Thursday, September 29, 2011


Hi everyone! Mika, Mai, Lori, Katie, and I attended the football game and conducted three interviews. There was no tailgate there so we only did the scheduled interviews. It went fine and I've been coordinating with Tom Franklin so next time we will have parking issues for the interviewees all set. We were able to get two cameras and two tripods from the library. You can get these  in advance since you can have them out for three days. Be aware that if it's late by one day you owe a $9 late fee. Also, parking is crappy, but apparently if you are student or faculty with a parking tag you don't have to pay the $10 to park in a lot. I didn't realize this and Katie and I parked all the way over by the welcome center where lots were designated for students and staff.

GOOD NEWS!!! I have been in touch with Welcome Wilson Sr. who has agreed to do a longer interview with us. He has been at UH for 65 years and has many stories to tell. We already have an interview with him so I suggest that we all read through that before conducting the next one. Please email me for a copy. Since our guest speaker on October 12 is unable to attend class, we thought to go to Welcome Wilson's office this day and do the longer interview. We need some consensus on who wants to go and what times you can come. He is available in the morning 9 or 10 am and then also after 4 pm. It should take about two hours--an hour or so for the interview, some time to set up and then time for copies photos. He has tons of photos, etc. so I am going to get a portable photo scanner for us to use, and we should definitely bring extra digital cameras. He will be emailing me a list of topics he wants to discuss which we can formulate questions from.

Please comment on this post if you can come for his interview on Wednesday October 12 either in the morning or afternoon. Thanks!

Friday, September 9, 2011

September 14th class

Okay, I sent all of you an email but I thought that I'd post the update also.

Sometime before classes started I had set up for Joe Pratt to teach on September 14th. Then I totally forgot about it until today when Kathy Brosnan (I think I spelled that right. I may not pronounce it correctly but it looks like I've finally got the spelling down :) ), reminded me.

This is my long winded way of saying that I messed up and that there is class next week.

Thanks and sorry to get your hopes up,

PS: Homework is not due on the 14th. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Questions for Alumni events

Here are the list of questions we came up with in class this week. If you think of others please add them in the comments section. 


1. What years did you attend UH?
2. What was demographic makeup when you were a student here? Campus? Your
department? Faculty?
3. Where is home for you? (Texas, the Deep South, the North)
4. University of Opportunity. J
5. What opportunities did you get from UH? Higher Ed in general?
6. The Top Ten Rule?
7. What brought you here as opposed to A&M or UT?
8. How did you see the changing student body?
9. What changes have you seen in the student body? Either while a student here or
returning today?


1. What years did you attend UH?
2. Use the recent study on campus diversity to draw attention to the way things look
3. Did you have any female professors while here?
4. These four women just won a prize in a National Google Competetition.

1. What year did you attend?
2. What kind of things were happening off campus? Whether in Houston or
3. Ten year anniversary on 9/11
4. How did it affect the campus? What things did you see on campus? Students
coming together? Events?
5. What changes did it bring to campus?
6. Enron? Moonwalk with Space Center so close? Challenger? Berlin Wall or
fall of communism? Rockets winning championship— Olajawon, Drexler with
students here.

1. What was the new building on campus?
2. Dorms? Changing the campus?
3. Problems with living on campus? Lack of grocery store?

1. How did you pay for school?
2. What did your friends and family think of you coming here.

3. Coog high?
4. Tier One?

1. What was all the rage during your day? Music, extracurriculars?

Thank you Stephanie for taking such fantastic notes. Obviously, 3 day weekends throw me off kilter. See you all on game day.


PS: Mark: I couldn't seem to get to your blog through the follow button. Could you send me the link? Thanks!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


These are a cut and paste of our conversation about themes on Wednesday. 

1. Alumni Philanthropy

I think it would be interesting to learn about the philanthropic giving of alumni to the University.  Alumni, especially members of the alumni association, are proud of the University of Houston, and something impacted their time at the University to drive them to give back to UH.  So, it would be wonderful to know what exactly lead them to want to give back to their University.  Although this might cover a number of themes, I think it will really incite thoughtful responses from alumni.

Tie the video into Alumni stewardship. Great selling feature.
One other thing we might look at with this is if there are alumni who have changed not how much they have given over the years but rather where they give and why.
What do you do to stay involved?
How long they have been involved in the alumni assoc.
What drove them to join?
What would you like to see done with the funds that you have given?
What have you seen done with what you have given in the past?
If you earmarked your donation why did you do that?

2. Race:

UH went from an all-white, male oriented college to becoming one of the most diverse universities in the country in just eighty-four years. There are a few key events that we could ask allumni if they remember and whether they view these events as important pieces of history of the University of Houston. The integration of the university in June 1962 marks a major turning point in U of H history. Once the University became integrated, issues of civil rights for African Americans became a vital concern for the new student population. African Americans for Black Liberation was founded in 1967 (originally as the Committee on Better Race Relations). The election of AABL leader Lynn Eusan as the first African American homecoming queen in 1968 brought greater awareness of the group.

AABL demanded that UH create a department for Afro-American Studies, hire more black university faculty and staff, recruit and admit more black students, and provide financial aid and adequate housing for black students. This group, and the civil rights struggle on campus more specifically, led to other minority groups seeking their own ethnic studies department. The Center for Mexican American Studies was founded in 1972. Diverse student organizations could demonstrate the way in which students fill the gap when no academic department exists. With the increase in an Arab student population and the ever present need to bridge the gap between the east and the west, the University of Houston in conjunction with the Arab American Educational Foundation are raising funds to create a chair in Modern Arab History (yay!!!!) which will eventually become a Center for Arab Studies. I believe this would make a great digital story because it would encompass a variety of groups on campus and highlight the need for a Center for Arab Studies.
Diversifying Population (Race, in particular)
I can't help but notice the diversity on the sidewalks at UH. It is really fascinating. It hasn't always been that way, though, I assume. I plan to study the Civil Rights Movement and would really be interested in talking to someone who remembers how it was living here during that time.

Multicultural relations. I don't know too much about how race relations played out at this university but I'm guessing they mirrored similar relations off campus: difficulties between Anglos and minorities. More in the present, I wonder how Muslims have fared on campus, particularly after 9/11. Do student relations usually mimick those of the larger city, state, or country? Do they differ?
As an avid sports fan, I know that race was a hot issue when it came to the integration of African American athletes on college sports teams.  I heard a story not long ago that the University of Houston was a leader in Texas when it came to allowing African American athletes to play on college sports teams.  How was the University seen locally and nationally when it came to this hot issue?  How did other schools in Texas and the south react to the leadership role the University took on this matter?

3. Gender:

Is a very broad theme that could be used in many ways to create interesting and informative digital histories. Race and gender could be used in a digital history to discuss the first woman and African American president of UH, Marguerite Ross Barnett in 1990. The Women's Studies Department's founding would make an interesting addition to a digital story on gender. The beginning of the Women's Archive at the library and the change in name to Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies Department would demonstrate the work they have done as well as their ability to change with the times to accommodate LGBT studies, etc. Remembrances of the feminist student organizations founding or activities on campus would show how students took part in women's causes. This digital story could demonstrate how women played key roles in the University of Houston's history, and show where more work is needed to create equality on campus.

4. Major Events:

I think that I would be quite interested in exploring what was happening in the world surrounding campus. It could be so many things--a substantial hurricane or storm that was particularly devastating or the assassination of President Kennedy in nearby Dallas. I remember having a tough time focusing on classes in 2006 because my Detroit Tigers went to the World Series.
Collapse of Enron?
Hurricane Alice and Ike? Rita?

5. Built environment:

A Changing Campus. While I'm sure there are many things that you can point to as remaining constant at UH, there are surely many more that have changed or evolved. Coming from a small university in Saginaw, Michigan, the sheer size of the our campus is overwhelming. There were roughly 12 academic buildings at SVSU.....I'm always lost among the 100+ buildings at UH. I remember constantly dealing with the construction, blocked pathways and the sound of machinery. But how great was it to have a class in a new building? The new smell and the fancy technology :)

How much has the campus changed?
This gets us into the built environment and could trigger a memory of a building that's long gone, etc. Again, I'm trying to think visually.

6. Class:

For the University of Houston, class remains an important issue. Houston notables like Hugh Roy Cullen and the Blaffers donated large sums of money to the UH in order to make sure that students who could not afford Rice University could still get a college education in Houston. In 1927, HISD founded the University of Houston as Houston Junior College. If you talk to a true Coog, they will tell you that larger universities in the area like UT still ridicule UH and call us Coog High. Now that UH is a Tier One Research institution, it is more important to demonstrate how far the university has come and what still needs to be done to ensure that all types of students from different economic backgrounds can still come to UH and receive a good education.  I believe this would make a very interesting digital story because alumni may get defensive if an interviewer suggested the way other universities in the area view UH. It would also show the difference in how UH started compared to where the university is going and the importance of Tier One status.

7. Music:

Everyone relates in some way to music and it is often used to define peoples' memories. This might include popular music students listened to, or bands students participated in. (For instance, I saw a group of musicians gathered for Frontier Fiesta).

Student Organizations/Extracurricular Activities. Personally, I am interested in the university's marching band (which could have been included under #1) For band members, marching band serves as a pseudo-family while at the university. For spectators, the marching band inspires school spirit. Of course, other organizations fill the same purpose of giving students a feeling of belonging and when we talk with alumni, I'm sure student organizations/extra curricular activities will be prevalent in cherished memories.

8. Campus Life:

Not many people know that the university kept a live mascot almost continuously between 1947 and 1989. There was a club that took care of Shasta: the Cougar Guard. I believe it was a very controversial issue at UH as to whether it was ethical to keep a live cougar on a campus setting. It would be interesting to hear alumni speak of their opinion on this and to hear any memories of the live cougar. There are also some very good pictures "Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. UH Digital Library.
Sororities / Fraternities (Minority Fraternities)

Sororities and fraternities have been a part of UH since 1950. They are a major part of the student body that attends football games. We are sure to run into alumni who were members with memories of Greek life. It would also be interesting to find out when and how minority fraternities started. This was especially significant during the 60s and 70s when the first groups of minority students were on campus and may or may not have had a group like a fraternity available to them. There also plenty of pictures to choose from the UH Yearbooks.

Dorm Life

Students have lived on campus since 1950. This span of time allows for a wide range of alumni that could talk about their experiences in the dorms. A starter question could be What was it like living on campus? Then we could get into specifics: Which building did you live in? How was the room furnished? What was the cafeteria food like? Were the dorms co-ed? Etc.

Entertainment on Campus

This theme was inspired by conversations with my parents; both attended UH in the late 70s. According to them UH hosted a number of well-known bands; due to the Hofheinz Pavilion (built in 1970) and Robertson Stadium (built in 1942, but it did not belong to UH until the mid-60s). It would be great to hear alumni memories of who they saw on campus and what that was like.
School spirit?
Student life?
What was the biggest fad/trend?
I was thinking about our discussion in class about streakers with this one. Was streaking the big fad when the interviewee was at UH? Maybe it was hula hoops or stuffing telephone booths. I feel this can give us a sense of the era and they provide wonderful visuals.

What event stands out as the most prominent?
This could cover the gamut from a big win in a football game to an historical event. Again, I think these have good visual potential. They can also place UH into the historical context. For instance, maybe a game win stands out because it was the first time a minority player was on the team. Or it was the first game after women became students.


The beginnings of public television and how this affected how the University was seen on a national scale.  I did not know that PBS channel 8 was the first public television station in the nation.  PBS has influence many of us throughout our lives and the idea that public broadcasting started with our school is something we should be proud of.  Along that same train of thought, what were the factors that led to the development of Channel 8 and how did the city react to the idea of a public television station?
Use materials already in the DL.

9 Culture:

On this final one, I would like to look at the culture of the 1980s.  The 1980s were a time of financial success throughout the country but also it seemed to be a problem for oil.  Growing up during this period in Houston, I remember that the city of Houston seemed to suffer during this time because of the energy crisis.  So I guess the theme we could possibly look at here is the idea of the culture around the campus during the late 1970s and 1980s.  I wonder if the kids who wanted to be in the energy field started to think twice about career choices.
I've been catching up with your posts on digital histories. They are all very interesting. I think we are in an exciting time when presenting history because we have so many options.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

schedule changes and notes

Here are the schedule changes that we agreed on:

9/7 -bring digital video recorder for class. Michele!
9/14 no class
9/24 football game @7pm
9/28 no class
10/19 no class
10/22 football game @3:30
10/26 stays the same
11/2 digital preservation
11/16 no class
11/19 football game @TBA
11/23 no class
 If I've missed anything please let me know.

the grading percentages:
blogging assignments %25
showing up at class & football %25
video %50 - 30% content/technical 20%.
Please add to your syllabus.

I'll post the theme notes this evening.