Out In The Storm--Research Team

Rachel Barrish

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Rachel was a key member of the Out in The Storm project.  She was the web designer, an interviewer, a writer, and a researcher for the project.  Ms. Barrish spent her days designing the layout of the website, redesigning it constantly to fit the new information had to put in.  She uploaded all the information onto the website and created a functioning flowing website.  Rachel found and interviewed Jose Ramos who is a firefighter from New Jersey.  She also interviewed Mr. Arthur Wagner and Mrs. Jerilynn Lalor.  Rachel helped to keep the project moving at a steady pace and made sure we got it done on time.  She also wrote a write up for one of the interviews to help inform readers what they were listening to.  Rachel worked on editing the sound bites for the before during and after part of the website talking about Superstorm Sandy.  Rachel was an indispensable member of the team, as she took on the daunting task of designing the website while also pushing the rest of the team to be better and reach deadlines. 

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Joelle Bensaid 

Throughout the course of the year, the team has worked tirelessly to interview a variety of people affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and publish the interviews on a website designed by the class.  Joelle’s contribution to the project was being the student director of the project, conducting background research, and more.  Joelle oversaw the entire process of the project, ensuring that everything was organized and that we were meeting deadlines.  She was also a creative director alongside a few members of the team regarding the website design along with the overall outline of the project itself.  Joelle assisted in writing interview protocols, wrote her own protocols, conducted two interviews, and conducted research on the art of oral history.  At Breezy Point, she organized and managed the trip.  She made sure that the interviews happened on schedule and that everything was in order.  Joelle was instrumental in the organization and structure of the seminar and was also essential in  

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Rhoda Kwarkye

 Rhoda was one of the behind the scenes workers.  At the beginning of the research, she took notes, with many of the days consisting of work assignments and deadline schedules.  Like everyone else, Rhoda conducted an interview with Dr. Timothy Hall, and created a protocol.  Rhoda was prepared for a second interview with Sebastian Danese, however scheduling issues occurred.  That was not the end of the research, however, as excerpts from his book were used to create a summarized audio dialogue.  After the interview with Dr. Hall, Rhoda was assigned to map research, which was finding maps that tracked the progress of the storm and previous storms.  The next job task that Rhoda completed was research of the timeline for Hurricane Sandy.  Finally, Rhoda worked on the audio clips throughout the project by editing the audio together and splitting the needed audio.  

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Gavin Mahoney 

Throughout the project, Gavin devoted himself to the quieter tasks that needed to be completed, rather than the major assignments.  He wrote up many of the biographies of the people that were interviewed throughout the project and edited many more that he did not personally write.  Gavin interviewed Petty Officer Brian Dove of the United States Coast Guard and Deputy Chief James McGovern of the NYC Department of Sanitation, the latter of which was one of the more pivotal interviews of the project.  He helped write a comprehensive overview of the history of the National Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and he did a large portion of the work on timestamping the interviews to be clipped later for the purposes of the website.  In addition, he researched the science behind hurricanes substantially, putting into place the information required for covering the formation of the storm. 

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Over the course of Dr. K’s Oral History seminar “Out in the Storm,” Tim has conducted background research, written, interviewed, and recorded a voice-over with the intent of being a productive and constructive member of our project’s team.  In the beginning of the year, after learning about the academic discipline and core principles of Oral History from the book "Catching Stories", he practiced developing interview protocols and properly collecting research sources.  Tim's first major assignment took place at the midpoint of the 2017-2018 school year, in which he conducted his own research on the New York National Guard from its inception down to present day, focusing on the organization's connection to the state of New York.  Afterwards, his next long-term assignment included in-depth research on the events that took place at the Coney Island Hospital during Hurricane Sandy, with a power outage following massive flooding and the hospital’s subsequent closing.  Later in the year, Tim conducted two interviews.  During the final stages of the project, he used a nonfiction book called "the Battle for Breezy Point" as a primary source to create an audio reenactment of a volunteer fireman’s experience of Hurricane Sandy. 

Francis T. O’Hare 

Sahai Stevens 

Sahai contributed to the project in multiple ways.  She conducted two interviews, background research, assisted in the editing of the videos, and was the corresponding secretary of the team.  Anybody who had a contact that needed to be interviewed would send that person’s contact information to her, and she would contact that person.  Another aspect of being the corresponding secretary was that she wrote and organized gratitude letters and CDs with that person’s corresponding interview.  One of her major contributions to the seminar was that she was a part of the video team, in which she was responsible for editing all the clips that were filmed during the trips the team went out on.  Sahai has assisted in completing the introduction video for the whole project, along with videos for Breezy Point, Belle Harbor, and the United States Coast Guard.  Sahai was instrumental in completing multiple assignments 

Jane Strausman 

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During the oral history project “Out in the Storm” Jane contributed to the project by conducting interviews, assisting in designing the website, conducting research, and writing scripts.  Jane conducted two interviews.  Jane assisted the rest of the team in designing the website by helping to design the website structure organization, appearance, details, and overall tone conveyed by the website when first viewed.  Jane's research included studying the United States Coast Guard to write paragraphs about its members for the website.  She and Joelle, another member of the team, wrote an 8-page essay on Breezy Point and all its history.  Finally, she wrote the scripts for the voice-overs.  Jane assisted in organizing the order of the quotes and finding out what quotes would ultimately be used from the interviews conducted. 

For the “Out in the Storm” project, Miguel contributed in several ways.  First, he conducted two interviews and assisted in writing protocols for two more interviews.  He then assisted in the filming process on our visits to the Coast Guard base in Staten Island, Belle Harbor, and Breezy Point by managing the cables and mics while filming.  Miguel found sources for the United States Coast Guard and climate change, while also doing background research on the three major hurricanes that occurred in the year of 2017 as part of the climate change research.  Miguel helped burn CDs for our interviewees and was the backup interviewer for three interviews.  He then wrote write-ups for multiple interviews.  Lastly, Miguel edited and wrote a number of the introductions/bios for the interviewees. 

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Miguel Towns 

Throughout the course of the Out in the Storm project, many jobs were distributed and completed.  Like the rest of the team, Taylor began the year by conducting background research.  Taylor did a considerable amount of research on the National Guard and their involvement in hurricanes Sandy, Harvey, Maria, Irma, and Katrina.  With this research, she created three different information pages.  After the research, we began to focus on the oral history component of the project.  Taylor wrote protocols for the two interviews she conducted. Prior to the second interview with Jeff, our class went to the Coast Guard Station in New York as well as Breezy Point and Belle Harbor.  The purpose of these trips was to interview take pictures and video.  Taylor's main assignment for this project has been to direct the short films made for each location.  Her job entailed planning the sequence of the videos, going to the sites, filming the videos, and editing the videos. 

Taylor Weiss

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