Category Archives: Hoesley Digital Literacy Fellows Program

WIC Majors Dinner: Wednesday, February 19

Join us for our SAS Major Dinner tomorrow, February 19, 6:30 pm in the WIC Seminar Room. RSVP now!

Come join staff and students for an informal dinner and discussion of the  academic support and technology resources available at the Weigle Information Commons. We will discuss the Seltzer Family Digital Media Awards and the Hoesley Digital Literacy Fellows Program. Bring your questions!

Congrats Hoesley 2011, Welcome 2012 Cohort!

All of us at WIC extend our congratulations to the 2011 Hoesley fellows for successful completion of this year-long program!

  • Grisselle DeFrank C’12
  • Chelsea Dommert C’12
  • Caitlin Dougherty C’13
  • Meghan Hussey C’12
  • Marwa Ibrahim C’12
  • Ross Kelley C’12
  • Rebecca Rosen C’12
  • Virginia Senf C’12
  • Gina Shin C’13
  • Windy Tam C’13
  • Mai Chi Abby Tran C’13
  • Julia Wolfe C’12

We welcome the new 2012 cohort of 15 students and share some reflections from 2011 fellows: Continue reading

Marwa Ibrahim presents invocation at WOC Luncheon

We enjoyed listening to the opening invocation presented by Marwa Ibrahim from Hoesley 2011 cohort at the 25 annual Women of Color at Penn Day (WOCAP) Conference and Awards Luncheon. This event, organized by the African American Resource Center on campus, brought together a wonderful, large gathering from all over the Penn campus, including a sizable group from Penn Libraries.

Shaina Adams-El Guabli (from Penn Women's Center), Marwa Ibrahim and Anu Vedantham at the WOC Luncheon. Photo by Rebecca Hamell Presley.

Marwa lighted a candle and kicked off the lunch program with a short inspirational speech. She spoke beautifully about the need to look for what we have in common, rather than focusing on what divides us.

Julia Wolfe – Hoesley Reflection 2012

Before beginning the Hoesley program I was most excited to learn about graphic design and creating my own website. What I realized from our sessions about both of those though is just how big, complex and time-consuming they both can be. I couldn’t believe all the work that went into the designs that the WIC staff had created when they explained them to us, and it was frankly a little daunting. But it was really the principles and ideas of design that they discussed that I think stuck with me most–it was almost like a secret code that made me look at designs on things like posters and books a little differently.

As for the website, what I really took away from making one was how much of a process it was. Before, I had assumed that you simply create a website, maybe with a lot of work, but when you’ve done what you wanted to do then you’re simply finished. My own experience with my WordPress site has been the exact opposite. I change something and finally feel good about it, and then realize that that’s not in fact how I want it. And part of that process I realized involved quests for seeking help, which in itself could be a lengthy process. But now that I’ve learned this, I’ve accepted the fact that I’ll probably never be fully satisfied with what I have, and part of the fun–and educational–part of it is the process of editing it.

Ross Kelley – Hoesley Reflection 2012

My name is Ross Kelley, and I was part of the 2011-2012 cohort of the Hoesley Digital Literacy Fellows program. I was excited to join the program so I could learn about the many valuable software tools I never thought I would have the skills to use.  Even though I had Excel experience prior to the program, what I learned about Photoshop, Prezi, Google programs, website creation, and even tools for my job search and career more than exceeded my expectations.   This program provided ample time for interaction with these tools through its helpful hands-on learning environment and access to training videos on  As a result of the Hoesley program, I am far more proficient with these tools and confident in my ability to learn how to use others.

Creating my own website was definitely the most exciting part of this program.  I was thrilled to hone this very valuable skill and leave my mark on the Internet.  I am particularly proud of my new abilities to embed a Prezi and other graphics, customize the site’s theme, and transition to a self-hosted site, which I will explore further after graduation.

Windy Tam-Hoesley Reflection 2012

My name is Windy; I am a junior in the college majoring in Communications. I had no idea what I wanted to do post-graduation when I applied for the Hoesley Digital Literacy Program last year. I just knew that whatever career path I choose, skills and knowledge with web design, and various computer software and programs are vital and that I lack some basic computer skills.

We met once a week for an hour during the fall semester. Each session is split in half; we receive a tutorial in the first half, and apply what we just learned in the second half. The class structure is very flexible and tailored to the students’ need and interest. We had a special WordPress session because many of use chose it as our website’s host and encountered some problems. The staff at WIC and Vitale Digital Media Lab has been immensely helpful and are critical to the development of our website.

I designed my website through WordPress, but unfortunately, it is still under construction and is not ready for publication yet. One of the hardest parts in the process was starting the website, that is, choosing the platform (Google Site, Tumblr, or WordPress) and a theme. I tried with all of them, but I ultimately chose WordPress because it seemed more intuitive (they are all good ones to use with a lot of resources and help available, I would experiment with the other ones in the future). The next hard thing was to choose a theme. WordPress has many themes available to suit each kind of personality and web theme. I changed it multiple times in search of something that has personality but is professional at the same time. Then, I have to decide what information I want to have available to my website’s visitors. I have the menus in place, but I am still collecting content to fill the pages up. I learned that a blog is not a good addition unless one has time to update it on a regular basis, so I changed my home page to a static “About Me” page. The process has been fun and worthwhile. I gained many skills from the Hoesley Digital Literacy Program that I can apply immediately in my activities and assignments. Even if you cannot commit to the Hoesley Program, I encourage you to attend WICShops and the Vitale Digital Media Lab when you run into problems. “If you think something is too complicated and you are going through too many steps, there is an easier solution” and Weigle has the answers.

Thank you so much!

Abby Tran – Hoesley Reflection 2012

Hi! I’m Abby Tran, and I’m currently a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. As a PPE major, I’ve always understood the importance of a multidisciplinary education. The liberal arts, however, mostly center on theory, rather than practice. So when I heard about the Hoesley Digital Literacy Fellows Program, I embraced the opportunity to vastly improve my practical skills.

Our weekly sessions at Weigle Information Commons provided a lot of focus to our approach towards technology. Initially uncomfortable with spreadsheets, web design, and data sharing, I quickly gained confidence in all of these areas due to Anu Vedantham’s patient teaching and to presentations by a number of guests on topics ranging from Google products to PhotoShop. We were able to get hands-on experience working with these programs by following along as instructors guided us, as well as experimenting with them on our own. I also utilized other resources, most notably,, to independently hone my skills in InDesign, Illustrator, and PhotoShop.

While developing my final project for the Hoesley Program, I familiarized myself with different platforms for my personal website. After determining the content and focus of my site, I initially established an account on While simple to use and functional, I was still unhappy with the design aesthetic. Fortunately, on the suggestion of a friend, I opened a site – and have never looked back. To check out my website, go to

Before the Hoesley Program, I never imagined that I could produce work like this. Thanks to my training, I’ve become much more familiar with technological skills that are becoming absolute necessities in the modern world.

Marwa Ibrahim – Hoesley Reflection 2012

Marwa Ibrahim: Hoesley Digital Literacy Program‘s 2011-12 Cohort

Before the Program: Getting to know WIC!

Weigle Information Commons (WIC) was always that place in Van Pelt where technologically apt individuals would be working with interesting programs that I hoped to become better acquainted with. I had often frequented WIC to request assistance with my own projects and get a taste of the knowledge and expertise from the friendly WIC staff. When I read the Hoesley application, I naturally jumped on the opportunity to become one of the students who would be under the tutelage of the WIC staff!

During the Program: Hands-on learning!

The Hoesley Program consisted of various hands-on sessions with a number of WIC staff who each helped familiarize us with a selection of computer software and offered his or her time if one was particularly interesting for us to learn more about. Later, while providing us with guidance for our website building assignment, the staff allowed us to have the flexibility to select our platform and engage with the programs that we had become most comfortable with. All throughout the program, the supportive environment was well suited to relax our frustrations when faced with the occasional complexities of website building!

After the Program: Once you start, the knowledge never stops!

I now walk into the Vitale Digital Media Lab for help with Photoshop and the tingle of euphoria that comes with having produced my very own design. Even more exciting, I am now encouraged by the skills I have accumulated in the program to proceed on my own with enhancing my digital literacy, especially in programs most relevant to my career goals. Thank you, WIC!

Visit My Website

I haven’t elaborated much about myself, but to that end, I encourage you to peruse my website.

Chelsea Dommert – Hoesley Reflection 2012

My name is Chelsea Dommert and I was part of the Hoesley Digital Literacy Program during the 2011-2012 school year. I came to the program hoping to learn more about web design as well and Microsoft Office tools, particularly Excel.

In learning throughout the program the subscription to proved one of the most useful tools. The instructional videos on this website acquainted me with the advanced functions for InDesign, Photoshop, and Google tools. Its comprehensive video database covers tasks that I didn’t even know some of this software could perform! Besides, I learned the most from the WICshops at Weigle. Ms. Vedantham instructs with great clarity and patience; she creates an environment that is low-stress and conducive to learning, which diametrically opposes the high-stress, fast-paced computer seminars that I have attended in the past.

I have used my new computer skills to enhance the appearance and content of one of my blogs,, a WordPress blog where I post resources to help crew coaches from a rowing background understand and coach their coxswains. I build all of the resources from scratch using data I have gathered over years of rowing experience. However, my new understanding of Microsoft Excel and pivot tables have allowed me to spot patterns in my data and access historical data far more efficiently than before, allowing me to draw more lessons from my data and, eventually, plan and build more coaching resources for online distribution.

Anna Adler – Hoesley Program Reflection

My name is Anna Adler and I was a participant in the first year of the Hoesley Digital Literacy Fellow Program. As a Visual Studies major in the College of Arts and Sciences, I had some background experience in programs such as Adobe Illustrator and InDesign through the Fine Arts course, Digital Design Foundations. My main reason for pursuing the program was to enhance my digital skill-set. I was in the process of interviewing for full-time jobs for after graduation in the digital and online media industry, so I wanted to stay up-to-date with the changing software in this particular field.

For the Visual Studies major, we had to present our thesis topics multiple times throughout the course of the year to our teachers and classmates. Specifically, Hoesley’s Prezi session was especially insightful, and as a result, I learned an entirely new way for presenting my information in a more visually interactive display. In addition, I learned about a variety of basic short cuts and other simple tasks in programs that I initially thought I was completely proficient, such as PowerPoint, Excel, and Microsoft Word.

I used to be intimidated by the thought of building my own website. Through the Hoesley program, I realized how easy it was to create one through both Google and Apple software. Consequently, I became much more comfortable when I would have to teach myself how to utilize different types of programs that were new to me. For example, I had to create a Tumblr page for my Visual Studies Thesis. The Hoesley program prepared me to take on such a task that I had never been familiar with before. Check it out here:

I especially would like to thank the wonderful staff that helped make this wonderful program possible. It was an incredibly valuable experience that significantly added to my wonderful times at Penn.