Digital Humanities Major Gets Hands-On Experience Promoting Summer Institute for Educators

Grappling with Genocide Instagram ArtThis spring, Digital Humanities majors took their skills from the Digital Storytelling classroom to the drawing board. As part of a class project, they created promotional material for Seton Hill’s “Grappling with Genocide” Summer Institute for Educators. Materials included Instagram and Facebook content meant to recruit teacher participation in the Institute, which is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The students created all digital content on MacBook laptops provided to them through Seton Hill’s Mobile Learning on the Hill Program.

Seton Hill's Digital Humanities majors are preparing for careers that include working on design teams for nonprofits or small businesses.  With projects like this one, “they are practicing the kinds of skills they need in those careers," says Emily Wierszewski, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the English Program. "The ability to engage with a client, assess needs and purpose, incorporate feedback and produce something useful that helps out an organization who might not have the capacity, knowledge or time to do the design work on their own.”  

Students like Haydenne Miller (pictured above) appreciate the process of these hands-on opportunities.

NEH Summer Institute Facebook Art“I enjoy being able to complete several drafts of a project and receive feedback from my peers and professors,” she says. “When I complete each step of a project, I think about each corresponding lesson I learned in class. We often practice each new skill we learn before going into a real project.” 

An important aspect of these hands-on experiences is the exposure to topics outside the curriculum. To engage in the process of creating promotional materials for the Summer Institute, students first had to research the theme of the program.  

Grappling with Genocide Social Media Art“When dealing with a topic like genocide, you must be sensitive about certain things," Haydenne says. "Your final product needs to match the mood of your message.” 

Digital Humanities courses are designed to give students “opportunities to engage in experiential learning,” says Dr. Wierszewski. “Especially experiences creating projects meant to help real audiences.” 

Design samples, from top to bottom:

An excerpt from an Instagram Story created by student Kathryn Way.

A Facebook post created by student Haydenne Miller.

Part of a social media post created by Grace Baroun.