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Posted on November 21, 2017

Digital Storytelling Poster

Digital Storytelling Premiere
6:30 p.m. Dec. 5
Performance Center, Natali Student Center

Students in Honors Program English courses taught by Dr. Christina Fisanick will present their digital stories of the Mon Valley at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5 in the Performance Center, located in the Natali Student Center. 

Admission is free, and the public is welcome.

More than 30 honors students worked with historical societies throughout the Mon Valley to produce the digital histories, which develop writing and critical thinking and editing skills, digital literacy and more.

The students read scholarly articles on Northern Appalachia and visited the Carrie Blast Furnaces at the former U.S. Steel Homestead Works to learn about the steel-making process and the role immigrants played in the Industrial Revolution. Students also read Rust Belt Boy: Stories of an American Childhood, by Paul Hertneky, a memoir that is set in the Mon Valley.

This marks the fifth year of a collaboration between Cal U’s digital storytellers and Senator John Heinz History Center Affiliates Program, of which the local historical societies are members. Over the past five years, students have provided an overview of each society as well as a feature on noteworthy artifacts or collections. 

Students this semester worked with historical societies in California (Pa.), Donora, Monessen, Charleroi, Dravosburg, Brownsville, McKeesport and Monongahela, as well as Rivers of Steel Heritage Corp. and the Cal U archives and special collections, housed in Manderino Library. 

To mark the fifth anniversary, A Town Called Donora, which was created by former students Corrine Dowlin and Rachael Fawley, will be shown. The video, viewed by nearly 7,500 people online, is used by the Donora Historical Society and Smog Museum to introduce visitors to the 1948 air pollution disaster.

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