Today I did something for the first time which I think is a right of passage in the digital age: I Googled myself. While a lot of the content was what you would expect, one item stood out to me.
In my four years working with the National Park Service I sometimes had the opportunity to work as a traditional, interpretive Ranger. One of those occasions was on the 150th Anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas. I requested to be stationed at the Robinson House site. This site holds the ruins of what was once the Robinson house and farm, where James Robinson, a free African American, lived with his wife and children, who were enslaved. Their story is a fascinating one and as an African American historian I spearheaded our team’s research on the Robinsons, creating digital content, waysides, and museum exhibit panels on the family.
Apparently that passion paid off because I stumbled upon a rave review from one of the visitors that day. Though sadly he didn’t enjoy his experience overall, I am filled with pride that my interpretation was the highlight of his day. Here is an excerpt:
There was one interpreter beneath a small awning, Ranger Lindsey Bestebreurtje. She was patient, kind and exceedingly knowledgeable. She answered all of my questions and made a real interpretive connection between the ground and the ideas. She was the highlight of the day.
Early in my scholastic career I made the mistake of creating separate blogs for various classes which asked students to create blogs. In fear of losing that work, here are links to those blogs.
- In the Spring of 2012 I took “Creating History In New Media,” which we at Mason call “Clio Two.” My blog for that course can be found here.
- In the Fall of 2009 I took my very first history course as a Master’s student for Paula Petrik’s “Rise of the American Corporation.” My blog for that course can be found here.
Here, are links to past projects completed at various stages of my academic career.
- In the Fall of 2010 I took the digital mapping course “History and Cartography.” Our final project was to create work which could be placed into a geography encyclopedia. My post detailed the evolution of the elite home Tudor Place and its surrounding Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Georgetown. My final project for that course can be found here.
- A fun mid-semester project for my directed readings course in “Public History and History Education” in the Fall of 2013 was to create a historically based “choose your own ending” game using the site Inkle. That work can be found here.
- In the Fall of 2012 I took the directed readings course “Digital Public History.” My final project for that course can be found here.
In my professional career I have also had the opportunity to work on several great digital history projects.
- Through my time working as a member of the Public Projects Team at GMU’s Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) I created content, including biographies, historiographies, and articles on persons and places of renown, for the Histories of the National Mall project, a mobile based website cataloging important and fascinating events at the National Mall and Memorial Parks. The site acts as a digital tour guide for visitors.
- As a Ranger and Interpretive Media Specialist with the National Park Service’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Team, I helped to create and maintain Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and YouTube accounts for Manassas National Battlefield Park, Shiloh National Military Park, Antietam National Battlefield, National Mall and Memorial Parks, Vicksburg National Military Park, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, and Gettysburg National Military Park. I also helped to write, designs, and edit the Maryland Campaign website.
I hope that moving forward I can be better about keeping all of my creative content linked and updated.