History Department
History Department

History Department welcomes Digital History Undergraduate Interns

Sat, March 17, 2018
History Department welcomes Digital History Undergraduate Interns
Sarah van Hoose (NSP '17), Elizabeth Guevara, Delaynie Fritz, and Andrew Akhlaghi

This spring the History Department has appointed three interns to work on the implementation of a new digital history project. The interns will use two software platforms to foster geographical literacy and spatial analysis in history classes, working with History graduate student and digital history specialist Andrew Akhlaghi.

Digital History Interns will work on the customization of the digital platforms for mapping and network analysis for use in lower division undergraduate courses. They will also write reflection papers about digital history possibilities as key to conceptualizing history, and prepare a research poster to be displayed at the Longhorn research bazaar. They will attend workshops offered by the iSchool or campus digital humanities group, and peer mentor with undergraduates using these platforms in their courses.

"This has been a fantastic opportunity," writes Akhlaghi. "We've all learned a lot about making geography assignments using Cerego. The interns has worked very hard making map assignments and working on their own projects. This project would not have been possible without them. We are all excited to keep going and use the data we've gathered to improve the undergraduate experience in the History Department."  

"The work conducted by our Digital Humanities project team has been useful in more ways than one," added intern Elizabeth Guevara. "The use of Cerego to increase geographic literacy within the department has been both an internal and external learning experience. Speaking from the inside of the initiative I would say the History Department's warm welcome of interns to help perform campus-improving projects has helped make campus faculty and my own professional goals appear closer."

Sarah van Hoose, an alumna of the Frank Denius Normandy Scholar Program on WWII, said, "Using computer programs to analyze historical texts allows us to sift through infinitely more data than any mere mortal can. It can also produce some surprising results that may redirect our original research questions. The task of learning how to utilize computers in such a way (especially as some one recovering from an aversion to technology) can be daunting, but the results have been so rewarding!"

Guevara and van Hoose are history majors, as is DH intern Delaynie Fritz. Each will earn a COLA internship (3 credits) in digital humanities, as well as a $300 stipend.

"Andrew and the interns have done a fabulous job this semester on launching digital history opportunities as a fundamental part of our undergraduate curriculum," noted Professor of History Julie Hardwick. "They have customized mapping projects for over a dozen lower division courses being used by about 1500 students. This exciting initiative promises to both engage our students in new ways and to improve their grasp of key elements of understanding the historical process."
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