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Sharn RoccoDr. Sharn Rocco

For a portion of the semester, the Virginia Ball Center (VBC) hosted special guest Dr. Sharn Rocco from James Cook University, Townsville, Australia. As a lecturer in the School of Education, her research interests include applying collective memory work and ethnography as ways of understanding the interactive dynamics of learning and identity. Since the VBC courses are an innovative and non-traditional approach to education, Sharn (as we were instructed to call her) was concerned with observing the unique classroom relations within the two courses that the VBC sponsored for Fall of 2002. Her self-described role was to “hang out and write about it. Participating in the life of the Virginia Ball Center and endeavoring to provide insights from an outsider’s point of view, which is different than someone who is part of the program day to day. I interview past students and faculty and try to identify themes, conflict and collaboration, and the interdisciplinary insurgence and the sense of family.”

Dr. Rocco's direct involvement with our class included requesting and compiling collective memory work through e-mail, which for her purposes included students' informal journal responses to class outings and field trips. She also accompanied the class on a few of these excursions and sat in on classes when possible.