Maple Razsa, Assistant Professor of Global Studies

Maple’s students worked with Academic ITS to create a WordPress site featuring ten short videos of members of the Barrels Community Market in Waterville making their products. The students filmed the videos using high definition camcorders in most cases and then edited the videos with Final Cut Pro or iMovie with support from the Language Resource Center. After the students completed production of the videos, they were uploaded to Colby’s streaming media server for easy distribution on the web.

Goldfarb Center for Civic Engagement

The Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement

From the project’s About page: Have you ever wondered what goes into making your favorite Barrels beer? Or maybe you’ve wondered about those gorgeous bars of soap or hefty jugs of maple syrup. Students from Colby professor Maple Razsa’s senior seminar Media, Culture, and the Political Imagination, followed Barrels suppliers at work. Browse through these ten video portraits of Barrels suppliers and learn about all the time, expertise, and love that goes into making your favorite local products. This project was made possible by a Civic Engagement Course Development Grant from the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement.


The students’ Maine Food project featured on the Barrels web site


Google’s Colby Apps Calendar has added “appointment slots,” a new feature that can be used to aid in scheduling meetings.

[fprtmp media=”mp4:acits/appointmentslots” splash=”” width=”640″ height=”476″]

If you plan to include a technology component or project in a course this fall that will require coordination with the Academic ITS group, please contact me as soon as possible so we may make plans to meet your needs. This includes projects that will require technical training assistance, utilize the resources of the Language Resource Center (LRC) in Lovejoy, the GIS and Quantitative Analysis labs in Diamond, or the Schupf Lab in Keyes. I can be reached at or campus extension 4213.


Professor Margaret McFadden


Gordon Fischer, ’13

“I read several books on public education in America. My entire life revolved around the movie.  I watched hours and hours of youtube videos, searching for footage and animations that might be useful.  I conducted two more interviews with professors on campus and as the days went by I got better and better at Final Cut….I sorted all the footage into different sections and then began the process of building a flow and putting the clips together in a sensible way.  In 2 weeks I had mastered the program and started putting sections together and the project just suddenly came together.  I watched it about 20 times in a row that night and made notes about final edits, sound adjustments and minor transition tweaks.  I showed it to my family and said that I still needed a name for it.  Right after seeing it I asked my mom and she said immediately “ALL CHILDREN LEFT BEHIND”.  I couldn’t have picked a better title. “

Project Description


“The key to a democracy is an educated and informed electorate.” -Thomas Jefferson.

Schools serve societies. If people are not educated, if people do not have the basic skills to be truly active citizens, democracy simply can’t function. What type of society is the public education system in America serving?

democracy: rule by the majority
plutocracy: rule by the wealthy

ALL CHILDREN LEFT BEHIND is a 30 minute documentary that seeks to answer this vital question.

ALL CHILDREN LEFT BEHIND (2012) from Gordon Fischer on Vimeo.

Catherine L. Besteman
Professor of Anthropology

Anthropology 298

Exhibiting the Culture & History of Lewiston’s Somali Bantu Community

Goldfarb Center

This course covered Somali Bantu ethnography, issues involved in representing culture, visual anthropology research methods and theory and museum theory.  Students were required to do extensive reading on these topics during the first six weeks of the course.  The remainder of the semester the students focused on working with members of the Somali Bantu community, workshopping ideas, editing and constructing the online and physical exhibits.

Project Goals

The goal of this course was to create an online exhibit of Somali Bantu culture and history,  a portion of which was also installed at the Blue Marble Gallery in downtown Waterville and in the Colby Museum of Art.  Somali Bantus are a minority group in Somalia who were targeted by militias in Somalia’s civil war during the 1990s.  Thousands fled Somalia for refugee camps in Kenya, where they lived for over a decade.  In 1999, the US granted Somali Bantus P2 status as persecuted minorities and agreed to accept about 12,000 refugees for permanent resettlement. After their resettlement in the US, several hundred Somali Bantus moved to Lewiston, Maine. Many of the families in Lewiston come from the middle Jubba valley of Somalia, where Professor Besteman lived and conducted anthropological fieldwork in 1987-8. The exhibits was created collaboratively with involvement from many in the Colby community.  The Lewiston community was eager and thankful to have an archive of photos and audiotapes publicly available and used as a resource to educate others about their history and experience.

Project Description

Material collected for this online exhibit includes:

  • Historic photographs
  • Audio interviews
  • Music and poetry recorded in Somalia in 1987-8
  • Photographs of Lewiston’s Somali Bantu community
  • Artifacts from Somalia
  • Documentary films of Somali Bantu residents
  • Ethnographic text
  • Curricular materials for use in local schools
  • Maps and 1988 census forms from the middle Jubba Valley
  • Oral histories collected from members of the Somali Bantu community

Somali Bantu Website


Several staff members at Colby assisted with this project:

Lauren Lessing, Mirken Curator of Education, Colby Museum of Art
Marty Kelly, Visual Resources Librarian, Miller Library
Jason Parkhill, Director, Academic Information Technology Services
Tracy Carrick, Director, Colby Writers’ Center
Ruth Jacobs, Office of Communications

Philip Nyhus
Associate Professor
Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies 212:

Introduction to GIS & Remote Sensing

This course is a comprehensive theoretical and practical introduction to the fundamental principles of geographic information systems and remote sensing digital image processing.  Topics include data sources and models, map scales and projections, spatial analysis, elementary satellite image interpretation and manipulation and global positioning systems.  Current issues and applications of GIS are discussed with emphasis on environmental topics.  Students undertake independent GIS research projects. Topics may relate to Maine, or have a national or international scope.

Project Goal

Students will develop a series of maps highlighting the unique human and natural resources of Maine.