UMSI student project featured in U-M Library exhibit

Living History team members (left to right): Haad Khan, Gedi Tang, Jinesh Shah and Michelle Jackson.

A project designed by UMSI students to assist owners of historic homes in Jackson, Michigan is part of a current exhibition at the U-M Hatcher Graduate Library. “Learning in Real Life: Stories of Impact through Engagement” is on display through April 14 in the library's Gallery, Room 100. 

Engaged learning is experiential, action-based learning that helps students develop not only intellectually, but also professionally and personally while in school. This exhibit, sponsored by the U-M Library, the Center for Engaged Academic Learning and the Vice Provost for Global and Engaged Education, highlights engaged learning across the University of Michigan.

In their Citizen Interaction Design course, UMSI students Michelle Jackson, Haad Khan, Gedi Tang and Jinesh Shah designed the project “Living History,” to make information about properties in the historic district of Jackson, Michigan available to the public. The team found that many owners of historic dwellings were unaware of their property’s status and their obligations regarding such properties. This lack of knowledge presented a challenge to the city’s Historic District Commission (HDC) in its efforts to maintain the integrity of the district.

Historic home owners were not always aware that they needed special approvals to make alterations to their property and/or lacked an easy way to apply for permits. Working with the City of Jackson website developer, the students added several functions to the city’s website that now allow property owners to

- find out whether their home is designated historic,
- understand the application process and whether restrictions apply to them, and
- apply for a renovation permit.

The team also proposed a plan for a mailer to historic property owners, informing them of their property’s status and establishing the HDC as the point of contact for external renovation matters.

On Wednesday, February 25, at 2:30 pm, the team and their professor, Cliff Lampe, will be in the Gallery to discuss their project in person along with other exhibitors.

Posted February 17, 2015