One of many ways the Virginia Tech community is marking its 150th anniversary is with a new digital exhibit on how the First World War changed Virginia Tech, part of the VPI in World War 1 project. While Cadet Joshua Buckingham worked as part of a multi-person team to complete this exhibit, his nominator and supervisor said that without him the exhibit would not have been possible.
Joshua’s initial duties only included helping to edit the exhibit. But Joshua was keen to take on more. On his own initiative, Joshua conducted his own research, producing high-level historical writing and locating historical images to drive the exhibit narrative.
During his winter break, Joshua took time to learn how to use the project’s digital content management system. Joshua learned how to manage and input metadata, construct digital exhibits, format webpages, and create consumable online content for public audiences. Joshua’s ability to quickly learn the platform was remarkable, and he was the only person on the entire project who was solely responsible for the exhibit’s design and construction.
And if you are curious about the exhibit, watch for our Aspire! Awards post-event email, which will have information on how to view it.
Joshua’s nominator said, “Joshua’s curiosity, his willingness to learn new skills, and his interest in uncovering diverse and hidden histories was inspiring. Sometimes as historians, we become numb to how exciting producing history can be. Joshua’s curiosity and intellectual passion were a constant source of inspiration and motivation throughout the project.”
Joshua said, “Curiosity is when a spark ignites a fire in your mind and creates a drive to learn. Our world and its vast array of cultures and histories is a playground for us to experience new things outside of our own experiences. The internet age has allowed humans to experience cultures and histories from all around the world. I like to think that having access to this amazing tool is what gives me the incentive to learn something new every day.”
From joining the VT SCUBA Club his sophomore year to applying for the Hokies on the Hill program, Joshua said, “My passion is learning and experiencing new things. I am very proud of my family for supporting me and my aspirations. Whenever I doubted myself or needed support, my family was always there for me. My family has always challenged me to go outside my comfort zone and experience new things, whether that be sports, traveling the world, or coming here to Virginia Tech.
Joshua is a junior double-majoring in History and Political Science National Security. He is in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Citizen-Leader Track. He is a Congressional Intern in the United States House of Representatives, and is a member of Kappa Delta Rho Fraternity and Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Fraternity. Josh said he always aspired to join the military and serve his country, but that his time in Hokies on the Hill has also opened his eyes to the possibility of working in the political sector.
Joshua, thank you for your contribution to our sesquicentennial. It is a pleasure to present to you the Aspire! Award for COMMIT TO UNWAVERING CURIOSITY.