Photos 2

Three perspective images of a row of palms. The first position (left) that looks at the palms from the left is the most interesting to me due to the framing provided by the foreground palm as well as the position closer to to perpendicular to the light source (sun).


Photos 1

In addition to the four provided techniques, I wanted include lens flares as a fifth technique. In the case of the image below, the lens flare was a coincidence, however, that does not mean that the image and effect are not still useful. In addition to the rainbow created by the lens flare acting as a line bisecting from the lower left corner through the upper right third, it acts as an additional level of framing with the lens flare “closest to” (on) the lens and the two palms acting as a foreground to the tower and other palms.

walkway and tower surrounded by palm trees



When considering accessibility issues for web content, there is a variety of best practices to be mindful of. Page navigation, alt tags, and closed captioning are all opportunities to not only provide support for students who need access to accessibility options, but they also provides a better experience for all users.

Utilizing Universal Design principles is one way to remain cognizant of, and directly address, design issues related to accessibility. The seven core principles are:

  1. Equitable Use
  2. Flexibility in Use
  3. Simple and Intuitive Use
  4. Perceptible Information
  5. Tolerance for Error
  6. Low Physical Effort
  7. Size and Space for Approach and Use

In addition, when considering course content, rubrics such as Quality Matters and the Online Learning Consortium’s Quality Framework provide direction and assessment to ensure that our LMS content is not only accessible, but includes the core content appropriate for online/hybrid courses.

Recent Work

Ghost in the machine (but not the Major one)

The best way to understand digital interfaces is to use the interfaces you plan to utilize…well, that, and it is fun. For instance, the recent video game Ghost of Tsushima offers a number of interesting connections for me. As mentioned in a previous post, I am collaborating with others to create a virtual recreation of a Japanese Buddhist pilgrimage. While we are focusing on the modern landscape that the pilgrimage exists in, the pilgrimage dates back over 1200 years. Seeing how Sucker Punch, the developer of Ghost of Tsushima, approached both the landscape and characters of their period piece provides insight into a way to potentially address some issues with the historic nature of the temples along the pilgrimage.

This StoryMap ( looks at a few of the locations that exist in the game and, today, in the real world on the island of Tsushima.

Recent Work

Disparate, but still a community

screenshot of story

One of my recent collaborations was with the Museum of the Southeast Indian at UNC Pembroke to create a digital version of a physical exhibit. The original exhibit focused on the Lumbee population in Guilford County and how they maintain their connection to Robeson County. 

While the original exhibit was centered around a few banners with text, the majority of the  exhibit was made up of collages of framed photographs. The digital exhibit brings together these materials in a similar way, but does add some related elements to the exhibit including a documentary. The key, however, is the ability to provide this story in a long-term, accessible way so that a larger audience can learn about a relatively modern diaspora of a native population.

Recent Work

Finding Totoro on Koyasan

jesse with totoro

On a relatively recent field visit to Japan to participate in, and begin to study, the henro pilgrimage I spent time at Mount Koya. As the resting place of the Kōbō Daishi, Mount Koya has become the home to Shingon Buddhism, the sect of esoteric Buddhism that he introduced to Japan. While the location is a cluster of sacred places from the largest cemetery in Japan, Okunoin, to dozens of temple complexes, it is also a tourist destination. 

Of course, many of the shops focus on items tied to the practice of Buddhism or one of the pilgrimages that is connected to Mount Koya, but that does not mean there isn’t the ubiquitous Studio Ghibli merchandise such as this large Totoro. Beyond the commercialism of tourism, in this case Totoro fits right in. In many historic locations, temples and shrines sit side by side or even one inside the other. Finding this stuffed representation of an animated Shinto god of the forest in the middle of a place focused on Buddhism actually seems very fitting.

You can learn more about this trip and research from a recent presentation StoryMap at