The Significance of George Mason University’s Krasnow Institute for Advanced Scientific Study

In order to truly value discoveries and accomplishments in modern day, we must give credit to all those who have contributed to it in the past. Whether the contribution may have seemed to be big or small, everything and everyone has a lasting impact on history that deserves to be remembered. In a world where time never stops and people are always striving towards innovation, it is important to take a minute to reflect on the impact history makes to the present. It’s why we even create historical markers to begin with; to be a reminder of individuals and events that made a difference in the community so they can be appreciated for generations to come. As historians and scholars, it is our job to highlight such individuals and institutions who have created opportunities for future generations to make ground-breaking research and discoveries. This project emphasizes one of these individuals who created an institute that helped advance the scientific community and just so happens to be located on George Mason University; The Krasnow Institute for Advanced Scientific Study. As their tagline states, innovation is tradition. Their mission is to perform research at the intersection of neuroscience, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, as well as complex adaptive systems to advance scientific understanding of the mind, brain, and intelligence.

Krasnow Institute likely to play role in Obama brain initiative |  Connect2Mason
The Krasnow Institute for Advanced Studies located at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. [1]

This stood to me as a biology myself because innovation is truly the core of what the scientific world strives for and to dedicate this institute to that concept is inspiring. It becomes even more interesting to me as I even wondered at first how this institution came to be, and I believe it is significant to be mentioned as part of its mission. As someone who is striving to become a future health professional, I can imagine the significance this building holds and the affect it has on the medical community, but to truly understand the history is our job as scholars. Without knowing the history, we can never truly understand the significance this institute holds or who we can honor for helping to create it. That someone we will also be researching side by side with the Institute is Shelley Krasnow.

Audience

I believe the primary audience to this historical marker are for students or professors in the scientific research fields with interests in advanced studies. This is because the Krasnow Institute of Advanced Study’s mission is to create innovation in the scientific world, and they want other people with the same shared interests to be able to join them on this journey to advancing medical research. Especially when thinking about how the Institute was made with the intent to have endless possibilities in research with no restrictions, that could be a dream come true for an aspiring researcher. Personally, I believe it goes beyond needing to be a neuroscience major or someone who is only specifically interested in brain research because the Krasnow Institute has shown to emphasize its’ values in various fields of life sciences. Of course, they are most well known for their brain and intelligence research, but the topics that are studies have broadened over the years that any student or professor interested in the mind or another science can find something fit for them. With that being said, I believe the best fit for a secondary audience to this historical marker could be anyone from the general public interested in health news or the latest advancements in science. There are so many people who don’t have to be aspiring scientists but still have genuine curiosity for the subject and like to be up to date on world health. Perhaps they have a family member or friend who has a neurological disease that they’re curious on the progress of a cure for, or maybe they have a mental disorder themselves that they wish they could be cured from. Especially now that we’re experiencing a pandemic, many people have gained interest in seeking progress for a cure on the news to worldwide diseases.

Photograph of Shelley Krasnow with a radium detector, 1950. [2]

Shelley Krasnow was a scientist and entrepreneur from Northern Virginia. He was born in 1907, and his parents were Russian immigrants. He attended City College of New York prior to beginning his career as an engineer and physicist. Krasnow was the director of the Geophysical Instrument Company which eventually became the Georator Corporation. It was manufacturer of high-tech electronic generators. He invested in land holdings in Northern Virginia prior to the mid-twentieth-century development boom. He also later on offered the University of Virginia numerous lands in Prince William County in the late 1950s that was used to develop its Northern Virginia branch. [3]

Krasnow was a firm believer in putting knowledge and education to good use in the greater community. He was fascinated by the study and research of human life in relation to its surroundings. He began studying the association between geography and human cancers in the 1960s. Krasnow indicated a wish to start an institute that would work “for the betterment of mankind.”[4]  In 1988, Krasnow and his lawyers founded the Virginia Institute for Advanced Study, which would perform cutting-edge research once it was completed and staffed. While Krasnow had imagined his institute being erected on 39 acres he owned close to Pickett Road in Fairfax’s eastern end, zoning laws would not allow it. As a result, Krasnow would have to petition the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to rezone the property or find another location for the project. Krasnow was quickly persuaded that Mason would be an ideal location for the Institute when he later met George Mason University President George W. Johnson and Sidney Dewberry, the founder of a local architectural and engineering consulting firm in Northern Virginia. Dewberry and Johnson courted Krasnow together with Senior Vice President J. Wade Gilley in the hope of founding the Institute at George Mason. Though initially (according to Krasnow’s friends) he was skeptical that the Institute’s scientists would be granted enough latitude to succeed in their studies at a public university, he was intrigued by Johnson and Gilley’s readiness to support academic exploration. [5]

GMU’s longest serving President from 1978-1996, Dr. George Johnson, posing for a picture inside of Student Union Building I on the Fairfax Campus of George Mason University, 1978. [6]

Krasnow died on September 25, 1989 at the age of 82 years old of cardiopulmonary arrest, leaving the 39 acres to George Mason University to sell and utilize the funds to construct the Institute for Advanced Study, which totaled the amount of $20 million towards the university. A local petroleum tank farm affiliated with Texaco also began leaking petroleum underground and into the water table under the former Krasnow property in 1991, according to reports. The Krasnow estate was then awarded $7.35 million in a settlement that took place in July of 1992. This was the second largest endowment George Mason had ever received since it became an independent university at the time and former president Johnson stated that, “it comes at a very, very good time for us, at a time when we’re going through potentially calamitous budget cuts which would slow our momentum and just wreck so much of the feel of the place.” [5]

Then in May of 1993, the University co-sponsored a scientific conference with the famed Santa Fe Institute to help decide which specific area of science it would explore for study. The meeting, titled “The Mind, the Brain, and Complex Adaptive Systems,” drew many scientists, including Nobel laureates Murray Gell-Mann and Herbert Simon. The conference as well as the paper that resulted from it, brought new concepts in the study of the human mind and brain. This soon became the institute’s mission alongside  how similar the human mind functions in education, decision-making, and other everyday human activities. Construction began right away that summer and the Institute announced its first Board of Directors in the fall of 1993, including George Mason University President Johnson and University Provost Frederick Rossini. Dr. Harold Morowitz (a scientist and Robinson Professor). In an essay written about the Institute, Dr. Morowitz highlighted what he hoped for them to achieve in the new space. “Behind the search for human happiness, satisfaction, understanding, and value, lies the timeless queries about the nature of the human mind. While these questions are philosophical, social, and theological, their answers rest in part on our ability to scientifically assess the human mind, the human brain and the relation between the two. It is this informed access to mind and brain that is the core of the mission of the Krasnow Institute.” [7]

News article from The Washington Post announcing the Krasnow Institute’s new home at GMU on April 3, 1997. [7]

While its permanent structure on the University grounds was being built, the Krasnow Institute opened in the Commerce Building, a rented property about a half mile north of the Fairfax campus in Fairfax City, in the summer of 1994. The $4 million and 30,000 sq. ft structure would house 40 employees, an MRI scanning center, a library, and multiple conference spaces. [8] The building grand opening was originally planned to open in summer of 1996, but was postponed until the following year and officially opened on May 2, 1997. [9] Many were excited about the newest addition to George Mason as many described it to look like “a cross between a research library and ski resort.” [7] It had already accommodated 30 researches in disciplines that included anthropology, neurobiology, and linguistics. Scholars were especially hopeful due to now having the opportunity to conduct studies that would lead to a better understanding of human cognition. This could lead to the possibilities of cures for various neurological diseases such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Autism, and psychiatric disorders such as Bipolar disorder, Depression, and Schizophrenia. [10] There are other projects where scientists want to explore how language is developed, and how our brains are stronger than computers when it comes to various things such as recognizing faces. The best part is that it would all be done with the newest and latest technologies to the scientific world.

News article from The Washington Post discussing the Krasnow Institute’s mission on Oct 14, 1998. [10]
Photograph of Shelley Krasnow, 1985. [11]

Once all expenses from construction of the Institute and administrative costs were covered, the remaining funds were to be utilized to establish an endowment that will invite notable scholars to the Institute for up to 10 years. [5] Krasnow didn’t have any children to be heirs, and his wife had also died in 1981. With his generous donation and love for research and innovation, it has become the core purpose of the Krasnow Institute to seek understanding of the human brain. The Institute has since received nearly $41 million in research funding since its establishment, and it hosts conferences every year on cutting-edge themes in cognitive science. Many awards have been announced to the Institute for its accomplishments and as time continues, there can surely be even more success stories to be expected.

Statement of Significance

Any and all scientific break throughs made in the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study are because of Shelley Krasnow’s contribution. The significance of this building goes beyond our community and has part of a mission to change our understanding of technology within medicine. But why is that important? One day when there may be a breakthrough from the Institute with a cure to neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s or Autism, so many people can finally be helped. Not only just for those individuals who have a neurological disease or psychiatric disorder, but it would also affect their family and friends seeing that person be cured. That is why understanding the significance to this building is so crucial whether someone may be a historian, student, or just a regular person in the community because it ties into and impacts our present and future. I believe people need to know this because without Shelley Krasnow or the creation of the Krasnow Institute of Advanced Study, we wouldn’t have the same amount or quality of researchers and resources available to us to conduct advanced studies. Especially when it comes to the topic of the human brain and intelligence, there is still so little scientists know about it and have yet to discover. Developing an understanding of how the mind works is a revolution itself that is so significant towards getting closer to learning why we are who we are. The least we can do as members of society is appreciate and honor visionary people like Shelley Krasnow that wanted to grant future generations unlimited opportunities for innovation and advancement. Even though he was never able to see it nor was it able to be constructed until after he died, it shows how he still genuinely wanted others to benefit from the Institute in the future. The most important aspect of this story is understanding that his goal was to create an institute for advanced study that wouldn’t restrict research and provide limitless possibilities for innovation. He wanted George Mason University to use his significant donation to make his dreams come to life and with the support of others, the institute was successfully created and has been an ongoing accomplishment ever since. That is why the Krasnow Institute is so significant because although it started with just a dream, it turned into a reality that hasn’t just made a difference in the scientific community or George Mason University, but it has provided so much opportunity that it has the ability to change the lives of millions of people around the world.

“I’m lucky to have met Mr. Krasnow, and it’s a real opportunity to have helped a visionary man like Shelley Krasnow make his dream come true — even after he died,” – George Mason’s Senior Vice President, J. Wade Gilley. [5]

Revised Marker

Shelley Krasnow was a scientist and entrepreneur with many interests including wanting to support biomedical research. When he died in 1989, he bequeathed a significant portion of estate worth $20 million to establish an institute in collaboration with George Mason University. The purpose was to advance human knowledge through research and thus, the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study was created. It started with a scientific conference in 1993 to set the Institute on a mission to understand on the human brain. This includes seeking how the mind, brain, and intelligence function, and the relation between the two. These areas are now both the Institute’s ongoing aim and Shelley Krasnow’s legacy to change the world.

Bibliography

[1] Hannah Menchhoff, “Krasnow Institute Likely to Play Role in Obama Brain Initiative.” Connect2Mason. George Mason University, April 11, 2013. http://www.connect2mason.com/content/krasnow-institute-likely-play-role-obama-brain-initiative.

[2] “Shelley Krasnow, ca. 1950,” A History of George Mason University,  http://ahistoryofmason.gmu.edu/index.php/items/show/248.

[3] Much of Krasnow’s story is recounted in a very useful article under A History of George Mason University, “For the Betterment of Mankind: The Creation of the Krasnow Institute.” A History of George Mason University. George Mason University, n.d. http://ahistoryofmason.gmu.edu/exhibits/show/prominence/contents/krasnow#_ftnref1.

[4] “The Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study at George Mason University” Brochure, February 1995, Library Records 24.3

[5] Peter Baker, “George Mason U. Gets $20 Million Gift.” The Washington Post. Washington Post, January 8, 1991. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1991/01/08/george-mason-u-gets-20-million-gift/bd00b07a-222b-47b4-a35d-ed5f484a50fe/.

[6] Ángel Cabrera, “Remembering President George Johnson, a Visionary Who Created the University We Know Today.” George Mason University. George Mason University, 2017. https://www.gmu.edu/news/2017-05/remembering-president-george-johnson-visionary-who-created-university-we-know-today.

[7] Robert O Harrow Jr Washington Post Staff Writer. “GMU Gets a New Home for the Study of the Brain: Krasnow Institute Headquarters to Open.” The Washington post (1997): VA5C–.

[8] “The Implementation,” Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, 1995, Office of President Records 79.6

[9] George Mason University Factbook 2005-2006

[10] Victoria Benning Washington Post Staff Writer. “The Mind’s the Matter At Krasnow Institute: Facility at GMU Studies How Brain Works.” The Washington post (1998): 12–.

[11] “Shelley Krasnow, ca. 1985,” A History of George Mason University, George Mason University.  http://ahistoryofmason.gmu.edu/index.php/items/show/249.

Blog Post: Self-Reflection

Reflect on the semester and the work you have done and write a blog post that communicates what you have specifically learned. We are particularly interested in how you feel you have improved in understanding how to use technology in your major. We would also like you to share what you have learned about history in the class.

As we’ve approached the end of this semester, I can honestly look back and say there’s so much I’ve learned from this class that I will carry with me in the future. To think that just a few months ago I barely knew how to establish an online presence and now I’ve been able to create my own website where I’ve developed my own blogs and creative projects is incredible to me. I remember being very nervous about taking this class knowing that it would very much outside my comfort zone as a biology major, and I may have honestly never taken it if I wasn’t required to as a core class. Looking back now, I’m very glad I took this class and am proud of myself for everything I’ve learned. I know I still have a long way to go and still wouldn’t say I know everything, but at least now I’m a little more comfortable with exploring digital tools to analyze date, research, and create projects that don’t conclude in your typical lengthy essays. It’s funny because history and technology have always been academic weak points for me that I told myself I would avoid at all costs, and yet I was challenged with both subjects in one course. I used to think they were very different, but now I’ve learned how they’re more so a bridge that share a remarkable connect to each other. We discussed readings from “Silencing the Past” by Trouillot, and it taught me concepts I didn’t realize before. One of the main ones is the constant theme of being able to differentiate factual information from a narrative and being able to see the difference during our research while also having an open mind. With that in mind, it is interesting to see how the world has evolved from sharing narratives on paper in journals and newspapers to now being transferred and accessible on the internet. It made me realize how easily information can be misinterpreted or altered, and that it is our job as scholars to research through all the narratives available to us to truly understand a historical event and place our best perception on what happened. This is especially important because many people’s voices have been silenced in the past, and it is our job to be able to bring their stories and experiences to light so others can also understand the significance of a historical event. Learning this truly opened my eyes to how much history has yet to uncover and silences to reveal; showing the job is never done for a historian/scholar.

Blog Post 5

Possible Ways historians can represent primary sources into data. Consider the primary sources we have looked at already in this class as well as primary sources you have encountered in your own work. How might these primary sources be represented as data? What are the advantages of considering primary sources as data? What are Wickham’s principles of tidy data?

After working with primary sources and learning about possible ways historians can represent them into data, I’ve been able to see how tidy datasets are a great method to use. The greatest thing about them is that they can be used in many ways for various kinds of sources such as newspaper articles, old journals, or record keeping logs, and still be considered efficient and effective in organizing and presenting key information. Considering primary sources as data contains so many advantages when historians or scholars are doing research since it allows all their work to be laid out in a concise manner rather than having textbooks and notebook papers scattered everywhere. This way, you’re able to choose what kinds of elements you want to focus on in your tidy dataset and present them in different columns that make the best sense to you. For example, when examining a primary source, it can be confusing to keep proper track of all the page numbers, dates, names, locations, and other important elements that one may be researching. Having a tidy dataset to represent these observations you’ve obtained makes it a lot easier to examine and keep track. They also provide the advantage of being able to see all the information as a whole, so that you’re able to pick up on any patterns or discrepancies that allow you to be able to make connections and conclusions about the data all together. I know I’ve personally done research where I tried to keep physical notes of everything I wanted to use or remember without any sense of proper organization, and it honestly becomes very overwhelming and confusing quickly. After our lesson in class about what tidy datasets are and having the opportunity to practice how to create them, I can’t believe I never knew about them sooner as it would’ve saved me a lot of time and frustration in the past. Especially understanding Hadley Wikham’s principles of tidy data significantly helped me in learning how to model one myself. He explains in his article how “each variable forms a column, each observation forms a row, and each type of observational unit forms a table.” Truthfully, it was a little confusing to understand how to apply these principles correctly at first, but once I tried to do it myself and worked in a group to create our own tidy dataset, I realized what he meant and understood how to apply the principles. A key thing I realized from this experience is that there truly is no right or wrong choice in what elements an individual must have in their tidy dataset, and it all depends on what kind of information you find significant to include in order to raise important questions and conclusions. With this in mind, I look forward to implementing this method to my future research so that I may get the most knowledge out of my primary sources.

Blog Post 4

Use the following resources to select a highway marker to explore. Describe the marker you chose and why you chose it. In what ways will you use Trouillot’s methods from Silencing the Past to learn more about the history of your selected highway marker?

After exploring many different highway markers, I chose the Maddox Cemetery located near Prince William Forest Park. I chose this highway marker because it caught my attention since I’ve visited this park before and it’s a great place for nature walks, but I never knew about a Cemetery being there. The marker describes a veteran of the Revolutionary war, Allison Maddox, who bought the proper in 1810 where all of his family members eventually ended up being buried when they died (Prince William County Government). The PWCGOV website also tells us that the inscribed headstones all date between 1826-1857; the earliest being of the grave of her brother-in-law, Jesse Scott, and the last being Mrs. Ann Maddox’s grave. What also caught my attention about this cemetery is that the family was apparently known to have two or three slaves, but their final resting place is uncertain. It’s also interesting to me that the marker shows the property to have been sold in 1859 by the son of Ann and Allison, Robert G. Maddox, which he then moved to Stafford County. After learning this information, many questions began to form in my mind. Where could the slaves have been buried? Who buried them and left the location of the burial site left uncertain? Why did the family decide to use the property as a burial ground for their family only? Why did the son, Robert G. Maddox, decide to sell the family property exactly? Did he not want his future family to be buried in the same cemetery? In order to help myself answer these questions and learn more about the history of Maddox Cemetery, there are a couple methods I would use from Trouillot’s Silencing the Past. He discusses how history tends to reveal itself with specific narratives that separate individuals into three main categories; agents, actors, and subjects. This is a useful method to keep in mind in order to determine who’s narratives are mostly highlighted and who’s narratives are silenced. In this case, I believe it is important to note that the narrative of the slaves are being silenced as this highway marker mainly discusses a Revolutionary War veteran. As Trouillot mentions, perspective is also key, so it would be interesting for me to understand the history and perspective of Robert G. Maddox for leading him to wanting to sell the family’s property where all his family is also buried. All of this information ties in together with our class discussions where we talked about how much history is told and how it’s shown to an audience in order to see who’s perspectives and narratives are silenced. With that, it is our job as scholars to ponder and ask these questions about why certain individuals’ perceptions are prioritized more than others, and to give voices to those who have been silenced.

Blog Post 3

What are the three principles of tidy data? What are the best methods for organizing your research? Consider how you might implement both tidy data and organizational research methods into your scholarly practice.

Tidy data is a method that allows for a way to structure sets of data acquired from research. The three principles of tidy data come from the article called “Tidy Data” which explains it to be ensuring that there is one observation per row, one variable per column, and one item/value per cell. These methods are the best in allowing researchers to extract specific information they’re looking for in a dataset without the frustration of looking through a cluttered set of data. I believe the best methods for organizing your research can be done in many different ways, and there isn’t just one single way that is correct. For example, one good method for organizing your research is to implement tools such as an excel spreadsheet to showcase your data in a way that can be read and understood by readers easily. This method is popular amongst many various fields in the academic world as well as in the professional world. Through the use of an excel spreadsheet, you can choose how narrow and focused you want your categories to be (such as gender, age, race, etc), as well as what types of qualitative or quantitative values you want to showcase (occupation, place of birth, etc). Another example of a good method for organizing your research is to be proactive in managing your data from the start, rather than only organizing it all in the end of your research when everything could easily get mixed together. It’s also important to ask yourself questions prior to your research that can help you narrow your topic down to an actual research question that can be conducted. In my scholarly practice, I believe I might implement both tidy data and organizational research methods through a mixture of all the tips I’ve learned. Especially in the beginning when I’m starting my research, I need to ensure that I ask myself significant questions that will aid me in my search since this is something I usually struggle with. I’ve learned that these questions can be anything that help you narrow your topic down to a question and can be started by asking yourself things such as, “what are you interested in learning about?” “Is it a location, building, people, or community?” “What time period am I focusing on and what was going on in that time?” “Why is this topic important to research?” These are some questions that I believe would help get me ensure I’m on the right track to having organized research and ultimately create an outline for me to get started with. By implementing organizational research methods and tidy data, I can ensure that I produce the best results in my scholarly practice to help myself and other readers understand the importance of my research.

Blog Post 2

Consider the four literacies we discussed today (ethics, privacy, copyright, and licenses). How do these literacies affect your research and scholarship as historians or scholars? What surprised you about these literacies? What are some important considerations to think about before beginning a digital humanities project?

The four literacies we discussed in class affect our research and scholarship as historians and scholars because they signify the importance of being aware on what sources we are using and how much information is acceptable to use. For me personally, I never thought about these matters when I conducted scholarly research in the past; I just assumed that the information I found online was open to being used as long as I gave credit to the original source. To me, it seemed that if the author and publisher were able and willing to publish their work online where anyone could have access to seeing it, there wouldn’t be a need to question matters such as ethics, privacy, or licenses. I believe what surprised me the most was how many questions and concerns could truly arise from taking these literacies into consideration when researching historical topics and events, especially from an ethical standpoint. Understanding whether or not something is deemed sensitive or harmful to someone or a group of other people is essential in order to be respectful historians and scholars. An example of this comes from the “Protocols for the Treatment of Indigenous Materials,” and how the American Philosophical Society has placed restrictions on culturally sensitive sources even though they do generally allow free access to their materials. Although some may feel like it isn’t a big deal and argue that it’s “apart of history,” I believe it’s important to educate and remind ourselves to keep various sensitivities in mind when conducting research. This way we can still provide the same amount of knowledge to our audiences and also alter the way in which it’s perceived, so that the information can come from a respectful standpoint that wouldn’t hurt another person or culture. Aside from ethics, I believe some important considerations to think about before beginning a digital humanities project derives from the other elements of privacy, copyright, and licenses. Specifically, it is important to consider whether or not the topic you are thinking to research is sensitive or would show conflicts with one of the literacies. For me personally, copyright was always self-explanatory as I was taught in previous courses to always make sure I comply with the source’s rules and give credit to the original author for any of their information I implement in my research. Licenses would prevent sensitive information from being used which makes it essential to ensure that a person has permission to use their sources in order to avoid any legal consequences. Because of this I don’t believe I’ll have too many issues with these literacies, but privacy and ethics are a little newer to me, so I’ll have to make sure I keep them in mind. Specifically, privacy rules because I don’t want to accidentally leak too much information about the people involved in the topic I end up choosing if they prefer to be kept private. In the end, sensitive topics can still be researched in a respectful and thorough manner, but one would have to be careful and cautious with how they go about doing it in order to prevent conflicts with any of the literacies.

Blog Post 1

Reflect on your current digital presence. When you Google yourself, what results do you get? Do those results reflect who you are and how you want others to perceive you? In what ways will your website help you in creating or modifying your existing digital presence?

I’ve personally never had much of an online appearance, so when I Googled myself I didn’t find anything. Instead, the results I did see were of other people with my same name who just show a similar ethnicity as me under google images. I also saw links to LinkedIn profiles and articles or academic papers those people have written. I wasn’t really surprised about these results on Google that don’t represent me or accurately reflect who I am since I’ve always kept myself very private throughout the years on online platforms, but as I read Cordell and Posner’s articles I do understand the importance of having an online presence now. As Cordell mentioned in his article called “Creating and Maintaining a Professional Presence Online: A Roundup and Reflection,” an online presence allows for people to be able to make academic and network connections. He also mentions that although we wouldn’t want people to find embarrassing photos of ourselves from social media, we also wouldn’t want people to not find us at all because an online presence allows us to show our growth as scholars and professionals. This is never something I considered before since I was always nervous to share more about myself online, but I believe that if I were to present myself more online while also being conscious about what I post, I would want to share more while still being perceived in a relatable and professional manner. I also learned from Posner’s article, “Creating Your Web Presence: A Primer for Academics,” that we as individuals can still express our personal lives on the internet and be considered professional if we maintain our privacy settings and are considerate of others while posting personal opinions online. I agree with her opinion and believe that it truly can be maintained and benefit us in the long run by having a professional online presence. I believe my website will help me in creating my digital presence by allowing myself to be more easily accessible on the internet, while also being able to professionally share my knowledge and opinions on various topics that people can relate to and enjoy reading. I would also want to have a place online where people who are interested in similar opinions or passions could learn more about me or further knowledge I can share. What is also interesting to me is by creating a professional setting for myself online, I can choose what I want people to know about me rather than only having opinions of what other people may think of me, which can confirm or deny any biases online by having the opportunity to do so to begin with. It would also allow me to receive more opportunities through scholarly and professional fields as Cordell and Posner mentioned since the online world is a great method in which people can meet and reach out to one another. Especially in this day of age, social media and online presences can allow many different people to meet and interact with one another more than what in-person opportunities may allow. Now that I’ve read these articles and have a deeper understanding of the importance in having an online presence, I believe it is essential to take advantage of the opportunity to be our own narrators to our values, knowledge, and beliefs.

Hello world!

Welcome to my Website. This is where I’ll be posting my thoughts and opinions in short blogs for my HIST-390 course. Feel free to join me this semester and learn along with me!