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The End of Life Ritual

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"Memento mori- remember you must die." Death is not a simple topic for anyone to address, especially when they are already grieving the loss of a loved one or the realization that they too will die one day. Death and

"Memento mori- remember you must die." Death is not a simple topic for anyone to address, especially when they are already grieving the loss of a loved one or the realization that they too will die one day. Death and the practice of death rituals are things that all humans have in common, but at the same time they are something that we will all go through alone and all perceive differently. It can be extremely isolating and painful to grieve or to confront the reality of our own life ending, but it is something that many of us must face. Rituals are what give us the ability to reflect and work through difficult emotions and the ritual created through this project is no different.

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2020-12

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The Final Chapter: How Independent Booksellers Can Adapt to a Changing Industry

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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the current state of the brick-and-mortar bookselling industry, with particular focus on independent bookstores and their strengths and weaknesses, and synthesizing recommendations for these bookstores to reinvent themselves in a rapidly changing

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the current state of the brick-and-mortar bookselling industry, with particular focus on independent bookstores and their strengths and weaknesses, and synthesizing recommendations for these bookstores to reinvent themselves in a rapidly changing market. This examination is highly relevant given recent concerns that, with the rise of e-retailers like Amazon and the closure of bookstore chain Borders, brick-and-mortar bookstores may be superseded by new digital vendors. Independent bookstores are thought to be at a particular disadvantage to these retailers, given their limited size and resources, as well as the lack of capital or consumer base that a larger chain like Barnes and Noble can draw upon to invest in emerging technology. With these more limited financial opportunities, independent bookstores must find different ways to not only keep abreast of the technology that consumers are coming to expect from modern businesses, but attract customers.
To gain insight into the state of the industry and current position of independent bookstores, I will first examine the past fifty years of the brick-and-mortar bookstore, followed by a Porter’s Five Forces analysis of the industry threats and a SWOT analysis to compare the strengths and weaknesses of independent bookstores. Next, the patrons of independent bookstores will be discussed with a focus on the two largest consumer groups of Millennials and Baby Boomers, their characteristics, and the opportunities they provide to bookstores. After this there will be an exploration of the competitors to brick-and-mortar bookstores, focusing on Amazon and then touching on some of the other rivals to bookstores’ consumer base. The next section will be an in-depth analysis of a variety of bookstores across the United States, with attention to their successful practices, goals, concerns, and failures. First, there will be a comparison of industry success and failure through case studies of Borders and Powell’s bookstores. Next, there will be a comparison of five beloved independent bookstores across the country to share their varied competitive advantages that are the secret to their success. Finally, there are primary source interviews with the employees of three major Phoenix bookstores, which provide insight into the goals, current projects, attitudes, and inner strengths of these businesses. Finally, the thesis will conclude with a section offering solutions and suggestions for independent bookstores to pursue based on the primary and secondary research discussed above. These recommendations are focused on five key areas:
• Community
• Consumers
• Store Design
• Technology
• Diversification
Ultimately, the information provided by this research and these interviews indicates that while vital business changes are being pursued by independent and chain bookstores across the United States, the independent bookstore shows no signs of disappearing in favor of online vendors or e-readers.

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Date Created
2017-05

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Bringing History Alive In 2020

Description

Over the course of his four years of course, Matt Stockmal has told multiple historical stories for multiple different groups in multiple different mediums. As a Digital Culture major, these storytelling mediums were all infused with creative technology. As Matt

Over the course of his four years of course, Matt Stockmal has told multiple historical stories for multiple different groups in multiple different mediums. As a Digital Culture major, these storytelling mediums were all infused with creative technology. As Matt comes to the close of his college career, he wanted to take the time to review his work, reflect on the merits of the medium used with regards to its ability to instill visceral impact, and write a series of tutorials using what was learned in the process of experimentation in historical storytelling.
The paper is meant to serve as a base of reference material for future, real world, project proposals to historical organizations. A mock proposal to the Fullersburg Historic Foundation, proposing the digital mediums and methods discussed, is included at the end of the paper.
In concluding thoughts, Matt I appears to have the depth and breadth of skills needed to make impactful media. And the mediums of media have been as diverse as the subjects they cover. But upon reviewing his own review, it took someone else smarter had to tell me that though there is diversity abound in his portfolio, there is a single baseline: Keeping history alive. Every one of these mediums can be used to infuse a sense of digital energy, simulated life, back into historical artifacts and documentation. The historical characters return to live when a medium brings back the motion, the energy, of the thing it is showing. If the medium infuses this life back into the story. The results are nothing short of magic.

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Date Created
2020-05

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A Critique on Diversity & Inclusion: A year-long data journalism investigation surrounding D&I in big tech

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In this creative thesis project I use digital “scrolleytelling” (an interactive scroll-based storytelling) to investigate diversity & inclusion at big tech companies. I wanted to know why diversity numbers were flatlining at Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google, and took

In this creative thesis project I use digital “scrolleytelling” (an interactive scroll-based storytelling) to investigate diversity & inclusion at big tech companies. I wanted to know why diversity numbers were flatlining at Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google, and took a data journalism approach to explore the relationship between what corporations were saying versus what they were doing. Finally, I critiqued diversity and inclusion by giving examples of how the current way we are addressing D&I is not fixing the problem.

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Date Created
2021-05

Combining Live Vocal and Electronic Music Performance with Improvisational Movement Through Physical and Digital Programming

Description

In this paper, I propose that taking an embodied approach to music performance can allow for better gestural control over the live sound produced and greater connection between the performer and their audience. I examine the many possibilities of live

In this paper, I propose that taking an embodied approach to music performance can allow for better gestural control over the live sound produced and greater connection between the performer and their audience. I examine the many possibilities of live electronic manipulation of the voice such as those employed by past and current vocalists who specialize in live electronic sound manipulation and improvisation. Through extensive research and instrument design, I have sought to produce something that will benefit me in my performances as a vocalist and help me step out from the boundaries of traditional music performance. I will discuss the techniques used for the creation of my gestural instrument through the lens of my experiences as a performer using these tools. I believe that, through use of movement and gesture in the creation and control of sound, it is more than possible to step away from conventional ideas of live vocal performance and create something new and unique, especially through the inclusion of improvisation.

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Created

Date Created
2021-12