For the second year in a row, a student in the Digital Arts and Culture program has taken home the top award at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Undergraduate Research Symposium. On April 19, 2013, Gabrielle (Gabi) DuCharme received first place–the blue ribbon–for best poster presentation from among a total of 235 student presenters and more than 150 presentations.
Marc Tasman and Gabrielle DuCharme at the Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 19, 2013.
Gabi presented her research and her work with Wikiproject Public Art Milwaukee, a project initiated by Jennifer Geigel Mikulay, Assistant Professor of Communication and Technology at Alverno College, with support from the Milwaukee Arts Board. Marc Tasman, Senior Lecturer in Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies (JAMS), was a mentor for the undergraduate research and a collaborator on the project. Staff from the UWM Libraries also assisted the research team.
Wikiproject Public Art Milwaukee documents local outdoor sculpture and produces images to illustrate articles on Wikipedia. As research assistant, Gabi prepared and supplied images with proper licensing to support an effective display in the encyclopedia. In addition, a goal of the research is to raise awareness about the project and bring attention to public art both at local neighborhood sites and within the context of Wikipedia.
Gabi was introduced to the project through a collaboration in the Photojournalism course taught by Tasman in Spring 2012. Mikulay came to the UWM JAMS course as a visiting researcher to talk about the open nature of the project and how the class (or anyone, for that matter) could contribute by producing images licensed using Creative Commons. The class contributed by searching campus and documenting UWM’s public sculpture. Later in the semester, students took a field trip to Lynden Sculpture Garden and documented its works, learning a great deal by navigating the ethical and legal issues of intellectual property.
Gabi’s significant contribution over the following academic year, through UWM’s Office of Undergraduate Research, was the comprehensive treatment of the catalog of local public art collections at both UWM and the Lynden Sculpture Garden, a non-profit organization that is open to the public and displays more than 50 monumental sculptures.
Gabi will graduate from UWM in May 2013 with a BA in Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies and a certificate in Digital Arts and Culture. Mikulay and Tasman plan to continue their collaboration and work with undergraduate researchers. With the aim of encouraging the creation of accurate, informative and up-to-date articles about public art in Milwaukee, they hope to make clear that a good first step for caring for an artwork can be the process of examination, research and documentation that’s required for the creation of an engaging Wikipedia article. Gabi’s work on this project, through the generous support of UWM’s Office of Undergraduate Research, improves the representation of visual arts in Wikipedia and raises awareness about public art’s existence, meaning and context within the Milwaukee community.
In 2012, Garrett Katerzynske, then pursuing the DAC certificate, majoring in Film and minoring in Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies, won a blue ribbon at the Undergraduate Research Symposium for his work with Bruce Charlesworth, Associate Professor of Film.
The 2013 awardees are as follows:
Best Oral Presentation: From the College of Letters and Science, Angela Jones, mentored by Enrique Figueroa, for presenting “Normative and Structural Causes of the Black and White Wealth Divide.”
Third Place Poster: From the Zilber School of Public Health, Moua Vang and Wa Vang, mentored by Todd Miller, for presenting “Water Quality Database Development and Forecast Modeling at Bradford Beach.”
Second Place Poster: From the College of Letters and Science, Danielle DeMorrow and Mark Nebel, mentored by Jennifer Gutzman, for presenting “Regulation of Brain Morphogenesis by Differential Gene Expression in the Midbrain-hindbrain Boundary.”
First Place Poster: From the College of Letters and Science, Gabrielle DuCharme, mentored by Marc Tasman, for presenting “Wikiproject Public Art Milwaukee.”
Digital Arts and Culture is an interdisciplinary certificate program combining courses in the areas of arts, humanities, social sciences, and information studies and a networked community of students, artists, scholars, and practitioners, imagining the future by studying and shaping emerging forms. For more information about the program, see dac.uwm.edu. For more information about the Office of Undergraduate Research at UWM, see our.uwm.edu.