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Anthropology and Museum Studies

ExploreCentral Mobile App


The CWU Museum Studies program trains students to develop innovative new media resources.  For example,  Museum Studies students oversee and create content for a new mobile app, called “Explore Central.”  The app is now available for free on the Google Play Store, for download onto smart phones running the Android operating system.

Users can now  find color-coded points of interest on their smart phone map, taking them to points of interest in the area, accessing text, audio recordings, still images and videos.   These include student commentaries on campus art works, sites of natural history sites, locations of  architectural significance, and social service locales. 

To date, content for the app has been created by students in Mark Auslander’s Museum  Exhibition Design class (Winter 2014 and 2015) and Exhibiting Nature (Fall 2014).  Students in Ellen Avitts’ Modern American Art course (Winter 2014) also partnered with Museum Studies to create audio segments on campus art works.

Technical development for the app was undertaken by Computer Science students in CS480.481, working under Prof. Holly Johnson during Fall 2014 and Winter 2015. 
The CS student team consisted of senior Katherine Imhoef, Josiah Langlois, Cuong Nguyen, Craig Millioron, Jennifer Thomas, and Chris Walling.  

Museum Studies students have been creating  a mixture of entertaining and serious content for the app, including:

  • Rachel Gunlogson’s witty monologue, imagining what the Kitt the Coyote statue, in front  of the Ellensburg Public Library, might say to passersby.
  • Nic Crosby’s commentary on the local legend of Mel’s Hole
  • Blair’s Olin's commentary on Lola, the ghost believed by students to haunt Kamola Hall
  • Cheri Schafer’s video slideshow about the Rodeo City RollerGirls, the local roller derby team, which she coaches.
  • Barbara Hammersburg on the new cold weather homeless shelter in Ellensburg.
  • Brittany Anderson on the history of the Roslyn Brick Saloon and the Ellensburg Rodeo.

Stay Tuned: More organizations and programs will collaborate with Museum Studies as the app develops.  Xavier Cavozos' poetry students will be creating poems, tied to specific local sites. (Xavier has shared a poem about the Yakima River for inclusion on the platform.) We are partnering with Historic Ellensburg to incorporate their walking tour of downtown sites of historic and architectural interest.

Users may share comments and ideas about the app at its Facebook group page,  CWU_ExploreCentral,  at
The plan is to develop a version of the app for iPhone users, running the IOS operating system, in coming months.


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