January 17, 2013

Mentor Himanee Gupta-Carlson To Attend Obama 2013 Inauguration

Himanee Gupta-Carlson head shot

Himanee Gupta-Carlson

‌Himanee Gupta-Carlson, a mentor with the college's Center for Distance Learning, will be traveling to Washington, D.C., to attend President Barack Obama’s public inauguration festivities, Jan. 19-21, and will send dispatches about the experience to students and colleagues at Empire State College and around the country.

Gupta-Carlson attended the inauguration in 2009 as one of 3 million estimated attendees as an adjunct instructor of political science at Tacoma Community College. She created a unique learning experience in which she communicated with about 60 students in two political science classes via a Blackberry Smartphone. She exchanged text messages and emails with her students, and posted audio, video and written updates to social media sites and a Seattle Times inauguration blog, all of which were embedded into her courses’ Blackboard sites.

Four years later, she has replaced the Blackberry with an iPhone, and her goals are more ambitious. Gupta-Carlson plans to communicate with students and colleagues in New York, Washington state, Victoria, British Columbia and elsewhere, via a Twitter feed and a Facebook event. She also will collaborate with CDL Mentor Sheila Aird in beginning a digital story in a Web 2.0 program. called “StoryTimed,”  that students in the two mentors’ Digital Storytelling course will pick up when ESC classes formally start on Tuesday, one day after Obama’s public inauguration ceremony. The theme of the digital story is "changing the world, one post at a time," and is inspired by Gupta-Carlson’s own activism within the Obama campaign and the effect that work had on her understanding of how grassroots political organizing can help translate ideals into realities. Gupta-Carlson’s mentee, Nicole Koster, also will be participating in the effort by creating prompts for teachers to consider offering their students, organizing the posts to the Twitter feed and facilitating dialogue on the Facebook event page. Koster, a historical studies major, is completing this work as part of an independent study with historical studies Instructor Deborah Cassetta.

Gupta-Carlson welcomes followers and contributors to the project. She can be reached at hguptacarlson@gmail.com. Follow her tweets at #livefromDC and access the Facebook event at Live from DC: The 2013 Inauguration of President Barack Obama (http://www.facebook.com/events/372323539530080/). Her posts will begin Friday with her arrival in the nation’s capitol, and continue through the weekend and all day Monday.