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Agnes Scott Events

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Agnes Reads Response for Fall 2012

From the desk of Susan Dougherty, Manager of Faculty Services:

[Follow this link to the website: http://www.MyJourneywithHenrietta.info 
Also, here is the Agnes Reads Blog link.]

Ashley Cloud has created a beautiful and moving tribute to the places in the book. She’s produced a photographic essay and web journal from visiting all of the places mentioned in the book. Her photographs are stunning, and her journal of the adventures on the road is well worth your time. I’ve posted it on our Agnes Reads Facebook page, but I wanted to call your attention to it! I’ve pasted below her abstract and the link to her website. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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My name is Ashley Cloud, and my project is part photographic essay, journal entry, and website. For my project I travelled to the places with significance in Henrietta’s life including Lacks Town Cemetery, Clover, South Boston, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Sparrows Point, Turner Station, and Crownsville State Hospital for the Negro Insane.
I had no idea while reading this book that I would ever have the chance to experience the life of Henrietta Lacks in such a personal way, so I hope my story helps inspire those who did not have the same opportunity. My process for starting my project started by researching, then ideas started forming, and the next thing I knew I was climbing through the woods and walking inside the Home House! My main goal for this project was to capture in pictures significant life events and places in Henrietta’s life. At the beginning, I had no idea how much I would learn from this journey and how it would open my eyes. In the end, my experience and emotions throughout the journey will be a memory I’ll never forget! I met incredible people along the way, and learned so much about the way life was for Henrietta and her family. I am so thankful to have been able to have this experience!

The first portion of the project is in the form of a website that plays a slideshow of the pictures from my journey. The website also contains my detailed journal entries sharing my experiences and people I met along the way. To supplement my journals, I included detailed maps, an About Me section, and Behind the Scenes pictures to complete the documentation of my journey with Henrietta. A slideshow of images with captions can be found under the Places heading on the website as well.
I hope you enjoy reading through my journals and looking at my pictures! It’s felt like such a long journey since I began planning this project, and I am so glad to finally be able to share My Journey with Henrietta with anyone who is interested!

Follow this link to the website: http://www.MyJourneywithHenrietta.info 

When It Rains, It Pours …

Whew! I am now FREE to wipe away beads of sweat from my brow, accumulated over the course of last week’s presentations and final deadlines.

First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you who took the time to attend my SpARC and CTL presentations last week. Both were a result of a lot of hard work (and not just my own!), and I was so pleased to see how many people turned out to watch me talk. Now, I know I’d mentioned along the way that my SpARC presentation would be filmed by the Technology Production Studio, which … it almost was. Unfortunately, there was some camera malfunction and the talk wasn’t able to be recorded. Normally, this would mean Bummertown, Population: Me. As luck would have it, though, my CTL presentation on digital portfolios with Nell Ruby and a few students was taped by my glorious supervisor, Emily Gwynn. Hark! Not all is lost.

In the meantime, I’ll be posting the PowerPoint I’d made for my SpARC presentation, for the benefit of those of you who were unable to attend. I’m an advocate of “short-and-sweet” PowerPoints, but I think the salient points come across — look for it on the Reports section of this site.

Some of today will be spent editing the CTL video for your viewing pleasure. Calvin Burgamy and I have decided we’ll be posting that on Agnes Scott’s iTunes U. page (which is accessible to the outside community), and I’ll let you know when it’s available!

SpARC is coming!!!!!!

I hope you all can appreciate my excitement for the Spring Annual Research Conference at Agnes Scott (you can refer to this post for more of the same). The schedule with presentation details has been released (in PDF), and I’ve spent some time this morning perusing it; for me, this is kind of like academic Christmas. Maybe this makes me a nerd (eh), but I get really psyched about the different presentations that Scotties will be giving. It’s putting semesters of research to the best use possible!

I encourage everyone to check it out, and make time to see me yap about ePortfolios and the liberal arts education — 11:15-11:35 AM, in Room 210 East of the Bullock Science Center.

Here’s a screen cap of my presentation, in case you’re not inclined to download the full program just to check it out:

Around this time last year, I’d spent so much time writing my thesis, I thought my brainwires were going to short out. I was nearly finished with my labor of love by the time of SpARC 2010 (but not quite), and I knew I had to present the thing in French to my Senior Seminar class eventually. Having the option to present my year of labor, in my native language, at SpARC was an invaluable experience — if terrifying, at least at first. But at least I had a captive audience I could yap uninterrupted to about Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer for twenty minutes, which is a lot longer than I’d normally subject others (i.e., my friends). Beyond my own presentation, since classes are canceled on SpARC day I was able to attend my friends’ presentations, and whatever else sounded interesting on the program!

A few of this year’s presentations that caught my eye at first perusal: “Violence and Cruelty in French Nursery Rhymes” (9-9:20, Bullock Science Center 103W, and given by a fellow former French Senior Seminar classmate); “Drag Queens: Issues of Femininity Reexamined” (9:40-9:55, BSC 308); and, of course, “Whose Paper Is It Anyway?: Encouraging the Writer’s Ownership in Tutoring Sessions” (9:25-9:45 in BSC 209W, given by my good friend/work spouse and Writing Center Coordinator Neil Simpkins, as well as next year’s WC Coordinator and my soon-to-be housemate, Kate Whitney). I just wish I could attend all presentations at once — there are several during my timeslot that I would really like to watch.

Also, I promise I’ve got a new topic to cover on this site, one that doesn’t involve upcoming events! If it’s not up by tomorrow, expect it early next week — and no complaints from the peanut gallery, please, this week may actually be the end of me.

Event recap and audio recording …

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who came out to the Defining Our Digital Identity […] event! Seems like we all learned a lot from the discussion, and my colleagues from the Educational Technology Center were generous enough to record the event (I misspoke earlier — it was to be a voice recording, not video). It’s a pretty massive thing — just shy of 55 minutes — but hopefully all interested parties will be able to listen to it in its entirety! As things go, I’ve been experiencing some uploading snafus with the file, so it’s shared on Mediafire for your listening and downloading pleasure. The things I do for my fans …

So, vanities aside, what were some highlights from the discussion?

  • Identifying the “key players” of social media and how we use them;
  • Managing your personal brand — at this point, is there really a distinction between your personal and professional profiles?;
  • Appearing personable and professional — not necessarily mutually exclusive on social networks;
  • Should you add your boss as a Facebook friend?;
  • Googling yourself: it’s not as narcissistic as it sounds, and how much control you have over those search results;
  • Monitoring your digital content, particularly in regards to microblogging platforms (who can see your Tumblr and Twitter content, for example, and the possible implications of that);
  • The community-building (and, possibly, breaking) aspects of having an online life;
  • Location-based apps like Foursquare: yay or nay?

There’s a lot of good stuff to be mined from our talk! I encourage you to listen to at least part of our discussion, and wish there were more time in the academic year to hold another one.

(Partially unrelated, but listening to this audio recording made me realize how quickly I speak! My Southern grandmother would not be pleased.)

http://www.mediafire.com/?cwbane6l2ua87ed

Upcoming event: Designing Our Digital Identity, 4/7

Ohh, springtime. A time when a young [person]’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love, the trees are a-bloom, and there seems to be a new event every day at Agnes Scott.* This particular roundtable discussion event is one that’s been in the idea pipeline for me and my good friend and Writing Center Coordinator Neil Simpkins (’10) for some time, and we’ll be joined by the Interactive Communications Fellow, Kimberly Brewer (’10). Becoming a “responsible citizen of the Internet” is, admittedly, a broad topic to cover in an hour. So we split guiding topics of discussion amongst the three of us, in the hopes that a roundtable discussion will make for a worthwhile collaborative experience!

So, on my end: I’ll bring up a discussion topic about blogging and ePortfolios — namely, how to present yourself in the best possible light. As social networks have proven a force not only in job searches, but talent recruitment by potential employers, it’s important to put your best foot forward in terms of your online presence. Your well-designed, thoughtfully crafted ePortfolio could rise to the top of the Google search under your name, and has the ability to give you an advantage in a tough job market! On the other hand, the second search result might be that LiveJournal you forgot to delete from when you were 14 and angsty … which may not be the face you want to show off to HR for a position you’d applied for.

The underlying theme here is digital responsibility.

Key players of social media are constantly rotating (think MySpace to Facebook), and you want to make sure you’re on top of the digital dialogue you’ve produced. What is considered positive content? How can you contribute to productive discussion and content with social and digital networks? What are some “best practices” for blogging and building ePortfolios?

My fellow (heh) discussion leaders will be tackling issues of general social media Netiquette (think standbys like Facebook, Twitter, and others), building your online “brand,” and the significance of what (and how) you post. We’ll also talk about the impact and possible repercussions of certain digital content — and give some real life examples of the heavier implications of sharing.

The event is open to the community at large, and will be held in the Alston Student Center from 1-2 PM, so feel free to bring your lunch! The event will also be filmed by my lovely colleagues from the Educational Technology Center — so if you’re unable to attend, I’ll be posting that video on this site afterward.

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I hope I’ll see you tomorrow afternoon.

*Tennyson, Alfred Lord. “Locksley Hall.” Representative Poetry Online. University of Toronto Libraries. 6 April 2011. <http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poem/2161.html>.

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