Thanks Roy…

October 12, 2007

This morning I received word that Dr. Roy Rosenzweig passed away yesterday. Roy was the Director of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University where I am enrolled as a PhD student. There are many others there that knew him far better than I did and I’m sure could and will tell better stories about him. My time in the program had not occasioned many opportunities to work with Roy. I spoke to him at length only a few times but it occured to me today just how much this man has influenced my own life. I can only imagine how his passing will impact those that worked more closely with him.

When I applied to the PhD program at Mason I had just started the MUA. At the time it had perhaps two exhibits at most. After  starting my course work I called Roy and asked him for his opinion about my site. Looking back on it now I could almost cringe at how primitive it was and how it must have looked to someone of Roy’s expertise. Rather than point out how poorly designed and coded it was or just how badly I needed the influence of Mason’s classes in new media Roy gave me nothing but encouragement and kind constructive suggestions. I left that conversation not thinking about how far I had to go but rather how far I could go. If the site has improved over the last few years it has done so under the guidance of the program Roy started. To be sure the faculty I have studied under has personally impacted how I view history and new media and how I will continually seek to improve the site. To them I will always be grateful, but I also recognize that these folks are largely gathered together because of Roy’s leadership and vision.


I hope to teach history and new media along with underwater archaeology after I complete my degree. I can’t imagine doing anything else. Applying to Mason’s program was in some ways due to the convenience of going to school so close to home but I can honestly say this is the best place for me to be. That is due in large part to Dr. Roy Rosenzweig. The best tribute I think I can pay to him will be to encourage others to see just how far they can go.


Thanks Roy.


Kurt Knoerl


The Museum of Underwater Archaeology


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