Students recreate a photo of four male W&J students in front of Lazear Hall.

Prez Tech Challenge: Class Takes A Closer Look at the History of W&J through Photos

Created: January 2, 2020  |  Last Updated: February 3, 2020  |  Category:   |  Tagged:

WASHINGTON, PA (Jan. 2, 2020)—Move over, 10-year-challenge. A class of first year students at Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) created a website of photos highlighting and recreating moments from W&J’s history that outdo anything you’ve seen on social media.

Assistant Professor of Physics Cory Christenson’s first year seminar (FYS) students in his course “Origins of Good Ideas” researched how innovation in many forms has affected their lives and the College as a whole. With the help of W&J’s Library Archivist Kelly Helm, the students researched the College’s past through photos, old newspapers and yearbooks before recreating the photos in the exact spots where they were taken.

“You can find a lot of good research in the archives,” Tiausa Brown ’23 said. “It’s like a scrapbook of the College. We learned how to find and use resources, and really how to use the library.”

In groups, the students tackled different decades and then shared their work online to show some truly spectacular then-and-now shots.

“I think it’s really important to know about the College, and I learned a lot of things about the past that I didn’t know before,” Bella Goldman ’23 said. “It’s amazing how things have changed.”

As the years progressed, the students noticed increases in diversity, changes in fashion, and an evolution of the College’s structures and landscape. One thing that you’ll see across the decades, though, is the camaraderie of W&J students—a camaraderie that the members of Dr. Christenson’s class now share.

This project was a part of Washington & Jefferson College’s PrezTech Challenge, which challenges faculty members at W&J to create student projects that showcase innovative uses of educational technology and/or information literacy in the classroom.

Read more PrezTech Challenge Stories:

Transforming Environmental Data Into Music

Poetry in the Digital Age

Exploring Folklore Through Podcasting 

Podcasting the Cultural Edge