Month: October 2020

Election Night Live Social Media Analysis

UConn DMD Election Night Live Social Media Analysis

Tuesday, November 3 at 5:30pm

Join us on Election night from 5:30pm-6:00pm EST for a live broadcast from the UConn SMACC (Social Media Analytics Command Center). Faculty and student researchers will discuss critical election issues, analyze real-time social media trends, and make some predictions. Watch it live on Youtube.


Our Digital Media & Design student analysts have been following the presidential race and related topics on social media and will be monitoring real-time data on election day. With Americans breaking early voting records in key states across the country, will this election prove to have the highest voter turnout in American history? What will we know on election night?


Topics up for discussion include:
  • Sentiment analysis of both presidential candidates
  • Swing states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Arizona
  • Key Senate races in Arizona, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Maine
  • The Vice Presidential Debate and how one moment can go viral (the fly)
  • Russian influence and bots in social media
  • The proliferation of fake news regarding COVID-19
  • Conversations about white supremacy and militia groups in America


The research team includes Assistant Professor In-Residence John Murphy and DMD students: Ryan Young, Christina McDonnell, and Rosalie Garcia. Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Middle East Studies, Jeremy Pressman, will also talk about Foreign policy under Trump or Biden during the Election Night broadcast.


Follow us on Twitter @UConnSMACC on and after Election Day to see how social media data provides unique insights beyond traditional polling data. To learn more about the kinds of election-related data we've been analyzing, visit:



Contact John Murphy, with any questions at

When You Vote, You Make A Difference.

When America Votes, UConn SMACC Listens.

DMD Student Creates Platform to Support Mental Wellness and Connection During Pandemic


DMD undergrad, Jamison Cote, was recognized by NBC Connecticut for creating an online platform where students can send and receive personalized encouraging videos during these tough times. Along with his classmate, Alex Kim, the two students set out to help their peers cope with the stressors of college life during a pandemic by creating a new platform called Refreshr. 

Refreshr invites college students to fill out a form with basic information such as what school they attend and a fun fact about themselves. Once the form is filled out, Kim and Cote randomly match the student with another student. Each student records and receives a short video of encouragement. It works similarly to getting a pen pal.

Read more on NBC Connecticut.

(via UConn Today) Student-Launched Platform Supporting Mental Well-Being with Positive Messages from Peers

Student-Launched Platform Supporting Mental Well-Being with Positive Messages from Peers

Two UConn students have launched a social app they hope will make college students around the country feel more connected and supported.

The Refreshr platform allows students to connect and share supportive video greetings (via

Pandemic life for college students is overwhelming, challenging, and isolating.

Two UConn students, though, wanted to help their peers build supportive connections during this time of uncertainty and physical distancing, and they’re doing so with the creation of an online platform,Refreshr.

“With mental health, it’s sometimes hard for students to support each other,” says Alex Kim ’22 (BUS), who co-founded Refreshr with friend, Jamison Cote ’22 (SFA). “Last semester was definitely just weird, and unprecedented, and crazy. Entering this semester and the coming semesters, it’s still going to be different – it’s a new way, how we learn and how we interact with other people. With such a drastic change, we still need to be able to be resilient as students and to be able to support each other, because we’re going to need it the most, especially during a time like this.”

Like pen-pals for the Internet age, Refreshr works to match students with each other and then helps them to record a video message specifically for their partner and use Refreshr’s one-way video sharing platform to send their words of encouragement. While most of the platform’s current participants are also UConn students, their goal, Kim says, is to connect a diverse group of students from institutions across the country that can form lasting connections.

“We wanted to make this a platform where students can send videos with uplifting messages of support and positivity to other college students,” says Kim, “to hear from students like you who are going through the same struggles of being in college during coronavirus. With Refreshr, we’re trying to build a community of students supporting each other.”

The idea for Refreshr, says Kim, came while he and Cote were enrolled in “The Entrepreneurial Journey,” a course taught by David Noble, associate professor anddirector of the Peter J. Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and was modeled after their mentor, Noah Friedman, and his similar6FTCloser project. The platform launched in early September, and Kim says they hope their focus on college students will help promote well-being amongst their peers.

“Everyone needs to take care of their mental well-being because these struggles can happen to really, really anyone,” he says. “I think coronavirus has really showed the impact of being isolated from other people and just the difficulty of the circumstances that are now placed upon us as students.”

Kim says thatlearning about entrepreneurship at UConn, and seeing the work of fellow students who are starting businesses or developing new innovations, inspired him to take this initiative and to try to make meaningful change. He says that other students with an idea shouldn’t be afraid to take a chance and try to make something of it.

He also said that he hopes fellow students who are experiencing difficulties during the pandemic will seek out help, connection, and community – and know that they’re not alone.

“There’s lots of students who can resonate with the fact that it’s going to be a difficult semester,” Kim says, “so I hope there’s some at peace with that, and just hope you get the support and encouragement that you need.”

To learn more about Refreshr,


See original story via UConn Today at:

(Via UConn Today) DMD Faculty Named in Multiple SCHARP Awards

OVPR Funds Five Projects in the Arts & Humanities

(Via UConn Today) DMD Faculty Named in Multiple SCHARP Awards
image via UConn Today

Congratulations to the DMD faculty who have received UConn OVPR SCHARP awards!

Professor Heejoo Kim (PI) was awarded $8,000 for “The Loom,” a collaboration with Co-PI’s Helene Kvale (Dramatics Arts), Tanju Ozdemir (DMD), and Simon Hutchinson (Univ. of New Haven).

DMD professors, Tom Scheinfeldt and Greg Colati are Co-PI’s on a $50,000 Breakthrough Award with Mark Healey (PI) (History) and Greenhouse Studios Colleagues for, “Bibliohack Plus: an integrated, low cost, open source digitization tool kit and workflow for the global south and underserved areas.”

We are really proud that two of the five university-wide awards involved DMD faculty research! SCHARP awards aim to support innovative works of scholarship and creative activities in the arts and humanities that have the potential to transform a field of study, impact the common good, or chart a new direction in scholarly, creative, or artistic development.          

Read the full article via UConn Today.