committee, the Wikimedia Foundation Fund Dissemination Committee, and the Simple Annual Plan Grant Committee.
I was born in West Virginia, but I lived most of my adult life in Lexington, KY.
I am a Community Advocate (CA) for the Wikimedia Foundation. What does the CA team do? We facilitate communication between the Foundation staff and the many diverse editing communities and editors that make the project work. We also assist other WMF departments in their work, and help editors and readers with issues.