Blog Post

Olivia Dorsey's Introduction


My name is Olivia and I am currently a first year in the Masters of Information Science program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I also completed my undergraduate degree in Information Science at UNC in Spring 2014... I guess I liked UNC so much that I decided to stay haha. I first came to UNC with the intent of becoming a web developer since I love designing and building web presences. I haven't always lived in North Carolina though. I'm what they call an "army brat" and have lived in Hinesville, Georgia; Vilseck, Germany; and was born in Baltimore, Maryland. 

Now, why did I join HASTAC? I enjoy learning about a variety of African American Studies topics and honestly would love to spend the rest of my days reading up on the history. It started as a mere curiosity, became a minor for my undergraduate degree, and then became the focus of my research. But I also love coding and creating things. My first venture in combining the two was during the development of project revolving around the family histories of Franklin, North Carolina. The area of initially of interest to me because some of my family descends from the area, however, as I met with community members, I realized that several families (including my own) had old family photographs that were in poor condition. The purpose of my project was to attempt to preserve these photos by digitizing and put them in an online archive. The results of that project (created with Omeka and Wordpress) can be seen here!

I am also interested in public history and how the history of diverse populations are displayed and reacted to. My ultimate goal is to make African American Studies more visible and accessible for those who are outside of the college academic setting. This includes members of communities and those who are in elementary, middle, and high school. I want to utilize my web development skills to build tools that will help achieve this goal. I'd like to branch out my skills to include video game development because I feel that video games also provide the opportunity to convey African American History in a historically accurate and more accessible manner.

Other projects that I've worked on include creating an online archive for the Marian Cheek Jackson Center, a small cultural heritage center close to Chapel Hill. Also (on an unrelated note), this summer, I created an food science website just for fun!

Please, please to reach out to me on Twitter: @OliviaDDorsey, especially if you share the same interests! I'm looking forward to some conversations and collaboration!


No comments