Faculty who Think and Do: Research and Teaching with and for the Public
After spending the last 5 years developing and leading the Virtual Martin Luther King project, North Carolina State University professor Dr. Victoria J. Gallagher had the chance to see her hard work pay off last Fall.
The Virtual Martin Luther King project, also known as the vMLK project, is a multiphase product of North Carolina State University’s Communication Department. During the Fall of 2017, Gallagher received the Libraries Faculty Award from the University and The Harlan Joel Gradin Award for Excellence in Public Humanities by the North Carolina Humanities Council for her work on the project.
In addition to the awards, the project was selected to be shown at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in October 2017 as part of the first annual ACCelerate Festival, a festival that features projects from every school in the Atlantic Coast Conference. After receiving a great deal of local recognition, this event became an opportunity for Gallagher to earn national notoriety for her efforts.
The project’s success in Washington, D.C. has led to discussions of the possibility of having parts of the project become a permanent exhibit at NC State’s Hunt Library. It was also presented at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the AADHum conference at the University of Maryland in Fall of 2018. In addition, Gallagher and Dr. Keon Pettiway will present the project at the Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Kansas in Spring 2019.
Aspects of the current exhibit live at Hunt Library and can also be accessed through the project website:https://vmlk.chass.ncsu.edu/. The project features six experiences of King’s “A Creative Protest [Fill Up the Jails]” Speech — historical experience, collective sound experience, listening experience, virtual reality experience and feedback/share your creative protest experience. The vMLK experience has also been included in coursework for the university’s public speaking course, COM 110, giving students the opportunity to explore the exhibit first-hand.