Dr. James Daly and his students in the EDST Social Education Program have expanded upon a 10-year-long international collaborative effort with university students and faculty in Ukraine. This year’s focus is on the “Visualization of the Ukrainian Diaspora.” Both the Seton Hall team and the team at the Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University were awarded a Digital Humanities grant to create an interactive website that displays the research and history gathered on the experiences of Ukrainian Immigrants in the U.S.
The overarching goal is to preserve and maintain the Ukrainian cultural identity and connections, through this technological platform, despite the waves of immigration to new locations. The Seton Hall students visited the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA Headquarters, where they worked with archivist Michael Andrec. Students toured the St. Andrews Memorial Chapel, cemetery grounds, the church museum, and the archives. Data was collected so that eventually, anyone can learn about the Ukrainian Diaspora through this visually pleasing, and user-intuitive website. Locations at both Seton Hall University and Borys Grincheko Kyiv University are displayed in a map where users can explore more information about the historical immigrations and cross-cultural experience of Ukrainians.
Dr. Daly’s students worked hard to learn how to develop this interactive website, through embedding images, text, audio, and interactive maps, all in one platform. The team skyped with Dr. Olga Tarasenko, the faculty member directing the project in Ukraine, to teach her this technological component to help her instruct her classes. The SHU students acted with global competence by providing real time directions, and by recording YouTube audio files with closed captioning features with Ukrainian. The website will eventually have public access, and be displayed in both English and Ukrainian. In the spring, the Ukrainian team will further elaborate on this project, and it is hoped that this will be expanded upon for years to come from both students in the U.S and Ukraine.