IT Student Photo Project
Eight Years and Going Strong
Eight years have passed since the start of the UMass Boston IT Student Photo project and the program is still going strong thanks to Lisa Link, Senior Web Designer/Developer, who spearheaded and continues to oversee this student-success focused program.
The IT Student Photo project began in 2015 when the manager of the computer lab in the Healey Library basement thought the drab atmosphere could use some decorating. Lisa agreed the lab needed some beautifying, but then thought of how it could be done in a more meaningful way. Since the lab was for student use, she thought students should take their own photos to place on the walls. They could take pictures depicting the UMass Boston student experience, especially their daily use of technology. After quickly agreeing this was a fabulous idea, a sign announcing the plan was taped to a wall in the lab and attracted an enthusiastic response. The IT Student Photo Project was off and running.
Many photos used in the IT Student Photo Project over the years seem unexpected when first seen. Pictures of a student replacing printer paper, access cards being swiped, and computers being logged on are not typically subjects of photography. But as a way of capturing the day-to-day experience of students on campus interacting with technology, the project has been an unqualified success. Since 2015 students have created an annual photographic document, telling the story of each school year as seen through the eyes of the students who lived them from a technology-oriented perspective.
The project has also won a place in the hearts and culture of the entire IT division. IT Client Services Assistant Vice Chancellor John Mazzarella has worked extensively with Lisa Link on the project since its inception. Student Supervisor Luci Nguyen has worked directly with participating students over the years offering guidance and support. More recently, Academic Technology Specialist Zack Ronald brought the latest in photographic and camera technology to the project, greatly enhancing its production and presentation.
Towards the end of each school year the student photographers get together and pick their favorite photos taken that year. The project concludes every year in June when a reception is held, and the chosen photos are displayed in a 65"x25” printed design. This year is an especially momentous one in IT Student Photo Project history, as this summer all eight designs were reprinted using durable vinyl. A new permanent display of the designs will debut at a reception in the Fall semester. IT Photo Project alum Allison Gross, currently a graphic artist at UMass Boston, is creating an overview poster to welcome visitors to this new installation.
That the IT Student Photo Project is starting to develop a rich history that will be on display starting this Fall is important to Lisa Link. She’s proud that the students are leaving their own legacy at UMass Boston, and in doing so they’re making a valuable contribution to the history of the university. “This is their space. If their images are in their space they can come back and say ‘I went to school here. Here’s my photo on the wall 20 years later.’”
So, it’s not just photos on display. It’s the pride and passion that comes with being a Beacon now, and forever.
Want to see more? Take a look at the online gallery at https://blogs.umb.edu/it-photo or in person at Healey Upper Level.