St. Lawrence University

The Digital Initiatives Faculty Fellowship Program advance digital pedagogy, digital humanities, and related efforts on campus. The program began in Fall 2014 as a partnership between Crossing Boundaries and Libraries and Information Technology (LIT), including Digital Initiatives, Educational Technology, and GIS.

The program empowers its participants to effect change by (1) providing a structure that connects faculty members to existing systems for technological support, (2) helping faculty members aquire valuable technological skills, and (3) placing like-minded faculty members in contact with each other to maximize the potential of their explorations.

The Digital Initiatives Faculty Fellowship Program allows faculty members to begin exploring digital technologies without feeling the need to be so called experts at the start. For faculty members hoping to build upon a strong record of experience with digital tools and approaches, the program creates opportunities for additional innovation and experimentation.

Each semester, a small cohort of fellows is selected for the program. Fellows meet as a group throughout the semester, in consultation with various technologies support staff. As a result, project partners with various levels of technological familiarity can share ideas, questions, and experiences. 

At the close of this initial exploratory semester, fellows transition to an implementation phase. Faculty bring what they have learned to a specific classroom experience (or set of experiences) and are actively encouraged to share results through the St. Lawrence University digital initiative platform, in order to help promote a culture of pedagogical exchange and collaboration.

Digital Initiatives Faculty Fellows 2014-18

Stephen Barnard

Position: 
Assistant Professor of Sociology

Stephen Barnard continued his work on Twitter and society as the Initiative's first Senior Fellow.

He used this fellowship to build on the successes and improve the shortcomings of the Twitter and Society course he taught in Spring 2015.

While continuing to focus on applications of data analysis for Twitter, the new iteration of this course will place greater emphasis on students' individual research projects, and an improved course website, Twitter & Society, will showcase work produced by students.

Larry Boyette

Position: 
Lecturer in the First Year Program

Larry Boyette (Lecturer, FYP, and Adjunct Instructor for History and Music) will use his fellowship to explore ways to better employ digital resources to facilitate the musical and academic work, the performances, and the community building goals of the SLUFunk/History of Funk project. 

Larry Boyette

Caroline Breashears

Position: 
Associate Professor of English

Caroline Breashears used this fellowship to enhance her senior seminar on Jane Austen in preparation for several upcoming Austen anniversaries. She developed, along with her students, an interactive timeline called Digital Austen. The timeline highlights key adaptations of Austen's novels in order to understand how these adaptations respond to her novels and what they reveal about Austen's appeal across form and time.

Matthew Carotenuto

Position: 
Associate Professor, History
Coordinator, African Studies

Matt used this fellowship to integrate off-campus program initiatives with his courses on campus. In particular, he explored ways to involve students in the Kenya Program’s Digital Archive through collection development and research activities. He also developed a digital component for his Spring 2017 SYE-Contemporary Africa, so students can present their research and continue to process their off-campus experience through the platform of the Kenya Program Blog.

Anne Csete

Position: 
Associate Professor of History

In conjunction with her course "Early Asian Civilizations," (History 105ASIA 125) Associate Professor Anne Csete (History) pursued a digital initiatives faculty fellowship in order to discover ways to use digital tools to enhance her use of maps and art historical materials.

In the past, Csete used analog maps to bolster students' overall geographical knowledge and teach them the process of placing historical processes in geographical context. She is investigating ways to upgrade the quality and functionality of her lesson planning through the use of digital mapping tools.

"I would like to develop a set of maps that would enliven and support the learning goals and allow me to retire my photocopies and tired wall map," Csete said in her proposal.

Csete's goals for digitized art history materials are similar.

Anne Csete

Jeff Frank

Position: 
Assistant Professor of Education

Jeff Frank explored notions of accessibility and the digital humanities. Though digital projects often aim to make the humanities more accessible, as someone who works with teachers and future teachers, Frank wondered if these projects actually make their way into classrooms or impact the ways in which teachers conceptualize their work as humanistic educators. Or—to put it more simply—he was interested in whether and how digital projects can be made more accessible to teachers and future teachers.

As well, Frank investigated shifting notions of oral communication in the digital age. At present, he is thinking about how to best integrate technologies like podcasting into his First Year Seminar “What Does it Mean to be Educated?”

Jeff Frank

Elun Gabriel

Position: 
Associate Professor and Department Chair, History
Coordinator of European Studies

One of the central topics of my course on genocide is the consideration of how genocides and other large-scale mass killings occur, including the question of the role of planning by political leaders versus on-the-ground factors that drive events, and the related question of why perpetrators participate in genocides and why victims react as they do. Related is the connection between genocide and war.

Angela (Angie) M Sweigart-Gallagher

Position: 
Assistant Professor

Angela Sweigart-Gallagher used this fellowship to reimagine future iterations of course assignments for her Political Theatre and Performance course, including a transformation of her “Blog” assignment into a Digital “Portfolio” of performance ideas, inspirations, and frustrations. This reimagined assignment will invite students to locate, analyze, annotate, and properly cite different forms of digital media that can serve as starting points for their final performance project.

She also plans to use the knowledge gained during the fellowship to create a Digital Narratives project for her upcoming course Theatre, Sustainability, and the Natural World in which students will document their attempts to solve production challenges using sustainable production methods.

Brook Henkel

Position: 
Assistant Professor

Brook Henkel (Assistant Professor of German and Film Studies) will use this fellowship to map connections between early film history and present-day digital culture.

In conjunction with his “History of Cinema” course, he will be working with students to construct an illustrated, online glossary of keywords for understanding the related effects of past and present media technologies. 

Brook Henkel

Joe Kling

Position: 
Professor of Government

Professor Joe Kling (Government) used this occasion to build upon a course he taught examining memoir, autobiography, and other forms of narrative, as means employed by survivors of human rights brutality to engage the past. This expansion continued to make use of personal narrative, but expanded to include collective practices such as truth commissions, judicial prosecutions of perpetrators of atrocities, and the establishment of human rights memorials and museums, as ways to recall and deal with national episodes of past violence. For the fellowship, Kling worked with LIT to develop a project website, History, Memory & Repair, used by students as they studied the practices of remembrance.

Jeffrey Maynes

Position: 
Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Jeff Maynes explored the use of social annotation software to help students work through dense philosophical texts in collaboration with their classmates.  These tools provided an opportunity to help students focus on the process of critical reading, but also raise interesting questions about the implications of shifting the medium of reading from paper to the screen.

In addition, he was interested in the tools available to digital humanists, such as citation analysis, in order to better understand the philosophical implications of work in experimental philosophy that uses those tools, and how they could be used to explore philosophical questions.

Jeffrey Maynes

Jennifer MacGregor

Position: 
Visiting Asst. Professor in Gender & Sexuality Studies, Program Chair

Jenny used her fellowship to expand the digital assignment possibilities in a current class (Gender & Society, GSS103). Rather than present a static feminist deconstruction of advertising or films, students in Gender 103 learned to annotate images and embedded the dynamic annotations into their media analysis presentations, producing a more engaging and “visually narrated” final project. Jenny will be working over the summer to incorporate techniques and methodologies she learned into the syllabi for two upcoming courses (Gender Norms in Pop Culture, GSS 3021; and a Sophomore Seminar, Gender, Race and Spiritual Freedom).

Shelley McConnell

Position: 
Assistant Professor of Government

Assistant Professor Shelley McConnell (Government), through her participation in this program, expanded the GIS component of her "Latin American Politics" (GOVT/CLAS 321) course. This revision advanced the degree to which learning the core concepts of GIS was integrated with the course content. McConnell also linked the course with Carol Cady’s advanced GIS course in order to have Cady's students help coach McConnell's.

Judith Nagel-Myers

Position: 
Assistant Professor of Geology

Judith Nagel-Myers developed a digital component for her paleontology course (Geology 206). This course is required of all geology majors and relies heavily on hands-on experience in identifying fossil material housed in the St. Lawrence University Paleontological Collection.

“[The collection] is unique in its quality and diversity and enables the students to examine and touch actual specimens rather than working from images in a textbook,” Nagel-Myers wrote in her fellowship proposal. “It represents an amazing resource combining the history of the university with the history of life on this planet.”

Nagel-Myers pointed out in her application that the collections catalogs are as old as parts of the collection, historical documents in their own right and not suited for day-to-day student use.

Judith Nagel-Myers

Ronnie Olesker

Position: 
Associate Professor of Government

Associate Professor Ronnie Olesker (Government) worked with two professors (one from Worcester College in Massachusetts and the other from Whitman College in Washington state) to develop a cross-institutional, interdisciplinary, course on the construction of identity, tentatively titled "The construction of Others: Rhetoric, politics and urban history of refugees in Jordan." The Digital Initiatives Faculty fellowship was an occasion for her to advance "shared classroom" modules for the Fall 2015 courses.

Ronnie Olesker

Aswini Pai

Position: 
Associate Professor

I propose to create a digital compendium of herbarium specimens by making the activity a part of my classes.  My teaching includes courses on Ethnobotany, Introductory Botany, and the World of Plants for both majors and non-majors. 

By creating this compendium, I hope to facilitate not only learning about plant anatomy and morphology, but also how humans interact with plants, using them for agriculture, medicine, and material culture.

Aswini Pai

Mindy Pitre

Position: 
Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Assistant Professor Mindy Pitre (Anthropology) added digital approaches to her course, "Dealing with the Dead" (ANTH 242), which was offered in Fall 2015. Students worked with Pitre to make progress on a digital project that catalogues information about cemeteries in the North Country, including map data and images of grave sites.

Mindy Pitre

Jessica Prody

Position: 
Assistant Professor of Performance and Communication Arts

Jessica Prody used this fellowship to develop an Environmental Communication course focused on climate change. Students in this course contributed to our understanding of the history and global reach of the climate change movement by creating a digital archive of oral histories. This archive was used to create a timeline and map of climate change activism. Through the project, students and users examined how climate change connects to issuees of citizenship, community buiding, and environmentalism.

Jessica Prody

Laura Rediehs

Position: 
Associate Professor Philosophy

Laura Rediehs (Associate Professor, Philosophy) used this fellowship to explore how digital tools such as timelines or concept mapping might help students and researchers better understand the networks of influence that shaped important philosophical discussions and debates during the modern period of philosophy (the 17th and 18th centuries).  This period marked a crucial time when science, theology, and philosophy began to separate into different disciplines.  Finding ways to visually represent how the intellectual landscape was changing during this time would be helpful in teaching Modern Philosophy and would enhance or could even inspire new methods of historically-informed philosophical research.

Laura Rediehs

Leah Rohlfsen

Position: 
Associate Professor and Department Chair

Leah Rohlfsen (Associate Professor, Sociology) used the fellowship to revise her Death and Dying Capstone seminar research project.  She incorporated map and image-based tools and an interactive timeline to examine mega-death events and the community, national, and international responses to these tragic events.  This provided students with a more comprehensive look at the socio-cultural, historical, political, economic, and geographic factors that surround such events. 

Mary Jane Smith

Position: 
Associate Professor of History and Coordinator of African American Studies

Mary Jane Smith used this fellowship to develop a course on the History of the Civil Rights Movement that treats images as central texts. Students digitized and catalogued an archive, acquired by Catherine Tedford of the Brush Art Gallery, of Associated Press photos of lesser-known events in the civil rights movement, created a digital map and timeline of the events catalogued, and gave oral presentations on their work at a Brush Art Gallery event. In this way, students gained literacy in digital research and scholarship while recognizing the role that images played in the modern civil rights movement.

Mary Jane Smith

Catherine Tedford

Position: 
Director of the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery

Catherine Tedford, director of the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery, developed a new studio art course on street art that included a component in which students write about street-based ephemera for the online digital archive “Street Art Graphics.” Tedford said in her proposal that she decided to develop the new course because it fits well with St. Lawrence University’s commitment to teaching students about visual and technological literacies.

“There is a seemingly limitless number of topics in the Street Art Graphics to write about,” Tedford wrote in her proposal. “I hope to bring in students from departments and programs ranging from Art & Art History, English, Environmental Studies, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Global Studies, History, Modern Languages and Literatures, Sociology, and elsewhere.”

Jennifer Thomas

Position: 
Assistant Professor of Performance and Communication Arts
Typically a theatre production is experienced for a narrowly prescribed moment—the 2-2.5 hours of performance. Thomas attempted to lengthen and broaden the theatrical experience for her students involved in production, as well as broader audiences, by offering in-depth exposure to production elements such as script selection, design conversations, casting, rehearsals, technical rehearsals, and “post-mortem” conversations. “The work we do in the theatre blurs the distinctions between academic/artistic and curricular/co-curricular while offering highly experiential and interdisciplinary experiences for actors, designers, technicians, and audiences alike,” Thomas said in her proposal.
Jennifer Thomas