Blog post #8: Because of my internship, I am….”
When I began this program over two years ago, I had a vague notion of what I wanted to work on. There had to be a way to bring more awareness to Florida’s history of immigration, something largely overlooked in the narrative of what the “Sunshine State” represents: destination for retirees and golfers; beaches filled with spring break revelers; Disneyland and the other attractions that have come up around it. The idea of digital public humanities, as vague as the notion was in my mind at the time, was intriguing enough that I decided to take a chance on it and apply for the certificate. Now, coming to the end of the program, I can state that because of my internship, I am able to articulate what I want the “Multicultural Florida” digital public humanities project to be, such that I am preparing to apply for grant funding from my home institution and for one through the Florida Humanities Council.
The Internship allowed me to learn to work collaboratively on a digital project, an important component of how the idea of Multicultural Florida continues to evolve. When I started, I was very protective of *my* project. Now I have learned to understand that because of the several moving parts needed to make it work according to my vision, I will need to collaborate with others. To that end, in addition to the help I am getting from our Grants Coordinator, I have also enlisted an IT faculty member who is a web developer. He will work on the project both as a consultant and a liaison with students who will help design the website, and eventually, a companion website. I have also discussed the project with a faculty member in the history department.
One of the biggest challenges for me was in designing the mapping component of the Ars Orientalis 51 digital project with Holly Shaffer. I had zero experience with Arc Gis, and had only begun to try it out. It did everything that was needed for the project and compared to the other programs that I showed Holly and Sana Mirza, it outshone them significantly. This meant that I would have to learn the program quickly. Thankfully, through YouTube tutorials and the sites FQA database, a lot of practice, I became familiar with its more streamlined features and am quite proud of the work that I have done.