Project ideas: there are several and they are a bit scattered, but this is where I am right now…
*Develop a digital repository (collective space) for sociological information for GC students
Problem: Lack of institutional memory for Sociology theory exam and orals lists. In Sociology, we have two exams: a written theory exam most of us take after our first or second year and a set of 3 oral exams. When I first started in the program, students had to take two theory exams: a classical and a contemporary exam. A file of notes from 10+ years was passed around to some students (via older cohorts). We now take only one exam and the old set of notes is no longer relevant. In addition, most students in their third or fourth years take their oral exams. The department has two binders full of past orals lists–however, the binders are messy, pages are often missing, and they are not accessible to all students (need to be at the GC during ‘business hours’ to read/copy them). The binders are also not updated—there are more old(er) lists than current one. Creation: To create a digital repository for all this information. New theory exam notes/orals lists can be uploaded and accessed by all GC sociology students (maybe make this public?). I image orals lists separated by topic and committee member and theory exam materials separated in a similar manner. There will also be a space for dialogue–where students can ask questions about the exam or orals. Two preliminary questions — who is going to monitor this from year to year and how do we get students to contribute? —>Do I make this into a bigger space for collaboration with other students outside of CUNY? Are students in other programs looking for a tool like this?
*Twitter data mining project to help me investigate how Twitter can be used as a productive space for social movements. Use Twitter API. Thinking specifically about trans* communities/murders of trans* women of color and/or Michael Brown/Eric Gardner/police violence against non-white communities. I’m specifically thinking about mining for hashtags, like #allblacklivesmatter or #blacklivesmatter.
*Create an (interactive) mapping project that maps NYC supermarkets/bodegas/other retail food outlets and subway/bus stops–creating a product that is accessible & available for people to add items. A take off on http://veganfoodiseverywhere.com….but different, as this will be localized to NY and also map public transportation. What I like about the vegan website is that anyone can add a dish to the map.
*Develop an app that provides recipes for healthy meals for low-income communities. A take off on what eatfresh.org is doing in California–texting recipes to people (and these are recipes that can be cooked on a stove or on a hotpot). Maybe work with NYC Common Food Pantry to get recipes?
*Develop a set of technology classes for small business owners: twitter, website, blog/wiki development. I know this is needed as many of the small business owners at the Intersect Fund needed this type of help. I found that people often have a product/service/idea to sell, but they need help marketing their brand/events/etc.
*Develop a model for an online conference. I can’t remember where I read about this–only that one academic professional organization was thinking about doing this because the theme of their conference was the environment and they conference organizer wanted to reduce conference attendees’ carbon footprint. Why I like this: ASA (sociology’s annual shin dig) has (recently) received criticism from members for a variety of reasons including cost, location and timing. While I cannot imagine making a digital ASA, I do wonder if a small-scale conference could effectively be hosted in a virtual space. Creating a virtual conference space is not an in-person conference space–but there are benefits: a more global participation/flow of information and fewer or low costs for participants. I’m not exactly sure what a space like this would look like. Would there be google hangouts? Videos of work(s)? Tweets/hashtags for comments?