This project was inspired by the work of Caroline Wang and Mary Ann Burris (1997) who created a research methodology using photography and written narrative to generate interest in important topics to the community and enable community members to express themselves through photography. A British charity “Photovoice” has attracted international attention using this method.

In this project, students in the Honors Program at Medaille College investigated how members of the Medaille community lived during the first 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic for the purpose of recording and reflecting on how the Medaille community experienced the COVID-19 pandemic. Students interviewed participants, and asked them to either share personal photographs or allow the students to take photographs. After the interviews, students collated the photographs and wrote narratives about the photographs based on their interviews with the participants for the purpose of offering a clear message about the photograph from the participant’s point of view.

Students identified four themes that became a focus of their research:





Main 215, a classroom with four round tables and one small rectangular table, was bustling with activity while students worked on this project during the fall 2021 semester. The photograph below, however, captures the emptiness of this classroom during much of the pandemic when students were learning remotely. Many students and faculty felt a sense of loss for being together in spaces like these.

For information or comments about this project, please email Dr. Daniel Kotzin, Professor of History, at