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UNL News Blog

Digital history, chalk projects, religious code & stink bugs

Leaves are starting to litter the ground in growing numbers. There’s been a similar flurry of national media placements and appearances. A few late September and early October placements involving our folks:

– UNL’s efforts in the Sustaining Digital History project, which is trying to make it easier for history scholars to publish digitally in well-established forums, got some play in The Chronicle of Higher Education this week. Assistant Professor of History Doug Seefeldt, who is one of the program’s directors, said he believes that digital scholarship delves into history in ways that works on paper can’t: “The complexities of the past, it seems to me, are a perfect match for the capabilities of some of these digital tools,” he told The Chronicle.

– UNL’s participation in the “You Are Loved” chalk message project at more than 100 campuses around the country was highlighted by USA TODAY. It’s the second year that gay, lesbian and transgender campus support groups sought to raise awareness about the high rate of attempted suicide in their community. Writer Laura Bruno quoted UNL student Jason Lucht of Gretna, who said: “When I was having problems, I tended to look down, so if I’d seen chalking on the ground, I would have seen that someone cared.”

– Political scientist Mike Wagner was quoted by The Associated Press on the gubernatorial campaign in Hawaii, in which Republican Duke Aiona’s surrogates seem to be using religious messages to persuade social conservatives to vote for him. “The advertisements seem to be signaling Duke Aiona’s religious conservatism without having to actually discuss his religious conservatism,”  Wagner said. “For people in Hawaii who are religious traditionalists, regardless of denomination, they might recognize the phrase and take that as a symbol that Aiona shares their conservative social values.” The story, which added to already robust election-year media coverage, circulated across dozens of media outlets nationwide.

– Aagh! STINK BUGS! UNL entomologist Brett Ratcliffe was quoted in a story about the annoying little critters, who are starting their yearly exodus into homes around the country this month. This story benefited from’s excellent media partners, including Yahoo! News and a host of NBC News platforms.

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