Mon., April 1 marked the first of a lecture series entitled Techpaths, an initiative founded by Library and Information Services (LIS) to showcase the connections between technology and liberal arts.
Last Monday’s speaker, Jascha Franklin-Hodge, is the Chief Technology Officer of Blue State Digital, a marketing company that helps clients create change and build relationships with their consumers through the best means possible.
Franklin-Hodge is a veteran of the Howard Dean presidential campaign in 2004 and the Obama campaigns in both 2008 and 2012, as a key innovator in small donation fundraising through social media. In addition to Blue State Digital’s campaign work, Franklin-Hodge has also worked with non-profit organizations and social justice-related projects such as It Gets Better, a group designed to enhance LGBT advocacy.
During his lecture at Wheaton, Franklin-Hodge broke down the complexities of campaign-based digital advertising, spending the majority of his lecture discussing the impact of social media on the most recent election. He explained how using various outlets (such as emails and text messages) enables donors to make quick, simple donations by just pressing a button. “It is the little things that make a huge difference, such as keeping credit card information and simplifying the means to make others more compliant,” added Franklin-Hodge.
“It was a very compelling lecture; it exposed me to a topic that I was not previously aware of,” said Josh Zaleznik ‘16. “I did not realize how big of an impact social media could and does have in the world today.”
“Franklin-Hodge is an excellent speaker for our first Techpaths event,” said Wheaton College Digital Learning Liason Peter Coco. “Here is a guy making a real difference in the workaday world, and he’s doing it from a foundation of big, liberal arts-type questions about democracy, the role of the individual and the power of collective action.”
Coco, who spearheaded the Techpaths series, anticipates having two speakers per semester. The next scheduled speaker is Daniel Albanese, the creater of thedustyrebel.com, New York City’s premiere digital archive of contemporary street art.
As with last Monday’s event, future Techpaths talks will include a pre-lecture dinner with three to five nominated students and the guest, fostering long-lasting connections between students and speakers.