Tag Archives: Interviews

Where Are They Now? Interview with former WIC staffer turned illustrator, Sarah Jacoby

jacoby photo

© Sarah Jacoby 2015

Hello, PennWIC readers! My name is Elizabeth Crowder and I’m a new(ish) graduate intern at the Weigle Information Commons. Our inaugural post in the “Where Are They Now?” blog series features former Vitale Digital Media Lab consultant (2007-2011) Sarah Jacoby who resides in Brooklyn, NY. She currently works as a production designer with the creative team at Tinybop, an educational children’s app and media company. You might be wondering what a production designer does. According to Jacoby, her job as a production designer involves anything from creating art for Tinybop’s apps to helping prepare art for the apps as well as myriad miscellaneous design-oriented things.

In addition to her work at Tinybop, Jacoby works as a freelance illustrator and designer. Current exciting projects include working on a children’s book for a UK publisher and a line of wedding invitations for friends. She has also contributed to books about illustration, shown art internationally and throughout the United States, published with folks like The New York Times, and won awards in fancy places.


© Sarah Jacoby 2015

Sarah was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to discuss how she landed her job as a production designer and all the hard work that went into propelling her from a lab consultant at the Vitale Digital Media Lab to where she is today. Continue reading Where Are They Now? Interview with former WIC staffer turned illustrator, Sarah Jacoby

Interview with Dr. Charlene Wong

Researchers (from left) Mike Kaiser, Charlene Wong and Cjloe Vinoya
Researchers (from left) Mike Kaiser, Charlene Wong and Cjloe Vinoya (Photo by Emma Lee/WHYY) Link to WHYY NewsWorks story below.

Charlene Wong is a pediatrician in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program here at Penn.  I spoke with her about her recent study on how young adults use Healthcare.Gov to choose health insurance, and also about the ways in which the WIC was able to support her team in that process.

Q: Hi Charlene.  Tell me about the study you did.

CW: We did a study looking at how young adults are able to navigate and make decisions about the health insurance plans on HealthCare.gov. We were really excited because from the study we were able to make 6 recommendations about how to change and improve HealthCare.gov to better support people in making informed, smart decisions about health insurance.
continue reading…

NVivo for Literature Reviews

If you are a seasoned researcher, or even if you have just started embarking upon a research project, you are probably familiar with common literature citation/organization tools, such as RefWorks, Zotero, and EndNote (see our LibGuide on these citation management tools).  However, not many people realize that NVivo, a qualitative research software, can also be used quite effectively as a research and citation organizer for literature reviews. Shimrit Keddem, our NVivo Basics workshop presenter and creator of our  NVivo Guide, recently introduced us to this aspect of NVivo.

Image courtesy of Anuja Cabraal (http://anujacabraal.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/why-use-nvivo-for-your-literature-review/)

Researcher Anuja Cabraal, an NVivo consultant, writes extensively about NVivo’s organizational capabilities on her blog.  Cabraal highlights NVivo’s ability to categorize elements of your research into what NVivo calls “Nodes” (please see the workshop handout on our NVivo LibGuide on terminology). For example, you can have a Node for definitions of complex terms you are working with, a Node for PDFs or external documents you are using in your research, and a Node for different critical perspectives from which you may be working.  NVivo allows you to easily change categories as your research develops; Cabraal notes that these categories often help her to see patterns emerge in her work, which she may not have noticed otherwise.

Image courtesy of NVivo site (http://www.qsrinternational.com/what-is-qualitative-research.aspx)

In addition to her initial post on NVivo’s capabilities for creating a literature review, Cabraal has started a series of blog posts about subtopics regarding using NVivo for a literature review, such as managing reading lists and coding and editing your reading list/library in NVivo.  NVivo’s own page on qualitative research also provides ideas for creating literature reviews, working with social media and interviews in evaluative studies.

The NVivo software should be accessible on the PCs in all library buildings.

NVivo for qualitative research

We first learned about NVivo software from Rosie Frasso who teaches in the Masters in Public Health program, and after that, we suddenly started receiving many questions and requests about it from around campus. As the vendor describes, “NVivo 10 helps you to easily organize and analyze data in documents, audio, video, spreadsheets, social media and web pages.” In April, we set aside two workstations in WIC for a 30-day trial for the software. Over the summer, we collaborated with our technology support folks, and thanks to their help, NVivo should soon be available on all the PCs throughout Penn Libraries. On October 11, we are glad to present our first workshop on NVivo with our guest presenter Shimrit Keddem. Do you use NVivo? Please do share your experiences and ideas as we get started exploring this new software tool.

Civil Rights Road Trip

Earlier this month we met with Penn Ph.D. candidate Rachel Guberman to discuss how we could help with an upcoming project.  She and another teacher were taking several middle school students on an 8-day “Civil Rights Road Trip” through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, giving the students a chance to experience first-hand the places and people they’d previously only studied in the classroom.  We lent some audio and video equipment and made suggestions regarding the use of WordPress and Google Maps to make the experience more interactive for those who weren’t able to experience the road trip in person.

Rachel studies metropolitan growth, political culture, and race in the 20th-century United States.  Drawing on this expertise plus her background as a producer at National Public Radio, she prepared the students to interview civil rights veterans during their expedition.  The end product was a WordPress blog that documented their trip with reflections, interviews, maps, photographs, and oral histories.  You can take a look at the blog and read more about their journey at http://civilrightsroadtrip.wordpress.com/

Interview with Haftom Khasai

Haftom Khasai is a political science major and has been an avid user of the Vitale Digital Media Lab during his time here at Penn. I had the opportunity to interview him last semester about the documentary he helped create, “A Legacy of Courage: W.E.B. Du Bois and The Philadelphia Negro.”

Q: What do you do here at Penn?

Haftom Khasai: I’m currently a student. During the summers I work at the School of Design developing a high school curriculum.

Q: What kind of curriculum? Tell me about that.

HK: So, we’ve been working on this Du Bois project for, I would say quite some time now. I’ve been working on it for about four years, and it’s just been this huge collaborative effort between many different people. The project itself has many different components. One is an actual classroom curriculum where we have instructions for the teacher on how to teach this particular topic, which is Du Bois’s life and what he did here. Du Bois came in the 1890s to Penn to do this huge sociological study on what at the time people thought was, well, to put it the way they would, why African Americans have all these problems: why they can’t just succeed, why they’re not working hard enough. Du Bois actually came to Philadelphia thinking something similar to what the white folk were. But he came here and he did this seminal work, which ended up as “The Philadelphia Negro”. It was just this thick, thick book. It was a huge study, using advanced statistical and sociological tools of the time, and he is probably the first person to have done something like this. I think that is just an amazingly cool thing. And the thing is, people—especially young people–don’t really know what he did. And this whole curriculum–I think it’s a 1-week module–it’s supposed to explore what he did–this huge work, this huge accomplishment that he achieved. And the first component was this documentary that I’ve been working on here in the Digital Media Lab. The tools you guys have here have made it such an accessible thing for us, for the students here at Penn. And the second component is a Google Earth tour. The other components are being done by the other members of the team, and that includes board games and what not. Continue reading Interview with Haftom Khasai

10 Interview Tips

Stephanie Brown used to work here in the library.  Now she works at the University of Pennsylvania Press in the marketing department.  She often interviews authors and publishes those interviews as a Podcast.

She recently published a post on her blog that aims to help academics (although really, these tips can apply to just about anyone) prepare for and give an audio or video interview.  I thought they were so useful I wanted to repost them here in our blog, since we see so many people in the Digital Media Lab who use our equipment to interview other people.

Just because you know a lot about a topic doesn’t mean that you’re comfortable speaking publicly or conveying information in a way that works for modern television, radio, and web interviews. As she puts it, most of the people she interviews are “more comfortable poring over archives than pouring their guts out for the cameras and microphones.” Continue reading 10 Interview Tips