September 19th, 2002
BY JIM DAVIS
If you have some spare time, slip on over to the Downtown Campus Library atrium and check out an exhibit on WVU's electronic thesis and dissertation program – all to the sounds of roaring jazz and fingersnapping blues.
The exhibit includes both a physical display for traditionalists and an online version for the computersavvy.
The traditional exhibit features a glass display case full of colorful
posters and charts explaining the ETD program. Adjacent to the display case is a computer with links to WVU's ETD Web site, a multimedia video about the program and information about a global ETD conference in May 2003. The exhibit will remain on display throughout the semester.
"We wanted to increase awareness of the ETD program on campus," said John Hagen, WVU Libraries' program coordinator. "We have found that the outside world is aware of the program,
but on campus there are still pockets of people who aren't."
In 1998 WVU became the second university to require graduate students to submit theses and dissertations electronically. Since then, the school's ETD collection on the Web has grown to more than 1,300 documents and been accessed more than 2.1 million times.
The highlight of the ETD display is the online version's multimedia
video, a homegrown production that features images of WVU ETDs ranging from various works of art to computer models of scientific topics. The video opens to a jazz number recorded several years ago by the WVU Jazz Ensemble and closes with "The Dissertation Blues" by recent WVU doctoral graduate Sally Stephenson.
"It gives you a good flavor of what campus research has to offer," Hagen said. "We wanted to motivate students to create multimedia works of their own. By showing them what is
possible, it stimulates the creative edge."
Those who can't visit the display can view the online versions from
their own computers. The Web site link is http://www.wvu.edu/~thesis/ETD_Kiosk.htm.