Project Team


Angel David Nieves, Ph.D.

Professor of Africana Studies, History, Digital Humanities, and English, and Director of Public Humanities at Northeastern University

Dr. Angel David Nieves is Professor of Africana Studies, History, Digital Humanities, and English, and Director of Public Humanities at Northeastern University. Formerly, he was Professor of History and Digital Humanities at San Diego State University (SDSU) in the Area of Excellence in Digital Humanities and Global Diversity (2017-2020) and Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi) at Hamilton College (2008-2017). Nieves is the author and co-editor of two historical monographs, including An Architecture of Education: African American Women Design the New South (2018) and ‘We Shall Independent Be:’ African American Place Making and the Struggle to Claim Space in the U.S. (w/Alexander, 2008). Dr. Nieves has also completed a new volume in the Debates in the Digital Humanities Series (w/Senier & McGrail), People, Practice, Power: Digital Humanities Outside the Center (December 2021).  He has served as Associate Editor of Fire!!!: A Multimedia Journal of Black Studies, an on-line only journal of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).

Dr. Nieves’s scholarly work and community-based activism critically engage with issues of race and the built environment in cities across the Global South. He acted as an advisor to “The Power of Place,” a permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in 2015. From 2010 to 2013 he worked with a team of undergraduate students from Middlebury College on the Soweto Historical GIS (SHGIS) Project, and in 2014 he was awarded (w/ Dr. Alyson Gill, formerly of Arkansas State University) an NEH Office of Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant of $59,510 for “Dangerous Embodiments: Theories, Methods, and Best Practices for Historical Character Modeling in Humanities 3D Environments.”  The award was for the development and testing of a comprehensive typology for avatar (graphical representations of a user or the user’s character) creation in historical simulations in digital heritage environments. He was also awarded a major grant (w/ Dr. Kim Gallon, Purdue University) from the National Endowment for the Humanities for $245,299 to direct a digital humanities summer institute at Purdue University in 2016 and Hamilton College in 2017 (“Space and Place in Africana/Black Studies: An Institute on Spatial Humanities Theories, Methods and Practice”). The grant was one of only three NEH Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities Summer Institutes awarded nationally.

Dr. Nieves’s scholarship focuses on the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and technology in the U.S. and South Africa, and is in the vanguard of digital history publications and experimental online publishing platforms. Among these are “Soweto’76 3D” (2004-2008), comprising a digital archive and 3D reconstruction research into politically fraught historic sites such as the Winnie and Nelson Mandela House in Soweto, Johannesburg. Dr. Nieves has received support for his work from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC), and Yale University. Additionally, while Co-Director of the Digital Humanities Initiative (2009-2017) at Hamilton College he helped raise over $2.7 million dollars (w/Janet Simons) in research support for interdisciplinary digital scholarship with undergraduates as research project collaborators. Dr. Nieves’s work has been featured on and in Newsweek International, and his most recent digital research and scholarship may be found at

profile_gplordGregory Lord

Designer & Developer, 3D Modeler, Game Designer

Gregory Lord is the Lead Designer and Software Engineer of the Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi) at Hamilton College, leading the creation of the varied web and graphic designs that represent DHi, and lending his skills as a web programmer to the design and implementation of its digital projects as part of DHi’s Collection Development Team.  Prior to his work at Hamilton and DHi, Greg began his work in the digital humanities as the designer and web developer of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) in 2005, and continued to develop his design and programming skills as a freelance web developer and small independent business owner from his home state of Maryland.

Greg holds a BA in English from the University of Maryland, where he studied creative writing, focusing his design and programming background upon the creation of digital and interactive literature.

A lifelong gaming enthusiast and advocate of educational gaming and simulation, Greg currently works with Hamilton students as an instructor in DHi’s CLASS program, teaching a variety of multimedia topics including video game narrative, game design, 3D modeling and animation, and games/simulation programming. Greg has led DHi and Hamilton’s work with the Blender 3D modeling and animation software, and the Unity game engine, developing projects including virtual recreations of historic sites, interactive fiction, and video game prototypes.

Greg has also helmed the independent design and development team, ZenGrove Design, LLC, since 2009. As the owner and lead developer, Greg has worked on a wide variety of projects for clients including the New York Public Library, the Folger Shakespeare Library and Theater, the University of Maryland, Hamilton College, and a number of local businesses in the Washington, DC area. This work has included design of all kinds, including websites, graphic design and advertising campaigns, and 3D animations and games, and development efforts including databases, web applications, and data-mining/text-analysis tools and algorithms.

Erik Loyer

Project Developer

Erik Loyer builds apps and tools that help people make tactile connections to stories and ideas. He is active in the digital humanities as Creative Director of the popular scholarly publishing tool Scalar, and as the designer and developer of over a dozen interactive non-fiction works in collaboration with leading scholars, artists, and organizations, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute. He founded the interactive label Opertoon in 2008 to explore tactile storytelling, releasing three narrative-driven apps which have garnered critical acclaim and over half a million downloads. Through Opertoon, Loyer has also originated a pair of creative tools which have been utilized in classrooms, workshops, and commercial releases. A two-time Webby Awards Official Honoree, his work has been exhibited in the Americas and Europe, and he has been commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

profile_spedracaSâmia Pedraça

Consultant, 3D Artist
Ph.D. Student, Concordia University

Sâmia Pedraça is currently a Ph.D. student at Concordia University. She was a Master’s student in Humanities Computing at the University of Alberta, Canada.  Interested in game studies, she intends to research the development of narrative in contemporary video games and the connections between new technological affordances (especially the usage of 3D) and sophisticated storytelling. She works as a research assistant at Edmonton Pipelines and GRAND NCE (University of Alberta) and was previously a consultant at SET Simulated Environment Theatre (University of Waterloo).  Sâmia is a journalist and graduate of Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo.


Laurel Schlegel

Graduate Research Assistant, Northeastern University

Laurel Schlegel is a Public History M.A. student at Northeastern University. She graduated from the University of Denver in 2021 with a bachelors in history and minors in Spanish and critical race and ethnic studies. Her research interests include oral history and community archives. For her graduate fieldwork, she has been privileged to work as the conference coordinator for the Black New England Conference 2023. While at Northeastern, Laurel has also had the opportunity to work as a research assistant for the Apartheid Heritages Project.

Samantha Frost

Graduate Research Assistant, Northeastern University

Samantha Frost graduated from Framingham State University in December 2021 with a BA in history and minors in anthropology and museum studies. Her undergraduate honors thesis, “‘Not all the Gems that Sparkle in the Mine, Can make the Fair with so much Lustre Shine’: The Gendered Implications of the Homespun Movement during the American Revolution,” earned her the Nels Andrew Cleven Founder’s award in undergraduate research from the Phi Alpha Theta honor society. Sam has interned at numerous museums, historical societies, and cultural institutions, including Old Sturbridge Village, the Worcester Art Museum, the Springfield Museums, the Hingham Historical Society, the Old North Church, and Historic New England. She is passionate about early American material culture and decorative arts, women’s history, and public history, and is excited to bring these to bear within the museum field.

Melody Asaresh Moghadam

Graduate Research Assistant, Northeastern University

Melody is a World History Master student at Northeastern University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music from Wright State University. She currently works at Huskiana press and is a research assistant in Apartheid Heritages Project. Her research interests include the history of imperialism in Iran in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Iran during WWI, Cold War history, and Environmental history of the Middle East.

Vanessa Nicole Torres

Graduate Research Assistant, Northeastern University

Vanessa (She/Her/Ella) is a first-year History Ph.D. student and research assistant at Northeastern University. As a Ph.D. student, she is interested in investigating generational and emotional approaches to documenting Latina/o/x, more specifically Queer Latina/o/x, oral and visual histories. This way she can develop an understanding of how socioeconomic experiences, racial/ethnic identity and markers, and gender and sexuality identities intersect in the queer framework of education and immigration experiences in Latinx communities. As Dr. Nieves’s research assistant, she hopes to highlight the importance of humanizing narratives for social justice efforts on local and global experiences through DH storytelling. 

Prior to her graduate studies, Vanessa received her Bachelor of Arts in Chicana/o/x-Latina/o/x Studies with a double minor in Latin American Studies and Literary Journalism in June of 2021 from the University of California, Irvine. She was a part of the approx. top 2% in the Social Sciences recognized with the Order of Merit Award, Caesar D. Sereseres Outstanding Service Award, and Outstanding Chicano/Latino Community Engagement Award for her academic excellence, leadership activities, service contributions, and original research. During her last year, Vanessa created and instructed a 10-week seminar “Daydreaming: The Undocumented Immigrant Reality” (with an emphasis on LGBTQ+ experiences) through the UTeach program. The seminar revolved around the importance of written, visual, and oral testimonios to the histories of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ immigrants in the United States. 

Previously, with funding support as an undergraduate honorary research fellow, Vanessa investigated the experiences of TRIO programs’ working-class first-generation high school students striving to excel in STEM. Her research findings were presented at the Imagining America National Gathering in 2019 and virtually for the Johns Hopkins University Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Humanities Research Symposium in 2020. Her article “Ascendance and Transformation: Humanizing TRIO First Generation Students of Color and their STEM Empowerment Agents” was then published in the inaugural Johns Hopkins University Richard Macksey Journal in 2020.

Savita Maharaj

Graduate Research Assistant, Brandeis University

Savita Maharaj is an English Ph.D. student at Brandeis University specializing in contemporary and eighteenth-century Caribbean history and literature, archival theory, critical histories of race and gender, decolonial methods, and postcolonial theory. She graduated from Northeastern University with a BA in English in May 2022.  

Alanna Prince

Graduate Research Assistant, Northeastern University

Alanna Prince is a Ph.D. Candidate in the English Department at Northeastern University. Her work focuses on contemporary poetry and visual culture, emphasizing the historical resonance of transatlantic slavery, and Black feminist theory— specifically looking into how creatives, particularly poets, are using archival documents to retell or reimagine history from a decolonial, feminist, and anti-racist perspective.  She is currently at work on her dissertation “Luminous Black: On Making Time, the World, and the Self in Black Women’s Poetry.” She is also invested in the digital humanities, working with archives and other digital repositories to ensure that they are designed to be accessible and helpful to all people. She currently serves as the Exhibit Curator and Acquisitions Lead at the Early Caribbean Digital Archive, and as an Editor for Insurrect!, an online magazine for radical thinking in Early American studies. You can learn more about her teaching and work here at her website

Ben Federlin

Graduate Research Assistant, Northeastern University

Ben Federlin is a second-year masters student studying public history at Northeastern University. His area of study focuses primarily on the process and production of public memory and queer history. He received a Bachelor of Arts in History and Classical Studies from Brandeis University. He has worked at the Old State House Museum, the Natick Historical Society, Gore Place, and the Boston Athenaeum.



Adam Tomasi

Graduate Research Assistant, Northeastern University

Adam Tomasi is a third-year PhD student in the World History program at Northeastern University. He specializes in the histories of the Left in the United States and United Kingdom. Adam graduated with an MA in World History in May of 2021, with a Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities and a concentration in public history. He is also the Research Team Lead for the West End Museum and a tour guide for The Sports Museum at the TD Garden.


Cassie Tanks

Graduate Research Assistant/Project Management

Cassie Tanks earned an MS Library Science student from UNC Chapel Hill and is a World History PhD Student at Northeastern University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from San Diego State University and later was a Digital Humanities Assistant for the SDSU Library Digital Humanities Center. Her interests lie in community and participatory archives, intersectionality in the archives, supporting student research, and transnational Cold War history. Cassie’s first job as a dance instructor at a recreation center and the students she met during that time have profoundly impacted her to this day.

John Gove

Graduate Research Assistant, San Diego State University

John Gove is a PhD student in the Department of History at the University of California San Diego. He holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from Florida State University and a Master of Arts in history from San Diego State University. His MA thesis, “From the Campus to the Community: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Rights in 1970s San Diego”, explores outreach and community-building among San Diego’s earliest gay rights activists, while also examining the ways in which women, people of color, transgender people, and the poor and working class pushed back against their own marginalization within this already marginalized community. He is currently working on his PhD dissertation, which traces the development of LGBTQ rights movements in Southern California from the end of World War II through today.

Terri Moise

DHi Student Intern, Hamilton College

Hailing from Miami, Terri is a member of the class of 2017. An Africana Studies major, Terri is working with Professor Nieves on the Soweto Historical GIS Project. He joined the DHi his junior year in order to learn more about the intersections of technology and history, and how he can utilize his writing skills to share the stories of others. For fun, he likes to unpack the various messages present in Japanese anime and write poetry.

Talia Vaughan

DHi Student Intern, Hamilton College

Talia Vaughan is a member of the class of 2018 from Madison, New Hampshire. She is a Religious Studies major with other interests in Anthropology and History. She started her work with the Digital Humanities Initiative in her sophomore year, working first on the NOLA project, transcribing oral histories for use in the collection. She is currently working with Dr. Nieves on the Soweto Project, completing projects such as a timeline of the Mandela family home, mapping of mine hostels surrounding Johannesburg, South Africa, and beginning work on digitizing and preserving artifacts from Soweto. Through her work with the DHi, Talia is hoping to improve her technology skills in order to explore the possibility of documenting and preserving the voices and concerns of minority groups and individuals.

Jack Hay

DHi Student Intern, Hamilton College

Jack Hay is a member of the class of 2019 from Essex, Massachusetts.  Jack is a Computer Science major and is working with Dr. Nieves on the Soweto project.  He has experience in the field of computer-aided design and architecture as well as coding.  His work includes the modeling of houses in ArchiCAD. Jack hopes to work as a software engineer after his time at Hamilton. ==


profile_kxiaoKevin Xiao

DHi Student Fellow, Hamilton College

Kevin Xiao is a Computer Science major (and Economics minor) at Hamilton College. He got involved with the Digital Humanities initiative during the second semester of his Junior year while attending “Introduction to Digital Humanities” taught by Prof. Nieves. He currently assists Greg Lord with DHi’s 3D modeling and virtual environment projects, including Blender and Unity-related tasks. ========================================================

Gabriela Arias

DHi Student Fellow, Hamilton College

Gabriela Arias—Gabi for short—was born and raised in New York City; however, she has called Wallkill, NY home since 2001. As a member of the first generation of her family to be born in the United States, she is proud of her roots. She considers the African ancestry of Dominicans from across the diaspora central to her identity as a Dominican-American woman. The history and culture of Afro-Latinos fascinates her and is an academic interest which she has been fortunate enough to explore at Hamilton College. An Africana Studies major, Gabi is especially interested in the intersections between institutions of public history and the process of historical preservation in communities across the African diaspora. Throughout her college career, she researched the complex relationship between personal and family histories, particularly in marginalized communities, and their preservation in the archives. For the past two summers, Gabi held internships where she was engaged in digital archival work and humanities-based technology research. In 2009, she aided in building an online, interactive digital archive dedicated to the 1976 student protests in Soweto, South Africa. This summer, she delved into two exciting research based internships. First, at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Gabi processed and digitized their extensive collections on the LGBT Puerto Rican community in New York City. Second, she interned at El Museo del Barrio and aided in the development of their website and potential mobile application. An aspiring archivist, Gabi intends to begin graduate school in the fall of 2011 in a Library and Information Sciences program with an emphasis in cultural heritage archival preservation.

profile_btomassoneBrynna Tomassone

DHi CLASS Scholar, Hamilton College

Brynna Tomassone was a member of the class of 2012, just having returned from her junior year abroad as part of the Hamilton College Academic Year in Spain program. Ms. Tomassone is double majoring in Hispanic Studies and Africana Studies, with a particular interest in the socio-politic-linguistic influence of the African diaspora on women in the Caribbean. Ms. Tomassone will deliver a paper entitled ‘The Use of Study Abroad in the Development of a Global Multicultural Perspective for Preservice Teachers in both Kenya and the United States’ at the International Conference on Education at Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa in July, 2011. Additionally, she is completing a Culture Liberal Arts and Society Scholar (CLASS) fellowship, working on a Digital Humanities project documenting the Soweto uprising in 1976. In collaboration with Dr. Angel Nieves and his work on the Soweto ’76 Digital Archive, Ms. Tomassone is hoping to raise awareness to social justice issues by linking global perspectives and the human experience. Ms. Tomassone plans to pursue her scholarly interests in graduate school abroad.

profile_agoodmanAllie Goodman

DHi Student Intern, Hamilton College

Allie Goodman was a member of the class of 2015 from New York City. She  majored in American Studies with a minor in Sociology and Cinema and New Media. As an intern with the Digital Humanities Initiative Allie is working with Dr. Nieves on the Soweto Historical GIS (SHGIS) Project, mostly as a research intern. She is exited to continue learning much more about Digital Humanities, DHi’s developing role in academic fields, and contribute to the efforts to incorporate Digital Humanities and Digital Scholarship in academia. She is thankful for being able to participate in the initiative!

profile_nsohlNicolas Sohl

Student Research Assistant, Middlebury College

Nicolas Sohl is a Southern California native that uses GIS and photography as a medium to highlight the connections between, and use of, our natural, urban, and social environments. Nicolas’s photography has been shown in several solo shows and was featured by National Geographic and CNN. He is a graduate of Middlebury College and his work is enriched by his studies in geography. He currently lives in St. Kitts and Nevis, where he concurrently works with the SHGIS and works as a project manager for on-island development projects. His work with the SHGIS has focused on understanding and visualizing the spatial-temporal dynamics of African neighborhood removals in the 19th and 20th century in order to better understand how forced removals to Soweto effected neighborhood population densities and public health in Johannesburg and Soweto.

profile_apowersAndrew Powers

Student Research Assistant, Middlebury College

Andrew Powers was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest close to the waters of Puget Sound. At the bright age of 19, he headed east to Middlebury College, where he studied geography under an incredible faculty of daring thinkers. Andrew loves history, maps and transformative technology… Probably why SHGIS is the best job he’s ever had. He currently lives in Seattle.


Project Consultants

profile_ahlongwaneAli Khangela Hlongwane, Ph.D.

Deputy Director of Culture, City of Johannesburg

Ali Khangela Hlongwane’s career in the arts began in the 1980s with theatre studies under James Mthoba at the Federated Union of Black Artists (FUBA) in Johannesburg and his association with the Soyikwa Institute of African Theatre where he appeared in various plays and also worked as a tutor, theatre technician and tour manager. He holds a Ph.D. in Heritage and an MA in Public Culture and Biography and Society both from Wits University. He is currently employed as Deputy Director: Culture in the City of Johannesburg and is the former Chief Curator of Museum Africa in Newtown Johannesburg and was previously the Chief Curator of the Hector Pieterson Memorial & Museum in Orlando West, Soweto. He participated in the development of public projects on the trails of the June 16 1976 Uprisings. In 2007 he managed the incorporation of the Kliptown Open Air Museum as a branch of the Hector Pieterson Museum and played a role in the development of the June 16 1976 Interpretation Centre in Central Western Jabavu. He is co-editor with Sifiso Ndlovu and Mothobi Mutloatse of Soweto 76-Reflections on the liberation struggles. Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of June 16, 1976 and editor of Footprints of the “Class of 76”: Commemoration, memory, mapping and heritage. He has published in various journals including the Pan African Journal, Journal of African Cultural Studies and Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies. His research interests are in heritage, memory, commemoration and the life histories of Pan Africanist Congress activists (veterans).

profile_aknowlesAnne Kelly Knowles, Ph.D.

Professor of Geography, University of Maine

Anne Kelly Knowles was Associate Professor of Geography at Middlebury College. She previously taught at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth; Wellesley College; and George Washington University. Her books include Mastering Iron: The Struggle to Modernize an American Industry 1800 – 1868 (University of Chicago Press 2012), Calvinists Incorporated: Welsh Immigrants on Ohio’s Industrial Frontier (University of Chicago Press 1997), Placing History: How Maps, Spatial Data, and GIS Are Changing Historical Scholarship (ESRI Press 2008), and three other edited volumes on the use of GIS in historical research. Her work has been supported by fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and National Endowment for the Humanities. Anne’s recent book project, Geographies of the Holocaust (Indiana 2014), is a “timely contribution to the ongoing emergence of the spatial humanities.” Her ongoing research with the Holocaust Historical GIS project is funded by the National Science Foundation.

profile_agillAlyson A. Gill, Ph.D.

Associate Provost, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Founding Director of the Center for Digital Initiatives, Arkansas State University

Alyson A. Gill (Ph.D. University of Memphis, 2004) was associate professor of Art History and founding Director of the Center for Digital Initiatives ( at Arkansas State University, whose field of expertise is Greek art and architecture. When in Greece on a Fulbright scholarship, Gill began to realize the need for new ways to represent architectural models that she was studying, and in 2006 began to use 3D models for her own research on a spatial analysis of the Greek bath in the ancient sanctuary after participating in the NEH summer institute “Models of Ancient Rome.” As a direct result of collaborative relationships developed in that institute, she applied for and was awarded an NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up grant in 2007 for a collaborative 3D modeling project with Coastal Carolina University entitled, “Ashes2Art: Virtual Reconstructions of Ancient Sites.” In 2008 Gill launched the first of what would become a six ‘sim’ (simulated environment) virtual campus in the multi-user virtual environment Second Life, and in 2010 she began to replicate the campus in OpenSim—an open source multi-user virtual environment and Unity. Gill has published in digital archaeology and recently co-edited a special edition of Visual Resources (2010) entitled “Continuous Crossroads: New Directions in the Digital Humanities.” In February 2012 Gill assumed the role of Associate Editor of Digital Applications in Archaeology & Cultural Heritage, an online peer-reviewed journal for cultural heritage. In 2011 Gill was appointed Director of the Center for Digital Initiatives, a Center of Excellence at ASU created under her leadership, and since then the CDI has created online 3D models of key ASU heritage sites, and has worked on extensive visualization projects with almost every college at the university and with groups across the state. Gill has been deeply involved with the Computer Applications in Quantitative Archaeology conference as a presenter, session chair, and member of the scientific committee for the past six years. In 2013 Gill was PI on an NEH Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, “Humanities Heritage 3D Visualization: Theory and Practice,” that was co-hosted at Arkansas State University and University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. In 2014 she was awarded (w/Angel David Nieves) an NEH Office of Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant of $59,510 for “Dangerous Embodiments: Theories, Methods, and Best Practices for Historical Character Modeling in Humanities 3D Environments.”  The award is for the development and testing of a comprehensive typology for avatar (graphical representations of a user or the user’s character) creation in historical simulations in digital heritage environments.

profile_dresideDoug Reside, Ph.D.

Digital Curator for the Performing Arts, New York Public Library

Doug Reside became Digital Curator for the Performing Arts at New York Public Library in January of 2011 after serving for four and a half years on the directorial staff of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland in College Park. He holds a BS in Computer Science and a BA, MA, and Ph.D. in English Literature. He has been a PI on three earlier startup grants (The Ajax XML Encoder, Music Theatre Online, and the Collaborative Ajax Modeling Platform) and the co-PI with Tanya Clement on the “Off the Tracks” workshop. Additionally, he is the original project director of the NEH Preservation and Access funded Text Image Linking Environment (TILE) which is scheduled for release in the summer of 2011.