Communication, Analytics, Technology and Computing

in the Liberal Arts Workshop Series

CAT CLAWS workshops are offered at The Hurt Hub@Davidson, providing more ways to skill up in new technologies, data analysis, communication skills and more to help you succeed in both academic and professional endeavors.

Workshops are typically 1-2 hours each. Free and open to all Davidson College students, faculty, staff and community members.

Previously Recorded Workshops



Tuesday 3/31/20

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Instructors: Che Smith, Math & Computer Science
with Dan Murphy, Owen Bezick, Malcolm McCabe, and Patrick Kelly

BEFORE THE WORKSHOP: Follow these instructions

Do you want to learn how to analyze text as data? In this March Madness themed workshop, you will learn how to use Python to transform a closed-caption transcript of an NCAA tournament game into interesting insights using Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques, driven by high-powered analytics and data visualization.

What you will learn:

  • Where and how to get textual data
  • Importing text into Python
  • “Cleaning” text data
  • Sentiment Analysis
  • Lexical dispersion

Tuesday 4/14/20

Acting for [Zoom] Camera:
Performance Techniques for Video Conferencing

Instructor: Steve Kaliski, Theatre


The COVID-19 crisis is further solidifying video conferencing as a primary tool for making first impressions, particularly in business settings. In this workshop, Professor Steve Kaliski from the Theatre Department will share a number of tips on how to optimize the human performance element—how to warm up, how to create the perfect visual composition, how to “make eye contact”—so that the next time you have a high stakes job interview or presentation online, you feel truly empowered to act.

Wednesday 4/15/20

Telling Stories with Data using R

Instructor: Laurie Heyer, Math & Computer Science


Journalists are telling the story of the COVID-19 pandemic with stunningly informative maps and charts. In this interactive workshop, you will learn how to load spreadsheet data into the free and powerful data science software called R, and make your own maps and charts, similar to those you see in the New York Times. No matter what your field of study or work, you can benefit from better charts and graphs!

Thursday 4/16/20

Intro to Data Visualization in Tableau

Instructor: Pete Benbow, Business Intelligence Programmer & Analyst, T&I

BEFORE THE WORKSHOP: Download and install Tableau Public

Power BI and Tableau are the two most in-demand tools for analytics and business intelligence. In this session, learn how to connect Tableau Public (free) to your data and build stunning data visualizations.

AFTER THE WORKSHOP: check out this LinkedIn Learning Collection, and download the Exercise file.

Tuesday 4/21/20

WordPress Essentials

Instructor: Sundi Richard
Assistant Director for Digital Learning

In this introduction to WordPress, we’ll look at the basic building blocks of WordPress, learn how to work with the Gutenberg editor, custom CSS within a theme, and utilize plugins, to make your WordPress site look and function the way you intend. Please come with a WordPress site you want to work on. If you are a Davidson student or faculty member, please check out this documentation on setting up a Davidson Domain, creating a subdomain, and installing WordPress. If you are not a Davidson student or faculty, you can set up a WordPress site at

Wednesday 4/22/20

Adobe Illustrator Basics

Instructor: Brooklyn Madding
Freelance graphic designer at The Hurt Hub

BEFORE THE WORKSHOP: Download the Project Files and install the fonts linked from this workshop guide. Davidson participants, you may activate Adobe Creative Cloud from off campus. Non-Davidson participants need their own licensed or trial version of Adobe Illustrator.

Learn the basics of Adobe Illustrator, by creating a text-based logo and Instagram Stories post. We will cover the basics of setting up documents, how to use fundamental drawing and editing features, and dive into some tricks, tips and fun ways to make the most of the program. No previous Illustrator experience is required.

Thursday 4/23/20

Introduction to Twine

Instructor: Mark Sample
Digital Studies

Twine is an open-source tool for creating interactive, branching-path narratives. It’s a popular game development platform in the indie game community, and easy to learn, even with no programming experience. This introduction will teach you everything you need to know to get started with this exciting digital storytelling tool. To see examples of Twine in action, check out Cactus Blue Motel or scarfmemory. And if you have a lot of time on your hands, play Will Not Let Me Go.

Saturday 4/25/20

Excel Basics

Instructor: Kevin Smith

Do you need basic Excel skills for a class, for a current job, for the job you want in your future? Come learn the  skills you need to get started working in Excel. Dr. Kevin Smith will lead this beginners’ bootcamp for students, staff, faculty and community members. 

No previous experience required — this workshop is for beginners — but some preparation is required (see above)

Topics include:

  • Address system
  • Formulas referring to other cells
  • Simple functions (sum, avg, count, countif, stdev)
  • Dragging formulas across and down (with $ operator)
  • Random 
  • Sorting
  • Freezing panes
  • Basic graphs

Tuesday 4/28/20

UX and Basic Web Design

Instructor: Connyre and Chelsie Corbett
Corvos Labs, based at the Hurt Hub

Do you need to build a web page from scratch, for yourself or a client? Our instructors will share a simplified process that will help you move from idea to implementation, using best practices in design and user experience. Get hands on experience in wireframing and writing copy for a website. No prior tech or website experience is required. We’ll help you get started!

Wednesday 4/29/20

Intro to Data Visualization with Power BI

Instructor: Pete Benbow, Business Intelligence Programmer & Analyst, T&I

BEFORE THE WORKSHOP: Davidson participants can sign up for Power BI free account using credentials: Others need their own Power BI account.

Power BI and Tableau are the two most in-demand tools for analytics and business intelligence. In this session, learn how you can use a free Power BI account to create interactive data visualizations in your web browser and share them with the world.

Thursday 4/30/20

Scraping the Web

Instructor: Raghu Ramanujan
Math & Computer Science


To efficiently collect and manipulate online information, you need to “scrape the web” with a computer program. The Python programming language provides tools  for scraping information from the Internet using the Beautiful Soup package. And some sites make it even easier for programmers to grab data using an API (Application Programmer Interface). You’ll learn both of these tools in this workshop taught by Dr. Ramanujan. No previous programming experience is necessary.

hannah maschoffCAT CLAWS