"Research can create something incredible, and working towards a goal for a project that people care about can make perusing for a book in the library seem like a little adventure.” — Zachary Stockmal
Zachary Stockmal is an Interactive Digital Media major at the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design from the graduating class of 2016. Up until the summer of 2013, he did not have any undergraduate research experience, yet today, research has become an integral part of his life. He began his research experience with the STAR Scholars program, and currently his research has expanded to be featured on numerous websites within the Philadelphia community. Zach’s undergraduate research involves collecting photographs and old documents about historical artifacts, and creating 3D models based on the information he collects to represent the historical artifact. His personal goal is “to become more involved with a field that will focus on getting that information out to people.”
Through the STAR Scholars Program, Zach worked with Dr. Glen Muschio (Digital Media, Westphal College of Media Arts & Design) to create a 3-dimensional model of a historic barn located on the Perkins-Dennis Farm (Susquehanna County, PA) using historical architectural information, archaeological evidence and photographs. Established in 1793 by a free African American, this farm was the oldest piece of privately owned property in African American hands. Zach’s 3D barn model marks the beginning phase of a virtual interactive environment that is being created to interpret and make accessible this historical and archaeological landscape. Zach’s work product has been featured on the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum, and he has had the opportunity to present his research at the National Constitution Center (Philadelphia, PA) and at the 2014 Colonial Academic Alliance Undergraduate Research Conference (Towson, MD).
As a result of his research experience, Zach changed his major from Game Art & Production to Interactive Digital Media, as he realized his passion for making information accessible to wider audiences. About research, Zach claims that “doing research allows you the opportunity to look into things like psychology, sociology, and history while still pertaining to something of worth towards your major.” Zach looks forward to continuing his research endeavors.
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