Secondary education history students Emma Pearson, Laura Abel, and Kalliopi Logothetis have worked with Dr. James Daly, Professor in the Educational Studies Social Education Program continuing project with Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University in Ukraine, entitled "Visualization of the Ukrainian Diaspora." This year, the team created additions to an interactive website that displays the research and history gathered on the Ukrainian diaspora using Visual Eyes website platform. Specifically, the students gathered oral histories of immigrants and children of immigrants from Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Maplewood, NJ. There, they met with Father Hucul and the congregation throughout last semester and conducted interviews on six volunteer parishioners. In this project, students were able to enhance their skills as future educators by integrating technology and finding different ways to collect and display data, gain experience presenting and networking with others in the field of social studies, and meaningfully contribute materials documenting the Ukrainian diaspora.
Dr. Daly described that the students informally spoke with and formally interviewed individuals who had remarkable and horrific experiences. For instance, one person shared that they escaped from a displaced person camp, one person was imprisoned by the Nazis, and others described what it was like living in Ukraine during Soviet occupation. Others who were interviewed were born in the United States and they shared their more recent experiences of the Ukrainian Diaspora. This website that the team has worked to expand, will help to honor and preserve the Ukrainian cultural identity and cultural connections, despite the waves of immigration to new locations. The students, Abel, Logothetis, and Pearson consulted with the TLTC department, and Jenna Corraro at Seton Hall. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the students have learned how the Visual Eyes technology can be used to gather, analyze, and display data as a teaching tool.
The students' work was presented by Kalliopi who was able to attend the International Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies conference (NCSS) in Chicago this semester. This conference provided a forum for collaboration and the interchange of ideas among NCSS members from the U.S. and abroad. Kalliopi reflected, "I am, first of all, grateful for the opportunity that the [College of Education and Human Services] was able to offer me. Additionally, without the guidance of Dr. Daly, I would not even know that this project and this conference was a possibility for me. I was probably one of the few undergraduates at the conference and it was an eye-opening experience to be able to see how many resources exist for social studies teachers in the field as well as the networking opportunities available. I know many school districts do not sponsor teachers trips to conferences such as this one but I think it is important as educators, if we have the means, to be able to participate in the latest conversations in our field because that is the only way we can truly be our most effective selves in the classroom."
For more information regarding the website, please contact Dr. Daly below. It is hoped that this project will be expanded upon for years to come from both students in the U.S. and Ukraine.