UWF history students head out for summer traveling course
By Lauren Haggett, University Communications
Eleven University of West Florida history students departed May 10 for a 17-day traveling summer class to explore American history. This class is unique due to the use of social media to update their followers as they make their way up the east coast and then back to Pensacola.
This is the ninth trip that UWF Associate Professor Patrick Moore has conducted for his students. Moore is also the director of the public history program.
“The purpose of the class is to provide students with an in-depth opportunity to learn about the breadth of American history at a more personal level,” said Moore.
Just a few of the stops on the agenda include well-renowned historical locations such as Niagara Falls, Seneca Falls, Charleston and Greensboro, N.C., as well as New York City and Washington, D.C. The students and Moore will be using Facebook and Twitter to post updates and photos of their adventure along the way. Follow the class on Facebook.
“These summer trips are part of the reason I came to UWF,” said Malina Suity, a graduate student at UWF.
Stephanie Powell, also a graduate student at UWF, agreed that these trips were what drew her to complete her master’s program at UWF.
“I haven’t been to a lot of different places, so I am very excited,” said Powell. “Charleston, New York and Seneca Falls are what I am looking forward to most.”
The class, titled “Civil Liberties to Civil Rights: The Great Urban American Adventure,” is intended to help students develop respect for other peoples, urban environments and cultural behaviors.
“This trip will provide students with an incomparable opportunity to develop an understanding of how, in the Northeastern, Midwestern and Southern cities, America fought for and won their freedoms,” said Moore. “During the duration of the trip students will photograph, videotape and document their findings and experiences.”
The collected data and materials will then be used to produce professional-quality podcasts about their trip. The videos will be posted to a history database called Next Exit History (NEH).
“Next Exit History is a project that creates and delivers scholarly content on historic sites, museums, parks, and communities to smart phones running on the iPhone and Android Platforms,” said Jay Clune, founder of NEH and chair of the history department at UWF. “The database contains more than 40,000 historic sites, mostly in text format but with a growing number in multi-media formats.”
At some of the historical sites, students will get a behind-the-scenes look, rather than the normal tour, as they will be working with local guides and scholars at each location. “I’m excited to be able to apply what I’ve learned in my classes on civil rights and urban history to this trip,” said Kelcie Lloyd, a senior at UWF. “I think I am most excited about visiting Niagara Falls.”