Archive for the Category »W2: Bio «

A bit late to the game…

A picture of me. Let me know if you're actually reading this. I always wonder who looks at the alt text.Hi. My name’s Tad Suiter, and lemme start out by apologizing for missing the first class, etc. I was still doing the beginning-of-the-semester schedule shuffle.

I’m a fourth-year PhD student in the History program here at Mason. My primary focus is on the cultural history of media, entertainment, and communications in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This semester I’m taking Digital Storytelling and Politics of Entertainment, and TAing History of Animation. I’m also working on my dissertation prospectus, looking at the daily newspaper comics page from its inception in 1912 to somewhere in the early-to-mid 1930′s. (The end date is always less clear than the starting point.)

I’m a Buckeye by birth, and had the pleasure of twice living in Massachusetts, while working on my BA at Simon’s Rock College in the Berkshires, and later moving back to do my MA in American Studies at UMass Boston.

I’m lucky in that most of my hobbies are part of my “job” as an apprentice scholar– I study comics, cartoons, television, movies, computers, the internet, popular music… And yeah, that’s a good share of what I do in my spare time.

I also (try to) play the ukulele, which I think may influence the direction of my final project. I’m thinking of looking at the relationship of the ukulele to new media– the ukulele has had three great surges of popularity in the mainland US, each of which coincided with the mass appeal of a new medium: first the mass success of the phonograph and commercial radio, then early television, and finally, in the last half-decade or so, with the internet (and especially web 2.0). I’m interested in doing a piece that explores this relationship.

Oh, and feel free to check out my blog, or follow me on twitter.

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S Douglass bio-info

To introduce myself, I am a student who has done higher education in three pieces–undergraduate at the “normal” age, followed by 12 years total overseas in Germany and Egypt, the M.A. eighteen years later in the middle of having my 4 children, and now my doctorate, as the last of the four prepare for college. I have in the meantime sewn production clothing for a decade, taught history on and off for a decade in various venues and age groups, written books and other instructional projects for the past two decades, and worked on education policy research and review in between, as related to teaching world history. Not sure where it goes from here, but acquiring multimedia skill, knowledge and art seem the most interesting frontier to explore.

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Chris James

Hello! I am a MA student in the Applied History New Media Program. I grew up in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and attended University of Maryland, where I earned a major in both History and American Studies. I was burned out from college, so I took a the next five years or so off to get married, read a lot of books, and play music with friends in my basement. Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to work with primary historical records frequently at work (for both the University of Chicago and LexisNexis), so my academic interests had been somewhat satisfied up until grad school. Now I want to practice applied history at the next level.

I didn’t know anything about DST when I registered for this class, but the course is a good fit for me. I have a longtime interest in documentary film, dating to my American Studies days (I think I still own a copy of the Nichols text). I try to attend one screening at the AFI Silver Theater’s SilverDocs festival each year. I’m also always interested in creative ways to tell history, in whatever format – for example, Diane Ackerman’s The Zookeeper’s Wife, which I had the pleasure of reading just before this semester started.

My hobbies include watching college basketball, reading contemporary literature (I got to read recent Ha Jin and Richard Powers this month), playing with my daughter, and playing, listening to, and reading about rock music.

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Andrea Odiorne


I received my undergraduate degree in history from VCU in 1998. After graduating, I worked primarily in film and television in Richmond, VA. Though the bulk of my work was as a producer/videographer/editor for public television and non-profits, I also worked on few commercial movies, did a stint as a television news photographer, and produced commercials for politicians and lobbying groups. After a variety of experiences, I decided I wanted to concentrate on historical documentaries. However, I felt that my experience with historical interpretation was limited and that I would like to study history at the graduate level to increase my competence as a interpretor of historical evidence. I was also frustrated by the habit of historical documentaries to obscure their process. Therefore, I was particularly drawn to the ability of digital formats to link references, reveal the research process, and allow viewers to engage critically with film and video documentary productions, as well as their source material.

Currently, I am in the master’s program here at Mason, concentrating coursework and research in late 19th/early 20th century United States social and cultural history. I am interested in the construction of class and gender, visual culture, mass media, memory, and the history of technology. Issues of objectivity and critical distance, experience as evidence, and narrative construction are of specific interest to me. I am currently researching the development of the historical documentary and its relationship to historical pedagogy and scholarship. I hope to incorporate this work into a digital storytelling project for this course.

I am equally interested in academic and public history. I completed courses in History and New Media and currently work as a research assistant for the Center for History and New Media. Work with the Public Projects Team and Omeka introduced me to a thriving community of digital humanists, working in a variety of unique roles, many of which combine traditional scholarship and teaching with the development of digital projects and public collaboration. My primary goal is to produce digital scholarship, but I also aspire to be involved in collaborative public projects and to teach courses in digital history.

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Laura Parks

I was born a military brat and spent my entire childhood moving from Navy base to Navy base, which is what gave me my initial interest in military history and culture. For my undergraduate degree I went to Grove City College in western Pennsylvania, where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history and education in 2006.

Other than one year as the business manager for a bio-medical research company, since college I have taught high school social studies – one year in western North Carolina and two years in Fairfax. Right now I teach standard level and Advanced Placement courses for both 11th grade U.S. History and 12th grade U.S. Government, as well as sponsoring the yearbook class. In the past I have also taught World History II and World Geography.

I started the graduate program at GMU in June 2008 and I will hopefully graduate this May with an M.A. in Applied History with an American history concentration. My research interests are the military and social history of mid-20th century American warfare, as well as military history and Marine Corps history in general. My primary area of concentration is World War II, specifically the Marine Corps activities in the Pacific Theater and the effects of the war on the American home front.

Keeping with my interest in USMC history, last summer I was able to work as a curatorial intern in the Uniforms and Heraldry Section at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, and I plan on being back there this summer as well. It was a fantastic experience, because I got to do everything from assisting with the donation of the helmet of the first Marine to win the Medal of Honor in Iraq to helping with the re-installation of the actual Iwo Jima flag pictured in the Rosenthal photograph. I even got to help film a recreation of the Battle of Belleau Wood. After graduation, I plan on teaching for at least one more year, then I would like to get a job in the curatorial division of one of the D.C. area American history museums.

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Giny Cheong

I feel like I’ve been at George Mason forever since getting my MA and continuing into the PhD program in American History. My interests lie in twentieth century history of science, technology, and the environment with a cultural/visual media focus on these topics. For my dissertation, I would like to analyze several NASA science missions for their impact on the general public… “impact” being a bucket term for looking at the images released and their meanings, the dissemination and public understanding of science, and other themes that will emerge in the dissertation prospectus I’m supposed to be writing this semester.

If you look me up on social networking sites, you may find that I dislike pictures and tend to put up images of my two cats… so other random details include that I adore kitties, spend far too much time on the computer, actually have played World of Warcraft despite being of the feminine persuasion, nicknamed McDonalds as the “place of food evil” and Starbucks as the “crack house”…

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Tina Goodwin

We pick up our story two years ago after a conversation with a good friend about this great program out of GMU that incorporates History and New Media.  I had been contemplating getting back into school to pursue a degree that would (hopefully) lead to a PhD. in Cultural and Media Studies. The daunting thing,  I was not a History major.  I was an English major and how we approach, think, write and breathe is vastly different from historians.  It is a daily struggle to think more in terms of a historian rather than a breezy, hippie English major.

My interest in culture and media started with the best babysitter I ever had- the t.v.  Television was present in how I did homework, school projects, and when I practiced my trumpet or french horn. I could tell you the t.v. schedules for every night of the week from 1983 through 1991. From the first guitar chords of  MTV  in August of 1981 and the world premiere of “Thriller” to the assassination attempt on President Reagan, the Challenger disaster and 9/11 my t.v. has always been on.  When I was not watching the t.v. I was in a movie theater or playing music at your local theme park, community band or small orchestra. 

I have always been aware of and interested in how these things inform our world and who we are and how we interpret them. I am excited to engage in the study of History through digital storytelling to further examine and think about these connections.

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Danielle Cook

Hi, my name is Danielle Cook and I am working on my MA in Art History. I attended University of Maryland, College Park for my undergrad and received a BA in Fine Arts/Art Education. I began working as an Elementary Art teacher after college, and by many unforeseen twists and turns, now work full time in the IT department of a development lab as an Operations Manager. Let me point out that I am not technical by any means.

After many attempts at trying to make myself register for a MBA or IT Management program, I kept finding myself back in the Arts section of the course catalog. I really missed the arts, and being creative, and the energy that comes from talking with other creative people. And so, I called my husband and told him I was enrolling in the MA of Art History program at GMU. He knows me well enough not to ask how I plan to use the degree. I know myself well enough to understand I never end up where I think I’m going. Originally, I was hoping my next career would be Indiana Jones. Now I’m thinking something more along the lines of Dr. Robert Langdon because I would like for people to whisk me off to Europe on exciting quests. It could happen…

When I’m not at work or school, I volunteer with a local animal rescue group fostering dogs and finding them adoptive homes. I enjoy the outdoors, hiking, swimming, going to the gym, and traveling. The included photo is my husband and me in Rome from our summer 2009 trip to Italy. I live in Vienna with my husband and our two dogs. We are expecting our first child in July, so I’ll be the one in class expanding.

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Bio for Mark Bergman

Greetings! My name is Mark and I’m looking forward to this class. I grew up in Southern Oregon and spent 10 years living in Connecticut before moving to Fairfax County. I now live in Centreville with my wife, Rachel, and my 3 year old son, Avi.

My professional training is in music, and I have an active freelance career as a double bassist. I travel a lot for “gigs” and play with many of the orchestras in and around Washington DC, including the Fairfax Symphony and the Alexandria Symphony. About two years ago, I formed a string trio called Virginia Virtuosi which has become a very large part of my performing career.

I am working towards a Doctor of Arts degree in Education at GMU where I also teach courses about  American Popular Music.  I enjoy both performing and teaching a great deal and haven’t quite decided upon the ideal balance of these activities in my professional life.

In addition to music and my family, I enjoy traveling, strategy games, the great outdoors, English Bulldogs, sci-fi films, and Five Guys’ burgers.

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C Warburton

Hi everyone!

My name’s Carrie Warburton. I’m currently getting my MA in history. I have my bachelor’s from Northwestern University in history and journalism. I  also have an MA in technical education and a JD. My friends accuse me of being addicted to school. They’re probably right.

I moved to Fairfax from Akron, Ohio this summer and am definitely enjoying the DC Metro area–particularly the museums and milder winters, though I miss adroit snow-handling and the lighter traffic.

I became interested in history pretty early on in life. Both my parents were history majors in college. My mom loves the Civil War so by the time I was 14 I had visited Antietam 3 times! My dad’s a big World War II buff

so issues of war and their outcomes were consistent discussions at the dinner table that nurtured my interest in history.

Eventually I would like to teach history though I could easily see myself doing curriculum design, particularly using new media. I was inspired by  watching Michael Wesch’s “A Vision of Students Today” that many of you have probably seen on Youtube. This brings me to Digit

al Storytelling. As I said in class, I think the innovations happening in the digital world are very exciting, and it’s always fun to be in a developing field.

Apart from school, I enjoy painting and drawing (I’m taking a drawing class this semester to relax), running and yoga. I also like to travel. I recently journeyed to India over Christmas break for two weeks and I really miss the Nan and the Chai. I suggest we take chai breaks in the middle of class.

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