Past REACH Projects - University of Houston
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resilient houston

Resilient Houston: Documenting Hurricane Harvey

Resilient Houston: Documenting Hurricane Harvey is a UH Center for Public History project creating an archive of oral histories and a public-facing website showcasing excerpts from interviews of people impacted by the storm.

Student researchers will work primarily on the website, creating short videos for select interviews and transitioning our ArcGIS-based website to a new template that will make the project findings more accessible to researchers and visitors. Work may also include additional tasks like writing short interview abstracts, conducting basic research and supporting archive creation. Students will develop digital humanities, basic research, writing and archival skills.


mapping undergraduate writing

Mapping Undergraduate Writing Project

The Mapping Undergraduate Writing Project is a multidisciplinary exploration of the writing that undergraduate students complete in their various areas of study. While academic disciplines often have specific genres and expectations for publishing, the requirements for undergraduate writing are often a result of these disciplinary standards combined with students’ existing knowledge and practical concerns.

The Mapping Undergraduate Writing Project is an initiative of the University of Houston Writing Center to better enunciate and understand the expectations that students face in various disciplines as they move from the Core Curriculum courses in communication into their Writing in the Disciplines classes and other writing requirements within their majors.

REACH researchers will assist with compiling assignments within a designated discipline and categorizing objectives and expectations for students, as well as contacting faculty for informational interviews. Disciplinary findings will then be summarized and compared with other disciplines to “map” the spectrum of undergraduate writing.


stop violence against asians

Opening Up Anti-Asian Racism Dialogues through Storymap

Anti-Chinese sentiment and Sinophobia are some of the most serious side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the cries of “Chinese virus” resound beyond the current pandemic and into a long history of anti-Asian hostility in the United States. Using Storymap as a technological and educational tool, we demonstrate how anti-Asian racism is a historically-constructed notion over time and provide a big picture of anti-Asian incidents during the pandemic through the Storymaps of three States – New York, California, and Texas. Individual experiences recorded in writings, photographs, newspaper interviews and social media portray the collective, traumatic experience of the Asian American community.

Students who are interested in learning how to collect, clean, and visualize data to develop engaging presentations will help to collect journals, academic articles and data with a particular theme or research question in mind. They may also conduct interviews and make videos to add to our existing Storymap. Student researchers may also contribute to a journal article.


oer textbook

OER Textbook: Be a Tech Advanced Cultural Learner

This project is working to create an open textbook that engages students through emerging technologies. The textbook will help students quickly get involved with the cultural aspects of a particular place through diverse channels, exploring topics like cuisine, music, and city development. Furthermore, the textbook will support students as they choose fitting technologies as a platform to express and communicate their understanding to the instructor and peers. Lastly, it guides students step-by-step to use technological tools for effective learning. Faculty can use the textbook to access exemplary cases and be encouraged to think about how to customize new technology in their own classroom.

Student researchers will research related open textbook resources; compose, review or edit open textbook content under the team’s guidance; design and develop graphics, audio, or video content for the book; and help to communicate with Open Textbook communities. Students will learn about OER and get first-hand experience in creating an OER textbook, developing basic research, video-making, written, and communication skills.



Making the History of UH Student Group Afro Americans for Black Liberation (AABL) Available Online

This digital project aims to gather disparate resources (across UH Special Collections) and make them available in a curated online resource and exhibition.

In 1967, a UH sophomore, Gene Locke, created the student organization Committee for Better Race Relations (COBRR), which soon became Afro Americans for Black Liberation (AABL, pronounced “able”). In the spring semester of 1969, AABL presented their “10 Demands” to UH President Phillip G. Hoffman, and throughout the semester, AABL rallied almost daily for support on campus. AABL’s activities led to the creation of the UH Afro-American Program (now the African American Studies Department) later that year. AABL members Lynn Eusan, Ester King, Omawale Lithuli Allen (Dwight Allen when he led AABL) made their base in the community and helped to establish SHAPE Center. Deloyd T. Parker, Jr. co-founded the organization and has served as its executive director since 1969.

REACH students will research ABBL’s history using archival collections across UH Special Collections—from student publications to UH administrator’s records. Using these primary sources, as well as secondary sources, the student researcher will provide the context and description for an online resource and exhibition using the Omeka platform.


special collections image

Working with Primary Source Historical Archives

UH Library Special Collections is excited to host one REACH participant to work with a modern historical archive selected collaboratively by the participant and the project supervisor, head of special collections Christian Kelleher. Possible collections may include the business records and photographs of the Red Adair Company, documenting the career of Houston’s charismatic oil well fire fighter; the personal papers of former Houston mayor Annise Parker and her spouse Kathy Hubbard that document Houston’s LGBTQ history; or the artists and business of influential Houston art gallerist Thomas V. Robinson and Robinson Galleries.

Activities will include learning the process of archival arrangement, preservation, cataloging and digitization; performing historical research and writing on the selected collection, individuals and topics; and curating a physical and/or digital exhibition based on the archival materials. Work will occur on site in the offices of special collections located in M.D. Anderson Library.


black migration houston

Black. Migration. Houston

Black migrants are impacted by structures of power that produce anti-Black policies, homophobia, economic constraints and more. Our digital humanities project, “Black. Migration. Houston.” takes a transnational Black feminist approach to public-facing scholarship around the intersection of anti-blackness, migration and sexuality. Our interdisciplinary work centers on challenges faced by migrants to Houston, working with Black migrants to educate the public through digital media tools. The central goal of our project is to produce dynamic digital resources about race, gender, sexuality and migration.

As part of this collaborative, students will gain experience working with community activists and scholars with expertise in women’s, gender and sexuality studies, critical race theory, sociology, multicultural and global journalism studies, geography, language justice and grassroots organizing. Students will conduct research and craft writing to contribute to the ongoing construction of our website, where we offer the public visual and auditory depictions of migration, sexuality and anti-blackness.


dj screw

DJ Screw Sound Recordings

For this project, the student will develop an online guide to the DJ Screw Sound Recordings, a collection of approximately 1,600 vinyl records that belonged to the iconic Houston “chopped and screwed” mixtape DJ. Using existing catalog records, the student will create a spreadsheet of the holdings, which will allow researchers to sort the recordings by artist, location and other facets. Then, they will create a small online exhibition describing the collection, its strengths and the relationship of various sound recordings to songs on DJ Screw mixtapes. The student may also choose to research a particular aspect of the collection.

In undertaking this project with the guidance of the curator of the Houston Hip Hop Research Collection, the student will acquire skills in research about primary sources and selection, analysis and presentation of archival materials. Some work will occur on-site in special collections at M.D. Anderson Library.


  • Julie Grob:
  • Visit the DJ Screw Sound Recordings website.
  • Note: This collection includes explicit language.
black power and black art

Black Power and Art in Houston

On March 7, 1969, both black and white students at UH marched into President Hoffman’s office, asking him to fight racism and support the demands of black student activists. The march took place in the context of a crucial moment in Houston's cultural, social and political history as the Black Power and Black Art movements took root in the city. This project seeks to tell the story of the people who contributed to these movements in our city.

Our project seeks young scholar-activists interested in pursuing archival research in the special collections at UH, TSU, Rice, the African American Library at the Gregory School, the Menil Collection and the Houston Metropolitan Research Center and/or conducting oral history interviews with members of the community who were leading activists during this time.